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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing?

 
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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/2/2019 2:04:54 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Dictatorships fall when the people around the dictator lose confidence in him. Losing a war can do this but not always (Saddam Hussein lost the war for Kuwait; Kim l Sung lost the Korean war; Arab dictators stayed in power after the 1967 war). The economy can cause this; the Soviets remember that the Czar abdicated because of food riots.


The Czar abdicated because his war (WWI) was a disaster. If he had still had a loyal army behind him, no riots could have removed him.

quote:

Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko were not removed because of Afghanistan; they were willing to pay a high price to have a friendly regime there. Gorbachev wasn't willing to pay that price.


I'm just pointing out that the Soviet Union collapsed shortly after their defeat in Afghanistan. As above, that's a general rule: No Russian government can survive a lost war.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 12/2/2019 2:34:04 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/2/2019 2:41:04 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Dictatorships fall when the people around the dictator lose confidence in him. Losing a war can do this but not always (Saddam Hussein lost the war for Kuwait; Kim l Sung lost the Korean war; Arab dictators stayed in power after the 1967 war). The economy can cause this; the Soviets remember that the Czar abdicated because of food riots.


The Czar abdicated because his war (WWI) was a disaster. If he had still had a loyal army behind him, no riots could have removed him.

quote:

Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko were not removed because of Afghanistan; they were willing to pay a high price to have a friendly regime there. Gorbachev wasn't willing to pay that price.


I'm just pointing out that the Soviet Union collapsed shortly after their defeat in Afghanistan. As above, that's a general rule: No Russian government can survive a lost war.

Is that just a Russian rule? That they can not survive a lost war? Or is it a Communist rule that the government can survive a lost war?

I say that there are few leaders anywhere that will survive a lost war. I am sure that there are some exceptions, but my guess is that it is a general rule that leaders go if they lost a war.

And for the Soviet collapse you can argue that it was a failed economy. Personally I think one makes it to easy if one seek just one reason for that collapse.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/2/2019 2:45:57 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Certainly the Cuban Missile crisis was a factor, but 2 full years is a very long time to wait for 'decorum'.

The failed harvest of 1963, and resulting famine (remember Lysenko?), was the last straw for Brezhnev/Kosygin, who began planning to remove Khrushchev in spring 1964. K fell because he lost the support of the entire Politburo.


Substitute "plausible deniability" for decorum, then.

Check out Venezuela, North Korea, or Cuba for examples of Marxist tyrants staying in power despite ruling economic basket cases. The Soviet Union had cannibalism in the '30s, things were so bad. Marxist tyrants are not removed for those reasons.

Lose a war, however, (check what happened after Afghanistan) or suffer military humiliation on the world stage, and you're gone.


Are you claiming that Khrushchev lost a war? Or the equivalence of that? And after they lost the war they waited before taking action?!

No. The other one: Military humiliation on the world stage.

I am sorry. I thought that my equivalence sentence took care of the other one, the military humiliation bit. My mistake. Sorry about that.

Anyway. I find it hard to see that the resolution of the Cuba crisis was Military humiliation on the world stage for the Soviets. Maybe in the US where the spin doctors apparently made it into a major win for US?

< Message edited by Orm -- 12/2/2019 2:46:37 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 1:37:39 AM   
demyansk


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Not sure if think was included, but just came across this article
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/hitler-2.html

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 5:43:01 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: demyansk

Not sure if think was included, but just came across this article
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/hitler-2.html

warspite1

Yes, Tim Bouverie's book has already been briefly mentioned.

I only read the review once but it appears to be written by someone who can't, or won't, say what he thinks - or at least he does but can't then come down in favour of one side or the other. The writer has used a lot of the arguments made in this thread as to why Britain could not sensibly have gone to war and mentions context and hindsight - but also appears to not want to agree with that, while at the same time wanting to!! He also writes the rather disappointing line about peace at any price - while in the same sentence stating that Chamberlain drew a line in the sand at Poland... and thus not peace at any price.

Ultimately this review appears to be written by someone that admires Chamberlain's stance... but doesn't want to admit it.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/3/2019 5:51:54 AM >


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Post #: 215
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 2:58:07 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Is that just a Russian rule? That they can not survive a lost war? Or is it a Communist rule that the government can survive a lost war?


Russia.

quote:

I say that there are few leaders anywhere that will survive a lost war. I am sure that there are some exceptions, but my guess is that it is a general rule that leaders go if they lost a war.


See Viet Nam, for a counter-example.

quote:

And for the Soviet collapse you can argue that it was a failed economy. Personally I think one makes it to easy if one seek just one reason for that collapse.


They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

In a Marxist tyranny the common people have little or no power. Their condition has little impact on the survival of the regime (and there are plenty of Marxist hellholes around the world to prove that). But lose the support of the military and you're gone.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 3:01:36 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Anyway. I find it hard to see that the resolution of the Cuba crisis was Military humiliation on the world stage for the Soviets. Maybe in the US where the spin doctors apparently made it into a major win for US?


They packed up their missiles and slunk back to the USSR with their tails between their legs. That's what happened on the World Stage.

What happened in Turkey was months later and in secret. And I recall that the story at the time was that those Turkey missiles had already been scheduled for removal anyway. If true (and you can never be sure, since both sides had motive to lie), then the Soviet "gain" for the crisis was zilch.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 4:41:29 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/4/2019 4:32:35 AM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/3/2019 5:20:46 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

I say that there are few leaders anywhere that will survive a lost war. I am sure that there are some exceptions, but my guess is that it is a general rule that leaders go if they lost a war.


See Viet Nam, for a counter-example.


You mention Viet Nam as example of leaders who lost a was but stay in power? Pray, tell me, which of the South Vietnamese leaders stayed in power after they were defeated.

Or are you perhaps referring to the US involvement? Are you claiming that President Nixon stayed in power after the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam? If so, I would like to point out that he is the only US President that has been forced to resign. They couldn't remove President Nixon at once after he had decided to withdraw from Vietnam because that would have been to humiliating. So he got one year grace period for decorum's sake, then he had to go..

< Message edited by Orm -- 12/3/2019 5:29:41 PM >


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Post #: 219
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 2:17:00 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

I say that there are few leaders anywhere that will survive a lost war. I am sure that there are some exceptions, but my guess is that it is a general rule that leaders go if they lost a war.


See Viet Nam, for a counter-example.


You mention Viet Nam as example of leaders who lost a was but stay in power? Pray, tell me, which of the South Vietnamese leaders stayed in power after they were defeated.

Or are you perhaps referring to the US involvement? Are you claiming that President Nixon stayed in power after the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam? If so, I would like to point out that he is the only US President that has been forced to resign. They couldn't remove President Nixon at once after he had decided to withdraw from Vietnam because that would have been to humiliating. So he got one year grace period for decorum's sake, then he had to go..

That's right, the US government didn't collapse after Viet Nam. And Democracies, unlike Marxist tyrannies, have a mechanism for the removal of failed leaders: Elections.

Another example: The American Revolution. After that loss, George III remained in power and Britain carried on as before.

To summarize: Marxist tyrannies, because they rely on tyranny, are hyper-sensitive to military setbacks, but largely immune to economic setbacks.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 2:17:57 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

All trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before - except Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union fell from the TOP down. The leaders of the various provinces (Soviets) rebelled - not the common people. That would never have been possible under the iron military grip of the past. That had been fatally weakened by Afghanistan.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 12/4/2019 2:37:54 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 2:56:03 PM   
stuart3

 

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quote:

Another example: The American Revolution. After that loss, George III remained in power and Britain carried on as before.


George 111 was never in power. Britain has a constitutional monarchy. Since the restoration, the monarch reigns, but Parliament rules. It is true that over the following years Parliament took advantage of the situation and tightened it's grip on power, but that was because everyone was fed up with the Hanoverians in general.

More significantly, Prime Minister Lord North lost a vote of confidence and resigned on 29th March 1782 after the defeat at Yorktown, followed by three more very short lived Premierships until Pitt the Younger stabilised British government, taking power on 19th December 1783.

< Message edited by stuart3 -- 12/4/2019 2:57:42 PM >

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 4:28:54 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

All trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before - except Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union fell from the TOP down. The leaders of the various provinces (Soviets) rebelled - not the common people. That would never have been possible under the iron military grip of the past. That had been fatally weakened by Afghanistan.

warspite1

Trivial? Wow.... Trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before..... Well sure, you may call Chernobyl trivial, but I'm not overly sure how many times vast tracts of the Soviet Union (and parts of Western Europe) came close to being an uninhabitable wasteland for thousands of years and with many, many millions killed....

But I wouldn't even say Chernobyl was the biggest factor of those mentioned. One thing I am pretty sure of is that of all the reasons that brought down Gorbachev, Afghanistan (a war that the USSR was losing in financial and material terms long before Gorbachev came to power) was pretty damn low on the level of importance list. That the average Soviet apparatchik or ordinary member of society, with all the crap going on around them, found the loss of Afghanistan a loss too great to bear, seems somewhat unlikely. It also fails to acknowledge that times - and people - change. What people knew or thought they knew, and were prepared to put up with was very different in the early years of Communist rule - and even just post Stalin - to the 1980's.

But if you believe that the problems facing Gorbachev - and that led to his downfall - are simply trivial in comparison to the all-encompassing, all-important and all consuming Afghanistan, then we are so far apart in what we believe and our respective understanding that frankly its not worth further discussion. I'll let those who are interested in this topic continue the debate.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/4/2019 6:15:55 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 4:30:56 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stuart3

quote:

Another example: The American Revolution. After that loss, George III remained in power and Britain carried on as before.


George 111 was never in power. Britain has a constitutional monarchy. Since the restoration, the monarch reigns, but Parliament rules. It is true that over the following years Parliament took advantage of the situation and tightened it's grip on power, but that was because everyone was fed up with the Hanoverians in general.

More significantly, Prime Minister Lord North lost a vote of confidence and resigned on 29th March 1782 after the defeat at Yorktown, followed by three more very short lived Premierships until Pitt the Younger stabilised British government, taking power on 19th December 1783.

warspite1

I find it bemusing that even in this day and age, some people still believe the United Kingdom (and presumably many Commonwealth countries) isn't a democracy because we have a Queen as head of state......


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/4/2019 4:56:10 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/4/2019 5:09:27 PM   
warspite1


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....meantime it would be nice to hear from a critic of Chamberlain/Daladier, in terms of the numerous reasons given for not going to war, and why he/she believes these can be dismissed.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 7:20:38 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

All trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before - except Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union fell from the TOP down. The leaders of the various provinces (Soviets) rebelled - not the common people. That would never have been possible under the iron military grip of the past. That had been fatally weakened by Afghanistan.


Sorry but you are wrong, go and read something like Kropotkin's Armageddon Averted for a better take on the final years of the Soviet regime and also why a nuclear armed dictatorship didn't use those nuclear weapons to avert collapse/revenge.

The national republics ended up independent by accident in the aftermath of the August coup. Yeltsin in effect abolished the USSR and the CPSU, what he did (I think unintentionally) was to destroy the framework that held the Republics together. Remember that in Soviet theology, the USSR was a voluntary multinational union of nations.

As to why, well the bit missed by many (incl you) is there was no shortage of politics in the USSR, just distorted by the framework of a single party state. The nomenclatura were divided, but the bulk saw a 'Chinese' solution (authoritarian politics, market economy) as just the thing to convert their power into serious money. The rest either went with Gorbachev (liberal politics, social economy) or harked back to Stalin. It was the latter group that launched the August coup, it was the first group that then set about making money.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 2:18:12 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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From: Houston, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: stuart3

quote:

Another example: The American Revolution. After that loss, George III remained in power and Britain carried on as before.


George 111 was never in power. Britain has a constitutional monarchy. Since the restoration, the monarch reigns, but Parliament rules. It is true that over the following years Parliament took advantage of the situation and tightened it's grip on power, but that was because everyone was fed up with the Hanoverians in general.

More significantly, Prime Minister Lord North lost a vote of confidence and resigned on 29th March 1782 after the defeat at Yorktown, followed by three more very short lived Premierships until Pitt the Younger stabilised British government, taking power on 19th December 1783.

Whatever. That is not the point. Whatever Britain was, it continued on after American Independence. It didn't collapse like a house of cards.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 2:21:01 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

All trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before - except Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union fell from the TOP down. The leaders of the various provinces (Soviets) rebelled - not the common people. That would never have been possible under the iron military grip of the past. That had been fatally weakened by Afghanistan.

warspite1

Trivial? Wow.... Trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before..... Well sure, you may call Chernobyl trivial, but I'm not overly sure how many times vast tracts of the Soviet Union (and parts of Western Europe) came close to being an uninhabitable wasteland for thousands of years and with many, many millions killed....

But I wouldn't even say Chernobyl was the biggest factor of those mentioned. One thing I am pretty sure of is that of all the reasons that brought down Gorbachev, Afghanistan (a war that the USSR was losing in financial and material terms long before Gorbachev came to power) was pretty damn low on the level of importance list. That the average Soviet apparatchik or ordinary member of society, with all the crap going on around them, found the loss of Afghanistan a loss too great to bear, seems somewhat unlikely. It also fails to acknowledge that times - and people - change. What people knew or thought they knew, and were prepared to put up with was very different in the early years of Communist rule - and even just post Stalin - to the 1980's.

But if you believe that the problems facing Gorbachev - and that led to his downfall - are simply trivial in comparison to the all-encompassing, all-important and all consuming Afghanistan, then we are so far apart in what we believe and our respective understanding that frankly its not worth further discussion. I'll let those who are interested in this topic continue the debate.


Believe whatever you want. But, I repeat: The common people of the USSR didn't rise up and throw off their yokes. It was the heads of the various Soviets that felt free to do so - because the Iron Grip of the military no longer had the strength to stop them. And that had been made clear by Afghanistan.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 2:23:59 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

Sorry but you are wrong, go and read something like Kropotkin's Armageddon Averted for a better take on the final years of the Soviet regime and also why a nuclear armed dictatorship didn't use those nuclear weapons to avert collapse/revenge.

The national republics ended up independent by accident in the aftermath of the August coup. Yeltsin in effect abolished the USSR and the CPSU, what he did (I think unintentionally) was to destroy the framework that held the Republics together. Remember that in Soviet theology, the USSR was a voluntary multinational union of nations.

As to why, well the bit missed by many (incl you) is there was no shortage of politics in the USSR, just distorted by the framework of a single party state. The nomenclatura were divided, but the bulk saw a 'Chinese' solution (authoritarian politics, market economy) as just the thing to convert their power into serious money. The rest either went with Gorbachev (liberal politics, social economy) or harked back to Stalin. It was the latter group that launched the August coup, it was the first group that then set about making money.


No. I'm right, and you haven't posted anything to contradict me. In fact you're confirming me: Yeltsin was the principle province leader who got the ball rolling, with most of the others coming on board thereafter. Had they tried that under Stalin they would have been a grease spot on the floor.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 5:03:42 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

They had a failed economy for their entire existence. They abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, and collapsed that same year.

warspite1

So to be clear, by 1989 agriculture was failing year upon year, the economy and GNP had stagnated, inflation was rising, oil prices had fallen through the floor, the cost of keeping the Soviet Bloc happy was rising (and they weren't - quite the opposite - and there was a clear wish to amend their relationship with the USSR), Gorbachev had placed a massive tax on alcohol (one of the few 'pleasures' left to Soviet citizens), Chernobyl had happened, the Nina Andreyeva letter, they were losing in Afghanistan, defence expenditure had risen to unsustainable numbers, ethnic unrest was on the rise in many of the republics..... and you identify Afghanistan with the reason Gorbachev was removed?

Edit: forgot two massive non-Afghanistan issues for Gorbachev - I am sure I've forgotten others too.

All trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before - except Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union fell from the TOP down. The leaders of the various provinces (Soviets) rebelled - not the common people. That would never have been possible under the iron military grip of the past. That had been fatally weakened by Afghanistan.

warspite1

Trivial? Wow.... Trivial in comparison to what they had endured many times before..... Well sure, you may call Chernobyl trivial, but I'm not overly sure how many times vast tracts of the Soviet Union (and parts of Western Europe) came close to being an uninhabitable wasteland for thousands of years and with many, many millions killed....

But I wouldn't even say Chernobyl was the biggest factor of those mentioned. One thing I am pretty sure of is that of all the reasons that brought down Gorbachev, Afghanistan (a war that the USSR was losing in financial and material terms long before Gorbachev came to power) was pretty damn low on the level of importance list. That the average Soviet apparatchik or ordinary member of society, with all the crap going on around them, found the loss of Afghanistan a loss too great to bear, seems somewhat unlikely. It also fails to acknowledge that times - and people - change. What people knew or thought they knew, and were prepared to put up with was very different in the early years of Communist rule - and even just post Stalin - to the 1980's.

But if you believe that the problems facing Gorbachev - and that led to his downfall - are simply trivial in comparison to the all-encompassing, all-important and all consuming Afghanistan, then we are so far apart in what we believe and our respective understanding that frankly its not worth further discussion. I'll let those who are interested in this topic continue the debate.


Believe whatever you want. But, I repeat: The common people of the USSR didn't rise up and throw off their yokes. It was the heads of the various Soviets that felt free to do so - because the Iron Grip of the military no longer had the strength to stop them. And that had been made clear by Afghanistan.
warspite1

But why are you repeating that? Where did I say it was the common people rising up? The Afghanistan withdrawal had nothing to do with the military no longer having the strength - apart from the fact it actually doesn't make sense, where would that linkage even come into it?

Gorbachev could have pulled out of Afghanistan (due to the expense in material, Roubles and lives) but still decided to use the military to sort things out in the Republics and the Eastern Bloc in the good old fashioned tried and trusted Soviet way. Gorbachev chose not to.

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.


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Post #: 230
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/5/2019 7:37:52 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
...

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.



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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/6/2019 5:07:44 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
...

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.



I find discussing anything with our segregationist chum just a bit less enjoyable than self suregery with a rusty spoon on my liver
warspite1

Well I don't know anything about being segregationist but yes this debate - for a while interesting - has just ended up frustrating.

Firstly this is a thread about Chamberlain and appeasement in the build up to WWII.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was brought into it as an example of how a blockade stopped a nuclear war without appeasement. While it was quickly conceded that a blockade would have been no answer to the problems facing the British and French, the insistence that Cuba in 1962 was a fair comparison to Europe in the 1930's remained. But quite how these two can be considered even remotely comparable - Khrushchev/Hitler and the whole situation is very different - is totally baffling and the fact that Cuba took place in the nuclear age simply knocks any fair comparison out of the park. I suspect even a nutter like Hitler would have thought twice if both Britain/France and Germany had the capability to wipe each other from the map.

Then came the question of whether the US did actually appease the Soviets and this led to the whole Gorbachev thing and how the overthrow of Gorbachev, the collapse of Communism, the break up of the Soviet Bloc and the fall of the Berlin Wall etc etc can apparently be entirely explained in one word; Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the actual subject of the thread - Chamberlain and whether he did the right thing - has been left with those who criticise his actions totally unwilling to engage further by actually answering perfectly reasonable points. Instead what we've had is at best contradictory and at worst just plain false. Essentially, US public opinion when it comes to joining in a war is all important. British and French (and indeed the world including the US??) public opinion is to be ignored as worthless when it comes to Britain and France starting yet another war. The British and French should have known what was coming - while everyone else gets a free pass because they didn't know. Right. And then, rather than actually answer valid, specific concerns as to why the two weakened powers wanted to avoid war we get comments like surely there was a middle ground, and Hitler might have been happy with just a revision of Versailles. That these comments should be made today, with hindsight, with everything we know about Hitler and his raison d'etre, is staggering.

This is not a debate where there can be a right or wrong answer because quite simply we will never know. But I don't think it's too much to ask that if one has an opinion they at least have the courage of their convictions and are actually prepared to explain why.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/6/2019 5:44:30 AM >


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Post #: 232
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/6/2019 2:52:29 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
...

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.



I find discussing anything with our segregationist chum just a bit less enjoyable than self suregery with a rusty spoon on my liver

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/6/2019 2:57:53 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

But why are you repeating that? Where did I say it was the common people rising up? The Afghanistan withdrawal had nothing to do with the military no longer having the strength - apart from the fact it actually doesn't make sense, where would that linkage even come into it?

Gorbachev could have pulled out of Afghanistan (due to the expense in material, Roubles and lives) but still decided to use the military to sort things out in the Republics and the Eastern Bloc in the good old fashioned tried and trusted Soviet way. Gorbachev chose not to.

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.


The non-Russian provinces were held to the Union by military force. And note that it wasn't just the USSR that collapsed, the Warsaw Pact did too. And that was definitely held in line by military force. The Afghanistan loss was a clarion call to all factions that wanted out of the Gulag. I really don't think I'm out of line, since, as we both know, the collapse happened less than a year after the Afghan withdrawal.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/6/2019 4:47:08 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

But why are you repeating that? Where did I say it was the common people rising up? The Afghanistan withdrawal had nothing to do with the military no longer having the strength - apart from the fact it actually doesn't make sense, where would that linkage even come into it?

Gorbachev could have pulled out of Afghanistan (due to the expense in material, Roubles and lives) but still decided to use the military to sort things out in the Republics and the Eastern Bloc in the good old fashioned tried and trusted Soviet way. Gorbachev chose not to.

But you remain fixated by Afghanistan being the reason for the collapse despite everything that was happening, everything that Gorbachev was trying (and failing) to do, and had been happening for some years. That is simply wrong.


The non-Russian provinces were held to the Union by military force. And note that it wasn't just the USSR that collapsed, the Warsaw Pact did too. And that was definitely held in line by military force. The Afghanistan loss was a clarion call to all factions that wanted out of the Gulag. I really don't think I'm out of line, since, as we both know, the collapse happened less than a year after the Afghan withdrawal.
warspite1

But you haven't explained two things:

1. Why do you believe everything else going on in the USSR at that time was effectively irrelevant - because by putting everything on Afghanistan that is what you are saying, and that even had Gorbachev done everything he actually did, except pull out of Afghanistan, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc would have remained in place. You completely ignore the effects of Glasnost/Perestroika, you ignore what this meant in terms of control.

2. The Soviet Republics and Afghanistan were two different matters. There is nothing to have stopped Gorbachev from pulling out of Afghanistan but deciding the Brezhnev Doctrine would remain in force in the Eastern Bloc. Gorbachev chose not to - just as he'd signalled this with the Brezhnev Doctrine being denounced in 1988.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/6/2019 4:52:01 PM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/6/2019 6:06:41 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Meanwhile, the actual subject of the thread - Chamberlain and whether he did the right thing - has been left with those who criticise his actions totally unwilling to engage further by actually answering perfectly reasonable points. Instead what we've had is at best contradictory and at worst just plain false. Essentially, US public opinion when it comes to joining in a war is all important. British and French (and indeed the world including the US??) public opinion is to be ignored as worthless when it comes to Britain and France starting yet another war. The British and French should have known what was coming - while everyone else gets a free pass because they didn't know. Right. And then, rather than actually answer valid, specific concerns as to why the two weakened powers wanted to avoid war we get comments like surely there was a middle ground, and Hitler might have been happy with just a revision of Versailles. That these comments should be made today, with hindsight, with everything we know about Hitler and his raison d'etre, is staggering.

This is not a debate where there can be a right or wrong answer because quite simply we will never know. But I don't think it's too much to ask that if one has an opinion they at least have the courage of their convictions and are actually prepared to explain why.


Fair points, except that there is a gray (grey?) area between public opinion being all-important or worthless. For a short war, such as the French would have had if they had attacked in 1936 after the re-militarization of the Rhineland, public opinion has much less weight than it would for a long-haul conflict.

I would like to point out that I, at least, have never stated that Hitler would have been happy with just a revision of Versailles. (I did opine that such a revision, early on, might have prevented Hitler from coming to power.)

And there is a possible middle ground. It must be remembered that Hitler's seizure of all of Czechoslovakia was a violation of the Munich agreement. That, in my opinion, would have provided a reason for France, Britain, and Czechoslovakia to declare war with a reasonable amount of popular support in March 1939. Germany was not at its 1940 strength, and the fall of France at least might have been avoided. However, the secession of Slovakia means this would have been a very tricky call. What was Czechoslovakia, and what was not anymore?

Given the number of massive wargames available on the ETO of WWII, I wonder if this case might be simulated? (I've always decried that few wargames are set up to consider a case where the Japanese did not attack Pearl harbor, but only invaded the Dutch East Indies at first, forcing Britain and the U. S. to declare war with much less popular support.) The German order of battle would have to do without the weaponry they got from Czechoslovakia, which I think would have more than compensated for the lessening of public opinion.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/7/2019 6:04:38 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

Fair points, except that there is a gray (grey?) area between public opinion being all-important or worthless. For a short war, such as the French would have had if they had attacked in 1936 after the re-militarization of the Rhineland, public opinion has much less weight than it would for a long-haul conflict.

warspite1

I think this ignores the actual problems of the time that caused inaction, and what British or French action would have meant – something neither of us can ever know.

The view you’ve taken is that there is a ‘short war’ and then all will be right. Well maybe… but I’d venture almost certainly not, and there is nothing in what we know about Hitler to suggest this would be the case.

There are the practical – and very real – aspects that led to inaction; the general (and worldwide) feeling that the Germans were probably dealt too harshly at Versailles, the cost of mobilisation to the already crippled French economy (stopping re-militarisation all sounds so simple, but if French troops are going in, they need to be prepared to be met with force), public opinion that did not want another war. To name but three.

There was mention by one poster of sanctions on Germany as one possibility for dealing with the German action. But this was never going to happen. Trade with Germany was vital for many countries who simply refused to countenance such action (and how many of those ultimately fell under the heel of the jack-boot?) and of course without US involvement it was pointless anyway.

There is also the matter, which bizarrely is never questioned (certainly in no book I’ve ever read), of what would have been the result of French action anyway? Would it, as some like to believe, simply stopped WWII in its tracks?

Well worst case (for the French) is that the Germans refuse to budge. So now what? The French troops have no choice but to start shooting – or they turn back themselves. And we know what happens in the case of the former. Civilians die, property is destroyed and it’s a mess. In 1936, the Germans have no choice but to withdraw eventually, but the damage has been done. So do you think that little episode makes the general German feeling of being hard done by go away? From everything we know about Hitler, is he likely to have taken that on the chin? And even if there was no shooting war and the German troops withdraw, then what?

Is Hitler going to go away as a result of this? Goebbels would have set about this with a passion? The French, marching in to German sovereign territory (the unjust Versailles means nothing here), would simply feed the anger that has never dissipated since 1918. French occupation troops are now seen as the aggressors who marched in thanks to a breach of a treaty provision that world opinion – yes including the US – thinks is unjust anyway. Whichever way you slice it, the poor French are onto a loser here.

Occupation costs the French treasury a fortune (I’ve seen an article which quoted some numbers but annoyingly can’t locate at present) and that is only going to rise if Hitler takes the next logical step. Manufacture some atrocity carried out by occupation troops, civilians are killed, world opinion turns even more against the French etc. etc. And how long are the French supposed to stay? No support from other League of Nations members, their treaty with the Soviets is irrelevant as that only kicks in if Germany attacks France and, if Hitler plays things right, world opinion increasingly turning against France and German public opinion actually getting more polarised. And of course it’s not just the German public. At this stage – 1936 – with Germany being ‘humiliated’ the German General Staff are going to be siding with Hitler.

Was inaction an opportunity missed? Possibly because there is always the dream possibility that action could have avoided WWII. But I think there are plenty of logical, sound reasons at the time, to excuse inaction by everyone – not just the French - and moreover, I personally don’t believe that action was in any way shape or form a sure fire guarantee that a European war, in some form or other would not have resulted at some point. At very best I believe such action would simply have kicked the can down the road a few years. Hitler’s very being would be reason for that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

I would like to point out that I, at least, have never stated that Hitler would have been happy with just a revision of Versailles. (I did opine that such a revision, early on, might have prevented Hitler from coming to power.)

warspite1

The possibility that Hitler may have been happy with a simple Versailles revision, despite everything we know, came from another poster and I have not attributed this comment to you.

The main problem with earlier Versailles revision is, while it sounds oh so easy in theory, in practice it was never likely to happen and for very understandable reasons. To stop Hitler from coming to power we are talking about late twenties at the latest. But this raises at least two issues. Firstly, and this keeps needing to be re-stated as it is so easy to forget; there are no crystal balls. Action taken, even by politicians with a degree of foresight, would not be being taken in order to avoid WWII, the Holocaust, 50 million dead etc. This would have been in no one’s thinking – rather the issue in the 20’s was to do with reparations, economic depressions and world trade.

So having spent a colossal amount of time and money on the whole peace process after WWI, and (certainly in the eyes of the French) having got ‘justice’ for Germany starting WWI (whether people think that now or not is irrelevant), why would any Frenchman unilaterally want to tear up, or even amend, Versailles?

But even if that process (and this takes a big leap of faith) was started by the ‘Allies’ then what realistically does it set out to achieve? There are the territorial aspects of Versailles and the economic. The economies of Britain and France were crippled by WWI too, the Great Depression had added to the general feeling of misery, there is only so much that could be done that was remotely palatable. And of course, the less that is done, the more room is left for a Hitler-type character to still emerge anyway. What’s the saying “Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile”. Well unilateral revision of Versailles would, in my view, have simply given Germany the wrong signals – just as we now know appeasement gave Hitler the wrong signals. As far as Germany was concerned, she never started the war and was never beaten. The Allies going back on Versailles would simply embolden that belief and sense of entitlement. The Allies offering a token revision would be actually worse than no unilateral revision at all as it would get their hopes up and then kick them in the face.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

And there is a possible middle ground. It must be remembered that Hitler's seizure of all of Czechoslovakia was a violation of the Munich agreement. That, in my opinion, would have provided a reason for France, Britain, and Czechoslovakia to declare war with a reasonable amount of popular support in March 1939. Germany was not at its 1940 strength, and the fall of France at least might have been avoided. However, the secession of Slovakia means this would have been a very tricky call. What was Czechoslovakia, and what was not anymore?

warspite1

But, as you admit yourself re Slovakia (and don’t forget Poland and Hungary here), once Munich happens there is essentially no ‘Czechoslovakia’ to fight over. If Hitler is now to be confronted then Poland thus becomes the obvious line in the sand.


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/7/2019 4:31:32 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

But you haven't explained two things:

1. Why do you believe everything else going on in the USSR at that time was effectively irrelevant - because by putting everything on Afghanistan that is what you are saying, and that even had Gorbachev done everything he actually did, except pull out of Afghanistan, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc would have remained in place. You completely ignore the effects of Glasnost/Perestroika, you ignore what this meant in terms of control.

2. The Soviet Republics and Afghanistan were two different matters. There is nothing to have stopped Gorbachev from pulling out of Afghanistan but deciding the Brezhnev Doctrine would remain in force in the Eastern Bloc. Gorbachev chose not to - just as he'd signalled this with the Brezhnev Doctrine being denounced in 1988.


In the end, it doesn't make any difference: Was the Soviet military suffering from dry rot? Or did the man at the top not have the stomach for it anymore? The net result is the same: The iron grip relaxed. And Afghanistan made that clear to the factions wanting out of the Gulag.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/7/2019 6:53:09 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

But you haven't explained two things:

1. Why do you believe everything else going on in the USSR at that time was effectively irrelevant - because by putting everything on Afghanistan that is what you are saying, and that even had Gorbachev done everything he actually did, except pull out of Afghanistan, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc would have remained in place. You completely ignore the effects of Glasnost/Perestroika, you ignore what this meant in terms of control.

2. The Soviet Republics and Afghanistan were two different matters. There is nothing to have stopped Gorbachev from pulling out of Afghanistan but deciding the Brezhnev Doctrine would remain in force in the Eastern Bloc. Gorbachev chose not to - just as he'd signalled this with the Brezhnev Doctrine being denounced in 1988.


In the end, it doesn't make any difference: Was the Soviet military suffering from dry rot? Or did the man at the top not have the stomach for it anymore? The net result is the same: The iron grip relaxed. And Afghanistan made that clear to the factions wanting out of the Gulag.
warspite1

And I guess we remain as far apart as ever. As you say, for anyone who believes its all about Afghanistan and only Afghanistan then no, with certain caveats, you are right and it doesn't really matter too much the actual reason for the withdrawal.

But we remain apart on whether it was Afghanistan. I don't understand how you've ignored everything that was going on in the Soviet Union prior to the withdrawal, the denunciation of the Brezhnev doctrine as it applied to the Eastern Bloc, the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika and the loss of control over the media in particular that followed. How on earth was the Nina Andreyeva letter published prior to the withdrawal from Afghanistan if the overthrow of Gorbachev was caused only by Afghanistan?

I don't believe either that Gorbachev did 'not have the stomach' for the war in Afghanistan anymore either. Gorbachev had many faults and was unequal to the task he set himself (I suspect no one man could have achieved what he wanted to achieve (if he really knew himself), and certainly not in the timescale allotted) but 'didn't have the stomach'? No, he was better than that. He realised that war is not the answer and sought another way - and thank goodness for the world that he did.

Afghanistan was not part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, anymore than Cuba was. Had he not gone down the path he did - but simply decided to end the war in Afghanistan while maintaining the tried and tested party line as the empire repressively drove itself (and its Eastern Bloc satellites) into the ground - then he would have imo remained in office.


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Post #: 239
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 12/8/2019 2:50:43 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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From: Houston, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

And I guess we remain as far apart as ever. As you say, for anyone who believes its all about Afghanistan and only Afghanistan then no, with certain caveats, you are right and it doesn't really matter too much the actual reason for the withdrawal.

But we remain apart on whether it was Afghanistan. I don't understand how you've ignored everything that was going on in the Soviet Union prior to the withdrawal,...


I have answered that: There was no uprising by the common people. Had quality of life issues been what brought down the USSR, the collapse would have been from the bottom up. It wasn't. It was from the top down.

quote:

... the denunciation of the Brezhnev doctrine as it applied to the Eastern Bloc, the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika and the loss of control over the media in particular that followed. How on earth was the Nina Andreyeva letter published prior to the withdrawal from Afghanistan if the overthrow of Gorbachev was caused only by Afghanistan?


Gorbachev wasn't overthrown. Had Andreyeva's wishes been adopted, he would have been replaced by a more Stalinist ruler and the collapse may have been avoided (depends upon what was causing the weaker iron grip - Gorbachev or military dry rot). Gorbachev was still in power as the USSR dissolved around him.

quote:

I don't believe either that Gorbachev did 'not have the stomach' for the war in Afghanistan anymore either. Gorbachev had many faults and was unequal to the task he set himself (I suspect no one man could have achieved what he wanted to achieve (if he really knew himself), and certainly not in the timescale allotted) but 'didn't have the stomach'? No, he was better than that. He realised that war is not the answer and sought another way - and thank goodness for the world that he did.


Why Gorbachev acted as he did is irrelevant. What he did is what mattered.

quote:

Afghanistan was not part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, anymore than Cuba was. Had he not gone down the path he did - but simply decided to end the war in Afghanistan while maintaining the tried and tested party line as the empire repressively drove itself (and its Eastern Bloc satellites) into the ground - then he would have imo remained in office.


Ending the war was a sign of military weakness and precipitated the collapse. It doesn't matter where it happened. Viet Nam wasn't part of the USA either, but was a clear sign of military weakness.

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