BREAKER: The Radioactive Question that Pat Buchanan’s Provocative
New Book Poses
Most of what the average college-educated individual knows about World
War II particularly the primary cast of heroes and villains—Churchill,
FDR, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini—remains vastly distorted. Those
paragons of objectivity—the media and cultural elites—often depict
the pre-war era, military campaigns, and post-war aftermath as a foregone
conclusion: The allies had no other choice but to wage war against
Germany and annihilate civilian German populations in scorched-earth
We are reminded ad infinitum that defeating an ambitious dictator—a
deranged madman intent on conquering Europe, destroying Great Britain,
and dominating the civilized world—was worth any price—even if it meant
cutting a deal with a tyrannical mass murderer and sacrificing the
future of 100 million Europeans in the process. Is this really what
was at stake?
In his latest book, Churchill, Hitler, and the
Unnecessary War, Pat
Buchanan once again finds himself swimming upstream against contemporary
currents of European history. The subtitle alerts the reader to the
far-reaching context of the author’s analysis: How
Britain Lost its Empire and the West Lost the World. Buchanan’s book could more appropriately
be subtitled: Suicide of the West for Dummies: A Reference for the
Rest of Us!
Buchanan takes up the mantle of an earlier generation of revisionist
scholars and authors—Charles Callan Tansill, A.J.P. Taylor, F.J.P.
Veale, Russell Grenfell, and Alfred M. de Zayas, among others — and
puts the catastrophic events of the World War I and World War II into
proper context. He draws attention to neglected aspects of the pre-war
era, from the political blunders that triggered the human devastation
of World War I to the unprecedented demands that the Versailles treaty
placed on Germany. Buchanan reminds us of the high price of “victory” —
the catastrophic loss of more than 70 million lives as a result of
two World Wars and the enslavement of Eastern Europe under Communism.
Central Role of Churchill
He sets his sights on the individual most
responsible for the destructive trajectory facing the peoples of Europe,
the neoconservatives’ “Man of the Century” — Winston Churchill. Buchanan
strips away the façade of Churchill as the world’s greatest statesman.
Did we really have no choice but to follow Churchill’s warmongering
direction of “Victory at all costs” and face the tragic consequences
that unfolded after World War II?
Churchill’s aggressive role in pushing England to declare war on Germany
in 1914 and his determination to defend Poland in an unconditional
war pact turned a regional conflict into a full-scale continental war.
Buchanan writes: “If Hitler’s ambitions were in the east, and he was
prepared to respect Britain’s vital interests by leaving the Low Countries
and France alone, was it wise to declare war on Germany — over a Poland
that Britain could not save?”
Buchanan’s portrait of Churchill remains at odds with the air-brushed
image of a principled “statesman” and reflects the views of other Tories
who knew Churchill very well. Francis Neilson, the accomplished actor,
political figure, and author of some 60 books, including a five-volume
study of the Second World War, The Tragedy of
Europe, recalls F. S.
Oliver. Oliver, who wrote The Mirrors of Downing
Street, sized up Churchill “as
he was, is, and will be…. From his youth up Mr. Churchill has loved
with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, and with
all his strength, three things — war, politics, and himself. He loved
war for its dangers, he loves politics for the same reason, and himself
he has always loved for the knowledge that his mind is dangerous —
dangerous to his enemies, dangerous to his friends, dangerous to himself.
I can think of no man I have ever met who would so quickly and so bitterly
eat his heart out in Paradise.”
Legacy of Victory at All Costs
Major General J. F. C. Fuller concluded
in his three-volume study, A Military History
of the Western World, that it
was emotional “hatred” that drove Roosevelt and Churchill to the policy
of “Unconditional Surrender” and the annihilation of German cities
like Dresden and Hamburg. Fuller perceptively notes the consequences
of such a destructive war: The Asiatic hordes are back in Germany,
and this time they penetrated within the walls of Vienna. The wheel
of history has turned full circle, and the threat Europe faces today
is not far removed from the threat she faced in the days of Xerxes
and Darius. Added to this, Japan, the counterpoise to Russia in the
Far East, was eliminated, and thereby the sluice-gate was opened for
Communism to inundate China. Such were the political consequences of
The condition of the West today, as Buchanan notes in the preface,
is terminal. “In a single century, all the great houses of continental
Europe fell. All the empires that ruled the world have vanished. Not
one European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birthrate that will
enable it to survive through the century. As a share of world population,
peoples of European ancestry have been shrinking for three generations.
The character of every Western nation is being irremediably altered
as each undergoes an unresisted invasion from the Third World. We are
slowly disappearing from the Earth.” Buchanan’s latest book, a well-written
narrative based on sound historical scholarship, should be mandatory
reading for anyone interested in contemporary Europe, military history,
and the lingering significance of World War II.
See this article at
Pat Buchanan's site.
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Lamb Amongst Wolves column by Kevin Lamb is copyright © 2008
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Kevin Lamb is managing editor of The Social
Contract magazine. His
articles have appeared on VDARE.com and in National Review,
Human Events, Chronicles, Middle American News, and the Journal of Social,
Political, and Economic Studies.
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