The GMJ Books are history lessons. All have extensive discussions on different topics going into unknown or little-known details. By following this fascinating research came to light. Many arguments started on the interpretation of history. That is where the problem lies, how to understand what you read since all authors, me too, have views which we subtly impart. So it all depends on the detail and making up your own mind.
Nothing stands alone in history. As an example, let us look at the recent Iranian General Soleimani killing which I called (and always will call) a murder that cannot be justified or defended. Here I had my lawyer’s hat on. I was looking at international law. “Murder” is my conclusion supported by almost every other international lawyer known to man. Those few that disagree are on the lunatic fringes and mostly discarded. But, if an American or a Brit, you might have other ideas, opposing ideas. You will find justification aplenty. We can leave the Soleimani murder to others to judge. It seems that the unpleasant incident is now heading to the International Criminal Court (ICC). A place feared by Washington for obvious reasons – see my books and in particular VOICES – War Crimes USA – since many war crimes were and are committed daily. I can tell you now, mark my words by all means, that the ICC judgment will be against the US. All those involved will be branded in history as war criminals. However, since they will not be arrested and punished they will shrug it off and claim that an “injustice” was done to them. Their supporters will point out that the Iranians (and whoever being killed) are anyway worse, terrorists, and Uncle Sam did what it had to do... This argument, called the “Tu Quoque Legal Principle/Defence” or “You Too” or “Wagoner Principle” was rejected at Nuremberg. It is not accepted as a legal defence. It is immaterial what the enemy (Soleimani) did. We are concerned with what YOU did. But let us not get into too many details here. I wrote of the legal principles in several books – see Code Name Alphabet 32 if interested. That is why the shadowy world of espionage exists, to do things that cannot be legally justified but perhaps morally, depending on where you stand, and above all, denied. But that is not what the Trump Administration did with the Soleimani strike – they killed a serving officer of a nation’s military that no state of war exists and arrogantly accepted guilt (or proudly, depending). It was an act of war, a war crime in itself. At Nuremberg, they would have hung.
Another example is the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. The usual, official US story is an unexpected attack without even a declaration of war since the attack started before the war declaration came. “A day that will live in infamy...” said the US President, a war mongrel much respected today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. However, he said nothing about the broken Japanese codes that warned him of the coming attack. Or that British Intelligence through Dusko Popov, codenamed “Tricycle,” warned his government of the coming attack. Or that FBI Director Edgar Hoover refused to believe the official British intelligence. Popov, a playboy with a doctorate in law, almost got arrested on the Mann Act for transporting a woman across state lines for “immoral” purposes. And then there was Roosevelt’s Eight Point Plan (inside the McCollum Memo) decided in the late 1930s to force Japan to attack the USA. Yes, let me repeat it here with some comments in italics:
After this came the total oil embargo and the Pearl Harbour attack followed. So, tell me, who started this? What were the results? The war mongrels got their war and were even happier when Germany declared war in sympathy with Japan, an ally. But even here, if you read my books, Code Name Unbutton, Code Name Love 72 and American Military Might – Debunked, you will know that the US Navy under Admiral Ernest King was already engaging the German Navy wherever they two sides met in the Atlantic. The two countries were already in an undeclared war brought to you by US aggression breaking its own laws. So again, who started this then? How far do you go back to apportion blame? Where do you stop looking for reasons/justifications? In law, this is called “legal causation.” Trust me, it is easier to figure out in law than in history. With Soleimani’s killing the US story/justifications unravelled very quickly but even if true, which the justifications are not, and he was behind the US Embassy in Iraq attacks, which he was not, what caused the attacks on that embassy? Perchance the US’s unwanted presence as occupiers? The US attack on an Iraqi Militia base hundreds of miles away killing 34 Iraqis for a previous unconnected attack where a US contractor died? That contractor would not have been there if not for the illegal US invasion of Iraq on faked CIA/MI6/White House/10 Downing Street of 2003? And so it goes on, you get the point. How far do we go back? All the way to the Creation? Should we blame God for the failed human experiment? How far?
Recently, Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, got involved in a vicious quarrel with Poland (and the West - all US & UK & French ambassadors supported Poland, obviously) on the role of the USSR invading Poland three weeks after the German one. The Poles feel that the USSR started World War Two with the Nazis. Mr Putin sees this as a personal insult to his country and will not let it go. Poland lost 17% of its population during World War Two. It also became Communist after the Soviet Armies liberated them from the Nazis (1944) but would not leave until 1989. That is dreadful but do you know that USAF General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay acknowledged that “We (the USAF) killed off 20% of the population of North Korea.” That’s nearly 1.9 million men, women, and children, killed by Allied bombing besides 500,000 soldiers in combat. Is that a war crime or not? It depends entirely on where you stand even if the Geneva Conventions on War are very clear on civilian loss of life during war – forbidden. So where did the Second World War start? Officially, in September 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, right? Or 8 December 1941 if American, after the Pearl Harbour attack. But what about the 1919 Peace Treaty of Versailles which did not follow US President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points for Peace with Honour upon which the 1918 Armistice was based? Is that not where the seeds were sown to rectify an injustice? Poland was created at Versailles and promptly attacked the imploding Imperial Russia/Bolsheviks to get more territory. When the time came, the USSR took that back and more. Why did the Soviet Union not formally join the French / British pact with Poland against Nazi Germany? In Code Name Love 72, I discussed the efforts: “Joseph Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union, asked in 1939 a British delegation under Admiral Reginal Drax on how many divisions they could supply if a war should break out with Nazi Germany. The British admitted to being able to raise only 16 divisions initially, followed by a second contingent of 16 divisions a year or so later. This figure was extremely doubtful and inflated to unrealistic figures since the two divisions in British Palestine constituted 40% of their strength. In fact, in Europe, the British Army could field 2 divisions only. Stalin knew that. The Soviets had 120 divisions available. The French, also there to negotiate a pact with Stalin, had 110 divisions. They were facing more than 200 Nazi German divisions including armour and a modern tactical air force. As a result, the Soviets hastily signed The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, 1939. The way to attack Poland, whose liberty was guaranteed by France and the British Empire, was now complete. The war started just more than a week later. As always, history repeated.” It was reality/real politics. Neither France nor the British Empire lifted a finger to assist Poland against the Nazis. And the Polish elite became very cocky with France and the British Empire backing them, pushing Hitler relentlessly. Would they have done that without the Allied guarantees? No, probably not. I think that we should agree that history is a complex issue. At the same time, that makes it vastly interesting when not bound to the official schoolbook history versions. But for that you need expert knowledge. You need to look at all sides and leave the reader to decide for himself. A single version, a one-eyed patriotic version is dangerous and will lead to the same mistakes being made. I love history, it is much more complex and interesting than law.