Earlier this week Atty. Gen. William Barr replied to a question asked by CBS’ Cathering Herridge with this response: ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.’
This comment has haunted me ever since. And it’s been a very active and interesting week, but this quote keeps coming back with concern. If history is written only by the winners, we are all losers in the end. History should be written by the truth tellers, unbiased historians and those on all sides of the debate or issue.
So, if you missed this story, it’s in reference to Barr dismissing ALL charges against former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn. OK, this is a decorated general who admitted to lying to the FBI. There’s more to this story and the US Government does not always get things perfect or things like counterintelligence investigations don’t always go as planned. But Flynn confessed and was found guilty!
Note that the full quote had a little more back story and does make his disturbing final slightly SLIGHTLY less frightening but it’s still a questionable quote.
If you got excited when Michael Flynn started the chant at the 2016 RNC, ‘Lock her up’, all of this likely equates to nothing to you. Barr’s quote this week didn’t even make you say to yourself ‘are people in our government really dictators, tyrants, or just plain overprivileged white guys who are trying to jam their fucking conservative menu of bad ideas down our throats’. But I hope that Barr’s comment caught the attention of many around our country who work outside of politics.
Let’s look back at history and see where this quote may have been pulled from and then taken in a new and scary direction by Barr.
First there’s this quote by Dan Brown, author of the DiVinci Code but with an inclusion from Napoleon:
‘History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’
And then there is this from Winston Churchill
‘History is written by the victors.’
There are other quotes, but to summarize these three, I take away the following;
- Barr is covering for Trump and many, if not all of his very questionable decisions (dismissing charges on a General who lied to the FBI???). We are clearly being warned by Barr’s quote that these guys will break and bend the law and then tell us their story whether is it true or not.
- I hear Dan Brown telling us to question history and the motivation of those writing it. Fact check what you’re reading and come to your own interpretation.
- And Churchill is simply telling the truth in his quote. Each day we can all be victors in our own lives and in our own battles. It’s NOT all about winning or losing. You win a war but both sides suffer millions of deaths, economies are destroyed, children are parentless, and there is endless pain and suffering. Really, who wins???
Here’s my note to Atty. Gen. William Barr, should he be reading this blog! There’s war and there’s politics, quit mixing the two together. The country is already extremely divided, and we have your boss to thank for this reality, so focus on doing your job and not ‘warring’.
And this truthful quote…
Have a good weekend and as the country starts to open up, be safe,