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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Countries freed by US military action

Generally the dates given are when democratic elections were established or re-established, or some major constitutional change allowing such to occur.

Republic of Austria, 1945 (reinstated constitution)
France, 1945
Norway (?)
Japan, 1946
Philippines, 1946
Greece, 1946
Italy, 1947
Belgium - ?
Netherlands, 1945 (reinstated constitution after WWII?)
Republic of China (Taiwan) (year ?)
Denmark, 1953 (?)
Republic of [South] Korea, 1948
Federal Republic of Germany, 1949
Hawaii, 1959 (admission to USA as 50th state)
Guam, 1970
American Samoa, 1978 (elected Governor)
Grenada, 1984
Republic of Poland, 1989
German Democratic Republic (East Germany), 1990
Republic of Hungary, 1990
Republic of Bulgaria, 1991
Kuwait, 1991
Iraqi Kurdistan, 1991 (date?)
Lithuania, 1992
Czech Republic, 1992
Republic of Slovakia, 1992
Latvia, 1994
Kosovo, 2000
Afghanistan, 2001
Iraq, 2002-ongoing

Hopefuls:
Egypt (possible real elections)
Lebanon (Syrians leave)
Saudi Arabia (part elections)

Noteable failures:
Viet Nam
Iran
Cuba

Times Online article: What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people...

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 3/26/2005 12:32:00 PM

9 Comments:

Blogger lemuel said...

"Countries freed by US military action"

"Czech Republic, 1992"
"Republic of Slovakia, 1992"

Blimey! How could I have missed this? Was I asleep? And I see that you have included almost whole of the former communist bloc as "freed by US military action". Well that is a novel twist of historical interpretations, to say the least.

3/29/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Morning Lemuel. Yes, a novel twist but possibly closer to the mark than may seem obvious. I recall reading somewhere that the real reason the Soviets packed it in was that their military high command saw how effective were the Yanks during Destert Storm (remember Saddam was armed by the Soviets) that they advised their politicians they had no hope if there was a real stoush. You see military men tend to be more honest than polies.

3/29/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger lemuel said...

- Collapse of the Eastern Bloc - 1989.(the USSR collapsed in 1991, but that is not relevant for Czechoslovakia - later peacufully split (92-93), or Poland, Hungary etc.)
- Iraq War - 1991.

I fail to see the connection.

It was not the force of american tanks but the fact that socialist economies allways go into the tank. Socialism is not economically feasable, so with a bit of irony we might say it was an unavoidable inexorable move of history.
One stupid politician ran for office with the slogan "Its the economy, stupid!" This I believe was the only instance of him being right.

And good morning to you too. Its 2:35 AM here, and I really should go sleep now.

3/29/2005 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Actually Lemuel I believe the Americans were politically involved near the end, especially Poland.

The USSR / Warsaw Pact was driven into bankruptcy trying to compete militarily with the USA. Its citizens were convinced by various propaganda initiatives from the West and demands from Ronnie near the end ('Tear down this wall' etc). When it became obvious Ronnie wanted to remove nukes as a serious strategic weapon through the SDI (Star Wars) programme, I guess the Russian Generals knew they couldnt compete and there would be no way of maintaining control over Eastern Europe.

The Cold War was a massive confrontation between ideologies, and the outcome was not certain at all. Only American military muscle ensured the West was never attacked by the USSR, and their expansion was halted at the Iron Curtain, as Maggie Thatcher famously described it (I think).

As for the dates, I chose time periods when the countries in question voted for major constitutional reform or implemented the first serious democratic elections.

I haven't got Iraq 1991 down, though I do have the Kurds and Kuwait. Is that what you mean? The Kurds ran their own elections after the USAF and RAF started flying defensive missions over the northern 3rd of Iraq, but I couldn't find the precise date of the first elections.

3/29/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not nice to use truth against the lefties - they much prefer a battle of the ideologies.

3/29/2005 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger lemuel said...

AL,

I don’t know about the political involvement, but since we are talking about the military aspect I should say that your interpretation as elucidated in your comment is pretty fair and commonplace by now but one can still have a few qualms with it. I still wouldn’t go and give all the credit to the US (and Reagan, although he probably did more by saying that the USSR is an Empire of Evil – that certainly resonated – than by spending billions of dollars of American taxpayers money), it is too one-sided, it omits the influence of a polish pope, the catholic church, local opposition, and most of all the disgruntled citizens (plus you can hardly call scenes of affluence witnessed in Austrian and west German TV ads as "propaganda initiatives") and the economic fact that with or without the US military spending the Soviets would go down to the dumps sooner or later – well maybe a few years later, 1992 perhaps but to the dumps nonetheless. I believe the outcome of the Cold War was certain and known at least since 1920 when Ludwig von Mises wrote his famous essay on the impossibility of a socialist economy.

My main and initial quibble was that the list implies direct military action on the part of the US. It mixes liberated countries, invaded countries and countries that clearly weren’t. This list as it now stands is just an imprecise tool for fighting with your leftist opponents – I have seen a similar list of countries bombed by the US that failed to develop democracy as a result, and it was "impressive" in its length as well, but also pretty inaccurate and simplified.

“As for the dates, I chose time periods when the countries in question voted for major constitutional reform or implemented the first serious democratic elections.”

Then in case of Czechoslovakia you should probably have chosen the year 1990 – new constitution and first free elections – and not the new constitutions of 1992 following the split into two countries. Ah, but that would make the list shorter, wouldn’t it? ;-)

Cheers!

3/30/2005 02:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a bit of balance, do you want to list the democratically elected regimes that the US has toppled (or attempted to topple) because they didn't agree with the policies there?

There were a number in Central and South America like that, but most famously: the Shah in Iran (who was deposed by Khomeni) was put in place by the US after the US caused the democrat government there to collapse because they were going to interfere with oil production.

4/02/2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Iran is down the bottom as a 'noteable failure'. Its always been there, so i guess you didn't read the list before commenting...

4/02/2005 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Lemuel - You're right, I should have used 1990. I didn't look for Czechoslovakia - my bad.

4/02/2005 05:42:00 AM  

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