Dolchstoss: Is Baghdad the new Bangkok?

November 22nd has been designated as Victory in Iraq Day, since the Iraq war is over and we won.  The author notes:

Many other countries have ongoing issues with rebels, insurgents, guerrillas, or whatever you want to call them; simmering civil unrest. But we do not consider those countries to be at war, even though their situations are not really any different than, and are in some cases even worse than, the situation now in Iraq. Tell me: Do you consider Mexico to be at war? Yet they have an ongoing insurgency by Zapatistas in the state of Chiapas. […] Is Thailand at war? Millions of tourists don’t seem to think so, but a violent rebellion by Muslim separatists in the southern provinces sometimes produces more casualties than there are in Iraq. […] If these countries are not considered by anyone to be “at war” — which they are not — then neither is Iraq.

Since Iraq is now at peace and we won the war, if things get worse, that can clearly only be because of cowardice or outright treason on the part of our President-Elect.  The Germans, as usual, had a word for this – Dolchstoss – the stab in the back (literally, “dagger-stab”).  The DolchstossLegende was the myth that Germany only lost the Great War because of lack of patriotism and sabotage on the home front.  We’ve visited this idea ourselves, with Vietnam and “Who lost China”?

Dolchstoss is hard to say, and harder to spell, so don’t expect to see it as a loanword in English any time soon.  But look out for the concept in 2011 or so.


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