14 April 2010

Buchanan on Katyn and "the Good War"

Katyn and ‘The Good War’

by Patrick J. Buchanan on April 13, 2010


Athelstane said...

I think Pat makes a better case against (the still inexplicable) U.S. involvement in WWI than World War II. But more to the point, perhaps this tragedy wasn't the best occasion to renew that case.

Poland - poor, unlucky Poland - stood to be utterly annihilated in Hitler's plans no matter what Colonel Beck or Daladier or Chamberlain did or did not do in 1939. And the same is true of the Jews and other "undesirables" of Eastern Europe. And after them - the Catholic Church itself.

Of course, had the western powers acted earlier, say in regards to the Czech (1938) or Rhineland (1936) crises, it could have been wound up well before Poland was squashed. But they waited, and dithered, and paid the price.

But to get back to the real roots, had Pius X's warnings against starting war in 1914 been heeded, these evils and so many more could have been averted - and Catholic monarchies preserved, in some form, in Central Europe.

In the meantime, I grieve with my Polish friends for this latest tragedy. Lech Kaczinksi was a good Catholic, and tried to live this out in his conduct of his office.

X said...

The problem with your history Athelstane, is that, like most Americans, it always begins on chapter 2. Hitler moved into the Rhineland in response to France signing an alliance with the USSR which violated the Locarno treaty. When the fabricated Czechoslovakia was peacefully dismantled both Hungary and Poland took sizable chunks. Buchanan as usual is about 30 years to late and still misses many of the key points. What he calls an invasion was actually a mutual conflict where the Germans simply beat Poland to the punch. The Poles had mobilized their army just west of Warsaw to blast a hole through the German frontier and sack Berlin but instead they were cut off and wiped out. Hitler's long-standing proposals for peace with Poland were more than reasonable, Chamberlain himself admitted this, but the corrupt military dictatorship which ran Poland was coerced and seduced by elemnts in Great Britain and by Roosevelt to refuse any terms. Ambassador Lipski acknowledged all this after the war. The evil done to Germany and the German people after the First World War is a matter of record. That is what Auden meant by To Whom Great Evil is Done.

Athelstane said...

Hello X,

All I can say is that I’ve read all the chapters in this particular story.

I don’t assume the worst of those who engage in this kind of revisionism with regards to Hitler and the causes of World War 2 – some people just like to swim against the tide (see Niall Ferguson), and sometimes they’re just engaging a deeper, unrelated agenda, such as Buchanan’s deep-seated Irish Anglophobia. Or (also in Pat’s case) an intense isolationism, some of which I even sympathize with.

Moreover, I’ll certainly heartily second the view that the narrative of Germany-as-villain-for-1914 is a false and dishonest one – there was so much blame to go around for that one that one hardly knows where to begin, though one might usefully look underneath the hood of hagiographies of Edward Grey. And likewise that the Poland of the colonels, post-Pilsudski, was not always an attractive regime, irascible in its foreign relations and even rushing in for its share of the spoils in the carve-up of Czechosolovakia.

But there’s little evidence that Poland was in any position to make any attack on Germany, let alone actively preparing for one. But there’s plenty of evidence, beginning with Mein Kampf, of Hitler’s plans for Poland, plans he lost no time in bloodily implementing once he conquered it. And to pretend that Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland was anything but long-planned by the Nazis…I think your Germanophilia has gotten the best of you. Whatever injustice there was in the Allied demilitarization of the Rhineland, the Nazis were (to put it mildly) not worthy instruments of its correction. Instead of restoring the monarchies, German elites ended up saddling themselves with satanic monsters. The cruelties that innocent Germans suffered in 1943-1945 - the firebombings, the massive relocations and rapes in the east, communist occupation - should not blind us to this brutal fact.

But I will freely admit I have vastly more sympathy for an imperfect but intensely Catholic state which ended up losing one out of every five of its people in that war than I do for a pagan fascist dictatorship which worked to undermine and destroy the Church at every opportunity.

thetimman said...

If you two aren't careful you might be found guilty of having a substantive conversation on an internet site.

dulac90 said...

Or worse, guilty of incitement!

Edmund Contoski said...

The limitation on the space here does not allow me to fully explain Patrick Buchanan's historical inaccuracies, unwarranted assumptions, omissions and faulty analysis. Instead, see my detailed rebuttal at http://amlibpub.blogspot.com/2010/04/another-reply-to-pat-buchanan-on-wwii.html