It was to be expected in the run-up to it that there would be some who would want to make current politics out of the D-Day anniversary - the politics surrounding the Iraq war, in particular. One of those who did so was the Guardian's Richard Norton-Taylor. In an article the day before the anniversary and which began by telling us that its author was born on D-Day, the first sign of intent was the reference to D-Day as 'an invasion of true liberators'. In due course the beans were spilled:
They ['our leaders'] make a fool's comparison between the invasion of France and the invasion of Iraq, calling them both a "liberation".Norton-Taylor immediately followed up with an explanation as to why this was a fool's comparison: (1) Iraq was an intelligence disaster, whereas D-Day was one of the finest hours for the intelligence agencies. (2) 'While D-day cemented the transatlantic alliance, the invasion of Iraq shattered it.' (3) 'While statesmen then were planning an incipient European union... the EU now appears to be coming apart at the seams...'
That was it. The whole argument. Don't take it on trust; read for yourself. Well, I wasn't born on D-Day. I was born in the previous year. But I feel this gives me as valid a connection with the war in Europe to observe that Norton-Taylor may just have omitted something here - other pertinent comparative reference points. (Some clues: Saddam Hussein; torture chambers; mass graves.) It's exactly as if I were to write a piece saying that the First World War wasn't a genuine world war, where the Second World War was one, and then adduce in support of this contention the fact that the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor in the earlier war and the Germans didn't massacre the Armenians of Turkey in the later one.