LESSONS FROM WORLD WAR II LOOKING FORWARD: [Nov 18, 2012.]
Questions: Why persistently misrepresenting what happened in World War Two? Especially in the initial roles played by France and the USA? What are the vital lessons looking forward? Answers in the conclusion.
FRENCH BASHING; A COMPANION TO NAZISM:
Some internet sickos claim that, if one use notions pertaining to Nazism, one has lost the argument. They are often found to hate Jews.
To help the Netherlands and Belgium, the big hearted French and British armies left their prepared positions, and moved north, enabling the Nazis to cut them from behind. Hitler cynically had hoped to play that bleeding heart attitude like a violin, dashing through the unbuilt Belgian portion of the Maginot Line (unbuilt, thanks to the USA’s perfidious influence).
Those who hate to mention obvious notions are generally dependent upon them, either materially, or psychologically.
Circles worshipping financial kleptocracy, and white racism, naturally hate France: this started in 1934 when the French leaders visited Washington (!). France, a creditor, wanted austerity in economic & political matters, in full opposition with the USA, which favored Hitler’s line: stimulus, no matter what.
In the case of Hitler stimulus meant stealing from the Jews to redistribute to his supporters, while re-arming crazily in all ways; in the case of the USA, or the UK, stimulus meant not getting ready to fight a world war on the side of France, by keeping military spending low, favoring consumption. Ironically the inversion of that proposition during WWII led to an economic boom in the USA… and a debt crisis in the UK (as the USA used usury against a desperate Britain to lend her, for example, 100 old destroyers).
The first hysterical French bashers were the Nazis. Besides the painful fact that half sized France had defeated the Second German Reich in 1914-1918, they had a more recent point. Indeed, France had started the world war (in the sense that a world war was the only way to stop Nazism). Nowadays French haters have turned this around. They pretend that the French Republic was full of collaborationist cheese eating surrender monkeys. Confronted to the fact that it was the French Republic that launched the world war against Nazism, French haters do not have enough humor to claim that it was just to better surrender.
Instead they prefer to focus on the French self flagellations about the 75,000 Jews who were deported by the Nazis and died. (Never mind that most of them were Central European refugees who the USA had refused to accept, and never mind that the armed French police who effected the initial arrests had to be armed, allowing it, 2 years later to fight the Nazis with weapons!)
Never mind that the French empire lost nearly FOUR (4) million dead in the 1914-1945 World War: such enormous losses are assuredly not understandable to most contemporaries.
By comparison, the USA suffered 186,000 dead on the European theater in WWII (while the USA had 3,3 times the population of France); and 117,000 dead in WWI, for a grand total of 303,000 dead. The same numbers for Canada are: 45,000 dead (WWII), and 65,000 dead (WWI), for a total of 110,000 dead. However Canada had 8% of the population of the USA, and declared war to Nazi Germany on September 10, 1939, seven days after France and the UK did (and two years three months and one day before Hitler declared war to the USA, the most celebrated heroic gesture of Uncle Sam, hiding below its bed!).
As I always say, all the USA had to do, at that point in time, in 1939, to win the war, against Hitler, should it have wished to win it, was to declare it. The German generals would have joined, and done most of the work, by getting rid of the Nazis. (Hitler was not as powerful as usually depicted; although he knew the head of the army, Beck had led a plot to get rid of all the Nazis, on the ground that they endangered Germany, it’s only in 1944, 5 years later, after Beck did it again, and again, and again and again, that Hitler could have him suicided!)
The French Republic ultimately won the war in the deepest way imaginable, turning the German state in a genuine sister republic and democracy of France.
Think about what would have happened if France had followed the British line of 1935, and let Hitler free to do whatever he wanted in the East: the few surviving Slavs would be enslaved, all the Jews, Gypsies, etc., exterminated, and the Grosse Reich all the way to Japan!
French haters generally hate to mention Hitler, and some of them (say Buchanan, famous writer in the USA, and a past presidential candidate), to this day, make no mystery that they hate France, because France attacked their cherub, Hitler.
In a way making Germany in a republic and a democracy was a reunification of the Germans, as the Franks were total Germans, and the secret of France, and, actually, the West, was the philosophical unification of the Greco-Roman ways with the Celto-Germanic ways.
(Ironically, in some respects, Germany is now more democratic than France!)
WAR ON TERROR WILL NOT END, AS LONG AS THE USA IS TERRIFYING ENOUGH.
I wrote this partially in jest. Partially so, because much of the trouble of the Middle East has to do with a religion that has instituted, and promoted, militarized plutocracies, that is, the rule of a few devils, complete with abject submission to the lowest instincts. That the USA instrumentalized this Islamism perfidiously is its own problem.
However, this joke of mine failed, as usual, to amuse my friend Chris Snuggs, a Europeanized Brit, who has long resided in France and Germany. Complained he:
“The USA liberated the whole of Europe, most of Asia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and helped with Libya, which would not have happened without Sarkozy, for which I forgive him all his other nerdish irritations. Just compare North and South Korea if you want to see the real heroism of the US soldier. Incidentally, while US marines were dying to liberate France the French elite was collaborating with the Germans to send Jews to Auschwitz. I think, therefore, that this endless slagging off of the USA is very silly.
The invasion of Afghanistan was provoked by the murder of 3,000 innocent people of over 60 nationalities in NY. The utterly insane depravity of fundamentalism Islam is the root problem, not the USA, many faults though it may have.”
Answer: Chris, I agree with some of what you say, but disagree strongly with some too, especially with the naive end. You should study my writings more, should you desire to stick to the truth. The USA aggressed Afghanistan in the mid 1970s, through the CIA, on its own, and a secret order of full attack was given by Carter on July 3, 1979. Within months bin Laden was recruited in Turkey, because of his plutocratic connections with Saudi plutocracy, and his naive Islamist beliefs, prone to manipulation. Later bin Laden led an enormous Muslim Fundamentalist army (mostly made of Arabs, but also Chechens, etc.).
Did I forget the slight detail the USA was de facto allied to Hitler in 1936-1939? Let’s talk first about first things first.
To call the “milice“, a criminal organization the ‘French elite‘, shows oneself to be a fascist. My family took huge risks and made huge sacrifices to save more than a dozen Jews during the Nazi Occupation.
Food was rationed, throughout France. So it was very difficult for a family of 4 to find food for 16. Besides, running away from the German speaking, Gestapo. The Gestapo was full of Germans, not full of French. De facto, the Gestapo ruled France.
Barbie, head of the Gestapo in Lyon killed, it was determined, through torture, around 5,000 people. One of his tricks was to set a dying resistance fighter on one of his armchair in his office. He did that to Jean Moulin, in particular (an artist and French prefect who was nominated head of the resistance in France by the Free French government).
BTW, my family, having been denounced, was warned by an informer, inside the Gestapo (!), and ran from it in a forest. There they stumbled into an American GIs’ patrol. This explains my mother’s devotion to the USA (which has become more nuanced under the withering fire of my fact propelled critique).
Many of the French who lived through WWII were thus, intensely devoted to their American liberators. And, no doubt, the GIs deserved the devotion. The effect was augmented by the fact that the million man French army converging from Normandy and Provence was fully equipped by the USA, so the French populace often took for Americans what were in truth French troops. Most of the major French cities were mostly delivered by French army units, which tended to be much more experienced than the Americans, more relaxed, and much quicker on the hoof.
And yet, a careful examination of what happened in World War Two, needs to go beyond the 11 million citizens of the USA who were drafted in WWII. A careful examination of how a criminal such as Hitler came to kill 50 million Europeans points directly to Washington and the plutocracy of the USA. If not for the American plutocrats, first of all, Hitler would have had no fuel to allow his armies to go anywhere (and Hitler would have had no planes flying, his Luftwaffe grounded in 1939, as I am always keen to point out).
Not that the USA is sole to blame: without Swedish high grade iron, Hitler would have had no tanks. And the French Army, in cooperation with Britain, was poised to cut Sweden in two on May 10 1940, just when Hitler applied that method to the motherland at Sedan.
Of all these things it is good to reminisce, as war, and an anti-democratic ideology extends throughout the Middle East. The bottom line is that the USA had betrayed its parents, France and Britain.
Democracy was divided in 1939. On one hand, there was France leading Britain and many courageous countries of the Commonwealth into the ultimate war against Nazism (they were belatedly joined by… Norway in 1940). And then there was a whole panoply of pseudo neutrals, led by the USA, most of them collaborating with Nazism.
The defeat of France in 1940 was caused in great part by a positive interference of the actions of many of these pseudo neutrals (under USA influence, Belgium refused to extend the Maginot Line, allowing the Panzer Army to pass; Holland played victim and led stupidly the French High Command to come to its rescue with the seven armored division quick deployment mobile reserve, the absence of which then allowed the ten Panzer divisions to sickle behind).
Fortunately, Obama has this lesson at heart (just as G W Bush, grandson of perhaps Hitler’s most interesting collaborators, was just the opposite, and came into the crosshair of the French elite!)
PLUTOCRACY IS WAR, & THUS TO BIGGER WARS LEAD:
The Chinese deputies met. Together, their worth is 83 billion dollars. The richest, a woman, is worth 6 billion dollars. Real estate. The next one is worth about three billion. Plutocracy is doing well, nowadays.
How did the great war of 1914-1945 start? When (German) plutocracy imagined its tremendously rising trajectory would face a worrisome future (the German Socialists did not see why they could not get all the advantages their French colleagues enjoyed, and thus live in a republic with less plutocracy). To make matters worse, other plutocrats, in Britain and the USA, tried (and succeeded for the later), to leverage the situation to their personal advantage (especially after 1919).
It goes without saying that the same psychological mechanism will apply to the Chinese kleptocrats when the Chinese people gets angry from the way it is been exploited. Just as the German plutocracy tried to save itself with the distraction of a war, so will the Chinese plutocracy.
What would hold it back? Just the certainty that the democracies will go to war, and stop, only when they have achieved victory, no matter what.
Some, of course, will agree that it is not what the French Republic did in 1940. But some of the leaders who grabbed power in 1940 obviously felt France was fighting the world basically alone in June 1940, and it was better to cease-fire, while the other two democracies, Britain and the USA were getting their act together. (Surely, Nazi collaborationist regimes such as Sweden or Switzerland, did not qualify as genuine democracies.)
In the end, French armies started to fight again the Nazis, even before the USA did, and to more effect (Bir Hakeim, probably World War Two’s most crucial battle with the prior Battle of Moscow).
Wars are not over. The argument can easily be made that we are one great world war away from world peace. Yes, that argument has been made before.
Hundreds of rockets are fired again on Israel. The sophisticated “Iron Dome” anti-missile system intercepts and destroy more than 90% of those heading towards protected cities. It is impressive to see rockets flying in a volley being exploded one after the other, up in the air, by Iron Dome.
On the ground, Islamist Fundamentalists from all over Muslim Medievalistan [neologism] have been pressing Hamas for more action. The Egyptian Prime minister visited Gaza, so did another minister from Tunisia. Turkey’s Erdogan visited Turkey’s old subject, Egypt, and expressed support for its other old subject, Gaza.
Israeli PM Netanyahu said that the terrorists were targeting Israeli children, while taking refuge next to Palestinian children. He declared, as he had to, that the Israeli government would do “whatever is necessary“. To stop the rain of rockets. This evocation of the Dark Side can only mean an escalation.
Indeed Iron Dome fired hundreds of its interception missiles (officially very cheap, at only $50,000 a piece, an interestingly mythological number). The anti-Israel fighters have thousands of rockets (although the Israeli Air Force is trying to take out launch sites and storage facilities.) I doubt Iron Dome has thousands of missiles, and the AM batteries are not covering all of Israel. (Let alone that Hezbollah to the north has more than 10,000 rockets.)
Meanwhile more than 100 people a day are killed a day in anti-Syrian airstrikes by the Syrian Air Force. Turkey followed France, and recognized the Président de la coalition nationale syrienne, M.Moaz Al-Khatib as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people (“pour nous le seul représentant légitime du peuple syrien”), as Hollande put it in the Élysée Palace.
The Élysée Palace was closed in June 1940. So much for having a French State after that (there was no National Assembly, nor Senate, nor most of the institutions of the state after this; demonstrating, by the way, how idiotic were Chirac’s excuses in the name of the French State: how can one present excuses in the name of what did not exist?).
The French president had been against a cease-fire in June 1940, but was overwhelmed by a coup from a few men (“soldats de rencontre“), while the Nazi panzers were reaching Bordeaux. The Élysée reopened in 1946 for Vincent Auriol, President of the provisional government, then first President of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954.
Those who claim that “France” had a legitimate government in Paris after June 21 1940 know nothing. Why do they think it’s called Vichy?
Chris Snuggs replied in turn to my observations:
“Most countries are made up of millions of people. Of course, one is led into generalisation, and I have no wish to denigrate your family. I was in a German doctor’s surgery a couple of years ago and read a moving homage to Jean Moulin of the Resistance. However, the point is, France’s political elite – the establishment, which is after all what counts in politics – was at that time fascist, and Europe had to be liberated by the Yanks. Yes, it was a long time ago and Yes, their industrial-military plutocracy today has a lot to answer for, but if it is right for Germany to still feel some guilt about WWII (which they do, irrational through it is) then the USA can still get credit for the multiple countries it has liberated, even many decades ago. There is an eternal struggle between morality and greed, and in sucking up to nasty family kleptocracies in the Middle East, the USA has gone too far – as is Cameron in trying to flog stuff out there, but when it comes to the crunch and you are threatened by a dictator and fascism, the US will eventually try to bail you out – or has done so in the past, but many must be sick of the eternal slagging off by Europeans. “Go to hell.” might be my reaction were I American. “You only want us when you need liberating.”
Politics is not black and white. Sometimes you have to support a lesser evil. Maybe the kleptocracies of Saudi, Kuwait and Bahrain are better than the outright fascist lunacy of the Iranian regime. Maybe. After all, in WWII our sailors died taking convoys to help save the USSR, which actually murdered tens of millions more than Hitler.
As for the election in the USA, let’s see how Obama deals with the fiscal cliff. Let’s see if he increases the number off drones killing many more innocent families in Pakistan (as he has so far) or whether he will supply weapons to the Syrian rebels to overcome yet another fascist, family despot. All I know is, were I a desperate revolutionary fighting a despot family kleptocrat I wouldn’t put much faith in Obama, and his claiming credit for killing BL was nauseating bollocks. The man is a pontificating academic patrician who has never run a business and most likely couldn’t. His only real asset is slick talk from an autocue.”
Answer: Totally ignoring that the British and French military intervened in Bosnia, under a UN mandate, well before they succeeded to drag the USA in, is apparently fashionable among Washington sycophants… Yet, without France and Britain firing back first, the USA would have never showed up.
To elevate the Vichy collaborationist group into the French political elite – the establishment is a logical mistake. I have gone over this many times. Several of the leaders (including Petain) were among the fiercest fighters in WWI. Several of them got condemned to death (and some were executed) after France re-established a legitimate political authority (led by De Gaulle) in august 1944.
In truth the FRENCH political elite – the establishment execrated Hitler, but had been stuck since 1934 from engaging in all out war against Hitler, due to the collaboration, and entanglement of much (not all) of the British, American and German elite with the Nazis. This is the part of the Second World War that is extremely pertinent to this day, and widely, even wildly, ignored.
The collaboration with Hitler went as far as a treaty between the United Kingdom and Hitler, in 1935, that violated the Versailles Treaty, officially. So how could the French political elite – the establishment then attack Hitler for violating the Versailles Treaty? Such was Blum’s quandary. Blum, as a Socialist and a Jew, part of the French political elite – the establishment, could not be suspected of being a collaborator.
I also know for a fact that the son of another French Prime Minster, Daladier, was wanted very badly by the Gestapo (as my family hid and sheltered him, the only non Jew for whom my family did this).
In 1939, after the Spanish Republic fell, the French republic finally persuaded the UK to go to war against Hitler. A trap was set in the French-Polish defense treaty, where an appendix signaled that the UK would join France in providing Poland with needed assistance. (The Washington political elite – the establishment gave Poland to Stalin at Yalta in 1945.)
When the French Republic and the UK declared war to Hitler, the USA reacted with sanctions against them, passed by the US Congress, signed by the president, FDR. Meanwhile the USA sent 500 tons of lead tetraethyl, a crucial anti-knock compound, to Hitler, so that his aviation could stay in the air.
If not the French and British would have had instant air supremacy over the Nazis, a situation only achieved in June 1944…And not earlier, because of the TREACHEROUS AMERICAN HELP TO HITLER.
COMMON MYTH: FRANCE AND BRITAIN DID NOT FIGHT IN 1940:
The Battle of France in 1940 was a very serious event: it was the fiercest battle of the western front in WWII. Nearly 200,000 soldiers died. Officially 50,000 Nazis, most of them elite fighters and officers, died. And probably more.
In pitched massive tank battles of May-June 1940, the Brits and the French won.
It is estimated the French lost 1,274 aircraft destroyed during the campaign, the British suffered losses of 959 (477 fighters). The battle for France cost the Luftwaffe 28% of its front line strength, some 1,428 aircraft destroyed. A further 488 were damaged, making a total of 36% of the Luftwaffe strength negatively affected.
So how come the Nazis won? Simply by cutting the superior French and British from behind. And that was the result of Hitler’s crazy gamble, to put his entire tank army on a single road in the mountains, knowing full well, as he did, that he did not have a chance otherwise.
Morality: do not underestimate desperate men with too high an opinion of themselves.
COMMON MYTH: THE USA SAVED THE DAY ON D DAY.
The holocaust of 50 million Europeans (including up to 6 million Jews) happened because the USA did not rush to the help of France and Britain as it was its duty in 1939 and 1940.
When the US General Infantry landed in Normandy on June 6 1944, they were not exactly alone. Actually there were more Brits, Canadians, and other Commonwealth troops, Poles and French, than there were Americans. Besides Canadian soldiers had landed in France in 1940, and 1942 already. Verily, the Americans had been brilliant from their absence in the first three years of the war, and finally got involved only because the fascist Japanese and Germans attacked them.
As the USA never had more than 64 divisions on the Western Front, American combat troops stayed a minority in 1944-45 (although USA supplies and equipment were dominant).
COULD FRANCE & THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH HAVE WON WITHOUT THE USA?
The role of Stalin was, first of all, self interested. He helped Hitler considerably. The last giant freight train from the USSR crossed into the Reich while the Nazis attacked the other way. Hitler’s forces suffered heavy losses in the Fall of 1941, on their way to Moscow, where they were crushed by Christmas, after reaching the end of a metro line (literally and figuratively).
That was the first severe Nazi defeat, with a huge loss of equipment, men, and opportunity. Long live the Russians? Not so fast. The Nazi offensive against the USSR was delayed 6 weeks, because the Greeks had defeated Mussolini’s fascismo. Those six weeks, plus the ensuing enormous Nazi losses in Crete prevented the Nazis to seize Moscow, and break the USSR in two.
Fascinating subject, that deserves its own essay. In one sentence, though, yes, the French and the British could have won without the USA. After all, the USA had nothing to do with Bir Hakeim, Al Alamein, and the defeat of the Afrika Korps. Or the defeat at Moscow (although USA supplies helped by the time of Stalingrad). However the outcome would have been assuredly very different, and much slower unfolding. No “American Century” though.
Conclusion: FRANCE WAS CIVILIZATIONALLY & MILITARILY CORRECT TO DECLARE WAR AGAINST HITLER IN 1939. THE USA WAS EXTREMELY WRONG TO HAVE SUPPORTED HITLER IN 1939, thus undercutting not just democracy and its parents, but also the numerous sane elements of the German military.
France was momentarily defeated in 1940, due to a combination of unlikely factors. (Hitler ran out of luck within weeks of the fall of France, though.)
Why Germany acted the way it did in 1914-1939, has a lot to do with why the USA supported Hitler in 1939: a persistent mental super storm, where the Dark Side was allowed to guide the reigning plutocrats.
The same sort of factors are still ruling in many parts of the world today: Russia, China, the Middle Earth. That they would coalesce as the “Axis” did in 1935-1938 is a gathering possibility, with offensive intervention by the leading democracies the only safeguard (the safeguard that failed in 1939, as the USA went Dark).
The World War that tore apart Europe in 1914-1945 was not just a form of collective madness, tribalism, militarism, imperialism as last stage of capitalism or a logical extension of the sort of exploitative racism Europeans had demonstrated worldwide.
The plutocratic phenomenon was the main cause of WWI and its aggravation into WWII, Yet, plutocracy has been the cause less studied, as the notion does not enjoy the prominence that it should have.
Keeping accusing the French to be surrender monkeys is a lie to mask the atrocious role that the plutocracy of the USA played in WWII, all the way from taking sanctions against France and Britain in 1939, until Yalta, and actively collaborating with Stalin to let him crush half of Europe in 1945.
This attitude serves the interests of the plutocracy of the USA, by focusing attention away from reality towards an American Dream that exists mostly in the mind of the beholders. This is why anti-French racism is a crucial link in the chain of resoning supporting the established order in the USA, as I showed in a number of essays on the origins of Anti-French sentiment.
Oligarchies in the UK and the USA long used Hitler as a tool. Britain abruptly switched from collaborating with Hitler to collaborating with France in 1938-1939. The USA, though pursued an ambiguous policy, not just with Hitler, but also with Stalin. The bottom line being that, playing hyperpower, the USA displaced and replaced the European powers thoroughly, by leveraging World War Two.
In case the French and the British did not get the message it was repeated loud and clear in 1956, when Eisenhower, who had collaborated with Stalin in April 1945 (over Patton’s objections), collaborated again with his butcher, Nikita Khrushchev, to impose his will at Suez… and in Hungary.
Now that the effects of fascism in Europe have faded away, the intellectual, judicial and economic power of the European has grown. And so it has been in the rest of the world. The USA’s 200 million white very developed people have found themselves less and less capable of imposing their will by force and conspiracy on the entire planet. Thus the realization by the USA that an alliance with the European Union would not just be more profitable, but necessary.
The French Republic’s point of view that Nazism was a cause worth fighting against, proved, in the fullness of time, most progressive.
This is to avoid this message, that the French were right in 1939, the USA were extremely wrong, that the Wall Street types and their sycophants keep repeating that “France” did something wrong in WWII. Yes, right, from their point of view, and the source of their indignation is not what they claim.
After all, among many other things, if the USA has a brown president, it’s because institutional racism was demolished in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s. That certainly would not have happened if the racist vision of the world of the Nazis had triumphed in the 1940s. And Nazism would have won if no country had declared war to it. And definitively, it’s France that opposed Nazism (with the UK, with not much of an army, in tow). So France showed the way. Obama 2008 was made possible by France, 1939.
That not only enrages those still nostalgic for racism (think Tea Party), It also enrages American liberals, since after all, they did not amount to much.
Once again, if the USA had declared war to Hitler, instead of flying to his rescue in 1939, German generals (led by Beck) would have killed Hitler and the top Nazis, and that would have been it: no American Century. Oops.
As a USA born citizen told me recently in Paris: “World War Two was a win-win for the American elite”.
And thus a paradox: if Hitler was so good to the USA, should not a patriotic American have followed its Congress and President in 1939, and support Hitler? The question is not quaint: as the USA is poised to become the world’s greatest oil producer within a few year (again!), it does look as if, again, the Dark Side is on the side of the USA. Should not thus patriotic citizens of the USA support it?
Such is the quandary: American progressive have to be regressive, it seems, for the USA to progress better.
Thus this past instructs the present. Rome and Athens started to lose the day they resigned themselves to fixed borders militarily, and intellectually. Naturally they then turned to the Dark Side.
Neither the West, nor actually the planet and its biosphere can afford the same mistake again. Thus democracy has to remember that progress is its best friend. That does not mean that the legions ought to march all the time (as they did when Republican Rome was rising). Sometimes one can be crafty and multipronged (as happened with Burma, aka Myanmar, where the local military plutocracy was seduced by the West into resisting the Chinese temptation).
Putin, Chinese plutocrats, and Muslim pluto-theocrats may look picturesque, but do not underestimate the temptation they feel, and the ability they have, to coalesce. A chain of viciousness goes from enraged, or all too innocent, Muslim Fascists, to Hamas, Hezbollah through Syria, to Iran, Pakistan, China, with the moronic Putin lurking, and messing things up. If that chain is successful for the elites that profit from it, it will extend, and may even exponentiate, causing a world war.
Time for a philosophical Iron Dome.