The Lonely Centrist

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Did Churchill Create Nazis?

The Washington Times has a thoroughly conservative editorial page - no centrism, no balance. But one columnist I always find worth reading there is Todd Lindberg. In today's column he asks if the United States is creating more terrorists with its foreign policy since September 11, and in particular the invasion of Iraq.

Lindberg argues that U.S. foreign policy since September 11, 2001, is creating more terrorists. He writes:
To some, this means it is self-evidently the case that U.S. policy is counterproductive. I don't think so. I think we need to look seriously at the question of whether or not increased recruitment to the Islamist cause at the present moment and under current conditions is as bad as other likely alternatives. ...

Moreover, we tried (albeit perhaps not consciously) a cooler approach to the problem, i.e., we pretty much ignored it. True, that approach was uncoupled from dramatic gestures of appeasement (of the sort that would be politically impossible at home and unlikely to appease anyway). But that approach only got us as far as September 11.

We are provoking what we are provoking because we are seriously confronting the Islamists for the first time. And I think now is a good time to do that, first because we are strong and they are not, second because in engaging as we are, we are encouraging a necessary debate within Islam.

I think Lindberg is probably right. Reading his column also made me wonder what the extreme anti-war crowd would have said in World War II. They would have pointed out that by the spring of 1944 the German Army was substantially larger than it was in December, 1941, or September 1939. In particular, the SS divisions - the real "terrorist" hard core of the Nazi regime, had grown in size and power. Surely the bombing of Dresden and other cities made many Germans loathe and hate Americans and British. By June of 1944 the German military machine was far larger, and far superior, to the largely horse drawn army that had started the war by invading Poland less than 5 years before.

So, did Churchill create Nazis? For a time, he almost certainly did. And aren't we glad that we had him?

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