josh (joshc) wrote,

war: what is it good for?

On Sunday, I was surprised that Bush was eager to draw parallels between Iraq and the Philippines. Today, Fred Kaplan explains why the comparison is so discomfiting. In case you hadn't noticed, this is not the first faulty analogy1 to take advantage of our sketchy knowledge of world history: Iraq isn't post-World War II Germany (for multiple reasons).

Since this post is mostly about war and history and how we forget important details2, here's a link to Lee Sandlin's massive 1997 essay for the Chicago Reader , "Losing the War." If you aren't into reading, you can listen to an excerpt read on This American Life here.3

[1] I suppose that the administration will be thrilled to hear that the new SAT will stop testing analogies.

[2] When Sarah Vowell mentioned that she thought that the last perfect presidential candidate ran in 1860, someone later asked who it was.

[3] Speaking of Sarah Vowell -- her story about the Spanish-American War is in here too! And so is David Sedaris's comments about French Freedom Fries.

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