Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Neocon Artists

Did you ever know a person casually, then get to know him a little better, decide that he's a really reliable person, in synch with you on any number of things, and a guy to turn to when you need help understanding something or making a decision? And then you find out that he's a Scientologist or a flat-earther or a cat-lover (or cat-hater, depending on your own zoological orientation). Well, in most such cases we don't throw out the baby with the bath, but continue to regard him as a friend, and reliable, and dependable, but always with the caveat that we take his peculiarities into consideration when we do rely on him. His future opinions on Tom Cruise movies, or the Space Program, or Garfield, we take with a grain of salt, while continuing to regard him as a good source of input on other things.

That's the way it is with a lot of neocons. They are often very smart, articulate, and wise within certain parameters. Charles Krauthammer is a good example. A lot of what he says about economics and politics are dead on. But you have to remember that he's a neocon, and that his goals differ from yours. If you're like me, you're an American (or British, or French, or Russian) patriot, and you're mainly concerned, of course, about the fate of your own country. Neocons aren't. Neocons are concerned with two things: mankind in general, and Israel, not necessarily in that order. The US (and other countries, depending) come a distant third. Neocons tend to support a lot of things that keep the US militarily strong, so that we can be used by them to defend Israel and remake the rest of the world according to their plans. They obviously don't care about defending the US, because they're advocates for open borders (smash Islam overseas, and invite it to move here) and just about all other liberal policies.

Another such is Victor Davis Hanson, whose quotes I run into now and then, and who often seems to make a lot of sense. Again, though, we have to remember what his neocon motives are. Paul Gottfried, who thinks pretty much like I do about wars past, present, and future,  deconstructs a column of his. This from

Paul Gottfried on the Causes of War

The Name That Must Not Be Mentionedby Paul Gottfried
Among the neoconservatives’ kept pontificators on modern history, Victor Davis Hanson may well be the most ridiculous. A respectable scholar when writing about Greek hoplites and other aspects of ancient military history, Hanson becomes a raving maniac as soon as he puts on his neocon spectacles. His latest syndicated column, “World War II: Unfashionable Truths” illustrates this process of transformation.

On the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two, Hanson is in a tizzy about “revisionist histories,” for example, those that “blame Germany’s aggressions on the supposedly harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles.” Does Hanson believe that a treaty that stripped Germany of a third of its territories and placed millions of its citizens under hostile foreign regimes, such as Polish rule in West Prussia and Danzig, was only “supposedly harsh?” Was the reduction of Austria from a great empire to a shrunken ward of Europe at the hands of the Allies or the attempted reduction of Turkey in the Treaty of Sèvres to a principality around Ankara, a fate that, by the way, only the military brilliance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk kept from happening, look anything like just peace terms? According to Hanson, “Versailles was more lenient than what Germany had planned for Britain and France should they have won in 1918.” Moreover, “the terms imposed on a defeated Russia by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in early 1918″ was far harsher than the comeuppance the Germans got at Versailles in 1919.

These generalizations are so breathtakingly one-sided that one wonders what research Hanson has done to reach his flawed opinions. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which the German Empire, then at war in the West, concluded with Lenin’s regime in March 1918, was intended to release both food and war matériel to a blockaded country. The Germans took what they could, which was the Western part of European Russia, to carry on a grim military struggle they would soon lose. As historian Egmont Zechlin has observed, the German gains at Brest-Litovsk should be viewed as Kriegsmittel (means of continuing a fight) rather than as Kriegsziele (war aims). They represented the same kind of military-diplomatic measure as the Treaty of London, signed in April 1915, the bait by which the British tempted Italy into joining the bloodbath. The effect of that treaty, only parts of which were (fortunately) ever implemented, would have dragged millions of unwilling subjects, mostly South Slavs and Austrians, into an expanded Italian empire. Needless to say, the victorious Allies did nothing to return territory to Lenin’s government that had been taken by the Germans. They divided this land among their client states, which were either brought into existence or expanded as a counterweight to Germany. The Allies also used these states to contain a crippled Austria and an amputated Hungary. As for the “harsher” treaties that Hanson claims the Germans had in store for the Brits and the French had they won, since he doesn’t elaborate, we’ll treat this comment as mere space-filler.

Note all of this is lead-up to going after the name that dare not be mentioned, that of Pat B, who has treated the Second World War as a confrontation that could have been limited to Germany and Russia. Although I for one have expressed some disagreement with Pat’s argument about the likelihood of Hitler’s going directly for Russia after occupying Western Poland, I would like to make one point crystal (pardon the pun!) clear. Buchanan has every right to argue what he does without being called a Nazi or Nazi-sympathizer. Further, everything he has written about World War One is entirely correct, although Pat may understate the role of the British government (and particularly of Churchill) in greasing the skids for the Great War.

Pat’s assignment of at least some responsibility to what Hanson calls “neutral Poland” in fanning hostilities with Germany seems indisputable. The Polish government in the mid- and late 1930s went on the rampage inciting violence against Germans and periodically closing off Danzig and the “Polish Corridor,” a strip of land through which Germans by agreement with the victorious Allies were allowed free access between East Prussia and Central Germany. As former German major general and military historian Gerd-Schultze Rhonhof demonstrates exhaustively (although not to the satisfaction of the obsessively antinational German press) in 1939: Der Krieg, der viele Väter hat (1939: The War that Had Many Fathers), Hitler’s bargaining position in dealing with Poland’s military dictatorship up until September 3, 1939, was actually quite reasonable.
(Read the rest HERE.)
Quibcag: I have no idea who the girl is, but she looks like she knows what she's talking about.

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