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Europeans: should we up military spending?

 
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 07:21 am
dlowan wrote:
b. You speak as though the US was in Europe as an altruistic exercise in chivalrous protection of the weak. My understanding is, that at least as much as such a motive, and in my view far more so, that the USA used Europe as its forward defence line against the USSR - that, just as the USSR grabbed itself many "vassal" states - at least partly as a defence against what it saw (quite reasonably) as a hostile post-war Europe and America, so the USA developed a network of friendly client states as a buffer against a hostile Soviet Union.

kitchenpete wrote:
I'll go a bit further...the Cold War was about a few things: [..]

3. Spheres of influence: The Marshall Plan was a deliberate ploy by the USA following WWII to prevent the rise of Communist sentiment and political forces, by making reconstruction dependent on adoption of Capitalist values. These states are no less vassal states than those on the end of the USA's long arm control of the other side of the Iron Curtain.


<frowns>

Dlowan was talking motive - and yeh, I don't think it's much of a controversy to propose the Marshall Plan represented primarily a move of strategic interest - that the embedding of Western Europe in NATO was in terms of motive a question of establishing "friendly client states as a buffer against a hostile Soviet Union".

But to say that, in practice, "these states [were] no less vassal states than those on the [..] other side of the Iron Curtain", is a chutzpah. You can't really mean that. Sure the states of Western Europe were, vis-a-vis the US, "in a subservient or subordinate position" (which is what the dictionary gives for vassal), but "no less than those" of the Eastern Block?!

The regimes of the Eastern Block had no freedom to determine their own course to any extent up to the mid-fifties; and even after that only to a comparatively marginal extent: any move to legalise any political opposition whatsoever, or even to openly question any of the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism, being reason enough for instant removal from power ... As the countless victims of 1953, 1956, 1968 and 1980 testify ... Sorry to sound harsh but please do remind yourself of the comparison to the varied political systems, open debates and range of mixed economic systems in Western Europe before you start equating ...
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 07:24 am
My son thinks the WWII Russian soldiers were the bravest, most maligned (by the Germans AND their own leadership) and most worthy fighting group in modern history. Thing is, they needn't have feared us.

Stalin struck a deal with Hitler (big mistake), and lived to regret it. The US didn't aggress upon them. All those brave dead of Russia do not fall at the US' feet. They are for Stalin and Hitler to repent.

Bunny, you don't owe me a 'sorry'. I enjoy your input. Hope if I ever become churlish in your direction, you will excuse me, as well. (Not that you became churlish in my direction...)

Agreed with almost everything Craven said in his last two posts.

But, I do think, foibles and missteps aside, America is a benevolent power.

I think one reason France et al hate us is they feel impotently beholden to us. Having their own military, which they hopefully never have to use, may make them feel more independant. Of course, there may be valid reasons the US is avoided at the global cocktail party....
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 07:36 am
KP - interesting - I thought the USSR lost - just in the war - way above 3m. Remember - they did not capitulate, as the rest of Europe had to - and they fought a campaign based partly upon the hugeness of the country, its ability to absorb losses, and the total destruction of land that was to be ceded to the Germans. Also, I understand that Nazi contempt for Slavic peoples was second only to their contempt for the more commonly cited victims - eh Jews, gypsies, homosexuals etc. Many were deported as slave labour, and many massacred.

Also, there was a terrible massacre of returning soldiers and POWs, whom Stalin feared would be a counter force.

God knows what civilian losses were in Stalingrad alone...

Sigh...
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 07:46 am
WWII Total Casualties: (Millions) Military Civilian
USSR------------------------------- 13.6 ------- 7.0

Germany ------------------------- 4.8 -------- 0.5

Japan ------------------------------ 1.2--------- 0.6

Yugoslavia ------------------------- 0.4 --------- 1.3

US ---------------------------------- 0.3 ---------- .006
______________________________________

WOW. Wonder if the Soviet casualties would have been so high is Stalin hadn't ordered his officers to kill any retreating Soviet soldiers?

Good Lord. More USSR civilians died than combatants of the other countris combined. Chilling!
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 07:59 am
dlowan wrote:
Interesting, NIMH - I won't argue with you, cos I do not have sources to cite, and I am sur eyou do.


I'm <ahem> retracting the bit I said about how the 20 million would have been the "victims of the terror surrounding the forced collectivisation, the subsequent famines, the terror of the late 30s" and "WW2".

I don't know about the "and". In my mind, 20 million = victims of Stalinism. (Thats the part that hit home pretty early on when I was a student. I'm astoundingly hopeless in remembering numbers. That must have been about the only number I ever got to reproduce by heart - that and "Holocaust=6 million killed Jews" (please let that be right). And election results, in great detail even, for some reason. Good thing I have a pretty big library to help me back up the opinions, analyses and observations that I hope are no less valid for my obvious handicap Wink.)

Actually, the 20 million figure makes a lot more sense not including WW2. So, thanks KP, for putting me back on the mark ... Embarrassed
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 08:17 am
Sofia wrote:
WWII Total Casualties: (Millions) Military Civilian
USSR------------------------------- 13.6 ------- 7.0

WOW. Wonder if the Soviet casualties would have been so high is Stalin hadn't ordered his officers to kill any retreating Soviet soldiers?


Or if Stalin hadnt pursued a purge of the military top brass in the two-three years before the war, which 4 out of 5 officers didnt survive?
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kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 08:28 am
nimh,

My use of the term "vassal" states in terms of Western Europe under the influence of the USA was CERTAINLY overstating the case...I was just getting carried away with emotion!

I don't know if my figures are correct, but the site from which I took them looks fairly reputable. I knew the figure was high, but, Phew! So high!

KP
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 10:07 am
re. deaths in WWII.

There are numerous websites giving different figures.

A serious about non-combatant is this one:

Noncombatant Deaths in WW II
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2003 01:18 pm
trespassers will wrote:

Of course, there is an argument (a valid one, I think), that many European countries have chosen to spend on social programs and so have had little left for defense. (Guns VS. Butter) Were they to choose to spend more on defense, they would have to sell a reduction in social programs to their people. I will watch and see on that one.


"Guns Vs Butter"

10-9(for guns)=1(for butter)

Life is not that simple
Dumb, simplified possibilities:

gun=neighbour's butter

gun=10(for the gunsmith to buy butter)=5(for the carpenter to buy butter)+5 (for the babysitter to pay the personal trainer to lose some butter weight)=5(for the personal trainer to buy butter).....
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marcus121
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 03:52 pm
this pretty much sums my opinion up:

[link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbGz6iHcbTU[/link]
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colona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 05:16 am
hell yes those muslims are invating oss allready we must act now before we lose everthing we hold dear i stand ready to do my duty what aboud you?
0 Replies
 
 

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