I read this while I was sitting on the beach at the north sea, and while no one left from those shores for Normandy, it's close enough.
I could have posted it at the time, but this requires a great deal more thought and explication than a few simple sentences.
Obama: D-Day veterans changed course of century
By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent
June 6, 2009
OMAHA BEACH, France – President Barack Obama honored the valiant dead and the "sheer improbability" of their D-Day victory, commemorating Saturday's 65th anniversary of the decisive invasion even as he remakes two wars and tries to thwart potential nuclear threats in Iran and North Korea.
The young U.S. commander in chief, speaking at the American cemetery after the leaders of France, Canada and Britain, held up the sacrifices of D-Day veterans and their "unimaginable hell" as a lesson for modern times.
"Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget — what we must not forget — is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century," he said.
"At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary."
[To read the entire article, click on the title link.]
For Obama, and for liberals, World War II, the Second World War, the war that would and could never happen because war was banned, navies were scraped, and the human and financial cost of the Great War was beyond human imagination - was selfless, changed the course of an entire century, and was a war that fought off great evil. I do not dispute any of those characterizations, but I question Obama - why do you say these words? What do they mean to you?
They are easy words to say, can mean virtually anything you want them to, or mean nothing. So I ask Mr. Obama, what do they mean to you and why do you believe they were selfless and fought off great evil?
Let's do some history Mr. Obama, you have claimed on several occasions that you are a student of history, so let's begin.
1931 - World response / European response / US response to Japan going into China and carving out a puppet state called Manchuko?
1920s-1934 - World response / European response / US response to Italian incursions into Albania and Ethiopia?
1936 - German seizure of the Rhineland?
1936-1938: US attitude toward the events in Europe? Did we see them as EVIL, as requiring US involvement, did we see them as anything but a European 'problem'? In fact Mr. Obama, given your study of history, you will know that a very small percentage of Americans actually wanted us to help ONLY Germany while a sizable percentage wanted us to help BOTH sides and the largest percentage - help NEITHER.
So Mr. Obama, at what point did the events in Europe become about fighting off evil or freeing a continent, or require selfless actions by the participants? At what point Mr. Obama? When the ships wanted to bring Jewish refugees to the US and were turned away? Was that the great moment. When a very sizable minority even in January 1942, did not want us involved in Germany. Sure some said we had an issue with the Japanese, but Hitler was not a threat. More so, there was a sizable percentage, albeit a minority, who argued we instigated the bombing at Pearl Harbor - we were responsible for forcing the Japanese to attack us.
Mr. Obama, at what point did all of these events inform you that we were fighting a selfless war, one in which several hundred thousand American servicemen would die to 'change the course of history'. I am still puzzled - what history was it that was changed? Surely in 1936, no one could know the monstrosity that threatened the world - quite the opposite, the majority of Americans wanted NOTHING to do with events in Europe, we SAW NO THREAT. In 1938, WE SAW NO THREAT. In 1939, WE STILL SAW VERY LITTLE THREAT. In 1940, we saw very little threat. In 1942, we still saw little threat from Germany to the US or its interests, and Americans voted with that in mind - Americans would NOT die on foreign shores, in foreign wars.
So when Mr. Obama, as a student of history, did the magnitude of the events in Europe require the sacrifice of over four hundred thousand Americans?
The Answer (in case you were stumped): AFTER.
Of course, had we known sooner, all Americans would have certainly wanted to act. Had we known, for example, that the Germans were exterminating human beings in their death camps, we surely would have acted. Except we did know, and the US government did not act. I assume this meant it was not worth our being involved or certainly a Democratic president leading a democratic Congress would have taken action.
What if we had done nothing Mr. Obama? Russia believes it was about to win the war single-handed. if their history is told accurately, we would not have needed to lose nearly half a million men. The French teach an entirely different history - they were doing very well defeating the Germans in France. The British are taught that it was the Europeans who were defeating the Germans, and the US only got involved to save us from a worsening depression - clearly if this is the case, we did not embark on any act that would be selfless nor historic, nor would it 'put away many evil things' as FDR told the American people. If those countries have told an accurate truth to their people and to history, if their cultures are as they believe - the victors, then we did not need to become entangled in a war that was not of our making, and not our responsibility.
So why Mr. Obama do you say that the "bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century."? In fact, you are not even clear about who it was that changed history. It could very well have been the French, as far as your statements are concerned, and please don't tell me you were misquoted or failed to explain it well - you are the most rehearsed president of all 44.
I again ask - at what point Mr. Obama, did the Second World War become so noble, moral, righteous?
And again the answer (in case you were stumped): AFTER
In 2005, a German historian (Rainer Karisch) claimed that Nazi scientists successfully tested a tactical nuclear weapon near Thuringia on the Baltic Sea, in the last months of the war.
Mr. Obama, what if Hitler redirected his energy and was able to produce two of these weapons and used one on the Soviets and another on France. Would things, could things have turned out differently? Although some experts deny these claims, it is beyond question that Hitler was working on a program. What if, Mr. Obama, we had not entered the war in 1942, what if we waited until 1943, giving Hitler another year - another year to use all his forces against Russia (perhaps bringing about the collapse of Moscow and Stalingrad. Another year to consolidate his hold over Europe, another year to root out the remaining Jews in Europe and kill them all, another year to develop four atomic weapons - one to test, one to detonate in Russia, France, and one in reserve - and then what if Hitler gave an ultimatum to the US and Britain.
What then Mr. Obama?