Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Insurgency now and 60 years ago

VERY interesting post on Faster, Please! today comparing the similarities between today's Iraq and Germany in 1945.

Hollywood hasn't made a major motion picture about it (Clooney's The Good German may mention it - I haven't seen it so I don't know), so it's not widely known, but unrepentant Nazis made life very difficult for occupying armies. Insurgents, who called themselves "Werewolves", ran around killing Allied soldiers, blowing stuff up, conducting reprisals against civilians suspected of collaborating with the occupiers, and generally terrorizing anyone and everyone.

Sounds familiar, right?

The Werewolves were defeated within a couple of years, and Germany calmed down, due to a number of different reasons, including the occupiers' (both Western and the Soviets) brutal repression of the insurgency, and, by the way, probably not-just-a-few innocent civilians as well.

There are a great many differences between post-Hitler Germany and post-Saddam Iraq, including outside support, via Iran and Syria, of Iraq's insurgency, VERY different attitudes about rights and responsibilities of occupiers and occupied, general cultural history and disposition of the populace, and motivations of the insurgent themselves.

However, there are some parallels as well, and it's an interesting history lesson for us to review.

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