ANALOGIES….Just a note to my conservative brethren: any chance we can stop working our way through the microfilm archives of 1946 newspapers? If the analogy of Iraq to Vietnam is strained, the analogy to World War II is simply rubbish. There is literally nothing in common between the two.
Actually, Kevin, I’ve gotta disagree here. There is a core lesson that we can take from the WWII papers, that the kinds of things we need to accomplish in Iraq take time. Even in the far more Western and ‘organized’ environment of post-war Germany and France, things looked challenging for the first year or so. Even in the highly hierarchical society of Japan, there was violence and chaos for a period of time.
Those are important lessons, and we’re right to be confronted with what the news and commentary of the time were saying to help us put our current situation into perspective.
While I do think that Bush’s team booted the postwar planning (simply by not having the resources, propaganda, and staffing prepared), I also think that the anti-war crowd, once they didn’t get their way, have been far over the top in claiming ‘failure’ prematurely. And history exists exactly to help us make those kinds of judgments.