Why WWII essay

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South
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Why WWII essay

Post by South » 10 Apr 2019 21:58

https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/10/wo ... n-freedom/


Good afternoon all,

Above a short article on "Why WWII?" .

The lead picture is less about cuffs being in style.

Author does not define or explain the term "self-government".

It is not universally accepted that human freedom is a product of human nature.


~ Bob

eastern Virginia, USA

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Steve
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Re: Why WWII essay

Post by Steve » 13 Jun 2019 21:36

Hi, Madeline Osborne (in the link) says “The United States and the British Empire were fighting for human freedom”, unfortunately this may not be totally correct with regard to the British Empire. There is no doubt the British fought for their freedom in 1940 and later for the freedom of Western Europe but did they fight for human freedom in general?

Britain did not go to war in 1939 for the cause of human freedom in Poland it went to war to prevent German domination of Europe. There is the famous incident in October 1944 when Churchill and Stalin divided up Europe into areas of influence. If Churchill did not know by then that the people in Stalin’s sphere of influence would not be free he was a naïve character. How Churchill supported the London Poles against Stalin in their quest for freedom is a sorry tale

Churchill always wanted to hold onto the British Empire even if many of its subjects did not want to be in the empire. If he had won the 1945 election Britain may well have become involved in a violent struggle to prevent the people of the Indian subcontinent gaining freedom. As it was in many colonies the locals had to lever the British out by the use of violence e.g. Cyprus.

Futurist
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Re: Why WWII essay

Post by Futurist » 16 Jun 2019 03:54

Steve wrote:
13 Jun 2019 21:36
Hi, Madeline Osborne (in the link) says “The United States and the British Empire were fighting for human freedom”, unfortunately this may not be totally correct with regard to the British Empire. There is no doubt the British fought for their freedom in 1940 and later for the freedom of Western Europe but did they fight for human freedom in general?
To the West's credit, they did decolonize relatively quickly after the end of WWII. Within three decades of WWII, almost all of Europe's colonies had already achieved independence. Granted, the West sometimes put up more resistance to decolonization than it should have, and that was a mistake on the West's part IMHO. :(
Britain did not go to war in 1939 for the cause of human freedom in Poland it went to war to prevent German domination of Europe.
Did Britain envision a restoration of the pre-1939 Polish dictatorship in Poland after Poland would have been liberated? I mean, was this the Anglo-French plan in regards to Poland before France's unexpected fall in 1940?
There is the famous incident in October 1944 when Churchill and Stalin divided up Europe into areas of influence. If Churchill did not know by then that the people in Stalin’s sphere of influence would not be free he was a naïve character. How Churchill supported the London Poles against Stalin in their quest for freedom is a sorry tale
Unfortunately, I'm not really sure that Britain and the US could have done much for the Poles in 1945 without going to war with the Soviets. The Soviets did the lion's share of the bleeding in the European theater of WWII and thus Britain and the US might have been willing to make concessions to them in order to ensure that the Soviets are going to fight on to the very end (in both Europe and East Asia after the war in Europe would have ended). Unfortunately, if I was in FDR's and Churchill's position, I would have probably done the same thing. Especially if I was in FDR's position. After all, I would have known that getting the US into the war was hard enough as it was and thus I would have been committed to an Allied victory in WWII at almost any cost.
Churchill always wanted to hold onto the British Empire even if many of its subjects did not want to be in the empire. If he had won the 1945 election Britain may well have become involved in a violent struggle to prevent the people of the Indian subcontinent gaining freedom. As it was in many colonies the locals had to lever the British out by the use of violence e.g. Cyprus.
Yeah, Churchill's pro-imperialism views were certainly extremely regrettable. :(

BTW, I do wonder what would have happened had there been an Indian revolt against Britain (in a scenario where Churchill remains Britain's PM) and where Jinnah would have died in the middle of this revolt. Would Jinnah's death have caused the Muslims and Hindus in India to make a deal? Or would there have still been a partition of India after the British would have been kicked out--and if so, who exactly would have done the actual partitioning in the place of the British?

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Re: Why WWII essay

Post by fuser » 16 Jun 2019 08:02

The nonsense of Britain fighting for Human freedom while controlling most of the world in a brutal colonial empire, I would have laughed if not for the fact that actually tons of people believe this nonsense. Remember Atlantic charter which promised independence for all nations, but Britain conveniently declared that it didn't apply to British Empire.

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Steve
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Re: Why WWII essay

Post by Steve » 17 Jun 2019 16:42

Hi, the west did not decolonise voluntarily, the French, Dutch and Portuguese opposed it tooth and nail. The British took a more pragmatic stance. In places which would have been difficult to hold or there was nothing worth holding on to they withdrew. In other places they either tried to hold on or tried to make sure a cooperative regime was left in charge.

For example, giving Egypt independence was not a problem as long as the Suez Canal remained out of Egyptian hands. In the case of Iraq the main oil fields were split off early on in the occupation and a new country called Kuwait created. This would probably always need British protection so control could be exercised over an important asset. When Iraq was given independence it was under a royal family installed by the British and friendly to them.

After the fall of Poland the Polish government established in London was recognised as the legal government. Admittedly there was not a lot Churchill could have done about Poland but it would have been nice if he had at least tried. In January 1944 he told his Foreign Secretary Eden that Soviet demands about Poland “are in my opinion no more than what is right and just for Russia”. In October he visited Stalin in Moscow and told him that if he supported Britain retaining its empire in the Far East he would subject to certain agreements support the Soviets in Eastern Europe. I think it can be said that Churchill went past there is nothing much that can be done for Poland and sided with Stalin against the London Poles.

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