"They do not use not use history for illumination. They use it to support propaganda."
This is what MIT prof John Dower wrote in 2002:
John Dower on Iraq - Lessons From Japan About War's Aftermath
(NYT) Now, with the Bush administration itself promoting the virtue of pre-emptive strikes, Japan has emerged as possibly offering a very different sort of historical precedent. Does America's successful occupation of Japan after World War II provide a model for a constructive American role in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq?
The short answer is no. (...)
Contrary to what self-anointed "realists" seem to be suggesting today ... most of the factors that contributed to the success of nation-building in occupied Japan would be absent in an Iraq militarily defeated by the United States. ...
More from Thinkprogress: Historian quoted by Bush ‘angrily distances’ himself.
"MIT professor John Dower, called Bush’s use of his work “perverse“ "Update: Jon Stewart has more about Bush's historical revisionism. LMAO!