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There are so many different concepts at work in this post that it is difficult to put them into some perspective much less attempt to address them.

Probably the single most important concept is to gain an understanding of the reality of the world we actually live in and not the world we wished we lived in. This can be clearly seen by what has transpired in the last few weeks in SEA.

Maybe another way to address this to both the UN, the EU and nations like france and Germany is to say…..

You can talk the talk but you need to be able to walk the walk. It is clear these organizations and nations can do little more than talk the talk.

Along this same line of talk, I see Germany wants to hold a conference on a new warning system. I am sure the Germans are experts in this area.

Of course, one thing you have to admire is the euro’s sense of style over substance. They might not actually be able to do very much but you have to give them credit for the way they appear that they can.

A final thought about the efforts in SEA. Four of the six most giving nations, call them the coalition of the giving and doing, are the same nations who are part of the coalition of the willing. This group is not only currently providing humanitarian aid in one part of the world, on the other side of the world they are bring freedom to those who have never had it.

It still amazes me how Germany can always end up on the wrong side of history.


Tyranno

The fact is that the French did suffer during the war.


Your complaint (that the French think the resistance won the war) was a comnmon one even in 1945. http://e-rcps.com/gripes/ This link is a book put together by the US Army in 1945 to answer "gripes about the French"

As for teh actual resistance, it is true that the myth of the resistence has grown over the years. While important, the resistance itself had fewer members in 1944 than did the various Vichy militias.

So the whining I think is on both sides. (and let's not forget the whinning of some Brits complaining ithat it took the US too long to enter the war).

As for teh war in Europe:

1. The French were defeated on the battlefield after taking heavily casualties

2. The Russians took heavy losses, but mostly due to their own political leadership's imcompetence.

3. The US did not win the war alone and our greatest contributions to the war in Europe was(i) keeping the Russians and British supplied and in teh field when it seemed they were about to break and (ii) keeping Germany troops and material tied down in the west when thematerial and men could have been used against Russia.

4. If anyone deserves the greatest acolades, it is Churchill.

Anthony,

A lot of mistakes were made, I could not agree with you more.

Hopefully the US will not make the same ones again during the next war in Europe.

Jarod wrote:

"I think it's partially an unfair critique because Europe doesn't have a naval fleet deloyed to all corners of the world nor hundreds of military bases around the globe. Of course the US can respond quicker and more effectively."

Well that is because Europe parasites its national defense off the US and instead invests its tax dollars in welfare programs...and then sneers at the US for not doing the same.

Pouge wrote:

"Of course the irony is that France had MORE planes than the Germans - and even later models
( same goes for tanks ) - and just refused to fight"

The French did resist the Germans, its just that the resistence was on a rather individual level as the French command was completely muddled in Third Republic incompetence and fantasy.

I think people who are quick to slander the French need to keep this —and the heroics of the French Resistence— in mind. Of course the French also put up some rather fierce resistence on behalf of the Nazi's to the American landings in North Africa...so it cuts both ways.

@jason-
you state, in regard to france- "its just that the resistence was on a rather individual level"
It was "on an individual level"
What the hell does that mean? That it was the individual citizens, and NOT a 'coalition" of sorts who "resisted"?
Are you saying that the collective attempt at human liberty was done on an "as neede basis" by only those who personally sought liberty?
Hell, that liberty concept was/is a concept that the US holds dearly, but in the US individuals who enjoy liberty, so so by affliating in groups with similiar minded folks. Thse "similiar minds" were VERY tough for the resistence to find. That is historical fact.
The "individuals" you mention are also the same ones to greet the parisian woman of liberated france with a god damn forced skin-head-like haircut.
Your attempt might be a noble one to sooth over shattered french souls, but it is a false one from any angle of history.

The FAZ.NET piece by Jochen Buchsteiner also appears in English on FAZ.COM.

Anthony posts:

"4. If anyone deserves the greatest acolades, it is Churchill."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The more I read on the subject the more incline I am to think and give the British credit as the real heros of WWII.
If you are knowledgable can you recommend a book (perferably in English) on WWII from the French perspective ?
Tyranno

Instead of spending all the 500 Mio. EURO German government is willing to give for rebuilding and "direct" help, Germany and Europe should consider buying better equipment, e.g. transport planes, so that their direct helping capabilities are at least 1/10 of American abilities.... But as our chancellor is sort of an actor, he only tries to do something that will lead to applause and PR success, trying to create an image of world leader number one, above Bush, also with regard to Germany's role in the UN Security Counsil.

Our Bundeswehr is even in need of leasing Russian planes. The only hightech, state of the art equipment Germans can contribute in such a disaster, that's a big hospital ship. With better equipment future help of Europe would be much better than just giving money. But maybe the whole European Union is mainly made up of a bunch of actors who think this is all about showbusiness...

Oh, and by the way, our minister of finance, Hans Eichel, will certainly contract new debts in order to pay the 500 Mio. EURO during the next three years... And what will happen if the opposition tries to run the Red-Green government down because of the debt? The government will call the opposition heartless niggards and worse, because the great "world leader" Schröder has the debt ONLY because of this Ocean earthquake catastrophe. This sort of left deception has already started: Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber, former candidate for chancellor for the Union, the conservative party, asked how government will finance the promised 500 Mio. Government's answer was not HOW to fund, but that the question was moldy!!! (Uwe Benneter, SPD secretary general and Hans Eichel).

Chancellor Schröder called the discussion narrow-minded! What sort of clown-government is this? Isn't it government's job to think about funding this and that? Red-Green seem to think their only job was promising everything and denunciate the political opponent.

EuroNeuzeit

There is a need for both kinds of aid, short term emergency aid and long term rebuilding.

The US military is the only actor which, on a world-wide basis can provide the short term emergency aid. Rather, the new model will probably be, when a massive disaster strikes, the regional militaries will provide a great deal of the assistance (like what the Indian, Australian and new Zealand militaries are doing in teh Indian Ocean) with the US pitching in for the immiediate needs.

Once the immediate needs are met, then the NGOs, UN, EU, etc will take over (though as someone skeptical about the UN, I hope someone is keeping tabs on the money).

If the disaster was sa a massive earthquake in Lisbon (on scale of the Voltaie quake), I would imagine that mnost of the immediate assistance would have been provided by the EU nations.

I do agree though that if the EU really wants to be a player world-wide, it needs to upgrade things like air lift capability. But air lift is not exactly a "sexy" political issue. Look at the Canadian situation. Canada has a very good 200 member rapid reaction force, designed to react to just such a disaster as the tsunami. The purpose of the force is to be the forst on the scene, provide immediate assistance, and prepare the way for non-military help. It was seen as a "bridge the gap" force, which would deploy for the first week of a disaster.

Teh problem is that the Canadians have no heavy lift capabilities. When the Canadian government decided against buying heavy cvargo aircraft, the thought was they could "lease" space from the USAF or from the international civilian market. The problem is that the USAF planes not involved in tsunami relief are involved in supplying US forces in Afghanistan or Iraq, and on short notice, no civilan planes were available. So the rapid reaction force did not leave for something like 2 weeks, which in theory is when the force would be preparing to come home.

I think there has been a certain cooling between the US and Canada. Partly because the difference in the missions of their respective armed forces, partly political. The former Canadian PM was very outspoken about the iniquity of the Bush administration. The newish PM Paul Martin wishes to warm relation but hasn't gone far yet.

The results of this cooling may have resulted in fewer close contacts between the CDF and US forces than there were a decade ago when it could have been called a partnership. Nowadays that partnership exists with the UK and Aussies and the US, less the Canadians. I suspect that Canadians are chaps you meet at NATO in Brussels not close partners. So the Aussies, Brits, and Americans are on each other's rolodexes right now, Canadians less so. That matters during a crisis when there is a shortage of resources (such as air transport now). By the time the Canadians worked out whom to ask for the transport it was probably all committed for a week or more.

Unfortunate, because I hear that Canadian team is very good, and likely much more effective than (for example) the UN 'assessment teams' which the US has been transporting in order to keep the political house at reasonable peace.

Well, c'est la vie. When hours mean lives people must move quickly, so the US (and many others) did. I get the feeling that the scale of this thing didn't register right away, thus we see Anann, Bush, Blair, and Chirac failing to cut their Christmas holiday short. And it's a reason the UN was asleep at the switch and not out there to coordinate for a long time. Now they are in the position of having to try to take control of the national efforts already there. It's not easy for them.

@Pato

You seem not to understand the nature of the comment I made. What I was arguing against was the standard slander of "Frenchmen = cowards" in regards to WWII. This is what I meant by the "individual level" remark.

The French performance in WWII was pathetic in the extreme and no amount of spin could ever obfuscate that...not that I would even try. France effectively fought as an Axis power for most of the war and commited numerous acts of complicity with its Nazi overlords that it has never faced up to.

However the members of the French Resistence were some of the bravest and most heroic human beings that have ever lived and did much to salvage France's dignity. To much I think, because France has become lost in grandiose fantasy of is own power and contribution to WWII...it clings to the delusions of its lost colonial empire and its military glory that never was.

It's sad really, and has rendered France a joke...but there were many brave Frenchmen who fought in WWII...my grandfather fought along with many in Tunisia...and they do not deserve to be slandered as cowards due to their nation's incompetence.

So the Germans think they are nice? Germans? Nice? They really are clueless. Quick who is the most famous German you can think of? Nice? Give me a break.

Jason wrote:

The French did resist the Germans, its just that the resistence was on a rather individual level as the French command was completely muddled in Third Republic incompetence and fantasy.

---------------------

I agree completely - I only wanted to point out how the particular French excuse ( "The American's didn't send us enough planes" ) was the usual merde from the revisionist french

They had MORE and LATER models planes and tanks

They just had no will, or ability, to use them

Much like today - when whatever Europe is spending on its military ( 1/3 or less than the USA ) its all wasted money

No Aircraft carriers - no heavy lift capability

Just a bunch of guys serving in infantry regiments who are more likely to die of the clap than they are of ever hearing a shot fired in anger

QUESTION:

Is the any reason to respect Germany and france?

I'm thankful for this website - but, I read it with much sadness...

Europe has changed very much since I visited there, now long, long ago...

It was in 1960 that I was last there, in England, Ireland and Germany, aboard a US Navy destroyer. Anti-Americanism didn’t exist then - at least not visibly in any fashion - and we were welcomed as friends everywhere we went.

In Kiel Germany I met many who were students at the University there, and corresponded with them after leaving port for quite some time. I met several married couples, and some took me to their homes for dinner and to meet their families. It was a happy and wonderful experience with a people I thought would never become as they are now.

It doesn’t take much thought to come up with why there has been such a change - it can be found in one word - a word that described something dirty in the minds of most adult Americans, English and Germans of that time in history - socialism. The decline of Europe and the decline of America in the eyes of most of the inhabitants of Europe, is rooted in socialism. They have taken the plunge and detest an America that has not. But, they love the hard-core leftists in America - and hate those who hate socialism in America. They loved Clinton, and hate Bush - and that seems to be all that they know... but this no wonder or mystery to me.

Someone once said, in effect, that a Communist was just a socialist in a hurry. As all Communist states have been socialist states, and anti-American, so too all socialist states’ antipathy toward America has increased in direct proportion to the degree of descent into socialism imposed on citizens of those states. First in academia, then through propagandistic media, these states lurch and lunge into the deep mire which all socialist states in history have found themselves.

Thankfully, not all citizens of Europe have swallowed the poison-pill, and know from whence and by what disease their nations have fallen. It is to them that we look here in America, and it is to them that their fellow countrymen will look in the future, if they hope to pull themselves out of the mire - when it simply gets too deep, and too messy to bear it any longer.

Unfortunately I won't live to see what becomes of Europe, and socialism worldwide. It will take too much more time for the decline to reach rock-bottom - and there is the attempt to move America deeper into socialism that must be contended with. Those who have lived under Communism ring the alarm, and they should not be ignored, by Europeans, or Americans. I hope everyone who cares about freedom, peace and the security of private property will find their books and read them.


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