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This Historical Parallel May Illustrate Our Peril

September 01, 2003

Re "Postwar Iraq Is No Germany, Historians Say," Aug. 27: In looking for historical parallels to the current situation in Iraq, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and other members of the Bush administration have focused on the wrong war. Instead of post-World War II Germany, they should examine World War I Europe. In the early years of the century, German military planners worked at establishing the case for preemptive war. After much convoluted logic, Friedrich von Bernhardi announced it was Germany's duty "to act on the offensive and strike the first blow."

The Germans invaded Belgium, expecting a walk-over. Instead they roused the people to a frenzy of nationalism, expressed in behind-the-lines attacks on property and people. The German military philosophy led to stalemate in the trenches and embarked the world on a sea of troubles. Perhaps Rice and her boss need refresher courses in 20th century history.

Martha L. Voght

Bishop, Calif.

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I grew up in Germany in that era and never heard of such a resistance. I would be curious to find out if there are any official statistics on U.S. casualties due to such a resistance.

Renate Buerner

La Canada

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