Still in the fallout of the first WW

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Stratiotes, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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  2. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    When I got back to the main listing of subjects, it made me wonder if perhaps this is not just a continuation of the "Stupid Military Blunders" thread ;)
     
  3. Major B

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    This is not a new idea. If you read Barbara Tuchman's classic, "The Guns of August," she saw all of the history between June 1914 and the early 1960s (when she wrote the book) as inextricably tied together. Her last paragraph speaks of a trap that the nations of the world had fallen into which neither we nor they have escaped. Oh, that she could have lived to see today! That "little Jewish housewife" was a prophetess!

    Indeed, the Middle East crisis and the current terror war are the direct result of the rapid dismantling of the Ottoman posessions, rather than a gradual disintegration, which would have allowed for more stable nations to result from the breakup. I am not sure which was the most bone-headed move: breaking up the Ottoman Empire, or allowing TE Lawrence and a lady professor (whose name escapes me) to help draw the national boundaries on a map.

    History must be viewed in the long view. When a French journalist asked the late Deng Tsiao Peng about the significance of the French Revolution to history, Deng smiled and said, "It's too soon to say."
     
  4. Major B

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    Naw, this is stupid diplomatic blunders! Generals are limited in how much they can mess things up, diplomats, kings, prime ministers, and presidents can mess things up on an exponential scale.
     
  5. rsr

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    Tuchman was a prophetess indeed.

    From The March of Folly (1984):

     
  6. Major B

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    Scott Adams, the great philosopher (and creator of the Dilbert comic strip) theorizes that all people are idiots.

    The best of us are idiots occasionally.

    More folks are idiots periodically.

    A lot of folks are full-time idiots in one realm of life (love, home, work) while doing OK in other areas.

    Some people make idiocy a profession.

    And some people raise idiocy to an art form.

    I think politicians and diplomats fall in the last two categories.
     
  7. rsr

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    Perhaps, but maybe it's because they have a wider, and much more public, sphere to work within.

    I suspect that the people who make idiocy a profession is larger than we would like to believe upon first reflection, but they just don't get found out so much and their idiocies don't affect as many people.


    I'M SURE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS
     
  8. Major B

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  9. The Galatian

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    This is why the government that governs least usually governs best.

    Anyone who wants political power should be kept from having it.

    That being impractical, we should give government as little power over us as practical, and we should trim it back from time to time, just on principle.

    We are moving the wrong way these days. And moving fast. Pray that we wake up before it's too late.
     
  10. Stratiotes

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    Naw, this is stupid diplomatic blunders! Generals are limited in how much they can mess things up, diplomats, kings, prime ministers, and presidents can mess things up on an exponential scale. </font>[/QUOTE]But, then again, soldiers theoretically are just carrying out the policy of their civilian bosses. So, if the boss sends them on an unwinnable mission and war is simply an extension of politics...how do we determine a political from a military failure? They're the same thing ultimately. Hitler, personifies this with his political drive being the force behind his strategic decisions. One is not possible without the other. All military action could, in such a way, be said to be political decisions.

    Touchman's work is the primary work on the subject for sure. But, the fact that it is not a new idea should say something about the argument that is made against non-intervention. The argument goes that we have to intervene or repeat WWII - but, it was, after all, the intervention in WWI that created a Hitler in the first place. For that reason, I'm not sure WWII says anything one way or the other about intervention.
     
  11. Major B

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    The Germans losing WW1 created the opportunity for Hitler to be something other than a local nut. It also opened the opportunity for the Bolsheviks to create the USSR and survive the civil war. We don't know what it would have been like had we not intervened and saved the allies.

    Ah, the law of Unintended Consequences...i.e., we are not omniscient, nor prescient.
     
  12. Stratiotes

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    And, in turn, weakening Hitler made our ally, Stalin, stronger. I'm not so sure that was a "better" result in the end when one considers the number of deaths for which Stalin can be directly responsible. Not only are the consequences difficult to determine, it is also difficult to determine if the result is really better in the end. Therein is the problem with a pragmatic view of history - how do you know the results are better???? The simple answer is, you don't.
     
  13. poncho

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    Hola Major B and Stratiotes,

    Thought you might find this interesting.

    Hegelian Dialectic
     
  14. Major B

    Major B
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    You are so right my friend. An interesting thought is what would have happened had Eisenhower gone along with Patton's idea to re-arm the surrendering German divisions and push the Russians out of Eastern Europe. Only we had the bomb by that time...
     
  15. Matt Black

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    Gertrude Bell, I believe.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. Matt Black

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    Two comments from me wrt WW1:-

    1. It really was the 'Suicide of Empires', specifically the European Empires, including the British (upon which the sun really did begin to set), and marked the beginning of the end for European hegemony, which the countries of Europe are now trying to recover albeit as united rather than divided. A generation of men and a generation's money and other resources, both of which could have been used to effectively administer the colonies and develop them to political maturity (as well as maintain conservative elites at home), were squandered in the trenches. WW2 merely set the seal on the deal.

    2. It spawned a generation of monsters. Without WW1, Hitler would have been just another struggling Viennese artist with anti-Semitic views and would probably never have gone to Germany, Mussolini yet another of the two-a-penny socialist Italian schoolteachers, Mao similarly in China, Lenin and Stalin would have been in and out of Siberia with their increasingly anachronistic form of Marxism as Tsarist Russia gradually reached the form of partial democracy in the 1920s that it has today, and Ho Chi Minh as he became would have stuck to what he was good at: making pastry in Paris.

    That Franz Ferdinand bloke has a lot to answer for – someone ought to shoot him. Ho hum...

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  17. Major B

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    According to Tuchman, he was only there because when he was in the guise of a military officer (as inspector general of the Army), his beloved wife could accompany him and appear with him in public. She was a commoner, and when he was in his guise as heir apparent, she could not be seen with him. Therefore, he often inspected army posts (far more than needed) so he could be with her.

    So, the social conundrums of the ancien regime put it in the position of danger.
     
  18. CoachC

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    If the Von Schlieffen plan had worked and Germany had won the war in 1914 I think WWII still would have happened. For the following reasons.

    1) A German victory in Aug. or Sept 1914 would have left all of the empires in tact, except the third republic. The competition for land in Africa and Asia would have led to other wars.

    2) France would have still been bitter for revenge, a feeling she felt toward Germany after 1871's Franco Prussian War. Who is to say that a French kook wouldn't have rose to power like Hitler did in defeated, post war Germany.

    3)Russia probably would have been defeated very quickly by the Germans without Vladimir Illyich Ulianov(Lennin) being reintroduced to Czarist Russia. How long before the Czar collapsed anyway?

    4)How would America have been different if our boys hadn't went "Over There"? There's an interesting quesiton?
     
  19. rsr

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    "3)Russia probably would have been defeated very quickly by the Germans without Vladimir Illyich Ulianov(Lennin) being reintroduced to Czarist Russia. How long before the Czar collapsed anyway?"

    Without WWI, it is entirely possible that Russia might have survived in the same way the Hapsburg Empire had survived. The Stolypin reforms (though never carried out fully) had raised the monarchy's stock after 1905, though Nicholas forever resisted political reforms. (And China shows that economic reforms, even if unaccompanied by political reforms, can last quite a while.)
     
  20. CoachC

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    You had everything in Russia from Democrats like Kerensky to hard line communists like Stalin and Trotsky.

    Nicholas lived in a bubble, had already dissolved the Duma and his wife was taking spiritual advice from a charlatan like Rasputin.

    The only heir to the throne was czareyavich Alexeii who suffered from Hemophilia. I would submit that the end of Romanov rule was a train that would have eventually arrived anyway.

    It's interesting when you look at Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Both of them were young men when they came on to the throne and even though they ruled for many years before the war started, it seems as if neither one of them grew into the role of ruling very well.

    I agree with you rsr that if economics in Russia had improved the status quo would have held. If the stock market crashes in 29' Russia would have been back in the same boat.
     

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