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View Diary: Threading the needle on Syria and Iran (69 comments)

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  •  Recent scholarship that (0+ / 0-)

    ...has examined the archives of the US and former USSR have challenged the conventional view about the possibility for peace after World War II and the notion that it was the USSR's aggressiveness that set the tone for that period.  The Republican move for isolationist to interventionist, best symbolized by Richard Nixon's rise and the 1946 Congress were the domestic political pressure for aggressiveness.  But so also was the business community's pushback on the labor gains of the 1930s and 1940s, wanting to tar unions with the "enemy" label.  And from a strategic view, the worst influence was the Cold-War long career of Paul Nitze and the emergence of the defense liberals like Scoop Jackson and Harry Truman.  And then there was the disastrous foreign policy of anti-union and South Carolinian, James F. Byrnes, the Secretary of State in the early Truman administration.  FDR could control him; Truman deferred to him.

    Both James Carroll and Oliver Stone have written popularized books based on that recent research.

    The Soviet Union's situation in Eastern Europe is that they wanted a buffer zone to lengthen the time of another aggressor's ability to reach Russian territory.  Eastern Europe was that buffer zone.  US exceptionalism would never allow Mexico or Canada to be other than an ally or neutral, but that standard never applied for an essentially expansionist US self-consciously (if your read the foreign policy arguments of the time) taking over the responsibilities for the British Empire.

    The United States acted like it and it alone had won the war in both theaters and ignored the fact that 8 million Russian and eastern troops helped secure eastern Germany and Eastern Europe, which prevent the sort of ethnic meltdown that happened in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  It was the US that was strutting around with its atom bomb, acting like that ultimate weapon gave it the right to rule the world.  That is apparent in the records, but that is not how folks in the West experienced it.  Nor folks in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.  One of the advantages of not having the war ever hit the US mainland; people couls look at our intact cities with envy and longing.

    The first punch was actually the intervention in Greece's civil war.  Standing up rulers in Eastern Europe friendly to the Soviet Union was no different from the US and UK standing up rulers friendly to US/UK interests in France and Western Europe.  The issue at the end of WWII was occupation of Europe by the UK, US, and Soviet Union long enough to restore local order.   The Allied occupation of the Western zone of Germany lasted into the 1950s.  It was when occupation ended in Western Germany that Hungarians sought an end to occupation in Hungary in 1956.

    The metaphors of "first punch" and "start a fight" is a very American view of how diplomacy and international relations work.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 11:23:21 AM PDT

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