Was Russia's occupation of Eastern Europe after WW II justified?

AuthorTopic: Was Russia's occupation of Eastern Europe after WW II justified?
Infiltrator
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Russia argued that its occupation of eastern Europe after WW II was to prevent another European war from occuring on its home soil. After all, noone lost more than Russia in either world war. Acceptable position? better yet, a defensible position?

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Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
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You know, it's become standard practice for so many people to try and skirt around big issues in today's world, particularly in the media and politics. It's refreshing to see someone who can confidently and openly assert their opinion on something which happened decades ago.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 5137
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quote:
Originally written by Mouthpiece:

Russia argued that its occupation of eastern Europe after WW II was to prevent another European war from occuring on its home soil. After all, noone lost more than Russia in either world war. Acceptable position? better yet, a defensible position?
No. I reject the buffer-state theory. By that logic, the United States could conquer mexico as a 'buffer state'. And in all fairness, for a position to be defensible, it has to be applicable. And there simply arn't enough people folks to oppress for every country to have its own buffer state.

The Soviet Union had a duty to repair those countries she took, and then give them back to the popular soverignty of their people. Not install communist governments with the point of a bayonet and close the borders.

Consider, if you accept the position that Russia could hold Eastern Europe as a buffer...Mexico suffered a terrible defeat to the United States, perhaps she should seize and occupy the Southern U.S. While we're at it, China can occupy Korea as a buffer state, Taiwan can occupy China, Russia can occupy Central Asia, China, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe, Vietnam can occupy China, Poland can occupy Russia, and Germany can occupy France.

Buffer state theory doesn't work. There arn't enough states for everyone to have a people to oppress.

But it is an interesting debate point. I'd like to see a defense of it.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Tuesday, October 26 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6388
Profile #3
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

You know, it's become standard practice for so many people to try and skirt around big issues in today's world, particularly in the media and politics. It's refreshing to see someone who can confidently and openly assert their opinion on something which happened decades ago.
Of course. It takes a big man to question the judgement of a man dead and buried half a century.

EDIT: Here's what I think about 'justified'.

The Soviet Union lost tens of millions of lives, civilian and military. The Eastern Front was comparable in scale to the American east coast - and this is in the most compact, densely populated continent on Earth.

If it weren't for the Soviets, we would never have won the war, period. Hitler could have stomped the remainder of the Allies like cockroaches in Italy and France if he had a hundred more divisions to work with there.

That in mind, was what the Soviets did right? No, of course not. Turning nations into 'buffers' is obviously oppressive and inappropriate.

It is puerile to state that Stalin was evil; he was. It is puerile to declare the Soviet Union a force of iniquity in the world; it was. Both of these things are unarguable, and completely basic.

Considering, however, your unfortunate sympathy with the thesis of Western Betrayal - I have reason to wonder whether Stalin is on trial here.

If you're taking a swipe at Roosevelt and Churchill here, please bear in mind that the Soviets could have fairly handily crushed the Allied presence in Europe. Yalta was a deal with the devil, but it was one made out of necessity: the Iron Curtain didn't have to end in Saxony; it could have just as readily graced the Alps or the Seine.

Was the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe justified? No. Of course not. Was allowing the Russians to occupy Eastern Europe justified? Yes. It was that or the whole damn thing.

[ Thursday, May 18, 2006 18:06: Message edited by: The Worst Man Ever ]
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
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It's easier to examine something long after it happens. By then the "facts" are usually known or at least some of the participants have released their versions of the event.

It wasn't justified, but the division of Europe was decided by the victors at the conferences before World War II ended. The West were willing to cede the region to the Soviets in order to get help. They hoped that the Soviets would soak up enough damage to weaken them and the Germans.

Great Britain and France got control of the Mideast after WWI for a while before giving the world that mess with their decisions on how to divide it. After WWII the creation of Isreal was encourage by Stalin because it distracted Britain and France.

I suppose we could move the debate to the present on whether this would prove to be a justification for Isreali control of the West Bank as a defensive area since it was actually attacked repeatedly.

At least the Soviet control prevented most of the ethnic cleansing until the fall of communism. Of course that doesn't excuse all the murders committed in order to control the area.

[ Thursday, May 18, 2006 18:14: Message edited by: Randomizer ]
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6908
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quote:
Originally written by Naldiin:

No. I reject the buffer-state theory. By that logic, the United States could conquer mexico as a 'buffer state'.
That's where I smiled. "Buffer zone" at the board of the country was actual when there were swords and bows. At this point US needs mexico as a buffer, like a dog needs a fifth leg.
Let's look the truth into the eyes. After WWII there were two supercountries having a tough opposition. And the interest of the one over the ocean in "buffer zone" was the same if not bigger then of another.
SU gained acces to Cuba, having a good place to place its S200. US replied with bases in Europe.
Nowadays Russia has lost a little gaining a buffer zone because of NATO presence. I don't want to go into political polemics. The only thing I ask for: please, you have to accept the "buffer-state" theory, cause both Russia and US are on that road.

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Posts: 203 | Registered: Tuesday, March 14 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
If it weren't for the Soviets, we would never have won the war, period. Hitler could have stomped the remainder of the Allies like cockroaches in Italy and France if he had a hundred more divisions to work with there.
I'm not so sure. I think the allies could have pulled it off, with some heavy use of nuclear weapons. No one can conquer and hold the entirety of Europe succesfully.
Hitler and Co. could have succesfully held off the invasion of Normandy and the invasion of Italy for a while. But, once the U.S. finished off Japan, they would have been able to shift all of their power to Europe.
The U.S. and Germany were both fighting on two fronts against two very different enemies.
Still, Russian forces greatly sped up the war and spared millions of Allied lives.

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Posts: 536 | Registered: Sunday, September 7 2003 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
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After WWII, hard to say. It's easy to look down on the actions of the past with the full benefit of hindsight. My guess is the Soviets didn't trust the West (Stalin surely didn't) and saw them as a potential agressor. From that perspective it was somewhat justified.

As far as today, buffer zones are really unnecessary. ICBMs, submarine launched weapons, stealth technology, sattelites, etc. make the concept of a buffer zone unimportant. Sure, they can slow ground troops, but the destructive power from the air and sea is far greater than it was immediately following WWII.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
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Off-topic: Does anyone else see a chronological problem with Meeshka's post? According to the header, it was made 12:15 a.m. when the following one made by Smuggler's Alliance was posted 10:43 a.m. Is this a whole new kind of weird that UBB has blessed us with, or am I not getting something?

...Wait, it's got something to do with the whole a.m./p.m. thing, doesn't it? Sorry, just ignore me.

[ Friday, May 19, 2006 10:26: Message edited by: Redstart ]
Posts: 353 | Registered: Monday, January 9 2006 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #9
quote:
Is this a whole new kind of weird that UBB has blessed us with, or am I not getting something?
No, just the day begins at 12 AM, and then goes to 1 AM until 12 PM. It would be easier if we just used a 24 hour clock, but that's just me. :rolleyes:

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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"Russia argued that its occupation of eastern Europe after WW II was to prevent another European war from occuring on its home soil. After all, noone lost more than Russia in either world war. Acceptable position? better yet, a defensible position?"

You know, one of Spiderweb's employees (and my wife) is a Hungarian immigrant. She and her family actually have some opinions about Stalin and what he wrought.

This thread locked due to being really dumb.

- Jeff Vogel

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Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00