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IT'S ALL ONE 'WAR'. PBS SHOW TO ARGUE ALLIES AS BAD AS NAZIS

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I have seen quite a few responses to this show from a few veterans and others. And they have all been in the negative. How far will this revisionism go on? What can these people personally gain from shows like this?

    IT'S ALL ONE 'WAR'

    PBS SHOW TO ARGUE ALLIES AS BAD AS NAZIS


    [​IMG]
    US Marines led by a tank towards the last strongpoint of the Japanese resistance in WWII.




    Last updated: 3:42 am
    June 26, 2008


    MEMBERS of the Greatest Generation - especially those with weak hearts - might want to steer clear of an upcoming PBS documentary that suggests the Allied victory in World War II was "tainted" and questions whether it can even be called a victory.
    Moreover, the documentary, titled "The War of the World: A New History of the 20th Century," asserts that the war could only be won by forming an unholy alliance with a dictator - Joseph Stalin, who was as brutal as the one they were fighting, Adolf Hitler - and by adopting the same "pitiless" and "remorseless" tactics practiced by the enemy.
    The three-part documentary is a companion to the best-selling book, "The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West" by Harvard and Oxford historian Niall Ferguson. The one-hour Part One of the documentary premieres Monday night at 10 on Ch. 13. The other two parts air the following two Mondays. World War II is the focus of Part Two.
    His thesis: Instead of looking at the 20th century as having been disrupted by two world wars with periods of relative peace before, between and after them, it is more appropriate to view much of the history of the century as a continuous bloody conflict that was interrupted occasionally for a few short, exhausted catnaps of relative calm.
    It is an illuminating viewpoint, and Ferguson does an effective job tying all of the century's mass deportations, enslavements, ethnic cleansings and genocides together so that you can't help being won over to his view that the violence of the 20th century was virtually never-ending.
    But it is Ferguson's revisionist view of the tactics applied by the Allies in World War II that is likely to raise the hackles of those who have always believed in the "necessity" of bombing German and Japanese civilians, culminating in the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to end a war we did not start.
    "I think it's very hard for those who have imbibed the idea of a 'great generation' that what the Allies did to defeat the Axis was in some measure to adopt totalitarian tactics," Ferguson says in a Q&A on PBS's Web site.
    "The aim of strategic bombing was . . . in large measure to kill German civilians by destroying the most densely populated parts of the country. And it only really worked when the level of destruction reached apocalyptic levels. It behooves us all to stare this reality in the face, by trying to understand what it was like to be on the receiving end of firestorms like the ones that engulfed Hamburg or Dresden."
    And once again, it is demonstrated that nothing is sacred - not even World War II.

    IT'S ALL ONE 'WAR' - New York Post
     
    John Dudek likes this.
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    One response.

    PBS Show Rewrites WWII History
    posted June 27, 2008

    On Monday our local PBS station will air a show that rewrites the history of WWII and distorts history so that the sacrifice America made will become something dirty and evil. This apparently will make the case that we are as evil as Stalin and Hitler because we killed many civilians during the war. The makers of this film seem to believe that all war should be clean and no one should die except maybe Hitler. In my study of history I don't believe there are many times that anyone has been able to kill the leader of your enemy without killing the others who are around him.

    This is saying to all our veterans that they were wrong to follow their leaders of that time, wrong to sacrifice to save Europe from Hitler, wrong to stop the killing of the Jews and others, and wrong to stop the Japanese who attacked us. This is to me another example of the mindset of those liberals who are ashamed of their country and they want to rewrite history.


    It is a shame that our local station is going to show this pack of lies and distortions. This has nothing to do with the freedom of speech. Our local station has a duty to defend the truth of history and not put out something that is totally wrong. I believe that the people of this area should let them know that they should not show this program. There is too much evidence of how wrong this rewrite of history is and it should not be aired. This demeans all those who made that sacrifice.

    6/27/2008 - PBS Show Rewrites WWII History - Opinion - Chattanoogan.com
     
  3. Ceraphix

    Ceraphix Member

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    This looks very interesting...id it supposed to air on all PBS channels nationwide?
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    As far as I know on monday.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Stalin was the "only way" to destroy Hitler. I cannot see a different approach really. I can understand the "logic" in the program but 99.99% I think it´s just being "wise-a**". Not worth a look, I think. Just my opinion.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Well I know I for one will not watch it. I have no problem when history is updated as new facts are found. But to present it to further some sort of agenda is a tactic I fully find reprehensible.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I agree with you guys, and I don't think i'll waste my time watching such gutter trash.
     
  8. John Dudek

    John Dudek Member

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    Revisionist history is a foul, rank stench to one's nostrils and an insult to one's intelligence.
     
  9. machine shop tom

    machine shop tom Member

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    Anyone can second guess a war that is in past tense. But the same numb-nuts wouldn't have the balls to serve in one in the present.

    tom
     
  10. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Unfortunately there will be people who will watch and due to a lesser knowledge and understanding of the war will believe this crap. They should show a program to counter balence what they will be showing.
     
  11. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    I definitely agree. I also think those of us who find the idea of the show reprehensible should let PBS know how we feel. PBS is funded by the public. I know that even though I am in Canada I have supported PBS stations in the past - and this is not the type of programming I would support!
     
  12. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Its really sad that some have to pay for this kinda tripe. Some stations have really gone downhill in my opinion. Especially The History Channel. Which BTW the WWII board has become particularly lame and boring LOL.
     
  13. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Another revisionist take on World War II


    By Dorothy Rabinowitz
    The Wall Street Journal
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.29.2008

    advertisement​
    [​IMG]

    Early in "The War of the World" — PBS's very own entry into the lists of revisionist tracts about World War II now clamoring for attention — historian Niall Ferguson appears on camera to tell how he had been deceived about that war, and the one before it as well. He had been a schoolboy, and they had taught him wrong — and what was most wrong, the rest of this three-part work (beginning Monday at 10 p.m.) sets out to show, was any notion that in those wars the forces of good had triumphed over those of evil.
    Ferguson's series (he is its writer and presenter) concerns itself with both World Wars and the conflicts since, but the throbbing heart of this enterprise is impossible to miss — namely, its argument that the Allies who had brought about the end of the Nazis and Nazism, and of Imperial Japan, were only marginally better, morally speaking, than the foes they had defeated. That throb is there in the publicity announcement — always a reliable indicator of what a program's producers consider their most important big idea. The first line of the release delivers the message: "World War II, we have been told all our lives, was our greatest triumph." Like Niall Ferguson as a schoolboy, we had all, in short, been misled. Till now.
    If any of this sounds familiar, that's because it is just that. Revisionist history of all kinds is a hot field, never more so than today. At least two books of recent vintage claim that Americans have been misled about the world-famous crusader of the 1950s, the late, notorious Sen. Joe McCarthy. The Wisconsin senator — whose ill-famed reputation was nothing if not well earned — was, we are now informed, one of America's great heroes.
    But it is World War II that is, as it long has been, the prime target of the historical-revision industry. Today, on the right, we have Pat Buchanan's "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War." It portrays Winston Churchill as a warmonger who turned a deaf ear to Adolf Hitler — a much misunderstood man, in Buchanan's view — and to all evidence of Hitler's wish to be friends. That title gets straight to the point. Buchanan's book, enthusiastically touted by Sean Hannity, is on the best-seller list now. Meanwhile, a political world or so away on PBS, we have Ferguson.
    And there is plenty of him. We can marvel not only at the number and kind of claimed fallacies Ferguson is busy setting right here, but also at the amount of travel that has put him, and his cameras, on location in every corner of the globe. The documentary is rich in background scenes — a good thing — and Ferguson is physically at the center of every last one of them. Not such a good thing. Here he is on the banks of the Volga, and there, looming out at us from a room housing the Gulag's secret archives. We find him lunching in the sun, near Hitler's Berghof in Bavaria, where, he confides, he feels a bit strange — eating and all. Inevitably, he arrives at Auschwitz, heart of darkness, to ask how it all came to be.
    The answer quickly circles back to the main point — that the Allies could not be credited with any triumph over evil.
    Russian troops had liberated Auschwitz, yes, but we're reminded that Stalin had imprisoned and murdered millions. Does this mean the liberation of Auschwitz was nothing? A good question with no answer. Ferguson is content to have delivered another in his long stream of accusatory ironies and contradictions, all in support of the claim that the morally tainted Allied armies should not be credited as liberators.
    The Americans and British had adopted the totalitarian techniques of their foes, Ferguson contends in a series of arguments ranging from the strange to the simply inflated. Japanese combatants kept fighting to the very end, he explains, because they feared the cruelty of their American captors. Undoubtedly some American troops were guilty of killing Japanese prisoners. In this film's version of events, the slaughter was wholesale. By way of support, Ferguson summons testimony from Charles Lindbergh — pro-Nazi icon of American isolationists. He proceeds to remind us that Lindbergh had complained, in the 1940s, that Americans thought nothing of killing Japanese prisoners. Noteworthy to be sure — the first and last time, perhaps, that the world was privileged to hear Lindbergh express outrage over the commission of atrocities.
    The catalog of Ferguson's stranger arguments is too long to go into, but here's a hint — don't miss the part about Kursk, the greatest of all tank battles. Here the United States seems to stand accused of providing material help that made it possible for the Russians to prevail. Were the Germans supposed to win? Ferguson doesn't say, but the question hangs in the air — for good reason.

    http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/accent/245808.php
     
  14. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Member

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    "The aim of strategic bombing was . . . in large measure to kill German civilians by destroying the most densely populated parts of the country. And it only really worked when the level of destruction reached apocalyptic levels. It behooves us all to stare this reality in the face, by trying to understand what it was like to be on the receiving end of firestorms like the ones that engulfed Hamburg or Dresden."

    In a word, horseshit! Albert Speer considered the allied strategic bombing particularly effective in crippling German industrial output. It's pretty hard to find a more authoritative source than that.

    I've already e-mailed PBS. I just wish there was some way to spread the word more widely.
     
  15. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Member

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    I've just been to PBS' website, and they are apparently trying to distance themselves from the project. There is no reference to the program that I can find any more.
     
  16. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    I studies this idea at university a bit and it is interesting. Start with the fact that no one is saying that the Western Allies were as 'bad' as Stalin or Hitler, simply that some of the methods used to fight the war were hardly clean. That doesn't mean they weren't necessary or effective, simply that we can't sit on our high horses about events like the Blitz when we employed similar tactics.

    The whole point of this is to get people thinking about the way the war was carried out and look at the ethics behind it, whether the things that were done were a means to a greater good, they can still be good and bad in themselves.

    The big problem of course is that we have this image in our head of great, heroic warriors of the 'Sir Galahad' mould charging off to save the west from the greatest evil the world has ever known. This rather offends that rather idealistic image by pointing out that it was a dirty war, hard fought by both sides and necessitating some thoroughly unpleasant actions to achieve victory.

    As for the headlines and so on, well, history is the worlds great lie isn't it? We always put our own slant on it and (particularly in schools when trying to simplify situations) tell the story we like. That is why in the 1950's the war was entirely the fault of the evil Germans, all hardened Nazis who wanted to exterminate the west. In decades that followed came the backlash, the 'innocent German' idea that the German people were misled by their leader and were all victims of a tiny cohort of Nazis. Now we have the backlash to that, the growing idea that Nazism was actually far more widespread than we realised and actually Germans are pretty ordinary people but many followed whatever political principles that appeared at the time (like global warming, ratifying the second ammendment or any other trendy political nonsence).

    I don't like Fergason, however, people are generally objecting to his work because it offends their preconceptions, whether he is right or wrong it is about time we tried to be a bit objective, accepted that a lot of what we believe might not be quite as black and white as we think and get on with our lives. Hey, the allies weren't perfect, it wasn't a 'clean' war, the A-bomb, capture of cossacks and murder of POW's made that clear. But was it worth it? Were these things just 'things that happen?' Now THAT is a question and a half.

    Incidentally, if you look into it the 100 year world conflict theory actually makes a lot of sense. Definately not worth writing off because of this PBS stuff.
     
  17. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Yes, because it killed thousands of workers, destroyed their homes and their will to continue to fight, so actually that statement is pretty much entirely correct.
     
  18. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    I find this phrase particularly distasteful. Remember the first cities to be destroyed in WW2 was the cities of Wieluń (closest thing to a military target was a sugar factory)and Frampol (didn't contain a single industrial or military target) in Poland by the LW. Not that it makes it right. As Robert E. Lee once said: "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it"
    Hello Stefan. While I agree with the first part I must disagree with the last. No Strategic Bombing campaign has ever effectivly demoralized the enemy. Strained, but never broken. In fact it generally caused a greater will to fight so that the bombing may be prevented. Many German factory workers stayed and continued to produce untill the end of the war, despit the dangers.
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Anybody actually seen the show before dismissing it out of hand in such aggressive terminology?

    Ferguson is always interesting, whether you agree with him or not, but it seems damnably odd to me to disagree so virulently based on a pair of newspaper comment pieces, neither of which actually illustrate whatever case is being made along with it's associated nuances.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  20. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Right, but since we are talking about the first ever real strategic bombing campaign no one knew this at the time, thus the objective was to break the civilian will to fight through bombing.

    Debatable, I remember Overy chucking around figures like 75% industrial absenteeism in bombed cities in 1944, Middlebrook backs this up when he talks about the battle for Hamburg as I remember. More to the point, whether your will to fight is strengthened or not makes little difference when you have been vaporised by a firestorm.

    Incidentally, I hate to say this but what is wrong with 'revisionist' history? Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi history is clearly vile and no sensible human being should give it the time of day but all a 'revisionist' historian is is someone who revises the views that are generally taken for granted. I would have thought revising preconceptions about history was pretty much the definition of a good historian, otherwise we would all be stuck with the same preconceptions we had 50, 100 or 200 years ago. There is nothing wrong with revisionist history itself, it is particular vile strands that cause problems and only a fool would tar the likes of Ferguson with the same brush Irving and his ilk.

    That is what historians do, everyone has an agenda, they find evidence to support it, provide a little to counter it but whatever side they see as having the greatest evidence (i.e. what they believe to be right) will win. It is called a reasoned argument and is the essence of good history. It is your job as the reader to decide whether it is convincing or not.
     

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