June 23, 2008

The other “Good War”

Over at LRC, someone named Paul Gottfried makes a fiery case that America?s intervention in the First World War is just as important to the neoconservatives, if not more so, than taking on Hitler in the Second.   

The real acid test for neocon loyalty is not hating Hitler (after all, who could like this genocidal mass murderer?) but reading back Hitlerian traits into the German Second Empire and even earlier into German history. It is no secret why the neocons really idolize Churchill. Whatever his politically incorrect statements, such as his well-publicized outbursts of anti-Semitism after the Bolshevik Revolution and his explicitly racialist views, Winston was good at getting others to kill Germans. In the neocon view, that makes up for lots of deficiencies.

Gottfried also smashes a few legends of World War II that have been floating around in the critiques of Buchanan?s >new book and, most importantly, makes us aware of some little-known but rather shocking evidence that Churchill might have actually opposed German resistance against Hitler: 

Buchanan has only uncovered the tip of the iceberg in pointing out the unpleasant sides of Winston Churchill?s career. Among his less attractive achievements was having actually discouraged the uprising against the Nazi government in July 1944 and similar initiatives before, because if they had succeeded, the Allies would not have been able to smash the Germans as thoroughly as they had wanted to.

Recent scholarship by German historian Gerd ?bersch?r and the British writer Brian Martin suggest that Churchill had a hand not only in blackening the German resistance, which he did in a speech before Parliament on August 2, 1944, but also in contributing to the deaths of resistance leaders.

The success of an anti-Nazi coup would have damaged Churchill?s war aims, which included, beside the utter devastation of a defeated Germany, cashing in on the good will of Soviet Russia. Churchill went so far in his efforts to keep anti-Nazi German patriots, including moderate leftist like Julius Leber, from prevailing against Hitler that he leaked information about their identities and whereabouts to the Gestapo, with the help of the BBC and the Chief of Political Warfare John W. Wheeler-Bennett.

Such an important discussion would simply not be taking place without the publication of Pat Buchanan?s very necessary book.


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