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Old 04-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #126
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I think the Mexican-American War would be up there though.

Really, Germany bit off more than it could chew. And they got really lucky in France. If the French had actually put up a decent fight, the Germans would have had their back up against the Soviets. Not even a "fight to the last man" defense or a turn Paris into a front line city. Just a competent defense.

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Old 04-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #127
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A fading past: How America remembers World War I

It's very sad considering this war the war that made America an international player in the world and started the idea of the America Century that made it such an imperialist power. If not for the intervention of US troops in the war on the side of the Allies, the Germans would likely have marched on Paris and ended the war in total exhaustion and armistice. The Kaiser would have remained in power and their would have been no Treaty of Versaille because Germany had more leverage to negotiate. This too means no Weimar Republic and no rise of Adolf Hitler to take it over.


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Old 04-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #128
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It's a damn shame more Americans don't honor or even remember the sacrifices their great (or great-great) grandparents made during WW1. Over 100k Americans died. 5 million ultimately served. Who knows how many were scarred for life, either physically or mentally.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:19 PM   #129
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There's are some very nice World War I American memorial cemeteries in Europe. Though they're now largely overshadowed by the more numerous memorial cemeteries for the Americans who died in World War II.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:31 PM   #130
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I tell you, World War 1 is the LAST war I'd want to fight in. The conditions make it sound unbearable. Of course these weren't picnics either, but give me World War 2 or Vietnam any day. At least you didn't spend the whole war hunkered down like a rat waiting for some fool to tell you to charge in the open towards machine gun fire.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:33 PM   #131
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I "feel bad" that WW2 gets all the attention. Korea,WW1 and numerous other wars seem to always take a backseat.
Honestly,WW2 is my "favorite" war(not sure how else to say it). Mainly because of Hitler and the Nazis. I think they still hold a huge fascination for alot of people,and I'm one of them.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #132
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I tell you, World War 1 is the LAST war I'd want to fight in. The conditions make it sound unbearable. Of course these weren't picnics either, but give me World War 2 or Vietnam any day. At least you didn't spend the whole war hunkered down like a rat waiting for some fool to tell you to charge in the open towards machine gun fire.
That's not the worst thing about World War I. When the war was finally over, things actually got worse. Starting with the Spanish flu, which actually killed more people than the damn war. Millions survived the war, but they could not survive the flu. Then came the greatest economic depression in history. Coupled with the rise of fascism, and other extreme nationalistic movements. And then came the coup de grace, the greatest war in human history, which directly affected / killed most of the people who were devastated by the first war.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #133
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The first half of the 20th century perfectly embodies the proverb "May you live in interesting times." Its my favorite period of history, even if it is one of the most terrible.

Speaking of the First World War, I love this museum. I've been there and I loved it. Working there someday would be my dream.

http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new...community.aspx

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Old 04-07-2012, 12:22 AM   #134
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It's a damn shame more Americans don't honor or even remember the sacrifices their great (or great-great) grandparents made during WW1. Over 100k Americans died. 5 million ultimately served. Who knows how many were scarred for life, either physically or mentally.
This is why I believe WWI is worse than WWII, as far as surviving it. The use of gas had long-lasting health effects. My great-grandfather served in WWI and died about 6 years later because he was in a gas attack. I think the physical deformities from injuries are more common than in WWII which led to art work such as this

http://chichsterthefashionister.file..._invalides.jpg

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Speaking of the First World War, I love this museum. I've been there and I loved it. Working there someday would be my dream.

http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new...community.aspx
I will have to go there some day. There are really no museums dedicated to war in DC or anywhere in the Northeast that I'm at.

When I went to London a couple years ago, I went to the Imperial War Museum. Without a doubt the best museum I've ever been to. I could have spent the entire day there. I highly recommend it if anyone has the opportunity to go. I don't think there's a museum in the US like it.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:21 AM   #135
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Around Remembrance Day (or Memorial Day in the States), we always hear about soldiers of previous wars who died "fighting for our freedoms". I think World War II is the war that allows them to get away with that, because it's hard to portray a war against fascism as anything else.

To this day, they'll still tell us that soldiers in World War I died for our freedoms, etc. And in the case of the First World War, that's certainly a load of crap. I guess it sounds better than "they died to maintain the profit margins of big business."

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:30 AM   #136
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Well, the US played a fairly minor role in World War I. The idea of the US being a global superhero was almost entirely the result of World War II. Though you could say that for the Korean War too. If you're Korean. Vietnam was a lot more complicated.

Though really, if you're fighting against fascism, Nazism and communism, it's hard not to be fighting for freedom.

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:29 AM   #137
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I tell you, World War 1 is the LAST war I'd want to fight in. The conditions make it sound unbearable. Of course these weren't picnics either, but give me World War 2 or Vietnam any day. At least you didn't spend the whole war hunkered down like a rat waiting for some fool to tell you to charge in the open towards machine gun fire.
World War I was definitely worse for the troops actually doing the fighting, at least on the Western Front. Civilians though got it much worse in the second go around.

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To this day, they'll still tell us that soldiers in World War I died for our freedoms, etc. And in the case of the First World War, that's certainly a load of crap. I guess it sounds better than "they died to maintain the profit margins of big business."
When the Germans are killing Americans by sinking their merchant ships with subs and trying to actively convince Mexico to invade the US, I think that the United States is justified in declaring war.


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Old 04-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #138
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When the Germans are killing Americans by sinking their merchant ships with subs and trying to actively convince Mexico to invade the US, I think that the United States is justified in declaring war.
The United States were definitely justified in declaring war on the Triple Alliance. Germany had offered Mexico the "blank cheque" the same offer they had given to Austria-Hungary, which led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia.

The only thing that really prevented the United States from getting involved earlier was A) it wasn't really their problem and B) Russia, was involved and was an autocracy, so what would the US be fighting for?

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Old 04-07-2012, 11:48 AM   #139
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Around Remembrance Day (or Memorial Day in the States), we always hear about soldiers of previous wars who died "fighting for our freedoms". I think World War II is the war that allows them to get away with that, because it's hard to portray a war against fascism as anything else.

To this day, they'll still tell us that soldiers in World War I died for our freedoms, etc. And in the case of the First World War, that's certainly a load of crap. I guess it sounds better than "they died to maintain the profit margins of big business."
This reminded me of a paper I wrote in college. I ended it by saying "By 1916, about a half million Americans had bought Allied war bonds worth about two billion dollars, while only twenty seven million dollars worth of German bonds had been bought. As a result, American economic well being depended on an Allied victory."

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #140
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World War I was definitely worse for the troops actually doing the fighting, at least on the Western Front. Civilians though got it much worse in the second go around.



When the Germans are killing Americans by sinking their merchant ships with subs and trying to actively convince Mexico to invade the US, I think that the United States is justified in declaring war.
When you quote me and then quote USSR apologist Axl, please distinguish between the two. I don't want anyone to mistake his views for mine.

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #141
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When you quote me and then quote USSR apologist Axl, please distinguish between the two. I don't want anyone to mistake his views for mine.
Fixed. Sorry.

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Old 04-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #142
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Germany had no means of supporting a Mexican invasion of the United States because their entire naval fleet was bottled into the Atlantic by the British. All of their funds were devouted to fighting the war in Europe too. If President Wilson had done some real rational thinking and objective reasoning behind the true dangers of Germany to the United States, he would have been able to conclude there was no danger from that nation and no need for the US to send troops to Europe.

I say the United States should not have sent ground troops to Europe because the war was mostly over and they only served for about six months and helped the French and British win the war so that they could impose rediculous peace conditions like stripping Germany of its military, monarchy, colonies, territory and what not that led to another world war. Americans had the right to declare war on Germany and to arm their merchant and passenger ships, and to booster their navy against U-boats by assisting the Allies in that regard, but there was totally no need for a ground war at all.

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #143
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When you quote me and then quote USSR apologist Axl, please distinguish between the two. I don't want anyone to mistake his views for mine.
Aren't you a delicate flower.

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This reminded me of a paper I wrote in college. I ended it by saying "By 1916, about a half million Americans had bought Allied war bonds worth about two billion dollars, while only twenty seven million dollars worth of German bonds had been bought. As a result, American economic well being depended on an Allied victory."
Thank you! This is the real reason the United States fought World War I.

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When the Germans are killing Americans by sinking their merchant ships with subs and trying to actively convince Mexico to invade the US, I think that the United States is justified in declaring war.
Ignoring the ridiculous possibility of an armed Mexican invasion, see 8wid on the German role.

The Lusitania sank after the Germans adopted unrestricted submarine warfare. Clearly, the German leaders did not want to antagonize America and risk bringing it into the war on the side of the Allies. However, the effects of Britain's blockade were tightening the noose around Germany and increasing pressure to end the war quickly. Hindenberg and Ludendorff calculated that the risk of antagonizing the U.S. by unrestricted submarine warfare was outweighed by the potential to win the war sooner by disrupting Allied shipping across the Atlantic.

Let's be clear: the U.S. did not go to war against Germany to avenge the Lusitania. That was merely a convenient pretext. We know this is true because countries do not inevitably go to war when a foreign nation kills their citizens. The U.S. didn't go to war with Israel over the U.S.S. Liberty incident, for example.

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #144
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No, they didn't go to war to avenge the Lusitania. That occurred in 1915. Following the sinking of the Lusitania, President Wilson warned the German government that further attacks on ships would mean war with Germany. By 1917 Hindenberg and Ludendorff had decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, knowing that it would mean war with the US although they didn't really care. From January 1917 until the declaration of war on April 6, the Germans sank 12 American ships (mostly in March and early April), killing 63 Americans and had made it clear that they would continue to do so. It wasn't about revenge for the Lusitania, it was about saving American lives and property. If the war was declared soley for economic reasons, they would have declared war much earlier than 1917.

The Liberty was different in that it was a single incident and not an official Israeli policy to sink and continue to sink American ships (notice that the US didn't immediately declare war after the sinking of the Lusitania either), and also the officially it was an 'accident' despite claims to the contrary. Neither the United States nor Israel were interested in further disputes which is the key difference. Germany was going to continue to sink American ships unless the Americans did something about it. Not the case with the Liberty.


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Old 04-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #145
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The Great War was only between rival imperialist powers including the United States run by corporations hoping to expand their profits and special influence. The Europeans by far had more than the Americans, but it was purely the only motive for the war. Americans wanted to impose their democratic values on the last remnants of Old World Europe or and increase their military prescence around the world.

It began the concept of the American Century and despite comparisons to the era after the Vietnam War, the current wars in the Middle East and financial crisis will bring an end to that era for good. Americans will be just as ambitious as they've been since the War of 1812 anyway.

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Old 04-08-2012, 07:38 PM   #146
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No, they didn't go to war to avenge the Lusitania. That occurred in 1915. Following the sinking of the Lusitania, President Wilson warned the German government that further attacks on ships would mean war with Germany. By 1917 Hindenberg and Ludendorff had decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, knowing that it would mean war with the US although they didn't really care. From January 1917 until the declaration of war on April 6, the Germans sank 12 American ships (mostly in March and early April), killing 63 Americans and had made it clear that they would continue to do so. It wasn't about revenge for the Lusitania, it was about saving American lives and property. If the war was declared soley for economic reasons, they would have declared war much earlier than 1917.

The Liberty was different in that it was a single incident and not an official Israeli policy to sink and continue to sink American ships (notice that the US didn't immediately declare war after the sinking of the Lusitania either), and also the officially it was an 'accident' despite claims to the contrary. Neither the United States nor Israel were interested in further disputes which is the key difference. Germany was going to continue to sink American ships unless the Americans did something about it. Not the case with the Liberty.
I forgot that the sinking of the Lusitania happened all the way back in 1915, so thanks for catching that.

Germany was basically asking America to declare war on them by resuming unrestricted submarine warfare. But I think it's important to remember that from the German perspective, they didn't really have a choice, other than letting Britain starve them into submission.

Mostly I agree with your post, except for a couple points:

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It wasn't about revenge for the Lusitania, it was about saving American lives and property.
More the latter than the former.

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If the war was declared soley for economic reasons, they would have declared war much earlier than 1917.
Not true. It took until 1917 for it to become clear to American business interests just how much they required an Allied victory for continued prosperity.

As Hobgoblin pointed out, by 1916, the U.S. had lent out $2 billion in war bonds to the Allies and only $27 million to the Germans. They had a lot more to lose in the event of a Germany victory.

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Old 04-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #147
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Around Remembrance Day (or Memorial Day in the States), we always hear about soldiers of previous wars who died "fighting for our freedoms". I think World War II is the war that allows them to get away with that, because it's hard to portray a war against fascism as anything else.

To this day, they'll still tell us that soldiers in World War I died for our freedoms, etc. And in the case of the First World War, that's certainly a load of crap. I guess it sounds better than "they died to maintain the profit margins of big business."
Companies seeking profit was not the purpose behind WWI. It was the fact that Europe was run by a bunch of outdated monarchies, who had no idea how technology had changed the nature of war and wanted to have a "short little war" to settle rather trivial matters, like colonial competition between the powers. They thought the war would over in a year and that it would "fun".

The Russian Revolution wouldn`t have happened without WWI. That wasn`t good for any companies in Russia and only a fool wouldn`t realize how unpopular the war was becoming with the Russian population. The war was not profitable for Europe at all, it devastated the European economy and I doubt European companies made much of profit on that war because it was fought in their backyard, its easier to make money off of war when its fought far away, instead of having to worry about your factories getting bombed. WWI was more caused by incompetence rather then out right malice.


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Old 04-11-2012, 11:49 PM   #148
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Was JFK's Vietnam Policy Reversed After His Death?

This should regenerate some discussion despite the conspiracy theories presented.

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Old 04-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #149
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The 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812. The War of 1812 tarnished the legacies of older, more experienced soldiers who thought that they could rekindle the magic they had during the American Revolution. The War also made famous younger officers like Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, James Harrison, Davey Crockett and Sam Houston. Jackson and Harrison later became Presidents, Scott remained in the American Army until right after the start of the Civil War and Crockett and Houston fought for Texas Independence. On the political front, I think Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun became famous after the War of 1812.

Although I believe Jackson's victory in New Orleans occurred after the Treaty of Ghent was signed to officially end the War of 1812. Never again would the United States and Great Britain go to war against each other.

I am curious though what would have happened if the war never occurred. Would the British have crushed Napoleon sooner? I mean they were fighting him at the same time that they were fighting in the War of 1812.

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Old 04-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #150
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I think it's fair to speculate that the second term of John F. Kennedy would have been pretty mellow and not been as productive as the Johnson presidency was.

If Kennedy survived Lee Oswalds attempt on his life in Dallas in 1963, he would have not done much in 1964 but to gear up for his reelection campaign that he would have won in a landslide over Barry Gold Water. While the Gulf of Tonkin incident still happened Kennedy's priorities would not have been to escalate the war in Vietnam, he more likely than not would have simply blown off the supposed attacks by Vietcong gun boats as bad intelligence and waited to dig deeper before starting a larger war. Besides without the paranoia and shock caused by the assassination of Kennedy and the thought that JFK was killed as part of a communist conspiracy Johnson had and never truly dismissed, chances are the war would not have escalated much.

Starting in 1965, Kennedy would have begun to petition Congress to pass a civil rights act to end racial discrimination in the South, but would have been opposed on both sides of the aisle for political reasons. Only with Lyndon Johnson's support would he have gotten it passed. The same is true for a voting rights act by 1966. Fighting this battle also meant Kennedy would have likely started gradually pulling military advisers out of South Vietnam while trying to wind down the Cold War, removing the 16,000 or so there only by the end of his second term. Kennedy may have also looked at ways to expanding detente with the Soviet Union by trying to get a joint mission to the Moon planned, that would have ultimately probably have been rejected. Instead a realistic alternative is an additional extension of the limited test ban treaty signed when Khrushchev was the premier of the Soviet Union.

These measures would have infuriated many conservatives whose vote would have turned towards Richard Nixon running in 1968. If the war in Vietnam had turned against the South, chances are the GOP would have taken advantage of the paranoia of Saigon falling to the communists and another arms treaty with the Soviet Union to attack Kennedy.

Things like medicare, medicaid, the Great Society that reduced US poverty by half, would not have happened. If a Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or Nixon presidency followed JFK's this might have changed, but not likely. But unless Nixon ran and won in 68 and had a chance to escalate US troop presence in Vietnam, imagine the greater stability it would have brought.

Race riots, women rights, the energy crisis and oil embargo of the 1970s would have continued. But without Kennedy implementing a draft for Vietnam, war protests would have not been as severe. No recession would have followed the Vietnam War, a much less troubling energy crisis, and no Vietnam syndrome to lead to the Soviet Union taking advantage of America's weakness and invading Afghanistan in 1979. The Iranian hostage crisis was likely though.

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