Obsession: Radical Capitalism's global War against Russia and the Ghost of the Soviet Union
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Obsession: Radical Capitalism's global War against Russia and the Ghost of the Soviet Union

By justme following x   2017 May 31, 1:00am 4,123 views   43 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


I happened upon a good description of the Vietnam War (circa 1955-1975), in a clip about the movie "The Quiet American" based on the 1955 book by the famed English author Graham Greene.

QUOTE: With remarkable foresight, "The Quiet American" stared down the future and foretold the terrible tragedies that lay ahead, borne of Washington's meddling in a nation it did not understand.

What is the relevance of all this? Well, for the last 15 years, the US has waged war all over the middle east in the name of a "global war on terror". Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria have suffered greatly because of our actions, and many other countries are also affected by our misdeeds. But in most cases, the wars are not really wars on terror but rather proxy-wars against Russia.

How can US leaders be so stupid and evil? Did they learn NOTHING from the Vietnam War? It does not look like they did, or maybe the warmongers in Washington just do not care, they are just adding 1 part ideology with 1 part smug self-worship and getting 100% profits for the military-industrial-security complex (MISC), but at enormous human toll, suffering and cost.

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4   FP   ignore (1)   2017 May 31, 10:05am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

justme says

How can US leaders be so stupid and evil?

With very few exceptions, wars are fought for profits.

5   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 10:06am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

iwog says

Trump wins an election promising to increase the budget by 10%

"Fiscal conservatives" "balanced budget" - sarcasm if anyone does not get it

6   justme   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 10:11am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

drBu says

Other than Syria, none of these are against Russia.

Wrong, The Libya regime change was very much a proxy was against Russia. And Saddaam Hussein was a Bath-party socialist. Yemen is because Yemen is aligned with Iran, which is Russia friendly. Afghanistan was to project power against Russia in a strategically import region of Central Asia.

drBu says

The only rational explanation for this fixation on Russia is that military want an opponent which is a little more technologically advanced than camel herders with AK-47's to justify another 100000000 trillion "defense" budget increase.

Correct, that is definitely a big part of it. The other half is that US oligarchs want to conquer, plunder and dominate Russia. Not necessarily with outright war, although there is real danger also of that, but certainly in the economic sense.

7   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 10:24am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

justme says

And Saddaam Hussein was a Bath-party socialist.

Who executed Iraq Communist party membership in droves. Hitler was also a Socialist and that does not make him Russian friend.

With respect to Libya, there are no Russian interests there, so the claims with respect to war against Russia there are baseless. There were no bases, no Russian instructors after collapse of Soviet Union, and Medvedev at one point said that Gaddafi should go away as he has no legitimacy.

With respect to Yemen, government was overturned by Houthis who are supported by Iran, meaning that it was not evil West who started the turmoil. Again, I do not see why Russians would care, and as far as I know, they do not care.

I do not understand why American libertarian right sees every (admittedly, stupid) American involvement abroad as attack on Russia, and why they idolize strongman Putin, who is neither democratic nor libertarian.

8   justme   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 11:18am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

iwog says

You can't blame it on the leaders.

While in agreement with much else you wrote, the above statement I very much disagree with. Bad leadership in the US is caused by the bad election system. THAT is the real culprit. I refer back to the discussion on election systems. Same goes for Great Britain, they have essentially the same bad single-seat district election system that the US has. As a result, the elite dominates the system. The rest of Europe is pretty much forced to go along, although most of the rest of Europe have better election systems.

https://patrick.net/1306725/2017-05-27-voter-fraud-fucking-virtually-non-existent-gerrymandering-is-the-real-threat-to-elections?c=1414069#comment-1414069

9   FP   ignore (1)   2017 May 31, 11:35am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

The Lybian regime change may have been partially motivated by teaching a lesson - "if you oppose us, this is what will happen to you"

Similarly Russia's defense of Assad is to demonstarte that they can and will defend their client states - "if you buy wepons from us, you don't get only the hardware but also political and military support."

10   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 11:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

FP says

The Lybian regime change may have been partially motivated by teaching a lesson - "if you oppose us, this is what will happen to you"

Similarly Russia's defense of Assad is to demonstarte that they can and will defend their client states - "if you buy wepons from us, you don't get only the hardware but also political and military support."

Agree about Libya, and for Syria there is an additional factor - Russians actually have a base in Tartus.

11   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 11:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

McMaster just appointed Fiona Hill, a Brookings and CFR Member and rabid Russophobe, to the NSC.

I think a lot of Russia bashing is done by "Soviet Studies" people who felt gypped out of a job when the Cold War ended. See also Timothy Snyder.

12   FP   ignore (1)   2017 May 31, 11:47am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Yes, the base is important too.

13   Bellingham Bill   ignore (5)   2017 May 31, 7:34pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

iwog says

If we took even half of the annual military budget and spent it on improving the world, this would be a far different place to live in.

currently reading https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Machine-Licklider-Revolution-Computing/dp/014200135X

at work and it's f---ing awesome. In the post-Sputnik age the Kennedy admin pivoted ARPA [started in 1958 but didn't get really rolling until 1961] into investing in the future of computing and networks.

For this 10-15 year golden age it was 95% cooperation and 5% competition -- rather Utopian Socialist in mechanics, government money flowing through academia to the private sector making [nearly] all the hardware. The R&D flew under the radar as nobody realized how important it was. Private sector couldn't do this because it was simply too far out there and too much of a future bet.

The internet was created and functional by the mid-late 80s but it took another 10 years for academia -- in the form of TBL at CERN -- to build the tools needed to transform the internet into the WWW.

Then it got successfully commercialized by amzn, goog, fb and here we are now . . .

14   Bellingham Bill   ignore (5)   2017 May 31, 7:37pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

FP says

The Lybian regime change may have been partially motivated by teaching a lesson - "if you oppose us, this is what will happen to you"

Qadafi was a nutjob and his regime was a stain on the planet just like the DPRK still is.

The least bad option can still be pretty shitty!

15   Bellingham Bill   ignore (5)   2017 May 31, 7:43pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

justme says

other half is that US oligarchs want to conquer, plunder and dominate Russia

Russia has nothing to offer, other than the odd billion of natural wealth to productize here and there.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SPPOPDPNDOLRUS

a dying society with the GDP of Italy. Who gives a shit.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=dW1X

What worthwhile good, other than Tetris, has Russia given to the world in trade?

Since the Battle of Berlin in '45 at least, but that was something they did more for themselves than us.

16   FP   ignore (1)   2017 May 31, 7:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Bellingham Bill says

What worthwhile good, other than Tetris, has Russia given to the world in trade?

e.g. Lev Landau

17   FP   ignore (1)   2017 May 31, 7:54pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Bellingham Bill says

Who gives a shit.

apparently you

18   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 7:57pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Bellingham Bill says

a dying society with the GDP of Italy. Who gives a shit.

AKA the 8th largest economy in the World.

Bellingham Bill says

What worthwhile good, other than Tetris, has Russia given to the world in trade?

Iron, Gold, Nickel, Lumber, Grain, Furs, and of course Oil and Coal. Without which Holland and Belgium couldn't make anything but Tulips and French Fries.

Also high specific impulse and very reliable Rocket Engines, rides on the world's most reliable rocket the R-7, and the only human rated spacecraft in operation.

But by all means, let's worry about a country we never fought a war with, unlike the one we fought Two World Wars with, that is becoming more and more radically Muslim

19   FortWayne   ignore (0)   2017 May 31, 9:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Thanks for the book recommendation Bob.

20   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 12:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Bellingham Bill says

justme says

other half is that US oligarchs want to conquer, plunder and dominate Russia

Russia has nothing to offer, other than the odd billion of natural wealth to productize here and there.

You are making a dubious argument. Just because Russia is not quite a economic powerhouse does not mean it is not worth dominating. especially to the neocon nutjobs and rabid capitalists that want to conquer Russia. Those people are not driven by what is rational, and that is exactly the point. But there is also value in natural resources and lots of land, like TL/TSM said.

Lots of imperialism has made limited economic sense over the centuries. That never stopped the imperialists in their thirst for dominance.

21   BlueSardine   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:02am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

In the age of ELE's, this is the stupidest thing you've ever posted...

iwog says

Meanwhile we maintain a military that could defeat Russia and China and the entire Middle East simultaneously while all of our heavily armed close allies watch on.

22   BayAreaObserver   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:35am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Meanwhile we maintain a military that could defeat Russia and China and the entire Middle East simultaneously while all of our heavily armed close allies watch on.

Please explain how this would get accomplished. We haven't managed a military "win" since WWII except for Grenada. Were stuck in a quagmire in the Middle East, Afghanistan and god only knows where he have troops that most people aren't aware of yet dragging us into yet another fools mission of spreading our version of democracy or regime change.

We have all we can handle right now (actually more) just in the Middle East and Afghanistan without trying to take on China and Russia at the same time.

We build weapons whose cost is obscene and are often unreliable and that doesn't include the cost of the bombs, missiles, etc. in the obscene cost category.

You also forgot to mention the small logistical problem of keeping all those simultaneous war efforts supplied. The small things like food, fuel, munitions, removal and replacement of bodies (you are planning on reinstituting the draft - yes).

We can have all the aircraft carriers and whatever else that gives neocons a woody waiting to use but if you can not get them resupplied - at least they are nice to look at.

The supply line is the most significant "weak link" in the chain and it's brought more than one grand vision to a halt over the centuries, along with the unknowns and unpredictables like the weather.

23   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 9:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

TwoScoopsMcGee says

AKA the 8th largest economy in the World.

#12 or #13 I think, which is not that great given the amount of nat resources and territory they have. They also inherited a pretty well-educated population from USSR, but that advantage has also been wasted.

24   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 9:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

drBu says

#12 or #13 I think, which is not that great given the amount of nat resources and territory they have. They also inherited a pretty well-educated population from USSR, but that advantage has also been wasted.

True, however they were backward under the Czars, found WW1 and then had a Revolution, no Industrialized Country's Capitalists would sell the USSR machine tools nor buy anything but Grain, Iron or Lumber from the USSR, then they had WW2 where half of the industry was destroyed in the war. It's actually pretty amazing they got to where they did by the 1960s.

Whereas the US and Great Britain started a century earlier, never had a problem importing machine tools from elsewhere, and never fought any war of any size on their territory. Unless you count the Civil War, but most of that was fought in the weakly industrialized South.

When you compare 1917 to 1938, it's as big as a leap or bigger than China in the past 30 years, although it was mostly confined to Heavy Production. There were no bridges over most Rivers in Russia, only ferries. And all while a total embargo was on and they had to make fake companies just to import lathes.

25   BayAreaObserver   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 9:48am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

I see by the dislikes when someone says something slightly derogatory about our military capabilities the great strategic military minds of the forum who have never put on a military uniform (for a few years, not Halloween) are over confident again - didn't we see this not too long ago in Dubya's regime ?

But for what it's worth, why would I engage you head on with everything I have when I can go after your supply lines and make you mount both a defense and an offense especially it that supply line is really really stretched ?

Let me guess we have the best funded military in the world - or do we just have the biggest credit card to pass the cost on to future generations.

26   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 9:49am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

TwoScoopsMcGee says

they were backward under the Czars

Czar Russia was very rapidly modernizing from early 1900's, and if not for revolution of 1917, they would be a normal, developed constitutional monarchy as opposed to clustersomething they have been for most of 20th century. The industrialization in 1930's in USSR was basically Ford selling its technologies to Stalin:

By 1929, Amtorg had managed to negotiate a formal licensing agreement with the Ford Motor Company, a contract to build in Soviet Russia both Ford trucks and cars. With the assistance of Ford and other American firms, Stalin ordered the construction of a mega industrial complex at Gorky (present day Nizhny Novgorod). This city in the heartland of Russia, east of Moscow, soon became the Soviet Detroit, a reputation it retains to this day.

http://www.nvrg.org/Tours%20and%20Events/StalinistFords/Stalinist%20Fords.html

A lot of these "tractor" plants were converted to tank plants later.

27   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 9:50am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

It looks like the Russia-haters have almost managed to derail this thread with an idiotic "why-Russia-is-not-worth-invading" side-track attempt. Although going nowhere, that side-track does not matter. What matters is that the Neocons and Rabid Capitalists want to OWN Russia, no matter the cost and no matter the value. THAT is the point.

28   FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 10:01am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

drBu says

The industrialization in 1930's in USSR was basically Ford selling its technologies to Stalin

Now this is so simplistic and obviously wrong I don't know where to begin.

29   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 10:09am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

drBu says

Czar Russia was very rapidly modernizing from early 1900's, and if not for revolution of 1917, they would be a normal, developed constitutional monarchy as opposed to clustersomething they have been for most of 20th century. The industrialization in 1930's in USSR was basically Ford selling its technologies to Stalin:

Maybe. The Tzar fought Liberalism every step of the way. There were also the Black Hundreds.

Some of this is loser's rewriting of history, like the NeoConfederates saying the South was on the verge of ending slavery and the war was about tariffs.

In fact, many ultranat conspiracies today go back to the Tzar's White Army, with the Freemasons and Jews running the world via Liberalism/Modernity, and only pious adherence to Orthodoxy/Catholicism under an Absolute Leader can save the country/world.

30   curious2   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 10:42am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

TwoScoopsMcGee says

the Tzar's White Army

President Wilson sent 5,000 Americans to fight under British command on the side of the White Army, against the Bolsheviks. 200 died. Wikipedia has a practically incoherent article on the topic, which I suppose we could add to the PatNet list of Wikipedia problems.

justme says

What matters is that the Neocons and Rabid Capitalists want to OWN Russia, no matter the cost and no matter the value.

That might explain one motivation. Installing a compliant regime would allow western countries to exploit natural resources (e.g. oil) without interfering in American foreign policy or other countries. That would also deprive prospective client states of the major alternative that they've had since WWII. If you think of hegemons as competitors like Greyhound vs Trailways, then a takeover would give the winner total control worldwide.

Another motivation is MIC budget justification, going back at least as far as the Eisenhower administration. IIRC, Eisenhower and Kruschev discussed the pattern: each knew that their own "intelligence" services were exaggerating the threat posed by the other, in order to secure more resources for themselves. Wash, rinse, repeat.

A related motivation is inertia. Powerful careers have been built on the existing model, and depend on it. Nixon's deals with KSA corrupted American foreign policy in ways that have proved fatal for too many Americans and millions elsewhere. Nevertheless, as Upton Sinclair would say, it's difficult to get "intelligence" careerists to understand something when their salaries depend on them not understanding it.

Another motivation is actually sincere disagreement about Russia's intentions and role in the world, especially Europe. The alleged poisonings of Viktor Yushchenko and Alexander Litvinenko provided vivid evidence that the Russian government can allegedly do really ugly things outside Russia. 9/11 provided even more vivid evidence that KSA can do even worse things outside KSA. It's hard to know what to say about Russian banks financing Marine LePen in France, when the alternative is allowing France to become an Islamic state.

31   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 11:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

FP says

Now this is so simplistic and obviously wrong I don't know where to begin.

Why?

Heavy machinery production plants were sold to USSR by Ford etc. In late 1920's-early 1930's there were a lot of Western industrial advisors in USSR, paid for by grain exports expropriated from peasants (first five-year plan, 1928-1933 which planned and carried out the modernization of Soviet economy).

According to Stalin, industrialization begins with building up heavy production capacities, and the rest follows.

32   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 11:28am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

TwoScoopsMcGee says

Maybe. The Tzar fought Liberalism every step of the way. There were also the Black Hundreds.

Some of this is loser's rewriting of history, like the NeoConfederates saying the South was on the verge of ending slavery and the war was about tariffs.

That is true, but in context of late 19th-early 20th century Czar was by no means the most bloody ruler. He was perhaps less bloody than British at the time (Boer war, for example). Czar suppressed 1905-1906 revolution with only about 9000 casualties, out of those about 3000 were executed by authorities after trial, about 1000-1200 were killed by revolutionaries, and about 5000 were killed by authorities in battles or extra-judicial executions. This completely pales with killings by Soviets, where nearly 700 000 were executed in 1936-38, at a time where there was no mass unrest and the number does not include deaths in labor camps. During these years Stalin on some days sanctioned execution of 3000 people per day, and this puts 9000 killed in 3 years by Tsarists in perspective.

33   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 11:40am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

drBu says

That is true, but in context of late 19th-early 20th century Czar was by no means the most bloody ruler. He was perhaps less bloody than British at the time (Boer war, for example). Czar suppressed 1905-1906 revolution with only about 9000 casualties, out of those about 3000 were executed by authorities after trial, about 1000-1200 were killed by revolutionaries, and about 5000 were killed by authorities in battles or extra-judicial executions. This completely pales with killings by Soviets, where nearly 700 000 were executed in 1936-38, at a time where there was no mass unrest and the number does not include deaths in labor camps. During these years Stalin on some days sanctioned execution of 3000 people per day, and this puts 9000 killed in 3 years by Tsarists in perspective.

Yes, and the USSR took the Siberian Prisons and executions to a new level from the Czar, but the whitewashing of some (not accusing you) makes it sounds like Lenin and Stalin came up with this on their own.

I do take the numbers with a hugeass grain of salt, and even Robert Conquest admits the numbers are greatly exaggerated (not that 100,000 is a big improvement over 700,000).

The big problem with the Russian Revolution is that the Liberals were big pussies and refused to do what needed to be done. Happens a lot in South America, where the Liberal is told "The Ultraright is going to overthrow you, now we have loyal officers in charge of this and the another brigade..." and the Liberal refuses to act against a legitimate threat.

34   Ernie   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 11:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

TwoScoopsMcGee says

I do take the numbers with a hugeass grain of salt,

700 000 is actually the well-documented part of executions, one could say minimal documented number. Three million if the number that I have heard which is probably not true.

35   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 12:04pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

When will American children (and grownups) learn the truth about American militarism? It looks like at least SOME Japanese children are learning lessons against militarism, although it appears that both the content of the lessons and the effectiveness of these lessons are fading. But that is no reason not to try.

https://www.quora.com/What-are-Japanese-children-taught-about-Pearl-Harbor/answer/Erik-Painter?timeline=1

The role of the Pearl Harbor attack in Japanese lessons about WWII is usually taught as relatively minor because the whole war is taught as a lesson about how bad a large and aggressive military that is not under civilian control can be. The lesson is that the war and military influencing the government is what led to the need for the Peace Constitution after 1945. They mostly teach that the war started with Japan the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 or to the Manchurian Incident in 1931, or even further to the take over of Korea in 1910. For these lessons it does not start in 1941 so that is not as important. It is about the gradual control the military had over the government and the minds of the populace. This is the standard narrative, and the clash with the US is sort of the final stage of the war. For that reason the Japanese don't put so much emphasis on Pearl Harbor. It's not an event that symbolizes the whole experience. 1931 to 1945 is more what the war is about in these lessons. They teach how the military brought more and more bad things to the Japanese and the rest of Asia, and led ending in the fire bombing of Tokyo and other major cities and then the atomic bombs. In this narrative, it is the Japanese military and militarism that is at fault, both the start in 1931 and the end with the atomic bombs.

36   georgeliberte   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 12:59pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Although I even own a copy of "The Quiet American", I think it is far from prophetic or even insightful. When I was a Junior US Army officer we were expected to study past battles as and wars as being applicable to modern conflicts. As I have matured I understand the wisdom of this more. The Chinese fought the Vietnamese off and on for 1300 years and ultimately left (lost). By the time the US intervened in French Indochina, the French had pretty much left (lost). We fought the Vietnamese in an expensive monetarily and casualty-cost war and left (lost). A careful military officer might have predicted this outcome based on the Chinese experience alone.
The sad this is that Ho Chi Minh was a great admirer of the US and that part of his and General Vo Nguyen Giap's strategy was the same one used by General George Washington. In both cases their enemy had extraordinarily long logistical lines for replenishment from the homeland and would prove to have a limited commitment to the fight compared to other opportunities.
All of this is also applicable to the Middle East where they have been zealously killing each other for thousands of years and so not seem to be losing any enthusiasm.
We are doomed to repeat history

37   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 3:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Yeah, I'm not particularly endorsing the book or the movie, I just happened upon it and noted the connection between old and new wars, so many of them unnecessary.

38   curious2   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 3:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

georgeliberte says

Ho Chi Minh was a great admirer of the US

...and he had lived in France, and spoke French, the second most common language in the USA at the time. The terrible tragedy of that war is the gap between what might have been, and what was. America fell into a chronicle of error, distracted by procurement contracts and the red menace, instead of managing a favorable transition from French colonial rule to American influence.

I read the book, saw the movie, recommend both but wouldn't have called them prophetic per se. Graham Greene was brilliant, but his books about middle-age+ expats having extramarital affairs around the world seemed a bit close to the bone considering his wife and kids home alone in England.

In contrast, Islam is the republic's original foe: existential at least in the sense that our Constitution was written in large part to fight the Barbary States, which were expressly doing what Islam said. In recent years, the Barbary Wars have been practically censored out of history, along with what made them necessary.

39   georgeliberte   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 3:53pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

curious2 says "The terrible tragedy of that war is the gap between what might have been, and what was."
Yes, I had the privilege of talking with a the first American to parachute into Hanoi as the Japanese withdrew and French had not yet moved in. He was staying at the Luxe hotel and three Vietnamese came to his room and said, Ho wanted to meet them. He did not really know who Ho was, but did know he was someone important and went. They blindfolded him and led him down alleys to a room where Ho sat, with a picture of George Washington and had type a letter to Roosevelt. In essence Ho wanted an alliance with the US, and even used the Declaration of Independence in his own independence address. Meanwhile Roosevelt dies and the US believes the French are important allies. While Ho was a committed communist, he was first and foremost nationalist. It seems that we could have obtained a useful geopolitical ally or the cost of a few croissant and bottles of wine. The Vietnamese shower more than the French anyway.
I have made five trips to Viet Nam and my wife is from Nam Dinh. They seem to like Americans and definitely want us back there now. I agree with a comment I saw earlier, it is easier and politer to go through their customs than upon returning home. Yes, I am pro VIet Nam; we have a common problem-China.

40   justme   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 4:09pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

I'll concede that another thread about another obsession caused me to start this thread. My motivation was to point out that the western world also has its obsessions, and these obsessions are not sound or healthy , either.

https://patrick.net/1305446/2017-04-27-obsession-radical-islam-s-war-against-the-west

Generally speaking, I think it is very important that the Western world gets off its high horse sometimes, and stop pretending that we are morally superior to everyone else.

41   FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:20pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

drBu says

Why?

Because it is a small factor in the grand scheme of things. Otherwise you have to explain why Mexico is not a world power yet (they make Fords there, don't they?).

drBu says

According to Stalin, industrialization begins with building up heavy production capacities, and the rest follows.

Yes, actually Lenin: "Electrification + Soviet power = socialism" :) And they were right to focus on heavy industry first. Without central government planning/support/protectionism this is very hard to do when a country is behind but is essential to not become a banana republic.

42   curious2   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:29pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

justme says

My motivation was...

already obvious but possibly misguided. I do agree that the invade&import crowd should recognize that their cruelly incoherent policy of waging war and spreading Islam on behalf of the Clintons' Saudi clients is not moral except from the POV of the Wahabi KSA. Aside from that, to stop pretending moral superiority would mean to do unto others as they would do unto us, and do it first. I suggest reading about why the Barbary Wars happened. America did have moral superiority in that conflict, but that wasn't the point. Islam says what it says, and does what it does. The invention of the WWW has made the world seem smaller, and more than 20 Islamic countries have agreed a Muslim world plan against blasphemy, including online, and Islamic State has published online kill lists, including Americans living in America. Some fights you can't really avoid.

43   FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:37pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

curious2 says

President Wilson sent 5,000 Americans to fight under British command on the side of the White Army, against the Bolsheviks.

Yep, there was a foreign intervention by multiple foreign countries. The soviets were attacked from all directions. So after fighting and losing WWI (not long after losing the Sino-Japanese war and internal unrests), a devastating civil war and foreign intervention, then 17 years later having to fight Germany (check the number of German divisions on the east and west fronts if you have any doubt which country is most responsible for defeating Hitler), the Soviet union emerges as a world power. Within 30 years, of which half spent in wars on their territory, including a civil war, they transformed a semi-feudal kingdom into a world super-power. Amazing!

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