Friday, January 24, 2014

First Impressions: Other Losses

For those wanting a better picture of the moral condition of post war Europe and its Allied commanders, one can do no better than reading Other Losses by James Bacque. It recounts the squalid conditions which permeated every American and French Prisoner of War camp under both Eisenhower’s and De Gaulle’s command.
We are enthusiastic admirers of Bacque for he sees past the hagiography of both men to present them as they truly are – men of moral turpitude whose reputations for decency or virtue are entirely undeserved. Bacque minces no words in assigning responsibility to these men, particularly Eisenhower, in promulgating policies which deliberately and maliciously lead to the deaths of 800 – 1500 thousands of men under American control.
Bacque has no patience for the exculpatory excuses of command aloofness, or the “chaos” of war, as he shows that Eisenhower not only operated an efficient army, but was well briefed on its operations to the lowest levels. In fact, Eisenhower had a direct hand in the promulgation of policies which resulted purposely in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, which in our minds makes Eisenhower a murderer on an epic scale.
Some may excuse Eisenhower’s behavior due to the wanton suffering he saw as he marched across Europe, but this a canard of a murderer – not that of a fact seeker. Civilized society has laws and public mechanisms for dealing with crimes, but Eisenhower took into his own hands a furtive administration of genocide against the German people.
There is no question that the Germans mistreated prisoners of war and imposed their own atrocities on conquered countries, but to use that as a defense of Eisenhower’s murder is to justify murder as a policy of state – a complete repudiation of civilization.
Returning to our review, Bacque shows the methods Eisenhower used to command his army, methods which when at all possible utilized winks, nods, and intermediaries to accomplish his will, rather than use of explicit forthright commands and directives. Thus the mechanisms for surreptitiously carrying out a genocidal policy were already well established with the SHAEF commander.
The policies for carrying out the mass extermination of POWs were formulated both in the White House and in SHAEF headquarters. Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury, had crafted his famous Morgenthau Plan of pastoralizing Germany by dismantling its industry and returning it an agricultural idyll. But the implications are of the most sinister kind because it was designed to deprive the Germans of the currency needed to feed themselves as the nation used manufactured exports to raise the monies needed to import adequate food.
Bacque, quoting Eisenhower’s famous rage that he regretted not being able to kill more Germans, shows that Eisenhower had the animus to support the Morgenthau plan, a plan which he implemented throughout his command. The first step came from the State Department which removed Switzerland’s protective role of German POWs after the country surrendered unconditionally. This move deprived POWs of protective custody and all of their rights under the Geneva and Hague treaties. Without any legal protections, Eisenhower ordered the reclassification of POWs to Disarmed Enemy Forces (DEF) which allowed him to reduce rations to German prisoners below subsistence levels, thus resulting in a prolonged painful death by starvation.
On the other hand, starvation was not the leading cause of death in America’s concentration camps which were so overcrowded that in many of them, the prisoners could literally not lie down. The most common causes of death resulted from grossly unsanitary camp conditions which engendered disease, and hastened death aggravated by starvation.
To cover up his crimes, Eisenhower ordered the International Red Cross banned from all camps, denied mail privileges in all American camps, banned all reporters from the camps, and denied civilian authorities access to the camps. He instituted a system of brainwashing where military administrators began systematically denying in German town hall meetings the news that prisoners were dying at alarming rates in American camps.
But the most deceptive practice Eisenhower implemented was fraudulent bookkeeping which entailed the use of a euphemistic category called Other Losses which included by definition escapes and deaths. Bacque discovered that very few prisoners escaped, meaning that well over 99% of the Other Losses were deaths. Eisenhower’s camp commanders buried these bodies in mass graves, an act which led us to conclude elsewhere that many of the so-called German mass graves were in fact American mass graves of German prisoners.
Bacque required the skills of a forensic accountant to uncover the true numbers of concealed deaths. The war records were deliberately destroyed, and prisoner numbers at times hopelessly inconsistent, but he nevertheless managed to piece together enough data to draw some tentative and reasonable conclusions about the extent of the genocide. He discovered that death rates in the American camps hovered around 30%.
The argument advanced by others that there were food shortages throughout Europe are laid to waste and exposed for the vicious fraud that they are. Bacque reports that Red Cross and US Army warehouses were bursting with food, enough to more than terminate the starvation alleged to be the result of food shortage. In addition, he shows that American and Canadian surpluses of food were actually becoming problematic.
But the prisoners were not just soldiers; they included women and children – even pregnant women. Americans would go to the barbed wire cages and open fire on them, claiming that they saw an escape in progress. Bacque tells of one instance where a French captain murdered in cold blood a group of women who were trying to bring food to the captives. Americans forbade, on pain of death – without trial – anyone from approaching the camps to bring food.
Of course Eisenhower had great help in prosecuting his vengeful massacre, names which Bacque thankfully mentions, such as Beddell Smith and Everett Hughes.
The extraordinary research and findings of Bacque have forever changed our views of America’s involvement in World War 2, and so-called heroes. Eisenhower is forever in our mind a murderer with no redeeming qualities.
James Bacque, Other Losses, Prima Publishing, nd, posted online September 6, 2011, accessed 1/24/2014
Copyright 2014 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

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