Friday, November 12, 2010

Churchill and Stalin

They had more in common than imagined — How Churchill 'starved' India. Even the numbers are similar; "three million Indians died in the famine of 1943," close to conservative estimates about the Holodomor.

Say what you will about the other fellow at the Yalta Conference, at least he didn't deliberately starve millions to death. Still, he did ally our country to such leaders. "The Unnecessary War," Patrick J. Buchanan called it. And he was speaking of Britain's unnecessary involvement stemming from an unnecessary security guarantee to Poland. How much more unnecessary was the war for us!

Isolationism should have been and should be our true policy, and George Washington's Farewell Address our true guide:
    Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

    Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

    Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Very appropriate for "Armistice Day" - which thankfully honors venerable Vets, and not the shameful entry of the US in a most unnecessary war (WWI).

1:02 PM  
Blogger Francis Xavier said...

However, noted economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen holds the view that there was no overall shortage of rice in Bengal in 1943: availability was actually slightly higher than in 1941, when there was no famine.[8] It was partly this which conditioned the sluggish official response to the disaster, as there had been no serious crop failures and hence the famine was unexpected. Its root causes, Sen argues, lay in rumours of shortage which caused hoarding, and rapid price inflation caused by war-time demands which made rice stocks an excellent investment (prices had already doubled over the previous year). In Sen's interpretation, while landowning peasants who actually grew rice and those employed in defence-related industries in urban areas and at the docks saw their wages rise, this led to a disastrous shift in the exchange entitlements of groups such as landless labourers, fishermen, barbers, paddy huskers and other groups who found the real value of their wages had been slashed by two-thirds since 1940. Quite simply, although Bengal had enough rice and other grains to feed itself, millions of people were suddenly too poor to buy it.[9]

5:42 PM  

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