June 7, 2007
It was 63 years ago that American, British, and Canadian soldiers waded onto the beaches of Normandy, beginning the liberation of France. What seems like an inevitable triumph in retrospect was anything but that for those who experienced the massive operation first hand. I'm a bit late in acknowledging this anniversary, but I came across an excellent batch of photos from D-Day at slate.com. Hat tip to Michael Oliver.
This week many PBS stations broadcast a documentary program, "Six Days in June," about the Six Day War, which took place 40 years ago this week. It was then that Israel achieved one of the most stunning strategic victories in history by crushing the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Ironically, the blitzkrieg attack borrowed heavily from the early successes of Nazi Germany in World War II, catching the enemy air forces on the ground. There followed several decades of bitter recriminations among Arab nations, ashamed at their military incompetence and inability to stand up to the tiny nation of Israel. This is what led many of them to adopt the cowardly tactics of terrorism. The final chapter in the historic collision between Zionism and Arab nationalism has yet to be written, so we cannot yet say for certain what the ultimate result of Israel's military victory will be.