Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The Futility of Fighting Evil with Evil

Last night I attended a showing of "Paper Clips," a movie dealing with the creation of a monument for the victims of the Holocaust. There was a panel discussion afterwards and the panelists expressed sentiments such as "where were the churches when all this was happening?" and "for evil to triumph, it only necessary that good people do nothing." While people may still remember the Holocaust, they have forgotten why it happened.

The horrible truth is that churches and "good people" helped Hitler get to power. In the aftermath of WW-I and the establishment of the Soviet Union, the big fear in Europe was the spread of Communism. There had been already brief communist regimes in both Bavaria and Hungary. Hitler was seen by many people both within and outside Germany as the best defense against the Bolsheviks. I have written a summary of the related history in an earlier blog titled Appeasement (posted on August 30, 2006) where I have listed several sources. Hitler could have been stopped easily before 1936 but the Western powers thought of him as a lesser evil compared to Stalin. By 1939, when Hitler entered into an alliance with Stalin, he was far too powerful for anyone to do anything about him. The bloodbath of WW-II followed that included the horrors of the Holocaust. At the end of the war many countries ended up with communist regimes, exactly the opposite outcome of what Hitler's early supporters had expected.

Unfortunately, the lesson was lost and fifty years later the United States supported Islamic extremist to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The West also supported fundamentalists elsewhere to fight Arab socialists. The result was the creation of al Qaida, the emergence of bin-Ladden as a leader, and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The West slept while millions of ordinary Muslims suffered under religious extremists and many were killed. The attacks of 9/11 were a wake up call for the West but by then a lot of damage had been done. One of the worst consequences was that much of the western media lumped all Muslims together as potential "terrorists", including many who had fled to the West to escape the fundamentalist regimes in their countries.

Will we ever learn?

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