Monday, November 15, 2010

A Clash of Evils

I'm listening to a book on CD right now about the battle for Moscow during WW2. There were so many moral issues in that war, but this battle poses a dilemma that merits reflection. Perhaps only Chairman Mao can compete for the top spot beside Hitler and Stalin for greatest despot of that century. Who is to say who was the worst? Hitler failed and died before he could complete his plan for Russia. If he had succeeded, he may have outdone Stalin in brutality.

Churchill said of the German, "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." He was ready to "make a pact with the devil" (Stalin) to defeat the Nazi. The U.S. diplomats seemed to be mostly duped by Stalin. The few who were wary of him wanted the two dictators to go at it in an epic slug fest. It always seems advantageous to have your enemies fighting each other instead of you, but what about all the victims--people forced to fight; people fighting for the motherland, not the ideologies ruling them at the moment; the non-combatants who have the misfortunes to be in the path of destruction?

So we helped Stalin defeat Hitler--a move that doomed Eastern Europe for decades. Hindsight gives perfect vision. I would not have wanted to be a leader during the time that all these decisions needed to be made. There were no enviable choices in this clash of devils.

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