Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Powerful Message From a Friend of the Neocon:

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT by Si Frumkin (879 words) beauty.doc 11/2005

What was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen? I saw much that was beautiful in my life but I treasure most what I saw the day I was just a fourteen-year old skinny kid in a striped jacket with a number, watching tanks with white stars on them roll through the gates of the Dachau concentration, camp carrying smiling, waving American soldiers.

I was not alone – millions throughout recently occupied and decimated Europe celebrated American liberators. Even those who were Hitler’s allies – like the Italians – cheered the Allies as they rolled through the ruined cities.

The Germans did not cheer. They were silent, apprehensive, expecting the worst from the conquerors. The Allies too were nervous: the “Werevolves - an underground Nazi organization was supposed to have been created to fight the occupation forces.

I remember asking a Jewish GI who spoke a strange, broken, American-accented Yiddish why there were two-foot high vertical metal bars welded to the hoods of the American jeeps. He smiled, “This is to cut the wire the German partisans string across road”. He drew a finger across his throat. “We drive fast, we hit wire, and it cuts off American head. The metal sticks cut the wire – nothing happens”.

In the end, there was no resistance except for very few isolated incidents. In defeated Japan, we also expected resistance from a fanatical population ready to fight the invaders but the Japanese too were universally docile. Not a single rock was thrown at the trucks and jeeps that sped along the roads; the people who had lined up to watch bowed respectfully to their conquerors.

But what if there had been German resistance? What if wires strung across the roads had decapitated GIs and hard-line Nazis looted German arsenals for arms? And what if neighboring Austria that had enthusiastically joined Hitler’s Reich flooded occupied Germany with weapons and volunteers ready to fight the Allies? Would there have been an outcry from the American media and politicians to withdraw, to abandon the defeated foe, to allow the return of Hitler’s heirs? And would FDR be criticized for causing the deaths of American boys? I don’t think so.

So what has changed? Why is it acceptable, 60 years later, to excoriate our President for ridding the world of a tyrant who went to war with neighboring countries and filled mass graves with citizens of his own country – some of whom he murdered using the same WMDs he supposedly didn’t have? Saddam supported terrorism directed against the U.S., paid subsidies to the families of suicide murderers, waged wars of occupation against neighboring countries and disregarded all the warnings, threats and resolutions by the organization of all of the world’s states that vainly tried, for ten years, to verify the presence – or absence - of nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry.

The war against Hitler was not stigmatized by our media as a war of aggression, as an example of American imperialism, as a deception by the White House of the American people because it wasn’t. And neither is the war in Iraq.

America did occupy most of Western Europe. Had it been an imperialist power – like the Soviet Union – it would have remained in control, possibly forever. It didn’t. The U.S. withdrew from Europe – as well as the other countries it had occupied: Korea, Japan, the Philippines – and proceeded to invest treasure and effort to promote democracy, independence and economic stability for the benefit of them all.

Still, some of the nations we had liberated – and our former enemies as well – are now vehemently critical when we do for other oppressed nations what we had done for them 60 years ago.

The fact is that the world does need a policeman. It needs a policeman just as a gang-infested neighborhood needs one; would you suggest that the police give up and leave when confronted by gangs? And since no other power is willing to assume this role we had it thrust upon us.

And yes, America as a policeman has been effective. Here is just a partial list of places where President Bush’s policies resulted in an increase of democracy, a little more freedom and less wanton murder: Libya, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Georgia, Somalia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Liberia. There are signs of movement in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and a number of African dictatorships. Former Soviet colonies – Czechia, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania have joined NATO. And there is Iraq, where a majority voted for democracy and which we will leave as soon as it can protect itself from its contemporary fascists.

There is much that we haven’t done – Darfur’s genocide, African slave trade, North Korea and Iran who are not reacting positively to the “speak loudly and carry no stick at all” approach by Europe and others. I am confident that these problems will also be solved with America leading the way. I am just as sure that nothing will be done - or would have been done - without the American policeman.

And so, I am grateful that we have a man in the White House who is willing to assume this burden in spite of the venom and the hatred of those who do not carry the memory of being liberated by American tanks at the age of 14.

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