April 9, 2003

THOSE SAVAGES, THEY'RE ACTING EUROPEAN:

AGREEMENTS AND POSTWAR AGGRAVATIONS: RIGHTEOUS REDEMPTION (Frank Smitha, World History)
In Yugoslavia, between 20 and 30 thousand believed to have collaborated with the German occupation forces were shot dead in what has been described as a frenzy of retribution. In Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, those who had collaborated with the Germans were also hunted.

In France toward the end of the war the resistance movement assassinated Germans, collaborators and others they deemed unworthy of living, such as black marketers. According to rough estimates, the French Resistance killed 2500 people between the autumn of 1943 and June 6, 1945.


We in the West are, unfortunately, but inevitably, prepared to believe the very worst of the entire Arab world right now. But there's been a disturbing amount of talk in recent days about potential reprisals against the regime by those they've oppressed and about the looting of the regime institutions, banks and the like, and the talk has seemed to suggest that for these things to go on would mark both a failure of the Allies and something almost barbarous on the part of the Iraqis themselves. This is just foolishness and deeply antihistorical. The people of Iraq have a ways to go and a fair amount of blood to extract before they match European levels of retribution from WWII and, just as no one mourned those who served the Nazis, we need not be over sentimental about those who helped Saddam; rough justice is, nonetheless, justice. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2003 12:07 AM
Comments

"foolishness and deeply antihistorical" could be a code word for the U.N.



I agree that the retribution has to happen - too many people have suffered for too long to just clamp down on all revenge tactics, and bureaucrats and diplomats with their discussions and negotiated agreements can't fix that. People need revenge here, and I have no problem with that, and I don't see how it is anybody's business but theirs, ulimately. Peace requires getting through all the stages that must precede it. To cite just one obvious example, the German surrender in the Great War should not have been accepted, because the will of the German people was not broken. Wars must change the mindset of the aggressors, or they accomplish nothing.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at April 9, 2003 9:41 AM

The Baath party will receive what it justice demands. But the US must beware against Iranian influence and guard against our Arab allies.

Posted by: Thomas J. Jackson at April 10, 2003 12:51 AM
« GETTING TO "YES": | Main | NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLES I SEEN: »