I'd bet less than half of Americans know what V-E Day is. It means Victory in Europe, and today is the 60th anniversary of the Nazi surrender.
There is some buzz in Europe, but the American media is almost completely silent about the occasion. Not surprising, since there are parallels to today's crises, and none of them suit our media's worldview.
President George Dubya Bush is over at the ceremonies, unabashedly (as is his style) noting that the Americans fought Hitlerism in the cause of freedom. Now it's true that the USSR, locked in a death struggle, did the heavy military lifting in defeating Hitler.
But it's also true that the US (and UK) could have come to an accomodation with Hitler and signed a separate peace, leaving the continent to the Nazis' tender mercies. If they had, Hitler could have turned his full attention to the USSR, which could not have survived.
I see many nations that owe their freedom to the US and UK trying to finesse the threats of today's world seeking some small diplomatic or economic advantage by making separate peaces with today's implacable ememies of freedom. I see many people in those nations whose understandable distaste for military history has caused them to miss its lessons.
Read the Butcher's Bill for the Second World War. The most shocking revelation is that civilian casualties, for perhaps the first time in military history, outnumbered those on the battlefield.
The lesson is that war is no longer some incestuous pastime for the testoterone crowd. We are past the age of border disputes. When the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
Good men doing nothing is still the biggest threat to freedom, justice and human dignity. There is no diplomatic solution to tyranny. Freedom and dignity are ideas, and your freedom and dignity were bought with blood, your forefathers' blood and willingness to shed it for such impractical ideas.
And so, after having his way in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is Bush still pushing, pushing, pushing? Politicking at WWII memorials, haranguing Putin?
In your heart of hearts, you know why. It's not about oil.