March 17, 2014

Crimea

A commenter writes:
OT: Evidently, Mark Kleiman reads Sailer. But then again, who doesn't?  
http://www.samefacts.com/2014/03/international-affairs/ukraine-and-historical-analogies/ 

The UCLA professor writes:
It would be amusing, if it were not so disgusting, to watch elements of the Obama-hating right (e.g. Steve Sailer) and the American-power-hating left (Tikkun, The Nation) agree in fawning over Vladimir Putin as he treats the solemn agreement under which Russian guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in return for Ukrainian de-nuclearization, as a mere scrap of paper. It’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize Crimea by force because Crimea should never have been part of Ukraine. And it’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize territory inside Ukraine, using soldiers not wearing insignia, which alone makes their actions war crimes, because … shut up, he explained. 
Both sides agree that it would be rude to compare what Putin just did in the Crimea to what Hitler did in the Sudetenland: not actually false, you see, just impolite. 

It would be helpful, however, if Kleiman would read me more carefully, for example, my March 6 posting "Obama Is Right, Mostly." 

I've been writing about Eastern Europe at vast length since before the crisis began because the situation has had such disturbing analogies to World War II (if Putin goes ahead with an anschluss with Crimea, that violates the understanding stemming from the two main events of 1938, German's Anschluss with Austria and its takeover of Czech Sudentenland, that Great Powers should not get Greater by annexing territory) and to World War I (which is more ominous because the Great War was more of a general systemic failure than one man's plan -- Putin doesn't have a master plan to invade Germany, but politicians can botch things up royally without Hitlerian intent). 

Going back to last year, I could sense that war fever was mounting. So far, Obama has been better than certainly McCain (and possibly Romney) would have been at not overly exacerbating the situation. Hopefully, Obama will respond more constructively (e.g., approving more natural gas exports from America to Europe) than destructively (I'd bet that Prince Bandar is right now working the phones to promote a scheme to destabilize Crimea by having the Saudis pay to radicalize the poor Muslim Tatars.)
              

192 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're more of an anti-Semite and Mexican hater than an Obama hater.

Anonymous said...

Steve:"Going back to last year, I could sense that war fever was mounting. So far, Obama has been better than certainly McCain"

Yeah, America really did dodge a bullet on that one. I shudder to speculate how things would be going right now if McCain were in the White House...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"You're more of an anti-Semite and Mexican hater than an Obama hater."

Seeing as how Steve is neither an anti-Semite nor a hater of Mexicans, this must mean that Steve does not hate Obama either.....

Jason said...

Yeah, I think you're right Mr. Sailer: although Obama's statesmanship has not exactly been exemplary, I think he has wisely given a fairly low-keyed response to all of this (although his talk of "consequences" and all of that for Russia's actions is rather ill-considered, I believe). I suspect he realizes that while what is happening in Crimea is dreary and unpleasant to watch from afar, the region is not a vital national interest and that the game is not worth the candle. Other foreign policy problems (i.e. China and its attempts to establish hegenony in Asia) will cross his threshhold soon enough; it's best that the president uses his foreign policy capital on these, and not on something like Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

"State TV says Russia could turn US to 'radioactive ash'"

http://news.yahoo.com/state-tv-says-russia-could-turn-us-radioactive-212003397.html

"A leading anchor on Russian state television on Sunday described Russia as the only country capable of turning the United States into "radioactive ash", in an incendiary comment at the height of tensions over the Crimea referendum.

"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television."

albert magnus said...

You know who is an actual Obama hater: Matt Drudge. Also, Glenn Reynolds. And all of right-wing radio. All of whom have much bigger audiences and make a lot more money than Steve does from this blog (I assume).

Weird that he picked on you.

Anonymous said...

Kleiman seems pretty worked up over it.

Anonymous said...

All ideological isolationist cant aside, would Putin have invaded if McCain or Romney had been President?

Anonymous said...

"You know who is an actual Obama hater: Matt Drudge. Also, Glenn Reynolds. And all of right-wing radio. All of whom have much bigger audiences and make a lot more money than Steve does from this blog (I assume).

Weird that he picked on you."

Um they all oppose Russia's action. How do you brick this badly basic comprehension. Granted Steve's right he quickly changed his tune once Putin went full on thug as opposed big buff bf of the paleocons dreams.

I actually think you could make an argument that Steve falls more in the hates American power segment than he does the hates Obama segment. Then you get the segment like Pat B who loved American power until it started confronting people other than the people Pat B wanted it to. Then it had the gall to go pick on Pat's new bf. It's on USA or at least the portion of the USA that reads TAC and Taki.

countenance said...

OT

Sailer is at bat, and here comes a slow meatball right over the heart of the plate:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246986/Gates_sees_software_replacing_people_Greenspan_calls_for_more_H_1Bs_

countenance said...

Re Obama and Crimea

Obama is playing his usual two card monty of bear-bating behind the curtain and pretending to be insouciant about it in front of the curtain. I'd think he actually had a strategy of baiting the red team into being bellicose, except Obama deployed Kerry to the Sunday morning gab shows a few weeks back to bear bait.

Hunsdon said...

The fact that the blog uses the expression "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts" is sweetly delicious as he proceeds to make up facts of his own, or if he doesn't make up facts, he sure slants the hell out of them.

It is kind of cute that he drags out the old Yuschenko-dioxin-poisoning thing, even if it is just a quick throwaway. Say, what's Yuschenko up to these days, anyway? Wasn't he supposed to give Ukraine a big kiss and make it all better, last time?

(PS I'm also a "denier" on the Litvinenko/polonium story, or at least that Bad Vlad was behind it. I'm sure he'd order people killed without waiting for his tea to cool, but polonium is unusually showy. Hey, I could be wrong here!)

FredR said...

Kleiman has a big reputation in some circles, but he's never struck me as a particularly useful or diligent thinker.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 6:51 PM said: Granted Steve's right he quickly changed his tune once Putin went full on thug as opposed big buff bf of the paleocons dreams.

Hunsdon said: See? You can never just support Putin's actions (even in context). You're in love with him. It's a man-crush. And it's so very frequently thrown at the paleocons.

Just an observation, that's all.

An Ex Bruin said...

Hitler was entitled to annex Austria, Sudetenland and possibly even Danzig.

The problem was he also annex Prague in between Sudetenland and the declaration to take over Danzig.

Had He left Prague alone in the interim, I doubt the British would have bothered to stop the Danzig annexation, or at least declare was with Danzig as the pretext.

For professor Klieman, if you are reading, you masters of the universe who goad good people into wars: you will burn in hell. Purify your own souls before you try to create an ethical foreign policy and get good men killed because you have a preening ego.

Steve Sailer said...

The story is that supposedly the Russian assassins didn't know that the British had just acquired a high tech polonium detection device.

But I don't know.

Anonymous said...

"Putin went full on thug"

Putin has richly deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, and not just for Syria. Notice that all the shooting during this crisis was done either by the neocons' Banderite pets or by the scared cops who were assaulted by them. Russian government troops haven't hurt a fly.

Bert said...

I think should quickly invade and annex Georgia, before NATO has a chance to fast track membership for it.

Anonymous said...

RE: Litvinenko,

Main article: Alexander Litvinenko poisoning
Alexander Litvinenko, one of Berezovsky's closest associates, was murdered in London in November 2006 with a rare radioactive poison, Polonium 210. The British authorities charged a former FSB officer and head of security at ORT, Andrey Lugovoy, with the murder and requested his extradition, which Russia refused.[187] Several Russian diplomats were expelled from UK over the case.[188] The UK government has not publicly expressed a view on the matter, but allegations that the murder was sponsored by the Russian state have been expressed by "sources in the UK government", according to the BBC,[189] and by officials of the US Department of State, as revealed by Wikileaks;[190] they were reflected in a 2008 resolution by the US Congress.[191] The intricate details of the murder, the relationship between Litvinenko and Berezosvsky, and the implications of the case have been described in the 2007 book, "Death of a Dissident — The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB" by Alex Goldfarb with Marina Litvinenko.[192]
An alternative theory – that the murder was orchestrated by Berezovsky with the aim of "framing" the Russian government and discrediting it on the global stage – has been aired in the Russian state-funded media,[193] by Lugovoy,[194] by Litvinenko's Italy-based father[195] and by Russian officials.[196] Berezovsky won a UK libel suit against Russian State Television over these allegations in 2010 (see above), following which he commented, "I trust the conclusions of the British investigators that the trail leads to Russia and I hope that one day justice will prevail."[154] Russian State-funded media continue to report the claims e.g. "'Berezovsky killed my son', Litvinenko's dad tells Scotland Yard"[195] as of May 2012.

Anonymous said...

Ex Bruin:"Hitler was entitled to annex Austria, Sudetenland and possibly even Danzig.

The problem was he also annex Prague in between Sudetenland and the declaration to take over Danzig.

Had He left Prague alone in the interim, I doubt the British would have bothered to stop the Danzig annexation, or at least declare was with Danzig as the pretext."

Let's not go through the whole Danzig business again; Hitler wanted an empire in the East, and Danzig was the pretext.

Anonymous said...

RE: Litinvinko,

British authorities investigated the death and it was reported on 1 December that scientists at the Atomic Weapons Establishment had traced the source of the polonium to a nuclear power plant in Russia. On 3 December, reports stated that Britain has demanded the right to speak to at least five Russians implicated in Litvinenko's death, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asserted that Moscow was willing to answer "concrete questions."[49] Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika said on Tuesday, 5 December that any Russian citizen who may be charged in the poisoning will be tried in Russia, not Britain.[50] Moreover, Chaika stated that UK detectives may ask questions to Russian citizens only in the presence of Russian prosecutors.[51]
On 28 May 2007 the British Foreign Office submitted a formal request to the Russian Government for the extradition of Andrey Lugovoy to the UK to face criminal charges relating to Litvinenko's murder.[52]
Extradition declined[edit]
The Russian General Prosecutor's Office declined to extradite Lugovoy, citing that extradition of citizens is not allowed under the Russian constitution (Article 61 of the Constitution of Russia).[53][54][55] Russian authorities later said that Britain has not handed over any evidence against Lugovoy.[56][57] Professor Daniel Tarschys, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, commented[58] that the Russian Constitution actually "opens the door" for the extradition, and Russia ratified three international treaties on extradition (on 10 December 1999); namely, the European Convention on Extradition[59] and two Additional Protocols[60][61][62] to it. Yury Fedotov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation, pointed out that when the Russian Federation ratified the European Convention on Extradition it entered a declaration[63] concerning Article 6 in these terms: "The Russian Federation declares that in accordance with Article 61 (part 1) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a citizen of the Russian Federation may not be extradited to another state."[64] The same protections are extended to the citizens of France and Germany, both of which refuse to extradite their citizens.[

Anonymous said...

OT, but it seems not all immigrants are equal.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

It's very amusing, because you're not so much an element of the Obama-hating right as a Putin-passive-aggressive projecting neo-con-right.

Steve Sailer said...

The more boring a crime is, the more likely it was committed by some low IQ defective. The more interesting a crime is, the more likely it was perpetrated by guys with offices, white boards, expense accounts, pensions, and taxpayer-paid salaries.

etype (unknown) said...

Steve, ‘understandings’ and ‘agreements’ come within a hierarchy in terms of importance. The ‘understanding’ from the end of the Cold War was that NATO was not to advance unto Russia’s borders, and also mildly suggests that foreign countries such as the USA should not be paying extremists $50 a day to shoot Ukrainian police and storm and set fire to Gov. buildings while in the pursuance of a political coup de’etat... and that these prior concerns should come first in a hierarchy of ‘understandings.’
You miss this in a lot of your coverage of this and other events. Such as your comments that Great Powers should ‘not get greater by annexing territory’ (pace: Peace of Westphalia) singling out Germany for joining with it’s sister nation Austria and annexing the Sudetenland. You fail to mention via the terms of the Westphalian treaty, the Allied powers should therefore have been discouraged from hiving off 30% of Germanys territory and ethnic population, industries, cities, infrastructure and then giving them to either never before seen in the history of the world states (Czechoslavakia) or failed states such as Poland which already had a demarked, historic zone, yet the Allies felt would do much better with a huge chunk of German cities, towns, populations, industries, weapons, soldiers, etc...
Why is that? It seems to me rather disingenuous for you to cite the Peace of Westphalia in such a context. It sounds very much like the usual doublespeak and one-way talking points we expect to hear from the MSM. You’re an educated and politically sophisticated man Steve... how is it you promulgate such hypocrisies?

Whiskey said...

Crimes are never boring to victims or survivors Steve.

Obama is responsible for mist of this by being weak:

"After the election I will have more flexibilty."

"I will transmit this to Vladimir"

Now ever small nation fearing its next has to nuke up.

How that makes the world safer escapes me.

Anonymous said...

All ideological isolationist cant aside, would Putin have invaded if McCain or Romney had been President?

That's actually a very question. Are Putin's actions in part a response to Obama's passivity or to Western expansionism in extending Nato and the EU to Russia's borders, violating what the Russians at least saw a firm commitment.

Could be both, of course, and let's not forget that the Ukrainians may have something to do with this.

Anonymous said...

"Obama-hating"

Huh?

Obama's great. He annoys neocons almost as much as Putin does.

.

"All ideological isolationist cant aside, would Putin have invaded if McCain or Romney had been President?"

He didn't invade. That's the key legal fact that the neocons are glossing over. The naval base agreement allows the Russians to have soldiers in Crimea in the same way US soldiers are legally allowed in the hundreds of US bases round the world.

All he actually did was get some guys who were perfectly entitled to be in the Crimea to stand outside some barracks. All Putin actually did was stage an implication.

That legal fig-leaf stopped Obama and would probably have stopped Romney also.

It possibly wouldn't have stopped McCain because McCain is batshit crazy but as Putin had no choice but to secure Crimea that means if McCain was in charge we'd probably be heading for WW3 right now.

.

"I actually think you could make an argument that Steve falls more in the hates American power segment"

I hadn't noticed iSteve's posts being particularly pro-Putin.

It's just some of the commentators.

Go Vlad!!!

Manstein 11th Army, Speaks! said...

And Crimea is going to be the pretext for the Next German attempt at an Eastern Empire...:-)

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Paul Newman in the Sting "Well, Steve, if they don't call you names it means you haven't gotten to them."

"Obama hating right?" Really? Seriously?

I thought hating was reserved for those who haven't fully embraced the tenets of WW G.

Manstein 11th Army, Speaks! said...

Excellent point. There's this sorta snide roundabout hostility to Putin's Russia. Not quite advocacy, but a fluffing of the war pillow for the neocon debauchery that is sure to follow.

Anonymous said...

Bits of local color:

The neocon- and Soros-sponsored demonstrations that kicked off this crisis were staged on a square in Kiev called Maidan Nezalezhnosty (Independence Square). Eventually the whole movement became known as Maidan or Euromaidan. As a consequence, the West Ukrainians bused in to demonstrate in Kiev are sometimes called maidowns in the Russian parts of the Internet. That's a reference to Down Syndrome.

Banderites are sometimes called bandarlogs. That's the name of a type of monkeys from Kipling's Jungle Book. A series of children's cartoons based on the Jungle Book was very popular in the Soviet Union, so everyone in Russia and the Ukraine knows who the bandarlogs are.

Finally, the first peaceful annexation of the Crimea by Russia was achieved by Grigory Potemkin in 1783. In Russia that man is remembered for much more than his villages. For the Crimean affair Catherine the Great gave Potemkin the title of prince and attached the word Tavrichesky to his surname.

The ancient Greeks knew the Crimea as Taurica. Similarly to how Scipio Africanus got his nickname for victories in North Africa, Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus got his for victories in Germany and Alexander Nevsky got his for his victory on the Neva River, Potemkin was renamed into Potemkin-Tavrishesky for bringing the Crimea into the Russian Empire. A couple of days ago I saw an article in a Russian newspaper that half-jokingly referred to Putin as Putin-Tavrichesky.

Anonymous said...

"I will transmit this to Vladimir"

LOL. I remember seeing that video of Medvedev. It sounded like he was a robot built and programmed to serve Putin.

Harry Baldwin said...

"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television."

Funny, a couple of weeks ago the Daily Beast called Dmitry Kiselyov "the Glenn Beck of Russia." Sounds about right.

Hunsdon said...

Whiskey says: Now ever small nation fearing its next has to nuke up.

Hunsdon said: That's for the small nations that didn't learn the lessons of Iraq and Libya and, umm, the DPRK.

Yeah, buddy, it's those crazy expansionist commies you have to keep an eye on!

Anonymous said...

Then you get the segment like Pat B who loved American power until it started confronting people other than the people Pat B wanted it to.

Doesn't that apply to everyone about America in general? Whether it is using American power abroad against friend or foe, or using American power at home for or against certain ethnics, that statement applies to us all.

Hunsdon said...

re: Litvinenko and polonium. I should expand my thoughts. I don't deny that polonium did him in, I don't deny it came from Russia, and I don't deny that the KGB has a long history of using exotic poisons to do in "enemies of the people."

I'll stipulate all that stuff right at the beginning.

It just seems kind of an elaborate way to do in a second rater like Litvinenko. Like the villain's plot in Skyfall: ok, I'll orchestrate a terror campaign with carefully laid clues so that Bond will capture me and take me back to London to hold me in a secure facility that I'll break out of so I can go shoot guns at M.

Why not buy a ticket to London on Lufthansa?

The oligarchs ain't no shrinking daisies; they're not just guys who saw an angle and took it. They took it, and they held it. I remember reading about the aluminum industry in the 1990s in Russia. Leading cause of death was high explosives.

Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut tells me Putin is a "two to the chest, one to the head" kind of guy, Makarov 9mm shorts.

Then again, Martin Cruz Smith had radioactive isotopes used as an implement of murder in "Wolves Eat Dogs," so who knows?

PatrickH said...

I am wondering, Steve, if you have a comment on the death by self-hanging of L'Wren Scott, the now-former girlfriend of Sir Mick Jagger.

Especially am I interested in your perspective on the Daily Mail (ONLINE) 's reportage on her second marriage to "another property developer".

I ask this, given your insights into the deaths of Paul Walker.

Hunsdon said...

re: "Obama-hating right."

In terms of domestic policy, I pretty much despise every position held or advanced by the Obama administration.

But every time I contemplate what a McCain presidency would have been like, I thank God for Obama. McCain's GOP playbook would look disturbingly like Obama's on domestic policy, only with MOAR WAR GOODNESS thrown in to rouse up the martial caste.

Obama's playing wimp? What do you want him to do, nuke Simferopol to show he's got man-bits?

Am I the only one that remembers growing up thinking the Bible's injunction about "the fire next time" was going to be a) literal, b) nuclear, and c) in my lifetime?

Let's face it, beating up on Iraq is about America's speed right now, and Iran is an order of difficulty harder than Iraq, and Russia is simply off the charts.

Steve Sailer said...

"Then you get the segment like Pat B who loved American power until it started confronting people other than the people Pat B wanted it to."

Buchanan thought it necessary to confront the Soviet Union, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union thought we won, so let's declare victory and come home. But that makes him an extremist because he wasn't interested going to war against the Serbian Menace.

Hunsdon said...

etype said: Steve, ‘understandings’ and ‘agreements’ come within a hierarchy in terms of importance.

Hunsdon said: We're Americans. Our sense of history goes back to Tuesday.

Von Kluge doesn't like it up 'em. said...

Buchanan must be the big "what if?" of Late Americaniquity.

He wouldn't have helped Albania or Bosnia. My guess is that he'd have reversed the Brown Out in SoCal.

He wouldn't have spent another minute on strangling Russia as did Clinton, Bush and Obama.

As our people vanish, they might very well ask whatever happened to that Irish-German Antisemitic sage?

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just pretend that this whole Crimea thing is just a little unfinished left-over business that fell through the cracks back when the Soviet Union fell in 1989?

Anonymous said...

Now ever small nation fearing its next has to nuke up.

How that makes the world safer escapes me.


You do realize how ludicrous it sounds that you are attributing nations wanting to acquire nuclear weapons to a fear of Russia? We've been trying to tell you neocons for years that your reckless abuse and misuse of America's military has sent the world a message, nuke-up or Uncle Sam will invade. After all, what nation wants to be on the receiving end of the "Ledeen Doctrine":

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

SortofaRussophile said...

Hopefully this Crimea thing will blow over. But the new Cold War is on.

So, 3rd World countries will choose between the US and Russia.

The US stands for Coca-Cola and gay rights.

Russia stands for home, family, and manliness.

Which would you choose?

Big Bill said...

Kleiman is a Jewish kid, born in 1951. Not so old as Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, but I expect he was a radical anti-Vietnam War type just the same.

So what happened to Jews like Kleiman in the last 40 years? Why are they such rabid warmongers now? He was cheering the March on Washington, the Days of Rage and the Chicago 7. And now ... Putin, the Evil Emperor? What?

Now he is old, gray-haired, and convinced that American Imperialism is the answer to the world's ills.

Is it that Jews are now in the driver's seat? Back then (as Mark Rudd has explained) they were revolting as much against the WASP establishment as they were fighting against the Vietnam War.

Or maybe they really weren't antiwar, just anti-draft. Now that there is no draft there's no risk to them, their children or their grandchildren.

I really don't get it. We actually were fighting an Evil Empire back then. Now ... not so much.

Then again, maybe I am wrong. Maybe he was a jarhead (or something) back then. Maybe he volunteered. Hell, maybe he carried Robert McNamara's briefcase.

It just makes no sense.

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Sailer said...

Buchanan thought it necessary to confront the Soviet Union, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union thought we won, so let's declare victory and come home. But that makes him an extremist because he wasn't interested going to war against the Serbian Menace."

And a good thing too. If we didn't "fight them over there" they'd be playing bazouky music and serving cevapcici at Yankee stadium by now. And I heard that Milosevic guy was bad - almost a new Hitler - even worse than the old Hitler (Saddam Hussein), but not as bad as the subsequent Hitler (again, Saddam Hussein).

I'm not certain who gets to be Hitler now, but I'm sure there is one. Conservation of Hitler - that's almost a natural law.

Big Bill said...

I think the answer is simple: start drafting Jewish college boys and you will see an end to this Imperialist nonsense right away.

Making aliyah and playing soldier in the IDF for a year or two in exchange for an Israeli passport is one thing. There, at least, they will be fighting for their own people in their own homeland.

But fighting a pointless war in the US Army in Afghanistan or Russia with a bunch of goy chumps is something else altogether.

Matt Buckalew said...

"Buchanan thought it necessary to confront the Soviet Union, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union thought we won, so let's declare victory and come home. But that makes him an extremist because he wasn't interested going to war against the Serbian Menace."

Let's skip the part where Pat B was at first was very much interested in confronting "the Stalinist Butcher." Back when he feared the Slobby was going to focus his energies on (Catholic) Croatia not Bosnia. Also let's skip the fact that Pat B made a pretty high profile speech a few years after the fall of the Soviet Union at the GOP convention in which he openly chides the Democrats as the party of disarmament and weakness. The Soviet Union was vanquished Steve and Pat B had nothing but contempt for those who would weaken American power.

Pat B presents his view of foreign policy as idealistic bring our boys home sentiment when its a smoke screen for purely personal likes and dislikes. That's my problem with palecons. Their calculus is the same as neo-cons I want to use the big dog to hurt my enemies. But because they don't get to control the big dog anymore all of a sudden America should put the gaurd dog to sleep at the vet. Well I happen to like the security the big dog provides and it seems silly to eviscerate American power because Mel Bradford lost out to William Bennett. In 1992 Pat lost the nomination, but he still thought his types called the shots. He found out they didn't as years went by and then only then did Pat suddenly want to bring the boys home. In the meantime an aggressive, powerful nation with multiple conflicting interest with the USA arose in the Pacific. Very similiar to the Soviet Union, but strangely Pat B doesn't perceive a threat there.

There is a legacy in this nation on the right to opposing a large american military even when used to confront the USSR. Robert Taft was is most prominent represenatative. Indeed, John Foster Dulles, a man who many Taft supporters criticized in exactly the same terms that paleos criticize neo-cons today, was if anything far less hawkish than the position that Pat B advocated during the Cold War. Pat B was for rollback and completely rejected the idea that the USSR needed a buffer zone of Warsaw Pact countries. For some reason he has done a 180 on that position.

I guess it would be nice if the Hundson's of the world didn't immediately jew bait anyone with the audacity to defend America's role as the world superpower. But that's never going to happen but live by the projection die by the projection. The fact David Frum, who is to my mind a despicable human being, wrote a mean article more than a decade ago isn't a reason for paleos to routinely question the good faith of non-neo-cons who simply believe in American power.

Big Bill said...

"I actually think you could make an argument that Steve falls more in the hates American power segment than he does the hates Obama segment."

Make that "hates 'Invade the World, Invite the World'" and I would agree. Frankly, I think Obama would be happy to confront Russia, but his generals are likely telling him we are tapped out what with all the other countries we are currently invading/policing. Half of Americans under five are NAMs. How can anyone hope to conquer/police the world with a Mexican army?

Jason Hops said...

The aftermath of WWII worked out so fabulously for White folks in Europe and America, well gosh, maybe we need another one?

5371 said...

Czechoslovakia collapsed by itself and faced Hungarian and Polish invasion in March 1939. There was no realistic alternative to Germany establishing a protectorate in Bohemia and Moravia, once they had taken the area inhabited by Germans.
Path dependence, not omniscient planning.

Anonymous said...

Let's skip the part where Pat B was at first was very much interested in confronting "the Stalinist Butcher." Back when he feared the Slobby was going to focus his energies on (Catholic) Croatia not Bosnia.

You're conflating two things that are not the same. Buchanan always regarded Yugoslavia as an artificial creation comprised of nations that had no business being forced together. Thus, he supported Croatia and Slovenia breaking out of that union when they voted to do so. And opposed Serbia using force to keep them in the union.

Kosovo was not a nation within Yugoslavia. It was an integral province of Serbia proper, which is completely different than the positions of Croatia or Slovenia. Buchanan did not support the use of American power to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. I see no contradiction in this. In one case Serbia has no right to keep others in a federal union, while in the other they have every right to protect their territorial integrity.

Pat B had nothing but contempt for those who would weaken American power.

You are absolutely correct. He does. Of course his definition of what and who are weakening American power is probably different from yours. Pat regards those who have left the door open to unassimilable immigrants, supported trade deals that have hollowed out our manufacturing base, promoted cultural rot domestically, and frittered away our treasure among those who have weakened America. Unfortunately those on that list make up a disproportionate amount of our ruling class. Holding them in contempt is probably a major reason why Buchanan has been relegated to the wilderness.

Pat B advocated during the Cold War. Pat B was for rollback and completely rejected the idea that the USSR needed a buffer zone of Warsaw Pact countries. For some reason he has done a 180 on that position.

No hypocrisy here. Pat always believed the USSR and the worldwide communist movement was an existential threat to the USA and West, much like he believes third world immigration is today. It is no surprise that he would support containment as fiercely as he advocates against immigration today.

Russia is no existential threat. They are not pushing some international ideology or trying to spread revolution. That describes what the USSR was doing, and what the USA is doing.

5371 said...

I would like to express my gratitude to Kleiman, Chait, Kirchick, Ioffe, Gessen et al. for all the pleasure they have given me over the last couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

The People Who Know Best decided in 1919 that Austria, Germany and the Sudetenland should not be lumped together. And that certainly worked out OK!

*After the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the Austrian parliament voted to join Germany.

**In the run up to Anschluss Austrians voted yes.

***Sudeten Germans voted to join Germany before the German takeover.

Still, who cares what they think!

Eric said...

Putin doesn't have a master plan to invade Germany, but politicians can botch things up royally without Hitlerian intent

We hope he doesn't have such a plan. In 1939 Hitler certainly had a master plan to invade Russia - indeed, he'd been telling everyone for years he would do just that.

Maybe Putin's decided the Europeans have gone so soft they can't stop him, and we're too war-weary to try.

Ross said...

About Litvinenko- according to Guardian reporter Luke Harding the FSB privately admit it was done by elements within FSB. Most of them are appalled at how amateurish it was though.

Putin probably didn't directly order it but he certainly protected the killers. Putin has built his kleptocratic government around allowing various factions to rob Russia and kill their enemies as long as they don't forget that he is the boss of all bosses.

His Chechen ally familiar to isteve readers is the mist flamboyant example of this.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who describes Steve as part of the "Obama hating right" either doesn't read iSteve or is just generally clueless. I get the sense that Steve isn't a huge Barry fan, but there's no seething hatred like what you see from the Fox News crowd.

Harry said...

To the vast majority of people, Kleiman's words perfectly represent what is expected from the Neo-Cons.

There isn't a common person in the USA who wants more war, and it isn't Kleiman's proverbial kids that would be fighting it. His cadre's warmongering has burned out the heartland's taste for conflict, at least for a while, and he cannot control his emotions about that fact and writes hazy, disjointed, tired, sophistry riddled metaphors about the civil rights movement as a result. What a lazy mind. MLK would turn in his grave at the cynical evocation.

So, Mark, let us get this straight:

You're the communist who is freeing the Nazi protestors from George Wallace, who is Russia? Is that how this is playing out? You're very well thought out.

Also, you are stating that the identity of assassins during the protests, which is impossible to know for sure, is for sure not the protestors even though at least ten police and troops were killed? And in light of this truth, believing that the snipers were anyone BUT the opposition to the protestors is akin to believing that an anti-civil rights bombing was the work of a communist? Why, it's a perfect metaphor cum straw man! I didn't think that it could be done, but you were impressively persuasive. You're a professor, you say? I'm not surprised.

I wouldn't wish your intellect nor your rhetorical integrity on my dog.

By the way, civil rights boy, how's your ethno-nationalism working out for you this year? Are there any black converts in your shul yet?

Silver said...

"I get the sense that Steve isn't a huge Barry fan, but there's no seething hatred like what you see from the Fox News crowd."

No kidding. So Sailer made an issue out of Obama's lifelong anti-white racial obsessions, so what? That's what really gets up Kleiman's nose, that Sailer is willing to speak racial truth to Jewish power. That's why he's an "anti-semite."

David M. said...

"You fail to mention via the terms of the Westphalian treaty, the Allied powers should therefore have been discouraged from hiving off 30% of Germanys territory and ethnic population, industries, cities, infrastructure and then giving them to either never before seen in the history of the world states (Czechoslavakia) or failed states such as Poland which already had a demarked, historic zone, yet the Allies felt would do much better with a huge chunk of German cities, towns, populations, industries, weapons, soldiers, etc..."

At the end of World War I, Germany was also a failed state.

The status quo before the war was Germany and Austria-Hungary encompassing ethnically mixed territories. The status quo after the war was other countries encompassing ethnically mixed territories. For instance, the Sudetenland (a term that dates back only to the late 1800s) was not purely German speaking, nor had it been part of Germany (it was part of the Bohemian crownlands of Austria, not Germany). The borders were not pulled out of thin air and many areas were allowed plebiscites to determine their allegiance. For instance, Czechoslovakia's borders with Germany were based on the roughly thousand year old borders of Bohemia. While the city of Danzig was majority German it had long ago been a Polish city and the so-called Polish corridor and other areas given to Poland were majority Polish. In other words, there was a lot more to it than just stealing German land.

While I would agree that the creation of Czechoslovakia was a mistake (a federal Czechomoravia similar to Switzerland would have made much more sense), and the removal of Danzig was a mistake, there is nothing in the arrangement that was inherently more unjust than the previous borders, which were also the result of wars. Westphalian sovereignty had from the beginning included states with ethnic minorities. Now the roles were just reversed. If Germany had won, you can be sure that there would have been more ethnic non-Germans living under German rule.

It was only after WWII, when Germany (which was once again a failed state) was again carved up, and large numbers of Germans deported to its new borders, did all those pesky ethnically mixed areas disappear. Europe has been peaceful since then, except for places like Yugoslavia where population transfers did not take place. And on the whole those invented ethno-states have proven lasting, in fact, they've moved towards even smaller and less diverse ethno-states (for instance Czechoslovakia to Czech Rep. and Slovakia).

So while I sympathize with the Germans and Austro-Hungarians (especially with the Austro-Hungarians actually) and while I think the Treaty of Versaille was not sensible foreign policy, it certainly was not in conflict with Westphalian sovereignty and in fact was in keeping with modernity's growing association of Westphalian sovereignty as something applying to states related to national peoples. It was not ideal for some German-speaking minorities, but overall, not so horrible, and not noticeably more unjust than what it replaced.

The fact that Hitler could not leave well enough alone resulted in truly horrific peace terms, where millions of people lost their historic homelands and untold thousands died in the process. Now that was an unjust settlement, but one that was entirely predictable based on the ethnic conflict that the Germans had themselves taken to an extreme of cruelty and disruption. So basically, I am not going to lose much sleep crying over the predicament of the inter-war Germans.

Anonymous said...

Sailer appears to be Semitically critical, but not anti-Semitic. There is a difference.

Steve Sailer said...

Hitler profoundly regretted losing the Great War. It had given his aimless life meaning. So, he wanted to refight WWI so that Germany could this time win.

In contrast, the western winners, Britain and France, realized around 1928-30 that winning wasn't so great, that they'd been lying to themselves the whole time about how the War had been worth the cost. So, they rapidly moved close to pacifism in the early 1930s.

This proved an unfortunate combination.

The German diaspora in Eastern Europe seemed like a problem to Western statesmen wondering how to appease Hitler, but it was far more of a pretext for Hitler who wanted a giant Do-Over on WWI.

Anonymous said...

Sailer an anti-Semite? No, he just plays on on the Internet.

Let's call it an allergy.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

OK, I'll come right out and say it: I hate American power. The explosion of American republican principles into these airy, universalist notions that have to be enforced worldwide by our Fabulous Democratic Rainbow Warrior Army will be the death of us.

No projection of American power: WWI ends in a draw and some remnant of Europe's classical liberal order manages to survive.

We come home after WWII, Europeans have to pull their own weight and maintain their martial virtues and TFR instead of blowing their human and financial capital on social democratic experiments.

No LBJ with his guns and butter, we avert a 50-year boom/bust economic cycle.

The Pax Americana thinkers are ahistorical. This has always ended badly.

The age of white wandering is over. Time to return to our homelands and prepare to defend them.

Hunsdon said...

Matt Buckalew said: I guess it would be nice if the Hundson's of the world didn't immediately jew bait anyone with the audacity to defend America's role as the world superpower.

Hunsdon said: Jew!

Matt Buckalew: I want to use the big dog to hurt my enemies. But because they don't get to control the big dog anymore all of a sudden America should put the gaurd dog to sleep at the vet. Well I happen to like the security the big dog provides and it seems silly to eviscerate American power because Mel Bradford lost out to William Bennett.

Hunsdon said: I rather like American power and oppose eviscerating it, putting it to sleep at the veterinarian's clinic, or frittering it away chasing peasants in Ho Chi Minh sandals carrying Kalashnikovs. (Do Arabs and Afghans wear Ho Chi Minh sandals, you know, the ones made from tires, or is it something different today?)

I have the novel idea that the purpose of the United States military is to protect . . . the United States! Theoretically, that's why we renamed the War Department the Department of Defense.

I believe that if "not a sparrow can fall" but that vital strategic American national interests are involved, then we're not defining the words vital, strategic, national interest or American the right way.

I really could care not one bit less about Mel Bradford or Bill Bennett; my reluctance to stumble into nuclear war with Russia is based on the idea that nuclear war with Russia is a bad idea.

Matt Buckalew said: There is a legacy in this nation on the right to opposing a large american military even when used to confront the USSR.

Hunsdon said: It goes back to Washington and Jefferson.

Matt Buckalew said: The fact David Frum, who is to my mind a despicable human being, wrote a mean article more than a decade ago isn't a reason for paleos to routinely question the good faith of non-neo-cons who simply believe in American power.

Hunsdon said: It's not their good faith I question so much as their sanity. How many more Friedman units (oh damn he's Jewish isn't he?) before Iraq is Iowa, before Afghanistan is Arizona?

Chicago said...

Weren't the nukes located in Ukraine of Russian origin to begin with? They were forwardly located there since Ukraine was a part of the USSR. At the time of dissolution it seemed that the Ukraine didn't have the capability of maintaining them, hence the need to get rid of them. Ukraine appears to be a divided country with a large portion identifying as Russian or Russian friendly. The idea that Ukraine would actually use a nuke against it's next door neighbor, with all the blowback that that would entail, seems bizarre.
Does this Kleiman imply that nukes are a positive thing for a country to have? Aren't we trying to prevent Iran from doing so? Or is it just a matter of whim depending on who he likes and doesn't like/

Anonymous said...

Bill:"I think the answer is simple: start drafting Jewish college boys and you will see an end to this Imperialist nonsense right away.

Making aliyah and playing soldier in the IDF for a year or two in exchange for an Israeli passport is one thing. There, at least, they will be fighting for their own people in their own homeland.

But fighting a pointless war in the US Army in Afghanistan or Russia with a bunch of goy chumps is something else altogether."

How many Jewish American college graduates have served in the IDF? Damn few, I should think.

I do think, however, that America should copy the Israelis and require mandatory military service. It's not militarily useful, but it does improve social cohesion.

Anonymous said...

Russophile:"Hopefully this Crimea thing will blow over. But the new Cold War is on.

So, 3rd World countries will choose between the US and Russia.

The US stands for Coca-Cola and gay rights.

Russia stands for home, family, and manliness.

Which would you choose?"

Coca-Cola always wins.

Anonymous said...

"Hitler profoundly regretted losing the Great War. It had given his aimless life meaning. So, he wanted to refight WWI so that Germany could this time win."

Not true.

While bitter about the loss, he would gladly have accepted truce and alliance if offered by France and UK. Germany/Austria fought Italy in WWI but Hitler went out of his way to aid Mussolini.
Though UK intervention prevented German victory in WWI, he didn't want war with UK.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe they really weren't antiwar, just anti-draft. Now that there is no draft there's no risk to them, their children or their grandchildren."

'Anti-war' meant 'we want commie aggression to win'.

Anonymous said...

"Pat B presents his view of foreign policy as idealistic bring our boys home sentiment when its a smoke screen for purely personal likes and dislikes."

He doesn't like US using power to serve Jewish interests.

Anonymous said...

Agree.

Matt Buckalew said...

So Pat B subscribes to the much derided triple bank shot logic when it comes to American power? His thinking goes something like

"I don't like Jews running America so I am going to advocate for an evisceration of American power (something supported by a lot of Gentile Chinese who want to supplant America as a world power and are as much an existential threat to the USA as the USSR) in hopes by some strange triple bank shot luck/ logic that decreases Jewish power."

Anonymous said...

Yes Hundson George Washington opposed the Soviet Union. Then for that matter accepting your interpretation of George Washington Pat B violently opposed Washingtonian foreign policy. If I were as slow as you I wouldn't refer to myself in 3rd person so much it simply reminds people how dumb you are. If you are going to open your mouth and prove to the world your foolishness at least don't make it into a personal brand. Nike doesn't put the swoosh on the shoes that the six years old stitch up wrong.

ben tillman said...

Anonymous: "You're more of an anti-Semite and Mexican hater than an Obama hater."

Seeing as how Steve is neither an anti-Semite nor a hater of Mexicans, this must mean that Steve does not hate Obama either....


That is logical. However, let's look at the anti-Semite thing again.

The definition of "anti-Semite" that we are supposed to apply when we hear the term is "psychopathic hater of Jews". But if we look at how the term is actually used, we find another operative definition: "one who does not believe that every conflict of interest between the organized Jewish community and another person or group must be resolved in favor of the organized Jewish community." That's another way of saying that no self-interest other than that of the organized Jewish community is legitimate.

People are labeled anti-Semites on the basis of the second definition, and then we are supposed to interpret that label by using the first definition. It's a dirty trick, and it's essentially the same thing that's done with the term "racist".

Anonymous said...

Is Steve an anti-semite or anti-Mexican ? Not really. Steve just notices things that should not be spoken about, e.g., who runs the media and Hollywood and why the mexicanization of California is not really such a bright idea.

Is Steve pro-Putin ? No way. He is just not as frenetically anti-Russian as the mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

"Martin Cruz Smith had radioactive isotopes used as an implement of murder in "Wolves Eat Dogs"

I've linked to this archive before. More than one deliberate murder by radiation in Russia - and a few thieves getting more than they bargained for.

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/radaccidents.html

This one is the most infamous

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/1993RUS1.html

Hunsdon said...

Matt Buckalew said: So Pat B subscribes to the much derided triple bank shot logic when it comes to American power?

Hunsdon said: Matt, are we no longer friends? Don't you want to engage in a dialog? You know, you make wild, unfounded assertions, I try to answer them, wash, rinse, repeat?

Say, you wouldn't want to clarify what you mean by Pat Buchanan's desire to eviscerate American power, would you?

Was it unilateral nuclear disarmament? (If Mr Buchanan ever advocated that, I must have missed it.)

Was it reducing the standing army to say 50,000 soldiers?

You keep using the word eviscerate, whatever do you mean by it?

Could you mean,"Subcontracting the production of technologically sophisticated weaponry to the Red Chinese?" because if so, well, we've done that already. (No one seems to think it's a bad idea, I can't imagine why.)

Bill said...

Jason said...
Yeah, I think you're right Mr. Sailer: although Obama's statesmanship has not exactly been exemplary, I think he has wisely given a fairly low-keyed response to all of this . . . I suspect he realizes that while what is happening in Crimea is dreary and unpleasant to watch from afar, the region is not a vital national interest and that the game is not worth the candle.

Let's assume, for purposes of argument, that Obama has, indeed, looked up from Sportscenter long enough to have an opinion on Ukraine. Let's also assume that he grasps that the disposition of Ukraine is part of Russia's vital national security interest and is not part of the US national security interest--thus that Russia is willing to fight and we are not.

How, then, do you explain Obama permitting Vicki Nuland spending $5 billion to overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine (for the second time) and installing the bizarre coalition of oily thieves and Nazi freaks ruling there now? That was not an act of statesmanship, was it? Why get us into this if we were never going to follow up? Why let Vicki and Swiftboat rattle their sabres and run their mouths? That makes no sense from someone who knows the score.

A more plausible explanation is that Vicki did what Vicki wanted to do. That she had no adult supervision at all. Obama could not be bothered to look up from Sportscenter until war loomed. At which point, somebody mentioned to him that he would have to go on TV to sell the war, and he replied "I'm not going to war over some island in the red sea. You get me out of it." And, since then, he has been laboring over his brackets for March Madness.

Marissa said...

Hunsdon said: See? You can never just support Putin's actions (even in context). You're in love with him. It's a man-crush. And it's so very frequently thrown at the paleocons.

It's projection. The gays and gay-lovers hate Putin for anti-faggotry, so they must project faggotry onto their opponents. I think this same group has slobbered on Obama's knob for so long that they think anyone who likes a different world leader must be supporting him with the same level of fervor.


Marissa said...

Could you mean,"Subcontracting the production of technologically sophisticated weaponry to the Red Chinese?" because if so, well, we've done that already. (No one seems to think it's a bad idea, I can't imagine why.)

Why subcontract to the Chinese when our "defense" companies like Boeing sell them restricted parts outright?

http://www.ccaonline.cn/e/2006/5887.html

C. Van Carter said...

Reality-based Kleiman labeled Joseph Epstein an anti-semite for noticing WASPS weren't so bad.

jody said...

steve repeatedly (and wrongly, i've certainly argued) defends obama. even now. 6 years in.

essentially what kleiman is showing is the 'no criticism of obama, ever' principle. if you're on the right, you can't say anything negative about the guy, even if you're a regular defender.

i didn't need to check the web to know what kind of name kleiman is, but i did find out he is one of those guys who wants drugs to be legal. how strange (and by strange, i mean not strange at all) these things all seem to converge together.

Hunsdon said...

jody: steve repeatedly (and wrongly, i've certainly argued) defends obama. even now. 6 years in.

Hunsdon: Straight up question, jody. Would you rather have McCain in office right now, or Obama?

C. Van Carter said...

It's strange Putin would assassinate Litvinenko (did you know he converted to Islam?) with Polonium 210 when Russia has an ample supply of goons who could stab or beat him to death. If I were setting an odds line the favorite would be Litvinkenko poisoning himself followed by Mario Scaramella.

Hunsdon said...

Marissa: Why subcontract to the Chinese when our "defense" companies like Boeing sell them restricted parts outright?

Hunsdon: My point was that OUR electronics are coming from China. You wouldn't have to be a strategic genius at the Sun Tzu level to intuit that backdoors, failsafes, killswitches, etc., would be a good thing to drop in there.

Anonymous said...

"A more plausible explanation is that Vicki did what Vicki wanted to do."

Exactly. The neocons and banking mafia oligarchs are running their own foreign policy and then after they create a coup somewhere they say "we" must defend it.

Anonymous said...

But if we look at how the term is actually used, we find another operative definition: "one who does not believe that every conflict of interest between the organized Jewish community and another person or group must be resolved in favor of the organized Jewish community." That's another way of saying that no self-interest other than that of the organized Jewish community is legitimate.

People are labeled anti-Semites on the basis of the second definition, and then we are supposed to interpret that label by using the first definition. It's a dirty trick, and it's essentially the same thing that's done with the term "racist".


Well said Ben, as always. But isn't there is a third definition?

One who notices a conflict of interest between the organized Jewish community and another person or group. Or even more simply one who notices there is an organized Jewish community.

fnn said...

And it’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize territory inside Ukraine, using soldiers not wearing insignia, which alone makes their actions war crimes, because … shut up, he explained.

There's no longer any such thing as an illegal combatant:

http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/world-war-ii-reprisals-against-partisan-attacks-are-now-considered-war-crimes/

Hunsdon said...

When Kleiman said that Pollack had demolished Epstein's ode to WASPs, I had expected something more than what I found: a five or six paragraph empty denunciation about how his folks had suffered back in the day. No cites, just a denunciation of how "exclusion of Jews, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, gays, Catholics. and women did not enhance the integrity or the technical competence of American government."

Meritocracy, y'all!

Anonymous said...

"Coca-Cola always wins"

Its not that simple because the crusade on sugared water (as many leftists call it) will intensify as it did against smoking, so which side is Coca Cola on ? The side that wants to see its demise ?

ben tillman said...

A more plausible explanation is that Vicki did what Vicki wanted to do. That she had no adult supervision at all. Obama could not be bothered to look up from Sportscenter until war loomed. At which point, somebody mentioned to him that he would have to go on TV to sell the war, and he replied "I'm not going to war over some island in the red sea. You get me out of it." And, since then, he has been laboring over his brackets for March Madness.

LOL! That was great!

ben tillman said...

Exactly. The neocons and banking mafia oligarchs are running their own foreign policy and then after they create a coup somewhere they say "we" must defend it.

And that's reminiscent of the Boer War and Opium Wars fought by another empire.

sunbeam said...

Hunsdon: My point was that OUR electronics are coming from China. You wouldn't have to be a strategic genius at the Sun Tzu level to intuit that backdoors, failsafes, killswitches, etc., would be a good thing to drop in there.

I remember watching the 24/7 news coverage of Gulf War I (I think; might have been Son of Gulf War).

The talking heads were all exited by crashed missiles in a Kuwaiti city. What made it interesting was that the electronic parts in the debris had chinese writing on them.

Turns out they were Patriots, or another of our anti-missile missiles.

If my memory is correct, this occurred over 20 years ago. Even then we were dependent on imports from Asia for our much ballyhooed war machine.

I have no doubt it's even worse now.

I have to laugh when I hear people talk about us going to war with China in particular.

That conversation would be like:

"Dude! As soon as you loan us the money, and sell us some parts, then we are totally kicking your ass!"

jody said...

"Straight up question, jody. Would you rather have McCain in office right now, or Obama?"

i'd rather romney be in office.

however, you pose a false choice. it's obama or nothing? yeah ok. ANYBODY would be better. clinton would have been better. indeed, any democrat would be better. a nutty libertarian would have been better. and yes, even mccain would be better.

the united states will never recover from barack obama. this stuff is about trajectory, and the trajectory is now set in stone. you won't even be able to recognize this country by 2020.

jody said...

"Obama could not be bothered to look up from Sportscenter until war loomed."

yep. steve is VERY wrong. he thinks obama is a cool, calm, collected customer who is intelligently dealing with thorny foreign policy issues. this couldn't be further from the truth. obama is AWOL, completely AWOL on these issues. he has no interest in them whatsoever. they are very annoying things that keep coming up when he's trying to take vacations, or destroy america, or watch basketball.

obama doesn't even go to his strategic briefings. he blows those off. he actually tried to not kill bin laden, had to be dragged into it, and left the room during the operation because it was so boring he couldn't be bothered.

what's actually happening is that neocons are running US foreign policy and obama does not even pay attention most of the time. then some crisis happens, often formented by neocons, and obama remembers he's commander in chief - a job he hates, like all jobs, he hates working - so he runs his mouth at a press conference, which is all he knows how to do, and makes the US look bad when foreign nations do respond to him waving his lawyer pen.

it's sheer idiocy for the president of the united states to issue idle threats repeatedly. the qualifier here: repeatedly. steve probably won't even write a column on how devastating this is to the office of the president and the international credibility of the US. obama is coming close to wrecking the stature of his office, built up over decades of hard work.

foreign leaders, rightly, perceive that the US is all talk a lot of the time now, and are responding appropriately. obama should just SHUT UP about ukraine. no more talking. just SHUT UP. and go back to playing golf badly, shooting hoops badly. another red line crossed, another moment the president of the united states looks like a buffoon. which he is.

Anonymous said...

"A more plausible explanation is that Vicki did what Vicki wanted to do. That she had no adult supervision at all. Obama could not be bothered to look up from Sportscenter until war loomed."

I'm assuming that this is in fact what happened.

reiner Tor said...

Steve, you should write a new post about the new procurator of Crimea. I can find many virtues in her, most especially her being smoking hot.

Anonymous said...

Anti-Gnostic:"No projection of American power: WWI ends in a draw and some remnant of Europe's classical liberal order manages to survive."

Unlikely. Germany was winning in 1918 (cf Russia being knocked out of the war and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).The actual scenario would have involved a triumphalist Imperial Germany (which had grown increasingly militaristic during the war; by 1918, Germany was essentially a de facto military dictatorship)dominating the continent plus a deeply resentful Russia. Not exactly a formula for an enduring peace....

Anti-Gnostic:"We come home after WWII, Europeans have to pull their own weight and maintain their martial virtues and TFR instead of blowing their human and financial capital on social democratic experiments."

Well, America pulling out in '45 would have probably meant the USSR under Stalin swallowing up West Germany at the very least, probably Italy as well. France was also a distinct possibility. As for TFR, I really doubt that having to fend off the Soviets would have done anything for that.And Social Democracy and huge military expenditures (which would have been needed to fend off the USSR) go hand in hand.



Anti-Gnostic:"The Pax Americana thinkers are ahistorical. This has always ended badly."

Doesn't everything end badly, provided that the wait is long enough?

Anti-Gnostic: "The age of white wandering is over. Time to return to our homelands and prepare to defend them."

Good luck with getting the Koch bros to sign off on that one.

reiner Tor said...

by 1918, Germany was essentially a de facto military dictatorship

Wrong. Politicians often let the generals play military dictatorship during the war, but I read a thorough debunking of this, with citing several important issues that the politicians decided in Germany against the will of the generals, and the politicians always prevailed, without exception.

triumphalist Imperial Germany dominating the continent plus a deeply resentful Russia.

German plans for victory included a more or less independent Poland (probably unified with Austrian Galicia under some Habsburg archduke), an independent Ukraine (allied to Germany, with strong German influence), and independent Belarus (ditto), independent Baltic states (including Finland, also with heavy German influence), and the likes. This is quite reminiscent of the present situation in Europe. And Russia would have been under Leninist rule: not a recipe for being strong enough to attack a strong and militaristic Germany allied to countries like Poland, Ukraine, etc.

ben tillman said...

"And it’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize territory inside Ukraine, using soldiers not wearing insignia, which alone makes their actions war crimes, because … shut up, he explained."

There's no longer any such thing as an illegal combatant:



Yeah, no kidding. If this Kleiman guy had a clue he'd know that the same argument has been used to justify Nazi atrocities against Jews.

Anonymous said...

"And that's reminiscent of the Boer War and Opium Wars fought by another empire."

Indeed. Individuals trying to grab themselves some gold or diamonds manipulating an empire into helping them. I expect there's some examples from Rome also.

.

"Steve, you should write a new post about the new procurator of Crimea. I can find many virtues in her, most especially her being smoking hot."

She is very cute but I think she should have asked permission before taking her mom's uniform.

Asterix the Gaul said...

Julius Caesar invaded Gaul because the Gauls were loaded with good coin from their 700 gold mines. Trajan invaded Dacia for exactly the same reason.

Both also had enormous personal debts to pay off.

Anonymous said...

Reiner Tor, that girl is a prosecutor. "Procurator" means "prosecutor" in Russian.

wiseguy said...

These appear to be a few of the (crudely generalized) views on Obama and War and Peace:

Obama

Leftists: "Ain't he wonderful!"

Neocons: "Obama is the source of all evil."

Paleocons: "Obama is bad, but he isn't that important. And, hey, his foreign policy might be better than that of the Republicans."

My oh-so-important opinion: Paleocons are right in viewing Obama as only a symptom of a much greater problem, but they're wrong for not rejecting him in toto.

War and Peace

Leftists: In the utopian fantasy land existing only inside their heads, war is never a good option. Plus, it could lead to them being shot. No way they're gonna put their skin on the line defending anyone else!

Neocons: "We should always go to war in support of those fighting for freedom and democracy. So who gets to define 'freedom' and 'democracy?' Why us, of course!"

Paleocons: "When considering matters of war and peace, the overriding concern should be our national interest."

Moi: When deciding on whether to go to war or not, we should make our decisions in light of the Just War theory.

Anonymous said...

"..as a mere scrap of paper"


As opposed, I guess, to using it as a pretext for war like Britain did in 1914. That sure worked out well now didn't it?

What a biscuit this guy is.

Hunsdon said...

I have said it before, I will say it again. The phrase, or question, "What's the worst that could happen?" should not be a throwaway line, should not be a handwave.

What's the worst that could happen, if we keep poking Putin about Crimea?

Anonymous said...

"Lets not go through the whole Danzig thing again. Hitler wanted an empire in the east. And Danzig was the pretext."

Which meant that he would have come up against the USSR. Not against the United Kingdom or France, which are NOT in eastern Europe. Which is why the pledge to Poland was so terribly, insanely stupid. It turned Hitler's EASTWARD aggression WESTWARD and let the USSR off the hook (for a while). The RIGHT course for the U.K. and France would have been to have done NOTHING, built up their forces and let Hitler and Stalin destroy each other. The pledge to Poland was the greatest mistake any British government ever made.

Anonymous said...

David M:

For instance, the Sudetenland (a term that dates back only to the late 1800s) was not purely German speaking, nor had it been part of Germany (it was part of the Bohemian crownlands of Austria, not Germany).

Sudentenland included parts of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia.

Bohemia and Moravia had been a part of Germany since the time of Charlemagne and were only separated after the German-Austrian war in 1866. The leading cities - Prague, Brunn, Olmutz, Pilsen, and Budweiser, were all German towns, with Prague gaining a Czech majority only late in the Hapsburg period.

Traditionally, Germany was considered to consist of what is now Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Tyrol, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Pommerania, and Silesia. It did not include Prussia, which was a military province first of the Church through the Teutonic Knights and then of itself, eventually swallowing whole the rest of Germany.

While the city of Danzig was majority German it had long ago been a Polish city and the so-called Polish corridor and other areas given to Poland were majority Polish.

Danzig was not a "Polish" city in any recognizable sense of the word. It was founded by and inhabited by Germans, governed under German law, and maintained autonomy after conquest by Poland until the time it was retaken by Prussia.

The "Polish Corridor" was not majority Polish until around a half a million Germans were removed after World War I. All of the major towns in the corridor were heavily German - Thorn, Bromberg, Graudenz, and of course Danzig.

"Other areas" given to Poland were Posen and Upper Silesia. Posen was majority Polish, while Upper Silesia was majority Polish in the countryside, but highly German in the cities. Regardless, the Poles lost all of the plepescites that were held, and no plebescite was allowed to be held in Posen, Danzig, and West Prussia out of fear that they might go the wrong way also, leading one to suspect that even many Poles did not want to live in a new Poland, something confirmed by the continued electoral divide of Poland along the 1815-1914 border. The German part of Poland was economically advanced and wealthy and offered the opportunity of working elsewhere in Germany for more money. The Russian part was backwards and poor.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Mark Kleiman needs to read more because he'd have come across several blogs pointing out that if the Mexican invasion -- sorry, migration -- continues unchecked, we could well be in the situation where California as a referendum on whether or not to become part of Mexico.

I expect professor Kleiman will demand an end to this invasion of US territory immediately.

Unlike you, he is an American patriot isn't he?

Anonymous said...

Re:Banderites are sometimes called bandarlogs. That's the name of a type of monkeys from Kipling's Jungle Book. A series of children's cartoons based on the Jungle Book was very popular in the Soviet Union, so everyone in Russia and the Ukraine knows who the bandarlogs are.

Anyone who cites Kipling gets a vote up from me.

But didn't Kaa the python eat all the bandarlogs?

Anonymous said...

Re: "Buchanan thought it necessary to confront the Soviet Union, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union thought we won, so let's declare victory and come home. But that makes him an extremist because he wasn't interested going to war against the Serbian Menace."

Or the Haitian menace, the Iraqi menace, the Afghanistan menace, the Libyan menace, the Syrian menace, the Somali menace or the....

Oh yeah, he also criticized the "Amen Israel Corner."

Everyone here is talking about how an Obama presidency is better than a McCain presidency.

I'd have been happy with a Pat Buchanan presidency in '88 or '92.
Hell, I'd take one now.

No more pointless wars abroad; borders defended and trade policies that benefited Americans.

No wonder no-one voted for him.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Is it that Jews are now in the driver's seat? Back then (as Mark Rudd has explained) they were revolting as much against the WASP establishment as they were fighting against the Vietnam War."

To ask the question is to answer it.

Anonymous said...

Re: Let's skip the part where Pat B was at first was very much interested in confronting "the Stalinist Butcher." Back when he feared the Slobby was going to focus his energies on (Catholic) Croatia not Bosnia. Also let's skip the fact that Pat B made a pretty high profile speech a few years after the fall of the Soviet Union at the GOP convention in which he openly chides the Democrats as the party of disarmament and weakness. The Soviet Union was vanquished Steve and Pat B had nothing but contempt for those who would weaken American power.

Another Israeli troll.

Pat has never said the US should disarm. So nice BS job there.

As for Serbia, guess what? A lot of people including Margaret Thatcher supporting bombing Serbia when it tried to hold non-Serbian parts to it by force.

By the time we bombed Serbia, Croatia was gone as was Macedonia and Slovenia.

Kosovo hadn't been independent of Serbia in centuries.

So there were obvious reasons for not involving ourselves militarily.

But what bothers a**holes like you is Pat's belief that the US is wasting its time giving Israel a blank check.

And you know something? He's right.

Anonymous said...

Re: Unlikely. Germany was winning in 1918 (cf Russia being knocked out of the war and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).

Um no. Germany was already at the end of its material and manpower resources by then. American national mythology notwithstanding, the British and French halted the German advances without necessary American help.

The US broke a stalemate. And a stalemated Germany after the destruction of World War I would probably resembled Britain or France.

Silver said...

"The actual scenario would have involved a triumphalist Imperial Germany (which had grown increasingly militaristic during the war; by 1918, Germany was essentially a de facto military dictatorship)dominating the continent plus a deeply resentful Russia. Not exactly a formula for an enduring peace...."

Still, it's hard to argue that would have been worse than what eventually did occur. It would have been almost impossible to avoid 'horror scenarios' regardless of who won, regardless of the peace settlement made, because the era itself was the culmination of decades and decades of bad thinking. Of course, that's much easier to see in hindsight so I don't want to blame all those 19th century romantic petty nationalists and empire-builders too much, but I think I should be allowed to deplore how little cost/benefit analysis went into their decision-making.

Silver said...

"But what bothers a**holes like you is Pat's belief that the US is wasting its time giving Israel a blank check. "

Imagine if Israel were held to the same standards as Serbia.

David M. said...

David M - Anonymous - David M.

[D. Original Post] For instance, the Sudetenland (a term that dates back only to the late 1800s) was not purely German speaking, nor had it been part of Germany (it was part of the Bohemian crownlands of Austria, not Germany).

A. Sudentenland included parts of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia.

D. Which were all parts of the Bohemian crownlands. That is why I specifically wrote the Bohemian crownlands, not Bohemia.

A. Bohemia and Moravia had been a part of Germany since the time of Charlemagne and were only separated after the German-Austrian war in 1866.

D. They had been a part of the Holy Roman Empire, which is not the same thing as Germany. They were a part of the Austrian Empire before 1866 and remained so after 1866. The Czechs were offered membership in Germany by the Frankfurt Assembly in 1848 but they turned down the offer.

A. The leading cities - Prague, Brunn, Olmutz, Pilsen, and Budweiser, were all German towns, with Prague gaining a Czech majority only late in the Hapsburg period.

D. This would take a full length post to explain, but no, they weren't German cities, they were Bohemian and Moravian cities, although at times a majority of residents spoke German. Keep in mind that for most of Austrian rule German was the language of commerce, business, and education, even for those who spoke Czech at home. Bohemia and Moravia were not explicitly associated with the Czech language for a couple hundred years (1600's to early 1800's).

A. Traditionally, Germany was considered to consist of what is now Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Tyrol, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Pommerania, and Silesia. It did not include Prussia, which was a military province first of the Church through the Teutonic Knights and then of itself, eventually swallowing whole the rest of Germany.

D. Under this definition you should include northern Italy as well, as you are equting the Holy Roman Empire with Germany. Many of these places never considered themselves German, and it's not even really all that relevant, since the idea of a German nation was a very nebulous concept in pre-national times anyhow, especially in places like Belgium and Italy.

[D. Original Post] While the city of Danzig was majority German it had long ago been a Polish city and the so-called Polish corridor and other areas given to Poland were majority Polish.

A. Danzig was not a "Polish" city in any recognizable sense of the word. It was founded by and inhabited by Germans, governed under German law, and maintained autonomy after conquest by Poland until the time it was retaken by Prussia.

D. It was founded by the Poles, but by the end of the Middle Ages had a German-speaking majority, although with a significant Polish and Jewish population. It was part of the Polish crownlands until I believe the first partition of Poland in the late 1700's. Danzig was not actually given to Poland after WWI - it was the Free City of Danzig, which was even governed by the Nazis during part of the 1930s. The Poles just had access to the port and transportation facilities .

A. The "Polish Corridor" was not majority Polish until around a half a million Germans were removed after World War I. All of the major towns in the corridor were heavily German - Thorn, Bromberg, Graudenz, and of course Danzig.

D. From wikipedia on the Polish corridor: The Prussian census of 1910 showed that there were 528,000 Poles (including West Slavic Kashubians, who had supported the Polish national lists in German elections[24][25][26][27]) in the region compared with 385,000 Germans (including troops stationed in the area)

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST

David M. said...

A. "Other areas" given to Poland were Posen and Upper Silesia. Posen was majority Polish, while Upper Silesia was majority Polish in the countryside, but highly German in the cities. Regardless, the Poles lost all of the plepescites that were held, and no plebescite was allowed to be held in Posen, Danzig, and West Prussia out of fear that they might go the wrong way also, leading one to suspect that even many Poles did not want to live in a new Poland, something confirmed by the continued electoral divide of Poland along the 1815-1914 border. The German part of Poland was economically advanced and wealthy and offered the opportunity of working elsewhere in Germany for more money. The Russian part was backwards and poor.

D. Yes, you're right here, but for the most part the German victories in the plebiscites were honored - East Prussia remained German, and Upper Silesia was split between the two, although perhaps not as fairly as it should have been based on the results. Posen would have been unlikely to vote for German unification, given its strong Polish majority and resentment over Germanization efforts and the Kulturkampf. The parts of West Prussia given to Poland had large Polish majorities as well. Danzig wasn't actually given to Poland as mentioned earlier, but given the choice to stay within Germany you are right that it certainly would have voted that way.

Also consider that many Polish votes went to Germany out of fear that Poland was about to conquered by the Soviet Union, if the votes had been held a few months later (after Polish victory that is), the results may have been considerably different.

Overall, I would not argue that the post-war results were ideal, and as I mentioned earlier, I sympathize with the Germans, and I think American involvement in WWI was a monumental mistake. But.. again, the situation after the war was not a great injustice on the grand scale of things. The Poles living under German rule complained about the same sort of injustices before the war, when the roles had been reversed. And if the Germans had won, the Poles would still be facing Germanization campaigns.

Is any of this really so horrible? No. Was it so horrible before the war? No. Was any of it worth launching the most horrible war in human history, especially considering that Europe had long been a patchwork of ethnicities? Hell no. And that's my point.

reiner Tor said...

Reiner Tor, that girl is a prosecutor. "Procurator" means "prosecutor" in Russian.

I stand corrected!

reiner Tor said...

Still no post about the Crimean prosecutor? Then at least something about Paul Walker...

Hunsdon said...

Oh I missed one.

Anonydroid at 8:11 AM: Yes Hundson George Washington opposed the Soviet Union.

Hunsdon said: A suspicion of a large standing army was a distinguishing feature of the Founding Fathers. Agree or disagree?

jody said: however, you pose a false choice. it's obama or nothing? yeah ok. ANYBODY would be better

Hunsdon said: When I asked Obama or McCain, it was predicated on the idea that McCain won in 2008, and was subsequently reelected in 2012. I don't see that as a false choice. Your Romney answer is also valid. If you think ANYBODY would be better, look at McCain's blustery growl today and think about nuclear fire.

wiseguy said: When deciding on whether to go to war or not, we should make our decisions in light of the Just War theory.

Hunsdon said: When considering matters of war and peace, the overriding concern should be our national interest, guided by Christian morality (including Just War theory).

Anonydroid at 9:45 PM said: I'd have been happy with a Pat Buchanan presidency in '88 or '92.
Hell, I'd take one now.

No more pointless wars abroad; borders defended and trade policies that benefited Americans.

No wonder no-one voted for him.

Hunsdon said: I'd take one now as well. I've voted for Buchanan or Ron Paul every chance I've had in the primaries.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous:"Um no. Germany was already at the end of its material and manpower resources by then. American national mythology notwithstanding, the British and French halted the German advances without necessary American help.

The US broke a stalemate. And a stalemated Germany after the destruction of World War I would probably resembled Britain or France."

Hardly. A stalemated Germany in 1918 would have been a Germany that had won a vast empire in Eastern Europe (cf Brest-Litovsk)and was a de facto military dictatorship. Couple that with a resentful Russia in the East, and you have a second Great War in the offing....

Anonymous said...

Silver:"Still, it's hard to argue that would have been worse than what eventually did occur. It would have been almost impossible to avoid 'horror scenarios' regardless of who won, regardless of the peace settlement made, because the era itself was the culmination of decades and decades of bad thinking."

Well, yes. Part of what I have been arguing against is the notion that somehow the 20th century would have rose petals and wine if the Germans had won in 1914-18. A strong case can be made that a German victory in the Great War (or even a stalemate; from the German perspective, anything that preserved their gains in the East would have counted as a win)would have simply led to another war a few years down the line.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_of_Settlement

Epic pale of settling scores

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Which meant that he would have come up against the USSR. Not against the United Kingdom or France, which are NOT in eastern Europe. Which is why the pledge to Poland was so terribly, insanely stupid. It turned Hitler's EASTWARD aggression WESTWARD and let the USSR off the hook (for a while). The RIGHT course for the U.K. and France would have been to have done NOTHING, built up their forces and let Hitler and Stalin destroy each other. The pledge to Poland was the greatest mistake any British government ever made."

Yeah, the old "let Hitler and Stalin punch each other into oblivion" scenario. Admittedly, there is a certain schadenfreude to be found in such a notion, but one must also bear in mind the fact that the USSR would, in all likelihood, have emerged as the victor.....which would have meant a Soviet Empire in Europe going right up to the Rhine....

By the way, why the excessive capitalization? Are you afraid that people will miss your point?

Anonymous said...

Reiner Tor:"Wrong. Politicians often let the generals play military dictatorship during the war, but I read a thorough debunking of this, with citing several important issues that the politicians decided in Germany against the will of the generals, and the politicians always prevailed, without exception."

Yeah, the various "debunking" scenarios that have emerged vis-a-vis WW1 Germany.....To put it mildly, they are less than convincing. Plus, they have to contend with the fact that Germany was already less democratic than, say, the UK in 1914 (cf, for example, the outsized role played by Prussia).



Reiner Tor:"German plans for victory included a more or less independent Poland (probably unified with Austrian Galicia under some Habsburg archduke), an independent Ukraine (allied to Germany, with strong German influence), and independent Belarus (ditto), independent Baltic states (including Finland, also with heavy German influence), and the likes."

Well, it all rather comes down to how one defines "heavy German influence," doesn't it?

Also, on the "more or less independent" question, I would bet on "less" winning out over "more."

Reiner Tor:" This is quite reminiscent of the present situation in Europe."

Again, that all depends on how one defines "reminiscent."

Reiner Tor:"And Russia would have been under Leninist rule: not a recipe for being strong enough to attack a strong and militaristic Germany allied to countries like Poland, Ukraine, etc."

Scenarios present themselves. How much resentment would German overlordship have built up in Ukraine? What would the political climate have been like in France, as she watches Germany exercise her sway over the continent?For that matter, how much greater might patriotic fervor have been under Stalin if he could have invoked the need to regain Ukraine for a decade or so?

Anonymous said...

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk:

"Russia renounced all territorial claims in Finland (which it had already acknowledged), the future Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Belarus, and Ukraine. (The territory of Congress Poland was not mentioned in the treaty.)
The treaty stated that "Germany and Austria-Hungary intend to determine the future fate of these territories in agreement with their populations." Most of these territories were in effect ceded to Germany, which intended to have them become economic and political dependencies. The many ethnic German residents (volksdeutsch) would be the ruling elite. Two new monarchies were created: in Lithuania, and in Latvia and Estonia; German aristocrats were appointed as rulers.
This plan was detailed by German Field Marshal Erich Ludendorff, who wrote, "German prestige demands that we should hold a strong protecting hand, not only over German citizens, but over all Germans." (WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

German Government during 1914-18:

"During the war, Hindenburg was the subject of an enormous personality cult. He was seen as the perfect embodiment of German manly honour, rectitude, decency and strength. The appeal of the Hindenburg cult cut across ideological, religious, class and regional lines, but the group that idolized Hindenburg the most were the German right who saw him as an ideal representative of the Prussian ethos and of Lutheran, Junker values. During the war, there were wooden statues of Hindenburg built all over Germany, onto which people nailed money and cheques for war bonds. It was a measure of Hindenburg's public appeal that when the Government launched an all-out programme of industrial mobilisation in 1916, the programme was named the Hindenburg Programme.[8]
By the summer of 1916 Erich von Falkenhayn had been discredited by the bogging-down of the Verdun Offensive and the near-collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Army caused by the Brusilov Offensive and the entry of Romania into the war on the Allied side. In August Hindenburg succeeded him as Chief of the General Staff, although real power was exercised by his deputy, Erich Ludendorff. Hindenburg in many ways served as the real commander-in-chief of the German armed forces instead of the Kaiser who had been reduced to a mere figurehead while Ludendorff served as the de facto general chief of staff. From 1916 onwards, Germany became an unofficial military dictatorship, often called the "Silent dictatorship"[8][9] by historians."

(WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

More on the temper of 1914-18 Germany:

"He [Ludendorff] proposed massive annexations and colonization in Eastern Europe in the event of the victory of the German Reich, and was one of the main supporters of the Polish Border Strip.[7] Ludendorff planned German settlement and Germanization in conquered areas combined with expulsions of the native population, and envisioned an eastern German empire whose resources would be used in future war with Great Britain and United States[8][9] Ludendorff's plans went as far as making Crimea a German colony.[10]
Russia withdrew from the war in 1917 and Ludendorff participated in the meetings held between the German leadership and the new Bolshevik leadership. After much deliberation, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on 3 March 1918. That same month Ludendorff planned and directed Germany's final Western Front offensives, including Operation Michael, Operation Georgette and Operation Bluecher; although not formally a commander-in-chief, Ludendorff directed operations by issuing orders to the staffs of the armies at the front, as was perfectly normal under the German system of that time.
The historian Frank B. Tipton argues that while not technically a dictator, Ludendorff was "unquestionably the most powerful man in Germany" in 1917–18.[11]" (WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

Some interesting speculations on a Germany victorious in WW1 by John J. Reilly:

"It is also false to assert that German culture was driven to insanity by a pervasive sense of defeat. The 1920s were the age of the Lost Generation in America and the Bright Young Things in Britain.

A reader ignorant of the history of the 20th century who was given samples from this literature that did not contain actual references to the war could reasonably conclude that he was reading the literature of defeated peoples. There was indeed insanity in culture in the 1920s, but the insanity pervaded the whole West.

Weimar culture would have happened even if there had been no Weimar Republic. We know this, since all the major themes of the Weimar period, the new art and revolutionary politics and sexual liberation, all began before the war. This was a major argument of the remarkable book, RITES OF SPRING, by the Canadian scholar, Modris Ekstein. There would still have been Bauhaus architecture and surrealist cinema and depressing war novels if the Kaiser had issued a victory proclamation in late 1918 rather than an instrument of abdication. There would even have been a DECLINE OF THE WEST by Oswald Spengler in 1918. He began working on it years before the war. The book was, in fact, written in part to explain the significance of a German victory.

These things were simply extensions of the trends that had dominated German culture for a generation. They grew logically out of Nietzsche and Wagner and Freud. A different outcome in the First World War would probably have made the political right less suspicious of modernity, for the simple reason that left wing politics would not have been anywhere nearly as fashionable among artists as such politics were in defeat."(http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/ifgermany.htm)

Anonymous said...

More speculations on a triumphant Germany by John J. Reilly:

"I would go so far as to say this: something very like the Nazi Party would still have come to power in Germany, even if that country had won the First World War. I realize that this assertion runs counter to the historiography of most of this century, but the conclusion is inescapable. Politics is a part of culture, and the Nazis represented a kind of politics which was integral with Weimar culture. Salvador Dali once said, perhaps ironically, that he approved of the Nazi Party because they represented the surrealists come to power. The connection is deep, as with the Nazi affinity for the modernist post-rationalism of the philosopher Heidigger, and also superficial, in the styles the party promoted.

The Nuremberg Rallies, for instance, were masterpieces of Art Deco stagecraft, particularly Albert Speer's "cathedral of ice" effect, created with the use of searchlights. As a young hopeful in Vienna, Hitler once passed up the chance to work as a theatrical set designer because he was too shy to go to the interview. But whether he knew it or not, that is what he became. People with no fascist inclinations at all love to watch film footage produced by the Nazis, for the simple reason that it is very good cinema: it comes from the same artistic culture which gave us METROPOLIS and THE BLUE ANGEL. The Weimar Republic and the Third Reich formed a historical unit, one whose advent was not dependent on the accident of who won the First World War.

The Nazi Party was other things besides a right wing populist group with a penchant for snazzy uniforms. It was a millenarian movement. The term "Third Reich," "Drittes Reich," is an old term for the Millennium. The Party's core began as a sort of occult lodge, like the Thule Society of Munich to which so many of its important early members belonged. It promoted a racist theory of history not unlike that of the Theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky, whose movement also used the swastika as an emblem. The little-read ideological guidebook of the party, Alfred Rosenberg's MYTH OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, begins its study of history in Atlantis. Like the Theosophists, they looked for a new "root race" of men to appear in the future, perhaps with some artificial help. When Hitler spoke of the Master Race, it is not entirely clear that he was thinking of contemporary Germans."

(http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/ifgermany.htm)

Anonymous said...

More from John J. Reilly:

"This is not to say that the Nazi Party was a conspiracy of evil magicians. A good, non- conspiratorial account of this disconcerting matter may be found in James Webb's THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT. I have two simple points to make here. The first is that the leadership had some very odd notions that, at least to some degree, explain the unique things they said and did. The other is that these ideas were not unique to them, that they were spreading among the German elites. General Von Moltke, the chief of the General Staff at the beginning of the war, was an Anthroposophist. (This group drew the peculiar ire of the SS, since Himmler believed that its leader, Rudolf Steiner, hypnotized the general so as to make him mismanage the invasion of France.)

The Nazi Party was immensely popular on university campuses. The intellectual climate of early 20th century Germany was extraordinarily friendly to mysticism of all types, including in politics. The Nazi leadership were just particularly nasty people whose worldview bore a family resemblance to that of Herman Hesse and C.G. Jung. The same would probably have been true of anyone who ruled Germany in the 1930s.

Am I saying then that German defeat in the First World War made no difference? Hardly. If the war had not been lost, the establishment would have been much less discredited, and there would have been less room for the ignorant eccentrics who led the Nazi Party. Certainly people with no qualifications for higher command, such as Goering, would not have been put in charge of the Luftwaffe, nor would the Foreign Ministry have been given over to so empty-headed a man as Von Ribbentrop. As for the fate of Hitler himself, who can say?

The big difference would have been that Germany would been immensely stronger and more competent by the late 1930s than it was in the history we know. That another war would have been brewed by then we may be sure. Hitler was only secondarily interested in revenge for the First World War; his primary goal had always been geopolitical expansion into Eastern Europe and western Asia. This would have given Germany the Lebensraum to become a world power. His ideas on the subject were perfectly coherent, and not original with him: they were almost truisms. There is no reason to think that the heirs of a German victory in 1918 (or 1919, or 1920) would have been less likely to pursue these objectives."
(http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/ifgermany.htm)

Anonymous said...

More from Reilly:

"These alternative German leaders would doubtless have been reacting in part to some new coalition aligned against them. Its obvious constituents would have been Britain, the United States and Russia, assuming Britain and Russia had a sufficient degree of independence to pursue such a policy. One suspects that if the Germans pursued a policy of aggressive colonial expansion in the 1920s and 30s, they might have succeeded in alienating the Japanese, who could have provided a fourth to the coalition.

Germany for its part would begun the war with complete control of continental Europe and probably effective control of north Africa and the Near East. It would also have started with a real navy, so that Britain's position could have quickly become untenable. The coalition's chances in such a war would not have been hopeless, but they would been desperate.

It is commonly said of the First World War that it was pure waste, that it was an accident, that it accomplished nothing. The analysis I have just presented, on the contrary, suggests that the "war to end all war" may have been the most important war of the modern era after all."

(http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/ifgermany.htm)

fnn said...

...by 1918, Germany was essentially a de facto military dictatorship


By 1918, Woodrow Wilson's USA was a repressive dictatorship:

http://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/woodrow-wilson-americas-worst-and-first-fascist-president/


http://blog.vigilantvote.com/2012/07/23/woodrow-wilson-an-american-dictator/

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/10/ralph-raico/world-war-i-on-the-home-front/

http://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/murray-n-rothbard/wilsons-secret-police/


http://tomwoods.com/blog/world-war-i-the-evil-woodrow-wilson-and-more/

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/stromberg/stromberg18.html

5371 said...

The various Hun-hammers on this thread (are they all the same person?) show a high degree of stupidity, ignorance and bad faith.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"By 1918, Woodrow Wilson's USA was a repressive dictatorship"

I guess that that explains why the presidential election of 1920 was cancelled....

Anonymous said...

5371:"The various Hun-hammers on this thread (are they all the same person?) show a high degree of stupidity, ignorance and bad faith."

It's rather sad to see Germanophiles reduced to invective. Of course, insults are the last resort of a losing side....

Anonymous said...

The Silent Dictatorship:

"The relationship of politics and war is a close one. War is supposed to be an extension of politics. It is to be the last resort, when diplomacy has failed. But we know from recent experience that war creates its own politics, that the relationship can be reversed. In Germany during world war one we have a classic example of militarism dominating statecraft.

During the first two years there were few clashes between military and civilian authorities. Moltke and Falkenhayn were too busy with military operations to get involved in political issues, while Bethmann-Hollweg made sure never to interfere in military matters. But this collaboration was purely accidental and began to change once the civilian leaders faced up to the problems created by military events in 1914 and 1915. The great battles of those years made it plain that Germany could not attain a decisive victory as planned and might have to end the war on unfavorable terms by negotiation.

But the concessions necessary to make negotiations feasible were unacceptable to the High Command for strategic, political and social reasons. When Hindenburg and Ludendorff assumed leadership of the army they did not hesitate to make their opposition to a politically negotiated peace felt. They had their way for some good reasons:

l) they were supported by powerful interest groups. ranging from imperialist-minded industrialists to conservative aristocrats;#2) the public generally misinformed and ignorant of military matters, had great confidence in their military leadership, more so then in the civilian government."
(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

The Silent Dictatorship II:

"In the rancorous political struggle, which began at the end of 1916, Hindenburg and Ludendorff created for themselves such a prominent position of power that this period has been referred to as the "silent dictatorship." They were able to create and break chancellors, have private servants of the emperor dismissed if their views differed from their own and to determine the objectives and tactics of the Foreign Office.

Yet, despite their unprecedented power they were unable to solve the problem created by the failure of the Schlieffen Plan. They blindly insisted on total victory, even when the strength of the enemy made that impossible. They sacrificed everything for military expediency and usually discovered when it was too late that their most brilliant strikes worked to the advantage of the Allies without bringing Germany any of the advantages which were expected. In the end, when all hope of negotiation had vanished, they risked everything on a desperate, ill-conceived and ill-prepared campaign. That offensive of 1918 was not coordinated with a political move, nor was the German public prepared for the drastic results if it should fail. The consequences were predictable. It brought both defeat and revolution. Perhaps Clemenceau was right after all: war is too serious a business to be left exclusively in the hands of generals.

During the war the larger cities of Germany erected wooden statues of Hindenburg in which donors of a small war contribution were allowed to drive nails. It was more than a vulgar stunt. The statues of saints and kings in the Middle Ages were made of wood. You can still see them in the cathedrals. The people had come to look on the General Staff as an institution from which even the impossible could be expected. These statues seemed to represent something greater than the ordinary run of men.

In those declining years of the Hohenzollern regime, the big, broad shoulders of the man who was the last chief of the royal Prussian General Staff did seem to be in some way not a mere man, but an embodiment in human form of the remaining strength of the state, a refuge to the faltering and hope to those of little faith.

Yet Hindenburg was an anachronism. He said often that he felt most at home in the time of Bismarck and William I. But Ludendorff was made of different stuff. His brutal powers of work and his extraordinary organizational skill, combined with unflinching single-mindedness, suggests the modern conception of expert. This kind of man functions best when guided by some person of broader, more balanced outlook. Despite the fact that Hindenburg does not quite fit the latter category, these two men worked together fairly well, although their partnership was less ideal than people assumed.

Hindenburg and Ludendorff had little in common except their background. Both cams from impoverished Junker families. Hindenburg had spent his whole life in the army, slowly moving up from lieutenant to commander of an army corps. His world remained that of the army and the General Staff. He had no general cultural appreciation and admitted that he had never read a decent book except military tomes. He was characteristic of the German military, very conscious of rank, tactful and dignified, a Christian in outlook, sober in habit, unimaginative and marked by a certain peasant-like narrowness of mind. He was untouched by the liberal arts and yet you would expect a certain kind of creativity and imagination from a truly great general."

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)



Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship III:

"Ludendorff too went though the hard school of the cadet corps and then became an infantry officer. At the war Academy he had an interesting instructor, General Heckel, who had reorganized the Japanese Army. Meckel recommended him to the General Staff, to which he became much more attached than Hindenburg. The dark-blue uniform, with its silver embroidered collar and the trousers with carmine stripes symbolized social rehabilitation ha Ludenndorff--not just a successful military career. His work was his world and he saw everything through the eyes of a General staff officer. He was possessed by ambition, aggressive and sublimely self-confident. On occasion he was quite willing to violate traditions which were fundamental to that very General Staff which had kept him spiritually confined.

After the famous battle against the Russians, he was heard to say: "When I won the battle of Tannenberg," .... an unforgivable sin according to the General staff code. He considered Hindenburg to a man of straw, a serviceable symbol. Hindenburg, on the other hand, recognized the superior technical competence of his advisor and was quite willing to be a mere symbol for Ludendorf's prowess"

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship IV:

"When these two men took over the military establishment, the General Staff was already assuming an increasingly large role in German public life. It concerned itself with the press, films, general propaganda, armaments and food. The emperor and the chancellor seemed to have abdicated responsibility in many areas and made no effort to resist increasing military influence. The Reichstag did not do much better. It had been used to docility under Bismarck and could not shake that tradition until the very end of the war. The leaders of the various political parties either revered the military or did not have the courage to challenge it.

Such a situation was fertile ground for military dictatorship. Ludendorff was certainly bursting with plans that could only be associated with dictatorial rule. He had schemes for raising the birth rate, for reducing draft evasion, for improving housing, for combating venereal disease, for stopping the flight from the land, settling returning soldiers in rural areas. He wanted pre-military training of youth, a national propaganda office to fight subversive agitation. Above all he urged the introduction of compulsory labor for persons between fifteen and sixty and mobilization of female labor for munitions.

Although he rejected formal military dictatorship, he was not averse to economic dictatorship in the hands of the military. This is more or less what happened, for the General War Office under General Groener gradually began to control food, raw materials and munitions. The first great achievement of the Hindenburg-Ludendorff regime was the stimulation of war-related production. Along with that came the auxiliary service law of December 1916, which brought a great many women into the factories. But it should not be forgotten that this law also brought thousands of war prisoners and requisitioned laborers from Poland and Belgium into the war-making machine.

This may not constitute outright military dictatorship, but it came close to it. Some have called it war socialism. War socialism was sufficient to mobilize labor, but it was not able to mobilize the spiritual forces of the masses. All attempts at social reform, particularly the liberalization of the Prussian franchise, were resisted, while war profiteering became flagrant and widespread.

Ludendorff's first ventures into politics were a fiasco. He was behind the proclamation of an independent Polish kingdom, believing that it would provide Germany with 15 to 20 divisions to fight Russia and the allies. It did not work and Ludendorff should have known that it would not work. He came from Posen and must have known from personal experience the abiding hatred of the Poles for the Germans.

His adamant insistence on unrestricted submarine warfare was a similar blunder, as was his role in the attempt at negotiation. Be always insisted that the language of any peace proposal be as strong as possible in order to avoid the appearance of weakness. In the submarine issue he blindly accepted the optimistic predictions of the navy leaders. He completely failed to understand America and refused to take Wilson's mediation attempts as anything but shadow-boxing."

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship V:

"Ludendorff soon realized that as long as Bethmann-Hollweg was chancellor, his idea of total war could never be realized. Bethmann was too humanitarian for that. There were many others, particularly the rabid annexationists, who thought Bethmann too moderate and phlegmatic. They and Ludendorff wanted a genuine war chancellor. Ludendorff was urged to take the job, but refused and instead began to play politics to have Bethmann removed. In the end both Hindenburg and Ludendorff threatened resignation to get Bethmann dismissed. His successor, the unknown Food Minister, Dr. Michaelis, was approved by the military potentates when they were told that he was a man who would take a grip.p on things. So now the generals were determining major political appointments.

But Ludendorff was not content with this arrangement and sought further support for his wild annexationist aims in the newly-founded Fatherland Party. This conservative and imperialist coalition was organized by Admiral Tirpitz and Wolfgang Kapp, a Prussian official who tried to stage a military coup in 1920. But Ludendorff's hope that this new movement, based on crude power politics, would create a surge of patriotism and morale at the front was sadly misplaced. It was totally alien to the masses of people. The average man was more concerned with survival during this third year of war than with Ludendorff's gargantuan imperialist aims.

His war aims now included strategic belts of territory in Poland, Lithuania, Courland and Eastern France. He wanted to incorporate Belgium in the German Empire, which would probably be followed by isolated Holland. Denmark would have to be bound to Germany economically and an alliance was to be struck with Japan. A compact, large colonial empire was to he created in central Africa. Lloyd George once asked Foch what he thought of Ludendorff. General Foch replied that he was a fine soldier. He did not say a fine general, since Ludendorff was nothing more than a good soldier. His political perspicacity was very limited.

In traditional tactics of open warfare the German General Staff had no equal. This was demonstrated by Falkenhayn and Mackensen in Rumania at the end of 1918. But in the Balkans like everywhere else the German armies were able to push the ring of encirclement back, but nowhere were they able to break the ring and score a decisive long-range break-through. Ludendorff's concept of mobile defense was clever and kept the enemy from breaking through as well, but the only result of that was attrition warfare, a relatively stationary front line.

The Revolution in Russia and the entrance of the Americans into the war brought no change in German military tactics or strategy. Even the novel introduction of the tank by the British left the German generals unaffected. Hindenburg simply said that the German infantry could get along without such things. Only one man in the General Staff, colonel Bauer, saw the revolutionary potential of the tank, but he got no where in persuading the generals to build it. The British for that matter were not able to fully exploit the new weapon either.

Ludendorff had promoted revolution in Russia and agreed to transport Lenin to St. Petersburg with the idea of making a settlement in the East and shift massive troops to the battle in the West. But the forcefully extracted Treaty of Brest Litovsk took longer to extract than he anticipated. The seizure of territory in the East, particularly the Ukraine, required more forces than he realized. The anticipated supply of much-needed food from the Ukraine was also a disappointment."
(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship VI:

"It was suggested that Germany give up Belgium and Alsace-Lorraine in order to negotiate with the West in favor of a major thrust in the East, but Ludendorff refused to countenance the idea. The attempted penetration into the Middle East and eventually into India, also became a fading dream when Turkey collapsed, thanks to British victories. When there was collective disobedience in the German fleet and desertions increased, along with strikes at home, Ludendorff's only answer was stricter discipline and drafting of strikers.

While the British and French were waiting for the Americans to arrive, Ludendorff resorted to "buffalo" tactics, continuous violent frontal assaults. They were unimaginative, costly and counter-productive. Ludendorff rejected any kind of flanking movement, as in Italy for instance, and stubbornly held to the view that only an attack on the strongest part of the front would create moral shock and military success"
(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

The Silent Dictatorship VIII:

"The great final battle which the General Staff had talked about for some time, eventually became Ludendorff's last card. He wrote to the emperor that he could guarantee success as long as the peace would justify the cost. He wanted this last offensive to be accompanied by a diplomatic offensive, but that never materialized. That too was the result of his own doing. Having intimidated the civilian government into submission, there were no men capable enough of mounting such a concerted diplomatic offensive.

The great military offensive of 1918 turned out to be of less stellar proportions than the amount of men and guns would have suggested. Ludendorff was utterly without comprehension of the fact that an army that had gone through four years of terrible battles could no longer put up the performance of the men of 1914. He had become a typical chair-borne general, who conducted operations from office desks. Clausewitz had designated strategy as the art of applying available means. Ludendorff could no longer distinguish between what was possible and what was not. Everything was possible if you barked out the order for it in a loud, gruff tone of voice.

When the foreign minister, von Kühlmann, declared in June 1918, that some kind of overture had to be made to the allies, since Germany could not overwhelm the coalition lined up against her, Ludendorff and Hindenburg had him dismissed. On the home front hunger and disillusionment spread. While the furious battles in France were depleting German reserves, Ludendorff called for 200,000 more men. But they could not be found. On the 8th of August the British General Rawlinson delivered a severe defeat to the Germans with six or seven divisions completely overrun. It was the beginning of the end. Retreating German soldiers received new replacements. with the cry of "strike-breaker." It was the revolt of desperate men who had given their last once of strength. Allied superiority in tanks and aircraft were becoming irresistible.

Ludendorff called the 8th of August the blackest day of the German Army, but that appellation should have been applied to the military leadership and not the rank and file. On the l3th of August a conference was held at Spa with Ludendorff, Hindenburg, Hertling, the new chancellor, Hintze, the new foreign minister, and the emperor present. Ludendorff called for a vigorous defense and held on to Belgium. Hindenburg agreed to send out unofficial peace feelers, although a formal offer of peace was to wait until a military victory of one kind or another. Apparently Ludendorff was only looking for a respite and some inkling of what the Allies would propose, and then finally mount the last blow. He could not conceive of any peace except a victorious and dictated one.

By September the Balkan front collapsed beginning with Marshal d'Esperey's break-out from Salonika. The Austrian emperor petitioned for peace and the Bulgarian army mutinied. The news from the Balkans created a sudden wave of pessimism in the German High Command and Ludendorff startled everyone by demanding an immediate armistice. He was even willing at this stage to negotiate on the basis of Wilson's 14 Points. The last-ditch battle now was reserved only for an extreme eventuality. He still held on to the notion that negotiations could save the conquered territory in the east. But hostilities had to be broken off. Both Hindenburg and Ludendorff thought it below their honor to have anything to do personally with the armistice."

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship IX:

"Meanwhile Hertling resigned and the liberal-minded Prince Max of Baden was called in to handle an almost impossible job: introducing a last-minute parliamentary constitution under the threat of revolution and meeting Ludendorff's impatient demand for an immediate armistice under threat of a total collapse of the Western Front.

In the meantime while the battle continued, Wilson's conditions for an armistice became clear. When Ludendorff realized that the American president's terms meant virtual surrender of all military means of defense he balked and appealed to the Army over Hindenburg's signature to reject the offer and fight on. Prince Max considered this to be an obvious disavowal of his authority and demanded that Ludendorff withdraw the appeal. The latter then had no choice but to resign. Hindenburg, however, stayed on and resolved not to interfere anymore with the armistice arrangements.

The emperor eventually resigned too under pressure from Wilson. In theory the demise of the monarchy also meant the end of the Prussian Army, the General Staff and the military cabinet, as well as all other extra-constitutional elements directly dependent on the monarch. Strangely enough some continuity was maintained with the continuance of the army which found the way to adjust to a new era. When the request was made to determine whether the troops would fight to preserve the monarchy or to crush the threatening revolution, the replies were very ambivalent. The emperor made reference to the soldier's oath, but General Groener, Ludenforff's successor told him, that under present circumstances that oath was a myth. With those words the world of Prussia and its army was shattered, although the General Staff did not disintegrate."

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Silent Dictatorship X:

"The Social Democratic deputy Scheidemann proclaimed the Republic after the chancellor announced the abdication of the emperor. The Center Party deputy Erzberger headed the armistice delegation because it was thought that the Allies would prefer to deal with civilians. In this way the ground was laid for the legend that the army had not capitulated and that victory had been snatched from it by weak-kneed civilian politicians.

Ludendorff was in a Berlin boarding house when he heard the news. His reaction was one of rage and moody introspection. He began to look for mystical powers which had brought about the collapse. He thought he found them in Jews, Freemasons and Jesuits. When an English general visited him, he ranted and raved about the government and people who had left him in the lurch. The English general asked: ''Are you endeavoring to tell me general, that you were stabbed in the hack? Ludendorff replied with alacrity: "That's it! They gave me a stab in the back--a stab in the back!"

(http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/history/silentdict.html)

Anonymous said...

Ludendorff's post-war actions are of interest:

"The Tannenbergbund was a far right German political society founded by the German Army general Erich Ludendorff in 1925.
Contents [hide]


Ludendorff had been a leading member of the National Socialist German Workers Party in the early 1920s and ran for the party in the 1925 Presidential election during Germany's Weimar period. However, Adolf Hitler feared the possibility of Ludendorff as a potential leadership rival and rejoiced in the General's derisory election result, telling Hermann Esser "now we've finally finished him".[1] With his credibility severely damaged by the election result, Ludendorff drifted from the Nazi Party and joined his wife Mathilde von Kemnitz in setting up the Tannenbergbund, with the organisation taking its name from the 1914 Battle of Tannenberg, one of Ludendorff's greatest military triumphs.[2]
Development

The Tannenbergbund soon developed as largely a circle of former officers who had served under Ludendorff in World War I.[3] In terms of ideology the Bund largely concentrated on who it opposed, attacking Freemasons, Jews, communists and Jesuits and accusing them of conspiracy.[4] Such people were lumped in together as "die überstaatlichen Mächte" or "the powers above the state".[5] The Bund became a prolific producer of conspiracy literature, although they were openly rejected by the growing Nazi movement, for whom some of the Bund's more wild ideas were even too fancifully conspiratorial.[6] Central also to their ideas was an occultist vision inspired by the Thule Society to which Ludendorff had been introduced by his wife. As such, the Bund presented history as a struggle between the Nordic hero and the three-way alliance of the Jew, Catholic and Freemason.[7] As a consequence, members of the Bund were expected to abandon Christianity and turn to the old Nordic gods."

(WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

More on post-war Ludendorff:

"Ludendorff returned to Germany in February, 1919.[15] The Weimar Republic planned to send him and several other noted German generals (von Mackensen, among others) to reform the National Revolutionary Army of China, but this was cancelled due to the limitations of the Treaty of Versailles and the image problems with renting such a noted general out as a mercenary. Throughout his life, Ludendorff maintained a strong distaste for politicians and found most of them to be lacking an energetic national spirit. However, Ludendorff's political philosophy and outlook on the war brought him into right-wing politics as a German nationalist and won his support that helped to pioneer the Nazi Party.
At Hitler's urging, Ludendorff took part in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The plot failed, and in the trial that followed Ludendorff was acquitted. In 1924, he was elected to the Reichstag as a representative of the NSFB (a coalition of the German Völkisch Freedom Party and members of the Nazi Party), serving until 1928. He ran in the 1925 presidential election against former commander Paul von Hindenburg and received just 285,793 votes. Ludendorff's reputation may have been damaged by the Putsch, but he conducted very little campaigning of his own and remained aloof, relying almost entirely on his lasting image as a war hero, an attribute which Hindenburg also possessed.
Tipton notes that Ludendorff was a Social Darwinist who believed that war was the "foundation of human society," (p. 291) and that military dictatorship was the "normal" form of government in a society in which every resource must be mobilized.[16] The historian Margaret Lavinia Anderson notes that after the War, Ludendorff wanted Germany to go to war against all of Europe, and that he became a pagan worshiper of the Nordic god Wotan; he detested not only Jews but also Christianity, which he regarded as a weakening force."

(WIKIPEDIA)

Difference Maker said...

So he likes American power but doesn't like these pointless wars. Sounds good to me

There is no power on this earth which could challenge American power, and if we had good stewardship that would continue into the future.

On the other hand having these bases all over the world is too enabling for our dysfunctional warmongering leaders. Their cycle of bad behavior must be broken

Difference Maker said...

Well I think the main itch is that Germany had not been defeated in battle but starved by a naval blockade. The terms of the peace treaty were also remarkably harsh.

Leaving aside the question strictly about redrawing of borders, banks came away with far too much power and culture was degraded. I'd be pissed too

Difference Maker said...

Furthermore Austria is and was a German state and aspired to dominance over Germany until Prussia excluded them by force.

Difference Maker said...

He's still right. Bring the boys home

Difference Maker said...

Without allied aid the soviet union would certainly have collapsed.

Besides, with how easy it was to get Britain and France into a war, they could even have joined up with Hitler. Lol!

Difference Maker said...

Russia and France probably wouldn't be strong enough. I don't think Ukraine would be as discontented as you think. It could be a new balance of power.

Otoh Germany's victories and secure position may have given it the enthusiasm to try again on the High Seas. If there was no rapprochement with Britain, and here personal politics come into play, then the British Empire might very well drag others into a new great war

fnn said...

I guess that that explains why the presidential election of 1920 was cancelled....


http://chnm.gmu.edu/exploring/20thcentury/freespeech/
(...)
Along with this anti German hysteria, Congress passed several measures designed to suppress any criticism of the war The Espionage Act, passed in June 1917, specified a fine of $10,000 or twenty years in prison for, among other things, "whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag." The act also targeted anyone who shall "urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of the production in this country of any thing or things necessary or essential to the conduct of the war." Nor, under the act, was it legal to teach, suggest, defend, or advocate any of the criticisms or positions described above. This remarkable act made it virtually illegal to criticize the war or the government in any way.

This act quickly came under fire as unconstitutional. But the Supreme Court supported it, arguing the government had the right to repress free speech in time of "national emergency."

(...)

fnn said...

The "state of emergency continued after the war:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/exploring/20thcentury/freespeech/
(...)
The climate of repression continued after the war ended: this time, government interest focused not on Germans but on communists, Bolsheviks and "reds" generally. The climactic phase of this anti communist crusade occurred during the "Palmer Raids" of 1918-1921. A. Mitchell Palmer, Wilson's Attorney General, believed communism was "eating its way into the homes of the American workman." In his essay "The Case Against the Reds," Palmer charged that "tongues of revolutionary heat were licking the alters of the churches, leaping into the belfry of the school bell, crawling into the sacred corners of American homes, seeking to replace marriage vows with libertine laws, burning up the foundations of society." With a broad base of popular support, in 1919 Palmer intensified the attacks on political dissent that had begun during the war.

The year 1919 saw a great deal of social conflict--a wave of strikes, the passage of both Prohibition and Women's Suffrage, and the Chicago race riot. A series of bombings by suspected anarchists began in Summer 1919; on June 2, bombs went off in eight cities, including Washington D.C., where Palmer's home was partially destroyed. Just who set the bombs remains unclear. Although there were only about 70,000 self professed Communists in the United States in 1919, Palmer viewed them as responsible for a wide range of social ills, including the bombings. Encouraged by Congress, which had refused to seat the duly elected socialist from Wisconsin, Victor Berger, Mitchell began a series of showy and well publicized raids against radicals and leftists. Striking without warning and without warrants, Palmer's men smashed union offices and the headquarters' of Communist and Socialist organizations. They concentrated whenever possible on aliens rather than citizens, because aliens had fewer rights. In December of 1919, in their most famous act, Palmer's agents seized 249 resident aliens. Those seized were placed on board a ship, the Buford, bound for the Soviet Union. Deportees included Emma Goldman, the feminist, anarchist and writer who later recalled the deportation in her autobiography, excerpted here.

The "Red Scare" reflected the same anxiety about free speech and obsession with consensus that had characterized the war years. Two documents included here point to the absurdity of some of these fears. In the case of "The Most Brainiest Man," a Connecticut clothing salesmen was sentenced to sixth months in jail simply for saying Lenin was smart. A story that same year in the Washington Post notes with approval how in Chicago a sailor shot another man merely for failing to rise during the national anthem. Finally, a satirical essay by the humorist Robert Benchley mocks the public's hunger for enemies, invented enemies if necessary. The Red Scare suggests how quickly legal rights can succumb to hysterical rhetoric and public fear.

Anonymous said...

Difference Maker:"Well I think the main itch is that Germany had not been defeated in battle but starved by a naval blockade."

Essentially Pershing's position. He maintained that the Allies should have pressed on with fighting and occupied Berlin. That would have proven to the Germans that they had been beaten.By the time WW2 rolled around, Allied leadership had learned the wisdom of Pershing's idea.


Difference Maker:"The terms of the peace treaty were also remarkably harsh."

Depends on how one defines "harsh." Compared to Brest-Litovsk, it seems rather mild.

Anonymous said...

Difference Maker:"The terms of the peace treaty were also remarkably harsh."

Some would argue otherwise:

"All the bad and strange things which happened in Germany in the 1920s are conventionally blamed on the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. We forget, however, that the practical effect of these terms was really very limited. The diplomatic disabilities on Germany were eliminated by the Locarno Pact of 1925. The great Weimar inflation, which was engineered by the government to defeat French attempts to extract reparations, was ended in 1923.

The reparations themselves, of course, were a humiliating drain on the German budget, but a system of financing with international loans was arranged which worked satisfactorily until the world financial system broke down in the early 1930s. Even arms development was continued through clandestine projects with the Soviet Union."

(http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/ifgermany.htm)

Anonymous said...

Difference Maker:"Without allied aid the soviet union would certainly have collapsed."

Probably not. The tide in the East had already turned before Allied Aid had reached significant levels.

Anonymous said...

Difference Maker:"Russia and France probably wouldn't be strong enough."

It would certainly be a tougher matter than WW2 was in our timeline (cf Reilly's observations). Still, Russia+France+Britain might be enough to defeat a Germany waxing large after winning WW1.

Difference Maker:" I don't think Ukraine would be as discontented as you think. It could be a new balance of power."

Possibly. On the hand, Germany has something of a lengthy track record for ruling in a heavy-handed manner.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"The "state of emergency continued after the war"

Yes, but elections were still held, and the state of emergency evaporated by the early-'20s*.

*The Red Scare effectively ended in the middle of 1920, after Attorney General Palmer forecast a massive radical uprising on May Day and the day passed without incident." (WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

fnn: Funny, isn't it, how the "suppression" of free speech didn't prevent the Republicans from taking back the White House in 1920...

fnn said...

The reparations themselves, of course, were a humiliating drain on the German budget, but a system of financing with international loans was arranged which worked satisfactorily until the world financial system broke down...

Yes, owing money to the bankers is surely a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Steve, any chance that going forward you can decline to approve the posts that consist of somebody cutting-and-pasting an entire book?

fnn said...

Compared to Brest-Litovsk, it seems rather mild.

The war was still going on in the West and the British were still conducting a starvation blockade.It was a wartime measure-like when the Brits bombed the French fleet in 1940 and killed or wounded almost 2,000 French sailors.



Anonymous said...

RE: Comparing the crackdown on Civil Liberties under Wilson and the Silent Dictatorship in Germany,

Certain points should be borne in mind:

1. Germany in 1914 was less democratic than Britain or the USA. The Kaiser had more power than the king, and one must be mindful of the outsize role played by Prussia, whose constitution was quite authoritarian in character.Hence, moving towards dictatorship in Germany was considerably easier than it was in the UK or the USA. Note, too, how one cannot compare the role of Ludendorff in Germany to, say, French or Haig in the UK.

2. Noting how the curtailment of Civil Liberties in America outlasted the war (cf the Red Scare, 1919-21)actually helps to make the point that a triumphant Germany would have become increasingly dictatorial. If the relatively mild stresses engendered in the USA by WW1 and its aftermath ( Communist subversion, anarchistic bombings, the Red Summer Race Riots of 1919, the Boston Police Strike, etc) were enough to cause repression to linger into the early '20s, one can only imagine how repressive things would have become in a Germany attempting to manage a continental empire....

fnn said...

Funny, isn't it, how the "suppression" of free speech didn't prevent the Republicans from taking back the White House in 1920

Yeah, it's funny how everything comes to an end at some point in time for one reason or another.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"Yes, owing money to the bankers is surely a blessing."

It's certainly not worse than, say, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which was far more punitive in character.

Anonymous said...

RE:the Treaty of Versailles,

One should avoid falling for Keynes' overheated rhetoric about a "Carthaginian Peace":

"It has been argued (for instance by historian Gerhard Weinberg in his book "A World At Arms"[106]) that the treaty was in fact quite advantageous to Germany. The Bismarckian Reich was maintained as a political unit instead of being broken up, and Germany largely escaped post-war military occupation (in contrast to the situation following World War II.) In a 1995 essay, Weinberg noted that with the disappearance of Austria-Hungary and with Russia withdrawn from Europe, that Germany was now the dominant power in Eastern Europe.[107]
The British military historian Correlli Barnett claimed that the Treaty of Versailles was "extremely lenient in comparison with the peace terms that Germany herself, when she was expecting to win the war, had had in mind to impose on the Allies". Furthermore, he claimed, it was "hardly a slap on the wrist" when contrasted with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that Germany had imposed on a defeated Russia in March 1918, which had taken away a third of Russia's population (albeit of non-Russian ethnicity), one-half of Russia's industrial undertakings and nine-tenths of Russia's coal mines, coupled with an indemnity of six billion Marks.[108] Eventually, even under the "cruel" terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany′s economy had been restored to its pre-war status.
Barnett also claims that, in strategic terms, Germany was in fact in a superior position following the Treaty than she had been in 1914. Germany′s eastern frontiers faced Russia and Austria, who had both in the past balanced German power. Barnett asserts that its post-war eastern borders were safer, because the former Austrian Empire fractured after the war into smaller, weaker states, Russia was wracked by revolution and civil war, and the newly restored Poland was no match for even a defeated Germany. In the West, Germany was balanced only by France and Belgium, both of which were smaller in population and less economically vibrant than Germany. Barnett concludes by saying that instead of weakening Germany, the Treaty "much enhanced" German power."

(WIKIPEDIA)

Anonymous said...

More on the myth of the overly harsh Treaty of Versailles:

"Regardless of modern strategic or economic analysis, resentment caused by the treaty sowed fertile psychological ground for the eventual rise of the Nazi Party. The German historian Detlev Peukert wrote that Versailles was far from the impossible peace that most Germans claimed it was during the interwar period, and though not without flaws was actually quite reasonable to Germany.[114] Rather, Peukert argued that it was widely believed in Germany that Versailles was a totally unreasonable treaty, and it was this "perception" rather than the "reality" of the Versailles treaty that mattered.[114] Peukert noted that because of the "millenarian hopes" created in Germany during World War I when for a time it appeared that Germany was on the verge of conquering all of Europe, any peace treaty the Allies of World War I imposed on the defeated German Reich were bound to create a nationalist backlash, and there was nothing the Allies could have done to avoid that backlash." (WIKIPEDIA)

reiner Tor said...

The tide in the East had already turned before Allied Aid had reached significant levels.

Depends on your definition of "significant levels".

First, the air war: some 40% of German war production went into the air force and air defense, two thirds of which were fighting the Allies by spring 1942. If you add German naval production, which also was almost exclusively used against the Western powers, plus the Heer divisions needed to fight in North Africa and all the (admittedly mostly second-rate or resting and refitting) divisions tied up to protect the French or Norwegian seashore, then you might consider that German forces could have been maybe 50-70% stronger in the East had they had to fight only the Soviets.

The first Allied Aid arrived in October 1941 - this was a critical time for Stalin, because he had already suffered enormous losses (and was just about to suffer more), he also lost many industrial centers and war production in the Ural hadn't yet picked up. Given how little reserves he had, if I remember correctly Western aid accounted for maybe 20% or more of his battle tanks in late 1941. If that's not significant, what is?

Of course, the Battle of Moscow was not yet the turning of the tide. In 1942 German troops regularly found American beef cans with Soviet soldiers (who were also often wearing boots and other equipment made in the USA), not to mention Studebaker lorries and Jeeps and telephone cables and and and... a lot of things. In 1942 as the battle of Stalingrad was raging, the Germans diverted a huge part of their army to the south. Since the Caucasus lay on the Iran Lend Lease route, and it was very difficult to supply it from other parts of the USSR (with Stalingrad cut off the only way would have been through the Caspian), so they equipped all those troops in the Caucasus primarily with Lend Lease equipment received through Iran. Had they not received it, Sochi and the Northern Caucasus region might have fallen, which would have enabled the Germans to strengthen the Stalingrad front.

And then, the tide turned by early 1943: Soviets made use of numerous American lorries and other vehicles, fighter jets, gasoline (they had their own, but not enough refinery capacity I think) etc. etc. Without American aid, they would never have been able to defeat the Germans. Most likely the Germans would have defeated them. Stalin also said so much: one on one, the Germans would have defeated them.

reiner Tor said...

Steve, any chance that going forward you can decline to approve the posts that consist of somebody cutting-and-pasting an entire book?

Let me second that.

fnn said...

It's certainly not worse than, say, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which was far more punitive in character

There would have been no independent Poland for the Brits to "defend" in 1939 if there had been no Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Poland would have been part of the soviet Union.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"There would have been no independent Poland for the Brits to "defend" in 1939 if there had been no Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Poland would have been part of the soviet Union."

And this means....?

Anonymous said...

Reiner Tor:"Steve, any chance that going forward you can decline to approve the posts that consist of somebody cutting-and-pasting an entire book?

Let me second that."

And I'll oppose it. No one has pasted "an entire book." Pasting relevant info allows the readers to not have to leave Steve's site.

Anonymous said...

Reinor Tor:"First, the air war: some 40% of German war production went into the air force and air defense, two thirds of which were fighting the Allies by spring 1942. If you add German naval production, which also was almost exclusively used against the Western powers, plus the Heer divisions needed to fight in North Africa and all the (admittedly mostly second-rate or resting and refitting) divisions tied up to protect the French or Norwegian seashore, then you might consider that German forces could have been maybe 50-70% stronger in the East had they had to fight only the Soviets."

Doubtful, especially when one bears in mind that 80% of German losses occurred on the Eastern Front ( The German armed forces suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front, WIKIPEDIA).

Reiner tor:"The first Allied Aid arrived in October 1941 - this was a critical time for Stalin, because he had already suffered enormous losses (and was just about to suffer more), he also lost many industrial centers and war production in the Ural hadn't yet picked up. Given how little reserves he had, if I remember correctly Western aid accounted for maybe 20% or more of his battle tanks in late 1941. If that's not significant, what is?"

Significant is not the same as critical. No one disputes that Allied Aid was helpful and that it saved Soviet lives; what is in dispute is whether it was essential. The evidence that I have seen argues that the Soviets would have won without Western aid, albeit with a much higher loss of life.

reiner tor:"Of course, the Battle of Moscow was not yet the turning of the tide. In 1942 German troops regularly found American beef cans with Soviet soldiers (who were also often wearing boots and other equipment made in the USA), not to mention Studebaker lorries and Jeeps and telephone cables and and and... a lot of things. In 1942 as the battle of Stalingrad was raging, the Germans diverted a huge part of their army to the south. Since the Caucasus lay on the Iran Lend Lease route, and it was very difficult to supply it from other parts of the USSR (with Stalingrad cut off the only way would have been through the Caspian), so they equipped all those troops in the Caucasus primarily with Lend Lease equipment received through Iran. Had they not received it, Sochi and the Northern Caucasus region might have fallen, which would have enabled the Germans to strengthen the Stalingrad front."

With emphasis on "might."

reiner tor:"And then, the tide turned by early 1943: Soviets made use of numerous American lorries and other vehicles, fighter jets,"

I think that you mean fighter planes.

reiner tor:"gasoline (they had their own, but not enough refinery capacity I think) etc. etc. Without American aid, they would never have been able to defeat the Germans. Most likely the Germans would have defeated them. Stalin also said so much: one on one, the Germans would have defeated them."

Again, useful but not vital. For a corrective to this kind of Germany victorious thinking, I suggest reading Geoffrey Roberts' STALIN'S WARS. He argues (correctly, in my view) that the USSR would have won without Western assistance:“The Soviet Union could have defeated Nazi Germany on its own, but it would have taken it a lot longer and at much greater price and, of course, it would have taken the country much longer to recover after World War II,[...]

“Yes, the Soviet Union did not ultimately need its allies to win the war, but its alliance with particularly the United States and Great Britain helped it to win the war a lot quicker than it would have otherwise been the case."

Anonymous said...

There would have been no independent Poland for the Brits to "defend" in 1939 if there had been no Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Poland would have been part of the soviet Union."

And this means....?

That means that Poland owed its independence to the German victory over Russia. That means without the treaty you're railing against
there would have been no independent Polish state until after the end of the Cold War, instead of 1919. Weren't the Brits and French (with FDR lurking behind them)allegedly concerned about an independent Poland when Chamberlain made his goofy (and worthless) blank check guarantee?

Anonymous said...

fnn:"Yeah, it's funny how everything comes to an end at some point in time for one reason or another."

Well, yes, but the question involves how long it would have taken the Germans to "get over" their increasing fondness for an iron hand....

fnn said...

More on Wilson's dictatorship:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/10/ralph-raico/world-war-i-on-the-home-front/
(...)
Civil liberties fared no better in this war to make the world safe for democracy. In fact, "democracy" was already beginning to mean what it means today – the right of a government legitimized by formal majoritarian processes to dispose at will of the lives, liberty, and property of its subjects. Wilson sounded the keynote for the ruthless suppression of anyone who interfered with his war effort: "Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in this day of high resolution." His attorney general Thomas W. Gregory seconded the president, stating, of opponents of the war: "May God have mercy on them, for they need expect none from an outraged people and an avenging government."[14]

The Espionage Act of 1917, amended the next year by the addition of the Sedition Act, went far beyond punishing spies. Its real target was opinion. It was deployed particularly against socialists and critics of conscription.[15] People were jailed for questioning the constitutionality of the draft and arrested for criticizing the Red Cross. A woman was prosecuted and convicted for telling a women’s group that "the government is for the profiteers." A movie producer was sentenced to three years in prison for a film, The Spirit of ’76, which was deemed anti-British. Eugene V. Debs, who had polled 900,000 votes in 1912 as presidential candidate of the Socialist Party, was sentenced to ten years in prison for criticizing the war at a rally of his party. Vigilantes attacked and on at least one occasion lynched antiwar dissenters. Citizens of German descent and even Lutheran ministers were harassed and spied on by their neighbors as well as by government agents.

The New York Times, then as now the mouthpiece of the powers that be, goaded the authorities to "make short work" of IWW "conspirators" who opposed the war, just as the same paper applauded Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia, for "doing his duty" in dismissing faculty members who opposed conscription. The public schools and the universities were turned into conduits for the government line. Postmaster General Albert Burleson censored and prohibited the circulation of newspapers critical of Wilson, the conduct of the war, or the Allies.[16] The nation-wide campaign of repression was spurred on by the Committee on Public Information, headed by George Creel, the US government’s first propaganda agency.

In the cases that reached the Supreme Court the prosecution of dissenters was upheld. It was the great liberal, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who wrote the majority decision confirming the conviction of a man who had questioned the constitutionality of the draft, as he did also in 1919, in the case of Debs, for his antiwar speech.[17] In the Second World War, the Supreme Court of the United States could not, for the life of it, discover anything in the Constitution that might prohibit the rounding up, transportation to the interior, and incarceration of American citizens simply because they were of Japanese descent. In the same way, the Justices, with Holmes leading the pack, now delivered up the civil liberties of the American people to Wilson and his lieutenants.[18] Again, precedents were established that would further undermine the people’s rights in the future. In the words of Bruce Porter, "Though much of the apparatus of wartime repression was dismantled after 1918, World War I left an altered balance of power between state and society that made future assertions of state sovereignty more feasible – beginning with the New Deal."[19]

(...)

fnn said...

Some more on the Wilson dictatorship:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Democracy_America/AmericaFreeNowDead_BA.html
(...)
By the time Wilson reached Paris in December 1918, political liberty had been snuffed out in America. "One by one the right of freedom of speech, the right of assembly, the right to petition, the right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against arbitrary arrest, the right to fair trial . . . the principle that guilt is personal, the principle that punishment should bear some proportion to the offense, had been sacrificed and ignored." So an eminent Harvard professor of law, Zechariah Chafee, reported in 1920. The war served merely as pretext. Of that there can be little doubt. In a searing civil conflict that threatened the very survival of the republic, Americans, under Lincoln, enjoyed every liberty that could possibly be spared. In a war safely fought three thousand miles from our shores, Americans, under Wilson, lost every liberty they could possibly be deprived of.

Under the Espionage Act of June 1917, it became a felony punishable by twenty years' imprisonment to say anything that might "postpone for a single moment," as one federal judge put it, an American victory in the struggle for democracy. With biased federal judges openly soliciting convictions from the bench and federal juries brazenly packed to ensure those convictions, Americans rotted in prison for advocating heavier taxation rather than the issuance of war bonds, for stating that conscription was unconstitutional, for saying that sinking armed merchantmen had not been illegal, for criticizing the Red Cross and the YMCA. A woman who wrote to her newspaper that "I am for the people and the government is for the profiteers" was tried, convicted, and sentenced to ten years in prison. The son of the chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court became a convicted felon for sending out a chain letter that said the Sussex Pledge had not been unconditional. Under the Espionage Act American history itself became outlawed. When a Hollywood filmmaker released his movie epic The Spirit of '76, federal agents seized it and arrested the producer: his portrayal of the American Revolution had cast British redcoats in an unfavorable light. The film, said the court, was criminally "calculated . . . to make us a little bit slack in our loyalty to Great Britain in this great catastrophe." A story that had nourished love of liberty and hatred of tyranny in the hearts of American schoolchildren had become a crime to retell in Wilson's America. The filmmaker was sentenced to ten years in prison for recalling the inconvenient past.

(...)
Almost every branch of Wilson's government sprouted its own "intelligence bureau" to snoop and threaten and arrest. By 1920 the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a swaddling fattened on war, had files on two million people and organizations deemed dangerously disloyal. At the Post Office Department, Albert Burleson set up a secret index of "illegal ideas"-such as criticizing Samuel Gompers, the patriotic union leader-and banned from the mails any publication guilty of expressing one. Even if an independent paper avoided an "illegal idea," it could still be banned from the mails for betraying an "audible undertone of disloyalty," as one Post Office censor put it, in otherwise non-felonious remarks. Under the tyranny of the Post Office, Socialist papers were suppressed outright and country editors sent to jail. Freedom of the press ceased to exist.
(...)

Anonymous said...

fnn:"That means that Poland owed its independence to the German victory over Russia."

Incorrect. Brest-Litovsk merely involved swapping one master (Russia) for another (Imperial Germany).Had Germany not been defeated by the Allies, Poland would simply have remained under the German boot. Crediting Germany with Polish independence is a bit like crediting the French and Indian War with creating the American Revolution.In both instances, they were merely unforeseen after effects. Winning Polish independence was certainly not what Ludendorff had in mind...


fnn:" That means without the treaty you're railing against
there would have been no independent Polish state until after the end of the Cold War, instead of 1919."

Which certainly would have made Hitler's Eastern Front campaign a bit more difficult...

As for "rail[ing]" against Brest-Litovsk, I'm merely pointing out that when the alleged "severities" of Versailles are brought up, it is useful to compare them with Brest-Litovsk.

fnn:" Weren't the Brits and French (with FDR lurking behind them)allegedly concerned about an independent Poland when Chamberlain made his goofy (and worthless) blank check guarantee?"

Only "allegedly." The adults all knew that Poland was simply a line in the sand.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"By the time Wilson reached Paris in December 1918, political liberty had been snuffed out in America"

That is absolutely hysterical. Libertarians are such children.No, that's being mean to children....Libertarians are like children with aspergers.

Anonymous said...

fnn:"https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/10/ralph-raico/world-war-i-on-the-home-front/"

Ah, Lew Rockwell, the final authority when it comes to libertarian stupidity....

Anonymous said...

"Hysterical cretins":

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/stromberg/stromberg18.html
(...)
The Hysterical Cretins Take Charge

To read the story of American official and popular attitudes toward our allegedly highly valued freedoms during World War I is to conclude that the country was overrun with vicious morons. Some of the morons were judges, legislators, and bureaucrats. Others arose from the masses, so to speak, to demand that the people make political war on themselves, the better to fight those terrible Germans. On any fair reading of the period, there was probably more real freedom of speech in Germany and in the German Reichstag in the same years than in the "home of the free" or the World’s Greatest (and Least) Deliberative Body.
(...)
The Anglophile Wilson administration’s decided lack of genuine neutrality toward the European war had produced a series of crises. By late February 1917, the President asked Congress for power to outfit American merchant ships with arms – a perfect way to insure an incident which would lead to war between the US and Germany. Senator Robert M. LaFollette of Wisconsin, Progressive Republican, led a filibuster – along with the few remaining antiwar Senators – against the bill. It was known during the debate that at least one Senator on the pro-war side had a loaded revolver on him. Tempers were strained, and Senator Lane of Oregon stood near LaFollette with a sharpened rat-tail file in his pocket, in case the latter needed defending from the ardent patriots in the world’s greatest deliberative body.

The bill failed, but Wilson asserted a new-found "presidential power" to arm the ships on his own motion.

(...)

Anonymous said...

Incorrect. Brest-Litovsk merely involved swapping one master (Russia) for another (Imperial Germany).Had Germany not been defeated by the Allies, Poland would simply have remained under the German boot...

Your attack on the Brest-Litovsk treaty means you think Poland should have stayed under Russian control.

Only "allegedly." The adults all knew that Poland was simply a line in the sand.

You just called the Poles children.

Anonymous said...

fnn"The war was still going on in the West and the British were still conducting a starvation blockade.It [Versailles] was a wartime measure-like when the Brits bombed the French fleet in 1940 and killed or wounded almost 2,000 French sailors."

Which actually makes the mildness of Versailles all the more impressive.

reiner Tor said...

"some 40% of German war production went into the air force and air defense... naval production... the Heer divisions needed to fight in North Africa and... the divisions tied up to protect the French or Norwegian seashore, then you might consider that German forces could have been maybe 50-70% stronger in the East had they had to fight only the Soviets."

Doubtful, especially when one bears in mind that 80% of German losses occurred on the Eastern Front ( The German armed forces suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front, WIKIPEDIA).


Are you saying that because 80% of German grunts were killed in Russia they wouldn't have been much stronger (=less Germans killed, more Soviets killed) if they could increase the number of military equipment (like tanks and airplanes) and gasoline usage by 50-70%? Because this is a conservative estimate of how much more they would have had. I would think more weapons means less soldiers lost and more enemy soldiers killed, ceteris paribus, but maybe you have a better estimate...

Significant is not the same as critical.

No, not the same, but in December 1941 having 20% less battle tanks would have meant a lot. It could have meant no huge counter-offensive, just maybe a tiny one.

With emphasis on "might."

Yeah, we cannot know for sure anything. But a fact is that in the Caucasus most equipment Soviet soldiers had came from Lend Lease, and that it is doubtful most of it could have been replaced from elsewhere in the Soviet Union, because the logistical problems would have been formidable, to say the least. Whether in the absence of most of their equipment Soviet soldiers could have mounted an effective defense is anybody's guess.

I suggest reading Geoffrey Roberts' STALIN'S WARS. He argues (correctly, in my view) that the USSR would have won without Western assistance:“The Soviet Union could have defeated Nazi Germany on its own, but it would have taken it a lot longer and at much greater price and, of course, it would have taken the country much longer to recover after World War II,[...]

The problem is that without Western aid the Germans would have captured the Caucasus, Stalingrad, and possibly even Moscow by late 1942. All the while Soviet losses (in terms of both soldiers and starving civilians) would have been higher, and German losses also lower, and German forces on the frontline also stronger, like 50-70% more battle tanks and air force. The USSR by 1945 was already having manpower difficulties, they needed to use unreliable soldiers drafted from newly "liberated" populations in Western Ukraine and they even tried to conscript Baltic youths, shall we say with less than spectacular success. Those Soviet soldiers who were liberated from POW-camps in 1944 had it considerably better than those liberated in 1945, because in 1944 they were immediately sent back to the front, whereas in 1945 they were sent into "filtration camps" or whatever. In 1944 they needed manpower very badly. How much more badly would they have needed them if German losses had been less, German equipment more, Soviet equipment less, Soviet food supplies much less, and Soviet military losses up to that point also more? I highly doubt the USSR would have been capable of anything more than stopping the Germans deep inside Russia.

What they did was impressive enough. Stopping the Germans, driving them back all the way to Berlin, and all the while learning on the job how to wage a war - but all that with considerable Western material help and with 40-50% of German war production tied up in the air and naval war against the Western powers, plus German production lost to bombings, now estimated to be maybe 20% or more of total production by 1944.

But I will read the book, thanks for the recommendation.

Difference Maker said...

Probably not. The tide in the East had already turned before Allied Aid had reached significant levels.

An old thread, but even with Soviets recovering from a shattered front, a German arms industry untouched by Allied bombing maintaining parity or superiority in equipment against a Soviet industry also untouched by Allied aid would have been formidable.

In the later battles of the war, Soviet tanks and planes would outnumber the Germans 3:1 or even 10:1

Anonymous said...

Only "allegedly." The adults all knew that Poland was simply a line in the sand.

Anonymous:""You just called the Poles children."

The Poles were....naive, I think is the best phrase.

Anonymous said...

Incorrect. Brest-Litovsk merely involved swapping one master (Russia) for another (Imperial Germany).Had Germany not been defeated by the Allies, Poland would simply have remained under the German boot...

Anonymous:"Your attack on the Brest-Litovsk treaty means you think Poland should have stayed under Russian control."

Perhaps in Bizarro World. In the real world, it means that I understand that that Brest-Litovsk was not designed to secure the Poles freedom from anybody; it was meant to secure Poland for Germany. Germany's defeat, however, prevented that from happening.