Yes, left-wingers also falsify history. Unlike conservatives, they usually don't do so "in cold blood" -- that is to say, lefties don't knowingly
spew fake facts. But spew they do.
Example: Frank Schaeffer's argument
against religious fundamentalism in AlterNet. I agree with his general viewpoint. But his recounting of the history of World War I is ridiculous.
First, he offers a quote indicating that Woodrow Wilson considered himself a religious man. He then argues (without evidence) that religion -- and not any external events, such as German U-boats repeatedly sinking American ships -- was the sole factor which caused Wilson to ask for a declaration of war against Germany.
What did Wilson's religious idealism actually achieve? Germany's loss of World War One led to the rise of Hitler, and the Second World War. Wilson picked sides between two equally tarnished nationalistically-inspired colonial contenders and weighed in. So Wilson set the stage for the rise of Hitler and World War Two. With no World War Two there would be no Israel because there would have been no holocaust.
I doubt that even a horse could produce horseshit so pure.
Schaeffer's argument is that Wilson should have told Congress: "Yes, the Germans are sinking our ships and invading other countries -- but let's forgive them. They have among their number a corporal who (according to my crystal ball) will do even worse things
one day if Germany suffers a defeat in this war. So it's better for us to allow Germany to do whatever it wants right now."
For generations, school children in the U.S. and the U.K. have been told that WWI was a pointless squabble between interchangeable imperialistic elites. This is a myth
. Fact: Germany invaded Belgium and France in 1914.
The Germans had no good reason to be there, yet there they were. To claim moral equivalence between Germany and its victims is disgusting and unforgivable.
If Germany had won the first World War, what really
would have happened?
Germany would have eliminated democracy across Europe. They certainly planned to annex Beligum and industrialized France. Even Germany's intellectuals were allied to the goals of militarism and despotism. In essence, a kind of madness -- a proto-Nazism -- had spread across that land.
We forget that the Germans first re-introduced slave labor to Europe not (as is commonly believed) under Hitler but under the Kaiser. Roughly 120,000 Belgians were captured and forced to work in German factories. Would Germany, having gotten a taste of slavery, have given up the practice after victory? I strongly doubt it.
Germans stole agricultural, economic and industrial resources throughout the conquered territories. They practiced theft on the grandest of scales, and they would hardly have ceased their thieving after the war. Had they prevailed, the Germans would have paid no price for the massive number of atrocities they perpetrated against innocent non-combatants during the war. (No, WWI atrocity stories were no
t all a matter of propaganda.)
But even those outcomes seem insignificant when we consider German plans for Poland and the Baltic states. The concept of "lebensraum" was well known in this time period; Hitler did not invent it. Documents which remain little-known (except to specialists) reveal that the Germans made post-war plans to expel some two million Poles (primarily Jews) from Poland in order to create "living space" for German colonists. The military high command had made tentative plans to reduce the unwanted populations through starvation
In other words, the Holocaust would have begun much earlier. And there would have been no countervailing power to stop it.
Would a German victory in WWI have prevented the rise of Nazism? No. That answer seems counter-intuitive, but the argument presented here
There would have been this key difference: The Nazi movement (which probably would have called itself something else) would have gained control not of a defeated nation but of the greatest power on earth.
The big difference would have been that Germany would been immensely stronger and more competent by the late 1930s than it was in the history we know. That another war would have been brewed by then we may be sure. Hitler was only secondarily interested in revenge for the First World War; his primary goal had always been geopolitical expansion into Eastern Europe and western Asia. This would have given Germany the Lebensraum to become a world power. His ideas on the subject were perfectly coherent, and not original with him: they were almost truisms. There is no reason to think that the heirs of a German victory in 1918 (or 1919, or 1920) would have been less likely to pursue these objectives.
At the time America entered WWI, Russia had left the field, freeing up German manpower and giving her an enormous amount of resources. If Woodrow Wilson -- easily the most misunderstood and unfairly maligned president in our history -- had not decided to enter the conflict, the Allies would certainly have lost. All of Europe would have resembled Spain under Franco -- or perhaps France under Petain.
Eventually, Britain and Russia would have been conquered. Using slave labor from those vanquished nations, the Germans would have been free to attack the United States -- a country without allies. America would today be a vassal of Germany. We would still be living in an age of barbarism.
Fortunately, Wilson made the decision he made. He was prompted not by religious fundamentalism but by a realistic assessment of a serious threat.
Could the victorious Allies have prevented the rise of Hitler? I believe so. After the Great War, the Allies could have exercised much greater control over Germany, imposing a strict demilitarization. Because of its aggression, Germany had lost its right to sovereignty. For at least a full generation, the country should have been administered directly -- and, to be frank, rather ruthlessly -- by Britain, France and the United States.
America should never have permitted her great industrialists to fund the Nazis. Specifically, our government should have cracked down on Henry Ford. Alas, Ford's connection to Hitler has been erased from history. The virulently anti-Semitic automotive magnate is now considered a hero
by the tea partiers and the John Birchers. (If, as Glenn Beck alleges, Hitler was a "leftist," why did Henry Ford -- who hated socialism as much as he hated Jews and unions -- fund the Nazi party?)
Incidentally, both the radical right and the easily-duped left have colluded to create the false impression that the Bush family funded the rise of Adolf Hitler. This is not true. When the Nazis were developing their muscles, Bush-related banking interests capitalized industrial development in the Weimar Republic
-- the democratic government that Hitler hoped to overthrow.
We are never going to right this country's course until we correct the lunatic version of history which has captured our public discourse. As the little green guy in the movie once said: You must unlearn what you have learned.