Sunday, January 30, 2005

How we lost World War II

Doug Saunders' column in this Saturday's Globe and Mail was absolutely mind-blowing. It completely shattered the way I think about the Second World War:
[F]rom the gates of Auschwitz, you can see why the notion of "winning" the Second World War has a somewhat limited audience at times. We can celebrate it in Canada, because our soldiers did their work, and those who survived went home and life went on as usual. They can celebrate it in Russia, because they were the only unmitigated victors, at least by the standards of the time.

But over here, where the whole thing got started, and where its worst atrocities took place, things begin to get a bit scrambled. From here, it doesn't seem to make much sense at all. It wasn't a war for human rights; otherwise, they would have made the camps a priority. And it couldn't have been a war for freedom; that was given away with the wave of a hand. There was every reason to fight and there is no reason to believe that we could have done any better -- but six decades later, it might be time to stop calling it a victory.
I strongly urge you to read the whole thing.

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