November 23, 2003

WHAT YEAR IS IT? As I’ve said before, it’s really 2003. But The Counterrevolutionary seems to have gotten some flak about posting clippings from 1946. Roger Simon says it’s really 1938.

Well, it’s really 2003. Militarily, this war isn’t much like World War Two, and historical analogies can only take us so far in general. But we can learn some things from historical analogies. The 1946 stories tell us that journalistic complaint is nothing new, and that occupation and reconstruction is an inherently messy business. (And that pre-war and wartime intelligence is, too.) The 1938 stories tell us that antisemitism is an old thing in Europe, and give us some idea of what it looks like, and how far “antiwar” intellectuals will go to avoid noticing it.

As the editors of Foreign Affairs remind us in reprinting Allen Dulles’ briefing on postwar Germany, “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

UPDATE: Kevin Connors says it’s 1648.