Honestly, I find the parallels between the two countries to be striking. Paul Krugman has found an interesting connection between the two countries here. He suggests that
Austerity, it turns out, has devastated Greece just about as much as defeat in total war devastated imperial Germany.I'll grant that there are far different circumstances going on now versus then. But is it not odd that the nations of Europe would replicate an activity (essentially reparations) that was roundly felt to be a wrongheaded and vindictive move 100 years ago? And is it not even more so due to the fact that there wasn't a war; that Greece was involved in provoking a conflict that killed over 10 million people? How has Europe/the West changed that the impoverishment of a nation over bank loans appears to have greater moral/legal standing than engagement in one of the most destructive wars of all time?
I think it's safe to say that Europe is acting on much stronger legal grounds than the Allies during/after World War I, but morally this seems far more dubious. Is the economic destruction of Greece really worth so much? Or are the news stories from Greece describing serious hardship an exaggeration? Why are the reasons here stronger now than then? I'll grant you that the victims are not a threat to the peace or economic life of Europe and so this isn't going to land us in serious hot water in the same way that the Treaty of Versailles impacted things. And that there are legal and economic reasons for this policy. But a poorly constructed idea based on punishing a wrong then is wrong now; perhaps more so if the wrongs are less.
The more I look at events like this, US in Iraq again, and Russia in Ukraine, you see examples of the law being only effective/helpful if you happen to be strong enough to enforce it. Sovereignty appears weak when someone takes it from you and you don't have friends to take it back, or in Greece case, you sign it away. I think it's worth considering if the legal trappings and righteous vestments we've thrown around ourselves are in fact doing what they were intended to do. They had a purpose and reason for being that was supposed to make the world a better place for all nations. Obviously they still do good, but I think that the past decade has shown that perhaps the good had less to do with the institutions themselves and more to do with the people running them. The current crop of bureaucrats and bullies is as good as any indication that we haven't come that far from our past and should be wise to reconsider the our countries moral compasses.