Morning Ed: World {2016.12.19.M}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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44 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali says:

    The role of india in world war 2 is a bit complicated. Nominally, India was under the British and hence part of the allied forces. However, the independence movement would have to be counted as a fifth column which had significant ties to the axis powers. Since after ww2, the british left, its as if the vichy remained in power in france in the post war years.

    The hard part is that its unclear (to the average person, not to historians) how complicit the likes of Bose and Nehru were in the various atrocities committed by the axis powers. On some accounts they disavowed support once they found out about the concentration camps and civilian massacres. But that may just be lots of whitewashing by people with a nationalist agenda. (Actually, its fairly clear that it is whitewashing. Bose lived in Austria with his wife in the 30s and was part of the Nazi regime from 41-43. Its hard to have done this and not known about the holocaust).

    Popular discourse on ww2 also does not mention indian independence forces. Part of this is eurocentrism (japan is hardly mentioned except for pearl harbour on your side*) and part of this is reflexive anticolonialism: non-white nationalist movements get a free pass on a lot of things that would not be forgiven in others.

    *I get the feeling that if Japan had not miscalculated and bombed pearl harbour I would still be living in the greater east asian co prosperity sphere. i.e. Japan is widely mentioned as an axis power only because of pearl harbour.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      It somewhat depends on where you grew up. I feel East coast US people get more European focus than average, West Coast more Pacific, (though the balance is indeed Euro focused). Overall, WW2 history as taught in American pre-college schools is very *American* focused. There’s almost nothing about what the Soviets did to win that war, for example.

      It’s clear that the US finally got into the war – bigly – because of Pearl Harbor. (and Churchill shouted Hallelujah) It’s not as clear if Japan could have taken the oil fields in South East Asia (which were needed, badly) and run back and forth through the Luzon & Taiwan Straits & SCS without neutralizing the potentially hostile foreign power colonies that sit astride them. I.e. can Japan leave the PI and Hong Kong (and Singapore) alone, or do they need to neutralize those threats and does *that* (vis a vis the PI) bring the US into the war anyway.

      (and there’s still the possibility that the US enters the war if Germany keeps on sinking US vessels like they did the USS Reuben James)Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      (japan is hardly mentioned except for pearl harbour on your side*)

      This is not my experience growing up as a (US) Navy brat and immersed in military history, especially WWII, starting with watching Victory at Sea as a kid and moving on to more sophisticated treatments. The Pacific theater is far from being a forgotten war. It is true that it is often seen as secondary to the European theater, but then again it was seen that way at the time. US strategy explicitly was to concentrate on Germany, only devoting enough resources to Japan to hold the fort until Germany was defeated. But this doesn’t mean the Pacific campaign is ignored. Within the military history crowd, Guadalcanal and Iron Bottom Sound and Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the rest are very much in the mix of stuff that is talked about.Report

    • Avatar Dan says:

      India raised the largest all-volunteer Army in the world during WW2 and they were on the allied side. The number of Indians who served as soldiers in the nazi forces is in the low hundreds. It is absurd to claim that India was in any meaningful way pro-nazi.

      There were far more substantial numbers of Indian soldiers operating with the Japanese, which of course makes rather more sense since the Japanese army was on the border of Indian and could easily have taken the subcontinent had they gotten the logistics right.

      Meanwhile the British presided over a famine in 1943 that killed something like 3 million Indians. I understand why they might look favorably on the Japanese.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

        the Japanese army was on the border of Indian and could easily have taken the subcontinent had they gotten the logistics right.

        “had they gotten the logistics right” covers a multitude of impossibilities. The Japanese army in Burma was absurdly overextended. It wasn’t going anywhere. Or at least not anywhere forward.Report

        • Avatar Dan says:

          Right…I would never suggest they should have gone through Burma. Hell no army should ever even enter Burma.

          But with their air and naval dominance I think they could have done an amphibious landing anywhere on the Indian coast and the rest would have been pretty easy. They have to do this instead of attacking the US. The US was not going to go to war over India, and the British were too weak to do anything about it.Report

          • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

            So the Japanese army you were talking about “on the border of Indian” was not the real Japanese army actually on the border of India, and whose offensive into India was a fiasco, but the hypothetical army that could easily have landed in such overwhelming force as to easy defeat “the largest all-volunteer Army in the world.” That makes sense. Hypothetical armies have fewer logistical problems than do real ones.Report

          • Avatar Brent F says:

            The Japanese Navy didn’t have the logistical capacity to support the penny packets of troops they spread across the W. Pacific and knew darn well that it was impossible to invade Austrailia.

            Even the craziest Japanese mid-level officer, and they had some batshit ones, could tell you that there is no way they could support an invasion of a sub-continent that far away.

            There’s a nice rule of thumb for WW2. Find the furthest spot that an Axis power reached and that’s usually the point they were at or past their absolute logistical limit and usually got crushed because of it. The worst culprit was the American’s favourite general, Rommel, who perpetually over-ran his own supply lines in the desert chasing dramatic victories that ended up accomplishing nothing in the long run.Report

      • Avatar Murali says:

        But Bose himself was part of the Nazi government, and is still revered by many Indians. They still call him Netaji, and for a long time after the war, he was like Elvis with lots of people claiming to have seen him alive. (If he were still alive now he would be the oldest person in the world by far, but speculations as to his continued survival were popular 30 – 40 years ago.

        The US equivalent would be if most Americans today thought that General Lee had the stature of George Washington with only a few contrarian academics disagreeing.

        But also notice that I did not claim that many Indian people did not support the allied troops. Rather, the comparison was to Vichy France. If the Vichy had remained in power and the current government was in many ways a continuation of that Vichy government and no one talked about it, it would be really strange. Bose was a member of the Indian National Congress and a founder of the INA. The Congress Party is one of the two major parties in India, and is strongly associated with the Gandhi* family who are like the Kennedys.

        As in Indira, Rajiv, Sonia Gandhi i.e. Nehru’s descendants. No relation to Mohandas Gandhi.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          Murali: The US equivalent would be if most Americans today thought that General Lee had the stature of George Washington with only a few contrarian academics disagreeing.

          The number of schools in Virginia named after Lee probably doesn’t exceed the number named after Washington – but its close. (and some use both names).Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          Murali: But also notice that I did not claim that many Indian people did not support the allied troops. Rather, the comparison was to Vichy France. If the Vichy had remained in power and the current government was in many ways a continuation of that Vichy government and no one talked about it, it would be really strange. Bose was a member of the Indian National Congress and a founder of the INA. The Congress Party is one of the two major parties in India, and is strongly associated with the Gandhi* family who are like the Kennedys.

          I’d say running with the confederate analogy is decent one in this context. For all practical purposes, the Confederates were back in power by 1876, retained power for another 100 years, and still operate as a significant sub rosa force in American politics – and nobody talked about that for the longest time.Report

          • Avatar Dan says:

            The confederates were back in power *in the former confederacy* after 1876, yes. Nationally, not so much.

            Glad you brought that up though, it has been ignored for way too long.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        While there certainly was a well of sympathy for Japan, particularly following the Russo-Japanese war, as a beacon for anti-colonialism, support cooled with reports of the atrocities committed by the Japanese in Burma and Malaya, initially publicized widely by the British, but confirmed with personal accounts from Indian prisoners-of-war returning home.

        I’m kind of skeptical of the linked piece. I can understand that Hitler is a bit distant from India, and that he is often treated these days as a figure of comedy, but 100,000 copies of Main Kampf sold in ten years or so in a country the size of India does not seem that noteworthy — people are curious. And I have no idea what that book tells a modern businessman. If Protocols of the Elders of Zion are widely sold, it probably has little to do with WWII.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I’m not really sure what you think is really cool in the first link. It looks like a collections of photos to me.

    Hitler is seen as a champion of third world liberation and an example of a good strong, decisive leader in many countries. Part of this was because World War II weakened the European powers enough that they eventually had to give up their empires, even though it did take until the 1970s to finish everything up. Another part is that they really don’t have any knowledge about Jews so the entire Holocaust goes right over their head. In the Muslim countries Hitler is popular as an enemy of the Jews.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    1. I am not sure what is the point of the first link unless you meant to link to something that was not a photojournalist essay series.

    2. “Rent a Jew” The United States is probably among the most Jewish friendly countries in the world. Until recently, I would say that anti-Semitism was one of the true taboos in the U.S but it is still highly possible that most Americans will never meet a Jewish person except in fleeting passing. There are only 14-16 million Jews in the world. Even before the Holocaust, Jews were only half of one percent of the German population. In the US, they are about 3 percent of the population and only in New York state do they hit being 10 percent of the total population. There are lots of things that scream Yiddishkeit (read: Jewishness) to me that might not play to many Americans or non-Americans. My non-American girlfriend can be surprised when I tell her various celebrities are Jewish and to me the question is “how can they be anything but Jewish?” The most recent example is Ina Garten (nee Rosenberg) but her husband is also Jewish. Former OTer Hanley did not know how to read the Yiddishkeit of Bernie Sanders.

    3. LeeEsq did a junior year in Japan. When I visited him over winter break, we went to Harajuku and there was a girl cosplaying in a full SS uniform with a wig of long, pink hair. I suspect that Japan might be a complicated case because they were allied with Nazi Germany and right-wingers in Japan were more successful in keeping Japan’s actions in WWII out of the school curriculum. But it was still shocking. I am not sure how you can teach about WWII without teaching about the Holocaust unless it is done to get back at colonialist oppression.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      Until recently, I would say that anti-Semitism was one of the true taboos in the U.S but it is still highly possible that most Americans will never meet a Jewish person except in fleeting passing.

      Heh. Not working in the northeast in the legal profession. Every year I am a bit surprised that the courts don’t close for the high holy days. They stay open, but your motion for a continuance can simply name the holiday and it will be accepted.

      I recently took a call from a potential client, when my boss wasn’t available. I had the usual discussion about the facts of the case and so forth, and ended it with a promise that my boss would call back soon. Then a few minutes later, the potential client called back and asked for confirmation that my boss is Jewish (which you would assume based on his name). I assured her she was. She seemed satisfied by this, and she went on to retain us. Very much “Better Call Saul,” in which attorney Jimmy McGill changes his name to Saul Goodman to get more clients, except that my guy really is two generations from the shtetl.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Rich,
        The guy playing “Saul” in that didn’t want the job initially because he wasn’t Jewish, and he thought other people (lotta jews in showbusiness) could portray being jewish better than he could.

        … and then they explained.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The Jewish population of Germany peaked before 1914 with 615,000 Jews out of a population of 68 million Germans. On the eve of the Nazi takeover, there were around 500,000 Jews out of a population of 64 million.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Saul,
      Persona 3 had a white capriote in it.
      In japan, even fashion don’ts do not apply.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    Well, the turtle pick is cute. Cool? Maybe not. It’s not a gross miss allocation of society’s resources. I doubt “society had any funding in it.” What else are photojournalists going to do? Show us pictures of dead bodies all the time? Even they need a break from that.

    HK: Pissing off China isn’t the smartest way to change things…unless the “change” you seek is a tiny cell or worse.Report

  5. Avatar Trumwill says:

    I’m not sure what’s going on with that first link and the blurb. But the pictures are nice.Report

  6. Avatar J_A says:

    Finland is home to one of the most awesome, best strategizing, forward looking, adapted to and embracing change companies in the world: Wärtsilä.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4rtsil%C3%A4

    Going strong into the future since 1834!!! They are not just makers of some fad gadgets like cell phones 🙂

    I once had the opportunity to explain to the marketing head of one of GE’s marketing divisions why they were losing market share in a certain area, and it summarizes in “fishing do what Wärtsilä does or you will be fishing toast in twenty years in this segment”. To his credit, he did start some changes in the right direction (which, if you know GE, it’s surprising that he could push changes at all)Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Interesting… I’m pretty sure this is not a Gavrilo Princip moment; but I expect democratic ramifications in Europe.

      …and, am I the only one who read: “UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: “Shocked to hear of despicable murder of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey. My thoughts are with his family. I condemn this cowardly attack” … and went: “wait, what? Oh yeah.” Heh, and I’m *for* Brexit. Still.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      @jaybird

      I don’t get the WWI analogy and Franz Ferdinand. An ambassador is not analogous to the sole heir of a vast Empire.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Well, the analogy makes sense if you think that a) there’s a powder-kegged sized faction of people desiring war, and b) that all that keg needs is a spark to go BOOM!

        {{Personally, I’m with you that this isn’t the keg-spark. But we’re getting close.}}Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Maybe it is a Gavrilo Princip moment.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        It depends, for all we know the Russians care as little about their diplomats as the US does.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          No. That would assume that Russia has the desire and means to invade Turkey; they don’t. Further, if you can look past the actual shooting down of a military aircraft by the actual government, you can look past a lone gunman shooting a diplomat.

          On the other hand, I’d advise against lone Ukrainian citizens getting any ideas.

          And nobody cares about their diplomats… pawns are pawns. Seriously. Next you are going to tell me we care about our troops.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    An interesting study shows that working-class people are potentially wary of child care as a government policy because it makes them look like moochers even though they admit it would help a lot.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/12/19/working_class_parents_investment_in_self_reliance_is_working_against_their.html

    For the discussion, focus group leaders Amber and David Lapp showed them each candidate’s plan for the aforementioned issues but did not tell them which plan belonged to which candidate. The group complained about having to live paycheck to paycheck and the high cost of rent, and they agreed life would be better if they had access to paid leave and if child care cost less. Sounds like they should have voted for Hillary Clinton, right? Here’s why they didn’t: Again and again, they expressed reluctance to appear “greedy” and longed for a future where they could consider themselves self-reliant and economically independent. “Just let us run our own lives with less taxes,” one said about public assistance. “And we don’t want to live off the state, either,” added a stay-at-home mom in response to a conversation on subsidized child care. “We want to do it honestly.”

    In contrast, my middle-class and above friends with higher educations and incomes (usually) love universal pre-K and other child care programs.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Interesting study shows that working class moms wish they weren’t working or working away from home.

      Most of women in the group said that, ideally, they would prefer to be a stay-at-home mom, work part-time away from the home, or work from home with their kids. There was one outlier who said she likes working full time but thought that expressing so “sounds really horrible.”

      But sure, Slate.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Correct, whether people accept welfare depends on how it is framed and presented.

      Which sounds cynical, but really, people just need to have their hard work tangibly respected and rewarded.
      Interesting article today about the Polish authoritarian government that provides a UBI to families who can’t find work.

      The assistance is seen as a patriotic gesture to traditional families, rather than welfare for moochers.

      I’m betting something like 50% of Trump voters would take that aid in a heartbeat without a second thought.Report