Okay, so regular readers may remember this one. It is a repeat comic, call it “Throwback Thursday” perhaps. I posted it back in January, but now, it has been just five days since the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. In Charlottesville, a bunch of people openly flying the Swastika flag of the Third Reich felt that they could terrorize with impunity, and even more outrageous was that they felt they could do something like this and still insist they are “patriots”.
I generally don’t touch on big issues of national politics here– when I do, the touch is (I think) pretty light. My comic is mostly about what it is like to be a regular service member, especially those in the part-time Reserve forces that spend most of their lives in the civilian realm. Troops on deployment don’t generally get bogged down in political arguments since it only serves to frustrate: not only are people guaranteed do disagree, but there’s nothing that can be done to influence decisions “above the pay grade”.
But 73 years ago, our forebears and in some cases our actual grandfathers risked life and limb, parachuting into Normandy or charging off a landing boat, to stop people flying that same flag. No one person and no society is perfect; doubtless many of the men who attacked at D-Day and endured the winter in the Ardennes had personal issues and shortcomings of their own. But no matter how flawed they may have been as individuals, they recognized something evil when they saw it. A thing that killed, a thing that butchered, a thing that raped people and countrysides alike. France fell and was reduced to a puppet; the United Kingdom endured the Blitz; Russia bore vast burdens that stretched from Leningrad to Stalingrad; Poles and Jews and Czechs and others resisted in squalid conditions while hiding under the noses of the Reich’s rats, and still everyone fought on.
The sacrifices of untold millions in the struggle to defeat that which is unambiguously corrupt should not be in vain. Nazism holds no promise for humanity; it is not a “misunderstood ideology” or “just a different way of looking at things”. It’s very existence is predicated on the notion that others must NOT exist, and that cannot be separated to make the ideology “clean”. You cannot accommodate it or make accords with it, for it will eventually come for you, to feed you into its machine of death.
Those sacrifices of our grandparents 70+ years ago should not be an empty gesture. I will resume regular comics on Monday; until then, we fight for what is right.