The gravitas of the last month, where politicians and journalists struggled to find le mot juste to describe our enemy, and a historical analogy to clarify the threat they pose, has descended to levels of absurdity.
Bernard Henri-Levi writing in the New York Times, Mario Loyola writing on National Review online, and Stephen Schwartz writing in the Weekly Standard, have taken to comparing our war to the Spanish Civil War.
All three likened today's "Islamofascists" to Franco's fascists, and struck a pose as the brave Republicans who stood up to it. This is wrong on so many levels.
Both sides in the Spanish civil war committed untold numbers of atrocities. Worse yet, the Republicans and their allies in the non-Stalinist Left, although idealist, were unwitting stooges of Stalin, as Orwell (himself a POUM and anarchist) explained in his tragically under-read Homage to Catalonia.
The search for historical analogies should come to an end if commentators are unwilling to scratch beyond the patina of historical events. Is it so bad to admit the sui generis nature of our war with Islamist militants?
Update: Ross Douthat is similarly annoyed here.