A Historical Prism

Lynette Dufton
2 min readMar 22, 2023

The op-ed pages bring us thoughtful columns on the issues of the day. Although I don’t agree with everything they write, conservative columnists like Jonah Goldberg and George F. Will often make cogent observations. They seem to specialize in applying a historical prism to current events.

I’m no Jonah or George, but last week Americans cheered when Putin was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. This week, Americans paid little notice to the 20th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq. Clearly, it was evil for big, bad Russia to invade its much smaller neighbor on a flimsy excuse (“Denazification? Seriously?).

Was it any better for big, bad America to invade Iraq on the flimsy excuse of Weapons of Mass Destruction? After four thousand dead American soldiers, 200,000 dead Iraqis, and $1 trillion pissed away, there weren’t any WMD’s after all. Should George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and that whole crowd be indicted for war crimes as well?

That indictment by the International Criminal Court is meaningless. The ICC Police are not breaking into the Kremlin any time soon to haul Vlad off in handcuffs. Russia is not a signatory to the ICC charter. Should the ICC indict George W., it would be equally meaningless. The ICC cops can save themselves a trip to G.W.’s ranch. The USA is not a signatory to the ICC Charter either. Like Russia, we are free to arbitrarily commit war crimes when we please.

Russia has a war-mongering advantage over us. Putin controls the press and broadcasting there. Most Russians support the “special military operation” because anyone opposed to it in the print or on-air media is quickly silenced.

It was not all that different twenty years ago in America. I was supervising construction at Methacton High School that spring. My workers blasted Howard Stern on their radios (Howard was just a tad less juvenile than Beavis & Butthead) followed by Rush Limbaugh, followed by pre-Fox News Sean Hannity. Howard was more concerned with porn actress’s proclivities than the war in Iraq. Rush and Sean were gung-ho patriotic. “We are spreading the seeds of democracy in the Middle East! We are taking nuclear weapons out of the hands of our enemies! We are insuring low cost energy to power America!” My guys believed that crap.

Twenty years later, Rush and Sean were proven dead wrong. Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East. The Ayatollahs in Iran (who hate us) really do possess nuclear weapons thanks to Donnie bailing on that treaty. Gas was up to $5 per gallon last year and is sitting at $3.50 today as opposed to $2.20 in 2003.

But that’s OK, Rush received the Presidential Medal of Freedom before he died. Sean Hannity is making millions at Fox.

Applying a historical prism to current events is instructive.

By Ed Dufton



Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.