Thursday 26 October 2023

Americans are the new Germans

Spike Milligan, I just discovered, said in his book 'Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall' that the Americans are the new Germans.

I have come over the last few months to see that he was right.

From Doug Bandow in American Conservative today:

'Biden also treated sanctimony as justification for the hyper-proxy war with Russia. “History has taught us,” said the new-found friend of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who offered to turn American military personnel into royal bodyguards, that “when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction.”

'One may be reminded of when Washington backed Riyadh’s bloody aggression against Yemen and Iraqi Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran. Of course, America has also launched its own unprovoked and unjustified wars, most recently against Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Tragically, over the last two decades, the U.S. has caused far “more chaos and death and more destruction” than Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea combined.

'Biden contended that “if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine.” Perhaps Putin secretly daydreams about playing Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin combined in conquering Europe. Yet, despite being in power for nearly a quarter century, he has done virtually nothing to put such a plan into operation. Even if he secretly harbored such ambitions today, who believes that he could succeed? His government botched the initial invasion of Ukraine and remains on the defensive 21 months later. If victory comes, whatever territory Moscow acquires likely will be modest and Russia will desperately need to recover economically. Imagining that a revived Red Army would accomplish for Vladimir Putin what no other dictator was able to achieve in centuries past is the triumph of fear over experience.'

This is by the baleful Victoria Nuland in Foreign Affairs of July/August 2020. It explains why American empire building to neo-cons like her seems idealism. 

'Today, Russia bombs hospitals and schools in Idlib Province to regain territory for Assad and uses the threat of new refugee waves to deter Turkey, European countries, and the United States from pushing back. Russian troops regularly test the few U.S. forces left in Syria to try to gain access to the country’s oil fields and smuggling routes. If these U.S. troops left, nothing would prevent Moscow and Tehran from financing their operations with Syrian oil or smuggled drugs and weapons. The U.S. footprint in Syria need not be large, but it cannot be zero, unless Washington wants to ensure that Putin emerges as the Middle East’s definitive power broker. Russia’s recent inroads in Libya, where it is supporting the forces of General Khalifa Haftar with weapons and advice, demonstrate that its appetite in the region is not sated—and why would it be, if relatively cheap investments buy it territorial control, influence, and the ability to violate international humanitarian law with impunity?'

Note how she sees it as important to prevent Russia from being a major power broker in the Middle East, as if this had anything to do with US interests. I suspect she thinks Israel's interests identical with America's, which is strange, and that Iran is a threat to Israel, when it is the other way around. But Iran is not Russia,  so it is pure empire building.

A friend of mine who was her colleague at the State Department said she got very angry when reminded that Assad's regime was the legal government of Syria and Syria had invited in the Russians. 


  1. Americans largely are Germans, come to that.

    Our success as an imperial power more resembles that of the British at their peak; but in those days the royal family largely was German. Did the British Empire start its decline when the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas became Windsors and started marrying at home?

    1. Marrying American divorcees did not do the Dukes of Windsor or Sussex much good.

    2. The Duke of Sussex belongs to the post-imperial era. It is hard to say how the swap of siblings caused by Mrs. Simpson affected the course of empire.

      I used to work in Baltimore, an easy walk from Greenmount Cemetery. Supposedly the Duchess of Windsor arranged to be buried with British royalty by threatening that otherwise the Windsors would be buried at Greenmount.

  2. Russia is going to win. It’s a money pit for the West and people are starting to realize this. Ukraine is running out of people and countries are getting tired of sending billions and depleting their military resources. They are also learning that they don’t have the industrial backbone to actually produce materiel to replace what they sent out.

    Democracy will lead to the elimination of Israel. Europe and N America have imported tens of millions of anti-semites and now they’re surprised to see this. What idiots.

    Italy is becoming Libya. Spain is becoming Morocco. Great Britain is becoming Pakistan and Bangladesh. France is becoming Algeria. Need I go on? I could.

    I don’t think Iran will get involved. The USA is odd because the Democrats who used to be doves now love war. Go figure. And they control all levers of society—including universities and the press. But every year fewer people respect those institutions. Are you aware that the US military cannot attract new people? The failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean that it’s time to pay the piper.

    1. I'm afraid this is right and Europe is finished.
      Like many educated Western women, I only managed to produce one sickly child when I was forty - with her health problems, she doesn't want to have children, so I don't have to worry about the world my grandchildren might live in - I just have to hope things don't deteriorate too much in her lifetime.
      I don't know whether it's a comfort to be childless at this time, or if it's not something the childless think about.

  3. Spike Milligan's war memoirs are magnificent. I read them when I was 12/13. The man was a genius.

    1. A nice (uneducated) young man told me Puckoon was wonderful. I tried it and couldn't see anything in it. At 14 I was crying with laughter at the early funny Evelyn Waughs.

    2. On his 62nd birthday he said, 'Any man can be 62, but it takes a bus to be 62A'. That is rather droll, I suppose.