Monday, January 10, 2011

Buchanan and an Unnecessary War? (Conclusion)

My last several posts attempted to critically examine Pat Buchanan's assertion that WWII was an unnecessary war. By way of summary I essentially argued the following:

1.) Hitler was obsessed with solving "the Jewish Question" and obtaining Lebensraum. These two themes saturated his writings and speeches.

2.) A major focus of Hitler's foreign policy aims was the acquisition of a major portion of Polish territory (beyond Danzig) towards at least a partial fulfillment of his obsession with Lebensraum.

3.) Polish stubbornness was not really a factor for even if the Polish leadership had given over Danzig Hitler would still have invaded the country.

4.) The invasion of Poland would have resulted in the incorporation of millions of more Jews into the Third Reich pressing upon Hitler the need to find an expedient solution to his "Jewish Problem".

5.) The question of a British declaration of war is irrelevant since Hitler would still have a limited war with Poland to provide him the "cover" for his subsequent crimes against humanity, especially the Holocaust.

6.) Therefore, WWII was a necessary war.

To conclude, the thrust of my position is that even if we grant most of Buchanan's chief assertions that Churchill was a warmonger or that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust, etc, I maintain that Hitler still would have invaded Poland with the result that the Holocaust still would have occurred. A most disturbing implication then of Buchanan's position is that had no one intervened to stop Hitler many more millions of lives might have been lost than eventually were during WWII. No, it was both morally right and necessary, at whatever cost, to stop Hitler who in the final analysis ultimately bears the responsibility for starting WWII...

Usually at some point or another soldiers will begin to question whether the war they are fighting is a necessary war. And for the soldiers of WWII it was no different. One of my favorite episodes from the acclaimed HBO series Band of Brothers is the appropriately titled "Why We Fight". In this episode soldiers of the 101st begin to question why they have gone through hell for what appears to them problems related exclusively to Europe. The answer is finally revealed to them as they liberate their first concentration camp. And it is with a clip from this episode that I'll end this series of posts.

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