Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Politics there is a Right Way and a Wrong Way

Recently, actually for some time, I have often reflected on a story my father once told. A story he would have known, as he was there. It occured during the Italian campaign during World War II at a place called Monte Cassino. The German army had dug into positions on the slopes below the ancient abbey on top, recognizing and respecting it's historical and religious significance. The Germans even informed the Vatican of their positions so there would be no mistake. Unfortunately, the Americans deemed it to be a "possible" position for observation and or bunkering so they used their air force and leveled it. The Germans then occupied the position, using the ruins for maximum cover from air and land forces.

Getting back to my Father, he always maintained that the battle for Monte Cassino should have never happened. As a young Sargeant on the ground, and in regular contact with the Herman Georing Division, airborne, that was defending the area, I like to think he knew of what he was speaking. Interestly, my Dad believed that the allies could have simply driven right around Monte Cassino, without firing a shot, and the entire German contingent on the hill would have been cut off and forced into surrender. The lives that could have been saved on both sides, and the Abbey itself, would have been worth it.

Likely, somewhere up the command, a shiny four star felt that blowing it into oblivion was the right thing to do. Certainly it was one way. History, however, would suggest it was the wrong way. Just because the capability is there, we still have to consider how we use it. Clearly, the young Canadian Sargeant on the ground could see that. I like to think I got my sense of "the right way and the wrong way" from him. This picture of Monte Cassino after the bombing, illustrates the result of the wrong way...
Battle of Monte Cassino

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome that contribute to the discussion or foster further debate.

In the interests of ensuring that people take responsibility for their own words, individuals can make comments using their Blogger ID or OpenID.

Profiles should be open to the public and reveal an e-mail address so that people may contact the commenter directly.

Anonymous comments, including those from people using fake, apparently fake identities, or profiles without contact information may be deleted. Spam will be deleted as soon as it is identified.