History Does Repeat Itself

One of my biggest philosophies about history is that it does tend to repeat itself. Whether this is good or bad can be debated forever, but it is a phenomenon that also occurs in the field of economics. In fact, the events of a historical period often influence the economy of the time.
One of the greatest examples of history repeating itself is the current war between the United States and Iraq. Consider the following. During the early 1990's, President Bush, Sr. invaded Iraq. At the time the economy of the United States was pretty strong due to the Reagan era. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq by the United States, the economy began to falter and there was ultimately no conclusion to this invasion as the United States pulled out after quickly declaring a victory.
Compare this to the current Iraq invasion. The United States' economy was doing very well during the Clinton administration. There was even a surplus of billions of dollars instead of the usual deficit that this country has seen so often. Unfortunately, the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 prompted current President Bush to first launch attacks against Afghanistan where it was believed Al-Qaeda was headquartered. Next, President Bush chose to attack Iraq for various reasons -- weapons of mass destructions, ties to terrorism, etc. Thus another war with Iraq and the United States began. Since then the surplus of the US economy has disappeared and is currently at a deficit. The United States found no weapons of mass destruction and has never found Osama Bin-Laden. Fortunately, Saddam Hussein was captured.
Now consider the following. During both invasions of Iraq, Presidents named Bush were in charge of the military campaigns. The economic climate of the United States was greatly altered both times. The economy went from good to bad. To look even deeper is even more frightening. During the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, the United States' Armed Forces fought against weapons that had been given to the Afghanistan government to combat Russia during its war with them in the 1980's. That is when the United States was on good terms with Afghanistan and was fighting the evil empire of Communism. Secondly, Osama Bin-Laden had been recruited and trained by the United States' government to help the Afghanistan people fight the Soviet Union. Ultimately, he was the one responsible for the attacks on the United States on 9/11. One last tidbit to ponder. During the 1980's, the United States' government supported the country of Iraq in its war against Iran. Then twenty years later, Iraq was the enemy.
Not only does history repeat itself, but in this particular example it is almost scary. And in many instances of this recent history the irony surely cannot be dismissed or ignored.
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Written by Jason Liptow, B.A. in Social Studies from Madonna University, teacher certification from Saginaw Valley State University in Social Studies and History is the webmaster of Social Studies Made Simple. The goal of the website is to provide information and links about history, economics, and current events to students and teachers.
For more information visit www.socialstudiesmadesimple.com.
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About the Author

Teacher of social studies and history. BA in Social Studies from Madonna University, MSBA from Madonna University in Operations Management, teacher certification from Saginaw Valley State University.