Dress Rehearsal for a Mideast War?
Observing the uprising in Syria, the atrocities, the intervention by rival powers, it all calls to mind the Great Rehearsal for World War II, the Spanish Civil War.
The war began in 1936 with an uprising in Morocco of Spanish Nationalists against a Madrid regime seen as anti-Catholic, Marxist and Trotskyite. Vladimir Lenin had predicted that Spain would be the second Soviet republic in Europe.
The war would last three years, with Joseph Stalin providing aid to the regime, Benito Mussolini sending troops to fight on the side of Gen. Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler sending his Condor Legion. The bombing of Guernica by the Legion, commemorated in the famous Picasso painting of that name, would be regarded as the great war crime of the conflict.
Yet Guernica was child’s play compared with what was to come with the Blitz, Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima. The Nuremberg Tribunal would wisely rule out terror bombing of cities as a war crime for which Nazis could be prosecuted and hanged.