Monday, July 28, 2003

What we can learn from history...

A lot. It is of course an inexact science... no two experiences are alike. But it can provide great insight. And certainly, the reckless and arguably willful abandonment of historical examination is a recipe for disaster. So why has there been so little examination of the ONLY other two examples of US-led post-war 'occupation' and nation-building? Why is the only thing we ever hear about Vietnam? Well, obviously because many in the media have a point to make or at least an ugly story to help create. But it still is amazing that there is almost nothing in the papers about post-WWII Germany and Japan. Andrew Sullivan did find one site that has some fascinating links to books on the Werewolves (the Nazi 'resistance'-guerilla group that troubled our efforts in Germany): one to a 1998 review of a book called "Werewolf! The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944-1946", another to an Oct. 2000 article called Minutemen of the Third Reich.(history of the Nazi Werewolf guerilla movement). My brief glimpse tells me that we shouldn't have been too surprised at what we are seeing in Iraq; and that the analogies to the Vietnam quagmire are totally misplaced (and probably not completely by accident or ignorance).

Time to read up on this and post-war Japan, I would think.


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