I always believed that society and civilization would move forward and advance. It would not be a steady advancement; there would be setbacks, wars and disease. But from one generation to the next, the condition of mankind progresses.
After all, many devastating diseases were eradicated, electricity and telephones brought to the far corners of our nation in the twentieth century, and recently, to most corners of the world.
And humanity is smarter. We know what provokes and what incites people to violence, despair, anger and revenge.
I was never so innocent to believe that every moment would make the world safer; I was raised in the shadow of the nuclear bomb. But my belief was steadfast that societies and civilizations would advance, become more humane, more generous, more caring and more intelligent, especially when dealing with sensitive matters.
I still believe that.
I am also convinced that two or three hundred years from now, when historical analysis is finalized, the Bush administration will be noted with the Hitler years as two of the major setbacks in the advancement of mankind.
This is not to say that the atrocities of Hitler are in any way comparable to the the miscalculations of the Bush Administration. It is to say that the enormity and barbaric decision making of the Bush Administration had the same consequences in turning the civilized world into chaos and despair.
From allowing the advent of war without knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, to executing Saddam Hussein on the eve of a significant Muslim holiday, it is evident that ideology, perseverance, and warmongering can be overwhelmed by an even more significant driver, stupidity.