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Obama In Dresden

June 8th, 2009 by Myrhaf · 3 Comments · Politics

There is almost an artistic selectivity to how bad a president Barack Obama is. If a fiction writer wanted to create a portrait of an altruist-collectivist-statist lefty in the White House, he could do little better than to copy the real life choices Obama has made.

Now in addition to everything else, Obama has quietly disavowed America’s strategy in fighting World War II. Of course, he doesn’t come out and state his opposition clearly — he is too shrewd a politician to set himself up for that kind of criticism. Like Bill Clinton, Obama knows that Democrats have to appear strong on defense — or at least muddy the issue enough that their courtier press can evade the issue — or else they get clobbered in elections. But his symbolic actions in Dresden were not lost on the Germans, and no doubt they are not lost on our enemies.

John Rosenthal writes,

Dresden was the target of heavy Allied bombing in February 1945 and much of the city was destroyed in the attacks. Neo-Nazis make an annual pilgrimage to the city to commemorate the event, the most famous episode in what they describe as a “bombing Holocaust.” But the notion that the Allied raids constituted a “crime” against Germans and Germany is by no means the reserve of Nazis. It has, in the meanwhile, become part of the German mainstream.

In the run-up to Obama’s Germany visit, the White House appeared to be at pains to downplay the significance of the stop of Dresden.


Obama did not say much about the significance of his visit. During his press conference in Dresden, he merely alluded vaguely to the “tragedies” that the city had undergone. It is interesting to note that Angela Merkel did not even go that far. She merely noted matter-of-factly that the city was “destroyed during the Second World War” and “then rebuilt.”

But as the ZDF’s Guido Knopp would note later in the day, Obama did not have to say anything. The heavily loaded symbolism of the Frauenkirche visit did the talking for him. By virtue of his visits to Buchenwald and the Frauenkirche, as Knopp put it, Obama had paid tribute to “all the victims,” i.e., both the victims of Nazi persecution and the German “victims” of the Allies. Knopp, the director of numerous popular television documentaries on the Third Reich, even mumbled something about remembering everybody’s “crimes,” thus making the assertion of moral equivalence more explicit still.

Obama kept his meaning vague enough that his fawning press can ignore it. The clear implication, though, is that bombing Dresden was immoral. This idea is common among the anti-American left Obama has run with all this life.

Obama has made it clear that there will be no all-out war on his watch. Instead of destroying any aggressive enemies as we did in WWII, Obama will appease them to some extent. At best he might fight a partial effort, as we have done in the “war on terror,” or whatever the PC name for it is now. (How about “The conflict with people who understandably have a grievance against capitalist America, and whom we would gladly shower with taxpayer dollars if they would just pretend to meet us halfway long enough to get the handouts”?)

Whether or not the media and leftists and the media want to see the meaning of Obama’s symbolism in Dresden, our enemies understand it perfectly. They know that if they get in a war with America, they don’t have to worry about Obama bombing their people. I think that would factor large in their decision making.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • EdMcGon

    It’s nice to know Obama won’t be pulling a “Lincoln” when the South secedes again. 😉

  • Richard

    It was nauseating seeing Obama just over the shoulder of Elie Wiesel as he spoke at Buchenwald. I felt like warning him that the tyrants were back to finish the job.

  • Galileo Blogs

    Interesting observation, Myrhaf. Such symbolism is important and our enemies note it.

    On a related note, I encountered the attitude you ascribe to Obama among a segment of Germans some years ago. In the middle of a park in Berlin, there was a photograph of the bombed out German city with the words, “Nie wieder,” which mean something like, “Never again.” The photograph was permanently mounted in a metal stand. That choice of words was disturbingly ironic since that is the remonstrance Jews use in regard to the Holocaust, “Never again.”

    I can’t say we have anything to fear from the Germans anytime soon, but for Obama to telegraph such moral equivalency is a disturbing message to send to our enemies.

    It would be in bad taste to say it in Germany, but the only message regarding Dresden that our enemies should hear is, “If you think that was bad, you ain’t seen nothing. Just try us.”