February 11, 2014

A plea for peace

Eric S. Margolis writes:
Day by day, we see growing rancor between the US and Russia. Most of it is unfair criticism and childish spats, but the overall effect is creating the basis for war fever. The same bickering, cheap criticism and manufactured anger created the psychological basis in Britain for the utterly catastrophic World War I. Three years later, it was repeated in the United States to whip up anti-German fever. 
The US media is barraging Russia and Putin with a drumfire of negative stories. The Sochi Olympics have come in for relentless, petty attacks and low-minded carping. 
Anyone who knows Russia should be in awe that the normally bumbling, disorganized Ruskis managed to get their Olympic sites finished more or less on time – and that they still remain standing. Russians usually lose a lot of early battles, but they usually end up winning wars. 

Considering the Russian track record of stuff happening, I was very pleased that during the opening ceremony they didn't drop that little girl they had flying on wires around the stadium.

But, artistically, when your country can lead off its performance with Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, well, respect. (Here's an opera lover's website of videos and critiques of all opening ceremonies, but not yet Sochi.)
So what if Russia spent billions on the Sochi Olympics. Who is Washington to criticize Moscow after pouring over $2 trillion into the stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Syria, with nothing to show but huge debts, armies of refugees, and graveyards? 
America’s national security establishment – what used to be known in Britain as imperialists – is now turning its guns on Russia, aided by the US corporate media. Vlad Putin’s Russia has re-emerged as America’s number one enemy. 
Muslims are out. At times, the Cold War seems to be inching back. The US narrowly escaped a dangerous military clash over President Barack Obama’s intemperate rush to war over Syria. 
Nuclear powers must not indulge in such school-yard squabbles. World War I, whose 100th anniversary comes this fall, began just this way. 
Putin’s Russia is no Utopia, but do we really want angry, expansionist Russians again on our eastern borders? Better they focus on Olympic games and shopping sprees. Unlike us, they have not started any wars lately.
   

162 comments:

Anonymous said...

But... GAY. Gay gay gay!

Anonymous said...

It used to be Russia was disliked by the foreign policy types because after Putin, they no longer were willing to lay down for our imperialist ambitions. Now with the gay issue, and the culling of the stray dogs, Russia has become a front in the ongoing civil war among whites worldwide. On one hand you have the enlightened, SWPL types, or as Stalin would have put it, the rootless cosmopolitans. And on the other side you have the unwashed traditionalists.

By embracing Christianity and traditional values, Russia is sticking their finger in the eyes of the SWPLs as much as they are doing this to the neocons on Iran and Syra. Now if Russia were some African nation, it would go unnoticed. But Russia is white, and if they are allowed to do this, it might just give like-minded volk in the US some encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I thought the toxic warmongering of the neocons was finally flushed out of the American system. But with this new gay zeal that is engulfing the West, they can get the left wingers on board for some real escalation with Russia

I am not being facetious, I truly believe that war with Russia is now more likely than it has been for decades. It was before my time but I cannot believe that the anti communist fervour in America was as strong during the Cuban missile crises than the pro gay crusade is now.

Harry Baldwin said...

I was very impressed with the Russian's opening ceremony, though I hope no one goes to Siberia over the snowflake malfunction. It was head-and-shoulders above the ludicrous opening show at the London Games, with the dancing hospital beds and Mary Poppinses. Remember the 1984 games in Los Angeles with the break dancers? Really embarrassing. We proudly celebrate our ghetto culture.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I know which side I'll be rooting for.

Anonymous said...

Are Obama's moves to reconcile with Iran a Nixon-goes-to-China type thing to take away Russia's last remaining major mid-eastern ally? I think so.

Iran's nuclear ambitions are less of a threat to the liberal elite than Russia emerging as a leader and symbol of traditional Europeans rising up in defense of their former way of life. (sorta as anon. at 1:01 suggests).

sunbeam said...

I tend to think of all this as posturing.

I need someone to explain to me how we bomb the Russians (as more than a unexpected ratings gimmick) or actually engage them on the ground.

Take a look at the Russia/Georgia conflict of 2008. Proxy state and all, but that didn't end well.

We spend incredible amounts of money to maintain forces in Afghanistan that don't have the sheer numbers to do much of anything.

And we are going to engage something with

1) Teeth

2) And a situation that would eat money like no one would believe, and see casualties not seen since WWII or maybe Korea.

Not buying it. They can surprise me if they want, but that campaign no matter where (Ukraine, some weird ass Balkan place or Stan), has total epic fail written all over it.

No idea what tech is going to make possible in 10 years, but whatever the average Russian is intelligence or diligence wise, they have some shit hot engineers.

Just saying it won't be a run away.

Oclarki said...

Why not China? Seems like a much better enemy and an actuall threat to US interests and way of life long term.

Toddy Cat said...

I'm not a big fan of Margolis, but he's dead right on this. Considering how a lot of these same people couldn't wait to sell us out to the Commies in the Cold War, the current anti-Russian hysteria is mind-boggling. Of course, I suppose that this whole business is some sort of milestone; the American Left finally met a KGB agent that they didn't like.

Anonymous said...

Culling of stray dogs is pretty sad, but what do they do to stray dogs in the US?

And why not criticism of S. Korea for burying hogs alive? Hogocaust is okay?

dearieme said...

"The same bickering, cheap criticism and manufactured anger created the psychological basis in Britain for the utterly catastrophic World War I": so, nothing to do with Germany invading Belgium and FRance, then?

Anonymous said...

"so, nothing to do with Germany invading Belgium and FRance, then?"

Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all. That wouldn't negate two centuries of careful maintenance of the balance of power on the continent between Russia, Prussia, and France.

This wasn't a bad article overall (at least from what Steve posted), but you can't seriously argue with a 9/11 Truther like Margolis.

Anonymous said...

I was very impressed with the Russian's opening ceremony, though I hope no one goes to Siberia over the snowflake malfunction.

I don't think the malfunction guy's fate will be any worse than someone in the US who is guilty of crimethink.

candid_observer said...

It used to be that every right thinking American hated Russia with a boundless hate because it represented the complete undermining of democracy, privacy, due process, freedom of speech and of all other kinds, economic injustice and chaos, and shameless brutality.

Now every right thinking American hates Russia with a boundless hate because its stand on gay rights is where we were about 10 years ago?

Jesus, what a bunch of mindless saps we are.

Anonymous said...

Russia needs to be put in its place. Civil rights abuses, lack of diversity, the coddling of terroorists and eniemies of the state (Snowden) among other things means that Russia is the biggest threat to world peace since the Confedrate States of America and Nazi Germnay.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

"so, nothing to do with Germany invading Belgium and FRance, then?"

Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all. That wouldn't negate two centuries of careful maintenance of the balance of power on the continent between Russia, Prussia, and France.


Yeah. Thank God we fought two World Wars to keep Germany from dominating the European continent.

Anonymous said...

Russia is the white Africa.

Anonymous said...

Harry Bladwin:"Remember the 1984 games in Los Angeles with the break dancers? Really embarrassing. We proudly celebrate our ghetto culture."

Well, on the credit side of the ledger, one might note that the L.A. Olympics did give us John Williams' "Olympic Theme," which has emerged as the defining piece of Olympics music. And there was also Philip Glass' "The Olympian."
Another plus was the performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

Anonymous said...

Harry Baldwin:"I was very impressed with the Russian's opening ceremony, though I hope no one goes to Siberia over the snowflake malfunction. It was head-and-shoulders above the ludicrous opening show at the London Games, with the dancing hospital beds and Mary Poppinses"

I rather liked the London opening ceremonies. It looked like a kind of homage to Alan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Why not China? Seems like a much better enemy and an actual threat to US interests and way of life long term.

We can't go to war with China because they own our debt and because we have a rapidly growing Han Fifth Column in the US.

Like somebody said, the superpowers don't fight each other any more. For all the weeping and gnashing of teeth over nukes, they really are Peacekeepers. And the US is too ideologically and culturally fractured to rally everyone for an old-fashioned, meatgrinder, Great Power v. Great Power war at this point. Nobody in this multi-cult stew is going to submit to a command economy to beat the Russkies or the Chi-Coms.

Power Child said...

While reading this I got halfway down, forgot who wrote it, and thought for a second it was Pat Buchanan.

I have no clue who Margolis is. Never heard of him. Don't feel like consulting Google. Someone else in the comments says he's a 9/11 Truther? A little one- or two-line setup would have been helpful.

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all. That wouldn't negate two centuries of careful maintenance of the balance of power on the continent between Russia, Prussia, and France.

This wasn't a bad article overall (at least from what Steve posted), but you can't seriously argue with a 9/11 Truther like Margolis."


I agree. The WW1 stuff seemed quite fatheaded. Made it somewhat difficult to appreciate the article's good points.

HA said...

I am not being facetious, I truly believe that war with Russia is now more likely than it has been for decades.

Perhaps, but it is still virtually zero. I just don't see this negative PR as rising above the level of the sneerage the Brits regularly hurl at the rest of Europe, or what the French traditionally fart in our general direction. To call it "war fever" is laying it on irresponsibly thick. When the war fever does strike, regardless of where the heat is directed, the ones who cried wolf earlier will not be viewed favorably.

Steve Sailer said...

The Los Angeles Olympics' opening ceremony was quite good, with spectacular stuff like a cliff of 85 grand pianos playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." The classy patriotism of the opening ceremony was a surprise huge hit (and did much for the re-election campaign of Ronald Reagan).

The L.A. closing ceremony was a disappointment: a Lionel Richie concert and a _lot_ of fireworks, which couldn't be televised well with the video technology of the time.

fnn said...

Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all. That wouldn't negate two centuries of careful maintenance of the balance of power on the continent between Russia, Prussia, and France.


I've always had the impression that Margolis was never much of a believer in the innate goodness of Anglo-American world hegemony.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all."

How would it have threatened Britain? How did it threaten Britain any more or less than Germany spanking France in 1871? I'm utterly confused about this and much of British foreign policy in the 20th Century. Would Germany have invaded Britain had Britain stayed out in 1914?

Britain still had its empire, it still had an enormously powerful navy and most important it still had its confidence. And the notion that Germany or anyone could have "dominated" all of continental Europe, a bit far-fetched, no?

If you could take any Allied Soldier (British, French, American, Russian) in 1914 or 1939 and have him visit the future, live in 2014, to witness what has become of the Western World, and what his sacrifice would be pivotal in creating, I'm guessing at least two-thirds and probably more would have taken arms with the the Kaiser in 1914 or with the Wehrmacht in 1939. Does anyone in Britain realize what their meddling on the continent the last 100 years has done to the Western World?

Anonymous said...

"The Los Angeles Olympics' opening ceremony was quite good, with spectacular stuff like a cliff of 85 grand pianos playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

----------

Cheezola.

Olympics principles are so passe. Now, it's all kitschy showbiz.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all."

Germans in WWI didn't want to dominate Europe. Even if they'd won, they would not have invaded and occupied most of Europe. They wanted to be left alone to grow into a great power.

Anonymous said...

In other World War G/Cold War II news, Russia is threatening to quit the START treaty because the United States and NATO (but I do repeat myself) are going ahead with installing "missile defense" hardware and ships. Ostensibly because of Iran and North Korea and the terrorism bogeyman: not US/NATO expansionism against Russia and/or China, of course. For more...: http://rt.com/news/destroyer-us-poland-start-treaty-530/

Remember how the US promised not to expand NATO into former Soviet satellites and states when the USSR was falling apart? What is the lesson to be learned here, again and again? Only trust the US as far as you can throw them; they will kick you when you're down. (And if you have "WMDs," hold on to them tight, unless you want to be on the wrong end of the hanging Saddam or Gaddafi keyster shanking treatment.)

HA said...

"Remember the 1984 games in Los Angeles with the break dancers? Really embarrassing. We proudly celebrate our ghetto culture.

Given the fact that the traditional retort to US complaints about Soviet human rights abuses throughout that cursed union's existence was "Well, what about the way you Americans oppress the Negroes?", I'm not sure this would the most appropriate post in which to make that particular observation, unless it is an attempt to savor the irony. (That being said, break dancing is admittedly not on the level of Pushkin's poetry, which is what Russians regard as a kind of celebration of black culture, however belaboredly.)

Anonymous said...

"Unlike us, they have not started any wars lately." - While I do agree that Russia is mostly in the right here, there was that bit in Georgia to remember.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer:"The Los Angeles Olympics' opening ceremony was quite good, with spectacular stuff like a cliff of 85 grand pianos playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." The classy patriotism of the opening ceremony was a surprise huge hit (and did much for the re-election campaign of Ronald Reagan)."

I'll second that. I just finished watching some footage of the LA opening, and I was pleasantly surprised at how how well it holds up.

RWF said...

What is the paleocon infatuation with Russia?

Both Obama and Bush crawled before Putin when they first came in to office only for the Russians to slap them in the face (remember Hillary Clinton's reset button or Dubya's seeing Putin's soul?).

Russia has actually had a very easy ride in the West when you consider things like carrying out murders in foreign states, invading their neighbours and supplying the Syrian regime with words.

In fact if Putin hadn't been stupid enough to cross the gay lobby the Western press would probably still remain fawning towards the "Most powerful man in the World".

Anonymous said...

"I am not being facetious, I truly believe that war with Russia is now more likely than it has been for decades."

Perhaps, but it is still virtually zero.


I have a lot of faith in those who abandoned Russia for better pickings elsewhere and the military industrialists finding an excuse.

RWF said...

"but you can't seriously argue with a 9/11 Truther like Margolis."

He's a truther?

That makes sense, conspiracy theorists of all kinds are very sympathetic to Russia because the Russian state buys their support. Russia Today is full of cranks and their foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has openly cited them as evidence.

That's why the "just asking questions" brigade no longer just ask questions about Chechen terrorism in Russia for example.

Anonymous said...

"I am not being facetious, I truly believe that war with Russia is now more likely than it has been for decades."

"Perhaps, but it is still virtually zero."

Yeah, I don't see it as likely either.
But the danger spot is the Ukraine. Russians were upset about Serbia but Russia-Serbia thing was more of a sentimental thing than anything else. Also, Russia in the 90s was in such bad straits that it couldn't do much.

Ukraine is another matter. There are lots of Russians there, and many Russians still see Ukraine--or a big chunk of it--as rightfully part of Russia.

Now, suppose Ukraine violence gets worse, and the next regime joins EU, and EU pressures and Russian pressures(which will never go away) clash, and a civil war erupts in Ukraine. Suppose Russia sends aid, direct and indirect to Ukraine, and EU, in turn, feels obligated to come to the defense of Ukraine. That can escalate into military operations with even US involved.

I don't think it will happen, but if US keeps playing with fire in the region, who knows?

Without US out of Ukraine and Russia--by funding homos--, I think all sides will eventually come to an agreement.
US is playing the role of a king mixer.
And it's not even clean.

Anonymous said...

We can't go to war with China because they own our debt and because we have a rapidly growing Han Fifth Column in the US.

Russia is a lot stronger militarily than China. China's ownership of US debt doesn't mean much. And despite the elite's excessive anti-Russia sentiment right now, the US population overall is more anti-China than anti-Russia. Also the Han Fifth Column would be no deterrent to war and it would be ineffectual in wartime.

E said...

I don't know the do gooders are kicking up a storm about the Central African Republic. Muslims are being run out of the country by Christians and that simply cannot go unnoticed. Of course the part of the Muslim rebels terrorizing Christians seems to go unmentioned.

Mountain Maven said...

You are forgetting how evil the Soviets were and how Putin reminds us of them. That is where the animosity comes from. + they aren't at all PC. A little schadenfreude over Sochi is understandable.

If we had a functioning foreign policy operation and a positive trend on military strength Russia and China would be simply annoyances. They are chronic loser countries. They rise up and cause some trouble every century then they self-destruct.

SFG said...

"What is the paleocon infatuation with Russia?"

I would joke and say they're antisemitic, but that's more historical than actual--Russians don't like Jews, but Putin doesn't seem to care much one way or the other.

Steve Sailer said...

The Germans were even more hysterical than the Brits before WWI.

HA said...

"Remember the 1984 games in Los Angeles with the break dancers? Really embarrassing. We proudly celebrate our ghetto culture.

Given the fact that the traditional response to US finger-wagging about Soviet human rights abuses throughout that cursed union's existence was "And what about the way you Americans oppress your Negroes?", I do not think this is the best post in which to make that observation, unless you are wishing to savor the irony.

Speaking for myself, I do not see that the celebration of break dancing is something to be ashamed of, except insofar as it is a public health menace to those who are foolish enough to take it up. However, it is admittedly not on the level of Pushkin's poetry, which is what Russians used to point to as their celebration of black culture, however belaboredly.

Chicago said...

During the cold war the media always showed pictures of headscarf wearing Russian woman who were as dumpy looking as they could find. Peasants worn out from a hard life of manual labor, missing teeth and overweight from starchy diets were the standard portrayal. Watching the Sochi Olympics people can see for themselves how nice their young people really look: clean, sharp looking and well built. The Olympics are a pleasure to look at with all the fresh faced healthy young white athletes along with the impressive Asians. It's a welcome change of fare from the usual tatted-up types we typically see domestically. The commercials, with all their built-in PC garbage, are a real contrast to the actual show.

Steve Sailer said...

Traditional British foreign policy was that the major rivers of northwestern Europe that empty out into the Atlantic in what's now Belgium and the Netherlands be open to British trade, and that one continental power even having the potential to blockade most of the rivers was cause for war.

Anonymous said...

http://ericmargolis.com/2010/09/911-the-mother-of-all-coincidences/

Yeah, Margolis is a truther.

Steve Sailer said...

Remember that break dancing was quite new in 1984. Almost nobody had seen the upside down spinning before the movie Flashdance in 1983. So, in 1984 it was seen as just the latest in a long line of cool popular culture things that African-Americans had come up with since, roughly, ragtime.

The break dancing in the closing ceremony was disappointing because it was much like you saw in the less inspired MTV videos with few dancers spinning around. After the jaw-dropping opening ceremony, I'd been sort of assuming they'd have 100 break dancers spinning in sync or something crazy like that.

Steve Sailer said...

At the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty celebration a couple of years later, they had 50 Elvis impersonators dancing, but by then the American interest in weird North Korean-like mass exhibitions was fading.

David said...

Wise words from Margolis.

On a visceral level, though, having experienced it in many places in Mexico, I just can't stand the custom, apparently widespread in Russia as well, of placing one's used toilet tissue in a wastebasket. I particularly dislike people's informing me that this unsanitary practice is unproblematic and that I should get over it, with the implication that it is I, and not the engineers innocent of the knowledge of proper plumbing specifications or tolerances, who ought to be considered ignorant.

Anyway, it's not a casus belli.

Now, Chinese floor-trenches-for-toilets, on the other hand...

Steve Sailer said...

Another big thing at the 1984 Summer Olympics was The Wave, which had spread suddenly across the country at sports events a few months before.

Anon87 said...

OT: Conservative Acquaintance Annoyingly Not Racist

Anonymous said...

"Britain still had its empire, it still had an enormously powerful navy and most important it still had its confidence. And the notion that Germany or anyone could have "dominated" all of continental Europe, a bit far-fetched, no?"

Given that the Germans transformed the Austrians into their vassal in 1866 and given that a second total victory over France would likely have seen France punished on Versailles Treaty-like terms (or worse), no, that's not far-fetched.

"If you could take any Allied Soldier (British, French, American, Russian) in 1914 or 1939 and have him visit the future, live in 2014, to witness what has become of the Western World, and what his sacrifice would be pivotal in creating, I'm guessing at least two-thirds and probably more would have taken arms with the the Kaiser in 1914 or with the Wehrmacht in 1939. Does anyone in Britain realize what their meddling on the continent the last 100 years has done to the Western World?"

Ah, that's it. You think Nazism is better than the liberalism we have today.

Michael said...

War with Russia to promote the New "Four Freedoms":

Freedom for Buggery

Freedom to impose Islamism

Freedom from Christianity

Freedom from Borders.

Matra said...

"but you can't seriously argue with a 9/11 Truther like Margolis."

If that's true ( a very big IF as no evidence is provided by the probably neocon poster) then it must be something new. Until about five years ago I saw him at least once a week on a televised Canadian foreign policy panel and I continued reading his column for a few years after 9/11 (he did become hysterical about Muslim suffering) but I don't recall him ever coming out Truther.

He's a truther?

That makes sense, conspiracy theorists of all kinds are very sympathetic to Russia because the Russian state buys their support.


Margolis' columns have been anti-Russian (and Serb) for decades. A cold warrior he even volunteered for Vietnam (unlike most chickenhawk conservatives). He's pro-German and anti-British (foreign policy and, I suspect, the people too). He's been writing articles since the 1980s arguing that the French and a few others were more responsible for WW1 than the Germans.

Steve Sailer said...

Maybe the Kaiser's army invading Belgium was just a big gay fiasco?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_von_H%C3%BClsen-Haeseler

Whiskey said...

Let me add, WWI was directly the fault of one man alone, the Kaiser.

The Kaiser stupidly let the Three Emperors League fail, substituting peace and friendship with the Czar with strife and conflict. He then allowed Austria to seek conflict with Serbia over the Assassination of the Archduke while Russia was his enemy. Stupidly. He compounded the situation by encouraging a rapprochement between Britain and France that nearly fought a war over Africa (the Fashoda incident right on the heels of the conquest of the Sudan) by engaging in a stupid and unwinnable naval arms race with Britain. Guaranteeing that when Germany invaded Belgium it would bring the UK into the War.

As guaranteeing no major power would control the Low Countries was a British key objective since well, Cromwell's time. Arguably even Elizabeth the First's time.

Yes, challenge nearly five centuries of British policy because it felt good!

Had Germany merely picked an enemy (say France), and isolated it, kept it friendless and with no alliances and powerful friends fearful of German ambition, it would have avoided War.

Instead the Kaiser was both stupid and arrogant. He felt the German Army was so mighty it could fight the Russians, and French, and Italians, and British, with the Americans sure to follow, and win.

Possibly against two of those enemies on fronts aligned, he could have done so, but not on all three sides with only decreipt Austria and Turkey as allies.

World War One happened because the Kaiser picked a fight, deliberately, he could never win. Because Wilhelm was too stupid to realize his nation's limits.

Anonymous said...

If you could take any Allied Soldier (British, French, American, Russian) in 1914 or 1939 and have him visit the future, live in 2014, to witness what has become of the Western World, and what his sacrifice would be pivotal in creating, I'm guessing at least two-thirds and probably more would have taken arms with the the Kaiser in 1914 or with the Wehrmacht in 1939. Does anyone in Britain realize what their meddling on the continent the last 100 years has done to the Western World?

William Lind has written about WW1 with this great description.

“I find myself spending a good deal of time in church now. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of that vast civilizational catastrophe you know as World War I. Our culture, Western culture, in effect put a gun to its head and blew its brains out. Everything since has merely been the twitching of the corpse.”

Anonymous said...

"What is the paleocon infatuation with Russia?"

Paleocons support the idea of a Christian society, Putin has openly said that Russia will try to protect Christians in the world, in America Obama has stated that America is not a Christian country anymore. That alone is enough to win over many Paleocons.

There is more though, despite the media often using the word thug when Putin is discussed, compared to the belligerence and recklessness of the last few US presidents, Putin is the dove not the hawk of world affairs.

fnn said...

Russia has actually had a very easy ride in the West when you consider things like carrying out murders in foreign states, invading their neighbours...

Israel too.

Dan said...

I remain firmly convinced that a lot of French troops understood exactly what fitting the Germans too hard would do.

British troops had no motivation to kill Germans and many would have read Nazi ideas and agreed with 95% of it. Note how quickly the British vanished from France once the fight started. Note also that the British Army conducted no offensive in 1940 in the Low Countries.

Get shot over Danzig? Are you 'aving a laff?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:55p

Yeah, clearly, having Germany totally dominate Europe wouldn't threaten Britain at all. That wouldn't negate two centuries of careful maintenance of the balance of power on the continent between Russia, Prussia, and France.

At the end of the day, this did what for Britain? Lose its Empire and turn it into an alsoran power on the margins of everything.

The notion that Britain had the duty and right to alternately play off European powers against each other is obnoxious. Who made Britain the arbiter of how European political relations should be shaped?

Lest you forget, Britain declared war on Germany in both 1914 and 1939, not the other way around. Britain went out of its way to assert itself into things it really had no business being involved in and towards which it had been offered no beligerence..

When you look back on the sorry history of what that actually entailed (Seven Years War to help prevent Austria from reacquiring Silesia, Crimean War and the torpedoing of the 1878 Berlin Pece conference to ensure Russia didn't destroy the Ottomans or resurrect the Roman Empire in Constantinople, World War I to prevent Germany from reabsorbing Belgium and Picardy to the Reich where they had been just 100 years prior, World War II to prevent Germany from reannexing its Polish provinces lost in 1814 and 1919 during British lead peace conferences, etc.), you see the blatant hipocrisy.

How was it Britain's right to determine these things?

NOTA said...

The anti-Russia PR campaign in the prestige media reminds me a great deal of the anti-France campaign around and right after the Iraq invasion. Remember cheese eating surrender monkeys, freedom fries, and "rifle for sale, never fired, only dropped once?"

The pattern here appears to be that countries that resist our foreign policy adventures then become a kind of acceptable target in various bits of our media. I'm sure this isn't overtly coordinated anywhere, but media people are presumably pretty good at inferring which way the wind is blowing....

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer:"The break dancing in the closing ceremony was disappointing because it was much like you saw in the less inspired MTV videos with few dancers spinning around. After the jaw-dropping opening ceremony, I'd been sort of assuming they'd have 100 break dancers spinning in sync or something crazy like that."

Yeah, if only Busby Berkeley had been around for the '84 Olympics; imagine what he might have choreographed!

Anonymous said...

Given the fact that the traditional response to US finger-wagging about Soviet human rights abuses throughout that cursed union's existence was "And what about the way you Americans oppress your Negroes?", I do not think this is the best post in which to make that observation, unless you are wishing to savor the irony.

There's no irony here, because from the Soviet POV, they had the moral high ground as they had unlike the US never enslaved the Negroes, and they had liberated the nationalities of the Soviet empire. Furthermore, Soviet nationalities policy was more like old school imperial policy.

Anonymous said...

If we had a functioning foreign policy operation and a positive trend on military strength Russia and China would be simply annoyances. They are chronic loser countries. They rise up and cause some trouble every century then they self-destruct.

I suppose this all hinges on what "loser" and "self-destruct" means. I mean these countries have been around a lot longer than the US has, and they've been through a lot worse like the Mongol invasions and they're still sticking around.

Anonymous said...

Chicago:"During the cold war the media always showed pictures of headscarf wearing Russian woman who were as dumpy looking as they could find. Peasants worn out from a hard life of manual labor, missing teeth and overweight from starchy diets were the standard portrayal."

MMMM, I seem to recall seeing a lot of Cold War era footage of Soviet urbanites.....


Chicago:" Watching the Sochi Olympics people can see for themselves how nice their young people really look: clean, sharp looking and well built."

Yeah, Olympic athletes tend to look pretty good....and their appearance has roughly zero in common with the national average.


Chicago:" The Olympics are a pleasure to look at with all the fresh faced healthy young white athletes along with the impressive Asians. It's a welcome change of fare from the usual tatted-up types we typically see domestically."

MMMMM, you must not know too many Russians. Tattoos are frightfully common.Just go to any club.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Germans in WWI didn't want to dominate Europe."

Actually, they did want to dominate Europe. That was the point.Look up the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk sometime.


Anonymous:" Even if they'd won, they would not have invaded and occupied most of Europe."

To see some of the parts that they would have ruled, see Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It would have meant a massive expansion of German power.


Anonymous:" They wanted to be left alone to grow into a great power."


MMMM, the Germans were already a great power in 1914. That's how they managed to hold off the French, British, and Russians. They were a great power that wanted to become even more powerful.

anony-mouse said...

'A plea for peace'

You mean there's a war? I leave the internet for a few hours and I miss everything.

Shouldn't the US be withdrawing its athletes from Sochi?

Damn! With this war why were they sent in the first place?

Hunsdon said...

The line that Putin's a thug, for some reason, always reminds me of Mike and Kay talking in The Godfather.

Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.

Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

ricpic said...

Given the low morale, for obvious reasons, of the American People, not the ruling class, the country class, given that low morale I don't see the ruling class being able to rev up the kind of hatred of an "enemy" be it Russia or China, without which a war of any length and sacrifice cannot be prosecuted. For just that reason I hope the ruling class, in its arrogant pigheadedness does take us into another "adventure." That may be the event that finally brings on rebellion at home.

Anonymous said...

Dan:

"British troops had no motivation to kill Germans and many would have read Nazi ideas and agreed with 95% of it."

More cloudcuckooland, dear boy.


Dan:" Note how quickly the British vanished from France once the fight started."

Well, one has to bear in mind little things like the military collapse of the French....


Dan:" Note also that the British Army conducted no offensive in 1940 in the Low Countries."

Which probably would not have gone very well.

Dan:"Get shot over Danzig? Are you 'aving a laff?"

More like shot over stopping Nazi designs for European supremacy..

Anonymous said...

The true tragedy of WWI is the American entry into the war. Otherwise, Britain and France would likely have held the Germans to a stalemate in the West, and the Germans would been able to claim vast parts of Eastern Europe (Poland, the Baltics, Western Ukraine) as their prize for their losses in the war, while France and England could retain their overseas empires.

But once America entered the war, the defeat of Germany was virtually inevitable. Of course, Germany has nobody to blame for the Zimmerman Telegram than itself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"At the end of the day, this did what for Britain? Lose its Empire and turn it into an alsoran power on the margins of everything."

All empires decay, dear boy. History is the obituary of nations.

Anonymous:"The notion that Britain had the duty and right to alternately play off European powers against each other is obnoxious."

Whereas Russia, France, Germany, Italy, etc, are not obnoxious for thinking that they have the right to play chess with the map of Europe? Playing one state against another is simply what great powers do, dear boy.

Anonymous:" Who made Britain the arbiter of how European political relations should be shaped?"

Presumably he same person who gave Napoleon the right to carve out a continental empire for the French, the Germans the right to impose their will on Eastern Europe with the Treaty of Brest Litovsk, etc.

Anonymous:"Lest you forget, Britain declared war on Germany in both 1914 and 1939, not the other way around."

Yes, and that was in response to actions taken by the Germans...


Anonymous:" Britain went out of its way to assert itself into things it really had no business being involved in and towards which it had been offered no beligerence.."

As opposed to Germany, with its Quaker-like foreign policy?

Anonymous:"When you look back on the sorry history of what that actually entailed (Seven Years War to help prevent Austria from reacquiring Silesia, Crimean War and the torpedoing of the 1878 Berlin Pece conference to ensure Russia didn't destroy the Ottomans or resurrect the Roman Empire in Constantinople, World War I to prevent Germany from reabsorbing Belgium and Picardy to the Reich where they had been just 100 years prior, World War II to prevent Germany from reannexing its Polish provinces lost in 1814 and 1919 during British lead peace conferences, etc.), you see the blatant hipocrisy."

MMMM, and states like France and Germany were somehow entirely lacking in "hypocrisy?"

Anonymous:"How was it Britain's right to determine these things?"

How was it Germany's right? Or France's? Or Russia's?

Anonymous said...

"How was it Britain's right to determine these things?"

The idea of 'rights' in affairs of state is both fundamentally liberal and moronic. Britain was protecting its national interests, which saw that if the Heer was in Paris one day, it could be in London in another month or so. This, obviously, came very close to occurring in 1940, where the Battle of Britain was won by the narrowest of margins.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"There's no irony here, because from the Soviet POV, they had the moral high ground as they had unlike the US never enslaved the Negroes, and they had liberated the nationalities of the Soviet empire. Furthermore, Soviet nationalities policy was more like old school imperial policy."

That was less the "Soviet POV," dear boy, and more the official Soviet propaganda line. The people making the decisions knew full well what horrors had been committed on subaltern populations in the USSR (Ukraine, Chechnya, etc).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"The true tragedy of WWI is the American entry into the war. Otherwise, Britain and France would likely have held the Germans to a stalemate in the West, and the Germans would been able to claim vast parts of Eastern Europe (Poland, the Baltics, Western Ukraine) as their prize for their losses in the war, while France and England could retain their overseas empires."

But that kind of perspective assumes knowledge of the rise of Hitler....something that was quite hard to foresee in 1917-18.

For that matter, if Wilson had been a tad more unbending in his relationship with Cabot Lodge, the Nazi re-armament of Germany might have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

"But that kind of perspective assumes knowledge of the rise of Hitler....something that was quite hard to foresee in 1917-18."

Sure, but it was less hard to foresee that provoking a sleeping giant with the Zimmermann telegram (the original white Hispanic?)and with unrestricted submarine warfare would result in a crushing defeat. If not for German provocation, the US would likely have remained neutral.

Anonymous said...

MMMM

Dear boy

MMMM

Dear boy

MMMM


For the love of God, would you please stop affecting the mannerisms of an ambiguously homosexual English upper-class twit?

Anonymous said...

so, nothing to do with Germany invading Belgium and FRance, then?

Why did we have a one sided alliance with Belgium? Purely as a trip wire arrangement to trigger legitimate conflict with Germany it seems to me.

One sided as Im not clear what Belgium was ever supposed to do for us, indeed has ever done for us.

In the run up to Desert Storm Belgium refused to sell Britain ammunition, a NATO ally! What was all the loss of life and treasure we made, ostensibly for them, in WW1 (and WW2) for then? Nothing apparently. Not even enough to get them to sell us a few shells.

Anonymous said...

Britain was protecting its national interests, which saw that if the Heer was in Paris one day, it could be in London in another month or so. This, obviously, came very close to occurring in 1940, where the Battle of Britain was won by the narrowest of margins.

No and no.

There wasnt the slightest realistic chance of Britain being invaded in WW1 or barely any more in WW1.

At anytime in either conflict Britain could have made terms with Germany that would have left the British army, navy & empire intact.

British defeat in either war would mean allowing Germany a freer hand in mainland Europe - something Britain felt was not in its interests. But not British defeat or occupation.

Dan said...

No it wasn't. The battle of Britain was a foregone conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Traditional British foreign policy was that the major rivers of northwestern Europe that empty out into the Atlantic in what's now Belgium and the Netherlands be open to British trade, and that one continental power even having the potential to blockade most of the rivers was cause for war.

Ironically, most of Britain's trade in 1939 was with the Empire and the US.

Anonymous said...

"Why did we have a one sided alliance with Belgium? Purely as a trip wire arrangement to trigger legitimate conflict with Germany it seems to me."

The Treaty of London was signed in 1839, before there was a Germany. The Treaty was signed by every major power in Europe, including Prussia. Bismarck asked Britain if Britain would defend Belgium against a French invasion, and Britain confirmed that it would, if Prussia would. The same was repeated to the French just before WWI. Your ignorance is stunning.

Anonymous said...

"foregone conclusion"

Facts, schmacts. "British soldiers would have agreed with 95% of Nazi ideas."

In The Narrow Margin, published in 1961, historians Derek Wood and Derek Dempster believed that the two weeks from 24 August to 6 September represented a real danger. According to them, from 24 August to 6 September 295 fighters had been totally destroyed and 171 badly damaged, against a total output of 269 new and repaired Spitfires and Hurricanes. They assert that 103 pilots were killed or missing and 128 were wounded, which represented a total wastage of 120 pilots per week out of a fighting strength of just fewer than 1,000. They conclude that during August no more than 260 fighter pilots were turned out by OTUs and casualties in the same month were just over 300. A full squadron establishment was 26 pilots whereas the average in August was 16. In their assessment, the RAF was losing the battle.[153] Denis Richards, in his 1953 contribution to the official British account History of the Second World War, agreed that lack of pilots, especially experienced ones, was the RAF's greatest problem. He states that between 8 and 18 August 154 RAF pilots were killed, severely wounded, or missing, while only 63 new pilots were trained. Availability of aircraft was also a serious issue. While its reserves during the Battle of Britain never declined to a half dozen planes as some later claimed, Richards describes 24 August to 6 September as the critical period because during these two weeks Germany destroyed far more aircraft through its attacks on 11 Group's southeast bases than Britain was producing. Three more weeks of such a pace would indeed have exhausted aircraft reserves. Germany had seen heavy losses of pilots and aircraft as well, however, thus its shift to nighttime attacks in September. On 7 September RAF aircraft losses fell below British production and remained so until the end of the war.

Within two months, American journalist Ralph Ingersoll published a book after a visit to Britain which stated that "Adolf Hitler met his first defeat in eight years"—which might "go down in history as a battle as important as Waterloo or Gettysburg"—by reducing the intensity of the Blitz after 15 September. According to Ingersoll, "[a] majority of responsible British officers who fought through this battle believe that if Hitler and Goering had had the courage and the resources to lose 200 planes a day for the next five days, nothing could have saved London"; instead, "[the Luftwaffe's] morale in combat is definitely broken, and the RAF has been gaining in strength each week.

Anonymous said...

If not for German provocation, the US would likely have remained neutral.

USMC General Smedley Butler, winner of two MoHs, had this to say about why we went into WW1.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?

Money.

An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.

If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money . . . and Germany won't.

So . . . "

Cail Corishev said...

For the love of God, would you please stop affecting the mannerisms of an ambiguously homosexual English upper-class twit?

Shhh, it doesn't sign its comments, so those consistent affectations are the only way to easily spot its comments and skip them.

Anonymous said...

Russia is the biggest threat to world peace since the Confedrate States of America and Nazi Germnay.

But is it a bigger threat than the KKK?

Dan said...

One destroyer riding through the invasion barges the Germans amassed would have capsized half of the tubs.

A flotilla of RN ships among the invasion barges would have sunk everything the Germans had.

There was never a danger that the. British would lose any battle for their homeland. This doesn't even count the pilots and birds of bomber and coastal command.
Also the most current historical research on the Battle of Britain strongly suggests the German pressure was absorbed and reversed.

Dan said...

Britain clearly wasn't protecting any identifiable national interest. Nor was it protecting Democracy in ww1. The Germans had universal manhood suffrage and had a muscular parliament.

Whatever it was the British government was protecting in 1914 is a total mystery. WW2 was a little bit more clearcut. Britain was a liberal democracy, Germany a Nationalist dictatorship. However, we went to war to protect the Polish right to lord it over a German city called Danzig.

Oh well, I hope it was all worth it to whomever fooled he British into it.

Anonymous said...

"A flotilla of RN ships among the invasion barges would have sunk everything the Germans had."

Without air dominance of the RAF, the RN would have been sunk in the Channel. You're not worth taking seriously.

Anonymous said...

How could Germany have "totally dominated all of Europe" in 1914? Germany is only a small part of Europe's territory and all of the Germans of Europe would still be only a small minority of the continent's population. Nor would Germany have had any means to invade, let alone occupy the British Isles.

Dan said...

There were 38 RN destroyers operating in closed waters around Dunkirk. The Luftwaffe targeted them with everything they had and only sank 4. You overestimate the ability of the bombers. do have any idea, any idea at all, how many ships the RN had at the time? And even if the Germans had knocked out airfields in the south the RAF always had enough Spits and Hurricane to escort a bombing run on the tiny Kreigsmarine. There was never a danger for Fighter Command either. Pilots were trained and Hurricanes were mass produced.

We had more submarines than the Germans had warships.

Anonymous said...

Germany's biggest mistake during WW1 was overestimating Russia's ability to wage war. Even while committing the lion's share of their forces to the Western Front, they were still able to defeat Russia rather convincingly. Overestimating Russia caused Germany to believe that they needed to take out France first and foremost before concentrating in Russia. The best strategy would have been to play defense with a smaller force in the West and concentrate the bulk of their force in a drive Eastward. France would not have been able to break through Germany's lines, and since Britain would not have entered the war.

Anonymous said...

"How could Germany have "totally dominated all of Europe" in 1914?"

By mid-1918, the eastern border of the German Empire stretched from Estonia to Rostov-on-the-Don in the Northern Caucauses. And as the Nazis famously pointed out, the German army was occupying French soil when the armistice was signed. German dominance of Europe isn't a hypothetical.

Only the aid of Britain prevented Germans from celebrating Christmas 1914 in Versailles. The Schlieffen plan was brilliant, and it came very close to working.

Anonymous said...

Not to re-fight the Battle of Britain yet again, but it's also important to keep in mind that the British were the first to use a nation-wide system to control their battle-space, based on the Chain Home radar system. They had the world's first integrated air defence system based on radar.

In effect the British were fighting the entire RAF as a single integrated weapon.

The Germans were much closer to flying blind. The Germans had no equivalent to the British system. German intelligence was particularly bad. They constantly predicted that the RAF could only last about 3 more weeks. Except for one 3 week touch-and-go period this was never the case.


"Chain Home radars stretched across the shoreline of the British Isles, looking outward, offering almost continuous coverage of the over-water areas offshore. CH systems would often detect larger formations while still over France, offering invaluable early warning of an impending raid. The presence of radar strongly swung the balance of power in the direction of defence..."

Radar wasn't just an isolated piece of tactical equipment, it was part of the Dowding system:

"The Dowding system was the world's first large-scale centralized air defence command and control system, built by the Royal Air Force just before the start of World War II.

...

The effect of this system was profound, and remains a widely used example of the concept of force multiplication.

...over 100 German aircraft were scrambled to meet a small force of RAF bombers, but less than half of these found them. ...

The Dowding system turned this on its head."

Eric said...

Paleocons support the idea of a Christian society, Putin has openly said that Russia will try to protect Christians in the world, in America Obama has stated that America is not a Christian country anymore. That alone is enough to win over many Paleocons.

Putin is also an unambiguous booster of Russia and all things Russian. Frankly, it's refreshing, and I wish we had a leader like that.

5371 said...

Glad to see the anti-Germans facing some solid pushback on this thread. The myths are crumbling after a hundred years.

Eric said...

A flotilla of RN ships among the invasion barges would have sunk everything the Germans had.

Assuming a flotilla of RN ships still existed. The entire enterprise hinged on air superiority. Eventually the Luftwaffe would have ground down the British navy to the point it could not resist and invasion. Hell, just getting allied air power off of the German submarine fleet would have cut the Brits off from critical resource supplies in the Med and Africa.

In the early stages of the air battle the Germans were (wisely) targeting British airfields and radar installations. They were winning, too. But Hitler changed tactics and started bombing London because he wanted to punish Britain for Bombing Berlin, giving the RAF the breathing space it needed to mount a more effective defense. If Hitler had stayed with the original plan he might have won the war.

And lest you doubt the effectiveness of air power against ships, remember the German fleet was destroyed almost entirely by British air power, just as the Italian fleet had earlier been destroyed by British air power and the Japanese fleet would later be destroyed by US air power. The idea the Royal Navy was going to survive sustained unopposed operation of German land-based aircraft is laughable.

Anonymous said...

"Sure, but it was less hard to foresee that provoking a sleeping giant with the Zimmermann telegram (the original white Hispanic?)and with unrestricted submarine warfare would result in a crushing defeat. If not for German provocation, the US would likely have remained neutral." - unfortunately we in America(or rather our bankers) had a problem: they had loaned far too much to the allies to allow them to lose.

Jon said...

"If you could take any Allied Soldier (British, French, American, Russian) in 1914 or 1939 and have him visit the future, live in 2014, to witness what has become of the Western World, and what his sacrifice would be pivotal in creating, I'm guessing at least two-thirds and probably more would have taken arms with the the Kaiser in 1914 or with the Wehrmacht in 1939. Does anyone in Britain realize what their meddling on the continent the last 100 years has done to the Western World?"

Man, what a great idea for a movie: Battle of Britain meets A Christmas Carol, where a "ghost of England future" takes entire regiments on a time-space trip to the ethnic slums of modern-day England.

Sid said...

China makes too much of our stuff. A war with China, even if it didn't go nuclear, would eviscerate American corporations. In contrast, Russia has nothing going for it except a strong military, a renewed Cheka which dominates their oligarchs, and oil.

If you're a Democrat, their oil means little because of green energy. If you're a Republican, their oil is just a rival to our fracking.

So tension with Russia isn't as economically upsetting as tension with China.

Dan said...

First, the Germans had to utterly annihilate the RAF. This is something they couldn't have done. Nor did they do it. The Luftwaffe was an appendage of the ground pounder force. It couldn't establish supremacy.

The German surface fleet was tiny. Easily dispatched. The RN had enormous redundancies and the Kreigsmarine counseled against a cross channel run.

Anonymous said...

"MMMMM, you must not know too many Russians. Tattoos are frightfully common.Just go to any club."

Before the fall of the Soviet Union only career criminals and sailors had tatoos in Russia. Non-criminal, non-sailor tatoos are a recent cultural import from America.

Anonymous said...

"Unlike us, they have not started any wars lately." - While I do agree that Russia is mostly in the right here, there was that bit in Georgia to remember.

Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a Russian protectorate. Russians repulsed that invasion. The people of South Ossetia are not ethnically Georgian and, more importantly, do not want to be a part of Georgia.

Gunnar von Cowtown said...

But, artistically, when your country can lead off its performance with Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, well, respect.

Generally, I’m bored out of my skull by halftime shows, opening ceremonies or any sports-related contrivance smacking of “Hooray For Everything!” But, Russia’s opening ceremonies were incredible. They proudly and unapologetically displayed the best of what centuries of Russian culture had to offer, and this is the kind of thing that can only be done by a “blood and soil” nation. Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, St. Basil's Cathedral, Peter the Great and on and on and on. I’m no expert on Russian art or ballet in general, but the focus and purity of essence in that ceremony was undeniable. They are a true people with a true nation. I envy them for that.

This point really hit home when NBC cut to a commercial break and clobbered the viewing audience with the one-two punch of that god awful Coke commercial where a bunch of third world immigrants sing “America The Beautiful” in every language but English, followed by an ad for the Chevy Traverse which apparently runs on miscegenation.
America can never have a ceremony like that where we proudly celebrate the best of our culture. Could you imagine the conversation that would take place during planning?

TV Director Bill: So we start literary; Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Dickenson, Melville, Twain, Faulkner, Hemmingway, Wolfe…..

Executive Producer Bob: WAIT! The gals from marketing said we need to cut three of them to make room for Toni Morrison, Mya Angelo, Oprah, and that chick who wrote The Vagina Monologues.

TV Director Bill: OK. Inventors: Franklin, Edison, Ford, the Wright Brothers…

Executive Producer Bob: WAIT! We just got a memo from the network. Scratch Franklin and Ford for a double peanut-buttery helping of George Washing Carver Jr. Oh, and we ought to throw in the chick from The Monkees who invented Liquid Paper.

TV Director Bill: Uh, composers and musicians; John Philip Sousa, Stephen Foster, George Gershwin……. Miles Davis, Muddy Waters…..

Executive Producer Bob: WAIT! They’ve gotta split equal time with Michael Jackson, J-Lo, Beyonce and Ricky Martin..

TV Director Bill: Come on, man! I already had black guys in there! *sigh* Explorers; John Glenn, Neil Armstrong?......

Executive Producer Bob: Fine, but then you need to add a shaming segment on Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, then work your way triumphantly up to Jim Brown, Carl Lewis, Flo-Jo, and Michael Jordan.

TV Director Bill: Fine. Statesmen; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, JFK, Reagan.....

Executive Producer Bob: Naw. You get Lincoln, MLK and Obama. Oh, and you need to add another shaming segment on how bad slavery and Jim Crow were.

TV Director Bill: Screw you guys! I’m going home.

Executive Producer Bob: But home is nowhere.

Aaaand scene!

In conclusion, Soviet-style communism was a really, really bad idea, but I give resurgent Russian Nationalism two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

Dan:"Britain clearly wasn't protecting any identifiable national interest."

Since at least the 16th century, Britain's policy has been to prevent one nation from assuming mastery of Europe. That was always understood to be Britain's interest.

Dan:" Nor was it protecting Democracy in ww1. The Germans had universal manhood suffrage and had a muscular parliament."

MMMM, seems to me that the Kaiser had a tad more power than George V.

Dan:"Whatever it was the British government was protecting in 1914 is a total mystery."

It was protecting its position in the game of Great Powers. Britain does not allow any country (cf France under Napoleon) to dominate Europe.

dan:
" WW2 was a little bit more clearcut. Britain was a liberal democracy, Germany a Nationalist dictatorship. However, we went to war to protect the Polish right to lord it over a German city called Danzig."

Ostensible Casus Belli, dear boy. Everyone knew that the war was about stopping the Nazis from becoming the dominant power in Europe. Hitler's stupid decision to make a deal with Stalin and invade Poland simply provide the necessary shock to the system.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous;"For the love of God, would you please stop affecting the mannerisms of an ambiguously homosexual English upper-class twit?"

"[A]mbiguously homosexual?": MMM, and here I was going for sheer lack of ambiguity. Perhaps I should turn the dial to 11?

Anonymous said...

Cail Coreshev:"Shhh, it doesn't sign its comments, so those consistent affectations are the only way to easily spot its comments and skip them."

Now, now, dear boy. Don't be afraid. I'm told that I can be quite gentle with first timers.

Anonymous said...

"It's a welcome change of fare from the usual tatted-up types we typically see domestically. The commercials, with all their built-in PC garbage, are a real contrast to the actual show."

If the Olympians took off their bulky winter garb, then you'd see all the tats; everyone under age 30 is graffitied neck-to-toes. I agree the commercials are purest treacly bilge -- absolutely unendurable. In fact, the incessant play-by-play chatter during the actual events is unendurable bilge as well -- that's why God created the "mute" button.

Anonymous said...

"British troops had no motivation to kill Germans and many would have read Nazi ideas and agreed with 95% of it."

It's going to be so sweet when, in less than a generation, this sort of pud-pulling Monday-morning quarterbacking analyses of WWII and Nazis will be extinct.

David said...

H.L. Mencken said a British-German alliance in WW1 would have enabled Britain to keep its empire; the two powers could have divvied up the world between them. He told this to a British official while on a journalistic junket. The official was silent for a long time, then, with his face as blank as a wall, said, "We thought of all that ourselves." (- reported in Mencken's posthumous book Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work).

One of the Kaiser's favorite American books, copies of which he pressed on friends and visitors during his retirement, was Mencken's Notes on Democracy.

Anonymous said...

Eventually the Luftwaffe would have ground down the British navy to the point it could not resist and invasion.

Eventually? They never managed to eventually grind down the RAF let alone the RN. The RAF had more fighters at the end of the battle of Britain than they started with. British aircraft production was greater than the German. If the balance of airforces in 1940 wasnt enough for the Luftwaffe to succeed it wasnt going to work later.

n the early stages of the air battle the Germans were (wisely) targeting British airfields and radar installations. They were winning, too. But Hitler changed tactics and started bombing London

They switched tactics before then. They hit the radar sites for a few days (often up and running again in hours) and then paid them no further attention long before the switch to bombing London.

Airfields - the RAF were mostly operating from hard runways, the Germans from more temporary grass strips. Even if every hard runway in SE England were destroyed the RAF could have operated from the same kind of grass strips. The net effect on the number of operational RAF bases would have been zero.

If Hitler had stayed with the original plan he might have won the war.

He might have won but the British would only have lost in a limited sense. After Dunkirk or after the BoB the British could have agreed to stop fighting and what would they have lost? Nothing. Thats exactly what Hitler wanted, for the British to stop fighting, there is no real chance he could actually defeat them.

Its like the Japanese offensive in 1941. They never had any hope of defeating the US, merely of extending Japanese control further into Asia and the Pacific, enough to make fighting them too costly for the US.

Btw, if Britain had made peace with Germany in 1940 would the Japanese have dared to carry out their 1941 expansion? To take on the US was huge gamble. To take on the British Empire as well, without a distracting war in Europe and N. Africa would have been a step way too far.

Anonymous said...

Your ignorance is stunning

You keep saying that.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Well, on the credit side of the ledger, one might note that the L.A. Olympics did give us John Williams' "Olympic Theme,...."

A stale rehash of his own style. Williams for the most part ceased to be an inventive composer in the early 80s sometime. "Bugler's Dream" which was adopted by ABC for their coverage of the Olympics in the 60s and 70s is in my opinion a better Olympic theme (though not actually written for the Olympics).

Dan said...

The RAF, as I said, couldn't have been wiped out. They were always in a position to scrape together a few hundred pilots and a few hundred Hurricanes. The Germans never threatened to eliminate the RAF. One Me 109 can't simultaneously shoot down a Hurri, a Wellington and strafe a destroyer and provide close air support.

The Germans faced enormous attrition too you know.

Dan said...

Could I get a reply on this?

How long would the Germans have had to "grind down" the RN, before foul weather would have made a cross channel invasion impossible?

How would the Luftwaffe have simultaneously caused attrition on the remnant of Fighter Command, fended off Bomber Command and Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm and the actual Fleet?

They didn't have infinite resources. They switched to bombing cities because they were getting blown out of the sky at an alarming rate. Their pilots were human beings with all that entails.

Anonymous said...

Mr Anon:'A stale rehash of his own style."

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one, dear boy.


Mr Anon:" Williams for the most part ceased to be an inventive composer in the early 80s sometime."

MMMM, so either the '84 Olympics is not "early 80s," or it marks the exact point when he ceased to be an "inventive composer?"




Mr Anon:" "Bugler's Dream" which was adopted by ABC for their coverage of the Olympics in the 60s and 70s is in my opinion a better Olympic theme"

A bit too ostentatious for my tastes.


Mr Anon:" (though not actually written for the Olympics)."

Well, bearing that in mind, do you have a rival to Williams' theme in mind ? Something that actually was composed for the Olympics?

Anonymous said...

David:"H.L. Mencken said a British-German alliance in WW1 would have enabled Britain to keep its empire; the two powers could have divvied up the world between them. He told this to a British official while on a journalistic junket. The official was silent for a long time, then, with his face as blank as a wall, said, "We thought of all that ourselves." (- reported in Mencken's posthumous book Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work)."


Doubtful that it could have worked. Rival hegemons are notoriously unstable. One will inevitably eclipse the other.

Dan said...

Get some blokes from the Rifle Brigade who served in Egypt, have them discover a lamp under the Sphinx. One of the lads wishes this:

"let me go back home for a weekend to Brixton in the 1980s...to see a land fit for heroes!".

Another wishes to be whisked away back to Bradford, another Oldham, another Greenwich...

You'd have to get that episode of Blackadder past the Commissars at the BBC though.

Anonymous said...

Dan:"Could I get a reply on this?"

Why not? Anything to combat the ennui and black bile.

Dan:"How long would the Germans have had to "grind down" the RN, before foul weather would have made a cross channel invasion impossible?

How would the Luftwaffe have simultaneously caused attrition on the remnant of Fighter Command, fended off Bomber Command and Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm and the actual Fleet?

They didn't have infinite resources. They switched to bombing cities because they were getting blown out of the sky at an alarming rate. Their pilots were human beings with all that entails."


Ah, the old "let's replay WW2, but this time have Hitler actually invade Britain" game.

Not possible. Would not have happened. Full stop.

Hitler stood no chance of successfully invading Britain, and he would have been stark staring mad to even attempt it. And no, he was not that crazy.

Now that that is settled, let's move on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous;"Before the fall of the Soviet Union only career criminals and sailors had tatoos in Russia."

MMMMM, and one might note that tattoos were pretty scarce in the USA before the fall of the USSR. Causation? Or coincidence?

Anonymous:"Non-criminal, non-sailor tatoos are a recent cultural import from America."


MMMM, since we are assigning blame, dear boy, I'll heap it on the Polynesians. See, the Yanks simply imported the fad from them.

I tell you, life is always so much more pleasant when you can blame things that you don't like on someone else.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"He might have won but the British would only have lost in a limited sense. After Dunkirk or after the BoB the British could have agreed to stop fighting and what would they have lost? Nothing."

Well, they would have had to accede to Nazi control of Europe, something that was not very likely.

For that matter, had the Brits stayed out of it (neutral observers, say) there was still the Soviet Union to contend with. Given how much of the burden of the fighting that they shouldered in our timeline, it's quite possible that they would have been able to beat the Nazis on their own, which would have meant a Soviet controlled Europe, all the way up to the English Channel.


Anonymous said...

Dan:"Get some blokes from the Rifle Brigade who served in Egypt, have them discover a lamp under the Sphinx. One of the lads wishes this:

"let me go back home for a weekend to Brixton in the 1980s...to see a land fit for heroes!".

Another wishes to be whisked away back to Bradford, another Oldham, another Greenwich...

You'd have to get that episode of Blackadder past the Commissars at the BBC though."


Ah, the old "future shock" scenario.

MMMM, imagine a group of stalwart lads from the Peninsular War transported to 1920. Poor fellows would have slitting their wrists in short order...

What about an aborigine transported from 1780 to 1880? Heart attack on the spot?

Time and change, dear boy. It's not for sissies.

Anonymous said...

"MMMM, since we are assigning blame, dear boy, I'll heap it on the Polynesians. See, the Yanks simply imported the fad from them. "


"You talk like a fag and you're s**t's all retarded."

Anonymous said...

"After Dunkirk or after the BoB the British could have agreed to stop fighting and what would they have lost? Nothing."

Well, they would have had to accede to Nazi control of Europe, something that was not very likely.


Leaving aside the fact that there was absolutely nothing the British could have done about Nazi control of Europe (or Soviet control of Europe) the reality is that much of the conflict which has torn Western Europe apart in the last few hundred years has been fomented by the British. Maybe everyone would be better off if the Brits stopped always trying to topple whoever is the current top dog in Europe. And yes, "everyone" includes the British themselves.

Anonymous said...

Since at least the 16th century, Britain's policy has been to prevent one nation from assuming mastery of Europe. That was always understood to be Britain's interest.


They may have "understood" that, but they were obviously wrong in their understanding. Completely and catastrophically wrong.

If you could have sat the leaders of Britain down in front of a crystal ball in 1914 and let them see what the next forty years would bring, they'd have acted very differently. Their actual actions destroyed the biggest and wealthiest empire the world has ever seen and reduced Britain to a powerless pauper. Never mind the incredible carnage unleashed on mainland Europe, the British actions were also self-destructive.

Anonymous said...

For the love of God, would you please stop affecting the mannerisms of an ambiguously homosexual English upper-class twit?


Affecting? What makes you think he's affecting?

Anonymous said...

Russia has actually had a very easy ride in the West when you consider things like carrying out murders in foreign states, invading their neighbours and supplying the Syrian regime with words.


Yeah, almost as easy as ride as the US has had for doing the same things.

Anonymous said...

Since at least the 16th century, Britain's policy has been to prevent one nation from assuming mastery of Europe.


I'm at a loss to understand why all the world is supposed to bow down before "British policy" as if it's some Immutable Law handed down from the mountain top.

It's the muggers policy to beat and rob any honky who wanders into the wrong part of down. Surely everyone understands this? They're just following their policy, after all.

Eric said...

The RAF, as I said, couldn't have been wiped out. They were always in a position to scrape together a few hundred pilots and a few hundred Hurricanes. The Germans never threatened to eliminate the RAF. One Me 109 can't simultaneously shoot down a Hurri, a Wellington and strafe a destroyer and provide close air support.

Wiped out? No, probably not. But it could have been degraded the way the Luftwaffe was. All the Germans had to do was damage the RAF enough such that it couldn't shoot down many German planes or present much of an obstacle to Operation Sea Lion.

That was eminently doable, particularly since without air superiority German submarines would have run amok. The UK would have been cut off from the rest of the world.

How long would the Germans have had to "grind down" the RN, before foul weather would have made a cross channel invasion impossible?

The invasion would have happened in the summer of 1941. So they had a year. It would have been enough.

How would the Luftwaffe have simultaneously caused attrition on the remnant of Fighter Command, fended off Bomber Command and Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm and the actual Fleet?

There's no reason for any of this to be simultaneous. The Germans simply had to do what the allies actually did to the Germans.

Eric said...

They switched to bombing cities because they were getting blown out of the sky at an alarming rate. Their pilots were human beings with all that entails.

This is simply wrong. The Germans switched to attacking cities for two reasons. The first was to punish the British for bombing Berlin. The second was they believed the Brits were ready to throw in the towel, and heavy bombing of London was supposed to nudge the British leadership into suing for peace.

The Germans were winning before the switch in tactics. There was no military reason to change what they were doing. But for Hitler the best outcome would have been for England to make peace so he could concentrate on the East. If you read Mein Kampf you'll see he considered Britain and France to be allies at best and distractions at worst. What Hitler really wanted to do was invade Russia.

The Germans thought the war with England was over. Done. They were so sure the Brits would sue for peace they didn't even have a contingency plan for the unlikely even the UK would choose to fight on. Hitler didn't even order the general staff to make plans to continue the war with the Brits until six weeks after the last boat departed Dunkirk.

Dan said...

If?

I might concede that the Luftwaffe miscalculated in switching to bombing cities, assessing erroneously that they had already beaten Dowding, but they were never going to win against interceptors organized like Fighter Command was.

They were being punished every time they flew over the channel.

There is also another factor. Bomber Command was actually hitting the invasion ports quite hard. The BoB hagiography generally ignores this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Affecting? What makes you think he's affecting?"

You are too kind, dear boy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous"They may have "understood" that, but they were obviously wrong in their understanding. Completely and catastrophically wrong.

If you could have sat the leaders of Britain down in front of a crystal ball in 1914 and let them see what the next forty years would bring, they'd have acted very differently. Their actual actions destroyed the biggest and wealthiest empire the world has ever seen and reduced Britain to a powerless pauper. Never mind the incredible carnage unleashed on mainland Europe, the British actions were also self-destructive."

Ah, statesmanship via crystallomancy!

MMMM, since what's good for the goose is good for the gander, let's imagine what the Kaiser and his General Staff would have done in 1914 after being vouchsafed a vision of the years 1914-1945. I tend to imagine that after viewing such a horror-show (Germany succumbing to dismal defeat in two bloody wars, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, the end of the German monarchy, the partitioning of Germany between East and West, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, etc)that they would have probably decided that going to war in 1914 was a pretty bad idea for Germany and the world....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Leaving aside the fact that there was absolutely nothing the British could have done about Nazi control of Europe (or Soviet control of Europe) the reality is that much of the conflict which has torn Western Europe apart in the last few hundred years has been fomented by the British. Maybe everyone would be better off if the Brits stopped always trying to topple whoever is the current top dog in Europe. And yes, "everyone" includes the British themselves."


MMMM, or, alternatively, the Germans could have just decided that being the most powerful economy in Europe in 1914 was a really good thing and that dreams of empire would just lead to catastrophe...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:""You talk like a fag and you're s**t's all retarded.""

MMMM, rather lacking in eloquence, dear boy.If you must insult someone, you should at least try to be witty in the process (cf such fine examples as Ambrose Bierce and Oscar Wilde Ah, well, the internet is such a vulgar medium.

Anonymous said...

"Traditional British foreign policy was that the major rivers of northwestern Europe that empty out into the Atlantic in what's now Belgium and the Netherlands be open to British trade, and that one continental power even having the potential to blockade most of the rivers was cause for war."

When did that come in to play? It sounds reasonable, but I don't know the history behind it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous;"Leaving aside the fact that there was absolutely nothing the British could have done about Nazi control of Europe (or Soviet control of Europe)"


MMMM, seems to me that Britain had quite a bit to do with preventing Nazi control of the continent. For example, dear boy, try to imagine the USA launching a Western Front in Europe without British aid. Without Britain, the USA would not have been able to do much against Hitler.And, since the Allied push through France was instrumental in keeping the Russians from dominating Europe after they vanquished Hitler,Britain also had a hand in stopping Stalin.

Anonymous said...

"When did that come in to play? It sounds reasonable, but I don't know the history behind it."

Since Henry VIII's reign. It wasn't a conscious thing at the very beginning but the spread of Renaissance ideas about the nature of power made it a conscious thing fast enough.

Until 1700, it was about balancing France against the Hapsburgs in Austria and Spain. After 1700, with the decline of the Spanish empire and the Bourbon takeover of the Spanish crown, it was still about balancing the Bourbons versus the Hapsburgs, but with less of an emphasis on Spain.

Then it was about constraining Napoleon.

Dan said...

When the Bank of England was founded.

Dan said...

Summer 41?

FFS!

Dan said...

Much much more to do with William of Orange ...

The Stuarts were basically French pets.

Dan said...

The main interest was always to be on the winning side in any war.

opposing a supposed hegemonic power is practical insanity. Don't believe the hype on that policy.

The basis of all of this was the permanent national debt that allowed the UK to fund practically endless wars everywhere in the world for 350 years. By carefully isolating and pounding on one nation or another supremacy was achieved. The penchant for attacking nations armed with guava halves and ripe bananas was also beneficial. Get the French, Germans or Russians busy whacking each other while we pilfered Africa or India or China. Then when things got too hot send an expedition across the channel to seal a treaty.

It's not complicated and it's cynical.

Anonymous said...

[Holds aloft a limp wrist in mockery]

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"[Holds aloft a limp wrist in mockery]"

MMMM, visual humour really needs, well, visuals, dear boy. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

" Dan said...
Much much more to do with William of Orange ...

The Stuarts were basically French pets."

Indeed, the Stuart inability to secure stability during their 70 year rule made them irrelevant on the continent. But the Tudors who preceded them understood the balance of power well.

"The basis of all of this was the permanent national debt that allowed the UK to fund practically endless wars everywhere in the world for 350 years. By carefully isolating and pounding on one nation or another supremacy was achieved. The penchant for attacking nations armed with guava halves and ripe bananas was also beneficial. Get the French, Germans or Russians busy whacking each other while we pilfered Africa or India or China. Then when things got too hot send an expedition across the channel to seal a treaty.

It's not complicated and it's cynical."

I know, instead of all that complicated stuff with natural rights and with capitalism, wouldn't it be nice if everybody just let that man with the funny mustache do his thing? Sure would be better, amirite?

Anonymous said...

A few more things for folks who think Germany could have obtained air superiority and taken out the RN and RAF during the Battle of Britain (with the hindsight of what historians know today).

* The Germans had no really good anti-ship weapons at the time of the Battle of Britain (armor piercing bombs, torpedo planes). It took them about a year to develop. German air attacks on merchant ships had surprisingly little success.

* The Germans best accurate anti-shipping weapons platform at the start of the war was the Ju-87 dive bomber. The Ju-87 proved unable to survive over Britain and was rapidly pulled from the Battle of Britain.

* The German military expected the WWI armistice to end, but they expected it to happen in 5 to 10 years from when WWII started. The air force was not yet ready for strategic operations against Britain.

* The German air force bombers were (and remained) light twin-engine bombers intended to knock out enemy airfields and win a quick victory. The primary purpose of the bombers in the blitzkrieg was to replace artillery. They were not strategic bombers. They were not the equivalent of 1000 B-17s or Lancasters intended to knock out a city or industrial complex. As per their design, the German air force originally was hoping to destroy much of the RAF on the ground and reduce Britain's fighter production to a rate that would cause Britain to sue for peace because they could see they would loose air superiority. Apparently the Germans originally thought they would achieve this in a month. Perhaps because of the somewhat haphazard organization of the British aviation industry and lack of intelligence, they never made much progress on knocking out aircraft production.

* RAF pilots shot down often bailed out and were back flying next day. German pilots who bailed out were out of the war.


* The British had a working national radar defense system and national military communications system. The Germans figured this out but did not really understand it or develop significant tactics to deal with it. Primarily due to radar, the Germans never really made forward progress (that is, as people have pointed out, inflicting losses at rate faster than the replacement rate). Radar installations proved difficult targets (there just wasn't that much to hit and bombs did not have the accuracy of today's smart bombs).

"The atom bomb got all the glory, but radar won the war."

Jerry said...

Lots of strange comments about British supposed choice to get involved in WW 2... straight of out Paul Johnson, alas. Very peculiarly British and insular stuff, almost incomprehensible when you are out in the rational plains. For the Poles, Britain's declaration of war (governed by a treaty that Hitler well knew about) in 1939 meant NOTHING, because Britain did NOTHING. Same with France. These were empty words. Hitler had gambled that the Western powers, scarred by WW I, would prefer peace at any cost, and he had accordingly put all his troops on the Eastern front. As it was, a year later, France surrendered more quickly than Poland did, despite Poland being attacked from the east by the Soviets as well.

Sure, the British had the option of non-involvement. Let's see where they are in 1945...

With the US uninvolved in the war, Hitler holds all of Europe to the Urals, consolidating his grip and planning a quick and decisive destruction of Britain in five or ten years' time.

By 1950 German becomes the world's most important language.

Sadly provincial islanders and as always spectacularly naive 'mericans simply have no idea about the reality of the war as it was where it counted, on the Eastern Front, or the reality of who Hitler was...

Anonymous said...


"Time and change, dear boy. It's not for sissies."

Alien speech... Time and change are not always good. Just because Your side is winning does not mean the Brits must like their collapse and their demographic replacement.

Your side should stick to the physical attacks - stop trying to destroy the soul. You will pay a spiritual price for this.

Dan said...

At the end of the Flashman novels Gen Sir Harry Flashman outlines this strategy. One that Asquith, Lloyd George, Baldwin, Chamberlain and Churchill failed to follow. George Mac Donald Frasier had a better grasp on geo strategy than any British statesman since Palmerston.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"I'm at a loss to understand why all the world is supposed to bow down before "British policy" as if it's some Immutable Law handed down from the mountain top."


But they are supposed to "bow down" to the Germans when they attempt to conquer Eastern Europe?

Anonymous:"It's the muggers policy to beat and rob any honky who wanders into the wrong part of down. Surely everyone understands this? They're just following their policy, after all."

MMMM, seems to me that the Eastern Europeans were rather more inclined to see the Germans as the muggers, dear boy. POV and all that.

Marissa said...

Your side should stick to the physical attacks - stop trying to destroy the soul. You will pay a spiritual price for this.


Homos rarely attack physically.

Anonymous said...

But they are supposed to "bow down" to the Germans when they attempt to conquer Eastern Europe?


Who is this "they", hummer? I'm not talking about any "they".

The idiotic "It's sacred and inviolable British policy to go to war against whoever is getting the upper-hand in Europe" garbage is not aimed at any "they", it's aimed at us.

Let me repeat this slowly and clearly so that even you can get it, old boy. The fact that something is "British policy" does not make that something intelligent or admirable or sensible or practical or a good idea. Throwing down the "It's British policy" card as if it's the ace of trumps merely exposes your lack of basic thinking skills.


We evaluate "British policy" the same way we evaluate anyones policy i.e. by its results. And "British policy" had the result of both destroying Europe and .. here is the part you never quite grasp, old bean ... destroying Britain! Which by definition makes it a bad policy.

And what sort of cognitive dissonance does it take for a defender of the biggest empire the world has even known to mewl and pout and moan because (gasp!) some other country is invading some other country? "How dare those Spanish/Austrians/French/Germans/etc invade a neighboring country! Who on Earth do they think they are, the English?"

The spectacle of Britain, of all the countries in the world, leaping to the defense of Belgium or Poland because of their alleged deep commitment to the sovereignty of small countries(!) is one of the most grotesque parodies in world history.

The Russia Empire may have gone to war to back up their client state in Serbia, but they never deluded themselves that they did so because they cared for the rights of small countries.

Anonymous said...

Dan:
"At the end of the Flashman novels Gen Sir Harry Flashman outlines this strategy. One that Asquith, Lloyd George, Baldwin, Chamberlain and Churchill failed to follow. George Mac Donald Frasier had a better grasp on geo strategy than any British statesman since Palmerston."

MMMM, things tend to work out better in fiction than in reality, dear boy. That's why people read it, to get away from deary old reality, with all of its unpleasant truths.

Anonymous said...

Dan:"The main interest was always to be on the winning side in any war."

Don't most people prefer to be on the winning side, dear boy?

Dan:"opposing a supposed hegemonic power is practical insanity. Don't believe the hype on that policy."

A lesson learnt by Napoleon when he went up against the British hegemon. Too bad that the Kaiser didn't learn from his example. If only someone with Bismarck's brains had been around to advise him.

Dan:"The basis of all of this was the permanent national debt that allowed the UK to fund practically endless wars everywhere in the world for 350 years. By carefully isolating and pounding on one nation or another supremacy was achieved. The penchant for attacking nations armed with guava halves and ripe bananas was also beneficial. Get the French, Germans or Russians busy whacking each other while we pilfered Africa or India or China. Then when things got too hot send an expedition across the channel to seal a treaty."

Devil in the details, dear boy. Broadstrokes makes everything seem so simple.

Dan:"It's not complicated and it's cynical."

MMMM, far too uncomplicated and not cynical enough, but that's an old Tory talking.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous:"The idiotic "It's sacred and inviolable British policy to go to war against whoever is getting the upper-hand in Europe" garbage is not aimed at any "they", it's aimed at us....."

MMMM, well, for some reason Steve has seen fit not to post my previous attempt at a reply to your reply to me. Perhaps he's simply grown weary of the whole dance.....I certainly have.

Well, as a substitute for a point by point response, here is a compressed summary of my overall argument, divided into two main components:

1. Some have blamed Britain for WW1 and all that followed, their argument being that Britain could have simply allowed Germany to pursue its dream of continental empire unmolested. Well and good, but one can just as easily blame Germany for pursuing the goal of mastery of Europe. The Germans, after all, could have stayed home and enjoyed the fruits of their powerful economy.They wanted to play the Game of Great powers instead.

2. Some have argued that Britain's attempts to constrain Germany's march to empire were somehow "immoral" or "unjust." Perhaps, but, in response, one could note what Germany did when it held power over others (cf The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).



Anonymous said...

"The Germans were winning before the switch in tactics."

This seems dubious unless you look only at the rate of losses for the two weeks prior. They may have thought they were, even the British might have thought they were, but overall they were not:

"... The figures indicate the number of pilots available never decreased. From July, 1,200 were available. In 1 August, 1,400 were available. Just over that number were in the field by September. In October the figure was nearly 1,600. By 1 November 1,800 were available. Throughout the battle, the RAF had more fighter pilots available than the Luftwaffe. Although the RAF's reserves of single seat fighters fell during July, the wastage was made up for by an efficient Civilian Repair Organisation (CRO), which by December had repaired and put back into service some 4,955 aircraft,...

...British fighter production produced 496 new aircraft in July and 467 in August, and another 467 in September (not counting repaired aircraft), covering the losses of August and September. Overy indicates the number of serviceable and total strength returns reveal an increase in fighters from 3 August to 7 September, 1,061 on strength and 708 serviceable to 1,161 on strength and 746 serviceable. Moreover, Overy points out that the number of RAF fighter pilots grew by one-third between June and August 1940. Personnel records show a constant supply of around 1,400 pilots in the crucial weeks of the battle. In the second half of September it reached 1,500. The shortfall of pilots was never above 10 percent. The Germans never had more than between 1,100 and 1,200 pilots, a deficiency of up to one-third. "If Fighter Command were 'the few', the German fighter pilots were fewer"."


It's also a matter of how long you measure things. There was a two week spike in late August into September (the German "surge") in which you would measure the Germans as winning, if you just look at that. But the Germans could not sustain it and had their own high losses:

"...24 August to 6 September ... critical period because during these two weeks Germany destroyed far more aircraft through its attacks on 11 Group's southeast bases than Britain was producing. Three more weeks of such a pace would indeed have exhausted aircraft reserves. Germany had seen heavy losses of pilots and aircraft as well, however, thus its shift to nighttime attacks in September. On 7 September RAF aircraft losses fell below British production and remained so until the end of the war."



Peace, out.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that a piece on the neocon hatred for Russia and Putin turns into an argument about WWII.

Dan said...

The dramatists of the BoB always ignore the wastage inflicted on the Luftwaffe. Always .

Good post.

Dan said...

Mmmmm... The old Max Hastings Daily Mail claptrap.

Go smoke a cigar.

Anonymous said...

A (probably little known) piece of Kennedy history:

"The Battle also signaled a significant shift in American opinion. During the battle, many people from the US accepted the view promoted by Joseph Kennedy, the American ambassador in London, and believed that Great Britain could not survive. ... Roosevelt wanted a second opinion, and sent "Wild Bill" Donovan on a brief visit to Britain; he became convinced Britain would survive and should be supported in every possible way." [1]

About that surge when the Germans were "winning":

"Between the dates 26 August – 6 September, on only one day (1 September) did the Germans destroy more aircraft than they lost. Losses were 325 German and 248 British."[1]

Actual aircraft loss rates are notoriously unreliable, historians spend a lot of time trying to unravel the real numbers. But even during the few weeks when the Germans were winning (in the sense of finally destroying more RAF fighters than Britain was producing), the Germans probably lost the better part of 100 more combat aircraft than the British. They weren't winning in the sense of actually shooting down more enemy combat aircraft than they were losing. Also:

"The training organization of the Luftwaffe was failing to replace losses. ... From July to September, the Luftwaffe's loss records indicate the loss of 1,636 aircraft, 1,184 to enemy action. This represented 47 per cent of the initial strength of single-engined fighters, ... the Germans were running out of aircrews as well as aircraft..."[1]

Anonymous said...

Dan:"Mmmmm... The old Max Hastings Daily Mail claptrap.

Go smoke a cigar."

Surely you mean a pipe, dear boy?

Anonymous said...

"It's interesting that a piece on the neocon hatred for Russia and Putin turns into an argument about WWII."

There's a meme going around, larger than this thread, that Britain didn't win the Battle of Britain. Rather, it was all optional for the Germans and Britain was spared because that racist Hitler was fond of those racist British, or something along those lines. Part of the constant denigration of the history or accomplishments of any WASP-type (or British-type people). Really they were no-account, if they succeeded at anything it was because they were just lucky or it was all because of their evil machinations. Their history is all a lie, and so on, heck, they are probably worse than Hitler! The constant agitprop to pervert and erase history.

Be interesting to know how much of modern anti-WASP PC attitudes result from people that have no relation to Britain looking at a map, seeing how small Britain is, then wondering why they're speaking English and feeling insecure about it.