Perfide Albion And Grand Strategy
EDITORIAL, 28 Jul 2008
#17 | Johan Galtung
Like today, Anglo-America (A-A) faced two major challenges in Europe in the first between-wars period: communism from Lenin took power in 1917, and nazism from Hitler was given power in 1933. The latter was a geo-political challenge with Germany demanding revision of Versailles, Neuordnung in Europe with Lebensraum–a New Order and space–as did Italy more to the South, with il nuovo ordine.
The former was even more serious. The whole domestic order with the upper half living off the toil, tears and sweat of “the other half”–the dangerous classes–was fundamentally challenged. And there was a major geo-political challenge: communism was not only anti-capitalist but also anti-imperialist; anti-colonialism was only a part. Moreover, there was support inside Anglo-America for both, in the USA more for nazism, in England and the Empire more for communism (I say “England”, the rest of “Great Britain” and the “UK”, are only parts, not center, of the Empire.)
The shock effect to the elites must have been considerable. In the triangle of A-A, nazism and communism, the alliance of the latter two was the worst scenario, and in fact came about after efforts by the Soviet Union–knowing they were the candidate for Lebensraum–to join the West, of course first rejected by them.
Not much empathy is needed to see the strategy A-A elites: let nazi Germany and communist Russia bleed each other to death. Divide et impera, beyond mere fragmentation, to mutual annihilation. Maybe with some lend-lease and other games to balance the killing fields. The goal was the end of both, but the uneasy alliance portrayed in Jonathan Fenby’s Alliance: The Inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin & Churchill Won One War and Began Another was needed. And it worked.
Japanese militarism harbored both the nazi challenges of the new order of dai-to-a, the Great East Asia with Lebensraum for the Japanese, and the communist anti-colonial challenge, meaning Asia for Asia, in practice meaning for Japan. There was the hope of the uneasy Chiang-Mao alliance bleeding Japan to death, so that when Roosevelt provoked Japan into Pearl Harbor Japan was already weaker.
Finally the West opened a Second front in Western Europe to take pressure off the German attack on the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union confronted Japanese resistance in China-Korea; the uneasye alliance at work. And then, with the Axis defeated, time came for Anglo-America–with Allies mobilized into NATO and the US-Japan security system–to turn against the Soviet Union and Maoist China, defeating one, but not the other. Grand Strategy at work.
Within that strategy München is understandable. A triumph, far from appeasement, sacrificing Czechoslovakia to place nazi-Germany further to the East, a clear provocation to the Soviet Union. The problem was that communism was the key threat to the Tories and nazism to Labor, and München made Chamberlain look pro-nazi. Needed was a man who hated both, a Churchill who could rally the support of nearly everybody for the war. He had a track record. As Niall Ferguson points out in his 1914: Why the World Went to War, Churchill was a key figure tilting England in favor of intervention in the First world war. A chosen person for a promissed victory.
What followed was war “at all costs”, bombing German cities:
“Let them have a good dose where it will hurt them most…It is time that the Germans should be made to suffer in their own homelands and cities” (Geoffrey Wheatcroft, “Churchill and His Myths”, reviewing books on Churchill, New York Review of Books, May 29 2008, pp 4-8).
He was a staunch believer in Christian civilization to the point that he even hoped for a quick death by fasting for the “naked Fakir” threatening the Empire (Arthur Herman, Gandhi & Churchill). But now much overdue revisionism of the Churchill image is coming.
Thus, F. William Engdahl, in “Halford McKinder’s Necessary War”; MacKinder being the influential geographer-geopolitician-Tory politician), writes about the “deliberately bungled British invasion of Norway” which served a “vital objective for British grand strategy. It assured uninterrupted supply of Swedish iron ore–for the duration of the German war–of mutual annihilation between Germany and Russia”. Problem: Norway, a neutral country, was attacked by both Germany and England. They could not care less, neither one, nor the other.
But something went wrong. May 8 1945 Germany was a smoldering ruin due to Anglo-American murder of civilians and Red Army warfare. But the Soviet Union emerged triumphant, more attractive than ever. Churchill did not wait to fill the gap in the grand strategy: the Fulton speech 5 March 1946, to counter, with Truman, the “iron curtain” Soviet threat. To feudal allies of nazi Germany, and Poland!, and to MacKinder’s “who rules east Europe rules the Heartland”, no doubt a threat. But trumped up for Western Europe.
The Cold War placed a sizeable part of humanity under threat of nuclear annihilation for the duration of the Cold War, the third war with Churchill as major protagonist, to a large extent to nurse his giant ego, a nursing nursed by the English capital I for the first person singular. Instead of solving conflicts–and they were deep– all-out war, or the threat thereof. And the singular became plural. How gullible we are, we people in the West, in love with warmongers.
Today Anglo-America is also up against two challenges, China’s state controlled jungle capitalism success, and World Islam, meaning from 1.4+1.3=2.7 billion. Huntington sensed a China-Islam alliance. A-A will not try to solve any conflict. They will do everything to pit them against each other, Tibet being only a warming up for the Muslim/China Uigur faultline in Xinjiang (East Kazakhstan to the Turkish-Muslim). Right in MacKinder’s heartland. Solution, please! Because, who trusts what Anglo-America says, deserves it.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Jul 2008.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Perfide Albion And Grand Strategy, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.