Australia enters Weimar mode
Thus was born the Dolchstoßlegende (literally, stab-in-the-back-legend. Germans can be pretty uncreative with names). The military leadership, and a large portion of German soldiery refused to take responsibility for the defeat and the fact that the better armies won. Instead, they blamed the civilian leadership and the people on the home front for not backing the war front adequately. The war would have been won, they said, if it hadn't been for the civilians stabbing the army in the back (slyly omitting to mention that the civilian government that surrendered to the Allies did not come to power until just before the surrender). A certain Mr. Hitler cunningly exploited this feeling, and won election after election right up to the German Presidency railing against the "November Villains" who lost the War. As we all know, this phase of German history also ended in tears.
Cut to the present. Since the mid 1990s, Australia have dominated world cricket. They've won three One-day World Cups in a row and all Ashes series apart from 2005. They gone months, whole years even, without losing a single match. The Australian Cricket team was acknowledged as the best in the world. Its leadership, embodied by S. Waugh and R. Ponting, was hailed as peerless. When the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup started in September 2007, Australia were clear favorites to win. Except they were knocked out by India in the semi-finals in a hard-fought match. India then went n to defeat Pakistan in the finals and won the Cup. Later that year, the Indian cricket team went to Australia on tour. Australia narrowly won the Test series, one of the most acrimonious in recent history. In the one day series (where the two teams were joined by Sri Lanka) the two teams faced each other in the finals. And Australia lost, two games to none. Australia's ascendancy in international cricket was looking to have finished.
The very weekend this was happening, an article appeared in the Australian press, in effect blaming Cricket Australia (the governing body of Aussie cricket) for the defeat that came the next day. As this blog post is being written, Australian journalists are scrambling to blame this disaster on the perfidy of the Indians, on their own spineless board stabbing their team in the back and on every factor except that their team was outplayed and outperformed. The Australian Dolchstoßlegende is being written as we speak.
The last Dolchstoßlegende led directly to the chaos of the Weimar Republic in Germany, to civil war, economic collaps and thence to the horror of the Nazis and the Second World War. What untold suffering this one will bring, only time will tell.