Wednesday, December 6, 2017

This Is How Victory Sounds.

All Islamic State's units in Syria have been destroyed, head of Russia's General Staff says. 
Syria is fully liberated from terrorists, all units of the Islamic State (IS) terror group (outlawed in Russia) have been destroyed, Chief of Russia’s General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, said at an annual briefing for foreign defense attaches on Wednesday.

That simple.  No fanfares, no chest thumping--just matter-of-factly stating cold hard facts. Life will go on now in war ravaged Syria, some political settlement will be reached and Bashar Assad most likely will still win the elections. Meanwhile, Pentagon didn't waste time in crediting... US Coalition, not SAA, Russia and Iran, with defeating the Islamic State (in Russian). There is an English language version of rather strange statements from Pentagon. I don't even know how to comment on this anymore. Forget about decency but, hey, if Pentagon doesn't respect Russians (which is fine), how about respecting itself? Don't they understand that apart from looking stupid (not the worst case scenario), they actually humiliate themselves with making such statements. Yet, one mustn't forget how this blog started and I will remind how:

The crucible ofthe modern world we live in remains on the battlefields of the World War II. Itwas an event of unprecedented scale in human history. In fact, it dwarfedanything humanity had experienced before. The Allied victory over Nazism seemedto pave the way to a better future but things changed very fast. One way theychanged was the fact that, as David Glantz and Jonathan House note in theirseminal "When Titans Clashed" (pages 275-276):"...the Soviets,by rights, had an undisputed claim to the lion's share of the spoils of this victory over Nazi Germany. In Western perceptions, however, the political consequences of that victory deprived the Soviet Union of that right." Here, these two brilliant American scholars, make one substantial mistake--the claims were not "undisputed", the whole industry, from media to academe, was born to dispute and to completely pervert the history of WW II. This industry is alive and well and it continues to work to reinforce generally Anglo-Saxon, and American in particular, point that it was thanks to the United States that the Nazi Germany was defeated. One of the ways to do it is to, and you may have guessed it already, break the causality link and deprive one of a proper context.

But for those who think that it is all that simple, here is another example. Here I am giving a taste of a small piece of my manuscript (not edited yet): 

In the famous collection of the so called "green books", History of US Army in World War Two first published in 1965, in the conclusion of the volume dedicated to Ardennes, known as the Battle of the Bulge, there is a serious and entirely legitimate American complain about Red Army taking partial credit for preventing a "rout" of US Army in Ardennes. US Army not only had a completely justified but overwhelmingly strong case about what they called "Russian propaganda", when reacting to series of articles by Colonel Nikiforov, which traced Stalin's statements, who made such claims in 1948, later repeated by Marshal Grechko in 1960. [31] The fact of Churchill's telegram to Stalin with request for help with the situation in Ardennes, as well as Tedder's group traveling to Moscow on behalf of Roosevelt and carrying Eisenhower's message to Stalin, together with the box of cigars, were, indeed, used as an excuse to tie together massive Soviet offensive in Poland and to construe it as a relieving effort for Allies' benefit in Ardennes. That, of course, was not exactly the case: in reality, by the start of the massive Red Army Vistula-Oder offensive on January 12, 1945 there was very little doubt in mostly US Army being able to contain and reverse German counterstrike in Ardennes. But that is not what makes American case peculiar, it is the fact that this Soviet bending of the facts was presented as providing for the "untoward result for relations between east and west in post-war era." [32] Yet, from the distance of the years passed since the momentous events of WWII this complaint, however justified, seems almost trivial against the background of overwhelming majority of an American public, 55%, thinking US contributed most to defeat of Germany with only 11% thinking it was Soviet Union as one of many similar polls testify. [33] If those astonishing numbers are not the result of propaganda, one is then forced to contemplate how, other than propaganda, such a complete obliviousness to the basic facts of WWII could have been achieved. If Russians bent the truth in the case of Ardennes, what kind of bending did it take to convince that many people that corps, at most, level engagements in North Africa or Sicily, against by far not the first-rate German units and totally demoralized and refusing to fight Italians, defeated Nazi military machine?

Make your own conclusions. The pattern is, certainly, there. And, paradoxically, Soviet Ardennes "case" is not entirely without at least some merit: the Dietrich's 6th Army began its withdrawal to the Eastern Front  before the Vistula-Oder Offensive commencement.  This, however, in no way diminishes US Army's great fight and the fact that German offensive was stopped and then turned back entirely out of American resources and effort. Yet, read again marked in yellow and experience the language of the wounded pride. This pattern will continue to manifest itself and it will continue to go hand in hand with increasingly bizarre actions in foreign policy and war on the US part. These are the signs and symptoms of a serious decline.



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