yanksn4
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Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:03 pm

Greetings everyone. This past week, I learned about the Hungarian Revolution that took place in 1956 in my Honors History Class. What started off as a peaceful protest was soon turned into a bloody revolt after the communist government tried to put down the protest. Those who were protesting were able to overthrow the communist government and for 5 days enjoy freedom. However, on November 4, Soviet troops and tanks entered the country and soon put down the revolt and returned the communist government to power. I believe around 30,000 people were killed during this revolt. During the revolt, Hungarians asked for help from the United States, but President Eisenhower refused to enter the conflict. So I ask the question, should President Eisenhower have sent aid and possibly troops to make sure the communist did not control the country again? Please conduct this in a orderly manner.

signed,
Matthew
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srbmod
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:38 pm

No, because more than likely, this would have turned the Cold War into a Hot War very quickly. The main reason why US forces remained in Europe for so many years was because of the Soviet troops in Eastern Europe. Had the US send aid to the Hungarians, the Soviets probably would have sent tanks into West German, and in the scheme of things, both sides would have ended up nuking each other, and we all would not be here to discuss this topic.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:19 pm

It was way too late in 1956. The line was drawn in Yalta where Hungary along with the rest of Central and Eastern Europe was handed over to Stalin on a silverplate.
One can only wonder how Churchill and especially Rossevelt could be so stupid to believe "Uncle Joe" anything besides good morning. Short memory perhaps? Total lack of intelligence on what's been going on in the Evil Empire since 1917? Or was it just they did not care? Sort of pre-WW2 Chamberlains' "country we know nothing about"

Only in the context of actions of thugs like Stalin (1940 Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithania), Khrushev (1953 East Germany, 1960 Cuba, 1956 Hungary), Brezhnev (1968 Czechoslovakia, 1978 Afghanistan, 1980 almost Poland) you truly appreciate what remarkably sane politican Gorbatschev was.
He could easily issue one order back in 1989 and drown it all in blood, with well over quarter of a million Red Army soldiers stationed in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany specifically for that purpose. What would follow? A little bit of bad press, maybe some ridiculous (vetoed) UNSC emergency session a few diplomats kicked out but otherwise no one would do anything again.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:21 pm

Actually while Churchill liked Stalin on a human base (similar type of humoour etc.), he was deeply distrusting him politically. I think the biggest problem was Roosevelt playing Churchill against Stalin to break British influence especially in Eastern Asia. While Churchill himself by this time realised that the colonial period was over (even before WW1 he was e.g. supporting Irish home rule, self administration), he still wanted to keep British influence there. Also while British and American forces cooperated reasonably well in Europe, Easter Asia and the Pacific War was, especially by General McArthur considered a purely American affair in which British and Commonwealth forces were sidelined.

I think it was a mix of political naivity by Roosevellt towards Stalin as well as a will to break up the British Empire to take over (which by the time was already breaking up by itself, whatever happened, I think Churchill was realist enough to have seen that he couldn´t keep it together by force. And compared e.g. to the French wars in Algeria and Indochina, the Dutch wars in Indonesia, the British retreat went relatively unbloody and uncomplicated). Roosevelt´s idea was that the Americans should be seen as the sole saviours from Japanese rule. It even went so far as that British offers to send troops to areas east of Burma were rejected.

Jan
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ltbewr
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:19 pm

While the USA didn't involve it's military in the 1956 Hungary Revolt, the USA government did protest via the UN and in other diplomatic ways. I am quite sure the CIA and other intellegnce agencies had enough info to determine the possible result of military involvement. Hungary was deep in the Soviet controlled Eastern Europe, so a physical deployment of troops would have been impossible without going through East Germany or other countries. Air bombing may have been impossible due to the Soviet air defenses and questions as to what to target.
One way the USA did help the people of Hungary after the revolt was to allow many thousands of Hungarians to emmigrate to the USA. Most of them settled in the the NY City/northern NJ area in communites and neighborhoods with earlier Hungarian immigrants. I have known a number of people whom came in those post-revolt immigrations, mainly as children.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:44 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
I think the biggest problem was Roosevelt playing Churchill against Stalin to break British influence especially in Eastern Asia.

Jan, I guess you meant playing Stalin against Churchill, right? In other words despite typically American big words about friendship screwing their British allies behind their back to prop their own agenda.
Roosevelt saw what appeasement resulted in back in 1938 and he did exactly the same thing six years later.
 
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:33 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 2):

Only in the context of actions of thugs like Stalin (1940 Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithania), Khrushev (1953 East Germany, 1960 Cuba, 1956 Hungary), Brezhnev (1968 Czechoslovakia, 1978 Afghanistan, 1980 almost Poland) you truly appreciate what remarkably sane politican Gorbatschev was.

That's why I admire Gorbachev as one of the most underrated political heroes of recent history. He definitely made many mistakes, but he was in uncharted territory; and it is not often that a politiician who is handed a lot of power on a silver platter, along with inheriting a political philosophy based on "might makes right," deliberately begins to chip away at his/her own power, and then presides over the disintegration of his/her influence altogether, because is the right thing to do. And all things relative, the breakup of the Soviet Union may have run away from him, but it and the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc were relatively non-violent and smooth.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:53 am

During their final meeting at the 40th anniversary of the German Democratic Repuublic in fall 1989 Gorbatchev told Honecker that in case of the East German government using military to break up the daily protests, the Western Group of the Soviet Army would be siding with the demonstrators AGAINST the East German government. I think Honecker and Co. believed this threat.

Jan
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GDB
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:14 am

As pointed out, helping militarily was very dubious, with likely unimaginable consequences, (USSR had both A and H bombs in '56, though only a limited ability to hit the US with bombers then, not so 'limited' if your the one near the odd ground zero however!)
Europe would have been destroyed however.

And as stated, it would be effectively breaking WW2 agreements, something NATO often berated for USSR for doing.

There was however another reason, the US was focused elsewhere at this exact time.
The Mid East (sound familiar?)

The same time the Hungarian were being crushed, Israel attacked Egypt, quickly followed by the UK and France.
Since 1952, Arab nationalist Abdel Nasser, (a secular socialist), had deposed the Royal family who had strong, imperial era links, to the UK.
In 1956, he nationalized the Suez Canal, from the Franco-British organization that had run it since construction.
As this waterway was seen as still being vital to Western interests, in secret talks with Israel, the UK and France planned to topple Nasser, he was also fermenting anti UK and French feeling throughout the region, (all this sound familiar to more recent events?)

So Israel attacked in the East, then UK and French forces landed to 'protect the international trade route of Suez'.
It was a shabby affair, pushed by a paranoid and ill British PM, Anthony Eden, with massive anti war demos and a political firestorm (still sound familiar?).

But Eden had not told the US, had even denied any military plans existed Ike was livid (we now also know, and Eden probably knew at the time, that the US was cosying up to Nasser since he staged his coup, despite his anti Western reputation and Egypt rapidly becoming a Soviet client state, oil I suppose was the reason, still ironic considering all the McCarthy madness going on in the US around this time).

So a furious Ike was not so focused on Hungary, but he caused a run on UK gold reserves, threatened us with more severe sanctions, led the condemnation in the UN.
This forced the UK and France to pull out, though Israel had already succeeded with their co-conspirators, in weakening Nasser's military power for a time, giving Israel a breathing space.
But Nasser's stature in the Arab world was massively enhanced by his 'humiliation' of 'Imperialists', something the US soon regretted.

Eden, who had lied to Parliament during the whole affair, was soon out of office though the government as a whole survived.

This is why some of the better informed critics of the Iraq adventure, cite Blair as being another 'Eden', though this time the US is on side and driving the whole affair of course, reason enough some think, for the UK to have left GWB to it.
Though you could argue that refusing to send UK troops to Vietnam a decade later. was partly a result of being screwed over at Suez, incredibly the bad feeling this refusal caused in the US was never balanced by consideration of the US role in the Suez affair.

Sorry to go so far away from Hungary, but the Suez affair was a factor in the US response to the USSR's crushing of the uprising.
 
pelican
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:42 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
Sorry to go so far away from Hungary, but the Suez affair was a factor in the US response to the USSR's crushing of the uprising.

I don't think so. Suez didn't alter anything in Hungary. The Americans were outnumbered in Europe in 1956. An advance would have been possible only with deployment of nuclear weapons. Starting a war in a bad initial position to win the freedom of a nation for which you haven't cared 11 years before (Yalta) doesn't make any sense to me. And I'm quite sure Eisenhower thought not very different.

pelican
 
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:31 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
I think it was a mix of political naivity by Roosevellt towards Stalin

Quite likely. Towards the end of the war Churchill became deeply depressed at Roosevelt's apparent inability to see Stalin (and the soviet Union itself) for what he really was. Most of all, Churchill was appalled at the way Eastern Europe was to be effectively handed over to the Soviets. In particular, it was Poland that most exercised him. Britain had gone to war in the first place over Poland (the extremely shabby betrayal of Czechoslovakia quietly forgotten), and Churchill was horrified that after six years of war, Poland would be saved from one tyranny merely to be handed over to another.

Realistically, it is highly arguable whether Roosevelt really had a choice. The United States definitely didn't want to get into a further war with the Soviets, and given that, a Soviet sphere of influence was inevitable. It could perhaps have been pushed a little further back, but Roosevelt (and Truman following) both regarded Britain more as a rival than the bankrupt, devastated country it truly was by then, and thus Churchill's entreaties were not considered in the light of the perspicacity that history now affords us.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:03 am

Then I also think that Attlee was a bit naive concerning Stalin.

Jan
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:46 am

Given that WW2 was only 11 years previous and war wounds were still fresh, another European war (over such a small, relatively unimportant country) would not have been wise.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:17 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 12):
Given that WW2 was only 11 years previous and war wounds were still fresh, another European war (over such a small, relatively unimportant country) would not have been wise.

Yyz717,
are you reincarnation of Chamberlain by any chance? You damn sound like one.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:28 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 13):
Yyz717,
are you reincarnation of Chamberlain by any chance? You damn sound like one.

No, just realistic. Enough British lives were lost saving the European continent from 1939-45. 1956 would too soon to do it all over again. Perhaps if the Hungarians (and your people, the Czechs) were willing to fight harder on your own, you could have remained free of Soviet influence and not have to rely on anglo-saxon countries to solve your own problems.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:42 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 14):
Perhaps if the Hungarians (and your people, the Czechs) were willing to fight harder on your own

Bullshit. The will was there in 1938, when things could be solved at much lesser cost, but we were saving "peace for our time", remember??? Do some history reading first please.

Did the Poles not give it all they could? From the RAF squadrons to fighting for their fmr. invaders and Gulag-jailors on the Eastern front (only to end up not being helped during Warsaw uprising), to Tobruk, to Monte Cassino? Was it any good for them? They were handed over to Stallin anyway.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:10 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 15):
Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 14):
Perhaps if the Hungarians (and your people, the Czechs) were willing to fight harder on your own

Bullshit. The will was there in 1938, when things could be solved at much lesser cost, but we were saving "peace for our time", remember??? Do some history reading first please.

If the Czechs mobilized harder in 1938 (and 1968 for that matter), your people COULD have been free decades earlier. It depends to a degree on a people's true tenacity to be free. True tenacity to fight for freedom will always win. The Czechs never possessed this.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:17 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 16):
If the Czechs mobilized harder in 1938

Care to elaborate? Or you just googled it 5 minutes ago?

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 16):
The Czechs never possessed this.

Seeing your earlier posts in different threads you really are big into superficial judgments, aren't you?
 
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:23 am

Turbolet, clearly you're proud of being Czech (which is nice), but you need to look at your own country's recent history with an honest and critical eye. When Germany wasn't beating up on you, the Soviets were. You are only free as a nation now due to the vacuum left by a collapsing USSR, not through your own desires for freedom. The Czechs were weak militarily (and perhaps, had only a weak desire for freedom).

The Czechs had the oppty to be free in 1938 and again in 1968, and chose instead not to fight for it.
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n229nw
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:20 pm

And Banco wins the award for the first use of the word "perspicacity" on A.net!!!  biggrin . Nice post though, seriously. I'm always amazed by how much simpler hindsight makes major decisions.

The cold war obviously acted as a lens through which so many decisions were made (similarly to the "threat of terrorism" now). I think we deceive ourselves when we pretend that any decisions about wars and interventions then or now were simple, in terms of predicting consequences...

As several people have mentioned, the threat of nuclear war must have seemed very real in 1956 (with Hiroshima and Nagasaki only a decade earlier). Indeed, the Cuban Missile Crisis a few years later showed how delicate the world balance of power was.


Yyz717,

Having read your consistent onslaught of "might makes right" and "poor and oppressed peoples deserve their lots" posts in various threads, I'm just curious: Do you really mean what you type (25%, 50%, 75%?), or do you just like to provoke people with extremist views?
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:16 pm

Quoting N229NW (Reply 19):
Having read your consistent onslaught of "might makes right" and "poor and oppressed peoples deserve their lots" posts in various threads, I'm just curious: Do you really mean what you type (25%, 50%, 75%?), or do you just like to provoke people

Well, might does make right, at least in the hands of a democratic power. As for "poor and oppressed peoples deserve their lots" -- yes, I generally support this. The west did not become wealthy on handouts from richer others (there were none). We became wealthy through our own innovation and civilized traits such as rule of law, democracy etc.

So do I mean what I say? Yes.

Do I like to provoke people? Well, not deliberately. Why?

Don't take anet so seriously.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:16 pm

Yyz717,
you certainly don't have to lecture me on my own history. Were we supposed to fight the Germans in 1938? Sure! Would we lose? Most likely, since we'd be left all alone by our great alllies France and the UK! But sometimes I guess it's necessary to fight lost battles just for the sake of self-respect. 1938 is a long lasting trauma up until today.
Unfortunately Benes was a pathetic politician, maybe a fine diplomat but definitely a poor leader. The real tragedy was he was allowed to fail twice in one decade, again in 1948.
1968? Just as hypothetical as Hungary or East Germany. That was just hard-core communists going after the liberal ones. I guess they wanted to pull out of the Warsaw Pact and declare neutrality, but the problem with neutrality is that it has to be widely acknowledged otherwise you can be neutral all you want and it's useless anyway (just ask the Dutch or Belgians how neutrality ended up was in 1940). The whole invasion was declared as "internal matter within the Soviet bloc" and no one wanted to mess with the Russians. Case closed. Again the nation chose a wrong guy (Dubcek), who clearly wasn't capable of living up to the expectations.


Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 18):
When Germany wasn't beating up on you, the Soviets were.

Well that's what happens when you're a nation of 10 million stuck in between these two.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 18):
You are only free as a nation now due to the vacuum left by a collapsing USSR, not through your own desires for freedom.

I won't argue with your rather simplistic views of the world - you're die hard Bush worshipper after all. As a self-proclaimed "affluent man of leisure"  Yeah sure you are more than welcome to make superficial jingoistic judgments on my nations desire for freedom, however your black and white perspective from the other side of the ocean is sure entertaining yet the reality of "Mitteleuropa" has always been more complex and far from black and white.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:00 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
But sometimes I guess it's necessary to fight lost battles just for the sake of self-respect.

If the defense of Czechoslovakia had been ferocious enough, the Germans in 1940 and the Soviets in 1968 might have backed off.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
The whole invasion was declared as "internal matter within the Soviet bloc" and no one wanted to mess with the Russians. Case closed.

True, NATO would not have wanted to use the Prague spring as a pretext for invading and starting WW3. However, if the Czechs fought the Soviets and refused to be cowered, they could have escaped the Soviet orbit. We'll never know.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
you're die hard Bush worshipper after all. As a self-proclaimed "affluent man of leisure" you are more than welcome to make superficial jingoistic judgments on my nations desire for freedom, however your black and white perspective from the other side of the ocean is sure entertaining

Cut the personal attacks. I'm raising reasonable issues.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
yet the reality of "Mitteleuropa" has always been more complex and far from black and white.

Exactly, and part of that complexity was a national weakness within the Czech people to fight for their own freedom. This was definitely a contributing (but not sole) factor in your people being rolled by the Germans and Soviets in rapid succession ensuring decades of communism.
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GDB
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:15 am

I don't think Attlee was naive about the USSR, after all, his foreign secretary, Bevin, was a leading light in the formation of NATO, when the US broke WW2 agreements concerning atomic technology (many UK scientists worked on the Manhattan Project), Attlee authorized a secret, UK weapons programme, despite the state of the nation in 1945.
This was before NATO was even considered, but in any case, this UK bomb was only for deterring one country, Uncle Joe's USSR.
(When NATO was forming up, much agonizing over the inclusion of Turkey, the UK's position was decided by Attlee, "I fought the Turks in WW1, damn good fighters, better to have them on our side").

As for the unfortunate Czechs in 1938, well my understanding was the country was very hard to defend, once the European Powers had let Hitler off annexing border areas to "unite German speaking peoples".
Hitler was after the modern, highly regarded Czech arms industry, (the UK's BREN gun was basically a Czech design, as in BRuno ENfield), many Czech tanks were used in 1940/41, in fact the Czech tanks were a German mainstay in the early years of war.
So more fool the UK and France for allowing the invasion of the Czechs to happen.
 
cornish
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:47 am

Well as someone who has studied the cold war period in Eurpe extensively, I can say that the hungarians fought damn hard against the soviets, and the numbers of lives lost shows this, but they didn't stand a chance. They appealed to the west for help and it was ignored - in part because Suez was a greater preoccupation at the time - and the soviets knew this too.

YYZ717 your posts are ridiculous, and you clearly don't know what is like to have lived under such a military regime as people in eastern europe had to endure.

I have met little old grannies in hungary who it turns out were busy throwing molotov cocktails at Russian forces on the streets of budapest.

But much of the reason the west didn't help was simply that they didn't believe it was worth the threat of nuclear war - as was previously mentioned, the spheres of influence were drawn at the end of the second world war, and the west was content to leave it that way.

As a result of 1956 and later 1968 in Czechoslovakia was that the hungarians learnt to change and reform bydoing things quietly and unnoticed - so that they wouldn't cause problems with Russia - they created a limited free market and their people could travel to the west prior to the changes of 1989.
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:16 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
YYZ717 your posts are ridiculous, and you clearly don't know what is like to have lived under such a military regime as people in eastern europe had to endure.

You don't know what it's like either. So I guess we're both ridiculous then.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
Well as someone who has studied the cold war period in Eurpe extensively, I can say that the hungarians fought damn hard against the soviets, and the numbers of lives lost shows this, but they didn't stand a chance.

Then I guess you failed to study how the Afghans and the Chechnyans have been able to beat off the Soviet/Russian might through ferocious fighting. Had the Hungarians and Czechs fought with the same tenacity, they would never have fallen under the Soviet orbit.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
I have met little old grannies in hungary who it turns out were busy throwing molotov cocktails at Russian forces on the streets of budapest.

Somehow I doubt you met any such grannies. Young British men have little oppty to discuss the 1956 uprising with Hungarian grannies (very few of whom speak English).

Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
But much of the reason the west didn't help was simply that they didn't believe it was worth the threat of nuclear war - as was previously mentioned, the spheres of influence were drawn at the end of the second world war, and the west was content to leave it that way.

I agree.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:31 am

Cornish, if you look at a map showuing Germany´s conquests in 1938-1940, you´ll see that each conquest forms the arms of a pincer movement to take the next country. First Hitler controlled Austria. Now the Czecch Republic was sandwiched between Austria in the south and Saxony in the north. Once Htler controlled the Czech Republic, he had the southern front ready against Poland (the northern flank was East Prussia).

YYZ (why do I respond to your BS again and again?)
It is fairly easy to keep fighting a guerilla war if
a) you´ve a rugged mountainous country, opposed to a modern induiustrial one
b) You´ve got somebody from the outside to supply you with weapons and ammo. Or you can bribe enemy officers to sell it to you.

Both cases didn´t exist with the Czech Republic in 1938. Following the Munich conference the Czech Republic was totaly isolated. The same applied to Hungary in 1956, East Germany in 1953 and 1961 and the Czech Republic in 1968. You can also say that the Spanish Republic in 1939 was defeated because they didn´t get any supplies (after Stalin signed his agreement with Hitler and made sure that only his people were controlling the Spanish Republic).

Jan
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:47 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
It is fairly easy to keep fighting a guerilla war if
a) you´ve a rugged mountainous country, opposed to a modern induiustrial one
b) You´ve got somebody from the outside to supply you with weapons and ammo. Or you can bribe enemy officers to sell it to you.

Much of Chechnyan fighting is in the relatively flat terrain around Grosny. Anyway, I argue that the relatively wealther Czechs and Hungarians were better placed to mobilize effective opposition but failed to. Hence, I still argue that a nation or people needs to tenaciously want freedom, regardless of geography or wealth. I just did not see the same tenacity in 1956 or 1968.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
YYZ (why do I respond to your BS again and again?)

Why don't you rise above the petty insults? They do not contribute to the discussion.
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jaysit
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:05 am

Then I guess you failed to study how the Afghans and the Chechnyans have been able to beat off the Soviet/Russian might through ferocious fighting.

And you fail to address the fact that the Afghans beat off the Soviets with a lot of help from some friends, namely the United States.

There was no such help offered to the Czechs.
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cornish
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:19 pm

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 25):
Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
YYZ717 your posts are ridiculous, and you clearly don't know what is like to have lived under such a military regime as people in eastern europe had to endure.

You don't know what it's like either. So I guess we're both ridiculous then.

No I've not lived in it but I've lived in both East Berlin (after the fall of the wall, but when the Russian military was still there) and I lived in Hungary for a couple of years in the 90s - both opportunites which I learned a lot from local people about what they had been through in their lifetimes.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 25):
Then I guess you failed to study how the Afghans and the Chechnyans have been able to beat off the Soviet/Russian might through ferocious fighting. Had the Hungarians and Czechs fought with the same tenacity, they would never have fallen under the Soviet orbit.

They have far greater access to modern military equipment which can damage Soviet forces - there wasn't the same availability off the shelf back then. Besides the Afghans were quietly supplied by the west in order to defeat the Soviets.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 25):
Somehow I doubt you met any such grannies. Young British men have little oppty to discuss the 1956 uprising with Hungarian grannies (very few of whom speak English).

I don't say things like that for effect - only if its something I've actually done.

You may not speak foreign languages, but I do - Hungarian being one of them. additionally as someone who is keen on twentieth century history I made the most of the opportunity to learn - thirdly, talking about the sad moments of the past is a Hungarian pasttime and fourth I was pretty much adopted by the local families in the village where I first lived at first, so yes I did learn about what people did in 1956. So hopefully that answers your question about my knowledge of what happened

However as I'm well into my thirties I take being called a young man as a compliment  Smile doesn't happen very often these days sadly....
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:20 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 24):
As a result of 1956 and later 1968 in Czechoslovakia was that the hungarians learnt to change and reform bydoing things quietly and unnoticed - so that they wouldn't cause problems with Russia - they created a limited free market and their people could travel to the west prior to the changes of 1989.

Although Kádár was brought to power by crushing the 1956 uprising, for some reason after he finished with the rebels he later did not behave like the other "gerontocrats" who also came to power after getting rid of their liberal oponents (Honecker in E. Germany or Husak in Czechoslovakia). I don't know what it was like immediately after the uprising but what I remember from the 1980s Hungarian so called "Goulash socialism: was somewhat more bearable. while the time virtually stopped in Czech. in early 1970s the Hungarians managed slowly undergo minor reforms and thanks to more liberal atmosphere things like the first Formula 1 grand prix in Hungary in 1986 or desperatly sold-out Queen concert at the Népstadion were possible.
I'm not sure whether Hungarians could (freely) travel to the West prior to the very late 1980s, when they first tore down the Iron Curtain on their border with Austria (resulting in big wave of East Germans at that time on holidays in Hungary fleeing to Austria) but the private farmers were much more frequent than in countries where uncompromising collectivization in the 1950s took place.

Cornish, my compliments if you managed to master Hungarian. bigthumbsup  That language is supposed to be one of the most difficult (along with Finnish) and unlike anything else you hear in Europe with virtually no "straws" to grasp (i.e. Latin background of the word) which usually allow you to get the basic contents of the text. My favorite example: there's police in English, polizia in Italian, policia(?) in Spanish, Polizei in German, polisen in Swedish, polícia in Slovak, policie in Czech, but in Hungarian it's Rendörség  hypnotized 
 
cornish
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:33 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 30):
I'm not sure whether Hungarians could (freely) travel to the West prior to the very late 1980s, when they first tore down the Iron Curtain on their border with Austria (resulting in big wave of East Germans at that time on holidays in Hungary fleeing to Austria)

Well they couldn't travel freely, but part families could go - for example father and daughter could go but mother and so stayed at home. The other problem being that the cost once they got to Austria was prohibitive and the regulations tended to be day trips only.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 30):
Cornish, my compliments if you managed to master Hungarian. That language is supposed to be one of the most difficult (along with Finnish) and unlike anything else you hear in Europe with virtually no "straws" to grasp (i.e. Latin background of the word) which usually allow you to get the basic contents of the text.

Well I wouldn't say I came close to mastering it - as you rightly point out its incredibly difficult. Lets just say that I'm good with the words but my grammar is somewhat lacking !! My first year in Hungary nobody spoke English or Grman wher eI lived so I had to learn hungarian fast. hungarian friends told me to worry about the words, not so much the grammar and they'd figure out what I said !!! But I could hold pretty good conversations about most things by the time I left. Sadly its lapsed somewhat since then as I just have no use for it.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 30):
Although Kádár was brought to power by crushing the 1956 uprising, for some reason after he finished with the rebels he later did not behave like the other "gerontocrats" who also came to power after getting rid of their liberal oponents (Honecker in E. Germany or Husak in Czechoslovakia). I don't know what it was like immediately after the uprising

They had a hard time after the uprising as was the case in other countires - the reforms first started really happening during the 1970s.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
pelican
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:58 pm

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 14):
Perhaps if the Hungarians (and your people, the Czechs) were willing to fight harder on your own, you could have remained free of Soviet influence and not have to rely on anglo-saxon countries to solve your own problems.

This statement raise the question whether European history isn't taught in Canada. At least it proves your absence during history lessons.
How should have relative small countries like Hungary or Czechia resisted the might of a world power which crushed much bigger countries who were not surrounded?

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n229nw
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:46 pm

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 25):
Then I guess you failed to study how the Afghans and the Chechnyans have been able to beat off the Soviet/Russian might through ferocious fighting. Had the Hungarians and Czechs fought with the same tenacity, they would never have fallen under the Soviet orbit.

Wow!

Yyz: and both those places (Afghanistan and Chechnya) turned out great holiday resorts, where the people ever since live comfortable, free lives.

You know what's funniest? In this thread, you'll hold these countries up as "examples," but in any thread on, say, immigration, you'll say that the entire population of Chechnya or Afghanistan "has no strength or will" to make their countries safe and comfortable, and thus its their collective fault there is protracted fighting and terrorism; according to you, anyone caught in the crossfire should stay there and not try to leave, which would bring "backward, violent" uneducated Muslims to Canada or the US or UK!!!!!!

How can you have it both ways? Relating this back to Hungary etc.: Even if there had been protracted, violent guerilla wars in Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia (which as has been pointed out would have been totally impossible), wouldn't you find other reasons to blame the Hungarians and Czechs for the condition their countries would have been left in? In your (extremely) hypothetical world, what would have been the ideal chain of events in 1956?

[Edited 2005-03-22 16:08:35]
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:21 am

Quoting Pelican (Reply 32):
This statement raise the question whether European history isn't taught in Canada. At least it proves your absence during history lessons.

Yes, we learn European history. The pinnacle event of the last 100 years was the holocaust in which millions of Germans participated or acquiesed in the killing of millions of Jews, gays, disadvantageds, etc. Which raises the question of whether Germans learn about this "gem" of European history.

I'm raising a valid point. The willingness of a country to fight for broke will increase their eventual chance of freedom.

Quoting N229NW (Reply 33):
You know what's funniest? In this thread, you'll hold these countries up as "examples," but in any thread on, say, immigration, you'll say that the entire population of Chechnya or Afghanistan "has no strength or will" to make their countries safe and comfortable.......How can you have it both ways?

You fantasize about me contradicting myself, and then ask me how I can have it both ways? Which a ridiculous paragraph. You're babbling again.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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n229nw
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:11 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 34):

You fantasize about me contradicting myself, and then ask me how I can have it both ways?

Nice try. By asking you how you can have it "both ways," I'm asking how you can collectively condemn the citizens of countries when they don't fight back AND when they do, that is, WHETHER THEY FIGHT BACK OR NOT...

And this is ridiculous:

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 34):
Which raises the question of whether Germans learn about this "gem" of European history.

Are you so smugly ignorant that you don't realize just how much German schoolchildren have lessons about the Holocaust drilled into them today? And how many public momuments commemorate the events, etc.

Conversely, in this country we AREN'T taught (much) about the shameful parts of our past. For example, when I was in school here I was still taught that Andrew Jackson was some kind of great American hero, and he's still on our $20 bills, yet his treatment of the Native Americans was genocidal. We also aren't taught much about how our foreign policy has affected others. (Sure, current US imperialism involves less pilaging and raping of the land and people than did, say, Soviet imperialism, but that doesn't make it right.)

On balance, I'd say the Germans are pretty thoughtful and careful about the good and the bad points in their past history when it comes to the school curriculum, at least in the direct teaching of history. (The situation is more complicated in art and music courses, etc.) In any case, this difference in approach to education is what allows ignorant people here the US to walk around talking about how perfect America is and how bad everyone else is, or people like you to blame every other country collectively for its problems without ever looking at the fact that every country's history involves a lot of luck or lack thereof, and human nature is pretty much the same everywhere...

Your blanket statements about strong and weak peoples magnificently ignore all the subtleties, all the differences in circumstances and surrounding history...

To tie this back to 1956 and 1968: Only in the VERY RAREST of circumstances can a country fight and win a stable, lasting peace against an occupying or colonizing force without A LOT of help and luck.

Have you ever considered how much unique, lucky happenstance allowed the US to set up a DEMOCRACY through violent struggle? Besides the military conditions (distance from Britain, long-standing European Alliances and conflicts, etc.) that helped the American rebels to defeat the British, there were other factors that allowed them to set up a fairly stable government immediately afterward. One was having the raw material resources not to need Britain around. But perhaps primarily, we were rebelling against a country, that had already laid much of the philosophical and practical groundwork for establishing a democracy at home (ever since its own civil war, and even in some ways since the Magna Carta). So the US consitution did not involve forcing radically new ideals on most Americans born here or in Europe. And so forth.

Most situations are MUCH more difficult. Hungary and Czechoslovakia were way too small (population) and way too close to Moscow physically to be able to take a miliatry stand alone. They didn't have a snowball's chance in hell. Nor did they have historical experience with stable democratic regimes. Nor was the world situation favorable to them getting help from the only other superpower (the US) at that time. Without that help and support in setting up and maintaining a new government, any informal insurrection that could have occured could only (in the long run) have died out, or, worse, turned into a protracted power-struggle and civil war (as in Chechnya and Afghanistan), though the lack of undeveloped, mountainous terrain for guerilla warfare in Central Europe would have made this relatively improbable compared to those cases.

[Edited 2005-03-22 23:17:54]
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:30 am

Quoting N229NW (Reply 35):
Are you so smugly ignorant that you don't realize just how much German schoolchildren have lessons about the Holocaust drilled into them today?

It was a rhetorical question in response to his question about whether history is taught in Canada. Either don't be so literal, or stop digging for no reason.

Quoting N229NW (Reply 35):
Your blanket statements about strong and weak peoples magnificently ignore all the subtleties, all the differences in circumstances and surrounding history...

It was not a "blanket statement". I suggested it as a contributing factor in how the Germans and Soviets were able to so quickly defeat/occupy them. I maintain it. Again, don't be so literal, and remember that there can be many contributing factors to the ongoing subjugation of people. For Czechs and Hungarians to disavow any culpability in their own failed efforts to stand and fight, is to not look at the whole picture. It's one of those subtleties, as you mentioned.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
pelican
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:54 am

Yyz717
If we combine the following two statements made by you, we will get a really sick result.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 34):
The pinnacle event of the last 100 years was the holocaust in which millions of Germans participated or acquiesed in the killing of millions of Jews, gays, disadvantageds, etc.



Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 20):
As for "poor and oppressed peoples deserve their lots" -- yes, I generally support this.

 vomit 

pelican
 
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yyz717
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revolt

Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:05 am

Pelican, my first quote above was a rhetorical question in response to your sarcastic comment to me in #32 about whether Canadians learn any history. Taking things out of context deliberately is pointless. So why do it?

As for "poor and oppressed peoples deserve their lots" -- yes, I generally support this.

I believe strongly in personal initiative. I also believe in collective initiative by peoples to collectively improve their lot in life. I guess that's why I'm in favour of less taxation and less socialism.

If this is a really sick result to you, so be it.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
pelican
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RE: Should The U. S. Have Aided 1956 Hungary Revol

Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:33 am

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 38):

I believe strongly in personal initiative. I also believe in collective initiative by peoples to collectively improve their lot in life. I guess that's why I'm in favour of less taxation and less socialism.

Nothing wrong with that. Although I prefer to say more freedom less socialism instead of less taxation and less socialism.

But being born in a totalitarian state I've to say this logic doesn't work in a dictatorship. It works more like it's there own fault that they were killed, tortured, imprisoned because they were so 'stupid' to resist

Regarding Hungary - there was no way to defeat the Soviets. Remember the Red Army had crushed the mighty German Army which defeated great parts of Europe. How big do you think was the chance of a small country like Hungary in 1956? And don't forget they did fight although they had not a chance. In the end they lost the battle. They took the initiative but they gained nothing except suffering in 1956, like the East Germans in 1953 and the Czechs in 1968.

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