0
   

Americans are losing the Victory... Check it out!

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 12:46 am
No, this headline isn't a reference to Iraq. It's from a Life Magazine Story in the January 7th, 1946 Issue. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

http://www.kultursmog.com/images/Life-Cover-300.jpg
http://www.kultursmog.com/images/Life-Head-01.jpg
This one is so similar to some of the nonsense you liberals say, I won't make you wait: :wink:
Quote:
We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease.

Here is the whole story:
Quote:
We are in a cabin deep down below decks on a Navy ship jam-packed with troops that's pitching and creaking its way across the Atlantic in a winter gale. There is a man in every bunk. There's a man wedged into every corner. There's a man in every chair. The air is dense with cigarette smoke and with the staleness of packed troops and sour wool.

"Don't think I'm sticking up for the Germans," puts in the lanky young captain in the upper berth, "butÂ…"

"To hell with the Germans," says the broad-shouldered dark lieutenant. "It's what our boys have been doing that worries me."

The lieutenant has been talking about the traffic in Army property, the leaking of gasoline into the black market in France and Belgium even while the fighting was going on, the way the Army kicks the civilians around, the looting.

"Lust, liquor and loot are the soldier's pay," interrupts a red-faced major.

The lieutenant comes out with his conclusion: "Two wrongs don't make a right." You hear these two phrases again and again in about every bull session on the shop. "Two wrongs don't make a right" and "Don't think I'm sticking up for the Germans, butÂ…."

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick."

A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans. Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word "liberation." Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting.

You try to explain to these Europeans that they expected too much. They answer that they had a right to, that after the last was America was the hope of the world. They talk about the Hoover relief, the work of the Quakers, the speeches of Woodrow Wilson. They don't blame us for the fading of that hope. But they blame us now.

Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of out misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. They blame us for the fumbling timidity of our negotiations with the Soviet Union. They tell us that our mechanical de-nazification policy in Germany is producing results opposite to those we planned. "Have you no statesmen in America?" they ask.

The skeptical French press
Yet whenever we show a trace of positive leadership I found Europeans quite willing to follow our lead. The evening before Robert Jackson's opening of the case for the prosecution in the Nurnberg trial, I talked to some correspondents from the French newspapers. They were polite but skeptical. They were willing enough to take part in a highly publicized act of vengeance against the enemy, but when you talked about the usefulness of writing a prohibition of aggressive war into the law of nations they laughed in your face. The night after Jackson's nobly delivered and nobly worded speech I saw then all again. They were very much impressed. Their manner had even changed toward me personally as an American. Their sudden enthusiasm seemed to me typical of the almost neurotic craving for leadership of the European people struggling wearily for existence in the wintry ruins of their world.

The ruin this war has left in Europe can hardly be exaggerated. I can remember the years after the last war. Then, as soon as you got away from the military, all the little strands and pulleys that form the fabric of a society were still knitted together. Farmers took their crops to market. Money was a valid medium of exchange. Now the entire fabric of a million little routines has broken down. No on can think beyond food for today. Money is worthless. Cigarettes are used as a kind of lunatic travesty on a currency. If a man goes out to work he shops around to find the business that serves the best hot meal. The final pay-off is the situation reported from the Ruhr where the miners are fed at the pits so that they will not be able to take the food home to their families.

"Well, the Germans are to blame. Let them pay for it. It's their fault," you say. The trouble is that starving the Germans and throwing them out of their homes is only producing more areas of famine and collapse.

One section of the population of Europe looked to us for salvation and another looked to the Soviet Union. Wherever the people have endured either the American armies or the Russian armies both hopes have been bitterly disappointed. The British have won a slightly better reputation. The state of mind in Vienna is interesting because there the part of the population that was not actively Nazi was about equally divided. The wealthier classes looked to America, the workers to the Soviet Union.

The Russians came first. The Viennese tell you of the savagery of the Russian armies. They came like the ancient Mongol hordes out of the steppes, with the flimsiest supply. The people in the working-class districts had felt that when the Russians came that they at least would be spared. But not at all. In the working-class districts the tropes were allowed to rape and murder and loot at will. When victims complained, the Russians answered, "You are too well off to be workers. You are bourgeoisie."

When Americans looted they took cameras and valuables but when the Russians looted they took everything. And they raped and killed. From the eastern frontiers a tide of refugees is seeping across Europe bringing a nightmare tale of helpless populations trampled underfoot. When the British and American came the Viennese felt that at last they were in the hands of civilized people. But instead of coming in with a bold plan of relief and reconstruction we came in full of evasions and apologies.

U.S. administration a poor third
We know now the tragic results of the ineptitudes of the Peace of Versailles. The European system it set up was Utopia compared to the present tangle of snarling misery. The Russians at least are carrying out a logical plan for extending their system of control at whatever cost. The British show signs of recovering their good sense and their innate human decency. All we have brought to Europe so far is confusion backed up by a drumhead regime of military courts. We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease. [Emphasis mine]

The taste of victory had gone sour in the mouth of every thoughtful American I met. Thoughtful men can't help remembering that this is a period in history when every political crime and every frivolous mistake in statesmanship has been paid for by the death of innocent people. The Germans built the Stalags; the Nazis are behind barbed wire now, but who will be next? Whenever you sit eating a good meal in the midst of a starving city in a handsome house requisitioned from some German, you find yourself wondering how it would feel to have a conqueror drinking out of your glasses. When you hear the tales of the brutalizing of women from the eastern frontier you think with a shudder of of those you love and cherish at home.

That we are one world is unfortunately a brutal truth. Punishing the German people indiscriminately for the sins of their leader may be justice, but it is not helping to restore the rule of civilization. The terrible lesson of the events of this year of victory is that what is happening to the bulk of Europe today can happen to American tomorrow.

In America we are still rich, we are still free to move from place to place and to talk to our friends without fear of the secret police. The time has come, for our own future security, to give the best we have to the world instead of the worst. So far as Europe is concerned, American leadership up to now has been obsessed with a fear of our own virtues. Winston Churchill expressed this state of mind brilliantly in a speech to his own people which applies even more accurately to the people of the U.S. "You must be prepared," he warned them, "for further efforts of mind and body and further sacrifices to great causes, if you are not to fall back into the rut if inertia, the confusion of aim and the craven fear of being great."


Source
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 3,548 • Replies: 67
No top replies

 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 01:19 am
WE'RE NO.1!!!
WE'RE NO.1!!!
WE'RE NO.1!!!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 01:32 am
Lol! I made my comment on this on another thread.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 07:48 am
So, what's your point there, O'Bill. That WWII was a good idea, even though it caused massive destruction and poverty on a large scale? Or maybe that the US has always been pretty bad at rebuilding? War is hell? Help me out.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 07:57 am
I think that what Bill is saying, is "The more things change, the more they are the same". I agree.

Often, it is difficult to evaluate a situation, while you are in the middle of it.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:03 am
I think bill is just trying to pick a fight and should therefore be ignored.....
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:06 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I think that what Bill is saying, is "The more things change, the more they are the same". I agree.

Often, it is difficult to evaluate a situation, while you are in the middle of it.


I can agree with that. But I see almost no similarities between our involvement in WWII and our invasion of Iraq.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:18 am
Yet so many find so many with Vietnam. Interesting.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:21 am
And possibly more correct.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:22 am
McGentrix wrote:
Yet so many find so many with Vietnam. Interesting.


Well, maybe we should hash it out? How is the Iraq invasion like WWII but not like Vietnam or vice versa?
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:25 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I think that what Bill is saying, is "The more things change, the more they are the same". I agree.

Often, it is difficult to evaluate a situation, while you are in the middle of it.


I can agree with that. But I see almost no similarities between our involvement in WWII and our invasion of Iraq.


I think the "Nation Building" aspect with both Japan and Germany is one similarity. Apparently even 60 years ago, the world expected IMMEDIATE RESULTS, IMMEDIATE PEACE in very difficult situations.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:29 am
Laughing You guys really can't see the similarities, eh? Yes FreeDuck, WWII was a good idea, even though it caused massive destruction and poverty on a large scale... and war is hell. The point is; there has always been a percentage of the population that will predict the worst. I've seen posted dozens of Vietnam era headlines always to a volley of agreement... so sure are we that our efforts will ultimately fail. Here you have a story that draws a direct parallel to the sentiments many A2Kers spread about Iraq daily. How do they respond? With the typical scorn, that any such story receives, if it doesn't Blame America First.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:35 am
Do you deny that sometimes the worst is true?

Ah, dammit - I will just post what I said on one of the other threads where you have posted that stuff.

Yes - there have always been doubters. Sometimes our reading of history suggests they were right, sometimes wrong.

For instance - Japanese folk who doubted what their government was doing in 1941 might be viewed by some as correct in their doubts - on both ethical and practical grounds.

The basis for doubt therefore needs to be examined in each situation - unless you are arguing that invading another country is ALWAYS right?

The fact that most of us would disagree with doubters about WW II does not actually have any rational link with whether or not doubts being expressed about the war in Iraq make sense or not. Interestingly, in your country, it was largely the right who did not want to see the US join in - but nemmind...

Therefore, your joy over finding doubters about WW II ought not to make you folk feel all warm and cosy about your views now.

There might appear - to the discerning observer - to be some somewhat noticeable differences between the situation in Sept 1939, when most of our countries began fighting WW II - or 1941 when the US did - and the situation with Iraq.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:36 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
I think bill is just trying to pick a fight and should therefore be ignored.....


btw ...I'm just joshing ya....
0 Replies
 
Heeven
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:37 am
Frankly it's the pot calling the kettle black. All these countries that berate America for not being the knight in shining armor and bailing them out when the need it and with a smile on their faces and throwing food and dollars to everyone who needs it, is getting to be a little tiresome. Yes America is rich compared to many other countries but is America responsible for fixing everything when things go wrong? Now I do not agree with the looting and find the criminal activities disgraceful but think for a moment, we have so many soldiers and military personnel out there in the world doing work to aid/protect (supposedly) other countries, Iraq included. Frankly I think our people are just tired of fixing other peoples crap. It's all fine and good for the politicians and you and I to say our military must be on its best behavior but they are having to do a job that none of us envy and yes there is corruption all around them. They are expected to be saints while terrorists are trying to blow them to pieces 24/7. I am NOT condoning any of this disgraceful behavior but simply saying that the expectations of American military to behave BETTER than everyone else around them is hard to maintain when others are not held up to the same high standard.

There is no country on this planet that is without blemish and before I would piss all over the American soldiers for crimes that, by the way, are committed all the time here in the U.S. (theft, destruction, etc.), I am still more concerned about those that created the wars/issues that the American soldiers were sent to fight/protect. Apparently it is okay to accept that Hilter was a monster who murdered so many. Perhaps it is acceptable that the Nazis were evil and apparently they couldn't help themselves and are therefore understood to be bad-guys. But when Americans are found to be looting, it amazes me that public sentiment overshadows the evil that created the whole unholy mess.

Oh and Britain is no friggin saint either. They have been the cause of horrendous tragedies and wars in their historical past.

As I said there is none of us and no country that hasn't been without sin. Instead of shitting all over America when we don't deliver (with a smile and wads of dollars to make your day) perhaps these countries should stop and think about what would be the situation if America didn't step in to help. Would they rather that?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:38 am
Where the heck did that come from Heeven, and how does it relate to what is being discussed?

Are you suggesting Iraq asked the US to invade it?

Or that the WORLD asked you to??????
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:43 am
dlowan wrote:
Where the heck did that come from Heeven, and how does it realte to what is being discussed?

Are you suggesting Iraq asked the US to invade it?


yeah yeah...that's the ticket...it's brilliant Mr. President....I'll make a couple of calls...Rupert Murdoch...Bill O'Reilly...Michael Powell....the Washington Times....The Adirondack Daily...we'll get the story out to every major news outlet...."Saddam, in secret meetings it is discovered....asked the US to invade Iraq"....let's get right on that......we can tell them Rummy tried to cover it up for the sake of continuity and then give him a Medal of Freedom..... this is so cool.....believe it? Of course they'll believe it...they believe anything we say if we holler loud enough and long enough.....this is perfect.....
0 Replies
 
Heeven
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:45 am
I am referring specifically to Bills original post, about the American military being lashed by the public for the crimes during the war.

And I am totally confused about your comment "Iraq asked the US to invade it". Not sure where you are getting that from. I don't think America should have gone into Iraq at all. They hadn't picked a fight with us (as far as I'm aware).
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:47 am
A lot of people agree with you, Heeven, and know exactly where that came from.

The comparison alluded to in the first post certainly opens the discussion to more than Iraq.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 08:51 am
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Americans are losing the Victory... Check it out!
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.09 seconds on 09/27/2021 at 11:02:09