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Sarkozy talks up European defence

Mark Mardell | 09:59 UK time, Thursday, 12 March 2009

sarkonatoafp203.jpgPresident Nicolas Sarkozy's speech about Nato was full of scathing sarcasm. "We are willing to put troops on the ground, but it's too much to risk generals going to committees," was the thrust of one such barb. France is the fourth biggest contributor to Nato after all, and they have thousands of troops in Afghanistan. My colleague, Emma Jane Kirby, has been on patrol with them and you should be able to see her report on Newsnight on Monday.

But besides making his main case, the president peppered his speech with arguments for developing a "Europe of Defence" which doesn't translate well into English, perhaps in more ways than one. For years, there were many in the United States who saw the development of the European defence policy as a Gaullist strategy, an alternative and rival to Nato. But more recently (and I mean well before the election) most had come round to the idea that if the Europeans could look after themselves as well as police troubled parts of the world, then it was one less burden for the US to bear. A strong development of European defence is doubtless part of the quid pro quo of France returning to the top table of Nato.

Mr Sarkozy said it would have happened sooner, if it hadn't been for the French people rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. He said the treaty would have "guaranteed Europe's security for many years" by an "obligation of solidarity". He pointedly said that it was now a neutral country, Ireland, which was, as he put it, blocking the treaty.

The French parliamentary vote on returning to Nato has become a vote of confidence in the government, so Mr Sarkozy will get his way. However, I am told up to 60 members of his party are unhappy. They think France's is diminishing its potential role in the world for no return.

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  • 1. At 10:50am on 12 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Mr Mardell the truth behind the "..peppered European Defence.." speech defending France's new Military policy is as usual the prosaic Gallic attitude of trying to get as much as possible from others whilst giving as little as possible from its own side.

    At first sight, President Sarkozy's NATO choice is a real climbdown by France: Then, we consider the European Defence Force aspect in full and unremarkably nothing much has changed. It is just another ploy by France to suit itself whilst confronted by Pres Obama's USA who can hardly be said to have caused the rift in Franco-American relations in the previous 8 years.

    Considering all the arguments on a previous Blog about NATO and Afghanistan I wonder if some of the 'defenders' of Europe's collective 'no-show' in Afghanistan would care to reflect and reconsider their strident anti-remarks on the US-UK-Canadian Military commitment?

    Apparently, Msr Sarkozy has realised France's best chance of creating an effective European Defence Force is if they are first able to persuade the US-UK of France's reliability! As I pointed out in that previous Blog: France and the rest of the pro-EDF nations may find their own Tax-Payers footing the extensive Military Bill and that most certainly would hurt the spoilt Europeans. Especially if US-UK decided not share their NATO logistics-weapons systems-intelligence assets with this new EU-inspired Military Cadre. Then there is the question of Military 'esprit de corps'; with no France or other European senior ranking Officer able/worthy to Command NATO Forces as in the light of Afghanistan no US-UK-Canadian Forces would consider accepting orders in any combat zone from the Afghanistan 'no-shows'!

    To repeat: When France, Spain, Belgium etc place their Troops under a single-command and are in the Afghan frontline sharing the aggressive combat burden in full, then, and only then, will Sarkozy and the rest deserve any credit within NATO. Simply agreeing to sign-up does not make anyone a genuine soldier!

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  • 2. At 11:30am on 12 Mar 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    If France wants to return to NATO they should have been made to pay a price. That price should have been abandoning their long standing goal of decoupling the US from the defence of Europe. Instead we will now have them pushing for the EU to take the lead in defence matters and using their veto in NATO to cripple that organisation.

    At the end of the day France is the rogue elephant of the international community who cannot be depended upon in a time of emergency. If they would flounce out of NATO during the height of the Cold War then they can do it again. If they would sell their UN Security Council veto to Sadaam Hussein (UN 'Oil for Food' program) then they will surely sell a NATO veto to Russia in return for cut-price energy deals. European countries should have been given a stark choice between NATO or EU defence. Faced with such a choice no rational government could have preferred weak security from unreliable EU partners like France over the tried and tested NATO backed by reliable partners like the US and UK.

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  • 3. At 12:12pm on 12 Mar 2009, magnusth wrote:

    Is this not just another step towards the Confederate States of Europe?

    Europe cannot depend on the USA for maintaining peace in their backyard. Europe has the means and the strength to do so itself. But the will has always been a problem, but that is changing.

    Flow of immigrants mean that the failures of Africa have made their problems, European problems. islamist attacking or using Europe as a base have made the failures of Arab countries, European problems. Somali pirates threatening vital shipping routes. These issues among others should supply the will to unite common European defenses.

    If Obama succeeds in reigning in US use of oil than US interests in the region will soon evaporate. Than it is better for European nations to have a defense plan ready when that time comes.

    One question which is the UK more, a European nation or the 51st state?

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  • 4. At 12:47pm on 12 Mar 2009, diginomics wrote:

    Was the Cold War about fighting for democracy and freedom or simply to extend America's control over the other half of it? The mono-polar world is recently hatched and the when and how America will intervene is a large unknown for those countries that must "police themselves".

    Serbia tried policing itself. I am very suspicious of the view "if the Europeans could look after themselves as well as police troubled parts of the world, then it was one less burden for the US to bear." By what standard can America judge the thin blue line between policing and ruthless suppression? Surely it depends on the vigour of the resistance? Surely bystanders must always observe disproportionate force being used against the barbaric tactics of the weaker opponent?

    So America would like Europe to be its henchman? Tough enough to endure barbaric attacks when so told but sufficiently ruthless to apply disproportionate measures when asked. Yes it is the "Wacky Races" with Europe as "Muttley" to America's "Dick Dastardly". It is just not going to happen. Still I'm sure this sugary promise will be appropriately laid to get the bureaucratic bees in Brussels buzzing.

    The last time we saw "Europe defence policy" being talked up it was 1990/91. Instead of "policing the world" it led to Bosnia and the final act of America bombing Belgrade into submission. Am I just a cynic or will our next "European mission" be to police Georgia? More importantly, can America be so certain this time that Russia might not respond with a more deadly force to such eventual use of airpower?

    Western European politicians should be wary of being primed for a suicidal mission in Georgia. A "European Defence" concept is being traded again as before. Whatever the flag, it is a NATO inspired mission into ex-Soviet bloc countries in exchange for promise of more political independence and unity for Europe. When it escalates, the desired independence and unity may be won in a manner least expected. How?

    While the integration of the old West and East Europe is achieved in the corridors of power of Brussels, the situation outside is very different. If this mission is accepted, the old fault lines will resurface sharply amongst the general populations of Europe as soon as it encounters harsh resistance. As an advocate of some type of "West European Army" to replace East-West unification efforts, I say "go for it. But be aware of what may lie ahead.

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  • 5. At 12:47pm on 12 Mar 2009, Menedemus wrote:

    Has France ever won a War of Defence without the need for Allies to come to its rescue time and time again.

    Since 1944, France has had this Gaullist attitude that they know how to Defend Europe better than anyone else but their track record in defending their own Nation - let alone Europe - is one of appeasement, surrender or armistice without honour.

    If France is to lead the way in defining the future Defence of Europe then long may NATO continue under the support of the Americans who at least put their money where their mouths are and with whom I would rather have the UK be in alliance with.

    The USA may screw the UK but they will at least do it with a smile and a glad hand instead of a French sneer of superiority.

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  • 6. At 1:20pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    I for one support the idea of creating a common European Defence. The different political and economical interests that span from Europe's geopolitical position, that is very much different than the position of USA, support for having purely European security solution.

    An common European defence is something that works much better for us and especially for our neighbours. For Russia and Middle-East countries, but also to China and India we are less threatning when we are allied together under European banner than allied under the banner of USA.

    It should also be mentioned that creating formal European defense pact and organization would be welcomed arrangement as now European countries are informally willing to defend each others in case of emergency, but there is no single command and commitment, this holds true even to NATO, the 5th article is quite fuzzy. Also as we are building common resources, like the Galileo satellite navigation system, that will also be used by militaries, it would be sensible to put all these things in formal agreement and under formal organization.


    To ikamaskeip (1):

    By the way..

    ..where does the idea come from that European security relies on USA let alone to UK. European Union members together spend to their defence half of that of US putting them as an group ahead of any other rival power be it Russia, China or India.

    ..where does the idea come from that the UK is ahead of France in security matters? If we look at pure military spending, France is ahead of the UK. In capabilities and technology front its France again which has developed its own nuclear weapons and delivery systems where as UK more or less has loaned them from the USA. Do remember the current SNAFU with refurbishing Trident missiles: for some reason the US has 'lost' ability to produce them. Or what about the other ongoing SNAFU with F-35 program, US not giving software to UK in first place, and more or less non working VTOL capabilities that put question marks for the whole Royal Navy about its purchase of non-nuclear carriers.


    To Freeborn-John (2):

    Why again should Europe fight in Afghanistan? Why should we go into US hallucination of eternal war against terror? Hunting terrorists is one thing, putting up an colonial empire another thing while continuing the very same policies that in the first place created these terrorists.

    And why again should Europe go into fights which doesn't serve its interests? For example the operation Iraq-Freedom-To-Use-Only-Dollars-To-Trade-Oil was heavily against the interests of Eurozone countries and the people of Iraq as both USA and UK were in reality not ready to take burden of occupying thus plunging the whole country in anarchy that has put millions in refuge camps and put hundreds of thousands on early grave.

    I'm sorry, but France and other continental powers have had right policies in the first place. Lets not invade and occupy an foreign country out of false excuses (Iraq). Lets talk and try to discuss with countries that are deemed threatening and try to arrange an solution that works for all parties (Iran).

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  • 7. At 1:31pm on 12 Mar 2009, GuyI35 wrote:

    I think a european common defence force is simply a practicality. when we look to europes borders we see nothing but instablity, the odd dictatorship (minus a few cases) and an increasingly assertive russia.

    The EU should in my view be responsible for foreign affairs and defence. If the fear is a lack of accountability and an increasingly strong commission then i believe the EU should adopt elements of the Swiss model of democracy. A federal europe is a must when competing with china, russia, america and even india. The only reason france, germany and britain (whatever that means) has any influence is because they pulled together trade etc.

    Immigration should be on the agenda too, malta, italy, spain etc can't do all the work!

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  • 8. At 2:22pm on 12 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    "Mr Sarkozy said it would have happened sooner, if it hadn't been for the French people rejecting the Lisbon Treaty".

    They did not reject the Lisbon Treaty. They were never given the opportunity. What they rejected was the proposed constitution. I was under the impression that was the whole purpose of Lisbon was to ensure it was not a constitution and so circumvent the need to consult the people - and not just in France.

    If the French president does not know his treaties from his constitutions, what chance do the rest of us have?

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  • 9. At 2:34pm on 12 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #6 - Jukka_Rohila

    And what is the point of a common defence policy without a common foreign policy? That is the big question that you chose not to ask.

    The one thing that is obvious is that, if you are going to maintain a significant military capability, you do need the means to mobilise quickly and that requires an effective foreign policy response. Can you imagine deciding on an effective response to a crisis situation being worked out by a committee of 27 nations, some of which are not even in the Atlantic alliance? Of course not.

    Your remarks about the relative merits of the British and French nuclear capabilities are really not relevant to the European defence project. Tell Sarkozy that he can have his common defence policy if and when he gives up his independent deterrent and his permanent seat at the UNSC then stand stand back and watch him create a new world record at back-pedalling.

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  • 10. At 2:38pm on 12 Mar 2009, karmel80 wrote:

    Sorry to be picky about things, as well because you might be making a joke...

    But, here goes:

    "... French people rejecting the Lisbon Treaty."

    The French rejected the Constitutional Treaty. The Irish rejected the Lisbon treaty.

    The content might be similar, but it's two different legal texts.

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  • 11. At 2:54pm on 12 Mar 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    Jukka (6): There is no European interest, nor even Western interest; only national interest. It happens that the UK interest tends to be more closely aligned with the US interest than that of France or Germany, but that is not the issue here. The agenda of international organisations tends to be dominated by their largest member states. The EU is unique among important international organisations in that the US is not a member. This is the only reason why France and Germany prefer that the EU take over responsibility for defence matters from NATO. Everything else is trivial detail except for the consequences, the most significant of which is that it is undeniable that an EU defence would be vastly weaker and less credible than a collective NATO defence that includes the North Americans.

    France and Germany may calculate that a weakened defence dominated by themselves is preferable to a strong defence dominated by the US, but no other European country could ever conclude the same.

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  • 12. At 4:00pm on 12 Mar 2009, MeJustNormal wrote:

    @ikamaskeip #1
    "France's new Military policy is as usual the prosaic Gallic attitude of trying to get as much as possible from others whilst giving as little as possible from its own side". Funny, that's exactly how I would describe the UK attitude related to the EU!

    @Freeborn-John #2
    France did not leave NATO, only left the integrated command. After France had developed its own nuclear defence, and seen how the US could not be relied on after the Suez crisis, De Gaulle justifiably thought that the French should take care of their own defense. I'd rather not, and you'd rather not talk about the illegal Iraq invasion by US/UK. Illegal even by the UK government standards, who refuse to publish the related meeting minutes even under freedom of information law. Can't blame the French for wanting to veto such actions.

    Also "If France wants to return to NATO they should have been made to pay a price". It's not so much France wanting to come back into the integrated command. I think the US is rather glad to offer a couple of commanding position in exchange for more engagement in Afghanistan.

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  • 13. At 4:01pm on 12 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Jukka_Rohilla and Comment 6.

    If for one moment you were able to take a step back from your incredible yearning for European integration at all levels of society I think you will find your speculative notions on what constitutes 'Defence commitments' and the 'Costs' of going it alone are in the realms of wishful thinking. Or, that an absolutely fundamental rethink and adjustment of present European attitudes to their own Defence is required.

    The EU members do not spend anything like as much on Armed Forces as the US-UK: Yes the Europeans budget for Defence forces, but, they are not the "Operational Forces" required to mount an effective defence-deterrent as provided by NATO. Historically, across NATO the US-UK have picked-up/covered for the slack in the system resulting from the Europeans lack of willingness. As a former UK trooper let me explain that having Tanks, Aircraft, Machine Guns on paper or mothballed is not the same as having that Equipment primed and ready with Active Weapons Systems and the Trained, Skilled Personnel from cook to Fighter Navigation Officer to TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile deployer etc. Nothing is more expensive than maintaining a Standing Army for the unlikely event of a major war. Nothing has been more dangerous than the Europeans' lazy, miserly assumption other NATO nations will do your fighting for you. If NATO pulls out or disbands Europe must pay for itself and frankly no European nation (France aside) has spent anywhere near enough. Both France and UK have also relied heavily on the USA to step into the breech.

    Consequently, if a European Defence Force does come about then across the EU there will need to be a 3 to 7% rise in general Taxation to pay for it (and in some nations considerably more, or, are you assuming France will step into the significant breech left by the withdrawl of US-UK Forces?).

    The EU Federalist's longterm aim for the USA to withdraw all its Armed Forces personnel from Europe may come about: The closure of USA Army, Navy, Airforce bases across mainland West Europe and now to some extent in the East plus removal of all weapons systems, logistical support etc. will severely impact on many European communities at a economic-social level.

    France is the only EU nation with anything like the Military preparedness of the UK: However, the EU in general will need to radically rebuild, re-quip and recruit Army, Navy and Air Forces to replace the USA-Canadian-UK contingents (you surely do not imagine the British Armed Forces are going to quit NATO for the jokers running the EU!?).

    The only SNAFU in sight is the preposterous idea that Europeans after living 50+ years under the shelter of NATO and especially the USA are going to pay for their own Defence without noticing an almighty hole in their EUrocratic Budget!

    By all means go ahead and form a European defence Force, if that is your deliberate wish: Though, I am bound to observe that like the EU superimposed on National Govenments, an EDF will be yet another layer of Taxation-Public Expenditure when a perfectly feasible and economic resource, NATO, already exists.

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  • 14. At 4:02pm on 12 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #5
    Menedemus,

    Britain's record in defending itself is hardly better than the one of France. After 1945 Britain was made to collect its belongings from many colonies, had an ill-fated military adventure during the Suez crisis and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have revealed that Britain can hardly support as much as 40 000 troops in a war. Britain received as much help (if not more) from the USA during the WW2 and I do not think that without the logistical, military and inteligence strenght of the US Army, Britain would be able to stay long in Iraq or Afghanistan. Only during the Falklands war did Britain had some sort of success, although in a limited conflict.

    Having the USA as an ally is OK, but that does not mean Britain does not need anybody else. After all, the country that contributed the most troops and equipment to the European Cold war theatre was not America, but West Germany. Yet, the Americans seem to be taking all the credit for 'having saved Europe during the Cold war'.

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  • 15. At 4:13pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To threnodio (9):

    European defence can work without common foreign policy. However common European defence will restrict foreign policy of its members, i.e. it is impossible for an member to take part on activities that are offensive or involve usage of military force.

    In case of common foreign policy, that is in the works. Actually I would argue that we have had a common foreign policy in practise since the day we have had a common market and at least from the start of the monetary union. It is the old mantra, economic interests dictate political interests which together dictate and fuel military and security interests.

    On your other marks..

    ..having common European defence and common European foreign policy necessities stronger and more independent EU, a more federal EU to be formed that can act in given limits.

    ..having the French giving up their independent nuclear deterrent and their place at the UNSC are all necessary for common European defence, for common European foreign policy and further integration of the EU. However that isn't the first step, first step is to create an European defence and deepen the integration into a point where the French and all European Union members see it as an natural for the EU to speak with a one voice in the UNSC and use force with a single command.

    ..you pointed my marks about the British capabilities. Well those are all valid marks and they do belong to the discussion as the British view always revolves around the mantra "We and the US... We have that... The French are not... The Europeans don't have..." which more or leads into view that Britain can just isolate from the Europe and rely on the USA, which are false defaults.


    To Freeborn-John (11):

    There are definitely a common interests in play that support for European unity. I and many others have pointed out historical, cultural, economical and political interests that we share, but lets just like this...

    When you use the same money as your neighbour, the interests and well-being of your neighbour becomes your interests too. Money makes the world go around.

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  • 16. At 4:17pm on 12 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    Sarkozy doesnt have anything better to do, except read this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7939830.stm

    because Georgia was sold out by Sarkozy himself, who thought he could play games with Russians, or thought he could play game with European public opinion.

    Now according to Sarkozy, who does he think will want to fight and die for under French command? If French didnt want to get orders by US, then why we will want to get orders by France?

    One thing is for sure, that politics changes and NATO is not prepared to deal with such changes.
    Why Ukraine is going bunkrupt? Because of corruption or let it put it clearly, because of stealing of money. All EU money supposed investments in making Ukraine proWestern was given to opportunists, people who are thiefs, degenerates etc. All political class is like this, so why we keep financing a failed state. Why NATO want to expand to Ukraine? Is it to increase the number of women in its ranks or countries as legally employed for seX?

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  • 17. At 4:24pm on 12 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    "We will forgive these fines because we recognise the reality - they have nothing to pay with. They are on the verge of bankruptcy, and as you well know you should not finish off your partners," he added.

    Putin about Ukraine.

    ////////////////////////


    This pro-Western pupets, as Putin calls them, are his best partners, since they are doing his game, and not helping NATO or EU.

    Facts tell that they not only are bunkrupting the country but damaging EU,NATO reputation in the process. They are failed people, and degenerates. But guess who choose them and supported them all this time...?? we the West.

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  • 18. At 4:37pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    "But more recently (and I mean well before the election) most had come round to the idea that if the Europeans could look after themselves as well as police troubled parts of the world, then it was one less burden for the US to bear."

    I wonder, would looking after themselves have included defending their economic interests in Iraq from US invasion and appropriation?

    A little discussed fact of the Iraq war is what happened to the billions of dollars worth of french and german (and russian) loans (and even greater value of industrial contracts).

    Those who are curious may be surprised to know that the USA refused to force the new iraqi regime to honour these "debts". Such are the spoils of war.

    Hence the massive outcry about how unjust the war was from the german and french governments. Their corporate sponsors lost a LOT of money.

    Now the response from the USA was curious. To silence the french and german governments, the USA offered a deal: for every dollar France and Germany would give to the USA in order to "help with reconstruction", the USA would force the independent Iraqi government to honour one dollar of debts owed by Saddam's regime.

    This episode is hugely interesting for those who want to understand how the western system of representative government works.

    The USA essentially told the french and german governments that if they took money from their taxpayers and gave it to the USA, the USA would force the independent Iraqi government to pay out the debts to the investment banks from france and germany.

    In other words, the USA gave the french and german governments the opportunity to take from their taxpayers, and give to their bankers.

    And both the french and german governments agreed to this deal, and the press in both france and germany fell silent on their objections to the war.

    None of this is conspiracy. It is all public domain information. In fact, it was all reported in the western press. Not in these terms, of course.

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  • 19. At 4:50pm on 12 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    at #6

    you have an inferiority complex..
    if someone doesnt like us, it is their problem.
    if russia china or india dont like European countries being one with US, it is their problem..
    they have to deal with it..

    without US, EU is a joke for Russia, China, or India, and thats why they cannot accept that fact that Europe and US are united.. but of course that traitors and Troyan horses we will have inside, and deal with them.

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  • 20. At 5:04pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (18):

    Wrong.

    In addition that going into offensive war for false reasons should be objected, the major economic reason to object USA-UK invasion was that Iraq was using Euro to trade oil. Now if other oil producers would have adopted to use Euro alongside the US dollar or used Euro alone to price and sell their oil, US dollar would have collapsed. By going there and effectively pronouncing to any other oil producer "you trade oil with Euro, we will kill you". Essentially what Europe and Eurozone lost in the Iraq war was incredible much more than few billions of Euro in contracts.

    If Iraq would have continued trading oil with Euro and other oil producers, Iran and Russia, would have followed with it, the leading economy and the leading currency now would be the EU and the Euro. That what was in the stake and any suggestion from the US and UK after the invasion where just added insults.

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  • 21. At 5:09pm on 12 Mar 2009, timOfBrum wrote:

    Of course there should be a Common European Defence Force. European countries are the ones we share the most cultural and ideological values with, so in this global age where our main potential threats have armies sized in the millions of men, it makes sense.

    Whilst the British army must remain sverign to Britain, it should be committed to an EU force, just as we are currently to NATO (which should and would continue).

    People who harp on about conflicts from decades and centuries past as reasons not to ally with other European states make absolutely no sense; they merely point out their xenophobic nature. After all, it wasn't many centuries ago that the English and Scottish armies would be facing each other on the battlefield. The same logic should mean we don't have a "Common British Force" either!

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  • 22. At 5:18pm on 12 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    at #20,

    is it a valid reason to go to war?

    then why we should give them an army?

    so that we can participate as well in mass murder?

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  • 23. At 5:27pm on 12 Mar 2009, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    The whole concept of a Euro Defence Force, under what ever name it may rejoice, is an absurdity. It is the abstract dream of people like the French president, who see it as a strengthening of their grip on their positions on the world stage, and the fanatical Euro federalists, who confuse any type of further integration as a goal in its own right, whatever its merits. Well here's a news flash: in this increasingly unstable world, defence is far too important to be a plaything for the Euro dreamers. It just isn't going to happen.

    Once, as Jukka_Rohila points out, the military capabilities of all member nations of the EU are merged under one command, and funded by the EU, the foreign military actions of each member state will be restricted to those "approved" by the EU. Should the Falklands be invaded again, against the wishes of the settled population, what price the EU agreeing to military action to liberate them? Almost nil. What if Australia found itself threatened or attacked. The EU would alsmost certainly shrug its sleepy shoulders and decide that it was nothing to do with them. The idea that the UK could or would stand idly by in either case is ridiculous, and if the EU tried to prevent military assistance by the UK there would be blood on the streets. It would almost certainly bring about the immediate cancellation of Britain's membership of the EU.

    The other side of the coin of course, is that those members of the EU who currently luxuriate in their military neutrality can kiss that goodbye, whatever "opt outs" they may negotiate beforehand. If they really think that British citizens would stand for seeing their troops swallowed into a "Euro army" and deployed by the EU while other European nations stand idly by, they must be mad. Bad enough that we see precious little support now from some of our supposed "fellow Europeans" in a battle against fanatical ideologues who threaten us all, but at least we know on whom we can and cannot rely. There is a world of difference between a nation having an effective military capability, and being prepared to use it in anger. We don't have to look far today to see that very clearly demonstrated.

    The EU is world famous for cobbling together face-saving compromises over difficult questions; that doesn't work on the battlefield. By all means form a pretendy Euro army, but don't expect to use the toys in our box.

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  • 24. At 5:36pm on 12 Mar 2009, meznaric wrote:

    "But more recently (and I mean well before the election) most had come round to the idea that if the Europeans could look after themselves as well as police troubled parts of the world, then it was one less burden for the US to bear."

    A burden? What are you talking about? This is a privilege, not a burden. Do you seriously think they mind?

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  • 25. At 5:58pm on 12 Mar 2009, newsjock wrote:

    What real use is NATO when 90% of the members are mere passengers, just being there for the political kudos. Only the 10% bear the responsibility and the expense of any global actions. Of course it IS a splendid talking shop.

    A Defence of Europe Group wouldn't be no better. As with the EU, it would be riddled with national self interest, and the usual backbiting.

    And you certainly couldn't let EU officialdom run it !

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  • 26. At 6:05pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka, I have nothing to say to disagree with your post about the Euro, and the US desire to end the example set by the Iraqi regime in that respect. Your analyses holds water, in my view.

    But I fail to see why you prefixed this comment with the statement that I was "WRONG".

    I may be wrong about what I posted, but you didn't address what i wrote at all. I wasn't talking about the reasons for the war, and I wasn't talking about the US desire to end international trade in Euros.

    Look, I am often mistaken, and very prone to making over reaching statements that are wrong.

    But we are not in some sort of contest to win the prize for smartest person in the room, and making me "wrong" will not make you right, about anything.

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  • 27. At 6:10pm on 12 Mar 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 28. At 6:11pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Anyway, the point of my previous sermon was to ask:

    "What happens when the mighty EU has foreign policy aims that differ from the Mighty USA?"

    I'd bet £5 that Mark Mardell heard the same mantra as i did in his travels through eastern Europe:

    "We were occupied by the soviet army until 1991!!!"

    This mantra is the first thing people in the baltic states learn to say in english. It is their governments primary excuse for every kind off mismanagement.

    I got sick of hearing it, and began to respond:

    "So what? Germany is still occupied by the US army. The USA has more troops in west Germany than anywhere else on earth, including Iraq and Afghanistan combined."

    when analyzing discussions of European "defense" policy, one must remember the reason NATO was created:

    To keep the Germans down, the Russians out, and the Americans in.

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  • 29. At 6:44pm on 12 Mar 2009, CarlOfSweden wrote:

    World's largest economy, EU, needs own defence structures, and European central command. NATO is a relic from the Cold War era, and while it served all members against Soviet threat, today it serves the USA and its interests.

    I personally, and post WWII generations have no desire to support American banks and corporations at cost of Europe, as other forum members have described it.

    Dear Americans and staunch supporters of US-UK axis, please explain to modern Europeans why you so persistantly and vehemently desire to defend Europe from Russia, China, India and God knows what else? Why you so generously offer to mediate in EU-Turkey accession talks?

    Let me get it straight. Your care is uncalled for, and moderate Europeans have no reason to trust you, or to lift a finger in order to participate in "mission from God"-projects, as GW Bush expressed the goal of spreading "freedom and democracy".

    Once again, please save money for future pensions, and effort for hard work in factories/officies. You are going to need it.

    Sarkozy's initiative to form European framework for future defense is a sign of EU's long awaited self-assertiveness also when it comes to military matters. World's largest economy need own, reliable defence.

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  • 30. At 7:06pm on 12 Mar 2009, CarlOfSweden wrote:

    In response to:
    23. At 5:27pm on 12 Mar 2009, MalcolmW2

    Well, once again it boils down to attitudes towards EU. What kind of sympathy can someone who obviosly is wholeheartedly with UKIP and its alikes count on from EU, when he doesn't waste a second to attack it, often on lose grounds?

    Actually, those who are pro-EU wouldn't mind you to leave, but since comon custom in this part of world is to voluntarily resign, and hence not being aked to leave, you should do so.

    Please, vote UKIP or whatever party or organization you find suitable representing your views, but for God's sake don't blame EU. Blame your government in London. Use your civic right to vote and foremost, respect democracy, which means rule of majority. Good luck.

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  • 31. At 7:06pm on 12 Mar 2009, chris smith wrote:

    you fight and die for your counrty not for the EU which is getting to big for its boots

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  • 32. At 7:17pm on 12 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    Jukka

    I think it depends very much on what you mean by a common defence policy. If you mean that, in the event of any European country coming under attack, Europe would be capable and politically committed to intervening on the side of their fellow Europeans, of course you are right. It is absolutely appropriate that partners should behave in that way.

    If, however, you are saying that the French would need the agreement of the other 26 before deploying in Chad, for example, you are in entirely different territory. It has nothing to do with the defence of Europe.

    Somewhere in the middle, you have the difficult areas of perceived threats. Is the War on Terror (if there is such a thing), Europe's war? If you view this from Helsinki or Budapest, you would possibly think not. Viewed from London or Madrid it takes on a different perspective. I have some sympathy with your view that, in the long term, Europe can and must formulate a joint security strategy. In the short term, the best one can hope for is a command and control structure supported by adequate finance, training and coordination to ensure that Europe as a whole is secure and potentially responsive.

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  • 33. At 7:22pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (26):

    What? This isn't a contest on who is the smartest person in the room? What the [profanity] I'm doing in here? I was only after the trip into Hawaii...

    Wrong as in the economic interests in play here weren't just few loans and corporate contacts, they were just sidelines in the game. Corporate interests were irrelevant compared to the play concerning the status of reserve currency.

    Now should I or shouldn't I have used the prefix of "Wrong" in the beginning. Well, you noted that objections were because of conflicting corporate interests and while there may have been those in play too, few billions here or there doesn't hurt compared to bigger play concerning the oil trade. Now on that bases I started by comment by just simply noting that you were "Wrong" and then went on to what part I thought you were having wrong, and that was the basis of war and the objections against the war.

    Maybe too direct approach on my part, yes, that can be true, but then again nothing personal about it.

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  • 34. At 8:10pm on 12 Mar 2009, buckeridge wrote:

    Re. no. 28 democracythreat

    I've travelled throughout the new Member States and never once heard someone hark on about Soviet occupation.

    Your comment is not only offensive but also highly ignorant, and fails to remember that these same countries are the ones abandoned by the West at Yalta, and the same who suffered in international isolation before overthrowing Soviet rule and setting up democratic states. Whilst these people were being deported to their deaths in icy gulags, Britons were living in ignorance in their feral sub-culture.

    If people in modern day Britain showed the same the positive can-do attitude, respect for others and hope for the future that I encountered in the new Member States, this country would not find itself in the mess that it is currently in.

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  • 35. At 8:23pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    CarlOfSweden wrote:
    "World's largest economy, EU, needs own defence structures, and European central command."

    They sure do. Because at the moment, Europe couldn't defend itself against the Ukraine, much less against China.

    And just to put your anti-American feeling into context, perhaps you should look to Darfur and be a little grateful to our American buddies.

    Because if the yankee military machine were not the formidable beast that it is, China would swallow up France's african colonies faster than you could say "sacrebleu!"

    Calls for an EU military are loud and passionate, but the reality on the ground does not match the rhetoric.

    Nor should it, in my view.

    If Europe really wants to project its economic power via a military industrial complex, we must acknowledge how the Russians will likely respond.

    The balance of power in Eastern Europe would be dreadful for them in this case, and we could not expect peace to last.

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  • 36. At 8:28pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To ikamaskeip (13):

    The difference you describe in defence budget allocations and on military targets, is the difference between concentrating on offence and force projection and on concentrating on pure traditional defence.

    If we look at the pure traditional defence, then having a large scale conflict, a large war, an invasion into an EU country, it doesn't happen all out of sudden. In reality if a major war was in our door step, our relations into a certain country or group of countries would get worse by time, step by step leading eventually into a grey period when the war would be imminent, but not yet began. That grey period would be enough long time to allow the state leadership to call on additional military exercise, to prepare for the country to put in motion its wartime plans. Countries like Germany, Finland and Sweden rely on this, they rely on calling their reserves in.

    Now yes, having reserve armies doesn't work for projecting force in long away countries or to other continents, but then again, why should be invade and occupy some god forsaken country in the middle of nowhere? Is that capability really needed? Do we really need to have ability to fight colonial wars? I don't think so.

    And again... The EU countries spend 311 billion USd on their defence. The USA bankrupts itself by spending 719 billion, but China spends only 70 billion and Russia spends 50 billion. If take UK spending out of the EU spending, its still 250 billion USd. 250 billion USd is enough to spend of defence especially when by having a one unified force you can save massively on having economies of scale. So the question really is, against who are defending? Should we be afraid of the Americans? Should we spend as much as they are?

    The EU without UK spends of its GDP to military
    ..1,8%, that is now, and that amounts to 250 billion
    ..2,5% and we are in 350 billion
    ..5% and we are in 700 billion

    I know, lets make it 10% and 1400 billion and then we can take over the world!!!

    I'm sorry, but we spend collectively enough on defence now. We could spend a little more on defence and match the US, but what is the point? I thought we needed to defend ourself, not wage colonial wars.


    To MalcolmW2 (23):

    You have good points, that is why we need to form an formal agreement, a treaty, and an organization that cover and dictate what the European Defence really is, how it works and what does it cover.

    In case of Falklands, it doesn't belong to the EU, but then again having an invasion into it would be an attack against an EU country. Maybe solution in defending extra-European areas would be that countries holding them would either pay extra money for their defence or they would be allowed to use their states national guard units in these missions. All these things would be negotiated and covered in the treaty.

    Now the thing you missed was that, if in example China or Indonesia would make an invasion into Australia, what in reality could the UK do? Send a lone gun boat there and declare that the queen is very upset and wants an formal apology and gold for compensation for this insolence? What really can you do without the USA or without the continental Europe? You aren't world power any more, a regional power at most.

    By the way, the neutral members of the EU do spend on their defence. Both Finland and Sweden have reservist armies and enough modern equipment to inflict heavy damage against the Red Army and with success prevent them from occupying our countries.

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  • 37. At 8:45pm on 12 Mar 2009, gjm wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila wrote at 15

    "When you use the same money as your neighbour, the interests and well-being of your neighbour becomes your interests too. Money makes the world go around."

    Maybe you have failed to notice but the UK does not use the same money and a growing number of us have little interest in the well-being of Europe. It is not just the EDF we should reject but also the ever more corrupt and domineering EU.

    timOfBrum wroe at #21

    Of course there should be a Common European Defence Force. European countries are the ones we share the most cultural and ideological values with"

    Whatever gave you that idea? The common language? I for one consider myself to have far more in common with our American cousins than anyone in Europe as do most people I know. In fact in some areas like gang crime and drugs use we are too closely related to the US.
    I wouldn't cross the street to defend France or any other EU state.

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  • 38. At 8:46pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    "you fight and die for your counrty not for the EU which is getting to big for its boots"

    I believe the preferred doctrine is to fight and kill, rather than to fight and die.

    The idea is to leave the dying to the other chaps, in an effort to keep the balance sheet in the black, with regards the economic interests that pay for the spectacle of war.

    Whether it is done for a country, a religion or a football club is all a matter of personal taste.

    For myself, I don't see the point in killing folks for the conception of the nation state. But then, I am remarkably unfashionable.

    But I would kill for a peanut butter sandwich just now.

    All those who would flock to this banner, let us swear allegiance to the sacred cause and march onwards to Moscow!

    Hang on.... perhaps there is more peanut oil in Africa?

    March on to .., er, .. Senegal!

    Death to the lettuce eating scum who disdain my choice of beverage condiment!

    March on! (Via paris, so we can pick up some loot on the way.)

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  • 39. At 8:54pm on 12 Mar 2009, gjm wrote:

    CarlOfSweden wrote at #30
    "Use your civic right to vote and foremost, respect democracy, which means rule of majority. Good luck."

    I would love to vote for a party which would block the insidious march of the EU but democracy died in this country when the unelected Brown and his cronies lied their way out of giving us the promised referendum in which we would certainly have voted no.

    Do you consider it democratic to refuse the French a vote because they didn't come up with the result you wanted first time round or to make Ireland vote again for similar reasons.

    In every democratic vote held on the matter of closer integration the europhiles have lost so now nobody gets to vote. So, don't dare lecture me on respect for democracy.

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  • 40. At 9:29pm on 12 Mar 2009, MaxSceptic wrote:

    "Mr Sarkozy said it would have happened sooner, if it hadn't been for the French people rejecting the Lisbon Treaty".

    Whose slip of the tongue is this? Yours or Sarkozy's? The Treaty the French rejected was, of course, the Constitutional Treaty.

    This just confirms what all know, but only the UK government won't admit, that the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty are, for all intents and purposes, the same.

    The notion of an EU Defense Force - like that of an EU Federal Superstate - is not something the UK should even consider without gaining full consent from its citizens.





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  • 41. At 9:32pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To threnodio (32):

    When an European country is involved in an extra-European affair, it affects all European countries.

    For example you mentioned that France shouldn't need to get an blessing for its military operation in Chad. Why not? Why is France having a military operation there? What are the economic, political and military reasons for it? Does those reasons involve or conflict directly or indirectly with the interests of other European countries or with USA, China, India or Russia? That is an policy that will eventually lead into disaster when we have conflict of interests with another super power and we soon find one member state waging proxy war against another super power in some god forsaken jungle.

    I should also add that the war of terror that the USA and UK are waging does have a negative impact on both Helsinki and Budapest. Just try to walk in the streets of Iraq and when some insurgents come either to kill you or kidnap you, it probably doesn't matter that you say "I'm Finnish, I'm a citizen of a neutral country that isn't allied with the USA and isn't involved into occupation of Iraq", a westerner is a westerner to them.

    Besides there is the small problem that the whole war against terror is just a huge scam to justify setting up an colonial empire and deploying military world wide against any perceived threat against US hegemony. The other problem is that you can't win a war against terrorism, it is non winnable war as, terrorism is dealt with other ways, i.e. with controlling and restricting financing of it (Saudi-Arabia) and looking at the root causes on why its used against us (US military deployments in Persian Gulf).

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  • 42. At 9:42pm on 12 Mar 2009, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Encouraging news: BBC reports David Cameron has come a step closer to fulfilling his pledge that the Tories will leave the centre-right grouping in the European Parliament.

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  • 43. At 9:43pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka wrote:

    "Wrong as in the economic interests in play here weren't just few loans and corporate contacts, they were just sidelines in the game. Corporate interests were irrelevant compared to the play concerning the status of reserve currency."

    Fair enough. I mean, I agree with your point. But i never intended to suggest the machinations regarding french and german corporate debt were the causa belli for war.

    I was just suggesting that this was an example where EU and US foreign policy it directly at odds, which brings this whole concept of Europe doing the "heavy lifting" for the USA into some doubt. I also thought the way that matter transpired is indicative of how representative democracy works, and who is truly represented, and who pays.

    But your point regarding the contest for the world reserve currency of choice is well made, and it is also useful when discussing how sensible we are to paint the US-EU relationship in terms of some sort of benign partnership between inseparable friends.

    It is hard to know how people who think in such terms really see the world. Do they imagine that everything they read in the press is true? Do they truly think that everyone is france hated nazi germany, and that vichy france was a fabrication rather than the expression of majority will?

    I find it curious to speculate how much our political leaders believe of what they say, when they get the chance to stick their faces into our living rooms via the cameras that dutifully turn up to record their grand opinions.

    Take the UK foreign minister, for example. I mean, is he for real?

    Watching him is fascinating. He has a remarkable mind. He is either completely devoid of historical context, and therefore capable of believing absolutely anything he is told by his party coach, or he is a pathological liar, with a taste for the grossly absurd.

    I can't work him out at all. I can't work out if he thinks the public is completely stupid, or if he merely thinks the public is as stupid as he is.

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  • 44. At 10:15pm on 12 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukks and democracythreat, :o).

    Jukka, why not to start "Correct!!! but Far More Importantly ..." :o)

    Contracts and loans and investments lost in Iraq BTW a huge amount for Russia, democracythreat right. And certainly we didn't negotiate with USA for any conditions to have these monies saved. Gone.

    And, as democracythreat again correctly pointed out - Germany and France were against Iraq invasion - and surprise surprise - Russia missed its money to be blown with the wind - as well.

    Karolina001 @16 "why NATO wants to be in Ukraine".
    I don't think NATO does, USA do.

    What will it add to NATO countries' security.
    ?
    _________

    Overall seems to be a funny military clock-wise motion. If you look at the map. Russia looks to Europe. Europe turns its back to it and looks to its strongest military members, UK and France. UK looks for protection across the pond to the USA. USA looks at China who holds the money strings now (and everything else USA has). And China looks I HOPE LOL to South-East Asia to expand. (Some may say it is gazing at Russia). The merry-go-round completed LOL.

    "Ring-a-ring of roses a pocket full of posies. Ti-sha Ti-sha we all fall down." :o)

    Can anyone tell me why in this English rhyme there is a Russian word "ti-sha" (slower! slower! hold it)

    Well I don't know, we certainly look military kind of West. since Ukraine gave us another scare a week ago about possible gas interruptions, Belorussian president flew in to Moscow to remind he is the only reliable tube to the EU and snipped off away 500 mln extra in 3 hours during the scare. In addition to the 3.5 bln already collected by him during the first gas scare in February.
    And Russia signed we extend our nuclear umbrella / protection from air - to include full Belorussian territory. FOC.





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  • 45. At 10:57pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    The discussion on this thread is very interesting stuff.

    As I see the issue, there seems to be a huge question mark over a pan European foreign policy.

    Is it feasible to expect all european nations to give up their individual special relationships with the rest of the world, and, at the same time, take on the especially bad relationships that each member state has with the rest of the world?

    France has interests in west africa that could be ignored to the detriment of french industry, spain has significant interests in south america. The UK has its fingers in every pie going, and the baltic states have all sorts of issues with the ruskis.

    If all these interests were combined, how could they be balanced? Would EU foreign policy head towards the highest or the lowest common denominator of concern? In other words, would the over reaching policy be to enforce economic interests in third party states, or to abandon them?

    And what would be the common denominator with regard to hostile relationships? Would the EU policy be to stand up to third party states, or to appease them?

    I think the only way the states in the EU could be convinced that a common foreign policy is worthwhile for them, is if the common denominators were to defend economic interests on the one hand, and stand up to hostile relationships on the other.

    If this were not the case, I can't see the member states being hugely interested in the scheme. I mean, if the policy was to abandon economic interests rather to defend them, and to defer to hostile powers rather than confront them, what would be the quid pro quo of the union?

    And so it seems to me that any universal European foreign policy must be based on the premis that the EU will be pro active, militarily. The over riding policy aims would need to be stated in terms that would threaten third party states.

    And if that were the case, how would the rest of the world react to the EU?

    The balance of power in the many regions of the world is just that: a "balance". If every relationship between EU member states suddenly became backed up by the combined economic and military might of a revived Europe, I cannot see the rest of the world accepting the news with casual goodwill.

    Indeed, the move could well spark the evolution of a completely different set of global alliances. Russia might see a need to ally itself with African states, china and the middle east, perhaps even the USA.

    It is entirely possible that the creation of such a mega power as a combined EU would create even greater adversaries, in the form of hostile, and frightened, alliances.

    And given that the current balance of power has created unprecedented peace in europe, what positive ends could there be in such a massive upheaval?

    If you ask the neo nazis today, they will all tell you that Hitler was not such a bad guy, and that all he wanted to do was create a united europe. I live in German speaking Switzerland, and I hear this piece of ironic wisdom very often, most especially from Balts and Germans but also from French nationalists and EU lovers of all other nationalities.

    What if they are right?

    It is entirely possible that Hitler did not want global war, and that all he wanted was a massively powerful European state, that could use its strength to increase its leverage in the global village, and to renegotiate various agreements with Russia, the USA and the UK.

    WW2 could reasonably be described as the rest of the world objecting to the creation of this superstate, out of fear, and out of a genuine trepidation that their own power would wane inexorably in the face of such combined might.

    Such are the dangers of upsetting the balance of power on the world stage.

    I fear, especially when I listen to the often bitter and aggressive tone of Europhiles who express contempt and hatred for Russia, the UK and the USA, that the ntention of the Europhiles is to have another go at the same foreign policy that resulted in WW2.

    But this bluster ignores the reality that the result of a combined European foreign policy could be a vote of no confidence from the Ruskis and the yanks.

    And let me tell you, Europe, you aint got the hardware to resist such a veto. Not by a long shot.

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  • 46. At 00:37am on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Read more posts; my fresh anti-clock-wise theory is true! A classic love triangle, Johnny loves Jenny but Jenny loves Joe;
    Joey wants Penny but Penny loves Bo.
    Bo isn't ready for he's having fun, playing with many is better than? tra la.

    Must be there are some invisible power lines around the globe that all look West and it is plain useless to go against the stream.

    (pls register a patent in my name) (don't know a name yet for the new theory)

    If this is true we will all benefit from once turning against the tide and paying some crumbs of attention to the ones who woo us from the East. Instead of staring at the ones who don't want to know us in the West. Russian population should stop crowding on the European edge and relocate back to the other end of the country, closer to darling Chinese.

    UK should turn around 180 degrees and smile at Europe. Say, on Wednesdays. Western Europe ought to go on expedition for hand-shakes with its Eastern side.
    Eastern Europe should say Russia, OK, we allow you to love us, where are your gifts and flowers, put them on that table in the lobby.
    USA BTW does cleverly - doesn't forget to compliment Britain, its East.

    And how well the theory holds in military expeditions. Whenever you go West it is along the power lines, favourable wind, and whenever you turn your eyes and armies East - the victory will be extraordinary troublesome.
    Good that Russia never even fancied once in a 1000 years to walk over to China. And once we did asked by the USA - hop - the result - Mao Tse Dun.
    My recommendation: fight West, be friendly East. :o) While all we do is the other way around.

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  • 47. At 00:53am on 13 Mar 2009, connie wrote:

    To CarlOfSweden,
    I hate to break the news to you but as an American there are very few allies in Europe that are worth defending. If I had my way we would pull our troops out now and bring them back home and leave Europe to its own demise. Hopefully that is something that Obama is working on. If you think that I am one of just a few Americans that think this way, think again. We heard enough anti-american bashing from Europeons that we've had enough and won't spill anymore American blood there.

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  • 48. At 01:47am on 13 Mar 2009, Cracklite wrote:

    "you surely do not imagine the British Armed Forces are going to quit NATO for the jokers running the EU!?)."

    Iraq has just showed us who the real jokers where, just open your eyes ! D Day happened a long time ago, it seems arrogant clowns have now replaced wise and responsible men.

    Ikamaskeip, the UK can't move a toe if it wasn't for the US being right behind them, well how about a switch, let's built a European Army that you'll join eventually, and let's choose our own conflicts ! It wont be worse than illegal and fruitless wars with the US !

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  • 49. At 02:08am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Alice wrote:

    "Ring-a-ring of roses a pocket full of posies. Ti-sha Ti-sha we all fall down." :o)

    Can anyone tell me why in this English rhyme there is a Russian word "ti-sha" (slower! slower! hold it) "

    I was told this rhyme is an ancient reference to the black death, the plague that wiped out so much of europe in the 14th century.

    ring of roses = rosary, the catholic prayer for protection

    a pocket full of posies = a "posie" was reference to the widespread belief that you could prevent the plague infecting you by breathing air through a filter bag of flowers

    ti-sha ti-sha = the sound of sneezing (you've caught the plague regardless)

    we all fall down = everyone dies from the plague

    But I have also been told that this is a lot of conjecture, so who knows?

    doubt it is a russian word. That is like saying english babies first learn to say to their fathers "Yes! yes!" in russian. Possible, but unlikely.

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  • 50. At 03:26am on 13 Mar 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #45 democracythreat

    I don't go along with all your argument, but the fear of an aggressive, dominant Europe was certainly the main issue which persuaded Roosevelt to focus US priorities on defeating Germany before defeating the country which had actually attacked them.

    I've always tended to favour a common European foreign and defence policy, but had always thought in terms of "us" being defensive and the "good guys".

    I have some thinking to do! My immediate reaction is that the Irish strategy seems a good one for Scotland to follow.

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  • 51. At 05:36am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    stovetop, has it ever occurred to you that American involvement in Europe during the latter stages of WW2 might not have been purely for the purposes of DEFENDING nice little European states?

    Now i am not saying your view is wrong. I am just asking, has it ever, even once, occurred to you to think..you know.. "Maybe we were not really DEFENDING, over there?"

    Because a lot of europeans have trouble with the suggestion that the USA goes to war out of kindness and compassion, whereas everybody else goes to war for economic and political reasons.

    Again, i am not suggesting you are wrong, or that the USA is NOT the perfect state. Blessed by god, to lead the world to everlasting glory, and so on and so forth.

    Sure. I concede that it is entirely possible that the world is divided into bad states and good states, and that the USA is the good guy.

    But, by way of explanation, and as an apology for the hateful insanity of europeans, I can suggest that you would understand the European and Russian perspective more if you entertained the idea, only hypothetically, that the USA is just another state, and that when it goes to war, it is because that increases its power, and the wealth of its political class.

    And let me ask you THE eastern european question, as a way of emphasizing that the USA might not have been what you think it was:

    Who defeated Hitler's fascist armies?

    Was it the USA and the UK, or was it the Red Army?

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  • 52. At 05:44am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Alice, I love your east/west theory! Brilliant stuff.

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  • 53. At 08:09am on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (51):

    What was the difference between Hitler's fascist army and the Soviet Union's Red Army? Actually what was the difference at all with the Third Reich and the Soviet Union?

    My answer to these questions, none.

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  • 54. At 08:42am on 13 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #47 stovetop,

    So you say that the US of A is going to remove its troops from the ungrateful Europe? Why do I think that they would not go home but would end up in the 'new Europe' (or to use its other name- the US cronies)- Poland, Czech republic, Georgia, Baltic states?

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  • 55. At 08:53am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    jukka wrote:

    "What was the difference between Hitler's fascist army and the Soviet Union's Red Army? Actually what was the difference at all with the Third Reich and the Soviet Union?"

    Well Jukka, a few differences spring to mind.

    Such as the fact that the third reich fought with Finland against the red army.

    And the third reich had a policy of exterminating slavs and jews, because they were inferior races. That is a point of some importance in the civilized world.

    Then there is the other minor issue that the third reich invade eastern Europe and Russia, and butchered 20 million Russians, in an effort to create Lebensraum for the master race. With help from its allies, such as Finland, of course. I don't mean to blame the German nazis for everything done in the name of the nazis.

    And the red army won a war in defense of their motherland, whereas the third reich, and it's allies, lost an aggressive war of conquest.

    Some would call that a difference.

    But most of all, the third reich was lead by an loser, a man who will go down in history as the guy who said:

    "We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."

    Say what you want to about Stalin, jukka. He lived up to his chosen name. He was a man of steel.

    The pen having writ moves on, and your fantasies can't revise the history of the Red Army.

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  • 56. At 09:35am on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (55):

    And the Soviet Union had the policy of exterminating social and political classes. Soviet Union also had introduced modern death camps in the form of gulags. Soviet Union also had expertise on organizing orchestrated famines and mass transits of people.

    Then there is also the thing that Soviet Union wasn't a peaceful country to its neighbours. It invaded Baltic states, tried to do the same in Finland and split the Poland with the Third Reich. Then there is the little thing that Red Amy was massed by millions into the newly created border between the Soviet Union and The Reich and was in attack formation waiting for a go sign. The war between Soviet Union and the Reich was imminent, they were both in offence.

    Now however the main point in here to your discussion was that for the Eastern European countries and nations, the end result of the war was in the end irrelevant. Red Amy pillaged, raped and murdered its way into Germany and in process enslaved the whole Eastern Europe. So again, why should the Eastern Europeans be grateful for the Red Amy on saving them from the hands of Nazis? All the Red Army and the Soviet Union gave in return was death and oppression.

    Do remember that the Soviet Union and its crimes against the humanity go at least as far as those of the Third Reich or even further.

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  • 57. At 09:44am on 13 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    51. At 05:36am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    And let me ask you THE eastern European question, as a way of emphasizing that the USA might not have been what you think it was:

    Who defeated Hitler's fascist armies?

    Was it the USA and the UK, or was it the Red Army?


    When you say "THE eastern European question", which countries are you referring to? half of them were German allies with troops fighting in Russia. I assume you mean the other half, the ones that had to endure close to 50 years of Soviet occupation. Eastern Europe was screwed either way.

    You might also remember that the lend lease act sent $11 billion in war material to the USSR. This included thousands of fighter planes, bombers, tanks, trucks, artillery pieces, boots, and tons of ammunition, explosives, along with raw materials like steel and aluminum. lend lease material made a considerable difference to the Russian war effort.

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  • 58. At 10:09am on 13 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Isenhorn and Comment 14.

    "..country contributed most equipment, weapons.. during Cold War..West Germany."


    GULP!?

    Well, let's put aside minor little matters like the 11 month Berlin Airlift by Canadian-US-UK Airforces 1946 to defeat the Soviet blockade, and the US Army deploying 2 additional Armoured Brigades and several extra squadrons from the United States Airforces in Europe (USAFE) into West Berlin when the Soviets built their Wall in 1961.

    Let's move onto the 1960s-70s-80s when the Federal German Republic (FDR) was the bustling, thriving economic powerhouse in West Europe and a member of NATO.

    I am not referring merely to the FDR NATO facing the communist-Soviet DDR.

    No, I am referring to actual North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Operational Commands and Roles as in:

    Allied Airforces Central Europe (AAFCE), Northern Army Group (NORTHAG), Central Army Group (CENTAG) under the Command of Allied Command Europe (ACE), and not fogetting Greenland-Iceland-UK Command Centre (GIUK-Comm), Italy-Greece-Turkey Mediterranean-Aegean Command (IGTMedComm), plus those little sea Patrol details for the NATO Naval Commands responsible for the Arctic - North Sea - North Atlantic - Channel - South Atlantic -Mediterranean.

    Yes, we can all see how you would have the idea West Germany paid and contributed most to that NATO effort from 1946 to 1989. It is so obvious that a Superpower like the USA let the West Germans take the strain! GULP!?

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  • 59. At 11:11am on 13 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Jukka_Rohilla and Comment 56 replying to democracythreat #55.

    WW2: It is a difficult piece of history for Finland.

    There is a natural pride in the little populations' magnificent defence of their homeland against the mighty Soviet aggressor in the Winter War 1939-40.
    There is similar pride in Finland's efforts in the Continuation War 1942-44 to try to win back the eastern and northern regions lost in that Winter War.

    The difference between the situations is that in the first Nazi Germany supplied the Finns with weapons to oppose the Soviets, but, in the second the Nazis were the Finns' allies attacking the Soviets albeit to reclaim Finnish Karelia etc.

    Churchill in 1939 actively tried to persuade the UK Government to send Armed Forces to support General Mannerheim's Line.
    By 1943 Churchill was arguing the Finns should be handed to Russia after Allied victory!

    1939 to 1945:
    Finland was literally caught between a rock and a hard place: Whatever Finland did at that time would have won approval from some and disapproval from others.

    However, your comparison of Soviet "..Gulags.." and "..wiping out political-social classes.." with the Nazis left out the basic fact Finland in 1917-20 did quite a bit of that itself as the Whites and Reds fought for control of Finland. Massacres of Finnish communists-socialists at Tampere etc. is no different from Soviet or Nazi actions at various times: I hasten to add the UK in various parts of the world (e.g. Internment Camps during Boer War) has a similarly disgraceful history.

    Finland socially and politically was a divided nation between 1919 and 1939: Strangely, it was the Soviet invasion that brought the Finns together and largely laid to rest the animosity between the social stratas of Finns as they fought shoulder to shoulder for their young, fragile Nation's survival.

    Gulags and Concentration Camps are not the same thing:
    Millions of Russians, conquered peoples, Nazis, and even returning Russian POWs were incarcerated and died in these hideously harsh captivity centres. Many though survived to resettle and develop the hinterland of the Soviet Union. Their banishment and mistreatment was cruel and unjust but there was no intention to exterminate them entirely.

    Nazi Concentration Camps were for 2 purposes, but only one end: To enslave people and work them to death, or, to determine they were 'unfit' for enslavement and so murder them by total neglect or by unspeakably barabarous execution methods. In 6 years some 11,000,000 Europeans ended their lives in the Camps and across Nazi Occupied Europe another 34,000,000 (excluding German-Austrian war casualties) died in the or as a result of the fighting. Whilst the West did suffer calamity, overwhelmingly, those casualties of war were in Eastern Europe at the hands of the Nazis.

    "..Red Army raped and pillaged.. eastern Europe.. enslaved it.."

    That is a fairly broadstroke and inaccurate approach to the reality of the history of the period of Soviet dominance from 1944 onwards.

    All those cruelties occurred and are well documented: Nonetheless, the Red Army did bring Food, Medicines, and order from chaos etc. to the starving millions whereas the Nazis' policies were only interested in the dispossession and exploitation of the eastern populations.

    My overall point being the Soviet Red Army did indeed 'liberate' most of East Europe and was welcomed: However, its cruel actions afterwards rapidly lost them most of that goodwill from amongst the liberated populations. Whether the monstrous Hitler or equally invidious Stalin had any regard for the Eastern Europeans is open to debate, nevertheless, it is Hitler who is on record as describing the Slavs, Romanies, Jews etc. as 'untermenchen' (beneath human) and their lands as the 'lebensraum' (living space) of the 'Aryan Master Race' from the Greater Third Reich. Stalin had a belief in a particular system and was terribly ruthless in making it happen, but, at no time did he suggest any entire peoples (not even Germans after WW2) were beyond saving and fit only to be the slaves of the Russian peoples.

    In the 4 to 6 years of Nazi Occupation the population of Eastern Europe fell by 17% (in Poland and west Russian lands by over 20%).
    In the period from 1948 (effects of WW2 continued to affect births and deaths '45-47) onwards the population of Eastern Europe rose annually which imperically suggests Soviet Conquest and ruling policies was of a better, although not even, quality compared to that of Hitler's Nazis.

    Neither the Soviet Union nor Germany can claim the high moral-ethical ground. So it is for the UK in the Victorian era, or the USA westward expansionist period, or for that matter the Chinese Ming dynastical conquest period never mind Tibet etc. under Chairman Mao! And don't get me started on the Kingdom of Benin in North Africa (pre-white conquest) 15th to 17th centuries!

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  • 60. At 11:13am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    rodidog wrote:

    "When you say "THE eastern European question", which countries are you referring to? half of them were German allies with troops fighting in Russia."

    Sorry, that was badly written on my part.

    What i meant was, this is the question you get asked in Eastern europe if people want to know if you have any clue whatsoever about european history.

    It is the first stage of acceptance, and a form of intelligence test.

    They ask you who won the second world war, who beat germany. If you say the UK, or even worse the USA, then that's it, you will not be taken seriously. It means you grew up on English TV and american movies, and you don't have a clue about ww2 in europe.

    If you get this question right, soon you'll be offered some vodka, and invited to share the universal opinion that all politicians are swine.

    With regard to the lend lease program, sure. Sure. I know about that. I don't know about the figures that get thrown around to value to contribution, but I am aware of the lend lease program. It is kind of what I had in mind when I suggested earlier that the ruskis and the USA could very well form an alliance to keep the EU contained. It has happened before.

    But the question you get asked in eastern europe is who beat Hitler's murder machine.

    I have yet to be asked who I thought paid for it.

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  • 61. At 11:25am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    "Do remember that the Soviet Union and its crimes against the humanity go at least as far as those of the Third Reich or even further."

    Jukka, I saw you coming 3 miles away.

    I have heard variations on this sob story since I started learning German.

    But hey, why stop there?

    The japanese point out that the americans bombed Hiroshima for no reason. And the UK firebombed dresden! And they invented the concentration camp!

    The logic is impeccable, and utterly predictable. It goes like this: All nations do bad things in war, therefore it is unfair to blame the third reich for the few bad things that they may or may not have done.

    Great logic, until you realize that the third reich invaded and attacked the other states. the logic holds until you ask who was the aggressor.

    Who was it that so upset the balance of power in europe, and who was it that claimed they would kick down rotten doors, and create a perfect, powerful, wonderful master race?

    Whatever the soviet union did or did not do, they did not invade the fascist powers and butcher 20 million people in order to pursue dreams of power.

    You may believe that what happened to the German speaking people and their allies was hash, but let me tell you, it is the greatest mystery to English speaking people that the german language even exists in todays world.

    If anyone had done to the english speaking people what the germans did to the russians, I guarantee you, there would not be a german language today.

    Have you seen how the english speaking people do war?

    The ruskis gave eastern europe a pass at th end of ww2. Just goes to show how nice they are, deep down.

    Jukka, my mother in law spent ten years in the siberian gulag because her family were kulaks. Please don't preach at me about the moral equivalence of war.

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  • 62. At 11:40am on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila

    you mix up "what was Soviet Union and its Red Army able of doing" - and what did it do in reality.

    As to possibilities - yes we were designed to do worldwide ciommunist revolutions, put all in gulags, and what else USSR has invented. That you were scared all your life of communism doesn't mean it happened to you in reality. I don't think you're in Gulag.

    Was USA organised to have Guantanamo? By all looks of them and expectations they are white and fluffy. And - hop! Facts are stubborn things, and you try to re-place them with "what if" and "if they would".

    USSR - by fact - was nasty to own folk - focused on own population. By 99 per cent of its activities. We lost 35 million in Gulags - not Europe and the world.

    And 1 per cent of disasters spilled overboard to the parts that Russia considered "rightly theirs" - by right of having them for centuries within the Russian empire. You. and Poland. And Baltic states.

    Whereas The Third Reich and the German army lived up to their expectations. Did exactly all that was promised. By fact.
    _____________

    And on "holodomor" - give me a break.
    This famous these days Ukrainian "holodomor" advertised by Joushenko Ukr. president worldwide. As focused Russian effort to genoside Ukrainians.

    I've got news for you. After Ukraine showed its brand new great documentary "Great Hunger" and toured the world with the photo exhibition of horrible pictures, it finally made a mistake.

    That is with pomp opened a "holodomor" show in Sebastopol. Big mistake.

    35% of the photoes are American Great Depression. If you compare with the archive photoes, and don't see the bottom piece cut out of the original only - but look up as well - those hungry children hold posters in hands - in English.

    Anyone who is Russian or Ukrainian and not a foreigner can see at once - by boots, by clothes - that's not our children. The origin of photoes was immediately traced up.

    The film is hunger in "Povolzhje" /along Volga region - in 1920s. Not 1930s and not Ukraine. It was figured out when Amundsen was recognised. There is a moment when a man in expensive coat stands and looks "cynically" how bags with bread are loaded onto carts and onto trains.

    A "Soviet comissar" cynically robbing dying from hunger Ukrainians, carrying away their last bread.

    This is Amundsen, famous polar explorer, who organised a fund to collect money in his name and help Russians in hunger in "Povolzhje" post the Civil war. Year 1920. And the bread he doesn't grabatise away - to the opposite - he bought it, and brought to Russia, to help.

    Huge scandal here but of course you won't hear of it in your unbiased media.

    And to see that you need as minimum to know that neither Ukrainian children nor Russian ever wore leather boots, but went bare-feet in the villages, or in high boots in winter, or in "lapti" - traditional national slippers, like clogs, weaved up together from birch tree bark.

    And to remember the role of Amundsen and the Red Cross in 1920-s, in bringing bread, and be thankful.

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  • 63. At 12:13pm on 13 Mar 2009, connie wrote:

    To democracythreat ,
    So what exactly were we doing in Europe? Having a big tea party, stealing money from empty houses or dead soldiers? Give me a break. Try telling that to all those that paid the ultimate price (my great-great uncle being one of them) that they were there for some ulterior motive. you think freedom is free, that its just handed you because of where you are born. Someone paid the ultimate price so you and I could live in freedom. I never said the U.S. is perfect or does all things for the right reasons. We've made alot of mistakes and get invoved in alot of things that we should stay out of. Militarily wise , I think we should go back to isolation. Let everyone defend themselves. Of course, I do wonder what Europe would be like today if the U.S. never entered the Europeon theatre of war.
    To Isenhorn,
    I never said we were going to remove our troops. I said if I had my say we would and yes there are a few allies that are worth defending. I wonder how much they can count on there Europeon neighbors to help defend them?

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  • 64. At 12:52pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (61):

    Nope, this is not about the German speaking world.

    This is about the false belief that the people in Eastern and Central Europe should somehow be grateful for the Soviet Union and for the Red Army.

    "Gee, thanks guys for liberating us from the Nazis and then enslaving us under your Soviet banner."

    How can you be liberated if you don't any single day of liberty and freedom?

    No. We have two slave masters here, the other slave master defeats the another one and then the surviving one says to his slaves "be grateful as I have liberated you from your former slave master".

    That is great logic.

    This is also not about equivalence. When you have two criminals, and the other one is worse than the other, it still doesn't make the other better.

    And again... The USSR was about to invade Third Reich, however in the mean while they settled just to invade and occupy Baltic countries, tried to do the same against Finland, a wholly democratic country that treated all its citizen equally under all war years, and then of course USSR invaded Poland. Gee, how does that sound like an country in offensive mode.

    PS. Alice, it doesn't make regime any better if it mainly just concentrates on killing its own subject. A regime that kills and orchestrates mass deaths, weather their own citizens or not, is an criminal regime, Soviet Union was criminal from its birth to its very end.

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  • 65. At 1:03pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To ikamaskeip (59):

    The difference between the Finnish civil war and the Red Army menacing across the Eastern and Central Europe is that in Finland the crimes of the white side are also acknowledged and judged.

    At first in Finland the victorious white side used to describe the civil war as an war for independence or liberty war where reds where described as the enemy that was going to bring the country with the help of the red army to be part of the newly created Soviet Union. Nowadays the whole fiasco is called civil war.

    Again, the difference is that any more the white side isn't celebrated for their victory. The crimes of both sides are accounted, acknowledged and judged. No free passes aren't given to any of the sides.

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  • 66. At 1:20pm on 13 Mar 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    # 1 ikamaskeip
    # 2 Freeborn-John

    "Considering all the arguments on a previous Blog about NATO and Afghanistan I wonder if some of the 'defenders' of Europe's collective 'no-show' in Afghanistan would care to reflect and reconsider their strident anti-remarks on the US-UK-Canadian Military commitment?"

    Maybe, just maybe, with the French back on board we can have a realistic debate about why we are in Afghanistan in the first place. All this US/UK solidarity while we try to clear up the consequence of previous bad US decisions. Al Quaeda is a US creation it would never have existed if it were not for the CIA. To question US so called military wisdom is not un patriotic it's plain common sense. Why are we in Afghanistan?

    "Then there is the question of Military 'esprit de corps'; with no France or other European senior ranking Officer able/worthy to Command NATO Forces"

    Wow there's a sweeping statement. I suppose in the light of previous US military achievements vis a vis Iraq where the US and the UK went in with no plan for what to do once in there and caused the deaths of 100's of thousands of Iraquis we should take it as a given that the US military has generals with sound judgement.

    The French will at least stand up for what they believe in and not just ask 'how high' when the US says jump.

    I think it's high time we had some serious strategic thoughts in NATO. May be it's time to weaken the transatlantic link and think of what Europe needs and not what is best to provide a buffer zone for the US which is all that past policy has been. It has not been to defend Europe it has been to isolate the US from threats.

    And maybe it's high time to tell the Israelis to put their house in order, give back the land they have stolen from the Palestinians, and stop the entire Arab world not unreasonably regarding us as two faced liars. It's pretty obvious, I think, that the biannual Israeli cull of the Palestinian 'Untermensch' is simply giving the unlovely Mr Bin Laden and all therest of the muslim fundamentalist breed a field day.

    'Freeborn John' I love these emotive handles. What makes you think that US defence interests are those of Europe? They aren't and never will be. In US eyes we are a nice big buffer between them and whoever they are feeling paranoid about this year.
    They have never been anything more than allies by necessity nor will they ever be. If it ever came down to having to accept a nuke on say Chicago as the price for defending London London would be gone.

    In short then, having the French back on board to ask a few pointed questions and break up the current stale status quo is a very good thing.

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  • 67. At 2:04pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    democracythreat, on Gulags, yes, and don't forget there were 2 components in the eneterprise. A./ Stalin excruciating opposition. B./ Stalin needed FOC workeforce for his grandeur industrialisation plans

    Whatever you see in ex-USSR territory these days - it is horrible - you stumble upon something built by Gulag prizoners. The very word "labour corrective camps".

    All major roads between capitals.

    All major canals connecting great rivers.

    Several hydroelectric stations.

    Dams across Siberian rivers.

    Artificial "seas" for melioration and bringing water to the South.

    Vast bridges.

    Half of railway lines laid.

    In every ex-USSR republic - if there is some huge infrustructural object survived and functioning to these days - you can bet a 100 dollars without asking your guide.

    It was built, digged, excavated, laid by slave labour, by Gulag inhabitants.
    ___________

    And overall I am sorry Stalin is not Russian. I mean he is ours of course, we don't deny nothing. But the angle he applied to population - is not a Russian lax and lazy culture angle. This is Eastern dictator cruelty. Methodical, and detailed, and with a purpose.

    He hijacked power in USSR, nobody, from nowhere, 3 classes of education in the Georgian church parish school. Couldn't even speak Russian until the age of 18.

    Profession - financing the revolution.

    High-road robber. He was stopping carriages in Georgia with a group of friends, in masks, with pistols. Good old medieval way.
    And sending bags of gold grabatised from robbed trains and bank couriers to Lenin, to finance the revolution.
    That's the only way he made it to the Lenin's circles at all.
    Lenin was short on cash.

    Could rely only on 3 sources of income:
    - foreign European revolutionary circles' financing
    - whatever Georgian communists will rob for him
    - and crazy girls. lots of them, by the way. wives of the richest Russian merchants, kind of bored about wht to do, and sending necklaces, diamonds and all jewellry their husbands bought them (in the wide grand Russian style - kilos) - to the "interesting and advanced revolutionaries" All for "women's liberators".

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  • 68. At 2:33pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "Red army... raped and pillaged its way through the Eastern Europe and Germany"

    How you dare, Jukka_Rohila.

    That whole way is sown with USSR Red Army bones.

    Try to say this to a modern young Armenian, Georgian, Tajik.

    500 mln to 2 mln per each country liberated.

    Dead fighting the deadly locals, presumably?

    And the graves are well kept, very well attended to. We go visit. Mass graves kept better than at home, really in "European" class - all say. All clean, paths in gravel, somebody brings flowers!

    My friend, Marina, and her parents have been in Poland a month ago. Fresh paint on the tomb stone of her granddad, the name incision, done by they don't know who. And they brought paint to fill in the name, with. She said her parents cried how nice the Polish are.

    They say the bus conductor first made a grimace when heard them speaking Russian. Then she realised they ask which stop the Soviet soldiers cemetery. All changed in a sec.

    You sit in your Finland, and, like, I don't know. Invented one Nokia in a thousand years and think you can explain all.

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  • 69. At 3:00pm on 13 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    WHy

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  • 70. At 3:21pm on 13 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    Now the real war will start.

    China said that it is concerned about the US debt.
    They intend not to buy more of it, but the US is pressuring China to buy more.
    China will not buy more of it, and is trying to get reed of it, as soon as possible, as fast as possible, very secretively. Because US holds the keys, and may make China US debt worthless.

    If China or the rest of the world dont buy US debt, then US will have to do something, to provoke China, to react. If China doesnt react, then we will have a system collapse. Which will force US into deadly depression, or war, in order to avoid internal civil war.

    US is defaulting, and with it EUlovers.
    Because of a system collapse trade might stop and be limited and high inflation will run out of numbers.

    Best solution will be for the both sides, lender and borowers to forgive and forget their mistakess and never repeat them again, never give, never trust, and be independent person, entity or whatever.

    Where NATO, EU defence force is I dont know, but they are here to threaten the lender of goods commodity etc to continue so serve us or elese..

    it has all to do with who has the strongest nerves,timing and capbilities.

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  • 71. At 3:27pm on 13 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    I have a question to our leaders, since my post 69 was errored.

    ARE we preparing for a illegal war on false pretences or excuses, and playing the EUnationalism card, when it is only self interests?

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  • 72. At 3:46pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (68):

    Keeping graves, especially war cemeteries, in good shape is just a decent thing to do, no matter who is buried there. You shouldn't mix up common decency for gratefulness.

    And again... "liberated"... What is this liberation? When did oppression, suppression and enslavement become liberation? Central and Eastern Europe weren't liberated, they were enslaved by the USSR. When did that become liberty?

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  • 73. At 4:09pm on 13 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #58
    ikamaskeip,

    No matter how many different commands there were, the bulk of land forces available in Europe during the Cold war were West German. Not American, not British, and definitely not Italian, Greek or Turkish.

    Here is a link which supports what I said:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundeswehr

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  • 74. At 4:21pm on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    stovetop wrote:
    To democracythreat ,
    "So what exactly were we doing in Europe? Having a big tea party, stealing money from empty houses or dead soldiers? Give me a break. Try telling that to all those that paid the ultimate price (my great-great uncle being one of them) that they were there for some ulterior motive. you think freedom is free, that its just handed you because of where you are born. Someone paid the ultimate price so you and I could live in freedom. "

    Here's the deal: you don't put words into my mouth, i wont put words into yours.

    I never suggested the US soldiers were in Europe to have a big tea party or to steal money. All I questioned was your earlier statement that the US went to war in Europe, and stationed millions of troops in west germany, because they wanted to help Europeans to be "free".

    As it happens, I think the US soldiers were in Europe because of a whole bunch of different reasons, if you ask the soldiers. Some joined up cause they were bored, some because they figured it was a way to earn a better living. Loads and loads of them joined up because they imagined that war was a big heroic adventure, and that everyone would thank them for being heros for the rest of their lives.

    And if you read a of of the comments on this blog, from people who get worked up about the glory of war, you'll see a significant, although small, percentage of folks express the desire to join up so they go get killed. For their country. Dying for the cause, or "suicide bombing" when the enemy do it, is a small and very weird factor in the overall craziness of war.

    But the largest share of soldiers joined because they had no choice. The draft in the US had a target of 200 thousand a month, and it reached its target pretty well.

    Now I concede, just because so many people in the US had no choice about fighting, this doesn't mean the politicians were not fighting for "freedom". Seem a bit odd to me, describing a bunch of conscripts as fighting for "freedom", but I don't pretend to understand everything. Who knows what politicians really believe? They just want to win elections in safe seats, or get preference in the Duma, and they toe the party line.

    But the point I would make to you is that just because a bunch of Americans believe they are conscripted to fight for freedom, that don't make it so. A lot of russians believed the soviet system was peaches and cream and justice for all. That didn't make it so. A lot of nazis believed the german military was the force of freedom in europe. That didn't make it so.

    The bottom line is that every hard core nationalist who gets a thrill from a flag is going to believe anything he or she is told by politicians waving that flag. That is your universal constant, in war and politics.

    The question for the individual is not, it seems to me, whether one can prove that nation A is better than nation B. I think the question is whether the individual leads a life that shows respect for human life, and kindness towards others.

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  • 75. At 4:28pm on 13 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #64 Jukka,

    'This is about the false belief that the people in Eastern and Central Europe should somehow be grateful for the Soviet Union and for the Red Army'

    This seem to be a common trait between the liberators of Eastern Europe. Now the US of A is expecting the 'new' Europe to show gratefulness for being 'liberated' from 'Russian oppression' by sending troops to fight countries, which have not done anything to offend them. Also the 'grateful' countries are required to open their territories for American bases, radars and missile positions. It seems nothing has changed since WWII.

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  • 76. At 4:33pm on 13 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7942244.stm

    social problems will affect EU, and that's tha danger society faces.
    To put people back to work, only when Sarkozy first resignes and start a job as a plummer

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  • 77. At 4:33pm on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland wrote:
    "Red army... raped and pillaged its way through the Eastern Europe and Germany"

    How you dare, Jukka_Rohila.

    That whole way is sown with USSR Red Army bones."

    Ah, this was always going to kick off. Welcome to my family discussions at Christmas! My father in law is a sweet old man who loves animals and who fought with the lithuanian partisans against the red army, and his wife is a hard core socialist at heart, who spent ten years in the gulag and cannot hear a bad word said about the ruskis. Go figure, the both of them.

    The thing is, both of you are right. The red army did do a lot of raping and pillaging in eastern europe and germany. It was ugly, and devastating for the victims, and only a cruel person can refuse to have sympathy for them. And Alice is also right, the whole way from moscow to berlin is sown with the bones of soviet soldiers and civilians who were butchered by insane third reich invaders. So... one can't really stand and judge the red army for being angrier and wilder than a hat full of hot snakes.

    So I feel sorry for both sides, but in the end I side with the russians. There has to a be a precedent, and I find it impossible to look at what Hitler did without sharing the rage of the people of the soviet union. Sure, the people who participated in the third reich were just people, and they were not evil.

    But if you do what they did, and you start the business..... I guess the precedent is that you deserve everything you get in return. I can understand what the red army did, even if I don't like it.

    I will never understand the cruelty of the third reich. The world would have been better off of if Germany had been erased by god at the start of the war.

    But I wasn't there.

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  • 78. At 4:41pm on 13 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    China will finish off the US, very soon. They must loose a lot in the process, but US will loose more, therefore US will loose the plot and resort ot agression.
    What we are doing now is that we are printing money from long time ago, but we disclose it very late what we have been doing in order to keep the advantages over our enemies,
    we are stimulating the markets with false money, it will not last and will get worse.
    Obama is a fool who beleives what they say to him, or a puppet of the system.

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  • 79. At 4:48pm on 13 Mar 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #63 Stovetop
    "What exactly were we doing in Europe?"
    Nothing in the world is more annoying than a hearing this brainwashed inanity of Americans dying to keep the world free. Democracythreat tried to explain it to you in an amusing fashion but you apparently still don't get it. Your great great uncle or whoever did not die fighting to save Great Britain, liberate France or anywhere else. He died fighting to defend the USA from a deadly enemy who would have crushed the US had it not been defeated. He was fighting alongside allies of the USA who were fighting that same mutual enemy. You make me sick. Why do you have to denigrate the actions of all the others who fought the Nazis and died defending their own countries because you as Americans have to justify your wars for a greater moral purpose? It can't just be self defence it has to be liberating someone or defeating communism or terrorism or some such other mass of self deceit. If you started to be honest with yourselves as to why you do things as a nation we would like you a lot more. Finally why do you have to use these euphemisms all the time why does it have to be 'paid the ultimate price' and not just died fighting? It's like you can't as a nation go to the 'toilet' you have to substitute 'bathroom'.

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  • 80. At 6:14pm on 13 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    67. At 2:04pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Alice, you left out a fourth and very important contributor to Lenin. Imperial Germany. Germany funded Lenin and sent him to Russia to counter the provisional government, established after the abdication of Nicholas II. This was done because the provisional government wanted to continue the the war. When Lenin took control, he signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which freed up 17 German divisions for the Western Front.

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  • 81. At 6:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    60. At 11:13am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    What i meant was, this is the question you get asked in Eastern europe if people want to know if you have any clue whatsoever about european history.

    Point taken. However, Stalin did not allow his people to know of the full impact lend lease had on the survival of Russia after their disastrious defeats early in the war. Because of this, it is they that do not have a clue whatsoever about the true contribution the US made during WWII.

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  • 82. At 6:43pm on 13 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    75. At 4:28pm on 13 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    ....Also the 'grateful' countries are required to open their territories for American bases, radars and missile positions. It seems nothing has changed since WWII.

    True, the US is so oppressive to countries we have military bases in. I mean, look how awful we treated the West Germans and Japanese. As for radars and missiles, I suppose it is "oppressive" to place radar guided anti-missiles systems in Poland.

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  • 83. At 7:09pm on 13 Mar 2009, CarlOfSweden wrote:

    In response to:
    47. At 00:53am on 13 Mar 2009, stovetop

    "If I had my way we would pull our troops out now and bring them back home and leave Europe to its own demise. Hopefully that is something that Obama is working on."

    Yes, please leave us to our "demise" just like the Soviets left East Germany back in 1991. Entire Eastern Europe is still sobbing and wailing, asking for the return of Red Army *NOT*. Unless you didn't know, Poles and Czechs strongly oppose the to-be defense shield that GW Bush and his buddies planned to install in Poland and Czech Rep.... as defence for incoming Iranian missiles. Don't you think their will should be respected? God save us from them who come here to offer "help".


    "We heard enough anti-american bashing from Europeons that we've had enough and won't spill anymore American blood there."

    The problem with our over-sensitive cousins across the pond, is that they can't face criticism and stay on topic. Instead, many of you let emotions get the upper hand. What do you mean by spilling blood here? A reference to WWII? Totally irrelevant today, 64 years after WWII ended. By the way, Britons made final payment one or two years ago, including interest, so WWII turned out to be quite a deal for the USA. Among others it let the USA to surface as superpower for next 50 years. But, as I said, it's history now, and we in Europe are interested of future, not history. Besides, NATO belongs to the latter.

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  • 84. At 8:10pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 85. At 9:24pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila "keeping graves in good shape is decency; don't mix it with gratefullness".

    And what will you do, Jukka_Rohila, if people in Eastern Europe, a good bunch of them, are thankful. Even that you think they shouldn't?

    Go preach there? explain you know better, because you "studied" it, at a Finnish school?
    Because you know they'd be better off with the Third Reich?
    Well apparently they didn't get the angle, in 6 years' time.
    But, with time, sure thing, the Third Reich would have "improved".

    How annoying to you, the very idea, that someone is thankful, to "russkij-s".

    Are you competing with us, for glory, or what is it? Why? What moves you.

    I am not competing with you.

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  • 86. At 9:40pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Isenhorn @75 "this seems to be a common trait between the liberators of Eastern Europe"

    CarlOfSweden @83 "God save us from them who come here to offer "help"

    LOL. This is true. Americans are just new to the idea, I mean, the very idea, that someone might be unhappy at their protection. Russians are more used to the news, we have already passed through the stage that I'll describe like that:

    "And I tell my Government - it should be from now on written down in our Constitution! - Never. Ever. Whatever. will happen. to those UN-THANKFUL neighbours! be they invaded by - whoever - huge green cockroaches! aliens from Planet Zorg! be they killed and tortured and eaten alive in bulk! Will Never Ever Russians Will Help! !!!
    :o)

    (a small hysterics that we have had already, and lived through this, and moved on.)

    You can live with the idea, honestly. And be more philosophical.

    After all, as the Russian saying goes :o)

    - God protect us from friends! And with enemies, we will somehow, ourselves.. :o)

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  • 87. At 9:44pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And yes, when a big one thinks about helping a small one, it is not a bad idea to first mentally slap yourself on your hands. :o)

    Like, Slap! Slap! don't you do this! you know yourself. You will first help, and THEN.... :o)

    So, "bang! bang!" would be a proper sound

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  • 88. At 10:00pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    Alice, the mistake you make is to think that this is some kind of race between the Third Reich and the USSR. Its not. They are both criminal in their very nature, both oppressors and enslavers of people.

    To cut short, in this whole discussion the main point in my objection and rejection is the use of the word "Liberation". The USSR didn't liberate anybody. The minimal requisite for liberation is that people of the land, those who are being liberated, get liberty to decide on their own destiny and make their own decisions. That didn't happen. Also there was no democracy, no human right, no civil liberties. You simply can't call what happened to Eastern European countries as liberation, that is crazy talk.

    You get to be called a liberator when you in reality liberate people, allow them to take up on their own destiny, allow them to have democracy and human rights. That is why the western allies, even thought for all their mistakes, are liberators because what they brought was freedom and liberty, what the Red Army and the USSR brought was suppression of people and simple slavery. The Red Army and the USSR were tools of destruction, its vile injustice to call any of their actions as liberation.

    The other thing is that the western world, especially the US, has been very open about its dealings and they even have had the courage on looking and admitting more shameful parts of their action in the WW2. Why is there no such thing coming from Russia? How hard it is to admit that both the Red Army and Soviet Union created untold amounts of misery and slaved an entire half of the continent for half a century?

    I don't object on remembering war dead, veterans and sacrifices made in the war, but I object very strongly on even suggesting that the triumph of the Soviet Union and the Red Army gave anything good to the people, it certainly didn't bring liberation: no freedom, no liberties. I also strongly object against one wrong making the second wrong good, it doesn't. The USSR and the Nazi Germany were both evil and criminal in their very nature.

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  • 89. At 10:37pm on 13 Mar 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    This is a comment about moderation at #70
    I wrote a comment which was, Ok, very pointed, intended to be provocative to make a point about US attitudes to WWII. This comment is still waiting moderation. It seems to me that we have a serious censorship issue here. My comment contained no bad language, was not racist nor was it irreligious so why is it still awaiting censorship? We will not learn about each other nor will we appreciate each others opinions by sweeping that which we find controversial under the carpet.

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  • 90. At 10:53pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    what do you mean, "USSR and The Third Reich didn't compete".
    ???

    We did compete. They mobilised all there were to win over us. And we mobilised all there was to win over them. For crying out loud, from the very beg., on every gun load was written "to Hitler".

    And from 1943, the break of the war, following Kursk and Stalingrad battles, that broke the spine of the Third Reich - on every tank.
    "Na Berlin!" "(Now) - on to - Berlin!"

    The whole country collected effort in one thrust.

    I don't understand you.
    _________

    The word "liberation" you clip onto - granted, disagree.

    Rest assured - if there was ever a classic "liberation" - that was one.
    What do you want of "liberation" ?

    Peoples there were killed, meticulously, for 5 years. For being "2nd best" or "3rd best", whatever the labels. Yearned for someone, something, God, West, East, anyone! to relieve them of Germans.

    Somehow it happened that they couldn't themselves. That the West didn't.
    Your precious USA did not. Nobody did - until "nasty russkij-s" did.

    We'd gladly leave the privilege to anyone willing!

    Only nobody was willing. By fact.

    And that's why Russian tanks were met - by crowds. with flowers.

    And then - yes, there was then. Nearly immediately after. Zones of influence were pre-split, in Yalta conference. Signed and sealed by the trio, who, in post war Europe, controls - I'd say - owns - what.

    Vienna was not in our list - so we liberated Austria - and let go. As in the deal. Not an inch more than was settled btw Stalin, Rooselvelt and Churchill.

    Surely I agree it'd be far more decent and generous to take zero control zone in Europe. Liberate them, finish off Hitler in Berlin, turn around on heels - and all home.
    Why do you think we don't recognise the fact that we invaded them? We did. And do recognise. And are sorry. I am, for example.

    (if you find a Russia who isn't sorry, at heart - it will be the only other brand. who say "why the hell we invaded them? a total drain of resources, as if we didn't need the strength and money for ourselves post war. we should have never invaded them, Save God. Stalin was an idiot. who needs them.)

    Only 2 types of approach there are in Russia. And both - though by different way of thought - come to the same conclusion: We should Have Not Invaded.

    But what problem do you have with liberation - by Russians - from Germany. I think the liberation, and invasion - are two different things. One took place after another. Done by different people. With different purposes.

    People on the ground, BTW - recognised the difference. That's why remembered their greeting the Red Army by flowers with a feeling "why did we do this?"

    FYI very small percentage stayed in Eastern Europe and in Germany - to occupy - of the Red Army who liberated them. New bosses, who haven't smelled the war - were sent for re-placement to Europe.
    And Red Army - that you hate so much - was packed off away - trundled in trains - back - and across all Russia - to collect at 3 entry points to China, as was also in the Yalta deal. To liberate Chinese from Japanese, who kept them occupied. The deal Stalin stroke with Roosevelt.
    And we did enter China, and fought again, the same people who thought in Berlin - "it is finally over! home !" but were packed into closed trains - and sent to fight again!
    Japanese - who didn't even attack us! With who we were not in war!
    So we declared the war, at oo:oo midnight, as agreed with America - and smashed in in tank columns - 30 seconds after the war declaration!

    Japan still thinks us predators.

    I stand by it - Eastern and Central Europe under nazi occupation and under USSR occupation - earth and sky different things.
    Morally and politically - yes, we suppressed and depressed them, and denied them liberty.
    Economically - give me a break.
    "Enslavement" - it's when you make someone working for your benefit.
    We didn't suck up their resources. We added there.

    Lousy life-style, granted, compared to what they would have get from the Western Europe and USA. But - in relation to USSR - we gave them all we had. No worse. Same as us. Sorry, we didn't have better. All that we had. Absolutely equals. And, in fact, thought them better than "masters". And they lived better than their "masters".

    When next Hitler will be noticed building in Eastern Europe nuclear power stations and bridges by the "master" race, instead of his preferred infrustructural objects of concentration camps - then you will preach me how USSR was equal to the Third Reich.

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  • 91. At 11:21pm on 13 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Rodidog, @80 "Alice you left out a fourth and very important in contribution...(to Lenin's cash fund) - Imperial Germany."

    No, well, I just didn't want to be too nasty to Germany in one blog :o)
    Second world war, first one, too loaded LOL - and for all Russians blame Germans.
    In my list, the first source of Lenin's income, that I elegantly called "European revolutionaries contributions" honestly I wanted to write "Germany! them!" but re-phrased it, :o), softer.

    On lend lease don't worry Russians are in perfect agreement with Americans regarding this contribution. The difference between us is you think it was decisive for the victory and we don't. :o)
    Honestly.

    You reasoning is "America financed the whatever high Russian success" (degrees of Russian in-put up to historians, their matter, but "whatever the end up figure - Russian success was financed by us).

    I hope I get your line of thinking correct.

    Russian view is:
    Due to the sheer impossibility to actually deliver the - no dispute - very high amount of American help - the first - and most hard years of the war - we fought without. And only after we broke the beast's spine and felt - damn! it is possible! we'are afraid to believe into it ourselves - but we do it - we began the roll back - take back our inches and centimeteres! - then the delivery routes were streamlined finally and the aid began to pour in.

    Sure any moment of war nevermind Kursk and Stalingrad behind - all could have turned upside down. And how we would have won without your help - a total if what if and speculation.
    But the break-through we did virtually un-aided.

    Not because you promised and held back - no way - simply for technical reasons. Delivery - 3 points. 1./ US to Iran - from Iran to us. Via Caucasus, via Germans. This door shut until we cleared up the approach to it.
    2./ US to Britain, Britain to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk by sea convoys. Don't want to go into the story again, every 7th ship drowned by Germans en route together with the crew, every 3rd bombed out crew survived.
    Plus these ports frozen/closed December-first days of May.
    Heroic attempt, forever thankful. But what made through by it was pea-nuts.
    3./ USA to Vladivostok. For this you first had to win the battle in the Pacific, which took some time. And - seeing the loss in Britain-Murmansk route - simply closed the route for 2 years.

    In other words - it's not enough alas to recieve help. You also need to get hold of it somehow. And make it pass through Germans domestically, in occupied Russia. As a third didn't make it through internally.

    However - lend-lease - every Russian will tell you - a great thing. All remember. My mum ate that tinned meat. No help - from nowhere - and - ops! here it is. Great morale boost "we are not alone". That's why - I posted this 10 times in Mardell's blogs - Polar convoys were "simply the best"! When we think of aid in war - the first thing that comes to mind -GLORIOUS. POLAR. CONVOYS.

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  • 92. At 11:35pm on 13 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Timothy and Comment 66.

    It is when 'sweeping' statements like "..CIA created Al Queda.." are made that I know the contribution to the Debate is based more on hearsay and wishful thinking than actual fact.

    It is really unfortunate that your particular piece of non-history gets written up so often when it has been soundly disproved many years ago.

    The reality as opposed to the invention are these: After the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979-80 the USA did indeed send in CIA/Military special Forces to equip and train Afghan opposition to the Russians. Mr Bin Laden is indeed on film with units of Afghani resistance, however, those units were not a part of the US-led or US-recruited Afghan Mujhadeen. Bin Laden using his own finances and other Islamic sources purchased military equipment on the Black market from US, France, Germany and the Czechs. Bin Laden's group were from time to time involved in actions alongside US-backed Afghan forces but Bin Laden never once took orders from the US Officers in the field and neither did he participate in negotiations with Afghan 'warlords' and their tribal followers paid for by the USA (now, some of those 'followers' are indeed in the present day Taliban!). Al Queda was a separate resistance movement based on fundamentalist Qur'an teachings which precluded any close contact/alliance with non-believers of Russia, America, Europe etc. They (Al Queda) still hold to those basic principles today, hence, not all Taliban are or accept Al Queda in Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, your response to my remarks about the possibility of France Officers commanding US-UK-Canadian Armed Forces is perhaps based on just reading this present Blog.

    In a previous Blog in more detail and in this one I have Commented that in view of the "..no-show.." of French Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan "..frontline combat roles.." coupled with the refusal of France to align itself fully with NATO (due to fear of loss of sovereignty to the US) there was little or no chance of American-British-Canadian Armed Forces personnel being prepared/willing to accept being 'Commanded' in 'Combat roles' by France's Officers who would have neither the experience nor the support/confidence of those 3 nations armed forces personnel. Having been in the UK Forces (admittedly some 20 years ago) I can assure you that it would be incredibly difficult to persuade any UK-US-Canadian soldiers to even attend Training Exercises with the France Armed Forces for Combat-specific scenarios. The low esteem of the French in the eyes of the 'North Atlantic Nations' has long been recognised by NATO Command.

    This is not a question of how France's fighting moral is viewed but a direct result of France's failure to provide combat forces in the recent theatres of war: To put it another way - your child needs a life-saving operation and there are 2 Surgeons available - one surgeon has read all the text books and the other has done all the operations - which Surgeon do want to lead the skilled, dedicated, experienced team and to make the decisions during the operation!?

    Yes, it is possible for this situation to be rectified, but, it will take the wholehearted commitment of France's Armed Forces in frontline combat roles in Afghanistan for such a change of atmosphere to be brought about.

    As for the US-UK "..causing death of 100s thousands of Iraqis.." Well, the Commanders of the Armed Forces sent there carried out a brilliant tactical victory over Saddam's forces in less than 4 weeks, however, I do agree those same Commanders were under a Political leadership that had "..no plan.." once they were victorious. That is of course not the fault of the Armed Forces. Incidentally according to latest U.N.O. statistics of the 940,000 deaths less than 20% were from US-UK action, whereas, the inter-faith/inter-tribal civil wars the invasion unleashed led to over 80% (i.e. Iraqi/Muslim on Iraqi/Muslim!). That does not excuse the tragic incompetence of the Bush-Blair post-Iraq Campaign ineptitude but does go some way to explain the Armed Forces predicament.

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  • 93. At 11:51pm on 13 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Isenhorn

    Sorry, but you are totally at odds with reality.

    NATO was in the Cold War era responsible for a huge defensive commitment on land, sea and air from Iceland to Turkey.

    The idea that West Germany provided the Army, Navy, Airforce personnel for this vast duty is utterly ridiculous. West Germany's Army was in West Germany! For many year FDR's forces weren't even allowed outside its own borders.
    The Conscript FDR Armed Forces were of course vital in the overall NATO plan and I am not disputing their valuable contribution.
    However, to illustrate just one NATO force - 1988: 852 (372) Aircraft and 72,000 (28,000) personnel - the (numbers) are the figures for the United States Airforces in Europe (USAFE) contribution to the total number; I am sorry, but, West Germany did not provide anything like those numbers year-on-year.

    For anyone in Western Europe to consider it was because of the West German forces that the Soviet Union never invaded is an incredible twist of fact and substance.

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  • 94. At 01:07am on 14 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Alice,

    Under LL first Protocol The US sent 298,349 tons of petroleum products over the first year of the war from 1941-1942. Britain sent planes and tanks which were used in the defense of Moscow.

    I'm not saying LL saved Russia, the Russians saved themselves, but LL did fill a gap that was of tremendous help after heavy Russian looses and with their factories being moved East.

    My initial point was to demoracythreat, who I believe under appreciates the US/UK contribution to the Soviet war effort. No one denies that the Soviet army had to contend with the bulk of the German war machine. Without the Russians, victory over Germany would have been impossible. Without the US/UK, the war on the Eastern Front would have ended differently. Maybe Russia would have prevailed, but the cost would have been much higher. It took all three allies to take down Germany.

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  • 95. At 01:55am on 14 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    rodidog, we've got Polar Convoy ships documented like nobody else in the world. I am not going to be petty-cash in no way at all - Americans were helping greatly - and thank you very much! Your emissar flew to Moscow to meet Stalin I think Sep 5th - to ask what help do we want. It is not always the case and has to be that someone helps you in war. Especially antagonists pre- and immediately after the war. It is God's blessing.
    and at least one thing worked well in this cruel merciless war, may be the worst one we all hope the humanity has been through. Something good to remember.

    The lend-lease deal was discussed thus 2 months plus after the invasion (and I think you'd ask earlier - if Stalin came back to senses earlier) - and - indeed - before the battle for Moscow.
    From what we know here the USA got happy with the Stalin answer. He was asked - what do you need - rifles? bullets? petrol? barbed wire? - ask for anything you want - and Stalin answered: No. steel. aluminum. we've got the list for you.

    What your chap reported home was "they think they'll hold on as min half a year. and will hold Moscow. He gave metal specifications fit only to build airplanes, at their factories relocated over to behind the Urals safety, and this will take time."

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  • 96. At 02:11am on 14 Mar 2009, gduwright wrote:

    It's clear that history gets to be written by the winners. Lossers don't get sqat. It's also clear that two people can view the same event and detail it in different or conflicting ways. Why is that so?

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  • 97. At 02:35am on 14 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Alice,

    Molotov requested aid from the U.S. Ambassador in the USSR within weeks of the war breaking out. Soviet officers were sent to the US to inspect planes that could be part of LL that same year. I think it says a lot about the threat Germany posed, that the USSR moved so quickly to seek help, and how the US/UK moved as quickly to provide it.

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  • 98. At 04:03am on 14 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It was General Patton who said, I'd rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me and that's still not a bad sentiment. I think the outcome in Iraq would have been even more costly had we had the French fighting with us. Bad enough the Brits were there. Amazing they didn't lose Basra where most of the population is Shiite. What if they'd been in Baghdad? And could you imagine having had French generals calling the shots. Patton had his hands full as it was in Europe with Monkey Boy.

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  • 99. At 08:50am on 14 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (90):

    USSR and Third Reich didn't compete as in compete who does the most good for people, or who harms less people, but in the category of who enslaves and kills more. When you appreciate countries and governments by the standard of who gives most freedom and liberty, then both the USSR and the Third Reich are zillion miles away from western allies.

    The thing that you don't seem to note that its very insulting to but down the USSR and the Red Army even in a same phrase with words like Liberation and Liberty. You can say that "Red Army turned away Nazis", "Red Army banished the Nazis", or "Red Army replaced the Nazis", but you can't use to describe that as Liberation. When you do that you are insulting all the people in all the times that fought and sacrificed to liberate and to give liberty to people. It is deeply insulting.

    And let me remind you that people didn't wait for the Red Army with flowers in their hand, they waited them in fear as there were no liberation or liberators coming, only enslavers. Just remember Tito and the Belgrade. Tito was deeply offended that straight away after Nazis had been send away from the town, the Red Army started to loot, to rape and to murder. He complained directly to Stalin and protested that comrades don't do this for each other, and he got nothing from Stalin. In that instance Tito saw that the Red Army and the USSR weren't liberators at all and thus made his mind to make Yugoslavia free from the USSR.

    Should I also remind you what happened to Estonians. When the Nazis left Tallinn, Estonians declared Estonia independent again. That didn't stop the Red Army. The Red Army came in an made their "liberation" and enslaved the country and its people back into the Soviet regime.

    No. The thing is that liberation happens when people get liberty. That didn't happen in the Eastern Europe, thus the Red Army and the Soviet Union weren't liberators at all. In all aspects of life, politically, economically, socially and culturally Soviet Union enslaved the Eastern Europe. No doubts about that.

    You try to defend on saying that the Eastern European had it either as bad as you or little bit better, but that is no excuse, compare yourself, compare the Eastern Europe to the West. For example before the WW2, Finland was one of the poorest countries in Europe, far behind Baltic states, far behind the Central and Eastern Europe. Now after approx. 50 years of slavery, and approx 20 years of freedom, those countries are still way behind us. Poland has 1/5 per capita than us and best places like Czech and Estonia have 2/5 of our GDP per capita.

    The thing is, you have to completely denounce the Soviet Union and everything connected to it. That is the same what the Germans had to do after the defeat of the Nazi Germany. What you might not realize is that your defence of Soviet Union is as bad as Germans defending the merits of the Nazi Germany. It is that bad.

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  • 100. At 09:15am on 14 Mar 2009, Aikuchi wrote:

    61. At 11:25am on 13 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:
    "You may believe that what happened to the German speaking people and their allies was hash, but let me tell you, it is the greatest mystery to English speaking people that the german language even exists in todays world."

    I have to say I have always wondered why the German and Japanese languages still exist?

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  • 101. At 09:44am on 14 Mar 2009, betuli wrote:

    I have the impression that European public opinion cannot understand what Western powers are doing in such a remote ountry like Afghanistan. It would be much better and comprehensible that a European force would help to combat Al Qaida in Maghreb, a neighbour region of Europe with strong ties since many North Africans live in Europe, mainly in Spain, France and Italy.

    Geostrategical priorities should be decided from Brussels, and not from Washington, if Europe pursuits a stable and prosperous framework for the Old Continent.

    As for Afghanistan, humanitarian aid, and nothing else: Afghans should be let alone to decide which type of government they want.

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  • 102. At 10:50am on 14 Mar 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark:
    I think that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is on the road of, returning the French State into NATO, Because they want to be able to have protection if anything ever happen to the country.....

    But, I think that the France has paid a huge price to regain membership to NATO...Some 40 years...without the inclusion into the organisation...

    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 103. At 11:06am on 14 Mar 2009, eggman84uk wrote:

    Mr Mardell,

    You're a dead ringer for Brendan Gleeson.
    That is all.

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  • 104. At 11:49am on 14 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    rodidog @97 "Molotov requested help within weeks.. says a lot about the threat". Here is nothing even to discuss, threat felt by absolutely all from any single person on the ground to Stalin was such that gave you cold shivers and weakening legs.

    Stalin simply chickened out, became like a computer programme - unresponsive, took to speaking about himself in 3rd person singular. I dare say he was the one scared in the country most of all. And very unclucky so because without his OK Politburo was scared to take any decisive action afraid that when he comes back to senses, you know.
    All on top were scared of each other and potential reporting on each other; when the chief becomes himself he'd surely kill left and right those "too daring". To say nothing by Soviet Constitution Stalin was the Chief Commander (military).

    Ordinary people were more themselves, like, what to do - First "Germanskaya", now - Second "Germanskaya" (war); what's new.

    Besides, the war was expected any other day for 3 years, absolutely all shared this agreement, only it was prohibited to speak about it, classified as "defeatist" attitude and no trust in clever Government political guiding who "arranged matters with Germany". Not a single living person believed we've "arranged matters", all army leaving for positions secretly said good bye at home forever on departure. There was atmosphere, how to say, like before a storm, darkening skies. All were scared, lived in tension the pre-war years. Stalin was buying time or getting mad, hard to say. You ought to be blind not to see what takes place in Europe however newspapers reported it, facts spoke for themselves. But talks were limited to open air "let's go to the garden" or kitchens.

    When Germans crossed Stalin chickened out the most as should he be carved out of Kremlin - no merci he thought he'd get from either of the 3 sides. Domestically, or "capitalists" or Hitler.
    Wouldn't even have fate of Saddam Hussein, own Politburo would finish him off first. Accummulated scores, :o) to settle old accounts, you know.

    BTW as recent researches strongly suggest he was still poisoned eventually domestically. A certain box of chocolates started (though no poison identified in the body later on), a stroke.

    The fact 100% is with that stroke he lay on the floor for 2 days - with nobody coming closer than 2 metres, only to look at him from aside.
    "Not willing to disturb" :o) and, scared to be blamed later in killing if would actually be seen touching him, if he survives, whatever the reason - he died without a single doc as much as feeling the pulse. Simply left to himself.

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  • 105. At 11:54am on 14 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Stalin livened up only when Zhukov gave him his word (and he asked "for your honest word", like a baby) that he will hold Moscow.

    From that on the star of Zhukov began rising, Stalin viewed him as the one who saved the most important thing in the country (him).

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  • 106. At 12:55pm on 14 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think it's important to note that we now know that USSR, Britain and USA were allies in the war; to Stalin back then it was a notion very far from "granted". He didn't know how it would turn round. Disposition very un-clear to say the minimum. Who would know that the USA would suggest help at al, by the way? Who would know that you ask for help - and they will be responsive?
    Not a "given" at all that the "capitlists" would suddenly join up with "communists". Casting off the grandest differences took quite some nerve and vision I think on all sides.
    One can't help thinking that the leaders of the past were made of another material.
    _____________

    Now, Jukka_Rohila.
    Nice day; sunshine. Just walked the dog. And have to explain to Jukka_Rohila the difference between USSR and the Third Reich.

    "What a commission O Creator
    To be a father of a grown-up daughter!"
    (as said one dad in despair)

    Jukka_Rohila I am even lost. as a saying here goes "... and try to prove you're not a two-hump camel!"

    I hope I'll become wiser by the evening. The easiest solution simply asking for (by my internal voice, for days) is to say Good !Bye !Jukka !Rohila! What holds me is instinctive Russian "feeling of elbow" with neighbours. Developed through centuries, we're born with it. You won't understand.
    Per today we've got 18 neighbours. Happened less, happened more, but whatever the amount - has always been the highest in immediate bordering neighbours across the world. Triples than anybody or 6 times on any given day of the week. This calls for some wisdom.
    (to get the feeling simply imagine rodigog you've got 5 Canada-s around and 3-4 Mexica's. In case of Britain - 9 times France. In case of France - several Germanies to border, a couple of Britain's and 3 times Brussels. In case of Finland - several Russia's.)
    And you can't change any thing! Have to work with what there is.

    For starters, Jukka_Rohila.
    So you bordered for 74 years with what you considered all the way a living image of the nazi Germany.
    And for a couple of centuries before that - the Imperial variation on it (The Russian Empire.
    And for the next 20 years - the "back to old tricks whatever these are' Russia".

    I'd say you are not in bad shape! given such a neighbour.

    No doubt because of the exceptional Finnish strengths of arms and ability to protect itself.

    Let's see what was your protection 1917-1940. What was it? What was it, from the Third Reich USSR.
    Lenin time USSR. If I remember well, by Lenin's decree you got independence from the Russian Empire. Your first independence in history. And don't tell me "ah it's because Russia lost the 1st WW."
    We haven't. We were pulled out of it, by the ears, by Lenin. Who signed "pozorny Brest-Litovsky mir" - shameful Brest-Litovsk peace.
    Note the word "shameful". It is not invention of 2009. It is the way it was labelled in Russia/USSR from the moment of signing and exists exclusively with this epithet.

    Stalin time USSR. The distance btw the 2nd Russian capital (Petrograd/Leningrad/St. Peterburg) and Finland is I am sorry to say 8 miles.

    Not many in the world realise it. 8 miles. From the last subway station. And in that glorious distance, neighbouring with the typical Third Reichy USSR, and Stalin, for that matter, independent Finland lives and flourishes.

    Protected no doubt by the combined "fe" (ugh. don't you do it) of the int'l community, to be said to Stalin, should he fancy to grabatise Finland.
    I'd say you had exactly as much protection as Tbilisi in August 2008. Much less, in fact.
    In 2008 Russia was held back by European "ph!", took int'l opinion into consideration. Worried a bit about the image it casts.

    Stalin 1917-1940 I dare say was noot held back by such trifles.

    Jukka_Rohila, if you were 8 miles away from Berlin in its Third Reich mode, or even from Royal Germany - simply forget about any independence in history, and surviving as a country in 1939-1945.

    Your opinion of your beloved Germany would be earth and sky different by now.

    I think one difference btw the Third Reich and USSR I have proved. More later.
    Jukka_Rohila

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  • 107. At 1:47pm on 14 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (106):

    From the 1918 to 1939 our protection was the internal weakness of the Soviet Union and our geography. The Karelian litmus as all other parts of Finland at that time had lots of forests and relatively few roads going from east to west. Now if you are trying to make an invasion, the invasion is bottlenecked by the roads and forests. In that kind of terrain the defending army can inflict heavy damage against an invading army by fortifying, making rapid guerilla styled attacks and encircling an advancing unit. In this kind of terrain and circumstances, tanks and fighters loss much of their potential. In the winter war what the Red Army was facing was an rack tag army with many bringing their own rifles and home made uniforms. In another words, our unique geography and environment removed almost all technological and productive advances. Remember that in the winter war we didn't get help from neither the western powers or from the Nazis, actually Nazis prevented Mussolini to send an armament shipment to our help. In the winter war most of the help we got was from Sweden.

    If we hadn't had our geography and environment protecting us, at the end of the Russian civil war, we would have faced the same destiny as did the Ukrainians and Georgians who both declared independence, but which both were invaded, occupied and annexed to the Soviet Union.

    The other thing is that Lenin didn't in reality give us independence. His plans were based on the logic that different nations of Russian empire would brake out only to join it again via communist revolutions that would bring the newly formed communist governments under the shelter of the Soviet Union. However that idea died in the Finnish civil war where the white side won and drove off or captured the reds.

    After the end of the civil war, the first signs of what kind of neighbour we had when the first stories of the purges and untold misery in the Soviet Union came here. It was that information that unified the country more as even the hardcore communists understood that the Soviet Union wouldn't give socialist liberation to Finnish, but only oppression. That is why the whole nation was mobilized against the Soviet invasion, the bourgeoisie, the workers, Finnish Russians, Finnish Tatars, Finnish Jews, etc.. all took arms willingly to defend the country against the Soviet Union. Do also remember that the Finnish Jews even fought alongside the Germans against the Soviet Union, Finnish Jewish officers worked with German officers, no protest, no nothing, the threat of the east was that great.

    And again, so what that our border was near St.Petersburg, we weren't a threat and when the world was preparing to war, our leadership wanted to keep the country neutral and out of the war. May I also remind you that the example of Baltics proved our view of what the Soviet Union was. The Baltic countries gave military bases to the Soviet Union willingly, admitted the geopolitical situation and ggve up on the Soviet demands and the only thing that they got was betrayal: occupation of the states, annexation of the states into Soviet Union, the purge of their best and brightest and destruction of their national and cultural achievements.

    The Soviet Union was an aggressor, an dangerous state to its neighbours, a criminal entity in its very nature.

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  • 108. At 2:15pm on 14 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    So France has finally decided to surrender to the US. It's long overdue. But now the US should pull out of NATO and NATO can decide if it wants to continue without the US or disolve itself. There is no reason why America should defend Europe militarily anymore and if America wants to rent forward military bases and arrange bilateral treaties with some in NATO, that is far better for it. NATO has proven worthless to the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The outcomes in both might have been very different if Europe had done its fair share in either or both wars.

    Europe's main vulnerability is not military attack from the outside, at least not in the conventional sense. It has many severe weaknesses and wold likely succumb to any one of them but the preponderence of them will certainly do them all in within the next few years. The US would do well to returning to the policy President Washington advised and was accepted until Wilson and that is to stay out of Europe's affaris. Europe should be allowed to crash and burn all by itself. No reason for Amricans to risk getting singed in the coming conflagration.

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  • 109. At 4:33pm on 14 Mar 2009, William1950 wrote:

    This idea has been gaining ground for three decades. Pax Americana has caused many hard feelings threw out Europe. The Main problems is the idea that Europe has out grown the single country and has become an area, liken to the country that the American South wanted to build in America, that of strong states rights and a very weak central government. Added to this you have a few states/countries that are not willing to share the real power with other countries, France and Germany plus and always Russia.
    The United States of America and in many ways the American people are tired of spending billions in Europe and having our military in nations that in fact and actions do not want the US in country. The question then arises is NATO's time at an end. Should the nations of Europe have to spend ten percent of their GNP on defense and will the real outcome be aggression with in Europe or perhaps against the Balkin nations. Can Europe stand against Russia, the Arab world, over population and a failing world economy alone?
    I think that Europe, to regain the wonders of the past will decide to expand their model of a world currency and a central bank. The problems I see is Europe is already a second rate industral power and has allowed China into their markets. The threat of the future is China and its industrialization, its numbers of people, its need for fuel and its location.
    The Great Kahn was into Poland. China needs land, minerals and oil/gas. Russia is weak, underpopulated and not able to defend against a country that will use the same devices against them if a convential war goes to the bomb stage. The Arabs need money, they have one way to keep the cash coming in. Is Europe ready to go into the Arab lands and take the oil they need. Russia has shown it will cut off fuel to Europe to gain the political and economic power it wants, will the new military in Europe be ready, with out the industrail strength of the US to fight a land war with Russia?
    Each of these is a possible bleak future. However, already I see the leaders of Europe, Russia, China and the Arab leaders setting up a stage where any may or will happen.
    Pax American is for the time being slowly ending. This leaves a hole in defense and economies that can not be filled by printing money. The option is building factories, putting the people to work and limiting the number of people in the work force by having a few million in the military.
    Europe is a very small area. China, Russia, even the Arabs have more people and money. But the beleif of the Greatness of the past will cause the call to arms to again cry over this very bloody area of the world.

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  • 110. At 4:45pm on 14 Mar 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    When "EU"-lovers say "cooperation" they mean integration. When they talk about defence they usually mean completing the transformation of the "EU" into a European Superstate with its own army. That would presumably mean the abolition of the British army or its becoming just a series of units of the European Army, taking its orders from some "President" of the "EU".

    Totally unacceptable.

    It is totally unacceptable to be in a political union with the continentals.

    The greatest threat to us in the UK comes from the "EU" and its apparatchiks, glove-puppets, Quislings and apologists.

    Austrian psychiatrists have recently declared that Fritzl, the man who kept his daughter in a cellar for over twenty years, is untreatable.

    The same applies to the "EU" which has imprisoned us in the UK for thirty-six years.

    I shall be voting for UKIP.

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  • 111. At 5:10pm on 14 Mar 2009, frenchderek wrote:

    Ah! MAII has brought us back to the subject.

    The original reason the US was so keen on NATO was so that they could "keep an eye on (control over?) the Europeans". And many would argue that, since the fall of the Berlin wall, European subservience to US domination of NATO has cost them dear.

    As MAII and others have noted any attack will not be in the form of attack from an aggressor army but from "terrorists" acting from within (eg Madrid, London attacks).

    Whilst it may not be a European "Defence" Force, there is already an "army" of sorts: Eufor. They are currently in process of transferring their responsibilities (and quite a few soldiers) in the Central African Republic and Chad to the UN, after a 12 month stint there. This was considered to be an 'on-the-ground' trial of the capability of such a force, revised after the horrendous failures of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. It should be noted that, because of equipment shortages, Eufor had to call on Ukraine and Russia for help (transport planes and helicopters). No sign of US troops, advisers or - well, anyone.

    Defence against terrorism rests on information services, not on armies per se. Given what we have learned about US intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq debacle I'm not sure they are better placed to push their views on anyone. French and German intelligence services were much better informed - hence de Villepin's forthright speech at the UN before the US-led invasion.

    Now if there could be an EU intelligence service ........!

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  • 112. At 5:53pm on 14 Mar 2009, frenchderek wrote:

    Totally off-topic: but I wanted to sow terror :-0

    An interesting blog from www.gulfstreamblues.blogspot.com on the possibility of the UK joining the Euro. He was at an event in Brussels (the Centre) where this was the topic. Were you there, Mark? Well, according to this American in Europe it could just be that a Tory Government could argue for the UK entry into the Euro. Despite my sceptical reading he sounds believable.

    Have a read, then make up your own mind.

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  • 113. At 6:17pm on 14 Mar 2009, Menedemus wrote:

    Isenhorn @ #14

    Thank you for your dismissal of the United Kingdom's poor track record in fighting Defensive Wars but you seem to have assumed that my comment at #5 was in some way crowing about the United Kingdom military capability. Personally, I do not think the UK should even bother to try and lead the Defensive Armed Forces of Europe as envisaged by France so your comments are as meaningless as they are inaccurate.

    My original comment was directed at the suggestion by Sarkozy of a role for France leading the Defence of Europe. I never mentioned the UK other than I would prefer the UK to work with the glad hand of America rather than with the sneering French. Clearly, you want to denigrate the United Kingdom's fighting history without discussing with me the total absence of France ever having had any success in winning any Defensive War which was my point at #5.

    The simple fact is that neither the United Kingdom nor France (nor indeed Germany) can singularly 'lead' the size of armed services that are needed as a standing army for the defence of Europe. I no more promulgate the United Kingdom for this military lead role than I do France and the idea of Germany managing the "defence of Europe" would be a slap in the face of both Russia and, perhaps, many former World War II warriors who fought alongside those who died fighting their way into Germany to end the Second World War.

    My original comment at #5 was to suggest that, NATO led by the USA, for all the illogical hatred of the French for the American influence in Europe, is hardly a reason to do away with NATO and replace it with a WEA or EU Army because it suits the French to be the "Leaders" of European Defence.

    The end of NATO is merely the pipedream of the French who have never won a Defensive War in all history going back to the time of Julius Caesar and the genocide of Alesia. Sarkosy's re-engagement with NATO is merely a ploy to diminish the role of the Americans and subtly replace the American guiding hands of NATO with those of France and is, thus, in my view a cynical move by the French to dominate and do away with the strength of NATO which has maintained the peace in Europe for over 60 years.

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  • 114. At 6:40pm on 14 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Marcus Aurelius II and Comment 108.

    Not sure France has any intention of surrendering to the USA. I think you will find President Sarkozy has imagined the best way of getting the EU's European Defence Force up and running is first to rejoin the NATO fold in order to compete with Pres Obama's new initiatives that threaten to impress many of France's erstwhile EDF parteners.

    However, your sentiments on NATO are fairly accurate: I think the USA-UK-Canada should quit NATO, CENTO etc. asap.
    NATO has served its purpose and indeed gone beyond the 'call of the alliance': For certainly France, Spain, Belgium etc. have long since given up full combat participation and pick and choose their roles to suit electoral public mood-swings. Infact apart from the US-UK-Canada-Norway-Denmark, NATO has had more Military logistical commitment from Australia and New Zealand than from mainland west Europe in the last decade.

    As we abandon NATO so we should take steps to replace it: US-UK-Canada-together with Australia-New Zealand plus Norway-Denmark, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Brazil (if the 6 are interested) should rearrange all worldwide Military Command and Implementation roles in a reinvigorated, umbrella alliance called the Global Organisation for Defence Initiatives (GODI) - the acronym sets-out the whole tone - don't you think!?

    GODI could lease Armed Forces bases across the world but with such a global aspect it would not need many of them outsie its own alliance members.

    The European Union Federalists could then rejoice in their new found independence knowing its security was safely assured by the new European Defence Force paid for entirely by EU Tax-payers; I am sure France and Germany would be ecstatic to pick up the mantle of the disbanded NATO. Since 1989 most of west Europe has been trying to give the impression it was mainland Europe did it virtually all in the Cold War, so, okay let them go ahead with the EDF; afterall, free choice, is what Democracy is all about. And for the EU the choice does not come any clearer than choosing to put its security entirely in its own hands - they have such a great record of cohesive and co-operative interest in each other's situation - with shoulder-to-shoulder loyalty to fellow partners in alliance.

    GODI could be up and running by 2012: Europe can keep the NATO land bases, but with the US-UK-Canada go the weapons systems, stores etc. except those owned by the EDF members, so, they get the runways and GODI most of the Aircraft etc. (seems a fair deal) and the savings made from pulling out of NATO in mainland Europe should cover half the costs of setting up elsewhere. Of course GODI can stay on co-partner basis with the EDF and share where needed, Intelligence, comes to mind. However, there may be issues of 'commonality of weapons', but, that's all part of the price of independence.

    What are the advantages of GODI over NATO?

    1) GODI will be a genuine alliance/coalition of the willing.
    2) GODI will offer worldwide flexible-response by multi-national forces to many of the world's presernt and foreseeable areas of tension.
    3) GODI will have no 'carried' partners/members as all will sign-up to exactly the same commitments: Agreeing to same per annum expenditure, logistical involvement, personnel etc.
    4) GODI will get the monkey-off-the-back that is the constant EU policies of rivalry/competitiveness towards North America and the British Isles.
    5) GODI will enable to USA to maintain its global presence whilst sharing that burden with wholly reliable coalition forces.


    Well, why not? The present membership of NATO doesn't seem committed to backing and joining with US-UK anytime soon on any issue.

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  • 115. At 6:52pm on 14 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    US intelligence relied too heavily on Britain but was in any event correct in erring on the side of caution. Usually, national intelligence undersestimates a threat and a nation underreacts until the consequence become dire as they did in WWII. Nobody realized for example how far Libya was along on its nuclear weapons program until it confessed. In fact, nobody even knew Iraq had a nuclear weapons program until Saddam Hussein's brother-in-law who ran it defected to Jordan and spilled the beans to the world in 1995. (He was lured back to Iraq and killed by Hussein's henchmen.)

    I wouldn't trust de Villepin or Chirac, or Schroeder or even Sarkozy for that matter if their tongues came notarized. IMO, they are all pathological liars.

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  • 116. At 10:37pm on 14 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #111 - frenchderek

    I would like to wholeheartedly endorse what you say. The so called 'war against terror' is, for all intents and purposes, an extremely expensive mopping up exercise - the horses having conveniently bolted when the stable door was wide open. The real war on terror is not fought by armies but, as FD rightly says, by intelligence units. Victory, if such a thing is possible, is not secured on 9/11 or 7/7. On the contrary, such events represent severe setbacks. Victory comes every time a plot is foiled, a cell closed before it can act, a conspiracy uncovered in due time. Since there is a broad measure of agreement in this column that the principal and most dangerous enemy in modern times is the terrorist, it is logical that current efforts should focus on this.

    It is certainly logical that a power with the collective economic and technical muscle as Europe should take care of its own defence needs but that does raise three interesting questions. Firstly, is there any case to be made that the war in Afghanistan somehow makes Europe a safer place? There is a growing consensus that terrorist risk is largely home grown and there are plenty of places other than Afghanistan from which it can be coordinated and directed. If the European allies accede to Secretary Gates' requests for greater involvement, are we not simply shadow boxing to support US ambitions to promote and, if necessary, impose democracy on other people when the real war is much closer to home. Secondly, if Europe is to take prime responsibility for it's own defence, is it not a matter for us rather than them as to whether we need a nuclear defence capability in Poland and the Czech Republic? And thirdly, given that the Cold War is long over, the concept of neutrality as was envisaged when some European countries either enshrined it in their constitutions or had it imposed on them has gone with it. Is it realistic of those nations to expect the NATO allies in Europe to assume overall responsibility for the defence of all 27 nations?

    I confess that, in posing these questions, I am playing devil's advocate. In the absence of an alternative alliance, NATO actually serves the purpose well but the question is a fair one. If Europe is to take on its own defence in the future, it would not be reasonable for it to continue to be a instrument of US foreign policy. It therefore seems to me that those on the other side of the Atlantic who are pushing for reduced involvement in Europe may not have thought it through while those on this side who want to push ahead with undue haste have not recognised that, as part of the process, we have to have that long overdue rethink on what NATO's role is in the post Cold War reality.

    MAII

    Unusually, we find ourselves on the same side in this debate. I agree that the Europeans have the resources, the technology and the manpower to protect itself. However, do bear in mind that the US commitment in terms of hardware and manpower may currently be disproportionate but the investment is not. Bear in mind that 25.2% of the total cost of running NATO comes from the States, 19.6% from Germany, 15.5% from the UK, 7.9% from France with the others bringing up the rear. If you think you can make a better fist of NATO without the burden of Europe, remember that you have to do it on 30% of the current budget (your 25.2% plus 4.8% from Canada)and with a greatly reduced voice in how Europe's capabilities are deployed. Be careful what you wish for.

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  • 117. At 10:44pm on 14 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    Moderators -

    I like the new format of the blog which is a huge improvement. I also understand why you may feel the need to moderate (notwithstanding that, due to what I assume was a technical glitch, I was not moderated for the first two months of this year). But printing by may of explanation that "all new members are pre-moderated initially" when I have been posting regularly for years is a bit rich, don't you think?

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  • 118. At 10:46pm on 14 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    ( - and there is a space missing between the question mark ending the first sentence and the beginning of the next).

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  • 119. At 00:10am on 15 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    What has NATO ever done for America? Nothing of value for America to suport it. America's justification for NATO was to prevent the USSR from invading and taking over Western Europe the way the Nazis did. But the USSR no longer exists, it's been gone for over 17 years. NATO is a mutual defense pact. America was attacked by a terrorist group based in Afghanistan that was protected by the Afghan government and now finds sanctuary in remote parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Where are the vast armies of the European arm of NATO out to find the mutual enemy and destroy him? Where were they when every one of them thought as President Putin said that Iraq was about to attack America? Why does America have to spend its taxes to support 25% of NATO? How about zero perecent of NATO? BTW, when were we EVER on the same side of any issue threnodious? Your postings have invariably disagreed with mine as I recall. IMO, NATO is an unnecessary luxury America can and should forgo. If Europe feels it needs defending militarily, it should do it itself. It brags about how efficient it is run and how large its GDP is. Perhaps the EU could display some of the same unity and mutually beneficial accumen on the military front it displays on the economic and political front. If that happens, it should succumb to Sri Lanka's army in about six months.

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  • 120. At 00:11am on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Can't shed any light on the main topic; haven't heard in Russia and pro-s and contra-s re Europe's defence per se, er, I mean, by itself, or within the NATO.
    I think Russia is indifferent we'll adapt to either mode :o)

    Or, rather, Russia is not indifferent, but nobody seriously believes USA would leave the warm "sitted" places, so there is nothing to discuss.

    As ikamaskeip in 118 wrote about GODI. I mean, before USA leaves one place it ought to find a re-placement. Nobody leaves to "nowhere".
    So first it gets known that the USA found those new places; then Russia will think what it may look like, with neighbours, the new lay-out. If any.

    Once again we are modest in desires happy with a little. :o)
    Let's please somehow not have "Germanskaya-3" , to top "Germanskaya-1" and "Germanskaya-2". With all the rest Russia can live.
    Will adapt to whatever configuration.

    No revolution, no German wars - what else can one wish in Europe more? no idea. provided this survival maximum (for Russians) is ensured - all the rest will settle down somehow.

    I'm serious about "Germanskaya-3" don't make Russians nervous we are hysterical about it. If anything this time we will start from Berlin.
    LOL. Meeting European demand to never ever walk across others to the place.

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  • 121. At 00:35am on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I don't know; think someone mentioned here. To continue to be in Europe in either case, USA does not necessarily need an umbrella NATO approach.
    Divide and , LOL, kind of, select - will be enough to ensure presence in key points. We're seeing it already in Ukraine and Georgia. As we care most, we noticed the turn of direction first.
    Neither is NATO and won't be, while someone in Europe can still vote against. (I'll put it this optimistically. and soft)

    So what? USA recently signed a bi-lateral military deal with both. NATO membership qualifying parameters thus successfully cirumvented.
    You don't exactly need NATO these days to sit on Russia's head. And keep us 2 sources of never-ending concerns and spend. This is a Russia's approach sample but I think the model can be copied N times.

    Alternatively of course you need to change NATO membership rules, which is also technically possible, and a workable thing, but I don't think the US will even bother. We signed with Abkhasia a 49 year military base deal, a week ago, re-placing the 1 year contract of October. Contracted 3 spots, one for aviation base, one for infantry base and one shallow lousy windy flat bay to excavate now for years and make deeper for the Navy base. So Abkhasia won't die from hunger in the foreseable 49 year future, steady source of income. Plus crazy Russian tourists who never so far once chickened out to bathe there and suntan in the beach with nearby tanks. In my Abkhasia experience 3-5 pm tanks give good shade, you don't need a striped umbrella on the beach. LOL.
    If such a landscape fits into a NATO country membership profile... :o)

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  • 122. At 01:17am on 15 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #119 - MarcusAureliusII

    So you won't be needing the 26,672 European troops currently serving in Afghanistan then? Jolly good. We'll use them to defend Europe then shall we?

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  • 123. At 01:26am on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila I see you didn't become wiser by the evening. ("criminal!" "you have to denounce it" "completely!")

    Neither did I.

    the abyss seems un-fillable.

    the independence Lenin gave you was as good as gold.
    I took note you are unhappy about it. Russians en masse think you are happy; well, then, we are wrong. Have to adjust our wrong conception about this Finnish mind-fold. I suppose you are a standard Finn, shaped up by local prevailing beliefs.

    My view it's not by chance that all who got independence in 1917 were strongly tied into revolution in Russia' making happen and strongly tied to Germany. Three Baltics and Finland.

    And yes, Poland. Home of Dzerzhinsky, Lenin's first and most true comrade-in-arms. Founder of KGB.

    Would you deny the Three Baltics and Finland were pro-German? Long before any 2ndWW? You were hearty buddies. First thing "independent Latvians" did - is surrendered their capital, Riga, to Germans. Without a single shot. When Russian army fought for Riga - sorry, we held it, in the 1st WW. The moment Latvians stayed alone - they handed over the keys!!! Independence-searching, oh yeah.

    First thing independent Finland did - is installed a kingdom! In 1918. Yes, a royal house, throne, all that jazz. "Parliamentary and demoratic" you said, you always were?

    Nobody but you and me here even know Finland got themselves new tsars - the moment we gave them independence. Freedom-lovers. And who was yout new tsar, may I remind? You exported a German prince, and put him onto your head, by yourselves. Nobody made you. Top of desires - finally a German rules Finland. King "Viaine the I". Like hell he was "Veine".
    Friedrich Karl von Gessen.

    Even your Mannerheim resigned by own will in May 1918, from the glorious post of Chief Military Finnish commander - disgusted by the German-oriented politics of the Finnish upper circles.

    Germany - that was always the idol, for the Baltics and Finland. Top of your desires. Combined with the strong desire to harm Russia.

    What's the wonder Stalin moved you away off, the borderline, before the 2ndWW, to a safer distance from Leningrad. Who in his right mind has the capital, and then the 2nd capital of the country, within the direct shot distance from the neighbour state. Especially if that neighbour is so pro-German, as one could only wish - and the storm is coming.
    Absolutely any world country would do the same.

    Nobody wanted your Helsinki. We took what we wanted - created an additional space - between Leningrad and Finland. And very timely so.

    "difficult terrain" - plain curious. Your terrain is no different to any other terrain in Russia. It is our native habitat. Forests and no roads -is all Russia consists of. To this day one can walk in the forest Russia to Finland without a visa.
    In spite of the Finnish borderline, and the Chinese borderline - are the only two best kept by borderguards from both sides, traditionally - "real" borderlines, since USSR border times.
    All the rest "borders" are a joke. On the map only - that's where you'll see them.

    Latvia we can thank for the army it provided to Lenin, for his lack of Russian own.
    Russian own swore to the tsar and largely stayed loyal to him. Lenin couldn't recruit bayonets within Russian army to make a coup and keep military terror in the capital.
    to the opposite - Russian army made up the "White" side.

    But within Latvian regiments of the Russian army he found full consensus. All to somersault the Russian Tsar and get independence for Latvia. That they put Lenin on throne instead - Latvia couldn't care less. Russia will saw the result of their aiding Lenin to make revolution happen and hold on in Civil war.

    Same role of Finland. You complain about USSR? You created it. For us - the Russians hated by you. You got your independence as a trade off - and stayed beyond. How far some provinces go to harm Russia, dear to see.

    What was before part of Finland is now Russia. In Sestroretsk there is a nice "Lenin's museum". The famous "shalash" , so called "hut", made of hay and tree branches, where the great mind kept his command centre and cooked up the coup. Safe place, within Finnish woods, of the Russian empire. He received there messengers, issued orders, communicated with his network, frolicked as he pleased.

    A close look at that "hay stack" where our leader was supposed to endure his dagger and cloak life hardships reveals interesting details. A 2-storied house, here the maid room, there the milkman delivered milk, in that room Lenin's study and library, here he stacked up drafts of the leaflets to be printed in the local printing house, there the meeting room to hold conferences with visiting co-conspirators. I'd say a quite relaxed life-style on not a bad footing, in 1916-1917. A wasp nest, of which Finnish authorities were well aware. And assisted as much as they could.

    What would you not do, to harm Russia? Would even house their future death, with all pleasure.

    And yes, of course the famous hay-stack is still there! "The same".
    As the guides in the museum-house say, making "scary big eyes" - "over there! across that meadow! - and into his hay-stack, Lenin used to retreat - when the danger of Russian police locating his Finnish dwelling became emminent! (how many times he had to make a tour - not specified).

    You traded your independence for Russia's ruin. First hand in. Lenin owed you a favour. And kept his word.
    And dare to complain about "criminal USSR"?

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  • 124. At 02:36am on 15 Mar 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Alice,

    I enjoyed reading your posts. My question is way off topic, but I would be interested in your comment. When I was in Moscow, I noticed many churches being rebuilt or remodeled. I understand Stalin destroyed many of the churches. However, walking around, I noticed several looked to be original and never destroyed, especially ST. Basil's in Red Square. Did Baranovskys reaction to the order by Stalin to demolish the church represent the general Muscovite's opinion?

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  • 125. At 08:10am on 15 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    WebAlicewonderland and Comment 123.

    An aside on your "...forest and no roads.. Finn - Russian border.. walk across.."

    In my experience during the late 1960s and through the '70s the Russian Cossack Cavalry Patrols along the Russian side of the border with Finland kept everyone except spies, a few 'authorised Comm Party black marketeers' and the wolves and bears from walking across in either direction. The horsemen were aided by the huge, above tree-top height Russian Observation Guard Towers dotted along the border and the Finns strict control of the 3 kilometre 'no-go' border zone on their side.

    However, the point of all the above is that in 1982 I had occasion to again visit Finland and one late summer afternoon in August I drove up to the fiercesome border area expecting to be halted at any moment: I saw no one at all along the forest track and after parking trekked into the forest to the supposed border-line. Complete change from all previous situations. Not only was I able to walk into Russian territory without challenge I then made my way to a Russian Observation Tower and climbed up to its roundhouse box at the top! No one was inside! The view in the sunset was extraorinarily beautiful and I still have the photos. After a few minutes, not wishing to push my luck, I went down and returned to Finland with no one any the wiser! Foolhardy but a good true tale for my Grandchildren!

    That little adventure all happened near a tiny Finnish village called Nehvonniemi at the edge of Lake Viiksinselka.

    On returning to Kitee where I was working I chatted with a local Finn Policeman who told me from 1981 onwards virtually all the Russian Border Guards had disappeared from the rural posts (which as you know is most of that border) as the Russian 'mafia' were the only ones paying them to turn a blind eye to criminal activities. The Finns were struggling to maintain any control over border areas outside of the main roads and towns. Nevertheless, my policeman friend informed I had broken several laws and been lucky not to have been shot: Not by Border Patrols from either Finn or Russia, but, by the gangs and thieves operating along the entire region!

    I have not been back to that border area and have used the normal crossing facilities at Valimaa since then plus most recently way up north at Multipera.

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  • 126. At 09:11am on 15 Mar 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    Nato will continue because USA and Democratic Europe are two branches of the same tree. When one branch burns, the tree is on fire as well.

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  • 127. At 09:40am on 15 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (123):

    You are making simplifications, but before going into that...

    The fact that the Soviet Union was an criminal entity is backed up by the history and historical data. It is not a belief, but a fact. This same view of the Soviet Union is shared all out in the world. Reagan didn't call Soviet Union the Evil Empire for nothing, he knew not only that it was the case, but the common Americans and all of the West shared the same view.

    You also seem to think that having an low value of the Soviet Union and judging it harshly means that you hate it and that you hate Russia and Russians. That isn't the case. Hate is always wrong and hating an group of people is even more wrong: you can't hate the people.

    A good example of this is a dad of one of my friends, who lost his father in the war when he was just a baby, lived near the border his whole childhood, when drunk, he tells his stories in general, about the war, about the business, etc.. once in a while he lets his anger get better of him and just spills it out that he hates Russia and Russians with all of this soul. However one time what took me with surprise was that he said to us "you boys can't be racist, I'm a prisoner of my past, but you can not hate". Hating people is morally wrong.


    Now lets continue with the history...

    You make a simplification by saying that Lenin granted us independence. That wasn't real independence, that was only a part of the plot in Russian power play.

    "On 15 November 1917, the Bolsheviks declared a general right of self-determination, including the right of complete secession, "for the Peoples of Russia". On the same day the Finnish Parliament issued a declaration by which it assumed, pro tempore, all powers of the Sovereign in Finland.

    Declaration of the rights of Peoples of Russia lead into several areas declaring their independence: Ukraine, Moldova, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Belarus. Other new states also emerged, for example the Transcausia from which Georgia braked in 1918 and declared its independence. Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and many others where annexed back by force. The countries that got their independence and got to keep it where states that got the power to fight back against the communists, against the Red Army.

    You also take a note that all countries who got their independence allied very quickly with the Germans. Is this any surprise? There was a revolution going inside the Russia and the same revolution was either already started in newly independent countries or about to start, thus all these countries had to get force from somewhere to fight the communist revolution, prevent the revolution from starting or fighting directly with the Red Army.

    You also held a belief that Finland, Baltic states, etc.. automatically look at the Germany by a near instinct. That isn't the case again. All the nations and countries via trade have had long connection to Germany that has meant not only exchange of goods and services but also that Germany as one of the leading places of Europe, has served as an example in matters of faith, culture, social policy, economics, industry etc.. Nations and countries always look up at the centres of the world, in previous history various nations turned to look at Italy, France and Germany, and in current times various nations, including mines, have turned their eyes on the United States that has been the centre of the world. The reason on why nations and countries haven't turned their eyes on Russia, on St. Petersburg or Moscow is just simply because they haven't the centres of neither the western nor the whole world.

    And again, you can't blame anybody for Lenin but the people that took him as their leader. Lenin didn't just come and with a gunpoint make people love him, he was loved and cheered and got the hearts and minds of those ready to take arms and make a revolution.

    And yes, Finland was going to have an king from Germany, we even had a crown chair made up for him. What you don't note is that at the time it wasn't so sure that republics were the right choice, most of the European countries were monarchies and at the time it seemed that such an order would stay. However when times changed and monarchy wasn't so hot any more, instead of parliamentary monarchy we got an parliamentary republic.

    And again, the aim of the winter war was to take up the whole Finland. There is no doubt or question about it. The Soviet troops themselves had a timetable on when to be at Helsinki and what songs to sing for their appraisal. The only question would have been, would Finland have become a People's Republic or a Soviet Republic.

    PS. Difficult terrain, it is very difficult terrain for an invading army. The thing you don't recognise is that you can't just take a gun and start to walk via forest into Finland or the other way around. With any bigger amount of troops, you get real big problems with logistics, supplying fresh troops, fresh ammunition, fresh supplies etc.. in addition forests are the perfect hiding place, you can get ambushed very easily and very quickly. The terrain is perfect for defence. You see in a battle, against a well fortified defender, you need 3 times more men to even have a chance of victory, 5 or 6 times more men the odds are stacked behind you, 11 times men and you get a sure victory. Why is that? Essentially because its easier to shoot at a moving target than a target hiding under a rock. This quite much explains why in the winter war the Red Army couldn't even reach Vyburg.

    PS2. For fairness, there are two Soviet Unions, the pre-post Stalin Soviet Union and the post Stalin Soviet Union. The pre-post Stalin Soviet Union gets very low marks and very hard judgement. The post-Stalin Soviet Union gets low marks too, not so low, but very low anyway. Honestly my intention was and is not to insult or hurt your feelings, that is however what my comments have caused. I'm not sorry for my view and opinions, they are rational and backed up the history, however I'm truly sorry that they have hurt you. Again not my intention.

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  • 128. At 12:12pm on 15 Mar 2009, DS wrote:

    What has NATO ever done for me says Marcus Aurelius at 119, well the problem may be that the NORTH ATLANTIC Treaty was very carefully drawn up so as to mutually protect North America, North Atlantic and Europe. At the time large parts of the rest of the world were under the political and economic domination of Europe and the US wanted to force the Europeans out as much as they wanted to not let the Russians in.

    French fought in Vietnam no American help.
    French fought in Algeria no American help.
    French invade Egypt Americans undermine allies and support Egypt.
    French fight in Congo or Ivory Coast or Senegal or Chad no American help.
    French fight off Lybian invasion of Chad no American help.
    Portugal fought in Angola no American help
    Portugal fought in Mozambique no American help
    UK fought in Palestine US helped the terrorists
    UK invades Egypt US undermines ally and helps Egyptians
    UK fought in Malaya no American help
    UK fought in Yemen no American help
    UK fought in Oman twice once against US supported Saudis then Soviet supported Yemen no American help either time
    UK fought Indonesia no American help
    UK loses "control" of Iran, US does not help return it to UK but organises coup to gain "control" for itself 1953-79.

    Peacekeeping in Beirut both US and French there, the French lost almost 100 men the same day the US lost 250 in the twin bombings on both barracks, France lost more men with a smaller force in actual fighting. France stayed a month longer after Reagan pulled the USMC out.

    Korea and Gulf War 1, French, British, and many other European nations fought and died on the ground.

    Afghanistan: support in the Air and on the ground almost from day 1 with French and German special forces on the ground, air strikes of multiple NATO European nations including French and German both from Central Asia and from the French Carrier in the Indian ocean, what is often not mentioned in UK is both France and Germany had MORE casualties on the ground in Afghanistan in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and the 1st half of 2006, all but a handful of the 150 UK deaths have occurred after they volunteered to lead an operation in Southern Afghanistan, in mid-2006 which Defence Minister Reid at the time claimed would be no more dangerous than the ongoing French and German operations in the North and East.

    Bottom line NATO treaty was drawn up to cover the area of the world were the interests of Europe and US overlap, but did not help Europe maintain dominance in the rest of the world and was not supposed to. US is now getting upset that the same Europeans are not willing to die to maintain American dominance and the US right to have cheap gas.

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  • 129. At 12:43pm on 15 Mar 2009, DS wrote:

    ikamaskeip at 114 talks about inventing something called GODI bringing in South Africa, Nigeria, India, and Brazil to an alliance with US-UK-Canada and ANZUS. so the US can maintain world dominance without any criticism from those pesky Europeans.

    Well other than some college student playing RISK on what planet does that seem likely?

    The US has just invented AFRICOM for Africa Command and it still has an HQ in Frankfurt as not one of the states on the continent will support a permanent presence there. Brazil and India were both assumed by Rumsfeld to be willing to police Iraq after the US troops went home they both gave a very firm NO unless all US influence went home with the troops and they led a truly independent UN operation. South Africa has strongly criticised Iraq and Afghan operations.

    Yes these are rising powers and will have more influence in the future but the idea that it is in their interests to support continued US economic dominance is madness they will use their influence in their interest, sometimes co-operating with the US and sometimes not.

    In terms of US forces on the ground in Europe, lots went home in the 1990's and most of what is left is already planned to be gone by 2011-12. What were 300,000 men 2 Army Groups and more than 4 heavy divisions with lots of support is around 50,000 now and will be 20,000 by 2012. At that point they are there because they are there, it is probably sensible to allow US and European troops to train together both with US in Europe and European in US but they could not really be said to be contributing to the defence of anything other than the the bases they are on.

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  • 130. At 12:46pm on 15 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    threnodious

    "So you won't be needing the 26,672 European troops currently serving in Afghanistan then? Jolly good. We'll use them to defend Europe then shall we?"

    Might as well for all the good they are doing. They could replace however many tens of thousands of Americans that should leave Europe including the Balkins. As for Afganistan, since Europe will not cooperate in rooting out and eliminating al Qaeda, Pakistan and Afghanistan won't or can't, the US will have to face the choice of going it alone or also pulling out. If it goes it alone, the rules of engagement should be far sharper than anything anyone has ever seen in recent decades and its forces would have to be far more aggressive taking the war across the border to Pakistan if it has any hope of ever winning. This would entail enormous risks. But the flip side is just as risky, a complete pullout allowing al Qaeda and the Taleban to take control of the region. This would allow it to resume its program to replace the civilized world such as it is, with its brand of extreme Islam. Soft targets in Europe would be hit first especially if the US took extreme steps to beef up security at home turning the US into a fortress America. If it doesn't do that immediately, it will right after the first successful al Qaeda attack.

    As partners in mutual security, Europe including Britain is worthless IMO. It took six months of political haggling in an unsuccessful effort to get one more Security Council resolution to cover Tony Blair's domestic politial derriere before the invasion of Iraq, far more than enough time for Saddam Hussein to hide his WMDs if he had any in any one of any number of places either scattered thoughout Iraq or in Syria where many believe they now are. We may never know....unless one day they are used or cause massive civilian damage through a mishap.

    WebAlice;

    Among Russia's many problems is that Putin and his KGB friends never gave up the cold war. Now any good chess player knows when he is beaten and that this is the time to resign and start a new game. But not these people. They go on and on and on playing their one or two remaining pieces, vital energy supplies to Europe and a large number of Russian colonists and their descendants in their near abroad. Both of these pieces are of dubious value. They offer only a stick, not a carrot and from their main adversarys' point of view, the US and China, they are hardly impressive. Most of what they have done, their feeble attempts to revitalize their military are worthless in the current strategic situation. Of far more importance, their economic power, it took a short pop during the run up in oil prices and is now down again with prices back to being low and at risk of falling further. They also demonstrated that Russia is one place for foreigners not to invest in if they have any hope of ever realizing a profit. Russia's weakness in the economic crisis is obvious. From America's point of view, this crisis has brought about a long overdue and much needed re-alignment of relative power balance in the world. While America's power has fallen, relative to Europe, China, Russia, and India, it is doing far better. China is getting a lesson in Americanomics and is worried far too late about the long term value of the trillion dollar US government debt it holds while it seems to me, Europe is nearing the edge of complete economic collapse. Eastern Europe is the joker in their deck. This is the price Western Europe will pay for trying to buy increased political power through imprudent economic policy. The price will turn out to be far higher than it ever dreamt.

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  • 131. At 1:19pm on 15 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #93
    ikamaskeip,

    Did you look at the link I gave? The number of troops the USA and West Germany provided for the defence of Europe is given there. The numbers are self-explanatory. Just because the USA was the biggest military in NATO during the Cold war does not mean it was solely committed to the defence of Europe. The US of A had a lot of troops in Vietnam for a long time during the Cold war but that hardly counts as 'defending Europe', does it?

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  • 132. At 1:31pm on 15 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #113
    Menedemus,

    In my post at #14 I referred at the poor military record of the UK to show how easily the use of the poor past fighting capabilities of France, as an example to justify the rejection of the creation of EDF can be turned around. Just because some countries performed better in WW2 than others does not mean that it has to be that way ever since. Surely nobody is judging the strength of the US Army by its not so illustirious performance in Vietnam? If we base our assessments on that war I would not be so certain the the USA will be able to 'defend Europe' nowadays. Why does a debate about the EDF always reverts to the often repated and untrue 'America saved us in the war'?

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  • 133. At 2:32pm on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MA, so you do recognise the economic well-being of Russia and, I'd invent - "places in its orbit of economic operation" - has got nothing to do with either of the three models - communism, capitalism or socialism? LOL. But is - by major part - oil market price dominated.
    Thank you.

    And so much b-t about in-bred advantages of capitalism un-limited by state interference, in perestroyka years. That we took as a new "advanced" model.
    You've hanged us kilos of macaroni-s on our wide flappy ears.

    And in reality things are so simple.
    Oil 46 - USSR builds ice-brekers fleet, makes free water way (first time) for ships to pass to the Northern Pole, delivers goods Murmansk - Vladivostok - back again by flotilla-s operating the "upper polar way" ) "above" Russia, on the map. We get crabs in Leningrad cheaper than potatoes and Vladivostok and our Pacific coast are inhabited willingly.

    Oil 12 - we leave Afghanistan. No money to continue.

    Oil 4.8 - USSR collapses.

    Oil 25 - Yeltsin "wild capitalism", all moan, no pensions, no salaries, hungry Chechnya fights for independence (wants to get into heroin Afghanistan business as a source of income), un-paid army supposed to pick up berries in the woods, abandoning its nuclear rockets' shafts. LOL.

    Oil 80 - 148 Putin's fat years. Putin very popular. The West watches with pleasure how well Russia moves along the "market development path", so much good change of political system did them, dear to see. Any next day will become , just imagine! a normal democracy.

    I don't know what I want to say but I see a more clearer trend in our economy in relation to oil prices than to any political model there is.
    Politics - it's up to them in Kremlin, call a tiger a bull, a spider a cat, change facades and re-print slogans and messages. Agriculture depends on climate, draughts, bank loan percentage to farmers to rent equipment. 1903 or 2009 - all the same. Fatness of country as a whole depends on oil. And call it whatwever. Saudi Arabia, LOL, I'm not sure a very democratic place. Or United Arab Emirates.

    Just as a teaser.
    _________

    Of other news Ukraine apologised today formally to the USA, for falsifying its "holodomor" photo exhibition and "documentary", with US agricultural areas hunger photos 1929-1933. They got scared not so much of their new friend-o-masters in general, but of US individuals' suits, as many photos were copied from personal web sites of known American artists, photo-? how to say, famous photographers.

    To Russia, for in-building Volga river hunger photos of 1920, into Ukrainian "holodomor" trade show - they didn't apologise. This is normal.

    But we're interested - how will it be with Norway? Still, the voice over in the film says "Year 1932. Cruel Soviet comissar, in a rich fur-coat, cynically watching the loading of the last Ukrainian bread, and carrying it away to Russia." Poor Amundsen (indeed in not a bad fur collar :o) labelled a "comissar" might be turning over in his polar grave.

    Well, as the saying goes: "New Bible Edition - Translated into Ukrainian! Now - 9 Commandments." :o)




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  • 134. At 3:07pm on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    ikamaskeip @125
    Read of your adventures of Fin-Rus border crossing with much interest! :o) Just imagine.

    I think what the Finn told you was pretty true, lots of Russian mafia frolicked on the border in 1984 and plus minus, about that time.
    Still, I am sure USSR still controlled the border at that time as well, may be repositioned to other points, from those "watch towers". Closer to our side. Finland was never known in USSR times as a border one can cross to escape to the West. For that you had to hi-jack an Aeroflot plane :o) or plunge into other risky adventures.

    I don't know if you saw an excellent film "East-West"; there a poor Russian chap, swimming athlete, swam 12 km away off shore, to be picked up by a Turkish ship going to Tukey, in the open Black Sea. The captain pre-bribed and pre-agreed with preliminary, on the shore, in Odessa. He oiled himself up, to decrease water resistance, in a pair of pants only, no belongings, and had to make it to the appointed place and time in the open sea, because the captain said he won't stop a ship for a sec, this will give Soviet border guard ships' suspicion. So if he were wrong with finding the place (without any satellite oriebtation, LOL) , or with timing - no way he'd have strength left to swim back home.

    That'll be a more regular approach.

    No way out, remember, Soviet Government absolutely didn't want to share its preciouis citizens with the West. :o) Each worth a million !
    How the ballerina-s and ballerina? - men! hopped across in airports on departure, or defected otherwise.

    The Berlin wall erected in 1961, and all that jazz. When East Berliners simply couldn't but see the difference btw their shops - and their Western brothers' shops - along one and the same street in Berlin, mind it! In direct un-aided view!
    So, to relieve them of this painful sight :o)

    Mafia in that time you travelled I don't know crossed or not. I think rather had meeting points in no man's land between the countries, in the forest, where goods were passed over from one side to the other side. From Finland to us - jeans and Marlborough and your whole wardrobe (strong clothes' angle); in return - alcohol/vodka banned in Finland. They had some sort of a "dry law", either was expensive or not sold.

    The thing is Kremlin's idea of "foreign" clothes for the USSR - was to import Polish jeans and Hungarian and Czech boots and absolutely all more or less wearable dresses (Russian make - only cotton cloth peppered in tiny flowers. Like British grandma apron.) - from the Eastern Europe. They dressed us. This was wanted by all, deficit, long lines, you took any size there is and fixed it to own size later. Or traded with friends. If they happened to buy your size something.

    But people wanted real capitalistic staff as well! I wouldn't go to a disco in "Polish jeans". So that the whole school would laugh at me?
    I wanted leather shorts! And "Chanel No 5!" :o) And Kremlin thought - I don't.
    For all this - one route only. To the black market, things delivered from Finland.
    And Beatles' records, for a sec? If Kremlin thinks they shouldn't be in the shops, while the whole USSR thinks otherwise?
    - to the black market.
    Dear darling Russian-Finnish forests.

    Surely you were at risk, ikamaskeip! Imagine if you stumbled across the Mannerheim old dot? dzot? how do you call that beton bunker, with a little hole for a machine gun muzzle? A nice Mannerheim beton bunker, deep down into the ground from its multi-ton weight, all grown with moss - and there inside - 5,000 records of Abbey's Road!

    You'd get a shock of your life :o)

    robervarrious berries on cogniac and on vo

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  • 135. At 3:35pm on 15 Mar 2009, Menedemus wrote:

    Isenhorn #132

    And France saved Europe?

    de Gaulle and his Free French troops were such a huge part of D-day that exactly 19 Free French troops died on the D-Day beachheads on 6 June 1944. Compared to 37 Norwegians for example? To put that 19 Free French loss into perspective, over a 1000 British, 2500 Americans and many Commonwealth Nations lost their boys liberating France on the 6 June 1944.

    Let us not kid ourselves that the French contributed in any huge way to the liberation of France. In fact, if it were not for D-Day, the Russians would have conquered Germany but hardly have bothered to go further to rescue France or the Low Countries as it would not have been in Stalin's interests. As it happens I have serious reservations as to whther the Vichy French would have wanted to be "liberated" had not D-Day been a success.

    The reality is that the French are shampbolic partners in war, defence and see themselves as the true country of leadership of modern Europe when, in fact, it is more true to say that they are a hopeless morass of ineptitude and any EDF, WEA or EU Standing Army led by the French will be as prone to debilitating indecision as the politics of France demonstrate.

    Sarkozy has led France back into NATO but, before too long, when Sarkozy is history, the next left-wing Socialist President of France will lead France back out of NATO again - unless the French are offered some undeserved senior role in the governance of NATO.

    Quite frankly, if France were to withdraw form NATO yet again, I would say good riddance as I still maintain that it is NATO and not French arrogance that has maintained the Peace in Europe for over 60 years now.

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  • 136. At 3:41pm on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Never heard a word at home, anybody, ever, from Kremlin to peasants - "what if we take Western Europe." In USSR times and 20 yrs later. Not a single hint in that direction.

    Russian desire to fight wars post our loss in the 2ndWW was strongly over-inflated.
    Surely, if one is not aware of that loss, you don't take it into account.

    or is kept not aware of it, on purpose.

    then all you see is "knock knock knock. Russian tanks in Berlin. aaaah. they can do it! they will again!"
    __________

    On losing the Cold war MAII, I am still curious what you consider a victory. Your objectives. Technically.

    Is it that Russia is unable to fight USA?
    You've reached that. Congratulations, and all, 20 times higher military budget on your side, and all the techno-achievements.

    Is it that Russia is un-able to fight Western Europe?
    No idea. As we never considered. Can't weigh, compare, on the spot.
    As min, we are unwilling to. Trouble in the own continent thank you ever so very much.
    Can be as well that we can't technically either, no idea.
    Again - was not considered.

    However I think MA by victory in the Cold War you all the way kept in mind other objectives. That when there are US bases in each and every state surrounding Russia, one after another on the map, the whole 16 (water borders with Japand and USA I exclude from the list) - then this is the "Victory". In the "Cold war".

    Because this is where the theatre of competition is now - for the bases and minds of the folks surrounding us.
    And yes, this Cold War is far from over, we give up pretty much of resistance. Putin didn't "give up" on it, and whoever else will head Kremlin I rather hope won't give up either.

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  • 137. At 3:45pm on 15 Mar 2009, Menedemus wrote:

    threnodio #117

    I live in hope that with the new Blog design and the new pre-moderation message immediately displayed after posting presages that this Blog will become post-moderated so that sensible discussion can occur with out the interminable delay between one post and a response. BBC Blogs are hardly the stuff of interactive dialogue .... more like a case of watching paint dry especially around about 6:30 - 8:30pm GMT when there seems to be a lengthy delay between posting one's comment and it being released by the automated system.

    I live in hope more than expectation but sometimes dreams do come true! ;o)

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  • 138. At 3:51pm on 15 Mar 2009, DS wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "So you won't be needing the 26,672 European troops currently serving in Afghanistan then? Jolly good. We'll use them to defend Europe then shall we?"

    Might as well for all the good they are doing. They could replace however many tens of thousands of Americans that should leave Europe including the Balkins.

    Well as the US contingent in Bosnia left several years ago and the one in Kosovo is down to 1400 of a force of 15,000 they would hardly be missed. In terms of the Ground troops in Europe the only 2 significant formations left are the 1st Armoured and 1st Infantry Divisions which are already more than half way through the process of being pulled out, the only reason it is going to take till 2012 is you need to build up the base at Fort Bliss in Texas to take them, and some of the troops are actually in Iraq.

    In terms of your plan to change the rules of engagement and go to war with Pakistan on your own well feel free but short of nuclear weapons use against a nation which has some of their own. I do not see the US public having the stomach for the casualties that would involve. Taking on a nation of 172,000,000 so maybe 5 times the population of Iraq. Though if you are very nice to India they may help.

    You of course also show your ignorance in still believing Saddam actually had any WMD left post 1998 and that there is a an AQ threat to Europe in the mountains of Pakistan rather than the small but real threat in Leeds, Frankfurt, Paris and Algeria and Morocco. The AQ threat imagined in the fevered imaginings of US TV news post 9/11 simply does not exist, if it did it would have been able to commit at least one act of terrorism in the US over those years, it is not exactly difficult to get in to the US or to get a gun once there, bombs from fertilizer are possible, the idea that AQ is a massive conspiracy with thousands of trained and active supporters but they just forgot how to get on a plane and actually go attack America is laughable.

    The threat in Afghanistan is a continuation of the civil war which has been ongoing since the mid 1970's we are just supporting the secular forces as the Soviets were instead of the religious crazies as we were previously. The myth of being there to prevent AQ setting up a super secret special base is just nonsense.

    Most of the Pashtun in Pakistan / Afghanistan just hate foreigners who come to their land and drop bombs on them and they hate them whether it is an F-16 now, a Mig 1979-89 or the RAF 1919-48.

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  • 139. At 7:07pm on 15 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Dansmith17 and Comment 129.

    Reference my Comment 114: Have a quick look back at and read again.

    Pause and focus on the acronym.

    G.O.D.I.

    Sorry, it was late and I was just messing about.





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  • 140. At 8:16pm on 15 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    dansmith17, nobody who is talking knows if Iraq had WMDs and those still alive in a position to know won't talk. Why we didn't waterboard it out of them is something I'll never understand. Surely Chemical Ali knew. Now what kind of fighting force loses 15 Royal Marines in broad daylight taken from their own ship in international waters by a gang in speedboats without a shot being fired, I ask you what kind of fighting force is that? Surely someone you wouldn't want to count on to defend you.

    WebAlice, the cold war was about the USSR's clear efforts at world domination. It wanted to run the entire world from Moscow. Cuba and the Warsaw pact, North Korea and North Vietnam were examples. So were its internal captive nations that were part of its empire. Russia wasn't called "the prisonhouse of nations" for nothing. Contrary to what Russians think, they do not own those countries and do not have any special rights to their "near abroad." Their colonists often won't even learn the local language. It was said during the cold war that the USSR was the only nation in the world that was surrounded by hostile Communist countries.

    In a "conventional" war, the USSR was no match for the US. The USSR tried to make up in sheer size and numbers what it lacked in technology and fighting skills. But had it tried to invade Western Europe, the US would have used tactical nuclear weapons immediately and been prepared to escalate to whatever level the Soviets were prepared for and then some. Keep in mind that most Americans believe in god, an afterlife, and that they will go to heaven. In their own way, they can be every bit as dangerous as the most fanatical Islamic estremist militants. The US was prepared to burn down half the world and effectively annihilate the rest of it through radioactive fallout and nuclear winter to prevent the USSR from taking over. And now the USSR is gone, a victim of its self delusion. But the KGB and its friends like Putin still dream of a Russian empire one way or another some day. Too bad for ordinary Russians like you who need the things it takes to keep body and soul together far more than they need an empire to think about. It may not be the USSR anymore but most Russians are no better off than the slaves they were in Soviet times.

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  • 141. At 8:40pm on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "mens' logic is more accurate. but women's is more interesting"
    So I continue.

    rodidog, @124

    Shame on me I don't know who Baranovsky was; from what you wrote looks like he saved St.Basil's cathedral in the Red Square from Stalin.
    There was a Baranovsky-architect working in Leningrad, and a Baranovsky-architect in Moscow, must be it was the Moscow one. If not one and the same person. Or may be a whole family of them?
    (I'm not a muscovite, a St. Petersburger. Though lived in Moscow 8 yrs, should know things a bit.)
    Anyway one can guess what he said; it was a heavy moral blow here with sudden religion cancellation post 1917. You know, 900 yrs - Russian Orthodox, and then - hop! atheists. Not all got the angle and continued to be Russian Orthodox (and buddhists and muslims and catholics and Lutheran) only in the under-ground hidden way. Like I was baptised secretly at the age of 18. and my mum was in ? 1950-s something. when you carry a baby to the church it looks suspicious your intentions clear. But when you, kind of off-handedly, when grown-up, pop in non-challantly, and get baptised by an acquaintance priest (who does not report the records to the KGB. or even better - does not make an entry into the parish register at all) - it is possible. (Soviet time tricks.)

    Most of the churches were destroyed in USSR at once in 1918, luckily the initial quantity was over-flowing and still a lot survived. Like St. Petersburg got about 30-40 old left-over in the city. Which is not bad as you imagine. However from the original amount of seven hundred.

    Moscow was simply supposed to have "forty times forty".

    Small towns suffered less, propaganda attention relaxed, focus of making
    show-case atheistic standard was on big cities.
    Villages simply got all left there were.

    Another question is what happened to these churches. By law Church was separated from the state in USSR. Not prohibited, by constitution. So a minimum amount of acting churches existed, in every city, town, dwelling. But reduced to the very minimum. To demonstrate "freedom of faith" in USSR. So that if a nasty poking his nose visiting journalist from over yonder asks - "And where is your mosque here? where is your Orthodox Church?" he could be directed within a short distance and enjoy watching the service.

    So the min. were left acting.
    And the rest were stripped of icons that were gobbled by museums (we still have on-going fight btw monasteries and museums; church demands to return all back; museums very un-willing and insist only them can create "a proper temperature-humidity regime") and converted into movie-houses (most), ware-houses, museums of local arts and crafts, the one -off but shining swim-pool example in the place of old Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow blown up. In St. Petersburg - mostly to subway station pavillions.

    Now all returned back to church, all "un-moveable" property.
    Our church is in new battle round - this time trying to return back "monastery lands". :o)

    But icons - gone. And new icons "ne-namolennye" ("un-prayed-over" )Russians don't exactly respect...

    Churches of course collect icons from private homes, donations.
    But that source was 100% wiped off from here to Urals, in occupied territories, Germans robbed away.
    So, difficult, newly restored churches do look kind of, too new. Even that the actual buildings are old.

    Prayed-over icon, you know, a cluster of energy. If people asked it, complained to it, shared openly soul movements, for centuries. The piece of wood picks up some energy somehow.

    In Kremlin inside the wall plus St. Basil's outside all cathedrals are original. There was one more, inside, but was blown away, exactly by Stalin. Didn't want to be blown, old "cement" - egg yolks, they had to put in bombs three times. All Moscow watched holding at heart.

    Director of Kremlin museums did a heroic thing in 1929 - when Stalin informed him "this cathedral stands too much in the drive way, pick up what you want out, we'll blow it up in 3 days" - he don't know fell on the knees or what he did but traded a month.

    During this month this man plus 5 women reporting to him, plus he traded 3 soldiers and a 3-horse carts - they opened the cathedral floor, got to the cellars, and carried out over to another Kremlin cathedral the tombs, 3-4 ton sarcofagus, huge stone things with coffins inside. All Kremlin "first ladies". It was burial place of "Kremlin wives". Sisters, daughters, princesses, ruling, un-ruling, mothers - all female folk from two dynasties. Ivan Grozny both wives, his grandma, mum, - everyone.

    Then the Voznesensky cathedral was blown up, and Kremlin ladies are now in Archangelsky cathedral, also in cellars.

    A year ago scientists had a go at them (European scientists as well) (and all glory that saving team of 1929 Gargantuan effort) and told us Ivan the Terrible had grounds to be terrible, exactly as gossiped, his mum and both wives are still full of quick-silver to enormous degrees, poisoned.

    These days it took 15 people to lift up every sarcofagus lid. 1.5 tons every lid. How they managed in 1929 - God knows.

    European scientists are happy, because church in your countries is very un-willing to let them have a go at royal bodies. So they all flocked to Kremlin, to see 12th century clothes, clip samples who is relative to who, read inscriptions and all.

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  • 142. At 9:16pm on 15 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    using this thread - by the way - special thanks to the Harvard University, who collected moral stregth and decided they can part with 18 bells (25 tons) from Moscow's St. Daniel monastery. They acquired them in 1930-s. Rather - saved. A Standford Uni prof got involved somehow, and heard Stalin plans to melt them for metal. He found a sponsor, also an American, who offered Stalin to pay him the desired metal price and the bells he takes away. And did. Since that they chimed in Standford, but these days a Russian oligarch also collected some moral qualities together, and agreed with Standford he takes them back to Moscow. And Standford gets a one-to-one copy made at our old bell casting factory, in Voronezh. Only Standford asked for some alternations, int'l saints look more American way, and all bible sayings around in English. Saw a TV programme from Voronezh bell factory, shiny wondeful, they are polishing now final touches.
    Old bells arrived to us by sea to St. Peersburg, all gaped at them mouths open, and now they are installed in the Moscow monastery tower back. Total happiness, and Russian Patriarch ordered the monastery to pray daily forever for the names of the ones who saved the relics. don't know how it sounds in English, in Russian - Thomas Vittemor and Charles Richard Krein/Krain?
    _______________

    MA, in view of all this. I have a radical suggestion. If USA is so unhealthy keen on installing its bases on Russia's perimeter.
    Can't we jointly save money. Purchased friends are never reliable friends. If you are dying so much to get closer with your arms to Russia, feel un-safe without - I think we should allow you a base in Moscow.
    You cancel your perimeter exercise, and on this condition - come straight over. Why hang on the door-step as an unwanted cousin.
    I'm sure we'll have combined fun!

    You'll install a base with full all-American things, your darts and beers and McDonald's and whatever. Nasty fat airplanes, garrisons and what not. Will invite on excursions on some appointed week days; muscovites will be intrigued to see.
    Should be not far from a subway station, so that you could also go down-town freely.
    BTW Russian reporters have been to Manas base, 2 days ago, had a nice tour. Some of your colonels learn Russian, walk around with books "Learn Russian. The fast and fun way". Before they didn't see much need to communicate with the Kyrghyz, now since asked out decided finally to learn a word or two of "lingua-perimiter". Who knows may come handy in the next place, and overall more useful career-wise in case of whatever relocations than learning Kyrghyzian. :o)
    So, basically, you are nearly ready!

    Let's have a real big and nice US garrison in Moscow! We'll survive, morally. What would you not do not to have a war. And if anything... LOL - the more Americans by hand - the better! :o)

    I'd ask for 10-15 thousand. Not less.

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  • 143. At 10:51pm on 15 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #140 - MarcusAureliusII

    The kind of fighting force which observes the rules of engagement as opposed to the 'Gunfight at the OK Koral' variety.

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  • 144. At 00:40am on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I see my @133 was moderated away. As far as I remember, it was about the wonders in the Ukraine's recent version of "holodomor documentaries".
    Where Amundsen, delivering bread to Volga Russians in 1920, is called
    "a Russian, a comissar, robbing Ukrainians of their bread in 1932."

    Falsified documentary, in other words.

    Is denial of falsified "holodomor documentaries" an offence in Britain? Hard to say. Will see how it's classified in the e-mail.

    Never mind. Pushkin was moderated away by censorship, and Dostoevsky, and Bunin. They constantly had to re-write, made them classics.

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  • 145. At 02:25am on 16 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WebAlice;

    "Let's have a real big and nice US garrison in Moscow!"

    In your dreams. If America invaded Russia, it would only have to pay to feed you. Haven't you been reading my postings to the Europeans? I'd like to see America pull out of Europe, disentangle itself from its byzantine alliances and histories of animousities. If Europe wants to challenge Russia, let them fight it out among themselves. America has nothing to gain either way.

    threnodious;

    "The kind of fighting force which observes the rules of engagement as opposed to the 'Gunfight at the OK Koral' variety."

    Thats the kind of fighting force that always loses unless they are fighting the French who are even worse (for an entirely different reason.) I remind you Britain lost three world wars and is in the process of losing a fourth to militant Islam. The front lines of that fight are already inside the UK's borders. Do you know that during the American revolution, American soldiers could fire at will at marching Redcoats and the Brits were not allowed to break ranks and fight back until they got the command? The British culture is a slave to rules no matter how irrational or fatal they are. That is why they never had a revolution the way the French did. In that respect they are more like Germans, automotons. I'm glad I don't fight in your army...or have to depend on it to protect me.

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  • 146. At 03:17am on 16 Mar 2009, pciii wrote:

    #145 "I'm glad I don't fight in your army" Me too. I'm even gladder that you seem to be in a tiny minority within your own country.

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  • 147. At 08:17am on 16 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #135
    Menedemus,

    I never claimed that France saved Europe during or after WW2. What I said was that the idea of the EDF should not be rejected because of the poor fighting record of France. WW2 is history. Europe is different from what it was before and now is the time to re-think the old NATO. NATO surved its purpose but now it is turning into a military block aimed at ensuring US interests. Based on latest statistics (BBC news, 16/03/09) 2/3 of Britons want an enquiry into the Iraq war. I think it will be very difficlt to convice those people that the Iraq war was in the interest of Britain, and not the USA. The same is also true about many other NATO (meaning USA) initiatives- Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, wars in Afghanistan, Somalia. Lets not forget the US pushing for the entry of Turkey into the EU, which I do not think will go down well with the European countries, as the Turkish migrants will not be knocking on the doors of America but on the doors of Europe.

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  • 148. At 08:39am on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "in your dreams; to pay to feed you"
    To pay - with what?
    Must be that American un-spendable dollar ! invented by Obama.
    That he urges Americans to spend to get the economy going one day, and recommends to come back to old values, put aside for children's education, for a rainy day - the other. Same dollar spent now can't be exactly put aside, likewise the one put aside can not be spent.

    Apparently he didn't come to terms yet, with the full beaty of your new economic technology. Though of course this new dollar that returns to the owner's purse every time you spend it - it would be a shame to keep it.

    How controversial is the US recepie for survival in crisis. Over-spent and over-borrowed Latvians are directed by the IMF to cut spending, money in circulation, and draconian measures are imposed on state spend.

    US, on the other hand, is pumped up by printed dollars "to get it going" to the degree limited only by printing presses smoking from heat but not reaching taking fire degrees.
    And both approaches are deemed "the only sure way".

    These varieties are not for an ordinary mind to understand.

    So, MAII, if you don't want to join Exhibition of Socialist Housekeeping Achievements in Moscow (VDNH) :o) - I won't offer twice. And what a pity, I can just picture a US garrison btw the "Cosmos" pavillion and the "Roses" brands pavillion, cows hall on the left, fountain on the right, you'd feel there like at home.

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  • 149. At 09:06am on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On the other hand, we've also got a financial riddle, to solve.

    Ukraine asks for 5 bln dollars loan. We nearly gave at once, on an impulse, but Joushenko said if Timoshenko signs it, he won't recognise it as Ukrainian debt. As she can't borrow as a PM, in Ukrainian's name.

    Rus. Fin. minister Kudrin said he is damned if this is a reliable borrower, but, like, you are Kremlin - do what you like.

    Kremlin seems to be buying time now, until gas winter is over...

    BTW IMF has a similar problem. They said they won't lend Ukraine until they see both Joushenko and Timoshenko agreeing.

    It came to degrees that Russian public was asked by polls. Should we help neighbours and forgive the gas disaster in Feb.

    Russian public is more creative than Government! 90% - "sure - lend money. Only not on Joushenko's signature, not on Timoshenko's, neither anyone else leave pondering over political gains and games out.
    But on the security of Crimea. :o)
    , because you won't give Ukraine money, you know.

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  • 150. At 09:41am on 16 Mar 2009, gjm wrote:

    #145 MarcusAureliusII

    Remind me what three World Wars the UK have lost. You have me puzzled because;

    There were only two World Wars
    We did not in fact lose either of them but were managing fairly well for the first few years of each before the "heroes" from the US showed up to rescue us.

    In your intense dislike of Europe you seem to have parted company with the facts.

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  • 151. At 10:16am on 16 Mar 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7941857.stm

    On this website Katinka Barysch, Deputy Director of the Centre for European Reform iws quoted as saying :

    " ... Nothing quite focuses politicians' minds like the goal of joining the EU. The bloc is demanding: applicants have to open up their economies, tackle political favouritism and corruption, and adopt the EU's accumulated legal rules. In return, they can expect booming trade with the EU's 13 trillion-euro single market and large amounts of foreign investment. ..."

    " ...booming trade with the EU's 13 trillion-euro single market and large amounts of foreign investment."

    But the Chinese have that and they are not in the "EU" and I doubt if they accept "EU"-law.

    "... tackle political favouritism and corruption..."

    HILARIOUS! So when is the "EU" going to sort out its budget and when is it going to be able to claim the moral high-ground when talking about democracy by giving us the referendum we were promised??

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  • 152. At 10:39am on 16 Mar 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    In Klagenfurt, in Austria the "far-right" party BZOe has won the vote for mayor with 64% of the votes after 99% had been counted. There had been an OeVP(Conservative) mayor for 36 years.

    This appears to be the way things are going in the "EU". I am very worried about it. I blame the "EU" at least in part.

    http://kaernten.orf.at/stories/348866/

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  • 153. At 10:45am on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I was thinking, why this matter of USA leaving Europe popped up in the thread at all. Nobody wants to part, I mean, officially. Only MAvrelius threatens to leave us all to own devices.

    And had an enlightment! It's an instinctive kind of feeling, of Europeans. Combined memory.

    When oil price got down to 10.0 - 4.8 - USSR got bankrupt, left Eastern Europe.
    Now, when .... :o)

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  • 154. At 10:46am on 16 Mar 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    so, effectively wwe are now printing money.. they rich guys are not anymore rich the rich countries are not any more rich we are already descending in protectionism of certain people and elite interests but not of countries directly.. china will not buy united states debt any longer as a inflationary chain will follow and it will be the total destruction of financial system..
    a wise solution will be to fire all those incompetent bankers and analysts of no wealth and brain.. even if g20 will agreee on something,, still they cannot back it up, they do not rapresent the investorsrs but only some part small part of them a minority.... let say they dont have the money, ... our leaders should resign and new elections be held where a new people can govern the country .. the recesion is now a worst depression and last thing missing is riots on the streeets, since the people of yesterdays are not the one with today and people will resist to unelected leaders of this undemocratic system.. attempts to fool the people will always result in e...ruption of the voulcanous.. as no money will effectlively stop the supply of commodities and things we cannot afford anymore.. but one thing is for sure, that our lleaders will be held responisble,, because anarch is the mother of democracy
    there has beeen long time since we have since we have senn same faces some elites no change no change no change.. we seen no change and this made the system lazy and inefficient, this make the system not work, this nake the system discriminatory and deroggatory in itself,,, this system connot survive on it feet.
    i can say only this

    that if you destroy this financial system now. i will build it in three days.
    does anyone bielives me.
    no because i am a common person.

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  • 155. At 10:59am on 16 Mar 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    crosseyes;

    "I'm even gladder that you seem to be in a tiny minority within your own country."

    Don't be so certain. Most Americans do not talk to Europeans. They feel no urge to, they just ignore them. Furthermore, Europe is becoming increasingly less important to Americans and to the world. I could not imagine any American politician daring to suggest that even one drop of American blood be shed to protect France or Germany given recent history.

    WebAlice

    Believe it or not, even with the economic downturn in America, it still has a GDP of around 14 trillion dollars a year...And probably by far the greatest surplus of food production in the world too. You may be eating some of it right now and not even know it. How about a bushel of wheat for a barrel of oil. That sounds like fair trade to me.

    Invictager:

    In World War I, Britain was bogged down in the trenches in the muddy fields of Northern France for years fighting the Germans with no end in sight. Were it not for American intervention, it might still be going on today...if there were any British men left around to fight at all.

    In World War II, Britain was completely isolated in Western Europe, the last holdout after the Nazis occupied everything west of the Rhine. They were bankrupt, alone, and frankly beaten. If the US didn't enter the war in Europe when it did, Britain would have fallen to the Nazis too. In fact it was Churchill's desperate mission to get the US to put priority on fighting Germany and not Japan. That was bailout number two.

    In the cold war, once the US defeated Germany, had it pulled out of Europe, the USSR would have walked right into all of Western Europe including Britain. It was all America could do to rescue Austria and Greece and that was with American presence. Had America packed up and gone home, you'd now be living in a Soviet slave state eating borscht, boiled potatoes, and cabbage soup. Not only did America's military save Britain three times, the US taxpayer paid most of the bill. And for what? Money thrown out. Pulling out of NATO would be an end to throwing more good money after bad. Whatever Europe's problems, it should solve them on its own. I don't think even one more dime of my tax money or one more American job should be heading your way. You and your continental friends have gotten far far far too much from my country already and you don't even know it let alone appreciate it. It's long overdue for America to leave Europe to its fate.

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  • 156. At 1:03pm on 16 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    MAII,

    'you'd now be living in a Soviet slave state eating borscht, boiled potatoes, and cabbage soup'.

    We are alredy eating boiled potatoes and cabbage soup in Britain. The USSR must invaded alredy, without the US noticing and rushing to our help. :-)

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  • 157. At 1:13pm on 16 Mar 2009, MeJustNormal wrote:

    @Menedemus #113

    Several you claimed that France never won a defensive war, since the Gauls lost to the Romans in Alesia. I know you guys love nothing more than french-bashing, however you should get a few facts straight before spreading false rubbish:
    1. The French (Franks) repelled in 732 the invading Muslims that had conquered Spain from the south, culminating in the battle of Tours. They actually put a stop to the muslim expansion in Western Europe.
    2. The French ended the Hundred Years' War in 1453, having repelled the invading English forces that held most of the country. Calais remained in English hands somewhat longer bur eventually fell.
    3. After the french revolution, European powers united in the first coalition and attacked france to quell the republic. France prevailed and defeated the invading first coalition in 1797.
    4. Still wanting to crush France, European powers united in the Second coalition and attacked the french republic again. Still they were defeated in 1802 in a defensive war.

    Now had you said that france has not won a defensive war since 1870, I might have just agreed with you.

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  • 158. At 1:27pm on 16 Mar 2009, chris smith wrote:

    roll on the general election a quote today about the tories "fringe of europe "very good for the time being borro ,euro elections are coming

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  • 159. At 1:45pm on 16 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    I am amazed by the youth and vigour of nationalism. The nation state is such a very recent conceptual invention, and contains absurdities of reason no matter how benevolently it is viewed.

    What is the terrible attraction of the concept of the nation state?

    Why does the tribe of the nation appeal more than the tribe of religion, even more than the tribal appeal of language?

    Is it because humans have an inherent love of cartography, and drawing lines on maps is the ultimate in intellectual satisfaction? Perhaps our emotional need to know where we are in the world is best satisfied by pictorial representation.

    In any case, there can be no doubt that the fiction of nations is the internal combustion engine of tribal behaviour. It generates the most force, for each unit of fuel put in.

    I wonder sometimes what the Pope must think of this meem. The church existed for some 1700 years before the nation state, operating its law and doing its business with a remarkable minimum of fuss of contention from rival conceptualizations. And then, all of a sudden, everyone on earth was taken with the fever of the map.

    What I find most curious about the rise of the nation state is the way it occurred precisely when the technology of seafaring and the trade between continents brought the continents into contact with each other, when the tyranny of distance and oceans was defeated, and when people first started to learn about events occurring on the opposite side of their globe within their lifetimes.

    Perhaps our devotion to the nation state is an expression of fear? As technology opened the world to the mass of people, we became frightened by the size and complexity of the world, and built new psychological models to sooth us from the terror of very large realities.

    Whatever the explanation, there can be no doubt. We suckle on the nation state like babies on the teat, and the lines on the map define our existence more than the lines that grow on our faces. Experience of the world, and education itself, are nothing in power when compared to the driving force of belonging to a flag.

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  • 160. At 1:54pm on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MA, I'm in a hurry, basically I agree to trade, only I didn't understand what would you like - bushel of wheat or a barrel of oil. We've got both, and from what I understand you also got both. ?
    But overall the direction of thought, into barter trade, seems about right. :o)
    And don't forget to cancel that "Venik Correction". I am not sure what it is but heard we are annoyed by it for decades. In Russian sounds very funny, because "venik" - is that out floor-brush, when you tie some? branches? sprigs? together and brush kitchen floor.
    Russians en masse are sure America tries to threaten us with a broom.
    You basically picture a typical American to come with a broom in hands.

    PS
    Cabbage soup has more beef in than cabbage. I don't think it's an effective threat to the British. They don't eat soup but they'll extract beef. So come up with a better idea of a scare.


    How about 2 bushels, 2 barrels, 2 veniks (best ones here I assure you). for a small key. to the technology door.

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  • 161. At 2:04pm on 16 Mar 2009, MeJustNormal wrote:

    @MarcusAureliusII #115

    "I wouldn't trust de Villepin or Chirac, or Schroeder or even Sarkozy for that matter if their tongues came notarized. IMO, they are all pathological liars".

    Oh yeah I remember a memorable speech to UN from Colin Powell weaving a glass container with talcum powder, underlying the urgency of tackling the nasy Iraqi regime and its host of WMDs that where never there. I remember all the rethorics of Bush, Blair and other draped in democracy while it was all about oil, dollar as world currency and made-up proofs. Do you think anybody trust your former leaders? Chirac and Schroeder are small-time liers compared to these two.

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  • 162. At 3:08pm on 16 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Overall, before letting the Americans go :o)
    I'd take some measures (don't know today which) to ensure a quiet kind of lawn/absence of internal European quarrels.

    From the egoistic Russian point of view - there was some pacifying influence, on the "Europeans" en mass, LOL, of common Americans shared by everybody on the ground.

    (That Russia was the threat post 2ndWW we of course waive this idea unequivocally. Don't we know we weren't.)

    And external threats - forget about it. Russians tell you - it's manageable. The most trouble is how not to quarrel internally.

    Besides, look at the EU plus ' map. One side bordered by Russia, the other side - by water. Who, oh who on Earth can come over to the EU and from what side? Only individual terrorists infiltrating in. But that is not fought by the army, but more by intelligence matters, as someone mentioned already.

    And flying in in big quantities and landing and un-loading crowds onto Europe - nobody in the world in the habit, as I understand. Only US batmen learned the road. As MAvrelius explains they simply got tired flying back and forward like mad every time therefore weaved a kind of a permanent nest.

    So in Europe's place I'd look for dangers and ensure something like insurance internally.
    _____

    BTW MA, on top of "veniks". For the entry to the technology world, which door you kind of guard like those dogs with eyes size a plate.

    How about Putin on lend-lease?!

    Short-term, mind it. :o) We need him ourselves. But the way you manage Afghanistan affair, and other bits and pieces to clean up quickly....

    Mind it Russia is unhappy the way you manage Afghanistan. As said one of our officials "no way we blame NATO forces in a focused effort to "narcotisize" Russia. But the fact is you bottle-necked them, narcotics don't get through Southern NATO positions, don't get through to Iran - who has the best borderline in the world, their side with Afghanistan, by all accounts. 5 metre deep canals digged, high wall on top, (Chinese would be jealous), what not, and picturesque how do you call it ? those awful hanging poles, every 100 metres, awaiting smugglers. And the only way nobody minds in out of Afghanistan to the North. 3 ex-USSR republics, free walk through, NATO doesn't care.

    Old USSR border doesn't exist on Afghanistan North, we don't hold border-guards there anymore, since these 3 countries are now independent states. And should guard their border with Afghanistan themselves. Only they don't. Up to them, what can you say.

    But their other side, bordering with Russia - is also open. We don't have visas with our ex-republics or anything. 2 year visa-free with right to work is a standard deal btw Russia and it's ex. (unless they behave like the Baltics).

    In effect the amount of heroin arriving into Russia is the whole heroin of Afghanistan. 97% by UN definition. The way NATO supervisers the plantations in Afghaniostan - the way USA who put themselves in charge of the place, I'd say, do - is - again by UN definition - the amount Afghanistan now grows is 20 times increase 1996 to 2008.

    They basically frolick with poppy plantations unlimited.

    I am sorry this is no good a strategy. From the Russian point of view, as minimum.

    What should be caught on the northern Afghan border is 300 kg-700 kg heroin per month, on the border of each of the three "ex-republic". Per old USSR statistics, this is their normal industrial output.

    And what borderguards of each of the three countries catch now - is 7 kg. 25 kg. 42 kilos. per month!

    This means it's not a borderline it's a hole.

    While already here on the ground we catch 180-220 kg heroin "per parcel" in one go. Just 2 weeks ago in the train cargo car, among the cabbage "heads". Hop - 170 kg of heroin. Already in Russia.

    No good. 20 times higher the yield per year. Those must be now enormous plantations.

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  • 163. At 3:52pm on 16 Mar 2009, dwwonthew wrote:

    Re; 73

    How on earth can anyone who quotes wikipedia as a reliable source expect to be taken seriously?

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  • 164. At 6:17pm on 16 Mar 2009, WhiteEnglishProud wrote:

    democracythreat @ 159.

    "Perhaps our devotion to the nation state is an expression of fear? As technology opened the world to the mass of people, we became frightened by the size and complexity of the world, and built new psychological models to sooth us from the terror of very large realities."


    An Intresting line of arguement, following it forward, perhaps the best way to achieve what i assume is your goal of uniting the Human Race as one people/ Tribe would be the proof of existance of Aliens. The fear of proven life on other Planets should by your arguement Unite the people of Earth due to the size and complexity of the populated Universe.

    p.s I promise i am not poking fun.

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  • 165. At 6:44pm on 16 Mar 2009, Menedemus wrote:

    MeJustNormal @ #157

    Actually, if you cared to read back I originally asked the question as to whether France had ever won any Defensive Wars at #5. It seems it took you 112 posts to get back to me on that one! ROTFL

    I appreciate your enlightenment not that it really matters to me one iota as we now have the spectre of the French trying to supercede the USA as the Nation to lead the Defence of Europe and by your own admission this is a nation that has not won a Defensive War since 1870.

    As an aside, regarding the Battle of Tours (Poitiers) was Charles Martel not a Belgian? Nevermind it hardly matters as your enlightenment still does not detract from the main point of my argument that I would rather trust the defence of the United Kingdom (if not Europe) to the support and glad hand of America rather than trust the defence of Europe to the French and their desire to be Supremist in all things European which has been their intent since the days of General de Gaulle's famous "Non!" (on two occasions) to Harold MacMillan because of the Anglo-Saxon connection between the UK and the North American Nations of USA and Canada.

    I would prefer it, if the French were to continue to be aloof and stay out of NATO as I think NATO will be the weaker for the return of France to the fold.

    When Sarkozy is gone and but a memory, I am hopeful that the next Socialist President of France will seek to again withdraw France from NATO as a matter of bolstering their national pride in having a standing army with such a tremendous history of defeating the Moslem horde at Poitiers and beating up on the English and the rest of Europe on a couple of occasions or three even if that was over 200 years ago or more!

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  • 166. At 7:06pm on 16 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    "An Intresting line of arguement, following it forward, perhaps the best way to achieve what i assume is your goal of uniting the Human Race as one people/ Tribe would be the proof of existance of Aliens. "

    There was a really good BBC article on the Apollo 9 mission recently, and it would seem, from the views of the astronauts, that humanity does indeed require a higher perspective to understand the foolishness of war between nation states.

    However, I do not advocate any goal of uniting the human race as "one people". I have almost the opposite goal, in fact. I believe massive centralized societies turn human beings into hive animals, and destroy the power of the individual for the sake of increasing the power of princes and party bosses. The greed for power, and the tendency of power to concentrate itself, is one of the reliable evils of human society. It is from this principle that the English developed the separation of powers doctrine, something both Hitler and Stalin eradicated.

    I am also a big believer in the unseen hand of Adam Smith, and so I favour economic decisions taken at the lowest level of society, for the sake of liberty, efficiency and productivity.

    So I would like to see a united europe, but united on principles of liberty, direct democracy and the power of local government to set and collect local taxes. That is why I fear the current embodiment of the EU, which, though it claims to favour democracy and decisions made at the local level, appears to be concentrating ever more power among a smaller and smaller group of superior people. I strongly doubt anyone could faithfully describe a separation of power doctrine within the current EU government structure. It is not a continental idea, at the end of the day.

    America also seems to be losing touch with the heritage that made it such a great nation. The right to bear arms, the love of country but the mistrust of government, and the local democracy and freedom from oppressive and arbitrary taxation, all these qualities are being abandoned in favour of flag waving and massively centralized market socialism.

    So, I am in no great hurry to see one world filled with one people. I would much rather see lots of different and varied people with numerous different local laws, united only by the respect for other societies and an abhorrence of organized violence.

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  • 167. At 7:07pm on 16 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (159):

    To cut short, the rise of nation states was due to economic benefits on organizing work and production into homogeneous units.

    Nation usually has a common language, a common culture, a common faith and a common environment. When you put all these things together you get a common way of life and a common way of doing things. In essence with common language you have one way to produce and exchange information. With common culture and common faith you have one moral code to guide the inter-person and person-state relationships. Now when you start to organize people into a functioning organizations, what is essential that information exchange is efficient and that there lies trust between actors. If you have different languages and different cultures working in the same organization what you get is conflicts due to misunderstandings and due to different ways of doing things. For example in Finland formalized contracts are the norm where as in Arab culture (at least it has been) informal contracts based on promises have made the deal, or Japan where there is no such word as No but only Maybe which maybe Maybe or it can mean No.

    Now why did nation states form in the 19th century and not before? Simply because before printing press information distribution and exchange was very costly. After the printing press, less valuable information could be distributed to more people leading into absolute increase of value of information in society. The effect of information expansion lead into increase of productivity as best practises and guides could quickly printed and distributed, i.e. introduction of potato to Europe, and of course increased information exchanges increased competition.

    Now how does this lead into formation of nation states? Simple answer is that its easier to standardize information production and exchange to the peoples language than it is to change the language of the people or to translate everything or to be multi-lingual. The reason why this change from multinational empires to nation states happened in the 19th century was more or less because more and more people were involved in other than farming professions and more and more were dependent on having right information and on being able to exchange information correctly. Thus by setting up an nation state with standardized language, culture and faith made the total productive system more efficient.

    The case for nation states still remain even today.

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  • 168. At 7:09pm on 16 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #145 - MarcusAureliusII

    "That is why they never had a revolution the way the French did."

    I take it this is a reference to the period when the mob systematically amputated every head that showed symptoms of containing grey matter and thereby gave birth to what some are pleased to call democracy.

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  • 169. At 7:24pm on 16 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #163

    Wikipedia is actually a very reliable source- a research was done some time ago, comparing Wikipedia with Encyclopedia Britanica. Both came up with the same amount of factual errors. I know a medical consultant in a leading hospital in London who uses Wikipedia, when he needs information on biochemistry and physiology.

    Please check your facts next time before getting into pointless confrontations.

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  • 170. At 8:31pm on 16 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    dwwonthew wrote:

    "How on earth can anyone who quotes wikipedia as a reliable source expect to be taken seriously?"

    Well, I suppose one might argue that it is because their claims can be verified. You must admit, it is better than footnoting obscure books that may or may not actually exist.

    There have been some excellent thesis written on the fiction of "high academic" practice, and the extent to which footnotes are checked in the real world, and the extent to which they are simply made up.

    I suggest you read the wiki category "false documents" before commenting further. It might surprise you.

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  • 171. At 11:21pm on 16 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To dwwonthew (163):

    You wrote: "How on earth can anyone who quotes wikipedia as a reliable source expect to be taken seriously?"

    You source by the task in hand. If you are writing an scientific article or doing a dissertation, you have a certain standard to maintain with siting. However when you are just writing a comment, if you don't have a better source or it isn't available to others or available without going an extra mile, then having an Wikipedia article about it is the next best thing. Yes, Wikipedia might not always have the correct or the full information, but usually it covers different subjects quite well and offers an easy and quick way to add more or less valid facts into the discussion. I would say that using and providing Wikipedia links is a very useful for these discussions in here as it usually also involves the commentator him/herself checking the facts again and not writing just from their memory.

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  • 172. At 11:23pm on 16 Mar 2009, threnodio wrote:

    #163 - dwwonthew

    In support of what Isenhorn and democracythreat have posted, I would like to add that I have had occasion to doubt the voracity of information in Wikipedia only to find on checking that they were right. It is also the case that it is a public enterprise and the more seriously people take it, the more authoritative it becomes. Instead of belittling a very important project, might it not be more constructive to contribute to the benefit of all of us?

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  • 173. At 00:32am on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    democracythreat, on comparatively late formation of nation states,
    I didn't know. wasn't there always, you know, to say nothing of, you can imagine. LOL. ?

    I mean, in the one "you can imagine". :o) it's quite a long time we recognise ourselves as "just imagine".
    and others. didn't they know who they are? I mean, with an adjective standardly applied. epithets. LOL.

    cannot be. if we knew who they are, in Moscow in 1400 - surely they also agreed they are them. to put it simply. ?
    :o)
    ________

    I long noticed the relations btw you and that abstract nation state. :o)simply don't know what to say. thinking over.
    before I was basing my ideas re nation states on Lev Gumilev. Petrograd-Leningrad-Petersburg times' historian, our uni prof who used to read lectures that all wanted to attend (non-students) (and attended; it was a practice, outsiders let in to lectures. now university became greedy and allows to attend only boring "star professors' lectures" like maths that very few in their right mind are interested in.
    Besides Gumilev IRHO (russian humble) is twice credible, son of 2 poets at once, Anna Akhmatova and Nikolya Gumilev. what else can you wish for? as a proof of his theories on nation formation. goes without saying he is right. :o)
    besides about 40 yrs in Stalin camps is also a letter of reference, as it happens here. You absolutely can't be a scientist without. and nuclear bomb developer, and hydrogen bomb, and rockets still taking off, plus the whole aviation - are all prizon graduates.

    Have you heard of Lev's passionarity theory, impulse boosts, that make normal people to suddenly get overly energetic and dash around to create an empire? 450 yrs interval or smth. between crazities. forgot. kind of a wave theory as well, but tied into environment, magnetic lines' net of the planet crossings that are peculiar places to happen to live in. boosts occur along the lines. and shift. so you basically never know! without a good net chart! where you are! and seemingly not much depends on you, I'd say. LOL.
    _______
    anyway you've came up with the idea timely, as several "chatters" in the thread became way to friendly to each other. :o)


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  • 174. At 00:32am on 17 Mar 2009, lacerniagigante wrote:

    2. At 11:30am on 12 Mar 2009, Freeborn-John wrote:

    If France [...] would sell their UN Security Council veto to Sadaam Hussein (UN 'Oil for Food' program) then they will surely sell a NATO veto to Russia in return for cut-price energy deals.

    It sounds smarter than sending troops at a US president's snap of fingers to be stuck in southern Iraqi desert? And you call that a "reliable alliance"?

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  • 175. At 00:57am on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And if to question the pillars, :o) why not one more?
    The Eurocentrism.

    Looked up wiki, as its credentials also questioned here! ;o) (nothing holy in this thread. neither USSR. nor - a nation state. ), appears these folks believed Europacentrism, or Eurocentrism - exists, as a trend: Emmanuel Levinas (French philosopher, 1906-1955), Jacques Derrida (French, 1930-2004), Voltaire one and the only, Johan Gottfried Herder (German of course, 1744-1803), Walt Whitman Rostow (1916-2003. American. of Russian great grand, of course), Oswald Spengler (the only. 1880-1936), Georg Hegel (1770-1831), two Russians - historian Danilevsky, in 1822, and Prince Trubetskoy (1890-1938. emigrated of course. otherwise wouldn't live up to 1938 with this name), and finally Toinby Arnold Joseph, which ought to be a quite known English philosopher and historian and Cambridge I think. only Russian wiki quotes him only, and doesn't know how to spell in English).

    If you are a truly Eurocentric, you are supposed to agree with this:
    1. The essence of "West" is it's a Christian civilisation.
    (not Judo-Christian)
    2. Direct off-spring of Antiquity (ancient Rome, Greece) (skip Middle Ages corrective impact)
    3. All sensible available now was created by Europe. (culture, philosophy, law, technology)(play down or neglect in-put of others)
    4. Capitalistic economy is a "natural", most naturally fitting to a human being, as based "on the laws of nature". So-called "a man economical".
    5. Some countries (approximately all the rest) ought to "catch up" on West, creating society institutions and copying social relations of Western world. In other words these have to walk the "Western way" to catch up, and develop through creating a West' imitation.

    In the past the idea of Eurocentrism was handy to justify the politics of colonial wars and rasism, but of course LOL not any longer. Now it is still functioning, but to other ends.
    _____________
    Having made this invaluable scientific in-put into the discussion - Good night everybody.

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  • 176. At 08:26am on 17 Mar 2009, pciii wrote:

    Marcus, #155. Maybe you're right (though my experience says you're not), maybe most USAians do ignore Europeans. It's a view you seem to endorse.

    With that in mind, why don't you, how would you put it, "grow some" and act on your convictions? We Europeans need ignoring. Please start contributing to your nation's endeavour now. Oh I know you've been valiantly trying to put us right, point out our mistakes, etc, but to what end? We're not worth saving and our end will come all the sooner once you leave us to it.

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  • 177. At 09:07am on 17 Mar 2009, scotandr1 wrote:

    Right now the EU is in a situation where EU troops can go and fight abroad, but (thanks in part to british efforts) are not allowed to defend the borders of the EU(Cyprus, for example, which is partially occupied by a 3rd country). This is insane and unless this situation is fixed and
    EU decides that it will defend ALL EU territory as if it were one country, further attempts towards federalization, like the constitution are stupid: You cannot tell someone what to do and "if by doing so, you get wiped out, well, that's too bad, but I won't do anything about it." In the US having a fifth collumn working for 3rd countries against other EU states is unthinkable. In the EU, it happens often(for instance the Commision sideing with Russia against Poland).

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  • 178. At 09:14am on 17 Mar 2009, greypolyglot wrote:

    " #145. MarcusAureliusII (U11645683):

    The British culture is a slave to rules no matter how irrational or fatal they are. That is why they never had a revolution the way the French did."

    I'm not sure whether you are uneducated or uninformed. May I suggest that you read up on A) Magna Carta (your Consitution is based on it), B) the English Civil War (as a result of which we tried being a republic and didn't like it) and C) the Tolpuddle Martyrs (who started trade unionism).

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  • 179. At 10:31am on 17 Mar 2009, MeJustNormal wrote:

    @Menedemus #165
    "Actually, if you cared to read back I originally asked the question as to whether France had ever won any Defensive Wars at #5. It seems it took you 112 posts to get back to me on that one! ROTFL" If you read carefully your own post #113, you will find that you made that silly statement again, which prompted my answer. I dont' think that makes 112 posts. You stand corrected again my friend!

    Concerning De Gaulle choice to refuse UK entry in the EU, I think he was completely right. No matter how wrong the US can be, the UK will always side with America. The perfect exemple was the unlawful Iraq invasion. The UK had an opportunity to stop a mad aggression, or at least not be part of it. It could have decided to side with France and Germany against this foreign resources robbery. However, the UK stood 'shoulder to shoulder' with Bush and its henchman (hope for Tony that the trinket from congress was worth it).

    That highlight exactly why De Gaulle did not want the UK in Europe.

    Now France was still within NATO, just not part of the integrated command. Some NATO facts for you:
    - France is amonst the 5 biggest troops provider
    - France is the 3rd bugdet contributor
    Now it's easy to understand why Sarkozy wants to join the integrated command. You don't want to provide troops and buget and have no say in the strategy/command.

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  • 180. At 11:03am on 17 Mar 2009, greypolyglot wrote:

    " #155. MarcusAureliusII (U11645683):

    In World War I, Britain was bogged down in the trenches in the muddy fields of Northern France for years fighting the Germans with no end in sight. Were it not for American intervention, it might still be going on today...if there were any British men left around to fight at all."

    Please check US official sources. http://www.history.army.mil/books/amh/AMH-18.htm

    Until the US enter in April 1917 it had simply been sitting on the sidelines making money by selling arms and munitions to the Allies. When finally it did join in its army was so poorly equipped that in the beginning it had to beg helmets from the British. And it took another year of preparation before the US Army began to be deployed in strength. Australian, not American forces saved Paris in the spring of 1918.

    I do not overlook American action in the 2nd Battle of the Marne, the 2nd Battle of Albert, the St. Mihiel Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Please do not dismiss the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians of the Allies.

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  • 181. At 11:08am on 17 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII:
    "The British culture is a slave to rules no matter how irrational or fatal they are. That is why they never had a revolution the way the French did."

    greypolyglot wrote:
    "I'm not sure whether you are uneducated or uninformed."

    How is being uneducated different from being misinformed? Oh well, why use one word when two will do? There is nothing like having a shovel, a spade AND a manually operated earth inverting horticultural implement.

    Leaving the semantic contortionism to one side, what jingo kulakas was trying to elucidate is the class system that pervades UK civil society. What he calls "rules", the British call "form". And it is true, the British are rigid in their appreciation of good form. One must know ones place, and there is a certain understanding that the Lord of the Manor knows best.

    But jingo is wrong to imply that the UK is different to the French in this respect. I have found all of europe to be infected with a fascination for the feudal class system, even eastern Europe. He has it absolutely right, however, when he says the whole British culture is slave to rules. It is the working class who enforce the class system in the UK, not the lords. God help anyone from the working class who does not adhere to the norms of their social group, they will be excommunicated without mercy.

    This is why I think Europe may well slide backwards if the American cultural influence retreats. Western Europe, most especially western Germany, underwent a massive economic boom when the USA made the rules of social engagement. For a period, it didn't matter who your father was in Western Germany, iot only mattered how hard you worked and if you did straight business and could be trusted. Viola! Economic boom, American style.

    Now, the way I see Germany changing, your father had better belong to the right political party, and he better have the correct view of history. Otherwise, no contracts for him, and no economic prospect for you. Feudalism returns, in the form of a socialist government.

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  • 182. At 11:55am on 17 Mar 2009, greypolyglot wrote:

    "181. democracythreat:

    How is being uneducated different from being uninformed?"
    (I have corrected your inaccurate reproduction of my words)

    Please refer to a dictionary.

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  • 183. At 12:05pm on 17 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    MeJustNormal and Comment 179.

    "..UK...perfect example the unlawful Iraq invasion.." and "..foreign resource robbery.."

    Whoops! There it is again!

    The good old sweeping statement lacking substance, reference or even a semblance of balance.

    Show the Legal reference/Legal judgement that found the invasion of Iraq by the 'US-UK & Coalition forces of the willing' was indeed illegal?
    For every Legal opinion condemning/opposing the invasion there is one that found it did comply with International & National law.

    In case you have forgotten: The IAEA inspectors reported no WMD had been found but also that there were significant gaps in the Iraq accounting for such materials; the Intelligence Services of the US, UK, and what is often overlooked, of France and Russia, all reported they suspected WMD were hidden in Iraq. There was a massive UK Parliamentary debate and at the close of it over 550 of the 650 MPs voted in favour of the Government policy of UK Armed Forces joining with the USA. That is Democracy in action.
    The fact is that no WMD were ever found: The Intelligence was wrong; that is not the same as being a lie or deliberate misleading/misreading of the situation. Politicians throughout history act on the advice they are given by the intelligence community and ontheir own inclinations, perspectives of a situation.
    Robin Cook resigned from the Cabinet not because he thought PM Blair was lying but because he did not think the case for invasion had been proved beyond doubt; a high-minded and in retrospect laudably accurate perspective. However, Cook never impuned the PM's view or legality, only whether it was a correct policy given the evidence available at the time.

    Just because WMD were not found does not make it an illegal war or Bush, Blair etc. criminals: They were both responsible for the catastrophe that followed the short and successful invasion of Iraq. Their inept and incompetent failure to plan for post-Saddam is a stain on everything to do with that campaign and for the Iraqi people an immense tragedy. However, stupidity is not criminality, no matter how high the cost: Just look at the high-flying Bank and Investment Executives whose greed collapsed the world economy! Greed-driven fools but not criminal.

    As for the 'resources robbery'? I wonder if you could provide the details? It certainly was not Oil as that product has been entirely owned by the Democratically elected Iraq Government since 2005: Maybe you are referring to the international contracts (largely placed with US companies) for the reconstruction effort whilst Shia and Sunni smashed up each other's property and infrastructure? Well, they were hardly going to award them to non-'shoulder-to-shoulder' supposed allies like Germany and France (especially as France had broken all UNO embargos on Saddams regime for countless years for goodness knows how many Euroes!).

    It is a fact former PM Blair received an award from outgoing President Bush for the policy of UK-US unity shown when a lot of the international community was divided on the issue of Iraq. No surprise there then!

    Well, at least you got that right.

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  • 184. At 12:21pm on 17 Mar 2009, greypolyglot wrote:

    " #74. democracythreat wrote:

    to stovetop

    Here's the deal: you don't put words into my mouth, i wont put words into yours."

    It would be nice if you'd show me the same consideration. (Libertas 148 and 149)

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  • 185. At 12:38pm on 17 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (181):

    "But jingo is wrong to imply that the UK is different to the French in this respect. I have found all of europe to be infected with a fascination for the feudal class system, even eastern Europe."

    Eh? In international studies both the UK and the USA have been positioned below the continental Europe in intergenerational economic mobility. In these same studies Nordic countries have got the highest marks on intergenerational economic mobility.

    The thing is, you are only observing the values and default beliefs of an culture. For example in the USA there is still huge belief that one can work up his way from poorness to richness. However in real life, the probability of an poor person getting onto an higher ladder in society is much more poorer than in the continental Europe or especially in Nordic countries. So essentially you siting the cultural values and beliefs and not taking into account the reality. The fact of the matter is that both the UK and the USA are class societies, in the USA the class society is just hidden away.


    "For a period, it didn't matter who your father was in Western Germany, iot only mattered how hard you worked and if you did straight business and could be trusted. Viola! Economic boom, American style."

    Wirtschaftswunder, the German economic miracle, was less an miracle, it was return to the pre-WW1 status when the German economy and industries grew and gained strength very fast. The growth of the West-Germany had nothing to do with having American values, but everything to do with West-Germany again having access on global markets and having highly competitive industries that could maximize their production output at those markets.

    "Feudalism returns, in the form of a socialist government."

    Most public contracts have open bidding. It is very difficult to make deals behind the curtains as other bidders can and will take the public authority in the court of law if they even smell something slightly burning.

    And again, please, come, visit and take notes about the Nordic countries. For example both Finland and Sweden have highly left leaning politics compared to other countries, our conservative parties would in USA be categorized as left wing democrats. And again, both countries have very high GDP nominal per capita, highly industrialized, highly orientated to high technology, and highly egalitarian societies. You can also see that cultural values and beliefs have little to do with the reality, i.e. Swedish are very class conscience, where as Finnish belief that we are living in a classless society, both view are of course correct and incorrect.

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  • 186. At 2:24pm on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think democracythreat is right, about Americans giving to Europeans, when on the ground in 1950-s, a breath of equality. May be they don't enjoy it at home themselves, but they successfully project it. Kind of believe in it, and then others around begin to want the same. Can't prove, just a feeling.

    Another thought I had on the prospects/or un-prospects, of Americans leaving Europe.
    Who thought about them? What will happen to them?

    I have (again, sorry) a feeling there are 2 advanatages of keeping Americans on this continent.
    a./ They are at hand, easy to watch what they are up to. :o)
    Meaningfully employed, so to say, no harm to anybody, - and great and wonderful.
    What will they do left to own devices?!
    Hard to imagine what will be cooked up in a closed society when they don't mingle with people. We know samples of closed societies. We were behind the curtain. Finland in my opinion still is. (hello), and what if Americans will oyster up as well.

    Now at least they travel the world, in the soldier format mostly - but better than nothing. The absolutely peaceful Americans (one category) stationed in Europe past 6 decades, these still return home equipped with experiences that there is another world strangely as well.

    Cut US troops in Europe out - and the only news American travellers in mass quantities will be bringing home - is that "beyond America the world looks like Afghanistan, Iraq...:o) No no no better home quickly dear home nothing like that."
    Conclusion: "We'd sit at home and think better how to help them all to become like we are - the only liveable place on Earth."

    People just tend to forget often that Americans are awful home-sitters, very homely.

    If in Russia 73% per 2008 have never been abroad once - MAII would may be tell me the American number?

    At that in Russia it's explained by Iron curtain, then - poverty (73% look suspiciously close to the 70% - fluctuating below/above survival minimum wages/hand-to-mouth life style). Visa madness, of foreign embassies (are you aware each and every 27 of you BTW want different photos on the embassy questioonare clipped? B&W, colour, size, in dark shirt, in white shirt, in glasses, without, with a semi-curved white spot in the lower down corner "for the stamp", simply square. There isn't a single photo-atelier in St. Petersburg able to make photoes for visa applications for more than 5 EU countries at once) (as a side note)
    And the very fact from most places in Russia to obtain a visa you need to fly domestic 3-8 hrs to the nearest embassy to apply.

    Whereas the home-ward focus of attraction of Americans is not explained by visa hardships; neither poverty, I hope.
    Don't know by what? The seemingly strange small interest to the outside world. By propaganda? LOL.

    So - take them out of Europe - what they will know of the world!
    How many will travel by own will?
    It is plain un-fair to Americans to let them go.
    After all good they have done. No jokes, :o) I mean - somebody ought to think about them!

    Even from practical considerations. What good will they be able to make, constantly stewing in the own juice? (I am sorry MA, the period of great Russian "brain-drain" re-location, when you allured all our technical institutes brainy staff, in hordes, and hundreds, from each closed "post-box" institution, during Perestroyka, is over. Nothing left. So how would you get more brains in, and from where - is a mystery. I don't know of good un-tapped sources left over.
    You don't seriously count on the next techno-boom coming from "North Korea liberated scientists?" ;o)

    So what would Americans do left to own devices is a mystery but I'd be on the cautious side and won't allow for this.

    Each country on this continent ought to sign for taking ? a 500 Americans as min. and accommodating them beyond local competition with jobs. So that these would eventually return home and spread the news there are other places in the world, not USA only.

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  • 187. At 2:35pm on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    This is not ab America. This is universal trouble.
    If you sit in your native marshes / bog/, and boil in your own ? what do the English call it? that brown souce left below and liked (by them :o), when you cook meat - any way if you constantly boil in your own juices, you end up like a mashroom in shape. Big hat that seems to you is your head. On one leg. and seeds, seeds, underground ! mushroom spawn. un-replantable!

    A morel. With kasha in head. re the outside world.

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  • 188. At 2:42pm on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    and then it ends up you don't understand "what are you talking about!!!"
    in this thread.
    the British didn't introduce the notion of the ?"Grand Tour", on coming of age time, graduation? for nothing.

    (even if all they could see was France and Italy and Germany. ? I think).
    India a lot! as minimum. Better than nothing.

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  • 189. At 3:29pm on 17 Mar 2009, MeJustNormal wrote:

    @ikamaskeip #183

    "Show the Legal reference/Legal judgement that found the invasion of Iraq by the 'US-UK & Coalition forces of the willing' was indeed illegal?"
    When the UK government recently refused to publish the meeting minutes about iraq invasion legality discussion, which should have been done under the freedom of information act, is enough evidence for me to be convinced they knew the invasion was unlawful.

    As for intelligence related to WMD, I hold a different vision from you. It seems that there was a war agenda already set by the Bush administration, who required CIA to provide evidence to back-up the case for war. When no hard evidence is found, easy solution : make some up! Bring some jar with flour, photoshop some satellite pictures, point finger at aluminium pipes which are afterwards deemed harmless. Look at the resignation of George Tenet after a bit of arm twisting by the bush administration over evidence. Too bad he went along with it all before that, like Colin Powell.

    Resource robbery: Saddam H. would not sell its oil to US companies, so they oust him, keep control of the extraction and distribution of the Iraqui oil (to anglo-saxon companies) in exchange for backing up the appointed (puppet?) gouverment of Iraq. If that's not oil grabbing, what is?

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  • 190. At 6:23pm on 17 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka wrote:

    "Most public contracts have open bidding. It is very difficult to make deals behind the curtains as other bidders can and will take the public authority in the court of law if they even smell something slightly burning."

    I guess we will have to agree to differ on this point. And I admit, my claims are based on suspicions, and an inherent distrust of government and politicians. I can't claim to know how the tender process for public contracts works in every european state, and in fact I have reasonably limited experience in public tenders anywhere. The reality may very well be that government does not reward its sponsors with contracts, and it may very well be that government treats the taxpayers money more carefully than they treat their own.

    However I can speak for the process of law, and I dispute your clam that suits are frequently and successfully raised against governments for offering contracts to people who do not deserve them, on economic grounds. I never seen such a case, and I don't know any lawyers who are specialists in such cases.

    My impression of the business conducted by law firms is that they ally themselves with political parties, and take on huge government contracts themselves, as the staple source of income. Anyone who has witnessed the sheer size of government audit contracts to private law firms will know precisely what I am talking about.

    But feel free to tell me, and everybody else here, which law firms are most expert at suing the government for mismanagement of public money. I stand eager to be corrected.

    My experience with members of political parties has been that each party takes care not to upset the share of the budget that sustains their opposite counterpart, and that the art of government has become the art of continuing the expenditure of the previous party whilst raising new taxes to fund new expenditure, which is then allocated to businesses that are part of the party faithful.

    But I am a terrible cynic, when it comes to government. I guess I can't work out how the soviet union failed to eclipse the USA as an economic model, when in the soviet system the government controlled the entire economy.

    So how does the system work, in the Jukka model?

    Corporations sponsor political parties to get elected (often sponsoring both parties equally, mind you), and then........ then the government ignores the welfare of these corporations by offering contracts only to the businesses that meet the sanctified and rigorous moral and economic laws that guarantee efficiency and fairness between competing tenders.

    OK, it is possible. I fail to understand how politicians can have such inspired economic rules, given their utter failure to protect the economy from shipwreck at the hands of the bankers, but OK.

    It is possible.

    Is that what you learned at University, Jukka?

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  • 191. At 7:23pm on 17 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    MeJustNormal and Comment 189.

    As I suspected: No legal evidence, only personal preferences!

    The Cabinet Minutes were not published in their entirety because of the 100+ year old convention of Cabinet/Ministerial meetings are held in camera and only brief accounts of meetings are made known to the public.
    This, inspite of the curious nature of it, is to allow Freedom of Speech (yes, ironic re FofI Act): The idea being Cabinet Ministers must feel free to express themselves on any matter without the pressure of the Constituency known as the general public. However, Cabinet Minutes are also one of the specified excluded areas from the general terms of the FofI Act.

    No, I hold the same view as you: Yes indeed the Bush administration had a 'war agenda' in mind even before they were in power. Getting rid of Saddam was a high priority; whether we agree with that policy it is always worth keeping in mind the Republicans did make these intentions clear well in advance and were Democratically elected,so, had a form of mandate, however much you or I might consider it wrong/mistaken.

    Where I differ from you is in that I believe President Bush's policy towards Iraq always stayed within International legal obligations. No amount of surmising, guesswork or plain bias by your good self or any other about "..flour.." etc. will suffice as 'proven evidence' of anything more by the US-UK Governments or Intelligence services. Of course the US pushed for an invasion, it's what Governments do; not much point in formulating policy if once in power you do nothing about it!
    I believe, but cannot prove, PM Blair thought by sticking with the US he could reduce some of the worst aspects of the Neo-Cons' reckless indifference to other people's lives: He was mistaken, but,in many ways Blair was trying to do the honourable thing and I believe, cannot prove, history and No.10 Cabinet Minutes 30 and 50 years from now will show this to be the case.

    'Resource robbery': Again, your assumption as opposed to reality. Yes, there are US Oil companies involved in the production and distribution of Iraqi Oil, however, as the occupying power how/who else was going to do it? Afterall, it is US troops on the ground, so, I repeat, do you really hionestly believe the contratcs should have gone to Germany, France, Russia, Saudi, Iran.. ?

    In point of fact there are no wholly US owned Oil Companies left in the world; the Global nature and cost of Oil has led to multi-national investment/control of those companies. In Iraq, as with most of the world (e.g. Saudi, Russia, Libya etc.), actual Oil production systems is under the control of the National Government. Oil Field location, Research and Distribution are the main roles of the global network companies you so dislike.

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  • 192. At 8:34pm on 17 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (190):

    The EU has common regulations concerning public tenders. Public tenders that are over the threshold of the EU set values, have to be published in EU wide Tenders Electronic Daily database ( [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] ). In Finland all public tenders that are over the national or EU threshold are published in government tenders website. Different tenders have different rules based on the size of the tender, for example tenders where the tebder is below 15.000 Euro have different rules.

    In practise, if there is a tender, it usually has an table of requirements, it has info concerning the valuation and scoring process and info on the whole tender process. When you take part on tender, you are eligible to have the final results of the tender, and if you are not happy with the tender, you can make an official complaint to the placer of the tender and if you are not still happy with the result, you can take the case in a court of law. In my profession, software industry, I have posted bids to quite a few tenders and have seen few tenders where one of our competitors have taken a case into a court. In other areas especially in building constructions there have been many quite public cases where some competitor hasn't liked the end result and taken the matter into a court.

    Concerning companies sponsoring political parties and candidates, that just doesn't happen in reality as all donations of over 1700 Euro have to publicised thus its usually harmful for public image of an company and candidate to have be seen in a sponsor relation. Of course there other ways to sponsor candidates, like having public receptions or art auctions, but then again even those don't funnel large sums of money and eventually go public. No, the best way for a company to influence government decision making is just employ huge amounts of employees and pay huge amounts of taxes, that usually guarantees that the government is willing to listen on what needs companies have. Do remember that public tenders are just small peanuts in comparison to industrial and technology policy decision making, i.e. the Finnish state enlarging intake of software and telecommunication engineering students guaranteed Nokia and other technology companies huge amounts of cheap and skilful workforce.

    From my point of view, on how things have been taken care in Finland, our parties and the state at whole for the past 20 years have been fighting on lowering taxes while keeping services and social benefits in satisfactorily level. This is more or less because all our cabinets consist from two parties out of three primary parties with few minor parties taking auxiliary places, in another words there are competing interests keeping one party to go on in its agenda too deep. There is also this mentality of state holder, for example in Sweden the Social Democratic party has been usually a states holder party, a party that primarily takes care of the interests of the state.

    And again, you are trying to polarize the discussion, you are only presenting two options: the Soviet Union where there is only the state and the USA where there is almost no state at all. Again what you left out is the way of the centre, on having active government taking care of matters that doesn't interest private actors and keeping the society in balance, keeping it as an good place for all people to live and making sure that all people get a change to live their lives in dignity and having a fair shot at trying to work and ascent throe a work in society.

    In my honest opinion, the Nordic model works pretty well and many indicators and studies also tell that our economic and societal model works and is set on stable ground.

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  • 193. At 9:44pm on 17 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    democracythreat @190, I think with contracts going to bidders on merit exclusively - Jukka_Rohila had in mind Finland. Only skipped to specify. And other examplarous honest governments that just happen to be his Nordic neighbours.
    Can well be so in Finland; after all in a small place where all know each other by face :o) - it is hard to escape gossip and indignation of neighbours! if anything.
    ________

    Jukka_Rohila,
    I am studying to be able to reply to your "criminal USSR", "neutral Finland that never did any harm to its neighbours", deadly "Red Army that pillaged and raped Europe".

    Criminal USSR brought me up in a attitude to Finland and the Finns, how to say, friendly.
    Plus the general Russian inclination not to remember things, and a generous, how to say, un-caring angle. Say, a lazy and dis-organised approach.

    This is no good as I see with Finns. We have to review our careless stand, and somebody ought to start, so why not me.
    Unfortunately wiki pages in Russian on Finnish history are also very Russian. Skip interesting details that I found lavishly in the pages in wiki in English. A charming picture! Hair raises on head how harmless you are.

    In other words I am taking an organised approach for a while, and summing up things.
    Cheers.






    democracythreat mentioned earlier

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  • 194. At 10:14pm on 17 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    What the...

    My comment 192 was referred to the moderators. Why? This really puzzles me. Many of my comments are in dubious grey area of are they braking BBC rules or not, especially those concerning history or world wars, but this message had nothing, absolutely nothing for it to be referred to moderation.

    The only thing that could have brought it into moderation would have been a web link that I provided, but that again was to Tenders Electronic Daily, an EU newspaper slash database about public tenders. As the moderation of my message will take probably at least 3 - 4 days, the judgement on sending it to moderation will kill the discussion. Great!

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  • 195. At 10:49pm on 17 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka wrote:

    "The thing is, you are only observing the values and default beliefs of an culture. For example in the USA there is still huge belief that one can work up his way from poorness to richness. However in real life, the probability of an poor person getting onto an higher ladder in society is much more poorer than in the continental Europe or especially in Nordic countries. So essentially you siting the cultural values and beliefs and not taking into account the reality. The fact of the matter is that both the UK and the USA are class societies, in the USA the class society is just hidden away."

    Yeah, I would concede you have a point here. There is indeed a class system at work in the USA, manifest as the military industrial complex and the banking class that underwrites it.

    When I speak of America, I am waxing lyrical about the America of the past, the America that built a huge and vibrant economy from independent state governments, and independent local governments. In that idealized America of one hundred years ago, before the federal reserve bank, when the currency was backed by gold, society was open to immigrants who worked hard, and people did not pay huge taxes to support a highly centralized federal government that employed huge numbers of people.

    I can't comment on social mobility in the nordic countries, as I have no experience whatsoever. I am dubious, though. After all, these countries have royal families and huge taxation. So i suspect the system of measurement is a matter of semantics and comparing bad to worse. But I am guessing, I must admit.

    However, it is still true that in America the people believe in offering good service, and they believe in hard work. And I do not find working people are impressed by titles and historical references to great families.

    But in the UK, middle class housewives speak in admiring tones about royalty, and they dote on their empire, as if they all had a hand in the building of it and all took a share in the spoils. Which, I suppose, they do. You don't find that obsequious servility when mixing with Americans.

    But, sure, you make a good point. It is a fantasy to believe America is still a classless society based upon equality, where everyone can make it to the top (Obama notwithstanding). It is an even greater fantasy now that they have a largely socialized economy.

    But I still have faith in Americans, despite their hideous lack of education about the rest of the world and their insane nationalism. They still work hard, and they still give great service.

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  • 196. At 11:38pm on 17 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (193):

    Well, honestly I'm glad that we are back in talking relation.

    I should add that my motivation for viewing history critically and condemning many things and parts of it relate into will to learn from history on not repeating same mistakes. This more or less demands that we judge history as it is without excuses or rationales put behind things and acts in violation of our view of right and wrong. Yes, it does many times bring a problem of "what would you have done instead" and many times there is no real answer or a solution that could have been in actual conditions been executed. However again, in these cases, to make conciliation with the past we just have to make the moral judgement and condemn wrongs of the history. In my view, you have to acknowledge the whole history and judge it wholly before you can go on to say "never again".

    Another thing also that I think should be cleared up is that while I judge the Soviet Union as an more or less criminal entity and express my voice loudly, my intention is not to make demands as in "you have to apologise" or "shame on you". No, the intention is just to acknowledge the past as it is and to take notes from it. Essentially, it is futile to sorrow for spilled milk, the only thing to do is to acknowledge that milk was spilled, learn and make sure that for same reasons milk isn't spilled again.

    My personal view about the history is that while actions of large groups of people, organized into entities and actions of their leaders, can and should be judged, it should be remembered that in extraordinary situations people do extraordinary things, which essentially is a moral get-out-of-jail-card that can and should be used when we take our examination of history into personal level, in another words in a place where we start to ask questions about our relatives and their possible dealings we have to use this get-out-of-jail-card. Yes I know that giving this leeway more or less brakes the logic of judging history, but then again we are only humans and in practise for us to dwell in history, especially not so distant history, we have to have get-out-of-jail-cards for the task on not becoming to burdensome.

    That said, cheers and good night.

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  • 197. At 03:09am on 18 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MAvrelius, you seemed to like pre-historical Rus. movie "Alexander Nevsky". The kind of moral mobilisation for the 2nd Germanskaya war. Remember the starting poster on the screen "Who will come to us with a sword - from the sword will perish."

    Now, an adaptation of the slogan

    "Who will come to us with a stock-market.... :o)

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  • 198. At 04:27am on 18 Mar 2009, amerika_first wrote:

    Did you see the new item for bid on Ebay. 1 million arms, never used and for sale. Contact Paris. France has been wanting to lead NATO instead of USA and UK. What a joke. When the tanks from moscow rumble towards Paris who you gonna call? The French as usual think that the world should revolve around Paris. They can have it, as we are fed up with the europeans. Go defend yourself and leave us out of it. Then the two sisters (France and Germany)can run the continent. France and Germany sucessfully made sure that NATO was no longer a threat to their Russian masters. We would be also glad if you would take the UN as well. We are tried of footing the bill. We should have let Germany keep you. Good luck and good ridance, by the way don't bother coming to NY as you are longer welcome here.

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  • 199. At 4:34pm on 18 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    amerika_first wrote:

    "We are tried of footing the bill. We should have let Germany keep you."

    I'm confused. I thought you said the Ruskis were sending their tanks to Paris, and that is why the USA went in?

    So wouldn't that mean the germans were protecting the french from the ruskis, and the USA was helping the germans defend the french from the ruskis?

    And if NATO is no longer a threat to the ruskis, as you claim, how does it work that the USA went into Europe to defend against the ruskis?

    Is this the good old doctrine of "the best defense is attack"?

    I sure do think that doctrine is BOSS. Saddam sure got a defending he will never forget. That will teach him to hide the WMD he didn't have. I have been saying for ages that if Saddam had been up front and honest, and had not hidden the WMD he didn't have, like a sneak, then we wouldn't have needed to go in and defend his country so hard.

    But what can you do with BAD folks who fool other folks by pretending they can't defend themselves, forcing GOOD folks to defend them really hard?

    Just goes to show what a BAD guy he was. I guess that is why he always wore that towel wrapped on his head. He was trying to cover up the black cowboy hat what god had painted on his skull, so as to alert the GOOD guys about how BAD he was.

    You can't trust a fellow who lies about not having WMD by saying he doesn't have them. That is what I always says. Gotta defend a fellow like that, right where it hurts

    amerika_first also wrote:
    "Good luck and good ridance, by the way don't bother coming to NY as you are longer welcome here."

    Don't be like that! How I am I going to attend my history lessons if I ain't allowed back in the states?

    Besides, I have to go to a board meeting next week, to discuss the movement of capital out of your economy. What do you want? That I can't be free to be free with my american buddies?

    Are you some kind of COMMUNIST? Don't make me defend you, fellow.

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  • 200. At 8:17pm on 18 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    amerika_first,

    'When the tanks from moscow rumble towards Paris who you gonna call?'

    Surely you mean the tanks from Tehran and Pyongyang? I thought that was what the radars and missiles in Poland and Czech Republic were protecting us from?

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  • 201. At 01:53am on 19 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila @196

    No problem with me, with "looking at history critically ...learning.. not doing same mistakes."

    I question the mantle of an objective researcher you think you wear.
    Think you are part of the new trend in Finland.

    Alas you aren't "neutral" anymore; even formally. You teamed up with Baltics. LOL - not economically, but on "let's harm Russia" platform.

    Clamming USSR and The Third Reich, Stalin and Hitler, fascism and communism - is not your personal invention.

    The logic "Communism harmed us more than Hitler did - therefore USSR and The Third Reich are alike" - has been the sounding voice of Baltics and Poland. For years.

    What's new, it's now : The Three Baltic states. Poland. and Finland.

    You joined up effort on this platform and successfuly made others hear you in the Euro Parliament.

    Result: A new combined holiday is instituted in the EU. More than half of the deputies supported the initiative of the three Baltic countries and voted to consider 23rd of August - day of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact signing - Day of memory of victims of fascism and communism.
    4 countries already marked this day in their calendars:
    Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and..... Bulgaria.

    During the vote day the initiative group who asked for the vote, was distributing in the Euro Parliament posters where Stalin and Hitler stand together.

    Consequently, equalled fascism and the ones who defeated it.

    This is serious. Do you plan to initiate another vote in the Europarliament - to question the results of the Nurenberg process?
    Logically follows.

    I'll explain you.
    Stalin, in a poster, alone - what are your associations? Approx. same as Russian. Dictator, murderer, Gulags.

    Hitler, in a poster, alone - what are your associations? 2nd WW.

    Stalin and Hitler together - don't know how about you, but Hitler draws so heavy war angle, he stands for nothing else in humanity mind.
    Stalin with him together - you think of these 2 during one period only - 2nd WW.

    Conclusion: In the 2nd WW both are guilty. Both are murderers. Attacking the humanity. Killing, destroying countries. Mass victims. Extermination camps. Genoside of the Jewish.
    All associated with Hitler - gets projected onto Stalin. All associated with Stalin - well, with me it doesn't - but with you, I guess, gets projected onto Hitler. Pored together, as one. This is the image the poster casts. The new holiday casts.

    Now, for Russians, in the 2nd WW, Stalin - means USSR. Means - Red Army. In the 2nd WW Stalin stands for Russia.

    This is a very deep assault. This will harm our relations with Europe - much.
    Because this is our sore spot - that's where the Baltics. And Finnish. And Polish. And Bulgarian. And who ever else voted for - is aimed.
    At our memory of the Great Patriotic War.

    Congratulations, to the authors of the project. Success.
    A wedge was highly needed btw Russia and the EU.
    On the burning desire "to critically look past at the history... draw conclusions... not to do the same mistakes."

    Purely objective desire, nothing personal.

    If Putin doesn't react to this. I'd close the shop with Europe.
    If he does not react - I will campaign for us to get someone with more guts.

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  • 202. At 10:32am on 19 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    democracythreat and Comment 199.

    I am very pro-US-UK retaining alliances at all levels.

    Rarely agree wholeheartedly with your views and dislike sarcasm as a debating tool, however, in this case found your Comment so factually lucid and pointed it made me laugh. Doubt the intended recipient had the same reaction; some of his stuff is beyond the pale in flag-waving inanity. Your last line was almost Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman) in its punchline brevity.

    Great reading: Please do try more of same.

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  • 203. At 11:15am on 19 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Dear MarcusAureliusII,

    Haven't heard from you for a while; hope both you and your family are in good health.

    I would like to ask you for a favour laying my hopes on your expert knowledge on European affairs.
    I am currently awaiting an answer from the Euro Parliament, re the date of the vote that instituted a new calendar day in the EU (see @201 above). Also searching to obtain the exact list of MEPs who voted for, and which European countries they are from. The site is complex to manage, tends to quote the total amounts of votes pro / contra, without giving the particulars I am interested in.

    So the correspondence with the Euro Parliament may take me some time, but I would like to investigate in advance your committment in allocating your precious time to helping me.

    I hope to eventually be able to quote a list of countries, about each of which I wish to know one thing:

    What is their most life-claiming and deadly war/battle in history, that they won, and who their victims were.

    Ideally, it should be a battle the country is particularly proud of winning, something crucial for their existence.

    Even better, if you know of a case, when they were slain in the battle field to help a neighbour.

    The idea behind the project is to get a number of memorable days, into the Russian calendar, where we will see, btw "Easter", and "banking holiday" - a day to jeer at a country' peril.

    Certainly nothing as good as connecting a nation to Hitler can be expected, but we will have to do with what is assaultingly available.

    For example, I've already located a single day in the August of 1941, when Finland slain 16,000 Russian civillians in evacuation, and it is beyond me why this day isn't marked properly in the national Russian calendar. Apparently, as democracythreat mentioned earlier, it is due to the tendency of Russians to issue "a free pass".

    Overall, calendar business in Russia leaves much to be desired. The huge glossy calendars that foreigners buy by kilos for souvenirs, do show a good array of colour photoes of the Catherine Palace, Peterhof palace and park ensamble, Paul's palace, and other residences in the suburbs. Churches interiors and museums across the country. Strangely, none of these displays the first page showing the black and white photoes of pebble and ruins, and horse stables, and defecating piles, smashed mozaics, and other wonders incurred by the visiting higher civilisation. Though such photoes exist in every imperial palace, shwoing, for example, that all was left of the 3 most famous tsar residences in the Leningrad environs - were a couple of walls. So that not everyone understands each palace visited now by millions of tourists was replicated from scratch.

    But then again, this is not up to the parameters I keep in mind. Ideally, taking an abstract example of Finalnd, it should be a day when, for example, Finland lost 16,000 civillians in one day, and feels very painfully about it. That very event we should, accordingly, mark as a Day of Memory of Victims of Finland.

    I have in mind several suitable Russian proverbs and sayings, to decorate the calendar-to-be where appropriate, one of which will certainly be "Don't spit into the well - it will yet come handy to drink water from."

    Thank you, and I assure you of my un-divided attention in future to any matters of American concern, where Russia can be of its small assistance.

    Alice

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  • 204. At 3:10pm on 19 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (202):

    When you make claims you should also include more details, more background and a source. Like for instance an Wikipedia article found from here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Baltic_(1941)

    "The Soviet evacuation consisted of 160 ships, which evacuated 28 000 people (including Communist leadership and their families, army and navy personnel and 10,000 Estonians drawn into forced labor)"

    "At midnight of the 28th the armada ran into the minefield of Juminda peninsula while being attacked by Finnish and German torpedo boats; casualties were heavy, 65 of the 160 ships were lost, and several more were damaged. 16,000 of the 28,000 evacuees perished."

    Let see.

    First of all, 10000 Estonians drawn into forced labor, isn't that a gross human rights violation? Doesn't this go into all that other talk about slavery instituted by the Soviet Union?

    Secondly, communist leadership and their families are civilians, but army and navy personnel are not. So if you make a claim that 16000 civilians perished, then that would need all those 10000 Estonians to perish and there would have to had been at least 6000 members of communist leaders and their families to validate a claim of 16000 civilians been perished. So in essence that would mean that there were only 12000 army and naval personnel and that they all escaped unharmed. Why does that sound a bit unbelievable?

    Thirdly you are using the word slain, but again those 16000 died because ships ran into mines or were hit by torpedos. That isn't slaining. Slaining is something which happens when you put a gun behind someones head or if bayonet somebody.

    And again, like I have said before, two wrongs doesn't make a one right.

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  • 205. At 6:32pm on 19 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (201):

    You: "This is serious. Do you plan to initiate another vote in the Europarliament - to question the results of the Nurenberg process?
    Logically follows."

    No. You are twisting things. The logical end result of acknowledging and judging the crimes of Communism, Soviet Union and Stalin would be another Nuremberg where besides Nazis in the bench of accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity would also stand not only Soviet leadership but different entities and organizations of the Soviet Union that participated into crimes pre-war, during the war and after the war. If we would judge Soviet Union with the same standards as the Nazi Germany, the only verdict would be guilty as charged.

    To continue with the subject...

    PRAGUE DECLARATION on European Conscience and Communism...
    http://www.victimsofcommunism.org/media/article.php?article=3850

    Euro parliaments comments of regarding the Commemoration of the Holodomor...
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20081022+ITEM-014+DOC+XML+V0//EN

    And...

    Declaration of the European Parliament on the proclamation of 23 August as European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2008-0439+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

    406 MEPs signed the declaration out of the 785 MEPs, which came from all EU countries and from all political groups, meaning that more or less that there is an European wide understanding of acknowledging and remembering these victims.

    Now lets continue from your comment...

    Why is Stalin, Soviet Union and the Red Army so sour spot for you? Why do you need to continue with the Soviet agenda and propaganda about the "Great Patriotic War"? Why is it so hard to acknowledge and judge past crimes committed under the banners of Communism and Stalinism? Why? Why is it possible that Germans could make up with their past, but for some reason you can't do the same with the past of the Soviet Union? The same goes true with the west in general, that dwells in the dark pages of colonialism and imperialism, and with the Americans who almost after the start of every war start to dwell in its wrongs.

    Also have you considered that you are still continuing to repeat the Sovietized view of the war? For example why is the WW2 called the Great Patriotic War? Or why do you name wars after with whom they were fought war? You said that the WW1 and WW2 are known as German wars and do I recall correctly that the Winter War and the Continuation War are in Russia called Finnish wars? Have you ever thought on why they are called this way? Why is the ethnicity brought so up? From my perspective it sounds like the wars were against a particular ethnic-cultural group and thus emphasizes us versus them mentality. Compare this to the west where wars don't carry such name tags.

    You know I really don't understand this at all, why is looking at your past such an hard thing to do?

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  • 206. At 6:33pm on 19 Mar 2009, greypolyglot wrote:

    "198. amerika_first:

    Did you see the new item for bid on Ebay. 1 million arms, never used and for sale. Contact Paris."

    I take it that you've forgotten who paid for and helped you win your War of Independence?

    Also, read the following and learn about more recent events.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7946050.stm

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  • 207. At 7:56pm on 19 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka-Rohila,
    even if I hadn't met monstrosities of half-German words in those wiki pages, presumed to be "in English" - I would know these were composed by a Finn.
    I recognise the style by now. Never saw a wiki page on the war where the author is so openly concerend with making war look "moral". It's not German dry. Pedantic.

    But one of the kind. a new hybrid.

    Lenghty pages, peppered with "on one hand" "but on the other hand".


    Giving explanations, of non-technical matter, after every war episode. Referring to past and future, in a desperate attempt to make it look "good". "Justified".

    I am simply disgusted.

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  • 208. At 10:07pm on 19 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Finland, 25 June 1941 - 19 Sep 1944, waged war on the side of the Fascist Germany and lost.

    The only correction that can be added is that Great Britain declared war to Finland on 5 December 1941.
    And that the formal peace was signed much later, in Paris, 10 Feb 1947.
    _____________

    By the result of the war USSR had full grounds to deprive Finland of its sovereignity - legal, historical, territorial, political and economic.

    Finland could share the fate of Germany. To who it belonged, by soul, and by the battles it fought.

    To be split by the winners, the Anti-Hitler Coalition, into "sectors".
    Be dis-armed. Have soldiers slave as captives in foreign lands, building what they have destroyed.
    To be taught a lesson to never dream of facism again. To be destroyed industrially, economically, and pressed morally down to the ground.

    That this didn't take place - is sheer generosity of Russians.

    And here is the logical result of it. Ingenious explanations. Modern view. Full justification to be fasist, explained by "particular circumstances".

    A facist in the 2nd WW - is a clear term.

    A Finnish fasict in the 2nd WW - is not exactly a fasict, but a poor small darling. With U-boats under-cutting the way of Polar Convoys. Drowning Allied vessels. Having mined half of Baltic.

    Having successfully locked the only USSR Navy - its Baltic Fleet - in the Kronshtadt island - for the duration 1941-1944. !!!

    When the intensity of the Navy battles in the 2nd WW - ! Britain and USA could have well do with additional, USSR, Navy fleet.

    And thus took USSR Navy out of war - for the whole war.

    Having occupied for 3 years lands that were never once in history even hinted or dreamed to ever be "Finnish". Having put the civillian population there into concentration camps.
    __________
    For a sec. USSR loss directly to Finland, 1941-1944. Eastern, non-ever Finnish Karelia - under Finnish occupation for 3 years.
    200 thousand army dead. 385 thousand army wounded. 64 thousand taken captive by Finland and either put in own concentration camps or passed over to Germany. 20 thousand civil population dead.
    __________

    It was real hard to be able to tell a Finn in the 2nd WW from a German in the 2nd WW. Neither in the Baltic shore, nor at sea, nor in Caucasus where Finns served as part of Waffen SS, nor in Ukraine. Same uniform.

    Though I'd agree you treated occupied Jewish and Slavs better. Didn't rape, shoot or hang - but tucked away off into concentration camps. Where you didn't burn them in stoves either. Germany burned - the captives that you passed over to them.

    So, how do the Finns explain the crucial difference, btw them and nazi Germans?

    "The Finnish-German alliance was different from most of the other Axis relationships, an example of which is represented by the participation of Finnish Jews in the fight against the Soviet Union".

    any other example? how many Finnish Jewish were these? 20?
    and why not? they were - "Finnish". how on earth this possibly explains "the difference" ?

    "Finnish Jews served in the Finnish army and were generally tolerated in Finland."

    generally tolerated. aha.

    "Unlike the Winter War, which was a Soviet war of aggression against Finland, the Continuation War was a war of aggression initiated by the Finns, which attempted to rectify the territorial losses of the Winter War and pre-empt Soviet aggression".

    Nice term, "Continuation war". Nobody else saw this as "Continuation", but simply as part of Operation Barbarossa and other "operations" you joined Germany in. Britain wasn't blind, neither USSR.

    The term "continuation" was coined later on by Finland, and you stuck to it on purpose - "to explain yourselves".

    So, you took what was previously yours. Did you stop on that? If it was - "continuation"?
    No.
    You took Eastern Karelia which wasn't yours.
    You made an attack on Leningrad.
    You served as a nazi platform in the region - for its avaiation and navy. Throughout the whole war.
    You hunted the Polar Convoys' ships.
    You fought daily battles, right through the last hour of the armistice.

    You think nobody of the parties in the 2ndWW had "territorial claims" in mind? Only Finland? This is its "exclusivity", that gives it "a pass"? It's a joke.

    Why didn't all cry at Nurenberg, Germany could have also said "we had territorial claims to Poland, you have to excuse our aggression."

    Your No 2 - "to pre-emt attack of USSR".

    That's "an excuse" that holds water as much as those Russian ships drowned in their evacuation from Tallinn. First Finland lays whole summer by Tallinn mine-fields, in "joint preparation to Operation Barbarossa with Germany ". To pre-empt the agression, we are to understand.
    Then when German troops enter Tallinn on one side, and all who can ran out of the city like mad - during the night - and jump onto ships in night madness, rush and crowds, - Finnish Navy together with German Navy wait for them, at sea. "Nobody to escape alive!"

    Wait till the "armada" (nice word, cheers, Fin. wiki) gets into the mine trap - attack it with torpedoes on both sides, to finish the business. "to pre-empt the agression", again.

    So much trouble. 1941-1944. to pre-emting, and pre-empting, agression.
    reminds one of Iraq, and other pre-emtive classics.


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  • 209. At 11:00pm on 19 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Re your "why".

    Even kind of, never mind.

    Let's "explain". the basics.

    The Great Patriotic War.

    Great - you don't know the meaning? Means - big, large, heroic, huge in influence. Which of the adjectives you have a problem with?
    Siege of Leningrad - when people died from cold and hunger, but held on, and worked at factories, swaying in the wind - "all for the front, all for the victory" - not heroic?
    Stalingrad battle, Kursk battle - when you hold to the last drop of blood - not heroic?
    People who defended the Brest fortress, for a month after the Germans passed it - staying deep behind on the enemy side, with no hope of ever winning anything - but not surrending - not heroic?
    Russian fuel ships - that escorted the Polar Convoys from mid-way and back to Britain - when any bomb hit set the whole vessel ablaze - not heroic?
    Am I to go through the whole war - episode after episode.

    If not these moderation - I'd use stronger expressions.

    Patriotic part, is it what you don't understand? "Patriotic" it's from word "patria", "native land", fatherland. Well, motherland, in Russian case, but anyway.
    When your "patria" is invaded, and you defend it - it is "patriotic".

    I don't believe I do this.
    Now, "war" - it's when

    "Germanskaya-1". "Germanskaya-2". Un-formal names, but very popular among the population on the ground. And - "Finskaya" !

    Have to disappoint you, Jukka_Rohila. A very awkward attempt to blame Russians in racism.

    "Germanskaya" - it's when all who you see in the battle field are "Germantsy" - Germans. People of Germany, so to say.
    "Finskaya" - it is - see above.

    I understand your desire to have USSR in war to think they fight "secondworldwar-sers". And "Continuan-sers". Can't help. Very difficult to pronounce. Besides, I think both "secondworldwar-sers" and "continua-sers" - forgot to drop down leaflets in Russian explaining how they are to be named. Likely, didn't invent it yet, it was a post-war business, of giving labels.

    It so happens that we don't like to re-name wars post factum. I know it's in fashion, and overall Russians don't mind, to twist the facts a bit here and there, in the changing interests of its political masters. Like all normal ww folk. But not in the serious matter of war. Sorry, it is an exemption.

    Now, what else there was? That we are "to finally recognise", "to admit"?

    No problem with that. We recognise and admit USSR part in the 2ndWW for exactly what it is - heroic and great. And - tragedy. And - a nation's sacrifice.

    To be "Like Germany" - can't help you with that.
    You think we fought together with Germany. Real sorry Jukks. It so happens we fought each other.
    Can't help you. Nobody can help you.

    But then you can help yourself. You were "like Germany". One big happy family.

    Now you are one big happy family with modern countries.
    Don't miss the event planned for March 23rd in Helsinki. You are hosting a conference on the "crimes of communism against Estonia." There is advertised a new "documentary" to be shown, with a recommendation to exactly reverse the results of the Nurenberg Process.

    Attendance advertised of the Ambassadors to Finland from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

    I think Latvia can tell interesting things at the event, share the latest experince of just having the traditional 16th of March SS veterans honour march in Riga. The regular annual. Flowers, grey headed veterans, in dear old uniforms.
    With much media attention. Carefully guarded by Latvian police, from possible excesses of anti-fascist Latvian organisations.

    20 anti-fasists were exported out of Latvia in the 4 previous days. Without explanations, just, to take care in advance. You don't need legal grounds, to get rid of dangerous elements, who can spoil the event. Do you?

    I am serious - that's how that NGO is called: "Anti-fasicst front of Latvia".

    How do we know? A Finnish man shared his impressions. Head of the Anti-fascist Committee of Finland, professor of Criminology and Social Rights of the Helsinki University, Johann Beckmann.

    "We were scared to go out of the Riga office, police cars waiting for us at the entrance."

    "I was attending the conference in Riga - "Future Without Fasism". There were representatives of Poland, Finland and Italy."

    "Our next event planned is the protest that we will hold outside the building, on 23rd March in Helsinki. The planned event has a clear anti-Russian focus. There will be "Antifa" movements' members from Estonia, Latvia and Russia. Finland is a democratic country, and everyone has the right to protest who applied for the permission to police in advance.
    We applied. It will not be like in Riga, where the anti-fasists were not allowed to protest. In Finland we will hold a protest."

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  • 210. At 1:07pm on 20 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Even BBC hardware got broken from your comments! "If we tried the USSR the Nurenberg way".

    I suggest you talk to your professor of Criminology and Social Rights.

    Head of the Anti-fascist Committee of Finland sees the conference titled "Crimes of communism against Estonia" as "clearly anti-Russian". Is going to protest it.

    Any ideas why Anti-fascists plan to protest the Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian gathering, about "crimes of communism"?

    They see it for what it is - attempt to revise the history to strengthen position of modern neo-nazis.

    Go join the protest, and explain your Finnish anti-fascists your views on the "criminal USSR".

    And before you demand Russians "to denounce", their "Great Patriotic War", do some preliminary training.

    Try to convince MAII "to denounce" his Arlington cemetery.

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  • 211. At 1:28pm on 20 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (209):

    Lets start from correcting facts from small ones to bigger ones...

    Johann Backman isn't a professor, he is a Docent. He also doesn't enjoy any credibility or popularity with his views. I would seriously question anything he says.
    ---

    In Finland demonstrations don't need a permit, demonstrators are only required to notify the police so it can make sure that public order and safety can be maintained.

    Helsingin Sanomat also noted that Nashis youth are planning on having a demonstration in Helsinki by the Nashi local chapter in Estonia. However Nashi headquarters in Moscow didn't know that were an local chapter in Estonia or couldn't confirm that anybody would be sent to Helsinki. Helsingin Sanomat noted there are probably few, maybe 10-20 persons, taking a part in the demonstrations. Personally, I don't mind them demonstrating, but then again what are they going to achieve? Nashi is already seen as an organization comparable to Hitler jugend and the confession of the Nashi leadership that they organized the DDoS net attack against Estonia only confirmed that.
    ---

    "20 anti-fasists were exported out of Latvia in the 4 previous days. Without explanations, just, to take care in advance. You don't need legal grounds, to get rid of dangerous elements, who can spoil the event. Do you?"

    If you are not an Latvian citizen or citizen of any European Union country, you can and will be exported or deported if the authorities think that you might threaten the public order or safety, that is the common accepted procedure in all Schengen countries.
    ---

    "I think Latvia can tell interesting things at the event, share the latest experince of just having the traditional 16th of March SS veterans honour march in Riga. The regular annual. Flowers, grey headed veterans, in dear old uniforms.
    With much media attention. Carefully guarded by Latvian police, from possible excesses of anti-fascist Latvian organisations."

    The march of the Legionnaires were forbid by the Latvian police and the police went further and forbid all demonstrated in Monday. The legionnaires did however laid down flowers in the statue of freedom in central Riga. The police were there to protect the legionnaires from the "Antifascist" who were threatening with violence and acting violently.
    ---

    "Now you are one big happy family with modern countries.
    Don't miss the event planned for March 23rd in Helsinki. You are hosting a conference on the "crimes of communism against Estonia." There is advertised a new "documentary" to be shown, with a recommendation to exactly reverse the results of the Nurenberg Process."

    No. In 23rd March Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju will make public their article collection of "Behind everything was fear - How Estonia lost its history and how it will be get back". Authors from many countries and from different language groups have contributed to it, including Estonian Russians. Sofi Oksanen is an renowned author and I for one don't believe claims that there would be an article renouncing the Nuremberg trials, if there is some suggestion then the suggestion probably is that the Soviet Union should be put on same kind of trial.
    ---

    "To be "Like Germany" - can't help you with that.
    You think we fought together with Germany. Real sorry Jukks. It so happens we fought each other.
    Can't help you. Nobody can help you."

    Molotov-Ribbentrop pact anyone? I think the Polish have few not so kind words to say on being waged war against. Do I also have to remind you about Katyn? Katyn massacre? Or are you going to say that was purely defensive and necessary to defend the Soviet Union?

    Nope. The Soviet Union and Third Reich divided Europe by their interests. Finland, Baltic states and half of Poland went to Soviet Union and when Soviets occupied these countries, the direct result was purges and transportations to gulags. Just a defensive manoeuvre nothing else right?
    ---

    "Have to disappoint you, Jukka_Rohila. A very awkward attempt to blame Russians in racism.

    "Germanskaya" - it's when all who you see in the battle field are "Germantsy" - Germans. People of Germany, so to say.
    "Finskaya" - it is - see above."

    Tell me again why on no other country that took part in the first or second world war they didn't use ethnic names to name wars? No Japanese war, no German war, no Italian war, no Russian war? How do you explain that? My explanation is quite rational, the Soviet leadership named wars in order to justify and fuel the us versus them mentality.
    ---

    "Patriotic part, is it what you don't understand? "Patriotic" it's from word "patria", "native land", fatherland. Well, motherland, in Russian case, but anyway.
    When your "patria" is invaded, and you defend it - it is "patriotic"."

    Again, look at the rest of the world. Do the Americans call the war in pacific a Great Patriotic War? No they do not. Again the simple explanation is that the Soviet leadership named the war as they did to full nationalism and to silence the critic concerning the war, its execution and its results.

    The other thing that you didn't note was why are you still stuck in the past? Why is it still a Great Patriotic War and not simply the WW2? Why are you still actively celebrating it? Why the whole war still is tabu to you? Excuse me, but do you see the rest of the world still glamouring something that happened more than 60 years ago. No you don't because people have moved on with the time.

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  • 212. At 2:04pm on 20 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (208):

    "Finland, 25 June 1941 - 19 Sep 1944, waged war on the side of the Fascist Germany and lost.

    The only correction that can be added is that Great Britain declared war to Finland on 5 December 1941.
    And that the formal peace was signed much later, in Paris, 10 Feb 1947."

    The United States of America never declared war against Finland as from their perspective Finland was fighting an separate war against the Soviet Union. The USA also didn't recognize any claims made by the Soviet Union concerning Finland nor did they ever recognize the occupation and annexation of Baltic states into the Soviet Union. Do remember that even in those days, Americans recognized that the Soviet Union was as criminal creation as the Third Reich.
    ---

    "To be split by the winners, the Anti-Hitler Coalition, into "sectors".
    Be dis-armed. Have soldiers slave as captives in foreign lands, building what they have destroyed.
    To be taught a lesson to never dream of facism again. To be destroyed industrially, economically, and pressed morally down to the ground."

    You do know that you are suggesting and seemingly supporting an idea that gross human rights violations can be justified? Again, do I need to remind you that from moral point of view, from looking at all the crimes made by the Soviet Union, all the aggression of it against other countries, and all crimes purported by Red Army, it should have been the Soviet Union who should lost it sovereignty and been split by freedom loving countries to liberate it.
    ---

    "A facist in the 2nd WW - is a clear term."

    No it isn't. Communists in general and the current crop of Antifascist do fill out the requirements of what is considered from a fascist. There was and there is no division between a communist party official and a nazi party official, both are fascists.
    ---

    "A Finnish fasict in the 2nd WW - is not exactly a fasict, but a poor small darling. With U-boats under-cutting the way of Polar Convoys. Drowning Allied vessels. Having mined half of Baltic.

    Having successfully locked the only USSR Navy - its Baltic Fleet - in the Kronshtadt island - for the duration 1941-1944. !!!

    When the intensity of the Navy battles in the 2nd WW - ! Britain and USA could have well do with additional, USSR, Navy fleet."

    And again, from the perspective of a democratic state, there was no difference between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich. The immediate threat came from the Soviet Union thus it was the enemy number one. What goes to blocking of the Soviet navy, that is what war is, a normal operation against the enemy.
    ---

    "You took Eastern Karelia which wasn't yours.
    You made an attack on Leningrad.
    You served as a nazi platform in the region - for its avaiation and navy. Throughout the whole war.
    You hunted the Polar Convoys' ships.
    You fought daily battles, right through the last hour of the armistice."

    Again, that is war, the Soviet Union was the enemy and do remember that it became the enemy of the whole free world after the WW2 and continued to be menace for almost 50 years. What would you have suggested the Finns to do? Not to fight against one of the most evil and murderous empires in the world?
    ---

    "That's "an excuse" that holds water as much as those Russian ships drowned in their evacuation from Tallinn. First Finland lays whole summer by Tallinn mine-fields, in "joint preparation to Operation Barbarossa with Germany ". To pre-empt the agression, we are to understand.
    Then when German troops enter Tallinn on one side, and all who can ran out of the city like mad - during the night - and jump onto ships in night madness, rush and crowds, - Finnish Navy together with German Navy wait for them, at sea. "Nobody to escape alive!"

    Laying mines is very easy and quick to do. If you would have been in the military or would have more knowledge of it, you would know this. Laying mines is just as simple as driving with a ship, and pushing mines of the board. Placing mines doesn't take ages, removing the mines is an entirely different thing.

    And again. Those ships were full of Soviet army and naval personnel. They were legitimate targets, the only unfortunate thing was they also transported 10000 Estonian force labourers and the families of the communist leaders.
    ---

    And about the Finnish Jews serving in the Finnish army. 15 Jews died in the war, that would put probably put the amount of Jews serving in the army to at most to few hundred which would be in the line with the size of the Finnish Jewish community which was few thousand at the time.

    http://www.jewishquarterly.org/article.asp?articleid=194

    It should be also noted that a Jewish captain was awarded the Iron Cross, but he refused to accept it.

    Also to quote the Jewish quarterly...

    "The only way in and out of the city was over Lake Ladoga. Hence, under the most difficult conditions, a road – known as ‘the road of life’ - was built from Leningrad to unoccupied Soviet territory via the frozen lake. It was along this road that hundreds of thousands of children, sick and wounded were evacuated from Leningrad during 1941-2, and food, armaments and ammunition brought into the city.

    If it had not been for this road, Leningrad would never have been able to survive and fight on against the Germans. Yet the Finnish troops positioned around the lake could easily have destroyed ‘the road of life’. Hitler proclaimed at the beginning of the war that he would raze Leningrad to the ground. This did not happen purely because Mannerheim did not want it to happen and so refused to order his troops to attack ‘the road of life’.

    If Finland had not occupied the Karelian Isthmus and the shores of Lake Ladoga, the Germans would have been there - and Leningrad would have been doomed. Mannerheim’s decision saved an important city and the 150,000 Jews (including my father) who lived and worked there during the siege."

    And...

    "In 2005 an exhibition dedicated to Marshal Mannerheim was held at the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, and Finnish historians had an opportunity to show for the first time Mannerheim’s role in saving Leningrad. It is here, perhaps, that the Finnish Jewish soldiers who took part in the Second World War on the German side can take consolation. By fighting alongside the Germans, paradoxically, they helped to save not only the Finnish Jewish community but the Jewish community of Leningrad as well."

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  • 213. At 9:24pm on 20 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    How do you manage it? All twisted black to white, line after line.
    I wanted to write a diff. thing, but here we are again, like a dog chasing its tail. Round and round. Becomes boring.

    1. I never heard of your head of Anti-Fascist Committee earlier, but if Docent in Finland means the same as in Russia, the requirements are far above the graduation diploma of a higher education.
    You need a./ a Candidate of Science Dissertation on top b./prove of 20 yrs plus of active teaching practice to University.
    Being busy with abstract science and research won't do - teaching University students a must.

    I understand you desire to belittle a man who finds a Baltic gathering "anti-Russian", but I don't see him as a total goner in his field of study.

    And I have an overall respect for Anti-Fascist organisations, their members still die for what they do. In clashes with modern fascists.

    Which you can't tell about Neo-Nazi, with who never nothing happens.
    For the simple reason that their opponents are decent people, don't murder.

    If you know of an incident of injury or death of neo-nazis - in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia alike - up-date me please. Because I - don't.

    The Antifa group members, of which you speak so lowly - to the opposite -die. These modern days. From hands of their deadly enemy.

    So leave that "un-popular" Johann Backman alone. Again, I don't know the man, but anyone who heads an Antifa movement in a country is at risk. And worth a hundred of citizens who "don't find much credibility" in him.

    2. Nashi is crap, not worth talking about. If they don't know themselves whether they have a branch in Estonia, Helsinki Samoat doesn't know, neither do I and you - what have they got to do with Estonia.
    If they come to Helsinki they will only compromise the Anti-fascists, with who they have nothing in common. Neither in goals nor in origins. While Nashi are strongly reputed to be state-financed, or at least protegeed at some point, nobody finances Antifa. At least here, in Russia.

    Anyway, in what way their net attack on Estonia "confirms they are Hitler Jugend"? Interests of various citisen movements co-inside at some points, cross. That was one such crossing - whole Russia raged at the murder of the boy in Tallinn protecting the Bronze Soldier with his own body. Stabbed in the back during the Bronze Soldier Night, by knife, when Tallinn government tried to bulldoze the monument away, and when fascists, anti-fascists and police clashed.
    Police detained 2,000 people in that night, threw them into the port empty warehouse, on beton floor, with hands and feet tied by plastic bands. Mobile phones grabbed away, they couldn't drink, walk, move, only crouched on the floor. Estonians - not some "arriving on purpose "Nashi".
    And the boy who was killed - Estonian.

    While I don't approve of harassing anyone's networks, and later on boasting about it openly in a UN session, I sure say whole Russia didn't object much that Estonian government comms were paralysed for a day.

    They are still paralysed. There is no investigation of the murder, no suspects detained, no criminal case going, no nothing.
    And it is not Kennedy murder to decipher or Anna Politkovskay Newton's binom - with the amount of police at the night scene around the monument - surely they have ideas who has killed him.

    But - no investigation. Of cold-blooded murder.
    Tell me why.

    3. Thanks for lecturing that non-citizens of Baltic states can be deportered if suspected in causing havoc or anything, but the 20 deported happen to be citizens of Latvia.

    4. "The march of Legionnaires was forbidden by police".
    By Government - forbidden. Russia hoped - like, Wow! will be the first year in 20 years without SS in Latvia! Be it scares of one more mass protest, like the one that took place a month ago because of crisis, - or any other under-lying reason - anyway the result - "No protests, public gatherings in the capital forbidden."

    A cynical joke. SS leginonnaires & Co were carefully and respectfully escorted by police along their whole route, they sang National Anthem of Latvia very musically, did the whole programme planned for the day without much haste and nerves. While police guarded them from Latvian Anti-fascists (no Russians. nowhere. mind it.) - and everyone else unhappy to see SS on a march. Made them a corridor and stood along at intervals, ensuring nothing happens to the SS march.
    What a charmer. So all safe and wonderful in the Kingdom of Latvia.

    Since you approve of Latvian Government attitude - would you like to see a similar SS marche of Finnish veterans? Remind you, that the dis-respected by you "Docent" says Fascism is illegal in Finland. Therefore "in Finland fascist groups act under-hand, distributing books and leaflets privately."

    I understand for you 2ndWW times fascists of Finland, The three Baltics and Galitsya region of Ukraine - are simply freedom fighters. And have to be given honours for their daring attempt.

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  • 214. At 10:33pm on 20 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (213):

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docent

    "In Germany, those who have passed Habilitation, may apply for the title of Privatdozent in a university. In practice, this means research work equivalent to a second doctor's thesis."

    "In Finland and Sweden, docent (Finnish dosentti, Swedish docent), is a title conferred to a person fulfilling requirements similar to German Privatdozent. Such persons are usually expected to give lectures on their specialties if their professional activities permit this."

    In addition, in Finland a Docent isn't paid an monthly salary. Johann Backman actually is a total goner in his field. He is not a professor and never will become one. He has been rejected by many renowned Finnish academics and been criticized in many magazines. A good question is who is giving his pay-cheques?

    The Anti-fascist organizations along with the Neo-Nazis are both fascist in soul. They both have extreme views and use either direct violence or use threat of violence to advantage their aims. True democrat and a libertarian rejects both of these organizations as they both are cancer to the society.


    2. Nashi is an organization that admires power and strength, requires unity and conformity, uses violence or threat of violence to get into its aims, thus it full-fills every requirement for an classification of an fascist organization. In addition Nashi youths worship and idolize a state leader. Thus a comparison to Hitler jugend can be made easily.

    "I sure say whole Russia didn't object much that Estonian government comms were paralysed for a day."

    A large scale DDoS attack can be an first act of an actual attack. The attack not only jammed Internet communication but it also jammed many e-based private and public sector services. If the attack would have been more sophisticated, Estonia probably would have used NATO 5th article to call a common defence on against the attacker. An attack against information networks can and may be interpreted as an declaration of war. If the same would happen in Finland and if the attack would be sophisticated enough, the country could be put on an alert and the army mobilized. Attacking an information network is a very big deal.


    3. "Thanks for lecturing that non-citizens of Baltic states can be deportered if suspected in causing havoc or anything, but the 20 deported happen to be citizens of Latvia."

    Start giving sources and I can give you my opinion on the incident.


    4. "The march of Legionnaires was forbidden by police".

    In addition there are now calls in Latvia to also forbid the Victory day celebrations. A good move I would say.

    "While police guarded them from Latvian Anti-fascists (no Russians. nowhere. mind it.) - and everyone else unhappy to see SS on a march. Made them a corridor and stood along at intervals, ensuring nothing happens to the SS march.
    What a charmer. So all safe and wonderful in the Kingdom of Latvia."

    Like I said before, Anti-fascists are fascists in sheep's clothes. Anti-fascists, Fascists, Communist and Nazis are all filth of the Earth.

    "I understand for you 2ndWW times fascists of Finland, The three Baltics and Galitsya region of Ukraine - are simply freedom fighters. And have to be given honours for their daring attempt."

    More or less yes. Now if those freedom fighters committed war crimes then those crimes have to be acknowledged and judged. However keeping that in mind, the enemy still was the Soviet Union. Like I have said before, Soviet Union was constituted an evil comparable to the Third Reich and Nazis and its victory meant slavery and death.

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  • 215. At 10:33pm on 20 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Of Sofi Oksanen and Imbu Paju again, known nil, neither about their presentation of "collection of articles". May be good writers writing good things, no idea.
    The event on the 23rd I am talking about - is the conference to be held in Estonian Embassy building in Helsinki.

    5. When did I say that occuptation of Poland was "defensive maneuvre"? Moreover - Katyn.
    Hell knows why Stalin split Poland with Hitler fifty-fifty, but I never heard USSR explaining it by Stalin's need to make "a buffer state."
    More likely he simply gave way to Hitler, to gain time and stay on good relations. Even more likely - simply considered Poland Russian own land, mistakingly and foolishly given away off by Lenin 20 years earlier.

    Remember that unlike Lenin - Stalin owed nil, to either Finland, or Latvia, to say nothing of Poland. No promises, no personal accounts; they did their share - helped to put Lenin on the throne - and thank you very much. That was "20 years ago" and long forgotten.
    And Dzerzinsky was gone; no one to step in for Poland.

    I don't know what Germans did with their half of Polish, I think that nothing good. Either killed them without counting by masses or put into concentration camps.

    Stalin extracted nationalistic minded Polish who had no desire to become neither Russian nor USSR, all the military, political, or simply educated elite tops, who he saw as are able to make an opposition, exported them over, and had killed in Katyn.
    Apart from his obsession with killing - I see no justification of the crime, absolutely consider it a crime, and a tragedy for poor Poland.

    7. "Do Americans call their war in the Pacific a Great American War."

    Jukka_Rohila your obsession with finding a fault with USSR even where it doesn't exist - is of course quite examplarous. and surely is worth an
    "A" mark. Put by whoever you find your Teacher and Guru.

    A straightforward answer would be - Who are you to tell Russians how to name their wars? First you win a war like that - and then feel welcome to call it as you please.

    I see the role of the cluster of countries, who took Hitler's side, as those adhesive fishes, don't know the name in English. That clip to the big ships, big fish, clip to sharks, whatever big object in the ocean, and travel part of the distance in comfort, when their routes co-inside. That clippable sticky fish.

    Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland - clipped onto Germany in the 1st WW. Clipped in the 2nd. What's new? These clip to the one they see strong. And always make a mistake. Twice gambled against Russia. Twice lost.
    Who do you have as a role model now, USA you said?
    Very well.
    As they say "God likes trinity".

    I understand. That is, I don't understand, but nevermind.
    What disgusts me in this approach is the slippery manner to camouflage hatred of Russia. Never in the open. Always have to dress it up as "hatred of communism", "hatred of racism". Say simply - we harmed, harm, and will stand united to harm Russia.
    No problem.

    And, BTW, - speaking of war names. "Why do you call it Great Patriotic War and not 2ndWW like everybody else?"

    First of all - we are not everybody else in that war. We are the winners.
    Second - we do name the whole succession of events 1939-1945 in the world "The Sercond World War" - like everybody else. When countries announced wars to countries in complex manner, at different dates, and on different grounds. And the period of Russian history within it, 1941-1945 - Great. Patriotic. War.

    But you are deaf when it comes to Russia, so this is really shaking the air on my side.

    As a side note - purely curious - isn't it "Winter War" and "Continuation War", on the Finnish side? Doesn't it fall into the frame of events 1939-1945? For example, I know that in British historiography - your "Continuation" is clearly 2nd WW. Apparently because you fought Brits, and as you haven't previously - they didn't notice any "Continuation". But what is allowed to Finland is surely criminal when one speaks of USSR, so it is really silly of me to point this out.

    How did you say? Let me see, "ethnic" names, "Soviets named so to enhance us versus them attitude."
    A. This is not a bad attitude in war.
    B. Soviet or non -Soviet - has nothing to do with it. Except for your desire to call USSR - "criminal". Russian history is full of Russo-Turkish wars (about 100), Russo-Japanese wars, so it is clearly not a Soviet invention.

    It simply happens so when one country is against the other.
    Americans fought Japanese and Germans and who not. The other victorer - Britain - fought Japanese, Germans and who not.

    The 4th victorer is France, how they call it - is up to France, and that is all with the victorers, if you care to remember.

    There were 4 only.

    It so happened that USSR fought monotonously Germans for 4 years, so naturally people called it Germanskaya. In the scale of Russian-German war minor fishes like Finland and other freedom fighters clipped onto the big German machine really fade away.
    The appendix of USSR in war with Japan in summer 1945 took place after a 3 month interval, after the Victory Day announced, and was hushed down for a long time in USSR, because they didn't attack us.
    So technically there was no reason to fight Japanese and no way to explain it to the population. Except for a secret deal struck with United States, and Churchill, of which neither population nor Red Army (until loaded onto trains and sent to China) had any idea. They honestly thought they fight "Germanskaya-2" and it is over by May 9th.

    As this request for technical objectivity is really an obsession with you, I promise to never say "Winter" and "Continuation" again. 2nd WW. Right?

    No ? 8 ? 9 ? "Glamouring something that happened 60 years ago".
    The best recepie is to invite you over to St. Petersburg for the next V-day, and see you in the crowds along Nevsky calling it "something".

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  • 216. At 11:14pm on 20 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (215):

    5. That is the exact same event. Sofi Oksanen wrote the Finlandia prize winning Purification about the recent history of Estonia from the told stories of his relatives.

    The point being made was that the USSR was an aggressor, it was aggressive state in offence, it committed acts of conquest and it committed crimes against the humanity. It wasn't Stalin alone, it was the whole Soviet state structure that followed his and his cohorts commands. Again, Soviet Union at its soul an sister to the Third Reich, Communist and Fascism being the shared ideologies of death.


    7. "Do Americans call their war in the Pacific a Great American War."

    "A straightforward answer would be - Who are you to tell Russians how to name their wars? First you win a war like that - and then feel welcome to call it as you please."

    You didn't win a war, you won a ticket into continued slavery and misery that was the USSR.

    "Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland - clipped onto Germany in the 1st WW. Clipped in the 2nd. What's new? These clip to the one they see strong. And always make a mistake. Twice gambled against Russia. Twice lost."

    That is the west that these countries joined once again. What you don't seem to note is that all European Union countries are western countries, they share the western values, culture and history. When you don't share these values, culture or even the same view about history, then you can't be apart of it and when you start to loudly wonder why the 500 million Europeans don't call your war efforts as an liberation but as an conquest, you your self are driving you into isolation.


    "I understand. That is, I don't understand, but nevermind.
    What disgusts me in this approach is the slippery manner to camouflage hatred of Russia. Never in the open. Always have to dress it up as "hatred of communism", "hatred of racism". Say simply - we harmed, harm, and will stand united to harm Russia.
    No problem."

    No. You always connect yourself all criticism and negative things said about the USSR on being anti-Russian. Your problem is that you haven't made a conciliation with your pass. You are still defending USSR. What is there to defend about it, nothing. You can't join the west if you don't get rid of all the sins of the Soviet Union and renounce it and the ways of the Russian Empire. If you don't do that, you will continue forever in your path that is marked up by undemocratic rulers, lawlessness and human rights abuses.

    "It so happened that USSR fought monotonously Germans for 4 years, so naturally people called it Germanskaya. In the scale of Russian-German war minor fishes like Finland and other freedom fighters clipped onto the big German machine really fade away."

    The western allies fought against Nazism, not against the German people. That is a very big difference. When you start to call your war, a war against a certain people what you in the end get is ethnic warfare, the rape of Prussia and the rape of Eastern Europe were the fruits of this ethnic hatred.

    "No ? 8 ? 9 ? "Glamouring something that happened 60 years ago".
    The best recepie is to invite you over to St. Petersburg for the next V-day, and see you in the crowds along Nevsky calling it "something"."

    And again why? Why celebrate it? Are you going to celebrate from 10 years from now, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 200 years from now? That is called being stuck in the past. How can you look in the future when you sight is in the past? And how can you celebrate the victory over Nazis when it meant the beginning of slavery and servitude for half of the Europe and for the rest of the world living in fear of the USSR?

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  • 217. At 11:44pm on 20 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Continuation war, or, sorry, "the 2nd WW" we continue:

    "The USA never declared war on Finland", "even back then they realised USSR is as criminal creation as the Third Reich."

    I've said earlier USA is your role model and indeed one can see why - you were simply grateful to them they skipped announcing the war to you, unlike most others. Need to look up wiki the list of Anti-Hitler Coalition who declared war to Finland, certainly not USSR and Britain alone.

    Nevertheless, forgetting to declare I still seem to remember USA arrested your ships in their ports, arrested Ambassador, and grabatised absolutely all Finnish they came across to switch you off the war in the practical terms. Their political games is one thing, but the priorities in the matters of war they saw quite straight.

    I am sorry I never heard USA "called USSR" back then "as criminal as the Third Reich". But even if they would - can't care less. And certainly it would be of no importance to USSR back then.

    What's new, they call all the names they like to their opponents, Empire of Evil and what not, traditionally do quite well in catchy marketing slogans.

    The difference between us is - USA was not an authority to Russians in the 2nd WW, and I rather think - not yet once in the Russian history.
    Nobody here so far dropped in convulsions on the floor - whatever name the USA would invent. What mattered in war - they were our side. The rest is political lyrics.

    BTW, I think Poland would also gladly label USSR "as criminal as Third Reich". What people say is one thing. Another is what they do.
    Apparently in practice the Polish still spotted some minor difference. They strangely didn't join up the Third Reich in happy rows to fight "criminal USSR". Go figure. Huge mistake in your eyes no doubt, after you have finished with pestering me - go explain the Polish the Third Reich was treating them better. Criminal, criminal Polish batallions fighting in the Red Army. There simply wasn't a Jukka-Rohila to explain them the sure way for happiness.

    And - Americans! How could I forget! Why oh why they joined the wrong side. Surely that is the only black spot that tars the bright US image in your eyes. But you will excuse them, will you?

    "Do you understand you support the idea of gross human rights' violation?!!!" (by suggesting Finland should have lost its sovereignity by the results of the war).

    Of "gross human rights' violation" Finland should have thought earlier, when it prepared together with Hitler for the Operation Barbarossa.

    The desire "to climb up a fir-tree and not get scratched" really admires me. When you make war - face the consequances. Or - take care to win.

    That you've got a free pass courtesy of Russians - means only our whimsy and nothing else. You didn't get what was due. Finnish luck is you are tucked away behind the snowy corner of Russia and nobody bothered. If USSR doesn't pull up the Finnish question - others would just shrank their shoulders. Russian business.

    "There wasn't and isn't any division btw a communist party official and a nazi party official".

    I know it comes as a surprise for you, but the communist party officials' crime of Polish Katyn does not sum the 2nd WW. Sacry to say, but the whole Three Baltics re-taken, your Winter war business, and half of Poland re-taken, with Katyn - is a drop in the ocean of the 2nd WW.

    But as you don't have any sense of proportion, this is surely not the reason for you to see the difference. Europe rotates around Finland and the Baltics, to say nothing of the world.

    So keep enchanted with your role models of "pure winners", "democratic", "un-tarred by war crimes, un-like criminal USSR". Who won the war on white horses and in spotless gloves.

    Except I am forgetting, in your opinion that war should have been lost - that would have been better for all sides.
    And if sadly won by the USSR - these should have been tried for the un-human way in which they fought it.

    Leaving aside an interesting question - tried by whom?
    One option I see would be the white gloves of Dresden, Berlin, Chiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Or do you have in mind the only truly democratic warriors of 1945? The freedom-fighters of Poland, Ukrainian Polish border corner, Finland and the Baltics?

    Won't say of all, but can quote you the oath of allegence that Latvian freedom fighters swore to Hitler.
    Freedom fighters of Ukraine are also a particular bunch. As the head of the "National Army of Liberation of Ukraine" (still live and kicking. only leaders change, as generations pass) said in 1964:

    "I am proud that of 1,500 executors of the Baby Yar there were only 200 Germans, and 1,300 - Ukrainians".

    I understand Baby Yar is far less "popular" than Katyn these days, and certainly nobody campaigns to mark it as a special day in the EU calendar, but I am simply scared to look up in wiki the approx. count of thousands Jewish murdered in it.



    Don't remember Polish fighting criminal USSR usDonAnd what Polish did is they didn't join the Third Reich somehow, one wonders why. But were our side.

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  • 218. At 02:57am on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Just imagine that a week ago I liked Finland and thought Finland likes Russia. Right they say that an optimist is an under-informed pessimist. Anyway.

    Start to see some logic in your commentary.

    Anti-fascists of the 2ndWW - you equal to the fascists of the 2ndWW. "USSR and the Third Reich are the same".

    Then of course it's logical that you continue to the 21st century, equalling modern Anti-fascists to the modern Nazi.

    Both - "ready to apply force, enemy of true democrat and libertarian.

    "True democrat and libertarian" is, of course, you. At least, something definite.

    "Modern Anti-fascists" we have established we know for sure only one. That Finnish un-worthy un-professor of Un-criminology, and Sons.

    I would also add to the basket that Estonian boy stabbed by people who Estonian government is not eager to search for.

    And one more man, this time a St. Petersburger, our local Antifa member.

    Our local Antifa's agenda is full and clear; these have hands full with protecting the rights of dark-skin workers in St.Petersburg. Mostly, the very bottom - illegal immigrants who stayed over the 2 year time, milked by police for the absence of work permits, milked by the gangs who import them, and occasinally killed by our local fascists when they get too high.

    Timur Kacharava was returning with his friend to the subway station down town, having finished the feeding in our charity soup kitchen for the poor. There are several such soup points in the city, for the poor. Sponsored by a dozen of NGO-s combined, and manned by volunteers.
    So, having done with this regular violence enterprise, the two men were getting home. Just 100 metres left to the subway entrance. And here, at the windows of the "Bookworm" store, a head-shaven gang of 15 closed up on them, and stabbed with knives. As ran out of the back pass behind the RW station - in the same manner dispersed back behind the warehouses in 2 minutes.

    The whole book store ran out but couldn't do nil. Only call the ambulance. Timur died there, stabbed 15 times, and his friend lived, only 5 stabs.

    A true democrat and libertarian wouldn't care of course, fascists kill anti-fascists, or the other way around. But St. Petersburgers see the difference. It's 2.5 years, the place is very city centre, and fresh flowers line the wall daily.

    What we see is fascist bands who get to the court bench eventually - are all charged with "a muslim 8 year old girl murder", "African students murder", "3 Gypsy girls' murder", "Tajik gasterbeiter murder" - they seem to be quite selective liking to kill the least protected society members. Desirably - helpless people, and in dark corners.

    The Antifa has never been charged with neither murder nor beating of children, dark-skinned, homeless, poor, and never attacking them. No murders at all, and no attempts at murders.
    When these get to the public news - it's young group clashes with the Nazi, exclusively.

    True democrat would of course rely on the Government to hunt the Nazi, but until these good times come - I think Antifa in St. Petersburg is the only real help.

    And these win public approval. Their opponents have a problem with the image, you know. The latest court case is they called the door bell and shot through the door a St. Petersburg Uni professor. Old man, member of no "organisations".
    He simply made a mistake as giving expert opinion on the "racism" issue -applied or not, to the particular case. When a Nazi group was tried.

    So, you true libertarian approach clears up Waffen SS veterans, of Latvia, Estonia and Finland alike, on the basis of their "freedom fighter" status. As you write - "the true enemy was USSR".
    So, the goal justified the means.

    One allowance you make - "when nazi commit crimes, they should be dealt with on one by one basis".
    Being a Nazi by itself - by your logic is not a crime.
    It is not an ideology, defining the enemy as "2nd rate people."
    Just a uniform of sorts.

    What I see - the old Nazi, and the new ones - always single out the class of "2nd rate people". Before - slavs, gypsy and Jewish. These days - non-citizens, Tajiks and Africans. Times change but the notion of "2nd rate" stays.

    The 2ndWW freedom-fighting sub-division of Nazi, you reason, focused on Russians exclusively. On Russians not as slavs, but as oppressors. And carefully avoided killing all the rest.

    The bad news is the "freedom fighters" fulfilled orders of Nazi army. And killed absolutely all on the way, and some categories - like Russians and Jewish - with double pleasure. Proved by Baby Yar, by hundreds of 4-12 year old Russian children suppurated in Finnish concentration camps, really, very indiscrimiate, in your choice of "the enemy". That is the nature of fasicm.

    How hard it must be to be a fascist and pretend you aren't the one.
    We see the work in process, and never stop to admire.

    When next time in Tallinn, I recommend your attention the souvenir hit of this winter, in free sale. Bought as hot pies. It's a wall calendar (calendars of sorts are really hot in the EU these days), with every month - a large poster times 2ndWW. Estonian SS soldiers, and German soldiers, alternated. In typical fascist poses, leaning ahead onto you with a gun in hands, and various slogans in Estonian. Swastika-s are photo-shopped away from the uniforms, and the two like, crossed arrows, as well. So technically - nothing to complain about, all rights reserved. Hit of the season, real popular. Your true libertarian instincts approving of freedom fighters in Nazi uniforms would surely rejoice. Get yourself one.

    It is unclear to me only why would Estonian government allow the sale on the condition that swastika-s are hidden.

    As you say, "the whole democratic world has long established the fact that the real enemy was USSR" - so why to be so secretive? You are a freedom fighter, as good as gold - what for the sudden modesty?
    Come open, say - we are proud of our past and present.


    Is it that may be, "not the whole democratic world"? How sad. But you are working on it.

    How hard is to sit on 2 chairs. At home - fascist. For export - democratic.

    Here is a good sample. Riga city mayor spoke to the Latvian teachers, 2 days ago. Gave a warning, post the SS veterans' parade.

    "Forces hostile to our state try to distort the historical truth about the 16th of March and falsely connect Latvian legionnaires with the fascist Germany. It is important to explain history to the young generation in a way that they don't fall a victim of political manipulation."

    "falsely connect Latvian Legionnaires with the fascist Germany" - mind it.
    Riga city mayor does not want these to be "connected".
    Why isn't he proud? One day - the veterans are hailed in Riga by youngsters. Because lots of young generation Latvians took place in that parade. The next day - "nothing connecting our veterans to fascist Germany".

    This is a curious mix, type the one I observe in you in these posts. Heroes, "connected". No, "heroes", but un-connected. Nazi. No, Nazi is bad. As bad as anti-nazi. They are all bad, but old nazi are good. No, old nazi are bad, but freedom fighting nazi is not nazi.

    The Waffen SS veterans who marched in Riga 4 days ago, here is their oath, that they took together with the uniform. Simply, a uniform. With swastika, that you have to photo-shop away these days. For no apparnet reason.

    "Text of Oath of Latvian Legion":

    Swear by God in this solemn oath that in battles with Bolsheviks shall unquestiongly obey the orders of the Chief Commander of the German Military Force Adolf Hitler and, as a fearless soldier, if his will be so, is ready to give my life for this oath.

    Simple and elegant. Why so little advertising of the "connection"?
    "we have to explain the young generation there is none."
    Can it be that the "whole democratic world" is not ready to embrace the idea yet? Lacking in "true libertarian" spirit?




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  • 219. At 04:14am on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "how can you celebrate the victory over Nazi when it meant the beginnig of slavery for half of Europe and for the rest of the world living in fear of the USSR?"

    kindergarten. we "can" celebrate the victory over nazi because it ended war. that you can't see the difference between war and peace - is your problem.
    On the account of occupation of Eastern Europe Russians do feel guilty, but at far lesser degrees than you imagine. We couldn't do nil about our regime at power, and couldn't free them. We first needed to free ourselves. Given a choice - to stay under Hitler another 40 years, or stay under USSR - I think they got a better lot.

    about "the rest of the world" - give me a break. USSR, what was that policy called? "entrenchment"? something similar - was not invented by us.
    Neither the military rush.
    Look for actors in other corners.

    That USA lived in fear of USSR - their hands' making. We lived in fear of United States. This has nothing to do with the 2ndWW and victory. There were other forces in play.

    Normal people separate 2ndWW and the Cold, but you clamp all together. Making it - "Russians are guilty of the Cold War, because they won the 2nd."

    As you said you desire that Russians would lose the 2nd WW -"life would be better". I doubt, but then who I am to grasp the liberatarian mind play.

    BTW games to push the Victory day into shade, indeed observed in several EU countries - are simply modern anti-Russian trend. Have got nothing to do with the war itself. I don't think the importance of it diminished with years, for the countries who used to mark it.

    While we were behind the Curtain - cut away from comms - nobody had a problem with the Victory Day "achieved by the anti-Hitler Coalition consisting of USA and Britain. If you insist - also, a bit, by them over there." These days, when comms are slowly being restored, and additional news seep in - the Victory strangely becomes more russified. To the point, when it becomes kind of annoying. So the modern angle has become "big deal".
    I find this dis-gusting, as the people who fought it - Westerners (of ourselves we take care, don't worry) - lose in what is due to them. Absolutely all foreigners of the old generation, who even simply lived through the war, and I met 4 who fought it - and who happened to be in St. Petersburg on the V-day - said one thing: I wish we had the same.

    About "the whole world living in fear", softly to say, an exaggeration. Just yesterday finished a Have Your Say thread, under the title "Should Russia re-arm?". I read 2 days, 2O00 comments. One would think it's Medvedev wrote 2000 posts. Of 15 posts per Have Your Say page - overwhelming majority strangelt for Russia, re-arming, immediately!
    Rare whining voices "what are all here thinking about? just wait and see!"

    Most opinion fell into these categories:
    - Sure why not? They;'ve got the right to defend themselves, like everyone else.
    - And I wish they had more money, what's minor 150 bn in 3 years, pea-nuts, compared to US 500 bln a year.
    - One hope only to have a counter-balance to USA, please, Russia, re-arm ASAP.
    - Come on, russki's , re-arm! I miss the good old times of the Cold War!
    - World was much more safe during the Cold War, let's have it again.
    - They don't exactly have a record of attacking us? So let them.
    - Excellent way to get out of crisis, give orders to industry. They re-arm and we will and all will, a chain reaction. We'll get out of this hole together.
    - All are stupid who want to arm - let's all dis-arm instead.
    - Given NATO pushing them to the corner - justified.
    - If you had China for neighbours - wouldn't you?
    - They shouldn't spend money for arms - but instead on education, for example to learn English.
    - They should spend money instead to increase their life level, for poor Russian people.

    Overall, I saw rare posts of hostility, certainly none of scare. It happens that people on the ground have opinion different to the main-stream media. Without a political agenda - people are normal.
    Countries in the thread were quite the "world", places, that I won't be able to show on the map.

    Why were you scared of USSR? Because of the "Winter war" annexation?
    Bad. But for the objectivity - why don't you mention the fact that USSR did not attack Finland suddenly and in no way under-hand?

    Nobody knows it, the fact is wiped away nearly entirely, from the mainstream historiography. One year warning in advance of war - I'd call it quite a gracious period. :o)

    How about 17 meetings, Oct - April 1938-1939. When Stalin and Molotov pleaded Finland, threatened it, promised the world, negotiated like Kabul market trader, when agreements and contra-agreements were written and re-written, non-stop meetings held - all to obtain from you border move of 70 km away off from Leningrad? And the islands USSR pleaded from you, for the Navy bases of the Baltic fleet. Finland stood like a rock. Stalin offered any price in money - you refused. Stalin offered you land for land - that we pay by our mainland, for every island in the Gulf you will agree to part with - one for one. Finland refused. There was an offer of money - and land - both, - Finland refused.
    The last 2 months of negotiations you had a standing offer of "twice the amount of Russian land - for the Finnish land bordering Leningrad."
    At this point Finland nearly signed. 5000km 2 extra - not a bad deal.
    But thought about it - and still refused.

    I know that Molotov, when the Finnish delegation was leaving Moscow in spring 1939 said: "Diplomats on both sides did all that they could. Now the matter is with the Military of both countries."

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  • 220. At 1:05pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Gustav Karlovich Mannerheim is, of course, classic.

    One, from the shiny constellation of "foreign" names, sowing the Russian history. Its top political, military, and financial elite - made of natives of Russian colonies, cruelly subjugated and enslaved by ever-racist Russians.

    Times change, epochs and political regimes follow one another, but those up-start crow slaves - make and make it to the Russia's top positions. Criminal tsarist Russia, criminal USSR, criminal Putin regime - any time and in any field you glance - hop - another slave.

    Monuments to these slaves sow central squares, universities are named after them, memorable plaques (from.. to.. lived here) - I'd say, "plague" our buildings' walls.
    What an ugly combination - Field Marshal Bagration. How did a Georgian slave dare to head Russian army?
    Hertzen's University. ugh.
    How do all Hartmann-s make it?
    Thousands and thousands of colony slaves - it's not a one off break through. Something wrong strategically with the racist Russian system!

    Back to Gustav Karlovich (note what ruski-s do with names. a small estate baron's title - one of thousands such barons in Germany - the aristocratic title - becomes, ugh, scary to say - cosy! familiar.
    those lowly soft endings, denigrading the names to "one of our own") -

    so, Gustav Karlovich - his very life and list of honours - is a Lesson! to Finnish children. in what Russia does to the up-start crows, arriving and arriving to its land, in search of glory, fortune and professional career.

    A penniless orphan, with dreams of a career in the military, arrives to St. Petersburg from a total hole of the cruelly subjugated colony. 19 year old. No connections. No money to pay for the schooling in the Russian military academy.

    What a merciless treatment he receives in Russia. Full justifies the perennial struggle to break free, fought by the freedom fighters of the Baltics. In struggle with Russia - look at Mannerheim's life and -REMEMBER! - all means are justified. "We know, how they enslaved us." "Ask those who Russia enslaved, if you want to know the truth."

    The blood-sucking Russian approach - all the study in the military school covered by state expense, an apartment on graduation in the centre of St. Petersburg - plus a dacha summer estate in the suburbs (purchase cost and expenses run by the state budget) shiny horses and uniforms, allowance during the study paid by the state - what a stark contrast to the opportunities his native country, Finland, provided the young talent with.

    Finland spotted its future military talent at once. The man who would shape the fortune and the very borders of Finland, who would play first hand in obtaining sovereignity for the country - and - far more importantly - would manage to keep it for them.

    Such a rising star Finland recognised at once. Fired him from the military cadet school with what was called "a wolf's ticket - Un-fit for further study". One way ticket for graduates with the stamp "fired" - to the forest. To join the wolves howling there about their misfortunate fortune, at the Moon.
    It's in Russia the road for talents is closed. In Finland - we know how to value a human. "Appaling discipline" - what else can you say about the guy?

    And still the stubborn youngster wanted to learn something. Some maths, may be. Or - how to write. with state-run school options' shut - an orphan - pleaded for money his richer uncles. Fooled his way into a paid tuition private school in Finland. studied.

    Forgot to study Finnish, possibly because was a Swede and didn't find Finnish language a life necessity, given his plans for the future to connect his life with Russia - but in other aspects did quite allright. Managed to graduate, and pass the entrance exams to the Finnish uni.
    Which was all he needed, ta formal paper stating "entrance exams to the uni - passed". This crossed over his "wolf's ticket" and allowed to apply to the Military academy in Russia.

    Which he did immediately, and was accepted without a single obstacle.

    (Anything wrong with the data? Jukka_Rohila? by this point?)

    And the next 30 years I don't think Gustav Karlovich had reasons to complain about his life. His life decription between ages 20 and 50 - is a typical military Russian career, where the only details are the changing epaulettes, different style of the uniforms, "Order of St. Ann" - this year, "St. George named arms" - that year, names of Russian ballerina sweethearts, Polish countesses' sweethearts, adventurous love affairs, swirl of the life in the capital.
    And, of course, wars. And military intelligence (spying on China) famous expedition. 14,000 miles on horse back! 2000 photoes of all in China that interested Russian General Head Quarters. Maps and drafts. Empire wanted to know its growing neighbour.
    Strong bonds with other comrades in arms - regret to say, like everyone here, Gustav Karlovich used the word "tovarisch", shared memoirs of fighting the Russo-Japanese war (what a racist name). Military awards, losses and successes. Silver cigar holders from thankful junior ranks, engraved in appreciation of their commander. Some tokens of memory from the Great Princess Olga. Signed photoes, correspondence.

    Oh, forgot his Russian wife! Anastasia Nikolaevna Arapova. A rich Russian heir that Karl Gustovich charmed with his epaulettes, straight back, and inherited from a row of military Swedish ancestors ability to "hold in the saddle". In the saddle - he was a natural born. All Russian army positions - connected with cavalry. Royal stable rended up at his supervision, nobody could chose a horse better in the Russian army. Any free minute - to the hippodrome! Training. And - all card gambling losses - and Gustav Karlovich sadly became a total Russian - gambled big! - were later covered by horse-race stakes. Stakes put via third parties - Russian cavalry prohibited to attend horse-races to gamble. but, as we know, "discipline" stayed over there. in his longly forgotten motherland. Besides, if anyone know how to chose a horse - it was Mannerheim. Plain stupid not to use such a talent.

    The only slight career obstacle he had when the Head Quarters were pondering over whether to grant him command over Russian (criminally occupational of course) forces in Poland. "to that horse-muzzle?!! He'll shame the splendour of the occuptational army in Warsaw. What would the Polish think - that we don't have artillery or nothing new technical, granted the post to the old-fashioned cavalry man?!"
    Russian friends had to press some buttons in the HQ, proving Gustav Karlovich is a charmer, and Russian officer corpus reputation in Warsaw female circles is under no threat.
    So Mannerheim re-located to Poland, and indeed had a success. Such a success that his poor wife, tired of great countesses, ballerinas, and now the Polish countesses as well, collected her things and disembarked. First - to the front-line! As a medical nurse in the Russo-Japanese war. This radical measures brought Gustav back to his senses, but not for a long time. So the next thing - she packed, took daughter, and left to Paris forever. Technically - they weren't divorced. But practically - at a safe distance from each other.

    Wife's departure left an abyssal size hole in Mannerheim's finances, as she criminally took her money with. which he had to fix by horse-race gambles again.
    And such went his life, until the first world war, that Gustav fought, and, I strongly suspect - also called "Germanskaya".

    He was General-Leutenant, of which there were only a few, commanding Division, consisting of 12 Regiments, and not a spot tarred his 1stWW biography. True to his oath of allegiance to the Nicolas the II.
    Three years of intense fights, as well as family collapse disaster (his other daughter went to the monastery at the age of 18, simply seeing how her mother cries), and the other child taken away from him to Paris - he kind of hardened up. As a man, and as a commander.

    He commanded, among others, by the "Wild Division" (6 regiments from Caucasus)(and found them quite to his commander's liking, in spite of the reoutation resulting in the "Wild" nick-name in the army. "effective" - he wrote), and by Polish regiments.

    When Polish officer ranks carried a heavy loss in one of the fights, angered Polish Countess Lubomirskaya, who protegeed to him previously, wrote a flaming letter of accusations to the Russian HQ, demanding to take Mannerheim off the high command, "as he doesn't value the life of Polish officers and soldiers, putting them under the direct enemy fire".

    There were investigations and resound of this accusation, and Mannnerheim career shattered a bit, but the Russian friends stood up for him again. By the results of the Polish battles Mannerheim, instead, got "St. George Cross of the 4th degree". One of the highest Russian awards for braveness in the battle field.

    His subordinates wrote this, at the party to commemorate the award:

    "Cross Georgievsky, white
    Decorates now your breast
    You, the cruel, and the brave one
    Now have something to remember the enemy."

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  • 221. At 1:07pm on 21 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Webalicewonderland and Comment 219.

    Some refreshing new perspectives on Finno-Russian relations. Many interesting evaluations of how those events occurred.

    For sure you are correct in insisting on and condemning the close allegiance of several Baltic States' armed units being in the forefront of the cruelties and victimisation of Greater Russia from the start of Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

    The Finno-Russia 'Continuation War' was fought as hard as any other but it was almost entirely based on the lands lost at the end of the 'Winter War'. In the early months of 1941 the Nazi Wehrmacht's spectacular successes along the whole mainland east European frontline did allow the Finns to make military headway in their campaign, but, only in the regions the Finns were principally interested in restoring to Finnish sovereignty.

    All the same, at the end of everything the term 'Sovereign Nation' does mean exactly that. The pre-WW2 negotiations with Finland took place with the Soviet side failing to consider 'sovereignty' to be a matter of international law.

    Stalin as Commissar of Nationalites had granted/accepted/agreed to the creation of an independent, sovereign Finland. As such the borders of the Finnish nation were not up for negotiation.

    That the Finnish Government even conceded that it would at least hear what Chairman Stalin had to say on the 'borders' issue was going a step beyond the normal acts of diplomacy.

    Stalin had determined that the Soviet Union would protect itself by annexing lands, by force of arms if needed, along the established border with the Baltic States. Stalin would have those territories whether the Baltic peoples agreed or not; thus the 'negotiation' stage was a sham. For the Soviet's Uncle Joe had no intention of accepting anything that was not exactly as he had determined it should be from the start of their foreign-diplomatic advance and the follow-up military extension of the USSR's border further to the west.

    Quoting Molotov on any issue as backing for a particular viewpoint is not helpful. The man was, like all of the Kremlin-Politbureau inner circle in 1939, a lackey of Stalin and as such had no personal input or right to initiate policy. Every negotiating point and ploy made by the Soviet Union was at the behest of Josef Stalin. Stalin wanted the Baltic territories and that in truth is all there was to it (save the misery of millions that such a 'want' brought about).

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  • 222. At 1:52pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And then his life was broken. Together with the whole Russia. The great fracture passed through the country. 1917.

    Oh, Gustav Karlovich tried! He accused Provisional Government in inactiveness, warned that it is no good - that the army is dispersed at the fronts of the 1st WW, and nobody is in the capital. That the situation post two tsar-s abdicating one after another is very threatening. He didn't know yet of Lenin's autumn coup to come, but in plain military means felt that "Provisional Government - without an army" is a criminal negligence.

    And after the autumn "revolution" - had to run. back to Finland.
    He didn't try his luck to stay in Petrograd. "a baron".
    From Finland he called to arms, tried to collect an army, kick back his Petrograd. Stayed loyal to the tsar he pledged to. even that that tsar - abdicated. Mannerheim wrote that "the loss of St. Petersburg - will be a long lasting tragedy not only to Russia, but to the humanity."
    But all was in vain.

    And at the age of 50 - deprived of all he achieved in life by that time. Mannerheim started a new life. This time as a Finn.

    14 wounds. No money. No house. Speaks broken Finnish.
    But on return home he found he is the heaviest fish in the pond.
    Exclusively his political weight ensured success of negotiations with France and Britain - to have them accept Finland's sovereignity. They simply wouldn't speak with anyone else from Finland.
    Mannerheim fought for Finland not only briefly military, fending off the Red Army away from his new nest, but extensively diplomatically. And - succeed. And immediately after - resigned. Of German origin himself (Mannerheims moved to Sweden from Germany) - he was disgusted by the pro-German submerciveness of the Finnish political elite.
    He got Finland independence - and resigned.

    1920-1930s spent doing what only not. Commerical enterprises, travel to India, lived in Europe. Until Finland needed him again. To the commander of Finnish defence. He tried to avoid, referring to his bad health and old age. But gave way. And in 1931 - long before anyone even thought of it - began building in the South of Finland his "Mannerheim lines".

    Finland could always rely on Mannerheim in "Russian questions". An expert.
    They all were, the whole family. His Great grand made his career by negotiating peace treaty with Russia, in the Russian-Swedish war. One of the clauses in the treaty, that another Mannerheim achieved, negotiating with Emperor Alexander the II - was that Finland within Russia will have a status of "The Great Duchy". A certain autonomy.

    Ironically, when the end for Finland became imminent, in summer 1944, a yet again - a Mannerheim! was called in to save Finland. Gustav was urgently appointed a President of Finland. In charge of negotiations with Russia, on conditions of Finland's exit out of the war. And again, a Mannerheim succeeded. Signed the armistice by September 19th.
    Resigned from the post in March 1946.

    Lived in Italy, Switzerland, France. Bad health, Finnish doctors tried to help him. Died in 1951, buried in Finland.
    Two years later his daughter, Sofia, died in Paris from horrible poverty. With no money to afford a cross on her grave.

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  • 223. At 4:39pm on 21 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (219):

    In regards of USSR 'negotiating' with Finland before the winter war...

    You forget that USSR had these same negotiations with all three Baltic states. The Baltic states gave up to the demands of the USSR and allowed it to create and keep military bases and military personnel in their countries. When the USSR had placed its forces inside these countries, they made their move, made an false flag operation, accused Baltic states on braking their commitments and then invaded, occupied and annexed these countries into USSR by putting an soldier with bayonet to and each of the parliament members to force them to sign to join the USSR.

    In Finland there was then and there is still absolute certainty that giving up to any of the demands of the USSR would have only added new demands and in the end put the whole country in a position where either war would be imminent or independence would have been de-facto lost. Giving up to the Soviet demands, on giving 25km area from the border and giving up an naval base would have rendered Mannerheim line useless and it would have exposed Finland into war with multiple fronts.

    Tell me again what other option there was than war?

    ---

    To WebAliceinwonderland (220):

    Have you ever wondered why Finnish lived peacefully under the Russian empire for almost an century and then only at the very end of it started in increasing manner reject and object the Russian empire? I will tell you, in the beginning of 19th century the Russian empire still was in forefronts of many things, however when Pan-Slavism rouse in popularity and started to express itself as Russification of areas and peoples of the Russian empire, problems and hostilities ensued.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Slavism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification

    You asked why were we scared of the USSR, simply cause it followed the lines of Pan-Slavism and it Russified actively different parts of it.

    To quote Wikipedia article concerning Russification...

    "At the 27th CPSU Party Congress in 1986, presided over by Mikhail Gorbachev, the 4th Party Program reiterated the formulas of the previous program:

    Characteristic of the national relations in our country are both the continued flourishing of the nations and nationalities and the fact that they are steadily and voluntarily drawing closer together on the basis of equality and fraternal cooperation. Neither artificial prodding nor holding back of the objective trends of development is admissible here. In the long term historical perspective this development will lead to complete unity of the nations....

    The equal right of all citizens of the USSR to use their native languages and the free development of these languages will be ensured in the future as well. At the same time learning the Russian language, which has been voluntarily accepted by the Soviet people as a medium of communication between different nationalities, besides the language of one's nationality, broadens one's access to the achievements of science and technology and of Soviet and world culture."

    What did I have said about the silent colonization of the Baltic countries and Ukraine? The statement of the Gorbachev tells it all, the end result is assimilation and transformation of all other nations and cultures into one Russian nation.

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  • 224. At 6:10pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    ikamaskeip,

    I wrote earlier in this thread my view that Stalin "unlike Lenin - felt he owes neither Finland nor the Baltics nil".

    Therefore I agree with your view that the concept of Finnish sovereignity was not high on Stalin's agenda when negotiating for the extra buffer land btw Leningrad and the border, and for Navy bases on the tiny islands peppered here and there in the Gulf of Finland.

    Having said that. You semmingly, have concerns :o) about the very legitimacy of talks about land btw USSR and Finland, as think it's un-fair, what "talks" btw the big one and the small one, esp. when the big one uses threats.

    As Jukka_Rohila has mentioned earler - USSR pre war and post war were two different USSR-s. The first one - very weak, and un-armed.

    Alas, true. Devastated by the civil war, full stop of all functioning of any enterprises, no ecomomy, 12 currencies in ops, hyper inflation, 2 great hungers (1920 and 1930), poor and, basically, a blown to pieces place.

    So who was "big" who was "small" funny in those negotiations was un-clear. Well, we knew we are big. But Finland still couldn't part with the idea that this cannot be because it cannot be ever.

    Their reasons were a./ Mannerheim opinion that it'll be a madness for USSR to attack (he knew the state of the Russian "army" / recruited peasants who didn't know how the gun looks like. in shabby holes of cloth and cloth rolled over on feet.) Regular army, if you remember, stayed loyal to the tsar and either immigrated or was killed in the course of the civil war.
    b./ The 1st Soviet-Finnish war 1917-1922.

    Yeas! Surprise surprise! "Winter one", and "Continuation one" - that's not the whole list! There were three.

    And in the 1st one Finns were beating us dear to see, grabatised whole Eastern Karelia, closed on Petrograd, fancied Kola peninsul.
    And Murmansk was simply a Finnish idee fix.

    We hardly got rid of them pushing them back to quarters (unclear which quarters, mind it) in 1922. Such a background of a successful in-raid was giving Finland certain hopes and certain airs, re "USSR army" - during our 1938-1939 talks.

    The thing is that the fact that we parted with Finland in 1917 - means in now way that in 1917 either side knew where are its borders. USSR has had certainly become independent from Finland in 1917! Only Finland couldn't care less. The White Finns, you know. Can't blame them all, but the "White Finns" category - stubbornly wished to take as much land from USSR as possible - to relieve us of the vicious communist power. And of land. One doesn't exclude the other, you know.

    So where was our darned borderline - btw 1917 and 1922 - only army maneuvres knew. Today - here. Tomorrow - there.

    The way it ended eventually by 1922 I dare say was not the result of any "border delimitation" or "negotiations" or "consideration" but as it happended when we got tired of each other and stopped - thus it happened.

    So initially, before the talks of 1938-1939 - there was something to discuss. Keep in mind that on top of this, overall - the whole place is a patch-work of Finnish and Russian and whatever tribes since times immemorial. The land Stalin offered Finns as a swap - was not "alien Russian" to them. I think I won't be mistaken to say that the options Finns viewed were "Finnish historical land immediately bordering crazy Leningrad" versus "Finnish historical land afar from the Leningrad". Twice in size.
    "Twice in size" nearly played the decisive role in the talks as called in Finns sweet old memoirs of the restoring the size of the medieval Finland. Plus the peoples inhabiting the lands we offered were Finnish own folk, even if they parted with them some 300-400 years previously.

    Still, the prudent Finns eradicated these sweet dreams off their agenda, and instead of lands asked in the negotiations for USSR OK to militarise some mysterious to me Aland islands (somehow they couldn't without USSR OK), and insisted on the trade agreement btw USSR and Finland.
    May be wanted to sell something to us to eat.

    Stalin, to the opposite, objected to the Aland military status (don't ask me why), absolutely refused to buy from Finland something to eat,
    and stood on the "70 km buffer stripe btw Leningrad and Finnish border", plus asked for some lousy uninhabited granite rocks in the Gulf of Finland for USSR Navy bases.

    As there wasn't much in common :o) btw the positions of the sides, the talks lasted April 1938 - 13 Nov 1939 - on which day the last Finnish delegation left Kremlin.

    As to the talks passing in the un-healthy un-fair climate of USSR threats - these were hinted at but not voiced openly at the table once until 28 October 1939. On that day "The Truth" :o) published a Molotov's article about the progress of the talks, where it was for the first time stated openly - if they won't agree to sell - we will take it by force.

    The reamrkable thing is that even then Finland didn't believe it's a threat. Sounds mad now, but Finns didn't believe we will attack all the way through, and held very unequivocal position - "our way or no way".
    The thing is, in 1938 nobody could imagine the 2ndWW. Neither even a year later - in spring 1939. Before Austrian Anschlus, Sudetian, Chech and Albania - the war seemed real but somehow unreal. All still thought that, "somehow", "anyhow".

    Must say the position of Britain, France and USA in USSR-Finnish pre-Winter War talks wasn't very constructive. Approximately as you say now - "why to discuss with them at all? send them to hell, Finland. Just imagine, they are interested in your sovereignity. How they dare to offer to swap or buy your land. " Hold on, be strong" - and other useful advice that the West is never short of, when speaking with the Russia's neighbours.

    In fact one wonders what has changed btw 1939 and 2009. Finland's position, as I view it now, was very similar to Ukraine-2009 gas war and Georgia-2008 August war. "Be democractic!" "Don't surrender!" "We will help you!" and other useful foreign shouts.

    While USA and France encouraged Finland from abstract democratic point of view, Britain had an own agenda - to Finns said they'll never let anyone to touch them, and to Stalin said that won't interfere if he will. The thing is that Britian thought it highly desirable that we both get as much disagreeable as possible and clash ASAP that would as sure as day-light attract Hitler and divert his un-healthy attention to Western Europe to these snowy distant corners. It was taken for granted that Germany will help Finland if USSR attacks.
    At which point USSR stroke a deal with Germany which mixed up all the cards and made the lay-out even messier than before.

    In such atmosphere of complex political games passed USSR-Finnish talks - and even then we nearly agreed - but this time we were stupid ourselves, stood stiff on some mysterious to me Hanka/Hanko? island, that we want it. The other 6 islands Finland agreed for - but this Hanko/Hanka - no way.

    Even what side it is per today I don't know, to say nothing about what is so precious in it as a Navy base. Jukka_Rohila might know.

    If I had a time machine I would fly back and erase that stupid place from the list, whenever it is.
    Anyway history knows no if-s, Finnish delegation left Moscow 1939 Nov 14, and November 30 war began. the 2nd Finskaya war.

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  • 225. At 6:10pm on 21 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland:

    You simply don't seem to get it, so lets start from the basics and continue from there.

    The preferred end of the WW2 would have seen the collapse of the both Nazi Germany and the USSR. Doesn't matter in which order should they have gone. Should the Nazis have finished first Stalin and his minions only to be bombed out of existence by the US atom bombs or should the Soviets finish Nazis first and then put them out their misery by US atom bombs. The order doesn't matter. The preferred end for the WW2 would have seen the collapse of both Nazi Germany and USSR, the sovereignty of countries and self-determination of peoples returned, Soviet and Nazi war criminals trialled in court of law, liberal democracy and human rights instituted in both Nazi Germany and in the USSR. That is the preferred outcome of the war.

    Now there was a war, war between the Nazis and the Allied. Now on which side should the people have been fighting in? Well that depends on who is the biggest enemy. In Finnish case, the USSR constituted a threat against the soverignity and the very existence of all Finnish people. Loosing a war against the USSR could have meant annihilation of the whole nation or giving out our independence willingly would have meant slow and agonizing death under the boot of the Soviet repression machine, a destiny of the Baltic states, slowly been colonized out of existence. In the case of Polish, their imminent threat came from the Nazi Germany and the secondary threat from the Soviet Union, in their case it was natural to fight first against the Nazis. In case of Baltic states, some fought in Soviet ranks against Nazis, some saw the Soviets as a bigger threat than the Nazi Germany and either fought under Nazi leadership or fought in forces of Finland. In our case, we were lucky to make the right choices, to retain our liberal democracy throe out the war, to retain our respect for democracy, human rights and in all around decency amongst our citizens.

    Now the war ended on how it ended. The allied defeated Nazis. The USSR set up their empire of oppression into Eastern Europe. Lets continue from that. Why didn't USSR just back down from the Eastern Europe and let it be free? Why didn't the USSR let the Baltic countries retain their independence? Stalin isn't the reason, Stalin died and the Soviet oppression continued. Lets see... in 1953 Berlin uprising, in 1956 Hungarian revolution and in 1968 Prague Spring all crushed by the Soviets and their henchmen. Or lets take the re-independence of the Baltic countries, where Soviet forces who killed protesters and the only reason that no more violence wasn't used was because of the eyes of the world were watching and condemning Soviet actions.

    No. The Soviet Union was a totalitarian state even after the death of Stalin because it and the continued suppression of all its people suited the very people working for this colossal prison as it allowed the expansion of Pan-Slavism, it allowed the Russification policies to continue and be expanded. In Soviet Union the expansion of Russian language was hand carved by setting up policies that brought Russian settles in new areas and countries, the Soviet Union via its military domination put the Warsow Pact nations by force to bow down to Moscow in all areas of life from politics and economy to culture. The USSR was the very end product of the whole Pan-Slavic movement, and that movement was created and fueled by the chauvinistic characters of the culture and valuations of the Russian people.

    With the end of Nazi Germany the world was introduced the term collective guilt. In previous discussion I have noted that many elements in the German culture fuelled and created Nazis, these same elements were in play in the writing of Marx who envisioned the holocaust of lesser beings to advance the proletarian revolution, these elements are create basis for collective guilt. The same mechanism must be used with the USSR and with Russians. My thesis is that elements in the Russian culture, Pan-Slavism and general Chauvinism, created the USSR and shaped it to become a totalitarian and a imperialistic state. Thus Russians in general should share a collective guilt about the USSR and all the crimes that the state committed during its lifetime. Those same elements are still in the play in the undertones of the Russian culture. That must be changed.

    Now lets jump to the question of Victory day. You celebrate it because of the victory over the Nazi Germany. Good. You however play down the crimes committed by the Red Army during the war, you press down almost 50 years suppression and oppression of the nations and countries of USSR and the Eastern Europe. Bad! Very bad!

    Now let me tell you what you can and should celebrate. Victory over the Nazis in essence saved the very existence of the Russian people, Russian culture and Russian language. You can and should celebrate the survival of Russia and Russians. If you would do that, there would be no protest and no question asked by other countries. However when you go on an celebrate Victory day, refuse to acknowledge the suffering caused by the USSR and insist that the Soviet Victory was a liberation and not a conquest as it in reality was, then you will always get disapproval for your celebrations. In addition it should be mentioned that all Victory day celebrations are dying in all countries, the celebrations of 2005, 60 years from the war, were already at then reckoned to be the last ones as the last veterans of the war are dying out. My sincere advice to you, think again on what you really should be celebrating about... Maybe "Day of celebration for the survival of the Russia"?

    That said lets jump into another subject... Anti-Fascist versus Fascists... The thing that you are not recognizing is that when you allow any group in the society to take the law into its own hands, the only looser in that is the organized civil society, the law and the order. If you have in your society problems with Neo-Nazis or other groups using violence, then you have to shut these groups down, but you have to do that by the law, not by the right of own hand. You are really playing with the fire in hear, because of the circle of violence, of the circle of right of the own hand is ever increasing and in the end in the worst possible scenario it will lead into one group of people purging another group of people. Once again, the Nazis rouse to power via their SS and SA militias. The Finnish civil war was created because two groups, the white and red gourds armed themselves and then attack into each others throats. If you support the right of own hand for the Anti-Fascists then you are part of the problem that throw a country into a civil war.

    Lets also expand this topic. Ask yourself from where does both the Anti-Fascist and Fascists come from? Why is there a culture of hate? For example where does the National Bolsheviks come from? I tell you! They are the product of the culture of the people and the society. The people and the society create both Anti-Fascists and Fascist. If you want to take control of these groups, to diminish them, then you have to reform the culture and the society itself.

    I already mentioned Pan-Slavism and Russian chauvinism, I note that their product the USSR is still remembered with fondness partly due to unrecognised and unacknowledged history, which are left at their devices because the whole Russian society have made them a tabu, they have even made the conquest made by the USSR an official day of celebration, a victory day. That is just a one thing supporting the Russian supremacist. The other thing is that the state supports Russian supremacists, they support the Nashi youth, when the state and its officials doesn't do anything when Nashi youth storm foreign diplomats and politicians, when they they make an attack against an foreign country, an attack that can be interpreted as an act of war, the message that the National Bolsheviks and other such groups get is that the state and society tactilely approve use of right of own hand. If you want to remove the Fascists out of your society then you have to purge groups and peoples from all layers of the society, to put the law and order before anything else.

    Now I probably shouldn't have to say it out and loud, but lets say it anyway. A truly democratic and liberty loving person puts the civil society, the law and order before anything else and truest the state and its institutions to work and refuses to take the law in own hands. I should also add that in democratic and free society, people can be and think what ever they want, they can believe in Democracy, in Socialism, in Liberalism, in Communism, in Fascism and in Nazism, that is their right and freedom, but those rights and freedoms end when they cross the rights and freedoms of other people.

    Fix your society, fix your culture.

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  • 226. At 7:42pm on 21 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To WebAliceinwonderland (224):

    On issue of Hanko...

    The reason why Soviets wanted Hanko is because by having an naval and artillery base there, one can control and restrict the seafaring to the Finnish Gulf. Additionally with the same heavy artillery you can also turn against Helsinki and shoot it. It is also a very handy place to put army troops and air force and use them indirectly by threatening to march into Helsinki. At the beginning of continuation war there were small put heavy fights near the base and the base was abandoned when it fell behind the then frontier.

    Hanko definitely was an unacceptable condition for the Finnish govermeant as it threatened the inner security and the Finnish ability to sea-fare from Helsinki and Vyburg, the two biggest cities and industrial centres of Finland.


    On issue of Karelia and the peace in Tarto...

    After the 1918 civil war, Finnish volunteers formed so called tribal warrior ( heimosoturi ) units to fights against the Reds not only in Estonia, but also to liberate and join the Russian parts of Karelia to Finland that had Finnish majority. The conflict ended in 1920. The reason this conflict is not in the list of the wars of Finnish state is because the Finnish state wasn't participant in it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tartu_(Russian-Finnish)


    On the issue of the buffer zone and land swap...

    Buffer zone was more or less unacceptable as it would have made the Mannerheim line useless against an invasion. In the winter war, the Soviet troops advanced to the Mannerheim line in very quick time, but were hold at that point for two months. Giving up the Mannerheim line would have been the same as giving up the Sudeten regions of the Czech Republic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mannerheim_line


    The problem with the land swap would have been more to do with civilian matter of the Finnish state. The state has obligation to treat all of its citizens fairly and equally. After the end of the WW2, the Finnish state bought all the lands, all the real estates and industries left to Karelia from their owners. The compensation wasn't up with the real value of the property, but was still an considerable amount. So if the Finnish state would swap land with the USSR, then it would have to compensate the swapped land to its owners, a very expensive operation to do under peace. Another problem is that while there would be double the amount of land gotten in the swap, it would owned by the local natives and thus couldn't be used in compensation. Of course there was the whole another problem that Vyburg was the second city of Finland and any buffer zone would hurt it economically and put in a bigger risk.


    On the issue of Aland Islands...

    In the war Aland Islands were actually militarized and heavy fortifications put up there that were after the war destroyed by the insistence of Aland Islanders. The demilitarized status of Aland Islands were set up in the treaty concerning their possession: the Swedish and Finnish were arguing on to which state it belongs, the League of Nation gave it to Finland. The reason why its fortification was important because it is a gateway to the Gulf of Bothnia, but it is also handy way to control Finnish Gulf. The only reason that I can think on why Finnish set it as an condition was to a) either make it easier to sell it to League of Nations, or b) just make an condition that Soviets can never accept.


    On the issue of trade...

    This is new to me, nevertheless there are valid reasons on why trading would have been important. Vyburg and the whole eastern Finland was economically cut out of the markets of the St. Petersburgh. Either way, selling something to USSR would have given us either money or something other.


    An actual issue with the Finnish insistence...

    The annexation of the Czech Republic into Nazi Germany caused uproar against the Nazis even in the most hardcore circles of Finnish right. It was then seen that giving up to a great power would only lead into having more and more demands been presented. The Molotov-Ribbentrob treaty already had been a red cloth to both the Finnish right and left, which more or less turned eyes away from both of these powers.

    And yes, the Finnish at that time really didn't believe that there would be war. Of course in the last minutes the state did make an mobilization of the army in 10th of October and the war itself began in 30th of November by the Soviet attack.

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  • 227. At 7:48pm on 21 Mar 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Webalicewonderland.

    Your account of the 3 Finno-Russian wars would not have a dry eye in the house if it had any reality within it!

    Poor, little, feeble Russia in 1939! Poor, little, feeble Russian peasants who do not know about guns! Poor, little, feeble Russia offering "twice" the territory to Finland!

    As you are so fond of reminding people of things let me remind you: Communist Russia defeated Poland in 1922; Communist Russia starved its people to ensure food, clothing and Stalin's "Guns before butter" for the Red Army; Communist Russia had 3,000,000 full time soldiers and airmen at the start of 1939 and another 4,000,000 reservists; Communist Russia dropped "Molotov's bread baskets" on Helsinki and every other Finnish town and city in November 1939 and no, there was no "one year" warning of war, only Communist Russia attacking and invading a sovereign Finland with its with 90,000 frontline soldiers, 60 aircraft and 100 or so tanks!

    Nazi Germany was the worst of the worst and I do not agree with Jukka_Rohilla that Communist Russia was entiely the same sort of thing: However, for Finland to think that way about Communist Russia is no surprise at all!

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  • 228. At 10:19pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    ikamaskeip, you don't happen to be an American, that you got energised after I pointed out to the US, French and British part-taking in the talks?

    If Finland viewed the threat from USSR as real - what appears from what Jukka_Rohila keeps on - then 1.5 years of discussions is warning enough.

    Because the first offer to start the talks - was from Kremlin. We initiated it, and kept very persistent schedule, Finland was quite unwilling to both enter and to keep on. However in a while seemingly got used to it, or may be relaxed, and began looking into details.
    The talks have started as a secret but in half a year it became a Polishinel secret, with so many foreign diplomats involved, as Finland asked for help and advice abroad. Who, in turn, contacted us, and Stalin correspondenced in reply. After which there was really not much to hide, as the changes to the list became circulated around. Even Russians on the ground were informed, to say nothing of everyone else interested.

    The other option is Finland viewed us as weaklings or evens, and simply got into the process to achieve something positive for them. It's not every day that another country offers to exchange lands. One must be blind not to see Stalin wants his points badly and as he offers to pay, by money or land - he is kind of hooked to his list which can be used in Finland's interest.
    I don't know whether swaps of land take place in other countries, USSR certainly did when adjusting borders here and there. With China twice and forgot with who else. Oh recently we swapped with China again, several months ago it was? this time China and Russia. Took our people out, in spite of the protest, don't know what was previously on the ex-Chinese land that is now ours. May be their folk protested as well. Ukraine had an island split with Moldova weeks ago, but did it rather silly, they got less in the result.

    Nobody can stop you thinking that Red Army was great and powerful in 1939, except may be Hitler would have disagreed. The image of the great and powerful USSR ever ready to strike so dear to your heart, whatever the reality was.
    What's a civil war to Russia? Pea-nuts, certainly of no effect.
    Civil war in America - wow, that was ruinous to the areas where it was. But of which you safely know little - you can imagine all you please. The main thing is to keep to the practice.

    Likewise, Stalin repressions are abstract. That full army officer corpus ends up shot for suspected treason or planning a coup against Stalin, in prizon - what can that do with the Red Army ability to fight? Nothing whatsoever. In 2 years time there were enough military academy graduates to command the battle for Moscow - Stalin would agree with you, that was quite enough to safe-keep him.
    To protect Leningrad from approaching German army in summer 1941 was sent Marshal Budenny - Commander of the Leningrad Front. With his cavalry.

    Don't knoww the number of troops we had in 1941 but one thing for certain - they were all draft. Commanded by graduates of freshly created Soviet Military Academies, let me see, with a long record of teaching, they'd begin to create new institutions post the Civil war. Makes about 16 yrs. The old art of war was considered un-suiting the new reality, what can the old teachers train - only how to serve a tsar.
    Of these new career professionals Stalin shot every 6th graduate btw 1932 and 1941, so, great morals, atmosphere of mutual trust, and invaluable military experience behind each Soviet epaulette holder.

    I think Red Army self-made-men itself in 1941-1945, from a very low base.
    But, again, image - is all, reality - for those historians obsessed with un-needy knowledge, so.

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  • 229. At 11:10pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:


    Finland was offered to sell, trade for land or lease to USSR part of Finnish territory (islands and semi-islands) for construction of Soviet Navy bases, offering the payment in the shape of money and/or by larger land in Karelia. Finns believed that stepping back in the land issue and concluding the rent deals of military character will eventually lead their country to the loss of independence. Finnish side pointed at their status of neutrality in refusals to strike deals of military character but searched to achieve a USSR agreement to conclude a Finnish-Soviet trade agreement and achieve USSR agreement for militarisation status of the Aland island, demilitarised status of which was regulated by The Aland Convention of 1921 approved by the League of Nations. The talks lasted over than a year but while suggestions of the parties changed in details the main part stayed un-altered: USSR insisted on the Navy bases thus tying the agreements in the political and economic fileld with the military isuue while Finland suggested to reach a trade agreement and asked for political support in its Aland islands issue, not willing to take onto itself any obligations connected with the Soviet Navy, that is, military sphere.
    23rd August was signed an Agreement of Non-Attacking between Germany and USSR. By the secret additional sub-agreement Finland was referred to the area of interests of the USSR. Thus Nazi Germany factually predated its ally and USSR to a certain degree received un-tied hands, having received obligations of Germany's non-interferance in case of war.

    Last round of talks in Moscow was taking place in October-November 1939. Finland took maximum un-yielding position, as on own initiative, as on insistence of Britain, France and the USA. Finnish politicians were in full sure that USSR won't dare for the military decision of the issue and at sufficiently hard position of Finland would sooner or later yield and agree for concessions in the points relevant to Finland.
    Finnish military highly valued their defence capabilities and considered Red Army not strong and organised enough to dare for a war. Position of the Western countries played its role where the opinion prevailed that the Red Army presents a mass of apolitycal people absolutely unwilling to fight and driven to the war at the point of a gun by their comissars.
    Finnish politics counted for the help of allies (Great Britain, France, the USA, Germany and Scandinavian countries), were sure that USSR wages exclusively a war of nerves and after all their threatening declarations will end up by softening its demands and making concessions. The assuredess of the Finnish side was so deep that at the end of October they began developing plans of demobilisation. Soviet side, likewise, was overly sure in its army, considering it able to make a brief victorious war, considred Finland weaker by definition and knew that the Western countries, already pulled into the war, would not go further than the condemnation on words. USSR counted achieve its agenda by scaring the Finns with a prospect of war, or, in the final case, to achieve the points it desired in full by conducting a brief victorious war in a matter of counted days.


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  • 230. At 11:32pm on 21 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The final draft of the agreement, presented to the Finnish delegation in October 1939 and announced as the "minimum USSR demands", looked this:

    1. Finland agrees to lease Hanko to the USSR for the term of 30 years in understaning that the USSR will use it as a Navy base, with the permission to hold up contingent of up to 4,000 people to be used exclusively for the Hanko defence and nothing else.

    2. Soviet Navy fleet has a right for a stop over by using anchors in the bay of Lappvik.

    3. Finland passes over to USSR the islands: Gogland, Seiskari, Lavansaari, Tutersaari, Bjorke as well as a part of Karelian neck with borderline moved away from Leningrad by 70 km more.

    4. USSR passes over to Finland the territory in Karelia of the total area of twice more than the Finnish area received - namely, 5,529 km 2

    5. USSR takes obligation not to object to the militarisation of the Aland islands by own Finnish means.

    6. USSR and Finland take obligation to not enter into groupings or coalitions of countries hostile to either party.

    7. Both countries dis-arm and take away troops from the Karelian neck area.

    The stumbling point became the point of the Hanko: USSR refused to take it away while Finland categorically refused to agree to keep it in.
    Besides, Finland still held its reservations regarding the areas of mainland to be exchanged, as though the land it were to receive was twice larger and rich in building category forest it had no infrustructure to be also potentially used in agricultural business. Another important consideration that held the Finns was that concession of even the part of the Karelian neck by the agreement still decreased the defence abilities of the Mannerheim line which was due to stand un-interrupted. Thus the Finnish delegation refused the last draft and didn't yield on Hanko even after "Pravda" published the Molotov's article on the course of the discussions where it was stated that the USSR "may apply force if Finland won't soften its positions".

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  • 231. At 04:46am on 22 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka_Rohila, with Gnobel prize @225

    Took so much alphabet. to dissect you to get to the core.

    "the basics ... doesn't matter in which order ... to have USSR first defeat Germans ....and then have them bombed out by US atom bombs ..out of their misery... to have Germans defeat Russians ... and then bomb them out by US atom bombs"

    Gnomanitarian approach. typical case. A light subject.

    30 million here. 5 million there. "Now let's jump to the question of Victory day"
    Gnomanitarians - they never in danger. They watch. And wish, by all xxxx heart. For a Gnomanitarian - never enough.

    You wished for more death for my country?



    "you simply don't seem to get it, so let's start from the basics and continue from there"
    the basics you've missed.

    As to the point - not so hard to get when straight. Most of the time your prefer to depict own view as "our respect for democracy, human rights and in all-round decency among citizens". Go figure.

    But, when straight, not a Newton's binom.

    Component 1. Nurenberg defined best.
    Component 2. Lots of precedents. Operation Rankin, Operation Impossible. Strategic Western thinking. At.Its.Glorious.Heights. That.Happens.

    Keep it simple, always vague terms, "impossible", "un-thinkable". Some "Rankin". Like children, really.
    How To Get Rid Of Russia. HTGROR. By sound - sounds right. You may wish to sound the final "r" longer.

    Though I admire your latest "ism", we got kind of bored with the previous explanations. This time we are going to be killed for "Pan-Slavism".

    I'll tell you, Jukka_Rohila, Pan-Slavism - it is - wow! Beware.
    Pan-Slavism - it is - plain raging here!

    Am I the first person in these blogs to note, how to put it softly. unwilling to use the word "compassion".
    A certain degree of lack of sensitivity?
    LOL.

    the sudden jumps btw seemingly reasonable stuff, and then - hop! I'll say - a break-neck connecting. a circuit. adds to the credibility of opinion.

    "the USSR was the very end product of the whole Pan-slavic movement and the Chauvinistic character of Russian people"


    "In the truly democratic and free society, people can believe and think what ever they want. They can be Democrats, Socialists, Liberals, Communists, Nazis, Fascicts, that is their right and freedom, unless it crosses the path of others."

    I trust you are working hard, to make it law, in Finland. Don't forget about the EU.

    "a truly democratic and liberty loving person". With the spare motto in the reserve - "Death". It must be because of age, you haven't chosen which one is better. So far you combine.

    And what happened to Switzerland, by the way? Weren't you convincing us a week ago that the EU should urgently bomb it?
    Poor Switzerland. Still there?

    Not your fault, certainly. You "retained" your "respect for democracy, human rights and in all around decency among our citizens".

    Sorry, I wrote "you". Lately you use "we".
    "We retained" "we think"

    You don't imagine a stadium yet?

    "Bad! Very bad!" "You should fix your culture"

    I am savouring the collection, because it will be my last.

    "Now let me tell you what victory you can and should celebrate"

    Now go tell it to your bosom friends, we seem to have established who they are. A man is known by the company he keeps. Don't forget the calendar, you'd need some encouragement. And - the Oath. basics first.

    create "basis for collective guilt ... as with Germans... the same mechanism must be used with Russians"

    I am not sure I like this latest variation of fascism better.

    As somebody said "Before we were ruled by Tyran and Murderer. Now - by a fool and swine."

    Don't bother answering this.

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  • 232. At 11:27pm on 22 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    So, this is a curious thread.

    ikamaskeip, you're an able scribe. You write with conviction about the sins of the red army in the baltic states during the 1920's. So now tell me all about the activities of the UK inside the baltic states, and the influence the UK and the USA had over Poland and its wars into Russian lands from 1918 until 1922.

    I have studied this period fairly closely, and I am not convinced the baltic states were legitimate. Now I do not mean that the baltic people were not entitled to their own states. Far from it. What I mean is that I cannot reconcile the behaviour of both Germany and the western allies (UK, France and USA) with the notion that the baltic states were intended to be free and independent.

    My reading of the treaty between Russia and Germany at the end of their hostilities in the first world war is that Germany did NOT intend to create free and independent states in the baltic region. They expressly declared these territories to be part of greater germany, and they stationed german garrisons in these areas. Now both the Germans and the UK frustrated the development of independent states in the baltics between 1917 and 1922. The germans wanted to keep the regions, and the UK wanted to assist the polish in their war against the Russian red army. So the UK offered the baltic regions to Poland, and when that proved ineffective incentive to send polish troops to these regions they THEN decided to declare the baltic states "independent".

    But if you can read the history of this period and suggest that these states formed without the express military intervention of western powers, in areas that had been conquered by force by the german empire, then we are reading different source material.

    Again, I am not suggesting that the baltic states should be handed back to russia with an apology. But I do take issue with this idea that it was the red army that was "invading" these areas, and making aggressive war against peaceful indigenous peoples. The region had been part of russia for over a hundred years, and had only ceased to be part of russia when the germans conquered the territory. That was in 1917. And then the germans wanted to keep these regions as part of greater germany. Then the UK, the USA, France and Poland (which was the sponsored power of the former three western powers) took over the destiny of these regions in 1918-1922.

    The context of this military action against the red army was the fight against communism.

    So to me, it is highly spurious to claim that the motive for these wars had anything to do with the will for independence in the baltic states. Again, I stress that I do not mean to belittle the independence of these states. I am just pointing out that claiming high moral ground after the event, in sheer conflict with the facts, is spurious history.

    I would prefer to describe the history of this region as follows:

    The russians were so weak after the revolution and the loss of territory to the German empire in 1917, that in the face of a sustained campaign of western powers they were unable to prevent the western powers annexing the baltic regions and establishing client states as the bridgehead for the continued war of aggression against communism in Russia. Consequently, the western powers justified their political war in terms of fighting to liberate previously russian regions. These newly created micro states lasted, in highly questionable forms (please research the types of governments that were maintained in the baltics during the 30's), until the soviet union regained the strength to reclaim its former territorial influence. Copying the western model, the soviet union create sham states within the greater soviet sphere of influence, and proclaimed to the world that their annexation of the regions from the western powers was a "liberation".

    Now if you really want to get down and dirty with the facts on the ground during the 20's and 30's, I suggest you read about the "Frie Korps". The free corps were the remnants of the german imperial army after the first world war. They included vast numbers of german soldiers who had been disbanded after the treaty of versailles, and who were not permitted to officially regroup within germany. So germany had huge numbers of these disgruntled ex soldiers who had military training, a love of greater germany, and no legitimacy. Hitler and most of the fascist movement originated from this collective. (For example Paulson, the Nazi commander who surrendered the 6th army at stalingrad, declaring "I will not shoot myself for this Austrain corpral.")

    Now the allies knew of this bunch of military men, and they used them. They sent them into the baltics and into the war with the red army, effectively breaching the terms of the peace, and creating huge antagonism within the baltic states and also within Germany.

    So, armed with this knowledge, perhaps you might ask yourself "Why did the western powers need to send in huge numbers of german troops, effectively undercover, to the baltic regions, if what they really wanted was the mere liberation of these regions?

    The point I wish to make is that the red army was not fighting to suppress the poor oppressed balts. Very far from it. The red army was fighting a sustained war against the polish, the British, the French AND the germans. All of whom had US military and economic support.

    In this context, regardless of your political views about whether the war against soviet communism was justified or not, it becomes untenable to describe the red army actions as aggressive and aimed against the balts, or even against the slavs in eastern europe.

    It is particularly hard for russians to hear about how aggressive and evil their soldiers were during the 1920's and 30's in the baltic states, from English or american commentators, precisely because it was the UK and the USA who were co-ordinating huge numbers of polish and german frei korps soldats in a war of agression designed to overthrow the government of Russia.

    You ought to take the actions of our nations into account when discussing this period of history, and perhaps even ask yourself the age old question that defines morality:

    How would I have liked for someone else to treat me the same way?

    If Russia and the USA had been landing french troops in scotland, and supplying them with arms, and assisting them in a war to overthrow the british government in London, and if these actions had resulted in Russian friendly states being created in York, Liverpool and Scotland, how would the english respond to the charge that it was they who were the aggressors, and it was the English who were cruelly dominating these poor independent states?

    Once more, I do not advocate turning back the clock and enlarging russian borders to the time of Napoleon of even 1915.

    I am simply asking you to be fair, and not hold the Russian people to a standard of historical morality that would not suit your own people. History might be no more than a fable agreed upon, as Napoleon is held to have said, but we can still be fair.

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  • 233. At 08:44am on 23 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,
    'Should the Nazis have finished first Stalin and his minions only to be bombed out of existence by the US atom bombs or should the Soviets finish Nazis first and then put them out their misery by US atom bombs. The order doesn't matter'

    That is really low! Really, really low!

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  • 234. At 1:25pm on 23 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (232):

    Wait a minute?

    The direct German influence ended in Poland, in Baltic states and in Finland after the WW1 after the treaty of Versailles was signed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_versailles


    In addition in the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, nations were granted a right for self-determination and soverignity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Rights_of_Peoples_of_Russia


    Now what you have to keep in mind with the Soviet agenda was that the Lenin's plan was to allow countries to brake from Russia only to join the new Soviet Union via communist revolution. That plan back fired when the Finnish Communist revolution failed, not only because of the German intervention, but because of the Finnish White army had turned the war against the Reds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_civil_war


    Now the Baltic states declared their independence too. Only the difference with the situation in Finland was that the Soviet leadership already had seen that independent workers revolutions don't work and they intervened to return all of these countries back to being parts of Russia. The result of all of this was that those countries that could resist the Red Army successfully gained independence and those countries that couldn't were annexed back to the Soviet Union, that happened to Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and every other part of Russian Empire that had declared its independence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_War_of_Independence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_War_of_Independence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_Wars_of_Independence


    After the end of the hostilities, in 1920 between Finland and Russia in the treaty of Tartu, and at around the same time with all other participants, an peace ensued that lasted till the beginning of WW2.


    Now in case of the Baltic states, in 1939 the Baltic states submitted on the pressure of the Soviet Union and made an pact with it. The Baltic states recognized the needs of the Soviet Union for the defence of St. Petersburg and allowed the Soviet Union to create military bases in all of the states. In Estonia there were 25000 Soviet soldiers, in Latvia 30000 and in Lithuania 20000 comprising an 10% of the whole Soviet standing army.

    The fact of the matter was that in 1939 the Baltic states were in the Soviet side. Now what happened next, before the WW2 had began, was that the Soviet Union used its soldiers in these countries to occupy them and them forced, by literally putting an gun in their head, to join up the Soviet Union. After this had happened the Soviets moved to decapitate these countries, their economical, political and cultural elites either executed right away or sent into gulags to perish in there. In the same time the Red Army harassed and abused common civilians, do remember that in example rape is an common tool widely used to scare the people in submission, and it also started to destroy the symbols of the these countries, more or less all statues erected between the time of independence and Soviet occupation were destroyed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_baltic_states


    Now you ask that the Russian people shouldn't be judged, not hold the Russian people to a standard of historical morality. The problem however is that we are talking about modern times, late history that happened just a while ago, in times when things as basic human rights were already widely accepted. You should also note that Nazi Germany, that the Nazi criminals were judged and the whole German society went throe a de-nazification process and took an collective guilt about the rise of Nazis and what happened in the war. So why not shouldn't the Soviet Union be judged by the same standards and the people and the culture to be hold accountable?

    Of course the current generation of Russians aren't responsible for the actions of their parents or grand-parents. However the minimum that should be required is to at least acknowledge the past and the crimes against the humanity committed by the Soviet Union and its various organizations. Also what should happen is that the Russians should take a hard look on the mirror and ask questions such as "why was Soviet Union born exactly in Russia" and "why did the Soviet Union shape up the way it did" and "why did the Soviet Union commit all those crimes against the humanity" and that answer can't be "person x did that", but an analysis of the culture, valuations and beliefs in the culture, as in the people and individuals act based and are fuelled up by their culture.

    The impetus for this analysis, for digging up the past, acknowledging and judging it comes from the wish that those things that happened will not never ever be repeated again. Unfortunately I can't see that there is any real progress in this front in Russia.

    For example the Kremlin backed up youth organization organized an press event and a demonstration in Helsinki today to protest against showing of the film Soviet Story at the Estonian Embassy, which actually isn't even been shown, and against publishing of the new article collection from authors Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju called "Behind everything was fear" a book that looks on the crimes committed by the Soviet Union in Estonia. In their press event the Nashi youths even went to declare that Estonia was not been occupied by the Soviet Union during the WW2 and that the current Estonia is an undemocratic apartheid states.

    Personally the question I have and I bet that many others have in Baltic states and in Poland and other Eastern European states is, can the same happen again? If the youth of Russia, if the so called best and brightest of Russia in the Nashi organization, don't see nothing wrong in the history, then do we have to prepare to an possibility that Russia once again can turn into an unpredictable and hostile state that threatens to use violence against its neighbours and is ready to commit crimes against the humanity once again?

    PS. The Soviet Story.
    Trailer in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGvm1XvMEaY
    Official site in http://www.sovietstory.com

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  • 235. At 3:17pm on 23 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,
    You are a reasonable man and usually I agree with your postings. However, in this thread I think you have taken the wrong line. Discussing the rights and wrongs of the USSR is one thing, using them to justify cooperation/collaboration/participation with the Nazis and their crimes is quite different.Fighting for your freedom aginst the USSR does not mean that you need to become a fascist. For example the Polish Army Kraiova fought the Red Army, but did not fight for the Germans. However, what the Baltic states are trying to do today is present their citizens who fought in the SS as some kind of 'freedom fighters'. Unfortunately that is not the case. SS was the military arm of the Nazi party and only Nazis served in it. Had the people of the Baltic wanted to fight the Soviet Union, they could have joined the regular Wermacht. Not the SS. Being a SS and Nazi party member is not something to be proud of.
    Please have a look at your comment below:

    "Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland - clipped onto Germany in the 1st WW. Clipped in the 2nd. What's new? These clip to the one they see strong. And always make a mistake. Twice gambled against Russia. Twice lost."

    That is the west that these countries joined once again. What you don't seem to note is that all European Union countries are western countries, they share the western values, culture and history. When you don't share these values, culture or even the same view about history, then you can't be apart of it and when you start to loudly wonder why the 500 million Europeans don't call your war efforts as an liberation but as an conquest, you your self are driving you into isolation.'



    According to you 'the west' that the Baltic states and Finland joined was Nazi Germany, and the values of 'the west' and 'the European union' were the values of Nazi Germany. They were not. And quite a few of those 500 000 000-odd Europeans will take a very harsh line with you, if you suggest that their values were the values of Hitler and the likes.
    I understand that Finland has its own issues with Russia and the USSR, but excusing the fascists and the SS members is not a way to sort those out. I agree that every country should face its own past, but that applies to our own countries, no matter how much we do not like that.

    P.S. I am not sure about your comment regarding the de-nazification of Germany, the Nazi criminals being judged and the whole society taking collective guilt. Please see below:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7857753.stm

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  • 236. At 3:39pm on 23 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    A video of the publishing event of the book "Behind everything was fear" by Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    The video is in Finnish and I have translated myself the interview. I'm not a professional translator so there maybe some small mistakes, but all in all the translation should match what was said.

    To moderators: The video is located at Helsingin Sanomat (a Finnish newspaper) web-page and it is publicly accessible and meant for everybody for viewing. I have made the translation myself from what was said in the interview. As public statements don't have any copyright protecting them, my translation of the interview thus doesn't brake any BBC moderation rules regarding copyrighted material. I make this statement just in case.

    ---
    Sofi Oksanen: It is sad and very strange that another country's and a youth organizations representatives that are organized and paid by the Kremlin come to Finland to tell what kind of books can be published in Finland and in Finnish language, that is very strange, of course everybody has the right to demonstrate however they want it. We are after all living in the free Europe, but it is very strange.

    Journalist: What are the kind of messages in short that you would want to send to them?

    Sofi Oksanen: I don't have any message to them. I don't feel like that I should have to send messages to propagandists. But to Europe and to Finland that Baltic countries have the right to write their own history by themselves without orders and instructions what are send from Moscow regarding history of Eastern European and Baltic countries.

    Journalist: Why is the handling of this subject so hard in Russia?

    Imbi Paju: Well it is, maybe, because the traumas are so deep, because the totalitarianism has damaged the human mind so much and starting the discussion is very hard. In real the discussion was started, but from the year 2000, after Putin came to power, is that a reality dosed (myself: I have hard time hearing what she is saying in this point on 'reality dosed') Stalinism, reality dosed with these values, because big power, big state wants to find examples from these old models and that is worrying.

    Announcer: Warmly welcome all to here, to the publishing event of the book "Behind everything was fear", it is great that literature and history interests so many Finnish, this place is full, there has never been so many people in here.

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  • 237. At 4:17pm on 23 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    Following my comment 236 in where the Helsingin Sanomat interviewed Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju, here is a video of the interviewing of the other side.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Again, the video is in Finnish, and here is the translation on what was said on the video. The translation is done by me and as I'm not an professional translator the translation may not be exact the whole way, but in my mind it is quite good.

    Johan Backman: Well, we are planning on having legal demonstrations against these events by the Estonian embassy... Well in here, in today, they are publishing this, with very raw kind of way history falsifying book by Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju about history which is not history book but an hate propaganda about Russia and Russians. In the book there many blatant lies...

    Journalist: As in what?

    Johan Backman: Well for example this... (some unheard comments from background) ...can you be quite that we can have this interview. As you can see, they are as soon starting to harass... but in this book direct lies are like the talk about these transportations that never happened as they are presented in this book, and in this book there are many.. well the biggest lie is that the actions of the Soviet Union are presented as an genocide against Estonians doesn't hold true.

    PS. My own notes, look at the video at 0:20 to 0:23. What is written in the paper in Finnish is "Sofin valinta", in English "Sofi's choice" and in underneath in an Nazi-sign, letters EE, SS-sign and letters TI in the end.

    PS2. In St. Petersburg there was also an demonstration in front of the Estonian consulate. There was only one demonstrator there at any given time, because the Nashi organization had not acted enough in advance to get an permit to have an demonstration larger than one person. There were also two Nashi activist girls that didn't obey the one-demonstrator rule and were taken by the local police (Milis) to the local station.

    An article about the demonstration can be found from an Finnish tabloid newspapers web page at [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]the headline of the article is "St. Petersburg's Estonia demonstration is here: one Nashi activist!". The picture that the article has describes the whole event.

    PS3. At total there were approximately a dozen people from Nashi demonstrating at the front of the Sanoma building. There were also at least two demonstrator from the Finnish Islamic Party that demonstrated against the treatment of Muslims in Estonia (Finnish Islamic Party is largely organized by native Finnish converts to Islam). There was also an pro-publishing demonstration organized by Member of the Finnish Parliament, Kai Ponttinen from the Finnish National Coalition Party (the conservative party), that had gathered around 10 people to voice their support for publishing the book.

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  • 238. At 6:39pm on 23 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Isenhorn (235):

    I think you got mixed up in the conversation...

    To re-run it...


    Alice: "Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland - clipped onto Germany in the 1st WW. Clipped in the 2nd. What's new? These clip to the one they see strong. And always make a mistake. Twice gambled against Russia. Twice lost."

    Jukka: "That is the west that these countries joined once again. What you don't seem to note is that all European Union countries are western countries, they share the western values, culture and history. When you don't share these values, culture or even the same view about history, then you can't be apart of it and when you start to loudly wonder why the 500 million Europeans don't call your war efforts as an liberation but as an conquest, you your self are driving you into isolation.'


    My comment refers to the time in the end of the WW1 and after the WW1. Finland and Baltic countries turned away from the new communist ruled Russia and turned their eyes on Germany. Do remember that the German Empire before the WW1 was the leading centre of Europe in all areas of life from economics and culture to science and industry. After the WW1, the Germany of Weimar Republic was still an important centre and most importantly it was an democratic Germany. The Nazis only clipped on to power in the 30s and the true colours of the Nazi Germany were just starting to be seen in the end of 30s. Now the Germany, the German Empire and the Weimar Republic represented fairly well what values and culture of the West. I might also add that when the Nazis took over the Germany, it still was west and had western values, even the TIME magazine made him the man of the year.

    In the WW2, Finland initially clipped on to the international order, to get help and support of the western powers, when that didn't come and couldn't be even hoped to come, the only choice to make then was which was a bigger threat, Nazi Germany or Soviet Union, the Soviet Union threatened with occupation and annexation that had already happened to the Baltic states.

    In the WW2, the Baltic states initially, even thought for all their connections to the Germany and to the west, gave up to the demands of the Soviet Union, they gave up military bases from their countries. Now all this was thanked by the Soviet by then turning their troops against these countries, they occupied and annexed these countries before the war with Germany had even started. The Baltic countries chose to side with the Soviet Union and all they got was an betrayal.

    Now to continue on how do we classify Baltic and other people fighting against the Soviet Union in the side of the Nazi Germany. The question follows: who is the aggressor? The aggressor was the Soviet Union, Soviet Union had betrayed the Baltic countries, they had already started their oppression witch included rape, looting, murders and transportation of their best and brightest to gulags. The Soviet Union had taken the soverignity and independence of these countries, they were the enemy. In regards on how to fight against the Soviets, the people of Baltic countries really hadn't much of choice, the choice was either to flee to Finland and join the Finnish army or to stay and be recruited or be drafted to the Waffen-SS, from what I know from history, there was no option for foreigners to fight in Werhmacht, the only choice was Waffen-SS.

    I will also add, that those Ukrainians that fought against the Soviets, can and should also be viewed as freedom fighters. Remember that the Soviet Russia with force forced the new Ukrainian Republic to join it and after the Holomodor and Stalin's purges, the choice between the Nazis and the Soviets would have been an easy one. Now of course, when war crimes and crimes against humanity are made, they must be judged. Fighting for freedom doesn't liberate from those and from the judgement.

    Now what goes on to the question of collective guilt, the post-war Germany and Germans have made tremendous efforts to not only recognize and remember the Nazi crimes, but to make sure that the same doesn't never come back. Do also remember that in the Nuremberg trials, the whole leadership of Nazi Germany was on trial and in lesser trials subordinates where judged too. The guilt of the WW2 even in today haunts the modern Germans and German society, for example if you have watched the film Downfall (Der Untergang) tells the story of the last moments of the Third Reich and pictures the story of Traudl Junge, the secretary of the Hitler. In the film she escapes from the Berlin successfully, however in the real life she was captured by the Soviets...

    To quote Wikipedia: "Junge was held for a year as the "personal prisoner" of a Soviet major.[2][3] At least one author asserts that Junge suffered a fractured skull while resisting a gang rape,[4] but she does not mention such a rape or injury in her autobiography. After spending time in a Soviet prison camp, Junge returned to Germany to work as a secretary and later as a sub-editor."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traudl_Junge

    "The film's ending has also been the subject of criticism. In the film, the women in the bunker manage to escape or disappear. The truth was far more gruesome. Together with others in the bunker, Gerda Christian, Traudl Junge, Else Krüger and Constanze Manziarly left the bunker on May 1 under SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke's leadership. This group slowly made its way north hoping to link up with a German army holdout on the Prinzenallee. The group, hiding in a cellar, was captured by the Soviets on the morning of May 2. Like thousands of other German women during the fall of Berlin in 1945, Gerda Christian and Else Krüger were repeatedly raped by soldiers of the Red Army in the woods near Berlin.[9][10] Junge was likewise raped repeatedly by Soviet soldiers, but she does not mention such a rape in her autobiography.[11]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downfall_(film)

    ...The thing is that in Germany there is tremendous insistence that all films that handle the war, must be historically very precise. In the film Downfall, the makers of the film have made an incredible abbreviation from the history. In my honest opinion, the film makers made this because of the collective guilt concerning the war and thus chose to show only the Nazi Germany as an kingdom of evil and leave out the Soviet crimes that happened during and after the war.

    The crimes and victims of the communism and Soviet Union can't and shouldn't be forgotten.

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  • 239. At 6:42pm on 23 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    Okey. The videos concerning the interviews in my comments 236 and 237 can be found from just jumping to the Helsingin Sanomat main page at ( [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]), this is if you want to put voices and faces behind their interviews that I have translated.

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  • 240. At 08:26am on 24 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    jukka, you have not addressed my core point. You selectively quote wiki at me, but you evade the argument I was making.

    Again, my point was that the russian people suffered a prolonged war of aggression from western powers after the soviet revolution, in the name of combatting communism. I never said that was a bad reason to fight a war in someone else's country. I just said it was a war of aggression against the russian people, on land that had been part of russia for over a hundred years, and where everyone could speak russian, but not western languages.

    That war continued after the first world war for many years, and then again in 1941 the germans invaded once more. Once more, the russians fought and died on their own soil. their civilians were killed in huge numbers, in a very cruel way.

    In that context, it is not fair to describe the russians as "criminal aggressors", in the same way germany was a criminal aggressor. Germany under hitler invaded huge numbers of countries and butchered huge numbers of civilians for no good reason.

    See, what you try to do is make the nazi aggression and the russian defense equivalent. You point to the bad things in the war and you say that both sides did terrible things. then you say that the germans and their allies were hated by history, while the russians got a pass.

    But you keep missing the crucial point. It was Hitler who invaded Russia and it was the nazis, and their fascist allies, who operated death camps in territories they had no need to go to. The russians fought for their lives, and when they had the advantage they took their armies to berlin and burned it to the ground. And sure, they weren't very nice to the germans or their allies.

    But everything the russians did to germany they did AFTER germany had butchered so many of their people on their own soil, it would make a pacifist want to commit insane acts of revenge.

    So your whole argument, this whole effort to make the soviet union and germany equivalent, it forgets who did what, and for what reasons, and when.

    That just make you look like you can't understand what was so evil about nazi germany and the race based genocide to create lebensraum for the master race. It makes you seem like you are secretly in favour of these policies, because you cannot tell the difference between the way the red army behaved and the way the SS behaved.

    Jukka, I have said this before and i will say it again. If the nazis had done to the english speaking people what they did to the russians, there would not even be a germany. Not even the slightest piece of it, or a single word on anyone's lips. Finland would have gone, too.

    So when we see what happened to the russian people in 1941 and 42, we just don't care what happened to the germans after they lost the war they started. It is not that we hate finland, or that we love russia. It is just that we understand who did what, and when. And if anyone did that to us, we would do the same as russia.

    Ask the japanese.

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  • 241. At 08:32am on 24 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    As for Traudl Jung, maybe she should have shot herself?

    You know, out of pity for the jews, and the russian women who were butchered by the glorious nazi supermen.

    If she loved her life so much that she would not die for the fatherland, fighting to the last man and the last bullet as her beloved hitler ordered, maybe she could understand how much the russians also loved life, and how much it hurt them to see so many people killed by the german leader she served?

    The nazis claimed the right to extinguish not just their enemies in war, but those they decided were beneath them for whatever reason. That was a big call. That is the sort of behaviour that means you can't complain if people treat you badly later down the line.

    Traudl Jung kept her life. She got a pass.

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  • 242. At 09:53am on 24 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (240):

    Is there any humanity left with you?

    You are essentially saying that two wrongs make one right. That however isn't the case. Two wrongs make two wrongs. In a war when you start to brake the rules of the, when you are starting to brake the rules regarding treatment of civilians, what that is called is a war crime. When you commit crimes in a massive scale, be it before war, be it during the war or be it after the war, you are guilty of crimes against the humanity. It is as simple as that, judgement will always follow.

    You should also remember that the Soviet leadership had the choice to follow the rules of the war and treat civilians decently. It made the choice to wage a war against the civilians and choose to do nothing to behave the troops and instead the Soviet leadership actively encouraged troops to make war crimes. Now how do you excuse war crimes made against the Poles, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Serbs etc.. You do realise that people like Tito were furious when the Red Army engaged in a round of rape, loot and murder after taking over Belgrade, he really didn't think that comrades in arms would do such things to each others. Or how about the Jewish concentration camps prisoners, who after the liberation had to watch Red Army soldiers going on a spree of rape on the camps women prisoners.

    You are also incorrect with the course of the history. Yes, the western powers intervened into the Russian civil war, but after the war had ended in 1923 in the victory of communists, the western powers withdraw from Russia and normal diplomatic and trade relations with the Soviet Union were returned. Are you saying that this constitutes an aggression from the west and thus Soviet Union had the right to invade, occupy and annex Baltic countries, wage war against Finland, invade and occupy half of Poland together with Hitler? And lets not forget that Soviet Union had army of few million set on attack position in the newly created border with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and if you give thought to claims like the Suvorov has made, you would see that there were too aggressors willing to attack each others.

    You also make the remark that if somebody did to us what was done against the Russians in the WW2, then we would do the same to them. How about no? How about the view that when you do the same as your oppressor, you become an oppressor too? Two wrongs don't make one right and even if it did, then in that case the Balts and Polish and many others have rightful score to settle with Russia. So how is it, is it so that Russians can only have eye for eye justice but when other smaller nations suffer from crimes they have no right to settle the score?

    I really do hope that you considered this thing again as now it seems you are not in the same side with the humanity.

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  • 243. At 10:37am on 24 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,

    your response to my comment was just wordsmithing- the Baltic states joining the 'Old' Germany (Weimar republic, german Empire, etc.)and not Nazi Germany. If that was the case, those countries would have left the alliance after the Nazis took power. They did not.

    You always quote some 'sources' about the rapes the Red army committed. Funnily enough, the alleged victims never say so in their memoires (your own quotes), however some other authors believe otherwise. Presumably they know better? I will quote what I heard once: 'The number of German women raped by the Red Army, as given by the Western reliable sources, is roughly the same as the number of WMD the same reliable Western sources said Iraq had'. Everything can be made to look like truth, when it serves certain purposes.

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  • 244. At 11:01am on 24 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka, I make no excuses for the hideous crimes of the soviet regime, particularly against its own people. However, these small states that you claim were so innocent were responsible for .... indeed they are primarily known by history for.. their assistance in the nazi genocide of their own people (jews and communists) and of russian people.

    When you make a case to prosecute the soviet army for retaliation against the people who did what the nazis did, you are not simply holding the soviets to account for their own deeds. You are, whether you admit it to yourself or not, attempting to cast the fascist powers as innocent victims of soviet aggression.

    Sure, they were victims. But were they so innocent?

    It seems to me that what you ask of the russian soldiers, and of the jewish soldiers and the communist soldiers of eastern europe, is that they should have treated the german people as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened prior to the red army crossing the borders of germany.

    It seems to me that you are suggesting that the red army should have stopped at the german border, and shook hands with the german military machine, and wished them the best of luck in a peaceful world.

    You seem to be suggesting that the fair thing for the russians to have done was to merely defend their lands, and refrain from punitive justice.

    I think you go too far. Hitler had to go down in history as the man who destroyed the lives of the millions of fascists who supported his insane and bloodthirsty ideologies of conquest and genocide. If hitler had been allowed to broker a peace, and retain his people in security once their bid for conquest was defeated, an unacceptable precedent would have been set.

    Germany would have seen hitler as the man who gave the russians a bloody nose, and they would have remembered him as the guy who had the right idea, but who did not quite pull it off. He would have been seen as the man who showed the russians who was boss, and his ideology would have been recorded in history as far better for the german people than the russian ideologies were for the russians.

    That isn't tenable. The actions of the german people in 1941 through 1945 required that they suffer punitive justice of the most extreme kind. People must understand that an ideology of aggression and ruthless cruelty will bring utter destruction and righteous rage down upon all who allow such an ideology to take hold in their land.

    No, Hilter placed his bet on behalf of the german people, and they followed his wager to its natural conclusion. You blame Stalin and the soviets for the evils that befell the german people, and by so doing to attempt to rewrite history in a way that sets an unacceptable precedent.

    It was Hitler and his nazi monsters that caused the destruction of the german people at the end of the second world war. If you blame stalin, you exonerate hitler by default, and that is unacceptable. What I find most curious is that everything I have read from germans after the second world war was this feeling that it was Hitler, not Stalin, who caused the destruction of germany.

    But I doubt you will be swayed in your views. You seem to have convinced yourself that Hitler and the nazis did nothing especially wrong, and that history dealt them an unfair hand. Well, we must agree to disagree.

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  • 245. At 12:21pm on 24 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Isenhorn (243):

    Alliance? Who has said anything about an alliance? It is not an alliance if you engage into normal exchange of trade, culture, science and technology with another state. The question in my mind is that do you see normal exchange with the Nazi Germany as being in alliance with it? If so then the USSR was guilty as charged but so were the western countries and in fact all of the Europe and the west.

    The Baltic state were not allied with the Germany in any point of their independence. When the Soviets started to pressure Baltic states, they were neutral as was Finland, none of these states were in alliance with the Nazi Germany. And I say it again, Soviet Union invaded, occupied and annexed Baltic states and tried to do the same against Finland, and these were all neutral countries without an alliance to another power.

    And to continue with the crimes of the Red Army, think about why there has been silence about it, it has been the shame and in Germany mostly the collective guilt about the war that has restricted voicing the trauma of the war.

    I also suggest that you take into your reading the poem of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Prussian Nights, if you don't like to trust the western sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Nights
    http://www.amazon.com/Prussian-Nights-Poem-Aleksandr-Solzhenitsyn/dp/0374513910


    To democracythreat (244):

    What I find curious is your logic that judging two crimes as crimes makes the first crime lesser. No it doesn't. That is your false logic in play not mine. When I have two crimes I judge both of these as crimes, that is my logic.

    I also resent that message after message, you simply don't get it. You always seem to twist my judgement of the Soviet crimes as either exonerating the Nazi Germany or blatantly twisting it into a phrase like this..

    "You seem to have convinced yourself that Hitler and the nazis did nothing especially wrong, and that history dealt them an unfair hand."

    Again no! The history dealt the unfair hand to all those who perished because of Nazism and Communism. You judge all, you judge everybody with the same rules as if you don't do that then your judgement in all essence isn't real, it isn't based in solid and acceptable ethics and morals. Both the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were criminal creations and they and their crimes must be both acknowledged and judged.

    Now on regarding on what should have happened in the WW2 is that the Soviet leadership and the army should have lined up the Red Army behaves according to the rules of Geneva convention on its treatment of the civilian population. That didn't happen, what happened instead was an conquest.

    Also... you said: "That isn't tenable. The actions of the german people in 1941 through 1945 required that they suffer punitive justice of the most extreme kind. People must understand that an ideology of aggression and ruthless cruelty will bring utter destruction and righteous rage down upon all who allow such an ideology to take hold in their land."

    You really have left the civilized world and human kind with that kind of statement. No, a collective punishment of the people is always wrong, I repeat, always wrong. I'm really left speechless as you are not only refusing to judge blatant war crimes and crimes against the humanity as such but you are also supporting of them.

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  • 246. At 3:05pm on 24 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Isenhorn (you do understand, since certain borders crossed. I read the discussion by now selectively),

    don't know likewise of the amount of rapings and pillage caused by the Red Army in Germany. Must search the web for historians' articles in Russian. Sorry English language sources largely distrust, we had own researchers in thousands, representing the whole spectrum of opinion. Especially risen in Perestroyka, time when all were eager to "somersault" as much past as possible, it was simply in the air. And created a certain drive. In English web I keep coming at one and the same woman memoirs, American sites, "who heard the scream from the neighbour house, while in their own house the Red Army was stationed, they moved along the walls like shadows, trying to sneak by as quick as possible and not come into unnesessary contact, apart from household minimum issues. " She will never forget how a soldier walked straight into their living room, and took from the wall the old clock with cockoo, and put it into his bag. She will remember the screep sound of his high boots to her death.

    All disaster of course. The only thing I can say in our "explanations", though of course none said can "explain" what is done, is that the pillage was in no way a focused or sanctioned deed, the moment the army tops realised it's not a one off complaint but a catching disease, they ruled and excecuted - by fact - a new army article - "punishment for inflicting physical and/or property damage to civillians is punited by "rasstrel na meste" /shoot-out on the spot by the law of the military time." Soldiers were shot, on reports, in Germany, still the most shameful "notification" of death in that war, that a family of the soldier could have possibly received. "By the law of the military time -"rasstrel na meste".

    I wrote earlier, we wish we could have entered the Europe "in white gloves", regular army, with some concepts taught in previous army schooling. However the composition of the troops have changed several times in war, as expired, and new age bands were recruited. Very few made it from 1941 to 1945. So yes, the Red Army in Europe consisted of yesterday's city civillians and peasants - and most of them from recently liberated part of Russia, that has been under the occupation. First army in war was pre-war set, next - draft from all over, having spent that it was draft from beyond Urals, previously kept at factories relocated there producing armament for the war, and then when we liberated Ukraine, Belorussia and own lands other - population from these areas was scraped up and drafted as much as was available.

    Never mind where from, democracythreat is right saying "Russians entered Europe crazy as a hat full of snakes" - with civillian loss under occupation exceeding the actual army loss throughout the whole war four times (and a bit), most soldiers making Red Armyby the end of the war had family dead. And knew it. They knew there is no where to return. They didn't keep any "calculation", but as en route to Europe Red Army passed Belorussia and Ukraine - they saw the smoking pebble, chimney tubes poking in the sky as all left in place of towns, and heard the howl of people crawling out from woods and wandering in the fire-ravaged remains places, looking for their dead. Unlike the US and British soldiers, they had family death behind their shoulders.

    Not one "household" in occupation in Russia "shared" the premises with occupyng Germans. People were kicked out of homes, to live where they pleased. Excavating earth huts, in own backyards, or nearby, because Germans didn't approve of population running away to forests and becoming partisans operating from there. But preferred to keep them close to their eyes. Besides, they had to shot women whose husbands were in the Red Army (and whose weren't), collect youngsters to send by train to Germany to work for the Reich (cheap slave labour obtained in millions), and basically kept alive in the territories occupied the minimum level allowing for provisions delivered, electricity working, the very minimum to serve the Germans stationed.

    4 years ago Germany paid compensations to the survivors of those teenagers, shipped to Germany for slave labour at German plants during the war. In 2004 the compensation in Russia received all who were registered in Germany as exported from Russia and lived to 2004. Four million 400 thousand people.

    Ages fit were 10 to 17. Ten, to seventeen.
    Jury Gagarin's birthday was marked by the way recently here. Of all memoirs, etc. remembrances I paid attention to his under the occupation years, because he lived under Germans, in village by Moscow. His father was without a leg, so not drafted to the Red Army. And mother stayed alive. They were 4 children. Germans kicked them out of course of the house, so they digged a hole in the earth, and lived there 3 years, until the area was liberated back. His parents worked for Germans, water carrying from the river, washing, cleaning, cooking. His younger brother was hanged up , on a tree, 2 year old, as he cried too loudly. His two senior sisters were driven away, grabbed, loaded onto trains, to Germany, to work "for German victory". One was 14 and the other 9, but looked big for her age, so they skipped the rule "10 and up". He wished to become a pilot, when a Russian plane was hit and fell into the marshes by their village, and the whole war throughout they with other 6-7 year olds were sneaking over to the place, sitting in the remains of the cabin, and imagining revenge.

    Yes, I dare say Red Army in Europe was "like a hat full of snakes".
    Which fact, I also think is advertised a thousand times more, than
    "the pillage and the rapings that the Nazi army has caused", "passing through Russia". Ukraine. Belorussia. Moldova.

    The other one is strangely not the point for the new memorable "EU calendar day". To remember the 28 million of victims.

    And in occupied USSR lands - Germans robbed by trains. Sanctioned and centralised, organised "activity". Not something under-hand. Whole museums, churches exported, all gold, silver stripped from the icons' frames, absolutely all that could be of value stripped clean. And what they couldn't carry away, the broke, split and set on fire. The Pushkin estate became a carved out hole, even house walls didn't survive. The whole personnel trying to plead to have a mercy, to stop this barbarity -shot. And the same with Leo Tolstoy estate. Nazi focused to destroy the culture, burn it out away by hot iron, the very idea of existence of Russian people.

    We never heard of any thing returning to Russian museums, estates, Catherine palace, Paul's palace, Peterhof - returning post war from Western Germany. Not a single thing. Vanished. And this was cultural treasures, robbed in mass millions of quantities. Not a family clock with a cuckoo, or a carpet, clothes - private things robbed in Germany, from private houses, by let's say it honestly - poor as rats peasants, who simply never saw such "foreign" wonders. Though I don't excuse them in no way. I only wonder why they didn't kill.

    In Germany there is as minimum one man, who raises a glass for USSR on the V-Day. Several of them by now, a tradition of the Dresden art gallery directors. In war the Drezden gallery paintings and absolutely all were evacuated by Germans, hidden in some shafts and damp holes, in the ground, from approaching Red Army. When we got there, we grabatised it all, and Germans morally said "good bye forever". In 3 years Hermitage restauration school restored absolutely all harmed by water and by rolling over the paintings 4-8 times, with cracks formed in turn over sides. And returned back - to a single item.
    Likewise, in the Hermitage for years was kept a special hall with a sign "Transferred treasures". All knew it's different status, not ours, by German owned. I think it has expired by now, every several years some museum claiming, and we returned, another museum claiming and we returned. Some things swapped for Russian collections surfacing in German museums at some stage. But the fact is - the hall is now nearly empty. And it was never hidden as "our own", split between rooms. atge
    Meanwhile


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  • 247. At 3:42pm on 24 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think, our good relations with Germany now are in no small extent explained by the art return and recent art swaps with the ex-Western Germany. That became possible only recently, when they began acting independantly.
    That they paid for the childhood slaved away of children under occuptation, working for Germany, or for survivors of concentration camps, is of lesser importance to us. Because the angle was "Jewish and slavs", largely driven by int'l holocaust pressure on Germany. And the art, you know, free good will, strictly between us.

    A curious fact that not many realise helping is also that USSR was against splitting Germany post war. It's taken by mass opinion for granted that "1945-Germany split in 2 parts". Which is not true. The very Berlin wall, for a sec., was built (by us, no denial) in Aug 1961.
    With a view of US tank army collected and put in rows on the border btw East and West Germany, using the opportunity of the kind of a small revolution in East Berlin, who demanded they join the West Berlin.
    US collected all tanks they had in Germany in Berlin, ready to support the up-rising. And that's the second we began to build the wall.

    But back in 1945 Stalin was in extraordinary good moods, and very unusually humorous and allowing. In talks with the allies he advocated immediate all-German elections held in summer 1945, "for I see future of Germany as a kind of a Weimer republic". Of course, he gambled on a sure hand, because the moods in post-war Germany were very socialistic, and he counted all of it will become pro-USSR if free elections are organised. He kept to the idea stubbornly till Jan 1946, advocating "united Germany, and immediate elections where they appoint own power." Churchill asked him - "and if they will vote against your "socialism" parties - what will you do then. To which Stalin replied he'll give up then, and will accept any outcome - just let's make them common pan-German elections." Whether he was right or wrong, no way of knowing now. :o)
    Afraid of such advanced ideas the allies quickly closed the shop, and made sure at least what they got hold of - stayes on their side.
    That's how Germany was split.
    I am sorry - we wanted it all. :o) And, sorry - no crazy "splits".

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  • 248. At 3:57pm on 24 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,

    No alliance? Then the cooperation of the people of the Baltic states with Nazi Germany can only be called complicity. You could call it exchange of ideas, trade and science. Everybody else calls it by its real name-Complicity in the crimes of the Nazis.

    'Now on regarding on what should have happened in the WW2 is that the Soviet leadership and the army should have lined up the Red Army behaves according to the rules of Geneva convention on its treatment of the civilian population. That didn't happen, what happened instead was an conquest'

    The USSR had not signed the Geneva convention before the war. After the begining of the war the Soviet government offerred to sign the convention bilaterally with Germany. Germany refused the offer and continued to mistreat Soviet POW and civillians alike. After the battle for Moskow the advancing Red army liberated a POW camp in which from approximately 200 Soviet priosners had survived only 3. The camp was in the open, with no shelter or food provided for the prisoners. That was in the middle of the Russian winter. After this case the Soviet union issued a formal note of complaint to the government of Germany regarding the treatment of the Sovier POW. Nazi Germany did not reply.

    However, the time soon came for Hitler and the Germans to remember the Geneva Convention. They remembered it when the Red Army kicked them all the way back from Stalingrad to Berlin. They remembered it alright when 90 000 Germans marched into captivity at Stalingrad and when the Russian tanks rumbled on the streets of Berlin. Unfotrtunately for them they did not remember it when 2 million Soviet POW died in Nazi captivity. When the Sondercommands started creating 'lebensraum' for the Reich and exterminating the 'Untermenshen' there was no Geneva Convention. Neither was it there when the Germans had to face the reality of their own behaviour during the war. Although previous suffering should never an excuse for retribution, at least I can understand the desire for such a retribution.

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  • 249. At 4:35pm on 24 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Isenhorn (248):

    Do you have any time-line, any sense of history regarding the Baltic countries?

    To 1939 Baltic countries were neutral. They were not allied, they were just normal countries with normal relations to both the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union.

    In 1939 Baltic countries are pressured by the Soviet Union to give it military bases. Baltic countries submit to this pressure and Soviet Union creates military bases into these countries. Soviet Union in turn turns their troops against these countries, invade, occupy and annex them to be part of the Soviet Union.

    In 1941 the Nazi Germany attack the Soviet Union and soon reach the Baltic countries.

    Now in that situation, who is the enemy? Should the Baltic people fought against the Nazis in side of the Soviet? But why would have they been in the side of the Soviet when Soviets just invaded, occupied and annexed these countries in to USSR and in the mean time committed crimes against humanity by decapitating the best and brightest of the people in these countries? Are you really saying that the Balts should have defended the Soviet, their aggressors and oppressors?

    Now when the Nazi Germany invaded and occupied these countries in their turn, Balts had to do what the new oppressors wanted, some did it willingly others resisted. Those who committed war crimes and crimes against the humanity of course have to be judged, but simply fighting on the Nazi German side against the Soviets doesn't warrant that judgement. The Soviet Union was the enemy of the Baltic countries, it is that simple.

    Now my question to you is, what is your problem with the Baltic countries?

    Also, human rights, the Geneva convention, cover all humans in all conditions. When you don't follow these rules, when you deny the basic human rights, you are committing crimes against the humanity and those must be judged harshly. I also add that I don't understand the desire for retribution, revenge isn't justice.

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  • 250. At 7:26pm on 24 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,
    'The Soviet Union was the enemy of the Baltic countries, it is that simple.
    Now my question to you is, what is your problem with the Baltic countries?'

    The Soviet Union was enemy of Nazi Germany as well. However, in Germany today the people are not proud of their Nazi past, just because they fought the Soviet Union. According to your own posts the guilt has been accepted by the people of Germany. Not so with the Baltic states. In there the belonging to the Nazi war machine and the SS is considered as a something to be proud of. You say that some of the Baltic people resisted the occupying Nazis. Why then do the Baltic states celebrate their own SS veterans and not the people who resisted? When you find the answer to this question you will know what problem I have with the Baltic states.

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  • 251. At 7:58pm on 24 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Isenhorn wrote:

    " Although previous suffering should never an excuse for retribution, at least I can understand the desire for such a retribution."

    No, this cannot be right. It denies the reality of the benefits that flow from punitive justice.

    Now we can all sit around and rub prayer beads and talk about how everyone is, deep down, a nice person, but at the end of the day punitive justice has a very solid rational that makes it effective.

    There are a lot of people in society who would do great evil, or even greater evil, if they were not frightened like hell of the consequences of their actions.

    Anyone who does not understand why punitive justice must remain part of human law has never had to fight for their rights against those who show total disregard for human rights.

    This idea that nazi germany, or any other group of bloodthirsty butchers, can go on a rampage and then be treated as though no precedent must be set, this idea is not just wrong. It is pathetic.

    It denies fundamental realities about how people estimate the consequences of their actions. It implies that people who murder and rape should be let go free after they have received a good talking to from nice people, and after everyone has had a good collective cry.

    One thing Jukka repeatedly forgets to mention about those sent to the gulag is that not all of them were the innocent victims he likes to cry about. I have no doubt that some were innocent victims, but I also have no doubt that many of them were despised and hated because they played a part in assisting the nazi war machine.

    Jukka refuses to accept the difference between nazi aggression towards russia and the russian response towards the german people and the baltic people who assisted in this aggression. He is childlike is his refusal to understand that nazi aggression had consequences that were both terrible AND just.

    Justice is often terrible. Redemption is not always desirable. Examples must be set of order is to be maintained in the world, and let those who are afraid of retribution stay their hand before they strike.

    Some would argue that the retribution against the people who created the monstrous nazi society was insufficient, and they would point to Jukka, and the shameless fascists in the baltic states, as proof that not enough was done to punish these people.

    I would not go that far, but I understand the desire to silence those who would speak in defense of the nazi policies. And I do not mean those individuals, but those cultures.

    Jukka has no reasonable explanation for what should have been done after the Germans were defeated at Stalingrad. He ignores the extent of the crime, because his stomach cannot handle the time.

    If you do the crime, Jukka, you do the time.

    On the issue of collective punishment, I think it is an excellent proposition. I am mindful, for example, that Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq puts me in danger from reasonable Muslims who despair at the brutality of my people. hence I am very concerned at the behaviour of tony blair, and I cannot accept that history records him as a good man.

    Collective punishment and retributive justice are ugly, but they are inherent to the better behaviour of the human beast. The only alternative is that people wander around thinking that they can behave like psychopaths and then say "I'm sorry" and walk free, and that they can allow psychopaths to lead their society and take no responsibility for allowing them to set policy.

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  • 252. At 8:05pm on 24 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka, your statements regarding the baltic countries are not worthy of reply. You plead for what you say to be accepted, but you cite no convincing evidence.

    We all know that some innocents were crushed in the baltic states by the impossible circumstances of the time. Sure.

    But you turn that possibility into an excuse for nazi butchers. You take the possibility that innocents were hurt, and you then claim that the entire population in these regions should be excused for their support of Nazi policy and actions.

    You then turn this excuse of everybody in this region into an assault on the russians, and the soviets.

    So, your reasoning grows from the possibility that some innocents were crushed by cruel fate, and becomes an assault on the russian people for their crimes.

    Yes, Jukka, a lot of innocent people died in the baltic states. But many more people died who were guilty as hell. That is what you cannot accept, and why your cries about russian crimes are so hollow.

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  • 253. At 9:03pm on 24 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Isenhorn (250):

    In the Baltic countries...

    Fighting against the Soviet Union would have been the right thing.

    Assisting on committing war crimes would have been the wrong thing.

    Fighting in the Soviet side would be treasonous.

    So lets see...

    In my mind the people who fought against the Soviet Union, but who didn't commit war crimes, their contribution on trying to make their countries free, should be remembered and to let them have their freedom to remember their sacrifices. Do also remember that Waffen-SS was largely controlled by the Wehrmacht and was more an fighting unit than the regular SS that did most of the war crimes.

    Your problem is that you don't recognize that the Soviet Union was the threat of these countries and thus can't recognize the legitimacy of their fight against the Soviet Union.

    Do note that Finland also formed an Waffen-SS volunteer battalion. The members of that unit have never been accused of any war crimes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Volunteer_Battalion_of_the_Waffen-SS

    The thing is that when you are fighting against the right enemy for the right cause and when you follow the rules of the war and don't commit war crimes, then that service must be remembered and honoured. In Finland we remember and honour all the veterans, in collective, that fought in the war to keep our country independent.

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  • 254. At 9:28pm on 24 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (251) and (252):

    Your grasp of history is definitely on thin ice...

    The transportations to the Gulags had began before the Nazi Germany even had attacked the Soviet Union or any crimes against the humanity had been made.

    Wikipedia: "Immediately after the elections, NKVD units under the leadership of Ivan Serov arrested more than 15,000 "hostile elements" and members of their families[36]. In the first year of Soviet occupation, from June 1940 to June 1941, the number confirmed executed, conscripted, or deported is estimated at a minimum of 124,467: 59,732 in Estonia, 34,250 in Latvia, and 30,485 in Lithuania.[52] This included 8 former heads of state and 38 ministers from Estonia, 3 former heads of state and 15 ministers from Latvia, and the then president, 5 prime ministers and 24 other ministers from Lithuania.[53] The last large-scale operation was planned for the night of 27-28 June 1941. It was postponed until after the war when the Germans invaded the USSR on 22 June 1941 - Operation Barbarossa[36]. According to historian Robert Conquest, the selective deportations from the Baltic States represented the policy of "decapitation" of the nation by removing its political and social elite, "as was later evidently to be the motive for the Katyn massacre."[54]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Baltic_countries#Soviet_terror


    On your comment about collective punishment, about retribution and about revenge I just not only unacceptable but totally revolting.

    What you don't see is that revenge and collective punishments only increase the circle of violence. In the end you have group A that says "we must punish the group B for their acts against us 87 years ago! it is rightful justice! revenge and punishment must be served to everybody!". That is an never ending circle of violence that will keep going on until there is mass murder. This is the same twisted logic that made the genocide in Rwanda a reality.

    Personally, revenge and collective punishment go so deep against any faith, against faith in humanity, I just can't find words to express on how many levels I reject it... While I'm agnostic, I can't just help than say that revenge and collective punishment, they are not a Christian way.

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  • 255. At 02:26am on 25 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Looking up war things came across one historian interview. Quite instructive.
    While preparing for the meeting with Roosevelt in Dec 1941 Churchill stated: If the allies will act energetically, the war will be over at the end 1942 - beg 1943. A the Molotov-Roosevelt-Churchill talks in June 1942 was stated that the war will end in the beg 1943. Such conclusions were not made on empty grounds, but followed from analysis of German military forces done after their major defeat at Moscow. After blitzkrieg failure Germany had to change strategy for positional war in which it stood no chances. They clearly had not forces enough to withstand the 2nd front, and Hitler rightly worried that the allies will use it. But the allies missed the chance. Churchill managed, using the hesitations of Roosevelt, achieve the transfer of the time of the 2nd front opening.

    By mid 1942 the situation we had was more than serious. Stalin in telegram to Zhukov on 15 Sep recognised: Hardly anyone will have the skill to foresee what turn it will take in the nearest months.
    If to look up Marshall's report "On victorious war in Europe and in the Pacific" that he submitted in 1945 to the country's management, you'll read the following: "We still haven't realised on what thin a thread hung the fortune of United Nations during 1942! How near were Germany and Japan to establishing worldwide mastership (sorry, I am back translating) And we have to recognise the fact that the American position at that moment doesn't make us honour". Developing this thought, but not giving references to Marshall, the State Secretary Hell (really? Hell?) wrote: "Only heroic resistance of Soviet Union saved the allies from the shameful separate peace with Germany. That separate agreement would have opened the door for the next, 30-year war."
    That's the baby-born of Churchill's action and Roosevelt's yielding to him, who, in essence, walked on the bridle-reign of the former.
    ...
    Stalingrad battle, in essence, changed the nature and the path of the 2ndWW. If, in 1941-1942 the allies discussed that one has to distract German forces from the Eastern front, one has to provide USSR help and this will weaken Germany, after the Stalingrad battle the issue of the diverting the German forces off away from the Eastern front was taken off from the agenda.At that time new questions arose facing the allies:Aren't the Germans too weakened? Aren't the Russians too strong? May be it's time to think how to preserve Germany - the major barrier to Russia's penetration deep into to Europe? These are thoughts of the British leader that he formulated earlier than anyone else - back in 1942.
    In Jan 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt, informing Stalin of the conference to take place in Casablanca, again state year 1943 as "when Hitler will be put out by us on the knees". But again don't name the date of the opening of 2nd front.
    Stalin exploded, declared it's a conspiracy against Soviet Union, though he was to a certain degree guilty himself: Roosevelt had several times suggested Stalin to meet and talk "eye to eye" but Stalin for unknown reason insisted on meetings with Churchill's part-taking. That was a clear blunder and a golden chance for us to finish the war earlier lost.
    ...
    Here goes 1943. We fight Germany, practically, alone. Moreover, Churchill doesn't want to have a break - he sends us strategic dis-information: Germans roll up preparations for the Kursk battle, it is not to be. Should Stalin trust Churchill, Hitler would have taken revanche for Stalingrad, and in the worst shape for us possible.
    - Why would he do it?
    - He didn't do anything without a reason; wanted to weaken us. Further on - more. 20 Aug 1943 at the meeting in Quebec of America's and Britain's leaders, where took part heads of both general HQ, there was put a direct question: Germans should hold Russians in the Eadt as long as possible. At that meeting were taken two plans: Overlord, of which we will be informed in Oct 1943 in Tehran (this provided for landing of allies in 1944 in France), and the other one, top secret, Rankin, the objective of which is "to turn all the might of un-defeated Germany aganst Russians". On the second plan Germans enter a conspiracy with the allies, release Western front, provide assistance at landing in Normandy, provide rapid advance of the allies through France and Germany and exit to the line at which they hold Soveit troops. Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Sophia, Vienna and Belgrade get under USA and Britain's control. By the plan, the German forces in the East don't simply surrender, but move to the East in the organised manner, to fortify there the German defence line. There are documents on that, and you can't get away from them, as much as you'd wish.
    This Quebec variant was completed with details in November 1943. When Eisenhower was appointed the commander of the expeditionary forces of the allies, he received a directive: preparing for Overlord not to lose hold of Rankin, and at the first possibility to introduce it.
    - Who offered that plan?
    - English general Morgan together with Donovan. Surely out of it stick ears of Churchill. A constituate part of this plan was attempt on the life of Hitler. Link with the allies on German side was conducted through the head of intelligence service general Canaris. Participants were fieldmarshal Rommel, who was to head the plot, Witzleben, Klugge and other military heads. Hard to say how all this would end up, if not the wounding of Rommel, 3 days before the attempt on the life of Hitler. But this is a small part of the plan, that we know of. Most of the materials is still under secret. USA hold tight at its dogma "We don't apologise for our external politics."
    - Still, the allies finally opened the 2nd front, in the middle of 1944.
    This is a very important moment, though most don't stress the timing. The allies took into account that under Stalingrad, in the Kursk arc and in the following battles we have carried huge loss. From 1944 country already drafted 17-year old youngsters. The allies agreed that by mid 1944 the attacking potential of USSR is exhausted and it won't be able to make a strike on Wermacht comparable with the Stalingrad one. The stakes were that by the time of the landing, drowning in stand-out against each other with Germans, we will yield strategic initiative to the USA and Britain. But they miscalculated. Planned to land on 6th of July and end the war in August. Didn't even care about equipping themselves for autumn and winter, of machinery able to move in the conditions of absence of roads, of all-weather avaiation means, and that's why autumn-winter they decided to over-wait in warm quarters. Hitler used this blunder, and showed them what Germany can do - inflicted a blow in Ardennes, at that - not taking troops off from the Eastern front. The allies rushed after help to Stalin. And he had helped, began the Visla-Order operation ahead of the time.
    Eisenhower in his memoirs acknowledges that the 2nd front hasn't practically existed already by Feb 1945: Germans rolled back to the East without any resistance. Churchill at that time, in his talks, correspondence with Roosevelt, tries to convince him by all means but to stop Russians, not to let them into Central Europe. This explains the importance that Berlin took by that time. The English were taking in by- division style German units, who surrendered without resistance, and were sending them to southern Denmark and to Schleswig-Golstain. This way were quartered 15 German divisions. The armament was warehoused, and the troops kept training for further fights. In the beg of April Churchill commands his head quarters' heads to start preparing operation Unthinkable - with part-taking of USA, Britain, Canada, Polish regiments and 10 to 12 German divisions to start military action against Soviet Union. The 3rd world war had to began on 1st July 1945. London longly denied the existence of this plan, but several years ago Britain un-secreted a part of its archives and among the documents happened to be papers concerning operation Unthinkable.
    -And how did Roosevelt refer to it?
    - Roosevelt by that time was already incapable. The talks were conducted with Marshall, Legi, Arnold, Patton. Legi and Marshall took the planning with understanding. And Patton - that one was ready to start war on the go and suggested to go to .. Stalingrad!
    If not Berlin storming, the 3rd WW could have began at the time appointed. Stalin insisted on conducting the Berlin operation. He wanted to show the allies the strength of the Soviet army. BTW, it was also a reply to the far un-friendly action of the allies. In Yalta the sides agreed on the demarcasion lines, zones of their action - where should enter the forces of parts, where not. The conference ended on 11 February, and during the night 12th-13th the allies in feathers and ashes bombed Dresden, which was the zone of Soviet Army. Wanted to show us the strength of their aviation. Americans destroyed three bridges over the Elbe, to hold advance of our troops, bombed out, so that we won't get the, major industrial objects in Czech and Slovakia. By the way, when we offered in 1941 Americans to bomb out oil facilities in Ploeshta, using our Crimea airdromes, they refused, and when in 1944 our troops neared "the main German benzine station", they stroke it.
    Stalin was a substantial analyst; combined all together he said "Aha. You show us what can do your aviation, and we will show you what we can do on the ground. By Berlin he demonstrated the striking fire force of our forces, so that neither with Churchill, nor with Eisenhower, Marshall or Patton would start a desire to fight with the USSR. Behind the decision and decisiveness of USSR to take Berlin and enter the lines of demarcation as stated in Yalta, stood an archi-important task to avert the avanture of the British leader of the gliding succession from the 2nd WW to the 3rd one.

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  • 256. At 02:41am on 25 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    jukka:

    "On your comment about collective punishment, about retribution and about revenge I just not only unacceptable but totally revolting."

    Please, you are the guy who wants to hold russia accountable for soviet "crimes"!

    Jukka, you are also the guy who wanted to invade Switzerland because you don't like their economic policy.

    How can I take you seriously?

    Anyway, revenge and retribution were not the words I used. these are your words.

    I said "punitive justice". Google is your friend, go read what it means. Everyday, in every jurisdiction, judges sentence extremely nasty folks to long periods of incarceration in order to punish them, and to therefore set an example to others who might think they can also commit crime and then cry about how unfair it is that there are consequences, and be set free.

    Punitive justice is extremely effective because some people are so selfish that they can feel their own pain, but they cannot understand the pain they cause to other people. Such people can only be controlled by fear of the law, and so the law makes it clear that the law is indeed to be feared by such people.

    As for collective punishment, what is any war, if not an act of collective punishment? All war punishes collectively, and that is why people must be very careful when the decide to go to war. When a state invades another state and causes death and destruction, they risk being held to account collectively. This is why we must take care which leaders we support, and which policies we excuse.

    You can't handle the simply reality that holds the german people accountable for the nazi regime, and their allies accountable for being allies to a hideous genocide against the Russian people. You want to talk loud and long about prosecuting the evil russians, but you can't handle people talking about punishing the evil nazis.

    It is not me you are arguing with, it is history.

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  • 257. At 02:44am on 25 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    As for your wikipedia "facts", please do not embarrass yourself. I have studied this period and these countries in great detail, and I have spoken to numerous people who were there.

    What you cite are the hysterical lies of a bunch of neo-nazi revisionists who will say anything to excuse the nazi crimes, and who feel guilt because of what their parents did,

    You didn't even know about the frei korps. That is how much you know about the baltic wars. Go read some books and speak to the people who actually fought in the war, jukka.

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  • 258. At 03:09am on 25 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka, let me explain why I feel disgust at the way the baltic states revise history. It is really quite simple.

    Every year I go to Lithuania and i meet people and there are discussions about the history of the second world war, and what was done by whom.

    And every year I am met with large numbers of Lithuanians who discuss the "Lithuanians" who were treated so badly by the "russians". And every year, these same people never say a word about the lithuanian jews who were butchered. And every year, when I ask about the jews, I am told that historical tales about the Lithuanians and the "jews".

    Always the distinction is made between "Lithuanians" and "jews". I very seldom hear about "Lithuanians" and "lithuanian jews". Even today, the nationalism in the baltic states is so blind to the crimes of the baltic people that they unconsciously describe "lithuanians" in 1940's as being a separate people to the "jews". There is never the understanding that the lithuanian jews were also lithuanians. There is never the understanding that lithuanians butchered other lithuanians and treated these people like subhumans, and there is never the comprehension that these "jews" were lithuanian people, just as worthy to call themselves lithuanian as those who make this terrible distinction to this day.

    When I begin to hear baltic nationalists discuss the baltic jews in the same breath as they describe their own glorious heritage, then I may begin to believe that history is not being revised by a bunch of neo nazi sympathizers.

    The reality on the ground in the baltic states is that the culture still distinguishes between "true balts" and "jews", even though both groups of people lived in the same towns, in the same geographical area.

    While this remains true, I have no time for theories about how dreadful life was for the true balts.

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  • 259. At 04:08am on 25 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    the end.
    12 April 45 US embassies, all governmental and military institutions received order of Truman: all documents, signed by Roosevelt are void. Then followed the command to harden position in relation to the Soviet Union. 23 April Truman conducted a meeting in the White House where he said: Enough. We are not interested anymore in the union with the Russians, therefore can allow ourselves not to fulfill the agreements reached with them. The problem of Japan we will solve without Russians."
    He put himself the aim to make Yalta agreements non-existing. Against Truman immediately practically uprised the US military, all with the exception of general Patton, commnding the tank troops of the USA. By the way - the US military also plyed first violin in cancellation of the operation Unthinkable. They were interested in Soviet Union entering the war with Japan. Their arguments listed to Truman included: if USSR won't step in on the US side, the Japanese will hop over to the islands the multi-million Kwantung army and will fight with the same fanatism as it was in Okinawa. In the result America will lose only killed from one to two million people. Truman replied "Good, if you think they should help us with Japan, let them help, but on this we end the friendship." Then followed that such a hard talk with Molotov, who was lost why suddenly so hard talk, while Truman at that time was already leaning onto the nuclear bomb.
    ...
    Returning to April 1945, Churchill continued to pressure Truman with European affairs - not to let Soviet troops to the Central Europe, get ready for the military fight with the USSR. It is a must that the Germany surrenders exclusively to the allies and is able to part-take in the following war with the USSR. Hitler's successor Denitz at that time declared: "We will stop the war with USA and Britain that lost sense, but will still continue the war with the Soviet Union." Capitulation is Rheims was the combined baby of Churchill and Denitz. The agreement was signed 7 May at 2:45. Practically, they tried to steal our victory.
    It took us quite some effort to make Truman to confirm capitulation in Berlin, to be more exact - in Karlhorst on the 8th of May (9th Moscow time), with participation of both USSR and the allies, agree on the Victory day, as Churchill insisted on considering the end of the war day to be 7th of May. By the way in Rheims there took place a one more forgery. Text of agreement of unconditional Germany surrender was prepared and agreed by Yalta conference, it was signed by Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill. But Americans pretended they forgot about the very existence of that text, that, by the way, was kept in the safe box of head of Eisenhower's HQ, Smith. Eisenhower's near circle, under the management of the same very Smith, composed a new agreement, by "cleaning it" of all un-wanted elements of the Yalta deal. At that, the new agreement was signed by Smith of behalf of both allies, and the Soviet Union in that agreement was not even mentioned, as if it didn't participate in the war. Such a spectacle happened to be played in Rheims. The ready document of capitulation in Rheims was first passed over to the Germans, and only then it was passed over to Moscow.
    ...
    The four reasons of failure of operation Unthinkable
    1. Position of US military who stood firm they need USSR in the war with Japan
    2. Berlin operation
    3. Churchill lost elections and stayed without power
    4. British military / against.

    It is important to note the position of USA at that point. They didn't invite Britain to participate in the war with Japan, moreover, they were practically pressing Britain out of Asia. Note that by the agreement of 1942 the zone of responsibility of USA was not limited by Singapore, but also included China, Australia and New Zealand.

    But the operation Unthinkable failed in the shape as Churchill saw it. While Truman had own ideas on this account. He believed that the competition of USA and USSR will not end by Germany's and Japan's capitulation, but that would these serve as a beginning of the new stage of struggle. Characteristic is the comment of the advisor with the US ambassador in Moscow, Kennan, who, watching how muscovites celebrate the victory on the 9th of May 1945 said: "Jollying... They think that the war is over. While the real war is only starting."
    Knowing that we enter the war with Japan, even the exact date was agreed upon and named - 8th of August, Truman still gave the command to drop the nuclear bomb on Chiroshima. Military, there was no sense in it. Japan has taken the decision - if USSR announces war to it by joining USA - they surrender. But Truman wanted to demonstrate the bomb to us.

    Already returning on "Augusta" cruiser from the Potsdam conference home to the USA, Truman gave command to Eisenhower to prepare plan of nuclear war against USSR. The first draft was ready in December 1945, then it was accomplished and developed. First draft planned for 20 bombs dropped onto USSR, the draft of January 1946 accounted for 40, then it became 60, then it reached 200. One good thing the Americans, as always, had problems with arythmetics. Years later Truman asked Strauss, the head of the national nuclear commission: "How many bombs we have available?" Straus tried to crample the answer but Truman was insisting. "In 1946 we had two bombs, by the end of 1947 - 5, and only starting from 1948 the count began in dozens." Truman said "I wish I better hasn't asked you, and you wouldn't disclose the secret information." So Americans were simply bullying us in the beginning, not having the means to attack.

    The beginning of the 3rdWW I consider to be
    and this is how it happened. In zDecember 1945 in Moscow was held a conference of the ministers of foreign affairs. First state secretary of Truman, Birns, on return home, made a speech on radio, on the 30th of December: After meeting with Stalin I am more sure than ever that peace, and just peace, by American standards, can be had with Russians.
    In several days, on the 5th of January Truman gives Birns a harsh telling off: "All that you have chattered there on the radio is nonsense and hallucinations. We don't need any peace with the USSR, and no compromises with them. What we need is Pax Americana that answers our ideas by minimum 80%."

    On the 5th January 1946 as well Truman listed his claims and demands to the USSR; I think there is full ground to consider that date the day of start of the Cold War. And, in essence, the 3rdWW. Truman was later asked "What's the difference between Cold war and war?" He said "It's one and the same war, only it is conducted by other methods."
    As US historians claim, twice on the table of Eisenhower lay orders to inflict a preventive strike on the USSR. By their laws the order enters force only if whole three heads of HQ sign it - Navy, Air and Ground. Two there were, the third one missing. And only because the Head of the Ground forces understood he won't ensure superiority. By American calculation the victory would be achieved if within the first 30 minutes 65million population will be destroyed. As to dividing USSR the USA had two old plans - one of year 1948, by which USSSR had to be split into 12 states, one other, of the year 1949. With sadness have to confirm that they managed to divide us. And the fault is not only theirs but mostly ours. Gorbachyov isn't guilty the most, not less than him are Khruschev and Brezhnev. When we invented the first hydrogen bomb in the world, we should have stopped on that. And not to try to chase USA in developing new armament. I was telling Khruschev - "Having nuclear arms we can tell anyone - if you attack us - you will get a nuclear strike in reply. And the appetite with the attackers would vanish." And we plunged head along instead into the arms race. In 1981 in the USA was taken for action another plan, of driving USSR to economic collapse by developing non-nuclear armament. BTW, nuclear arms are 5-6 ties cheaper than conventional. But they managed to lure us into the trap. We had to cut all social programmes, and chased them, chased them, until we lost breath. And received what we have today. Gorbachyov isn't guilty in the USSR collapse the most, simply got his lot/fortune, that's his bad luck to be the last.
    _______________________

    isenhorn and democracythreat.
    You'd agree a very sad and pathetic impression all this leaves. I became totally de-spirited simply writing. But I guess pessimistic views, formed on the fact base, also have right to be known. One kind of wonders when will this all end, and did it ever end. Looks like some eternal struggle. How silly.

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  • 260. At 09:48am on 25 Mar 2009, Seraphim wrote:

    I don’t know who ever said that Germans also strongly want a European Defence Organisation. Even before the economy crisis we didn’t really care and now there are certainly more important things to talk about. By now I see the NATO as an instrument of the US to achieve what they want, but since it doesn’t hinder the US and the British to have unjustified wars such as Iraq when the NATO disagrees, I don’t think it matters much weather we keep or drop it.

    For those (probably) Americans as #47 who say “We protect you all the time”. Erm from what exactly are you protecting us? The only threat right now that we face is Terrorism and we don’t really need American troops in Germany to fight them as those jobs are done by the police and not by soldiers. I think places like Rammstein are helping the US a lot more for their logistics than they provide us with direct and needed protection.

    Russia won’t ever be stupid enough to attack Europe. On the one hand there are enough nukes to harm them severely, but even without that Europe is Russia’s strongest partner in trading and it doesn’t make that much sense to attack your best trading partners who literally stabilize your own economy with their demands.

    China is far far away and the fact that they even fear the collapse of the American economy to the point of buying trillions of dollars just to enable Americans to keep spending more than they have makes it unlikely that they aim to attack anyone except for Taiwan maybe.

    I don’t know if Europeans in general prefer diplomacy over war or if it just not our way to conceal an internal crisis by starting some “random” war.

    WW2 is more than half a century ago and it is not really that related to this topic either + I don’t really care who liberated us from Hitler – as a German I am simply thankful that someone did!

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  • 261. At 12:33pm on 25 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To democracythreat (257) and (258):

    Neo-Nazi revisionists? The quote from Wikipedia sited Robert Conquest, a noted British historian. He studied in Oxford and made a doctorate about the Soviet history. He has published books about the Soviet Union and the Soviet Terror since the 60s. Neo-Nazi revisionist, really?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Conquest


    Now you lament that every year Lithuanians discuss on how badly Russians treated them, but don't mention anything about treatment of Jews. Do you want to know why. It is because of people like you. It is people like you who politicize the history. It is people like you who nationalize the history. It is people like you who don't take any interest on academic history studies. It is people like you who just deny history outright without consideration.

    The thing is that under Soviet Union, the history of these countries were written by the USSR, in that history they were never invaded, never occupied and had happily joined the USSR without no crimes or destruction committed against them. The people who had fought against the Soviet invasion and occupation either were framed as imperialists or fascists or otherwise criminals. In fact, in Soviet history these countries were just poor backwoods where there was nothing, then the glorious Soviet Union came and liberated these countries and gave everything to these peoples. That was the Soviet history that was pushed to everybody.

    In Finland we had almost the same situation as the Soviet Union required in the peace treaty that Finland admits that it was guilty to both the Winter War and the Continuation War. Thus in the Finnish history writing and teaching it was Finland that had started the war. Also because of the Finlandization many things about the war were kept quite, for example Soviet Partisan strikes against Finnish villages near the Finnish border where partisans murdered whole villages including old people, women, children and infants. All those things were kept quite. Thus as the whole war had to be written by Soviet doctrine, in the 60s and 70s student radicalism, the war veterans were either dispraised or their fight was forgotten completely.

    Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the war came open subject to write and talk about. At first when the subject became free again, the official history moved into position that Finland had not done anything wrong, it was not guilty of the war, it had fought following the rules of the war, it was not in alliance with the Nazi Germany as its war was a separate of that of the Nazi Germany. This lasted only to the end of the 90s. In 90s as there was more freedom to handle this subject, more and more historians started to look and question on what actually had happened in the war.

    *One of the first things to be acknowledged was that Finland had returned 8 Jewish refugee seekers to Nazi Germany who died at the holocaust.
    *Then came the interment camps for the Russian speaking population in the occupied Eastern Karelia.
    *Then there were the handing of approx 500s refugee seekers and POWs to Nazi Germany which died more or less immediately after their handing.
    *Then there was the Einsatzkommando Finnland, a unit of the Nazi Germany, that was specialised on killing unwanted people from the 300000 Soviet POWs that Germans had in Finland.
    *Currently there are questions on why Finnish government split Jewish prisoners of wars into their own POW camp, the question is why, was the state willing or going to render these POWs to Nazis, and if so, what changed their mind?
    *Of course immediately after the war there was supreme court case because of shootings of the POWs, approx. 5% of all taken POWs were shot, approx 1000 POWs. 213 men were judged from killings of POWs from which 22 were insane. In the court case the reasons for shooting of POWs were hate against Russians, poor discipline, mental health problems and the poor food situation in Finland.

    Now in Finland it has taken approx. 20 years into get into this point in acknowledging and judging our past dealings and we had a good position to start. Lets see... we were in the Axis side, fought to retain our liberal democracy and our freedoms, didn't commit crimes against our own citizens, in all fought with the war following the rules more or less, were saved more or less by the Germans in the Soviet offensive of 1944, lost the war, were not occupied, stayed as part of west, had to keep silent about many things officially, and then the Soviet Union collapsed... Now compare this to Baltic countries who were invaded, occupied, annexed and had to endure approx 50 years of Soviet propaganda and oppression and their people who resisted the Soviets were framed as imperialist and fascists and blamed with everything. This is the same situation is all around the Eastern Europe.

    The thing is that as long as you and other non Balts are pushing and dictating what the history of the Baltic countries was, on refusing to acknowledge what they had to endure under the Soviet oppression, that is just postponing the Balts from starting their own process to deal with their history. When the suffering of Baltic people and other Eastern European people are acknowledged and accepted as part of history, then that will open doors for them to start recognizing their shady and dark parts of history and putting it in the framework of history.

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  • 262. At 4:03pm on 25 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    Jukka,

    Long post, but missing the point. Finland acknowledged its dark past. The baltic states are proud of it.
    By the way, I have not heard a Russian being proud of Katyn or the the suppression the 'Prague Spring'. Neither have I seen parades of Russian 'veteran-rapists' or 'Katyn-murderers' on the steets of Moscow. What I have seen is parades of SS veterans on the streets of Tallinn.

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  • 263. At 5:13pm on 25 Mar 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Isenhorn (262):

    The point that I made was that handling the trauma of the Soviet occupation postponed itself the start of settling the past. Further postponing of handling the history has been due to politicization and nationalization of the issue and the insistence of Kremlin the nothing wrong was committed against the Baltic countries. Remember that the current Kremlin position is that Baltic countries joined the Soviet Union with loving arms and were lovingly liberated from the Nazis. The point is that both the past history and the current insistence of Russian government to acknowledge its past dealings against the Baltic countries are all making it harder for Balts to handle and look at their history.

    We should also note that for example in Estonia the work with the past is still going on and it is advanching. For example...

    Wikipedia: "In May 2005, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip gave a speech while visiting Klooga: "Although these murderers must answer for their crimes as individuals, the Estonian Government continues to do everything possible to expose these crimes. I apologise for the fact that Estonian citizens could be found among those who participated in the murdering of people or assisted in the perpetration of these crimes."[63]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia_in_World_War_II

    You also didn't get that there is a difference between Waffen-SS and SS. The other thing you didn't get that people who fought against the Soviets, who didn't commit war crimes or crimes against the humanity, have nothing to shame, they were fighting for the independence of their country that Soviet Union had taken away with force.

    To note about your comment about parades in Russia, the thing is that in Russia there is insistence that nothing wrong was ever made by the Red Army. Nothing acknowledged, all hidden away.

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  • 264. At 1:18pm on 26 Mar 2009, Seraphim wrote:

    There are parades of SS veterans in Talinn? omg...

    Here it is even forbidden to have combinations such as SS, NS, HJ, SA on the numberplate of a car.

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  • 265. At 00:09am on 27 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 266. At 01:58am on 27 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Back to the new EU calendar day, Memory of Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, to be marked first time in 2009. On the day of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

    I rather hope of those 409 MEPs who voted "for" - there weren't ones from Lithuania? Imagine, you sit in Vilnius... :o)

    condemn Stalinism, by virtue of which you got that very Vilnius that you sit in, plus half of your country..
    that very Stalin who by this very Pact took Wilno from Poland - made it Lithuania - and have to condemn the Molotov-Ribbentrop deal !

    surely "Stalinism" has nothing to do with the fact that Lithuanian capital is Vilnius! It has always been - Vilnius! Stalin - he simply made justice - returned to Lithuania back, what Poland grabatised from it in 1919. Wait a sec - justice? it is a criminal Non-Agression Pact!

    "Well, as to the Russians - of them it's real, real criminal. For Lithuanians it is - nothing but justice.!"

    I hope there wasn't a Lithuanian MEP voting "for". Imagine the pains of conciousness. If such a thing exists still.

    Or, - were there a Moldova MEP? A similar situation. Even worse. There wasn't any "Moldova" before Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. There wasn't a "real true Moldovian land returned back to Moldova, by Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact." Simply whole Moldova was Romania and nothing else. The whole of it was grabatised from Romania, and made a country. What a shame. High time to denounce the Molotov-Ribbentrop deal, and ?

    I pity the life some Russian "ex" have to live these days.
    One really has to be flexible about things. Elastic principles, stretching parameters. On one hand.. on another... on the third one...
    History has to be censored, "up-graded", to meet the modern democratic realities.

    If there always was a "Ukraine" - why the whole Ukrainian classic literature has to be re-written? Poor classics, volumes censored and printed anew. They didn't know what they were writing about! In the 16th and 18th centuries! Total shame.
    And not that they were "political" writers, oh no. Simple stories, novels, love stories, large novels - and no where a trace of a division btw Russia and ? Russia. In a non-challant way - they write about ordinary things - and can't tell the difference! those "classics".

    I think Ukrainian powers now wish they rather had no "great names", no "literature". Better none at all, than having to re-print them with corrections.
    Some places are easy, "Great Russia" becomes "Great Ukraine", "my bosom friend in Moscow" becomes "my best Kiev friend", etc. Simply all adjectives re-written.

    But other authors present a real bug. There is a height of Ukr. literature, weight of importance there - say, kind of a Ukrainian "King Lear". Now, that masterpiece is a total disgrace. The hero is an old man with 2 sons. One is killed, in the Russian-Turkish war no 100. The old patriarch stayes with the only sonny, the sun of his eyes and his only hope in the decline of his years, after many hardships and whatever takes place in the novel.

    Now, one nice day that sonny appears in front of his dad - in a Polish army uniform. The dad collapses in tatters. "What's that about? and Are you nuts?"
    The single left-over baby explains to his dad that his views are mastodontic and out of fashion. The future - it is, LOL, with civilised Europe! With the Poles! They are closer to the , that old - times "West", and pay him very well, and what's the point to continue fighting for Ukraine together with Russians against Turks who want that Ukraine - anyway the slavs are losing - while in Poland life is nice and easy.

    The dad tries his best to fix the wrong son's morals ASAP. Despairs how he missed such a treason case in his family. Reminds him of honour, of comraderie in arms, of this and that holy. No effect.
    So the end is the dad says what is, perhaps, the most known phrase in the whole Ukrainian literature (that is, was) (well, now, with a new angle - still is. classics - that's why they are "classics"):

    I have given birth to you - I will myself kill you.

    Puts a gun to the son's breast (the son is completely taken aback. doesn't believe his dad would do it), and pulls the trigger.
    Then, naturally, collapses on the dead body in sobs. The curtain.





    and returned back to you took Wilno from Poland and made it your capital by this very pact the deal that gave you Vilnius and half the country, sitting in Vilnius

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  • 267. At 03:33am on 27 Mar 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    @265

    If Kopernik had to pass through this moderation - the Sun would still be rotating around the Earth.

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  • 268. At 05:15am on 27 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Jukka wrote:

    "Now you lament that every year Lithuanians discuss on how badly Russians treated them, but don't mention anything about treatment of Jews. Do you want to know why. It is because of people like you. It is people like you who politicize the history. It is people like you who nationalize the history. It is people like you who don't take any interest on academic history studies. It is people like you who just deny history outright without consideration."

    Maybe. I doubt it. I mean, I really doubt that the reason a lot of the Lithuanians i know still refer to the jews as a side issue in their history, and as somehow non lithuanians, is because of people like me.

    You talk about history, but then you say that the baltic states were "invaded" by the USSR. You haven;t the faintest grasp of history, Jukka. Take Lithuania as the perfect example. When was Lithuania "invaded" by the USSR? It simply never happened.

    For a start, even if you call the Molotov ribbentrop pact "Invasion", Lithuania was suppose to go to the germans. And at that time, Vilnius was held by the polish, and their policy was to eradicate all trace of lithuanian culture. They had banned the language, and annexed the region under polish rule. Not "occupied", but "annexed". They claimed it as part of poland.

    The lithuanians wanted the soviets in, and it was red army troops who drove out the polish. Not lithuanians. Red army. And it was the red army who then created the borders of what you now call lithuania. And it was the soviets who re-established the lithuanian language in this region. As I am fond of telling my lithuanian friends who no nothing of the facts of their own history, or who deny it, without the red army sacrificing lives to expel the polish (supported by the UK, incidently) there WOULD BE NO LITHUANIA.

    Fact, Jukka. Hard, cold fact.

    But maybe the invasion you refer to is when the red army entered Lithuania during the march to berlin?

    If so, you are guilty of the most appalling nazi apologetics. You condone the baltic SS squads liquidating tens of thousands of russian POWS and jews inside russia and ukraine, but then squeal about the invasion of the baltic states when they lost their brutal war of butchery and conquest.

    What a load of rubbish. This is "invasion"?

    The real reason Lithuanians always talk about the "russian" occupation (The head of the red army was latvian, Beria was georgian and so was stalin, the NKVD was disproportionately made up of balts because they spoke european languages) is because they think that the west buys into this cold war myth that everything the soviet union ever did was evil, and that the poor little baltic states were horribly oppressed.

    It is cold war nonsense. The balts honestly think the americans love them, and would fight to save them because of their need for freedom. When I tell balts that the USA is sympathetic to jews, and that the only thing most westerners know about the baltic states is that they butchered more jews than anyone else, the reaction is curious.

    The baltic states desperately need to shut up about how they were treated after world war 2, and start talking about how they treated their own people: the baltic jews.

    It is not because of me that these people refer to jewish balts in the 1940s as some kind of pest that is best not discussed, and certainly not true baltic people. Believe that if it makes you feel better, but it is only the people of the baltic regions who think nobody knows or remembers how they behaved when the nazis rolled into town.

    Curiously, one of the only lithuanian people I know who regularly speaks up for the jews, and who spits on the ground and calls other balts nazi sympathizers, is an old lady who was sent to Omsk as part of a huge relocation program in 1941. She has real compassion for the jews, and she is weirdly thankful for being deported, because it spared her the horror of being in Lithuania during the worst years of the war. But she has compassion for everyone who suffered, and she sees no rationality in the feverish nationalism of the current baltic regimes.

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