17 February 2007

I Wonder . . .

What would the first half of 1943 have looked like had the Republicans in loyal opposition to a wartime Democratic president behaved in a manner similar to the current crop of Congress Critters?

Equally worth exploring, what would our media have done with the events of Jan-Jun 1943 on the various fronts of WWII.

Counter-factuals can never be proven wrong, or right, that's why they are useless, fun, uninformative, thought-provoking, contradictory, and a way at exploring deeper truths that are difficult to reach any other way.

That's probably a project with someone with a deeper memory and expertise with regards to the actual events of that time period.

But daily posts, using the historical record, and then retelling them as they happen, from the perspective of a war-hating press and a second guessing, micro-managing Congress, would probably hold many lessons for today.

In many ways, the WWII was already over by mid 1943, and just beginning by then as well. There were no more major wins for the Axis after that time period, though many more battles and casualties to come, with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers meeting their deaths in the next two years.

You could argue all the US lives and treasure spent after mid-1943 was largely unecessary as Germany and Japan no longer could be considered capable of projecting a threat directly to American soil by June of 1943. By that time, Germany had ground to a halt on their Eastern Front, the Japanese Navy had been all but destroyed and Guadacanal had been captured and North Africa was well on its way to being a lost cause for the Axis powers.

This is all from the standpoint of purely American interests. Had the US quit then, and left Europeans to pick up the mess. The Final Solution would have been even more complete, Japan would have entrenched themselves and solidified their hold on their initial land grabs, and if the German collapse had continued after an early American withdrawal, then the power vacuum would have spread Soviet Communism across the entire continent. Plus depending who you believe, both Germany and Japan were working on atomic weapons programs, and given the time, and the breathing room an isolationist inspired American withdrawal would afford, might have been successful.

Those would have been dire consequences for the globe, and for America, but at least, no further lives would have been 'wasted' in a "European" or "Pacific" War that when it comes down to it, was mainly about oil (if we had sold oil to Japan and Germany and stayed completely neutral, they likely would have left us alone, we were the Saudi Arabia of the day from their perspective).

Imagine someone like Sen. Clinton, Sen. Obama, Sen. Biden, or god forbid Rep. Kucinich making their bleating noises back then. History would look back at them with mighty scorn.

Other bloggers have done "D-Day" (can't find a working link to it anymore, but here's an announcement regarding that particular project) from the modern perspective to humorous effect, but I think early 1943 would be more instructive.

Of course, Victor David Hanson already took a similar concept, ran with it, and scored a touchdown, but I think a more specific treatment, highlighting what similar actions by our current politicians would have sounded like and looked like to the enemy back then, would be a worthy project now.

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