Wednesday, June 6, 2018

State Department spokeswoman uses D-Day as an example of long relationship with Germany

Terence Cullen,; see/hear also; see also (1) (2) (3)

Nauert image from

A top State Department spokesperson referenced the D-Day invasion during World War II as an example of the United States’ strong ties to Germany.

The department has been under fire since U.S. Ambassador to Germany Rick Grenell told Breitbart News he wants to help empower far-right groups in Europe, sparking anger from the U.S. ally.

"We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a briefing Tuesday. "Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan [JB - see] . Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion.”

Wednesday is the 74th anniversary of the allied invasion of northern France during World War II, a bloody day in which thousands of U.S. and British soldiers were killed while fighting German troops. The massive attack was considered a turning point in the allied effort to push back Nazi forces in Europe.

“We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany,” Nauert continued. “And we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany."

Nauert [JB - Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; MA, Columbia University] used the D-Day invasion of German-occupied France as an example of the strong ties to Berlin.

Nauert was defending Grenell’s statements to Breitbart that he supports conservative groups in Europe, which the Trump appointee said are “experiencing an awakening from the silent majority.”

“Ambassadors have a right to express their opinion,” Nauert responded to questions about whether diplomats can support certain parties overseas. “They’re representatives of the White House, whether it’s this administration or other administrations.”

Grenell’s comments sparked outrage among German politicians, many of whom were already at odds with the Trump administration. Chancellor Angela Merkel had already signaled a desire to reduce reliance on Washington after President Trump backed out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.

Grenell, in a tweet after the Breitbart interview was published last weekend, defended his remarks but clarified he wasn’t throwing his full support to a particular individual or group.

“What Ambassador Grenell was doing was merely highlighting that there are some parties and candidates in Europe who are doing well right now,” Nauert said.

Yes, because D-day was all about liberating Germany from the iron grip of the French, right, Ms. Nauert?

Tom Rogan, "
Yes, D-Day was good for Germany," Washington Examiner
Image from article, with caption: "American reinforcements arrive on the beaches of Normandy from a Coast Guard landing barge into the surf on the French coast on June 23, 1944 during World War II."

Heather Nauert is right about D-Day's positive historical dimension in the U.S. relationship with Germany.

I note this in reference to Nauert's comment on Tuesday, when the State Department acting undersecretary of state for public affairs suggested that the D-Day landings were evidence of a strong U.S. relationship with Germany. Considering that the D-Day landings directly led to the collapse of the German government in power at the time, Nauert's comment raised some eyebrows.

But as I say, Nauert is right.

Because in coordination with the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943 and the ensuing invasion of southern France in August 1944, D-Day led not only to Germany's liberation from Nazism, but also its salvation from total Soviet annihilation.

To understand why most German historians would now speak fondly of D-Day, recall the situation on June 5, 1944. On the eastern front, the German army was under relentless pressure. While its army groups were holding territory with remarkable effectiveness, hundreds of massed Soviet divisions meant the outcome was inevitable. Evidencing as much, two weeks after D-Day, the Soviets began Operation Bagration. With vast numerical advantages in forces and equipment, the Soviets had broken the back of Germany's Army Group-Center by August and began the final envelopment of Germany.

But if that envelopment would be the ultimate cause of Nazi Germany's collapse, the advancing Allied armies who had landed at D-Day would be the German people's salvation. After all, the disparity between Soviet treatment of German prisoners and civilians and the U.S. and British treatment of the Germans was wide indeed. Infuriated by their extraordinary war losses at German hands and only temperamentally restrained by their commanders, Soviet ground forces killed, looted, and raped their way through millions of Germans. My grandfather was a U.S. Army noncommissioned officer in Berlin after the war (as shown below: a photo of him playing baseball in Berlin in 1951!), and today at 93 years of age, he is still moved by the stories women in Berlin told him.

Were it not for Allied group commander Omar Bradley and his aggressive army commanders George Patton and Courtney Hodges, the Germans would have suffered much worse than they did. Evidencing as much, the widespread westward defection of German forces and civilians towards Allied lines in the latter stages of the war was not coincidental.

So, yes, D-Day led to the end of a despicable German government. But it also led to most Germans being saved from the Red onslaught. The defensive lines created by the partition of Germany would maintain a democratic peace in western Europe for the next forty-five years.

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