Get out of Afghanistan

Why do we have to fight other people’s wars?

In 1939, although not threatened by the Germans, we declared war on them, because they had invaded Poland.

This resulted in six years of war in which we lost hundreds of thousands of people, both civilians and in our armed forces.

We should bring home our forces from Afghanistan and leave the Afghans to fight their own battles.

KSJ HILL, Trinity Road, Headington, Oxford

Comments (12)

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12:43pm Wed 18 Apr 12

MadleyResident says...

To compare Afghanistan with the Second World War demonstrates a breathtaking ignorance of history.
Of all the wars Britain has fought over the centuries the Second World War has to be one of the most important and just.
Is it really being suggested that we should have stood to one side and let the Nazis take over the whole of Europe?
The policy of appeasement in the 1930s almost allowed it to happen.
Afghanistan was invaded because of 9/11. On balance, I think that the original invasion had to happen but the subsequent failures in that country have been dreadful and continue to cost the lives of our servicemen.
I hope that when our troops are finally withdrawn Afghanistan might be a better country than when they went in. Unfortunately, I have a horrible feeling that the country will fall into chaos.
To compare Afghanistan with the Second World War demonstrates a breathtaking ignorance of history. Of all the wars Britain has fought over the centuries the Second World War has to be one of the most important and just. Is it really being suggested that we should have stood to one side and let the Nazis take over the whole of Europe? The policy of appeasement in the 1930s almost allowed it to happen. Afghanistan was invaded because of 9/11. On balance, I think that the original invasion had to happen but the subsequent failures in that country have been dreadful and continue to cost the lives of our servicemen. I hope that when our troops are finally withdrawn Afghanistan might be a better country than when they went in. Unfortunately, I have a horrible feeling that the country will fall into chaos. MadleyResident

9:27pm Fri 20 Apr 12

Zaxharias Ziegla says...

MR your excellent comments are I think a little inaccurate on WWII (similarly R Lee's letter of Friday 30 March on Iran's nuclear ambitions). Though any inaccuracy may merely be due to not realising the amount of fresh evidence produced since the fall of Soviet Communism that led to the opening of the Kremlin's archives.

While no supporter of Hitler Germany, I'm not sure where you get the evidence for a Nazi plan to "take over" Europe. It is much more likely that Stalin intended to laubch an attack and overrun the entire continent. It was only because of certain errors of judgement, due to pressures within the soviet terror regime, that the Russians delayed and changed plans. Hitler and his general staff, sensing how critical the situation was, seized the oportunity, and launched the pre-emprive Operation Barbarossa.

German forces (vastly outnumbered, faced huge Soviet Forces and were hardly
prepared) inflicted grievous, but not completely critical blows; they greatly weakened the soviets but underestimated Russian military/industrial caoacity. Thus Germany's fate was sealed.

But it was Hitler, plus America's atomic bomb threat, that saved Europe from complete Communist domination. Thus we remain able to exchange views in this forum. But, with an increasingly leftwing EU bureaucracy, for how much longer?

You are, of vourse, completely correct in saying that the effects on European Civilisation of the war in Afghanistan does not compare with the C20 world wars, or fot that matter the devastation and horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-48. The first World War was particularly devastating in terms of genetic inheritance.
MR your excellent comments are I think a little inaccurate on WWII (similarly R Lee's letter of Friday 30 March on Iran's nuclear ambitions). Though any inaccuracy may merely be due to not realising the amount of fresh evidence produced since the fall of Soviet Communism that led to the opening of the Kremlin's archives. While no supporter of Hitler Germany, I'm not sure where you get the evidence for a Nazi plan to "take over" Europe. It is much more likely that Stalin intended to laubch an attack and overrun the entire continent. It was only because of certain errors of judgement, due to pressures within the soviet terror regime, that the Russians delayed and changed plans. Hitler and his general staff, sensing how critical the situation was, seized the oportunity, and launched the pre-emprive Operation Barbarossa. German forces (vastly outnumbered, faced huge Soviet Forces and were hardly prepared) inflicted grievous, but not completely critical blows; they greatly weakened the soviets but underestimated Russian military/industrial caoacity. Thus Germany's fate was sealed. But it was Hitler, plus America's atomic bomb threat, that saved Europe from complete Communist domination. Thus we remain able to exchange views in this forum. But, with an increasingly leftwing EU bureaucracy, for how much longer? You are, of vourse, completely correct in saying that the effects on European Civilisation of the war in Afghanistan does not compare with the C20 world wars, or fot that matter the devastation and horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-48. The first World War was particularly devastating in terms of genetic inheritance. Zaxharias Ziegla

11:02pm Sat 21 Apr 12

morgeo says...

I think that you are also wrong ZZ. have you looked at a map of Europe at the time of the war and seen how much territory Hitler had gained and was well into Russia. His big mistake was operating on too many fronts and also the weather in Russia. His supply lines were stretched too far as a result, don't forget he was also in N.Africa as well. He was taking a pounding from the UK with all of her allies as well. Plus he was fighting a battle in the atlantic to prevent supplies getting in. Italy changed tactics and that also must be taken into account. Too much , too quick and he failed to get the UK which was a big mistake.
Throughout the Cold War period Russia made threats but was wise to do only that as they also like Germany would have had many problems against a determined British Commonwealth, European and American forces plus other allied countries should not be underestimated.
As for Afghanistan, it seems to be a country determined to ruin itself and Madley resident is probably right. Until the instil some form of democracy and respect the women in their country nothing will change.
I think that you are also wrong ZZ. have you looked at a map of Europe at the time of the war and seen how much territory Hitler had gained and was well into Russia. His big mistake was operating on too many fronts and also the weather in Russia. His supply lines were stretched too far as a result, don't forget he was also in N.Africa as well. He was taking a pounding from the UK with all of her allies as well. Plus he was fighting a battle in the atlantic to prevent supplies getting in. Italy changed tactics and that also must be taken into account. Too much , too quick and he failed to get the UK which was a big mistake. Throughout the Cold War period Russia made threats but was wise to do only that as they also like Germany would have had many problems against a determined British Commonwealth, European and American forces plus other allied countries should not be underestimated. As for Afghanistan, it seems to be a country determined to ruin itself and Madley resident is probably right. Until the instil some form of democracy and respect the women in their country nothing will change. morgeo

1:25pm Mon 23 Apr 12

MadleyResident says...

ZZ - No doubt Stalin would have attempted to take over the whole of Europe if the opportunity had arisen. However, have you never heard of Mein Kampf?
I have never actually read the book but I know that it sets out in plain English (or at least German!) Hitler's plans to provide "living space" for the German people in Eastern Europe. Indeed I understand that when translated into English in the 1930's many of these paragraphs were left out of certain editions to avoid worrying Chamberlain and the British Government.
In 1939 Nazi Germany was heading for economic meltdown by spending far more than was being earned. Hitler needed war to divert attention from these problems. Hence the invasion of Poland.
In 1941 there was no way that Stalin would have contemplated attacking Germany. The Soviet armed forces, although huge, were no match for the Germans.
In Operation Barbarossa the German Army was principally defeated by the Russian winter. First the rain turned the roads into quagmires and then when winter proper arrived much of the German equipment literally froze.
However, you are right that The Germans underestimated Soviet Russia's ability to recover from the enormous losses that they suffered in 1941.
You are also right that Hitler might have inadvertently saved Western Europe from Communism by inflicting such large losses on the Soviets.
Sadly and rather ironically, the country we went to war for was not saved that fate.
ZZ - No doubt Stalin would have attempted to take over the whole of Europe if the opportunity had arisen. However, have you never heard of Mein Kampf? I have never actually read the book but I know that it sets out in plain English (or at least German!) Hitler's plans to provide "living space" for the German people in Eastern Europe. Indeed I understand that when translated into English in the 1930's many of these paragraphs were left out of certain editions to avoid worrying Chamberlain and the British Government. In 1939 Nazi Germany was heading for economic meltdown by spending far more than was being earned. Hitler needed war to divert attention from these problems. Hence the invasion of Poland. In 1941 there was no way that Stalin would have contemplated attacking Germany. The Soviet armed forces, although huge, were no match for the Germans. In Operation Barbarossa the German Army was principally defeated by the Russian winter. First the rain turned the roads into quagmires and then when winter proper arrived much of the German equipment literally froze. However, you are right that The Germans underestimated Soviet Russia's ability to recover from the enormous losses that they suffered in 1941. You are also right that Hitler might have inadvertently saved Western Europe from Communism by inflicting such large losses on the Soviets. Sadly and rather ironically, the country we went to war for was not saved that fate. MadleyResident

2:47pm Mon 23 Apr 12

morgeo says...

You are right Madley Resident and the big mistake was marking time and waiting for the Russians top all meet in Berlin. They should have pressed on and the Berlin wall would never have been built and the problems that went with it. The Russians gained a lot of territory by moving as far west and south as possible as well. Remember the Berlin Airlift.
You are right Madley Resident and the big mistake was marking time and waiting for the Russians top all meet in Berlin. They should have pressed on and the Berlin wall would never have been built and the problems that went with it. The Russians gained a lot of territory by moving as far west and south as possible as well. Remember the Berlin Airlift. morgeo

2:54pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Zaxharias Ziegla says...

morgeo wrote:
I think that you are also wrong ZZ. have you looked at a map of Europe at the time of the war and seen how much territory Hitler had gained and was well into Russia. His big mistake was operating on too many fronts and also the weather in Russia. His supply lines were stretched too far as a result, don't forget he was also in N.Africa as well. He was taking a pounding from the UK with all of her allies as well. Plus he was fighting a battle in the atlantic to prevent supplies getting in. Italy changed tactics and that also must be taken into account. Too much , too quick and he failed to get the UK which was a big mistake.
Throughout the Cold War period Russia made threats but was wise to do only that as they also like Germany would have had many problems against a determined British Commonwealth, European and American forces plus other allied countries should not be underestimated.
As for Afghanistan, it seems to be a country determined to ruin itself and Madley resident is probably right. Until the instil some form of democracy and respect the women in their country nothing will change.
Morgeo I've no wish to offend, but you are only pointing out the obvious regarding WWII. Of course Germany fought on too many fronts, and certainly occupied much of Europe, which as KSJ Hill points out was mostly because Britain had declared war on her. My main concern is the cause of the war.

Like MadlyResident you neither supply evidence of German designs on all of Europe, nor appear to recognise ongoing invertigation into the causes of the war, especially Stalin's desire to spread Communism by arned might, backed by immense resources. Much has been written by Rusian historical revisionists, some even before the demise of Soviet Communism.

You repeat the standard historical line of the victors, especially America the major world power since 1945, which has sought to impose, by no means always wrongly, its domintaion and righteousness ever since. Their constant view that Germany launched a sudden atack upon an unprepared Russia, you sensibly omit. The work of Viktor Suvorov (enjoy him on YouTube) and Wolfgang Strauss (see his "Operation Barbarossa and the Russian Historians' Dispute") and many others, has shed considerable light in this area.

Although not wishing to discount the bravery and patriotism of other combatants, the main theatre of war was in Russia, wre Germany was defeated beyond quwstion. In the final analysis, it was a war of tyranical ideologies.

Stalin in 1941 was poised to attack and defeat Germany, and export Communism. This can be gauged by the build-up, size and type of Soviet armaments developed throughout the 1930s.

Here are some figures, given by the Russian historianMikhail Meltiukov, for Red Army and Wehrmacht forces in 1941, on the eve of Operation Barbarossa: Divisions Red Army 128 Wehrmacht 55; Troop strength RA 3,400,000 W 1,400,000; Field Guns RA 38,500 W 16,300; Tanks RA 7,500 W 900; Aircraft RA 6,200 W 1,400.

Although Germany entered the war in 1939 with 3,195 tanks these were spread all over Europe and N. Africa. The Russians in one factory in Kharkov turned that many out in a year! Another surprising fact is that while Germany had
only some 5,000 paratroops, Russia had 1,000,000!

Stalin, caught on the hop by Operation Barbarossa, resurrected the notion of Mother Russia because the masses had nowhere to direct their adoration, other than towards the Party; and Germans relied on make-beieve invicibility (Deutschland uber alles), and the Fuehrer's will.

Your remarks about the Cold War would take us into a whole further realm, which I think I'll moetly skip; but Curchill's Futon speech would hardly have made sense had not Soviet forces, despite the devastation of war, remained puissant and deployed to overrun Europe, having made a good start in Eastern Europe (thank God for America's nuclear advantage); and it might be worth remembering the most dangerous moments such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Indeed, wherever Communism gained ground it was always by misuse of people's concerned: China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia; not to mentionthe incalculable damage done through fellow-travellers infiltrating labour unions, social democratic parties, universities, etc.
[quote][p][bold]morgeo[/bold] wrote: I think that you are also wrong ZZ. have you looked at a map of Europe at the time of the war and seen how much territory Hitler had gained and was well into Russia. His big mistake was operating on too many fronts and also the weather in Russia. His supply lines were stretched too far as a result, don't forget he was also in N.Africa as well. He was taking a pounding from the UK with all of her allies as well. Plus he was fighting a battle in the atlantic to prevent supplies getting in. Italy changed tactics and that also must be taken into account. Too much , too quick and he failed to get the UK which was a big mistake. Throughout the Cold War period Russia made threats but was wise to do only that as they also like Germany would have had many problems against a determined British Commonwealth, European and American forces plus other allied countries should not be underestimated. As for Afghanistan, it seems to be a country determined to ruin itself and Madley resident is probably right. Until the instil some form of democracy and respect the women in their country nothing will change.[/p][/quote]Morgeo I've no wish to offend, but you are only pointing out the obvious regarding WWII. Of course Germany fought on too many fronts, and certainly occupied much of Europe, which as KSJ Hill points out was mostly because Britain had declared war on her. My main concern is the cause of the war. Like MadlyResident you neither supply evidence of German designs on all of Europe, nor appear to recognise ongoing invertigation into the causes of the war, especially Stalin's desire to spread Communism by arned might, backed by immense resources. Much has been written by Rusian historical revisionists, some even before the demise of Soviet Communism. You repeat the standard historical line of the victors, especially America the major world power since 1945, which has sought to impose, by no means always wrongly, its domintaion and righteousness ever since. Their constant view that Germany launched a sudden atack upon an unprepared Russia, you sensibly omit. The work of Viktor Suvorov (enjoy him on YouTube) and Wolfgang Strauss (see his "Operation Barbarossa and the Russian Historians' Dispute") and many others, has shed considerable light in this area. Although not wishing to discount the bravery and patriotism of other combatants, the main theatre of war was in Russia, wre Germany was defeated beyond quwstion. In the final analysis, it was a war of tyranical ideologies. Stalin in 1941 was poised to attack and defeat Germany, and export Communism. This can be gauged by the build-up, size and type of Soviet armaments developed throughout the 1930s. Here are some figures, given by the Russian historianMikhail Meltiukov, for Red Army and Wehrmacht forces in 1941, on the eve of Operation Barbarossa: Divisions Red Army 128 Wehrmacht 55; Troop strength RA 3,400,000 W 1,400,000; Field Guns RA 38,500 W 16,300; Tanks RA 7,500 W 900; Aircraft RA 6,200 W 1,400. Although Germany entered the war in 1939 with 3,195 tanks these were spread all over Europe and N. Africa. The Russians in one factory in Kharkov turned that many out in a year! Another surprising fact is that while Germany had only some 5,000 paratroops, Russia had 1,000,000! Stalin, caught on the hop by Operation Barbarossa, resurrected the notion of Mother Russia because the masses had nowhere to direct their adoration, other than towards the Party; and Germans relied on make-beieve invicibility (Deutschland uber alles), and the Fuehrer's will. Your remarks about the Cold War would take us into a whole further realm, which I think I'll moetly skip; but Curchill's Futon speech would hardly have made sense had not Soviet forces, despite the devastation of war, remained puissant and deployed to overrun Europe, having made a good start in Eastern Europe (thank God for America's nuclear advantage); and it might be worth remembering the most dangerous moments such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Indeed, wherever Communism gained ground it was always by misuse of people's concerned: China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia; not to mentionthe incalculable damage done through fellow-travellers infiltrating labour unions, social democratic parties, universities, etc. Zaxharias Ziegla

1:47am Fri 27 Apr 12

morgeo says...

Well ZZ, You have spent some time putting all of this down but we have gone away from the original letter, so I don't feel that any response is necessary, but an interesting exchange of views none the less.
Well ZZ, You have spent some time putting all of this down but we have gone away from the original letter, so I don't feel that any response is necessary, but an interesting exchange of views none the less. morgeo

1:54pm Fri 27 Apr 12

MadleyResident says...

ZZ I would again ask if you have ever heard of Mein Kampf?
This clearly set out Hitler's plans, certainly for Eastern Europe. I think this well known book is as conclusive as evidence of Hitler's intentions as the archives of Soviet Russia are of Stalin's intentions.
I would accept that Hitler did not necessarily want to invade Western Europe in 1940 but was forced to by Britain and France declaring war in 1939. However, given what we know of him now, do you seriously suggest that if Eastern Europe had been conquered he would not have turned his attentions to the West?
Britain's very successful policy over centuries had been to never let one nation dominate Europe and to fight with other nations to stop that happening. Hence why we have upset so many nations over the Centuries! Attempting to stop Hitler was a continuation of that policy.
Britain and France should have taken earlier opportunities to stop Hitler, such as the reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 when Germany was not ready for war.
When it comes to Barbarossa your figures differ significantly from figures I have seen. However, it is certainly true that Russia had significantly more troops, tanks and aircraft.
However, in general, their quality and training was no match for the Germans and the tactics employed led to huge losses as Stalin effectively bought time by sacrificing his troops. War is not simply a matter of numbers.
The Russians did have a very significant advantage in the quality and quantity of their tanks, especially in the famous T34 Tank.
However, their equipment was porrly maintained and when Germany launched operation Barbarossa less than half of their tanks were available. Indeed the official Soviet history states that only 29% of the Russian tanks were available for immediate deployment in June 1941.
However, You are certainly correct that the war was unquestionably won on the Eastern front.
Indeed you may also be correct that if the USA had not had the Atomic bomb in 1945 the Russians might well have carried on rolling Westwards.
That is at least one reason to be grateful for the atomic bomb!
No matter how much we debate this I do not think that I am going to change your mind and you will not change mine.
However, the bottom line for me is that of all the wars that Britain has fought through the Centuries the Second World War has to have been the war that we we were right to fight. Wars were no longer ended by agreeing to exchange a few provinces. Defeat meant a life "under the jackboot" and if you were of the wrong race it probably meant death in a concentration camp.
I am proud that my country tried to stop this happening to people in Europe and did not stay out of it because it was "other people's war".
To compare the Second World War with Afghanistan is just plain wrong.
ZZ I would again ask if you have ever heard of Mein Kampf? This clearly set out Hitler's plans, certainly for Eastern Europe. I think this well known book is as conclusive as evidence of Hitler's intentions as the archives of Soviet Russia are of Stalin's intentions. I would accept that Hitler did not necessarily want to invade Western Europe in 1940 but was forced to by Britain and France declaring war in 1939. However, given what we know of him now, do you seriously suggest that if Eastern Europe had been conquered he would not have turned his attentions to the West? Britain's very successful policy over centuries had been to never let one nation dominate Europe and to fight with other nations to stop that happening. Hence why we have upset so many nations over the Centuries! Attempting to stop Hitler was a continuation of that policy. Britain and France should have taken earlier opportunities to stop Hitler, such as the reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 when Germany was not ready for war. When it comes to Barbarossa your figures differ significantly from figures I have seen. However, it is certainly true that Russia had significantly more troops, tanks and aircraft. However, in general, their quality and training was no match for the Germans and the tactics employed led to huge losses as Stalin effectively bought time by sacrificing his troops. War is not simply a matter of numbers. The Russians did have a very significant advantage in the quality and quantity of their tanks, especially in the famous T34 Tank. However, their equipment was porrly maintained and when Germany launched operation Barbarossa less than half of their tanks were available. Indeed the official Soviet history states that only 29% of the Russian tanks were available for immediate deployment in June 1941. However, You are certainly correct that the war was unquestionably won on the Eastern front. Indeed you may also be correct that if the USA had not had the Atomic bomb in 1945 the Russians might well have carried on rolling Westwards. That is at least one reason to be grateful for the atomic bomb! No matter how much we debate this I do not think that I am going to change your mind and you will not change mine. However, the bottom line for me is that of all the wars that Britain has fought through the Centuries the Second World War has to have been the war that we we were right to fight. Wars were no longer ended by agreeing to exchange a few provinces. Defeat meant a life "under the jackboot" and if you were of the wrong race it probably meant death in a concentration camp. I am proud that my country tried to stop this happening to people in Europe and did not stay out of it because it was "other people's war". To compare the Second World War with Afghanistan is just plain wrong. MadleyResident

9:58pm Sun 29 Apr 12

Zaxharias Ziegla says...

MR I'm afraid you are warmimg yourself from the rmbers of old-faxhioned Soviet Romanticism, expecially the Mein Kampf ploy. Indeed, I have read it but am unable to decide what significance it has for our present discusssion; and to what extent Hitler believed it is anybody's guess. On his early life it seems to have been pretty honest; on lebenstraum he provides arguments (Bismarkian?) that are superficially plausible, and his views on expansionist Bolshevism aren't too far off target. Certainly demands for Danzig, links to East Prussia, and generally anti-Versailles arguments were not unreasonable; such things Germans felt passionately about, which largely helped the Nazis to power. But much of this is mixed with irrational ideas that led him and other leading Naxis towards tyrany.

Your argument that the invasion of Poland was because the German economy was in "meltdown", seems on a par with your view that Germany planned to "take over" the whole of Europe, for which you produce no evidence.

The need for appeasement should nnever have been.A great nation and empire should have remained puissant and confident; it should have been consistent and decisive and never be cowed by threats and intimidation--but then there was the Left.

Finally you seem not to realise the relative military strengths of Germany and the Soviets; so may I refer you once nore to ny reply to morgeo. Interestingly, because of restrictions on post-WWI German rearmament, I thik you will find the Soviets gave secret training to German military personnel in the 1920s

The causes of WWII remain vitally important, and fresh evidence increasingly exposes politicians of the 1930s, and offers insight into their present-day descendants.
MR I'm afraid you are warmimg yourself from the rmbers of old-faxhioned Soviet Romanticism, expecially the Mein Kampf ploy. Indeed, I have read it but am unable to decide what significance it has for our present discusssion; and to what extent Hitler believed it is anybody's guess. On his early life it seems to have been pretty honest; on lebenstraum he provides arguments (Bismarkian?) that are superficially plausible, and his views on expansionist Bolshevism aren't too far off target. Certainly demands for Danzig, links to East Prussia, and generally anti-Versailles arguments were not unreasonable; such things Germans felt passionately about, which largely helped the Nazis to power. But much of this is mixed with irrational ideas that led him and other leading Naxis towards tyrany. Your argument that the invasion of Poland was because the German economy was in "meltdown", seems on a par with your view that Germany planned to "take over" the whole of Europe, for which you produce no evidence. The need for appeasement should nnever have been.A great nation and empire should have remained puissant and confident; it should have been consistent and decisive and never be cowed by threats and intimidation--but then there was the Left. Finally you seem not to realise the relative military strengths of Germany and the Soviets; so may I refer you once nore to ny reply to morgeo. Interestingly, because of restrictions on post-WWI German rearmament, I thik you will find the Soviets gave secret training to German military personnel in the 1920s The causes of WWII remain vitally important, and fresh evidence increasingly exposes politicians of the 1930s, and offers insight into their present-day descendants. Zaxharias Ziegla

9:30am Mon 30 Apr 12

MadleyResident says...

ZZ - I was hoping to bring this discussion to an end with an agreement that we would have to disagree.
I have read widely on the subject and come to my own conclusions. You have quite obviously read widely on the subject and come to your own conclusions.
In many basics we appear to be pretty much in agreement.
Unfortunately, we are unlikely to agree on everything and will not persuade the other that they are wrong.
New historical evidence coming from Russia is undoubtedly important, but it does not negate the enormous amount of evidence captured by the allies with the fall of Germany, or indeed, our own evidence.
It can add to the historical evidence we had and give us new perspectives. However, it does not mean that all previous histories were wrong.
ZZ - I was hoping to bring this discussion to an end with an agreement that we would have to disagree. I have read widely on the subject and come to my own conclusions. You have quite obviously read widely on the subject and come to your own conclusions. In many basics we appear to be pretty much in agreement. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to agree on everything and will not persuade the other that they are wrong. New historical evidence coming from Russia is undoubtedly important, but it does not negate the enormous amount of evidence captured by the allies with the fall of Germany, or indeed, our own evidence. It can add to the historical evidence we had and give us new perspectives. However, it does not mean that all previous histories were wrong. MadleyResident

4:51pm Wed 2 May 12

Zaxharias Ziegla says...

As we are not here for eternity, I suppose we really shall have to end this discussion.

I would however like it noted that whenever this sort of discuddion takes place, those on the left (mostly academics) almost without exception, somehow manage to avoid condemning Stalin and Communism. I wonder why?

Of all the millions of words and thousnds of documents I could quote in support of this, I shall conclude with one from Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador to Washington in 1939, to the Polish Foreign Minister:

"It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign, which is above all conducted against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely excluded. If mentioned at all, it is only in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way as if Soviet Russia were working with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the symapathy of the American public is completely on the side of Red Spain."

Some thigs, it seems, never chage!

Try redreshing your memory of Stalinist horrors by reading (on mises.org) Ralph Raico's brief article, Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities.
As we are not here for eternity, I suppose we really shall have to end this discussion. I would however like it noted that whenever this sort of discuddion takes place, those on the left (mostly academics) almost without exception, somehow manage to avoid condemning Stalin and Communism. I wonder why? Of all the millions of words and thousnds of documents I could quote in support of this, I shall conclude with one from Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador to Washington in 1939, to the Polish Foreign Minister: "It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign, which is above all conducted against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely excluded. If mentioned at all, it is only in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way as if Soviet Russia were working with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the symapathy of the American public is completely on the side of Red Spain." Some thigs, it seems, never chage! Try redreshing your memory of Stalinist horrors by reading (on mises.org) Ralph Raico's brief article, Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities. Zaxharias Ziegla

5:39pm Wed 2 May 12

MadleyResident says...

ZZ - I think you miss where I am coming from. I am certainly not a left wing academic. Far from it.
I would not defend Stalin in any way and he certainly vies with Hitler if there was to be an award for worst dictator of the 20th Century!
I have no doubt at all that if the opportunity had arisen Stalin would have tried to conquer Europe by force.
As far as I can see the only thing we fundamentally disagree on is whether Hitler had plans to dominate Europe.
It was good to have a discussion with somebody who knows their history.
ZZ - I think you miss where I am coming from. I am certainly not a left wing academic. Far from it. I would not defend Stalin in any way and he certainly vies with Hitler if there was to be an award for worst dictator of the 20th Century! I have no doubt at all that if the opportunity had arisen Stalin would have tried to conquer Europe by force. As far as I can see the only thing we fundamentally disagree on is whether Hitler had plans to dominate Europe. It was good to have a discussion with somebody who knows their history. MadleyResident

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