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Old 20th May 2020, 03:51 PM   #41
Michel H
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I like how quickly this thread, ostensibly about a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, has turned into yet another apologia for Nazi atrocities.
I did not see anything like that in this thread (WWII was, however, already mentioned in the opening post). And the past shapes our present.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:01 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A nation has the right to defend itself from invasion, but can't ask for help in defeating their aggressor?
It can always ask for military help, but not necessarily get it, if there are far better, less violent methods to help the invaded nation. Remember the medical principle: Primum non nocere.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:21 PM   #43
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I did not see anything like that in this thread (WWII was, however, already mentioned in the opening post). And the past shapes our present.
It's in every post you make, pretty much.

There are any number of examples of good people being driven to violence by unjust or ill-considered aggression.

Your chosen examples? ISIS and the Nazis.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:31 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Well, assuming you live in an occupied country by Germany around 1940, your best course of action is probably to do nothing special, and to obey the orders of the occupying power (and, if you are a Jew, try to hide, or hide your identity, though I think the French Jews were actually generally not deported by the Germans during the German occupation of France), at least for some time.

My mother, born in 1933, and who unfortunately died a few days ago from COVID-19, lived the occupation period by Germany in Belgium, and, believe it or not, she once told me that, at some point, the Germans had oranges distributed in schools, and they said this was a present from the German military (!). The British and Americans were more distributing bombs from the sky, I believe (business as usual ).

Nevertheless, the Germans were not well liked by most Belgian people at the end of the war, and many felt happy to be "liberated".
Firstly, my condolences for the loss of your mother. This disease is just awful.

That aside, what a load of piffle. The reason the Belgians wanted to be "liberated" was that they were being held under a reigime that executed people for crimes as far ranging as peaceful protests to just being Jewish, disabled, gay or a Slav.

That Nazis were as close as it's possible to get to being actually evil.

ISIS are not attempting to defend anything from anyone.

You could make the tenuous claim that Al Quaeda were fighting back against western aggression (VERY tenuous, I do NOT agree with this argument) because the actions of the US made their recruitment easier and so on, but ISIS? ISIS are just lunatics.

When Bashar Al-Assad and the Taliban think you're taking your Islamic fundementalism a bit far you've gone very, very badly wrong somewhere. They make Iran look secular!

They murder aid workers. They're scum.
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Old 20th May 2020, 05:05 PM   #45
Michel H
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Firstly, my condolences for the loss of your mother. This disease is just awful.
Thank you.
Quote:
ISIS are just lunatics.
I assume they would be more humane if they were treated more humanely themselves. You should perhaps reflect about the tonnage of bombs that the U.S. has caused to explode in the past 80 years.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:11 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to them.

In other words, if you want real progress (in Afghanistan and elsewhere), and not just more of the same, the U.S. should (in my opinion) learn to treat the members of the Islamic State like human beings, as opposed to some kind of infected rats that would need to be eliminated.
I'm pretty sure you debunked yourself.

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Old 21st May 2020, 04:21 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It can always ask for military help, but not necessarily get it, if there are far better, less violent methods to help the invaded nation. Remember the medical principle: Primum non nocere.
And prevention is better than cure.

Would it have been okay in your view if France and the UK had been more explicit that an attack on Poland would lead to retaliation? That's the basis of NATO for example, that an attack on any member will be treated as an attack on all.

I don't want to mischaracterise your argument but are you saying that France should not have declared war because Germany called their bluff and invaded Poland anyway, thereby proving Germany didn't believe France would retaliate which somehow removes France's moral right to do what it said it would do?
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:33 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I'm pretty sure you debunked yourself.

McHrozni
I am not sure why you are saying this, McHrozni.

However, it is possible that my post:
Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to them.

In other words, if you want real progress (in Afghanistan and elsewhere), and not just more of the same, the U.S. should (in my opinion) learn to treat the members of the Islamic State like human beings, as opposed to some kind of infected rats that would need to be eliminated.
lacked clarity somewhat, I shall therefore try to clarify. Perhaps I should have written:
Quote:
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to Germany.
(when I said "them" in my original post, I meant of course the Nazis, or Nazi Germany).

I think there is no question Nazi violence and persecution against the Jews considerably increased after the start of the second world war. In the pre-war period, "Jewish people were removed from public office and professions – civil servants, lawyers and teachers were sacked." (https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guide...gk7/revision/5), and other forms of persecution (Nuremberg laws). This was of course unacceptable, but there was no mass murder of Jews yet.

After the war started (and I believe the UK and France had a very big and major responsability in the start of this war),
Quote:
Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. ... As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust)

Hitler had, however, warned Europe and the world: he said, in a January 1939 Reichstag speech:
Quote:
Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!
When you have to take an important decision, you ought to carefully evaluate all the consequences, but apparently the British and French leaders did not bother to do this (the French did not even bother to set up a debate on whether to declare war, members of parliament were silenced, and their constitution - requiring a parliamentary vote - was violated) .

Now, why this analogy between ISIS and Hitler? I believe that, when you attack some people with a "somewhat dubious" reputation, they may angrily strike back, not necessarily directly against their aggressors, but rather against some people who are loosely perceived as "allied" with the aggressors, or even against innocent people. And the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:58 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
… the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.
That "good reaction" allowed the Nazis to swallow up Czechoslovakia. When the British and French caved in at Munich and let Germany take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, Hitler declared it was his last territorial claim in Europe. But then he seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. And then came Poland. At what point do you conclude that pleading with them to leave their neighbours alone isn't working?
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Old 21st May 2020, 11:15 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Would it have been okay in your view if France and the UK had been more explicit that an attack on Poland would lead to retaliation? That's the basis of NATO for example, that an attack on any member will be treated as an attack on all.
I think they were already pretty clear about this, both the UK and France had agreements of mutual assistance with Poland in September 1939, which were quite public:
Quote:
On 25 August, two days after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom and Poland was signed. The agreement contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations if either was attacked by some "European country". The United Kingdom, sensing a trend of German expansionism, sought to discourage German aggression by this show of solidarity.
... Because of the pact's signing, Hitler postponed his planned invasion of Poland from 26 August until 1 September.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-...ual_Assistance)
Quote:
Franco-Polish alliance
... During the interwar period the alliance with Poland was one of the cornerstones of French foreign policy. ...
... The political alliance was signed ... on February 19, 1921.
... The agreement assumed a common foreign policy, the promotion of bilateral economical contacts, the consultation of new pacts concerning Central and Eastern Europe and assistance in case one of the signatories became a victim of an "unprovoked" attack. As such, it was a defensive alliance. ...
Finally, a new alliance started to be formed in 1939. The Kasprzycki-Gamelin Convention was signed May 19, 1939 in Paris. It was named after Polish Minister of War Affairs General Tadeusz Kasprzycki and Commander of the French Army Maurice Gamelin[6]. The military convention was army-to-army, not state-to-state, and was not in force legally, as it was dependent on signing and ratification of the political convention.[3] It obliged both armies to provide help to each other in case of a war with Germany. In May, Gamelin promised a "bold relief offensive" within three weeks of a German attack.[4]

The treaty was ratified by France on September 4, 1939, on the fourth day of German offensive on Poland.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco...ce_(1921)#1939)
Quote:
I don't want to mischaracterise your argument but are you saying that France should not have declared war because Germany called their bluff and invaded Poland anyway, thereby proving Germany didn't believe France would retaliate which somehow removes France's moral right to do what it said it would do?
I don't think France was bluffing when it said it would try to protect the Poles if they were attacked by Germany, since they really declared war after the German invasion. They were reasonably loyal to Poland, but I personally think that, if you have to choose between being loyal and dumb on the one hand, and disloyal and smart on the other hand, it is generally better to choose cleverness. In my opinion, these mutual assistance agreements are very dangerous, because they tend to enlarge initially local wars.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:01 PM   #51
Michel H
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
That "good reaction" allowed the Nazis to swallow up Czechoslovakia. When the British and French caved in at Munich and let Germany take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, Hitler declared it was his last territorial claim in Europe. But then he seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. And then came Poland. At what point do you conclude that pleading with them to leave their neighbours alone isn't working?
It seems to me that the case of Czechoslovakia is "special", just like Poland's case is special. Poland's case is particular because, by invading Poland in September 1939, Hitler restored the unity of his country, Germany, which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles (creation of a Polish corridor).

The case of Czechoslovakia is special because, in March 1939, its president Emil Hácha agreed himself to a German occupation after meeting Hitler:
Quote:
After the secession of Slovakia and Ruthenia, British Ambassador to Czechoslovakia Basil Newton advised President Hácha to meet with Hitler. ... Von Ribbentrop testified at the Nuremberg trials that during this meeting Hácha had told him that "he wanted to place the fate of the Czech State in the Führer's hands."
... by four o'clock he contacted Prague, effectively "signing Czechoslovakia away" to Germany.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_H...lovak_Republic)

Hitler probably wanted to be careful, and to not trigger a war by offending his European colleagues he had met in Munich a few months earlier.

Anyway, when you are dealing with a dangerous autocrat who displays an annoying tendency to conquer neighboring states, I think it is usually better to resort to a general right to self-determination of peoples, rather than war, which is really the most horrible option (and, if necessary, to discussions, demonstrations, strikes, very limited local violence if indispensable, think of Hong Kong for example). Nowadays, this right to self-determination might apply to Taiwan for example, and the People's Republic of China should be encouraged to grant independence to the island, if this is what they want.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:15 PM   #52
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The point of such pacts of course is to prevent wars rather than allow small wars. France also had an alliance with Czechoslovakia but didn't go to war over that invasion. Maybe that's why Hitler thought they wouldn't go to war over Poland either. How many more territories would you like them to have let Hitler seize before concluding he wasn't going to play nicely and leave his neighbours in peace?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:56 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
<...>

Now, why this analogy between ISIS and Hitler? I believe that, when you attack some people with a "somewhat dubious" reputation, they may angrily strike back, not necessarily directly against their aggressors, but rather against some people who are loosely perceived as "allied" with the aggressors, or even against innocent people. And the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.


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Old 22nd May 2020, 02:41 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
France also had an alliance with Czechoslovakia but didn't go to war over that invasion. Maybe that's why Hitler thought they wouldn't go to war over Poland either.
This seems reasonable and quite possible to me. However, in Poland's case, a German occupation by the country had not been formally accepted by the president (Ignacy Mościcki in 1939: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignacy_Mo%C5%9Bcicki).
Quote:
How many more territories would you like them to have let Hitler seize before concluding he wasn't going to play nicely and leave his neighbours in peace?
I believe it is possible Hitler would have stopped invading neighboring countries after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, if the UK and France had not declared war to him.

In a September 1938 speech, Hitler had said, about the Sudeten territories of Czechoslovakia, that this would be "his last territorial demand in Europe" (sic). It seems to me it would have been better that the appeasement policy of 1938 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SetNFqcayeA) continue for some time, rather than rushing to war over the "unforgivable crime" of wanting to restore one's country unity by force. Such a more patient attitude could have saved millions of lives (and many Jews, remember Hitler's speech about Jews being destroyed if they "cause war"). The Franco-British decision to attack may have had the effect of amplifying and developing the dangerous Führer's worst side, and of creating a dangerous climate of hate and violence in Europe.

And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevent over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 04:08 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the ISIS people and the Taliban (and even the Iranians) should also make an effort to evolve and change: they should adopt democracy, human rights, freedom of religion, education for girls, right to divorce, right to dress as they like for women, without a dress code imposed by elderly male clerics, and so on.
Only someone who has absolutely no idea what ISIS and the Taliban are could make such a statement.
By the way, when you say "the Iranians", do you mean all of them, or just some of them?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 12:02 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Only someone who has absolutely no idea what ISIS and the Taliban are could make such a statement.
To me, ISIS is a violent and religion-obsessed organization, but it seems to me they have some limited legitimacy as a resistance organization, fighting U.S. control over Iraq. Did all Iraqis have to agree, in 2003, that their country would, from now on, be run by a puppet government imposed by a brutally invading power, and which perhaps sides systematically with the U.S. and Israel whenever a vote takes place in the U.N. General Assembly?

No, I don't think so, so I understand that an armed resistance developed, just like I understand that an armed resistance developed in France around 1940 after the Germans invaded.

I don't see why ISIS could not improve and modernize itself, towards more democracy, science and human rights for all. I once saw a video by them (I think these videos are hard to find and watch because they get quickly censored and removed). It looked fairly normal, almost like a CNN report. There were some gruesome images, but they were edited to avoid shocking the public. If you want that ISIS improves, perhaps the first thing to do is ask them. How many times has a U.S. president tried to talk with an ISIS leader before bombing them? I believe the answer is zero. Perhaps this gives you a hint as to who the really violent people are.
Quote:
By the way, when you say "the Iranians", do you mean all of them, or just some of them?
I meant the Iranian (real) leaders, and the millions who follow them. Iran needs to greatly improve its democratic system:
Quote:
Iran's system allows for elections, but political groups must operate within the strict boundaries of the Islamic Republic.

In the 2016 parliamentary elections, nearly half of the candidates were disqualified by Iran's Guardian Council, which vets them for their commitment to Iran's Islamic system.

And for this year's parliamentary elections, which are due to be held in February, thousands of potential candidates have again been disqualified, including 90 current lawmakers.

Any candidates from groups opposed to the Islamic Republic, or who want to change the existing system altogether, are not allowed to run.

The Guardian Council can also bar any would-be presidential candidates, and veto any legislation passed by parliament if it is deemed to be inconsistent with Iran's constitution and Islamic law.
(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51093792)

I believe U.S. persecutions against Iran make it harder to get a change towards more democracy, because any change might be perceived as yielding to their persecutors.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 12:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
To me, ISIS is a violent and religion-obsessed organization, but it seems to me they have some limited legitimacy as a resistance organization, fighting U.S. control over Iraq.


I don't see why ISIS could not improve and modernize itself, towards more democracy, science and human rights for all.
ISIS is not principally concerned with fighting the US. ISIS is concerned with destroying anyone who isn't ISIS.

ISIS does not see modernising, democracy, science or human rights as improvements. Turning the clock back a thousand years would suit them just fine. Having everyone totally obedient to their caliphate is as close as possible to perfect, anything else is worse.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:30 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevent over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevail over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
(error correction, sorry)
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:44 PM   #59
Michel H
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
ISIS is not principally concerned with fighting the US. ISIS is concerned with destroying anyone who isn't ISIS.

ISIS does not see modernising, democracy, science or human rights as improvements. Turning the clock back a thousand years would suit them just fine. Having everyone totally obedient to their caliphate is as close as possible to perfect, anything else is worse.
They indeed do have this reputation of being very violent and intolerant. However, I don't think bombing and censorship is the best method to bring out the best qualities in human beings. It would perhaps be useful to let them have a website and social media accounts (Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, ...), perhaps with a minimum age requirement. This would encourage them to improve their message, and to interact and discuss with world viewers. It could also be an opportunity for many people to know their real goals from an original source.

Last edited by Michel H; 23rd May 2020 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 03:37 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
They indeed do have this reputation of being very violent and intolerant. However, I don't think bombing and censorship is the best method to bring out the best qualities in human beings.
The goal isn't to bring out the best qualities in the people of ISIS. The goal is to put a stop to their naked aggression. They're welcome to be as horrible as they want, as long as they keep it to themselves, and don't bother their neighbors and our friends.

Also, why are you making the Extortionist's Argument? You're saying that the best way to stop violent people from being violent is to let them have whatever they want. That's extortion. Why are you promoting extortion? Why are you supporting ISIS's goals and methods?

Last edited by theprestige; 23rd May 2020 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 05:51 PM   #61
Michel H
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The goal isn't to bring out the best qualities in the people of ISIS. The goal is to put a stop to their naked aggression. They're welcome to be as horrible as they want, as long as they keep it to themselves, and don't bother their neighbors and our friends.

Also, why are you making the Extortionist's Argument? You're saying that the best way to stop violent people from being violent is to let them have whatever they want. That's extortion. Why are you promoting extortion? Why are you supporting ISIS's goals and methods?
I don't support ISIS's goals and methods, I view ISIS as a product of U.S. policies of expansionism, illegal invasions, bombings and censorship generally supported on this forum (unless I misunderstood). The problem though, that you don't seem to understand, is that violence often generates violence (I note that your post suggests a complete physical elimination of ISIS militants, this seems to be what the U.S. wants to do, it seems to amuse you). In my opinion, it should be possible to protect maternity wards by dealing with these people in a more humane way, and a first step could be to encourage them to have an online presence (this would probably be less expensive than a warplane). This doesn't mean approving them: you don't need to agree with someone to let him/her express himself/herself.

Last edited by Michel H; 23rd May 2020 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 24th May 2020, 06:12 AM   #62
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so reading an article about an attack in Afghanistan by Afghan terrorists, attacking an Afghan hospital, killing/wounding Afghan babies from Afghan parents, you turn this into an anti-US topic.
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Old 24th May 2020, 07:46 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Little 10 Toes View Post
so reading an article about an attack in Afghanistan by Afghan terrorists, attacking an Afghan hospital, killing/wounding Afghan babies from Afghan parents, you turn this into an anti-US topic.
Little 10 Toes, I do not necessarily disagree with all decisions that U.S. leaders take. For example,
Quote:
On Jan. 31, the Trump administration announced the United States would temporarily ban the admission of people who were in China 14 days prior to their attempted travel to the United States. The restriction took effect Feb. 2, and it exempted U.S. citizens, green card holders, and certain other people.
(Source: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200...vel-from-china)
Such a travel ban was actually not recommended by the World Health Organization at the time, but I believe this was a reasonable move to try to protect U.S. citizens. I find it normal and legitimate that political leaders try to protect their citizens from various threats, preferably in a non-violent way.

However, when you rush to bombings, invasions, sanctions and censorship, in a context of overprotection for a certain country, in order to officially protect from terrorism, you can actually make matters worse rather than better. Some people who were perhaps initially only moderately angry can become very angry after taking so many bombs on their heads, and then children may pay the price. It does not seem possible to me to isolate a violent terror attack in Kabul from U.S policies in that region and in the world (there is a link).

It is clear that, in this thread, ISIS is considered (understandably) with great contempt by many posters. However, at the same time, these posters fail to explain why the "resistance movement", which initially wanted to defend Sunnis in Iraq (see figure "Why They Fight" here: https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...n-isis/419685/) should be considered as horribly bad, while the invader itself, which originally caused all the trouble is not getting blamed at all.

The consequences of the post-9/11 wars started by the U.S. are:
Quote:
- The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion dollars
- The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $6.4 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion in the next 40 years.
- Over 801,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly
- Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
- 21 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons
- Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom.
- Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood.
(Sources: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/ , https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/summary)

There was, however, a simple alternative for the U.S. in 2001 (and still now):
- apologize for its previous crimes and mistakes
- order Israel to go back to its legal, internationally recognized borders, instead of supporting Israeli expansionism
- lift all sanctions, stop economic torture though "sanctions".
- greatly reduce its military spending, used to torture the world and support Israeli expansionism

I believe that, if the U.S. did these things and stopped bombing ISIS, maternity wards in Afghanistan could perhaps be much safer, though the Taliban and ISIS should themselves adopt democracy and human rights values.
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Old 24th May 2020, 03:30 PM   #64
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Are you serious?

In case it colours your judgement of me, I am not an American, and I have always believed the invasion of Iraq was a blunder, that it was handled badly and that the rise of ISIS into the power vacuum left by that and the shambles that the Arab Spring became in Syria was a disaster which might have been avoided, but really, are you serious?

Perhaps the US should also have apologised to Japan after Pearl Harbor, and promised to keep out of its business, hand over control of the Philippines as a goodwill gesture and not embargo its oil imports any more. What do you think?

Good grief. If large nations respond to attacks by caving in and meekly giving the attackers what they want, do you think such attacks will stop, or will they increase?

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Old 25th May 2020, 07:53 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I have not seen the exact text of the March 19, 1939 law granting special powers to the French government. I tried to read it, but the wikipedia link seems to be inactive. If you have seen it (either in French or in English), I invite you to post it here (or a good summary). However, from the various descriptions of it I have seen, it is rather clear to me that this was not a text transforming France into a dictatorship led by "Führer Daladier", I think its scope was more limited.

Sorry for the delay in responding to this; I've been extremely busy. And let me add my condolences about your mother. Sorry also for the brevity and incompleteness; I'll do some more research and write more later. I was going by what was reported in the Times articles I linked. One article states that, as I mentioned, Daladier can ignore the parliament if he feels like it; there's also a quotation from him or a member of his government to the effect, IIRC, that "we won't prorogue [suspend] parliament unless we have to," and another to the effect that the people shouldn't fear giving the government dictatorial powers because Daladier and his ministers are committed democrats. I'll go back and copy the text exactly when I have time, which probably won't be for at least a few days.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
There was a meeting of French parliament on September 2, 1939 in order to allocate money to the military (war declared the next day). Some members of parliament wanted to speak, but they were not allowed to, there was no debate at all (this is obviously not good in a democracy, before an important decision). This is explained in this book: https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false.

The first thing I want to know is why there was no debate; there may have been good reasons other than a fear that some member would somehow convince enough deputies to vote against the bill, or say something that would embarrass the government. Further, even granting for the sake of argument that "this is obviously not good," that still doesn't make the vote illegitimate, which appears to be the impression you are attempting to give.

Here are the parliamentary journals from 1939. I briefly looked through the ones from March 18 and September 2; I'll look at them more closely when I get a chance. It will undoubtedly take me some time, as my ability to read French is limited. I did notice that there was sustained applause from all political parties after Daladier's speech on September 2, which confirms what I've read elsewhere.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I disagree. The invaded Poland had a right to defend itself (note though that Hitler's goal was to unify his country which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles), but, if the French decide to invade and bomb Germany, they are going on offense against Germany to ridiculously try to play the "heroes".

As has been explained to you by multiple people, Hitler's goal was to conquer Poland; the Danzig issue was only a pretext, just as the issue of the Sudetenland was a pretext for war with Czechoslovakia. (Hitler was hell-bent on war in 1938, which is why he kept raising his demands. It was only the combination of Chamberlain's extreme commitment to appeasement, the resistance of the German military leadership, and Mussolini's intervention that convinced Hitler to take "yes" for an answer.) And as for playing heroes, should the French have simply waited for Hitler to attack them, when Germany was even stronger?

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I think that, when you read the sentence: "After the defeat of France, those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime accused Daladier and his government of having brought France into the war illegally, without asking for the opinion of the national representation.", it must presumably be understood that "those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime" were the finest and most distinguished politicians of the time (probably many of them were law and government experts), who were unanimous in saying the war was illegal. Supporting Maréchal Pétain seemed to be a very good option at the time to bring peace to the country (and it worked: France suffered probably much less in WWII than in WWI).

First, what are the sources of those quotations? Second, your presumption is completely unfounded. Was Paul ReynaudWP not a fine and distinguished politician? What about Georges MandelWP? Or Édouard HerriotWP? Or Jules JeanneneyWP? Also, who exactly was "unanimous in saying the war was illegal"? And more importantly, why didn't any of them speak out in September of 1939?

I'll discuss the ethical issues of the 1940 armistice and those of supporting the Vichy regime in a later post.
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Old 26th May 2020, 09:00 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Here are the parliamentary journals from 1939.
It's nice that you found this, these proceedings of the French Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament) provide high quality, original information.
The exact contents of the law of March 19, 1939 giving special powers to parliament are given in these proceedings. This law was very brief, it just said:
Quote:
Le Gouvernement est autorisé, jusqu'au 30 novembre 1939, à prendre, par décrets délibérés en conseil des ministres, les mesures nécessaires à la défense du pays. Ces décrets seront soumis à la ratification des Chambres avant le 31 décembre 1939.
or
Quote:
The Government is authorized, until November 30, 1939, to take, by decrees deliberated in the Council of Ministers, the measures necessary for the defense of the country. These decrees will be submitted to the Chambers for ratification before December 31, 1939.
I don't think this law allowed the president of France to declare war to Germany, and then to start an offensive in Germany which killed about 200 Germans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Offensive). I also think this was never the point of view of Daladier himself: Daladier argued that, by voting a large sum of money for the military on September 2, 1939, the Chamber of Deputies implicitly approved war, but I don't find this argument convincing because money for the military can also be used for purely defensive purposes (this is actually a safer, and more normal use). One of the problems, when you invade another country, is that you behave somewhat like Hitler himself. Another problem is that you generate anger, and possibly a desire for revenge. This problem is the same with ISIS: when you massively bomb and kill them without even raising a little finger to try to talk with them (U.S. style), you create anger, and you never know what will happen next.

The reason why there was no debate at all in French parliament on September 2, 1939 is explained in the book "The Phony War": https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false I have already mentioned (you may click on this link, and read various pages, though it is in French). The presidents of the various political groups wanted to emphasize unity in a time of crisis, they didn't want to create a "climate of division". This means, in my opinion, that the war was declared illegally by France, in violation of their Constitution. This was the point of view of proponents of peace, who had joined Maréchal Pétain, as explained in the book just mentioned.

You argue, in your post, that Hitler was hell-bent on war. This is the typical stereotype about Adolf Hitler, but I believe this is far from certain. Let us say that he wanted to achieve certain political goals, the primary of which was to unite all German-speaking into one large German country. During the Munich conference, he said he was not interested in taking Czechs into Germany.
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Old 28th May 2020, 09:32 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I don't think this law allowed the president of France to declare war to Germany, and then to start an offensive in Germany which killed about 200 Germans

Very few people would agree with you that "defense" does not include declaring war in support of an ally who has been brutally attacked, or taking offensive measures against an aggressor. I'll have more on this when I have more time.

Until then, I renew and expand on two questions that you have failed to address. First, what sort of peace terms do you believe Germany and Japan would have accepted? And why would the Allies have believed that those countries wouldn't have attacked again in a few years? I would point out that even before Germany attacked Poland, Churchill and FDR were well aware that Germany was capable of developing nuclear weapons. And both leaders would certainly have considered the possibility that the Japanese had the potential to build an atomic bomb, especially with assistance from the Germans. (The Japanese did, in fact, attempt to do so, though with no significant help from Germany.)

Second, if the French Parliament didn't approve of Daladier's guaranteeing Poland, his giving Germany an ultimatum, or of his declaring war on Germany, then why didn't the opposition call for a vote of no confidence on any of those occasions? And why was it only after France had surrendered that some Vichy supporters started claiming that the declaration of war was illegal?

Originally Posted by Michel H;13102993 ([url
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Offensive[/url]). I also think this was never the point of view of Daladier himself: Daladier argued that, by voting a large sum of money for the military on September 2, 1939, the Chamber of Deputies implicitly approved war, but I don't find this argument convincing because money for the military can also be used for purely defensive purposes (this is actually a safer, and more normal use).

No. The fact that Daladier considered that the declaration of war had received parliamentary approval does not necessarily imply that he believed such approval was required. As an analogy, people generally hope that their parents approve of their choices of marriage partners, but they generally don't believe that such approval is required (at least in most Western countries, including France).

Further, the deputies voted with the full knowledge that Daladier had guaranteed Poland; only the most naive among them could have failed to understand the implications of their votes. Bear in mind that all of them had lived through World War I and its aftermath, and many had served in the military, so they would have been under no illusions about what was coming.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
One of the problems, when you invade another country, is that you behave somewhat like Hitler himself. Another problem is that you generate anger, and possibly a desire for revenge. This problem is the same with ISIS: when you massively bomb and kill them without even raising a little finger to try to talk with them (U.S. style), you create anger, and you never know what will happen next.

First, are you seriously suggesting that the Western Allies' occupations of Italy, Germany, and Japan bore any resemblance to Italy's occupation of Ethiopia, Germany's occupation of Poland and Ukraine (or even of France), or Japan's occupation of the Philippines, Malaya, and other countries and colonies in Asia?

Second, are you aware of ISIS's stated goals? What possible compromise could be achieved by negotiation?

Finally, can you give us some evidence of any significant anger or desire for revenge against the Western Allies in any of those countries today, or at any time after the occupations ended?

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
The reason why there was no debate at all in French parliament on September 2, 1939 is explained in the book "The Phony War": https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false I have already mentioned (you may click on this link, and read various pages, though it is in French). The presidents of the various political groups wanted to emphasize unity in a time of crisis, they didn't want to create a "climate of division". This means, in my opinion, that the war was declared illegally by France, in violation of their Constitution. This was the point of view of proponents of peace, who had joined Maréchal Pétain, as explained in the book just mentioned.

Clicking the link did not provide any readable pages; possibly that's because I have an American IP address. However, I'll accept that your summary is reasonably accurate. But unless you can point to some provision of French law or the French Constitution in effect at the time that was clearly violated, the fact that no debate was allowed does not make the vote illegal. No members were prevented from voting; any who so chose could have voted against the measure, but none did. Contrast this with the vote on June 10th, 1940, to give Pétain permanent dictatorial powers, which is widely considered to have been illegal on its face, and was in any case riddled with irregularities. So for Vichy supporters to claim that the September 2nd vote was illegal is extremely hypocritical.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
You argue, in your post, that Hitler was hell-bent on war. This is the typical stereotype about Adolf Hitler, but I believe this is far from certain.

The historical record indicates that it is certain. I'll have more on that later.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Let us say that he wanted to achieve certain political goals, the primary of which was to unite all German-speaking into one large German country. During the Munich conference, he said he was not interested in taking Czechs into Germany.

Whether uniting all ethnic Germans was his primary goal is debatable, though it was unquestionably high on his wish list. As has been mentioned repeatedly, and as you have ignored repeatedly, another major goal of Hitler's was gaining Lebensraum, at the expense of Eastern Europe. As for the hilited, why should anyone take any public statement by Hitler at face value?
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Old 28th May 2020, 02:33 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Perhaps the US should also have apologised to Japan after Pearl Harbor, and promised to keep out of its business, hand over control of the Philippines as a goodwill gesture and not embargo its oil imports any more. What do you think?
I believe the oil embargo (part of a larger embargo) decided by FDR in 1941 was too tough. So tough that this action should be considered as mostly equivalent to a serious act of war:
Quote:
Responding to Japanese occupation of key airfields in Indochina (July 24) following an agreement between Japan and Vichy France, the U.S. froze Japanese assets on July 26, 1941, and on August 1 established an embargo on oil and gasoline exports to Japan.[12][13][14] The oil embargo was an especially strong response because oil was Japan's most crucial import, and more than 80% of Japan's oil at the time came from the United States.[15]
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events...nd_to_conflict)
Quote:
This time Roosevelt listened to those who, like Ickes, had long been urging him to act forcefully against all aggressors. On the night of July 26 he ordered all Japanese assets in America frozen, and Britain and the Netherlands soon followed suit. In consequence, not only did all trade with the United States cease, but the fact that America had been Japan’s major source of oil imports now left Japan in an untenable situation. To the New York Times it was “the most drastic blow short of war.” To Japan’s leaders it was much more. They had secured the bases in Indochina by negotiation with Vichy France, a country recognized if not approved by America, and international law was on their side; the freezing was the last step in the encirclement of the empire by the ABCD (American, British, Chinese, Dutch) powers, a denial to Japan of her rightful place as leader of Asia and a challenge to her very existence. The frustration, near-hysteria and anger could be expected ...
(from "The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945" by John Toland, https://books.google.be/books?id=EnY...ion%22&f=false)
(If this link to Google Books doesn't work for you, you can do a Google search with the search terms: "now left Japan in an untenable situation" for example)

It was perhaps a good idea at the time to act against Japanese imperialism and expansionism, but this should have been done in a more calculated and moderate way, without triggering a major war. For example, Roosevelt could have ordered that the price of oil for Japan be multiplied by two through new taxes, and that the money collected in this way be sent to resistance fighters in Northern China, until Japan stops her aggression in China (not including Manchukuo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchukuo, where the Japanese colonization effort might have been temporarily tolerated).

Last edited by Michel H; 28th May 2020 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 28th May 2020, 03:44 PM   #69
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I think actually uniting all ethnic Germans would have been counter-productive to the primary goal of lebensraum.

Having ethnic Germans across the border of his next victim, suffering abuse at the hands of their non-German overlords, was a key part of his justification for invading and annexing stuff.

I think he'd always find a way to have more ethnic Germans still waiting to be united with their Reichsbrethren.
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Old 28th May 2020, 04:08 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
… It was perhaps a good idea at the time to act against Japanese imperialism and expansionism, but this should have been done in a more calculated and moderate way, without triggering a major war. For example, Roosevelt could have ordered that the price of oil for Japan be multiplied by two through new taxes, and that the money collected in this way be sent to resistance fighters in Northern China, until Japan stops her aggression in China (not including Manchukuo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchukuo, where the Japanese colonization effort might have been temporarily tolerated).
Or perhaps Japan could have stopped its aggression. I'm not sure why you think it was America's job to keep supplying the oil which fuelled Japan's military until Japan could seize enough territory to be independent of American supplies.

Oil was leverage America had against Japanese expansionism, short of war. But if that lever wasn't used forcefully enough to stop Japan capturing the Dutch East Indies and Malaya, that leverage would disappear.
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Old 28th May 2020, 04:14 PM   #71
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MICHEL: Nations should use peaceful methods to stop wars of aggression.

OTHERS: Like withdrawing material support for a war of aggression?

MICHEL: No, that is too aggressive, and justifies more aggression from the aggressor. But only if the aggressor is a xenophobic fascist regime.
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Old 28th May 2020, 07:19 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I believe the oil embargo (part of a larger embargo) decided by FDR in 1941 was too tough. So tough that this action should be considered as mostly equivalent to a serious act of war:

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events...nd_to_conflict)

First, two points. One, the US needed to curtail oil exports anyway, because of greatly expanding US military requirements in mid-1941, and two, within months Japan wouldn't have been able to have bought oil from the US or anyone else, due to a lack of foreign exchange caused by a large trade deficit and other economic issues.

Those aside, the oil embargo was universally popular with the America public, not only with interventionists, but also with the great majority of isolationists, who saw it as a non-violent means of curbing Japanese aggression against China.

Further, from a Gallup poll taken about a month after the embargo was announced:

Should the United States take steps now to keep Japan from becoming more powerful, even if it means risking a war with Japan?

Yes................................ 70%

No................................ 18

No opinion......................... 12
(source)

And even as early as May, 1939:
Would you join a movement in this country to stop buying goods made in Japan?

Yes................................ 66%

No................................ 34

Do you think the United States should forbid shipment of arms or ammunition from this country to Japan?

Yes................................ 72%

No................................ 28
(source)

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
(from "The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945" by John Toland, https://books.google.be/books?id=EnY...ion%22&f=false)
(If this link to Google Books doesn't work for you, you can do a Google search with the search terms: "now left Japan in an untenable situation" for example)

Toland was a revisionist, an FDR hater, and toward the end of his life a full-blown conspiracy theorist, although he hadn't gone completely off the deep end when the above was written. He is correct that the embargo made the situation for Japan untenable, which FDR and his advisors knew would happen1, but Toland's insinuation that the embargo was some sort of violation of international law is specious. Vichy France agreed to allow the Japanese occupation only under military duress (from Germany in addition to Japan), which was itself a violation of international law, so the US was perfectly justified in applying economic sanctions.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It was perhaps a good idea at the time to act against Japanese imperialism and expansionism, but this should have been done in a more calculated and moderate way, without triggering a major war. For example, Roosevelt could have ordered that the price of oil for Japan be multiplied by two through new taxes, and that the money collected in this way be sent to resistance fighters in Northern China, until Japan stops her aggression in China (not including Manchukuo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchukuo, where the Japanese colonization effort might have been temporarily tolerated).

Granting for the sake of argument that FDR had the power to do this, the idea that it would have been any less of a provocation to Japan is frankly silly. The Japanese could not have run their economy and their war machine on only half (or even 3/4) of the oil they were using in July of 1941; they would still have been faced with the identical dilemma; either abandon the war in China, or attack the Netherlands East Indies. Except they would have been able to stockpile an additional two months' or so worth of oil before they attacked. And the US was already providing substantial military assistance to China in 1941, far more than your oil penalty would have netted, even had Japan been in a position to pay it. Plus there would undoubtedly have been a number of neutral countries that would have been happy to have helped Japan evade the penalty for a small fee.

However, I actually think that the US would have been better off not embargoing oil or strategic materials at that time (though some cuts could have been made on the aforementioned grounds of domestic requirements). The reason for this is that even a two- or three-month delay in Japan's attack would have benefited the Allies enormously; the US and Britain were both reinforcing their possessions in the Far East, and the Japanese would have had a tougher time conquering them. The Dutch were not in a position to do as much, but they did receive some modern American and British aircraft through lend-lease, which would have substantially aided in the Netherlands East Indies' defense had the Japanese attack been delayed. Also, the Allies would have had two or three months to produce more weapons and train their forces.

_______________________

1In fact, FDR intended to make an exception to the embargo for oil, because he knew what a provocation it would be, but bureaucratic red tape and foot-dragging meant that the appropriate permits weren't issued for a month, by which time FDR judged that the damage had been done, and formalized the oil embargo. See here (paid subscription or access through a library or university required).
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:23 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Granting for the sake of argument that FDR had the power to do this, the idea that it would have been any less of a provocation to Japan is frankly silly. The Japanese could not have run their economy and their war machine on only half (or even 3/4) of the oil they were using in July of 1941; they would still have been faced with the identical dilemma; either abandon the war in China, or attack the Netherlands East Indies. Except they would have been able to stockpile an additional two months' or so worth of oil before they attacked. And the US was already providing substantial military assistance to China in 1941, far more than your oil penalty would have netted, even had Japan been in a position to pay it. Plus there would undoubtedly have been a number of neutral countries that would have been happy to have helped Japan evade the penalty for a small fee.
If Roosevelt could decree a complete oil embargo (apparently through a "freeze" on Japanese funds in the United States, from what the article "The 1941 De Facto Embargo on Oil to Japan: A Bureaucratic Reflex" that you mention explains), I don't see why he couldn't have decreed some kind of partial trade embargo, with limited penalties imposed on Japan (possibly with some help from Congress, but I am not sure this would have even been necessary). With 80% of its oil imports abruptly terminated, Japan was facing economic disaster, and in fact Roosevelt (with his administration) almost forced Japan to take the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to get the oil she needed, not only for her military, but also for her economy, and her ordinary citizens, since Japan did not want to accept to have her policies regarding China and Manchukuo dictated by the U.S.. In other words, Roosevelt almost forced Japan into war, and I think this would certainly justify an apology.

If the U.S. had clearly and pedagogically explained to Japan (after consultation with the League of Nations) that her policies in China were not acceptable, but that a policy of tolerance would be used with respect of Manchukuo, to protect Japanese settlers or workers there (about two hundred thousands), and also Japan's economic development, it seems to me the war in the Pacific could have easily been avoided. There is an obvious difference, understandable by all, between reducing oil exports by 25% (the figure you mention) and reducing them by 80%: 25% might be manageable, 80% (combined with other embargoes) was probably not, and this led to war, not unexpectedly.

Of course, the U.S. nowadays is still pursuing and continuing her trade embargo policies, which cause economic suffering for populations in Iran, Venezuela and other countries. These policies have probably been the cause of recents riots in Iran, which have killed about 1,500 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E...anian_protests).

Last edited by Michel H; 29th May 2020 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 29th May 2020, 05:57 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If Roosevelt could decree a complete oil embargo (apparently through a "freeze" on Japanese funds in the United States, from what the article "The 1941 De Facto Embargo on Oil to Japan: A Bureaucratic Reflex" that you mention explains), I don't see why he couldn't have decreed some kind of partial trade embargo, with limited penalties imposed on Japan (possibly with some help from Congress, but I am not sure this would have even been necessary).

Actually, export taxes and duties are prohibited by the US Constitution, but that's a relatively minor point. First, I said that I'd grant for the sake of argument that FDR could have done that, and, second, he could certainly have imposed an export quota without the duty (and, as I mentioned, the US was already supplying China with far more military assistance than any tax on exports to Japan could have purchased).

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
With 80% of its oil imports abruptly terminated, Japan was facing economic disaster . . .

No. In 1941 the Japanese estimated that the civilian economy would require 12.7 million barrels of petroleum products per year, and domestic production plus imports from Japan's possessions Manchuria and Formosa were equal to about 5.2 million barrels per year. (source) However, in 1941, Japan had petroleum stockpiles in excess of 42 million barrels (source), which would have been enough to have run the civilian economy for years.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
. . . and in fact Roosevelt (with his administration) almost forced Japan to take the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to get the oil she needed, not only for her military, but also for her economy, and her ordinary citizens, since Japan did not want to accept to have her policies regarding China and Manchukuo dictated by the U.S.

You mean they didn't want to stop their brutal war of aggression against China, which ended up killing about 10 million Chinese civilians and four million Chinese soldiers.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
In other words, Roosevelt almost forced Japan into war, and I think this would certainly justify an apology.

See my previous comment.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the U.S. had clearly and pedagogically explained to Japan (after consultation with the League of Nations) that her policies in China were not acceptable . . .

First, the US was never a member of the League, and Japan withdrew in 1933 after the other members unanimously condemned Japanese aggression in China. Fail. Second, the US did clearly explain to Japan that those policies were not acceptable, on many occasions, both before and after the embargo.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
. . . but that a policy of tolerance would be used with respect of Manchukuo, to protect Japanese settlers or workers there (about two hundred thousands), and also Japan's economic development, it seems to me the war in the Pacific could have easily been avoided.

No. The militarists would never have voluntarily ended the war in China without at least a partial victory. And anyone in the Japanese government who suggested doing so was likely to have been assassinated by a junior Army officer.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
There is an obvious difference, understandable by all, between reducing oil exports by 25% (the figure you mention) and reducing them by 80%: 25% might be manageable, 80% (combined with other embargoes) was probably not, and this led to war, not unexpectedly.

I think you mean "imports" here. But in any case, I may have confused you by my failure to explain how I arrived at my figures. You suggested that FDR could have doubled the price of oil sold to Japan; I took this as being equivalent to possibly cutting exports by 50%, if the Japanese continued to spend the same amount of money on oil. However, if they could somehow have come up with more money, they might have been able to have purchased a bit more, or they might have purchased a bit less, and tried to make due with other energy sources, mainly coal, for certain uses. This is ignoring the issue of that I previously mentioned of their running out of foreign exchange. Simply halving all US and Allied exports to Japan would have reduced Japanese oil consumption by 40%; their buying less oil due to your proposed penalty might have reduced that to 50%, and their paying the penalty to buy more might have increased it to 75%, but that would undoubtedly have put a severe strain on the country's already stretched foreign exchange.

The point I'm trying to make here is that 75% would have been a "best-case" scenario for Japan's oil supply in your hypothetical, with 60% more likely. And even if their supply was only cut by 25%, they could have made up the shortfall from their large reserves that I mentioned, but they would not have wanted to drain those in case they did have to fight the US, or in case of a total embargo. If you meant to imply that they could have somehow continued to run their war machine and their economy with only 75% of the oil they'd previously used, that's simply wrong. A 25% cut in oil to the economy would have caused a deep recession, and possibly a full-blown depression, and a 25% cut in oil to the Army would have seriously damaged operations in China. The Navy could possibly have survived a 25% cut, but training and operational readiness would have been severely reduced.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Of course, the U.S. nowadays is still pursuing and continuing her trade embargo policies, which cause economic suffering for populations in Iran, Venezuela and other countries. These policies have probably been the cause of recents riots in Iran, which have killed about 1,500 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E...anian_protests).

Yes, the US clearly left the Iranian government no choice but to open fire on unarmed demonstrators.
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Last edited by SpitfireIX; 29th May 2020 at 07:10 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM   #75
Michel H
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Second, are you aware of ISIS's stated goals? What possible compromise could be achieved by negotiation?
Perhaps the U.S. and its allies (governments of Iraq and Afghanistan) could offer to free some ISIS prisoners. As you probably know, this has been decided and done for Taliban prisoners (I suspect, though I shall not claim to be an expert, that the difference between the Taliban and the Islamic State is less big than what the U.S. is saying - but it seems, unfortunately, to be part of U.S. ideology to try to demonize some people). Another possible idea (?): the Taliban could try to bring an ISIS representative next time they meet the Americans.
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Old Today, 07:56 AM   #76
Little 10 Toes
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Thank you for continuing to avoid answering direct questions. The lack of a direct response speaks volumes.
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Old Today, 08:24 AM   #77
Michel H
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Originally Posted by Little 10 Toes View Post
Thank you for continuing to avoid answering direct questions. The lack of a direct response speaks volumes.
Which direct question do you have in mind?
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Old Today, 09:15 AM   #78
SpitfireIX
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
The case of Czechoslovakia is special because, in March 1939, its president Emil Hácha agreed himself to a German occupation after meeting Hitler:
Quote:
After the secession of Slovakia and Ruthenia, British Ambassador to Czechoslovakia Basil Newton advised President Hácha to meet with Hitler. ... Von Ribbentrop testified at the Nuremberg trials that during this meeting Hácha had told him that "he wanted to place the fate of the Czech State in the Führer's hands."
... by four o'clock he contacted Prague, effectively "signing Czechoslovakia away" to Germany.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_H...lovak_Republic)

I just noticed that I failed to call you on your brazen dishonesty in this post. Here is the original quotation from the Wikipedia article, with the passages you omitted hilited:
After the secession of Slovakia and Ruthenia, British Ambassador to Czechoslovakia Basil Newton advised President Hácha to meet with Hitler. When Hácha first arrived in Berlin, he first met with the German Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop prior to meeting with Hitler. Von Ribbentrop testified at the Nuremberg trials that during this meeting Hácha had told him that "he wanted to place the fate of the Czech State in the Führer's hands."

In the evening of 14 March 1939, Hitler summoned President Hácha to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. Hitler deliberately kept him waiting for hours, while Hitler watched a film. Wilhelm Keitel in his memoirs recalled that when Hácha arrived Hitler said that "he was going to let the old gentleman rest and recover for two hours" which was incomprehensible to Keitel. Finally, at 1:30 a.m., on 15 March 1939, Hitler saw the President. He told Hácha that as they were speaking, the German army was about to invade Czechoslovakia.

Hitler then gave the Czech President two options: cooperate with Germany, in which case the "entry of German troops would take place in a tolerable manner" and "permit Czechoslovakia a generous life of her own, autonomy and a degree of national freedom..." or face a scenario in which "resistance would be broken by force of arms, using all means." Minutes of the conversation noted that for Hácha this was the most difficult decision of his life, but believed that in only a few years this decision would be comprehensible and in 50 years would probably be regarded as a blessing. According to Joachim Fest, Hácha suffered a heart attack induced by Göring's threat to bomb the capital and
by four o'clock he contacted Prague, effectively "signing Czechoslovakia away" to Germany. [notes omitted]
Kindly explain why you felt it necessary to edit the quotation to make it appear that Hácha's agreement was voluntary, when it was clearly under severe duress, and why you chose to omit the passages that clearly indicate that Hitler was going to invade what was left of Czechoslovakia with or without Hácha's cooperation.
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