Paul Craig Roberts
by Paul Craig Roberts: Obama’s
Expanding Kill List
If? histories are a good read. They are entertaining, and
they provoke thought and encourage the imagination. How different
the world would be if different judgments, decisions, and circumstances
had prevailed at historys turning points. Certainly English
history would have been different if King Harolds soldiers
had obeyed his order not to pursue the defeated fleeing Normans
down the hill. This
broke the impenetrable Saxon shield wall and exposed King Harold
to Norman calvary.
ever have been a Soviet Union if the Czar had stayed out of World
have been a World War II if British, French, and American politicians
had listened to John Maynard Keynes warning that the Treaty
of Versailles would result in a second world war? Germany had been
promised a different outcome no reparations and no territorial
loss in exchange for an armistice. As Keynes realized, the
betrayal of the peace led to another great war.
There are a
couple of what ifs that I have been waiting for historians to explore.
As no historians have risen to the challenge, I will have a go.
Keep in mind that a what if outcome is not necessarily a better
outcome. It might be a worse outcome. As what if did not happen
and there is no what if history, there is no way of making a judgment.
had not succeeded in pressuring Chamberlain to interfere with Hitlers
negotiations with the Polish colonels by issuing a British guarantee
to Poland in the event of German aggression. Would World War II
have resulted or would it have been a different war?
guarantee emboldened the colonels and frustrated Hitlers attempt
to restore a Germany dismantled by the Versailles Treaty. The result
was Hitlers secret pact with Stalin to divide up Poland, technically
known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
the guarantee, Britain was honor-bound to declare war on Germany
(fortunately not also on the Soviet Union), which pulled in France
because of the British-French alliance against Germany.
guarantee, the German (September 1, 1939) and Soviet (September
17, 1939) invasions of Poland would have been prevented by the Polish
colonels acquiescence to Hitlers demands and would not
have resulted in Britain and France starting World War II by declaring
war on Germany, resulting in the fall of France, the British driven
off the continent, and Roosevelts determination to involve
the US in a foreign war unrelated in any significant way to Americans
write that Hitlers ambitions were in the East, not the West.
Without the British and French declaration of war, the war might
have been contained, with the two totalitarian powers fighting it
Hitler and Stalin might have continued their cooperation and together
seized the oil rich Middle East. The British, French, and Americans
would have been a poor match for the German and Soviet militaries.
General Patton, the best American commander, thought he could take
on the Red Army that had crushed the Wehrmacht, but his hubris did
not worry Red Army commanders, who defeated the bulk of the German
Army, which was deployed on the Eastern Front, while the Americans,
aided by German motorized units running out of fuel, struggled to
contain a small part of German forces in the Battle of the Bulge.
Today we would be buying our oil from a German/Soviet consortium.
outcome implies a different history for the Middle East, and so
does another what if. What if the 9/11 Commission consisted of experts
instead of politicians with their fingers in the wind, and what
if the commissioners had too much integrity to write a report dictated
by the executive branch? The unlikely and untenable failure of every
institution of the American national security state would have been
investigated, and the collapse of WTC 7 at free fall speed would
have had to have been acknowledged in the report and explained.
A totally different story would have emerged, a story unlikely to
have locked Americans into permanent war in an expanding number
of countries and into a domestic police state.
still be a free people. And American liberty might still be a beacon
to the world.
On the other
hand, a finding of government complicity in 9/11 could have threatened
powerful interests and resulted in violent conflict and martial
What ifs are
provocative, and that is what makes them fun. Thinking is Americas
national disability. Im all for anything that provokes Americans
Craig Roberts, a
former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases
of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book,
Tyranny of Good Intentions,
co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how
americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random
House. Visit his website.
© 2013 Paul
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