Thursday, September 3, 2009

World War Two Reflection

Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the Second World War, as on that day in 1939 the Germans invaded Poland and we all know how that turned out. Now, registered lunatic and historical revisionist Pat Buchanan has suggested that maybe Hitler's intentions were misunderstood--he never wanted to conquer Europe, and genuinely desired peace with Britain and France and the United States. Had Britain and Poland been more reasonable, the six year war that took 50 million lives might have been avoided.

Well, it was bound to happen--Buchanan has finally gone completely nuts. Hitlers intentions had been quite clear, from the actions he took in seizing Czechoslovakia to his invasion of Poland on a weak pretense, and he had long written and spoken of Germany's need for extra "living space" by expanding its borders--by war if not by negotiation. And his actions lived up to these goals--while France and Britain had declared war on Germany, Hitlers invasions of Scandanavia, Russia, and the Balkans were unprovoked. Buchanan asks why Hitler didn't build large bombers and a massive surface fleet if he had any designs on Britain? The answer is obvious--limited resources. Hitler called off plans to invade Britain because he lacked these things, not the other way around. And remember that he declared war on the United States first, immediately after Pearl Harbor.

Reflection about the War is all fine and good--there are things that need to be re-thought, such as whether the strategy of landing in Italy before going directly for Occupied France was the right one, or acknowleging that the Allies committed some egregious war crimes, or suggesting that more could have been done to prevent the Soviets from dominating half of Europe after the war. Some could even suggest that Japan could have been better handled in the leadup to the war, perhaps preventing the eruption of the conflict in the Far East in the first place. But to make Hitler out as harmless and misunderstood is ridiculous.

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