记住第一次"恐怖战争"

今年六月,北约的首脑们一起纪念D日--也就是第二次世界大战中盟军在当时被纳粹占领的法国的登陆日--60周年。但今年8月,他们却错过了第一次世界大战爆发90周年的日子,而这场战争所引发的灾难一直影响到20世纪末。第一次世界大战留给我们的教训直到今天都意义非凡,尤其是对美国来说。

引发第一次世界大战的原因长期以来一直令公众和历史学家困惑不解。当时,欧洲与世界其它地区相比,其经济实力正处于最强盛时期。在一些主要的欧洲国家中,和平或多或少已经连续不断地持续了几十年。一场技术革新热也正在掀起,而且正在全球化,形成世界经济。对日益富裕的欧洲人来说,1914年的夏天似乎应该是一个和平慵懒的夏天。但实际上这个夏天成了他们几十年来最后的真正意义上的和平。

那年七月,波斯尼亚(南斯拉夫中西部地区)的恐怖分子暗杀了哈普斯堡帝国的王储斐迪南大公(Archduke Franz Ferdinand)。奥地利随即侵占了波斯尼亚的邻国、斯拉夫势力的新崛起国塞尔维亚。俄罗斯调动兵力支持塞尔维亚,而德国却发动了一场反对法国和俄罗斯的"先发制人"战争,经比利时侵占法国。大英帝国赶来保卫比利时和法国。就这样到九月底,一场大火拼开始了。

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