Ten years ago last week Hitler went to war against Poland. Four years ago Douglas MacArthur, with a cigarette holder in his mouth, stepped down from an airplane toward the tall grass waving in the south wind at Atsugi airfield, Japan. That was a time of hope.

MacArthur last week proclaimed anew Japan's conversion to democracy. Whenever talk of East Asia congealed with gloom, someone said: "Japan is the hope." And whoever looked at the possibilities of protecting Western Europe said: "The Germans will defend us." Winston Churchill, who used to call the Germans "the dull brute mass," more...

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