Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War by Patrick Buchannan

If I were to title this review article, it would be: Churchill, Buchannan, and a Pleading for a Purge, for this review is surely not about Hitler, and not about World War II. Unlike the author of the book I am reviewing, I feel no temptation to wonder if perhaps Hitler was trustworthy or not. I do not believe England was unwise and stubborn to resist Hitler’s offer to leave them alone if they would just let him take over Europe. There is no attraction to the novel idiocy of wondering if World War II needed to be fought or not. Additionally, I have long passed the historical ignorance that says only England’s commitment to defending Poland caused the great war. Hitler need not be mentioned in this review, because the facts about Hitler are incontestable. He was maniacal. He was as immoral as any man the planet earth as ever seen. And those who opposed him saved the world. If I were to write a book about that era, I would be writing one that condemned Hitler, and praised Churchill. But the book I am reviewing takes a different approach. And the book I am reviewing, should be avoided like the plague.

It is difficult to enumerate the historical inaccuracies in Buchannan’s latest diatribe against the heroes of the 20th century. His agenda has become so clear, I question why he continues to be taken seriously in the cable news circuit (though on the other hand, I can see why at least the liberal networks would take glee at seeing this provocateur gain TV screen exposure). The underlying thesis of this 425 page waste of time is that Churchill is idolized by history incorrectly, and that he was an ignorant warmonger who had a bone to pick with the not-so-bad Germans. Buchannan posits that England’s role in World War II ruined its once great empire, and that Churchill was the malfeasance who led them astray. He believes that the Holocaust could have been avoided if Churchill had not pushed England into a World War, a statement so offensive, so ghastly, so revisionist, and so preposterous, I am now led to the title I suggested for my own review.

It is time to purge Pat Buchannan from the orthodox circles of conservatism. The man is a disgrace. His efforts to combat multi-culturalism were admirable, until he went so far as to blast all multi-ethnic cultures. His exhortations for an intelligible foreign policy were appreciated, until his rhetoric against the Bush administration and the efforts to bring democracy to the middle east surpassed the extremism and radicalism of MoveOn.org. And frankly, his belief that history has been too kind to Winston Churchill had some merit, until he wrote this anti-semitic piece of garbage. And yes, that is the term I am purposely using – “anti-semitic.”

I can not comprehend for the life of me how someone can believe that the Holocaust, which began as early as 1936, and has never been linked to English defense of Poland by any historian, ever, at any time, unless they have an axe to grind. For Pat, my careful discernment has led me to conclude the only possible conclusion – that is angst against American policy towards Israel, his opposition to a Jewish nation-state, his sickening work in placing Churchill and Hitler on a level moral playing field – are the results of anti-semitic tendencies and presuppositions. I would like to think that the conservative movement would keep this man out of their midst just on the basis of his economic illiteracy (overt trade protectionism), but I realize there is room for disagreement here. But if the guards of the conservative orthodoxy gate were to read this latest rant, I have no doubt that Buchannan would finally be viewed with the distrust and distaste I have learned to view him with. I do not say these words lightly.

I commend to readers of my article Christopher Hitchens’ carving up of Buchannan’s book in a recent issue of Newsweek magazine, and I also heartily encourage readers to see the book reviewed in National Review by David Pryce-Jones. They do a far more thorough and exhaustive job than I care to do in critiquing both the philosophy and history that is guiding Buchannan. For me, I simply wish to see him purged from our conservative midst. We have enough problems next door that we do not need this nuisance in our own yard.