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Russians to try to rewrite history on Sov Afghan War

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Very interesting.  Thank goodness that here in the US we would never allow such self-serving nationalist propaganda to flourish.  Oh, wait.....

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Sort of a whataboutism though isnt it?  We all know the US has done this - its also done the opposite and admitted to grievously bad stuff.  But why do you feel compelled instead of talking about the subject or President Trumps bizarre rant about it, do you immediately jump on a whataboutism comparison to America?  Part of the reason I posted this is because its frankly alarming how under Putin the Russians are steadily rewriting history, rehabilitating people like Stalin to a degree, and denying the facts that are proven  - i.e. the SU was really a de facto Nazi ally until the Nazis invaded them and WW2 wouldnt have begun in Poland when it did without complete Soviet complicity.

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I’m kind of with danfrodo.  Yeah you cited 2 countries rewriting history and yeah that sucks. It is however what people do including us. Hell our President rewrites history every day sometimes in multiple contradictory ways. 

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Yes but two wrongs dont make a right.  Just because our President sucks and is rewriting history doesnt mean people should be ok with it.  Its almost like we're seeing so much crazy nonsense we.re getting desensitized to what would be seen as outrageous before.

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And again, thats fine, but actually explaining an argument is better than saying - oh cool, not like the US doesnt do it though.  And this is relevant stuff - for example look at the massive shift that happened to German society because of WW2.  Imagine if they tried rewriting history - I dont think people would accept them saying 'Well you guys do it too!' People would just be disgusted.  So I guess then if I post links to holocaust deniers someone will defend them by saying 'well there are insane Americans so you shouldnt point out how despicable this is'?

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going straight to holocaust denial is a just a wee bit over the top dontcha think?  It is interesting that Putin chooses to do this now.  Trump's statement is just his usual "I don't really know a freakin thing about history but this sounds good".  Considering he is in conflict with most of his Generals now it isn't all that surprising.

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Not really - the point is made.  You're all over me today huh?  

Trumps thing is this - its obvious he cant shutup and has no filter. if hes thinking about russian and afghanistan and the maids in the room he.ll start yelling at her about it.  Hes also infamous for not reading, not knowing history, military, politics, etc.  So the real question is -  the subject hasnt been on tv or really been in the news, where the hell did this come from and who put this in his head?

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Lol somebody needs to keep you in line.  😁

one never knows with Trump but his recent positions on Syria, his conflicts with Mattis (which is where I think this particular statement came from) all reflect his frustration that involvement in the Middle East is one of those items where all choices are bad.  When he starts getting bad press on Fox and friends he probably starts banging his head on the wall. He doesn’t have a coherent plan on Iran if on the one hand he smokes the Iran deal and on the other gives them a free hand in Syria. He and Bolton are out of step as well as the pentagon. 

Back on Putin. This isn’t something new for him either. He has been rewriting a lot of history to buttress his own regime. Moscow apartment bombings ring any bells? 😎

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Posted (edited)

I was very surprised when I read that in the news. I've never heard anyone justify the Soviet intervention as a reprisal against terrorism, or pan the result of it on "tough fighting".

All Soviet expatriates, that I've talked to, tend to be very cynical about Afghanistan. At the time, it was a very unpopular war, and Soviet media did their best to hide it. The Brezhnev government was initially against it, and rejected 2 appeals by the socialist Afghani government. Andropov was against it from the very beginning. I remember a documentary referred to it as the "Forgotten War", because it was repressed from Russian history.

President Trump isn't attempting to re-write history -- he just doesn't like to proof-read. He should consider hiring an editor to spare him the embarrassment. This being said, I'm quite alarmed by recent historical revisionism, as well. Both the Third Reich and Imperial Japan are having their records expunged. In Japan, it is especially worrying, considering the people behind Unit 731 were never brought to justice and the genocide that happened in China is not widely known.

Recently, Putin government turned Nicholas II The Bloody into Saint Nicholas II. That's right, they canonized him. They canonized a man who caused WW1, pogroms, slaughters of protesters, and a revolution the world is still reeling from. I've even heard that to openly criticize the last tzar is seen as a religious infraction -- rather than common sense.  

It's a mad, mad, world.

Edited by DerKommissar

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Posted (edited)

Thats interesting DerKommissar because I thought the entire point and justification from the SU side was the 'Brezhnev Doctrine' which was that once a state went communist the Soviets would not allow it to 'revert' to something else? 

Old hat, like I said Putin has gotten them to be very defensive about Stalins image, the image of the SU in general, the KGB, Soviet complicity with the Nazis, really everything.  A lot of it tbh Im sure he does just to troll the west and be opposed to the west. I think in the end Putin is very pragmatic.  I think all the romanticizing of the SU; and kinda a *wink wink nudge nudge* yay Stalinism as well is just a way for him to play on a very Russian nostalgia for something most the people pining for it havent experienced anyways. 

 

The rise of the far right in Germany is worrying, but I still have a good deal of faith that we basically dragged their face in the mud and kicked them around enough and recently enough for it not to be the threat I could see it being in Japan - if you read the Emperors radio adress he makes it sound as if Japan is surrendering to save mankind from US destruction, and we let him sit on the throne the rest of his life.  We got really pragmatic about who our new enemies were and our old enemies were.  The worrying thing is Ive seen Japanese textbooks.  Its very insulting to the Russians and everyone when the US common narrative is WW2 was nonsense then the US came in sorted everyone out and saved the world.  But its more or less a harmless narrative vs the aggressors writing in their history book basically nothing about China or Korea, maybe mentioning Pearl Harbor in a vague sentence like we were already at war, and then spending a few chapters on nukes. It seriously reads like Japan was just minding its own business, suddenly was at war for no stated reason and bombed Pearl Harbor in a great feat few other nations have pulled off against the mighty US (huzzah!) and suddenly were terribly firebombed and senselessly nuked for no reason.  Shame on the terrible Americans.

There is a bit more to it than that, but seriously - the Japanese govt to this day wont just ignore appeals to adress or apologize for issues such as comfort women, no they'll forcefully reject them and deny that it happened.  Japan never had its Kohl falling on his knees in front of the Warsaw Holocaust memorial moment or anything like it. (It was Kohl right?)

Edited by Sublime

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Whoa, Sorry, My Dear Sublime, didn't mean to start a firestorm with that.  When I wrote it I was merely thinking of some of the misbegotten beliefs that many in my beloved USA hold about some of our past wars.  Nothing to do w Trump or anything current.  I was thinking more of so many americans thinking US nearly alone won WW2, which you mention above.  So many americans that still don't understand that Vietnam was a 'bright, shining lie' even after all we now know about Gulf of Tonkin, pentagon papers, etc.  So much history colored by nationalism, which is bad because it leads to making mistakes in the future. 

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oh I apologize then. theres seriously a group of people in every forum online now that are automatically Putin apologists no matter what and the opening shots without fail on anything like this reads almost exactly how your post would.  The term whataboutism ( I could be totally wrong ) I originally first heard in regards to how the Soviets and Russians argue with the West.

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Sburke, sorry, but  I have to persist especially because you've travelled a lot more than I and Ive never been to the Far East, am I that wrong about how Japanese culture adresses the issue if at all?  Especially vs Germany?  I purely think its a result of Germany being a 2 time loser in world wars and losing first in WW2 therefore letting the Allies fracture that much more by Japans fall (thereby determining how they were treated)

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I don’t disagree but you can call it what about ism or whatever you want I frankly get tired of Americans complaining about other people rewriting history. It becomes our knee jerk way to defend our “exceptionalism”.  Americans rewrite history just as much as most anyone else. The indignation rings hollow. 

Japan isn’t so much rewriting as something new, they have never held the same view as us about WW2. There are a lot of reasons for that  which are not just political but also cultural. Keep in mind Japan was an essentially feudal society at the time of the US civil war.  Americans have simply no idea how huge it was to even hear the emperor at the end of WW2 much less announcing a surrender. Japan then started to go through a transition that would have ended up with a significantly different Japan than we see now but it was stopped by....guess who.... the US govt.  so yes you can get upset at how WW2 is taught in Japanese texts, but as an American we partly own that. We put the war criminals back into power.  We supported the zaibatsu maintaining their grip on the economy.  We rewrote the history of post war Japan and washed our hands of it as long as Japan was our new ally against communism.  There are quite a few good books on this era “Embracing Defeat” is one. It also didn’t help that there wasn’t a political party to point to and blame where even Germans could say “well that was the Nazis”. In Japan the culprit was the emperor and the emperor was/is essentially a god. MacArthur himself led the effort to insure the imperial family was exonerated   

One other interesting item is the whole policy on war criminals. The nazis ran a huge system of deliberate genocide unlike anything before. How many nazis were actually executed?  920 Japanese were executed. Not saying they didn’t deserve it but one can see a disparity in action that is difficult to explain. Most people suck at really researching history and trying to fully understand the how and why. Americans are no exception. 

Pearl Harbor is a really good example. It has gained infamy as a sneak attack. The reality is that japan and the us were heading towards confrontation for well over a decade and the plan for Pearl Harbor was to have the formal declaration of war in us hands just prior to the attack.  Somebody in the consulate in the US screwed that up, but would the us reaction have been different if japan had declared war then bombed pearl a few hours later? Doubtful. Considering the situation of the two adversaries though it was a brilliant and daring stroke on Japan’s part. If I was Japanese damn straight I would own it and say war is hell screw your chivalry rules. We caught you with your pants down unprepared even though you knew things were escalating sucka.  Unfortunately it was an all or nothing move and they actually totally failed. A freakin bunch of old battleships (in no way intended to denigrate the loss of life of so many of our people) that couldn’t even accompany a carrier task force and the result of getting the us 100% behind a massive war effort.  Oops.  Yamato did warn the imperial council...   As to the firebombing of Japanese cities  this is where we practice whataboutism.  Japan did x so therefore we are justified in waging war on civilians massively. Read about the Tokyo firebombing.  100,000 people in one night incinerated. A million left homeless. Classic American response is “well they started it” reflecting a really poor understanding of US/Japanese history. 

 

Long winded enough? 🤮

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Posted (edited)

Well more than they started it Ill end my argument - and really I agree with most everything you said - by saying you can read a lot into peoples intentions by jow they treated those they captured, conquered, or when they were winning. Like how the Germans treated occupied countries or the Japanese. It gives a good indication of how they would have acted had they won. Even how the Soviets acted, versus how the US/British acted.  You cant tell me if the Japanese or Germans had one there would have been no help, it would have been boot to the neck subjugation.  Any effort to rehabilitate that image or whitewash it is despiscable. Btw Ive always thought McArthur was a prima donna and by Korea a madman, and I know all about him turning Japan into his own little fiefdom.

 

But yes long winded enough. I wanted a conversation damnit.whats wrong with that?

Edited by Sublime

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well there are definitely some negative unique things about Japan and occupation.  There are very few countries as homogeneous as Japan and that insularity is just the beginning of their view of anyone non Japanese.  Hell even now I have had the wonderful experience of trying to work with employees in the same company where I am literally doing stuff FOR them and they still mistrust my perspective because I am a foreigner who doesn't know how things work in Japan as if the rules of physics were somehow different.  And that is when they actually like you!  :D  Still I do love the place and it is one of my favorite places to visit.  

As an American you should also be a bit more realistic about how the US has treated other people, even allies.  Yeah Japan and Germany were bad, but the US has a very long history...well relatively anyway of relations that were not so good.  Beyond even the nature of the conquest of North America we bolstered governments around the globe (and still do) that supported our corporations and those governments did horrendous things.  We can't pretend we don't have a role and the list of places who have felt that type of impact is a significant part of the globe.  You want to talk boot to neck subjugation there is more than ample material.  There is nothing unique about Germans or Japanese that makes them so different than us that somehow they are capable of a level of brutality we are somehow immune from.  It was in our interest that Japan and Germany get back on their feet as part of the Cold War.  Would we have been so altruistic if there had not been a threat from the USSR?  I am not so sure.  Our generation is significantly removed in a lot of ways from those in the 1940s and the lense we view things from colors our view that what is true today was true then.  

Same goes for others.  Britain has the uncomfortable distinction of having been the world's biggest drug dealer and yet it is the Chinese who are demonized for the boxer rebellion.  Heck the British Empire was built on the opium trade.  But those were Chinese addicts so no one cares. 

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so getting back to your original post.  Skip the Trump one, that is just the craziness of our new reality.  Putin's moves is a topic maybe worth a conversation, but do you consider that as something new or just the latest aspect of his disinformation/revisionist history program?  The linked article is kind of blah.  No real analysis beyond the general stuff.  It does make one wonder why he would rehabilitate the image of a war with such a negative impact on the Soviet Union where the generation that experienced it is still very much a part of the active population.  It would be roughly comparable for the US to try and rebuild an argument for the Vietnam war.  WW2 stuff you can get away with a bit more as that generation is fading and historically it was a huge achievement for the Russian people that a lot of the negative aspects of their leadership can be whitewashed over.

If I were in Putin's shoes I don't know if I'd rehabilitate the whole war, but I would definitely expend effort painting the US as the creator of the Islamic insurgency.  Yeah it is a false narrative but there are enough seeds there to plant something to make the US look bad. More interesting right now is what may be developing in the Saudi/Russia relationship.  Between the Kashoggi murder and US withdrawal of support for Yemen there are some opportunities for Russia to expand.  Problem for Russia is they are straddling two avowed enemies, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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Oh my, now mention of MacArthur.  I dislike him more than almost any american I can think of.  Wouldn't have N Korea mess at all if he hadn't thrown away a perfectly wonderful victory.

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I linked the article for purposes of actually having a citation for my post versus being accused of just making $hit up. I actually have to google the NYTimes and WashPo article names to read them free and find deeper discourse on the subject.  Still they do good work for "hey maybe you should look at this!" Stuff.  I cant simply remove Trump.  For Putin its a mixture of both - everyone seems to forget he had made field grade rank in the KGB before the SU fell - most of his life still at this point was probably still lived in the SU.

About Trump I cant dismiss these views - sorry but as Rachel Maddow famously said about WH officials asking the Pentagon about Polish incursions into Belarus in early 2017 (right when the Russian army started massing on the Belarus/Russ border) - this type of political conspiracy theory doesnt exist in the wild in the US, it literally is just parroting what the Kremlins current line is.  Im really starting to think the Russians got dirt on Trump.

As far as the US and protecting Tropicana and Sunoco etc. Do you remember how we privately started talking? Im not as ignorant as you think. Im not gonna spill beans on other peoples business but you know the US government (or a government under them in my case) directly took my freedom away for some suspect reasons sometimes. Other times it was deserved.  I personally despise "the man" as Im pretty low on the income scale, have a record and shady past, etc.

Still you simply cannot compare even how the French and British or the US in the Phillipines treated subjects (which was bad to terrible) to outright slavery and raping pillaging your women (both Axis, and outright extermination of entire races - Nazis)

Do i think all humans could potentially reach the same darkness? Of course! It just takes the right events to mold things that way. Does it mean thats what happened? No. A man could murder someone and look like me down to height weight strength and likes and dislikes.  Does that mean because I technically could have the same evil acts in me somehow in the future I should be judged the same? NO!

Danfrodo - yeah McArthur really really annoys me. Arrogant as hell. He annoys me like Monty annoys me with the smugness. Same with Mark Clark who i unfortunately share a last name with. He literally would make press release people rewrite 5th army in to General Mark Clarks 5th Army

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On 1/4/2019 at 11:20 AM, danfrodo said:

Very interesting.  Thank goodness that here in the US we would never allow such self-serving nationalist propaganda to flourish.  Oh, wait.....

If you are referring to the American Civil War then I am inclined to agree I find American history textbooks uncomfortably subjective (to put it mildly) regarding this subject.

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Nik Mond -- all our wars have nationalist mythology springing out of them.  I hadn't thought about civil war when I said that.  In what way do you see the textbook history subjective?  I know there's a whole world of mythology trying to say the war was not about slavery, which doesn't even pass the laugh test (not that it's funny that such propaganda still lives).  Everyone at the time, including some of the state constitutions, clearly state that it was all about slavery.  Later some clever marketing types rebranded it as some ridiculous "war of northern aggression" and that it was about "states' rights".  Yes, states' rights to do what?  Make coffee?  have state fairs?  No, state rights to enslave human beings and treat them as property, with rights equal to farm animals (meaning none).  The nearly 100 years of oppression & Jim Crow to follow rather put the lie to the whole thing rather emphatically I would think.

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 10:20 AM, danfrodo said:

Very interesting.  Thank goodness that here in the US we would never allow such self-serving nationalist propaganda to flourish.  Oh, wait.....

It's part of having Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press.

Yeah, I know some people don't like freedom, but what can you say?

You take the good with the bad and simply enjoy the fact both exist at all.

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