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Old January 10th, 2017, 09:46 PM   #11
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I can't speak for the UK but the pro-neutrality political group in the US were the right, the left supported interventionalism early on, throughout the spanish civil war and into WWII, trying to give FDR more ability to support various govts fighting Hitler. They didn't get Republican support until after Pearl Harbor, which is what united both sides. The commies in America and many socialists were taking orders from Moscow and the COMINTERN which is why they didn't really start pressing until after Barborossa started.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 05:39 AM   #12

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Its all well and good saying these things with hindsight and from the safety and comfort of several decades away.

Your German relatives may very well have found themselves in field grey serving their country, as millions of Germans did.
+1. easy for peaceniks to support a 'good' war theoretically.

there were slackers etc in WWII; more I suspect than many realize. the media of the day certainly went all in and promulgated the everyone-is-in-this-all-together-now narrative.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 08:17 AM   #13

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Those on the left, both in the US and UK, were against the war rigt up until Germany invaded the SU, then suddenly they became great supporters. So these were not people who were concerned about the threat of Germany but were more concerned about the danger to the SU than they were their own countries.
The book Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate Biography by Robert Sherwood describes Hopkins going to give a speech on behalf of Roosevelt in NYC on June 22, 1941, the day Operation Barbarossa was launched. When Hopkins entered the venue, CPUSA members were picketing in protest Roosevelt's anti-Nazi provocations. When he left, the CPUSA had gotten word of Operation Barbarossa and withdrawn the pickets.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:08 AM   #14

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Those on the left, both in the US and UK, were against the war rigt up until Germany invaded the SU, then suddenly they became great supporters. So these were not people who were concerned about the threat of Germany but were more concerned about the danger to the SU than they were their own countries.
In the UK this was true of the relatively small number of Communist supporters, but the majority of the left wing had abandoned their pacifist views by 1938 and were supportive of military resistance to the Nazis.
In May 1940 the senior members of the Labour party within the British War Cabinet were the strongest supporters of Churchill in refusing to seek any peace treaty with the Nazis after the defeat of France. Those interested in a peace deal came from the right-wing of the British political spectrum.

Last edited by redcoat; January 11th, 2017 at 11:10 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:23 AM   #15

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"WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes...

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out."


Major Gen Smedley Butler USMC - won the medal of honour two times.

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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:25 AM   #16
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"WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

Major Gen Smedley Butler USMC - won the medal of honour two times.
He was a socialist, so that isn't surprising that believed such things.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 12:56 PM   #17

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In British politics, most of the supporters of the appeasement strategy regarding Nazi Germany came from the old members of the Conservative party. Churchill and the Labour Party, and most left-wing organizations, were in favour of intervention even before Hitler's invasion of Poland.

In the US, the non-interventionists of the 1930s came from the Anti-FDR right-wing crowd - mostly Pro-business, anti-New Deal Northern Republicans. They also had a lot of support from Americans of German ancestry in the Midwest regions.

Even by the summer of 1940, most polls made in US attests to the fact that most Americans believed that the war would come to their doorsteps sooner or later and a victory of the Axis would endanger the Nation. A brutal majority of the American public also supported military assistance to Britain during the Battle of Britain and putting on economic sanctions against Japan because of the invasion of China.

But nonetheless, non-interventionists, although a minority, were better organised and had a powerful presence in Congress. It took the surprise Japanese attack in Pearl Harbour to completely destroy the non-interventionist clique in Congress.

By having said that, leftists in general were not draft dodgers, pacifists or non-interventionists, they were mostly playing the drums of war, even as earlier as 1937.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #18
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But the point still stands that they were against war between Sept 39 and June 41. Their own nations came second to the SU.
The assumption here is that all leftists, anarchists, peace mongers, socialists are some how regimented to Moscow, which is far from true. Yes those card carrying communists often followed the Moscow line regardless but many also left the party of the back flips.

The Left is not monolithic, only this still enamoured with Moscow took that line which would not have been a majority of left. ( though the communist parties are the most identifiable and prominent of the leftist groups.) The anarchists always had fair bit of dislike at the very least for communists.

You are extending something that only applied to a small section oath left and applying it to all.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 02:29 PM   #19

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He was a socialist, so that isn't surprising that believed such things.
He was also a Major General USMC and a two time Medal of honour winner - a kind of warrior that mere mortals rarely get to meet.

That gives him more right than most people to have an opinion about warfare, imho.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 02:40 PM   #20
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He was also a Major General USMC and a two time Medal of honour winner - a kind of warrior that mere mortals rarely get to meet.

That gives him more right than most people to have an opinion about warfare, imho.
But he wasn't discussing warfare, he was discussing politics. He was a notorious leftist who resented his participation in the Banana Wars. Cry me a river. He pissed off so many people that there was a reason, even though he was one of the most senior and experienced Marines during the WWI time period, he wasn't invited to France by his peers to fight the Germans.

IMO, he also lied about being approached for the Business Plot. Its utterly ridiculous to imagine that a bunch of right wing corporate giants and politicians didn't do any background checks to realize they were propositioning a well known far left military officer (who NEVER attempted to keep his politics hidden) to overthrow a leftist presidency. Utterly ridiculous.
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