Friday, May 13, 2005

Tobin on World War II

Jonathan Tobin writes an interesting article about the current tendency to question the actions of the Allies in World War II.

Onm one hand, I can understand his position; a Jewish person definitely would get indignant over Germans being upset over their suffering in World War II.

On the other hand, Tobin also seems to be against questioning the morality of the actions of the Allies in World War II for a much more sinister reason; he's afraid that moral concerns will hamper our efforts in future wars.

Which sort of brings me to my point; the main reason to be concerned about Allied actions in World war II isn't because we need to apologize to the Germans or make restitution or anything; nor do I deny that the Nazis were very much responsible for the fate of Germany in World War II, a fate that was ultiamtely was a result of German expansionism.

The reason is because if we delude ourselves that because the Nazis were evil, it justifies anything we did, it will set a precedent that will allow us to feel good about anyhting we do in a future war.

What keeps us humane is that we question our actions. This is why we keep trying to do right.

I believe that the only way we can "win the war" in Iraq, if winning the war means setting up a stable government over the entire country, is by killing most of the Sunni Arab population. If we subscribe to the notion that the evilness of our enemies justifies any action on our part, then when the going gets tough, we will eventually choose this rather than setting more realistic goals and withdrawing after they are accomplished (I'm not certain that an immediate withdrawal, bad as it might be, wouldn't be better for us than staying longer; staying longer, at least without a major change in our goals, will just mean more bloodshed before we are forced to withdraw, or will mean more bloodshed until we are goaded into mass murder of the Sunnis).

The reason to question our actions at Dresden isn't for the sake of the Nazis, or even of the ordinary Germans; it's for the sake of our souls, and for the sake of any innocents in the next country we go to war with.

That is all.

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