Michael Baron on the difficulty of moral ambiguity in wartime.
He compares Bush and Powell’s stance towards Arafat as a peacemaker to FDR treating Vichy France as a friendly nation in 1940.
Vichy governed the French colonies and the southern part of France unoccupied by German troops and claimed that it was neutral in the war. The British destroyed much of its fleet, but the United States kept an ambassador there even after Pearl Harbor. Vichy surrendered its Asian colonies to Japan without a fight. It resisted, but only feebly, when Allied troops landed in North Africa in November 1942; German troops then occupied Tunisia and opposed the Allied advance. Our Vichy gamble (as one historian called it) succeeded, in part