FGF E-Package
Lamb Amongst Wolves
May 22, 2008

Was World War II Necessary?
by Kevin Lamb

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 bombing raids.

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 war.

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.

Back to Lamb Amongst Wolves archives

Lamb Amongst Wolves column by Kevin Lamb is copyright © 2008 by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfbooks.com.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reprint if credit is given to the author and the Foundation.

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.

To sponsor the FGF E-Package:
please send a tax-deductible donation to the
Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
P.O. Box 1383
Vienna,VA 22183
or sponsor online.

© 2008 Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation