The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Heal Thyself

June 1, 2005 | 53 Comments

Rabidly atheistic secular humanists have hijacked the Constitution to impose their view of science on the public schools. Fortunately, the private sector has escaped their grasp, as I was reminded when I walked into my local pharmacy recently. What’s that on the book rack, nestled between “Thanks for the Mammogram” and “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution?”

PharmacyFinal.jpg

Let’s take a closer look:

PathwayCovers.jpg

Precisely what I want to see in an institution entrusted with filling medical prescriptions. But let’s not judge a book by its cover, or even its back cover. Dr. Cherry is a bona-fide certi-fied medical physician of doctorology, after all. So let’s start with Chapter 1:

Before we begin discussing prostate disease, how to pray for it, and what natural substances to take for it, I want to set the spiritual foundation for your healing.

As a medical doctor, I am keenly aware that I am only a helper in the healing process. Once I’ve diagnosed the likely cause of an illness prescribed the appropriate medication or treatment, and explained the process to the patient, there is only one thing left to do. Actual healing is performed by God; I only treat. More than anyone else involved, I realize and acknowledge that the patient’s manifestation of healing is dependent upon his faith in the Word of God and his obedience to God’s natural health laws.

So what is the one thing left for me to do? I pray!

No, no, no, not some silly unscientific sky-babbling to a long-dead pagan deity. Remember, he’s a doctor:

I pray very specifically. I pray, for example, for a patient’s Pathway to healing. This is based on the rather unique illustration of healing in Jesus’ ministry cited in John, chapter 9. Jesus placed mud and saliva on the blind man’s eyes, but the blind man was not healed. Jesus then instructed him to go down to the pool called Siloam, reach down in the water, and wash the mud away. In John 9:7, the Bible says that as he went his way and washed, he was healed. Thus God instructed me to set myself in agreement with each of my patients for their unique Pathway to Healing.

God’s instruction to me has been to have people consider carefully that their healing may involve the combination of the natural with the supernatural. Really, all healing comes from God and thus is supernatural

.

Dr. Cherry may not be an ophthalmologist, but the principle is the same. Just spitting and rubbing dirt on your prostate won’t help unless God directs you to a body of magic water. Now that pharmacies are wise to this secret, will the major teaching hospitals follow suit? Perhaps:

Our generation of physicians is just beginning to realize the limitations of modern medicine and is seeking information in the natural realm to help protect the health of our patients. Together, physicians and their patients are realizing that God has provided many natural pathways for us to help guard and protect our health.

Whenever I see someone attacking “modern medicine,” I anticipate a get-well quick scheme. Not with Dr. Cherry:

Yes, we would all like to be healed instantly, supernaturally, and miraculously. Thank God that miracles are still taking place. Jesus in the “same yesterday, and today, and for ever” according to Hebrews 13:8. But, as we saw in John 9, sometimes we are healed as we go our way, following the instructions God has given us

Comments

53 Responses to “Heal Thyself”

  1. Kate
    June 1st, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

    http://www.drcherry.org

    The quack doesn’t even have a clinic, apparently.

  2. HexGhost
    June 1st, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    Nothing makes me madder than seeing this shit at a pharmacy. Imagine if you went to a psychiatrist and instead there was an astrologist…

  3. Dadoc
    June 1st, 2005 @ 3:00 pm

    HexGhost, not to worrry. The more weak-minded people who subscribe to the power of “prayer” as an exclusive answer to sickness and disease, the fewer there will be.

    Ever seen some 7th-Day Adventists up close? Nothing like a little skin disease (quite common back in the 10th century, before the discovery of the power of soap) to make you feel good about your heathenistic ways. I’m sure if they pray long and hard enough, gOD will stop the itching.

    Tee, hee

  4. Dave
    June 1st, 2005 @ 4:35 pm

    Unfortunately, Dadoc, selection pressure only works on things that kill you before you reproduce. Chances are, your prostate acts up on you well after you’ve had your kids.

    Now, encouraging the faithful to forego tetanus boosters, antibiotics and vaccinations for their children, on the other hand, has some real potential!

  5. boywonder
    June 1st, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

    For every doctor who graduates magna cum lauda, there is a doctor who squeaks by with a D average. George Carlin put it best: “You ever wonder who is the worst doctor in world? You know there has to be one.” I wonder how this guy reconciles faith with medicine? You have to be a little confused or extremely religious to pull that one off.

  6. aa gnome
    June 1st, 2005 @ 10:49 pm

    The doctor is trying to make a buck and so is the pharmacy. I find their method despicable and yet relish the thought of all the sheep being fleeced. It is the sheep that scare me, scare the hell out of me. Without the sheep all the pat robertsons in the world cannot do anything but talk. How did we get to the twenty first century having so many sheep amongst us? And I see no answer except to keep talking about critical thinking at every opportunity and hope we can last long enough for reason and science to triumph. The sheep cannot be reasoned with. There is a portion of their brain that simply does not function. Blogs like this do actually make a difference. Keep up the good work!

  7. hermesten
    June 1st, 2005 @ 11:12 pm

    I don’t have to pray, or be prayed for, because I found a doctor who has a special in with God, sort of like Patton’s chaplain who stopped the snow so the 3rd Army could start whooping Nazi ass during the Battle of the Bulge.

    “For every doctor who graduates magna cum lauda, there is a doctor who squeaks by with a D average. ”

    I don’t know about medical school, but most graduate schools I’m familar with require a B average for graduation. In any case, how do you explain Senator Frist? I don’t think he graduated with a D average. Then again, lately I’m reading that his religious spirit and rapport with the common man may be a little “studied.”

  8. boywonder
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 12:29 am

    hermesten, sorry, yes I suppose grad schools need to look good by not handing out certificates like candy to anyone who pays for their schooling. But, how do you explain doctors such as this one? Or even Bush for that matter? I know Bush is not a doctor (that’s a good one), but he was a C student at an ivy league school. I suppose you can explain away Bush’s acceptance as political maneuvering, but that makes docs like this even more puzzling. How can someone smart enough to understand (and be exposed to the scientific method) general medicine be dumb enough to accept religion? It sounds like selective reasoning to me. what’s your take?

  9. Delta
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 12:41 am

    Wow, that is truly sad.

    “righteous people are attacked in their bodies simply because they are such a threat to the kingdom of darkness”—–how can someone actually believe that? Much less say it publicly?

  10. Lundie
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 1:20 am

    Hold it right there. If you are afflicted with prostate cancer it is the Will of God right? Is Cheri saying that you can get God to change his mind?

    “Hmm the schedule’s rather empty today so I think I’ll give a ramdom bugger prostate cancer for starters and follow up with anaemia and just a dash of dementia. Oops he’s praying to me, I’d better cure him sharpish.”

  11. Xianghong
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 2:31 am

    I just love the way the quack wormed his way out of the you’ve-been-faithless-so-the-Will-of-God-has-inflicted-you-with-prostrate-cancer with a simple “it can be, but isn

  12. hermesten
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 10:43 am

    Boywonder, well, I’m not saying grad schools don’t hand out certificates like candy to anyone who pays for their schooling. In fact, the buzz I’ve heard about even the Ivy League graduate schools, and even medical school, is that once you’re in, if you make an effort, you’re going to graduate (e.g. see Harvard Phd and author Paul Fusell on Harvard graduate school). But when you do, you’ll have a B average.

    How do I explain the Chimp? Well, though he went to Andover, and scored lower on the SAT than my homeschooled kids, and Natalie Portman (who got a very respectable 1400), he had a decent SAT score (1250 I think) –though a 1250 is not decent enough for us commoners to enter into those hallowed halls, a 900 is good enough if your powerful daddy is an alumnus. Of course I’m assuming that the Chimp really scored 1250 and didn’t either pay someone to take the test for him or simply buy the results straight up (and this is a very big assumption indeed).

    So we have a couple of possiblities. 1) the Chimp really got a 1250 (or didn’t) and his daddy either “paid” off the school (not necessarily with money, there are lots of other possiblities –“investment advice” for example) or he paid someone to be a stand-in (not unheard of, and the Chimp’s drug sales may well have been more than enough for him to cover the expense without even asking his daddy for the money); 2) the Chimp really got a 1250 (or didn’t), and once a young scion gets into Yale, the going is easy. Personally, I would guess it was a combination of the two.

    I don’t think this “doctor” is that hard to explain. Again, we have to assume he really is a “doctor,” and I don’t think we can necessarily take this for granted. But assuming he is a doctor I don’t think we have to look very far for the answer. Medical school, and most other graduate schools, except perhaps for the hard sciences, are more of a memory test than an intelligence test. Physicist Richard P. Fenyman, in “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Fenyman,” talks about the physics students he taught in Brazil. They were excellent hard working students who could regurgitate answers they had memorized verbatim on tests, but had practically no ability to apply this knowledge to an unconsidered problem. I run into people all the time, like engineers, who know lots of “facts” but are utterly unable to apply these facts to answer a new question or problem.

    So, my guess would be, this guy is simply an idiot with a good memory.

  13. MBains
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    They were excellent hard working students who could regurgitate answers they had memorized verbatim on tests, but had practically no ability to apply this knowledge to an unconsidered problem.

    Ahhhh! The crux of the matter is right there.

    I’ve always differentiated between Dumb and Stupid. The former being without the ability to learn or think very well. Mentally retarded people, I mean really retarded, as in Down Syndrome and the like, fall under this category by necessity. Many people just aren’t so quick.

    Stupid, on the other hand, involves no lack of intelligence per se. It is simply when otherwise smart folk don’t use thier intelligence fully. This goes back to the principle that the most brilliantly worked out theorem can be utterly worthless if its premise is faulty. Accepting a god-concept as a unquestioned premise is about as stupid as it gets.

    Dr Cherry (assuming he is one) is obviously a stupid human being. The Chimperor, on the other hand (1250 or not) is as dumb Ronnie Reagan always proved to be. Performing poseurs, the both of ‘em.

  14. Dave
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 12:51 pm

    In many respects, this is just the Christian version of all the New Age/Traditional medicine quackery that appeals to a different demographic. There’s always someone willing to buy your product to try to help a condition.

    The white coat and the title “Dr.” still fools a lot of people. Also, the legitimate medical treatments for prostate cancer are less than satisfactory in many cases, so desperate people will try just about anything. People want to believe in magical crap, and this way of thinking is more common in the world at large than material naturalistic rationalism. In rural India, for example, schizophrenia is seen as demonic possession. Hell, in China, rhino horn, fossils, tiger penis, all kinds of stuff with no active ingredients are ground up to help with virility and various ailments. (Ironically, Erectile Dysfunction drugs might save endangered animals, because they actually achieve the desired effect on the humans who take them, lessening the demand for the traditional remedies)

    Anyway, there is a looooong way to go.

  15. Dave
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

    Oops. I had paragraphs when I wrote that. They disappeared when posting.

  16. Viole
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 2:24 pm

    Did you see Boondocks today(Thursday)? Those poor christians are persecuted even in the comics!

  17. TrixieKatt
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 3:23 pm

    Viole, your link is fubar.

    But it seems to have been a bad week for the Xtians in the funnies. Did you see Tom Toles’ cartoon from the Wash. Post a few days ago?

  18. simbol
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

    Herm

    I read long time ago Feynman’s book. I didn’t buy his entire story about Brasil because I have been professor in an University of my country.
    At least one cannot generalize. Had him put clear the rules before he started the course things would had been different. As a visiting professor he could do that whereas a local professor may be couldn’t. The final session with faculty and students didn’t surprise me. While is true that learning by heart was the way most universities used 50 years ago in LA (when Feynman was there), that was not true in general. And that is not true now, far from that. Quality in a university depends on the faculty, curricula, selection of students, infrastructure, money available, access to up to date information AND the grade of freedom the professor has on the content and the way of teaching his course. When teaching I never used learning by heart but the problem-case system and I was free to use the way and the content I saw fit. I can understand Feynman because something like that happened to me. First question of the students, sometimes, was: Which is the “guide book”? I usually answered something like this :there is not a guide book but a lot of books in the library, look for them, and you won’t find some things in the books but in your brain, look for them there. And this was 25 years ago. Pity that internet has not arrived.

    I write this post because I’m fed up of a lot of a unsustained opinion on Latin America based on a two-week travel to Mexico o something like that. I has been living here 2 years, had visited this country 40 times and have read a lot about it, and I don’t feel able to emit an informed opinion. You have to live here to discover the very peculiar way of forming your laws and the deep vertical and horizontal distribution of power, that you don’t have a constitution wit 7 articles and 20 some amendments, but a constitution with 51 separate books and a lot of amendments (a lawyer’s paradise), not to mention the fact that in almost all the countries death pealty, abortion or gay marriage wouldn’t be an issue to be resolved by the Supreme Court or regional legislatures but by national parliament or national referenda wether you are a federation or not (I’m not criticizing, only observing, maybe the way you do things is better). Imagine if I had formed my opinion on USA based on a two-week visit to New York when Clinton was president (before Monica), or in a same lenght visit to present Arkansas while they are dealing with Darwin. May be is useful for understanding latin america, begin to think that the only that there is in common is religion. Even language present differences: Brasil speaks Portuguese and is a big chunk of LA, and some countries speak french, dutch and english. Not to mention that countries like Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador and some parts of Mexico and central america ,speak aboriginal languages in a day-to-day basis, some of them don’t even speak understandable spanish. It would take a lot of space to explain how different two latinamerican countries like Chile and Venezuela can be. And for religion, 95% of Latins are Catholics, but the religious landscape is very different between countries. In some countries divorce was not allowed until 20-30 years ago, the recourse was catholic annulation, but in Venezuela there is civil divorce from 1874 and practically no slavery from 1820 and legally from 1846. Finally let me tell you that in some LA countries religion is taken a lot less seriously than USA and I don’t exactly know why, but maybe there are historical reasons, e.g. Jesuits were expelled from Venezuela in the XVIII century and there was a civil war in 1860 strongly charged with anti clericalism, and Mexico had an anticlerical revolution in the 20s. In some LA countries if an Archbishop tried to prevent to teach Evolution, he would be the laughingstock of the land. And surely government will tell him “public school is not your business neither education curricula, Teach your version in church or dominical school or simultaneously with evolution in your private schools.” Only in abortion, religion plays a rol fighting to prevent abrogation of legal prohibition. But not totally succesful, in general abortion is only legally permitted when the mother is in danger but this is for the physician to decide and you can deal with your doctor.There doesn’t exist prolife groups bombing clinics and government doesn’t enforce the law, sees the other way and spends money not in teaching abstention, but prevention. Churches are usually empty, save in Easter and then most of the people go to the beach. My country is not heaven, if it were I wouldn’t be here. But, as some other countries of LA, they are not the backwater or the stronghold of christianism as some people think. I think a good way of describing the situation in MY country is something like this: Take seriously god but don’t do the same with church and priests. In fact catholic priest are usually alluded in a despective way: “curas”. This is nice but have his downside: Catholic church have tried but is powerless for fighting the present government and its authotitarian tendencies. A Bonus: People there don’t read the bible, in fact most of the people don’t read any book when in mass. In my parent’s home I saw a cross and a picture of Christ but never a bible. There, I never hid I was atheist and never somebody was scandalized by that (Maybe they didn’t believe me). My boy was baptized by a priest friend of mine (Why baptized is a long story not pertinent now) . He was a professor of History in the Catholic University and a lovable person. He knew very well I was atheist. His only comment: “Thanks god atheism is not genetic”.

  19. jahrta
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 5:45 pm

    Simbol – your response to your professor “friend” should have been: “too bad that stupidity is, however.”

  20. simbol
    June 2nd, 2005 @ 6:16 pm

    Jharta

    What for?

    If you were a catholic priest had you used the word “genetic”?

    That word has powerful connotations, see Arkansas.

  21. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 9:21 am

    Ah yes, the obligatory incest joke about Arkansas. It’s plain to see that even highly “enlightened” atheists haven’t evolved beyond gross mischaracterizations based on baseless stereotypes.

  22. hermesten
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 10:31 am

    Simbol, for the purposes of my example I don’t think it really matters that the students Fenyman talked about were in Brazil. From what I remember of the book Fenyman considered the Brazilians to be superior students. After all, anyone who knows anything about education outside the US knows that the selection process for college entrance is far more rigorous in most other countries than it is here. I suspect that a good number of the students who get admitted to US colleges wouldn’t be able to get into college in countries like Brazil, France, and Lebanon. My own experience is that the average college professor educated outside the US is better educated than the average American professor. Fenyman also talks about an assistant to Einstein who couldn’t solve a simple relativity problem when it wasn’t presented in the accustomed form. My point was only that people with good memories can get good grades in school, and that even people who one would normallly think must be smart, can fail to fully assimilate and apply the principles they are supposed to have learned.

    For the most part, I agree with you about hasty generalizations. However, sometimes the outright falsehoods can be dispelled, and some appreciation for the complexities can begin to soak-in, at least for those who are paying attention, and not just trying to duplicate conditions at home in another country. It’s a sad fact that only something like 10% of Americans have passports and only something like 10% of the people with passports have travelled outside the US. The world would be a lot better off if every American had spent two weeks in Mexico. I was watching “Destination Tokyo,” a WWII movie the other day, and in it they say that the Japanese trained their children to kill starting at age seven, and that the Japanese don’t love their women the way us Americans do and don’t even have a word for “love” in their language. It’s a lot easier to bomb people who “don’t even have a word for love.” If more Americans knew more about other countries and other people, maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to bomb them into oblivion.

  23. Viole
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 10:45 am

    My poor world. It’s high time we abolished archaic concepts like borders in favor of a united world. They’re nothing more than lines on a map, anyway, that divide us just as effectively as race and religion.

  24. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 10:59 am

    Viole — and who would govern this “united” world you suggest? Who would have the authority to tax? What laws would we adopt? Personally I see a “united” world (at least in government) as a recipe for disaster. I favor a confederated form of government where the seat of power is closer to home, like the canton system in Switzerland. It makes for more liberty.

  25. simbol
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    Frank

    Is exactly te opposite to stereotyping.

    First quote about Arkansas was meant to show tha it would be stereotyping USA if you generalize about was is happening in Arkansas related to evolution.

    Second quote about Arkansas was related to show that behind the word “genetic” is a battle beween believers and non believers, simply was shorter tu put Arkansas thinking it would be understood this way.

    Finally I have not made, ever, judgement values about the entire population of Arkansas. It would be a generalization I wouldn’t commit. But let me tell yo I have read in this blog unsavory references to Arkansas coming from who I suppose are american citizens.

  26. Viole
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

    Sorry Frank, I forgot that only the antichrist wants world peace. My mistake.

    Are you daft? What kind of idiot do you think I am? I should have known better than to make that suggestion without linking to my 200 page draft constitution, complete with its own Universal Declaration of Rights, Treatise on the Power of Taxation, and Provision for the Sterilization of Religious Idiots.

    Do you take me for a fool because I disagree with you? You certainly seem to, because I once referred to George W. Bush as a fascist monkey, and stand by that assertion. Do you think I propose some kind of world dictatorship, that’s going to take away your Personal Thermonuclear Defensive Unit(TM) and convert you to homosexuality?

    A world government should exist for three reasons, and three only. First, to protect the rights of all people, including minimum workplace standards and civil rights. Second, to protect the environment, and thus the future of all people. Third, to preserve democracy and prevent local conflict from reaching the level of violence.

    To this end, they need a research/investigative wing, so they are not beholden to either grassroots movements or corporations; a legislative council(with proportional representation); and an army, so it can’t be ignored. All people should be loyal not to their geographic location, but to the world, the species, and each other.

    Lines in the sand will doom us all, Frank. Sooner or later, some desperate imperialist, seeing power about to be wrenched from his grasp, will decide that the world is his or no one’s. And who will be there to stop him?

  27. simbol
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

    Viole

    Nationalism is a word I’m used to be afraid of. In its name have been comitted countless crimes. And I’m very wary about Patriotism, because usually behind this word lurks xenofobia and some political merchants .

    My post about LA didn’t mean I was “offended”. I wrote I was “fed up” which is different. Seing countries, even entire continents through slogans is almost unavoidable otherwise you have to work very much to acquire the knowledge for having a well based opinion on the entire world but you have to avoid it if you can. Sadly, Usa is viewed through slogans (imperialism, drugs, wars, greedy, pow abuse, etc), reality is very different, a least from my point of view, sadly also is that this view is helped by the entertaining industry and the press. What comes to your mind when you read “Africa”? Famine, Aids, bloody wars, backwardnes. Africa is more complicate than that, take Sudafrica and you wil need a week of reading for understanding what is happening there, not to mention Egypt. So my post was a call of attention on LA: It is not only catholicism, revolutions, backwardnes and cha-cha-cha.

    And, about borders, I’m afraid the current is against its supression. See what is happening in Europe now. Sometimes i believe nationalism is an incurable disease.

  28. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 12:47 pm

    Viole — I don’t take you for a fool but I seriously question the wisdom that supports a one-world government. It will not work for the same reason communism does not work. It works in theory but it would be implimented by people and people are corrupt. Give them power and they become even more corrupt. They will manipulate to gain more power and will become tyrants in the end.

    You said such a government would exist for three reasons:

    1) To protect the rights of all people, including workplace standards and civil rights. Who determines these standards? The question needs to be answered because there is a huge discrepancy between cultures as to what would be appropriate standards.

    2) Protect the environment. Who determines where the rights of the banana slug end and the rights of a farmer begins? Again, huge differences about where that line ought to be drawn.

    3) Preserve democracy and make sure local conflicts don’t rise to the level of violence. Are you aware that there are people in the world who are absolutely opposed to a democratic form of government? There are differences as to what form a democracy should take. Should it be a representative republic? Or an actual democracy?

    There needs to be a “research/investigative wing” to make sure no one is beholden to grassroots or corporate interests. Trying to put a check on corruption is a good idea but who will police the police (or are you of the opinion that the police can’t be corupt?)

    A one-world government is a terrible, terrible idea. And while I don’t take you to be a fool I will say that a one-world government is a foolish idea. Again, I agree with America’s founders that a loose confederated government is the best way. Live and let live. All groups of people should have the right to govern themselves as they see fit and should not be subject to a government so large that it could not possibly govern effectively.

  29. hermesten
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 3:33 pm

    Viole, I think world government is inevitable –not in my lifetime, not in my children’s lifetime, and probably not in the lifetime of my grandchildren’s children, but that’s where things are headed, and we will either get there or we will destroy ourselves before we do. I don’t think there is any other possible outcome. Frank’s fears are justified. But let’s look at them:

    1. Who determines the standards of governance? I think this question gets to the single greatest impediment to government of any kind, but particularly representative government under some reasonable approximation of “freedom.” The fact is, all people are ignorant to one degree or another, and most people are stupid. I don’t believe this condition, at least relative to a contemporary knowledge base, will ever change. The only answer I see is to limit the power one person or group of people have over another person. But assuming the world continues to develop, the current cultural differences between countries will eventually become something more like the cultural differences between groups in the US. What are insurmountable differences now will eventually be on the order of what national differences are today, and subject to compromise and negotiation.

    2. Who determines where the rights of the banana slug end and the rights of a farmer begins? This isn’t a new problem and a unified world will make it less complicated. The fact is that national boundaries create more problems of this kind than would exist without national boundaries, since these boundaries essentially add another layer of self-interest to be accommodated, backed by significant political and ecnomic power that exists only because political boundaries exist..

    3. Differences of opinion to what form government should take? These forms are already known. Unification will not add any new forms to be considered. Certainly whatever form is arrived at will develop through a process of evolution and consolidation. And there is no reason to assume that a one-world government can’t be a “loose confederation” like some of our founders favored, or something like the Swiss model writ large. There is also no reason to assume that a world government will be benign or democratic –it may well be a ruthless and efficient fascist police state serving the interests of mega-corporations. This is the direction in which the US is headed, and its proxies like Great Britain, and since the influence of the US is pervasive, the measures being taken and promoted today may have very long range effects.

    And Simbol, I don’t think the issue in Europe is so clearly about borders and nationalism as you seem to believe. I tend to think rejection of the EU constitution is a sign that Europe is much healthier, politically, than America. This vote was essentially a rejection of their political elites and the power they are acquiring over the lives of individuals, and with it the French and Dutch showed a very healthy contempt for their “leaders.” Were it so in this country, where we appear to be developing a cult of leader-worship and god-identification with power. From what I’ve read the EU Constitution was a horrible document with lots of nasty details, and did everything from putting coroporate interests over the interests of the people, to stripping the people as a whole from any real control of European govenment (since each country would elect only a “consultive” government with no power, and the EU “representatives” would all be appointed by the the existing ruling elites). The “constitution” also gives what amounts to a heckler’s veto, making it possible for a country like the US to block important decisions by buying off a smaller member. In other words, this document is a big step away from representative government, democratic ideals, individual freedom, and self-determination, and was rightly rejected.

  30. jahrta
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 3:36 pm

    i feel like calvin in that strip where his perspective shifts to a pablo picasso-esque nightmare of angularity and surrealistic composition because he can see his father’s side of an argument they had. I can’t believe i’m actually going to say this, but…

    I agree with Frank.

    I think i just heard hell freeze over. oh wait, i don’t believe in it! you see what you’ve done, frank?!? Damn you…..damn you..to….um…..Dyersburg Tennessee? I hear it’s like, really…um….boring there…

    At any rate, I have to give credit where it is due, and that was an effective deconstruction of the world government proposal.

    In the end, people will always focus more on what makes them different or “special” than what makes them like everyone else. it’s just human nature to embrace cultural/religious/ancestral history. Viole is right about the fact that drawing such “lines in the sand” will only lead to mistrust and hatred for others who come from separate backgrounds. for this reason, people will always want to be ruled by their own “kind” and so will never bow down willingly to foreign rule. we’ve seen this in countless empires throughout history, and as recently as the ongoing skirmish with the IRA, or to be more poignant, Iraq.

  31. Viole
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

    Frank, your questions can’t be easily answered, and your assumptions are blatantly false. I’ll start with the questions.

    Who determines standards? Who determines standards in the US? In Europe? It isn’t the people. It’s those in power. Duh. It’s the same with any government. The trouble here would seem to be that you’re afraid of who will decide the standard–the US and Europe don’t have enough population to swing it their way.

    Aware of people opposed to democracy? Again, duh. There’s people opposed to capitalism, too, but you don’t seem to give us any credence. Why do you propose giving them any? After all, it isn’t like humans are predisposed to blindly follow leaders–oh, wait. They are.

    What form should it take? It’s a democracy. Write up a few drafts, and vote on it. We do, after all, have the capability to poll every single person in the world.

    Who will guard the guardians? The trick is to make corruption unprofitable. As to the guardians, they should be the press–taxpayer funded, but independent, rather like the BBC. Media outlets should never be owned by a ‘parent corporation’.

    Now the assumptions. Didn’t I make it explicitly clear that I do not advocate the kind of massive caricature you seem to want to pin on me? What I’m advocating is exactly the kind of loose confederation that the United States is, not whatever idiotic conception you seem to think is the only possibility.

    By the way, Bush is a moronic fascist monkey.

  32. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 3:58 pm

    jahrta — did you say you agree with me? Now my world has shifted to a picasso-esque nightmare of surrealistic composition. One thing …. I’ve been to Dyersburg, Tennessee several times. You can’t make me go back, you hear me? You CAN’T!

  33. Viole
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:03 pm

    It seems to be that the EU constitution was rejected by people on both sides, capitalist and socialist. Something definitely wrong, there, and Herm probably has it pretty well down. For some, it’s undoubtedly about borders, but other reject the neo-liberal(opposite of what it sounds, to us Americans) agenda built into it.

    Definitely not a simple question. Tearing down borders never is.

  34. hermesten
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:12 pm

    jahrta: “In the end, people will always focus more on what makes them different or “special” than what makes them like everyone else. it’s just human nature to embrace cultural/religious/ancestral history.”

    Funny coming from someone of Jewish ancestry, and I would suppose immigrant grand-parents or great-grand-parents. It seems that this country has assimilated a number of different races and cultures and religions fairly well.

    Niether Viole or I are talking about “empires” so it isn’t a matter of “foreign rule.” What we’re talking about is assimilation to the point where a Pakistani in the US is no more “foreign” than a New Yorker in Texas. Unless this process occurs there won’t be “world government” in the nature of what is being discussed. I’m talking about bottom up government, not top down, and I suspect that’s also what Viole is talking about.

    The fact that modern life depends upon the distribution of economic resources such as oil, and even water, and that these resources aren’t uniformly distributed means that either a system will evolve that makes the distribution equitable, or the people who have the power to take these resources will kill the people who don’t. China isn’t just going to say, oh, guess we don’t have the oil to raise our standard of living to that in the US, so if the US won’t let us have oil, or wants us to pay $1,000 a barrel for it, we’ll just have to stay poor.

    We’re already on the path to world government. Every treaty, every trade agreement, every alliance, is a consolidation towards, not away from, world government. Extradition treaties are world government. Copyright law is world government. Even on some of the most basic levels, some amount of world government is beneficial to most Americans. It doesn’t benefit Americans that some corporation can move down to Mexico, pollute at will, and pay workers $3 a day. And though $3 a day jobs may benefit the minority of Mexicans who have them, they don’t offset the cost of pollution and other socialized costs. That’s why the US corporation goes down there: to force socialized costs on a group of people that have no power to prevent them from so doing.

  35. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:23 pm

    Viole — My point is that there are way too many worldviews for everyone to be satisfied under the same form of government worldwide. If a world government does come about in the future the odds are it will be tyrannical toward a large portion of the world’s population. Socialists and capitalists don’t mix well. Neither do dictators with those who favor representation. Among those who favor representation those who favor a highly centralized form of government don’t mix well with those who like the power closer to home. And since this world government will have to take some form it logically follows that someone out there does not get their preferred form of government.

    I’m just too firm a believer in the Jeffersonian principle about government. The only legitimate government is the one that derives its authority from the consent of the governed. In a one-world government I can’t help but think there will be too many people who do not consent to the form of government they will be forced to live under. That is tyranny.

    As to making corruption unprofitable … that would be a trick. Good luck with that one. There will always be people who seek to rule others. There will always be people who value money over everything else. There has never existed a government that was not vulnerable to corruption and there never will.

  36. Frank
    June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:37 pm

    This looks like a great discussion but I must check out of it for now. I’m leaving for vacation and probably won’t have much opportunity to participate for the next week or so. Until then ….

  37. simbol
    June 4th, 2005 @ 5:54 pm

    Herm

    There are some disagreement between us about the voting on EU constitution.

    “I tend to think rejection of the EU constitution is a sign that Europe is much healthier, politically, than America”

    Which Europe? Ten out of twelve countries have approved til now the constitution. Among them Germany, Spain and Italy. The rest of the 29 countries have no voted.

    “From what I’ve read the EU Constitution was a horrible document with lots of nasty details, and did everything from putting coroporate interests over the interests of the people”

    Read the good resume made by BBC. And “about the interests of the people” explain me why most of the socialists parties in the member countries are supporting the constitution?. Even the socialists in France were supporting it. The dissidents have been ousted. Extreme right in some countries are against the constitution.

    “In other words, this document is a big step away from representative government, democratic ideals, individual freedom, and self-determination, and was rightly rejected.

    I quote for you BBC:

    “”It sets out “rights, freedoms and principles.” These include a whole list from the right to life and the right to liberty down to the right to strike””.

    Since it is needed unanimity for approving the constitution , the “no” from France and Holland have, for all practical purposes, killed the project and it seems to be there is not plan B. And some countries are thinking not to advance referenda or parliamentary consultation given the present situation. Having all the EU countries voted, most of them would have approved it if polls are not wrong. I really wanted to know how England had voted

    Problem was mainly France and England, two very important partners. This constitution was an important step toward POLITICAL unification but far from definitive. Were I an English or a french, I would have give a lot of thinking to Qualified Majority Vote. QMV put Germany in advantageous position because it is he biggest shareholder, so relative population size and economic strength were at play, but it was unavoidable if you want the institutions to work. Take into consideration these aspects, not leaving out national identity, culture and a bloody recent history and add some anti-turkey distrust, and unions and farmers fear of competence from foreign cheap labor and food, and you are in the realm of nationalism. I think this was at the root of the splitting of french socialists.

    I really regret this outcome because I believe that a stronger Europe would have been better for the safety and progress of the world.

    A joke: Ireland an Poland were uncomfortable because in the preamble of the constitution, god was not mentioned.

    Recommendations: Ivan Grozny by Einsenstein, Wild Strawberries and the Seventh seal by Bergman, and Hotel Rwanda for no forgetting massacres.

  38. hermesten
    June 5th, 2005 @ 1:16 am

    Simbol, those are two of my favorite Bergman movies, and though it’s not about massacres, I like the treatment of religion in Fanny and Alexander.

    I’m for European unification, and I think a unified Europe is in the best interest of the world and the people of the United States –as opposed to those in power. However, I wouldn’t trust the elites in Europe any more than I’d trust the elites in the US. These people have honed lying into a fine art.

    From what I’ve read, I’m very suspcious of the EU Constitution, and I’d be suspicious of the BBC, since although it is probably more honest than any US network, it still, for the most part, puts the interests of power ahead of the interests of the people. I haven’t read the constitution, I’ve only read about it, but it is said to be something like 2,000 pages. You only need 2,000 pages if you’re being tricky. You don’t need 2,000 pages to give people the right to strike, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press. All such rights can be conveyed in short declarative sentences. It reminds me of the so called “free trade” agreement in the US some years ago. You don’t need 3,000 pages to institute “free trade,” but you do if what you’re really doing in just managing trade to serve the interests of those in power. I’m willing to bet that every “right” established in this constitution is encumbered by so many conditions that it is meaningless.

    I also tend to believe the statement that this constitution expands corporate power at the expense of the people. The fact that the Bush administration didn’t oppose it is reason enough to be suspect.

    Maybe what I’ve read is a lie, but I came to read it via left-wing web sites, and the circumstantial evidence –US support (or at least no opposition); the nature of those in power; the length of the document; past history of the EU governing body in Brussels; the fact that the major media, including the BBC is largely a mouthpiece for power; the methodology of those in power in both Europe and the US (lie upfront and change stories as needed to fit the changing political conditions, if necesssary); US influence in countries like Italy, Spain, and even Germany (the governments of both Italy and Spain supported the war in Iraq against the will of their own people –some “democracy” that is); and the fact that the no vote came from the country least subject to US influence –France. We must also not neglect the fact that all the elites are openly discussing how to circumvent the no vote, and as they did in Spain, Italy, and Turkey, frequently govern against the will of their own people. The people in power in Europe are not the kind of people who can be trusted to follow a democratic mandate.

  39. simbol
    June 5th, 2005 @ 1:55 pm

    Herm

    Not 2000 but 200 pages and more or less 450+ articles. The rest are protocols and annexes in force.

    If short constitutions are better,then ten commandments is the best.

    Modern constitutions tends to be extensive because all the parties want their Rights, Duties and crucial processes clear and written, for leaving less room to “interpretation” or “precedent” lest some nice Scalia “interpret” the way he saw fit and consequently create precedent and by this way laws. Since I presume you are Lawyer, may be I’m getting into hot water but you have to include in the landscape the social complexity of EU where a compromise have to be achieved between two legal traditions as are the anglo saxon and roman, no to mention the salad that is to accommodate Kingdoms and republics, kings and presidents, different languages, parliaments, countries and regions.

    In Spain, Aznar supported Iraq’s war but was ousted by that reason. The new government’s president, from the opposition- Mr.Zapatero, is strongly supporting the constitution.

    I don’t know US position on the constitution, if that thing officially exists. Obviously a stronger Europe has many pros and cons for USA but I think there are more pros that cons and some pros are very important.

    If french nationalism is a good barometer for you, I respect that. For me is provincialism entrenched on past grandeur.

    Your wwII interest: I recommend “Why allies won” R. Overy. For me the best explanation about the role economy played in the outcome.

  40. hermesten
    June 6th, 2005 @ 12:34 am

    Simbol,

    Yes, the Spanish got rid Aznar, rather the exception I think, than the rule. The Brits couldn’t get rid of Blair, we certainly didn’t get rid of our lying monkey, and the Italians are still stuck with Berlusconi. My point is that those in power habitually govern against the will of the people while spouting nostrums about democracy, and rarely have to face any consequences.

    Now I happen to think the problem is systemic, which is why Spain is an exception. There are only Hobson’s choices. Take our election –a vote for one of two self-serving liars and murderers isn’t a choice. Granted, given the nature of politics, I don’t expect a choice between a scoundrel and a decent man, but how about a choice between an amoral power-drunk draft-dodging thug and a scoundrel with restraint? Now that would be an election worth going to the polls for.

    A truly stronger Europe is only good for the people of the US, it is entirely negative for those in power. If the US thought the EU constitution would create a stronger Europe, Bush would be doing everything in his power, including subverting the European electoral process, to make sure it didn’t happen. Yet to openly support a US favorable constitution might well be its undoing. How do you think the vote would go with open vigorous support from the US? The fact that we’ve been quiet speaks volumes.

    The allies won WWII for two reasons: 1) the economic power of the US, giving us something like a 10 to 1 superiority in material over the Germans; and 2) the Russians, who lost something like 20 million people and took about 4 million men out of the German Army in the process. Without the Russians bleeding German military power, the outcome for us would have been very much in doubt.

  41. Vernichten
    June 6th, 2005 @ 8:33 am

    Simbol, I believe a constitution should delineate rights, but the ten commandments seem to do the opposite. A constitution should create wings of freedom, but the commandments create fetters of intolerance and control.

  42. hermesten
    June 6th, 2005 @ 11:24 am

    Simbol, read what Alexander Cockburn has to say on the subject: http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06042005.html

  43. Serth
    June 6th, 2005 @ 1:04 pm

    I’d be more worried about the Dr. Phil books near the bottom there. Angry conservatives only belong in the White House, where they are isolated from society.

  44. simbol
    June 6th, 2005 @ 1:51 pm

    Herm

    I have been reading for about 30 year on wwII, and that is why a some point in this blog I told you I was a little bit tired of WWII and Hitler.

    I think is a little bit schematic to say that economic and manpower were the only decisive factors for winning WWII.

    At the middle of 1942 both parties were economically equilibrated and america was beginning to convert to a war economy, Germany had in hand all the resources of western europe including the oil of the Caucasus and Japan was advancing in south east asia and had grasped oil an rubber, two decisive commodities for war.

    Russia was the laughingstock of europe for being defeated by tiny Finland in 1940 and by germans in Ukrania in 1941 (600.000 POW in Kiev). Stalin got a nervous breakdown and went to his dacha in shambles. He thought that a visiting committee sent by the Party for asking him to act, was looking for his head. Churchill was very pessimistic.

    and there a lot of if’s

    What if Japan had struck first to Russia and not to america, and by so doing precluded the redeployment in the west of the siberian divisions who stopped the german at the door of Moscow. This option was taken into consideration very seriously. Japanese had strong armies in China and Manchuria. Had the Japanese struck first to Russia, Roosevelt could not enter the war in 1941, this had slowed the conversion of the usa economy and normandy, prevented the transport of west russia war industry beyond the Urals, and by this may be getting russia out of the war.

    What if Germany had not attacked Russia in 1941 but in 1944, as the german general staff had recommended, and didn’t declare war on usa on 1941 but later, since they were not compelled to do this a that moment because Japanese didn’t warned them about Pearl Harbor.

    What if radar, capture of ENIGMA, and Lights installed in planes patrolling the atlantic, didn’t occur, permitting the lethal u-boats reducing england to famine and compound the nightmare of supplying russia. For a time, usa vessel have to go through south of africa to Murmansk!!

    Wat if Hitler had given to U-boats the priority german navy officer had asked.

    What if some shrewd guy didn’t attach supplemental tanks to fighters for supporting bombers into germany and by so doing destroying the planes producing facilities. Without this, crucial air space control when Normandy couldn’t be happened. And before that there was a carnage when allied bombers dared to approach germany. Air space control had a crucial role in the second phase of this war

    What if serendipity didn’thelp in midway?

    What if the purge of red army in 1938 didn’t occurred, killing the best of that army.

    What if Hitler had given free hand to field commanders of tank divisions in Normandy. By doing the contrary precious time was lost for stopping the disembarkment. If this disembarkment had failed, it had been an almost fatal blow to allies.

    What if Roosevelt didn’t give the attention he paid to the letter signed by Einstein about the atomic bomb.

    What if it is correct the assumption that Heisenberg slowed intentionally atomic development in Germany.

    Herm, some persons have written that the roots of wwII can be traced to XVI century europe. So imagine what one have to read for having a good understanding of this war.

    I maintain my recommendation on the book I gave you in previous post. It helps for understanding only one aspect among many.

  45. simbol
    June 6th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Herm

    BTW: I’m waiting for a non-partisan russian vision of IIWW. The russian official achives have been open for more than 10 years and until now, and as far as I know, there is no one good book on the field. If you know something about, please inform me.

  46. hermesten
    June 6th, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

    Simbol,

    Actually, I didn’t say economic power and manpower were the only two decisive factors. I said we won for two “reasons,” and will add now that only the economic one was probably “decisive.” The maixm goes: “amateurs talk about tactics and strategy, professionals talk about logistics.” As to “manpower,” it may ultimately have had an effect, in the sense that the Germans had a finite number of troops that was a considerably smaller number than the finite number of the troops allied against them; but I was really talking about everything implied by losing four million men –including the logisitcs of the fighting, morale effects on both the Germans and the Russians, and the expenditure of all the resources required for the invasion and subsequent retreat and eastern defense, etc, etc, etc.

    I’m not going to address all of your hypotheticals, but few, if any of them, can be considered decisive. Let me focus on one: submarine warfare. I think the Enigma information was helpful, but certainly not decisive, and it’s another case of the details implying something quite different than the mythology. The common perception, which is false, is that we could read all German coded message traffic. The reality is that some German coded traffic remained secure throughout the entire war and was never broken. The Luftwaffe was lax at encryption, so their traffic was fairly open, but the Wehrmacht and the Navy were more serious about security and their codes were broken infrequently (see the History of Intelligence in Warfare by John Keegan). In simple terms, since the keys were changed periodically, the application of each new key required a sort of “frequency” analysis that didn’t work if the Germans properly followed all their security procedures. Sloppy encryption, particularly by the Luftwaffe, provided the necessary entry point for each new key. But each branch used different codes and different machines, and either the Wehrmacht or the Navy (I don’t remember which) also had an additional code wheel on their enigma machines.

    U-boats were only effective before the British got their act together with convoy escorts. There is a mathematical systems analysis of the problem and the solution (convoys with escorts) in the book: “The Pleasures of Counting” (I forget the author’s name, but it’s basically a book of applied mathematics –from probability theory to calculus and differential equations). The initial British response to the submarine threat was feeble, due to sloppy analysis and misinterpretation of key shipping data and misguided probability analysis. Like the Enigma story, there is a great deal of mythology about the submarine war, which is the product of both outright propaganda and over simplification.

    Some of your other “ifs.” A lot of these possibilites seem reasonable only with the benefit of hindsight. I think there was very little chance of Japan striking at Russia first, since Russia was not a threat and the US was threatening to cut off the resources Japan needed to make war in Asia.

    I think one of your most exaggerated hypotheticals is the idea that the Germans could have prevented the allies from landing in Europe if they had just used their armor differently. The only thing they could have changed is the number of casualties. By the time we landed in Europe Germany had been severely weaked by their war of attrition in Russia. The Luftwaffe was practically non-existent. The Geman army was better trained and more effective than our army, but we had at least ten of everything to their one. They often fought until they ran out of fuel, tanks, and ammunition, and then we just rolled over them. At a time when they had problems getting critical supplies to the front, over relatively short supply lines, we were shipping “care packages” from family members to our troops in the field, from all the way across the Atlantic.

    I don’t know of any non-partisan Russian version of WWII (and I guess I don’t even think such a thing is possible). I can say that I enjoy anything written by the British historian Anthony Beevor, and found his books on Stalingrad, and The Fall of Berlin very interesting. He took a lot of abuse for suggesting that the scale of rape perpertrated on German women by the Russians was pandemic. And though it’s anything but non-partisan, I also found interesting the Russian movie about the German invasion called “Come and See.” (Idi i smotri). It puts what the Russians did to German civilians in perspective.

  47. simbol
    June 6th, 2005 @ 9:07 pm

    Herm

    “amateurs talk about tactics and strategy, professionals talk about logistics.”

    Do you think that in Vietnam the problem was logistics?

    war is something more than logistics. Without the profound hate russian workers and soldiers felt by germans, they couldn’t have worked in his war industries and battled in their trenches feeling hungry and cold. And they did it.
    Napoleon is the author of the sentence “armies march over their stomachs”, fortunately for him he invented this sentence after his first victories for revolutionary france when he battled without supplies, with a poorly armed and fed army, and was victorious, the rest was looting. To think that the most important is logistics is to think the most important is the stomach. Of course stomach is important and bullets are needed. But history is full of examples where big and well supplied armies were defeated by inferior ones and one always find that there were some better general, or a better strategy and a higher dose of moral (benign or malign). See how difficult is to fight terrorism. The author of your sentence seems rather a personage of Dr. Strangelove

    “Some of your other “ifs.” A lot of these possibilities seem reasonable only with the benefit of hindsight. I think there was very little chance of Japan striking at Russia first, since Russia was not a threat and the US was threatening to cut off the resources Japan needed to make war in Asia.”

    Difficult to discuss History taking hindsight out, I don’t know what it would be (hindsight: understanding the nature of an event after it has happened). And for the Japanese striking Russia, please read , “Hirohito” by Herbert Bix. Anyway the Japs made war in asia without american oil. Japanese and russians have had alway some bone to pick. Yesterday was Port arthur, now is sakhalin

    “I think one of your most exaggerated hypotheticals is the idea that the Germans could have prevented the allies from landing in Europe if they had just used their armor differently.”

    Meteorological conditions were very very dangerous at he moment of normandy. Having prevented germans a beachhead for two or three days, the invasion could have remembered “La armada invencible” of Phillip II, because when the meteorological window closed after the moment of invasion, the storms that followed were exceptional in decades. Hitler believed normandy was a trick and the real invasion must come through Calais and didn’t let the panzers go against normandy. Allied helped Hitler to think this trick was real as we know. I wrote “almost fatal” because of course a new try could be perfectly possible but it had been necessary a lot of time not to mention the impact on allied morale.

    “Let me focus on one: submarine warfare. I think the Enigma information was helpful, but certainly not decisive,”

    I didn’t mention only enigma, but two other factor plus the priority given by germans to submarine warfare. The situation improved also because USA agreed to prioritize atlantic war over the pacific one putting more ships to escort convoys in 1942.

    By non-partisan history in the russian case I mean “not that one made under the supervision of the russian communist party.”

  48. simbol
    June 6th, 2005 @ 9:45 pm

    Herm
    I forgot two if’s

    The pro logistics Napoleon, forgot logistics when he invaded Russia. Maybe you know that Napoleon was thinking to eliminate serfdom for eroding the political basis of the Tsar, but at the end he didn’t dare to do so looking at the consequences in the rest of his empire. What if he had had eliminated the serfdom?

    What if the germans had behaved not as viciously as they did with the population of Poland and Ukraine, at least temporarily, taking into account that communism was not precisely popular among these peoples?.

  49. hermesten
    June 7th, 2005 @ 11:38 am

    Simbol: “Do you think that in Vietnam the problem was logistics?”

    “Logistics” are necessary, but not sufficient. I will further qualify this by stating that they are necessary in relation to the objective. The Vietnamese (and the Iraqis today) only required logistic support sufficient to accomplish their objective, which was not the same as ours: in other words, the war, unlike WWII, was asymmetrical in terms of both power and objective. The Vietnamese (as the Iraqis today) only sought to bleed us until the war became politically unsustainable and we left. From the strategic standpoint, we sought to divide the country and install a US friendly regime. Had we been able to deny them the level of logistic support necessary to sustain their cause, we would have won. If we could do this in Iraq we could win there too. We couldn’t do this in Vietnam because it shared a border with China, Laos, and Cambodia (at least not for a political price we were willing to pay). We can’t do it in Iraq either.

    “But history is full of examples where big and well supplied armies were defeated by inferior ones …”

    I think you’re mixing apples and oranges here. 1) What you’re really talking about are battles, not wars. Battles are like football games. The worst team in the league can defeat the best team on any given day, but it still doesn’t put them in the Superbowl. 2) It’s also possible for a great power to overextend itself and be defeated by a less powerful opponent. Again, “logistics” must be considered relative to objective. It wouldn’t have mattered if the US was ten times more powerful economically than Germany if it couldn’t project this power to occupied Europe. 3) We’re talking about modern war, not a bunch of guys with swords and bows. But even in those days, armies with slingshots didn’t defeat armies with calvary, swords, and bows. Logistical superiority, in the sense I am using it, also encompasses technological superiority. See below, on the errors of historical extrapolation.

    “Difficult to discuss History taking hindsight out,…”

    Exactly. We may still have had our apprehensions when we landed in France, but in hindsight we know that Germany was finished before the first boot touched the beach. We already had a foothold in Italy and the Russians were coming (if we really want to apply hindsight, we might even say that the Germans were finished when they invaded Russia). Landing in France made the war end faster, not differently.

    “…the invasion could have remembered “La armada invencible” of Phillip II,…”

    These kinds of analogies illustrate the danger of extrapolating from history. You never step in the same river twice. History, for example, may show us the warning signs of incipient fascism in the US, but it can’t tell us what a fascist America will look like. The one thing we can be sure of is that American fascism will not look like German or Italian fascism. Unlike Phillip’s Navy, the navies of the 1940’s were all weather navies. The worst damage the weather could wreck is dispersal and delay, not destruction. Our massive invasion puts the spotlight on the fact that the Germans had no navy and no air force.

    “…not to mention the impact on allied morale.”

    I think you’re reaching here. ALLIED morale? The US wasn’t in ANY danger of being invaded or attacked. Britain had long since stopped any possible invasion on it’s own. The Germans had taken a beating in Russia and had been rolled back in Africa. The Russians were already in Poland. We’d already invaded Italy and taken Rome. We were bombing Germany day and night. Germany was nearly on its knees, and even the Germans realized at that point that the best they could hope for was stalemate.

    And finally, let me point out on the subject of submarine warfare that the German navy lost about 300 submarines and 30,000 men. If I remember correctly, this was 75% of their fleet. Their ability to interrupt allied supply lines had been contained. Additional German industrial capacity devoted to submarine construction would have meant making less of something else needed for the war, and ultimately would not have made any difference to the outcome (see, back to logistics again). Furthermore, once production got geared up, we were producing merchant vessels at the rate of one per day. The allies controlled the sea and and the air and would still have controlled the sea even if the Germans had twice as many submarines. In making more submarines the Germans would just have diverted resources that were more effective in other uses.

    And let us not forget that out of a combined population of 150 million Germany and Japan lost some 5.3 million men, and the US and Britain, out of a combined population of 177 million, lost about 700,000 men (only 150,000 of the US dead were killed in the European theater) –and the Russians? They lost 9 million soldiers killed, 18 million wounded, and something like 19 million civilians killed, and inflicted 75% of all German casualties. They also killed 80,000 Japanese and captured about 600,000 in Manchuria. The Russians clearly bore the brunt of the war in Europe and made victory possible for the allies, but they couldn’t have done it without tanks, bullets, rilfes, and food for their troops.

  50. simbol
    June 8th, 2005 @ 12:28 am

    Herm

    It seems that this exchange is ending. Your last post shows that most of what is left is some misunderstandings between us when I have used words or metaphors . I suppose you could have been more generous giving me the benefit of doubt about my understanding the difference between a battleship of the XVI century and the The Bismarck.

    for the rest, I think some points in your last post are arguable, actually they had been discussed many times by historians, e.g. the case of the German attack to Russia (you wrote: we might even say that the Germans were finished when they invaded Russia) where historians usually ask themselves: what if Germans hadn’t divided his forces when attacking Russia?. I’ll leave those historians to continue this discussion. And I will read what they say about this fateful decision the germans made.

    My main line of argument was that moral ground, morale of the combatants, right decision at crucial situations, good intelligence and sound strategy can be as important as economic and military power, and some times more important if disparities are no extreme.What this means is simple: if both parties play the best, wins who has more bullets. But sometimes that who has more bullets plays bad and can be beaten. And I believe this to be an historical fact. Today this is more visible since technology and greedy have made bullets (WMD ) affordable and AVAILABLE even for weaker groups or countries and now bullets are of such a nature that you don’t need many for being a significant threat to a more powerful enemy. What is going to make the difference?

    Finally (and related to Superbowl) living in Florida I’m fan of the Marlins. I was really delighted when, in 2003, they trounced the new york Yankees and its powerful logistics. Maybe good luck.

  51. hermesten
    June 8th, 2005 @ 11:00 am

    Simbol, I wasn’t trying to be insulting or offensive. If my direct, and perhaps at times, strident tone, offended you, I apolgize –that’s just my style though, and it’s nothing personal. I generally don’t lecture to people. If I didn’t consider this exchange to be an exchange among equals I wouldn’t have bothered. It’s only possible to have such a discussion with someone who is well educated and informed, and with such a person I am accustomed to vigorous debate. All the things that are implied in such a discussion, and left unsaid, make it impossible to have with anyone who isn’t well informed.

    “you wrote: we might even say that the Germans were finished when they invaded Russia)”

    Thinking about this afterwards I decided it was sort of a dumb remark, and at best, meaningless –since you could also say that the Germans were finished when they invaded France, and had thus set in motion a chain of events that would result in their defeat. I think for such a claim to be meaningful one would need to show that with the information available at the time, an intelligent observer could plausibly have reached the conclusion that the tide had turned against Germany. This can’t be done in this example, for the only basis for making such a claim is the historial analogy to Napoleon.

    “My main line of argument was that moral ground, morale of the combatants, right decision at crucial situations, good intelligence and sound strategy can be as important as economic and military power, and some times more important if disparities are no extreme”

    And I agree.

    “But sometimes that who has more bullets plays bad and can be beaten. ”

    I’d go futher and say that one who has more bullets and plays well can be beaten. Though it may be arguable how “well” we are playing in Iraq, we certainly have the economic and technological superiority, and are headed for defeat in the sense that we will untimately be forced to withdraw and will end up with a Muslim Theocracy there in place of the secular government we eliminated. An army doesn’t have to be defeated militarily to lose a war.

    Once again, I apologize for offending you, as that certainly was not my intention.

  52. simbol
    June 8th, 2005 @ 7:09 pm

    Herm

    You didn’t offend me ever.

    I tryed a guerrilla tactic and succeded: I pinched and you apologized

    Had you seen my mephistophelic face when reading you apology, you hadn’t written it.

    I’m training for the next fight.

  53. Jack
    June 18th, 2005 @ 1:44 pm

    Here’s a shocker, Dr. Reginald Cherry appears to not be a board-certified physician. I checked with the American Board of Medical Specialties (www.abms.org) and they have no one with the name Reginald Cherry in their database. Board-certification (or at least board-eligibility) is often a precondition for a physician to be included in managed care networks or to have admitting privledges to hospitals.

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