Libya: Cutting through the fog of war
As of this writing, the status of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi is unknown. Meanwhile, letís hope the Obama Administration has Special Forces roaming through the fog of war in Libya, looking for Abelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the man Gaddafi ordered to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988. The killing or capture of al-Megrahi (who was inexplicably released from a Scottish prison in August, 2009), would be a clear win for the U.S. and for NATO. Maybe even worth the over $1 billion dollars the U.S. has spent thus far in aid of the NATO effort to unseat Gaddafi.
But clear wins in warfare are rare. For example, who really won the major shooting wars of the 20th Century? Germany brutally started World Wars I and II. Today, Germany is the strongest and most stable nation in Europe. France, one of Germanyís major victims, may soon become a Muslim state. Today, Great Britain is an economic and social-welfare disaster.
In 1939, Russia (then Stalinís Soviet Union), made a deal with Hitler to cover Hitlerís rear while Hitler started World War II by attacking Poland, Belgium, France and Britain. In return, Hitler gave Stalin the green light to occupy Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, eastern Poland, southern Finland, and part of Romania.
In How Democracies Perish, Jean-FranÁois Revel reminds us: Even though Stalinís treachery made World War II possible for Hitler, the Allies, at warís end, never even asked Stalin to give back his ill-gotten territorial gains from the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939. Worse, Stalinís reward for fighting off Hitlerís attack in 1941 was getting to keep Eastern and Central Europe, the Kurile Islands and part of Sakhalin Island in the Far East.
Even though Stalinís successors eventually lost the Cold War -- along with many of Russiaís World War II territorial gains -- Russia, under the brilliant leadership of Vladimir Putin, is now on its way back up to being a major world power. Meanwhile, the U.S. slips down the slippery slope toward losing super-power status.
One should hasten to say these terrible injustices are in no way the fault of the brave men and women who fought and died or were wounded in the service of the United States and her allies. The fault lies in the failure of political leadership and, in some cases; the injustice was due to human treachery.
Speaking of treachery: In Royals and the Reich by Jonathan Petropoulos, it is suggested by several sources that Mrs. Wallis Simpson, who married the Duke of Windsor (after he abdicated as King Edward VIII), was a Nazi agent who had an affair with Joachim von Rippentrop, Hitlerís ambassador to the UK. Her case officer was Hermann Goering himself and her agent-handler, while the Windsors were living in pre-war France in his chateau, was Charles Bedaux.
ďThe Duke was indeed engaged to review the French troops and study the Maginot Line, and the Windsors did meet with Bedaux after the inspection tours,Ē writes Petropoulos. By rights, the Nazis should not have overrun France in only six weeks. According to Petropoulos, France had 13,974 artillery pieces compared to Hitlerís 7,378. France and Britain had 3,524 tanks to the Germanís 2,439. The Western Allies had 4,460 aircraft versus the Luftwaffeís 3,578.
Hitlerís blitzkrieg devastated France and Belgium due to superior intelligence-gathering, strategy, and execution. Just how much of that superior intelligence came from the Duke and Duchess remains in dispute; however, there was a great deal of communication between the Windsors and Goering and Hitler. When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill grew suspicious of the Duke and Duchess, he banished them to the Bahamas for the rest of the war.
The killing or the capture of the treacherous al-Megrahi and Moammar Gaddafi would bring clarity to the Libyan War and justice for the families of the 270 people they murdered on December 21, 1988.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2011. William Hamilton.