In a U.S. civil war, would China or Russia take sides? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15176711
As the political divisions in the United States worsen, we may descend into a conflict that resembles the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), in which the Russians backed the government while Hitler and Mussolini supported the rebels.

Would China or Russia give overt or covert assistance to either side in a U.S. civil war? Given Trump’s fondness for Putin, one might think the Russians would side with the far right, perhaps in return for the U.S. abandoning NATO.

Maybe the Kremlin thinks a de facto civil war has already started and the hacking attacks from Russia on pipelines, food processors and other targets is an attempt to undermine Biden’s administration. The ransom demands are merely a smokescreen.
#15177416
Robert Urbanek wrote:As the political divisions in the United States worsen, we may descend into a conflict that resembles the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), in which the Russians backed the government while Hitler and Mussolini supported the rebels.

Would China or Russia give overt or covert assistance to either side in a U.S. civil war? Given Trump’s fondness for Putin, one might think the Russians would side with the far right, perhaps in return for the U.S. abandoning NATO.

Maybe the Kremlin thinks a de facto civil war has already started and the hacking attacks from Russia on pipelines, food processors and other targets is an attempt to undermine Biden’s administration. The ransom demands are merely a smokescreen.

You got it backwards. The fascist Franco government in Spain was backed by the German Nazis and fascist Italians, and the rebels were backed by the Soviets.

George Orwell's first-hand account of fighting on the front with the anarchist Foreign Legion, 'Homage to Calonia', is recommended reading.
#15177448
Crantag wrote:You got it backwards. The fascist Franco government in Spain was backed by the German Nazis and fascist Italians, and the rebels were backed by the Soviets.

George Orwell's first-hand account of fighting on the front with the anarchist Foreign Legion, 'Homage to Calonia', is recommended reading.

You need to hit the history books, @Crantag - the left-wing government had been democratically elected, but was invaded by General Franco with Spanish troops from North Africa. Franco was in rebellion against the legal government of Spain, and when his invasion had succeeded (with a little help from his pals Adolf and Benito), he installed himself as dictator for life. There's a reason the Spanish monarchy was in exile until after Franco's death.
#15177450
Potemkin wrote:You need to hit the history books, @Crantag - the left-wing government had been democratically elected, but was invaded by General Franco with Spanish troops from North Africa. Franco was in rebellion against the legal government of Spain, and when his invasion had succeeded (with a little help from his pals Adolf and Benito), he installed himself as dictator for life. There's a reason the Spanish monarchy was in exile until after Franco's death.

Fair enough.

The Spanish Civil War was one of those topics that is rarely mentioned or taught about in American education in my experience.

My main exposure to the history was Orwell's book.

I wasn't aware of Franco overthrowing the Spanish Government, however it does seem that at the time of the conflict Franco's regime was in effect in control of the levers of state, no?
#15177451
Crantag wrote:Fair enough.

The Spanish Civil War was one of those topics that is rarely mentioned or taught about in American education in my experience.

My main exposure to the history was Orwell's book.

I wasn't aware of Franco overthrowing the Spanish Government, however it does seem that at the time of the conflict Franco's regime was in effect in control of the levers of state, no?

What are you talking about? Franco ended up controlling the levers of power because he invaded Spain and overthrew the Republic in a brutal civil war which lasted three years. Nobody voted him into office or even appointed him dictator. He took power in Spain at gunpoint, and kept that power at gunpoint. By the time he died, in the mid-70s, almost everyone in Spain was heartily sick of him and his regime. They dismantled the Francoist regime and erased his legacy as soon as they could, and nobody rushed to the barricades to defend it. The dead hand of Francoism had kept Spain backward and impoverished for four decades.
#15177452
Potemkin wrote:What are you talking about? Franco ended up controlling the levers of power because he invaded Spain and overthrew the Republic in a brutal civil war which lasted three years. Nobody voted him into office or even appointed him dictator. He took power in Spain at gunpoint, and kept that power at gunpoint. By the time he died, in the mid-70s, almost everyone in Spain was heartily sick of him and his regime. They dismantled the Francoist regime and erased his legacy as soon as they could, and nobody rushed to the barricades to defend it. The dead hand of Francoism had kept Spain backward and impoverished for four decades.

When did I say any such thing as he was 'elected' or 'installed'?

My impression was that at the time of the Civil War, Orwell's side was fighting against 'government forces', in effect.

You are certainly ascribing stuff to me that I never suggested.

I don't know the background well to the Spanish Civil War.

Seizing power is one way to attain power. I made no suggestion whatsoever that he was 'installed' through any sort of 'mandate'. (Other than maybe a 'mandate' in the form of the external support of Nazi Germany.)
#15177454
Crantag wrote:When did I say any such thing as he was 'elected' or 'installed'?

Franco was not in charge of the government of Spain during the civil war. He was in charge of the Nationalist forces which occupied large parts of Spain during the civil war, and eventually occupied all of it, at which point Franco installed himself as dictator for life.

My impression was that at the time of the Civil War, Orwell's side was fighting against 'government forces', in effect.

Your impression was not correct. 'Government forces' at the time were left-wing and Republican.

You are certainly ascribing stuff to me that I never suggested.

I don't know the background well to the Spanish Civil War.

Evidently. You need to hit the history books, @Crantag. Punch 'em till they squeal for mercy.

Seizing power is one way to attain power. I made no suggestion whatsoever that he was 'installed' through any sort of 'mandate'. (Other than maybe a 'mandate' in the form of the external support of Nazi Germany.)

Hitler actually didn't want Franco to win the civil war too quickly - he intended to give Franco just enough support so he could keep fighting but not too much, to avoid triggering a more general European war for which Hitler was not yet ready. This lukewarm support was later reciprocated by Franco at the outbreak of WW2. Lol.
#15177457
Potemkin wrote:Franco was not in charge of the government of Spain during the civil war. He was in charge of the Nationalist forces which occupied large parts of Spain during the civil war, and eventually occupied all of it, at which point Franco installed himself as dictator for life.


Your impression was not correct. 'Government forces' at the time were left-wing and Republican.


Evidently. You need to hit the history books, @Crantag. Punch 'em till they squeal for mercy.


Hitler actually didn't want Franco to win the civil war too quickly - he intended to give Franco just enough support so he could keep fighting but not too much, to avoid triggering a more general European war for which Hitler was not yet ready. This lukewarm support was later reciprocated by Franco at the outbreak of WW2. Lol.

I'm currently reading Arnold Toynbee's 'A Study of History.' (Who knows how far I'll get, it is 13 volumes.)

Yeah, I was wrong, pretty much said so already in my first response, fine by me.

Like I said, the Spanish Civil War is pretty much a topic that is not really talked about much in American academics (in my experience, at least). I think that the mix of fascism, anarchism, and communism in it might be the reason why.

Not that this is an excuse for ignorance or anything. I may look into it more at some point. I tend to go more for the old school stuff though, personally.
#15177460
Crantag wrote:I'm currently reading Arnold Toynbee's 'A Study of History.' (Who knows how far I'll get, it is 13 volumes.)

Yeah, I was wrong, pretty much said so already in my first response, fine by me.

Like I said, the Spanish Civil War is pretty much a topic that is not really talked about much in American academics (in my experience, at least). I think that the mix of fascism, anarchism, and communism in it might be the reason why.

Not that this is an excuse for ignorance or anything. I may look into it more at some point. I tend to go more for the old school stuff though, personally.

Fair enough. Americans and history just don't seem to get along too well with each other, do they? Lol. ;)
#15177475
Crantag wrote:
I'm currently reading Arnold Toynbee's 'A Study of History.' (Who knows how far I'll get, it is 13 volumes.)




That is ancient.

There is a tradeoff in history, the more ground you cover, the less you have to say.

Anyway, I can suggest a bunch of good books. Let's start with What Hath God Wrought. It won the Pulitzer prize, and is the best writing I've ever seen in popular history. It starts with the end of 1812, and covers roughly the next 30 years. Until recently, despite being a history buff, I know almost nothing about that era, and thought not much happened. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Strictly speaking, Cities and the Wealth of Nations is not a history. But it's hardly your usual economics text. There are no numbers, and it starts in an Italian town that had been abandoned for about a thousand years. You can read it in a couple days, it's not long, or hard to read. But what it does is give you a nice feel for how economics works. In the world of history, economics is often the underlying force that shifts continents, making some regions rise, and others fall. Historians tend to overlook economics... Toynbee didn't, but his understanding was quite crude.

The next one isn't quite a history, although it has more things in it, that were written at the time it happened, than most actual history books. It's Killer Angels, and it's spectacularly good.

I'm not a big fan of biographies, but an exception is Truman by McCullough. Another one is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It's about Lincoln and the art of being president.

One last one, and I think every American should have to read this in high school: American Nations by Colin Woodard. It talks about regional differences, how they came about, how they still influence our life and politics.

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