is an increasing tendency among U.S. political leaders and media to compare Iraq's future to post-WWII Germany, according to a British scholar.
University of Warwick researcher Maja Zehfuss finds this an important shift with historical significance.
While the Soviets removed only Nazi policy-makers and officials, the Americans aimed to re-educate the whole people. But the Bush administration has not indicated how it plans to establish an individual's membership or culpability in the 'regime' in Iraq.
The researcher believes that how the intervention is portrayed is critical, particularly whether or not this portrayal is accepted by the people of Iraq.
Zehfuss says that de-Nazification shows how regime change can lead to a complicated set of problems that cannot be solved simply through technical means. She warns that the U.S. "will require active support from the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the military conflict."
Zehfuss points to another particularly sobering comparison between Iraq and Nazi Germany, noting that in May 1945, when the German Reich surrendered, the country was devastated and in chaos: 14 million refugees and expellees streamed into what remained of Germany. Allied bombing had killed about 1,000 civilians a day on average. Many city centres were completely destroyed. 400 million cubic metres of rubble had to be cleared up. The food ration in November 1945 was 1550 calories. Foraging for food became the major preoccupation." With their victory, the Allies had taken charge of a situation which many Germans referred to as Zusammenbruch ('collapse').
The concept of de-Nazification was developed particularly by the U.S. and expressed in an occupation directive: "You will remove and exclude from office any persons who act, or whom you deem likely to act, contrary to Allied interests and principles."
March 28, 2003 (http://www.albionmonitor.net) All Rights Reserved. Contact email@example.com for permission to use in any format.
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