Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

World War II No Longer a Just War

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At least, that seems to be the view of Pat Buchanan, whose greatest contribution to the Republican Party was to leave it.

I don’t normally pay any more attention to Buchanan that I pay to Michael Moore, or Arianna Huffington, or any of the other fringe players. Still, statements like this do make one wonder:

When one considers the losses suffered by Britain and France — hundreds of thousands dead, destitution, bankruptcy, the end of the empires — was World War II worth it, considering that Poland and all the other nations east of the Elbe were lost anyway?

If the objective of the West was the destruction of Nazi Germany, it was a “smashing” success. But why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in.

Leaving aside his all too predictable omission of the Holocaust, Buchanan attempts a very clumsy sleight of hand here. By stating the destruction of Nazi Germany as a conditional, he can then rewrite history in this way:

In 1939, Churchill wanted Britain to fight for Poland. Chamberlain agreed. At the end of the war Churchill wanted and got, Czechoslovakia and Poland were in Stalin’s empire.

But this myopic view of Churchill’s policy gets it precisely wrong. Churchill did not wish to fight Nazi Germany on behalf of Poland but on behalf of the British Empire. He recognized the sort of man Hitler was – grasping, megalomanaical, and insatiable. As he did not stop at the Rhineland, so he did not stop at the Sudetenland, Austria, Bohemia. And he would not have stopped at Poland. Germany had invaded France twice already within living memory in 1939, yet Buchanan says:

But before Britain declared war on Germany, France, Holland and Belgium did not need to be liberated. They were free. They were only invaded and occupied after Britain and France declared war on Germany — on behalf of Poland.

When one draws a line on tyranny, that doesn’t mean that the line is all there is. Buchanan sounds a lot like the anti-war Left who focus only on WMDs and not the other reasons for invading Iraq. He also excoriates Churchill and FDR for giving away too much at Yalta. Indeed, they did, but one must look at the situation objectively. FDR was a sick man at Yalta, and by no means on top of his game. Churchill was the first minister of an exhausted empire. They were simply not going to go to war against the Soviet Union at that time even if that might have been a good idea it was impractical in the extreme. Churchill wanted to do it, but could not act without the US.

I have to wonder if Buchanan honestly suggesting that the world would be a better place today if Nazi Germany had been allowed to continue grabbing territory, perfecting genocide, developing atomic weapons, and conducting human experiments. Or does he think that the Nazis would have fought the Soviets and solved the problem that way? What might have happened to eastern Europe then?

One would have thought that this war of all wars would be clear. Another view here.

Update InstaPunk agrees and he’s got pictures!


Written by martinipundit

May 12, 2005 at 8:45 am

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