November 13, 2003


moI've temporarily amended our top right photo as part of my clever plan to offend all Muslims everywhere. Fortunately, I don't think it's going to be as many as some people seem to think. All the Muslims I've actually had the pleasure of knowing are much, much smarter than the extremists (on either side, and that link above is a classic example of both) give them credit for.

UPDATE: Photo now in the text. I missed my favourite astrological observatory.

Posted by BruceR at 04:07 PM


Instapundit and others continue to defend the Rice-Rumsfeld Werwolf analogy to present-day Iraq, citing some clashes between American soldiers and German youths accusing them of fraternization in the late 1940s.

Note how Glenn Reynolds uses the provocative word "murder" even though it is in no way borne out by the source material he cites, an October 1945 clipping about a street brawl in which apparently no Americans were killed.

There is some evidence that Germans sometimes violently clashed with Americans who were seeing German girls during the occupation. Two things about this worth noting, however: one, that has nothing to do with any kind of organized resistance to the occupation itself, and is in no way analogous to Iraq; I'm sure the American soldiers would wish that the only time they were in danger there was when they were out on a date at night with their new Iraqi girlfriend... Second, what the clips don't make clear is that generally the most violent incidents involved black soldiers dating German women. Indeed, there was considerable racially motivated brawling within the American occupation army on this score, many white soldiers being equally opposed to the idea of interracial sex (the only fatal incident I've found firm record of involved a black revenge killing of some Southern white soldiers, in fact). The anti-fraternization Germans, historians now generally concede, were opposed to soldiers dating their sisters and daughters, not necessarily Americans in general. That's a big difference. (It should also be noted that there were several accusations of rape by American soldiers at the time, too.)

Justin Katz draws the odd conclusion that, since there were no recorded successful guerrilla attacks on American troops after May 7, 1945, therefore VE-Day cannot be analogous to the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq this last May 1. The Iraqis still have to surrender, in other words. To me, this concedes the entire point being made by those poking holes in the Werwolf analogy. That war transited overnight to a peaceful occupation. This one has not. What Rumsfeld and Rice were arguing is that previous successful occupations weren't peaceful either, a statement singularly unsupported by fact, which Katz appears to now be conceding. Well... okay then.

Katz brings up, as the sole actual evidence he could find that could support the Rumsfeld-Rice position on this, a report of a report of a "1953 Pentagon report" which lists American deaths "due to enemy action" from June to December of 1945 as 42, and in 1946 as 3. While I obviously haven't seen the report, it needs to be noted that not only are these worldwide totals, not just Germany, but they pretty obviously include such things as deaths due to leftover minefields and unexploded ordnance (In fact, it's reasonable to assume that this alone would amount to almost all of them.). The official US history of the occupation mentions no fatal attacks by German guerillas after VE-Day, and the prowar camp simply can't change that, as much as they'd like to.

The only candidate that I have ever seen proposed for a fatal attack by German guerillas after VE-Day was the summertime explosion at the Bremen police station that killed 5 Americans. And even Perry Biddiscombe, the historian of the Werwolf "movement," concedes that the official explanation of that event, an accidental gas main explosion, is still a plausible one.

Posted by BruceR at 02:35 PM