June 6, 2004

D-Day and today.

The lead editorial in today's NYT reads:
It's tempting to politicize the memory of a day so full of personal and national honor, too easy to allude to the wars of our times as if they naturally mirrored World War II. ...

But there are two forms of temptation to politicize the memory of D-Day. One is the temptation to say our war is like that war. The other is to say our war is not like that war and to criticize those who find any similarity.

The Times keeps its indulgence in this temptation quite subtle. I've seen much more heavy-handed politicization of this kind. On Memorial Day, I wrote about WWII without mentioning anything about today's wars, and was harshly criticized on my now-defunct comments page for failing to go on to criticize the Iraq war. Talking about WWII supposedly required setting it apart from the current war. The Times, being far more sophisticated in its expression of opposition to the Iraq war, confines itself to positing proponents who will make the positive comparison between the two wars--as if they, and not the Times editors, had brought up the subject.

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