Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hitory revised? Not with VDH on the case!

Victor Davis Hanson presses for us to actually pay attention to historical facts, in his NRO column, Remembering World War II
Revisionists get it wrong.

Revisionism holds a strange attraction for the winners of World War II. American textbooks discuss World War II as if a Patton, Le May, or Nimitz did not exist, as if the war was essentially the Japanese internment and Hiroshima. That blinkered and politically correct focus explains why so many Americans under 30 are simply ignorant about the nature and course of World War II itself. Similarly, the British have monthly debates on the immorality of their bombing Hamburg and Dresden.

In dire contrast, even the post-Soviet Russian government will not speak of the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact, the absorption of the Baltic states, the murder of millions of German citizens in April through June 1945 in Eastern Europe, and the mass execution of Polish officers. If we were to listen to the Chinese, World War II was about the gallant work of Mao's partisans, who in fact used the war to gain power, and then went on to kill 50 million of their own citizens – about the same number lost in all of World War II. Japan likewise has never come to terms with the millions of Asian civilians its armies butchered or its systematic brutality waged against American POWs.

I've just been involved in a sort of superficial discussion of application of history vs. revisionism at tannishblog, and, I wish I had VDH's skills at hitting the mark cleanly and precisely.

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