Some folks weren
I’d also just add that the Kaiser specifically dispatched troops to China in order to try and grab a piece, during the Boxer Rebellion. Whereas the other participating states in the multinational expedition had cantonments and substantial presence at risk, Germany’s dispatch was primarily motivated by the desire to grab while the grabbin’ was good.
Oh, and to make sure, as the Kaiser told his troops, that the Chinamen would remember Germany and shudder ever afterwards.
As for American participation in World War I, somehow, the outrage engendered by unrestricted submarine warfare, including the killing of large numbers of innocent civilians, which for the time was unprecedented, coupled with the German policy of “frightfulness” (which engendered many propaganda tales at the time but which ALSO included genuine German atrocities) certainly alienated American support. This is doubly ironic, since in 1914, it was by no means clear we would support the UK. US antipathy for Britain at the popular level remained quite high; sinkings of vessels like the Lusitania did a great deal to offset that.
Finally, if Andrew and his ilk insist on a World War I/II comparison, might I suggest the following:
World War I ended badly, in part, because the top leadership was left in charge (although fell to revolution), and the population could be fed the line that “We didn’t lose, we were betrayed,” in part b/c there was no occupation, no CLEAR evidence that they had lost (through things like regime change). WWII succeeded, in no small part, b/c we uprooted the ENTIRE power structure, and replaced it with a new one.
Now, if I have to draw you/Andrew a picture: Gulf War I was the proper analogy for World War I. We won a military victory, then stopped on the very borders (much as the Allied armies did in 1918), imposed moderately stringent demands on the Iraqis (in the form of sanctions) but did not change their government. And they’ve spent that time building up resentment and furtively rearming (see German behavior in Soviet Union, 1920s-194). Now, having learned the lessons of the interwar years about nipping problems in the bud, we are going to do what the French and Brits should have done in 1928-1938, i.e., preemptively moved to ensure that the previously obnoxious state does not have a chance to be obnoxious again.
Actually, I’d venture that that’s not half-bad as an analogy…..
Good fisking VP. Andrew’s odd suggestion to do look at a map and compare the land that the US has occupied vs the land that Germany has made me ponder.
Yes, indeed, we’ve occupied at one time or another more territory than Germany, but only because, aside from eastern Europe and Russia, we occupied most of the land that Germany had conquered after liberating it from them. The difference being, our occupation was temporary and we gave it back to the locals, even when the locals were the Germans themselves.
Maybe that last part was a mistake.
one point you missed: at the very end, he refers to the “United States…have”—that’s “United States..HAS”. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s some Neo-Calhounian retro-Confederate Bismark smooching Hitler explaing Lincoln dissing dingleberry.
Geebus, if Gary Hart’s going to spend his time submitting barely literate essays on wiseacre website commentary sections, how the heck is he going to get his campaing off the ground?
Andrew’s original comments reinforce my belief that, to cope somehow with the sheer horror of 20th century European history, far too many contemporary Europeans exist in a weird state combining historical amnesia with an active geopolitical fantasy life. If France and German were individual people, we’d put them on a program of twice-weekly therapy sessions along with 50 mg of Zoloft every day. But they’re nations, not people; what on earth are supposed to do with them??
Perhaps now you can move on to the British; who not only commissioned the sole recorded 100% genocide in history in Tasmania; but who also deployed concentration camps twice in Africa: the last in 1950s Kenya against the Kikuyu. How many people died then? Will we ever know?
I doubt it. Much easier to keep worshipping that fat flatulent old fraud Churchill.
A Sydney historian is trying to overturn the conventional thinking on what’s been is widely-accepted as one of the darkest moments in Australian history, the genocide of Tasmanian Aborigines.
Volume One of Keith Windschuttle’s “Fabrication of Aboriginal History” claims to be the most exhaustive analysis yet undertaken of relations between settlers and Aborigines in early 19th century Tasmania, and concludes there’s no evidence of systematic Aboriginal resistance and frontier warfare.
Windschuttle claims the story began in the early 19th Century that the first person who perpetrated was Henry Melville, the editor of the Colonial Times, in Hobart.
Governor Arthur actually jailed him on criminal libel, a case which has nothing to do with the Aborigines, but in order to get revenge, while in jail, Melville wrote an indictment of Arthur’s administration, which focussed primarily on his Aboriginal policy.
Now, from him, other historians have taken up the similar sort of story, and it’s been self-perpetuating.
Historian Henry Reynolds, “Fade of a Free People”, agrees the term “genocide” may not be appropriate to describe the plight of Tasmanian Aborigines; but apart from that, he agrees with little else of Keith Windschuttle’s latest work.
The debate rages on between historians, academia and Aborigine activists, surfacing as land rights come to a vote periodically. One doubts it will ever be settled to anyone’s satisfaction.
Indeed BlooKat, we can’t worry about Germany because Britain did something awful once. And we can’t worry about Iraq because we used to support them against Iran. But we shouldn’t worry about Iran because we supported the Shah, and after all we created the Taliban and we can’t worry about them because slavery used to exist in the US so who are we to lecture anybody and we can’t worry about…
Well, cutting throught the Gordian Knothead, let’s just say that when the UK becomes an impediment to removing a brutal thug who sponsers terrorism and harbors our murderous enemies, maybe then we can contemplate the darker spots of British history (being half Irish, I have some passing familiarity with it). But maybe Stephen’s point is best made by comparing Britain to Germany after all. Britian seems to have recognized and corrected the aspects of national character that led to such brutalities. Hopefully mondern Germany isn’t to be flocking to the banner of a lunatic with a bad mustache and a penchant for gassing his own people.
Methinks Blookat and feste have their continents mixed up but interesting nonetheless. That Andrew is pretty hilarious. Hardly a fair fight. However, on Bismarck I’ll take his side in part. Give us a dozen Bismarcks to replace the dreck we’ve mostly seen not only in Germany but the other Europowers since then and that part of the world would be a far more civilized and life affirming place today. As for the welfare state, your right of course- so what does that make FDR or Churchill.
Where else on the web can you get both essays singing the praises of the best rock band ever(Steley Dan), and the singlemost devistating fisking ever. This guy must have really pissed you off…….Keep up the good work….
Stephen, I wanted to disagree with you especially on German history in the 19th Century as Germany had a chance to become a more liberal constitutional monarchy doomed unfortunately by Frederick’s untimely demise and the accession of the blithering idiot Wilhelm II. But you did such a fine Fisk’ing of an idiotarian that I decided to just admire it …
Robin, I was always under the impression that Wilhelm II was warped and twisted by Bismarck, who was appalled at Frederick’s friendship with the English. The scheming old chancellor poisoned the little prince’s mind against his mother and grandmother (Queen Victoria), and convinced him England was the obstacle to German greatness.
Hardly, John Hawkinds. Bismarck knew the key to keeping Germany out of a general European war (which might, he rightly feared, be a disaster for his Empire), was to keep France isolated.
And the way to keep France isolated was to stay conservative enough to keep the Czar out of the French camp, and keep England comfortable enough to continue with their age-old disdain for France.
For all his faults, the solution Bismarck came up with was a remarkably simple and effective way to keep the general peace. Even so, it took Little Willy damn near 20 years of constant threats, bullying, and Dreadnaught-building to draw the UK and France together — sure proof of the durability of Bismarck’s system.
Any response from Andrew yet? It looks to me like anything resembling an argument that he might have had has been utterly destroyed. Hmmm…rhetorical WMD?
Stephen, I have one area of disagreement. I just can’t make myself sit through Will and Grace. It falls into a category I call “excruciating”. I actually loathed Deborah Messing until I saw her in Prey, which was on SciFi. I didn’t really get a chance to get into the series, but her acting was unquestionably good. A far cry from the flighty, hysterical, wispy creature (IMO) she plays on Will and Grace.
But this is a matter of taste and preference, rather than fact.
I wasn’t surprised at all when I read your reply.
And I wasn’t surprised when I read the comments. I exspected no less and no more.
And I don’t believe that anything will change your opinion about Germany, since I have already come to the conclusion that it is indeed based on exactly what I first said it was based on. Your problem with Germans doesn’t seem to be about the current political situation since you have a problem with me (and I live in Germany) even though we are in complete agreement over the war in Iraq, the German and French governments, and possibly every detail of the Israel/Palestine question.
Your problem with Germany and Germans seems to be solely about a belief that Hitler was only one of so many examples for German evils and that somehow this has an effect on current German politics. This position falls down, of course, when you attempt to explain how my opinion is a logical extension of that as much as the current German government’s opinion is a logical extension of that even though my own opinion, as I have said before, is a complete opposite of the German government’s.
After this brief analysis it can perhaps become clearer what exactly it is we disagree about (since it isn’t current politics) and what exactly your problem with my position would be.
But before I go back to the question of Germany’s evils before Hitler, I’d like to visit the issue of Karl Marx’ influence once more. When you say that Karl Marx is evil, in one way or another, can you point me to a specific thing he said or wrote that is evil in your opinion? The most famous Marxist politician of our time (with “our time” being the last 30 or so years) was, of course, Willy Brandt. Can you name specific evils this man or his politics can be helt responsible for and how it is directly attributable to Marxism that these evils were committed? Because unless you can, we certainly have two positive influence’s of Marx, namely his works themselves, and his legacy in West German politics.
Now back to Germany’s more specific evils.
Looking at maps of the 19th century’s world, I can hardly see a German empire which would have been the result of Germany’s evil ways had they been successful. How do we measure “evil” when evil is about occupation of other countries. And what scale would we have to use to get a result where Germany would rank before the United Kingdom (North America, Australia, India, one third of Africa etc.), France (one third of Africa), and the United States in square miles taken by force or people killed while doing so. There were a bunch of German colonies in Africa and Oceania at the end, but what were they in comparison to the huge world-wide empires taken and ruled by the other European nations ever since the 1500s? What specific feature of Germany do you see that is not also an attribute of every other country in Europe in the 19th century?
Regarding Bismarck’s welfare state I have to say that I am impressed. You actually looked it up. However, I never for even an instant doubted that there were people who believe that Bismarck’s welfare state was about taking people’s liberty. In fact, the whole reason I even said something about the subject was because I knew that people helt this opinion. I know that such theorems exist. I’m not even saying that there is no value in them. My argument was with your claim that this was therefor somehow a fact, not an opinion. I do not know why exactly Bismarck did all these things and neither do you or anybody. We only know the effects and they were both good and bad. Less liberty is bad, but more security is good. And liberty without security doesn’t work. How free do you think you are when you cannot eat?
(I will ignore your attempts to group with me with the people who slaughtered gays and Gipsies and Jews.)
Now regarding Germany’s attack on Belgium and France starting WWI. America had attacked Vichy France in WWII for a very good reason. Without doing it, winning the war would have been much more difficult. America now wants to attack Iraq, partly because Iraq might (and probably does) support terrorists. Of course when Germany does this, it’s all about evil and not about strategic neccessity.
I don’t think we can come to some sort of agreement here, because I don’t think we can ever agree that Germans might have the very same reasons as everybody else does when it comes to wars and being attacked. I don’t know what I could do to convince you and I am not sure I want to try any more. The only visible result would probably be a few posts by others reminding you of some evils committed by other countries (which doesn’t really help change your opinion about Germany) and many posts by your fans telling you what an idiot I am for assuming that Germany’s actions should not be seen seperately from but rather in comparison to others. Yes, it’s evil when Germany, Austria, and Russia devide Poland, but it’s just as evil when the UK invades India or when the US expand to the west or into Mexico. I find myself in the very strange situation of having to tell an American (I assume you are American) that his world view is too euro-centric, but it seems to be. You find examples as specific as a forged telegram when it comes to “proving” the evil ways of Germany, but you seem to completely overlook such details as the British invading India or the Americans invading the lands of natives. Yes, I admitt it. Germans are evil enough to even forge telegrams. But starting wars under some sort of pretext isn’t a German special.
You wrote “From a German point of view WWI was started by those who attacked first (the Serbian terrorist) and was then ended by the Americans who for some reason decided to help France gain control over Germany’s most valuable region (Rhineland).”
Apparently the Zimmerman Telegram has been omitted from the German education system. I suggest a Google.
That should clear things up. Please advertise back home.
Actually its rather easy to find evil in Marx’s writings, start with his praise of the atrocities of the Paris Commune. Pretending that Marx was merely “misunderstood” is a common leftist lie.
To begin w/, I don’t happen to necessarily agree w/ those who would condemn all Germans as somehow barbaric, much less that they are necessarily personally tainted by the actions of the Nazis in World War II.
That being said, it IS important to remember that the Holocaust, unlike, say, the Japanese slaughter of Asians in that same conflict, was undertaken in such a way that it involved, to greater or lesser extent, much of the German population. At a minimum, because it involved the extermination of most of the German Jews, it meant that there had to be a certain degree of “turning away” from the truth. Where did the Jews go, after Kristallnacht? What did the average German, even those who did not vote for the Nazis, do after Kristallnacht? Did they oppose the Nazis? Did they condemn the acts of the Brownshirts of the SA?
But your arguments, sadly, make it harder for those such as myself. You, for example, compare our actions viz. Iraq w/, of all things, attacking Vichy.
Are you about to argue, in all seriousness, that Vichy was somehow an independent country? Surely you jest? That leaves aside the reality that, in 1943-1944, Vichy was effectively liquidated, when the German High Command (or was that the Nazis?) feared that it was about to collude w/ the Allies (see the effect of Admiral Darlan’s negotiations with the Allies).
By comparison, Belgium was hardly a puppet of either France or Britain, in either World War I or II. Indeed, one of the greatest blows to German honor (and reputation) in 1914 was the very invasion of Belgium, since its neutrality had been guaranteed by treaty (signed by Germany). Worse, the importance of that treaty was dismissed by the German Foreign Minister as “a mere scrap of paper.”
And what was the justification for Germany invading Belgium in World War II? To make the conquest of France easier. But what was the justification of a German invasion of France? What is YOUR justification of a German invasion of France at that time? What strategic necessity required that??
It is your reductio ad absurdum of different situations to a single template, of comparing actions by a clearly fascist regime, bent on conquest, w/ the actions of a democracy (even if you believe it to be misguided) that leaves us wondering what it is that Germans in general, but you in particular, have learned from the past…..
Except that the US never ratified the Treat of Versilles.
“But Germans see WWI as an example of how America blew it and WWII as an example of how America fixed it again and wonder whether a war in Iraq will end like WWI or WWII. I think it will be like WWII, but most Germans believe it will be like WWI, and this is NOT a good prospect and I find it quite understandable that many Germans see hypocricy [sic] among Americans who claim that WWI was an example of how America did the right thing when everybody on the continent now agrees that the treaty of Versailles was the worst treaty the modern world ever came up with.”
Except that it was the French (AKA Your Good Buddies) that pressed for the worst aspects of the ToV.
Andrews point here seems to be that America got into the war reluctently, assisted in the victory, pressed for leniency in the ToV, ultimately didn’t sign the treaty (opting for seperate treaties), and so It’s All America’s Fault when the treat was declared Worst Treaty Ever. If the Germans are going to hold gudges over historical matters, maybe they should, you know, study history.
Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark.
this totally bites