To be fair, this is a hypothetical question – plus hindsight brings us information we’re unable to ignore – but the answer may be of interest to voters. Jeff Shapiro writes today on Big Government that he asked current presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) if he would have sent American troops to Germany during World War II to save Jewish lives simply on moral grounds.
In the fall of 2009, the answer was no.
… I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?”
And the Congressman answered:
“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”
There were a lot of other things going on during that time, so this hypothetical question is just that.
I’m going to be playing devils advocate here. For those of you outraged at Paul’s answer, what say you about the estimated 300,000 to 350,000 civilians killed in Darfur between 2003 and 2009?
Maybe the more appropriate question to ask the candidate would be at what point during the time of World War II would he have thought it appropriate for American troops to become involved? Before Pearl Harbor? Right after Pearl Harbor? At another time? Never?
If he did commit troops, what would have been the clear, defined objectives? Of course, this is a tough question to answer since we can’t just forget about everything we have learned since that time about the period, but I think it would be a fair question.