Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't eat the poppies

An impressively loony Wall Street Journal Armistice Day editorial --

But they are also living reminders that much worse was still to come, because the victors failed to prevent the rise of the totalitarian regimes in Russia and Germany, the fascists in Italy and the militarists in Japan, and because the U.S. withdrew from its global responsibilities.

Note the implication of the way that sentence is put together: Nazi Germany not fascist. It seems to be necessitated by wanting Hitler and Stalin to have equal degrees of evilitude, so they get grouped together as "totalitarian" leaving only Mussolini as fascist (paging Jonah Goldberg).

And then the closer --

Now we are at a similar pass in Iraq, where the U.S. has effectively defeated Sunni and Shiite insurgents on the battlefield. But whether this costly achievement will hold depends largely on our willingness to support the Iraqi government and steel it against its own fascistic challengers, particularly Iran. If there's one lesson to be learned on this Armistice Day, it's of the price that's paid when we allow victory to slip from our grasp.

It seems that the end of the Bush era demands one more run at overblown historical comparisons, this one taking us from the more typical 1938 to 1919. An interesting presumption of this particular analogy is that the US is already at war with Iran.

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