By: E&P Staff
Yesterday’s Pat Buchanan column questioning whether World War II was worth fighting drew angry reaction from some quarters, according to an article in today’s Newsday of Melville, N.Y.
In the piece, sparked by President Bush’s trip to Russia to mark the 60th anniversary of VE Day, Buchanan wrote: “If the West went to war to stop Hitler from dominating Eastern and Central Europe, and Eastern and Central Europe ended up under a tyranny even more odious, as Bush implies, did Western Civilization win the war?”
The Creators Syndicate columnist said Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped allow the Soviet Union to take control over those parts of Europe, and asked why the two leaders should be venerated.
Buchanan also wrote: “If the objective of the West was the destruction of Nazi Germany, it was a ‘smashing’ success. But why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in.”
Newsday quoted Holocaust survivor Yaffa Eliach as saying that Buchanan didn’t mention the extermination of Jews in the column. The paper also quoted Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, as calling Buchanan’s comments “immoral” and “bordering on Holocaust denial. But, you know, he has been there before.”
And Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Jerry Newberry told Newsday that Buchanan “is more or less saying [the war was] fought for the wrong reasons and the sacrifice was futile. Buchanan apparently hasn’t given much thought to what the world would have looked like if Hitler and his henchmen succeeded.”
Buchanan could not be reached for comment. E&P Online contacted him at his American Cause organization in Vienna, Va., and was told by a staffer to call Buchanan’s “media line.” E&P left a message on that line containing several questions.
The columnist began his career as an editorial writer for the now-defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Buchanan went on to work as an assistant to President Nixon and director of communications for President Reagan. He ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.