Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lemon: Academic / Veteran Battle over War Museum Issue

The Theatre of Battle: CBC - The Current, today at 0840

The Topic: Whether rewording of a panel at the CWM was appropriate

The Combatants: Cliff Chadderton, Hero of Canadian Veterans and academic Margaret MacMillan

The Context: A display in the Canadian War Museum (that includes pictures of dead Germans) which describes the WW2 bombing of civilians as follows:
"The value and morality of the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested. Bomber Command's aim was to crush civilian morale and force Germany to surrender by destroying its cities and industrial installations. Although Bomber Command and American attacks left 600,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions in German war production until late in the war."

The Ultimate Outcome:
Millions die. German butts handed to them. Freedom in Europe restored. French get back to eating baguettes, Brits to sipping tea and Germans to plotting global domination, but this time economically.

MacMillan's Thesis: That history can only be determined by historians and that as it's recorded it must be dispassionate. That the bombing of civilians of Germany was wrong and the War Museum should not have decided to change the panel because it hurt veteran's feelings.

Chadderton's Thesis: That the event cannot be judged in isolation - that the bombing was a key and successful strategy needed to defeat a terrible enemy.

Irritant Commentary: By some unknown "Magma" photographer who explained how photographers in Afghanistan were reliant on protection from military so were biased in their coverage toward the military. (With an impression left that if they ever dared photograph anything negative that they would be used as human shields).

Treatment of Guests: Chadderton - respectfully; MacMillan - fawningly

Loser of Battle: MacMillan when she described that the view on Dresden was undoubtedly effected by "the dubious and ambiguous current war in Afghanistan for which there has still been no serious national debate." She revealed her bias.

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