Why Read “Mein Kampf”

With the expiration of copyright protections on Hitler’s political manifesto, it has been republished by a German scholarly institute, complete with extensive annotations. Contrary to the longstanding belief in Germany that the book was best kept away from the public, Peter Ross Range defends the decision to publish it:

Fears that Hitler’s feverish but rambling and repetitive writing would somehow incite a neo-Nazi revival are dismissed by most observers. The pure text has for years been posted on extremist right-wing websites, in German and other languages, and has not yet triggered a fascist groundswell. . . . For contemporary readers of any political persuasion, digging into Hitler’s overheated, simplistic theories of racial domination and his tangled 1920s foreign-policy prescriptions is more in the nature of historical homework than political inspiration.

But the homework is important, and that’s what makes the arrival of the new critical edition of Mein Kampf a positive step. Closeting the single most important original source of the Nazi enterprise is hardly the way to educate and inoculate future German generations about their country’s darkest hour. Putting the academic imprimatur on the beast somehow tames it, converting it from inflammatory political pamphlet to interesting historical artifact. Now it can be taught for what it is. . . .

With the footnotes snaking throughout the text, the new Mein Kampf more closely resembles a theological treatise than a political tract.

Read more at Daily Beast

More about: Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitism, Germany, History & Ideas

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy