There is a lot of hand-wringing, whinging and moral equivalency going around regarding Obama’s Hiroshima visit. Progressives (and some isolationist libertarians) seem to have perfected 20/20 hindsight to the point they now can point at events of 60, 70, 100 years in the past and state with absolute certainty what America should have done. Some, like Louisiana state representative, Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport), can see all the way back to July 4, 1776 and into the minds of the Founding Fathers to know just how racist their dangerous exercise in freedom really was.
I was thinking about something I learned a while back and what a perfect example it was of how America has always had a tradition – actually a mission – of being the world’s sin eater. In historical lore, a sin-eater is said to be a person who supernaturally takes on the sins of a household through the act of consuming a ritual meal, and thus absolving the soul and allowing that person to rest in peace. America has always eaten the sins of the world and in the process, saved the soul of mankind from being forever blackened by the horrific evil men do to each other from time to time. Often this “sin eating” produces not only peace but it also advances the cause of humanity.
Several years ago, after my father passed, I was reading through some of his papers from his service in WWII – I came across some notes that had to do with an operation that was conducted in the waning years of the war – whether he was involved or not, I do not know…he never spoke of his war experiences – ever – which makes his family wonder what he actually did in the war. He was a combat engineer specializing in demolition, was part of the second wave at Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge but at the end of the war, spent the balance of his tours in the UK.
In his papers were some OSS documents and information on an operation called “Paperclip.”
As Germany was being overwhelmed with the productive capacity of the United States – we were cranking out tank after tank, plane after plane to replace what was lost on the line, our intelligence folks began to realize just how far advanced the German technology was. We all know about the V-2 but it is a documented fact that they were well advanced on a stealth bomber, advanced guidance systems for bombs and missiles, electric powered “Elektroboat” submarines, infrared night vision – and the Russian and Chinese AK-47 owes much of its design to the German SturmGewehr-44 design and the tapered steel cartridge designed for it. They had even cranked out a jet fighter, the ME-262 and had tested the Lippisch P-13a, a ram-jet powered, delta-winged fighter. If we had not destroyed a “heavy water” facility in Norway, throwing their scientists at least a year behind, they would likely have had an atomic bomb before we did.
While it was clear that they didn’t have the productive capacity to actually get these turned out in numbers, the US never wanted this tech and power to fall into the hands of our enemies – and even though the Russians were fighting the Germans with us, it was clear that they were not our friends and as soon as hostilities were over, they would be in direct competition with us for influence around the world – and thus the Cold War was born.
So the US conducted Operation Paperclip. Per Wikipedia:
Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Soviet–American Cold War (1945–91), one purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific knowledge and expertise to the USSR, the UK, and the newly-divided East and West Germanies themselves.
Although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the European Allied victory (8 May 1945), US President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”. However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Kurt Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”
What does this have to do with anything?
Well, we didn’t throw away the science simply because it was Nazi science that had been used in the most evil of regimes. We didn’t condemn it as illegitimate because of who created it and how they were using it. Why not? Because it was science and we recognized that there was no “evil” science, it was the people who used it in that way who were at fault. We knew that the same “science” that had produced evil in the hands of the Nazis, could produce good in the hands of the right people.
Rather than see it fall into the hands of people who would likely do the same, the US co-opted the Nazi scientists and turned them to working for the country that had become the beacon of good in the world. Their work allowed the US to become the lone super-power (before Obama got hold of us) and an overwhelming force for good in the world. America ate the sins of the world and produced unparalleled advancement for all in the Western World.
As we remember all the members of our military (and their families) who have given their all for this country on this Memorial Day 2016, let us not forget that we do not create the sin, we consume it to free the world. There is only one America, let us take time to remember that.