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« Insufficient sycophancy | Main | Update, Feb 21 »

February 20, 2017

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If smoking ruins is what you mean by not ending well then yes. This may be the wrong time to ask but does America have adequate insurance against acts of stupidity?

"a foreign policy blunder unequaled in American history"!

Really?

"Unequaled"?

But wasn't there a spot of bother in Vietnam under the leadership of Lyndon Johnson, a president beloved of the Democrat party?

Iraq was less of a blunder than Vietnam, old chap?

You do know that war started before ..... oh never mind. And you do know that Johnson wasn't beloved by the Democratic Party....oh never mind. The Vietnam war was a giant mistake to be sure. You'd have thought it would be an object lesson. But look at the idiots who leapt into the second Iraq war. Now that war got special relationship sauce all over it. Money well spent, right Duff?

@ DA:
Well, if you compare the number of dead American soldiers then, yes, Vietnam was, dare I say, 'huuuugely' worse - 47+k against 5+k in Iraq AND Afghanistan. But of course, you don't judge the efficacy of a way by the death rates - or do you?

@ Peter:
Yes, Peter, I do know that Johnson didn't start the war in Vietnam, another great Democrat started that, I think his name was Kennedy. All that Johnson did was to re-enforce it 'huuugely'. And as for Johnson not being 'lurved' by the Democrat party, didn't he do awfully well for black Americans?

Incidentally, you seem to have forgotten that it was a Republican president who ended the Vietnam war but does he get any thanks for it? Well, not from the Democrats, that's for sure!

Eisenhower started the involvement in Vietnam you bloody TWIT

It appears our fascist-loving limey suggests that Viet Nam was a greater policy blunder than Iraq, and I tend to agree with him provided one doesn't count civilian casualties and displaced persons. However, given his alt-right proclivities, it would seem that a great opportunity was missed to achieve the world order he seems to favor. And that suggests that the greatest policy blunder ever made by the U.S. was rescuing those sorry Brits in the 1940s.

Dear boy, it's risible how you don't want to discuss the biggest Republican blunder of the 21s Century, but insist that Vietnam was worse.

Given the effects and number of innocents killed by our forces because of Bush II insistence that Saddam had WMD, that was far worse than sending American troops overseas, especially since it spawned ISIS, which, if you were paying attention, waa able to keep Iraq an unstable war zone for a while now.
We were only in Vietnam for some 12 years, it'll be 14 years next month with regard to Iraq, and it still isn't stable there.

Any more questions, WLPOS?

Yes I do know a Republican president ended it. And I do know that Johnson was responsible for the Civil Rghts Act so despised by Republicans.Nixon was also the guy who started the EPA don't you know. Which is also hated by right wing nuts for some reason. This would be a strange place for you to try to teach anyone history. But since we're reviewing history aren't you guys the people who invented the concentration camp? And weren't you the guys who went around stealing other people's countries and exploiting their resources and committing mass murder to maintain control? Why I do believe that was Not So Great Britain. Always been a bit schizo though. I mean why ban slavery and then back the South in the American civil war? Was that because friends with benefits included slaves?

You'd have to be pretty stupid not to know that the Democrats mostly opposed continued involvement in Vietnam. Did you think all those anti war slogan chanting hippies were Republicans? Read a book sometime.

Here's why I don't agree with him: just ask yourself how many Vietnamese there are in the world and where they are located. Then ask yourself how many Muslim's of different sects there are in the world. It was a foolish mistake to try and bomb a country little removed from the stone age back to the stone age. But the shitstorm generated by the second Iraq war is a gift that will be giving for generations to come.

Exactly. And that's not even considering the environmental damage.

By the way I do somewhat agree with the part about constantly bailing out the British in their idiotic management of European affairs in the twentieth century. Now those were epic cluster fucks! Duffer seems to have forgotten which American political party opposed bailing out Britain and which president actually did pull ye olde chestnuts out of the fire.

That's Democratic Party, jackass.

And speaking of Vietnam...isn't that the war Ol' Yellow Stain stayed the hell away from, getting a bunch of deferments?

And how conveniently you ignore Nixon's role in screwing up the peace talks in 1968 and thus continuing the war, with devastating consequences.

To quote Malcolm Tucker (again): you are a boring f-star-star c**t.

Oh dear, you are flailing around today, touch a sore spot, did I?

And may I remind you all that America did NOT rush across the Atlantic to 'rescue' Britain. It was Hitler who declared war on you, not the other way round!

And since we are on the subject let me assure you that I completely understand, and even sympathise, with the fact that your country was reluctant to enter, not just the second WW but the first as well. Such reluctance was sensible.

Not sore for me. Say does anyone remember which British political party Neville Chamberlain belonged to?

You forgot Lend-Lease took place before Hitler declared war on America, WPOLS:

The Lend-Lease policy, formally titled "An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States", (Pub.L. 77–11, H.R. 1776, 55 Stat. 31, enacted March 11, 1941)[1] was a program under which the United States supplied Free France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China, and later the Soviet Union and other Allied nations with food, oil, and materiel between 1941 and August 1945. This included warships and warplanes, along with other weaponry. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941 and ended in September 1945. In general the aid was free, although some hardware (such as ships) were returned after the war. In return, the U.S. was given leases on army and naval bases in Allied territory during the war. Canada operated a similar smaller program under a different name.

A total of $50.1 billion (equivalent to $667 billion today) worth of supplies was shipped, or 17% of the total war expenditures of the U.S.[2] In all, $31.4 billion (equivalent to $418 billion today) went to Britain, $11.3 billion (equivalent to $150 billion today) to the Soviet Union, $3.2 billion (equivalent to $42.6 billion today) to France, $1.6 billion (equivalent to $21.3 billion today) to China, and the remaining $2.6 billion to the other Allies. Reverse Lend-Lease policies comprised services such as rent on air bases that went to the U.S., and totaled $7.8 billion; of this, $6.8 billion came from the British and the Commonwealth. The terms of the agreement provided that the materiel was to be used until returned or destroyed. In practice very little equipment was returned. Supplies that arrived after the termination date were sold to Britain at a large discount for £1.075 billion, using long-term loans from the United States. Canada operated a similar program called Mutual Aid that sent a loan of $1 billion and $3.4 billion in supplies and services to Britain and other Allies.[3][4]

This program effectively ended the United States' pretense of neutrality and was a decisive step away from non-interventionist policy, which had dominated United States foreign relations since 1931. (See Neutrality Acts of 1930s.)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease

Eisenhower? That name rings a bell. Wasn't he the president who yanked (pardon the pun) the British leash during the Suez Crisis? Somewhat humiliating for the Brits and the French too I understand. An oldie but a goodie.

Truman had a hand in it as well. The last president who got it right was Roosevelt.

After the French exited after Dien Bien Phu, then-Vice President Nixon proposed to Eisenhower the U.S. invade Indochina.

Nixon sabotaged the Paris Peace Talks during the '68 election. Call me old fashioned but in my day that was called treason.

Never mind the millions - yes, millions - of civilians who were killed afterwards as a result of this - Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Nixon deserves no thanks whatsoever.

Thank you. Before December 11, 1941 it was FDR and the USA that saved Britain (as well as the Soviet Union).

This is from a press conference in early 1941

The big news story of this week is this: The world has been told that we, as a united Nation, realize the danger that confronts us—and that to meet that danger our democracy has gone into action.

We know that although Prussian autocracy was bad enough in the first war, Nazism is far worse in this.

Nazi forces are not seeking mere modifications in colonial maps or in minor European boundaries. They openly seek the destruction of all elective systems of government on every continent—including our own; they seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers who have seized power by force.

Yes, these men and their hypnotized followers call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order. For order among Nations presupposes something enduring—some system of justice under which individuals, over a long period of time, are willing to live. Humanity will never permanently accept a system imposed by conquest and based on slavery.

These modern tyrants find it necessary to—their plans to eliminate all democracies—eliminate them one by one. The Nations of Europe, and indeed we ourselves, did not appreciate that purpose. We do now. The process of the elimination of the European Nations proceeded according to plan through 1939 and well into 1940, until the schedule was shot to pieces by the unbeatable defenders of Britain.

The enemies of democracy were wrong in their calculations for a very simple reason. They were wrong because they believed that democracy could not adjust itself to the terrible reality of a world at war.

They believed that democracy, because of its profound respect for the rights of man, would never arm itself to fight.

They believed that democracy, because of its will to live at peace with its neighbors, could not mobilize its energies even in its own defense.

They know now that democracy can still remain democracy, and speak, and reach conclusions, and arm itself adequately for defense.

From the bureaus of propaganda of the Axis powers came the confident prophecy that the conquest of our country would be "an inside job"—a job accomplished not by overpowering invasion from without, but by disrupting confusion and disunion and moral disintegration from within.

http://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/speeches/speech-3322

The Duffer would have all think it was noble Britain alone against the Nazis until America entered the war. But it wasn't. There was Australia and New Zealand and Canada and India and troops from all over the world. And they were doing things like getting blown up and drowned in the Atlantic ocean to keep the British alive.

Very early on Roosevelt saw Hitler for what he was. His impromptu description of what Lend Lease was - like loaning a firehose to one's neighbor whose house is on fire - was just brilliant.

But now we know Duff's Brexit blinkered mental myopia is as impaired in hindsight as it is in foresight. As rock steady consistent as a stopped clock.

Indochina was one of the many messes Ike handed Kennedy (along with things like, oh, that plan to invade Cuba). Interesting how so many of the messes Ike handed Kennedy are rarely discussed.

I admit to being a bit creeped by that description of the Nazis, as it sounds too much like the drooling fanboy fascist Trump supporters.

Like any other stupid right winger, the worthless limey piece of shit is completely selective in its history and as soon as it says "Democrat party" it's credibility which was already at zero, goes into negative territory. It reminds me of the right wingers here that conveniently forget any history about the Democratic party here post 1964. They still try to paint the Democrats as the party of the KKK as if we're too dumb to notice who David Duke supported for president this year.

It is rare, in my opinion, for nations to act from any single imperative - motives are always and forever mixed! Thus, FDR saw that Germany was, in the longer term, likely to be a threat to the USA and would have to be opposed sooner or later. Unfortunately for him, the majority of the American people were, *very sensibly*, exceedingly reluctant to be involved directly which is why his hands were tied until Hitler declared war on the USA.

Once America was involved, of course, another of their motivations was the likelihood that the British empire would be mortally wounded, particularly in the Far East where American interests were paramount. In due course this happened and writing as a Brit, I, personally, am deeply grateful!

As for Max's suggestion that "Before December 11, 1941 it was FDR and the USA that saved Britain (as well as the Soviet Union)", alas, I could not suppress a giggle! What a Russian response would be does not bear thought!

Actually, David, Stalin himself noted many times that America saved his country from Naziism. Recall that after June 22, 1941 we had a common enemy. Recall Churchill's conversation with FDR the night of December 7, 1941, where your Prime Minister said he was "sleeping the sleep of the saved and thankful."

"...Unfortunately for him, the majority of the American people were, *very sensibly*, exceedingly reluctant to be involved directly which is why his hands were tied the until Hitler declared war on the USA." - Huh? The UK has Roosevelt to thank that he saw what others could not at the time and prepared all of us accordingly.

Really, this is all the most basic history, something that most eighth graders would have mastered.

"Unfortunately for him, the majority of the American people were, *very sensibly*, exceedingly reluctant to be involved directly which is why his hands were tied until Hitler declared war on the USA."

Dispensing billions of dollars of aid, was "hands tied"?

SPOCK: Captain, I never will understand humans. How could a man as brilliant, a mind as logical as John Gill's, have made such a fatal error?

KIRK: He drew the wrong conclusion from history. The problem with the Nazis wasn't simply that their leaders were evil, psychotic men. They were, but the main problem, I think, was the leader principle.

MCCOY: What he's saying, Spock, is that a man who holds that much power, even with the best intentions, just can't resist the urge to play God.

SPOCK: Thank you, Doctor. I was able to gather the meaning.

MCCOY: It also proves another Earth saying. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Darn clever, these Earthmen, wouldn't you say?

SPOCK: Yes. Earthmen like Ramses, Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Lee Kuan. Your whole Earth history is made up of men seeking absolute power.


"Paterns of Force"

An interesting discussion above helped by the fact that we managed to avoid most, if not all, personal insults. By coincidence, there is a very good essay over at The American Spectator on the nature of government, or at least, Churchillian government, in times of war prompted by the recent 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore. The opening lines are exceedingly apt:

"On the last day of January 1942, the British blew up Singapore’s central causeway to the mainland in a vain attempt to defend the island from the onrushing Japanese.

At nearby Raffles College, the Principal heard the bang. “What was that?” he asked a student, Lee Kuan Yew (later Singapore’s first prime minister).

“That,” Lee replied, “was the end of the British Empire.”"

A good read and don't worry, you won't catch anything even if it is The American Spectator!

https://spectator.org/75-years-ago-churchill-and-the-fall-of-singapore/

Funny you should mention Churchill:

"Then came the majestic policy of the President and Congress of the United States in passing the Lease-Lend Bill, under which, in two successive enactments, about £3,000,000,000 was dedicated to the cause of world freedom, without -- mark this, because it is unique -- without the setting up of any account in money. Never again let us hear the taunt that money is the ruling power in the hearts and thoughts of the American democracy. The Lease-Lend Bill must be regarded without question as the most unsordid act in the whole of recorded history."

So, who are we to believe, you or that lying bum Churchill?

Nobody, least of all me, is suggesting that Lend-Lease wasn't an excellent policy but it was excellent from both the British and the American standpoint. We needed those 50-odd destroyers, etc, whilst you Americans needed us to stay in the fight for as long as possible to ensure that you had a permanent 'aircraft carrier' just off-shore from German dominated Europe.

In addition, of course, we passed back to you some incredibly valuable secret information, as Wiki reports:

"The shared technology included the cavity magnetron which the American historian James Phinney Baxter III later called "the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores".[10][11] the design for the VT fuze, details of Frank Whittle's jet engine and the Frisch–Peierls memorandum describing the feasibility of an atomic bomb.[12] Though these may be considered the most significant, many other items were also transported, including designs for rockets, superchargers, gyroscopic gunsights, submarine detection devices, self-sealing fuel tanks and plastic explosives."

So, like the best of deals there was something in it for both parties.

You got spanked; own up to it. FDR saved your asses, plain and simple. Your empire's expiration date was long overdue by 75 years ago.

And since the 1980s we've spent way to much time, treasure, and lives mucking about in that most epic of clusterfucks, the result of the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Cairo Conference.

Yes, of course "we got spanked", Dunkirk wasn't just a bad dream! But no, FDR did not save us, it was the cavity magnetron (radar), R. J. Mitchell (the designer of the Spitfire) and sundry brave and skillful pilots who saved us. Once that battle was fought and won the Germans knew that invasion would never work and so they 'went east, young man, went east'! Incidentally, we gave 'y'all' the secrets of radar which saved an enormous number of American lives in the Pacific especially.

Of course, it is true that we could not have *defeated* Germany on our own but so long as the Russians kept them busy and the Royal Navy remained intact, they could not defeat us, either. It needed America to tilt the balance and we are forever grateful - on a realistic basis, that is!

And may I remind you all that America did NOT rush across the Atlantic to 'rescue' Britain. It was Hitler who declared war on you, not the other way round!

That's what you wrote yesterday, old boy. It's on this thread.

No David, YOU got spanked. And you still provide more drivel. This is the best you can do? Sad!

@ DA:
Well, you didn't, and I wrote it because it is a historical fact. Your Lend-Lease offer was exceedingly useful but it did not "rescue" Britain. And as I also wrote in reply to Max, we repaid much of it by offering America our secrets.

@ Max:
If you think I, personally, was "spanked" I can only tell you that I didn't feel a thing!

http://www.historynet.com/did-russia-really-go-it-alone-how-lend-lease-helped-the-soviets-defeat-the-germans.htm

British and Commonwealth deliveries to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 would not only assist in the Soviet defense of Moscow and subsequent counteroffensive, but also in increasing Soviet production for the next period of the war. Substantial quantities of machine tools and raw materials, such as aluminum and rubber, were supplied to help Soviet industry back on its feet: 312 metal-cutting machine tools were delivered by convoy PQ-12 alone, arriving in March 1942, along with a range of other items for Soviet factories such as machine presses and compressors.

Once again, raw figures do not tell the whole story. Although British shipments amounted to only a few percent of Soviet domestic production of machine tools, the Soviet Union could request specific items which it may not have been able to produce for itself. Additionally, many of the British tools arrived in early 1942, when Soviet tool production was still very low, resulting in a disproportionate impact. The handing over of forty imported machine tools to Aviation Factory No. 150 in July 1942, for example, was the critical factor in enabling the factory to reach projected capacity within two months.

Lend-Lease aid did not “save” the Soviet Union from defeat during the Battle of Moscow. But the speed at which Britain in particular was willing and able to provide aid to the Soviet Union, and at which the Soviet Union was able to put foreign equipment into frontline use, is still an underappreciated part of this story. During the bitter fighting of the winter of 1941–1942, British aid made a crucial difference.

3,000,000,000£ didn't rescue Britian. And we Americans got something out of it, so it wasn't really a rescue.

Thanks for clearing that up, old chap.

Sorry, DA, your point is - what, exactly?

You Brits were only able to help the Soviets with the help of Lend-Lease, which you insist didn't rescue you in the first place.

You are especially thick-witted today.

Wonderful, but I guess this and the wealth of preceding references is a fine definition of "pearls before swine."

Oh dear, obviously I am not expressing myself clearly, I'll try again.

The Lend-Lease aid from America was exceedingly useful in very many ways but it did not "rescue" us because when the battle for Britain was won by radars, Spitfires and courageous pilots in September 1940 there was no chance that the Germans would invade. In fact, it was that relief from immediate threat which allowed us to send what we could to the Russians - for much the same reason you sent aid to us - **to keep them in the war**.

What are we arguing about?

Those fine Brits in their Spitfires didn't win the Battle of Britain, old chap, it was more because the Jerries in their infinite avionics

who decided that bombing civilian targets was more important than bombing the airfields and planes defending said targets. Absent Hitler's other blunders like invading the Sovieti Union, and deciding that jet bombers were more important than jet fighters when it came to aircraft production, Operation Sea Lion may well have worked in 1941.

We mustn't forget that the ability to crack the German code device Enigma helped as well. It came into British hands by the efforts of the French Intelligence services and the theoretical work begun by Polish mathematicians
made the reading of German radio traffic possible.

It seems Victory has a thousand fathers, old bean, they're just not as solidly Britannic as you would have us believe.

Ol Duff fails to notice that the policy of appeasement pursued by the Conservative Party of Neville Chamberlain was predicated on the knowledge that the British felt exactly the same way as the Americans. Neither were they prepared to go to war, fearing another WW1 holocaust, before the Nazis had built up their forces and were actually still weak enough for the French and the British to do something about it. This would be the world's most pronounced case of the kettle calling the pot black.

Fifty old destroyers? Somewhat larger in scale than that I think. and Britain was hardly the only beneficiary. The Russians too like to minimize the aid they received. Spam they say is what the Americans sent them. Which they did along with a lot of other things on the half million trucks they were loaded on. Which, incidentally, made the Russians more mobile than the Germans. You really ought to read up on the operational histories of the second world war.

@ Peter:
I'm perfectly well aware of the massive number of trucks sent to Russia and how useful they were especially given the German dependence on horses. And nor am I trying to minimize the aid sent from America, I am just correcting the notion that is "saved Britain".

@ Max:
And just when I was thinking - hoping? - that the personal insults were over!

@ DA:
Yes, the German errors in the battle of Britain and in other areas, were exceedingly useful, just as the Japanese errors before and during Midway were helpful, and that proves what, exactly? And the cracking of 'enigma' was not of any help in 1940 in the air battle for Britain. It was in the battle for the Atlantic that enigma worked especially well, and whilst the Polish contribution was vital, so were other things like us capturing a machine from a disabled submarine and the incredible efforts of Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park. Somewhat similar to the terrific achievements of William Friedman and Code Purple.

And I do wish you would try not to twist my meanings, DA, nowhere have I suggested or even hinted that Britain won the *war* alone. I simply state that the battle of Britain was won mainly by British inventions (radar), British planes (Spitfires) and brave pilots (not all of whom were British). And that battle won, there was absolutely no chance that Germany would try and invade. End of!

"And the cracking of 'enigma' was not of any help in 1940 in the air battle for Britain."

I didn''t say it was in that instance, old bean, I covered that when I mentioned the suboptimal attack strategy of Goering's Lufwaffe going after civilian targets.

As for Midway, it too also benefitted from American code cracking and ingenuity as well, the error the Japanese made was thinking their Purple Code was indecipherable.

And Operation Sea Lion would've failed from lack of resources on the part of the Germans, not because you chaps outshot the Jerries.

So the Americans sat on their hands,and Lend-Lease was just a mutually favorable exchange worth 3 billion pound sterling.

Got it.

Your profound, juvinille ignorance is insulting.

Dear boy, your attempt to back-pedal from what you've already writtenon this thread in plain English is ludicrous.


We Americans sat on our hands whilst you lot won the Battle of Britain, and we got some stuff in return for helping you out, so it really wasn't a generosity on FDR's part.

Finally, if what you write can be so easily twisted around, that's not my fault, but rather because you're a poor thinker who has trouble expressing yourself clearly and unambiguously.

Just do like Cheetolini, and declare your victory here for the next month or so.

The endless horseshit you spew is insulting to the rest of us.

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