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Author blames Britain for WWII escalation

historical revisionism

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#1 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:59 AM

Author blames Britain for WWII escalation



By Mary Foster • The Associated Press • June 8, 2008

Pat Buchanan apparently is not big on irony. He spends a great deal of time stating his claim that British hubris turned what would have been two regional wars into world wars but he doesn't feel the same hubris was misplaced in the building of the empire.



Buchanan notes the British Empire produced the world's most "civilized" countries and left behind the fruits of that civilization as well as former colonists who swell with pride at having been a part of it all. Although the British Empire, like all empires, was fated to fall, Buchanan writes, the speed of that fall was determined by the two world wars.
Buchanan, the conservative commentator and two-time presidential candidate, charges British statesmen, particularly Winston Churchill, with blundering into the wars, sparking the devastation of Europe and the collapse of the empire.
Among the mistakes Britain made were the Treaty of Versailles that humiliated Germany, Britain's capitulation to pressure from the Americans to drop its alliance with Japan and the issuing of a war guarantee to Poland.
Blames guarantee

"Had Britain not given a war guarantee to Poland in March 1939, then declared war on September 3, bringing in South Africa, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and the United States, a German-Polish war might never have become a six-year world war in which fifty million would perish," Buchanan writes.
Buchanan especially blames Churchill for blundering into World War II, and contends a "Churchill cult" among America's elite is still contributing to the U.S. military actions.
The view of Churchill as a blundering villain will be hard for many to take. But Buchanan's theses the Second World War was unnecessary, as was fighting Hitler, is sure to arouse anger.
There may have been blunders by British leaders. Germans may have resented the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler's ambitions may not have included world domination. But it's hard to support his argument it was unnecessary to fight Hitler. One need look no farther than the concentration camps to know that.
Although much of Buchanan's book deals with World War II and Churchill, he also writes the United States should take heed of what happened to the British Empire, because America is overextended now just as the British Empire was before that war.


http://www.poughkeep...IFE01/806080305
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#2 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:04 AM

Buchannan is a myopic idiot. If you wanted to point to one thing that brought the British Empire down it was overspending on defense. Britain from about 1700 through the end of WW 2 tried to maintain a fleet capable of taking on any other nation continiously.
That is, in peace and war their fleet was huge. With the rapid advances made in naval technology between 1850 and 1950 the British very nearly went broke trying to maintain that navy.
Topping that off was the decision in WW 1 to get involved on the continent and deploy a major land army; something they had never done before. The economic costs of the Napoleanic wars and then WW 1, along with the total depletion of resources locally (coal and lumber in particular), left England nearly penniless.
With the end of WW 2 the British simply could not afford to garrison their empire as they previously had. That and the rise of nationalism following that war created the conditions to allow their colonies to gain independence. Only a few outlying ones that faced threats or economic conditions they saw as great negatives which the locals could not handle elected to remain within the British Empire.

The US is a poor example to compare to this. Unlike Britain, the US is the only major nation in history to manage to be both a land and sea power simultaneously and remain economically viable. Unlike Britain, the US has few national holdings overseas that have to be managed. At home the US faces no immediate threats on its borders and hasn't for over 100 years.
The US military today is not that large. Their navy has been downsizing for some time now too. Resource depletion is starting to become an issue, but this is true globally as well.
I don't see a good comparison here.

#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:06 AM

"Had Britain not given a war guarantee to Poland in March 1939, then declared war on September 3, bringing in South Africa, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and the United States......


Obviously a humorous book, then......:rolleyes:
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#4 bigfun

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:21 PM

this is a joke.....right?
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#5 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:39 PM

Obviously a humorous book, then......:rolleyes:


I would have thought so :(. He even forgot to metion that France was involved in 1939 LOL.
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#6 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

Seems that he has a problem with Churchill and Great Britain. And He forgot that little fact about Pearl Harbor.
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#7 Za Rodinu

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:48 PM

What does he drink?

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#8 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:04 AM

"But Buchanan's theses the Second World War was unnecessary, as was fighting Hitler, is sure to arouse anger."

Im not angry. Just amazed at his stupidity.
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#9 WotNoChad?

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:43 AM

Has-been + what-if? = who cares?

#10 bigfun

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:54 AM

Has-been + what-if? = who cares?


hehehehe!! good one!
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#11 Slipdigit

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:58 AM

In years past (way, way past), I had sympathies for Pat Buchanan, but he has shown himself to be a bit of a loon.

Please bear in mind that having sympathies does not denote support.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#12 Za Rodinu

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 03:51 PM

A War Worth Fighting

Revisionists say that World War II was unnecessary. They're wrong.
Christopher Hitchens
NEWSWEEK


Is there any one shared principle or assumption on which our political consensus rests, any value judgment on which we are all essentially agreed? Apart from abstractions such as a general belief in democracy, one would probably get the widest measure of agreement for the proposition that the second world war was a "good war" and one well worth fighting. And if we possess one indelible image of political immorality and cowardice, it is surely the dismal tap-tap-tap of Neville Chamberlain's umbrella as he turned from signing the Czechs away to Adolf Hitler at Munich. He hoped by this humiliation to avert war, but he was fated to bring his countrymen war on top of humiliation. To the conventional wisdom add the titanic figure of Winston Churchill as the emblem of oratorical defiance and the Horatius who, until American power could be mobilized and deployed, alone barred the bridge to the forces of unalloyed evil. When those forces lay finally defeated, their ghastly handiwork was uncovered to a world that mistakenly thought it had already "supped full of horrors." The stark evidence of the Final Solution has ever since been enough to dispel most doubts about, say, the wisdom or morality of carpet-bombing German cities.

Historical scholarship has nevertheless offered various sorts of revisionist interpretation of all this. Niall Ferguson, for one, has proposed looking at the two world wars as a single conflict, punctuated only by a long and ominous armistice. British conservative historians like Alan Clark and John Charmley have criticized Churchill for building his career on war, for ignoring openings to peace and for eventually allowing the British Empire to be squandered and broken up. But Pat Buchanan, twice a candidate for the Republican nomination and in 2000 the standard-bearer for the Reform Party who ignited a memorable "chad" row in Florida, has now condensed all the antiwar arguments into one. His case, made in his recently released "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War," is as follows:

...


http://www.newsweek.com/id/141501/output/print

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#13 Skipper

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:15 PM

allowing Hitler to swallow Poland without reacting? Hitler had to be stopped. 1939 was already too late, but better late than never.

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#14 Miguel B.

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:16 PM

I agree he had to be stoped but Pat Buchanan is half right. Hitler did offer peace after france but Britain did well to refuse as Hitler would wage his war sooner or later and latter would be worse for us I believe...
Anyway, the guy is a moron why bother (after re-redeaing my post I think why did I bother but that's ok)...



Cheers...

#15 Richard

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 08:19 PM

No offense to you JC what so ever, but I would not waste time on putting up that claptrap here on the boards as it gets our backs up.

#16 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 08:26 PM

None taken :). Just posted it to show that idiocy like this still abounds out there. What is scary is people believe this "claptrap". "AWWWW..we should have just let Hitler alone. He wasn't any threat"
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#17 Za Rodinu

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 10:19 PM

What if Hitler wasn't any threat?

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#18 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:41 PM

I just can't believe that some people feel that he wasn't then and now LOL.
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#19 FalkeEins

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:42 AM

What if Hitler wasn't any threat?



according to who you read, he wasn't ..at least not to Britain. We had a huge navy and if we had let him have a free hand in Europe then he'd have let us keep our Empire....the Battle of Britain wasn't a real battle at all - the Germans had no intention of invading England, not that they had the means..it was just an exercise in keeping up the political pressure on Churchill and trying to swing public opinion behind the peace faction. ...it's easy to see where these revisionists are coming from. The same author responsible for the above (a well-known writer on Luftwaffe subjects) also writes that Poland was such a war-like & aggressive neighbour that both Germany and Stalin's Russia were forced to move against her...

#20 Skipper

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:53 AM

The trouble is that some people, especially the younger generations believe them. I believe Richard is rght and that we should not give them some extra audience.

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#21 Falcon Jun

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:54 AM

The trouble is that some people, especially the younger generations believe them. I believe Richard is rght and that we should not give them some extra audience.


I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one Skipper. If we ignore the revisionists, then we effectively let them influence the younger generations who don't know any better. I believe it's better to take a stand and point out that their views are wrong. Personally, I feel that keeping silent and ignoring these things is wrong. For me, ignoring these with the thought that they would fade away eventually is an unpalatable course of action. Sorry, but somehow, I just can't help but think that doing nothing is akin to doing a Chamberlain.
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#22 FalkeEins

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:52 AM

yes and no to Skip's argument. An interest of mine currently is revisionism and the Battle of Britain, which pretty much states that Churchill actively sought a clash that Hitler would have preferred to avoid. On the one hand there is the risk as Skipper says of giving wider coverage to these views - the authors I'm referring to are not widely read in English currently. However they happen to enjoy reputations among English-speaking enthusiasts on the basis of previous works - mostly photographic compilations. Were they to be more widely translated their views could be more easily challenged and repudiated..

Take, for example, the author of a recent three part series on the Battle of Britain published in France. Not only does he write under an assumed name ..but all the statements in my previous post can be found in his latest work..and now already on the Battle of Britain entry on the French Wikipedia site....
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Edited by FalkeEins, 26 June 2008 - 11:07 AM.


#23 Skipper

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:35 PM

[quote name='Falcon Jun']I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one Skipper. If we ignore the revisionists, then we effectively let them influence the younger generations who don't know any better.quote]

Don't get me wrong Falcon and FalkeEins , I did not mean "ignore" Revisionism at all, but I meant not give further attention to this particular thread. I meant that considering we all said the same thing, it would be too much on an honor for him to have other reactions that would only confirm what we we all said earlier. We all know Hitler was a thread, if we keep debating, we would on the contrary give Buchanan publicity. Sorry about getting myself not understood, I should hve written ( ignore "him" not "them") :)

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#24 macrusk

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:54 AM

I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one Skipper. If we ignore the revisionists, then we effectively let them influence the younger generations who don't know any better. I believe it's better to take a stand and point out that their views are wrong. Personally, I feel that keeping silent and ignoring these things is wrong. For me, ignoring these with the thought that they would fade away eventually is an unpalatable course of action. Sorry, but somehow, I just can't help but think that doing nothing is akin to doing a Chamberlain.


I agree with Falcon.

I also don't think we need to get into discussions about the unadulterated rubbish Buchannan has written, either those for or against various portions - but it is good for us to know that the book exists. And it is important that we identify that it is revisionist nonsense being written to advance his own bias and agenda. The beauty of this Forum is that we are in the position of having the opportunity to educate those less informed on the real history of World War II.
Regards, Michelle

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#25 macrusk

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 08:01 AM

[quote name='Skipper'][quote name='Falcon Jun']I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one Skipper. If we ignore the revisionists, then we effectively let them influence the younger generations who don't know any better.quote]

Don't get me wrong Falcon and FalkeEins , I did not mean "ignore" Revisionism at all, but I meant not give further attention to this particular thread. ... if we keep debating, we would on the contrary give ...publicity. Sorry about getting myself not understood, I should hve written ( ignore "him" not "them") :)[/quote]

I read this post after I added my other one. In one sense yes it is good not to give him extra publicity, on the other hand when someone searches for his name or the title of the book this particular thread may come up in a google search and a potential reader will see that people who devote much of their time to World War II history discredit what he has written about it.

By the way, I've noticed that often now when I start to search with Google for something on World War II that a thread from the Forum shows up.
Regards, Michelle

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