Friday, March 24, 2006

We Have Seen This All Before

Victor Davis Hanson, as always, provides the historical perspective.

Nothing in this war is much different from those of the past. We have fought suicide bombers in the Pacific. Intelligence failures doomed tens of thousands — not 2,300 — at the Bulge and Okinawa. We pacified the Philippines through counterinsurgency fighting. Failure to calibrate the extent of Al Zarqawi’s insurrection pales before the Chinese crossing of the Yalu.

Even our current clinical depression is typically American. In July 1864, Lincoln was hated and McClellan and the Copperheads who wished a cessation of war and bisection of country canonized. Truman left office with the nation’s anger that he had failed in Korea. As George Bush Sr. departed, the conventional wisdom was that the budding chaos and redrawing of the map of Eastern Europe would prompt decades of instability as former Communists could not simply be spoon fed democracy and capitalism. During Afghanistan by week five we were in a quagmire; the dust storm supposedly threatened our success in Iraq — in the manner that the explosion of the dome at Samarra marked the beginning of a hopeless civil war that “lost” Iraq.