It’s Okay, They Were Nazis

New photographs were uncovered by the Guardian Newspaper revealing long suspected torture of nazi prisoners after World War 2. The British government had kept these pictures under lock and key for over 60 years. Andfor those 60 years they denied widespread mistreatment of Nazis. They allowed the history books to be written incorrectly.

As one minister of the day wrote, as few people as possible should be aware that British authorities had treated prisoners “in a manner reminiscent of the German concentration camps”.

Many other photographs known to have been taken have vanished from the archives, and even this year some government officials were arguing that none should be published.

Part of the fruits of war, if you’re the winner, is you become the author of the narrative. In this way, actions like these, like the bombing of Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and Japanese Internement Camps were whitewashed, were protrayed as reasonable reactions to Germany’s and Japan’s evil. The victors decide the justice, thus these war crimes, weren’t.

Which brings up the whole logic defying notion of a War Crime in the first place. Isn’t war itself a crime, the mass premeditated killing of hundreds of people? Thousands? Millions? What kind of morality distinguishes between the severity, and manner, of killing? This is not to excuse the Nazi Genocide. Or to imply that World War 2 wasn’t necessary and moral, it was. It only serves to remind us that War creates it’s own morality, and that to open up the gates of hell you’re going to release some demons into the world, and they don’t pick sides. War lower us all. That’s why it should be avoided at all costs.

It also brings up a strange idea to me: Torture is in the eye of the beholder.

George Bush has his own opinions. Rush Limbaugh thinks this is just like a frat prank.

I hereby invite Rush to join my frat. I’ve got some hazing rituals he will love.

Stupid statements like his can only be grumbled by a bitter, heartless man that never experienced the horrors of war, nor, even, the minior intrusion of boot camp.  His popularity is another logic-defying notion, that people chose to pack such sludge into their ears and have it warp their minds with hate.

So here we are, all the way in the year 2007. World War Two has been over for a long time. The ghosts of that war have been buried by the progress of the EU, the transgressions of America, the buffoons on the airwaves spreading hate and fear. You can make the argument that we’ve forgotten about the damage of that war. Unlearned the lessons.  These pictures coming out are a good reminder, though, of why we shouldn’t engage in emperial warfare.

Lest we wish to become Nazis.


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