1 - 10 Next
In response to:

The July Crisis of 1914

Carl31 Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 9:15 PM
Good points. I once followed the "everyone is equally guilty" thesis, but came to see things differently with more study. Are you familiar with Fritz Fischer? German historian who infuriated a lot of other Germans 50 years ago by concluding that Germany had the greater guilt. I give much blame to the Tsar Nicholas also, although his mobilization order was a blunder of incompetence rather than a calculated policy.
In response to:

The Armpit of Academia

Carl31 Wrote: Jul 26, 2014 7:57 PM
This may sound weird, but I am continuously baffled at why unshaven armpits are such a sign of liberation. I am a 51 year old man, and I have been shaving mine since age 17. I have enough hair already, and doing my armpits cuts down body odor tremendously. That's why I started doing it in the first place.
? ? ? Progressives caused the Great War ('14-'18)? No, it was reactionary monarchies in Eastern Europe that started a local war, which became a World War when they drew Britain and France into it. The war was going on three years when the US entered it. It was pure chance that progressive Woodrow Wilson was president at the time. American politics had NOTHING to do with the war's outbreak.
Yes, I fully agree. There has been far too large a growth in "this studies" and "that studies."
I take exception to the expression of having "lost" China, Iran etc. How were they "ours" to lose in the first place? Yes, many of you may deride me as a hopeless liberal (I am not!), but we can't solve all the world's problems. We might say we "lost" if we define "loss" in terms of failed policies and failure to support governments friendly to the US. But many of these countries are simply incapable of creating the kind of democracy we'd like them to have. Ideals like inalienable human rights, equality before the law. . . however imperfectly we protect them at times. . . are concepts that simply do not exist in many of these societies. Until then, we will often be stuck with the choice of supporting a dictator who is friendly to us, or passively allowing another dictator to come in and become our enemy.
As an Ohio University graduate I am glad to see these things getting some awareness. I first went there in 1981, just when Political Correctness was gaining momentum (I remember first hearing the words "Women's Studies" around 1982 and wondered what on earth it could be). I was fortunate that my best professors were the last of the generation that fought World War II (one of my favorites arrived in the Philippines via very small boat in 1944). I hope we see more of this.
In response to:

WWI and the Second Fall of Man

Carl31 Wrote: Jun 29, 2014 12:44 AM
Yes, I often argue this one. One point that is rarely noticed is that where one war ended and the next began is not very clear. Parts of Germany had near civil war at times through 1919, and Hungary dealt with a Bolshevik government and its suppression that same year. Fighting continued along the new German-Polish border at this time, and there was a brief war between Poland and the Bolsheviks in 1920. Civil War in Russia continued to 1922. On the other side of the globe, Japan already occupied Korea, extended to Manchuria in 1931, and then invaded China by 1937. The years 1918-1939 were not a time of peace.
In response to:

Time To Do Less Not More

Carl31 Wrote: Jun 28, 2014 9:00 PM
Nice to see someone talking sense about these things. I would hate to denigrate our troops' service and sacrifices in Iraq and other places, but we need to discard our belief that energetic forceful policies are all that is needed. Many Americans share the illusion that simply ridding a county of its oppressive dictator will result in a free democratic society. Our perceptions are distorted by images of ecstatic Europeans welcoming our liberating troops in 1944-45, forgetting that nearly all of western Europe, even Germany, had some degree of functioning democratic governments in the decades before the Nazis and their ilk were able to create their dictatorships. Only a people themselves can create a democratic government for their country, which can take many years (South Korea is a good example). We can support it, but cannot make it for them.
In response to:

WWI and the Second Fall of Man

Carl31 Wrote: Jun 28, 2014 8:44 PM
I don't think we'll ever figure out exactly why this war happened. The essential reasons are easy to list, but other causes constantly emerge, so that evaluating and prioritizing them becomes terribly daunting. The Second War has equally complex causes, but at first glance it does not baffle one as does the First War. The Nazis and Japanese warlords were an evil that had to be stopped, and there is no question that their aggressions began their wars. The First War had no such dictatorships save Russia, whose royal absolutism was not the same horror as Bolshevik totalitarianism, and Imperial Russia was already lurching toward revolution well before 1914. Even Germany, for all its authoritarian reputation, was quite democratic and becoming more and more so up to 1914. Some of the causes and results take the tone of a classic tragedy: the First War might have been avoided had any of the major powers shown some hesitation, but in 1938 the restraint needed in 1914 only guaranteed an even more horrible war.
In response to:

WWI and the Second Fall of Man

Carl31 Wrote: Jun 28, 2014 8:29 PM
Early in 1918 Germans already gave a hint of their postwar intentions at Brest-Litovsk.
1 - 10 Next