T Nation

HIstory Mistakes

Everyone is wrong about something. And, there are some mistakes that our fellow man makes more often that not, usually because of bad information. No academic subject seems to be the example of this more frequently than history. Whether it be some even like the Civil War, 9/11, Vietnam, or a period of time such as the Renaissance, it seems that somewhere along the line generalizations were made incorrectly and the common opinion among the public is somehow horribly false.

I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on what their favorite/most frustrating event or period in history that it seems most people get incorrect when in discussion.

Mine is the Medieval Ages (a.k.a. “Dark Ages”), for whatever reason this seems to be one of the most misunderstood (by the general population) periods in Western Civilization, second would be the early dealings with Moslems all the way up to Tours, and third (which is more of a favorite than an annoyance) is the discussion of who would win, European Knights v. The Great Khan’s army…mostly because it was settled when they fought the first time (hint: we lost).

I could probably come up with something better than this if I thought about it longer, but one that always gets me, and that I always mention to my students, is the whole thing about the “domino theory”. People always criticize a lot of U.S. foreign policy during the first couple decades of the Cold War. There’s a lot of legitimate criticism to be made, for sure, but these people invariably sight the domino theory as some bullshit, paranoia-driven excuse for subjugating everyone around the world in some mad race to dominate everyone.

They forget the legitimate threat that the domino theory was, along with who exactly it was who was shaping American foreign policy in order to combat it in the first place. These were all people who broke their teeth during WWII, when the dominoes really were falling, and falling to a madman in Hitler. Of course they’re going to think that the domino theory was a very real possibility since their entire careers were built or started during a period in which a laissez faire attitude toward Germany in the early to mid 1930’s basically let him topple over domino after domino in Europe. I think people like the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA director, the President and so forth were completely justified in believing that the spectre of Communism could have led to a similar situation, and I don’t blame them for making some of the foreign policy mistakes they made in an attempt to stop the dominoes from falling.

I suppose another mistake that bothers me is a very generalized one that is applicable to all sorts of specific scenarios, both today and in the past. There seems to be this feeling amongst many that “the government” is capable of pulling off all sorts of sinister conspiracies around the world. Many times, something fucked up happened, like 9/11 or the JFK assassination or whatever, and people automatically think that those things happened because some devious element hiding in the shadows is running the gov’t and they allowed that event to happen.

From everything I’ve learned in all of my research into things like that, specifically the JFK assassination, the gov’t simply fucks up and makes a mistake and sometimes it leads to catastrophe. The gov’t is too inept to pull off these conspiracies. The reality is that sometimes the gov’t just makes a mind-bogglingly simple mistake that has horrific consequences. There was no 9/11 conspiracy and there was no massive CIA-run JFK conspiracy. The gov’t simply fucked up something that they should have never fucked up and people were killed as a result. And of course, the gov’t is going to try and cover up these mistakes so no one realizes how much they actually fucked up. They might hide some things, refuse access to others, whatever. And then when these conspiratorially-bent people start snooping around they automatically assume that these attempts to hide stuff are part of the conspiracy coverup, when in reality they’re simply trying to cover their own asses so people don’t realize what bumbling fools are running things sometimes.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I could probably come up with something better than this if I thought about it longer, but one that always gets me, and that I always mention to my students, is the whole thing about the “domino theory”. People always criticize a lot of U.S. foreign policy during the first couple decades of the Cold War. There’s a lot of legitimate criticism to be made, for sure, but these people invariably sight the domino theory as some bullshit, paranoia-driven excuse for subjugating everyone around the world in some mad race to dominate everyone.

They forget the legitimate threat that the domino theory was, along with who exactly it was who was shaping American foreign policy in order to combat it in the first place. These were all people who broke their teeth during WWII, when the dominoes really were falling, and falling to a madman in Hitler. Of course they’re going to think that the domino theory was a very real possibility since their entire careers were built or started during a period in which a laissez faire attitude toward Germany in the early to mid 1930’s basically let him topple over domino after domino in Europe. I think people like the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA director, the President and so forth were completely justified in believing that the spectre of Communism could have led to a similar situation, and I don’t blame them for making some of the foreign policy mistakes they made in an attempt to stop the dominoes from falling.

I suppose another mistake that bothers me is a very generalized one that is applicable to all sorts of specific scenarios, both today and in the past. There seems to be this feeling amongst many that “the government” is capable of pulling off all sorts of sinister conspiracies around the world. Many times, something fucked up happened, like 9/11 or the JFK assassination or whatever, and people automatically think that those things happened because some devious element hiding in the shadows is running the gov’t and they allowed that event to happen.

From everything I’ve learned in all of my research into things like that, specifically the JFK assassination, the gov’t simply fucks up and makes a mistake and sometimes it leads to catastrophe. The gov’t is too inept to pull off these conspiracies. The reality is that sometimes the gov’t just makes a mind-bogglingly simple mistake that has horrific consequences. There was no 9/11 conspiracy and there was no massive CIA-run JFK conspiracy. The gov’t simply fucked up something that they should have never fucked up and people were killed as a result. And of course, the gov’t is going to try and cover up these mistakes so no one realizes how much they actually fucked up. They might hide some things, refuse access to others, whatever. And then when these conspiratorially-bent people start snooping around they automatically assume that these attempts to hide stuff are part of the conspiracy coverup, when in reality they’re simply trying to cover their own asses so people don’t realize what bumbling fools are running things sometimes.[/quote]

I wouldn’t disagree with anything you wrote.

But, based on what you said - it brings to mind a couple of tactical mistakes made in the past that I believe have lasting effects spilling over to today.

First is the rise of the Military Industrial Complex. Other than Grenada, and the first Gulf War, the US has not fought a war properly - to win decisively - since we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq II, Afghanistan, etc. sent tens of thousands of American service men to their deaths for no other tenable reason than to allow the defense contractors to sell bullets and bombs and body bags.

Second was Russia being allowed a seat at Yalta. In hindsight, the war in Europe should have continued until vermin known as the Soviet were exterminated. Instead, FDR thought it would be nice if he and Churchill allowed the USSR to have Eastern Europe. They did nothing but create a cold war for the next 40 years.

[quote]drunkpig wrote:
I wouldn’t disagree with anything you wrote.

But, based on what you said - it brings to mind a couple of tactical mistakes made in the past that I believe have lasting effects spilling over to today.

First is the rise of the Military Industrial Complex. Other than Grenada, and the first Gulf War, the US has not fought a war properly - to win decisively - since we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq II, Afghanistan, etc. sent tens of thousands of American service men to their deaths for no other tenable reason than to allow the defense contractors to sell bullets and bombs and body bags.

Second was Russia being allowed a seat at Yalta. In hindsight, the war in Europe should have continued until vermin known as the Soviet were exterminated. Instead, FDR thought it would be nice if he and Churchill allowed the USSR to have Eastern Europe. They did nothing but create a cold war for the next 40 years.

[/quote]

Well, since I’m not sure how many men here have the capability to discuss tactical mistakes, let’s stick to people’s knowledge mistakes about history. Like this wonderful video shows why “Dark Ages” is one of the most low brow names ever invented.

[quote]drunkpig wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I could probably come up with something better than this if I thought about it longer, but one that always gets me, and that I always mention to my students, is the whole thing about the “domino theory”. People always criticize a lot of U.S. foreign policy during the first couple decades of the Cold War. There’s a lot of legitimate criticism to be made, for sure, but these people invariably sight the domino theory as some bullshit, paranoia-driven excuse for subjugating everyone around the world in some mad race to dominate everyone.

They forget the legitimate threat that the domino theory was, along with who exactly it was who was shaping American foreign policy in order to combat it in the first place. These were all people who broke their teeth during WWII, when the dominoes really were falling, and falling to a madman in Hitler. Of course they’re going to think that the domino theory was a very real possibility since their entire careers were built or started during a period in which a laissez faire attitude toward Germany in the early to mid 1930’s basically let him topple over domino after domino in Europe. I think people like the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA director, the President and so forth were completely justified in believing that the spectre of Communism could have led to a similar situation, and I don’t blame them for making some of the foreign policy mistakes they made in an attempt to stop the dominoes from falling.

I suppose another mistake that bothers me is a very generalized one that is applicable to all sorts of specific scenarios, both today and in the past. There seems to be this feeling amongst many that “the government” is capable of pulling off all sorts of sinister conspiracies around the world. Many times, something fucked up happened, like 9/11 or the JFK assassination or whatever, and people automatically think that those things happened because some devious element hiding in the shadows is running the gov’t and they allowed that event to happen.

From everything I’ve learned in all of my research into things like that, specifically the JFK assassination, the gov’t simply fucks up and makes a mistake and sometimes it leads to catastrophe. The gov’t is too inept to pull off these conspiracies. The reality is that sometimes the gov’t just makes a mind-bogglingly simple mistake that has horrific consequences. There was no 9/11 conspiracy and there was no massive CIA-run JFK conspiracy. The gov’t simply fucked up something that they should have never fucked up and people were killed as a result. And of course, the gov’t is going to try and cover up these mistakes so no one realizes how much they actually fucked up. They might hide some things, refuse access to others, whatever. And then when these conspiratorially-bent people start snooping around they automatically assume that these attempts to hide stuff are part of the conspiracy coverup, when in reality they’re simply trying to cover their own asses so people don’t realize what bumbling fools are running things sometimes.[/quote]

I wouldn’t disagree with anything you wrote.

But, based on what you said - it brings to mind a couple of tactical mistakes made in the past that I believe have lasting effects spilling over to today.

First is the rise of the Military Industrial Complex. Other than Grenada, and the first Gulf War, the US has not fought a war properly - to win decisively - since we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq II, Afghanistan, etc. sent tens of thousands of American service men to their deaths for no other tenable reason than to allow the defense contractors to sell bullets and bombs and body bags.

Second was Russia being allowed a seat at Yalta. In hindsight, the war in Europe should have continued until vermin known as the Soviet were exterminated. Instead, FDR thought it would be nice if he and Churchill allowed the USSR to have Eastern Europe. They did nothing but create a cold war for the next 40 years.

[/quote]

I’m not sure that the rise of the military-industrial complex is a tactical mistake, per se. I’m a HUGE proponent of unlimited, all-out warfare where we fucking annihilate every man, woman and child in our way, terrorize everyone, go absolute apeshit on the young women and all that shit. Why not fight it to not only win it, but completely destroy the will of other potential enemies to ever engage with an all-out, totally committed Killing Machine? We do our soldiers a serious disservice by placing them in harm’s way under limited terms of engagement.

That being said, I’m pretty anti-war. I simply think that if we aren’t willing to go the full nine and a half yards, then we shouldn’t go to war at all. All or nothing. I think if this were the attitude then we wouldn’t find ourselves in unwinnable situations like what we are currently engaged in with the War on Terror.

Anyways, I think the military-industrial complex is simply the result of our unwillingness to stoop to the level of those we go to war with. We probably will never find ourselves in another “traditional” war like WWII or Korea where each side wears uniforms and abides by the Geneva Convention and all that bullshit. If we aren’t willing to just turn entire swaths of countries into glass with a couple good old-fashioned nukes, then we have to compensate with all this other bizarre shit the military uses now. I suppose it’s a semantical difference, since I don’t see that as a tactical mistake but a mindset issue.

Of course, the nature of warfare is changing on our side. More and more, we are using drones and other unmanned equipment to fight wars for us, so that soldiers can stay out of harm’s way more often. Pretty soon, warfare will probably be more like Star Wars, where each soldier has his own little R2 unit or whatever. If bloodthirsty, merciless tactics and nukes are completely off the table, then I suppose the next best option is where the military is headed now with the advent of drones. Naturally, this is going to give rise to a whole other type of military-industrial complex, probably headed up by companies like General Atomics instead of Lockheed.

The first that comes to mind is the crusades (just did some reading on them). In the context of time and the history of the conflict, they really seem like a pretty reasonable idea. Grant it, the crusaders did some pretty horrible (although standard military practice) things. It?s even possible that they prevented the full-fledged conquer of Europe.

The history of Jerusalem is also pretty misunderstood because it changed possession so many times.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
The first that comes to mind is the crusades (just did some reading on them). In the context of time and the history of the conflict, they really seem like a pretty reasonable idea. Grant it, the crusaders did some pretty horrible (although standard military practice) things. It?s even possible that they prevented the full-fledged conquer of Europe.

The history of Jerusalem is also pretty misunderstood because it changed possession so many times.[/quote]

I played Assassins Creed. I KNOW what went on in the crusades.

Their were GIANTS among mankind…Christian Archeologist Joe Taylor of The Mt. Blanco
Fossil Museum elaborates…and check out that big assed Human Femur, I would NOT want to
tango with that Giant when alive who was estimated to be about 15 feet tall…WTF.
The Bible ‘rubs it in’ that some of these evil giants (there are no “good” Giants in scripture) had six fingers
and six toes…I say ‘rubs it in’ because they mention the six fingered/six toed
abominations TWICE in the Bible…which must mean we shouldn’t forget that.
Mentioning it once woulda been good enough for me.
Respected Ancient Christian Historian “Josephus”, in his work "Antiquities Of The Jews’’ said the Bones of these
Giants were also still on public display in his time, and witnesses to these Giants when they were alive said they were terrifying to the sight, and terrifying to hear.
This was not myth as many claim and try to ‘erase’ from history.

Fuck…me.

[quote]Karado wrote:
There were GIANTS among mankind…[/quote]

[quote]drunkpig wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
The first that comes to mind is the crusades (just did some reading on them). In the context of time and the history of the conflict, they really seem like a pretty reasonable idea. Grant it, the crusaders did some pretty horrible (although standard military practice) things. It?s even possible that they prevented the full-fledged conquer of Europe.

The history of Jerusalem is also pretty misunderstood because it changed possession so many times.[/quote]

I played Assassins Creed. I KNOW what went on in the crusades. [/quote]

Well done. That made me lol.

I think one of history’s really tragic mistakes is when pittbulll was conceived.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I think one of history’s really tragic mistakes is when pittbulll was conceived.[/quote]

Thanks :)I AM honored :slight_smile:

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]pushharder wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I think one of history’s really tragic mistakes is when pittbulll was conceived.[/quote]

And nursed.

Not conceiving or nursing the knothead would’ve prevented us from experiencing the tragedy we have before us today.

The only solution I can think of is to have VTBalla, aka Belly Flop, and Pittttttttbullllll go on a all-gay cruise to Amsterdam and disappear into the “coffee shop” counter culture, possibly reappearing somewhere like the interior of Somalia…without internet capability, of course, and heavily involved in sex acts with pregnant donkeys.[/quote]

Or they could just give each other syphilis and then die.

[quote]drunkpig wrote:

First is the rise of the Military Industrial Complex. Other than Grenada, and the first Gulf War, the US has not fought a war properly - to win decisively - since we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq II, Afghanistan, etc. sent tens of thousands of American service men to their deaths for no other tenable reason than to allow the defense contractors to sell bullets and bombs and body bags.

Second was Russia being allowed a seat at Yalta. In hindsight, the war in Europe should have continued until vermin known as the Soviet were exterminated. Instead, FDR thought it would be nice if he and Churchill allowed the USSR to have Eastern Europe. They did nothing but create a cold war for the next 40 years.

[/quote]

Chuchill was snubbed by FDR and the Americans at Yalta. Cyhurchill absolutely hated the Soviets and Stalin and desperately attempted to dissuade FDR from giving concessions to Stalin and the Soviet Union. FDR was a moron with leftists in his admin who were all duped by Stalin despite his already well known record for mass murder. Churchill was then unceremoniously trounced from office by the British public who then re-elected him in the mid-50’s with Anthony Eden as his Foreign Minister again, just in time for the Suez Crisis.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:

I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on what their favorite/most frustrating event or period in history that it seems most people get incorrect when in discussion.

[/quote]

America is still awash with German wartime propaganda from WWI and WWII as demonstrably shown by orion when I first started posting here. It’s also frustrating to continually hear Soviet Cold War historical revisionism.