Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]  RT  August 31, 2010 8:03pm-8:33pm EDT

8:03 pm
time up next ots debate in just a moment. there conduce childhood was overshadowed by this tragedy. these two feel the fear they faced. don't remember every second of this nightmare. it will remain in their memories and hearts forever. and using so. innocent. a little angels. can. still.
8:04 pm
below and welcome the cross talk i'm peter lavelle could have the second world war been avoided what role did opposing ideologies play and or individuals in states to blame for what was the international system is so weak that war was made inevitable . if you. started. to discuss what went wrong in the one nine hundred thirty s. i'm joined by dominique leavin in london he's a professor of russian government at the london school of economics and political science and a fellow of the british academy in boston we have william kale or a professor of history and international asians at boston university and the author of a world of nations the international order since one thousand nine hundred five and unlivable we cross to frank madonna and author and reader in international history at liverpool john moore's university. in one thousand nine hundred thirty nine he
8:05 pm
of the soviet union and nazi germany embracing each other a deadly embrace that we would find out later how did we get to that point where did what went wrong to the international system go wrong who failed eastern europe and could have the war been avoided you don't have to answer him all the same time . well i think you possibly start back in one thousand nine hundred nineteen with the end of the first world war i think the basic point is that the two countries which really matter in europe in the twentieth century germany and russia it's only really germany and russia which have the resources human and other potentially to dominate the whole continent the first world war was above all else a struggle between germany and russia to dominate the central europe and either of them if they dominated the central europe would have the resources to dominate the whole continent the great irony is that the first world war ends with both russia and germany being defeated and the versailles settlement is created against russia and against germany and i suppose at its most basic it's very very difficult to
8:06 pm
create a stable european order to which neither russia nor germany are committed you could only do that really would you could only have defeated germany in the first place with the intervention of the americans and the full scale commitment of britain to the continent or quite apart from anything else after nine hundred eighty the americans go home and the british released spend most of their time thinking about the security of their overseas empire so the verse i settlement which is very weak for a start because it's designed against germany and against russia essentially has no guarantee behind it and if you have a peace settlement which is against the two most powerful country countries on the continent and doesn't have an effective security guarantee you know under signed by the victors then there's every chance that the international order is going to fall to bits ok i believe another war was necessarily of inevitable but the versailles order was not going to survive bill when passing you would you would you agree with
8:07 pm
that i mean it was the the fragility of the international order doesn't have much to do with ideology is creating weak states in the in the in eastern europe not protecting them or giving them security guarantees. yes indeed the various size settlement came about as a result of a an allied victory and the problem was that the americans bugged out and. refused to accept the system and. it was just mentioned great britain really disengaged from the continent and focused on the defense of the empire so that basically left france as the guarantor of the versailles settlement in france simply did not have the wherewithal did not have the military power did not have the economic power to enforce a settlement and so that meant that from the very beginning really germany began to
8:08 pm
evade the restrictions that was placed upon it by the very size system that france was unable to prevent that from happening so i mean frank should we be surprised that this pact happened because of munich in one thousand thirty eight after all the same powers that created the international system betrayed it. i think that's in one thousand that is a lake or how there was an opportunity. granfer it was an opportunity i think in one nine hundred thirty eight to have prevented the war because at that stage germany's armaments were not strong enough at that stage to wage a war on two fronts we now know from recent german sources that in fact the german army was not even prepared for a long war against france in one nine hundred thirty eight or against the czech army which was well armed then they had thirty seven well armed divisions britain and france had greater strength than germany in one nine hundred thirty eight and if the soviet union had just stayed on the sidelines in one nine hundred thirty
8:09 pm
eight and in combination with britain and france then if the war began in one thousand nine hundred thirty eight i'm firmly convinced it would have lasted less than two years with germany being defeated and in fact in one thousand nine hundred thirty eight in september it was actually at all fit leroux back down in the end. and went for the munich agreement so dominic it was keeping the soviet union out of the international order is again one of the reasons why we have this pact because stalin we want to partner with someone desperately want to partner with the west the west basically rebuffed him. yes i mean it's not quite that simple i think from the russian perspective in fact the situation is the same before nine hundred fourteen and one nine hundred thirty nine you've got the potential domination of of europe by germany german expansionism is a good deal you know more clear cut another critical of course in the one nine hundred thirty s. well before the first world war but it's the same basic issue of russian security
8:10 pm
and you have a fundamental choice do you gang up with the english and the french to try and deter germany or if necessary defeat her in war if it comes to that or on the contrary do you reckon that it's in your interests to try and steer germany westwards so that she fights war with britain and france and you get on in peace with your own domestic internal development i mean in a sense you could argue that it's the same dilemma that nicolas the second and his advisors make the wrong decision in and before nine hundred forty they decide to confront germany and the result is disaster and revolution but vilifying only it's not in thirty nine stalin takes the opposite course decides to deflate germany and the result is also a disaster so i mean it's not an easy it's not an easy dilemma for russia's rulers bill if i go to you in boston how much of a role did ideology play with this in this because the british and french had this suspicion of the bolsheviks in the east i mean they weren't looking at geopolitics
8:11 pm
they're also ideology played a role i think a lot of people forget that. well the the word that hasn't been used yet but obviously is in the background is the term appeasement and i think that the appeasement policy that britain and france pursued in the one nine hundred thirty s. really is based on three considerations number one and most important of all i think is the absolute obsession with avoiding another war. the trauma of world war one hung like the sword of damocles over the ruling elites of those countries all of whom had had experience in the war secondly i think there was a sentiment of guilt about the versailles treaty particularly in great britain the sense that maybe germany had been maltreated and therefore maybe we ought to try to rectify the injustices are very sorry but number three and this gets to your your question idiology certainly plays
8:12 pm
a role in the peace meant that is the very strong sense of having communism that was present particularly in the british conservative party but also in france as well so there was a sense that as bad as hitler was perhaps he was not as bad as stalin and therefore there were some people who believed that a great britain and france simply should not. should not enforce the various i treaty and if that meant that germany was going to move eastward to regain living spaces as the germans put it then that's ok because of this strong anti-communist sentiment that was present in the thirty's francophonie go to you in liverpool well this is this abrogating responsibility the west created an international system to its own benefit by the way and then abandon it and really what we have is a catastrophic war i mean is it the international system here that you know could
8:13 pm
have been repaired somehow to avoid this catastrophe. i don't think it's just the international system i think we can easily blame systems when systems are actually operated by individuals and personalities and we do have a number of personalities here operating this system in particular neville chamberlain neville chamberlain makes a conscious decision when he becomes prime minister to move away from the league of nations and towards the policy of appeasement so he makes a conscious political decision supported by the majority of the conservative party although there are some elements within it who oppose it particularly churchill and even to some extent also most of the labor party now is turning against the idea of appeasing hitler and there's a vast group of people now who are becoming disenchanted with the whole idea of giving in to hitler for example in one nine hundred thirty six hitler marched into the rhineland that was generally accepted that you know he was going into his own back garden as it was said in one thousand nine hundred thirty eight when he
8:14 pm
marched into austria there was a lot of upheaval people unhappy about it but in the end it was accepted it was the czechoslovak crisis which was a different kind of crisis it involved a democratic country czechoslovakia being bullied by a larger power out of it was germany and a small group located within the sudetenland who were pressing a case for national self-determination but in a sense of national say that self-determination was granted to the people in the sedating land but actually opened up the whole idea of all of the success of states these are the states that were created by the treaty of versailles they contained masses of different nationalities all central eastern european nationalities and they they could all viii to join germany so in the end when chamberlain can see that the sudetenland until lotty a the french premier pointed out to me said a week if we can see this issue of national self-determination to the sedate land
8:15 pm
then that opens up the whole idea of a greater sherman reich stretching. all the way to the ukraine so in a sense the real point to which hitler could have been stopped in my opinion and there's no question about this was the czech crisis of one nine hundred thirty eight and there was an opportunity to do it if chamberlain had stayed out of that crisis if he hadn't intervened so disastrously the two visits he made to hitler in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight the first ones of berchtesgaden it was a total disaster he actually told hitler that he would concede to is their wishes in gaining the so they will and this wasn't even on the table when he went to the first meeting the cabinets hadn't even agreed whether we should actually can see territory over the third reich the idea was a settlement of the sedate land within the parameters of the czech government so i really think the chamberlains decision to intervene so dramatically by visiting hitler what he did there was he showed his hand he showed that he didn't want to
8:16 pm
stand up to hitler militarily he alienated the soviet union which of course then led on a year later i believe to the nazi so we have pact because why was stalin go to intervene when it was quite clear that chamberlain was not going to stick by his guarantee to czechoslovakia he didn't stand by as guarantees of czechoslovakia in fact he told him at the first meeting of a garden and this is in the record already hit language how you don't going to be just you have to jump in here after a short break we'll continue our discussion in the origins of the second grade your state with our.
8:17 pm
her. mother. her. mother her. this history still keeps its secrets but now it's time to feel. the soviet silence miki to stop touching like a moment obsolete. come
8:18 pm
to the future. from the mark simone one costs what makes a mechanical engineer an automotive pioneer open a book and reason the world's most innovative student to the checkered flag on tests year on a. slum . pissed still. come up. plenty. welcome back across time computable about tree mind you were talking about whether the second world war could have been avoided. plug if you see plenty. of bill before we went to the break you said you
8:19 pm
wanted to say something go right ahead. yes i just want to underline something that frank said about the absolutely critical role played by this principle of national self-determination i was that of a principle that was. part of president wilson's idiology and in the case of germany it really turns out to be catastrophic hitler exploits this principle throughout the nine hundred thirty s. to justify his territorial expansion the rhineland was part of germany why should germany not have the right to have military forces within its own country austria was a german speaking country hitler himself was originally austrian the sudetenland was a german speaking territory in czechoslovakia so hitler was able to work split that principle and with one win widespread support for his policies by a centrally sovereign like woodrow wilson the real change comes in the spring of
8:20 pm
nine hundred thirty nine when germany invades the the remnant of czechoslovakia and that's the first time that you have german military forces occupying a territory that is not inhabited by german people so this principle of national soft terminations really was a tremendously powerful influence that had very nefarious consequences ok dominic i think this is a very interesting thing that we're discussing about i was going to tell me and that is that a minute the point is that it's. to put international relations under a sort of ethical moral spotlight not was woodrow wilson and to some extent the british and the americans both looked at things in that way but the french didn't really the french were perfectly willing to take the high. line it was simply that they had the ground come underneath them by first of the americans and subsequently the british so that by the one nine hundred thirty is the french simply titled along the british policy because they didn't think they had either the military all
8:21 pm
the financial. means to go it alone and that does bring it back to the fact that there's no rush or in there it's rush hour of being one of the guarantors of the one thousand nine hundred settlement he would have had a much more hard headed rail politique attitude towards international stability the basic problem of course is that once you begin quoting national self-determination . you know you're basically talking about a greater germany in the center of europe as a huge security threat to everyone else around so that that is the basic dilemma of their side you know frank if i go to you to some this theme is very interesting for me because basically by the end of the one nine hundred thirty s. there is this contempt for international law and the peace settlement of nine hundred nineteen so it was perfectly acceptable when it's insane public of course but leaders who say it to divide up europe and this is what happened the system failed the soviet stepped in and looked look your system isn't working out of self defense again i agree with dominique i mean i'm not about the moral issues of this we can talk about that later but because because the system made collapse it was
8:22 pm
perfectly willing to divide up this country that country that's that's how we got to where we got to nine hundred thirty nine. i think that you know i agree with what bill on dominic was saying but i think we've got to go back into this period think of how complex it was it was a much more complex world at this time you know you had a national socialist regime in germany holding the a rightist regime pills ski italy had a fascist regime you also had the communist regime in the soviet union there were all kinds of really even in britain and france you can say that democracy was really that stable i mean in france there was governments that came and went in a cascade throughout the one nine hundred thirty s. there was a coalition government in britain they called it the national government at the time there was a still a fear of communism at the time there was great economic problems the usa had retreated into isolationism i mean these were very difficult problems i don't
8:23 pm
underestimate the problems of the statesmen of the one nine hundred thirty s. group grappled with and they were supplied with some terrible information i mean we now know some of the british intelligence in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight was telling chamberlain that the the law of the capacities of bomb london and now we know that they didn't even have an effect of air force to even conduct an air campaign over czechoslovakia so all of that made the one nine hundred thirty is a very difficult place because i have to reiterate it was a failure not just of the the complexity of the situation i do come back to personalities here and i do think that chamberlain in particular made a string of catastrophic decisions one of them i mentioned there about going to visit hitler twice and revealing totally revealing britain and france his position that they were not prepared to stand up to him then there was the catastrophic decision to guarantee poland in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine a could see that britain could not defend and then there was the fatal delay to try and gain an
8:24 pm
alliance with the soviet union now whether or not stalin wanted an alliance with britain and france at that time. we will never fully know but in one thousand nine hundred thirty eight i'm not so sure i think in one thousand nine hundred thirty eight that style in at least would have stayed out of the war in one nine hundred thirty eight and he would not have joined then a nazi soviet pact because once britain and france were at war it's very doubtful then that a nazi soviet would ever of be possible in those circumstances and the soviet union could have actually helped by helping with a naval blockade in one nine hundred thirty eight in the baltic for example and that would've not allowed germany to gain vital iron ore supplies from norway for example so as so many ways are emerging the only very is that by then if the british are going to actually confront germany they are committing themselves to what can be a very nasty and chancy war it might have gone better than it did in nineteen
8:25 pm
thirty nine in my might not but by then the stakes are already very high courses are coming in thirty three thirty four thirty five and simply you know immediately reacted to german rearmament of the reoccupation of the rhine learned about point there's no question that they could have imposed there were no germany hiding additional recent evidence the problem is though what he's doing it's go ahead i think i think the recent evidence is suggesting that in actual fact germany our will was not complete by nine hundred thirty eight for example well of course i wasn't completely or you are still going to be facing something pretty nasty whereas in nineteen thirty five nine hundred thirty six there was no question that the british and french if they'd had the will could impose the policy with very little cost to themselves in the short run the question is what do you do next but in actual fact if you think about my all along three thirty four in one hundred thirty three thirty four thirty five british rearmament hadn't really started by then so really need to realize the germans didn't have anything to. i mean you know
8:26 pm
the french army says rio de mint. you know britain doesn't respond we could reduce even in one nine hundred thirty nine britain puts war two divisions on the continent of europe in terms of actual continental commitment britain isn't serious even in one hundred forty. it's the results that matter but they lack the will ok bill i want to jump you go ahead you want to jump into this mix we're going to go ahead. i'd like to i like to jump good to see a few words about soviet foreign policy in the one nine hundred thirty s. let's not forget that in one nine hundred thirty four stalin executes an about face in soviet foreign policy up to about time the soviet union had been on very close terms with germany and after hitler comes to power stalin inaugurate the so-called popular front policy he brings his country into the league of nations which had been shunned shining before he orders the communist parties in western europe to
8:27 pm
vote in favor of rearmament and in one hundred thirty five he signed a military alliance with france so you have the two countries on each side of germany now in a military alliance and he is doing what he can to try to strengthen the anti german coalition we all know about the nazi soviet pact or nine hundred thirty nine but let's not forget from nine hundred thirty four to nine hundred thirty nine the soviet union was pursuing a consistent policy of trying to limit german expansionism and trying to impose germany at the same time that the british and the french are appeasing germany ok i can ask all you gentlemen here was the soviet union acting logically in the end of the day in the one nine hundred in the war started to make an embrace you nine hundred thirty nine one hundred thirty nine million in one thousand eight hundred nine and ninety three did it did what do you make of the judge is going to say yes logically it was
8:28 pm
a logical decision ok basic point is they miscalculate the it was perfectly clear in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine that the soviet union full with britain and france it was going to have to do most of the fighting because britain had virtually no me ready to commit to the continent the french had that national line which they're not going to come out from behind and in any event the germans are going to go east against poland so it's clearly the soviet army which is going to have to do most of the fighting and which. yeah but of course he miscalculated his basic calculation was that the germans were going to fight the british and french was going to be like the first world war soviet union was going to be out of it all it would have a generation to get on with its own peaceful development what completely stunned him but it also stunned the british and french and surprise most german generals was that it turned out that the germans defeated france in six weeks pushed the british back over the continent to learn face the soviet union with a completely huge and unexpected crisis that was the basic miscalculation you had frank jump in there you can't can we go back to the one nine hundred forty about
8:29 pm
the defeat of france in actual fact the defeat of france when you look at the balance of forces in one nine hundred forty the germans won in one nine hundred forty by a tactical maneuver by von months time in going through the are dead in actual fact britain and france had more military equipment they had more aircraft it was actually a tactical victory and there's been many books is a great book by robert citee know about the myth of the blitzkrieg and in fact if you look at recent evidence the germans in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine started the war against poland with five weeks supply of petroleum when they started that war hitler was already calculations perfectly sensible the british and stalin make the same calculation all absolutely amazed when hitler knocks out france in six weeks completely turns the whole thing upside down absolutely wrong. i agree but i think really the international system at the end of the one nine hundred thirty s. was rather like a game of poker and hitler was the best poker player of all the people around that
8:30 pm
table he bluff his way all the way to stalin grad and stalin grad his bluff was called all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here thank you very much many thanks to our guests today in london boston and liverpool and thanks to our viewers for watching us here dorothy see you next time and remember cross talk to me. if you want. more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world
8:31 pm
has been seeing from the streets of canada. trying to corporations are all day.
8:32 pm
great to have you with there's a quick check of the. full story and as the u.s. official to end this cold missions in iraq fifty thousand troops stayed behind to assist local services leading critics to say that america's proclaimed now it is a sham that will go zone concerns remain about the stability of the country with political leaders to unable to form a government also inconclusive elections in march. will miss any indian village severely by a two year solid to commit suicide unless they get an edge and aid from the authorities but despite the astonishing strategy that will help us along it's full . of rushing them to downing to four remote regions casinos that fails to transfer business that's prompted investors to stake the.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on