Appeasing the Soviet taking of Central Europe was criminal?

Discussion in 'Diplomacy & Conflict Resolution' started by BlackHogGranolaBrown, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Plus they seem to forget that the war was not even over yet.

    The US was only a month into the 3 month long Battle of Okinawa, at that time the largest and bloodiest battle in the Pacific. And almost as soon as the ink was dry on the German surrender document they were starting to reposition forces and equipment to move to Okinawa to stage for the upcoming Operation Downfall.

    And that was not going to be a US Only operation. The Commonwealth Corps was already being formed, a combined UK organization that would have included forces from England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the Commonwealth. Over 25 air squadrons and 14 Infantry Divisions, with more expected to be sent as they were released from operations in Europe.

    I find it idiotic in the extreme that people are saying we should have invaded These individuals have a huge case of HUA disease.
     
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  2. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    How was anyone going to stop it from happening?
     
  3. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. The list of blindingly obvious things not being considered here is substantial.

    Russia was occupying half of Iran. It would not have been a huge effort to shift enough forces there to rapidly overrun whatever Allied forces were about and occupy a decent chunk of the oil fields in the Persian Gulf. Even if that was temporary, Russians were very good at destroying oil wells. The effort required for the Allies to re-take these areas would be well in excess of what Russia would expend to occupy & disrupt them.

    That position in Iran also makes it very easy to supply arms & know how to people in India & the Middle East who might be looking to throw off their colonial masters. That might not work, but again, tying up resources.

    it is also worth looking again at China. August Storm was one of the most destructive military operations of WW2. Japanese forces were crushed in days and Russia was in a position to occupy much of Northern and Western China should it have chosen to do so. Beijing could have been easily taken and the People's Republic of China set up in mid-1945 with a unified Communist Korea as well. Communist forces could have taken the surrender of Japanese forces well into central China, arming their new formations with Japanese weapons and with safe territory under Russian protection to train & arm in.

    The extent to which Russian co--operation in the immediate postwar period is being wildly underestimated. The ability of Russia to make life extraordinarily difficult for the Allied powers at a relatively low cost is being completely ignored here.....along with so very much more.

    As I said, ideology (and religion for that matter) make people stupid by teaching them that facts are secondary to beliefs.
     
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  4. ThirdTerm

    ThirdTerm Well-Known Member

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    FDR was a Democrat with Communist sympathies and he claimed that he could get on well with Stalin. But it was Churchill who cut a deal with Stalin, allowing the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. Churchill suggested that the Soviet Union should have 90 percent influence in Romania and 75 percent in Bulgaria but Stalin decided to gobble them up entirely. The notorious percentages agreement between Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill confirmed that Eastern Europe would lie within the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.

    [​IMG]

    The Percentages agreement was a secret informal agreement between British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during the Fourth Moscow Conference in October 1944. It gave the percentage division of control over Eastern European countries, dividing them into spheres of influence. Franklin Roosevelt was consulted tentatively and conceded to the agreement.[2] The content of the agreement was first made public by Churchill in 1953 in the final volume of his memoir. The US ambassador Averell Harriman, who was supposed to represent Roosevelt in these meetings, was excluded from this discussion.[3][4]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  5. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    And what would you have done differently, 3rdTerm.
     
  6. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    They say hindsight is 20/20, but even that's not true.

    The case has been well-made here that the US and its allies simply didn't have the possibility, militarily or politically, to engage in war with the Soviet Union. What might also be mentioned as relevant is the huge desire of America's citizen-army to come home.

    Note also that the Soviets did not engulf Finland, which had fought on the Nazi side, and they withdrew from Austria, which had also, after anschluss, been part of Nazi Germany. In both cases what they wanted was that these countries would remain neutral.

    Who knows what was in Stalin's head, but no Russian leader, facing Harry Truman, could forget what Truman had said as a Senator in 1941:
    [Source] Charming.

    And Russia having been invaded three times in the last 150 years by massive European armies, and with Russia having paid the blood price in the latest war, no Russian leader -- Bolshevik or Tsarist -- was going to make it easy for a fourth go.

    So one way or the other, Germany and the countries which had been her allies, and even ones on the Russian border which had been Germany's victim, were not going to be left to be a staging ground for a fourth round. Perhaps some way could have been found to make them all into Austrias or Finlands, or maybe not.

    And as for all the bluster about killing commies, how easy it would be to walk over those peasants, etc .... Dulce bellum, inexpertis.
     
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  7. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    The Red Army in 1945 was the most powerful land army ever assembled. It had flaws & weaknesses, but taking it on would have been an immensely costly exercise in blood & treasure. The notion that America could just sweep the skies clean of Russian air power, hit the supply lines and then mop up sounds like the sort of discussions I used to have in High school.

    It should also be pointed out that this could not be a surprise attack. Russia had spies in the US & particularly the UK. There were also people who were not spies, but who would have passed on warnings. Then there were communist movements in France & Italy. Stalin would know it was coming and from multiple sources. After 1941 it seems unlikely he would ignore such warnings.

    Soviet troops would be on alert and positioned for defence. Perhaps they would not have waited for the attack to come & simply attacked first. That might have helped the US sell the case for war, but it would also have inflicted serious damage and ensured that any Allied victory would be slow & bloody.
     
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  8. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    The joker card would have been the American atomic bomb, but we had use the two we had, and Stalin would have well aware of our capacities there. There is an argument, which I am sure you know about, saying that the reason the US used the A-bombs on Japan, rather than responding to the tentative peace feelers that were being extended, is as a warning to Stalin. I have no position on that but it couldn't have been out of Truman's mind entirely.

    My bet is that an attempt to confront the Soviets militarily would have ended up with a Communist-dominated Europe and the Red Army sitting on the Channel. Stalin put the restraints on the Greeks, as per that agreement, he tried to do the same with Tito and Mao (but they ignored him). But if he had gone for broke, as is reasonable to expect in the event of a shooting war, than the 30-40% of the population in France and Italy who gave their voting support to those countries' Communist Parties could have made life very difficult in the very heart of Europe, not to mention that the Communists were the core of the real armed resistance to the Nazis (after June 1941, of course).

    We probably got off easy. The big unknown is -- would it have been able to negotiate some sort of neutral-but-not-Communist status for the Eastern European countries, as per Austria and Finland?
     
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  9. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    Nukes might have been a way for the US to stop the war before Stalin crossed the Pyrenees, but they probably weren't going to 'win' anything. While I don't think Truman used the bombs as a demonstration, like you I don't doubt for a moment he was happy for Stalin to see what the US could do. Of course, he couldn't know how much Stalin knew.

    I suspect you are on the money. Exhausted as Russia was in 1945, Stalin would have taken the opportunity provided by war to take a firm hold of Western Europe. The Baltic would be a Russian lake and the Red Army would be entering France on its north and south coasts. He would have been able to recruit cannon fodder from the territory he occupied & get support behind Allied lines from Communist groups. He might have left Sweden neutral like Finland & possibly left Tito in charge in a precariously surrounded Yugoslavia. Even if he didn't get to the Spanish border the channel is a serious possibility. Then there are the ugly possibilities I mentioned in China & the Middle East.

    Leaving Russia alone in 1945 was terrible for Eastern Europe, but it might have been a good deal for everyone else.

    I vote no. Stalin had his buffer states and had divided Russia's great enemy. I don't see him giving that up without a fight. There was no motivation to do it & nothing the West could use as leverage. He doesn't strike me as the type to simply trust other nations to leave those nations neutral.
     
  10. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    You're probably right. Since you know what you're talking about, what is your opinion on the possibility of our turning Mao and Ho into Asian Titos? Back after the war, I mean.
     
  11. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Great posts above.
     
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  12. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    It's a great shame that sensible people on the Left and the Right, who may disagree sharply on many issues, often agree on the necessity for a realistic foreign policy, the most important issue of all for the United States. And yet this agreement doesn't seem to bear any fruit, in terms of breaking into mainstream political discourse.

    If we get dragged into, or propel ourselves into, another serious war, even a sub-nuclear one, it's going to have very bad consequences for the US. And the consequences of a nuclear war don't bear thinking about.

    I'm hoping the new Quincy Institute, started by George Soros and the Koch Brothers (yes), will be able to become a force in foreign policy discussions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  13. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    I don't see it.

    Tito 'turned' himself, partly because he had enough of a military force that the Red Army didn't occupy his nation & partly because he defied Stalin to support the Greek Communists at a point then Russia was still consolidating power in E.Europe & not in a position to do anything about it. he also didn't need Russian protection from anyone.

    Mao & Ho wanted and needed Russian support, so unless they change their minds as China did in the early 70s (after almost going to war with the USSR) there isn't much the US can offer. Both were committed Communists who saw Communism as the best way to develop their nations. Neither saw Russia as a threat at the time, so they had no real incentive to go a different way.

    Mao was pretty determined to take over China & Russia had given him the arms & advisors to have a serious shot. The US was backing the other team. To do otherwise would not only have compromised US leadership in Europe, but it would have caused huge domestic issues. Remember how much damage the political right did claiming that Truman had 'lost China'? Once the KMT was defeated Mao saw the USSR as a protector against possible US attempts to restore Chiang - a decisions whose correctness was reinforced by the perceived threat caused by US intervention in Korea. The USSR was also key to China's economic development. Chinese communists were studying in Russia before Mao had even won the Civil War in preparation for the massive programs of industrialization & economic transformation that were to come. America would not & could not take over that role. No one could.

    For decades there have been myths abroad about Ho Chi Minh being 'a nationalist before being a Communist' and perhaps being an 'Asian Tito'. The former was grounded in ignorance of the details of Ho's life and some pretty impressive PR on his part. The latter started from that point & wandered off into wishful thinking. Ho wanted to unite his nation under Communism. Had the US been able to persuade France not to reoccupy Indochina in 1945-6 and not to start a war in 1946 against those who wanted independence for Vietnam (and not just the Communists it should be added) then several very costly wars would have been avoided. However, that would have required the US prioritising Vietnamese independence over collective security in Europe and turning its back on anti-Communist forces in Asia at a time when Communism was just starting to assert itself across the region. This wasn't going to happen.

    However, even if it had, Ho wasn't going to be a 'Tito', he was going to be a Russian ally. The defining feature of Vietnamese history is its relationship with China. This has been so since the first identifiably Vietnamese civilisation appeared on the Red River well over 2000 years ago. In 1945 a Chinese Army moved into Vietnam to accept the Japanese surrender and steal anything that wasn't nailed down. By 1946 Ho & the Viet Minh were actually encouraging a French return as a way of ensuring the KMT troops left. he is reported to have said something like: 'better to smell French **** for a few years than Chinese **** for a thousand". Not even 'Communist solidarity' centred around fighting the French & Americans overrode this. When North Vietnam under Le Duan let China send troops to help in the war against America only a handful had combat roles, and those were specialised tasks like pilots, AA & such. No divisions of well armed men were ever going to head south. All of this is a long winded way of saying that Vietnam was always going to use Russia as a guarantee against China. There would be no neutrality if there was a better alternative and Russia was always going to be that alternative. Now men who fought the Americans and their children & grandchildren welcome US ships back to Cam Ranh Bay.

    Sorry about the length. :)
     
  14. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    A very thoughtful answer. Length is necessary for serious discussion and you obviously know your stuff.

    The wish is probably parent to the thought here, but I wonder what would have happened if the US, starting immediately after WWI, had shaped a foreign policy which foresaw the colonial revolution, and had tried -- not to put itself at the head of it -- but had tried to be seen as a -- sometimes discreet -- friend of it, or at least not an enemy.

    History (not any innante anti-imperialist virtue) had meant that we had few outright colonies, and did not subscribe to the then-widespread belief that an advanced capitalist country needed outright colonies to be prosperous. Circumstances made us free-traders, which accidentally meant we were not colonialists (except by accident, as with Puerto Rico and the Phillippines and some other Pacific possessions.)

    I know that Ho and Mao were convinced Communists. But recall that right after WWII, we were still in the 'Popular Front' period, of ostensible goodwill and cooperation about all 'democratic forces'. But I suppose outright aid to overt Communists was just not politically possible even then.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  15. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    No, he had Socialist sympathies. And at that time it did appear that Socialism was the "way of the future". Be it Nationalist or Internationalist, Socialist governments controlled most of Europe, and large chunks of Asia.


    They did not have to. They were able to use simply the threat of force to essentially suborn the Finnish government for decades afterwards.

    Hence, the meaning and source of the word "Finlandization".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finlandization
    There were no "peace feelers" extended by Japan.

    Japan had outright rejected the Potsdam Declaration publicly, by none other than Prime Minister Suzuki with the Mokusatsu Declaration ("killing with silent contempt").

    The only feelers that Japan had been trying to put out nobody was willing to even present for them. Essentially they wanted a "reset" on the war, with both sides returning to a status quo ante bellium (essentially the status of the world before December 1941). With all Allied forces leaving the now occupied Japanese islands, no reparations or occupation, Japan to continue to occupy large chunks of China and to hold their own war crime trials.

    Nobody was even willing to present those proposals for Japan, because they knew that the Allied Powers (China, UK, US) would reject them outright with no negotiation. It was this delusional mindset of their Government that was one of the final catalysts for the Soviets to break their peace treaty and declare war themselves. They themselves had fought the Japanese several times, and they saw this as likely the only chance they would have to gain some of their former territory back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  16. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    What do you mean by 'suborn', with respect to Finland? It's certainly true that they had to watch their step with respect to the Russians, as most small countries do with a large powerful neighbor, especially when they have been, or are feared to be about to be, used as a military base for that large neighbor's enemies. Finland, meet Cuba.

    What a lot of anti-Communists don't do is to see that intertwined with Stalinist totalitarianism, was Russian national interest and anxiety, the latter being well-founded. Failure to address it now leads to the Russian people supporting a Putin.

    As for Japan, many years ago I read various things about whether Japan was moving towards accepting defeat ... I vaguely recall that there were different translations of a certain Japanese word, some more negative than others, with respect to their reception of possible peace proposals. But I think most of the articles were by 'revisionist' historians trying to paint the Americans as the bad guys, and in any case I can't argue it in detail.

    I suspect, in hindsite, we might do things differently now, if we could re-run the decision, but it's quite reasonable to believe that without some shocking blow, the Japanese military would never have acquiesced in surrender, and we saw on Okinawa how effective a stubborn resistance could be ... and then interpolating that to the Home Islands ... so what happened, happened. It's certainly true that the Japanese have been much nicer since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I doubt that there were many Chinese, especially the residents of Nanjing, who cried themselves to sleep about the cruelty of the atom bombs.
     
  17. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    And when Roosevelt heard about it he was livid, now tell us what sympathies FDR had with the communist, considering that during FDR's second term as president the House committee on unAmerican activities was created and people from the communist party were watched and arrested if they did any subversive activities..
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  18. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    There really is no other way to translate what the Prime Minister said about Potsdam. And yea, I have heard many apologists over the years to play that off. But the problem is, there really is no way to do that and be honest.

    The very word Prime Minister Suzuki used was "Mokusatsu", which when written down in kanji uses the 2 symbols "Moku" (silence) and "Satsu" (killing).

    Nor does the context in which he used the phrase imply anything else:

    And not only did PM Suzuki dismiss it, Foreign Minister Togo also dismissed it

    Even with the dropping of 2 Atom Bombs, the loss of Okinawa and the declaration of war and invasion by the Soviets, it still took days of deadlock in the cabinet and the intervention of Emperor Showa himself to finally end the war.

    And even with all of that, there was an attempted coup by members of the military to continue the war no matter what.
     
  19. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Too kind. It is nice to have an intelligent discussion on this forum.

    I think you nailed it in your first sentence, you are putting what might be seen as 'ideal' before what was likely or possible.

    The first issue that occurs is that no one really saw the end of European empires as 'inevitable' or even likely. Some might have thought that at some future point Europeans would give their colonies independence, but I'm not sure how many thought they would live to see it. Even after WW2 and the occupation, defeat or just weakening of so many European colonial nations none genuinely believed their colonies would or should become independent. Even when one or two went, they remained convinced they would hold others...until they couldn't. Don't forget that the last major European colonies didn't become independent until 1975. I think you are solving a problem that few people thought existed at the time.

    So, there really wasn't much reason for the US to see itself as a liberator of peoples that I suspect most Americans didn't really see as the sort of people who ran their own nations. The US had only recently conquered an Asian nation & did not grant its citizens of African descent full rights, so I'm not sure where the motivation to take that role would be.

    While the US was not a traditional colonial power, it was a colonial power nonetheless, and one with a history every bit as expansionist & brutal as any European power. Though most of that expansionism & brutality was directed at people whose misfortune it was to stand in the way of the expanding United States, the conquest of the Philippines (I'm pretty sure the government that declared independence from Spain didn't see US colonisation as 'accidental) would have been familiar to any European imperialist. The US also reserved the right to interfere in the affairs of nations in its own hemisphere, up to & including invasion & lengthy occupation (in the case of Haiti from 1915-1934).

    Then there was the realpolitik aspect. As you know, isolationism was all the rage in the US post-WW2. Even had that sentiment been overcome, the US would have been placing itself in direct conflict with European powers. That probably wouldn't have led to actual conflict (though it might), but it would have made for a much more hostile economic & diplomatic environment. It is one thing to want to stand apart from Europe, entirely another to systematically anger pretty much every major European nation.

    It would have taken a dramatic change in existing attitudes & policies for the US to go from some vague idea that all people should be free (one day) to actually getting into the weeds of doing something about it.

    Really? I don't recall Mao or Ho ever being much about 'democratic forces'.

    There was an election in Vietnam, but the Communists were already in control of the apparatus of government and rigged the results. The 'popular front' period was always a tactical play for Ho. The Viet Minh began detaining and/or killing VNQDD* members returning from China as soon as the Japanese surrendered and did the same to other nationalists who were deemed a threat. The two sides had an uneasy & often violent truce until: 1) the elections gave the VM a notional 'mandate', and 2) the VM arranged for the French to return as a way to get the KMT out & thus cut the legs out from under the VNQDD. After that the French & VM joined forces to help wipe out the VNQDD - the French foolishly saw Ho as more amenable and/or easier to defeat later.

    In China hostilities between the Communists & KMT resumed before 1945 had even ended. That was always going to happen. The two sides had been prepared to stop fighting each other while Japan was in the picture, but they were never really 'united' in any meaningful way. Once the Russians effectively gave the Communists Manchuria & the weapons from the defeated Kwangtung Army there was zero chance of avoiding war. Only Russia could have made that happen as it was the only nation with leverage on both sides.

    And yes, aiding Communists was not something that was going to fly in the US.

    * If you want an interesting 'what if' try this one: In March 1945, as the Japanese begin handing over power to the puppet Empire of Vietnam, the VNQDD begin to make connections inside the government & position themselves for the impending Japanese surrender (actually joining the government would be too bad a look). When that happens it is they rather than the Viet Minh who seize power & declare independence. Fighting breaks out immediately, but the VNQDD supported by other nationalist groups hold their own until the KMT army arrives and swings things their way. The VNQDD then negotiate with France for independence within the French Union and the basing of French forces in Vietnam. They lobby the US & with KMT support the US backs them as the legitimate government.

    None of this was impossible, though it would have required the VNQDD to be several times smarter than it was historically and the French to be less hardline about returning (the US could help with this). It would also likely have seen Vietnam end up as a haven for the KMT as they retreated from the advancing Communists in 1949. In theory this could have dragged the US into something like the Korean War in Vietnam in 1949....which might have made life interesting if the Korean Communists did invade south in 1950.

    Some interesting possibilities, though none highly likely.
     
  20. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Donor

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    Interesting speculation. I know little about Vietnam, although I know that when the Popular Front strategy was adopted by the Comintern, while it sort of made sense in Europe -- unite against the fascists -- in the European colonies, where the Russian-oriented Communists had been anti-imperialists, it was a handicap to them in their competition with non-Communist nationalists who didn't suddenly have to make an about-turn and portray their French and British imperial masters as potential members of the anti-fascist front.

    I know also that during the war, and not only in Vietnam, the Russian-oriented Communists did not scruple to attack their competition. The Vietnamese Trotskyists, supposedly (I have no independent source for this other than the Wiki article on it), had some following in Indochina, since they didn't have to 'unite' with their French masters in what a lot of people saw, at least until the Japanese invasion, as a quarrel among white people on a peninsula of Asia -- but Ho wiped them out.

    To me, all of this is interesting because it shows how difficult it is to grasp social reality, and how all of our assumptions can founder on 'unknown unknowns' and lead to really bad decisions. I wonder what the analogues in the present will prove to be, when people are looking back on our time from fifty or a hundred years in the future?

    By the way, I don't include the Communists as genuine 'democratic forces' -- it was just the rhetoric of the period as you no doubt know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  21. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Wow, let me go through this yet again.

    There was no "Philippines" prior to the Portuguese then the Spanish. What you had was a series of little kingdoms, each one raiding and attacking the others for their own gain. And this continued even during the period of the Spanish, until the US broke the back of the last remaining faction, the Moros.

    You had the Rajahnate of Butuan, the Kedutuan of Madha-as, the Srivijaya, the Marikudo, the Rajahnate of Cebu, and a dozen and more other factions. All attacking, raiding, and taking slaves from other areas of the islands. Each claiming to be the rules of all the Islands (not unlike the period of Britain before it was unified).

    What the Spanish did (and the US followed) was gaining the support of the Catholic majority, and supported and protected them against their Muslim neighbors. The majority wanted the help, because they were tired of hundreds of years of raids and slavery from their "peaceful Muslim neighbors". But it was not just Muslims, there were also bands of Hundus and Buddhists that were behaving similarly.

    This is known in the islands, as most on the main islands banded behind the Spanish-Mexican-Filipino coalition and drove the Muslims out of Manilla. They then unified most of the islands under the Catholic majority.

    You seem to have this false idea that this was some kind of peaceful island nation that Spain than the US conquered and colonized. No, it was an area of thousands of warring islands, mostly preying on each other until the Portuguese, then Spanish and finally Americans helped to pacify.

    And yes, the majority of Filipinos welcomed the stability. There is a reason if you look at the groups that fought in the "Philippine Insurrection", almost all of them were Muslim regions. Republic of Negros (the former Rajahnate of Cebu), the Zamboanga Republic (Maranoas), and the Sultunate of Sulu.

    Call it what it really was, a Muslim uprising that refused to allow them to continue to prey on others on the Islands, as they had for millennia.

    Much like the situation on the islands today. The Philippines are actually a fairly peaceful country. Well, other than the Muslim separatists and rebels that are still causing problems now. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other organizations have been causing problems there since the islands gained their independence.

    Actually, Isolationism is the norm for the US. Before WWI, after WWI, before WWII, and after WWII. Even before that, it generally took something major (like the attack on the International District in China) to get the US to actually get involved in the rest of the world.

    If you think that, then you obviously know little to nothing about Uncle Ho.

    You might want to look into what his own Declaration of Independence. It was almost word for word a copy of the US document of the same name. He was never much of a Marxist, until after he felt he and his movement were stabbed in the back by the US and turned back over to be a colony of France again.
     
  22. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    'Wow' right back at you. All those paragraphs and no mention of the US spending years fighting the Philippine Republic. No mention of the US crushing the forces that had been fighting Spain for independence for years and no mention of the brutal suppression of Filipino independence by US forces immediately following the Spanish American War.

    That wasn't about Muslims and saving poor Catholics, many of whom were killed by US forces. It was about the US taking control of the Philippines. Sort of torpedoes your credibility a bit.

    Yes, I know.


    Wow x 2. You really believe that? Clearly you need to do some reading. I would start with William Duiker's excellent biography. It neatly dismantles the myths you appear to have swallowed whole and it uses sources unavailable when those myths were created.

    Ho was a committed Communist from early adulthood. In the period between WW1 & WW2 he trained in Moscow and spent a great deal of his time as a Comintern agent working on behalf of the USSR to spread Communism, overthrow colonialism & ultimately capitalism (he really believed this stuff). He saw marxism as the path to independence for Vietnam & other 'oppressed peoples'. This wasn't some put on, he was a true believer and even before the Viet Minh seized power in August 1945 they were busy preparing for a Communist revolution in Vietnam. If you've convinced yourself of anything less then you have been sucked in by the sort of clever spin that Ho used to fool the OSS men he dealt with in 1945. He knew that they wouldn't be keen assisting a Communist, so he let them see a nationalist who could quote Jefferson.

    Ho was a very smart man. He played up to the Americans when it suited him because he thought it might prove useful. When he first made contact with them the Viet Minh was in desperate need of support and the Americans & their KMT allies were much closer than the Communists. America was clearly the power in the region. Letting the Americans think he was some 'Asian Jefferson' made sense. At the same time he was coordinating with Mao and even setting up fronts with the same VNQDD whose cadre his men were killing (if you have to google them, and I know you had to, then you don't know enough about this topic to have a worthwhile conversation). He lied to anyone & everyone when he needed to and he killed anyone he felt he needed to in order to achieve his ends - a Communist Vietnam.

    You also seem ignorant of the fact that it was Ho Chi Minh who formally agreed to the French return as a way to ensure the Chinese departed, clearing away support for many of his nationalist rivals. In fact, you seem ignorant of a great deal when it comes to this subject. Try some decent books and don't waster your time on any biography of Ho written before the late 1990s, when Russian, Chinese & Vietnamese sources became more readily available.
     
  23. Robert E Allen

    Robert E Allen Well-Known Member

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    Some things are your responsibility whether you want to do them or not and regardless of how hard they are.
    The west had the moral responsibility to end communism and we didn't do it and as a result communists murdered millions and impoverished hundreds of millions more.
     
  24. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Contrary to what many would have you believe, not all Communists are Marxists. Just as not all Socialists are Communists.

    I did quite clearly state that he was "never much of a Marxist", I did not say he was not much of a Communist.

    And yes, I am well aware that the "Ho Chi Minh Thought" is considered to be a blending of Marxism-Leninism and Confucian teachings, it was much more Lenin than Marx in how it was to be achieved. Much like China, the form of Communism that developed there actually tends to have rather small amounts of Marxism in it when compared to those more commonly seen along the border with Europe.

    I wish people could learn to respond to what I actually say, and not what they think I said, or what they wanted me to say.
     
  25. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    Well, as 'some guy on the internet' with zero responsibility for the consequences of a decision taken over 70 years ago I guess you can say any old thing you like. The people who actually earned the right to make that decision through election, personal achievement and years of war decided that your 'moral' crusade was impractical. As they are the people who would have directly borne the consequences of their decisions I'll go with them & leave you to your consequence free assertions.

    Oh and if you think that invading Eastern Europe in 1945 was going to 'end Communism' in any world that even vaguely equates to ours then you are suffering from some very serious delusions. Even had 'the West' driven Russia out of Eastern Europe there was ZERO chance of defeating the USSR. So, Communism would have continued with or without the millions of dead it would have taken to re-take Eastern Europe.

    You need to read more history and less.....whatever it is you read.
     

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