Monday, Aug 20, 2018
 
search SGN
Monday, Aug 20, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website


 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
The real lessons of 1939
The real lessons of 1939
by Mike Andrew - SGN Contributing Writer George Bush made headlines last week by implying that Barack Obama is like the British "appeasers" who enabled Hitler's aggression at the outbreak of World War II. Historical analysis has never been Bush's strong suit, and this time he's got it exactly wrong.

The real parallel is not between Obama and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, but between John McCain and those veteran German officers who were happy to invade Poland in 1939 to erase the disgrace of their defeat in World War I.

McCain's formative experience was the Vietnam War. It would be ungracious not to acknowledge his personal sacrifice in that war, his endurance, and his genuine devotion to what he conceived to be his mission there. Nevertheless, he utterly failed to understand and learn from that war, just as the similarly brave and patriotic German officers failed to learn from World War I. And like those officers, he is ready to bring catastrophe on his country for the sake of his vision of military honor.

McCain subscribes to the same "stabbed-in-the-back" historical narrative as the German officer corps in 1939. If only the brave German army hadn't been betrayed by socialist politicians back in Berlin, if only brave American troops in Vietnam hadn't been betrayed by & well, by whom?

McCain has always said that the US military was winning the Vietnam War till folks back home lost patience with it. In other words, American public opinion - fickle civilians - lost the Vietnam War. The military, McCain himself included, was blameless. It doesn't take Freud to see what's going on. John McCain wants historical redemption. Very much like the German officers in 1939, he wants to believe that the sacrifices he and his generation of soldiers made in Vietnam will somehow be sanctified by victory in a new war. And a glorious war this time, unrestrained by political exigencies. That will show those ungrateful civilians!

Unfortunately, the price of McCain's redemption is blood - and not just a little. For all McCain's professed love for the troops, his is a cold and impersonal love that would gladly sacrifice soldiers by the hundreds and the thousands for the sake of an abstract idea of victory.

What a "victory!" With McCain's full support, the Bush administration is on the verge of war with Iran. Who can foresee where that will lead? Oil is the lifeblood of the global economy. If rising oil prices are fueling our current recession, what will happen when US planes bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran - and Iran retaliates by attacking Basra, sabotaging the Saudi oil fields and mining the Straits of Hormuz?

Many decorated Vietnam veterans, Democrats and Republicans alike, who have served in the US Senate with McCain have spoken forcefully against the Bush administration's war policy - Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Jim Webb, Bob Kerrey, Max Cleland. Perhaps because they were free to observe the terrible consequences of the Vietnam War on their comrades and their country, while McCain was not, they drew very different conclusions from Vietnam, conclusions about the limitations of military action.

Unlike them, John McCain's only quarrel with the Bush administration has been that Bush hasn't done more in Iraq. More troops, more aggressive operations, more arrests, more war. That's the ticket, according to John McCain.

The consequence of more is more. The consequences of a McCain administration can only be an endless cycle of war, retaliation, and more war, until the country is exhausted and bankrupt and the world is disgusted by the spectacle. It's all perfectly obvious to anyone who has taken the time to reflect on the real lessons of 1939.

Please don't write and accuse me of calling John McCain a Nazi. I am not. And he is not. Neither were most of the German officers who followed Hitler into World War II. Many of them despised Hitler and the Nazis, for class, political, and professional reasons. Like McCain, they were men of honor but their sense of honor beguiled them into war, and they were willing to follow Hitler over the cliff for the sake of a military victory.

In 1939, a glorious German victory seemed to be at hand. Within a few years, that vision was revealed to be a terrible delusion.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog


: http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS?
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2007

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News