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David Shribman: History's uncertain lessons for Ukraine

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Most American presidents are reluctant warriors. Abraham Lincoln spoke of the onset of the Civil War in the passive voice in his Second Inaugural Address. ("And the war came.") William McKinley "went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance" whether to take the Philippines and "uplift and civilize and Christianize them."

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