Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bush: History is complex.

AP Reports:

"JERUSALEM - A teary-eyed President Bush stopped in front of an aerial photo of Auschwitz on Friday at Israel's Holocaust memorial and said the U.S. should have sent bombers to prevent the extermination of Jews there. . . Upon viewing an aerial shot of Auschwitz, taken during the war by U.S. forces, he said Bush called the decision not to bomb it 'complex.' [Most things are "complex" to W.]

He then called over Rice to discuss President Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision, clearly pondering the options before rendering an opinion of his own, Shalev told The Associated Press. Shalev quoted Bush as asking Rice, 'Why didn't Roosevelt bomb it?' He said Rice and Bush discussed the matter further and then the president delivered his verdict. 'We should have bombed it,' Shalev, speaking in Hebrew, quoted Bush as saying."

You know it's never good to get W. into a discussion about history. Whacky stiff like this is usually what ensues. I love the bit bit about W. having to ask his old teacher Condi to tell him why FDR didn't bomb the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz. This question, apparently, had never occurred to him before, so he needed someone like the "brilliant" Dr. Rice to explain it to him. Beautiful!

The idea behind strategic bombing is to end the enemy's ability to make war. Back in 1944, before the advent of "smart bombs," our bombers weren't able to hit targets with anything nearing pin point accuracy. As an article about the Air War in WWII points out: "The target had to be large enough to hit. Small cities or factories in the forests were extremely hard to bomb from high altitude. Big bombers flew high when it was discovered the risk from flak was near 100% at 8,000 feet, but 'only' 25% at 20,000 feet."

Diverting resources to go after a relatively small target like Auschwitz would not have only risked American lives but would also have had little chance of stopping the flow of prisoners to the camp for long. The Germans were very good at repairing railroad tracks very quickly. And it's easy for others to say the camp itself should have been bombed, but what American president would have given the order to kill perhaps thousands of Jews? And if we had gone after Auschwitz then the question would have been, why aren't we doing the same at Chelmno or Majdanek, for example?

The real question W. should be asking is what about the Monowitz facilities next to Auschwitz and who owned them. Good old IG Farben, who made Zyclon B, the gas that killed the Jews, is still alive and well.

Follow the money W.!


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