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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

prejudice « Previous | |Next »
July 2, 2004

yeah, I know it is a lefty critique of the US as a thug in international affairs. I accept that it is an inaccurate representation of globalism and empire.

CartoonLeunig8.jpg
Leunig

But it is fun. Despite Tim Blair's view about humorless lefties, Leunig raised a smile and then a laugh. It is Friday after all. The end of a long and hard week of wrestling with political things.

We placard-waving, anti-imperialist lefties can smile too you know.

For those who want something more serious and balanced on a Friday try this.

I get my rocks off from reading this. Tis about time the roll back started.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:23 PM | | Comments (20)
Comments

Comments

Gary, if this piece of crap is your defintion of "fun," then your sense of humor is in dire need of a complete overhaul.

VOS,
It would appear that you do not think highly of Leunig.

Now why would that be? Because he does not agree with your values and politics?

I'm quite happy to post good cartoonists from the right on public opinion.

Just give me some names and links and I'll check them out.

I'll take that bet, Gary.

Go to "www.refdesk.com," which IMHO is the best homepage out there. Scroll down until you see on the right side a link to political cartoons.

Then, check out Michael Ramirez who draws for the LA Times. He's outstanding.

One of his latest gems appeared at the time of the DDay anniversary. It shows American troops hitting the beach at Normandy. One soldier says "Europe will never forget the sacrifices made today." Another GI replies "Wanna bet?"

You should also look at Mike Lester, who draws for a small paper in Rome, Georgia.

We'll see if either of these graces the pages of your weblog

VOS

It should be remembered that the US did little to help Europe during WWII. When Germany invaded Poland, England and France had the guts to stand up to Hitler and declare war - Did the US? No

When France was invaded the British supported them but did the US declare war - No, they were too gutless.

When The battle of Britain was on, and Hitler threatened an invasion of Britain in Operation Sealion, Churchill was in his bunker pleading with the US to join in. Did they? no. They were willing to stand by and see Britain invaded.

When Hitler invaded Russia and the Russians pleaded with the west to open up a second front in Europe - did they, no, the US wanted to see the Russians lose and damn the consequences.

Did the Americans even give arms to help the Russians, no, they sold them arms - most of them unusable but still chargable meaning the US made a huge profit out of the Nazi atrocities.

The US "came to help" only after Stalingrad was over and the battle of Kursk won which destroyed the bulk of German Armour. Only when the Russians had pushed the Nazis back thousands of miles and they were almost in sight of Poland - then the US attacked Europe.

By D-Day the war had already been won.

D-Day was not about defeating the Nazis - it was to stop the Russians winning the war and taking all of Europe.

And how did the US repay its allies - It demanded billions from the Russians and gave it to the Germans

So Europe owes the US nothing from WWII.

And the only lesson here, is that the US is only brave enough to attack 3rd world countries.

Nice sense of humour you got Gary. And nice friends you got.

What else you been getting your rocks off on?

Ah, the Russians won the war did they? Anything to keep the illusion going old son.

Needless to say if you knew anything at all you'd know that the main help that the US gave Russia was in trucks and fuel- if it wasn't for that, the Soviets would not have been past Kursk in June 1944. Krushchev himself admitted as much.

The victory in the Second World War was a united effort. We could win the war on terror if we had a united effort too. But then, the left was opposed to the War on Hitler too until June 1941... I wonder why...

SCOTT!!! *tsk tsk!* So bitter, and so inaccurate. The atlantic convoys barely managed to keep food in mouths, let alone fuel in trucks. Best research your WW2 history a little closer, old son.

At what points during your reading of this cartoon, Gary, did you first begin to "smile" and then "laugh"? I mean, there's no joke here; I'd be stunned if Leunig himself expected laughter in response.

"Humourless" was perhaps an understatement. "Sociopathic" might be closer to the mark.

Tsk tsk Tim,
you are so literal in the way you read images.Always reading an image in terms of straight political content.

Images refer to other images as I pointed out here. Remember that one?

This has comic book written all over it. The big bad ogre figure who goes around stomping on everything and destroying it.

Cleverly done, don't you think?

Scott,

I never said anything about WW2, the Russians and the US. Nothing in that post had anything to do with revisionist history re WW2. So stop putting words in my mouth.

My rocks off link was to the US judiciary putting constraints on an imperial administration because Bush & Co had steppped way over the mark in their treatment of prisoners taken in the war on terror.

Let me repeat some of that article:

"...the Bush Administration suffered on Tuesday a wholesale collapse of its legal and moral claim to be able to subject enemy combatants to "indefinite detention" without civilian judicial review. By a process of ill-conceived surrogacy, this has been the stance of the Howard Government as well. It is a position whose bankruptcy the US Supreme Court laid bare this week.

The court delivered judgements on three cases, two involving explicit confrontations between the executive's authority in time of war and the judiciary's adherence to due process."

Nothing to do with rewriting the history of WW2 at all.

It is all about Bush and Howard trashing the rule of law. Since freedom and democracy depend on the rule of law, the contempt the imperial presidency and its boot-licking deputy sheriff have for democracy is exposed for all to see.

Scott,
I cannot let your WW2 revisionism slip by.

You say "the left was opposed to the war on Hitler too until June 1941."

Huh!

So the German left was singing along with Hitler during the 1930s?

What about the French left? Were they not a part of the underground resistance fighting the Germans and the Vichy Government formed by the right in the 1940s?

And the British Labor Party stayed neutral until June 1941 As did the Australian Labor Party?

Who are you trying to fool with your illusions?

Niall is right. You need to temper the historical denial of your political partisanship with some historical research.

Gary:

The French left actively opposed their country's involvement in WWII. In fact, Moscow instructed the French Communist Party to remain inactive until June 1941 when the Nazi invasion of the USSR took place. French communists were actually under instruction from Moscow to sabotage war production through strikes throughout late 1939 and 1940. After all, Stalin had signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Hitler in August 1939, and he didn't want to do anything that might rock the boat with his newfound Nazi friend.

Moreover, similar sentiments were to be found within the lefts in Britain and the United States. In the US, the CPUSA (Communist Party USA) was vehemently opposed to American entry in the war until June 22, 1941. Once Operation Barbarrosa commenced and the German Army began rolling into the USSR, all these commie isolationists suddenly did a 180 and began demanding that the US go to war with Germany.

So, sorry, Gary, but Scott is largely correct, and you, as usual, are wrong.

Niall and Shaun are on thin historical ice, as well, when they claim that the Anglo-American war effort was a sideshow. Take for example the largest tank battle in history, Operation Citadel, the German counterattack at Kursk in the northhern hemisphere summer of 1943. The Germans were on the cusp of breaking through and winning a battle that would have shifted the balance of power on the eastern front back in favour of the Germans. But, then, the Briits and Americans invaded Sicily in the midst of the Kursk battle, and Hitler ordered several key armoured divisions transferred from Russia to Italy to combat this new Anglo-American threat. With their forces denuded of heavy armour, the Germans lost the battle of Kursk and never regained the initiative on the eastern front.

The American strategic bombing offensive in 1943 against Germany also forced the Luftwaffe to transfer its best daylight fighter squadrons to home defense against the US B-17s. This shifted the balance of air power on the eastern front in favour of the Red Airforce, which also used many American aircraft. Moreover, the tremendously high attrition within Luftwaffe fighter ranks during the daylight air battles over Germany ensured that the German Air Force was a spent force by early 1944.

Finally, not only did the Anglo-American Italian campaign tie down a large number of German divisions that could have made a dramatic difference on the eastern front, but the same is true of the German units stationed in France to repulse a crosschannel Anglo-American invasion. This is particularly the case where 10 Panzer Divsions stationed in France were concerned.

When the Americans and the Brits finally broke out of Normandy and closed the Falaise Pocket in August 1944, over 200,000 German troops were killed or captured as well as a large number of tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery pieces and other weapons. Yet, at this time, the Red Army was still in Poland, cynically letting the Germans finish off the last remnants of the Polish resistance who had risen up against the Krauts upon the approach of the Soviets.

The contribution of the Americans and British was essential to the demise of Germany. Without the western Allies the Russians would never have defeated Germany. Moreover, it was the defeat of the German offensiive against the Americans during the Battle of the Bulge that finally finished the Wehrmacht as an offensive force.

I realize that lefties love to extol the virtues of the Red Army and to denigrate the achivements of the US and British forces. But, in fact, the victory over Germany was a joint affair that would have been impossible without the contributions of all the Allies.

Vos,
you are defining the left as the Communist party.They took their directions from Moscow. These parties were a minority in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Your definition leaves out the social democratic parties or socialists. It does not recognize the big differences within "the left".

Tis a strange (reductionist) definition of 'the left' that you and Scott are working with.You make words mean whatever you want them to mean.

eg., your reductionist definition of "the left" is totally at odds at how you define the left today when the Communist parties have mostly gone from the scene. Your ire is now directed at the social democrats and lefty liberals.

Who then peopled the resistance in France against the Nazi's? The Right? Give me a break. They had gone fascist.

Gary:

And you are being just as simplistic in your characterization of "the Right." Churchill, after all, was a quintessential conservative. And, where'd we all be without him?

You are making the mistake of superimposing gradations of the contemporary left that, while they existed 60 years ago, were not nearly as well developed or pronounced.

Back in the 1940s, the political left in the United States was dominated by the communists. And, while you had a socialist PM (Leon Blum) in France, he was forced into a coalition government (the Popular Front) with the communists in order form a government. The communists were an extremely powerful force in the French political scene.

Moreover, the de Gaulle was certainly no leftie, and he personified resistance to German occupation throughout the war.

So, yes, the resistance during the first year of occuapation was "peopled" by non-leftists, because the French communists were under strict orders from Moscow to collaborate with the German occupation. That communist collaboration continued until June 22, 1941, the opening of Operation Barbarossa.

The far-right collaborated as well, with Petain serving as the head of the Vichy government. But the Vichyite collaborators were largely drawn from the ranks of loony tunes anti-semitic fringe groups like "Action Francaise."

Of course, we must also mention the vast numbers of ordinary French who collaborated with the Nazis, not for reasons of ideology, but for pragmatic and mercenary reasons.

But, your attempt to portray resistance to the Nazis as uniformly of redish hue is simply incorrect, and ignores the ideologically motivated collaboration of leftist groups prior to Barbarossa.

VOS, none of us doubted Winston's place in the spectrum, nor that de Gaulle was also of the right.

But Churchill got the leadership because British Labour refused to serve in any wartime coalition led by Chamberlain or Halifax.

Some of the left got it right.

Don is right, VOS read your history, if any election had been held in britain during WWII Atlee would have been voted PM.

And yes, the soviets did win the war in Europe.

Sorry, Shaun:

But for all the reasons cited above, your beloved Stalin would not have prevailed without the active assistance and contribution of the western Allies.

Don - I agree that Halifax was an unsavoury character. But, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Gary was making the rather argument that opposition to the Nazis was uniformly of a leftist hue, and that

"The Right [in France]? Give me a break. They had gone fascist. "

I was merely demonstrating that many political conservatives were active in the fight against Nazism. And, as for Shaun's ipse dixit that British Labour would have won an election in 1941-44, I categorically disagree. They British people would have stuck by Winston. They only reason why they voted him out in 1945 was that the war in Europe was over, the war in the Pacific was always a sideshow for the Brits, and thus the people felt that a different government with different priorities for peacetime was in order.

But, voting Churchill out in the middle of the war? Balderdash!! Remember, Winston was voted back in to Number 10 during the Korean War.

I just came across this little snippet that discusses the numbers of German troops stationed in the West prior to D-Day to defend against an Anglo-American invasion. Quite substantial numbers that don't even include the over 100,000 more Germans fighting in Italy.

Sorry, guys, but Stalin would have been up a proverbial creek without the Americans and Brits.
----------------------------------------------------------

"The British and American scheme known as Operation Fortitude worked, persuading Germans a huge army commanded by General George Patton was left behind in England on D-Day, ready to stage the real assault on the continent on a later day at a different site. The belief the landings on five beaches of Normandy were merely a feint was firmly held by Hitler and the German high command for weeks after D-Day. They feared a larger attack near Calais, 150 miles away, at the shortest point for crossing the English Channel, or maybe in Belgium or the Netherlands, or even in Norway. As a result, nineteen German divisions and more than 500,000 men were deployed near Calais, and more than 372,000 were kept in Norway to ward off a fictitious joint Anglo-Soviet operation."

I think if the USSR had lost the war against Germany, they would have lost it in the first five months. Either Hitler would have got his knockout blow against Moscow, or he would have eventually lost the war. Stalin ended up moving much of his factories east of the Urals, so they were out of the range of Germans.

But without the U.S., they probably would have won the war a lot later - maybe the last 40s. There were also a lot of shipments via Murmansk.

Bagging the U.S. for their late entry doesn't help here. Remember that the Americans were going through a little bit of Isolationism? Roosevelt had enough idea on the ball to get Lend-Lease - but it was going to take an authorization by Congress to get their war on.

VOS: I prefer Wikipedia. I did check the cartoons. It's a shame that many of them (on both side of the left and right divide) were too heavy handed to be funny. But there were a few gems here.

I did like Gary's "Goya" picture as well. Shame about the trolls. I would have thought that most adults would have been able to distinguish between actual anti-semitism and an unsavory picture of a war criminal.

Peter:

I disagree with your assessment of the outcome of the German-Russian campaign without the western Allies. You say that the if the Russians were to lose, they would have folded after the frst 5 months. But, again, without the need to station so many troops in western Europe, Norway and North Africa, the Krauts would have been able to both conduct their southern offensive through the Ukraine in the summer of 42, as well as renew the campaign to take Moscow. The Russians wouldn't have been able to defend on two strategic fronts and Moscow would have fallen, along with the Crimea and the Don basin.

Sorry, but without the Americans and Brits, the Nazis would have rolled all the way to the Urals, if not beyond.