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Old 09-26-2002, 09:50 AM   #91
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Originally posted by STING2

Hitler is not the first dictator to come to power, Capitalism or not. There were other ways and means of funding one's self besides the "steel industry" in Germany. It is obvious in hindsite that pre-emtive action would have prevented Hitlers rise to power in the late 1930s. It is true that it could have been prevented earlier than that if the postwar arrangement after World War I had not helped to impoverish Germany. But worldwide economic depression was a fact nearly everywhere in the 1930s, and even if post World War I arrangement had not been focused on making Germany pay for it, there still would have been conditions for Hitler's rise. The Allies watched and waited, and did nothing to prevent the disaster that was rushing towards them. There are few arguements that are better for pre-emption than this one.
We agree that Hitler was not the first of all dictators.

But in Hitlers case there were no other means of funding. Hitlers rise would not have been possible without the german steel industry then (1933).

Worldwide depression was everywhere, true. And economic depression can never be a reason to build up a cruel dictatorship, so it was not the right way for sure. I don´t think that a preemptive strike in this case would have avoided World War II. Maybe it would have broken out a few years later.

If you quote the Allies, I think that f.e. the U.S. had enough to repair in their own country from 1932 until 1935/36, with Roosevelt being President and New Deal, increase of production, trying to reduce unemployment... I don´t know if the U.S. would have been a happy fighter contra Hitler at this time. In the 40s things were different, maybe, but take into account that the U.S. entered the Second World War mostly because of Japan as late as 1942, and sided with Europe later on.

In France, start of 30s the government of Chateau collapsed. Then Daladier and the scandal in February 1934, when 70 people were killed by police who fired with machine guns into the crowds at Place de la Concorde due to a riot that had broken out. Again change to Dumergue, then in 1936 change to Laval; he was an ambitious man with a strong conservative policy, who was later to be executed for being the principal collaborator in the puppet Vichy Government during WWII. He was sympathetic to Mussolini, and had strongly courted him as an ally to oppose Hitler, to the extent that he had supported Mussolini’s war effort in Ethiopia, and hindered British efforts to conduct an embargo of war-materials on Italy.

Hitler rolled troops into the Rhineland as early as 1936. Historically we know that Germany was still militarily weak, and that the slightest military reaction from France would have sent them scurrying back to Germany. But the French High Command was absolutely unable to act. General Gamelin insisted on a full mobilization of the entire French Army, with 8 million men called to service before he would attempt a police action to dislodge a few German parade troops. France failed to respond, and Britain, anxious not to provoke a war with Hitler, encouraged the lack of response.

Great Britian.... some say Chamberlain tried his best to avert a war with a country that wanted nothing but war; others say he was blind and foolish in trying to deal with Nazi Germany. Through the takeover of Austria, the Munich crisis and eventually the invasion of Poland, England's prime minister attempted to negotiate with the obsessed and erratic Adolf Hitler. His was a policy of appeasement. When he had taken office in May, 1937, his focus was on a European solution to German expansionism. He attempted to convince Hitler that war was not worth winning because British re-armament and the weak German economy would make Germany vulnerable to a British economic blockade. Chamberlain also felt that Hitler would set his sites on the East, an opinion that helped him in his decision to abandon Czechoslovakia during the Munich Crisis. Only with the invasion of Poland, a sadly reluctant Chamberlain announced that England was at war with Germany. On the German march into Danzig, Hitler said "For half a millenium longer this soil has been German, and has remained German, and it will, you can rest assured, remain German." With this invasion, Chamberlain had no choice but to honor his agreement with Poland and move toward war. Which didn´t disturb Hitler a lot.

After trying to avoid taking his country down this tragic path, Chamberlain angrily denounced Nazi Germany's decision to invade Poland. Radio was there to record this historic moment. Chamberlain told the listeners "it is evil things we shall be fighting against." Before the aggression against Poland the British government had not finally lost hope to find a political and peaceful solution to the circumstances in Europe. Later, however, London saw no other alternative but war.

And the Soviet Union, the nation that lost 20 millions of soldiers in World War II? As early as 1927 Trotski viewed uprising fascism with horror. He wrote "The Lessons of October" in an attempt to get the leaders of the Communist Parties to draw the necessary conclusions from the German events. But Stalin's clique could not tolerate an honest discussion of the German events which would damage its prestige. Trotski's work was taken as the signal for a furious onslaught against so-called Trotskiism, and its central message was buried under a mountain of slander and abuse. During the fight for power after the death of Lenin, which crowned Stalin with victory, the objective was raised to enforce socialism all over the country. That meant not only the refusal of the idea of a global revolution, but also became the first, yet not last effort of Stalin to develop specific Soviet-nationalism. First stated in the twenties, the assertion that the war of the capitalists against the Soviet Union could be expected at any time allowed to form the Soviet society marked with Stalinism. That period of formation was stamped with brutality, forced collectivisation which claimed for millions of lives during the first term of five years that was to speed up the development of heavy industry irrespective to anything and make the underdeveloped Russia on equal footing with the Western states. Characterised with humiliating processes, the murderous cleansing of the party machinery were still carried out in the Soviet Union in the thirties.

However the Soviet Union showed its interest not only in the situation at its European borders. A severer situation was brought about in Eastern Asia. By occupying Manchuria in 1931, Japan gave rise to forced annexation.

Without furthering analysis of diplomatic actions, it could be stated that Stalin made efforts to start more extensive negotiations with the Reich since autumn of 1938 (i.e. since Munich) in terms of economic issues. At the same time, Moscow tried to enhance its position without tearing apart the relations with the West. Meantime in London Chamberlain was forced to start negotiations with Stalin due to the active demands of the opposition to grant guarantees to Poland and the Soviet Union. The discussions revealed new thinking of the Russians where they requested the right for intervention to Eastern European states and concluding an efficient military convention.

The part of the Hitler-Stalin Pact which has been made public contains seven items. Both the states agreed to take no hostile actions against each other and refuse to enter any pact directed against any of the states, and solve conflicts, if any, by the way of negotiations. The main item was the death sentence to Poland which sounded as follows: “in case one of the parties to the agreement become a military target of the third state the other party to the agreement shall grant no assistance to the third party”. One of the wordings of the secret protocol was “on the change of territorial-political order”, with the same respect as regarding Poland whose “fate will be predetermined during the forthcoming political events” that meant a brutal conquer of all the neighbouring states.

The Soviet foreign policy was significantly changed with the pact of August 1939. The Soviet efforts for security now became very intense: the new formula meant security through expansionism. This principle could remember us of the policies of the U.S. towards Latin America a few decades later, who preferred to install collaborating governments to expandinsionism of statal territory, but lets not waste our time with useless comparisons.

Finally the pact had only bad outcomings for Stalin since August 1939 was also related to another date in history, namely 22 June 1941 where the act of aggression by Hitler Germany was directed at the Soviet Union. After the aggression, Stalin himself made explanations on the 1939 pact that it was the only chance to stop the German aggression and reserve some time for the Soviet Union to prepare for the unavoidable clash, which can be doubted. Despite the fact that Hitler was not ready to attack the Soviet Union in summer of 1939 from a military point of view, the Red Army faced the enemy in 1941 which had all the resources of Europe that it acquired after so-called victories in the West. Meantime, the Soviet Union had no allies after the defeat of France; it had to resist the attacks of the Germans alone as it had done before. Of course, Stalin thought that in case of Hitler’s aggression, he would automatically find himself in the alliance with the West, however, the assistance from London and later from Washington became very noticeable only after the German defeat in Stalingrad.

The significance of the pact for the beginning of World War II should anyhow not lead to a wrong conclusion that this war would not have broken out without it. The dictators’ deal opened the way for the first phase of the clash which limited itself to the continent of Europe. According to Hitler, it should have become world war only after his victory in the West. We are aware that the German Government, particularly the dictator himself, waited for the earlier or later entry of the USA into the war.

So conclusion is that maybe, maybe Chamberlain could or should have reacted faster, not the "Allies" who at that time weren´t Allies. And in 1936, France could have reacted faster as well. But they waited, and maybe it is a leaders duty to wait until war is inevitable before he risks his troops.

You can´t make this history of four different states (later Allies) an example for preemptive striking in a new millenium. The two worlds are to different to seriously compare them.

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Old 09-26-2002, 01:45 PM   #92
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I'm well aware of all the history you just mentioned above and more from my studies at University. Many historians, diplomats, economist, and other professionals in government today agree that building a strong coalition after World War I with the USA tied to it, could have responded early to Hitlers moves in and near Germany before he became to powerful. This is part of the reason, and I underline part, that the idea of "colective security" through organizations like NATO, and US engagement rather than isolation is so strong today. Clearly the potential and ability to act pre-emtively and successfully was there, regardless of the politics of the time.

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