flak for not releasing a statement or otherwise acknowledging
tweet!) the 68th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied
forces stormed the beaches of northern France in a surprise attack
on Nazi-occupied Europe; 10,000 Allied troops were dead by the end
of the day.
twice; in 2001 when the National D-Day Memorial was
opened in Bedford, Virginia and in 2004, when he commemorated
the 60th anniversary of D-Day along with then French
President Jacques Chirac. Bush, though, largely avoided the kind of
criticisms Obama is facing for the same kind of “snub.” Much of
that is naked anti-Obama partisanship, the same kind that insists
Obama’s foreign policy is “weak,” even though it’s not much
different from what Mitt Romney’s might
look like and even noted neo-conservative Bill Kristol declared the
one of his own.
The United States
president doesn’t commemorate D-Day or other World War 2
anniversaries every year because, well, we’re not a country like
Russia, which actively deploys its World War 2 history to justify
its actions more than half a century later. For example at his
inauguration this year, Vladimir Putin said that Russia has a
“great moral right” in its ‘security strengthening’ foreign policy
“because it was our country that bore the brunt of the Nazi attack,
met it with historic resistance, traversed immense hardships,
determined the war’s outcome, routed the enemy and liberated the
world’s peoples.” Nevermind that Russia then was at the head of a
Soviet Union whose leadership was responsible also for the murder
of millions of their own.
Which is not to say that perhaps America could not use some more
historical perspective when it comes to World War 2; since then,
America has subsidized much of Europe’s defense,
after the end of the Cold War. The American foreign policy
establishment’s belief that the security of the free world lies on
their shoulders can be traced to World War 2 and its aftermath,
when institutions like the IMF, the United Nations and NATO were
formed. Whether these institutions are still relevant or useful or
necessary or proper in the 21st century is an open
question, but not for the foreign policy establishment. American
on World War 2 does not go that far, but it should. Commemorating
history may be important, but only an understanding of how we’ve
become prisoners of historical circumstance can force us free of
arrangements that may have far outlived their usefulness
Reason.TV remembering World War 2 Vets:
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