Was World War II Worth It?
In the Bush
vs. Putin debate on World War II, Putin had far the more difficult
assignment. Defending Russia's record in the "Great Patriotic
War," the Russian president declared, "Our people not
only defended their homeland, they liberated 11 European countries."
are, presumably: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, East Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Finland.
whether Moscow truly liberated those lands, we might survey the
sons and daughters of the generation that survived liberation
by a Red Army that pillaged, raped and murdered its way westward
across Europe. As at Katyn Forest, that army eradicated the real
heroes who fought to retain the national and Christian character
of their countries.
these nations were not liberated. "As we mark a victory of
six decades ago, we are mindful of a paradox," he said:
much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron
rule of another empire. V-E day marked the end of fascism, but
it did not end the oppression. The agreement in Yalta followed
in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the
freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. ... The captivity
of millions in Central and Eastern Europe will be remembered
as one of the greatest wrongs in history."
the awful truth about what really triumphed in World War II east
of the Elbe. And it was not freedom. It was Stalin, the most odious
tyrant of the century. Where Hitler killed his millions, Stalin,
Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot and Castro murdered their tens of millions.
was the Black Death of the 20th Century.
bravely declared by Bush at Riga, Latvia, raise questions that
too long remained hidden, buried or ignored.
was a betrayal of small nations as immoral as the Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pact, why do we venerate Churchill and FDR? At Yalta, this pair
secretly ceded those small nations to Stalin, co-signing a cynical
"Declaration on Liberated Europe" that was a monstrous
As FDR and
Churchill consigned these peoples to a Stalinist hell run by a
monster they alternately and affectionately called "Uncle
Joe" and "Old Bear," why are they not in the history
books alongside Neville Chamberlain, who sold out the Czechs at
Munich by handing the Sudetenland over to Germany? At least the
Sudeten Germans wanted to be with Germany. No Christian peoples
of Europe ever embraced their Soviet captors or Stalinist quislings.
arise. 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
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
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.
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.
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.
If it was
to keep Hitler out of Western Europe, why declare war on him and
draw him into Western Europe? If it was to keep Hitler out of
Central and Eastern Europe, then, inevitably, Stalin would inherit
Central and Eastern Europe.
worth fighting a world war -- with 50 million dead?
The war Britain and France declared to defend Polish freedom ended
up making Poland and all of Eastern and Central Europe safe for
Stalinism. And at the festivities in Moscow, Americans and Russians
were front and center, smiling -- not British and French. Understandably.
has opened up quite a can of worms.
2005 Creators Syndicate
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