What if we had stopped Hitler sooner? | PostIndependent.com

What if we had stopped Hitler sooner?

For the past few months I have watched with some dismay as a vocal group of individuals have castigated our country and our president for going to war with Iraq.

The major complaints can be reduced to three major points. One, the failure to locate what are called “weapons of mass destruction.” Two, the inability to produce a worldwide coalition for our actions. And three, the absence of an exit strategy to disengage us from our responsibilities in Iraq.

There is an old adage that says that, “those who cannot learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I would ask those who are so vociferous in their complaining today to look back in time to the 1930s. At that time, Adolf Hitler was dismantling the German democratic government and the “winds of war” were on the horizon. Neville Chamberlain, the British diplomat, did everything within his power to appease Hitler and prevent any interdiction.

What if instead the United States and Great Britain had decided on pre-emptive action? We would not have found any concentration camps. We would not have found any V 2 rocket production facilities.

Would the same people, who are so vociferous in their complaints today, have been equally loud at that time because we did not find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and evidence of mass killings?

In the medical profession, we have a statement that the retrospectoscope is the best diagnostic instrument, only nobody knows where they are sold.

Which would have been better for the world? To have interceded before Hitler enacted his reign of terror on the Western World, or to have allowed the deaths of over 6 million people to occur because the world was somewhat reticent to take action?

Today, we have complaints because we cannot locate WMD.

Iraq is a large country. These could obviously still exist and be hidden in many locations, or they may have been moved to Syria, Afghanistan or Pakistan at the direction of the Iraqi government prior to the onset of the war. These issues may not be resolved for five, 10 or even 20 years.

Looking at the mass graves and the number of mutilated Iraqi citizens, I wonder how those who are so vociferous in their complaints sleep at night. Our president and our government was correct in interceding before more damage was done.

The failure to demonstrate what was believed to be present is almost inconsequential to the outcome. It is far better to have searched and not found weapons of mass destruction than to have not searched and find them landing on our shores.

Lastly, it took us over a decade to reconstruct both Germany and Japan (two of our staunchest allies at present). Our military losses were enormously large in both the European and Pacific theaters.

Given time, I feel that our position and our actions will be shown to be in the best interest of all the involved peoples.

To expect a complete resolution in less than a year is wishful thinking.

” Dr. Ira S. Jaffrey of Basalt is a practicing physician in Glenwood Springs.

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