Thursday, May 12, 2005
Pat Buchanan and friend.
REMEMBERING. It's unlikely that anybody cares, but Pat Buchanan has leaped into the current, already silly Yalta debate with an essay at WorldNet Daily called Was World War II worth it? Our old pal Neal Boortz links to it from his blogsite and says, "Pat Buchanan asked a very interesting question, one that is causing quite a stir. Considering the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for almost half a century, was World War II worth it?" That's what prompted us to reply to rather than ignore Pat's latest outburst. It's embarrassing that many people still consider Pat a conservative of some sort, even if they qualify it with such terminology as 'paleoconservative.' He's NOT a conservative anymore. He's a deranged and intellectually dishonest demagogue who needs to be rapped on the head every so often from the right as well as the left. In his article Pat argues:
If Britain endured six years of war and hundreds of thousands of dead in a war she declared to defend Polish freedom, and Polish freedom was lost to communism, how can we say Britain won the war?
If the West went to war to stop Hitler from dominating Eastern and Central Europe, and Eastern and Central Europe ended up under a tyranny even more odious, as Bush implies, did Western Civilization win the war?
In 1938, Churchill wanted Britain to fight for Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain refused. 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.
How, then, can men proclaim Churchill "Man of the Century"?
True, U.S. and British troops liberated France, Holland and Belgium from Nazi occupation. 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.
People who are ignorant of the history might read this and say, like Boortz, "interesting questions." But these questions aren't interesting, because they're based on deliberately false premises for the low purpose of propping up Pat's new ideology of isolationism at all costs. With apologies to those who know at least as much history as Pat surely does, we'll take this corrupt argument apart for the benefit of those who can't see what he's misrepresenting here.
Britain did not go to war to defend Polish freedom. She went to war to defend British freedom, which could not survive a Nazi empire encompassing all of western Europe. Churchill is the "Man of the Century" because he was the only major politician at the time who understood the scope of Hitler's ambitions. Pat now pretends that those ambitions did not exist. When he blames Britain's declaration of war for the Nazi conquest of France, Holland, and Belgium, he is standing the facts on their head. Hitler concluded the Molotov-Ribbentrop 'non-aggression' pact with Stalin in August of 1939 expressly to protect his eastern flank while he was conquering western Europe. How can we be so sure of his designs on the west? Because Hitler rose to power in the first place by fanning the flames of German resentment about the Treaty of Versailles, whose harsh peace terms ending WWI originated in Germany's most longstanding European rival, France. Hitler's western war was a long and deliciously anticipated revenge on its most implacable WWI foes. These do not include Russia, which bailed out of the Great War in 1917 at the time of the Russian Revolution.
Note, too, that Pat is forced to use the weaselly generic noun "West" when he asks whether "Western Civilization" won World War II. He doesn't dare mention the U.S. by name because that would require him to acknowledge that his own country had a very legitimate self-interest in preventing a monolithic Hitlerian regime including all of Europe and the U.K. Had the U.S. opted out of the war as he elsewhere argues we should have, we would have become in short order a continent-sized island of democracy surrounded by barbarically murderous totalitarian empires in Europe, Russia, and the Far East.(That's right, Pat. World War II also saved far eastern civilization.) It's impossible to compute all the permutations of such a global configuration, but given Hitler's mad ambitions in the east, what kind of civilized prosperity could possibly result from a Nazi nuclear war against Stalin, even if no American boys died in the combat. And given German technology's precocious development of V2 rockets, how long would it have taken a Nazi empire 300-million strong to have developed a first strike ICBM capability against a supine U.S.? Such missiles needn't ever have been fired to turn this country into a powerless tribute state.
Was World War II worth fighting even if eastern Europe was always doomed to a half century of subjugation? Yes indeedy, Pat. What's more, you knew the right answer to the question before you posed it. So what's your point? Yes, we get the isolationism motive, but even that is not sufficient to explain this kind of perversity. It's simply not necessary to keep revisiting World War II to make the case for your kind of American dismissal of the world. It's hard not to suspect that your obsession with this chapter of history arises from a deep if subconscious identification with Hitler himself. As a good Catholic(?), you really should revisit that part of your psyche and ask some hard questions of yourself. Until you do, we'll stand by the characterization we published in the Year 2000 Who's Who of Shuteye Nation, reprinted below. (In Shuteye Nation, the names have all been changed because it was more fun that way.)
Pat Buchenwald. Candidate for Presdent of the United States in the 2000 election. Blessed with the same cute jowls and forced smile as the famous Presdent for whom he once wrote speeches, Buchenwald has tirelessly pursued the highest office in the land for almost six years. In the 1996 election, he defeated Bob Dull in the New Hamshire Republian primary by introducing the GOP to old-fashioned William Jennings Brian style populism. When the Republian° voters finally remembered that Brian was a Democratic°, Buchenwald’s candidacy plummeted like a rock. This time around, Buchenwald has revised his platform into an an innovative mix of old-fashioned populism and old-fashioned national socialism, spelled out in his new book My Plan, and is seeking the nomination of Ross Pyro’s Reformed Party°. Unfortunately for his candidacy, some members of the mass media° have read parts of the book and are pillorying Buchenwald for his novel suggestion that the U.S. should have struck a deal with Hittler and stayed out of Wurld War II. Buchenwald adamantly denies being “soft on Hittler,” claiming that any such intimation is a fabrication of the international Jewish conspiracy which controls the banks and the mass media. At Buchenwald’s request, the retired German Fuehrer has issued a denial of political° ties to any Amerian candidate from his home in Snaziland.
Now, Pat, if you could please go away again, we'd appreciate it.
UPDATE: Instalanche underway -- thanks Glenn -- welcome to InstaPundit visitors and feel free to take a look around. And if you like your humor a bit raucous, you might especially enjoy this entry from yesterday.
UPDATE II: A double thank you to Glenn Reynolds for this link -- we almost feel like grown-ups.