Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tit for Tat or Round Robin?

Having announced that President Bush should be talked to about global warming, the Guardian now bring us news that (more about that later) the Queen is now getting a talking to from prominent German Paper. The Bild, the largest paper in Germany, has decided the Queen should apologize for the bombing of Dresden back 60 years ago. (I wonder they had this epiphany while they were in their backyards, too.) From the Guardian:
"Yesterday Bild, which sells nearly 4m copies a day, ran an essay by the revisionist German historian Jörg Friedrich in which he attacked Britain's destruction of Dresden as "senseless". The "massacre" of 50,000 German civilians during the devastating allied raids contributed nothing to the allies' victory over Hitler shortly afterwards, he wrote.

The paper ran photographs of German corpses laid out on Dresden streets and asked the question: "What have the British got against Germans?""
Actually not much, Bild, but that is talking about today. As for 1943, it seems that someone started a long and bloody war that included something called the Blitz. You remember, that don't you? There was a city called Coventry that was bombed; a quick excerpt of what is here:
The attack was carried out by 500 Luftwaffe bombers who dropped 150,000 incendiaries, 503 tons of high explosives, and 130 parachute mines in an attack which lasted for 11 hours, making it the single most concentrated attack on a British city during World War II.
All in all, Dresden (and Hamburg) were pretty brutal. They were also much more lethal than any individual missions the German the Germans threw at Britain. But the Bild enters the dual fields cherry-picking and choice comparatives with their demand. Efficiency more than attiude and results more than intent are what the Bild has on their mind.

While this demand is directed at the British, Dresden (and by this time the war in toto) was an allied effort. Acknowledging also that while the US was the lesser participant and their targets were more directly military in Dresden, it wasn't that way when it came to Berlin. As such, a Yank's opinion is not out of place here.

As I said before, I have nothing (much) against the Germans now. And yes, I am sorry - sorry the Germans didn't stop Hitler's before his astounding rampage through Europe, and sorry that the Germans had to pay for their inaction. On top that sorrow, I am greatly sorry that now that the Germans have paid so dearly in fighting for what's wrong, that they do not have the stomach to fight for what's right.

Second last note: On hope the Queen sweats the visit to Germany and gets the heat she deserves. It is not often that someone so regal gets a taste of her own medicine.

Last note: The more I read the Guardian, the more I think they revel in instigating donnybrooks.


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