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Price of August naps: history's rudest awakenings

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Arguably, even with that “between the wars” truce, the guns of August 1914 did not go silent again until August 1945 when the United States detonated two atomic bombs above the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In retrospect, it seems those 20th-century conflicts evolved into a modern version of a second Hundred Years’ War.

Perhaps presidents and prime ministers should seriously consider taking their vacations in any month except August.

From Kuwait to Al Qaeda

Recall that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, leading to the much broader Persian Gulf War. And it was on Aug. 6, 2001, that President Bush was given a memo that Al Qaeda was determined to attack inside the United States.

While the hijackers made final preparations, Mr. Bush was in Texas, on vacation for almost the entire month. His contact with then CIA Director George Tenet, who was also “on leave” for part of August, was limited at best. And no one in power connected the dots when it was reported later that month that jihadist Zacarias Moussaoui (now serving life in prison for his role in 9/11), had been trying to learn to fly a Boeing 747.

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