It really is too soon to tell.

Chou-en-Lai’s remark about the French Revolution (either 1789; or 1968) when asked about how it had fared is perhaps typical of the man; and alarmingly concise and accurate when you also remember that he was a military man as well as being a politician. How many times in the past two-three hundred years have political leaders led, massaged or demanded action; usually military: which has ended up with exactly the reverse of that which was hoped for by those same politicians.

Offhand, without serious research, I can think of only two Declarations of War which were, upon reflection, necessary: one was ours in 1939 against Germany: the other was ours (again) against the French and its dictator Bonaparte.

Imagine what would have been the outcome if a political leader, such as Bush, or Blair, or Cameron (although a political pygmy, he was unfortunately, our prime minister) had been given both advice which mirrored that action taken, as well as a considered advice to do nothing; and a study of the possible outcomes of both actions? Let us look at three decisions which had vastly different outcomes to those envisaged before that decision was made.

In the years leading up to the First World War, imagine what would have been the outcome if all those intertwined politically-motivated Treaties between European Nations had not been signed? A minor figure in Mid-European Royalty was assassinated; and instead of major and minor powers becoming entangled in a trench-based war where millions died for very little gain: the Russian empire would not have fallen; the foul stench of Communism would have been stifled before it was even born; the world would have sent minor figures to the funeral, and that would have been it!

Just consider what would have been the outcome if President Roosevelt had not ordered the iron and oil embargo against a resurgent Japan because of their Chinese invasion, instead of conniving with his secret emissary to engineer a War against the best-equipped and best-led military and naval force in the whole of the Pacific Rim? America would probably not have become the World Power it is today, as the force, the raison d’être; for enabling the mighty rearmament and militarisation process which turned America from a sleeping giant to the ferocious militant nation it became; never, ever occurred. Isolationism was the main theme in politics, and after America’s involvement in WW1, there were too many ex-military men in positions of power and influence. The entire global history of the 1940’s onwards would be totally different; just think of the difference of not having America literally sustaining Great Britain during her battles with Nazi Germany.

Just consider what the outcome would have been if Blair had said ‘Hang about a bit’ when Bush asked him to help complete the job in Iraq. Afghanistan would have never been denuded of American forces just when they were needed to complete the push against the Taliban, and who knows what may have not occurred in the years since?

Imagine if the armoured columns which Gaddafi had sent towards Benghazi had not been stopped by French air power? Imagine what may have happened if the British strikes and American back-up, sig-int and overwhelming superiority in airpower had never been available? The Libyan ‘Arab Spring’ would probably been stifled at birth; the Benghazi defenders would have been wiped out, Gaddafi would have ruled on, and the Outlaw State which Libya has become would simply never have emerged: and we would not have half-a-million “migrants” queuing up for a boat ride to benefits galore in Europe.

Every Saturday morning, I read a section printed from the Telegraph Archives of WW1. It is a sobering five-odd minutes, but necessary for us all to remember that we  went into that War with our eyes tight shut, dependent upon faulty information, loosely-written Treaties, and a blind faith that we knew what we were about to do! It was only blind luck which kept us out of the modern ground morass which is Syria, and these bloody Westminster politicians are forever inventing places for us to go and bomb something, even if it is a North Korea, from an aircraft carrier which hasn’t got any bloody jets at all!

9 comments for “It really is too soon to tell.

  1. October 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Just consider what would have been the outcome if President Roosevelt had lived.

    • James Strong
      October 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      What do you mean?

      Do you think Roosevelt would not have used the two Atom Bombs?

      Do you think Truman would not have won the Republican nomination for President in the election of 1948?

      What else?

      What do you mean?

      • October 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        That we can’t know as he didn’t live.

      • decnine
        October 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm

        Er… Truman was Roosevelt’s vice president – and a Democrat

        • James Strong
          October 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm

          Yes, I know.
          I had gone counter-factual in an attempt to point out the lack of verifiable knowledge when discussing ‘alternative histories’ and the nature of the speculative point I was replying to.
          Maybe I should have said ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’, and you’ll probably pick up on that reference.

  2. BobH
    October 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Ah, the law of unintended consequences at work again and again. Its amazing we are still here.

  3. October 29, 2017 at 3:42 am

    If only I hadn’t taken ‘that’ spear to a sword fight.

  4. Mona
    October 29, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Joy, joy joy, you have made me smile, Britain has uninvented the aircraft carrier. A fantastic peace gesture from Britain to the world , build a carrier with no jets.

    • Mudplugger
      October 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Similar uselessness with the nuclear subs – apparently all the officers are busy fornicating amongst themselves playing ‘hide the torpedo’ and giving a more fluid meaning to the term ‘Officers Mess’, whilst the other ranks are completely off their heads on cocaine.

      Makes you feel proud that the huge Defence Budget’s at least giving pleasure to some and not killing too many innocent civilians in the process. Maybe we should declare war on Catalonia to help focus minds again.

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