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Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

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  • Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

    An interesting article on an obscure subject.

    ================================================== ====================

    In article <[email protected]>, United Press
    International wrote:



    WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- Two war anniversaries were
    celebrated in Russia Sunday. The first is well known in the West,
    the second not at all.
    But the second was a consequence of the first, and has
    profound lessons for U.S. foreign policy and the great issues of war
    and peace in the 21st century.
    When the late Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was asked to
    compile a list of military blunders and elementary disasters to
    avoid, he put at the very top of the list, "Invading Russia. It is
    always a bad idea."
    On June 22, 1941, Nazi Fuhrer Adolf Hitler carried out that
    bad idea. He launched Operation Barbarossa and in doing so unleashed
    the greatest, most epic and easily the bloodiest war in the history
    of the world.
    In just under four years, 27 million Russian soldiers and
    civilians and around 5 million German soldiers died, along with at
    least a million European troops allied to the Nazis, in a single
    campaign on the flanks of the city of Stalingrad in 1942. The 62nd
    anniversary of that conflict, still little appreciated or understood
    in the West, was noted by Western military history buffs this past
    weekend though outside Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, by few others.
    What was even more overlooked were the events that began on
    June 22, 1944. On that date, 59 years ago, and three years to the
    day after Hitler unleashed Barbarossa, the Red Army launched the
    most-crucial single military campaign of its revenge.
    Named Operation Bagration, after the great military hero of
    the 1812 war against Napoleon Bonaparte, it has gone down in history
    as the Battle of Belorussia. And more than Stalingrad, more than
    Kursk, it was the battle that broke the back of the German army in
    the East.
    Wehrmacht staff officers at their operational headquarters
    in Minsk watched in disbelief as the Russians used the very tactical
    concepts they had used with such effectiveness from June 22, 1941,
    for 15 months to conquer vast swathes of European Russia.
    In the space of a month, Army Group Center, the great center
    of gravity and hard strategic rock on which German domination of
    Russia's heartland had rested for three years, was annihilated.
    Sweeping Red Army tank columns surrounded 100,000 of the best troops
    Nazi Germany still had. In all, the Germans lost 350,000 men. It was
    a cataclysmic defeat on an even bigger scale than Stalingrad.
    In German military history, the campaign was named "The
    Destruction of Army Group Center." It came at the same time, and in
    large part made possible, the great Allied victory in the West at
    the Battle of Normandy. The scale of destruction visited upon Army
    Group Center dwarfed that visited within the Falaise Pocket upon
    Field Marshal Gerd Von Rundstedt's formations in the West.
    The military achievement of the Soviet armies was far
    greater, too. When Gen. Dwight Eisenhower gave the green light for
    Operation Overlord, the climactic Allied operation of World War II
    in the West, some 53 or so Wehrmacht divisions were assembled
    throughout Western Europe to meet it. But at the same time, Hitler
    had to keep more than 180 Wehrmacht divisions of much greater
    operational strength simultaneously fully engaged against the Red
    Army alone in the East.
    The Battle of Belorussia did more than annihilate the German
    army in the East. It also established the Soviet Union as the
    dominant Eurasian military power for almost half a century right
    down to the disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.
    Because of the Battle of Belorussia, it was inevitable that
    all of Central Europe from Stettin in the Baltic to the borders of
    Greece would fall under Soviet control before the Anglo-American
    armies driving in on the Third Reich from the West could get there.
    That was why the American Republican criticisms of the dying
    Franklin Roosevelt for "selling out" Central Europe at the 1945
    Yalta conference were so unfair. There was nothing in practical
    terms FDR could have done otherwise.
    And in any case, FDR did not make the key concessions to
    Soviet leader Josef Stalin on Central Europe at all. It was Winston
    Churchill, the British statesman who has become the icon-hero of
    American internationalist conservatives, who made them.
    For it was Churchill, at his meeting in Moscow with Stalin
    many months before Yalta, who initialed the famous agreement on the
    back of a scrap of paper that acknowledged the Soviet dominant role
    in all of the Balkans except Greece. By then, Churchill knew that
    Poland, Hungary and most of the rest of Central Europe would fall to
    the Soviet armies, too. The Battle of Belorussia had ensured that.
    Following the collapse of communism, all of that is history.
    But the Battle of Belorussia also holds a crucial lesson on the
    strength, endurance and resilience of the Russian people that
    policymakers of the Bush administration would do well to ponder
    today.
    In the three years following June 22, 1941, more than 25
    million Russians died at the hands of the Nazi invaders. Not since
    the Mongol heirs of Genghis Khan conquered China in the 13th
    century, had so much loss of life been visited upon a single nation.
    Even a limited nuclear strike upon Russia or the United States today
    would not produce such comparable casualties and human suffering.
    Yet on June 22, 1944 -- a date very pointedly chosen for the
    third anniversary of the terrible invasion -- the Russians struck
    back. And, unlike the Germans, they won.
    The devastation the Russian people suffered during those
    three years from June 1941 to June 1944 dwarfed in scale even the
    impoverishment and national humiliation they have experienced over
    the past decade since the collapse of the Soviet system. Yet they
    surged back from adversity to win the decisive battle of World War
    II and became one of the two dominant global superpowers thereafter.
    If the Russian people could come back so spectacularly from
    the catastrophes inflicted on them by the Nazis in Barbarossa, it
    would be a grave mistake to assume they will remain a marginal, let
    alone insignificant, power in the years ahead.
    That is especially the case when their present president,
    Vladimir Putin, has been pushing ahead with remarkable success to
    re-establish a powerful, authoritarian centralized governing
    structure, and has so far succeeded in stabilizing Russian living
    standards after their cataclysmic decline during most of the past
    decade. Russia today runs a hefty balance of payments surplus and
    its oil exports are soaring. Anyone who predicted these developments
    as recently as four years ago within the Washington Beltway would
    have been laughed at.
    "Do not count Russia out. Do not assume she is a power that
    can be ignored or defied in imposing unilateral U.S. policies around
    the world in the years ahead." Those are two lessons that President
    George W. Bush and his advisers would do well to remember in the
    months and years ahead.
    So far they have not.


  • #2
    Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

    On 24 Jun 2003 14:26:07 GMT, Ignoramus6121
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    "Do not count Russia out. Do not assume she is a power thatcan be ignored or defied in imposing unilateral U.S. policies aroundthe world in the years ahead." Those are two lessons that PresidentGeorge W. Bush and his advisers would do well to remember in themonths and years ahead. So far they have not.
    Bwahahahahaha! Russia is an irrelevant, piece of **** country with a
    broken economy.


    Comment


    • #3
      Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory


      "Kendricks" said:
      Bwahahahahaha! Russia is an irrelevant, piece of **** country with a broken economy.
      Russia is such a pretty country :-) And oh, the babuska's...

      Temily


      Comment


      • #4
        Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

        The only thing holding Russia together, is the fact no one is interested in
        invading.

        Storm



        Comment


        • #5
          Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory


          "Storm" said:
          The only thing holding Russia together, is the fact no one is interested
          in
          invading.
          And isn't that a good thing!

          Temily


          Comment


          • #6
            Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory


            "gruhn" said:
            I'd take St. Petersburg if I thought I had a chance.
            Aw..i wannit!

            Temily


            Comment


            • #7
              Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory


              "Ignoramus6121 <[email protected]>" wrote about the
              victory of the Russians over the German army in WWII, which included
              this excerpt:
              "Do not count Russia out. Do not assume she is a power that can be ignored or defied in imposing unilateral U.S. policies around the world in the years ahead." Those are two lessons that President George W. Bush and his advisers would do well to remember in the months and years ahead.
              "John Kendricks ([email protected])" replied:
              Bwahahahahaha! Russia is an irrelevant, piece of **** country with a broken economy.
              Well, let's not get carried away. It's certainly true that Russia's
              economy and environment were left in tatters by years of Communist
              stupidity, and they will be cleaning up those messes for years to come.

              But in addition to the military successes of WWII, let's not forget the
              triumphs of Sputnik, Gagarin, Tereshkova, Mir, and other technological
              feats made only more amazing by the handicaps their scientists had to
              deal with. The political leadership dictated which scientific ideas
              were okay and which weren't, based on the rulers' ideology. Lysenkoism
              was allowed, and Darwinism forbidden, because the political leadership
              felt that Darwin's were counter to their idealogy. (IIUC, there's a
              weird parallel in that George W. Bush is also anti-Darwin, and supports
              teaching creationism in schools.)

              Russia has a large and educated population, significant infrastructure,
              and lots and lots of oil. They aren't at the top of their game, but
              they've got important entries in the "assets" column. Well managed,
              these assets could help make Russia a significant power again down the
              road.

              And, of course, Communist stupidity isn't the only kind. Given the
              current debts run by the US government, and the staggering wealth we
              send overseas every year, it's not hard to imagine a situation in which
              our military follows the path of the Russian military, and in 15 years
              is merely a shadow of its present self. You can't live beyond your
              means forever: sooner or later, something has to give.


              Darren Provine ! [email protected] ! http://www.rowan.edu/~kilroy
              "It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a
              sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in
              all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too,
              shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour
              of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!" -- Abraham Lincoln

              Comment


              • #8
                Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

                By the way, my comment is only tangentially related to yours, but in
                my opinion, the biggest threat to the US world domination and security
                and prosperity is its current financial policy.

                i

                In article <[email protected]>, Dr Nancy's Sweetie wrote:
                "Ignoramus6121 <[email protected]>" wrote about the victory of the Russians over the German army in WWII, which included this excerpt:
                "Do not count Russia out. Do not assume she is a power that can be ignored or defied in imposing unilateral U.S. policies around the world in the years ahead." Those are two lessons that President George W. Bush and his advisers would do well to remember in the months and years ahead.
                "John Kendricks ([email protected])" replied:
                Bwahahahahaha! Russia is an irrelevant, piece of **** country with a broken economy.
                Well, let's not get carried away. It's certainly true that Russia's economy and environment were left in tatters by years of Communist stupidity, and they will be cleaning up those messes for years to come. But in addition to the military successes of WWII, let's not forget the triumphs of Sputnik, Gagarin, Tereshkova, Mir, and other technological feats made only more amazing by the handicaps their scientists had to deal with. The political leadership dictated which scientific ideas were okay and which weren't, based on the rulers' ideology. Lysenkoism was allowed, and Darwinism forbidden, because the political leadership felt that Darwin's were counter to their idealogy. (IIUC, there's a weird parallel in that George W. Bush is also anti-Darwin, and supports teaching creationism in schools.) Russia has a large and educated population, significant infrastructure, and lots and lots of oil. They aren't at the top of their game, but they've got important entries in the "assets" column. Well managed, these assets could help make Russia a significant power again down the road. And, of course, Communist stupidity isn't the only kind. Given the current debts run by the US government, and the staggering wealth we send overseas every year, it's not hard to imagine a situation in which our military follows the path of the Russian military, and in 15 years is merely a shadow of its present self. You can't live beyond your means forever: sooner or later, something has to give. Darren Provine ! [email protected] ! http://www.rowan.edu/~kilroy "It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!" -- Abraham Lincoln

                Comment


                • #9
                  Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

                  On 25 Jun 2003 12:47:42 GMT, Ignoramus5278
                  <[email protected]> wrote:
                  By the way, my comment is only tangentially related to yours, but inmy opinion, the biggest threat to the US world domination and securityand prosperity is its current financial policy.i
                  As if your opinion was worth anything...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

                    "John Royer" <[email protected]> writes:
                    Sub.......gotta agree with him on this one. Printing way too much money with nothing to back it up.......
                    Actually, although I also agree with Igor about this, I don't think
                    the problem is printing too much money with nothing to back it up.

                    That's not how the federal reserve works (yet - if we start seeing
                    deflation, then I think we can expect the fed to find a way to do
                    this).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

                      In article <[email protected]>, Doug Anderson wrote:
                      "John Royer" <[email protected]> writes:
                      Sub.......gotta agree with him on this one. Printing way too much money with nothing to back it up....... Actually, although I also agree with Igor about this, I don't think the problem is printing too much money with nothing to back it up. That's not how the federal reserve works (yet - if we start seeing deflation, then I think we can expect the fed to find a way to do this).
                      I agree with Doug here. What I do not like is endless borrowing of
                      very large amounts of money by the federal government. By making its
                      recent tak cuts, it effectively made a firm statement that the debt is
                      never going to be repaid or reduced. The US is also running a very
                      large, in proportion to the GDP, trade deficit (500 or so billion per
                      year). People who enable this to continue are foreign exporters who
                      invest their revenue in US denominated debt. They are very mistaken if
                      they think that the meager interest on such debt is going to actually
                      make a profit for them in the long run. They commit an aggregation
                      fallacy. When they stop lending to the US government, interest rates
                      will go up, which will make servicing outstanding debt much more
                      expensive.

                      Somewhat fortunately, US debt is dollar denominated, so one day the
                      govt will be able to pay off debts via monetary emission. But that
                      carries a very high economic cost.

                      I do realize that there is a large element of coercion that explains
                      why foreigners conduct trade denominated in dollars, invest in US debt
                      obligations etc. But even that coercion has limited effect and one day
                      it will be inadequate.

                      Right now the debt is 7 trillion or so. At average 3% interest it
                      costs about $200 billion per year just to pay interest on it. At 8
                      percent, it will be 560 billion per year. A very substantial amount
                      relative to the federal tax revenue and the govt ability to raise it.

                      Like I said about three or four months ago, we moved a substantial
                      part of our cash savings into euros, as a precaution against such
                      developments. Obviously we are a bit ahead with this decision after
                      the dollar fell recently.

                      An empire that wants to last, needs to have solid finances.

                      i

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory


                        "Ignoramus5278 <[email protected]>" wrote:
                        [...] in my opinion, the biggest threat to the US world domination and security and prosperity is its current financial policy.
                        "Kendricks <[email protected]>" replied:
                        As if your opinion was worth anything...
                        As you have pointed out several times, the poster to whom you are
                        responding is from a country which was a superpower and which ran
                        itself into the toilet with idiotic economic policies.

                        Someone who has seen such a disaster up close may well be worth
                        listening to when he says that he sees a similar disaster looming in
                        the distance.


                        Darren Provine ! [email protected] ! http://www.rowan.edu/~kilroy
                        "You know, unexamined, unintelligent patriotism -- you know, my country,
                        right or wrong, love it or leave it -- gets us nowhere and results in
                        bad country and western songs." (Janeane Garofalo)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Analysis: Remembering Russia's victory

                          In article <[email protected]>, Dr Nancy's Sweetie wrote:
                          "Ignoramus5278 <[email protected]>" wrote:
                          [...] in my opinion, the biggest threat to the US world domination and security and prosperity is its current financial policy.
                          "Kendricks <[email protected]>" replied:
                          As if your opinion was worth anything...
                          As you have pointed out several times, the poster to whom you are responding is from a country which was a superpower and which ran itself into the toilet with idiotic economic policies. Someone who has seen such a disaster up close may well be worth listening to when he says that he sees a similar disaster looming in the distance.
                          I sort of agree with Kendricks in that my opinion is not worth
                          much. But nevertheless, the substance of what I am saying, I think,
                          has some validity/.

                          i

                          Comment

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