High life

High life

15 December 2012

Religion is in decline, tradition takes a back seat to fashion, and same-sex marriage is now looked upon as normal. Previous taboos are accepted, such as swearing on television, and watching films about flesh-eating zombies and blood-sucking vampires feasting amidst car crashes and explosions, not to mention non-stop violence on screen. How to balance ethics and entertainment seems to have been lost for ever among the creative types our media take so seriously. But it’s Christmas time once again, and the one thing the Christian religion preaches is to live in peace with our fellow man, which I suppose makes Christianity one hell of a failed doctrine.

Let’s face it, nothing is less Christian than war. Christianity promotes brotherly love, social and cultural continuity, and charity. Show me a war leader with such traits and I’ll show you one big loser. The first world war was the kind of mindless slaughter that led to Bolshevism in Russia and Hitlerism in Germany. Two great evils came about because of a great evil perpetrated by posturing popinjays in London, Paris and Berlin, and in that order. Germany lost its Almanach de Gotha in the trenches, not to mention the British and French nobility who bit the dust. I still insist that, if Germany had won in 1914 in the Marne, the world today would be a much better place.

In 1939, Poland was betrayed by the Nazis and the Soviets, as well as the Anglo–French. The last two went to war with brave words, but not a single rifle was sent to help the bravest people of Europe. No one went to Poland’s rescue in 1939, and no one helped in 1945. The Brits didn’t even have the courtesy to allow the Poles to march in the victory parade after Germany had surrendered. To paraphrase Churchill, some allies. Our own Anne Applebaum’s latest book chronicles the slaughter and betrayal of our ally and it breaks one’s heart to read it.

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Twenty million Germans died between 1939 and 1945, with two million German women alone being raped postwar by the commies. The Russkies, too, lost 20 million, but then enjoyed 40 years of playing big man to eastern Europe. Now comes The Untold History of the United States, by Oliver Stone, an old adversary of mine with whom I’ve now made my peace and agree very much on certain parts of his, shall we say, extremely controversial theories about his country. But unlike most other historians, Oliver has paid his dues. He won a bronze star in Vietnam as a grunt, even though he could have got deferments as he was at Harvard and near the top of his class. Stone sees Uncle Sam as a rapacious imperialist, citing American repression of the Filipino struggle for independence around the turn of the 19th-20th century, and the repeated US interventions and covert operations in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. He names capitalism as the bogie man. He also says that the United States, not the Soviet Union, bore the lion’s share of responsibility for perpetuating the Cold War.

Now that’s not what the great Greek historian Taki has taught us all these years. Yet Stone has a point. Stalin never trusted the west, but he had no designs on taking us over from the outside. Trotsky did, but thank God someone had stuck an ice pick in his head in 1940. Ironically, I disagree with Oliver only on empirical grounds. I travelled throughout the communist world all during the late Fifties playing tennis, and the one thing that always struck me about the people living behind the Iron Wall was the lack of smiles. In fact, the proof is incontrovertible. I’d seen very poor black townships in the American south, as well as the poorest sections of Harlem in New York, yet the smiles were there. Not in Budapest, or Bucharest, or Warsaw, for that matter. Not to mention Moscow, where I found myself in 1957.

Where I totally agree is Stone’s take on the two atomic bombs we dropped on the gallant Japanese. They were wholly unnecessary and the US knew it, for the Japanese were willing to surrender by May 1945. They only wished to keep their emperor; moreover it was the Soviet invasion into the Japanese theatre that precipitated the surrender. The myth that it would have cost a million American casualties if Uncle Sam had had to invade was invented after the war. According to Stone, the bombs were dropped in order to warn Stalin what he had coming to him in case he got big ideas. I agree on this, perhaps because of my love for the Japanese. But one thing is certain: the bombs were morally indefensible.

Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945–56 is proof of the godlessness of communism and its evils. Oliver Stone’s Untold History is a very courageous effort to set the record straight, and I applaud both writers. America has now become a nation permanently militarised, which seeks permanent hegemony over great swaths of the land mass of this planet. Uncle Sam has run up a debt whose numbers cannot be fathomed by anyone sane. And he continues to expand his military industrial complex making some people very, very rich. Yet the good uncle claims to be a Christian, which brings me back to where I came in. Unless we revert to Christian doctrines, and stop waging wars, we shall find ourselves either totally broke or very, very dead. I’d like to end up neither, but for the 36th year in a row and despite the gloomy message I wish all Spectator readers a very, very happy Christmas.

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  • Reader111111

    The 1st WW was the result of imperial rivalry, Billy against Vicky kind of thing. The 20 million dead Jerries mentioned is too much, Haffner says it was 7 and Perry gives 3, also the red dead weren’t 20 million but around 12 (Haffner). The Germans wouldn’t win in Marne or anywere else because they are borne to lose at war in the end, for some reason and they shouldn’t bother in the first place. Stone is right in what he says.

  • Reader111111

    Stalin never trusted the west, because the west is not trustworthy at large, they are hard capitalists and warmongers of the worst kind, they don’t bother about the cost in human life one bit, Stalin worried constantly that if he would lose his concentration Churchill is going to dip in his pocket to take as much as he could. Hitler, was the son of a customs official who happened to hate the Jews too much (and probably became too big for his boots). If you give the happiness of the blacks as evidence of the superiority of capitalism, there is something wrong with your judgement. The gallant Poles, were bullies as well and were mistreating the german minority in Poland, the colonists ostensibly started the war against Gernany for their sake, most probably they made the agreement so as to find a reason to stop the predicted eastwards Hitler’s expansion. They would never achieve this without the Americans because they weren’t good enough to defeat the 3rd Reich alone (despite the Lancaster). Of course, Stalin wasn’t any better than Hitler at all, with all his liquidations and his blood thirsty rustic face.

  • Adam Nixon

    “Christianity promotes social and cultural continuity”
    Where? How? Who? When? Methinks Taki is creating god in his own image.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grzegorz.krowicki.7 Grzegorz Krowicki

    Very good article! Answering to reader 11111 : Hitler was son of a Jew, his father mistreated him and his mother, also Jews have been highly educated and very successfull in business, science and social life in Germany before the nazi came to power. They were pretty well integrated and their ethics and morality and culture were also at the highest comparing to the nazi luck of values nor any religion but faith on Hitler. Poles did not mistreat German minorities before second war nor earlier, it was a Nazi propaganda. Poland before second war was a mulicultural country like United States are. German and Dutch habitants came to Poland during 17-th, 18-th, 19 th century in thousands and they integrated in most parts of the Polish teritory very well with native Poles, they were cohabitating, mutual marriages were very common, most of German minority citizens were speaking Polish language. During second war the German nazi authorities have been playing the “nationality” card and those who had German last names and German roots history recieved special privilegies, it means they were starving a little bit less, and they have been persecuted a little bit less than native Poles.

  • Guest

    Maybe Reader 11111 you were thinking about the Polish insurrections in Silesia region against Germans in the years 1918-1939? That is an interesting part of European history, worth to read about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grzegorz.krowicki.7 Grzegorz Krowicki

    Maybe Reader 11111 you were thinking about the Polish insurrections in Silesia Region against Germans in the years of 1918-21? Interesting part of European history- worth to read about.

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