My thoughts while watching the movie Hamburger Hill which is about an American unit of soldiers ordered to take a hill in the Vietnam War. As movies go this movie was good, and as Hollywood movies go this movie surprisingly didn’t suck as it was generally free of the PC nonsense that infests 99% of Hollywood’s products.
Mostly I thought about the soldiers’ motivations. Why were they there? What was the purpose of ‘our’ intervention? Were the American forces actually trying to win the war, or was it merely a stop-gap measure like Korea, only hoping to halt the spread of Communism into another area? Right-wingers say we were held back and prevented from winning in both wars. Left-wingers supported limited intervention while a few rooted for the Communists. Both wingers, however, were following the same script for American foreign policy. That script was “no more Munichs”.
What was “Munich”? In the autumn of 1938 Adolf Hitler persuaded Britain, France, and Italy to acquiesce in the transfer of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Hitler’s new National Socialist Germany. This transfer included 3.5 million German speaking Sudetenlanders, who most informed people agree desired to leave Czechoslovakia and join Germany as Austria had done. The transfer also, incidentally, stripped Czechoslovakia of most of its border defenses. When Poland and Hungary submitted their own territorial demands on what remained of Czechoslovakia and Slovakia demanded secession from Czechia, the state disintegrated and German forces occupied what was left of Czechia and Moravia a few months later as there was no longer a government worthy of the name in this failed state that stabbed into the heart of Germany.
Given that Czechoslovakia was an artificial entity created by France in the Versailles Treaty in 1920 specifically for the purpose of preventing German reunification after World War I, and that no state of Czechoslovakia had ever existed in European history, it should be no surprise that it was razed by the combined efforts of all its neighbors after only 18 years, with a disgruntled Britain, France and Italy reluctantly confessing that it had been a bad idea from the beginning. Even the Soviet Union, streaming tears over the disintegration of its ally Czechoslovakia, where it was in the process of installing military air bases, helped itself to its last eastern fragment, Ruthenia, and then forced Finland in a brutal war to give up the Karelian Isthmus, and forced Rumania (peacefully this time) to give up northern Bukovina and Bessarabia. These latter areas brought Stalin within striking distance of Romania’s Ploesti oil fields, on which the German military was completely dependent. Only Hitler’s warnings prevented Stalin from occupying all of Finland–and southern Bukovina, which would have brought the Red Army even closer to Ploesti.
But the lesson that the Western global empires, meaning Britain, France, and the U.S., learned from the subsequent German occupation of tiny Czechia was not “we achieved peace in Europe by letting people have a say in who governs them,” but rather “we let Hitler have some territory and then he grabbed more.” The lesson that FDR in particular took was that “appeasement only leads to more demands” and this gradually transformed in American foreign policy into “if we don’t fight them now over there, then we’ll eventually have to fight them over here”, with “them” being whoever the current enemy happened to be, because totalitarian states like Hitler’s were “out to conquer the world” and supposedly could not be negotiated with.
In less than a year after “the Munich Betrayal”, France and Britain declared war on Germany over the minor city of Danzig, which was 99% German and had been part of Germany for centuries, and wished to rejoin Germany. The actual dispute was not even whether Danzig, technically an international territory run by the League of Nations but effectively dominated by Poland, would transfer to German control, but only whether the single rail line that ran through Danzig from Germany to Prussia could carry German citizens and commercial traffic without arbitrary interruptions and blockades by the Polish military. FDR, Neville Chamberlain of Britain, and France pushed the Polish dictator to reject all of Hitler’s proposals for a limited German jurisdiction over the rail line. Like the Sudetenland, Danzig, along with a vast strip of land, had been cut out of Germany and arbitrarily placed under the control of Poland, again with the express purpose of preventing a reunified Germany, and not because Poland had any ethnic interests in these territories, which were mostly German speaking.
Faced with Polish unwillingness to negotiate on even the smallest detail, Hitler rolled the dice and opted for war with Poland over the Danzig question, which like Sudetenland was merely a minor border conflict designed to rectify Versailles, which no one, including the Western powers, wished any longer to enforce. But FDR (US President Roosevelt) pushed Britain and France to declare war on Germany, promising one hundred percent support, economically and militarily. And, what was very strange — although Stalin attacked Poland from the East just a couple of weeks after Hitler attacked Poland from the West according to the terms of the Stalin-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact — the Western powers only declared war on Germany, and not on the Soviet Union. So the West went to war to liberate Poland which fell to the Germans in only three weeks, while the West by 1945 was still giving unlimited economic and military support to Stalin and the Soviets even while the Soviets occupied Poland and annihilated tens of thousands of Polish elites, first in Soviet-occupied Eastern Poland in 1940, then in all of Poland in 1945, all with the full cooperation of the West.
It was the Western global empires that turned these German border skirmishes into a world war. And it was the height of absurdity to assert that Hitler’s demand that a single rail line not be subject to arbitrary Polish military blockade, thus preventing Germans in isolated East Prussia from having basic food security, was somehow part of a plan by Hitler “to conquer the world”. But the U.S. soon joined the war, finally finding the excuse that FDR wanted when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor due to FDR’s unprecedented oil embargo and freezing of Japanese assets in the U.S., while ignoring Britain’s invasions of neutral Norway in April 1940, neutral Iceland in May 1940 and neutral Iran in July 1941. Ever since “the Munich Betrayal”, the dominant theme in American foreign policy has been “no more Munichs”, i.e., “we have to fight them over there because they are out to conquer the world just like Hitler which means they will eventually invade the U.S. if we ignore them.”
This was the rationale for intervening in World War 2, ignoring the fact that Churchill’s Britain and Stalin’s Russia were invading neutral countries one after another. This was the rationale for American intervention in the Korean War. And it was again the rationale for jumping into Vietnam, where every minuscule hamlet became a “strategic” necessity. All because Hitler was “out to conquer the world”, and if we don’t burn villages in Vietnam and carpet bomb neutral Laos, a tiny country that not one in a thousand Americans could find on a map, then Ho Chi Minh will invade the U.S. because he is “just like Hitler and out to conquer the world”.
In short, the whole “no more Munichs” argument is a straw man. The straw man was set up by FDR’s advisers in the White House during the 1930s, advisers who favored the Soviet Union and despised Hitler’s Germany, specifically Bernard Baruch, Felix Frankfurter, the spy Harry Dexter White, and Louis Howe, all Jews, not to mention Harry Hopkins, a Soviet sympathizer, and Alger Hiss, another outright Soviet spy. It was their influence over FDR that created the myth of “no more Munichs”, the myth that has propelled the U.S. into multiple foreign interventions ever since, conveniently forgetting America’s occupation of the Philippines and numerous Pacific islands and Hawaii and Alaska and Puerto Rico, and the corralling of ethnic Japanese in California into concentration camps in 1941 which were no different, when initially constructed, from the German concentration camps which later served the wartime propaganda myth of camps set up to deliberately massacre an equally mythical 6,000,000 Jews.
Just last week I was reminded of how deep the myth of “no more Munichs” has penetrated the consciousness of the average American. A friend of mine, over a casual lunch, proclaimed out of the blue that “we must stop Putin in Ukraine because he is out to conquer the world just like Hitler and if we don’t stop him over there, we will have to fight him over here.” I was staggered. Not that I expected different from my friend, knowing as I do that he has little interest in foreign affairs and depends on the mainstream media for his information and therefore entertains some very poorly informed opinions, like “no more Munichs” as a pretext for sending in the Marines to Ukraine to “stop Putin from taking over the world.” A very curious notion since if anyone is in the process of “taking over the world” today, it’s the U.S. and not Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
There are parallels between the 1930s and today. The conflict in Ukraine is a border war as Putin tries to reconstruct Russia into something like it was before the collapse of 1991, just as Hitler tried to reconstruct Germany into something like it was before it was dismantled by Versailles. Putin knows he cannot reclaim Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, not to mention the Baltic nations. Just as Hitler knew he could not reclaim the German-populated Tyrol districts that had gone to Italy under Versailles, and thought it best not to reclaim all of the disputed districts of Alsace-Lorraine from a defeated France, only partially. On the other hand, Hitler incorporated Austria by popular vote, just as Putin reincorporated Crimea by popular vote and has essentially reincorporated Belarus with little opposition. Hitler obtained the West’s cooperation in taking the Sudetenland but when he decided to take back German lands from Poland with the help of Stalin he encountered a war. Putin is attempting to incorporate Russian-speaking East Ukraine by military means, his ‘Sudetenland’, Ukraine being just as much a montage of strange ethnic bedfellows as Czechoslovakia had been and just as artificial. Until 1991, Ukraine also had never existed as an independent state but was known as Novorossiya, or “New Russia”, Tsarist Russia having occupied and colonized most of Ukraine in the 18th century, long before the United States even existed.
Neither Hitler nor Putin was/is “out to conquer the world,” but only to reconstruct their fatherlands along prior national lines. When a more general war broke out, Hitler was joined by Italy and Japan, all three countries late-comers to the global imperial era which enabled France and Britain and the U.S. to occupy vast swathes of the Earth’s surface with all of its resources, while the Axis remained critically short of resources. Without oil, Mussolini’s navy was stuck in port, unable to venture out to challenge the British Navy which burned oodles of Iranian oil from its military occupation of that neutral country. Without the small oil output of the Ploesti oil fields, Hitler’s tanks and aircraft, few as they were, could not keep defending the Reich against 3/4 of the world. Both Putin and Hitler are\were autocrats. Hitler explicitly overruled the Reichstag with his Enabling Act of 1933, dispensing with parliamentary obstructionism. Putin implicitly overrules the Russian Duma and imposes his will on the Russian nation, also dispensing with the chaos of parliamentary obstructionism of which the chaos in Washington DC is a perfect example.
So there are similarities between Hitler and Putin. But the differences are larger. Where Hitler was critically short of the resources needed to fight a major war, Putin has those resources in spades. An Allied blockade could prevent Hitler from equipping his military, and did. No blockade or sanctions could possibly deny Putin of the resources he needs for a major war; even the most advanced microchips can be had from China, if not today then soon, along with every consumer product that Russia might desire. There are similar parallels between Japan and China. Japan was short of oil and attacked Pearl Harbor to keep the U.S. at bay while Japan occupied the oil production facilities in Dutch Indonesia. Today China has the same problem: it too is vulnerable to oil boycotts or blockades. But Putin has all the oil that China could ever want and is a ready market for China’s manufactured products. True, it would take at least a decade to lay the infrastructure for Russia and China to collaborate, but Russia and China are neighbors. Germany and Japan were not and never had the slightest possibility of collaborating unless they both occupied the Soviet Union, which Japan could not do since it needed oil immediately and invading Siberia would not have met that need but would only have made its shortages worse.
So here we are, still fighting a ghost image of Hitler that never existed, a straw man created by FDR’s Jewish advisers and Soviet spies for the single purpose of maneuvering the U.S. into a war against Germany, but not against the Soviet Union, the darling of FDR’s Jewish advisers et al and the New York coastal elite that pushed for recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933, as soon as the Democratic Party gained power. I asked my friend “If Hitler was out to conquer the world, how do you explain the fact that he floated multiple peace offers to the Allies throughout the war, offering to give up almost all occupied territories? But they rejected every one of them.” All he could do was stare in silence since his college education and the MSM had never mentioned these facts to him.
It remains curious as to exactly why FDR’s advisers despised Hitler so much, while admiring and worshiping Stalin. Hitler outlawed usury when he came to power. The Soviet Union outlawed banks. Hitler avoided using the international banks but went around them in his economic international relations, concluding barter deals with South American countries, which FDR regarded as “America’s backyard”. FDR and his New York banker friends were outraged at being outmaneuvered in South America by Hitler. And the bankers wanted Germany stopped before other countries could outlaw usury. I don’t know if Stalin was doing barter-only international deals. Likely not, since he was busy building the largest military the world had ever seen for the express purpose of attacking Germany and the rest of Europe — beginning with the Ploesti oil fields in Romania — and exporting grain from a starving Ukraine to pay for this gigantic military, while inviting American corporations into the Soviet Union to help set up huge locomotive, tractor, tank and industrial plants in the midst of millions of famine-stricken Ukrainians. At any rate, no one in the U.S. complained about the Soviets and their massacres, their man-made famines, and their wholesale forced population transfers, while the entire New York establishment, both Jewish and Gentile, were mad at Hitler, the bankers for what was happening in South America, and the Jews ever since the London Daily Express published the headline “Judea declares war on Germany” on March 24, 1933, as soon as Hitler came to power and long before a single concentration camp was set up.
Whatever the true motivations, we remain stuck today with FDR’s “no more Munichs” myth. And American troops, which we may presume are already on the ground in Ukraine, are there for yet another rendition of this tired old tune.
Sin City Milla