Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Wrong Decision

The decision to change a controversial panel at the Canadian War Museum is wrongheaded in my view.

Vet's have lobbied to change the wording on a panel entitled, An Enduring Controversy.

The panel currently reads:
"The value and morality of the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested. Bomber Command's aim was to crush civilian morale and force Germany to surrender by destroying its cities and industrial installations. Although Bomber Command and American attacks left 600,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions in German war production until late in the war."

That is a fact, it is still bitterly contested. So why are we appeasing a special interest group? As MacMillan points out, this is not a war memorial, it's a museum dedicated to providing factual information to the public.

It is not passing judgement on our Veterans. It simply points to the debate as to whether or not that particular strategy resulted in the desired objective.

I really don't understand why the Museum has caved here, but I think it sets a very dangerous precedent. It remains to be seen just how much the wording will change, but no group should have the right to change historical fact.


MD said...

KNB - Good post. Any museum which surrenders its curatorial independence to political pressure is setting a precedent which can only lead to more public conflicts. Naturally, a war museum will always evoke strong public emotions, and any museum dedicated to war must take input from vets extremely seriously. But four independent historians were asked to review the panel and found it to be factually accurate. I think that indicates that the museum took the vets' concerns seriously, but had every reason to conclude that the original panel was appropriate.

knb said...

Precisely md.

I find it a bit frightening really and I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from. Is it because Afghanistan is front and centre, therefore all things military much be handled with kid gloves? That is worrisome, if it's the case.

burlivespipe said...

Any idea on how much federal money this museum (and all our museums) rely upon to stay open?
Not to suggest that the federal CONservatives like to control the message and rewrite history, but...