France brings back National Service

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Saelune:

Seanchaidh:

Saelune:
And how is Trump going to stop that?

He's not. Neither was Hillary.

Neither was Bernie.

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/28/yemen-war-bernie-sanders-saudi-arabia/

Seanchaidh:

Saelune:

Seanchaidh:

He's not. Neither was Hillary.

Neither was Bernie.

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/28/yemen-war-bernie-sanders-saudi-arabia/

Seriously, I wish I could show you Bernie as president when the inherent sins of the position erode him into someone just as bad as you think Hillary and Obama are.

Bernie would be as much a war criminal as you think Obama is, guarantee it. Comes with the job title.

MrCalavera:
True, but that doesn't absolve Red Army from how rough they could be towards civilians. Especially german civilians.

No-one's claiming that. The excesses of the Red Army in their advance over Eastern Europe are well known. On the other hand, I might argue that what the Germans endured at the hands of Soviet conquerors wasn't as bad as the Germans inflicted on Soviet civilians, who were viewed as racially inferior and unwelcome in the putative Greater Germany that the war was designed to carve out.

Put it this way, the Soviets would be expected to be punished for maltreating civilians (even if a blind eye was often turned in practice). The Germans could pretty much do as they pleased, and in some cases were encouraged to kill and brutalise the locals as policy.

Catnip1024:
Which are all valid points, but going back to the point I addressed - attempting to imply that beyond a couple of minor victories, the English only ever lost is so patently false that the only reason to attempt to push it is if one is purely after antagonism rather than reasonable discussion.

Antagonism? Here in the real world we call them jokes. Same as how I refer to us as a soggy little island while we're currently boiling in a heatwave. Its exaggeration of facts to provide a lightening, humorous effect. C'mon man, I thought you were British yourself, laughing at ourselves is like a trademark trait of ours

Alright, first i have to apologize for sorta-necroing this tread. I didn't really had time during the past week to respond, and this weekend been exhausting due to a looong day at a festival... but i don't feel like leaving those responses hanging, so:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

MrCalavera:

True, but that doesn't absolve Red Army from how rough they could be towards civilians. Especially german civilians.

???

As awful as it is, you do understand that this phenomena wasn't relegated to merely the Soviets? French troops, British troops, U.S. troops, Australian troops in the occupation of Japan...

Yes, I know about war crimes commited by the US troops in France or Japan. Or german Lagerbordells, forced civilian labor, and roundups. Or Marocchinate.
Do you understand that i didn't mean to follow "Faction A made a bad" statement with "and therefore nothing that Faction B did matters"?

evilthecat:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
???

As awful as it is, you do understand that this phenomena wasn't relegated to merely the Soviets? French troops, British troops, U.S. troops, Australian troops in the occupation of Japan...

Like.. that's a little disengenous. The scale of the Soviet mistreatment of civilians in the latter stages of the war is pretty well established and genuinely horrifying, and despite MrCalavera's focus it wasn't just Germans. The "liberation" of Poland was not gentle either.

Didn't intend to imply that only german civilians had a hard time. Believe me, i know about the treatment of civilians in Poland, and terrains that now belong to Belarus or Ukraine.
However, the soviet propaganda was generally focused on Germany, germans and "fascist sympathizers". Though, of course, common dehumanization, and "total war" approach often led to non-german civilians being abused as an offshot.

The amount of genuine and open hatred which came out of that experience might seem weird to a Western audience, but it's perhaps an experience we'll never understand.

It's not that easy to understand for someone who lives here either. Yet the fallout from that still manages to sour relations, unfortunately.

Sure, we play down the scale of Allied atrocities against civilians, but there's no reason to also downplay the very different scale of Soviet atrocities. There's a reason why fleeing civilians generally fled West.

Yep, thank you. You can do both(while being cautious of people, like nationalists, that are keen on using victimization as a political tool).

In a more general note...
Here's the thing. Yes, "Total war" approach was prevalent, and while it can explain, hmm, nonchalance of commiting war crimes, it shouldn't absolve from them. You can only go so far with "they started it" or "they had it comin'".

Let's say we apply "Eye for an eye" rule here.
If the soviet army would only loot property that belonged to germans, nazis and nazi sympathizers, and let's go further, if they'd only murder and torture german POWs, who were responsible for the suffering of slavic, jewish, romani populace on the occupied grounds, and hell lets go even further, if soviet soldiers would exclusively target women which- scratch that. Let's NOT go there. Even in this shoddy thought experiment, i can't think of an instance that would justify war rapes.

But anyway, those "ifs" were rarely covered. In the reality, the retaliation often expanded beyond nazis, wehrmacht, german populace, german sympathizers(wether real or not) into any civilian that could be treated as an obstacle, source of food or war trophies, or an useful stress relief.

Hell, there's this tidbit about Stalin's response to a concerned Yugoslavian communist who asked him about behavior of soviet forces:

Does Djilas, who is himself a writer, not know what human suffering and the human heart are? Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometers through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?

Fish stinks from the head down. Even if you take away the (correct)justification of fighting the racist, destructive ideology, OR simple vengeance, you can still "defend" atrocities by merely a crucial element of keeping a soldier's morale high.

Agema:

MrCalavera:
True, but that doesn't absolve Red Army from how rough they could be towards civilians. Especially german civilians.

No-one's claiming that. The excesses of the Red Army in their advance over Eastern Europe are well known. On the other hand, I might argue that what the Germans endured at the hands of Soviet conquerors wasn't as bad as the Germans inflicted on Soviet civilians, who were viewed as racially inferior and unwelcome in the putative Greater Germany that the war was designed to carve out.

Okay, but if we can, rightly, condemn Wehrmacht for their crimes, we can also, appropriately, judge the Red Army.
This is more of a question of "How far the retaliation can go?". Can you extend revenge to those that share nationality with perpetrators. How their responsibility in bringing an enemy regime to power factors into justifying abuse. What about those that weren't old enough to have influence over Nazi rise to power, and were still being mistreated. What about those civies, of any nationality, caught between Berlin and the Eastern Front?
The reasoning behind mistreatment don't mean a lot to those on the receiving end.
Then there's also the question, if leniency on the crimes perpetrated by "liberators" didn't elongate the turmoil that central Europe was going through post-war.

Put it this way, the Soviets would be expected to be punished for maltreating civilians (even if a blind eye was often turned in practice). The Germans could pretty much do as they pleased, and in some cases were encouraged to kill and brutalise the locals as policy.

Yeah, Addendum brought that up too, but i think the 'blind-eye' might have been too co bymmon. The officer would rather ignore mistreating civies(enemy civies to boot) than punish the perps and loose some of that manpower. If he wasn't participating in this himself. And ignoring those acts further encouraged them later on.

And i feel like i can't stress this enough after those two posts: Yes, the soviet dominance WAS a better outcome for Central/eastern Europe than german Lebensraum. However, when alternative is an ideology that planned to genocide about 50 to 90% of local population, looking better in comparison doesn't strike me as an achievement. Plenty of room for improvement.

Saelune:
Seriously, I wish I could show you Bernie as president when the inherent sins of the position erode him into someone just as bad as you think Hillary and Obama are.

Bernie would be as much a war criminal as you think Obama is, guarantee it. Comes with the job title.

Is this actually true? Is it something inherent to the position, meaning that even a good man would go against his principles once in office? Or could it be that the National Committees and electorate just keep putting forward awful candidates?

There's much more evidence for the latter. The latter relies on less assumption, and affords less benefit-of-the-doubt. It is also supported by the long political history of Clinton and Trump. Clinton's political record outside of the presidency is shoddy; Sanders' is not. Why assume they would therefore act in the same manner?

Silvanus:

Saelune:
Seriously, I wish I could show you Bernie as president when the inherent sins of the position erode him into someone just as bad as you think Hillary and Obama are.

Bernie would be as much a war criminal as you think Obama is, guarantee it. Comes with the job title.

Is this actually true? Is it something inherent to the position, meaning that even a good man would go against his principles once in office? Or could it be that the National Committees and electorate just keep putting forward awful candidates?

There's much more evidence for the latter. The latter relies on less assumption, and affords less benefit-of-the-doubt. It is also supported by the long political history of Clinton and Trump. Clinton's political record outside of the presidency is shoddy; Sanders' is not. Why assume they would therefore act in the same manner?

I don't for one second believe Obama was anything but a sincerely left-wing idealist who believed that if he just tried his hardest to work together, we can make the world a better place. And then spent 8 years being proven wrong.

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