When it comes to Syria, let Iraq be the lesson
The Patriot Ledger - 12/18/2015
How many times do people ask themselves “what if,” consciously considering what has happened and what might have been? What if you had taken a different job, or married someone else? These questions are a fundamental feature of the human condition.
They are also a good exercise in understanding the world and suggesting alternative approaches to identifying and achieving goals. In that sense, they can be applied to current events in the Middle East.
The fancy name for “what if” questions is counterfactual thinking. For historians, this is a way of thinking about a past that did not happen. For the rest of us it is, among other things, one way to make sense of experiences and think about what to do differently in the future.