Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Today is the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, September 1, 1939. That war cost over 50,000,000 souls lost, counting not only soldiers but also civilians.

And was it worth it? Please don't justify WWII on the basis that it was waged to against the war crimes of the Nazis against the Jews. No one even thought of the Jews and their plight until after the war came to a close and the allies found the deplorable conditions in the German camps. Not the British, not the Soviets, not the Americans. The whole world was blind to the holocaust that was occurring behind German and Polish camp walls.

Yes, there were six million Jews and other victims of the Holocaust who lost their lives. But there were also up to 27,000,000 Russians, Estonians, Latvians and Byelorussians, 8,000,000 Ukrainians, 6,000,000 Poles and more than 6,000,000 Germans. These figures come from No Simple Victory (P 366, Viking, 2007) by the British historian Norman Davies.

Was this huge waste of life worth it? Where were those who proposed alternatives to the blood bath? How about religious figures? Where was the Pope? Where were leaders of the Islamic world? Why was this crazy war allowed to happen?

There is a lesson in this 70th anniversary. The war in Iraq was wrong, Bush was a war criminal. And the war in Afghanistan is wrong. Obama risks being classified with Bush as an enemy of humanity.

Looking back at WWII, we see Churchill in diminished form. He ordered the carpet bombing of the German cities that killed hundreds of thousands. The same goes for Roosevelt and Truman. American bombing killed 50,000 in Dresden on one night. Nagasaki and Hiroshima each had 100,000 incinerated souls. These government actors committed war crimes against humanity.

I call upon Pres. Barack Obama to stop the foolish and deadly war in Afghanistan, pull out all American war planes and troops, and solve political problems not by war but by political and diplomatic means.

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