But the belief that the world operates rationally is itself irrational. The example of Hitler both instructs and warns. The Nazi leader was not just an anti-Semite who actually believed his insane theories; he also made decisions that were in themselves crazy. For example, why did he declare war on the United States after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? Why did he invade the Soviet Union before he had defeated Britain? In both cases, he had his reasons. And in both cases, his reasons were crazy.Richard Cohen is one of those authentic American morons who has managed to cobble together a whole crackpot Weltanschauung out of a hobbyist's affection for History Channel documentaries. Yes, Hitler was a certified fruitcake, but neither of Cohen's examples proves it, especially given that both of his points are totally historically inaccurate. Why did Hitler declare war on the United States after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? Well, because the United States declared war on Japan, and Article III of the Tripartite Treaty dictated that the Axis powers enter and aid in any conflict in which a party not currently involved in either the European war or the Japanese-Chinese conflict declared war on an Axis Power. As for invading the Soviet Union, that was always the plan. The Battle of Britain and aborted Operation Sea Lion were late additions to the German war plan, and when the Luftwaffe failed to break British air defenses or the "will" of the British people through aerial bombartment, the Nazi government simply abandoned plans for an amphibious assault on Britian, correctly assuming that the British were in no condition to challenge Germany on the Continent at the time. Meanwhile, Operation Barbarossa was an early success, with the Wehrmacht making huge territorial gains very swiftly, and the subsequent reversals on the Eastern Front across the next two years had almost nothing to do with the failure to conquer Britain, despite what the D-Day hagiographers in the Anglosphere would tell you.
Anyway, the rest of the Cohen article is about how Crunktakular Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is and how Barack Obama should act more like Richard Nixon, whose record of wartime achievement . . . wait, what? I mean, what's remarkable at the article, what makes it an almost achetypal example of the kookjobbery that is the WaPo opinion page, is that after extrapolating incorrect lessons from fictionalized historical incidents, it then misapplies its own dishonest conclusions. It's like a criminal who fabricates an incredible alibi and then uses it prove that he's actually guilty.