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One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 04:44:03


Ace"TheAmericanDream"Boogey
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I am by no means a history buff, I am however intrigued by the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. By talking about these conflicts with friends much more knowledgeable than myself, I have noticed that there is a theme of cheering for the losers or armies widely viewed as "the bad guys"(The Confederacy, The Axis). At the very least, people interested in military history have a predilection for "What If" senarios.
While I understand how much these conflicts have effected the world today:
A:) Are losers in conflicts generally classified as villainous?
B:) Is there an implicit racism in suggesting that "The Nazis could have won if..." or "Longstreet's defensive style could have won if..."?
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 11:56:24

Tacticus 
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A;) Yes because the victors write the history books

B:) No
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 12:36:20


Ironheart
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A)yes
B)don't get the second one but because of what they did are morally wrong now they are viewed as villains
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 13:20:07


x 
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I'd like to hear from someone in a country which was on the losing side of WWI. I don't think either side was especially noble in that war. Do they consider their countries to be the villains in that war?

I also think there's something a little villainous in staying neutral during WWII, even though the full extent of what the nazis were doing wasn't known.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 13:34:12


Richard Sharpe 
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How is there possibly racism, implied or otherwise, in going through a hypothetical situation in such a manner?
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 16:08:13

RvW 
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|> A:) Are losers in conflicts generally classified as villainous?

Generally, yes (for the reason Tacticus gives), but not always. Think about the conflict between the European settlers (or invaders, depending on your point of view) and the American Indians (in Northern America) and the Mayas and Incas in Middle and Southern America.

|> B:) Is there an implicit racism in suggesting that "The Nazis could have won if..." or "Longstreet's defensive style could have won if..."?

Why would there be? Is there implicit racism in noting the Nazis *did* win just about every battle in the first year of the war?
I think you're mixing up a few things:

- There's a rather huge difference between "they could have won" and "I wanted them to win"...
- Discussing the battlefield has little to no relation with discussing Nazi politics (for instance, discussing how they might have repelled D-Day in no way, shape or form means you're advocating concentration camps).
- There's a well-known logic error where people consider something bad, *solely because* the Nazis did something the same way. For instance, in an economic crisis it can be a good idea for the government to invest in major infrastructural works. It is utter bullshit to object to that simply because Hitler did it (to clarify: he built a massive network of highways (Autobahn)), after all, the USA did the same thing at approximately the same time (Hoover Dam for instance).
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 17:51:47


NecessaryEagle 
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@X any war fought on foreign soil is inherently not "noble". Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's necessarily the wrong thing to do, but there's nothing "noble" about attacking someone in their homeland. "honor" would be a totally different question however, as sometimes attacking hostile people's in their own land is the honorable or "right" thing to do, even though it almost always leads to civilian casualties, if it's under the guise of saving many more people (ether their lives or from oppression).
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 18:25:33


Richard Sharpe 
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Blast... so it's not noble to defend another nation against in invading country? Interesting... I guess WWII was an ignoble cause.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 18:41:06


NecessaryEagle 
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WWII? Noble? I don't think so. Was the cause honorable? Yeah, in my opinion it was.

Noble (the way I see it) is based on morals and fairness. Is it noble to kill non-militant, non-violent citizens of any country, especially of another while in their own country? No, I don't believe so. Stepping in to help a nation defend itself is both noble and honorable. Continuing to attack the aggressor after you've beaten them out of that country, is not noble, and only on rare occasions is it honorable. Again, that doesn't make it wrong entirely.

So in your specific example of WWII, stepping in to help earlier would have been much more Noble and Honorable of America. The American government was asked multiple times to step in and do the right thing by defending peaceful nations, but didn't because of fear of repercussions and too much faith in other countries' military strength. Stepping in to defend and take back countries that had been taken over or attacked by the Axis was indeed a noble cause. Continuing to attack Germany in it's home-land was not noble, although it was honorable, because it had to be done, or they would have rebuilt and continued to commit atrocities. Sometimes we have to do things that aren't noble, moral, or honorable in order to stop wrongs from happening in the future.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 19:58:32

RvW 
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@Eagle:
I think Richard was responding to this part:
|> any war fought on foreign soil is inherently not "noble"

An overwhelming majority of the soldiers liberating Europe were fighting on (to them) foreign soil: American, Canadian and English troops everywhere, the few Dutch troops who fled to England and afterwards took part in the liberation where mostly fighting on foreign soil (France, Belgium) and for instance the Polish troops who fought on the Western front were on foreign territory as well.

|> Continuing to attack Germany in it's home-land was not noble

Not all Germans supported the Nazis; if it's okay to liberate France, Belgium and the Netherlands from Third Reich occupation, why then is it not okay to free Germany from Third Reich occupation? Don't forget that many European countries had political parties with Nazi or Nazi-like ideas, Germany was only different in that there the Nazis took full control of the entire country.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 22:02:52


uga98
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Uh to whoever said we it wasnt right about attacknig the axis, thats a lie, they all deserved to die, russiawas simply getting payback for what the germans had done to them, I mean if someone came to america , killed our jews for no reason , raped our citizens and burned our cities so that their people could inhaibt there,m Id imagine if we beat them out, wed want to do the same or close to them. Russians had the same thought.
Two yeah we can call some generations not evil like the germans pre WW1 to the germans during WW2, but lets not excuse the whole generation for that
Finally, this post is going down the same lane my post did, to an off topic discussion about how the germans were wrong.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 22:21:55


Najdorf
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all the south wanted was to protect its way of life and that is why they seceded. they wanted to protect their rights to own slaves and states rights. They felt very threatened and were willing to fight for what they believed in.
One For the Buffs: 4/9/2012 22:59:34


uga98
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@Mr. Anderson The flaw to the south was slavery, it was the biggest flaw in their cause
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 00:05:36

Tacticus 
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Just war theory.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 00:10:38


[中国阳朔]TexasJohn 
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Eagle, I am confused. Are you saying it is inherently wrong to attack civillian centers during war? Unfortunately, there really hasn't been a war in recorded history when population centers weren't attacked in some way. The goal is usually (but not always) to attack military targets such as weapons factories, which are unfortunately generally in cities. The problem, of course, is that collateral damage is unavoidable, even in this age of "smart" bombs and GPS-guided cruise missles. To completely ignore these perfectly valid military targets would just cause many combatants to hide amongst civilians. This is one of the tough things about the current US wars, particularly Iraq. The Iraqi insurgents know the US (the civilians back home, at least) are quite squeamish about hurting civilians, so they blend in as much as possible.

War is not noble, war is not honorable. In my opinion, what is necessary in a war is to hit hard and quick, and bring your own boys home as soon as possible.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 00:23:46


Richard Sharpe 
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Texas... never mind the fact that such military installations (factories etc) are often intentionally locating in non-militant areas as a means of protection. Forces your opponent to fight a PR campaign in order to destroy it.

Add in the fact that those very same valid military targets have innocent civilian employees and there is no way to possibly avoid such collateral damage.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 01:06:10


NecessaryEagle 
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First off I want to say that I'm not trying to be inflammatory or anything, just voicing my opinion on war in general. Second, I'll respond as much as possible in order :P

@RvW - yeah "any war fought on foreign soil is inherently not 'noble'" what I meant was that any war fought on a soil where you are not welcome. 2- I know that many Germans didn't support the government, but all fantasies aside, the majority of them did. This means that in my opinion any war fought against the Nazi's on their own soil is immoral and therefor not noble. The difference with countries such as France is that the majority of the citizens were against their Nazi oppressors and therefore wanted to be liberated.

@M1919 - sry, but I don't agree with you at all. Most of the Nazis were not bad people, and the Axis consisted of multiple other countries. I am an American, and I will tell you straight up that our history books are pure BS. Many of the Axis governments did great things inside their countries, and the thought of anyone wishing another group of people dead because of supporting a government that had in many ways revolutionized their country is abominable. (Spain would be the best example here, although Italy, Japan, and Germany fit somewhat as well (if you discount the Holocaust)).

@Anderson - The south wanted to succeed, they had no right to do so, many of their citizens did not want to until propaganda was flung against the government, and it was handled like what it was; A rebellion that needed to be squashed.

@Richard - that's where you get to the grey area between Civilian, Government Worker, and Militant. There's never a fine line there, and those are some of the cases where it's sometimes inherently necessary to kill civilians in order to stop the production of war-supplies that could then be used to kill other people. "Kill one, Save a thousand" is the general point of such strikes, but often it's in vain.

@M1919...agian - Not entirely true. Regardless of what (especially low level) history books in America will tell you, Slavery wasn't the biggest point of the war, nor even one of the top 3. The biggest issue in question was States rights, followed by taxation.

@Texas - no, I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong. It is however, not noble. I'm trying to distinguish that there is a difference there. Noble is what you would want to do in the best case scenario, but often we have to do things that we don't want, which on this scale often means human casualties, including civilian ones. There's nothing Noble or Honorable about killing innocents, but on occasion it has to be done.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 02:38:12

[UN] dkristopherw
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At the risk of this turning into a debate about the causes of the Civil War:

ACTUALLY, the economic factors WERE the cause of the war. The key economic factor being slavery. States rights? The right of the states to keep slaves. In any case, the South was wrong on most fronts (you do not have the right to own another human being, no matter what fancy words you dress it up as.) The only one thing they got right was. . . the right of the States to leave the Union. They had every right to secede, regardless of whether or not they did it to keep free labor, um, "free".
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 03:38:43


NecessaryEagle 
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I disagree, I've taken advanced American history classes and studied the matter thoroughly. Go back and look at the records. The first time Slavery was officially noticed as a part of the was at Gettysburg, which was in a side-speech towards the end of the war. I've also read every official letter of succession form each state, and not one of them mentioned slavery.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 04:06:41

[UN] dkristopherw
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And why would they mention slavery? Almost every major power by that time had peacefully abandoned the practice. The United States is one of only a few (three I believe) countries to have actually fought a war over it. The South realized that their only hope would be to be recognized as an independent nation by a European power, and then receive political and/or military aid from them.

I too have heavily researched American history (admittedly in order to exonerate Benedict Arnold, but that is another matter), however that is the same as saying "I went to public school." At the core of the matter was in fact the issue of slavery. The matter, I believe, is was slavery DIRECTLY the root of the war? I do not believe so. But the main political differences between the north and the south were those having to deal with Slavery. (Evidenced by the fact that states that had less need for slaves, or parts of states were there were not a large concentration of slave owners sided with the Union. This is not the only example, but it is the most glaring.)

So while the South may not have seceded BECAUSE they wanted to own slaves, they seceded because they owned them and their economy was based heavily on their use. Economic factors such as having a primarily agrarian economy like the South did lend themselves to the idea that those who wished for the secession (Wealthy landowning slave-holders, that is to say) that there was a fear that Abraham Lincoln would take away their right to own human property, which, in their minds, would have devastated their economy and put them in a position of weakness when compared to the lower class. The main distinguishing factor in the south between being respected and being a commoner was the ownership of slaves, because they were a sign of wealth and helped to propagate that wealth.

I am not disagreeing with you that slavery was NOT the cause of the war, but one of several. However, to say that Slavery was not a very important cause for the South is ludicrous, and to deny that slavery motivated much of the early successions by the southern states that were not motivated by what was seen as Union aggression at Fort Sumter.

But we could argue all day about it. That's why history is so fascinating!
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 04:54:01


[中国阳朔]TexasJohn 
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While slavery was certainly a big factor in causing the Civil War, it really wasn't the REASON. The war was not a slavery vs abolition war, and many (if not all) of the Northerners were just as racist as their Southern counterparts. In fact, Lincoln is on record as saying that (and I am paraphrasing here) if he could keep the Union together as a slaveholding country, he would do so. For Lincoln, it wasn't about slavery, he really didn't care much about it. He just wanted to preserve the nation.
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 08:43:00

RvW 
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@EagleBlast:
|> The south wanted to succeed, they had no right to do so, many of their citizens did not want to until propaganda was flung against the government, and it was handled like what it was; A rebellion that needed to be squashed.

Please share your opinions on the (attempted) independence / rebellion of Taiwan versus mainland China and oh, I dunno, the war of independence / rebellion of the United States versus England...

(English is your native language, right? Could you please use the correct word "secede"; while "The south wanted to succeed" is grammatically correct, it means something entirely different.)
One For the Buffs: 4/10/2012 15:08:49


[中国阳朔]TexasJohn 
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Eagle, I think this is a great example of why the average (ie poor, non-slaveowning) Southerner fought. Again, paraphrasing, but a Southern soldier, when asked why he was fighting the Union, replied that he was fighting because the "Yankees" invaded his homeland.

I don't think I need to point out that slavery was a terrible institution, but remove yourself from what you now know (or believe), and just imagine that someone is invading your home and trying to tell you what to do. I wouldn't enjoy it much, but I'm a stubborn bastard.
One For the Buffs: 4/11/2012 15:22:59


Perrin3088 
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m1919, your posts are a clear showing of why and how A in the original post is true.
One For the Buffs: 4/11/2012 21:29:52


uga98
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@Perrin I never said "what if the nazis won," although I think some of you guys (including you) are big nazi and confederate lovers. You cant justify hitlers plans to eliminate races so germans could inhabit the world, or that the confederates breaking off half for slavery is justice.
One For the Buffs: 4/11/2012 21:53:54


Najdorf
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why would you say im wrong eagleblast? i said that they wanted to protect their way of life. which is what these other people are saying. "replied that he was fighting because the "Yankees" invaded his homeland. " there were conflicts about states rights from the begging. the south wanted to right to own slaves and that was what their economy was based on. their way of life.now obiously most people didnt own slaves which is a fact. but the southern people didnt want to be threatened by the north. there is nothing wrong with what the south did and they felt very strongly about their cause. the entire southern region hs suffereed since the end of he civil war because of how hard they fought. they brought themseleves to nothing using all their resources to go to the war. also the fact that they didnt industrialize is a major issue.

this is becoming completely droll because people arent making good arguments. there would were obviously many reasons why they seceded. such as lincoln about to become president, john brown, states rights and such. can we talk more about the war stratgically. i think the south could have won the war if it werent for people like braxton bragg. also ive read a book on how lee wasnt as good as he came out to be. he was a master tactitian in defense but he tried to attack to much and that was his flaw. im dodgey today so what im writing sounds pretty bad. jackson said that lee made the mistake of attacking too much. people like jackson, longstreet and stuart were key to success and unfortunately they died. i do think it was a good strategic move going into the north in the sense that there was also very very low moral in the north. they were having those draft riots and such so a key vicotry there would have porably ended the war. after gettysburg there wouldn't have been muc hthey could do i believe. they could raise another army but it would be completely green and destoryed by the veterans of the army of virgina.

theres so mcu hto talk about
One For the Buffs: 4/12/2012 01:39:05


uga98
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I think one thing we can all agree on in this thread is hitler deserves to be dead (unless your neo-nazi, then your just messed up), and the south could've had a more justified cause if slavery wasnt on the top 3 causes of departing from the union.

Winners do write history however, and I know in school we mostly study about the issue of slavery and the south the most in my history course, thats all we ever hear about. This creates the illusion that slavery caused the civil war, not states rights vs national government. If you live in the south you might understand more clearly, because the people whenever talking about it like to say it wasnt just slavery.
As for The axis powers, can't say much for them. The German people are the victims of Nazi Germany. I can recall one former Wehrmacht soldier saying "Its never the ones who start the war who fight it." Very much true, the people who were in nazi germany had a whole generation that was born under nazi propoganda and had no real connection to the outside world. If only hitler was the one fighting on the front, how much people couldve survived. With the Japanese, they felt the pressure of a booming population and no resources to support. Once again the government(warlords) made the decisions, they chose to wage war, and they had religion inspired troops to their cause. As for the Italians, mussolini wanted to expand the italian empire and regain its glory, sometimes in a more ambitious way. The people fought for it in dreams of an empire greater then Rome, but when the allies came knocking on Italies door, the troops did the right thing, either out of cowardice or justice, I've never heard the insight of the troops from italy.
So is it the people we should call antagonist in World War 2, or are they propoganda bombarded, brainwashed slaves of their dictators and warlords ambitions. The victims of world war 2 were the conquered and the people of the axis powers. I dont have much insight on japan or italy, so kindly correct me if you can.
One For the Buffs: 4/12/2012 03:02:59


TRUMP 
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I'm from the South, and have grown up my whole life with certain Southerners saying slavery had very little to do with the civil war. In my opinion these people are either ignorant of American history or simply disingenuous, usually the latter. These are the same people who enjoy flying the confederate battle flag on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (but strangely, not at other times). Charming.

I don't think Confederate Southerners were bad people, or that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee et al were dishonorable men. Quite the contrary. They were honorable men. But one can be honorable and still be wrong. Confederate Officers and Politicians, courtly and noble as they might have been, were in the morally shaky position of defending a region whose entire economy was based almost entirely on slavery (as someone noted above). People who grew cotton needed (or thought they did) slaves to pick their crops and they and the other powers-that-be were willing to send hundreds of thousands of poor Southern boys to be slaughtered (as politicians so often are) in order to defend rich plantation owner's "rights" to keep their boots on someone else's neck. I don't fault the poor boy fighting for his beloved Tennessee or Georgia, but i fault the shitty institution that caused him to have to fight, and yes, I fault the short-sighted people who defended the shitty institution, honorable as they may have been.
One For the Buffs: 4/12/2012 14:54:40


[中国阳朔]TexasJohn 
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Browning, I think your first mistake is taking the teaching of a high-school American history class as the gospel truth.
One For the Buffs: 4/12/2012 22:03:39


uga98
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All everyone on this post can do is correct, your one of them texasjohn you read the first paragraph and then spen 5 minutes comming up with an insult. You disagree with my post and do that neo-nazi. No-fucking-idea how it has to do with highschool history class, I just think it makes you, yourself, and all of the other bigots like eagle and perrin feel better, I guess its your drug. You know what i think, I know the guys commenting on this post took average history class in highschoo, read a couple of sentences on a wikipedia post and call yourself experts, I must say if thats what makes you feel better, then you are one messed up lifeless 20 year old
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