September 8, 2003

Steinbeck And Iraq

Worth a look is Greg's blog entry "Perhaps the moon is down in Iraq?"

The subject of that post is parallels between our occupation of Iraq and John Steinbeck's "The Moon Is Down."

Steinbeck's tale is one of Nazi occupation, but the parallels are startling. I have to hurry out and read the story for myself, but these two passages regarding the struggle that the invaders face struck me as particularly applicable to today's situation:

Lanser stood up slowly and spoke as though to himself. “So it starts again. We will shoot this man and make twenty new enemies. It’s the only thing we know, the only thing we know.”

And Tonder went on laughing. “Conquest after conquest, deeper and deeper into molasses.” His laughter choked him and he coughed into his handkerchief. “Maybe the Leader is crazy. Flies conquer the flypaper. Flies capture two hundred miles of new flypaper!” His laughter was growing more hysterical now.

Others have also have made note of the connection.

They say we can learn from history. In something so complex as the task of dealing with Iraq (now that we broke it, we own it) are their insights in literature to help us understand what we have gotten ourselves into?

Posted by James at September 8, 2003 11:58 AM
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