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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, May 12, 2006

If We'd Had Today's Press Back Then...

Victor Davis Hanson imagines what today's WaPo or NYT would have said around 1 May 1945:

As we see thousands of Americans dying and our enemies still in power after four years of war, it is also legitimate to question the stewardship of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall. The Sherman tank tragedy, the daylight bombing fiasco, the absence of even minimally suitable anti-tank weapons and torpedoes—all these lapses came on his watch, and the man at the top must take full responsibility for mistakes that have now cost thousands of American lives. Indeed, it is not just that America has worse tanks and guns than our German enemies, but they are inferior even to the rockets and armor of our Soviet allies. The recent publication of “The Sherman Tank Scandal” follows other revelations published in “Asleep at the Philippines,” “The Flight of Gen. MacArthur,” “Gen. Patton and the Atrocities on Sicily,” “Do Americans Execute POWs?” “Torture on Guadalcanal,” “Incinerating Women and Children?” and “Civilian Massacres in Germany”—publications in their totality that suggest a military out of control as often as it is incompetent.

Such problems start at the top. It is not out of “Roosevelt hating,” but out of the need for truth that requires this paper to remind the American people that Mr. Roosevelt, in whose hands our collective fate lies, has been untruthful to his wife about his liaisons, untruthful to the American people about the extent of his crippling illness, and thus, not surprisingly, untruthful to the United States Congress about the extent of our prewar involvement with the British Empire in its European war and the secret nature of our present commitments.

Recently we have learned that President Roosevelt, the former law school dropout, once again has violated basic freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Supposed German suspects were subject to military tribunals, tried in secret, and then executed. Tens of thousands of Italians, Germans, and Japanese war captives are detained in hundreds of American prison compounds, without charges and often in secret. How many were truly captured in uniform, and under what conditions, is never disclosed.

Remember as well that these clandestine transgressions of this administration follow a long record of constitutional disrespect—whether trying to pack the Supreme Court with compliant justices, unilaterally turning over our destroyers to the United Kingdom, or, well before Pearl Harbor, ordering, by fiat, attacks on the high seas against German submarines. Such abuses of presidential authority, characterized by intrigue with British agents and unauthorized spying on foreign nationals, go a long way in explaining the German decision to declare war against us on December 8, 1941, presenting the United States with the present catastrophe of a two-front conflict.

A Secretary Rumsfeld said the other day, this war won't be won on battlefields, it will be won or lost in Washington.


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