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June 04, 2004

A Ruthless, Surprise Attack on Reality

This is an encouraging part of George Bush's speech on Tuesday:

Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless, surprise attack on the United States. We will not forget that treachery, and we will accept nothing less than victory over the enemy.

I'm glad Bush reminded us of this, because too many Americans have forgotten how World War II started: with the September 1, 1939 ruthless, surprise invasion of the US by Germany. While Americans soldiers fought valiantly, it wasn't long before the Germans held such famous American cities as Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw.

Of course, some historians believe World War II began even earlier -- with Japan's ruthless, surprise assault on America in 1937. As they would in 1939, the US military fought with courage, but soon such US cities as Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai had fallen to the Japanese Imperial Army. This vicious aggression culminated in the notorious "Rape of Nanking," in which perhaps 250,000 Americans perished.

Either way, it's nice to finally have a US president who cares enough about history to get it right.

Posted at June 4, 2004 09:01 AM | TrackBack

Historical events have no meaning or weight until the United States becomes directly involved in them. Even though we had the fewest casualties and the lowest stakes of any of the combatants in WWII, and even though we spent several years dicking around and letting Stalin absorb casualties, WWII proper did not begin until Americans were involved -- perhaps not even until D-Day.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at June 5, 2004 01:21 PM


I don't like your use of "irony" and "sarcasm." You seem to be using it to imply that obscene self-absoption on America's part is a bad thing.

That type of snideness will not be tolerated on this website, or indeed in this country. Please either shape up, or take your "non-Americans exist too" attitude somewhere else.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 5, 2004 02:09 PM

Plus Jonathan, the president should have a word about the assassination the American archduke Franz-Joseph in 1914 in Dallas, an event that provoked the first world war (not to mention Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, who provoked the first American civil war)

Chers !


Posted by: Antoine at June 5, 2004 05:51 PM

Hey I meant Franz-Ferdinand of course !

Posted by: Antoine at June 5, 2004 05:54 PM

Thanks for helping to clear up that itme on the US and WWII.

I was getting confused by a bunch of stuff from my college days, and that weird propaganda mini-series, "Band of Brothers". One the strangest things about the mini-series is that there appears to already be a war going on in Europe, before the Americans start the war.

Thanks to you and Bush repeating the true history of WWII. If our leaders repeat the truth often enough, it will surely make more sense to me, and I will develop a deep faith, and belief in the new events of WWII, that will supercede education and reason.

Hey, I thought the US civil war broke out as a result of the Boxer Rebellion in Madison Square Garden, and led to the the enforced import of opium to the Southern States, forcing them to withdraw from the Soviet Socialist Republic? Where'd you get your facts from?

Posted by: Weaseldog at June 6, 2004 09:52 AM

Antoine & Weaseldog,

Thanks for bringing up those critical moments in history. Of course, none of this compares to the day the Romans crucified Jesus, surely the world's greatest American.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 7, 2004 10:50 AM

I am pretty sure it was the French that crucified Jesus.

Posted by: j4 at June 9, 2004 01:01 PM

Yep, the french crucified jesus, besides, the japs attacking Pearl Harbour were all french. Anybody knows that !

Posted by: Antoine at June 10, 2004 03:54 AM

Aside to cyberarcheologists who find this site perplexing in 2518: they're just kidding. (But those who say the same things elsewhere are not kidding; they're just deranged.)

Posted by: garyh at June 26, 2004 10:58 AM