Why are we inept in wars, becuase we learn history from Hollywood?

eva c.

The thing about global history and the Russians is this: most Americans don't comprehend that the bulk of the soldiering in WWII was done by Soviet forces.

That is: Seven out of eight Nazi soldiers killed in WWII died fighting the Soviets.

But because we don't teach that fact in US schools, most Americans falsely believe that the US did the bulk of the fighting in Europe, and they thereby believe that the US is far more capable than it is, or ever was.

Simple-minded Steven Spielberg films like "Saving Private Ryan" that vastly overstate US contributions (though are men were indeed heroic), while omitting entirely the Soviet contribution, are to blame for failing to tell the real story of WWII, which was the Ostfront, and the inhuman and yet heroic sacrifice of Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, etc. fighting under the monstrous Stalin.

So, thanks in part to that 'genius' Spielberg, we get the American delusion that brought us Afghanistan II. The sick part is Spielberg actually doesn't understand the Soviet contribution, yet he's hailed in DC and Hollywood as some kind of historian. I preferred when he made "Jaws" - it was fantasy, but it didn't sell itself as anything more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michael Wolfe
Henderson, Texas

In the middle of the 19th century, Afghanistan looked like a prize to be added to the Raj, so the British dispatched an Expeditionary Force. That BEF never returned. Graveyard of Empires. British Empire RIP.

But, if one continues reading, Britain continued to look at the Afghanistan problem: they wanted the raids on the Raj and the threat of Russian encroachment stopped. So the Second British-Afghan War installed a member of the Afghani royalty as king, and he brought stability to the region. Afghanistan remained an independent nation, not part of the Raj, and not even a British neo-colony. But the Afghani raids on the Raj stopped until '47, when the Raj was dissolved, and Russian encroachment was stopped for almost a century. So victory for the British, if one takes the right definition of victory.


When the Soviets marched into Afghanistan, the right-wing Times columnists mourned that the US had elected a loser who had finally, irrevocably lost the Great Game.

But then, after 9 years, the Afghan forces did not march triumphantly into Moscow, so it wasn't a clear defeat for the USSR, it was just a realization the the word for 'victory' was pronounced 'da svidanya.'

But when the costs of the Soviet Afghan adventure were tallied, they proved to be more than the USSR could afford, so the USSR completely disintegrated. Graveyard of Empires. USSR RIP.


Meanwhile, the fact that the British were taken in by the latest fraud means that they seem to have lost whatever expertise they once had about the region.

But the war is squandering a lot of money. So much that, when yesterday's Times article said that the fraudster was paid 'a lot of money,' I thought they meant serious money. Today, Ms. Maureen Dowd, with New York Times, says it was only in the low six figures, an amount lost in the round-off error.

Still, trillions are being squandered (admittedly, an much smaller fraction of the total US economy compared with the fraction of their economy that the Soviets squandered), and that money is ending up in some pockets somewhere.

So, from the point of view of the decision makers who are continuing the war, it's not at all stupid, it's just profitable.

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