Come out of your closet and take your licks. How can you back an explicitly pro-religion party that thinks women are second-class citizens, chattels of their husbands and The State, and who favors widening the gap between the rich and non-rich even more?

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Thank you sir.

WW II initiated the Military-Industrial Complex, Sam, beyond that it was just a case of industrialists realizing how much money could be made from keeping us afraid, Ike had nothing to do with that. Further, Ike made it plain to any who would listen, that he didn't want Tricky Dick as his running mate second term, but his wishes were overruled by the Party, because they felt Nixon had a shot at the Presidency after Ike's final term - we showed them they were wrong.

There was a valid reason for the Red Scare - first, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to throw Russia under the bus during WW II and let them attack Germany first, thus sacrificing Russian lives to save English and American ones, so Russia had a legitimate axe to grind. Further, China entered into an expansion policy that involved, rather than an actual invasion of other Asian countries, which would have been resisted, a carrot & stick policy that told those undeveloped countries that if they accept the tenents of Communisim, China would provide them with economic aid to make the transition, thus making them Chinese satellites, dependent upon China.

Place the blame for the Witch Hunts squarely where it belongs, Joseph McCarthy, who was trying to make a name for himself, at the expense of others, and from Salem, in the 1600's, we know how contagious that kind of hysteria can become - if you're not with us, you must be one too --

As for Cuba, that was a State Department screw-up of epic proportions, that we've had to live with for the past 50 years - when Castro overthrew the Batista regime, the first place he looked, for legitimacy, was the US - but our rich had vacation homes down there, "Batista may be a son of a bitch," it was said, "but he's OUR son of a bitch!" We refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Castro regime, so he found someone who would.

@Sammi - Did you know that Ike changed national etiquette?

Us down-home folks just pick up a piece of chicken (yes, I get the canablistic irony, but meat's meat) and chow down, but in Ike's time, when in public, one ate chicken by first cutting bites with a knife and fork. As President, unpretentious Ike just picked up his and ate it, and from then on, since the President did it, it was acceptable everywhere.

Just in case you ever need to win a bar bet --

Say, you don't do that famous trick with the ping pong balls...

I'll let someone else handle the bone reference.

We ARE talking about a chicken bone, right?

I'm beginning to suspect you redefine that word --

Your second and fourth paragraphs are very fanciful revisions of history, right out of seventies USSR textbooks.

Germany attacked the Soviets in June '41, six months before the entry of the US into the war. The western Allies allies at that point didn't really exist, only the UK was standing with Anzac support, the former preoccupied by continual back-and-forth in North Africa and the latter with Japanese encroachment. When Germany declared war on the US in December, the first goal was to kick the Germans out of North Africa as their plan was to link the Africa Corps with the Army Group South in the southern Caucasus, with the effect of simultaneously bringing the young and inexperienced İnönü and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in on the Axis side. While Stalin clearly wanted a second front, even he could understand the risks of overstretching and agreed, at least in principle, that an attack on France or the Low Countries would be too much for the western countries to manage. He therefore acquiesced to the strategy of attacking Germany through the soft underbelly that was Italy, knocking the fascists out of the war. That pretty much sums up 1941-2.

As for 1943, the North African Campaign wound down in May, and it had bled the western Allies of much manpower and equipment that launching both an Italian invasion and a Channel invasion was foolhardy. As a campaign into France would only be possible during the summer months due to weather, it had to wait until 1944. Of course, these practical considerations doesn't negate the fact that the UK and US didn't mind too awfully that the USSR was being bled, as it was clear that the Alliance was a temporary measure to fight a common enemy and a weak Soviet state was to be preferred in the longer run. 

As for labeling China as expansionist it is almost laughable erroneous and shows simplicity. China did have certain ambitions on buffer client states, most notably (North) Korea and (North) Vietnam, but the only real territorial gain was Tibet, a feudalistic society governed by a divinely ordained monarch. DPRK was a Russian satellite after occupation in the final stages of WW2 with an immensely popular leader in Kim Il Sung, which had been a long time guerrilla member. The entry of the Chinese into the Korean war was merely due to Soviet lassitude and a clear violation by MacArthur, which didn't believe the Chinese warnings, of the PRC's red line of not invading.

As for Vietnam, it had originally been settled by Chinese and been a colony until the 10th century. Clearly, the Chinese wanted a pliable satellite around the Red River delta, but Ho Chi Minh was keenly aware of this and thwarted most Chinese designs on the region. Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand was far outside both the traditional Chinese sphere of influence and PRC's regional ambitions.

I could go on, but China had a limited capacity to influence events, and especially to expand, due to technological inferiority, war and civil war destruction, and bouts of severe inward focus (hundred flowers, GLF, cultural revolution), and later the Sino-Soviet split forced it to refocus northwards. 

In the interest of brevity I don't think tackling misconceptions about Cuba is a good idea in this post.

@Arcus - you seem quite knowledgeable; all I know is what I've read in my own history textbooks in High School, and I can assure you, that was not in the USSR.

You have probably watched one too many BBC documentary, they are excellent, but one must be aware of the substantial left-of-centre Weltanschauung and a large degree of omission. 

I actually used my high school textbooks in the above, specifically T.A. Morris' European History 1848-1945, Norman Lowe's Mastering World History, and T.E. Vadney's The World Since 1945. The two former are GCSE A-level books, the latter is a Canadian historian utilizing mostly political history and Marxist historiography in his analysis (at least I can't be blamed for right-wing bias). I have done a substantial amount of extra-curricular reading and watching too, but mostly to enlighten details. 

Arcus is correct.  The Soviets really didn't have a good reason to complain.  Not only was it impractical to invade Western Europe before 1944, the Soviets had made the entire situation possible by signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in 1939.  The Soviets had no one to blame but themselves.

And the West made that pact possible by it's appeasement at Munich and the breakdown of the Anglo-French-Soviet military negotiations a few weeks before. In the words of A. J. P. Taylor "it is difficult to see what other course Soviet Russia could have followed", though the unfortunate side effect was that a West vs Germany war over the Polish question became inevitable. 

I must firmly repudiate the implication in your post that "the West" was in some way responsible for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.  Neville Chamberlain's actions at Munich may have encouraged the Soviets to think that the pact was a good idea, but it was hardly necessary and they were hardly forced into it.  The Soviets entered into that pact motivated by their greed for expansion, which is shown clearly by the "secret protocol" that essentially ceded parts of Eastern Europe to the Soviets.  In other words, the Soviets knew perfectly well that the Germans intended to invade other parts of Eastern Europe.  The pact wasn't just a pact with the devil; it was a pact between two devils.


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