Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What's wrong with this statement?

Matthew Yglesias and other leftward bloggers have criticized Bush's recent comments over Yalta that he made in Latvia, but I'm not sure what the argument is. The argument seems to imply that Bush was attacking FDR for agreeing to Yalta, but I don't think he is:
As we mark a victory of six days ago -- six decades ago, we are mindful of a
paradox. For much of Germany, defeat led to freedom. For much of Eastern and
Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V-E Day marked
the end of fascism, but it did not end oppression. The agreement at Yalta
followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once
again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was
somehow expendable. Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of
stability left a continent divided and unstable. The captivity of millions in
Central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of

Bush seems to be lamenting the agreement and using its results as a warning against similar agreements in the future. I've noticed that when Yglesias tries to defend FDR by saying that there was no alternative, he admits that Yalta was not an ideal agreement for postwar Europe. The latter is pretty much what Bush said. Just because Soviet occupation over Eastern Europe may've been unavoidable does not mean Yalta was not a Faustian deal that, instead of liberating Eastern Europe, put it under the Soviet yoke. So where's the revisionism?

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