sábado, 12 de agosto de 2017

Having destroyed the Polish nation-state by maneuvering it into a war with Germany, Churchill began to lay the groundwork for future British-Soviet alliance against the Nazis

Did Winston Churchill Start World War II?

By Peter S. Rieth

“I understand that if I attack the West, the Poles will honor their commitments to their allies and attack us. This is why I have decided to attack Poland.”[1] - -Adolf Hitler, 22 August 1939 Berchtesgaden officers conference

No serious thinker who wishes to truly understand the second World War can do without two books;Londonihilists andGreen Eyes. Sadly, most serious thinkers will have to do without them because they are available only in Polish and absolutely no one is in much of a rush to translate them into English. Their author, Stanisław Cat Mackiewicz, was the premiere conservative Man of Letters and Statesman in interbellum Poland. In his youth, he was a cavalry officer who fought during World War I in Belarus. An aristocrat born in St. Petersburg and leader of the Vilnus old guard conservatives—Cat was the very best that Poland had to offer. He was the most intelligent political thinker of his age. Adopting his pen name “Cat” from Kipling’s poem about “The Cat that walked by Himself”, Mackiewicz lived up to the archetype.

As a Statesman, his greatest achievement was the organization of a grand conference between Polish socialist dictator Marshal Józef Piłsudzki and the Polish Nobility following the May 1926 coup d’état. Cat’s goal in organizing the conference was to secure Poland against any extreme forms of socialism. His greatest triumph as a matter of influence was the conclusion of the Polish-German non-aggression pact of 1934, a policy he argued for in earnest as editor in chief of the conservative journal “The Word” . Following the death of Marshal Piłsudzki and the rapid deterioration of Polish-German relations under Foreign Minister Beck and his “dictatorship without a dictator,” Cat was arrested and imprisoned by the Polish Sanation for his staunch opposition to the government’s policies.

Upon the invasion and collapse of Poland, Cat was a member of the Polish government in exile, first in France (where, following French collapse, he advocated the establishment of something akin to the Vichy regime in Poland), then in London. Following the war, Cat was Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile. Eventually, he came to oppose his fellow émigrés and negotiated a return to Communist Poland with the Stalinist regime, offering to cooperate with the People’s Republic of Poland. Naturally, this opened him up to accusations of treason, accusations which his two books, cited above, delineating the origins of World War II, effectively disprove. No one who reads Cat’s books has dared venture the opinion that they are propagandistic, nor radically different from Cat’s earlier works. This is the same old Cat, and his view is very much worth considering given that he was in the center of some of the most serious political events of the XXth century.

As a matter of methodology, Cat explicitly makes clear in a chapter ofGreen Eyes titled “on politics”, that he writes and acts in the tradition of Machiavelli. Although referencing only Clausewitz and never mentioning Machiavelli by name, he outlines a view of politics that is unmistakably Machiavellian. Cat notes that only effects matter in political life, particularly in war, which he compares to mathematics. War, Cat argues, is everywhere a case of tallying up numbers and factoring probability. War should not be waged unless it can be won. The role of a virtuous statesman is to wage successful wars, avoid unsuccessful wars and mitigate the effects of unsuccessful wars through the use of political means. Cat blames Poles for being romantics who are incapable of coming to terms with these simple realities. Cat does not advocate the abolition of Polish culture, which is romantic and Catholic, but argues that effective political science must support the preservation of Poland.

Writing Londonihilists and Green Eyes in the 1950s, his political aim is clear. His two books are works of opinion leadership. Polish public opinion in the 1950s was favorable to Great Britain, to Anglo-Americanism, to Radio Free Europe and unfavorable towards Soviet Communism and Russia. Cat’s goal is to lead Polish public opinion away from these views and towards a view which is favorable to Poland. Cat’s enemies perceived his books as cheap anti-Western agit-prop which only reinforced the Soviet stranglehold on Poland. Cat’s enemies were wrong. They mistakenly believed that no distinction existed between Polish and British interests, and took on faith that what was good for Britain and America was good for Poland and what was bad for Russia was likewise good for Poland. Cat aims to cure Poles of their illusions.

Cat was the principle anti-communist of his generation, both in terms of his political opinions and his heritage. Those who accuse him of becoming a “useful idiot” for Stalin are themselves useless idiots for Poland who demonstrate their ignorance of the essence of conservative thought. Cat means to prove it. His argument, laid out in two books, can be summarized in a few taught sentences. Cat argues thus:

Great Britain, as a world empire, has always fought every Continental power that demonstrated real potential for attaining the status of a rival to British Imperialism. Thus England fought Spain or France and, with the rise of a strong German nation state in the late XIXth century, England would fight Germany. England never fought Continental wars alone, always in a coalition. England only fought colonial wars alone and lost only one in the last 250 years – to General George Washington. England fought colonial wars alone against inferior peoples, often using these peoples as cannon fodder in order to limit the amount of English bloodshed. England fought Continental wars in coalitions, recognizing that Continental rivals were not inferior and required different means to tame. England endeavored never to fight first, but to let others bleed, and then fight last in order to dictate terms as the strongest party.

Since 1863, England had used the Polish question to aggravate its continental rivals. The British war guarantee to Poland in 1939 was one in a long line of guarantees and declarations misunderstood by Poles as a sign of friendship. In point of fact, England desired a war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in order to reduce these potential rivals for world domination to containable proportions. Poland stood in the way of this British ambition, thus England endeavored to eliminate Poland by all means possible in order to create a Nazi-Soviet border in hopes of bringing about a Nazi-Soviet war. England, particularly Winston Churchill, not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, is to blame for the invasion and destruction of Poland.

Cat’s thesis appears to us as the height of revisionism, but it cannot qualify as revisionist history because it was written immediately after World War II by a man whose political experience cannot be questioned even if his conclusions are suspect or shocking. Yet these conclusions are not the stuff of ad hoc fantasies, but careful historical analysis of facts. To understand these facts, it is necessary to recognize the key factor which allowed British intrigue to turn Hitler’s guns on Poland in 1939: Polish stupidity manifested, as Cat explains, in the Polish view of war rooted in the middle ages notion of an honorable duel between knights. Poles, when their honor is challenged, are simply incapable of refusing a fight – a psychological trait that can easily be used by an enemy to goad them into one. Cat has no remorse for his motherland, which he loves with all his heart. He explicitly argues that Polish foreign policy leading up to World War II might as well have been conducted by 12 year old girls for all the idiocy demonstrated by the Polish government under Beck. Cat notes two flaws in the Polish character which foreign enemies of Russia have used to their benefit ever since the time of Napoleon; Polish romanticism and Polish honor. He details very clearly how Poland stupidly sided with Napoleon against Russia during the French revolutionary wars, how Poland stupidly allowed the British to incite anti-Russian Polish uprisings in 1863, and finally how the British maneuvered Poland into a war with Germany in 1939. In all of these cases, the effect of Poland’s struggle for British interests under the illusion of a struggle of Polish liberty was the reduction of Polish liberty and of Polish interest.

Cat notes that Adolf Hitler had no vast designs against Poland, that his principle enemies were France and England in particular. German designs on France and England were motivated by a desire to avenge Versailles, to restore lands populated by Germans to Germany, and to challenge Britain for world empire. Adolf Hitler’s ambition was to break Germany free of the illegitimate, unjust restraints that the Versailles treaty had placed on his fatherland. Versailles was a clear case of Victor’s justice.

Poles, who had fought with Germany and Austro-Hungary against England and Russia during the first half of World War I, intelligently turned their guns on a weakened Germanic empire during the second half of the war, winning their political liberty in Versailles as a result. They were left to defend this liberty on their own by the West in 1920, and Cat saw no reason why this scenario of abandonment should not repeat itself.


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