As if on cue, mainstream media types, both on the left and right, are trotting out their old Hitler-World War II card to justify another U.S. war, this time against Syria. Two notable examples: Bill Keller, former editor of the New York Times, in a piece entitled “Our New Isolationism” and Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal columnist, in a piece entitled “The Robert Taft Republicans Return.”
Hey, when Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to a new war being initiated by the U.S. national-security state, what better way to turn the tide than reverting to Hitler and World War II? Never mind the disastrous consequences of such notable post-World War II interventions as Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea.
It’s clear, at least to interventionists, that Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, is another Hitler who, unless punished for his purported use of chemical weapons, will begin conquering countries in the Middle East, work his way over to Europe, cross the Atlantic and invade Argentina, sweep northward through Central America and Mexico, and finally invade and conquer the United States, enabling Syrian officials to begin running the IRS, the DEA, the ICE, the public schools, the Interstate Highway System, and other attributes of America’s free way of life.
What nonsense. But hey, let’s count our blessings: At least we ought to be thankful that interventionists never bring up World War I to make their case for their never-ending array of modern-day interventions. Hopefully, that’s because even they acknowledge that World War I was a total waste of American life. No, the deaths of all those American soldiers did not make the world “safe for democracy.” No, it was not the “war to end all wars.” In fact, the most notable consequence of U.S. intervention in World War I was that it contributed to the conditions that gave rise to Hitler and World War II just 20 years later.
But what about World War II? Interventionists love to portray that war as the “good war” — the war of good versus evil.
Really? If that’s the case, then why didn’t England declare war on the Soviet Union at the same time it declared war on Germany? After all, it wasn’t just Hitler that invaded Poland. It was also Stalin.
Oh well, so much for good versus evil. In fact, let’s not forget that England and the United States actually embraced and partnered with Stalin and the Soviet communists during World War II. Yes, the same Stalin and Soviet communists that they would tell us just a few years later were the very embodiment of evil that justified the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Imagine that: good partnering with evil to fight evil … and then using such evil to justify the enormous warfare state that continues to saddle the American people today.
Let’s recall why England declared war on Germany in the first place — to free the Polish people from Nazi tyranny. So, what was the result after World War II? Oh sure, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe were free from Nazi tyranny and, yes, that’s why interventionists like Keller and Stephens love to crow about how “we” won World War II.
What they conveniently block out of their minds, however, is that the “we” included Stalin and the Soviet Union. Yes, the same Stalin and Soviet Union that were trotted out as evil incarnate a few years later and supposedly bent on conquering the West. Thus, when people like Keller and Stephens use the “we” pronoun, what they really mean is that the Soviet communists ended up occupying and controlling Poland, Eastern Europe, and East Germany.
Now, it’s true: interventionists consider that a great victory, but the Poles, Czechs, and others who were made to suffer under half-a-century of communist tyranny didn’t consider it a victory. After all, what was the difference, really, between living under Nazi tyranny and Soviet tyranny?
What about the European Jews? Wasn’t World War II a “good war” because it saved them?
Oh, come on. That’s got to be the most ridiculous and hypocritical justification for intervention in World War II. After all, by the time the war was over all of them were dead. So, with victories like that, who needs losses?
More important, the discomforting truth is that the U.S. government didn’t give a hoot for the plight of the Jews, either before or during the war. Don’t forget that when Hitler offered to let German Jews emigrate to the United States during the 1930s, FDR’s response was that he couldn’t accept them because we had immigration quotas. Don’t forget also the infamous “voyage of the damned,” when FDR refused to permit German Jews to disembark at Miami Harbor, knowing that most likely they would be returned to Germany. Finally, don’t forget that FDR ignored Jewish pleas to target concentration camps for bombing with the aim of creating escape conditions for the inmates.
Of course, we’re now hearing today’s interventionists tell us how concerned they are for the people of Syria. Oh really? How about, then, opening U.S. borders to permit Syrian refugees to come to the United States?
“Oh, my gosh, Jacob! We don’t love them that much! As FDR said with respect to Jews who wanted to escape Nazi Germany to come to the United States, we have immigration quotas! Better to just bomb them than let them come and live amongst us!”
Oh, by the way: I wonder why Keller and Stephens forgot to mention in their articles the U.S. government’s partnership with the Syria dictatorship to torture Canadian citizen Mahar Arar. Maybe because in their minds, that would be akin to partnering with Hitler and Stalin, something that’s just too uncomfortable for them to confront or talk about.
The interventionists have done enough damage to our nation and to the people of the world. The best thing they could ever do is go hide their heads in shame and let libertarianism take hold in America.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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