Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Would you kill Hitler?

Old question: If you had a time machine and had a shot at killing young Adolf Hitler would you do it?

In various contexts it's a question about whether you could commit murder for a good cause, kill someone who hadn't YET done anything, alter the timeline, and a few others I can't recall at the moment. I'm gonna say that I wouldn't and show you the thought process.

At the time the Jews were pretty much despised across Europe. Many world leaders liked Hitler because Hitler hated the communists. Lots of other people were content to let him do his thing because they were only Jews. But by going after them in these numbers Hitler created sympathy for them and made Jew bashing a bad thing. So, a lot of dead Jews, but afterward people didn't actually WANT them dead anymore.

However, this newfound sympathy got the British Empire to give up Palestine to found Israel. Sixty years later Israel is a constant source of tension and conflict in the region. The actions of their government even draws comparisons to WWII Germany.

So, he helped squash most Jew bashing in Europe but he created the longest lasting and hardest to solve source of conflict in the Middle East.

On the plus side of the Holocaust the population was diminished. There were already some overpopulation issues causing economic problems. Think how many people there'd be in Europe now if Hitler hadn't culled the herd.

And then there's the space program. Hitler did more for rocket research than anyone in history. He got all the greatest minds and got some serious research done. Then all those scientists got divvied up between us and the Soviets. Hitler fathered the Space Race. If not for him we probably still wouldn't have gone to the moon, never mind all the weather, communication, and GPS satellites zipping around in orbit.

Sure, there'd still be tensions in the Middle East. They've got the oil. But most problems over there wax and wane. The existence of Israel is a persistent problem and a key recruiting point for terrorist organizations.

So would I rather be rid of the terrorist fuel or have the space program and population relief? I'd rather have the space program, population relief, and a President who believed in diplomacy working to defuse the Israel problem.

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