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How America weaponised the West Unity is an illusion designed to prevent a European split

“Nato unity” is a mirage (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“Nato unity” is a mirage (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


May 20, 2023   9 mins

In the month that has passed since Emmanuel Macron issued his call for greater European strategic autonomy, two rival camps have gone to battle over its legacy. The first is populated by Atlanticists such as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, outraged by Macron’s alleged ingratitude towards US security guarantees and his suggestion that Europe must consider its own strategic interests independent from Washington. The second contains Macron’s neo-Gaullist and pan-European supporters, such as European Council president Charles Michel, who praised him for standing up to Washington with a vision of the European Union as the alternative “third pole” to China and the United States in a multipolar world.

Both responses were entirely predictable; and both suffer from a similar misapprehension about the emerging paradigm of international relations today and the structural shifts on the horizon.

From the Euro-Atlantic standpoint, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a galvanising event. The war reforged a long-dormant Manichaean framing of existential conflict between Russia and the “West”. What is, for Ukraine, a physical and territorial conflict thus assumed ontological, apocalyptic dimensions. In the spiritual fires of the war, the myth of the “West” was rebaptised. For a Nato that was seeking a mission ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, here was an opportunity to renew its institutional and ideological rationale, as well as to project solidarity in an the face of an emergency crisis.

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From the perspective of America’s elites, meanwhile, the Ukraine war has underscored Europe’s profound military dependence on Washington and further reinforced the US-centric basis of transatlantic relations. Not only did it ostensibly justify their long-held position that Europe must pay a much larger share for the privileges of a US security guarantee, but the debate over the strategic worth of Nato and its enlargement was effectively silenced. Since the invasion, the alliance has already expanded to Finland, while Sweden remains in the process of accession. All of this was cause for celebration, if not triumphalism, in liberal internationalist circles: America, along with the Western order it sponsors against great power challengers such as China, appeared to be vindicated.

It was not surprising, then, that Macron’s remarks drew the ire of the Atlanticist foreign policy establishment, who not only falsely conflate the transatlantic relationship with Nato and measure its health in terms of Nato’s strength and durability but, crucially, have also internalised America’s Wilsonian and “Nato-centric” approach to European security. For them, the endurance of Nato as a permanent alliance serves as an effective hedge to the formation of a European defence force independent of Washington. Yet, the alliance is also an instrument for continued American influence over European policy. As Ronald Steel presciently wrote in the Sixties: “There is more than one kind of empire, more than one way of exerting control over others, and more than one justification for doing so.”

In his war memoirs, former French general and president Charles de Gaulle certainly agreed, calling Nato a “false pretence” designed to “disguise America’s chokehold over Europe”. The Americans, he argued, “should recognise that the United States’ best ally is not the one who grovels before them, but the one who knows how to say no to them”. Yet, de Gaulle, a proud European aristocrat who had had to deal with an imperious Franklin Roosevelt during the Second World War, was also more pessimistic about the future direction of US policy, fearing Americans had developed “that taste for intervention in which the instinct for domination cloaked itself”.

Across the Atlantic, de Gaulle’s views found parallels with those of America’s original cold warriors, such as George Kennan and Dwight D. Eisenhower. “If in 10 years”, observed then-Presidential-candidate Eisenhower in 1951, “all American troops stationed in Europe for national defence purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole [Nato] project will have failed”. Recognising the strategic value of the Europeans as equal and sovereign partners, Eisenhower understood that US policy should aim to foster a separate transnational defence force in Western Europe with the capacity to eventually become fully self-reliant.

Some seven decades later, it appears we have gone full circle. More than a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the sense of consensus produced by the tragic war is slowly dissipating. As French President Emmanuel Macron noted, with America shifting its strategic focus to Asia, the question of European strategic autonomy is no longer academic but vital if Europe wants to be one of the “poles” in the emerging multipolar world, rather than a vassal of Washington.

Yet there is also a different, more complex story here, too. Notwithstanding their questionable practicality, recent calls for a collective defence initiative premised on European unity and its claims to shared identity paradoxically suffer from a globalist and Caesarist predisposition: not only are they wedded to the project of European integration designed to keep Franco-German elites in a position of primacy, but their cast of mind seems entranced by the notion of great power competition on a global scale.

Indeed, Macron has internalised the epistemological basis of modern international relations theory and its stubborn fixation on global realpolitik. This reflects the far-too-common modern bias towards the world as the spatial setting of choice for both life and strife. “The fundamental event of modernity”, as Heidegger wrote, “is the conquest of the world as picture.” Within this distortive vision, to stay relevant, an entity — whether individual, national, or organisational — must develop the capacity to influence the global, because one draws existential meaning from the hope of mastering the world as such.

However, the return of geopolitics and militarisation to Europe has also exposed the reality of internal competition between the different blocs of states over the contours of any collective agenda — a reality that will inevitably force a more inward reckoning about what it means to be European. While Macron is focused on the projection or exteriorisation of European power to compete on a world scale, the interiorisation of Europe is more likely — a process forming new axes and blocs in response to the new regional and geopolitical realities in the continent.

In fact, for all the talk of Western unity inspired by the war in Ukraine, we are beginning to see cracks in the ranks within the Nato alliance. There are two main reasons for this. First, the American push for Nato expansion since 1991 has enlarged the alliance by adding a host of faultline states or “regional balancers” from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The strategy, which began with the Clinton administration but was fully championed by the George W. Bush administration, was to create a decidedly pro-American pillar on the continent centred on Warsaw, which would force an eastward shift in the alliance’s centre of gravity away from the traditional Franco-German axis.

By using Nato enlargement to weaken the old power centres in Europe that might have occasionally stood up to it (such as in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq), Washington ensured a more compliant Europe in the short-term. The upshot, however, was the formation of a 31-member behemoth made up of three distinct categories of states with deep asymmetries of power and low compatibility of interests. As I recently argued with Zachary Paikin:

“The alliance now essentially consists of three tiers: a globe-spanning and maritime great power, the United States (with its closely-aligned Anglo partners in Canada and the UK); a number of continental ‘middle powers‘ with different views on the desirability or viability of the US-led postwar international order including France, Germany, and Turkey; and a collection of states in and around the post-Soviet space led by Poland, which serve as ‘regional balancers’ against both historical European powers and Russia.”

Nato, as a consequence, has become a highly heterogeneous alliance, in which members have different security priorities and threat perceptions, increasing the likelihood of irreconcilable rifts between Western European states and their CEE counterparts, especially as the United States pivots to the Pacific. In other words, Nato’s very expansion could likely be the cause of its ultimate breakdown into at least two different alliance structures, ententes, or minilateral regional arrangements.

Meanwhile, the nominally North Atlantic military alliance is no longer confined to the European theatre, let alone its original basis in Western Europe and the Atlantic region. By adopting US policy priorities since the Cold War, the alliance has metastasised into a global collective military conglomerate that not only extends to Eastern Europe but stretches across Eurasia and into the Pacific, with its latest outpost just opening in Japan.

Although CEE leaders such as Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki continue to double down on the United States as “the absolute foundation” of security in “our part of Europe”, most European nations still choose to placate Washington, even if they have little interest in stepping up the escalation ladder in places such as Taiwan. Predictably, the imperative one feels to project solidarity with Washington lessens the further West one goes in Europe and the further away one gets from the ontological presence of the Russian threat.

While Macron espouses a pan-European, EU-centric model of security through which he hopes to leverage France as a major power on the world stage, the reality is that the EU’s institutional sovereignty cuts against the geopolitical interests and national sovereignty of smaller member states — and more acutely so given that a similar “Easternisation” has also occurred in relation to the EU with Ukraine, Moldova and even Georgia slated to become future member states. While they are much more likely to fear abandonment by Washington, these post-Soviet states are, ironically, far more sovereigntist, conservative, and nationalistic, tending to resist the liberal institutionalist and integrationist agenda of their Western European counterparts. Indeed, the frenzied backlash to Macron’s warnings about European entanglement in Taiwan suggests that a power struggle may already be underway in the EU. As such, the entrenched disagreements over a shared EU strategy toward China could well become the catalyst for a future split in Europe along a West-East axis.

Ultimately, the return of geopolitics catapulted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has meant that the proper expanse of “Europe” as well as its security identity is once again in doubt. This is a tale of divergent strategic interests among competing “allies” seeking to secure one another’s conformity: each side looking to impose their interests and ontological vision as the sine qua non of the Western alliance.

And, over the medium to long term, this new reality informs European states’ relations both toward external actors and among themselves. On the one hand, continental Europe must determine the proper scope of its relationship with the United States (and the Atlanticist Anglosphere). On the other, it must increasingly contend with the divergent approaches toward Moscow by Eastern and Western factions which will likely also affect their future postures toward Beijing (the former seeking the complete expulsion of Russia from European affairs, the latter hoping for an eventual normalisation of relations).

As it struggles to resolve the Russia question, Europe thus finds itself having to re-examine its identity as a distinct cultural and geopolitical realm, recalibrate its proper boundaries, and discover its strategic orientation (and voice) vis-à-vis a “collective West” premised on US-led Atlanticism. It is here that the continent’s long history might serve as a guide.

As it expanded, the Roman Empire simply became too large, finding it difficult to reconcile the increasingly incompatible priorities of its different regions. Overextension has always been the mother of entropy, and the declining Roman Empire lacked the resources and military capacity to respond in a unified way to the disparate security concerns of its eastern and western quadrants. This was perhaps the primary reason why Emperor Theodosius formalised an already-growing division between the two halves of the Roman world, so that each could better respond to its immediate security challenges. While the West remained preoccupied with ongoing economic problems and barbarian incursions along the Germanic frontier, the East organised itself to confront the persistent challenge of its peer-competitor, the Sassanian Empire. Simply put, the Romans had to split into two Romes in order to more effectively meet a plethora of systemic challenges.

The Roman example is certainly not a perfect analogy for today’s Europe, but it is instructive. Present-day Europe is much more stable and formidable compared to the late Roman era, with neither bloc facing the prospect of imminent collapse. Nevertheless, as with the late Rome, today a split along the Franco-German and Polish axes would reflect the differing strategic priorities of the two sides. Over time, this might mean the expiration of Nato as a project and its replacement by two alternate minilateral security ententes — one in Western Europe centred on Germany and France and the other in Northeast Europe anchored in Poland and the Baltic states sympathetic to it.

In any such future realignment, the German question remains the key conundrum. There, the rise of the Green Party, personified by the über-hawk and Americanist foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, is outrightly undermining Germany’s concrete national interest and industrial sector. Under the cover of “Europeanism”, such German liberal internationalists are engaged in a sort of a Faustian bargain with the United States and its key CEE allies in which Berlin acquiesces to Nato’s eastward shift in Europe for the sake of greater control over the defence and economic imperatives of the alliance. This is unsustainable in the long term, not only because it is wholly dependent on America’s continuing presence in Europe but also as it contradicts the interests of Western Europeans, who would have to bankroll and sustain the military austerities which the East needs to confront a Russian threat that Western populations do not feel nearly as acutely.

Since the Second World War, partly as a result of the Cold War’s legacy and partly due to unrelenting Anglo-American interference, Europe is no longer the primary mover of world affairs. Instead, it has devolved into a regional theatre akin to the Middle East, in which competition among other great powers — for many decades Washington and Moscow — takes centre stage.

If this is to change — if Europe is to recover its geopolitical distinctiveness — its political leaders must first recognise that it is not a monolith, but a mosaic composed of different blocs. The idea of the “West” might be ontologically alluring or comforting in times of chaos and tragedy, but it is an illusion that weaponises collective paranoia for ideological unity, designed to decentre Europe and disenfranchise its various elements from pursuing their particular interests that may or may not oppose America’s crusades for global primacy.

At the same time, Washington, too, must adapt to the structural shifts and the increasing regionalisation that are shaping a polycentric world based around civilisational middle powers. Just as “Nato unity” is a mirage that is meant to rhetorically mask the shaky foundations of Western universalism as underwritten by US power, “European identity” is an equally ambiguous and problematic notion because, geopolitically speaking, there are at least two Europes with diverging security interests, value systems, and cultural pedigree. Choosing to ignore this division amounts to nothing more than kicking the can down the road — and risks breaking apart the Western alliance itself.


Arta Moeini is the Director of Research at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and founding editor of AGON.

artamoeini

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Christian Moon
Christian Moon
11 months ago

The piece does not discuss the extent to which US hegemony brings with it a cultural alignment with ultra-progressive liberalism. Open borders, identity politics and the destruction of the family are themselves seen as a threat to security by countries such as Poland, Hungary and Turkey let alone Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Russia herself.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Exactly. His statement that “The idea of the “West” … is an illusion that weaponises collective paranoia for ideological unity …” is spherical-objects.
Illusion my foot. 
The cultural synergies exist. I’ve travelled very widely over several decades and I know the countries where I felt foreign – often delightfully so – e.g., in Japan. But I always felt quite at home in the US and in W Europe. The differences we love to find in the US and in W Europe are mere surface cultural peccadilloes. There are large numbers of Brits and Paddies living v happily in France, Spain etc. They do so by choice, because they like it there, and they feel right at home. Can’t say the same about Russia or Iran lol.   
In reality, even the Brits and the French have way more in common with each other culturally (post-Christian, largely white, democracies) than the so-called “alliances” between the Chinese, Russian and Iranians, which latter are primarily the personal conveniences of dictators and have no cultural meaning or purchase whatsoever among their respective hoi polloi. 

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Alas! i did travel and lived far and wide. But was happy in Japan, Russia and the ME. Too old for Persia now.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Persian people LOVE roses. They’ve got CLASS.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Persian people LOVE roses. They’ve got CLASS.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

‘Paddies living v happily in France, Spain etc.’

As a young man I worked in England where the term Paddy was an insult (one was often not even asked one’s name but simply addressed as Pat.) I would prefer if you didn’t use it to refer to Irish people.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

He did call his own Brits, to be fair.. it too has some negative connotations I think? I suppose he might have continued with Yanks, Ruskies though I think Frogs, and that nasty term for MEs might have been going a bit too far.. I’m not too bothered.. sticks and stones etc. ..we had plenty of those from the Brits in the past! ..oops, better not go there!!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Quiet correct Liam old chap, and I very much doubt that the Chinks, Nips etc are really that bothered by such light hearted banter.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Quiet correct Liam old chap, and I very much doubt that the Chinks, Nips etc are really that bothered by such light hearted banter.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Frank is one of your lot or hadn’t you noticed?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

He did call his own Brits, to be fair.. it too has some negative connotations I think? I suppose he might have continued with Yanks, Ruskies though I think Frogs, and that nasty term for MEs might have been going a bit too far.. I’m not too bothered.. sticks and stones etc. ..we had plenty of those from the Brits in the past! ..oops, better not go there!!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Frank is one of your lot or hadn’t you noticed?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You make a good point. However, unlike you I found the USA, esp the East Coast a very scary place and far too engrossed in greed and consumerism fort liking.
I spend 6 months in France, Spain and (mostly) Portugal – you can probably guess where I spend my summers! I feel most at home in Portugal, then Spain and France less so. In recent years I have found England to be cold though less so, Wales..

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

And everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. And once we get that nice free trade deal fully signed up with USA poor people like me will be able to pig out on ample cheap meat that USA will flood our supermarkets with,I mean who needs farmers anyway. But we’ll be able to SELL THEM cars which I didn’t even know we still made some,I mean we’ll just kill that car trade in USA. Free trade is so great how it benefits both parties to a deal,in theory at least,only didn’t Mr Trump get a lot of votes from pointing out that free trade wasnt so hot when the other side ie China had got the upper hand.

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Alas! i did travel and lived far and wide. But was happy in Japan, Russia and the ME. Too old for Persia now.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

‘Paddies living v happily in France, Spain etc.’

As a young man I worked in England where the term Paddy was an insult (one was often not even asked one’s name but simply addressed as Pat.) I would prefer if you didn’t use it to refer to Irish people.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You make a good point. However, unlike you I found the USA, esp the East Coast a very scary place and far too engrossed in greed and consumerism fort liking.
I spend 6 months in France, Spain and (mostly) Portugal – you can probably guess where I spend my summers! I feel most at home in Portugal, then Spain and France less so. In recent years I have found England to be cold though less so, Wales..

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

And everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. And once we get that nice free trade deal fully signed up with USA poor people like me will be able to pig out on ample cheap meat that USA will flood our supermarkets with,I mean who needs farmers anyway. But we’ll be able to SELL THEM cars which I didn’t even know we still made some,I mean we’ll just kill that car trade in USA. Free trade is so great how it benefits both parties to a deal,in theory at least,only didn’t Mr Trump get a lot of votes from pointing out that free trade wasnt so hot when the other side ie China had got the upper hand.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

That’s true. Chinese and Russian societies are, for that matter, far more culturally conservative than ultra-progressive liberalism, whatever their forms of government may be. Their economic systems are unequivocally capitalist, and what is less generally well-known, even the much-made-of military-industrial alignments in China are no stronger than they are in, say, the US. Perhaps these are even less mature, until about now.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Are you suggesting the US government is influenced by the military industrial complex? Surely not? You’ll be telling us next Wall St and Silicon valley are in on it too! Bernie Sanders described the US government as the best that money can buy!!
And surely you’re not suggesting anything of the sort influences the GB government are you? Dear oh dear.. whatever next?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Are you suggesting the US government is influenced by the military industrial complex? Surely not? You’ll be telling us next Wall St and Silicon valley are in on it too! Bernie Sanders described the US government as the best that money can buy!!
And surely you’re not suggesting anything of the sort influences the GB government are you? Dear oh dear.. whatever next?

zee upītis
zee upītis
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Poland clearly is much more happy with the US than Russia.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  zee upītis

Well, that’s a kind of no-brainer isn’t it? The question however, is rather whether Poland is happier with the US or with the EU..
It is certain that the EU isn’t very happy with Poland!..although, under US instruction I think they’re kissing and making up.
Ursula VdL sounds more and more like an American propagandist-puppet. Only Macron speaks for Europe without the US jackboot on his neck. What kind of country allows its ally to blow up its source of energy? ..none but a sycophantic slave. Sunak isn’t much better but he thinks he’s the master and the US his slave! I believe he lives in the Matrix!

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Macron does NOT speak for Europe, Macron speaks for France & France only. He would only speak for Europe if France was in total control of it!

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

He is Boris’s avatar. That summer of the tv style elimination vote,to distract all us idiots. Old Bodge was making secret deals. He is REALLY still our Prime Minister but Rishi is keeping his seat warm for him. That’s why the malignant blonde goes around the world making deals with “world leaders” like he thinks he’s the Prime Minister. After all those low turn out elections we used to have that no one bothered to turn out for,they’re time wasting and expensive,it’s much more efficient to just appoint each other and THERES A WAR ON DONT YOU KNOW.

Jacqueline Burns
JB
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Macron does NOT speak for Europe, Macron speaks for France & France only. He would only speak for Europe if France was in total control of it!

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

He is Boris’s avatar. That summer of the tv style elimination vote,to distract all us idiots. Old Bodge was making secret deals. He is REALLY still our Prime Minister but Rishi is keeping his seat warm for him. That’s why the malignant blonde goes around the world making deals with “world leaders” like he thinks he’s the Prime Minister. After all those low turn out elections we used to have that no one bothered to turn out for,they’re time wasting and expensive,it’s much more efficient to just appoint each other and THERES A WAR ON DONT YOU KNOW.

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  zee upītis

Only cos they’re taking the money,the backhanders,Duda and Zelensky,both total crooks.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  zee upītis

Well, that’s a kind of no-brainer isn’t it? The question however, is rather whether Poland is happier with the US or with the EU..
It is certain that the EU isn’t very happy with Poland!..although, under US instruction I think they’re kissing and making up.
Ursula VdL sounds more and more like an American propagandist-puppet. Only Macron speaks for Europe without the US jackboot on his neck. What kind of country allows its ally to blow up its source of energy? ..none but a sycophantic slave. Sunak isn’t much better but he thinks he’s the master and the US his slave! I believe he lives in the Matrix!

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  zee upītis

Only cos they’re taking the money,the backhanders,Duda and Zelensky,both total crooks.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Exactly. His statement that “The idea of the “West” … is an illusion that weaponises collective paranoia for ideological unity …” is spherical-objects.
Illusion my foot. 
The cultural synergies exist. I’ve travelled very widely over several decades and I know the countries where I felt foreign – often delightfully so – e.g., in Japan. But I always felt quite at home in the US and in W Europe. The differences we love to find in the US and in W Europe are mere surface cultural peccadilloes. There are large numbers of Brits and Paddies living v happily in France, Spain etc. They do so by choice, because they like it there, and they feel right at home. Can’t say the same about Russia or Iran lol.   
In reality, even the Brits and the French have way more in common with each other culturally (post-Christian, largely white, democracies) than the so-called “alliances” between the Chinese, Russian and Iranians, which latter are primarily the personal conveniences of dictators and have no cultural meaning or purchase whatsoever among their respective hoi polloi. 

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

That’s true. Chinese and Russian societies are, for that matter, far more culturally conservative than ultra-progressive liberalism, whatever their forms of government may be. Their economic systems are unequivocally capitalist, and what is less generally well-known, even the much-made-of military-industrial alignments in China are no stronger than they are in, say, the US. Perhaps these are even less mature, until about now.

zee upītis
zee upītis
11 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Poland clearly is much more happy with the US than Russia.

Christian Moon
CM
Christian Moon
11 months ago

The piece does not discuss the extent to which US hegemony brings with it a cultural alignment with ultra-progressive liberalism. Open borders, identity politics and the destruction of the family are themselves seen as a threat to security by countries such as Poland, Hungary and Turkey let alone Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Russia herself.

Fafa Fafa
FF
Fafa Fafa
11 months ago

This has been a disheartening read. All these factors mentioned here, NATO, Macron, Clinton, Bush, Washington, Sweden, “pillars on the continent”, the West, geopolitics, “the elites”, blocs, states being sympathetic to this and that, etc, etc – they describe the world as the plaything ,or chess table, of entities completely unconcerned with the actual human beings living in it. They can do it because the power of the individual has been steadily diminishing during the past century (or so) and the last time I thought I had a smidgeon of influence on, let’s say, what NATO was going to do, or what weapons the US should buy or sell, was exactly never. And the last time I believed, without instinctively wondering if it may be a lie, what I read in a newspaper, was sometime in the mid-1990s.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

To me, your observation here is profoundly valid. Although, this is how geopolitical strategists view the world, forcing that on us as a reality at the state and multistate level. Like the Greek gods they subconsciously equate with.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

To me, your observation here is profoundly valid. Although, this is how geopolitical strategists view the world, forcing that on us as a reality at the state and multistate level. Like the Greek gods they subconsciously equate with.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
11 months ago

This has been a disheartening read. All these factors mentioned here, NATO, Macron, Clinton, Bush, Washington, Sweden, “pillars on the continent”, the West, geopolitics, “the elites”, blocs, states being sympathetic to this and that, etc, etc – they describe the world as the plaything ,or chess table, of entities completely unconcerned with the actual human beings living in it. They can do it because the power of the individual has been steadily diminishing during the past century (or so) and the last time I thought I had a smidgeon of influence on, let’s say, what NATO was going to do, or what weapons the US should buy or sell, was exactly never. And the last time I believed, without instinctively wondering if it may be a lie, what I read in a newspaper, was sometime in the mid-1990s.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Too many words. And far too many long words.
Why in 2023 can we not use diagram, maps and graphics to communicate ideas in a far shorter and easier to read format ?
There are a few key ideas hidden in here, but they don’t readily come out.
I’d highlight these (some mentioned, some not):
#1 There is a genuine divergence between “legacy” EU and the Eastern European countries.
#2 The new E Europe countries have the numbers, but the old countries still have the power – this may not be stable/durable.
#3 The E Europe countries don’t really trust the W Europe countries to defend them – and why would they ? We did an awful job in the last century. And it was only the US in 1919 who really forced through the new nations of E Europe. Poland trusts the US far more than France or Germany. And rightly so. France and Germany cannot be trusted to do the right thing – instance their initial Ukraine reactions.
#4 The French elite has an inherent dislike/jealousy of the US.
# 5 France has a huge arms export industry and wants a captive market for it.
#6 Germany doesn’t really know what it wants. Still.
#7 Europe on the whole still isn’t prepared to pay for its own defence.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

One major problem, often overlooked is that post 1945 the US was FAR too generous, and should have ignored the pretensions of both the UK and France. Neither should have been permitted to develop an Atomic Bomb.
Their status as “dediticii”* should NOT have been overlooked!

The Romans would NEVER have been so generous with their ‘allies’.

(* conquered/defeated peoples.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peter B
PB
Peter B
11 months ago

How exactly would the US have been able to stop the UK and France developing atomic weapons ? They both had the scientific and technical strengths and equipment to do so (certainly the UK did).
One interesting sidelight here – I read somone the other day who pointed out that it was Western useful idiots (spies) who gave Stalin the bomb. Sadly true. Yet the useful idiots never learn.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Financial pressure, including ‘restrictions’ on Marshall Aid.
‘We’ were an American supplicant pure and simple, or do you deny this? And if so why?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
11 months ago

The US needed our help, at least as much, via a vis the Soviets.

France and Italy came close to going Red.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Our only use was as an unsinkable Aircraft Carrier, anchored of the coast of NW Europe.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Sure we’d have done that for them Charlie at half the price!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘You ‘ were too far away, and rather too pro Adolph anyway, Liam old chap.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘You ‘ were too far away, and rather too pro Adolph anyway, Liam old chap.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Sure we’d have done that for them Charlie at half the price!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

I’m sorry but the US did NOT our help, we were a ‘needy beggar’ from late 1940 onwards.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Our only use was as an unsinkable Aircraft Carrier, anchored of the coast of NW Europe.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

I’m sorry but the US did NOT our help, we were a ‘needy beggar’ from late 1940 onwards.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago

Our development was kept v secret CH. The Atlee Govt was aware of that potential, as was Churchill when returned. The US sentiment changed anyway with Korea etc and come early 60s they were selling us Polaris.
Now where the supplication has validity is with Suez, but then interestingly not with Vietnam.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The US was aware of plans and made it quite difficult for us, thus our first ‘bomb’ wasn’t even detonated until late 1952.

However they could and should have stopped us even contemplating having the ‘bomb’ in 1946.
Nothing could disguise the fact that post 1945 we were, and still are an American helot.

Cliff Williams
Cliff Williams
11 months ago

You would bet the security of your nation on the fecklessness of the American government? A government that swings in policy changes like a pendulum?

I would not, and I live in the US!

Cliff Williams
Cliff Williams
11 months ago

You would bet the security of your nation on the fecklessness of the American government? A government that swings in policy changes like a pendulum?

I would not, and I live in the US!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The US was aware of plans and made it quite difficult for us, thus our first ‘bomb’ wasn’t even detonated until late 1952.

However they could and should have stopped us even contemplating having the ‘bomb’ in 1946.
Nothing could disguise the fact that post 1945 we were, and still are an American helot.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
11 months ago

The US needed our help, at least as much, via a vis the Soviets.

France and Italy came close to going Red.

j watson
JW
j watson
11 months ago

Our development was kept v secret CH. The Atlee Govt was aware of that potential, as was Churchill when returned. The US sentiment changed anyway with Korea etc and come early 60s they were selling us Polaris.
Now where the supplication has validity is with Suez, but then interestingly not with Vietnam.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Stalin got everything he wanted from the ‘West’ (i.e. the US). The Soviets alone would have lost WWII big time! Today, Western (useless) idiot ‘leaders’ continue to swamp Western industries, businesses and seats of learning with spies by planeloads and uneducated, uninvited ‘migrants’ invade our lands by shiploads. The more , the merrier, it seems!

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

All correct apart from “uninvited migrants”.
Surely huge majority of immigrants came to UK via visa route?
They are not invited by huge majority of the population by all political parties ignore this wish.

Andrew Stoll
AS
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

True, but far too many migrants are ‘invited’ only by their dream for a better life and do not possess a visa
It’s our government’s duty to protect borders as well as local citizen’s interests.

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrew Stoll
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

..a better life? Yes but only because you ruined his life in his own country over the past 200 years.. *India’s GDP was 27% of the world’s GDP before GB ruined it.. it was 4% when you left.. Hence shed loads had no option but to go to where the Indian loot was now housed, the UK. Ask Rishi Sunak!
* included Pakistan and Bangladesh at the time of course

Last edited 11 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The migrant’s source countries’ GDP from pre-colonial days is pretty meaningless (Did that even exist?) The Indian subcontinent and neighbouring countries today are overflowing with humans, bursting at the seems with well over two billion (& growing) disillusioned, undereducated, underemployed, poorly governed (English speaking) people. That’s why migrants are leaving, nothing to do with colonialism. Mostly of their own recent, corrupt governments making!
(I have lived in India for 2 1/2 years)

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

That is an extremely offensive comment. India’s GDP is higher than the UKs. There are problems but not what you try to depict. I dont know when you stayed here in India but it must have been ages back.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago

Let’s be realistic, there are more people on the Indian subcontinent living in poverty or near poverty today than ever before – in numbers. Plus, the environment is in a deplorable state. Reasons as above.
I think it’s a bit ‘offensive’ to these many hundreds of millions of poor people to deny this fact.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Which world are you in? Per capita GDP has sharp variations. Some states in North Central India are poorer while some in the South are extremely prosperous. You are obviously a reader of various agit prop polemicists who thrive on charity doles from the likes of you to sell poverty.
Go on mouthing these inane Neo colonial niceties to feel good about your sinking economy.
As for the environment that’s a challenge which the government is trying its best about by pushing solar energy etc

Andrew Stoll
AS
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago

Not an academic world – ‘obviously’!

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Certainly a milieu of envy filled ostrichdom under layers of proto- imperial fantasies and delusions are your forte.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Certainly a milieu of envy filled ostrichdom under layers of proto- imperial fantasies and delusions are your forte.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago

Not an academic world – ‘obviously’!

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

How patronizing. That phrase “poor people” when you get to mix with “poor people” maybe are one but it’s much more complex than it seems,all those “poor people” are individuals. Some aspire to get out of poverty,some of them by education and hard work,some by winning a lottery or pulling a successful scam. Some are actually comfortable with “poverty” of either the respectable or non-respectable kind. Some of us in the West were inculcated from infancy with certain ideas,or rather one particular interpretation of ideas posited by That Man way back in Old Judee. That Man seemed to think poverty was a blessed state of being but it’s not,it’s not even spiritually enriching. The best use of poverty is,as Pericles the Athenian said,to teach you to get out of it pdq. Which is why it always irks me when dimbos criticize Sunak et al for being rich. Far from being out of touch and having no idea what life is like at poverty level they know exactly and very well – WHICH IS WHY THEYRE RICH!

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
SG
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Which world are you in? Per capita GDP has sharp variations. Some states in North Central India are poorer while some in the South are extremely prosperous. You are obviously a reader of various agit prop polemicists who thrive on charity doles from the likes of you to sell poverty.
Go on mouthing these inane Neo colonial niceties to feel good about your sinking economy.
As for the environment that’s a challenge which the government is trying its best about by pushing solar energy etc

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

How patronizing. That phrase “poor people” when you get to mix with “poor people” maybe are one but it’s much more complex than it seems,all those “poor people” are individuals. Some aspire to get out of poverty,some of them by education and hard work,some by winning a lottery or pulling a successful scam. Some are actually comfortable with “poverty” of either the respectable or non-respectable kind. Some of us in the West were inculcated from infancy with certain ideas,or rather one particular interpretation of ideas posited by That Man way back in Old Judee. That Man seemed to think poverty was a blessed state of being but it’s not,it’s not even spiritually enriching. The best use of poverty is,as Pericles the Athenian said,to teach you to get out of it pdq. Which is why it always irks me when dimbos criticize Sunak et al for being rich. Far from being out of touch and having no idea what life is like at poverty level they know exactly and very well – WHICH IS WHY THEYRE RICH!

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I think the GDP point is meant to be about GDP per head.
In fact, India is also bursting with pretty well educated people. I was surprised how many private schools there were in my brief visits. There are also lots of female engineers.
In my last job (in a US tech company), I had 3 levels of Indian-born managers above me. All very smart and very good.
In my limited experience in India (only 2 weeks in two large cities), inequality in India is far higher than anything I’ve seen in Europe – there literally seems to be no safety net at the bottom. I also got the impression that many Indians didn’t seem to feel this was a critical issue. Families with young children sleeping under concrete bridges didn’t seem to bother passers by. Perhaps that’s not representative, but it felt that way.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
SG
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Povertarianism is an industry which sells well in the West to justify the loads of funding activists receive. A bit like DEI. Actually the inequality in India is mainly due to Nehruvian Socialism creating artificial shortages and an elite ecosystem. The last decade has seen a remarkable junking of this privileged ecosystem which has now found refuge chiefly in the Anglosphere to rave and rant about ” poverty”. They find lots of succour from many who abound here on Unherd who dwell in a fantasy of proto imperial notions of ” poor” people in India …especially as their comfortable affluence sinks.
You may find people living on the street in LA or San Francisco but that is ok, cause its in the First world.

Last edited 11 months ago by Sayantani Gupta Jafa
jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

And as someone rebuked me on a Facebook post,there are no people WITH JOBS,living in tents on the streets of San Francisco,that’s a media lie. I was told. By a mid-west American. Who maybe has never been to San Francisco. But doesn’t like Brits dissing USA.

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago

And as someone rebuked me on a Facebook post,there are no people WITH JOBS,living in tents on the streets of San Francisco,that’s a media lie. I was told. By a mid-west American. Who maybe has never been to San Francisco. But doesn’t like Brits dissing USA.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Povertarianism is an industry which sells well in the West to justify the loads of funding activists receive. A bit like DEI. Actually the inequality in India is mainly due to Nehruvian Socialism creating artificial shortages and an elite ecosystem. The last decade has seen a remarkable junking of this privileged ecosystem which has now found refuge chiefly in the Anglosphere to rave and rant about ” poverty”. They find lots of succour from many who abound here on Unherd who dwell in a fantasy of proto imperial notions of ” poor” people in India …especially as their comfortable affluence sinks.
You may find people living on the street in LA or San Francisco but that is ok, cause its in the First world.

Last edited 11 months ago by Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago

Let’s be realistic, there are more people on the Indian subcontinent living in poverty or near poverty today than ever before – in numbers. Plus, the environment is in a deplorable state. Reasons as above.
I think it’s a bit ‘offensive’ to these many hundreds of millions of poor people to deny this fact.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I think the GDP point is meant to be about GDP per head.
In fact, India is also bursting with pretty well educated people. I was surprised how many private schools there were in my brief visits. There are also lots of female engineers.
In my last job (in a US tech company), I had 3 levels of Indian-born managers above me. All very smart and very good.
In my limited experience in India (only 2 weeks in two large cities), inequality in India is far higher than anything I’ve seen in Europe – there literally seems to be no safety net at the bottom. I also got the impression that many Indians didn’t seem to feel this was a critical issue. Families with young children sleeping under concrete bridges didn’t seem to bother passers by. Perhaps that’s not representative, but it felt that way.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

That is an extremely offensive comment. India’s GDP is higher than the UKs. There are problems but not what you try to depict. I dont know when you stayed here in India but it must have been ages back.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It is not Indian people that people are complaining of, I hope. They certainly had a right to come here as Commonwealth citizens & for the huge amount of assistance in the form of people who joined the UK armed services during WWI & WWII. Nor were these people either uncivilised or ignorant.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

People from India,of that ethnicity are VERY SMART. And they are good with numbers. Rishi doesn’t get how us anglo-saxon types are so thick at numbers (some of us) and even proud of it. In a perverse way. I comprehend his incomprehension of this attitude. It’s only a cliche because it’s true.
Indians brains can do numbers.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

People from India,of that ethnicity are VERY SMART. And they are good with numbers. Rishi doesn’t get how us anglo-saxon types are so thick at numbers (some of us) and even proud of it. In a perverse way. I comprehend his incomprehension of this attitude. It’s only a cliche because it’s true.
Indians brains can do numbers.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The migrant’s source countries’ GDP from pre-colonial days is pretty meaningless (Did that even exist?) The Indian subcontinent and neighbouring countries today are overflowing with humans, bursting at the seems with well over two billion (& growing) disillusioned, undereducated, underemployed, poorly governed (English speaking) people. That’s why migrants are leaving, nothing to do with colonialism. Mostly of their own recent, corrupt governments making!
(I have lived in India for 2 1/2 years)

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It is not Indian people that people are complaining of, I hope. They certainly had a right to come here as Commonwealth citizens & for the huge amount of assistance in the form of people who joined the UK armed services during WWI & WWII. Nor were these people either uncivilised or ignorant.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

..a better life? Yes but only because you ruined his life in his own country over the past 200 years.. *India’s GDP was 27% of the world’s GDP before GB ruined it.. it was 4% when you left.. Hence shed loads had no option but to go to where the Indian loot was now housed, the UK. Ask Rishi Sunak!
* included Pakistan and Bangladesh at the time of course

Last edited 11 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Of the US and UK didn’t topple progressive leaders and governments, invade, bomb, destroy and loot all those countries they’d all stay at home, wouldn’t they? ‘can’t have it both ways guys ..it’s payback time! If you burn down your neighbour’s house he’s going to shelter in yours isn’t he?

Cliff Williams
Cliff Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Re: the US and central and South America, it is not the US that has caused these countries to be in the economic and safety degradation they are in.
When the US held some influence on them and shored up certain “governments” in these countries there was not the drive to leave them.
It is when they were given the ability to elect their own leaders that the situation degraded because the leadership they eventually elected were corrupt! Which is what happens when you have a country of mostly uneducated peasantry attempting to establish democracy!
What we have here now, re: the US, is an organized effort by left leaning NGOs, with the complicit coordination from the regime in Washington to encourage and coerce people from many countries to attempt the dangerous and expensive journey to the US. The unspoken goal is to overload the US economy and therefor collapse it!
One must ask ones self, why all these black and brown skinned people, would want to make such an effort to come to a country that those same Leftist NGOs call a “systemically racist and white supremacists” country.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s the Revenge of History. We did it to them. Now we don’t like it when they do it to us.

Cliff Williams
Cliff Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Re: the US and central and South America, it is not the US that has caused these countries to be in the economic and safety degradation they are in.
When the US held some influence on them and shored up certain “governments” in these countries there was not the drive to leave them.
It is when they were given the ability to elect their own leaders that the situation degraded because the leadership they eventually elected were corrupt! Which is what happens when you have a country of mostly uneducated peasantry attempting to establish democracy!
What we have here now, re: the US, is an organized effort by left leaning NGOs, with the complicit coordination from the regime in Washington to encourage and coerce people from many countries to attempt the dangerous and expensive journey to the US. The unspoken goal is to overload the US economy and therefor collapse it!
One must ask ones self, why all these black and brown skinned people, would want to make such an effort to come to a country that those same Leftist NGOs call a “systemically racist and white supremacists” country.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s the Revenge of History. We did it to them. Now we don’t like it when they do it to us.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

What you forget is for a large part of the post war period the migrants were British passport holders as part of the Empire. Why did they need an invite in such circumstances? Nonetheless labour shortages did lead to alot of overseas recruitment. Not much changed since then.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Had we had NOT had such an enormous National Service Army and Navy post 1945, there wouldn’t have been any “labour shortages” real or imagined.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Because from maybe the 1940s onwards,and certainly when I was at school in the 1960s the idea that manual work,factory work,low paid work was demeaning and beneath our human dignity was totally inculcated into us at school by the teachers but also I think in subtle ways by radio,tv,and all other media. Everyone had to be a unique winner. Everyone should aspire to be famous. The idea that you spend 40 years steadily plugging away but paying for your house,with your wife you love,and your kids,so boring and bourgeois! Well,it’s now 50 years since the 1970s and most of the people I know have happily lived that life. It’s the life most people want to live but for a decade or two the liberal type intellectuals got control of the media,education etc so they could indoctrinate us with their poison.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Had we had NOT had such an enormous National Service Army and Navy post 1945, there wouldn’t have been any “labour shortages” real or imagined.

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Because from maybe the 1940s onwards,and certainly when I was at school in the 1960s the idea that manual work,factory work,low paid work was demeaning and beneath our human dignity was totally inculcated into us at school by the teachers but also I think in subtle ways by radio,tv,and all other media. Everyone had to be a unique winner. Everyone should aspire to be famous. The idea that you spend 40 years steadily plugging away but paying for your house,with your wife you love,and your kids,so boring and bourgeois! Well,it’s now 50 years since the 1970s and most of the people I know have happily lived that life. It’s the life most people want to live but for a decade or two the liberal type intellectuals got control of the media,education etc so they could indoctrinate us with their poison.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Has the British electorate EVER been asked it wanted mass immigration on a Biblical scale?

I think not.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

True, but far too many migrants are ‘invited’ only by their dream for a better life and do not possess a visa
It’s our government’s duty to protect borders as well as local citizen’s interests.

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrew Stoll
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Of the US and UK didn’t topple progressive leaders and governments, invade, bomb, destroy and loot all those countries they’d all stay at home, wouldn’t they? ‘can’t have it both ways guys ..it’s payback time! If you burn down your neighbour’s house he’s going to shelter in yours isn’t he?

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

What you forget is for a large part of the post war period the migrants were British passport holders as part of the Empire. Why did they need an invite in such circumstances? Nonetheless labour shortages did lead to alot of overseas recruitment. Not much changed since then.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Has the British electorate EVER been asked it wanted mass immigration on a Biblical scale?

I think not.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

So, it was the US/UK that really won WW2, and they saved Russia in doing so was it?
Ha ha, ha ha.. do you have any more like that! WW2 was a skirmish in the West, a full-scale war in the East.. check the numbers of men, and equipment! You’ve read too many Battler Britten comics!

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

All correct apart from “uninvited migrants”.
Surely huge majority of immigrants came to UK via visa route?
They are not invited by huge majority of the population by all political parties ignore this wish.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

So, it was the US/UK that really won WW2, and they saved Russia in doing so was it?
Ha ha, ha ha.. do you have any more like that! WW2 was a skirmish in the West, a full-scale war in the East.. check the numbers of men, and equipment! You’ve read too many Battler Britten comics!

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Spies gave Stalin the bomb, not useful idiots. The spies knew perfectly well what they were doing and were committed Communists. “Useful idiot” was the Soviet term for those in the West who unwittingly helped the Soviet cause.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Yes and that included some of the spies !
Check what the Russians themselves said about Donald Maclean. They considered him a naive idealist. That’s a useful idiot in my book.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

So they were both idiots and useful.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Yes and that included some of the spies !
Check what the Russians themselves said about Donald Maclean. They considered him a naive idealist. That’s a useful idiot in my book.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

So they were both idiots and useful.

Cliff Williams
Cliff Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The nonsense that we can “limit” which countries can obtain nuclear weapons is elitist and foolish. The great scare that if “country X gets nukes, the world will burn” was proven wrong when India and Pakistan each developed nukes. The same breathless “chicken littles” we hear from today re; Iran, were the same screaming that the region would go up in flames when India and then Pakistan obtained nukes.
If Iran and subsequently Saudi Arabia obtain nukes, then peace is assured between these countries. To believe that the Iranian leadership is suicidal, which launching a Nuke at Israel would surely be, is again, naive. It is this same assumption that kept us on the “eve of destruction” during the cold war. We thought the Soviets were crazy and they thought the same about us! Neither were suicidal!

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Cliff Williams

Reply to the wrong person ? I’m not sure I expressed any opinion on whether we can limit nuclear weapons.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Cliff Williams

Reply to the wrong person ? I’m not sure I expressed any opinion on whether we can limit nuclear weapons.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Financial pressure, including ‘restrictions’ on Marshall Aid.
‘We’ were an American supplicant pure and simple, or do you deny this? And if so why?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Stalin got everything he wanted from the ‘West’ (i.e. the US). The Soviets alone would have lost WWII big time! Today, Western (useless) idiot ‘leaders’ continue to swamp Western industries, businesses and seats of learning with spies by planeloads and uneducated, uninvited ‘migrants’ invade our lands by shiploads. The more , the merrier, it seems!

David Yetter
DY
David Yetter
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Spies gave Stalin the bomb, not useful idiots. The spies knew perfectly well what they were doing and were committed Communists. “Useful idiot” was the Soviet term for those in the West who unwittingly helped the Soviet cause.

Cliff Williams
CW
Cliff Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The nonsense that we can “limit” which countries can obtain nuclear weapons is elitist and foolish. The great scare that if “country X gets nukes, the world will burn” was proven wrong when India and Pakistan each developed nukes. The same breathless “chicken littles” we hear from today re; Iran, were the same screaming that the region would go up in flames when India and then Pakistan obtained nukes.
If Iran and subsequently Saudi Arabia obtain nukes, then peace is assured between these countries. To believe that the Iranian leadership is suicidal, which launching a Nuke at Israel would surely be, is again, naive. It is this same assumption that kept us on the “eve of destruction” during the cold war. We thought the Soviets were crazy and they thought the same about us! Neither were suicidal!

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
11 months ago

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention to the part of my history class where Britain was defeated in WW2, Charles.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Sadly, like millions of others you have been reading the wrong ‘comic’.

We ended up on the winning side in WWII thanks to the US. Otherwise we would have been defeated in late 1940, mainly because we were bankrupt!

Even so called ‘victory’ in 1945 meant destruction of our Empire and the complete evaporation of any possible claim to ‘Great Power’ status, and thus us our reincarnation as an American helot.

All this was completely predictable in 1939, if only we had eyes to see.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
11 months ago

I prefer to look at it the other way – Britain knew full well it would lose its Empire to defeat Nazism but did it anyway. Like a bee with one sting. I don’t know if being patronising is part of your schtick, but I don’t read comics.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

GB could have easily formed an alliance with Germany in 1939.. Hitler was well up for it. He knew a fellow NatC nation when he saw it. It was all Churchill’s fault.. bloody megalomaniac. lol.

Last edited 11 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Surprisingly you could be right.
If you believe Pat Buchanan ( The Unnecessary War) Churchill’s hard on for the Germans played a large part in dragging us in to WW1

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’ve come to the conclusion that Churchill was a useful idiot.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Surprisingly you could be right.
If you believe Pat Buchanan ( The Unnecessary War) Churchill’s hard on for the Germans played a large part in dragging us in to WW1

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’ve come to the conclusion that Churchill was a useful idiot.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

At best it was a Pyrrhic victory, at worst a national disaster, from which we have yet to fully recover.

What incidentally is SCHTICK? I have never seen that expression before?

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Because you’re not on social media. Like a few decades ago people like you didn’t watch or own a tv set. Mostly the people who were actually on tv a lot. Writers and intellectuals,people like that. Now it’s the coolest thing to claim not to be on social media,except unless you say it on social media no one knows. SCHTICK is a Jewish or Yiddish expression and its been around FOREVER and it means spiel or spin or the story you use to present something in a particular light,like Zuckerberg tried with his meta idea that is now defunct as no one liked his Schtick on that one

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Because you’re not on social media. Like a few decades ago people like you didn’t watch or own a tv set. Mostly the people who were actually on tv a lot. Writers and intellectuals,people like that. Now it’s the coolest thing to claim not to be on social media,except unless you say it on social media no one knows. SCHTICK is a Jewish or Yiddish expression and its been around FOREVER and it means spiel or spin or the story you use to present something in a particular light,like Zuckerberg tried with his meta idea that is now defunct as no one liked his Schtick on that one

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Except we didn’t defeat Nazism. We stamped on it. But it,the ideology scuttled away to hide in a dark place. That place was Academia where for a little over 15 years it was worked on,remodelled and rebranded. It reemerged circa 1963 like P.Larkin recorded only now it was about freedom,choice and compassion. The people who recognised what it was,it was easy to mock and diss them. How we laughed. Malcolm Muggeridge (I loved that voice),Mary Whitehouse (shock horror,she once had an affair). As a boring,middle aged housewife what could she know about the delirious joys of sex eh.
Despite being married and even having had an affair. Oddly enough this only served to negate her warnings to some people not prove that she knew what she was talking about. A popular saying in those days was “don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it”. But if you did “try it” those same bastards would get back at you.”well you now have no moral authority”. You know why the contraceptive pill causes a lot of women health problems and pain because that is actually what it was designed for. The cover story was that it was so women could control their fertility,have agency over their own bodies but most importantly enjoy sex riotously and unreservedly. That was the cover story and a lot of chicks fell for it.
Same with euthanasia or whatever term now applies to state execution. It’s sold as compassion not murder.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

GB could have easily formed an alliance with Germany in 1939.. Hitler was well up for it. He knew a fellow NatC nation when he saw it. It was all Churchill’s fault.. bloody megalomaniac. lol.

Last edited 11 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

At best it was a Pyrrhic victory, at worst a national disaster, from which we have yet to fully recover.

What incidentally is SCHTICK? I have never seen that expression before?

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Except we didn’t defeat Nazism. We stamped on it. But it,the ideology scuttled away to hide in a dark place. That place was Academia where for a little over 15 years it was worked on,remodelled and rebranded. It reemerged circa 1963 like P.Larkin recorded only now it was about freedom,choice and compassion. The people who recognised what it was,it was easy to mock and diss them. How we laughed. Malcolm Muggeridge (I loved that voice),Mary Whitehouse (shock horror,she once had an affair). As a boring,middle aged housewife what could she know about the delirious joys of sex eh.
Despite being married and even having had an affair. Oddly enough this only served to negate her warnings to some people not prove that she knew what she was talking about. A popular saying in those days was “don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it”. But if you did “try it” those same bastards would get back at you.”well you now have no moral authority”. You know why the contraceptive pill causes a lot of women health problems and pain because that is actually what it was designed for. The cover story was that it was so women could control their fertility,have agency over their own bodies but most importantly enjoy sex riotously and unreservedly. That was the cover story and a lot of chicks fell for it.
Same with euthanasia or whatever term now applies to state execution. It’s sold as compassion not murder.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

What exactly is wrong with Britain no longer being a world power and having an empire ? Plenty of countries are like this and doing very well – all the Scandis for example. And running empires doesn’t come cheap.
I really don’t get the strong undercurrent of anti-Americanism around here. What exactly is it that they prevent us from doing that we need to do ? One thing to feel a little resentful or jealous, another to actually prove that they are doing us a great deal of harm. I used to have this same distrust of the US until I got sent to work out there for a year. They are mainly successful because they work hard and do the right things (or at least did for a long period until quite recently – we all have our doubts these days). It’s hard to argue that they’ve somehow cheated their way to the top and don’t deserve it.
I first worked for an American company 35 years ago and mainly for them since. Absolute night and day compared to stodgy British companies and their appalling management.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You seem to have misunderstood me! In no way do I believe the US has somehow “cheated their way to the top”!
‘They’ got their by ‘playing their cards’ correctly, a gravure performance in fact.

‘We’ on the other have played our ‘hand’ quite appallingly from 1914 to 1939, and consequently and deservedly suffered the most humiliating collapse.

As for Empire, you are correct, by 1914 we had had our fun, and it was well beyond its ‘sell by date’ but letting go is always problematical.
Our status as a Great Power was not necessarily linked to Empire, but more to our industrial capacity or lack of. It had some globally beneficial results, but again 1914-18 finished that off as well.

Off course even the ‘Scandis’ you speak of went through this painful process in the 18th century, but they never straddled the Globe as we had done.

So it’s back to little England and try again.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Sorry. But I think I still don’t quite understand.
There’s an undertone in your comments regretting “British decline”. But there’s nothing inevitable about that. We’re agreed – the empire couldn’t last. And it may have been better to lose it quickly (as we did) rathe than slowly (the Russian model). But we’re now able to make the best of what we have. I’m not sure anyone’s really stopping us here. Apart from ourselves (which we’re doing an absolutely bang up job of right now of course).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Hang on, aren’t you straying a bit off beam here?
My original premise, which you challenged, was that the US was far too generous with its treatment of both our good selves and the French post 1945, and that neither of us should have been allowed to develop an Atomic bomb.
As it was by allowing ‘us’ to develop the bomb both the British and French ‘establishments’ became delusional as to their true status, eg: “dediticci”.

I certainly do NOT regret Britain’s decline, it was entirely our own fault, but for some extraordinary reason ‘we’ seem to be in deep denial about it. (even post Suez.)

I also do not mourn the loss of Empire, it was after all a bit of a ‘basket case’ at the end, and the UK is not some form of worldwide ‘charity shop’, as some would have us.

However during its three and a half centuries or so of existence* I do believe the British Empire was a rather benign organisation, at least by comparative analysis with most of the others, with the notable exception of Ancient Rome.

As to your final point about us pressing the self-destruct button, yes it certainly looks that way at the moment. The fact that Covid has been used as an excuse to do virtually nothing about Brexit and thus leave us with BINO** is certainly not encouraging, but a short burst of Sir Kier & Co might serve as the catalyst for real change?

(* 1603-1707 English, then British 1707-1960/3.)

(** Brexit in Name Only.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

We can all play alternative history games but reality interferes.
It was in USA interest to rebuild Europe quickly to avoid communism, Hence the Marshall Plan.
You ignore the fact that till early 80s communist parties vote was over 30% in Italy and 20% in France.
Manace of communism had to be countered, so West Garmany had to be brought into Western alliance (no Morgenthau plan then).
Dictating directly to allies what to do about nuclear bomb was not in USA interest.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Yes West Germany was rebuilt and joined NATO but under NO circumstances was it allowed to have an Atomic bomb*.

The Communist menace in both Italy and France did NOT warrant either the UK or France having an Atomic bomb. The US one was quite sufficient.

The US failed to speak with ‘the voice of authority’, unlike Ancient Rome for example.

(* Nor is still allowed, or so I gather!)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Yes West Germany was rebuilt and joined NATO but under NO circumstances was it allowed to have an Atomic bomb*.

The Communist menace in both Italy and France did NOT warrant either the UK or France having an Atomic bomb. The US one was quite sufficient.

The US failed to speak with ‘the voice of authority’, unlike Ancient Rome for example.

(* Nor is still allowed, or so I gather!)

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
11 months ago

We can all play alternative history games but reality interferes.
It was in USA interest to rebuild Europe quickly to avoid communism, Hence the Marshall Plan.
You ignore the fact that till early 80s communist parties vote was over 30% in Italy and 20% in France.
Manace of communism had to be countered, so West Garmany had to be brought into Western alliance (no Morgenthau plan then).
Dictating directly to allies what to do about nuclear bomb was not in USA interest.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You forget.. no one left to prey on.. the buggers are all too strong now! ..and besides they’re aware of your motives by now!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Hang on, aren’t you straying a bit off beam here?
My original premise, which you challenged, was that the US was far too generous with its treatment of both our good selves and the French post 1945, and that neither of us should have been allowed to develop an Atomic bomb.
As it was by allowing ‘us’ to develop the bomb both the British and French ‘establishments’ became delusional as to their true status, eg: “dediticci”.

I certainly do NOT regret Britain’s decline, it was entirely our own fault, but for some extraordinary reason ‘we’ seem to be in deep denial about it. (even post Suez.)

I also do not mourn the loss of Empire, it was after all a bit of a ‘basket case’ at the end, and the UK is not some form of worldwide ‘charity shop’, as some would have us.

However during its three and a half centuries or so of existence* I do believe the British Empire was a rather benign organisation, at least by comparative analysis with most of the others, with the notable exception of Ancient Rome.

As to your final point about us pressing the self-destruct button, yes it certainly looks that way at the moment. The fact that Covid has been used as an excuse to do virtually nothing about Brexit and thus leave us with BINO** is certainly not encouraging, but a short burst of Sir Kier & Co might serve as the catalyst for real change?

(* 1603-1707 English, then British 1707-1960/3.)

(** Brexit in Name Only.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You forget.. no one left to prey on.. the buggers are all too strong now! ..and besides they’re aware of your motives by now!

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
11 months ago

Could you care to explain how Britain played cards badly in 1914?
Should it allow Germany to defeat France and Russia and totally dominate continent?
I guess upside might be that ww2 could had been avoided.
You ignore Germany desire to achieve naval parity with Britain.
Which, having all Europe resources behind, they could had done.
Then what? You only delayed inevitable showdown with Germany.
But Germany would now had upper hand.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Well Germany does now have the upper hand does it not?

Germany abandoned the Naval Race in 1909. It was too expensive and thus incompatible with the ‘Schlieffen Plan’.

We would have remained much stronger, particularly as the greatest creditor nation since Ancient Rome had we stayed out of 1914-18.

You seem to assume a German victory was inevitable in 1914-18. It
wasn’t.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Well Germany does now have the upper hand does it not?

Germany abandoned the Naval Race in 1909. It was too expensive and thus incompatible with the ‘Schlieffen Plan’.

We would have remained much stronger, particularly as the greatest creditor nation since Ancient Rome had we stayed out of 1914-18.

You seem to assume a German victory was inevitable in 1914-18. It
wasn’t.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Shouldn’t take any longer than a few thousand years and the upcoming nuclear war.. I’ll bet you have your bunker well stocked Charlie have you? ..all those nice baked beans and jars of caviar and truffles?

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And plenty of Champagne!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And plenty of Champagne!

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Sorry. But I think I still don’t quite understand.
There’s an undertone in your comments regretting “British decline”. But there’s nothing inevitable about that. We’re agreed – the empire couldn’t last. And it may have been better to lose it quickly (as we did) rathe than slowly (the Russian model). But we’re now able to make the best of what we have. I’m not sure anyone’s really stopping us here. Apart from ourselves (which we’re doing an absolutely bang up job of right now of course).

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

Could you care to explain how Britain played cards badly in 1914?
Should it allow Germany to defeat France and Russia and totally dominate continent?
I guess upside might be that ww2 could had been avoided.
You ignore Germany desire to achieve naval parity with Britain.
Which, having all Europe resources behind, they could had done.
Then what? You only delayed inevitable showdown with Germany.
But Germany would now had upper hand.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Shouldn’t take any longer than a few thousand years and the upcoming nuclear war.. I’ll bet you have your bunker well stocked Charlie have you? ..all those nice baked beans and jars of caviar and truffles?

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Thank you. My Dad immigrated from Canada and used to say the same thing. He said, “Americans are go getters. that’s what I want.” He never left the US. I agree that this is rapidly changing now. Sad.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

My brother worked for a couple of American companies (building car plants) in the US and thought the management was a joke.
Until recent years I was pro US, but they are now a malign influence in the world and they were never a friend to GB. Of course there is no reason why they should be a friend to GB but even when we were supposed to be allies they never turned up an opportunity to shaft GB. There is a very good quote for Keynes on this point

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Actual American people,as individuals are lovely. But something is wrong now with their political administration.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You seem to have misunderstood me! In no way do I believe the US has somehow “cheated their way to the top”!
‘They’ got their by ‘playing their cards’ correctly, a gravure performance in fact.

‘We’ on the other have played our ‘hand’ quite appallingly from 1914 to 1939, and consequently and deservedly suffered the most humiliating collapse.

As for Empire, you are correct, by 1914 we had had our fun, and it was well beyond its ‘sell by date’ but letting go is always problematical.
Our status as a Great Power was not necessarily linked to Empire, but more to our industrial capacity or lack of. It had some globally beneficial results, but again 1914-18 finished that off as well.

Off course even the ‘Scandis’ you speak of went through this painful process in the 18th century, but they never straddled the Globe as we had done.

So it’s back to little England and try again.

Yana Way
YW
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Thank you. My Dad immigrated from Canada and used to say the same thing. He said, “Americans are go getters. that’s what I want.” He never left the US. I agree that this is rapidly changing now. Sad.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

My brother worked for a couple of American companies (building car plants) in the US and thought the management was a joke.
Until recent years I was pro US, but they are now a malign influence in the world and they were never a friend to GB. Of course there is no reason why they should be a friend to GB but even when we were supposed to be allies they never turned up an opportunity to shaft GB. There is a very good quote for Keynes on this point

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Actual American people,as individuals are lovely. But something is wrong now with their political administration.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

I agree, but do you suggest that not fighting was a preferable option?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Yes.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The First World War and The Second Worjd War were neither of them as inevitable as we are taught. I only learned this when COVID taught me to reevaluate history. If we had responded better in 1914 the WW2 might not even have followed on. It was not a Serbian bullet that set off WW1 as we are taught. It was actually,well a lot of factors but very significant,the world money system of the time was about to crash,just like now,a nice jolly old war kicked that can down the road and took people’s minds off it for a decade or two. Neville Chamberlain who we are taught to scoff at and deride was actually a humane and very intelligent man who cared about people. He did not want to subject the British people to total war. Thats why they had to replace him with compliant Churchill who would sign the death warrants for millions of people with few qualms. And we did not eradicate Nazi ideology at all. Its now being enforced upon us in every aspect of life but it’s been refashioned and rebranded so most people don’t recognize it as Nazi ideology.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Yes.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The First World War and The Second Worjd War were neither of them as inevitable as we are taught. I only learned this when COVID taught me to reevaluate history. If we had responded better in 1914 the WW2 might not even have followed on. It was not a Serbian bullet that set off WW1 as we are taught. It was actually,well a lot of factors but very significant,the world money system of the time was about to crash,just like now,a nice jolly old war kicked that can down the road and took people’s minds off it for a decade or two. Neville Chamberlain who we are taught to scoff at and deride was actually a humane and very intelligent man who cared about people. He did not want to subject the British people to total war. Thats why they had to replace him with compliant Churchill who would sign the death warrants for millions of people with few qualms. And we did not eradicate Nazi ideology at all. Its now being enforced upon us in every aspect of life but it’s been refashioned and rebranded so most people don’t recognize it as Nazi ideology.

P N
P N
11 months ago

The wrong comic is yours I am afraid, given that the USA did not enter the war until 1942.
The USA took its pound of flesh in return for any assistance it provided before this time. Those battleships did not come free.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

By November 1940 we were bankrupt, and had the US NOT bailed us out it would have ‘game over’.

A repeat in fact of what happened in late 1916. Sadly we just didn’t learn.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

By November 1940 we were bankrupt, and had the US NOT bailed us out it would have ‘game over’.

A repeat in fact of what happened in late 1916. Sadly we just didn’t learn.

Ben Jones
BJ
Ben Jones
11 months ago

I prefer to look at it the other way – Britain knew full well it would lose its Empire to defeat Nazism but did it anyway. Like a bee with one sting. I don’t know if being patronising is part of your schtick, but I don’t read comics.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

What exactly is wrong with Britain no longer being a world power and having an empire ? Plenty of countries are like this and doing very well – all the Scandis for example. And running empires doesn’t come cheap.
I really don’t get the strong undercurrent of anti-Americanism around here. What exactly is it that they prevent us from doing that we need to do ? One thing to feel a little resentful or jealous, another to actually prove that they are doing us a great deal of harm. I used to have this same distrust of the US until I got sent to work out there for a year. They are mainly successful because they work hard and do the right things (or at least did for a long period until quite recently – we all have our doubts these days). It’s hard to argue that they’ve somehow cheated their way to the top and don’t deserve it.
I first worked for an American company 35 years ago and mainly for them since. Absolute night and day compared to stodgy British companies and their appalling management.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

I agree, but do you suggest that not fighting was a preferable option?

P N
P N
11 months ago

The wrong comic is yours I am afraid, given that the USA did not enter the war until 1942.
The USA took its pound of flesh in return for any assistance it provided before this time. Those battleships did not come free.

michael harris
michael harris
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

U.S. war aims in 1941 were these…
Defeat of the Axis powers.
Containment of the Soviets.
Dismemberment and replacement of the British Empire.
Of these tasks the last was the easiest. The British Empire was in its senility and the insistence by the US of the repayment of every cent of war debt helped it gently into the grave. By contrast the nominally defeated (Germany) were showered with aid to rebuild.

Last edited 11 months ago by michael harris
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Although the UK did receive the LARGEST single tranche of Marshall Aid. A very generous settlement under the circumstances!

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

And we spent it ALL for ideological reasons on creating The National Health Service and left the task of rebuilding our economy to private businessmen.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

And we spent it ALL for ideological reasons on creating The National Health Service and left the task of rebuilding our economy to private businessmen.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

That Germany was given more under Marshall Plan then UK is common myth.
UK actually got double, but wasted it on social project instead on retooling industry.
All explained in Alisdair Bournett book “Lost Victory”.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Also ‘The Lost Victory: British Dreams, British Realities, 1945-50,’ by the late Correlli Barnett.

ps. Are you quite sure about your ‘
Alisdair Bournett (sic) reference ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Also ‘The Lost Victory: British Dreams, British Realities, 1945-50,’ by the late Correlli Barnett.

ps. Are you quite sure about your ‘
Alisdair Bournett (sic) reference ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Evidence the US wanted or needed to dismantle the British Empire? You do realize most Americans love the Brits. Fifty years ago, we were obsessed. I read far more British literature growing up than American. And do not say there is no American literature. We are simply taught to love and admire England – or used to be. We were even taught about the incredible British Empire.

Yet you believe we plot against you? Our leaders are people educated with the same ideas as I. Think about it.

We rebuilt Germany to bring them to our side against the Soviet. We had to win those hearts and minds. England did not need convincing back then. We were allies. Hello.

I have never read a single opinion advocating taking down the British Empire as a US strategy. And if such exists, it was a fringe idea never seriously considered.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Although the UK did receive the LARGEST single tranche of Marshall Aid. A very generous settlement under the circumstances!

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

That Germany was given more under Marshall Plan then UK is common myth.
UK actually got double, but wasted it on social project instead on retooling industry.
All explained in Alisdair Bournett book “Lost Victory”.

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Evidence the US wanted or needed to dismantle the British Empire? You do realize most Americans love the Brits. Fifty years ago, we were obsessed. I read far more British literature growing up than American. And do not say there is no American literature. We are simply taught to love and admire England – or used to be. We were even taught about the incredible British Empire.

Yet you believe we plot against you? Our leaders are people educated with the same ideas as I. Think about it.

We rebuilt Germany to bring them to our side against the Soviet. We had to win those hearts and minds. England did not need convincing back then. We were allies. Hello.

I have never read a single opinion advocating taking down the British Empire as a US strategy. And if such exists, it was a fringe idea never seriously considered.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That came after WW2 when every other country in Europe spent their marshall aid USA money on rebuilding their economies but in Britain,for ideological reasons we spent EVERY PENNY of it on creating the National Health Service and I can appreciate how wonderful it was at the time for ordinary people. But really it was totally the wrong thing to do and now the NHS seems to have become sort of religious artefact we have to Revere,worship and respect and we should not get ill or actually need to use the services. It functions so much better without people clogging up those hospitals. Now I have to wait at least 3 weeks to see a doctor(at the surgery) my friend in Belgium can ring her doctors and he comes to her house about lunchtime after morning surgery. Same in France and Germany,don’t know about other European countries,but similar I think.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Sadly, like millions of others you have been reading the wrong ‘comic’.

We ended up on the winning side in WWII thanks to the US. Otherwise we would have been defeated in late 1940, mainly because we were bankrupt!

Even so called ‘victory’ in 1945 meant destruction of our Empire and the complete evaporation of any possible claim to ‘Great Power’ status, and thus us our reincarnation as an American helot.

All this was completely predictable in 1939, if only we had eyes to see.

michael harris
MH
michael harris
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

U.S. war aims in 1941 were these…
Defeat of the Axis powers.
Containment of the Soviets.
Dismemberment and replacement of the British Empire.
Of these tasks the last was the easiest. The British Empire was in its senility and the insistence by the US of the repayment of every cent of war debt helped it gently into the grave. By contrast the nominally defeated (Germany) were showered with aid to rebuild.

Last edited 11 months ago by michael harris
jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That came after WW2 when every other country in Europe spent their marshall aid USA money on rebuilding their economies but in Britain,for ideological reasons we spent EVERY PENNY of it on creating the National Health Service and I can appreciate how wonderful it was at the time for ordinary people. But really it was totally the wrong thing to do and now the NHS seems to have become sort of religious artefact we have to Revere,worship and respect and we should not get ill or actually need to use the services. It functions so much better without people clogging up those hospitals. Now I have to wait at least 3 weeks to see a doctor(at the surgery) my friend in Belgium can ring her doctors and he comes to her house about lunchtime after morning surgery. Same in France and Germany,don’t know about other European countries,but similar I think.

P N
P N
11 months ago

Major problem for whom?
Dediticii? Is this a wind-up? Britain was neither conquered nor defeated and the USA did not defeat France.
The USA joined the Second World War because it was the right thing to do; it would have been strange for it then to behave badly.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

Both ourselves and the French were completely bankrupt and entirely at the mercy of the US, hence I stand by the term ‘dediticii’. Do you have better one?

Incidentally the US did NOT “join the Second World War because it was the right thing to do” as you so charmingly put it!
It was dragged into it kicking and squealing by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th if December 1941, or had you missed that minor detail?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  P N

Both ourselves and the French were completely bankrupt and entirely at the mercy of the US, hence I stand by the term ‘dediticii’. Do you have better one?

Incidentally the US did NOT “join the Second World War because it was the right thing to do” as you so charmingly put it!
It was dragged into it kicking and squealing by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th if December 1941, or had you missed that minor detail?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Huh? Charlie has finally lost his marbles has he? You mean the US should have kept a brutal stranglehold on W.Europe just as the Soviets did in E.Europe? Far less costly to achieve the same end by stealth (economics) as the US did.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
11 months ago

How exactly would the US have been able to stop the UK and France developing atomic weapons ? They both had the scientific and technical strengths and equipment to do so (certainly the UK did).
One interesting sidelight here – I read somone the other day who pointed out that it was Western useful idiots (spies) who gave Stalin the bomb. Sadly true. Yet the useful idiots never learn.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
11 months ago

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention to the part of my history class where Britain was defeated in WW2, Charles.

P N
PN
P N
11 months ago

Major problem for whom?
Dediticii? Is this a wind-up? Britain was neither conquered nor defeated and the USA did not defeat France.
The USA joined the Second World War because it was the right thing to do; it would have been strange for it then to behave badly.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Huh? Charlie has finally lost his marbles has he? You mean the US should have kept a brutal stranglehold on W.Europe just as the Soviets did in E.Europe? Far less costly to achieve the same end by stealth (economics) as the US did.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Macron & de Gaulle hate US because its very existence as a real military power thwarts the big power aspirations France hopes to leverage through EU dominance. However, a country that loses WW2 in 6 weeks and all its colonies in wars shortly after, cant inspire respect in vulnerable Balt, Polish or Nordic lands – and this is independent of US capabilities. A sad loss of grandeur but sadly warranted..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

France ‘lost’ I.4 million men in 1914-18 from a population of about 39 million. The UK lost about .75 million during the same period from a population of about 44 million.

Thus the French had NOT ‘recovered’ by 1939. QED?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
James Stangl
JS
James Stangl
11 months ago

Very true. As an American, we got off cheaply in WW1 compared with the European combatants. We were just in time to provide the fresh supply of manpower that Germany couldn’t hope to counter.

Keegan’s short history of WW1 has a sobering introduction, where he lays out the casualty rates by year of enlistment in France, Britain, and Germany. The French were bled white by WW1. That had to have huge psychological effects going forward.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

All true, but they recovered enough to have, on paper, more powerful military than Germany. But they were deployed and led badly as if no lessons were learned from Germany invasion of Poland.
What was not helping was French Communist Party propaganda against was effort and sabotage in key industries.
All done on Komintern orders because Russia was ally of Germany in starting ww2.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

France was beaten before the Wehrmacht started marching. The Maginot philosophy was a clear indication that all was not well.

We also were very fortunate that Operation Sealion was just a bluff, otherwise we would have had to sue for peace.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

France was beaten before the Wehrmacht started marching. The Maginot philosophy was a clear indication that all was not well.

We also were very fortunate that Operation Sealion was just a bluff, otherwise we would have had to sue for peace.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
11 months ago

QED what? Are they capable of leading the defense of Eastern Europe now? That is the question. Does any Euro state think that’s remotely possible?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

Probably not.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

Probably not.

James Stangl
James Stangl
11 months ago

Very true. As an American, we got off cheaply in WW1 compared with the European combatants. We were just in time to provide the fresh supply of manpower that Germany couldn’t hope to counter.

Keegan’s short history of WW1 has a sobering introduction, where he lays out the casualty rates by year of enlistment in France, Britain, and Germany. The French were bled white by WW1. That had to have huge psychological effects going forward.

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago

All true, but they recovered enough to have, on paper, more powerful military than Germany. But they were deployed and led badly as if no lessons were learned from Germany invasion of Poland.
What was not helping was French Communist Party propaganda against was effort and sabotage in key industries.
All done on Komintern orders because Russia was ally of Germany in starting ww2.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
11 months ago

QED what? Are they capable of leading the defense of Eastern Europe now? That is the question. Does any Euro state think that’s remotely possible?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

France ‘lost’ I.4 million men in 1914-18 from a population of about 39 million. The UK lost about .75 million during the same period from a population of about 44 million.

Thus the French had NOT ‘recovered’ by 1939. QED?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Excellent.
As you say, countries like Poland could see German and French appeasement of Putin and obviously wanted better security guarantees.
The only ones on offer were from USA.
Even Finland and Sweden accept it now.
It is that simple.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

No. The corrupt leaders of at least some of those countries are taking USA money,raking it in. They better not rely on USA help when the chips are down. It may not be available

jane baker
JB
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

No. The corrupt leaders of at least some of those countries are taking USA money,raking it in. They better not rely on USA help when the chips are down. It may not be available

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

A few comments on yours..
1. What about UK EU divergence?
2. I’m not sure your arithmetic is correct??
3. .and I thought ’twas the Russians liberated EE from German (sorry NatC) tyranny. Silly me.
4. …and the rest of us!
5. How ign is France ever going to achieve that?
6. Correct.. then you have two Germanies!
7. If we allign with our fellow Europeans ie the Russians we will have all the defence we need.
Russia has never been a threat to W.Europe but the opposite is true. Neither has China.. with Russia and China ‘united’ and in the ascendency we’d be complete idiots to continue as vassals of a rapidly declining (Anglo?)-American hegemony.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Sorry, I hadn’t kept up and replied sooner.
# 1 What about it ? In any case, the “EU” is not the monolithic organisation many believe/wish it to be – which was my point
#2 The numbers are going against France+Germany. E Europe is adding countries to the EU. If Ukraine gets added then E Europe is certainly the largest bloc. The core point is that France+Germany aren’t in a position to force through whatever they want any more.
#3 1919 created independent nations in E Europe. These were not actually “liberated” in 1945. They were actually conquered and de facto absorbed into the Soviet empire. And not really liberated until late 1989. They were slaves of the Soviet Union for over 40 years. Not allowed to take any significant decisions for themselves as independent countries are. Try talking to people who had to live through that.
#4 Not “the rest of us”. I quite specifically limited my comment to the French elites. At the individual level, opinions vary. I’ve been strongly anti-Armerican when younger and accepting there’s nothing better on offer now.
#5 Surely not too great a brain stretch for you. Once an EU defence organisation is formed, the next step is to limit purchases to only European suppliers. France is then in the box seat. There won’t be a lot of options.
# 6 Nothing to do with two Germanies. You miss the point, which is that there is a lack of certainty about what Germany really wants and a reluctance to even address this question by the Germans.
#7 Only if we need no real defence. Which is what your comment actually implies !!! Since we have no enemies (you claim … not Russia, not China), then what do the EU need defence for ?
China and Russia are not “united”. They are historic natural enemies and even fought in a border dispute after WWII. Russia is a useful source of cheap raw materials for Russia, nothing more. Now China’s copied and improved on Russia’s defence equipment, there’s nothing else China now needs from Russia.
Finally, it is a complete fiction that US power is rapidly declining. So many people are confusing what they want to happen with reality.
Throw away the anti-American blinkers and look at the big picture.