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History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

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  • #31
    Originally posted by alfablue View Post
    Having been to Normandy- Germany also has a memorial burial site there. It's really odd, and hard to accept, given that they were the enemy.

    Still, the US pattern has been for a long time to do a war where we sacrifice as little as possible to win- from Spanish American War up to the present- we've never really put out as other countries did (or were seemingly gladly to put in harms way- which is odd, too). Even with 400,000 deaths in WWII, we did whatever it took to minimize that. The interesting thing about Yamamoto was that knowledge- the attempt at Pearl was to make the sacrifice so big that it would be something we'd want get into. It wasn't, and then putting the factories on line was just part of the battle. So it was a long and painful loss that was already known.

    One other thing on a perspective thing. If you look at how we treat June 6 vs. other invasions that were much larger than that later in the war, it is interesting to me that we focus so much on Europe. Again- I am guilty of that, too.
    The Civil War and its carnage has rested on our collective psyche for generations. It's because of that experience we've spent plenty of money and time trying to figure out how to fight wars without expending as many people as possible.
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    • #32
      Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

      Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
      The Civil War and its carnage has rested on our collective psyche for generations. It's because of that experience we've spent plenty of money and time trying to figure out how to fight wars without expending as many people as possible.
      I think you might be surprised that large swathes of the country don't give the Civil War even a passing thought. Growing up in NY there was zero discussion or interest beyond that it was just another war fought somewhere else -- it may as well have been the War of Jenkins' Ear. Through the 1980s this seemed to be the case throughout most of the country except the South, who were still butthurt, and the Mid Atlantic, who had figured out how to monetize it.

      Then Ken Burns ruined everything for a while, and the mouth-breathers getting their guy in power in 2000 kept the ball rolling for a while, and Obama having the temerity to be black ruined their day and we had to listen to their whining, but it's finally calming down again.

      I'd bet a decade from now the only people giving mindshare to the Civil War will be the kind of clodpates who get drunk and weep about the Battle of Culloden.
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      • #33
        Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

        If Benjamin Franklin had his way, we would not have sought independence from Great Britain, but merely from Parliament. He'd have been happy if we had a "Parliament of the Colonies" for self-rule, remaining loyal to the King. "Taxation without representation" could very easily have been satisfied without independence.



        Hmm....would the colonies eventually have merged with what is now Canada under that outcome???
        "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

        "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

        "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

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        • #34
          Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

          Originally posted by FreshFish View Post
          If Benjamin Franklin had his way, we would not have sought independence from Great Britain, but merely from Parliament. He'd have been happy if we had a "Parliament of the Colonies" for self-rule, remaining loyal to the King. "Taxation without representation" could very easily have been satisfied without independence.

          Hmm....would the colonies eventually have merged with what is now Canada under that outcome???
          If we had still been part of Britain the French would not have sold the LA Purchase to us. We would have had to take it by force (which we would have, quite easily).

          It also may have made life a lot harder when it came time to steal the West from Mexico.

          Another problem is that the extension of British land holding and titles would have made America an even worse class-ridden catastrophe than the UK. The Southern Planters were bad enough -- these yahoos would have had royal authority behind them. Delay the inevitable reaction from the 18th to the 19th century, and the American Revolution might have been less John Locke and more Karl Marx.
          Last edited by Kepler; 08-30-2016, 05:46 PM.
          Cornell University
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          • #35
            Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

            Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
            I grew up thinking Dan Devine was a pretty good guy, but fortunately Rudy Ruettiger cleared up that misconception for me.
            And another falls victim to the myth of "Rudy."

            Most movies "based on actual events" are loaded with inaccuracies and dramatizations but Rudy was more fiction than fact. Even scenes where Irish football players tap the "Play Like A Champion" sign are wrong. Lou Holtz had seen that sign in an old book, probably a picture of the one the Oklahoma football team had been using for decades, and had one painted and installed in the stadium in 1986 at the dawn of his tenure in South Bend. Ruettiger had been gone for a decade by then.

            For the record, it was Devine who assured Ruettiger that he would indeed suit up and play in the season's final game. The rest of the team did not threaten a boycott (the scene with the jersey's on Devine's desk is entirely fictional). As well, the student section didn't chant his name until AFTER he got into the game. Ruettiger also did not have a resentful older brother ("Rudy" was the oldest Ruettiger boy but had older sisters) and in fact his entire family was supportive and thrilled, not only that he got into Notre Dame but also for his connections to the football program.

            Rudy also became an insufferable arrogant little turd in the years after the movie.

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            • #36
              Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

              In keeping sort of with the theme of the OP, Richard Rhodes' series of books on nuclear arms and The Making of the Nuclear Age (as he refers to the series) have caused me to rethink some of views and assumptions about nuclear weapons.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
                And another falls victim to the myth of "Rudy."

                Most movies "based on actual events" are loaded with inaccuracies and dramatizations but Rudy was more fiction than fact. Even scenes where Irish football players tap the "Play Like A Champion" sign are wrong. Lou Holtz had seen that sign in an old book, probably a picture of the one the Oklahoma football team had been using for decades, and had one painted and installed in the stadium in 1986 at the dawn of his tenure in South Bend. Ruettiger had been gone for a decade by then.

                For the record, it was Devine who assured Ruettiger that he would indeed suit up and play in the season's final game. The rest of the team did not threaten a boycott (the scene with the jersey's on Devine's desk is entirely fictional). As well, the student section didn't chant his name until AFTER he got into the game. Ruettiger also did not have a resentful older brother ("Rudy" was the oldest Ruettiger boy but had older sisters) and in fact his entire family was supportive and thrilled, not only that he got into Notre Dame but also for his connections to the football program.

                Rudy also became an insufferable arrogant little turd in the years after the movie.
                I suck at sarcasm.
                That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

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                • #38
                  Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                  Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                  I suck at sarcasm.
                  Apparently I suck more!

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                  • #39
                    Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                    Originally posted by alfablue View Post
                    Oddly enough, when I look back, it seems as if contemporary news didn't want to write about that, too.
                    That's why I've said that narrative has mostly been ret-conned in. Sadly, the suffering of Jews just didn't move the needle much back then, nor do I think many understood the scale of what happened. The change largely comes from A) Jewish groups (rightfully) keeping the issue in the spotlight and highlighting just how awful it was and B) 50 years of progress rounding off the sharper edges of anti-Semitism. Jews have pretty much just become another bunch of white people for everyone but a small radical minority.

                    Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                    If Germany offered the unconditional return of all western territory to status quo ante and withdrawal to pre-war German western borders...
                    If Hitler had been a magic wizard, that might have helped too. The Nazis started from an immovable position of extreme nationalism. It was either full speed ahead with their dominance through superiority nonsense or cut the legs out from their entire movement with another "stab in the back". They were pot committed and couldn't afford to make a savvy political move. I wish I could think of a modern day parallel, but none come to mind.

                    Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                    1790s-1800s: Screwed over the French when they asked us to honor our treaty in defense of their revolution (inspired in part by ours)
                    Screwed over feels a bit harsh. I don't think they were capable of helping much if they had wanted to. Blame France for calling in their favor so early.
                    Originally posted by dicaslover
                    Yep, you got it. I heart Maize.

                    Originally posted by Kristin
                    Maybe I'm missing something but you just asked me which MSU I go to and then you knew the theme of my homecoming, how do you know one and not the other?

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                    • #40
                      Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                      Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
                      I often think about these kinds of numbers when I visit the Viet Nam Memorial. I wonder how the Wall would look if it bore 400,000 names instead of 58,000. I find it impossible to even imagine the magnitude of the kinds of losses the German or Soviet military suffered and cannot begin to picture the space required to similarly memorialize those numbers of dead.
                      The words "Here We Mark The Price Of Freedom" are inscribed below the Freedom Wall within the National WWII Memorial on the mall. Each gold star in the field represents 100 lives lost. There are 4,048 gold stars.
                      Originally posted by WiscTJK
                      I'm with Wisko and Tim.
                      Originally posted by Timothy A
                      Other than Wisko McBadgerton and Badger Bob, who is universally loved by all?

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                      • #41
                        Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                        Originally posted by MaizeRage View Post
                        If Hitler had been a magic wizard, that might have helped too. The Nazis started from an immovable position of extreme nationalism. It was either full speed ahead with their dominance through superiority nonsense or cut the legs out from their entire movement with another "stab in the back". They were pot committed and couldn't afford to make a savvy political move.
                        Not in the West they weren't. The Nazi lebensraum policy was directed East. They rolled over the West to knock France out of the war so they could turn to their real objective: strike Russia, occupy Eastern Europe, depopulate it (primarily through literal starvation -- the actual strategy was called the "Hunger Plan" and it will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck), and then settle happy fertile Aryans there. The West Bank settlements on steroids. They had historical precedent: during the "Ostsiedlung" the Germans deliberately settled huge swaths of Central Europe, pushing out (or killing) the "native" Slavs ("native" because they were fairly new as well -- the whole region was basically a six-line highway from the steppe to the Elbe).

                        The Nazis would not have had a problem with a separate peace with the West. Allegedly they offered several versions but Churchill wasn't buying because he understood a Super Germany with essentially unlimited food reserves in the east and oil supplies in the Caucuses would always be an existential threat to Britain, plus he really wanted the US to get into the war.

                        The Germans were still bound by geopolitical realities and their general staff could count: they knew they wouldn't be able to hold Western Europe against American industrial strength so, like a star player in his walk year, why not trade it and get something for it?

                        I suspect the West was tempted because freeing up the western front would have meant the Nazis and the Commies bleeding each other to death in the snow while the West recovered and built strength for WW3. This was before wide understanding of the Holocaust and before anybody was thinking that a "magic wizard" bomb was going to come along and radically change the way a WW3 would be fought. It would also have given the French and British time to recover their possessions from Japan. It isn't as far fetched as it seems knowing everything we know now.
                        Last edited by Kepler; 08-31-2016, 09:44 AM.
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by MaizeRage View Post
                          I think you're missing the biggie--which has largely been retconned in--but the war in Europe had the effect of ending the Holocaust. The level of German atrocity makes it a much simpler good guy/bad guy scenario on the grand scale.
                          The Chinese say, "Hi!" Japan killed at least as many Chinese as Hitler killed Jews.
                          If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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                          • #43
                            Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                            Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                            The Chinese say, "Hi!" Japan killed at least as many Chinese as Hitler killed Jews.
                            Yellows don't count.
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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Kepler View Post
                              Yellows don't count.
                              Ah, right. I always forget that part.
                              If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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                              • #45
                                Re: History - questioning the winners and how we arrived at this point

                                Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                                The Chinese say, "Hi!" Japan killed at least as many Chinese as Hitler killed Jews.
                                There are many, many more Chinese than there are Jews in the world. That makes it less genocidey.
                                "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

                                "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

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