May 12, 2009
Obama's European Apology Tour: Next stop - Dresden
John Rosenthal writing at Pajamas Media informs us that President Obama will probably make a stop at Dresden while on his second European trip that will climax with a speech in Normandy on June 6 marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
Rosenthal points out a little misdirection from the administration in that they will also probably schedule a stop at Buchenwald, the notorious concentration camp that Obama believes his uncle helped liberate in 1945.
The message Obama intends to send by visiting both sites is clear; while the Germans did bad things during World War II, they were also victims of Allied atrocities:
The symbolic significance of a visit to Dresden by the American president - especially one undertaken in connection with a D-Day commemoration in France - may be missed by some Americans, but it is absolutely unmistakable for the German public. For Germans, Dresden is the symbol bar none of German suffering at the hands of the Allies. The city was heavily bombed by British and American air forces in February 1945, toward the end of the war. According to the most recent estimates of professional historians, anywhere from 18,000 to at most 25,000 persons died in the attacks. These numbers come from a historical commission established by the city of Dresden itself. But far higher numbers - ranging into the hundreds of thousands - have long circulated in Germany and beyond. The bombing of Dresden is commonly described as a "war crime" in German discussions.The President of the United States may be planning on equating the strategic bombing of a German city with the deliberate murder of millions of innocents.
Alleged crimes committed by the Allies against Germans and Germany have indeed become a sort of German literary obsession in recent years, with numerous books being devoted to the subject.
Indeed, Rosenthal states that it would be impossible for Obama to go to Dresden and not mention the bombing. And what of his stop at Buchenwald?
It is virtually unthinkable that Obama could give a speech in Dresden and not allude to the bombing of the city. Most of the city's historical monuments - which Obama's advance team were apparently inspecting - were severely damaged or destroyed in the bombing and had to be rebuilt. Moreover, for Obama to visit both Dresden and Buchenwald would suggest precisely the sort of outrageous parallels that have become commonplace in Germany at least since the publication of Friedrich's The Fire.
Barack Obama is fulfilling the dreams of liberals who, for more than 40 years have seen the role played of the United States in world affairs since before World War I as having a disasterous effect on mankind. This kind of thinking explains the "Blame America First" mentality that has guided liberal foreign policy since the 1960's, turning the policies practiced by Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson which recognized America's leading role in world affairs into an orgy of self-loathing and a desire to subsume American interests in favor of a squishy internationalism guided by the thugs and fools at the UN.
No doubt Obama will speak strongly against Nazi terror while in Dresden. But what does it say about our president that he may very well equate what happened to the Jews with what happened to German citizens during the war? Is he capable of recognizing the moral difference? Is he capable of recognizing evil at all?
If a big enough stink is made before the itinerary is set, it may be possible to dissuade the president from making a moral idiot of himself. But given the cheerleading he will receive from his leftist friends, that may not be possible.