Video: Hitchens and VDH on why World War II was worth fighting

posted at 3:44 pm on July 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

Part one of five, with new segments forthcoming each day this week. It’s a testament to the depth of anti-Iraq feeling, I guess, that Pat Buchanan’s apologias for Nazi expansionism dressed up (ironically) as antipathy to “wars of choice” can provoke serious re-examination of WWII, but those are the intellectual facts on the ground right now. This exchange starts slowly but builds to a climax that should make tomorrow’s entry worthwhile; for your companion reading, enjoy Hitchens’s unsparing review of Buchanan’s work in Newsweek if you missed it last month. Click the image to watch.

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Anybody who needs it explained to them, isn’t worth convincing.

TheBigOldDog on July 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Didn’t Hitch’s brother question whether WWII was worth fighting?

doubleplusundead on July 28, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Allah, are you going to post about McCain leading Obama amongst likely voters in the latest Gallup poll?

amerpundit on July 28, 2008 at 3:54 PM

I didn’t know it wasn’t!

tree hugging sister on July 28, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Heavens to Mercatroid! How many times Is Hitchens going to refight WWII? I haven’t heard an actual WWII veteran go on about it in decades. Shouldn’t he be making fun of Christians or be out having his legs shaved?

MB4 on July 28, 2008 at 3:58 PM

amerpundit on July 28, 2008 at 3:54 PM

AP can’t do it. He is trying to score a hot date with KP and has to back Obama in order to do it. We all have to take one for the AP team. :-) (just kidding AP)

Do you have a link to Gallup? All they show on their website are polls of registered voters, not likely voters.

Outlander on July 28, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Next week the discussion will be on why you should eat food. Then they’ll tackle the controversy over breathing.

rbj on July 28, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Outlander on July 28, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Here you go.

amerpundit on July 28, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Anybody who needs it explained to them, isn’t worth convincing.
TheBigOldDog on July 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM

+1

I’m amazed this is really even up for discussion.

SouthernDem on July 28, 2008 at 4:06 PM

In fiarness to Allah he does research on tips that we send in. I have sent some in only to find that Allah took what I sent and found out even more info about it.

as for this topic I find it strange we try and still argue for legal justifications for war. I know the Christian thought on “Just war” but I think War is something that is quite seperate from either legal jusiprudence or Religeous morality. They dont exist with each other

William Amos on July 28, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Now there’s an alliance against which I wouldn’t want to spar.

baldilocks on July 28, 2008 at 4:10 PM

TheBigOldDog on July 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Sums it up in a nut shell.

TooTall on July 28, 2008 at 4:13 PM

what a bunch of crap.

Hitch is one of those people who sounds more intelligent than he is….its the way he uses his brit accent. Buchanan responded to a couple of stupid things Hitch said in his review and I havent heard Hitch respond back.

Hitch, of course, speculates on the charactar of Buchanan cause he can read minds, you know.

I would love to see Buchanan debate Hitch…not this bullcrap agreement festival.

Buchanan is an independent thinker. If you actually READ his books, like I do…he questions a lot of stuff that people take for granted.

screw you. Buchanan is an American patriot who puts God and country first. Hitch is a self-aggrandizing athiest who sounds brighter than the bastard actually is. Dont forget, Hitch is the genius who says Mitt is stupid (the guy with the perfect SAT score and Harvard JD and MBA at top of class and made about a billion bucks) because of his “silly” religion.

Screw him. and screw all of you guys who want to throw Buchanan under the bus before you even read his book.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Now there’s an alliance against which I wouldn’t want to spar.

baldilocks on July 28, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Great writers, both. Would love each as neighbors. Imagine the discussions.

Entelechy on July 28, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Buchanan is an independent thinker anti-Semite.

FTFY

doubleplusundead on July 28, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Screw him. and screw all of you guys who want to throw Buchanan under the bus before you even read his book.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

I have seen enough of Pat Buchannon to make up my own mind. He is an isolationist that blames jews and others for backing Israel over not getting involved.

Pat Buchannon was Ron Paul before being Ron Paul was being cool.

William Amos on July 28, 2008 at 4:24 PM

screw all of you guys who want to throw Buchanan under the bus before you even read his book.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

You sound upset.

baldilocks on July 28, 2008 at 4:26 PM

so, somebody who doesnt believe we should have trip wires and guarantees to go to war for an ally such as Israel, which buchanan feels should continue as an ally, if we dont give israel a war protection guarantee….that makes him an anti-semite. how stupid, william amos. Israel can protects itself very well and should…they are the ones with nukes and the sophisticated militar…not the others in the mid east. why would we die if they get in a war?

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:38 PM

so, somebody who doesnt believe we should have trip wires and guarantees to go to war for an ally such as Israel, which buchanan feels should continue as an ally, if we dont give israel a war protection guarantee…

Iran considers the US a bigger theat that Israel. We are the great Satan to them while Israel is the little Satan.

Iran like Al Qaeda uses Israel to unite Muslims. That doesnt make us less an enemy to them.

Buchannon doesnt like Israel because its Jewish. We could go to war with China over Tiawan why is Pat not decrying that situation as much as the Middle East ?

William Amos on July 28, 2008 at 4:43 PM

if you actually read anything by buchanan you would know that he doesnt feel we should go to war with china over tiawan.

Your speculation that buchanan doesnt like Israel because its jewish is good ol McCarthyism….I though the left owned that methodology now.

btw, why am I arguing with a guy who after 3 posts regarding Buchanan, he still cant spell his name correctly? You are correct, Buchannon sucks. However, Buchanan rules.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Buchanan has promoted this – that the US/West should have stayed out of the war and let Hitler and Stalin bleed it each other white – for decades. In fact, in his autobiography he talks about how he and his father (and siblings) debated political issues after dinner and his father promoting this argument.

Qualis pater, talis filius.

I think it’s mostly bunk (I didn’t read the book but I assume he’s fleshing out the above thesis); but it’s always a good debate to have when war drums are sounding.

History rhymes (as an obscure American writer once noted) even if it doesn’t repeat itself.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM

I honestly have spent more than enough time on Pat Buchannon (However you spell it)

I dont have to read every single word he has written to know his beliefs or the background of them.

Israel is the ONLY Democratically elected nation in the Middle East who has been a great freind to the US. Buchannon wants us to abandon our allies in the hopes that “Good things” will happen.

In that instance Pat Buchannon sounds a little too much like Barack Obama to me.

William Amos on July 28, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Haha, I’d like to see any liberal try and tell the Chinese or Koreans that WWII wasn’t worth fighting.

Good luck!

Riposte on July 28, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Or should I say paleo-con, in this case.

Riposte on July 28, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Yes, if we sell out Israel to Islam, maybe they will be our partners in peace. Is that what you are trying to articulate Roger Waters?

BL@KBIRD on July 28, 2008 at 5:12 PM

how dumb.

Buchanan’s thesis isnt that the U.S. shouldnt have fought ww2…we were bombed in PH to into the war and then we still didnt engage Hitler until GERMANY declared war on us.

His thesis also isnt that the Chinese or Koreans shouldnt have fought against the Japanese.

His thesis is that the euros handled it very poorly which brought the world into a war and killed millions including 6 million jews. Everybody would have been better off, including the Jews, if Britain and contintal Europe had handled the situation with Hitler better.

I suppose you all think ww1 was a terrific war too. I suppose you think the allies treated the Germans fairly in Versaille. You all might be a bit on the baaaaa (sheep sound) side.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Yes Israel is better armed and better trained, but they are up against a Zerg Rush.

- The Cat

MirCat on July 28, 2008 at 5:24 PM

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Another brick in the wall.

Glynn on July 28, 2008 at 5:30 PM

Everybody would have been better off, including the Jews, if Britain and contintal Europe had handled the situation with Hitler better

His (general) argument is that the West could have avoided “confronting” Hitler in Western Europe (e.g., Britain should never have guaranteed Poland’s independence re Danzig) and therefore would have allowed Hitler and Stalin to fight it out until they were exhausted.

There’s some good points as I understand it (again, I’m assuming it’s the same argument he’s made before). But he grossly underestimates Hitler’s ambitions.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Well, at least you got his argument right, SteveMG.

I admit that its speculation…but it isnt unreasonable ….and it isnt anti-semitism and Hitch knows less about the issue than Buchanan does….despite Hitch’s belief that he is the smartest man ever to live.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 5:37 PM

I admit that its speculation…but it isnt unreasonable ….and it isnt anti-semitism and Hitch knows less about the issue than Buchanan does…

It’s not entirely off-the-wall.

The West was in a greatly weakened position militarily vis-a-vis Germany. It may have been wiser to try and “turn” Hitler eastward by being more, let us say, “accommodating” to his demands in Western Europe.

That’s assuming that Hitler would have been satisfied with Danzig and a few other “offers.”

And if Cleopatra had a bigger nose…..

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 5:44 PM

I’d think the question could be answered by the mere fact that the discussion wasn’t in German.

Jim Treacher on July 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Or should I say paleo-con, in this case.
Riposte on July 28, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Technically, “paleo-conservative” refers back to the Nixon anti-Communist days. There was never, ever, a time when it meant pro-Fascist.

As near as I can tell, some of these whack jobs are trying to co-opt the term to refer to a new kind of rabid isolationism. I.e.: if conservatives used to oppose Communism, that must mean we’re OK with every other form of totalitanarian collectivism.

But basically that’s just Pat Buchanon and Ron Paul. And I’m pretty sure nothing two guys do can be referred to as a movement – unless they use the toilet together.

logis on July 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM

“I’d think the question could be answered by the mere fact that the discussion wasn’t in German.”

20 million dead poles might disagree with you.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Technically, “paleo-conservative” refers back to the Nixon anti-Communist days.

Hmm, I don’t think that history is, er, right (pardon the pun).

Nixon was never a paleoconservative (excluding his anti-communism/Hiss & Chambers connections). Far from it. He was more of a liberal Republican. He adopted wage and price controls, the Philadelphia/affirmative action plan, opening to China, EPA, detente. The paleos would never accept any of that.

The major figures in paleo thought are people like Russell Kirk and James Burnham (who was, ironically, once one of the top advisers to Trotsky).

Federalism, America first, against internationalism, traditionalists are the major ideas of the Paleos.

Nixon was never a paleo.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 6:02 PM

20 million dead poles might disagree with you.

Dead Poles make Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson speak German?

P.S. Your solo stuff was a lot better than it gets credit for.

Jim Treacher on July 28, 2008 at 6:19 PM

I’d think the question could be answered by the mere fact that the discussion wasn’t in German.

Jim Treacher on July 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Brilliant, Treach!

MsUnderestimated on July 28, 2008 at 6:29 PM

“P.S. Your solo stuff was a lot better than it gets credit for.”

Yes it was…particularly Amused To Death.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 6:43 PM

P.S. Your solo stuff was a lot better than it gets credit for.

Jim Treacher on July 28, 2008 at 6:19 PM

David Gilmour was always my favorite.

Glynn on July 28, 2008 at 6:47 PM

at the paultards convention in Minn., bet this book will be a hot seller.

jp on July 28, 2008 at 7:17 PM

I think that what Buchanan was saying, was that we should have let the Germans and Russians fight it out and they would have annihilated each other and hence no cold war. By the way, Hitler and Stalin were not bad folks. They were just misunderstood. A murder here, a murder there……what’s not to like.

Johan Klaus on July 28, 2008 at 7:19 PM

I think that what Buchanan was saying, was that we should have let the Germans and Russians fight it out and they would have annihilated each other and hence no cold war.

Yes, but he thinks Hitler would have been satisfied with Danzig and Sudetenland et cetera and then would have turned eastward.

I’m not sure Hitler’s appetite would have been that easily satiated.

Not to mention what would have happened to the Jewish populations in those “offerings” (it “happened” anyway; but you get my point).

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 7:29 PM

I think that the war that we should have stayed out of is WWl and maybe there would not have been a WWll. We will never know.

Johan Klaus on July 28, 2008 at 7:37 PM

despite Hitch’s belief that he is the smartest man ever to live.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 5:37 PM

Hitchens is no Mark Twain. Not by a mile. He couldn’t even hold his cigar.

MB4 on July 28, 2008 at 7:42 PM

I think that the war that we should have stayed out of is WWl

Well, the Versailles Treaty, as some point out, simply set the scene for Hitler to appear. And without our involvement in its making (Wilson wanted it watered down), it would probably have been even harsher on Germany.

So, WWII would have happened anyway. Whether we intervened in WWI or not.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 7:43 PM

“David Gilmour was always my favorite.”

Great guitarist…and utterly devoid of creativity as all PF albums after The Final Cut and those ghastly Gilmour solo albums testify.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 7:45 PM

“So, WWII would have happened anyway. Whether we intervened in WWI or not.”

Sorry….no way. If the U.S. hadnt intervened, they wouldve kept fighting and they would have eventually had a fair brokered peace. Since the U.S. came, we offered a new steady never-ending stream of bodies to have killed thus prolonging the ability of the allies to hold out which meant the Germans were forced to accept horrible terms for ending the war.

If the U.S. had not intervened, there would have been no Hitler, no WW2, no Cold War, no Vietnam, no Korea, etc.

The U.S. entering ww1 was the biggest blunder in U.S. history and we can thank Wilson for that. If we just had listened to George Washington’s farewell adress, everything would have been much much better. Buchanan makes this point very well…another reason he is much smarter than Hitch and all these jackball neo-cons.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 7:50 PM

I think that what Buchanan was saying, was that we should have let the Germans and Russians fight it out and they would have annihilated each other and hence no cold war.

Johan Klaus on July 28, 2008 at 7:19 PM

I think that George S. Patton could have lived with that.

After the surrender of May 8, 1945 eliminated the threat of Nazi Germany, Patton was quick to assert the Soviet Union would cease to be an ally of the United States. He was concerned that some 25,000 American POWs had been liberated from POW camps by the Soviets, but were never returned to the US. In fact, he urged his superiors to evict the Soviets from central and eastern Europe. Patton thought that the Red Army was weak, under-supplied, and vulnerable, and the United States should act on these weaknesses before the Soviets could consolidate their position.

It should be noted, however, that many of the controversial opinions he expressed were common (if not exactly popular) at the time and his outspoken opposition to post-surrender denazification is still widely debated today. Many still laud his generous treatment of his former German enemies and his early recognition of the Soviet threat, while detractors say his protests reflect the views of a bigoted elitist. Whatever the cause, Patton found himself once again in trouble with his superiors and the American people. While speaking to a group of reporters, he compared the Nazis to losers in American political elections, and that being a Nazi in Germany was just being a member of a political party, “like being a Democrat in the States.”

MB4 on July 28, 2008 at 7:53 PM

I think that what Buchanan was saying, was that we should have let the Germans and Russians fight it out and they would have annihilated each other and hence no cold war.
Johan Klaus on July 28, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Buchanan thinks Russia could have defeated Nazi Germany all by itself? There is no rational reason to assume that. Without a contested Western Front, Germany would have rolled over Russia without missing a step. The only remaining question is: then what? What would Nazi Germany have done with the practically limitless slave labor and natural resources under their control?

After France fell to Germany in WW2, any lingering doubts anyone entertained that they might not be dealing with a complete lunatic were dispelled when Hitler demanded that they sign their Armistice in Compiègne, and actually went to the effort of hunting down the exact same railroad boxcar where the Germans had surrendered to France at the end of WW1.

Hey, who knew Adolph Hitler would be the type of fellow to hold a grudge?

Or, more to the point, what kind of idiot STILL doesn’t know that after all these years? I guess George Buchanon answered that question in his book.

logis on July 28, 2008 at 7:59 PM

If the U.S. hadnt intervened, they wouldve kept fighting and they would have eventually had a fair brokered peace.

Sorry, I disagree here (it’s all speculation of course).

If we hadn’t intervened, the war would have dragged on much longer and the victorious nations would have had an even greater incentive to hand out harsh penalties for the German aggressors.

Additionally, without our involvement in the Versailles Treaty, the victors would have made even more demanding requirements on the Germans. Wilson was able to mitigate some of the more extremes demands by the French in particular.

In any event, in my opinion whether we intervened or not, the French, British and Italians were going to exact revenge on the Germans for initiating the conflict.

Revenge that would have helped – and did – usher in Hitler.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 7:59 PM

Buchanan thinks Russia could have defeated Nazi Germany all by itself?

No, but they would have bloodied themselves terribly.

And during that time, Buchanan argues, the West could have re-armed and then taken on a weaker Hitler/Germany.

This is his argument, now; not mine.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Dude, if the U.S. hadnt intervened, the odds are better that the Central powers (Germany, etc) would have had the upper hand in ww1 as it continued. They certainly were NOT losing the war before the U.S. came in. The war was being fought in France….the stalemate favored Germany. So, your theory bites (no offense).

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 8:02 PM

They certainly were NOT losing the war before the U.S. came in. The war was being fought in France….the stalemate favored Germany. So, your theory bites (no offense).

Yes, at the time the Germans had the upper hand. But everything I’ve read said they couldn’t have sustained that momentum.

Let’s leave on a point of agreement: Wilson was the worst president in the history of this country.

Agreed?

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 8:10 PM

If we hadn’t intervened, the war would have dragged on much longer

Speculation.

and the victorious nations would have had an even greater incentive to hand out harsh penalties for the German aggressors.

They could not have been a lot harsher than they were and it is not at all a certainty that England and France could have defeated Germany by themselves, not even close, they could not have in WWII. The Germans were no more the aggressors in WWI than the English and French.

Additionally, without our involvement in the Versailles Treaty, the victors would have made even more demanding requirements on the Germans. Wilson was able to mitigate some of the more extremes demands by the French in particular.

Wilson should have told the French to go #uck themselves.

In any event, in my opinion whether we intervened or not, the French, British and Italians were going to exact revenge on the Germans for initiating the conflict.

The Germans did not initiate that “conflict” any more than the English and French did and they would have had to have defeated them first before the could have exacted their bloody revenge. Could they have without U.S. intervention. Unknown with certainty, but rather unlikely.

Revenge that would have helped – and did – usher in Hitler.

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 7:59 PM

The punitive “peace” after WWI lead to Hitler. Without it you would never even have heard of him.

MB4 on July 28, 2008 at 8:15 PM

agreed…wilson sucked

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 8:18 PM

agreed…wilson sucked

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Even more than LBJ and he really sucked.

MB4 on July 28, 2008 at 8:20 PM

Take it up with Harry Turtledove, nerds.

Jim Treacher on July 28, 2008 at 8:58 PM

What a great interviewer. He’s actually making an honest attempt at presenting Buchanan’s arguments. So rare. Makes me glad that the internet exists to allow for this type of content.

Thanks for the link, AP!

spmat on July 28, 2008 at 9:05 PM

Take it up with Harry Turtledove, nerds.

I needed that.

Whew, I was about to go out and buy some toy army action figures (or whatever they’re called).

What was I thinking…

SteveMG on July 28, 2008 at 9:11 PM

While it’s not required that we harp on it, it is absolutely necessary when books like Buchanan’s comes out. Sure you may not convince those who have set opinions, like Buchanan, on the matter, but there are others who he is trying to persuade, a lot of them young and still naive enough to buy it if they don’t hear the rebuttals.

I saw that last Christmas with my oldest nephew, who is not political, when he told me about his friend who was constantly e-mailing him Troofer cr$p. He didn’t know the rebuttals and although was somewhat indifferent, said they seemed reasonable, but wanted to know if I thought they were.

BTW, I watched “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946) last night and even in that there were two scenes questioning the goodness of the war. And one was even a Troofer. A really great movie.

Dusty on July 28, 2008 at 9:16 PM

[Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 7:50 PM]

Well the Kaiser should have thought of that before sending a telegram to Mexico suggesting they could own the Southwest US again.

Dusty on July 28, 2008 at 9:20 PM

“David Gilmour was always my favorite.”

Great guitarist…and utterly devoid of creativity as all PF albums after The Final Cut and those ghastly Gilmour solo albums testify.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 7:45 PM

That’s your opinion. I loved his vocals. PF has been my favorite band since the 60s. I’m telling my age. But this is off topic.

Glynn on July 28, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Roger Waters, local chapter president of Revisionists Are Us.

Anyway, AP, could you post up each link as it comes by this week? Horrible memory on my part and the NR site is a nightmare to surf.

Jim708 on July 28, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Dusty, the letter wasnt from the Kaiser but I kwibble. The letter was a very dumb idea on Germany’s part. But remember, the U.S., although not formally in the war, was bankrolling, lending money for arms, and supporting the Britain in many ways. If Germany could get the U.S. to go back to the Washington Farewell Address of non-involvement in foreign wars…they could win.

In fact, many historians (tenured, respected types) feel that the U.S. had a stake in Britain winning the war to avoid the defaults the banking industry would take on their loans to Britain had Germany won. So, American lives lost over a REAL stupid war to protect bankers and wall street types?? Not cool.

Look, I hate Germany as much as anybody, but in ww1 it wasnt like Britain and France was Batman and Germany was The Joker.

Glynn, I agree. Gilmour is a great vocalist. He sings Roger’s songs very well. He is also a great guitarist. He just cant write songs or come up with any ideas. His wife, Polly Samson, has been the main writer of Gilmour’s latest solo project and the last fake Floyd album….proving that Yoko still lives.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 10:38 PM

Glynn, I agree. Gilmour is a great vocalist. He sings Roger’s songs very well. He is also a great guitarist. He just cant write songs or come up with any ideas. His wife, Polly Samson, has been the main writer of Gilmour’s latest solo project and the last fake Floyd album….proving that Yoko still lives.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 10:38 PM

Since I can guarantee there are two sides to every story, and that Gilmour’s talent is undeniable, we will have to agree to disagree. Much of what you say has been disputed by many people who played with David, so it becomes, a he said-he said. Doesn’t matter.

Glynn on July 28, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Yes, there are two sides to every story but there is only one dark side of the moon.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 11:29 PM

Yes, there are two sides to every story but there is only one dark side of the moon.

Roger Waters on July 28, 2008 at 11:29 PM

I’ll grant you that.

Glynn on July 28, 2008 at 11:32 PM

Dusty on July 28, 2008 at 9:16 PM
BTW, I watched “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946) last night and even in that there were two scenes questioning the goodness of the war. And one was even a Troofer. A really great movie.16 PM

Amen to that.

Johan Klaus on July 29, 2008 at 12:59 AM