Verdammte Scheiße! Moral vanity in Mitteleuropa [Updated]

President Obama will be visiting two places in Germany on June 5: the concentration camp at Buchenwald and Dresden.

Jesus fucking Christ on a Vespa this pisses your Volgi the fuck off. Here’s a more reasoned statement, but what kind of a fucking narcissist do you have to be to use the Presidency to go around making ostentatious, preening (if backhanded in Obama’s style), fashionably left-wing assertions of your own moral superiority to those who came before you? Fuck. And what a colossal ignorance of Germany this reflects as well. Not only what Bromund argues in the linked piece, but it also will be a terrific boon to the skeevy, unpleasant types on the radical fringes of German politics (and many more mere sentimentalists less far from the edges) who subscribe to the theory that Germany was, really, after all, primarily a victim of the war. Fuck.

Your Volgi holds no particular brief for the bombing of Dresden, which was unquestionably horrible, but the Rubicon on bombing cities as strategic targets had been crossed early in the war and defenders of the bombing like “Bomber” Harris pointed to enough industrial and military targets that the city was not an illegitimate target by the standards of the day. They may have been wrong—mistakenly or out of vengeance—but it’s an open historical question.

And what, pray tell, will this do to our already strained relations with our primary ally in that neck of the woods? After all, the bombing of Dresden, while carried out by many USAAF planes, was ultimately an RAF operation. Obama, then, starts to look less like the heir of FDR apologizing for his predecessor (bad enough), but as an American sympathizing with German losses authorized by the British. (Against whom it seems to me that Obama may have a particular antipathy. One would really like to see those transcripts from Occidental & Columbia to see whose view of history the President may have imbibed as a younger man.)

I’m sure Obama’s statements will be nuanced within a preposition of their life and praised universally by the great and the good, but a tyro American president making a gesture that looks like a mea culpa on behalf of Churchill is just obscene.

So it fucking goes.

Update: “El Gordo” makes much the same point less incendiarily. Worth reading.