President Bush, FDR, and Yalta

So, after reading about President Bush’s woefully uninformed comments about FDR selling out Eastern Europe at the 1945 Yalta Conference, I figured that I, having actually done some research on Yalta and having won two awards for a paper I wrote in it, would explain why Bush was simply talking out his ass by spewing a long-time myth and neo-con talking point.

And then I noticed that Arthur Schlesinger Jr, the eminent Pulitzer winning US historian, had made a post about this very thing at the Huffington Post, noting:

The American president is under the delusion that tougher diplomacy might have preserved the freedom of small East European nations. He forgets the presence of the Red Army. No conceivable diplomacy could have saved Eastern Europe from Soviet occupation. And military action against the Soviet Union was inconceivable so long as the Pacific War was still going on. Our military planners, in order to reduce American casualties, counted on the Red Army to enter the war against Japan . At Yalta Stalin promised a firm date in August. And in February the atom bomb seemed a fantasy dreamed up by nuclear physicists.

Pretty much hits it on the head. Anyone says FDR sold out Easter Europe at Yalta to you, just toss back in their face this simple fact: the Red Army on the ground. You can read the rest of Schlesinger’s post here.


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