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Old February 12 2010, 08:49 PM   #37
Re: Was Picard wrong in I,Borg?

Defeating the brutal, evil, genocidal dictatorship that was running Germany and creating as a result the peaceful coalition of nations that now comprises Europe (eventually) seems to me in every way worth the blood spilled, on both sides.
Yet the direct consequence of taking the war to unconditional victory was to create a brutal, evil, genocidal dictatorship for half of Europe. That happened exactly because everybody was so eager to wage war. Giving the Nazis a little bit of that famed Western thing they call mercy would have saved millions from the horrors of communism, while still winning the war, ending the Nazi evils, and making the world think a bit.

Except in WW2, where the allied powers as a whole lost vastly more lives.
Not really "except". The victors spilled more blood. Much of it just happened to be their own.

..war itself is a brutal abomination, but to just let the Nazis win would have been horrific.
Who said anything about letting the Nazis win? Suffering would have been avoided by not letting the Allies win. That's completely different from giving victory to Hitler.

Armies up till the 19th century understood that perfectly well. But it seems that when the United States got to play real war for the first time, on somebody else's turf, it didn't bother to find out how it's properly done. "Unconditional surrender" is not a valid goal of war, and is completely unassociated with "victory".

Most of the suffering in the big 20th century wars really comes from the US not knowing how to wage war. "Winning" is a goal for little children, and for the deranged who think war is a game.

The war could have ended in 1944 had the Nazi leadership been removed, but the damage would have been almost as bad.
By 1944, said leadership would have been perfectly willing to negotiate with the West, in the unlikely situation where the West would have stopped to think and listen. They were humans, after all, not Borg. A cease-fire for negotiations where the Nazis would be crushed would have had the side effect of stopping war on the other front as well, through stiffening German resistance and then through political pressure. The result: one Europe saved from most of the destruction, which had been minimal during Germany's expansion phase. In Europe, that is.

Somebody from Ukraine or Russia, hurt by that expansion phase already, would be far from satisfied with such an outcome, of course. I'm just telling why the eventual outcome really sucks from my European point of view, and why the idea of "taking wars to their conclusion" is not the antithesis of Nazi atrocities for me, but their direct continuation.

Timo Saloniemi
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