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PeterSibley
11-21-2011, 11:09 PM
I have no idea how Pat Buchanan is regarded by Republicans these days but he was well regarded at one stage and was even a GOP presidential contender IIRC .This c&p is from his web page and seems a reasonable analysis of the GOP move towards war with Iran .He seems to regard it as insane or at least very hard to justify. Is there much more of this anti war with Iran mood in the Republican party ...aside from Ron Paul ?

http://buchanan.org/blog/gop-blank-check-for-war-4261

Since June 1914, a “blank check” given by one nation to another for war has been regarded as strategic folly.
Thus it is startling to learn 47 House Republicans just signed on to H.R. 1553 declaring unequivocal “support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran … including the use of military force.”
These Republicans have just given Tel Aviv a blank check for a pre-emptive war that Israel, unless it uses its nuclear weapons, can start but not finish. Fighting and finishing that war would fall to the armed forces of the United States.
Who do these Republicans represent?
The Pentagon has made clear that with two wars of nearly a decade’s duration bleeding us, we do not want a third war with Iran. For while easy to predict how such a war begins, with air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, no one can know how it ends.
Indeed, how would Israel reach its targets in Iran?
Turkey would not allow Israeli over-flights. The route over Jordan and Iraq would require U.S. military complicity, for we control Iraqi air space. Would Riyadh permit Israel to use its airspace to attack Iran, knowing Tehran could create havoc in the Gulf states and oil patch of northeastern Arabia?
The Israeli air force could destroy the nuclear power plant at Bushehr, the heavy water reactor at Arak and uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. But Israel cannot follow up and destroy all the dispersed nuclear facilities and missile sites of Iran. And no one knows what would follow.
How would Iran retaliate? Missile strikes on Tel Aviv? A missile barrage form Hezbollah igniting another Israeli-Lebanon war? How long could the United States stand by and watch Israel bombarded?
Indeed, the principal purpose and result of an Israeli pre-emptive war on Iran, bringing retaliation on Israel, would be to drag America in to fight and finish a war Israel had begun.

PeterSibley
11-22-2011, 03:49 AM
So ...is Buchanan out of the loop now ?The article was a wee bit frightening for those who don't really want a major ME war .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:24 AM
I think Pat Buchanan may have shot right over the heads of his readership with the reference to June 1914, which I suspect is not taught in every US schoolroom.

To decode, Germany gave an assurance to Austria-Hungary that Germany would support any action taken by Austria against Serbia.

The crown prince of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist gang.

Austria demanded reparations from Serbia.

Serbia offered to comply whilst denying that it had any part in the assassination.

Austria increased its demands having obtained the German "blank cheque".

Serbia sought support from Russia.

Austria invaded Serbia*. Start of WW1.

* And was defeated and repulsed. But that is a mere footnote to history, because:

Russia mobilsed against Austria

Germany mobilised against Russia

France, allied to Russia, mobilised against Germany

Germany, facing war on two fronts, initated the Schieffen Plan, attacking France through Belgium, thereby triggering Britain's entry into the was as Britain was allied to Belgium...

...four years and twenty million dead later, an armistice was signed on the 11th November 1918.

PeterSibley
11-22-2011, 06:31 AM
Here's me thinking such was general knowledge ! It is taught in every Australian school .


The Joys of Secret Treaties...

LeeG
11-22-2011, 07:27 AM
Is there much more of this anti war with Iran mood in the Republican party ...aside from Ron Paul ?


I don't think there's an anti-war mood. A dominant national narrative is that we must be "strong on defense". How that manifests itself is a detail left to the experts. 10yrs ago that was Cheney and the neocons. Our internal dialog could be that we were forced into it, Saddam made us invade or Iran forced our hand because they wouldn't X,Y,Z. We're helpless and have little choice in the matter. We'd really not like to start a war but, gosh darn it, we must be "strong on defense". If Israel initiates an attack, well we'll be helpless there too because we "support Israel".
Besides can't we just push a button and launch a missile, or change the channel or something?

skuthorp
11-22-2011, 07:35 AM
And because of the brown nosing attitude of our pollies we will as well. Better to neutralise Israel actually, there'd be less casualties all round.

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 07:38 AM
I think Pat Buchanan may have shot right over the heads of his readership with the reference to June 1914, which I suspect is not taught in every US schoolroom.

To decode, Germany gave an assurance to Austria-Hungary that Germany would support any action taken by Austria against Serbia.

The crown prince of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist gang.

Austria demanded reparations from Serbia.

Serbia offered to comply whilst denying that it had any part in the assassination.

Austria increased its demands having obtained the German "blank cheque".

Serbia sought support from Russia.

Austria invaded Serbia*. Start of WW1.

* And was defeated and repulsed. But that is a mere footnote to history, because:

Russia mobilsed against Austria

Germany mobilised against Russia

France, allied to Russia, mobilised against Germany

Germany, facing war on two fronts, initated the Schieffen Plan, attacking France through Belgium, thereby triggering Britain's entry into the was as Britain was allied to Belgium...

...four years and twenty million dead later, an armistice was signed on the 11th November 1918.Right. technically it was a domino effect based on treaties signed on both sides. The assassination was just the fuse.ACB is right, but only mentioned a few treaties/agreements which took place leading up to 1914.*

Dutch
11-22-2011, 07:52 AM
I think Pat Buchanan may have shot right over the heads of his readership with the reference to June 1914, which I suspect is not taught in every US schoolroom

acb thinks all Americans idiots-

well it appears we were smart enough to shrug off the beggar lice from the british isles :)

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 08:03 AM
Dutch..I don't think ACB does think we are all idiots. Actually, I sense that it is not a question of being stupid either. We take American History in the US in high school. If there is a mention of anything dealing with European policy, it is almost a footnote. I think a solid course in European history should almost be required even if it condensed and doesn't cover everything. A History Course titled Western Civilization covers too much info if it covers initially Rome and Greece etc. I mean a real course dedicated to Europe. Anything I have gleaned about my basic understanding of say the First World War, the Armada, the issues over religion (Spain and England) the Crimean War, Russian history, I got from reading on my own.From teaching in the UK, I found students more aware of American History than we are about European History. In fact, compared to overseas, we know squat..with a few holes punched in the tapestry because of individual, specific interests.

Bottom line, the US as a whole is too self absorbed.

Keith Wilson
11-22-2011, 08:18 AM
Eh? I took world history in high school, (mostly European history back then) and we covered the causes of WWI. Of course that was a while ago, and I had read Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August a couple of years before, so I know about that already, but I'm interested in history. That book was a bestseller in the US, BTW.

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 08:25 AM
Keith..I took a course called Western Civilization starting with Greece and Rome and then American History in 10th grade. The only history course required by most colleges is a course in American History. I only got a sprinkling of European History at college and those course were not in my field and only taken for my enjoyment.

Tom Montgomery
11-22-2011, 09:00 AM
Why not name the warmongers?

H.R. 1553 was introduced by Republican Representative Louie Gohmert [TX-1]. The following are the 46 Republican co-sponsors:

(http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Akin++W.+Todd))+0 1655)))Rep Akin, W. Todd (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Akin++W.+Todd))+0 1655))) [MO-2]
Rep Bachmann, Michele (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Bachmann++Michele ))+01858))) [MN-6] Presidential Candidate
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Bartlett++Roscoe+ G.))+00060))) [MD-6]
Rep Barton, Joe (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Barton++Joe))+000 62))) [TX-6]
Rep Bishop, Rob (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Bishop++Rob))+017 53))) [UT-1]
Rep Blackburn, Marsha (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Blackburn++Marsha ))+01748))) [TN-7]
Rep Bonner, Jo (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Bonner++Jo))+0170 3))) [AL-1]
Rep Broun, Paul C. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Broun++Paul+C.))+ 01882))) [GA-10]
Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Brown++Henry+E.++ Jr.))+01669))) [SC-1]
Rep Burton, Dan (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Burton++Dan))+001 54))) [IN-5]
Rep Campbell, John (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Campbell++John))+ 01816))) [CA-48]
Rep Carter, John R. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Carter++John+R.)) +01752))) [TX-31]
Rep Chaffetz, Jason (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Chaffetz++Jason)) +01956))) [UT-3]
Rep Conaway, K. Michael (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Conaway++K.+Micha el))+01805))) [TX-11]
Rep Culberson, John Abney (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Culberson++John+A bney))+01670))) [TX-7]
Rep Fallin, Mary (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Fallin++Mary))+01 872))) [OK-5]
Rep Fleming, John (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Fleming++John))+0 1924))) [LA-4]
Rep Franks, Trent (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Franks++Trent))+0 1707))) [AZ-2]
Rep Gingrey, Phil (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Gingrey++Phil))+0 1720))) [GA-11]
Rep Granger, Kay (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Granger++Kay))+01 487))) [TX-12]
Rep Griffith, Parker (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Griffith++Parker) )+01906))) [AL-5]
Rep Hensarling, Jeb (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Hensarling++Jeb)) +01749))) [TX-5]
Rep Herger, Wally (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Herger++Wally))+0 0533))) [CA-2]
Rep Jordan, Jim (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Jordan++Jim))+018 68))) [OH-4]
Rep King, Steve (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+King++Steve))+017 24))) [IA-5]
Rep Kingston, Jack (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Kingston++Jack))+ 00636))) [GA-1]
Rep Lamborn, Doug (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Lamborn++Doug))+0 1834))) [CO-5]
Rep Latta, Robert E. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Latta++Robert+E.) )+01885))) [OH-5]
Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+LoBiondo++Frank+A .))+00699))) [NJ-2]
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Lummis++Cynthia+M .))+01960))) [WY]
Rep Marchant, Kenny (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Marchant++Kenny)) +01806))) [TX-24]
Rep McClintock, Tom (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+McClintock++Tom)) +01908))) [CA-4]
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+McCotter++Thaddeu s+G.))+01732))) [MI-11]
Rep Neugebauer, Randy (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Neugebauer++Randy ))+01758))) [TX-19]
Rep Olson, Pete (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Olson++Pete))+019 55))) [TX-22]
Rep Pence, Mike (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Pence++Mike))+016 49))) [IN-6]
Rep Pitts, Joseph R. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Pitts++Joseph+R.) )+01514))) [PA-16]
Rep Posey, Bill (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Posey++Bill))+019 15))) [FL-15]
Rep Price, Tom (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Price++Tom))+0177 8))) [GA-6]
Rep Rooney, Thomas J. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Rooney++Thomas+J. ))+01916))) [FL-16]
Rep Roskam, Peter J. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Roskam++Peter+J.) )+01848))) [IL-6]
Rep Ryan, Paul (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Ryan++Paul))+0156 0))) [WI-1]
Rep Schmidt, Jean (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Schmidt++Jean))+0 1815))) [OH-2]
Rep Shadegg, John B. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Shadegg++John+B.) )+01043))) [AZ-3]
Rep Smith, Lamar (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Smith++Lamar))+01 075))) [TX-21]
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d111&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Rep+Westmoreland++Lyn n+A.))+01779))) [GA-3]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 09:02 AM
acb thinks all Americans idiots-

well it appears we were smart enough to shrug off the beggar lice from the british isles :)

Steady on, old chap!

Buchanan was referring not to "1914" but to the "blank cheque" issued to Austria by Germany in June 1914.

It's an excellent parallel, but it's pretty detailed stuff. It's as if you were to write "Fort Sumter" and expect me to know that that was the technical spark in the powder keg that began the Civil War. Most Europeans would not get it.

Paul Pless
11-22-2011, 10:12 AM
Sorry Andrew but you don't think at all but once again show you arrogance. The "blank check" is covered in US schools as part of history and the causes of WWI. Yeah, even I learned that, and I were edumacated in Alabamie. . .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 10:31 AM
Sorry Andrew but you don't think at all but once again show your arrogance. The "blank check" is covered in US schools as part of history and the causes of WWI. I would never assume to make a judgment of the school system in Great Britain because it would be an uninformed one. So why do you insist of making comments about things that you have ZERO knowledge of.

At what age, at what level, and is this a part of a nationally enforced curriculum or an option?

Gerarddm
11-22-2011, 10:48 AM
Dutch..I don't think ACB does think we are all idiots. Actually, I sense that it is not a question of being stupid either. We take American History in the US in high school. If there is a mention of anything dealing with European policy, it is almost a footnote. I think a solid course in European history should almost be required even if it condensed and doesn't cover everything. A History Course titled Western Civilization covers too much info if it covers initially Rome and Greece etc. I mean a real course dedicated to Europe. Anything I have gleaned about my basic understanding of say the First World War, the Armada, the issues over religion (Spain and England) the Crimean War, Russian history, I got from reading on my own.From teaching in the UK, I found students more aware of American History than we are about European History. In fact, compared to overseas, we know squat..with a few holes punched in the tapestry because of individual, specific interests.

Bottom line, the US as a whole is too self absorbed.



I think this is spot on.

My 22 year old daughter studied in England this past summer, and took side trips to Scotland and Paris. When she was in Paris she toured, among other things, the French national military museum ( sorry, I forget the name). She was blown away by what she learned about WWI, telling me, "Dad, they never taught us this in high school.".

I agree heartily in the adage that you don't know which direction you are going unless you know where you are coming from. Modern European History 101 is a great idea. You could start as Dreadnought did, with the waning days of Queen Victoria and up through the modern era.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 10:54 AM
I wrote:

I think Pat Buchanan may have shot right over the heads of his readership with the reference to June 1914, which I suspect is not taught in every US schoolroom.

You wrote:

Sorry Andrew but you don't think at all but once again show your arrogance. The "blank check" is covered in US schools as part of history and the causes of WWI. I would never assume to make a judgment of the school system in Great Britain because it would be an uninformed one. So why do you insist of making comments about things that you have ZERO knowledge of.

You now say:

In New York state it is covered in the second year of high school (15 - 16 years old), there is no "nationally enforced curriculum" though most states comply to the standards set by the National Council of the Social Studies.

Is that Year nine, year ten or year eleven?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 10:59 AM
I don't seem to be able to find it here:

http://teachinghistory.org/national/new-york/21346

Perhaps you can assist me?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 11:28 AM
Larry, I seem to have had slightly better luck, and I can certainly see that "Causes of WW1" is a course unit:

quote:

A.World War I
1. Europe: the physical setting
2. Causes
3. Impacts
4. Effects of scientific/technological
advances on warfare
5. Armenian Massacre
6. Collapse of the Ottoman Empire
7. The war as reflected in literature,
art, and propaganda


Human/
Physical
Geography
Conflict
Nationalism
Imperialism
Diversity
Political
Systems
Cultural and
Intellectual
Life
Science and
Technology

Students analyze documents and artifacts
related to the study of World War I. They
should be asked to consider which events
of the first half of the 20th century were
turning points.
- What role did nationalism and imperialism
play in World War I?
- What role did technology play?
- To what extent were the issues that
caused World War I resolved?
- In what ways did World War I raise fundamental
questions regarding justice
and human rights?
- To what extent were World War I and
the Russian Revolution turning points?
- What role did women play in the war?
- To what extent was the collapse of the
Ottoman Empire like the fall of the Han
and Roman empires and the collapse of
the Soviet Union?
Why might the Germans, French, and
British view the causes of World War I
differently?
Suggested Documents: Erich Maria
Remarque,
All Quiet on the Western Front;
Mustafa Kemal,
Proclamation of the Young
Turks;
videotapes

unquote

but I don't see a reference to the system of treaties, which as Jamie correctly points out I grossly over-simplified in the interests of brevity, or to the role of the "blank cheque" within the diplomatic manoevrings that let up to the start of the war.

Nor would I expect to see one. I didn't say that US school students are ignorant of WW1; I said that I would not expect them to know about the "blank cheque". And indeed, why should they be expected to know that level of detail, just as a British year ten student knows there was an American civil war, but is unlikely to know about the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

(Curiously, however, he or she probably does know about the Johnson County War, because "The American West" is a detail study within the Schools' Council History Project curriculum! ;))

John Smith
11-22-2011, 11:36 AM
Are we any more certain about Iran's nuclear weapons than we were about the WMD's in Iraq?

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 11:37 AM
Look for the most part, American History course that are required, barely cover the basics. I enjoy ACB's posts.. I do not consider him arrogant at all. He is someone who has a different perspective on history that we all should consider. Yes,perhaps I came down on him about the treaties that existed pre WW1, but I won't say that he was wrong in what he posted. The only arrogant people here are those who don't believe anything they don't like. We have an educational system..Right! We put on our studies of American History only from our perspective..How dare us to question others.
Yes, we are arrogant.

Dutch
11-22-2011, 11:41 AM
God knows if the New York State board of regents doesnt meet acb's standards then ..... we're all retards

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 11:43 AM
Oh come on Dutch, you are a better person than that.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 11:57 AM
I'm quite happy for Dutch to go chasing after the straw man that he's set up for himself. I'm notb quite sure why he thinks I think that my American forebears were ignoramuses.

PeterSibley
11-22-2011, 04:25 PM
On reconsideration I think it's fair to say that any person interested in history would recognise the reference Buchanan was making .I also admit that a very large number of either Australia's or the the US's population would probably not get the reference although as Jamie notes the US system does seem inward looking ...as you would expect in a large and complicated country with it's own complex history .

The original point Buchanan was making remains, the Republican party members listed above do seem entirely happy to give Israel a pass to start a war that the USA (plus hangers on ) will finish .

A VERY strange thing to do .:(


Dutch..I don't think ACB does think we are all idiots. Actually, I sense that it is not a question of being stupid either. We take American History in the US in high school. If there is a mention of anything dealing with European policy, it is almost a footnote. I think a solid course in European history should almost be required even if it condensed and doesn't cover everything. A History Course titled Western Civilization covers too much info if it covers initially Rome and Greece etc. I mean a real course dedicated to Europe. Anything I have gleaned about my basic understanding of say the First World War, the Armada, the issues over religion (Spain and England) the Crimean War, Russian history, I got from reading on my own.From teaching in the UK, I found students more aware of American History than we are about European History. In fact, compared to overseas, we know squat..with a few holes punched in the tapestry because of individual, specific interests.

Bottom line, the US as a whole is too self absorbed.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 05:12 PM
acb thinks all Americans idiots-

well it appears we were smart enough to shrug off the beggar lice from the british isles :)

What exactly did YOU do about it?

This is a picture of my grandmother, Annie Caroline Craig - she was the model for her father, Isaac Eugene Craig, who painted this reasonably well known AMERICAN picture; the title unsuitably enough is "Peace".

He was the son of Oldham G Craig, son of Major Isaac Craig, of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, who bought the first lot in what is now Pittsburgh from the Penns in January 1784.

I may be more American than you are - whoever you are.

http://images.arcadja.com/eugene_craig_isaac-peace~300~10868_20100825_293_1198.jpg

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 05:20 PM
Andrew don't bother...Your heritage is yours, as mine is mine even with the warts we may have collected. etc. It took a long time and many books to be published that said anything close to nice about my ancestors.
I'd like to know though who the painter was..PM me if you feel so inclined.Criag I am sorry. I just don't recognize..A gap in my history of American Art.

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 05:26 PM
I have no idea who painted this.....
http://cdn.dipity.com/uploads/events/574c3da595038b25962e0839bfd4eefb.jpg

Osborne Russell
11-22-2011, 05:30 PM
H.R. 1553 declaring unequivocal “support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran … including the use of military force.”

It would be novel to have Congress declare a war (solely their prerogative, in theory) which the President opposed.

1. Evangelofascists screaming for war, led by Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry and Cain.
2. Obama declaring that said war is not in America's vital interests, flanked by Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan.

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 05:32 PM
I'm gonna look him up on google. Nice portrait...Had some sense in design, composition etc. Thanks..

Osborne Russell
11-22-2011, 05:37 PM
I may be more American than you are - whoever you are.

You can be a complete wad and be an American citizen. OTOH anyone, anywhere can be an American, philosophically. That's much more important.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 05:47 PM
On reconsideration I think it's fair to say that any person interested in history would recognise the reference Buchanan was making .I also admit that a very large number of either Australia's or the the US's population would probably not get the reference although as Jamie notes the US system does seem inward looking ...as you would expect in a large and complicated country with it's own complex history .

The original point Buchanan was making remains, the Republican party members listed above do seem entirely happy to give Israel a pass to start a war that the USA (plus hangers on ) will finish .

A VERY strange thing to do .:(

+1.

If you are interested in twentieth century history, as Buchanan obviously is, you know about the "blank cheque". If you are less interested you just know that Franz Ferdinand was shot by Gavrilo Prinzip.

Sorry for the diversion

Let's get back to our muttons.

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 05:54 PM
+1.

If you are interested in twentieth century history, as Buchanan obviously is, you know about the "blank cheque". If you are less interested you just know that Franz Ferdinand was shot by Gavrilo Prinzip.

Sorry for the diversion

Let's get back to our muttons.Yup and he died in prison from TB.Listen folks..The assassination was tech. a mistake. The Prince was diverted and did not follow the the route he was supposed to take. Was the assassin insane? Good question..He was jailed for being so. Was he killed, no..He died of natural causes.
Bottom line there are umpteen reasons why WWI started. Some have been posted, but that is about the equiv. of a footnote.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:07 PM
OK, Jamie... enjoy...

Alex Craig-Bennett, 9S
History homework, 26th September 2008



The Causes of the First World WarNobody knows what caused the First World War. Certainly, it was not just caused by Gavrilo Prinzip shooting Franz Ferdinand. Historians continue to disagree about it.
My father told me that, according to the historian AJP Taylor, who was popular when he was at school, the First World War was caused by the Russian railway timetable.
He also suggested that I start with the reunification of Germany in 1871
Then he said it was the Third World War anyway, because the Seven Years’ War and the Napoleonic Wars were world wars.
Finally he said that we must look at the causes of the first world war without looking at the war itself, because people had no idea what that war would be like and it changed everyone’s ideas about war for ever. We have to look through the eyes of people who had no idea of what the First World War would be, if we are going to understand why they behaved as they did.
It seems to me that the causes of the First World War can be considered under four headings:
Long term causes, such as alliances and diplomacy, over decades.
Medium term causes and technical factors, like battleships and railways
Short term causes, such as the situation in the Balkans
Immediate causes, such as Gavrilo Prinzip, and the failure of attempts to stop the war.
Taking each of these in turn:
Long Term causes:
· The reunification of Germany
. The reunification of Germany changed the European balance of power and displaced France as Top Nation in Europe. Germany had been divided after the Thirty years War into many weak states. The most powerful of these was Prussia The Prussian Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, had reunified Germany by starting and winning three quick wars, against Denmark, Austria and France. The idea of these wars was to eliminate the influence of these nations on states inside Germany, allowing Prussia to take over. He was concerned that France would seek revenge and he set up a system of alliances designed to isolate France and stop France gaining enough allies to attack Germany. The French people did indeed want revenge, and they wanted their two provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, taken by Germany, back in France. In practical terms, France was always going to be hostile to Germany.


· The Alliances
It is said that Bismarck’s system of alliances was fine as long as he was in power. Once he was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II nobody understood the system any more.













This cartoon is called “Dropping the Pilot”, it is a famous cartoon by Sir John Tenniel (who illustrated Alice in Wonderland) in the British humorous magazine “Punch” in 1890, showing Otto Von Bismarck as the ship’s pilot leaving the vessel and Kaiser Wilhelm as the unwise captain, which I got from the internet.
Bismarck was a very strong character; he probably had a poor opinion of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was a bit of a twit, and he may have let it show. After all, Bismarck had invented the Empire that the Kaiser was “Caesar” of!

The Alliances are a very complicated subject and I will summarise them.
There was one alliance that was not part of Bismarck’s System; this was the 1839 Treaty of London, by which all the “Great Powers” including Britain guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium. The idea was to stop Holland attacking Belgium and Luxembourg. For reasons that I will be getting to, this brought Britain into WW1.
The development of the alliances is shown on the next page which I have scanned from the Times Atlas of World History:

The first three of the four maps on this page show the system of alliances whilst Bismarck was in power in Germany. It can be seen that France is isolated and Germany is allied with Russia and Austria. By the fourth map, however, Russia has allied with France.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:09 PM
As can be seen on this page, Germany resumes alliance with Russia, Britain drops support for Turkey, and German naval expansion puts Britain into alliance with France. But this does not last – tension between Austria and Russia in the Balkans pushes Russia back towards France following the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 (see below).
By 1914, Europe has been divided into two armed camps and Germany will have to fight a war on two front lines – against France and against Russia.

This schematic drawing shows the alliances as they were at the start of the war.
As you see, the “fault line” runs through the Balkans.
You will also notice that the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) joins the Triple Alliance at the last moment, but it remained a Triple Alliance because Italy switched sides at the same time.

· The collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and competition between Austria and
Russia for influence in the Balkans
The maps on the two previous pages show this well. Britain had supported Turkey (“the sick man of Europe”) for fear of Russia getting access to the Mediterranean. However, Britain stopped doing so after the Armenian massacres (Moslem Turks killing Christian Armenians) and Turkey gradually lost control of south-eastern Europe, the area we call the Balkans. Russia (Orthodox Christian) and Austria (Catholic Christian) competed for influence over the new independent states that formed there.
Because of the alliances, any conflict between Austria and Russia in the Balkans could involve their partners. This is in fact what happened.

Medium term causes and technical factors

· Changes in social conditions.
During this period European countries were following Britain’s example and industrialising fast. Governments were worried about “unrest” among the working classes in the cities and they were afraid of revolutions. They thought that a war would be a good way to stop people from attacking their own government, by giving them a foreign enemy to fight.
This now seems a very foolish idea, but at that time nobody had any idea of what a modern war would be like. Wars were fought in late summer, after the harvest was got in and whilst the ground was still dry, and they were over in a few weeks.


· The German Navy Law of 1900
Germany was more powerful, industrially, than Britain. Britain was not worried by this at first, because Germany was not challenging the British Empire. However, Germany started to build a large modern Navy. The only possible purpose of this was to attack Britain and give Germany a large maritime empire like the British Empire, which would be a market for German goods.
An arms race between Britain and Germany followed with each side building bigger, faster, more powerful battleships.
Britain concluded that it was not safe to be isolated and following a conference on colonial problems (the “Entente”) Britain and France, the oldest enemies in Europe, formed an alliance (the “Entente Cordiale”) aimed at mutual protection from their common enemy, Germany.
The scale of the German naval expansion is shown here. You can see why the British got freaked out:






The naval strength of the powers in 1914







Country





Personnel





Large
Naval Vessels





Tonnage




Russia




125,000





10





738,000




France




168,000





12





828,000




Britain




549,000





54





27,400,000




Germany




544,000





51





25,700,000




Austria-Hungary




185,000





17





1,170,000

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:12 PM
There can be no doubt that the Entente Cordiale, an alliance between Europe’s oldest enemies, was caused entirely by Germany. A very well known sailing story, “The Riddle of The Sands”, published in 1903, is the first modern spy story; it was a huge best seller and contributed to the arms race because its plot turns on a German naval invasion of Britain.
· Railways and telegraphs and conscript armies
All European countries except Britain had large armies which they ran very cheaply because they used conscripts. All young men had to serve in the army for a year or two, and remain in the reserves until they were 35 or so. In the event of war, these armies would be “called up” – men in the reserve would kiss their families good-bye, leave their normal jobs, report to their regimental headquarters, join their regiments, be issued with uniforms and weapons and would then be taken to the border they were to defend by train.
All information would be passed by Morse code along telegraph cables. No radio, no motor vehicles. And no computers. Such a system needed a lot of work and it could not be changed quickly.
All armies of the time believed that they had to seize the offensive, strike quickly and give their opponents no time to build defences. This meant that there was very little time, once war preparations began, to stop them safely. This is the “Russian railway timetable problem” -see below
· The Schlieffen Plan
As can be seen from the maps, above, the alliance of France with Russia was a disaster for Germany, because Germany now had enemies on both sides.
The German Army had a plan for this, named after the General who designed it.
Since France was a modern industrial country, the French army was the bigger danger, and could be organised faster than the Russian army. Luckily, Paris is not so far from the border with Germany. Therefore, if Germany could capture Paris quickly, as had happened in 1870, within six weeks of the start of the war, the French would make peace and the |German army could be put in trains across Germany and sent to fight Russia.
However in order to do this, the Germans could not invade France across their border, because the French, remembering the war of 1870, had built fortresses along the border.
Therefore the German army decided to attack through Belgium, as the |French border with Belgium was not fortified. (However, they had forgotten the Treaty of London)
A map showing the Schlieffen plan:

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:12 PM
Short term causes

· The Secret Naval Agreement
Under this agreement, the Royal Navy would defend the Northern and Western coasts of France and the French Marine Nationale would defend British territory (Malta and Gibraltar and Egypt and the Suez Canal) in the Mediterranean. So if either country went to war, both had to do so.
· The Bosnian Crisis of 1908
This may be when things really went wrong.
The Ottoman Empire was declining, Austria- Hungary was weak, but Turkey was terminally feeble.
Austria annexed (grabbed) Bosnia from the Turkish Empire. At the same time Bulgaria declared independence from Turkey. These events made relations between Austria and Russia much worse. Serbia, which was already independent of Turkey, allied itself with Russia for protection against Austria.
Some Serbians wanted a “greater Serbia” including Bosnia and were prepared to use terrorism to persuade Austria to get out of Bosnia. (The same sort of thing happened in the 1990’s) These Serbians formed a terrorist organisation called the Black Hand Gang.
· The weakness of Austria-Hungary
The Emperor Franz Josef was very elderly. His only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, had shot himself at Mayerling in 1889. His heir was the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Franz Ferdinand was of course shot at Sarajevo, and Franz Josef was surrounded by generals who wanted to have a small war with Serbia. They counted on getting German support for this. They were terrified of a revolution and thought that a small popular war would take peoples’ minds off other things.
· The weakness of Germany
If we look back, it is amazing that Germany, a powerful modern country, did not stop the Austrians from being so foolish. One reason is that the German Government may have thought that a small war would help them. I also wonder if perhaps the German diplomats lacked practical experience. Certainly the Kaiser was very little help.
· The weakness of Russia
Russia has undergone a failed revolution in 1905, the Tsar, another nincompoop, is under the influence of his unpopular German wife who is under the influence of a weird man called Rasputin. A war could be just the thing to make the Royal Family popular again...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-22-2011, 06:13 PM
· The foolishness of France
Just as the war was about to start, President Poincare of France was asked if it could be stopped. He replied “That would be a pity. We will never have a better chance!”
Immediate Causes
Let us now go forward to the 28th June, 1914.
You can see that by now we have nations that are wanting to go to war with each other.
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a Serbian terrorist, outside a sandwich shop where his driver, having taken a wrong turn, had stalled the car. Inside the sandwich shop Gavrilo Prinzip, a really bad pistol shot, is having something to eat having given up on the attempt to assassinate the Archduke which has gone wrong. Seeing the car, he pulls out his pistol and fires on the Archduchess Sophie, the Archduke’s pregnant wife, and then shoots the Archduke himself.
Prinzip, having taken a cyanide pill that was too old to work, and having failed to shoot himself in the head, is arrested...
The assassins may have been armed and trained by Serbian army officers who wanted a war with Austria. Serbia had just had a change of government and a more moderate government has taken power – they wanted to bring it down.
Austria starts to investigate the murders. They find that the murderers had support from the Serbian Army. Austria asks Serbia to investigate. Serbia refuses. Russia supports Serbia.
Austria asks Germany for assurances of support under the Triple Alliance. Germany gives these. (note – the Alliance was defensive, not offensive. Germany would support Austria if Austria were attacked, but not if Austria was the attacker.
After two weeks of investigations, Austria demands that Serbia investigate and take action against the plotters. On the 23rd July the Austrian ultimatum is sent, Serbia is about to agree when Russia sends a telegram supporting Serbia. Russia may have been encouraged by France - |President Poincare had just been in St Petersburg for a summit meeting.
On the 26th Serbian soldiers enter Austria “accidentally”.
Franz Josef is persuaded to mobilise his army and declare war on Serbia on the 28th
On the 29th, Tsar Nicholas II starts the mobilisation of the Russian Army.
In Britain, the Royal Navy has been carrying out its annual exercises. Winston Churchill who is First Lord of the Admiralty orders the Navy not to send its reservists home but to move the Grand Fleet to its war station at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys.
Britain tries to get a European Conference organised but does not succeed.
On the 31st Germany mobilises against Russia.
On August 1st Germany and France mobilise.
On August 2ndt Germany occupies Luxembourg, the first step in the Schlieffen Plan
On the 3rd Germany demands free passage for its army through Belgium. Belgium refuses and Germany declares war on Belgium.
The German Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, admits this is illegal but says it is necessary.
On the fourth, the British Government deliver an ultimatum to Germany under the London Treaty of 1939.
Bethmann-Hollweg invites the British Ambassador to dinner and says he cannot believe that Britain will go to war “over a scrap of paper”.
Britain’s ultimatum expires at midnight...
The First World War was the biggest disaster in human history.
What started it?

S.V. Airlie
11-22-2011, 06:22 PM
I was looking for details ACB..not a microscope..Lordy..Info appreciated I wonder whether anyone else will bother to read it.Next we get a history of the Russian mess..Stay tuned?:)

PeterSibley
11-23-2011, 12:39 AM
Congratulations Alex Craig-Bennett ! Remarkable work !

Waddie
11-23-2011, 01:03 AM
ACB, you've GOT to remember where you are when posting in the Bilge.... :) If a comment CAN be taken the wrong way, it WILL be taken the wrong way.

The research you posted was well presented. I can remember discussing the Russian railroad schedule in college with a European History professor. I also remember discussing the idea that almost all of the participants favored war because they had old scores to settle and hoped to make gains from, what they believed, would be a short conflict. Little did they know........

Do you remember the French tactics of the pre war years ? Attack, attack, always attack. And with cavalry, no less. They didn't anticipate the Maxim machine gun....

regards,
Waddie

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2011, 02:26 AM
You can see from that Year 9 essay (by a keen student, with a bit of parental input) that the "blank cheque" hardly gets a mention in the welter of other causes.

PeterSibley
11-23-2011, 03:29 AM
ACB, you've GOT to remember where you are when posting in the Bilge.... :) If a comment CAN be taken the wrong way, it WILL be taken the wrong way.

The research you posted was well presented. I can remember discussing the Russian railroad schedule in college with a European History professor. I also remember discussing the idea that almost all of the participants favored war because they had old scores to settle and hoped to make gains from, what they believed, would be a short conflict. Little did they know........

Do you remember the French tactics of the pre war years ? Attack, attack, always attack. And with cavalry, no less. They didn't anticipate the Maxim machine gun....

regards,
Waddie

or barbed wire .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2011, 07:00 AM
I still think that Buchanan used an obscure reference.

PeterSibley
11-23-2011, 07:21 AM
Here are the first couple of paragraphs again ...perhaps he misjudged his readership .

High among the blunders of history was the “blank cheque” Kaiser Wilhelm gave Vienna, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, to deal with the Serbs as they saw fit. Five weeks later, Vienna cashed the check and declared war, after Belgrade refused to submit to all 10 demands of an ultimatum. Russia mobilized; Germany and France followed. And war came, the bloodiest in all of European history with 9 million soldiers in their graves.

Since June 1914, a “blank check” given by one nation to another for war has been regarded as strategic folly.
Thus it is startling to learn 47 House Republicans just signed on to H.R. 1553 declaring unequivocal “support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran … including the use of military force.”

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2011, 07:31 AM
No, I had missed his opening paragraph because you hadn't cut and pasted it! :D

S.V. Airlie
11-23-2011, 07:46 AM
We are way off topic, but that's okay. I appreciated the thread drift. Thanks..

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2011, 07:59 AM
Well, I should have read Peter's link in the first place instead of just reading the c&p! My fault.

But yes, I agree with Buchanan, issuing a blank cheque to a weaker ally is a really stupid thing to do.

PeterSibley
11-23-2011, 04:33 PM
It would be about as stupid as giving Australia a 'free cheque' to attack Indonesia with the implication that the USA would finish the job .Shudder !

Andrew... I should have included all of Buchanan's introduction but edited it to the 'relevant' bits . My mistake .

purri
11-23-2011, 05:21 PM
In truth from past events the US would (and has) chosen Indon over OZ.