Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

June 18, 2014 - 3:10 pm

Vox.com bills itself as “conversations” with “The smartest thinkers, the toughest questions.”

The tweens who run Vox published this.

vox-irs

 

The article spends a lot of words decrying a proposal to cut the IRS’ budget, to punish it for “losing” two years’ worth of emails of seven people who are at the center of the IRS targeting scandal. The whole article is a waste of pixels. You will be dumber after reading it.

The IRS scandal is not and never was about budget. It’s about weaponizing government against dissent and, apparently, spending a year covering your tracks. It’s about whether the most feared domestic agency in the US government has decided to become thought police along with tax collector.

This one article discredits the entire Vox site. It’s that dumb.

Bonus dumbness: The author of that paean to the IRS also wrote this silly piece praising the Soviet Union’s sacrifices in World War II. It’s all about how the USSR really deserves the credit for Hitler’s defeat. The conspiratorial tone of the headline is good for a laugh.

The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler

Whose campaign? The smartest thinkers don’t ask that tough question.

 

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
Top Rated Comments   
An honest assessment would note that the Soviet Union and Germany were de facto allies for the first two years of World War II in Europe.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I've never heard of this Vox site until today. Is it a popular site? It looks like it's just spitting out lies for the progressives.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The conspiracy angle is probably silly, but not the notion that the Soviets have borne most of the brunt of fighting Germany.
The Soviet complaint on this, -- and I would be very surprised if it's different in modern Russia, -- is that by the time the Allies have opened the 2nd front, the faith of Germany was essentially sealed. There is an element of truth to that. Most of the crucial battles happened way before June of 1944, and the USSR has slowly chewed up most of Hitler's best manpower by then.

Of course, the Russians conveniently forget about the Lend-Lease, without which the Soviets would probably have collapsed long before D-Day. They also ignore Africa and the war at sea. Most importantly, to them the War in the Pacific doesn't really exist until their own entry into that war, which they, of course, consider the deciding factor in Japan's surrender. Yet had not the Americans kept the Japanese occupied in the Pacific, the latter would probably have attacked Stalin from the East, with predictable results.

And the Americans seem to think (and I am slightly exaggerating here) that they've conquered Hitler all by themselves, and that the War in Europe hasn't really started until Normandy in 1944.

In short, both sides are probably guilty of trying to hog all the credit. Which, after all, is human nature.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The conspiracy angle is probably silly, but not the notion that the Soviets have borne most of the brunt of fighting Germany.

As with most things, it all depends on how you define your terms. If you define "brunt" in terms of human lives lost, the Soviets certainly bore the brunt of Hitler's offensives. Now that the Soviet archives have been examined, historians know that the Soviet Union suffered 26.5 to 28 million dead, including civilians. The number of fatalities suffered by the United States and British Empire combined is less than a million dead. That's an immense difference.

If you define "brunt" to include manufacturing of war materiel and the costs of transporting that materiel to the fronts where they were used, the balance shifts somewhat towards the Western Allies.

The Soviet complaint on this, -- and I would be very surprised if it's different in modern Russia, -- is that by the time the Allies have opened the 2nd front, the faith of Germany was essentially sealed. There is an element of truth to that. Most of the crucial battles happened way before June of 1944, and the USSR has slowly chewed up most of Hitler's best manpower by then.

Here too it depends on how you define a term, in this case "Second Front". It might be argued that the Allied landings in North Africa opened a sort of second front in that they forced the Germans to expend forces they might rather have used in the Soviet Union to fend off the Western Allies. If you don't want to count that as a Second Front, then the invasions of Sicily and then Italy proper might reasonably be considered a second front as they forced further German reinforcements and even knocked out one of Germany's allies.

But the traditional view of things is that the Second Front began with the Normandy landings on D-Day. In that case, yes, you're right that the critical battles of Stalingrad and Kursk were already long over by then.

Of course, the Russians conveniently forget about the Lend-Lease, without which the Soviets would probably have collapsed long before D-Day.

Not all Soviets forget about Lend-Lease. I remember Solzhenitsyn stating the importance of American trucks in their war effort in one of his books. (I can't recall which one at this point.)

They also ignore Africa and the war at sea. Most importantly, to them the War in the Pacific doesn't really exist until their own entry into that war, which they, of course, consider the deciding factor in Japan's surrender. Yet had not the Americans kept the Japanese occupied in the Pacific, the latter would probably have attacked Stalin from the East, with predictable results.

And the Americans seem to think (and I am slightly exaggerating here) that they've conquered Hitler all by themselves, and that the War in Europe hasn't really started until Normandy in 1944.

In short, both sides are probably guilty of trying to hog all the credit. Which, after all, is human nature.

Exactly so. Each participant in a war tends to think their own part was the most significant and either ignores or minimizes the contributions of allies. Virtually every American or Canadian history book or war movie on the First World War focuses almost exclusively on the Western Front and the trench warfare there. I expect Austrian and Russian history books talk far more about the Eastern Front and barely acknowledge the Western Front. And so on.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact that the US and UK were in the war at all can be said to have opened the western and southern fronts. Germany had to tie up units to counter those threats, even if the actual invasion was years in the making. Any unit on the Channel coast was not fighting the Red Army.

Japan was never a credible threat to the USSR; they had clashed briefly before the war and Japan was eviscerated. The Red Army improved after that fight and the Japanese did not. What's more, they had nothing to spare from the China campaign to move westward.

As you imply it was truly a world war and it's almost impossible to designate any single (Allied) country as indispensable.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know how important the US contribution was. I was just providing the Soviet POV as it was taught to me at school and as (I am sure of it) it still prevails over there.

As far as Japan is concerned, it sure gave the U.S. a run for the money, didn't it? The Japanese were not dumb, and they would have learnt from their mistakes at Khalkin-Gol. And where was Zhukov who orchestrated their defeat there? In the West, fighting the Germans. Can we be so sure the result of their invasion in, say, 1941-44 would have been the same it was in 1939? I am not.
Had they not had to spent all those resources fighting the Americans, my bet is they sure would have given the USSR one hell of a headache. At the very least, they would have threatened Stalin's vital industrial base he had moved from the West.

Plus, as you point out vis-a-vis the Western Front, each division Stalin did not have to keep in the East he was able to throw Westward. Which is precisely what he did. He pretty much bared his Eastern border of trained troops. From what I've read, he had done this repeatedly. He had that luxury because the Japanese were preoccupied elsewhere. Thanks to the Americans.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, the one to thank is probably Richard Sorge. Sorge was a German national who had been born in Tsarist Russia to a German father and Russian mother. He grew up in Germany, served in the German Army in WW I, then became a communist and defected to the Soviet Union. He was a longstanding spy for the Soviets operating under deep cover as a German journalist. During the war, he was based in Japan and had convinced the Germans there that he was one of them. He obtained significant intelligence to the effect that the Japanese were going to adopt a Southern Strategy and not attack the Soviet Union. He communicated this back to Stalin. Stalin normally didn't trust his own spies and thought they were idiots or that they'd been fooled by the enemy intelligence agencies but, in this case, Sorge's reports convinced him that it was safe to move the Red Army divisions from the Soviet Far East for use in the defense of Moscow. Not long after, Sorge was unmasked and executed by the Japanese but if his reports had not been convincing, it's entirely possible that Stalin would have left those divisions in the Far East and Moscow would have fallen. That wouldn't necessarily have meant that the Soviet Union was finished but it certainly would have complicated their task of driving Hitler out.

For more information on Sorge, the Wikipedia article is a reasonable starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sorge
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did Japan really give the US a run for its money, though? They started out in a better position but the US could replenish their losses and Japan really couldn't, not in the same way. Japan never had a real transoceanic invasion threat, they were tied up in China the whole war. Documents revealed later show that they refused to commit even the troops necessary for conquering Australia. Japan's entire war effort - even their preemptive strike against the USN - was built around securing the resources and sea lanes to support their conquest of Asia. The US recognized that vulnerability and attacked it mercilessly, to great effect. Arguably the real difficulty came from the fact that the US adopted the policy of demanding unconditional surrender, which required significantly more effort than it would have to bring them to a negotiating table. (We know now that the battleships lost at Pearl Harbor would have been mostly irrelevant anyway. What if the Pacific war had started in a way that reflected more sympathetically on the Japanese, a more honorable way that didn't fire up the public as much?)

Japan's navy was pretty good at the start. Its army was by far the worst both in doctrine and equipment of any of the war's major powers. Their tenacity in defending the islands made up for some of that, but I have my doubts as to whether that would have manifested in an offensive campaign in Russia. I'll grant you that the division of force angle is a possibility, but there's a reason Japan never helped its nominal ally out. I think they were scared to death of the Russians, and I think this would have been justified by both their prewar embarrassment and by their present quagmire in China, a foe decidedly inferior to the USSR.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Could they have won a war with the USSR, all by themselves? Not a chance!
But what if they opened the 2nd front when the Russians were stretched (almost) to their breaking point in the first 2-3 years since June 22, 1941? They would have not have been fighting Zhukov or top troops: Those were all been thrown to die at the Western Front. Even if the Japanese could not prevail in the long run, that might have been enough to give Hitler what he needed in the West.

As another exercise in alternative history, suppose they didn't attack Pearl Harbor, but instead used their Navy to blockade Eurasia's Eastern shores? Lend-Lease would have been much harder to accomplish then, while the Americans would probably not have entered the war at all until it was too late.
How long would have the Soviets held up without Lend-Lease?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hitler: "Hey, Stalin! What are you gonna do with your half of Poland? Oh, and you're busy invading border states and purging your military too?"
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stalin's purge of the military took place in 1937, two years before Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I've never heard there was a conspiracy but if one was watching U.S. film and TV in the '50s-'60s there is definitely a sense the U.S. and British won the war in Europe single-handed. I don't see that as whitewashing. I don't think the West knew all that much about it because of lack of Western reporting and secrecy in the SU and that wouldn't really interest Western screen audiences anyway.

The American army fought Germany in Europe far less and in far less numbers than did the SU. The SU were in sustained contact with the main German forces for 4 years and destroyed more than the allies even fought.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suspect that without the joint effort - especially the massive logistical support effort from the western allies of the USSR - the USSR would have been thrashed and/or the US/UK would have had serious difficulty. Having to guard all of Europe and North Africa is no joke; I have no doubt freeing up an entire front or two would have made a huge difference in Germany's favor. Maybe not enough to seize lasting or decisive victory, but certainly a worse outcome for the world.

That sort of nationalist history is nothing new anyway. Ask a Brit who won Waterloo. Then ask a German. The real answer is always more complicated.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, but there was a joint effort, and in that joint effort the SU and Germans ate up entire army groups. Nothing like that happened on the Western front. And hypotheticals work both ways. Had the Germans a relatively inactive Eastern front and had 100 more divisions in France and Italy, we never would've leveraged them out.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
With out the US the soviets would not have gotten their industry away from the German army, it was all moved in the backs of American made deuce and a halfs. All their secure communications was over American made telegraph wire. Most all their medical supplies came from the US (ok, they really didnt care about that). Over 10% of their tanks were Lend-Lease Shermans (which, while lighter armored, were more reliable and maneuverable then the T-34s, though the Soviets couldn't take advantage of the Sherman's greatest strength).
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's pretty much what I said. I wouldn't go so far as to say the US would have been conquered (not that you did) - a transoceanic invasion of a large continent would be difficult, to say the least - but locked out of Europe for a long time, sure.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
An honest assessment would note that the Soviet Union and Germany were de facto allies for the first two years of World War II in Europe.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
What honest assessment? We're talking about war, not peace, and their non-aggression pact ain't exactly a secret.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm talking about the war, and an honest assessment of the Soviet's contribution to winning WW II in Europe; the honest assessment that you pretended to, but didn't, make.

Before the Soviets fought against Germany, in WW II, they were all but allied with them during the First two years of the war (1939-1941). The Soviets supported Germany, and it's military, with practically unlimited material resources. The Soviets contributed to Germany's successes before it contributed to the Allied cause.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

One Trackback to “One Reason that Vox is the Most Clownish Site on the Entire Internet”