Hidden History: Amazon Customer Reviews – 2


HIDDEN HISTORY

 

The Secret Origins of the First World War

 

Amazon Customer Reviews – 2

Most Helpful First

Note: Comments on Amazon.uk and Amazon.com

as of Sep 2, 2014

 

 

Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor

 

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

 

Dedicated to the victims of an unspeakable evil.

 

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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars

Secrets exposed., 14 Aug 2013

By – deejay

This book is far removed from conventional teachings of the history of the first world war , reading it ,one has no choice but to question the legitimacy of all previous teachings.

Written by two highly educated authors this book is an extremely detailed account of just who really was responsible for not only starting but prolonging the war. The research that has gone into this book is incredible, the result is a disturbing conclusion that defies all our previous understanding.

Hidden History is thought provoking, if it happened then *****?

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly insighful and more like the truth, 19 Feb 2014

By – thomas jenkins (hereford, United Kingdom)

This is more like the truth. Thank you Docherty and Macgregor. Brilliantly researched, extremely well written and closer to the truth than we’ll ever hear from the likes of Paxman, Hastings, Strachan, Ferguson et al or their political masters. Surely the BBC will commission it? Surely? Indeed, as a license holder, I demand they commission it.

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Tim62 says:—————————————-

Why would the BBC commission this, it’s not serious

 

 

 

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

2.0 out of 5 stars

Albert were delighted.., 9 Aug 2014

By – Leonard “Leonard” (England)

This isn’t a full review; in fact, I’m still reading the book. Something baffles me on page 58, para 2.: the statement that, after the Franco-Prussian War, which took place in 1870, “many in Britain, including the half-German Queen Victoria and her very German husband, Albert were delighted …” Are the authors not aware that Prince Albert died late in 1861? ”

 

 

 

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars

Read it and weep, 1 May 2014

By – Grumpy

History is written by the victor and this excellent & well-researched book, presents a compelling case that the victors didn’t just write the story of WW1 after the event, but conspired in advance to set the whole thing up. Such an apparently fantastical version of events that it would be horrific were it true, yet to dismiss as a fantasy consiprancy theory does no service to rigour of the authors. Ignore the initial tone which can seem alarmist. Make your own mind on the facts presented.

 

 

 

 

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful

1.0 out of 5 stars

History with a capital C, 7 Aug 2014

By – Michael A Carragher (Dublin, Ireland)

Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War by Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Co, 2013), £20.00 (h/b)

On first blush this is an impressive work. Unlike many in its genre, its authors cite sources and add fifteen pages of bibliography—all camouflage.

Like heritage, its non-malignant half-sibling, conspiracy theory draws on history but is not constrained by scholarly discipline. Thus one looks in vain for either “Docherty” or “Macgregor” in their own bibliography, which one assuredly would find if “The history of the First World War [truly] is a deliberately concocted lie”, as they claim (p 11); War in History, Past and Present and other journals would have been eager to publish a paper exposing this lie, and the book would have the endorsement of historians. Its authors’ “explanation” for the absence of such endorsement is that the conspiracy to suppress the truth extends to academia. More on this later.

Docherty & Macgregor’s thesis is that Great Britain engineered the Great War in order to destroy Germany. This dead horse has been flogged intermittently for a century now, ever since Roger Casement’s The Crime Against Europe. While no historian would claim that Germany was solely responsible, the notion that Britain was remains risible.

Along with speculation and outright nonsense presented as fact, there’s a good deal of truth in Hidden History, for all conspiracy theory needs this to lend it plausibility. Cecil Rhodes indeed dreamt of a British-dominated world that would “render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity”. The immense power of the Milner-Rothschild group was typical of the time—across the Atlantic JP Morgan sorted out the Panic of 1907, if not quite literally out of his own pocket, by his wealth and the power that always goes with that. This was a paternalistic age, that of the great oligarchs but also the great philanthropists, an age that fostered a deep sense of duty in which men like Milner had to “choose between public usefulness and private happiness” (Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment, p 11). It was also an age of secret diplomacy.

Eric Hobsbawm observes: “The most usual ideological abuse of history is based on anachronism rather than lies.” Docherty & Macgregor bring both ideology and anachronism to their treatment of the past and if they don’t tell lies, they don’t tell the whole truth. They omit to mention that Rhodes was an admirer of Germany and that the Rhodes Scholarship was open to Germans as well as Americans. Rhodes’ belief was that “a good understanding between England, Germany and [the USA would] secure the peace of the world” (Heather Ellis and Ulrike Kirchberger [eds], Anglo-German Scholarly Networks in the Long Nineteenth Century, p 214). The Milner Group’s opposition to the Second Reich was “concerned with upholding against the despotic state” and after the war it worked toward reconciliation and German recovery (Quigley, A-AE, pp 83, 60, 146, 242-45, passim).

Along with selectivity of truth goes shameless bias. The British are presented as the most heinous imperial oppressors; in fact the Germans make them look like altar boys—see David Olusoga and Casper W Erichsen, The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide.

Paranoia was rampant across Europe by 1914, something historians ascribe to the secret diplomacy instigated by Bismarck and, far more so, the disastrous policies of Kaiser Wilhelm. Docherty & Macgregor blame the fiendish machinations of a “Secret Elite” of Perfidious Albion. Both they and historians date the change to about 1891 when “the formation of the secret society was agreed” (D&M p. 19).

Historians see the change rather in terms of the Reinsurance Treaty being allowed to lapse, and the displacement of Bismarck’s kleindeutschland policy by the Kaiser’s weltpolitik. Through 1891 the Russians appealed for the treaty’s renewal in vain; after issuing the blunt warning that they would not be friendless in Europe, the following year they opened negotiations with France, scuppering Bismarck’s policy of securing the Reich as “one à trois” among the Great Powers, and exposing it to a war on two fronts, the old chancellor’s nightmare.

From the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 stems the division of Europe into two increasingly paranoid camps, which eventually went to war. Was this a consequence of malice or of blundering, bombast and diplomatic failure? Deliberate malice, Docherty & Macgregor claim, drawing on the work of Carroll Quigley in support. They give ostentatiously respectful credit to Quigley, “one of the twentieth century’s most highly respected historians” (ibid, p. 13). Their analysis “goes far deeper than his initial revelations” (ibid, p 16) and they convey the impression that Professor Carroll is nodding benevolently down on their endeavour from whatever heaven good historians go to. This takes some chutzpah, given that the late professor took great umbrage to his work being hijacked to support far-fetched notions with which he definitely would not agree.

According to Quigley, the Milner Group (Docherty & Macgregor’s “Secret Elite”) “had great influence but not control of political life”; while it “directed policy in ways that were sometimes disastrous” its aims were “largely commendable”. Quigley gives credit to Bismarck’s “diplomatic genius” and “masterful grip” and describes his successors as “puppet chancellors” and “incompetents” (A-AE, p 115; Tragedy and Hope, p. 211). It was incompetence and arrogance that destroyed the balance of power that had been sedulously fostered by Bismarck toward European peace and common prosperity, and led to the disaster of the Great War, not the machinations of any “Secret Elite”.

Though he doesn’t seem to have ever used the word, Professor Quigley effectively endorses the sonderweg hypothesis: Germany achieved unification by “repudiating the typical nineteenth century values … the rationalism, cosmopolitanism and humanitarianism of the Enlightenment”, a repudiation that left Germans “ill at ease with equality, democracy, individualism, freedom and other features of modern life”. Yet their very envy of all this in other countries left them susceptible to totalitarian manipulation toward anything that could be presented as their due (T&H, pp 413-15). In an almost elegiac passage Quigley describes how diplomacy degenerated from Metternich’s dictum that “a diplomat … never permitted himself the pleasure of a triumph” to “polishing one’s guns in the presence of the enemy” (ibid, p 223). Bismarck maintained that even a declaration of war should be couched in courteous language, and while his “blood and iron” speech undoubtedly marked a watershed between these two positions, it was under Wilhelm II that bombast and bluster displaced negotiation, fear squeezed out wary trust, and the word of a gentleman could no longer be relied upon.

The outcome was “a precarious and dangerous balance of forces which only a genius could manipulate. Bismarck was followed by no genius. The Kaiser, Wilhelm II, was an incapable neurotic…. As a result, the precarious structure left by Bismarck was not managed but was hidden from view by a facade of nationalistic, anti-foreign, anti-Semitic, imperialistic and chauvinistic propaganda of which the emperor was the centre” (ibid, pp 416-17).

With friends like Quigley, what conspiracy theorist needs enemies? These statements are so congruent with historical orthodoxy that Docherty & Macgregor’s invocation of their author to support heretical views seems less like chutzpah than bare-faced robbery.

Given their misrepresentation of the views of a bona fide historian, imagine the damage these fellows can do with the works of, for example, Harry Elmer Barnes, long exposed as having been in the pay of Zentralstelle für Erforschung der Kriegshuldfrage, established by Weimar to exonerate Germany of any responsibility for the Great War?

To support their notion that the “Secret Elite” engineered the Great War Docherty & Macgregor purport that Belgium had made a secret alliance with Britain. This is an extraordinary claim so one looks for extraordinary support for it. What evidence that Belgium abandoned its internationally-guaranteed constitutional neutrality without anyone in the Brussels parliament or indeed across Europe managing to notice? Why, the unassailable testimony of Alexander Fuehr in his majestic tome, The Neutrality of Belgium (D&M, p. 108, f/n 41, e.g.), which he presented to a New York publisher in 1915.

Though the other works of this august historian and political analyst seem to have become as lost as the poetry of Sappho—doubtless through the dastardly depredations of the “Secret Elite”—his magnum opus survives and may be admired for its objectivity and a few other things by anyone with access to the internet. How the “Secret Elite” could have let this disastrous giveaway slip by them must baffle anyone so intelligent as to overlook the possibility that, coming up to an American election year, Herr Fuehr might, just might, have been a German stooge.

As historians know, the Conventions Anglo-Belges, on which the Germans, after invading a neutral country, based their claim that Belgium had abandoned its neutrality, were consultative and focused on defence of the 1839 treaty. A letter by General Ducarme to the Belgian Minister of War, cited perhaps to back up the integrity of Herr Fuehr should any suspicious soul doubt this (ibid, p 107, f/n 38), gives the game away when one takes the trouble to check it out: “The entry of the English into Belgium would take place only after the violation of our neutrality by Germany”.

Curses!—another toe shot off. But never mind, we’ve got eighteen left and the reassuring knowledge that most people don’t check footnotes, but take them as evidence of scholarship and good faith. They rather can serve to give “semblance of worth, not substance” (to borrow from Milton). As a professional witness in Irving -v- Lipstadt, Dr Richard Evans exposed how another conspiracy theorist, David Irving, “created” evidence with footnotes, some of his “sources” being entirely fictive. Denis Winter’s creative use of footnotes in Haig’s Command helped expose that book as cheap character assassination and permanently discredited its author. Guess who cites it? Our intrepid duo.

Their neutrality the Belgians rightly had perceived as under threat from the Schlieffen Plan—though until August 1914 it was assumed that invasion would be limited to buttressing of the German armies’ right wing and restricted to east of the Meuse; occupation and rape of almost the entire country had not been foreseen. Since at least 1905 it was known that Belgium lay in the German warpath, hence the Conventions, and hence the “enormous expansion of armed forces in a supposedly neutral nation” (ibid, p. 237). Perhaps Docherty & Macgregor don’t understand that meaningful neutrality must be defended, as the Swiss and Swedes understood. The Belgian field force of 150,000 was pitifully small, not the sinister menace to Germany and its millionenheer armies that Docherty & Macgregor pretend.

The many crises that punctuated the years leading up to 1914 were cunningly engineered by the “Secret Elite”, who made them all appear Germany’s fault and managed to hoodwink historians, Professor Quigley included. “The first Moroccan crisis arose from German opposition to French designs on Morocco…. The Germans insisted on an international conference in the hope that their belligerence would disrupt the Triple Entente and isolate France”. “The danger of … war [after the 1908 Balkan crisis] was intensified by the eagerness of the military group in Austria … to settle the Serb irritation once and for all” (Quigley, T&H, pp 219-25).

Many of the claims made in this book are bizarre—at best—and the authors repeatedly go far beyond what evidence supports. Indeed, they come close to endorsing Ché’s dismissal of evidence as “unimportant bourgeois detail”: “Those who consider that the only true history is that which can be evidenced to the last letter necessarily constrain their parameters” (D&M, p 360).

This line chimes with those from one of the most dangerous books of the twentieth century, The Courage to Heal, by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis (still, like Mein Kamf, readily available): “If you think you were abused, and your life shows the symptoms, then you were” (p 22); “demands for proof are unreasonable” (p 137). In the “witch hunt” of the 1990s this book gained sanctity, even in courts of law. Evidence? An unimportant detail. Corroborative testimony? Are you accusing this poor woman of lying? One man was convicted of an historic murder solely on the testimony of his volatile daughter, whose mental instability was presented to the court as evidence of the trauma she had witnessed as a child. This is what happens when we refuse to be constrained by parameters. If you think the Brits started the war, and your mind shows the symptoms, then they did. In a postmodern dystopia of “competing narratives” it’s as good a yarn as any.

Docherty & Macgregor give an example of what “not constraining parameters” presumably means when they point out that the Parliament Act of 1911 did not reduce “the powers of the aristocracy … at all” (D&M, pp 169-70), a claim that goes against both evidence and commonsense (seldom a conspiracy theorist’s strong suit). There’s grim hilarity in the notion that the Boers’ “moral code … was far better than that of Rhodes and the British” (ibid, p 34), given that Die Groot Trek was prompted by Britain’s abolition of slavery and the “outrageous” Ordinance 50 of 1828, which gave equal rights to all subjects of the British Empire, regardless of race. In the Boer Republics “kaffirs” faced legal discrimination and the Boer “moral code” eventually gave post-colonial South Africa apartheid.

Queen Victoria, we are told, was “a favourite cousin” of the odious Leopold II (ibid, p 107). In fact, while Leopold I had been Victoria’s favourite uncle, she thought her cousin “‘very odd’ and in the habit of ‘saying disagreeable things’” (Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost, p 35). Honest error? Perhaps—but as the Royal Family was among the “Secret Elite”, a little guilt-by-association can do Docherty & Macgregor’s thesis no harm.

The Schlieffen Plan just possibly could be regarded as defensive, as Docherty & Macgregor claim, in that attack is an effective defence; but when we look at the September Programme, and its proposal to dismember Belgium and annex whole provinces of France, and impose a zollverein on most of Western Europe, we perceive a whimsical interpretation of “defensive”. When we look at how a million square miles was annexed at Brest-Litovsk we know that Germany wanted hegemony, not security. When we look at “the Kaiser’s jihad”—the plan to foment Moslem rebellion across the British Empire toward German control from the English Channel to the Bay of Bengal—we know that any presentation of the Reich as hapless victim of British machinations is nonsense.

Given that it more than anything else contradicts their own hypothesis, Docherty & Macgregor pass over the Fischer Hypothesis with suspicious haste, in a bare half page. It was, we are assured, “demolished” by Professor Marc Tractenberg (D&M, p 355).

To dissect what Fischer wrote and take lawyerly issue with semantics is hardly demolition. “Evidence that the Germans were pressing for a war in the Balkans … cannot be taken as evidence that [they] were really trying to engineer a European war”, says Tractenberg (The Craft of International History: A Guide to Method, p 72). This may be true in a legal sense, but in July 1914 legal considerations had gone by the board. In the face of world opinion after the Sarajevo outrage, Russia could have done little had Austria launched a punitive expedition and “the Serbian problem could be brought to a head without provoking a general war” indeed (ibid, p 71).

But the Austrians were not interested in punishing Serbia but in destroying it, dismembering it among its Balkan enemies, thereby getting rid of the troublesome Serbs while buying the allegiance or at least the benevolence of the territorial beneficiaries. This Russia absolutely would not allow and everyone knew that, so in this indisputable light “Evidence that the Germans were pressing for a war in the Balkans” actually can be taken as evidence that they were determined to engineer any Third Balkan War into European war. The Fischer Hypothesis isn’t even dented by this pedantic nit-picking, far less “demolished”.

But hey, let’s not be constrained by parameters!

The collective of anecdote and accusation is not evidence. Scientists, historians and commonsensical people know never to impute to malice or conspiracy what can be accounted for by incompetence, foolishness, stupidity or chance. Conspiracy theorists have a different world view. Rather than use Occam’s Razor to shave assumptions to a minimum, they see this as a weapon deployed against them, concealed by historians under the cloak of reasonableness in order to cut their throats. Will any of them be swayed by this review? Of course not! The reviewer is one of the “Secret Elite”, isn’t he?

Something that looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck is unlikely to be an ostrich in disguise. Something so loaded with overstatement (it’s got feathers: it’s an ostrich), so contradicted by its own sources and so demonstrably wrong cannot be history. Even when on relatively firm ground Docherty & Macgregor undermine their case by overstatement. That Edward Carson “continued to keep Ulster in close check” is doubtful (D&M, p 317); by July 1914 he had lost full control of the UVF he had helped create. Given Cabinet reluctance to accept even invasion of Belgium as a casus belli, the idea that a Liberal government would go to war with Germany over a few smuggled rifles and some provincial outrage is pathetic (ibid, p 318); the Milner Group was supportive of Irish Home Rule, not hostile (Quigley, A-AE, pp 83, 177-78). Yet Henry Wilson was an arch-intriguer, there were others like him and certainly more went on in Ireland, and indeed elsewhere, than has yet come out in the historical wash so here’s a suggestion:

“The Secret Elite controlled the writing and teaching of history [notably through] Oxford University” (D&M, p 353); but Oxford no longer holds the sway that it did, there are far more universities than in Rhodes’ time and history departments are more likely to be dominated by Anglophobic Marxists or PoMo ideologues than by Imperialist conservatives, so why don’t either or both of these gentlemen enrol and get academic imprimatur on their work? Just down the road from them is the University of Dundee, where they will find Dr John Regan, not renowned for his Anglophilia, and he will be happy, I’m rather sure, to get any genuine dirt on Henry Wilson and Perfidious Albion. “History”, he says, “is about challenging the past and historians” (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/history/staff/profile/john-regan), and Docherty and Macgregor certainly do that. They say they look forward to when their work is “perhaps” taught in schools and universities; this is not going to happen unless it gets academic endorsement.

Until it does it’s just conspiracy theory; merely more plausible than the paranoid postings of twitching lunatics holed up in cabins and caves, with enough assault-rifles to defend a small republic and more bullets and beans than brains.

————————- Comments (19)

Initial post: 11 Aug 2014 17:18:27 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Michael Carragher strikes again. In refuting this latest diatribe, let’s begin with this recent headline in the Guardian:

“FOREIGN OFFICE HOARDING 1M. HISTORIC FILES IN SECRET ARCHIVE.

Justice secretary signed authorisation to place retention of files – some created in 19th century – on legal footing for 12 months.

The [British] Foreign Office has unlawfully hoarded more than a million files of historic documents that should have been declassified and handed over to the National Archives, the Guardian has discovered.

The files are being kept at a secret archive at a high-security government communications centre in Buckinghamshire, north of London, where they occupy mile after mile of shelving.

Most of the papers are many decades old – some were created in the 19th century – and document in fine detail British foreign relations throughout two world wars, the cold war, withdrawal from empire and entry into the common market.

They have been kept from public view in breach of the Public Records Acts, which requires that all government documents become public once they are 30 years old – a term about to be reduced to 20 years – unless the department has received permission from the lord chancellor to hold them for longer. The secret archive is also beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act.”

No wonder Mr. Carragher is confused.

For further details on this burgeoning scandal, please use the following link:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/18/foreign-office-historic-files-secret-archive

This fits hand-in-glove with the thesis put forth by Messrs. Docherty and Macgregor as well as Professor Quigley’s own thesis as he himself described it on the back cover of his book:

“No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner group accomplished – that is, that a small number of men would be able to wield such power in administration and politics, should be given almost complete control over the publication of documents relating to their actions, should be able to exercise such influence over the avenues of information that create public opinion, and should be able to monopolize so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.”

Carroll Quigley

The Anglo-American Establishment.

With this settled, let’s get down to brass tacks. Mr. Carragher repeats yet again the error of blaming the Kaiser’s lapse of the Re-insurance treaty with Russia for the collapse of Bismarck’s handiwork and the resulting formation of the Franco-Russian Alliance, which in turn led to the division of Europe into opposing camps.

First, Bismarck constructed his alliance system with the sole object of denying the Powers of Europe as potential alliance partners to an implacably hostile France. Second, Kaiser Wilhelm had good reason for allowing the Re-insurance Treaty to lapse, as it was in conflict with the provisions of the Dual Alliance with Austria as the Kaiser explains in his memoirs. Third, the Franco-Russian Alliance was not an alliance at all, but an agreement between France and Russia to attack the Central Powers at the first opportune moment for the purpose of conquering Alsass-Lothringen for France, and satisfying the historic Russian drang nach Constantinople. as French ambassador Georges Louis would note in 1910:

“In the Alliance, Constantinople and the Straits form the counterpart of Alsace-Lorraine. It is not specifically written down in any definite agreement, but it is the supreme goal of the Alliance which one takes for granted. If the Russians open the question of the Straits with us, we must respond: `All right, when you aid us with respect to Alsace-Lorraine.'”

The planned Franco-Russian aggression was put on hold by the untimely 1894 death of Czar Alexander III and the truly woeful incompetence of his son and successor, Nicholas II.

It was the Secret Elite who arranged for Great Britain to join this unholy “alliance” in 1904 and 1907 thus transforming the moribund Franco-Russian Alliance into the very potent Triple Entente and raising the nightmare spectre of a European war. Preparing the diplomatic ground for changes as dramatic as these could only have been accomplished by the gravitas of a British King: Edward VII. His (alleged) godson, Sir Edward Grey and his minions followed in his royal wake to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. All of this was done in secret (as noted by Lord Loreburn in his book, How the War Came), and no one had any undue worries about any mere Minister or MP stepping boldly forward to warn the King against overstepping his constitutional limits.

Detailed and top-secret preparations with the French and Belgian General Staffs – as noted by S.B. Fay and Dr. Fuehr – readied the Secret Elite for the day when Gavrilo Princip fired the fatal shots heard `round the world and inaugurated the July crisis.

Barely three weeks later, July 20th, the French Government arrived at St. Petersburg on board France’s largest battleship and announced that in the present crisis, Russia should act with “firmness” and “dignity.” Three days later the French depart to the martial drumbeat of military parades and emotional expressions of mutual solidarity. The very next morning – July 24 – the Russians decide to proclaim the “Period Preparatory to War . . .”

The shopworn canard that Russia was acting to protect its “little Slavic brothers” is raised yet again. This despite the fact that Russia had traded away Bosnia Herzegovina in 1908, and in 1911 offered Turkey protection against the Balkan League (organized at Russia’s suggestion) which implied the use of Russian soldiers against Serbia.

Mr. Carragher abhors “conspiracy theories” like nature abhors a vacuum. Thus, the Spanish-American War was, presumably, an understandable American retaliation for the unprovoked Spanish assault upon the U.S.S. Maine. But was this war actually a conspiracy between American political leaders and Press lords like William Randolph Hearst to deprive Spain of its colonial possessions in the western hemisphere? Perish the thought! By Mr. Carragher’s standards, this was long on rank speculation but short on evidence. On the other hand, in the case of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the Ems telegram suffices in Mr. Caragher’s mind to shift blame for the war all the way from French onto Prussian shoulders. This is maintained by Mr. Carragher despite the frank admissions of culpability from French statesmen including Napoleon III himself.

The mother of all WW1 conspiracy theories is Fritz Fischer’s fantastic notion that in 1914, Germany attacked a vastly superior coalition in order to grab hegemony, first in Europe, then the world. In a murky morass of ludicrous suppositions, preposterous presumptions, nonsensical opinions, absurd speculations, daft conjectures, and farcical hypotheses, Mr. Fischer rolls out his comical piece de resistance. It is – wait for it – Bethmann’s September Programme. A thesis as ridiculous as this could only find traction in (mostly) German minds still haunted by Nazism and Mr. Carragher who apparently indulges conspiracy theorists when it suits him.

Mr Carragher describes “Hidden History” as “merely more plausible than the paranoid postings of twitching lunatics holed up in cabins and caves, with enough assault-rifles to defend a small republic and more bullets and beans than brains.” This unfortunate attempt at levity, while more appropriate to a comedy skit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, might be extended to describe Mr. Carragher as holed up in his cabin with pen in hand and, between mouthfuls of nutritious beans, demolishing conspiracy theorists by the bushel.

To be fair, Mr. Carragher does suggest that “either or both of these gentlemen [Docherty and Macgregor] enrol (original spelling) and get academic imprimatur on their work.” While any such imprimatur is unlikely to come from the British Academy which provides funding for the likes of Mombauer, Strachan, Rohl, and similar court historians, it may yet come when the mass of secret Foreign Office documents mentioned above are released and the British people – and Michael Carragher – are finally allowed to know the truth about their government’s secret geo-political machinations which resulted in the precipitous, blood soaked decline of the once-glorious British empire and reduced it to the impotent nanny-state, cloying to Uncle Sam’s trousers, which it has now become.

In reply to an earlier poston Aug 11, 2014 3:12:56 AM PDT

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

When the Hanslope Park archive is transferred to the PRO it will be examined by historians who will amend their understanding of the past in light of what they find, as they did after Fritz Fischer discovered new material in the German archives. Anything from Hanslope Park that may support their theory Mr Hof and his ilk will trumpet; anything that doesn’t will be ignored; anything that contradicts it will be denounced, as they denounce the Fischer Hypothesis. Mr Hof’s intemperate treatment of this reflects the hatred felt toward a traitor, for Fischer was German and Mr Hof and his fellow-travellers base their case on a number of books written by Germans and their American stooges in the war- and inter-war years.

For historians and scientists, truth is always provisional, to be amended with the emergence of new evidence that changes our understanding, such as the Hanslope Park archive may well do. For religious zealots, ideologues and conspiracy theorists, truth is eternal and immutable, supportive evidence “unimportant detail”.

Eternal truths are based on sacred texts: the Bible, the Koran, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and, for Mr Hof, a miscellany of books written not quite so long ago. Jordan Michael Smith summarises:

“…between 1922 and 1927, forty volumes of official prewar records were published by [German] government-picked ‘independent’ historians that, in the words of one scholar, ‘established an early dependence of all students of prewar diplomacy on German materials.’ However, all the files came from the former Foreign Office. All documents from the crucial planning departments-the General Staff, the War Ministry, the Navy Office, and the economics section-were exempt from publication. They, of course, were the most damning and influential regarding German intentions. What was published was misleadingly edited.

“Nonetheless, the staggering amount of materials produced by these regime-approved scholars suggested by their very bulk that they were comprehensive. The German government spread the lie that these materials were exhaustive and that no contrary view was to be seen. During the Weimar Republic, tragically, these volumes played a vital role in spreading the pernicious ‘stab in the back’ claim-that pacifists, communists, socialists, and Jews had intentionally sapped the German army’s will and ability to fight, in doing so seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. Adolph Hitler appropriated this claim to explain why only National Socialism had the internal strength to rebuild Germany and why the Jews needed to be confronted for their alleged perfidy. Continuing well into the 1960s, most Germans believed that their country had fought a defensive war from 1914 to 1918.”

“Judging History: The Great War, Reconsidered” in World Affairs, May/June 2013.

Fischer let the cat out of the bag when he exposed those documents that Weimar and the Nazis had concealed, but for the likes of Mr Hof, this revelation of a conspiracy itself becomes “the mother of all WW1 conspiracy theories”!

To what extent Harry Elmer Barnes, Sidney Fay and others were dupes of the Germans or complicit in their deception is beside the point. The point is that their discredited work is still used by conspiracy theorists long after historians have dismissed it as partial, misleading and wrong.

Why would anyone do this? How can we account for why some people believe that generations of professional historians have turned history upside down; that the Jews-or whoever-run the world; that the Pope and the Queen of England are giant lizards working ecumenically to take over the planet for aliens?

Caitlin Shure explores the phenomenon in “Insight into the Personalities of Conspiracy Theorists” (Scientific American, August 8, 2013):

“Conspiracy theories and scientific theories attempt to explain the world around us. Both apply a filter of logic to the complexity of the universe, thereby transforming randomness into reason. Yet these two theoretical breeds differ in important ways. Scientific theories, by definition, must be falsifiable. That is, they must make reliable predictions about the world; and if those predictions turn out to be incorrect, the theory can be declared false. Conspiracy theories, on the other hand, are tough to disprove. Their proponents can make the theories increasingly elaborate to accommodate new observations; and, ultimately, any information contradicting a conspiracy theory can be answered with, ‘Well sure, that’s what they want you to think’.”

Ms Shure points out: “Psychologists find that distrust of authority and low agreeableness are among factors underlying the willingness to believe”. In accounting for this gullibility she adds low self-esteem, an ability to hold contradictory beliefs, and “a `monological belief system’, in which any and all events can be explained by a web of interconnected conspiracies”.

Psychologists and social theorists identify other factors, which may overlap:

Ignorance: people who know no better may take on faith what they are told by fools. Education and life-experience is the antidote here.

Low intelligence: similar to Ignorance in that these people know no better but different in that not a lot can be done to cure stupidity. Studies consistently find an inverse relationship between IQ score and holding odd, superstitious and incongruous beliefs. Possibly reinforcing such beliefs is that people with lower cognitive abilities can more easily be persuaded that their poor quality of life, a consequence of their lower intelligence and thereby-impaired skills, is rather “evidence” that the Illuminati, the Jews, the lizards are keeping them down.

Contrarianism: a sophomoric proclamation of something that may be only half-believed in order to attract attention. (I suspect that acquiring a girlfriend cures most sufferers.)

Calculation: the opposite to Stupidity. There’s money to be made in selling “Beware the Illuminati” tee-shirts alongside M16 conversion kits at gun-shows, and in filling lecture halls with fools who’ll pay to hear how the lizards are coming along. (Calculating conspiracy theorists may invoke the Gospel of WC Fields to justify their behaviour: “It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money”.)

Neurosis/psychosis: possibly less a cause than the effect of holding paranoid delusions, but obviously also a factor predisposing some people to adopt delusional beliefs.

Vanity: that the conspiracy theorist and a select few others are aware of the reality that the rest of the world is too stupid to see appeals to the vanity of the sufferer and reinforces the deluded belief. The inflated sense of importance may compensate for low self-esteem.

Thanatos syndrome: the persecution complex that leads to neurosis in some may persuade others that they are self-sacrificing heroes who must give their lives to defend humanity against the lizards, Jews or whatever-while taking as many unbelievers as possible with them to eternity. At this point the jihadists strap on the suicide belts and Timothy McVeigh sets out for Oklahoma. We see here Ms Shure’s “low agreeableness” factor taken to its limit.

While not always dangerous, it is futile to argue with people whose world-view is almost pre-Enlightenment, founded on assumptions and faith, not logical argumentation and objective evidence.

The futility is illustrated by the fact that on August 7 at 12:07:59 PM PDT I posted notification on another thread of my review of Hidden History:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2O6G55GWI11NA/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg5?ie=UTF8&asin=B0058F9HOC&cdForum=Fx1XCPNVFYBENUO&cdPage=5&cdThread=Tx3CC8BJE9OZVJK&store=digital-text#wasThisHelpful

At 12:26:10 PM PDT Mr Hof responded to say that he had read my “silly review”. In nineteen minutes he had read a 3,000-word essay, evaluated its arguments, weighed its evidence, checked its many cited sources, and come to a considered conclusion on its merit. Of course he hadn’t. He didn’t need to. He needed only to scan the first few lines to know that my review did not support the Holy Writ of Barnes, Fay, Fuehr et al, and therefore was heresy, to be roundly denounced.

Anyone truly interested in the causes of the Great War needs to toss specious trash like Hidden History and Our Century and read Chris Clark’s The Sleepwalkers. This is one of those rare books that lives up to its hype. The depth and scope of Professor Clark’s research and the wisdom of his analysis could hardly be bettered. He’s as insightful as he’s fair: “It is a curious feature of the July Crisis of 1914 that so many of the key actors in it had known each other for so long. Beneath the surface of many key transactions lurked personal antipathies and long-remembered injuries” (p 90). This observation alone short-circuits much conspiracy theory.

Clark’s analysis of the Entente is all the more scrupulous given his Germanophilia:

“… neither the Entente Cordiale with France nor the Convention with Russia was conceived by British policy-makers primarily as an anti-German device. Inasmuch as Germany featured in British designs, it was mostly as a subordinate function of tensions with France and Russia…. Germany was a diplomatic irritant rather than an existential threat. ‘Anglo-German antagonism’ was not, in other words, the primary determinant of British policy.” (pp 140-41)

In his introduction Professor Clark explains that he is “concerned less with why the war happened than with how it came about” (p xxvii), and in his conclusion he argues:

“There is no smoking gun in this story; or rather, there is one in the hands of every major character. Viewed in this light, the outbreak of war was a tragedy, not a crime. Acknowledging this does not mean that we should minimise the belligerence and imperialist paranoia of the Austrian and German policy-makers that rightly absorbed the attention of Fritz Fischer and his historiographical allies. But the Germans were not the only imperialists and not the only ones to succumb to paranoia. The crisis that brought war in 1914 was the fruit of a shared political culture. But it was also multipolar and genuinely interactive-that is what makes it the most complex event of modern times and why the debate over the origins of the First World War continues….” (p 561).

On the same page he dismisses “conspiratorial narratives in which a coterie of powerful individuals, like velvet-jacketed Bond villains, controls events from behind the scene in accordance with a malevolent plan”; while acknowledging that “it is not, of course, logically impossible that war came about in this manner … such arguments are not supported by the evidence”.

Much earlier, but apropos this remark, Professor Clark acknowledges that “There are … still significant gaps in our knowledge” (p xxiii). If the Hanslope Park archive provides new evidence to fill those gaps he, like historians everywhere, will amend his views and write new books in light of our revised understanding. Mr Hof’s views will remain unchanged, whatever emerges.

Posted on 11 Aug 2014 20:23:16 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

The dark mind rises . . . still dark. Clearly, Mr. Caragher has failed to fully appreciate the implications of the article in the Guardian. So here it is in full:

“The [British] Foreign Office has unlawfully hoarded more than a million files of historic documents that should have been declassified and handed over to the National Archives, the Guardian has discovered.

The files are being kept at a secret archive at a high-security government communications centre in Buckinghamshire, north of London, where they occupy mile after mile of shelving.

Most of the papers are many decades old – some were created in the 19th century – and document in fine detail British foreign relations throughout two world wars, the cold war, withdrawal from empire and entry into the common market.

They have been kept from public view in breach of the Public Records Acts, which requires that all government documents become public once they are 30 years old – a term about to be reduced to 20 years – unless the department has received permission from the lord chancellor to hold them for longer. The secret archive is also beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Foreign Office is not the only government department that has been unlawfully hoarding files. This month the Guardian disclosed that the Ministry of Defence was unlawfully holding more than 66,000 historic files at a warehouse in Derbyshire, including thousands of files from the army’s Northern Ireland headquarters.

However, the Foreign Office’s secret archive, which is estimated to hold around 1.2m files and occupies around 15 miles of floor-to-ceiling shelving, is believed to be far larger than the combined undisclosed archives of every other government department. One of Britain’s leading historians describes its size as “staggering”.

A basic inventory of the hidden archive gives a clue to its enormousness: batches of files are catalogued according to the length of shelf space they occupy, with six metres and two centimetres dedicated to files about Rhodesia, for example, and four metres and 57 centimetres holding files about Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, the KGB spies who operated inside the Foreign Office and MI6. There are 50 metres of files on Hong Kong, 100.81 metres about the United States and 97.84 metres of “private office papers”.

No length is given in the inventory for other categories such as Colonial Office files or records from the permanent under-secretary’s department, the point of liaison between the Foreign Office and MI6.

The inventory says there is one bag of records from the Foreign Office’s now notorious cold war propaganda unit, the Information Research Department. And buried away within the archive, wedged between files from the British military government in post-war Germany and lists of consular officials, are papers about the treaty of Paris, which concluded the Crimean war in 1856.

The Foreign Office’s realisation that it would eventually need to admit to the existence of such a vast repository appears to have come at a time when its lawyers were waging a court battle with a group of elderly Kenyans. It was a battle that it eventually lost, with the result that it was obliged to issue an unprecedented apology and pay millions of pounds in compensation to thousands of men and women who suffered severe mistreatment during the 1950s Mau Mau insurgency.

During those proceedings the Foreign Office repeatedly denied the existence of a much smaller secret archive of 8,800 colonial-era documents, known as the migrated archive. It was eventually obliged to admit that this did exist, and that its contents corroborated the Kenyans’ allegations about widespread acts of murder and torture by the colonial authorities.

As a first step, the Foreign Office gave its colossal secret a name, the Special Collections. Then last November the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, was asked to sign a blanket authorisation that is said to have placed the retention of the files on a legal footing for 12 months. No announcement was made.

Finally, a written statement about “public records” by the Foreign Office minister David Lidington was quietly issued in the Commons on a Friday afternoon. The statement included two sentences that referred to a “large accumulation” of documents.

As a result of the manner in which the matter was handled, the existence of the archive has remained all but unknown, even among historians. Anthony Badger, the Cambridge history professor who has been overseeing the declassification of the migrated archive, has written that he believes “it is difficult to overestimate the legacy of suspicion among historians, lawyers and journalists” that resulted from the concealment of those 8,800 files.

The discovery that the colonial-era documents are just a very small part of a hidden archive of more than a million files is certain to cause enormous damage to the Foreign Office’s reputation among historians and others. A Foreign Office spokesperson said the archive had accumulated over time and that “resources have not been available to review and prepare” them for release.

The handful of historians who have become aware of the archive are deeply sceptical about this claim, however. Richard Drayton, Rhodes professor of imperial history at King’s College London, said the size of the hidden archive was staggering, and it was “scandalous” that papers of such significance could be concealed for such a long time. “It’s a working archive, for a department which believes it has a long-term, historic interest in many parts of the world,” he said.

It was unclear whether there is any “truly explosive” material within the files, Drayton said, or whether officials were attempting to manage the country’s historic reputation. “It may be that from the perspective of the state, 50 years is a short time. But the idea that the British state today has an obligation to protect the reputation of the British state of 50 years ago seems to me wholly inappropriate. It would be a manipulation of history, which we associate with iron curtain regimes during the cold war, regimes that managed and controlled the past.”

Mandy Banton, senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, said it was “extremely likely” that the archive had been culled to remove material that would most damage the reputation of the UK and the Foreign Office. Banton, a Colonial Office records expert who worked at National Archives at Kew, south-west London, for 25 years, said she had been “very angry” when she discovered that the migrated archives had been withheld. “I would have been incandescent had I learned while still working there. In lying to me, the Foreign Office forced me to mislead my readers.”

Freedom of information campaigners believe that the hoarding of such a huge amount of papers is symptomatic of a culture of secrecy and retention at the Foreign Office and across many other UK government departments. Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, an NGO that works to ensure the Freedom of Information Act is properly implemented, said: “The FoI system depends on people knowing what they hold and being transparent about what they hold.”

The archive is kept at Hanslope Park, a sprawling Foreign Office and MI6 outstation in the heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside. Sometimes referred to by Foreign Office staff as “Up North” – although it is only 60 miles north of London – Hanslope Park is also home to Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre, a facility where hundreds of government scientists and technicians develop sophisticated counter-espionage measures.

They include measures intended to protect the UK government and its allies from the sort of surveillance that Edward Snowden’s leaks have shown to have been perfected by the National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ.

Two wire fences, one 10ft high and topped with razor wire, encircle the cluster of buildings at Hanslope Park. Between them is a no man’s land with intruder alarms. CCTV cameras are positioned every few yards and the entire perimeter is covered by floodlights. Inside, posters on the walls carry the half-joking warning: “Careless talk costs jobs.”

Curiously, many of the offices are said to house row after row of typewriters rather than computers, with incinerators at the end of each room for the disposal of typewriter ribbons – a measure to reduce electromagnetic emissions, which can travel for hundreds of yards and be deciphered by foreign governments.

Hanslope Park is not only a highly secure facility, it is also a place that appears to be accustomed to handling – and destroying – large amounts of paperwork. This, possibly, explains why the special collections have been held there.

The blanket authorisation signed by Grayling put the secret archive on a legal footing for 12 months, during which time the Foreign Office is expected to devise a plan for its declassification and transfer to Kew. A spokesperson said a plan would be presented next month to a committee that advises the National Archives and the Ministry of Justice.

It will be quite a task. Declassification of the migrated archive has taken two and a half years, with the final tranche of documents due to arrive at Kew next month. At that rate, clearing up the special collections would take around 340 years.”

Hopefully, this will shock Mr. Carragher’s shuttered mind into a fuller recognition of the truly stunning implications of the Guardian article – then again, maybe not.

In reply to an earlier poston Aug 11, 2014 3:04:32 PM PDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

First, Mr. Carragher describes my opinion of the “Fischer Hypothesis” as “intemperate.” The Fischer Hypothesis, recall, is that Germany started a European war in order to gain hegemony, first in Europe, then the world. There is today a veritable tall mountain of statistics which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that in the summer of 1914, Germany was first among equals in virtually every economic and/or military category. This overwhelming hegemony – earned by the industry and talent of her people – was increasing monthly by leaps and bounds and Germany was even on schedule to surpass Great Britain in the export of finished goods for the first time ever. For what conceivable reason would Germany attack a vastly superior coalition to achieve something she already possessed IN SPADES? This in itself blows the Fischer “Hypothesis” completely out of the water. It is in fact Carragher’s support of this so-called hypothesis that is “intemperate” and not my refutation. If there is even ONE document discovered by Fischer (or, for that matter, Geiss) which substantially alters our understanding of the cause of WW1, I challenge Mr. Carragher to cite it. He will not do so because there are none.

Furthermore, I do not know why it is necessary to again point out to Mr. Carragher that the Weimar Government, including Karl Kautsky, was hostile to the Wilhelmine Government in the extreme. Paroxysms of happiness would have been aroused by any and all documents that would shine an unfavorable light upon the Kaiser and his remaining minions.

Mr. Carragher then writes:

“Contrarianism: a sophomoric proclamation of something that may be only half-believed in order to attract attention. (I suspect that acquiring a girlfriend cures most sufferers.)

Calculation: the opposite to Stupidity. There’s money to be made in selling “Beware the Illuminati” tee-shirts alongside M16 conversion kits at gun-shows, and in filling lecture halls with fools who’ll pay to hear how the lizards are coming along. (Calculating conspiracy theorists may invoke the Gospel of WC Fields to justify their behaviour: “It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money”.)

Neurosis/psychosis: possibly less a cause than the effect of holding paranoid delusions, but obviously also a factor predisposing some people to adopt delusional beliefs.”

Wow! If you are still awake after such stupefying pseudo-intellectual ja-de-ja-da, you are treated to this:

“Eternal truths are based on sacred texts: the Bible, the Koran, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and, for Mr Hof, a miscellany of books written not quite so long ago.”

Nice! Mentioning the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the name of your protagonist in the same sentence is Lesson 1 in “Smear and Libel Tactics 101.”

After further indecipherable psycho-babble about the “Illuminati,” the “Jews,” the “lizards,” and “a `monological belief system’, in which any and all events can be explained by a web of interconnected conspiracies,” etc., etc., Mr. Carragher actually offers a ray of hope. He has apparently read a book (no, really) by Christopher Clark entitled: “The Sleepwalkers, How Europe went to War in 1914.” Hope springs eternal.

Despite having denounced Mr. Clark’s alleged “Germanophilia,” Mr Carragher seems to like this book. This means that he may yet emerge from the fever swamps where, in the manner of Don Quixote, he defends the likes of Fritz Fischer from assault by unsavory denizens of the historical underworld such as “Lizards, Illuminati,” and “conspiracy theorists.” Carragher has offered some quotes from Clark’s book, but here is one which he apparently overlooked:

“German economic power underscored the political anxieties of the great-power executives, just as Chinese economic power does today. Yet there was nothing inevitable about the ascendancy of Germanophobe attitudes in British foreign policy. They were not universal, even within the upper reaches of the Foreign Office itself, and they were even less prevalent across the rest of the political elite. Hard work behind the scenes was needed to lever Bertie, Nicolson and Hardinge into the senior posts from which they were able to shape the tone and course of British policy. Bertie owed his rapid ascent after years of frustration in low-level positions to his energetic politicking with the private secretary to King Edward VII. Hardinge, too, was a seasoned courtier and intriguer, who pushed Bertie’s candidacy for the Paris ambassadorship in 1905. Hardinge employed his connections at court to `override’ a `certain amount of obstruction at the top of the F.O.’ Bertie and Hardinge in turn cooperated in levering Arthur Nicolson into senior ambassadorial posts, despite the fact that his wife was said to shun society and to `dress like a housemaid’. British policy could have taken a different course: had Grey and his associates failed to secure so many influential posts, less intransigent voices, such as those of Goschen and Lascelles or of the parliamentary under-secretary Edmond Fitzmaurice, who deplored the `anti-German virus’ afflicting his colleagues, might have found a wider hearing. Instead, the Grey group gradually tightened their grip on British policy, setting the terms under which relations with Germany were viewed and understood.

The `invention’, as Keith Wilson has put it, of Germany as the key threat to Britain reflected and consolidated a broader structural shift. The polycentric world of the `great games’ in Africa, China, Persia, Tibet and Afghanistan, a world in which policy-makers often felt they were lurching from crisis to crisis and reacting to remote challenges rather than setting the agenda, was making way for a simpler cosmos in which one enemy dominated the scene. This was not the cause of Britain’s alignment with Russia and France, but rather its consequence. For the restructuring of the alliance system facilitated – indeed it necessitated – the refocusing of British anxieties and paranoia, which were riding high in the years around the Boer War. British foreign policy – like American foreign policy in the twentieth century – had always depended on scenarios of threat and invasion as focusing devices. In the mid-nineteenth century, French invasion scares had periodically galvanized the political elites; by the 1890s, France had been displaced in the British political and public imagination by Russia, whose Cossack hordes would soon be invading India and Essex. Now it was Germany’s turn. The target was new, but the mechanisms were familiar . . .”

Clark, Christopher (2013-03-19). The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Kindle Locations 3256-3392). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 15:24:22 BDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

Amazon provides an excellent forum for readers to review books, have a healthy discussion on a book and post comments for the benefit of other readers. There is, sadly, a misuse of this facility by a small number of individuals who do not understand the difference between respectfully taking issue with an author, and intentionally insulting them simply because they disagree with what they write. Known as”trolls”, they apparently get pleasure from posting blatantly disruptive, snide or insulting comments , and are considered sociopaths. The general advice to authors is ‘do not feed the trolls’, do not react to their immaturity, laugh them off.

The educated, eloquent troll such as Carragher has a penchant for veiled calumny, insulting innuendo and mocking comment. They invariably apply the label “conspiracy theory” in order to denigrate a book and put readers off. Carragher manages to squeeze that tired pejorative into his review six or seven times. Can that be a troll record on Amazon? He clearly has a broad knowledge of war history, but unfortunately it has been garnered from books that simply churn out the falsehoods created by English court historians. Having read all of those books Carragher knows for sure that Germany was responsible for the war, knows for sure that Britain could not possibly be responsible. Everything he has read tells him we are mistaken. Cognitive dissonance prevents him from opening his mind to any other possibility. How dare we write something that challenges his knowledge and everything he assumes to be true. Is it self-righteous indignation against those who challenge his assumptions that causes him to devote time to writing troll attacks on Amazon, or is there another reason behind it?

People who have actually read the book and commended it on Amazon are, according to Carragher’s fellow trolls, either ‘fascists’ or ‘communists’. Their message is clear, a book which appeals to ‘fascists’ or ‘communists’ must surely have been written by fascists or communists. The book is certainly touching the raw nerves of staunch British war guilt deniers. The ‘conspiracy theory’ pejorative is a refuge for the uninformed or, as Professor James F Tracy states, a disciplinary device used to place certain events off limits to debate and to prevent legitimate questions being asked about dubious official narratives. ‘I am unconvinced’, Tracy writes ‘that interest in or acceptance of “conspiracy theories” has any correlation with a lack of intelligence or education. In fact, some recent research suggests that entertaining conspiratorial explanations of reality-meaning that one does not take what their political leaders offer as explanations of policies or events-is likely indicative of a higher intelligence and simply good citizenship.’ Thankfully, more and more people across the world are displaying that good citizenship, questioning their political masters and academics, and no longer prepared to be treated like sheep. Will Carragher be swayed by this? Of course not! Professor Tracy himself is a ‘conspiracy theorist’ isn’t he?

2 of 2 people think this post adds to the discussion.

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 8:46:11 AM PDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

Let us take Troll carragher’s points one by one:

‘(1) One looks in vain for either “Docherty” or “Macgregor” in their own bibliography, which one assuredly would find if “The history of the First World War is a deliberately concocted lie”, as they claim.’

Docherty and Macgregor are too ‘bean brained’, as Carragher terms it, to understand his point. Authors do not include the title of the book currently being written in the bibliography of that book.

(2) ‘…journals would have been eager to publish a paper exposing this lie, and the book would have the endorsement of historians. Its authors’ “explanation” for the absence of such endorsement is that the conspiracy to suppress the truth extends to academia…’

In the real world the exact opposite is the case. Step outside parameters acceptable to the establishment and the oxygen of publicity is withdrawn. Our book sells extremely well despite the fact that it has been totally blanked by the mainstream press and journals in Britain. Our literary agent says he has never known anything like it in over 40 years in the publishing business. That is the reality for writers who challenge the received history. Carragher’s efforts as a troll to damage books which question the official narrative are but a mere irritation. The more ferocious the attack the more reassured writers can be that they are on the correct lines.

Regarding ‘the endorsement of historians.’ We are in communication with a number of historians who support our thesis. Academics are well aware, however, that their careers can be ruined for seriously challenging the received history. Guido Preparata, for example, a brave historian who wrote ‘Conjuring Hitler’ about banks and big business in America financing the rise of Hitler, (an essential read for all truth seekers) was forced out of his university and his career.

(3) ‘Docherty & Macgregor’s thesis is that Great Britain engineered the Great War in order to destroy Germany. This dead horse has been flogged intermittently for a century now, ever since Roger Casement’s The Crime Against Europe. While no historian would claim that Germany was solely responsible, the notion that Britain was remains risible.’

A dead horse has indeed been flogged for a century, but not the one that Carragher implies. In stating that no historian would claim Germany responsible, he truly displays his ignorance of the historiography. What about Sir Max Hastings, Professor John Rohl, Dr Annika Mombauer, Professor Garry Sheffield, Dr Catriona Pennel or Professor David Stevenson?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26048324

What about Professor Hew Strachan or Professor Norman Stone among others?

He should name the books which blame Britain. Point them out so that others with an open mind can read them.

(4) The immense power of the Milner-Rothschild group was typical of the time-across the Atlantic JP Morgan sorted out the Panic of 1907, if not quite literally out of his own pocket, by his wealth and the power that always goes with that. This was a paternalistic age, that of the great oligarchs but also the great philanthropists…’

And if Carragher agrees with that he will agree with anything. Can we point him in the direction of the works of Mathew Josephson, Ida Tarbell, Walter W Ligget, Giovanni Arrighi, Burton Folsom and Jack London to name but a few?

(5) ‘Eric Hobsbawm observes: “The most usual ideological abuse of history is based on anachronism rather than lies.” Docherty & Macgregor bring both ideology and anachronism to their treatment of the past and if they don’t tell lies, they don’t tell the whole truth. They omit to mention that Rhodes was an admirer of Germany and that the Rhodes Scholarship was open to Germans as well as Americans. Rhodes’ belief was that “a good understanding between England, Germany and [the USA would] secure the peace of the world” ‘

Hobsbawm is an apt individual for Carragher to present as his paragon of intellectual and academic integrity. According to Pryce-Jones, he ‘steadily corrupted knowledge into propaganda, and scorned the concept of objective truth, he was neither a historian nor professional.’

On page 210 we write, ‘Rhodes Scholarships favoured American students, with one hundred allocated there, two for each of the fifty states and territories, whereas a total of sixty were made available for the entire British Empire.’ The fact that we didn’t mention one place available to a German student is being construed by Carragher as an ‘abuse of history’. In any case, according to Professor Quigley, the Rhodes scholarships had nothing to do with improving relations with Germany, but were ‘merely a façade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out its purpose.’ [Quigley The Anglo-American Establishment, p 33] Its purpose was to take control of the world, and in order to realise that purpose they had first to destroy Germany, not promote a good understanding with it.

We have found no evidence whatsoever in all of Rhodes’s nefarious activities over the years that he was ‘an admirer of Germany.’ ‘Jealous of Germany’ would be a more apt term. His desire was to federate the English-speaking people and to bring all habitable portions of the world under their control. For that purpose he left part of his great fortune to found the scholarships ‘in order to spread the English ruling class traditions throughout the English speaking world as Ruskin had wanted.’ [Quigley, Tragedy & Hope, p131] In the final analysis it is immaterial whether or not Rhodes admired Germany. His role as leader of the Secret Elite effectively ended in 1895 following his part in the botched Jameson Raid into the Transvaal. Rhodes was dead and buried before the the new leader, Lord Alfred Milner, and the cabal set out their plan to destroy Germany.

There is likewise no evidence that Rhodes desired ‘the peace of the world.’ Quite the contrary. The word ‘peace’ may have been written into his will, but the will was a sham in terms of altruistic intent. This ‘peace loving man’ sent his British South Africa Company’s private army rampaging across Southern Africa to secure riches and tribal lands through the slaughter of thousands of tribal African’s with machine guns. The ‘peace-loving’ Rhodes encouraged war on the Boer farmers , the the destruction of tens of thousands of their farms and the slaughter of their livestock. Indeed, two years before his death in 1902, he reprimanded WT Stead for his opposition to the war. Rhodes raised no voice of objection against the horrors of the British concentration camps wherein some 20,000 children died. ‘Secure the peace of the world? Give us a break.

(6) ‘Along with selectivity of truth goes shameless bias. (that’s rich coming from him) The British are presented as the most heinous imperial oppressors; in fact the Germans make them look like altar boys-see David Olusoga and Casper W Erichsen, The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide.’

‘Selectivity of truth’? ‘Shameless bias’ ? Carragher is not opposed to conspiracy theory, he breaths it. Olusoga and Erichsen’s book sits on our ‘atrocities’ book-shelve with Conan Doyle’s The Crime of the Congo, Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost, E D Morel’s King Leopold’s Rule in Africa and John Doyle Klier’s Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russia. They describe the harrowing atrocities, despicable racism and religious bigotry against which we have campaigned our entire lives. Kaiser Wilhelm, King Leopold, Queen Victoria and her son, King Edward V11, can all roast in hell for their crimes against the people of Africa. Our book describes British atrocities in South Africa not because we are shamelessly biased in favour of Germany, but because it was entirely pertinent to our chronicling of Secret Elite activities from 1890 to 1914. In any case, Germany’s undoubted colonial atrocities in South West Africa do not alter the fact that Britain, not Germany, was responsible for the First World War. Carragher should stop clutching at straws and address the big issues we discuss in the book.

(7) ‘Historians see the change rather in terms of the Reinsurance Treaty being allowed to lapse, and the displacement of Bismarck’s kleindeutschland policy by the Kaiser’s weltpolitik.’

We’ll pass on that guff since Mr Hof has comprehensively dealt with it.

(8) ‘Docherty & Macgregor …give ostentatiously respectful credit to Quigley, “one of the twentieth century’s most highly respected historians.”‘

Ostentatiously respectful credit? Carragher truly is clutching at straws in his efforts to denigrate our work. He may not know it, but Carroll Quigley is one of the twentieth century’s most famous and highly respected historians. Full stop. His revelations that a powerful, secret cabal was controlling Britain make Carragher uneasy because they do square with his bizarre and distorted historical perspective.

(8) ‘They convey the impression that Professor Quigley is nodding benevolently down on their endeavour from whatever heaven good historians go to. This takes some chutzpah, given that the late professor took great umbrage to his work being hijacked to support far-fetched notions with which he definitely would not agree.’

Professor Quigley was indeed vexed that his work was being hijacked to support far-fetched notions. Notions such as Carragher’s that Britain was controlled by a peace-loving, democratic body that only went to war in order to defend little Belgium. The professor encouraged others to follow the markers he set down and that is exactly what we have done. We discuss the enigma that is Carroll Quigley in revealing the secret society and its nefarious aims, yet saying he agreed with those aims. The only thing we convey about Quigley is our clearly stated view that he was frightened of the consequences of his revelations. He suggested as much in a radio interview, and would not allow The Anglo-American Establishment to be published during his lifetime. Presumably through fear of repercussions.

(9)’According to Quigley, the Milner Group (Docherty & Macgregor’s “Secret Elite”) “had great influence but not control of political life.”‘

Quigley wrote that the methods of the all-powerful secret cabal could be summed up as ‘a triple-front penetration in politics, education and journalism; the recruitment of men of ability, chiefly from All Souls and by linking them through matrimonial alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and by the influencing of public policy by placing members in positions of power, shielded as much as possible from public attention.’ [A-AE, p 15] ‘No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner Group accomplished in Britain – that is, that a small number of men should be able to wield such power in administration and politics…’ [A-AE p197] But don’t take Carragher’s word or our word for it, read Quigley for yourself and witness the overwhelming control the Secret Elite exerted over politics, the press, the banks, industry, education, Oxford University and the writing of history. His entire book, The Anglo-American Establishment, is dedicated to revealing just that.

(10) ‘Given their misrepresentation of the views of a bona fide historian, imagine the damage these fellows can do with the works of, for example, Harry Elmer Barnes, long exposed as having been in the pay of Zentralstelle für Erforschung der Kriegshuldfrage, established by Weimar to exonerate Germany of any responsibility for the Great War?’

As ever, reactionaries trot out this old canard to blacken Professor Barnes and make him appear devious and dishonest. In the 1920s Germany commissioned a historical analysis of the war’s origins. Why on earth shouldn’t she? She was innocent. Harry Elmer Barnes, a man of recognised honesty and integrity from an erstwhile enemy country, no less, was invited to do it. He accepted, examined the evidence in all countries, discovered that Germany was indeed innocent, and wrote books on his findings. His ‘The Genesis of The World War’ and ‘In Quest of Truth and Justice’ are two of the most important books ever written on the First World War, and the very reason Carragher and his mob so determinedly attempt to blacken them. Like Guido Preparata, a generation or two later, for publishing his honest findings and speaking truth to power, Professor Barnes was targeted by that power and his reputation trashed. Another demonstration of the truism that the closer genuine historical researchers get to the truth, the more vociferous are the attacks they face. If the British Establishment and its attack dogs like Carragher are not attacking, you know you are following a cold trail. Carragher should put down his blinkered spectacles and attempt to overcome his cognitive dissonance. He would find it very liberating. His pathetic attempt to make it appear that Barnes abused his role as an academic historian and lied to exonerate his paymasters tells us more about his activities than it does anything about that courageous and honest historian. Truth seekers should have no qualms about reading Barnes’s work, indeed they must.

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Posted on Aug 21, 2014 8:53:49 AM PDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

(11) ‘To support their notion that the “Secret Elite” engineered the Great War Docherty & Macgregor purport that Belgium had made a secret alliance with Britain. This is an extraordinary claim so one looks for extraordinary support for it. What evidence that Belgium abandoned its internationally-guaranteed constitutional neutrality without anyone in the Brussels parliament or indeed across Europe managing to notice?’

The reason people in the Brussels parliament and across Europe didn’t know about the alliance clearly has to be spelled out for Carragher. The clue is in the name SECRET alliance. A secret is information kept from, or not known about, by others. Carragher feigns incredulity that secrets could be kept from the Belgian parliament. Were the MPs there somehow less gullible than British MPs who accepted the repeated lies over the years from the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary that Britain had no secret alliances. Indeed more than half the membres of the British cabinet had no idea about the shared activities between Britain and France, and between Britain and Belgium.

That’s why they are known as the SECRET alliances, Mr Carragher.

(12) ‘… Why, the unassailable testimony of Alexander Fuehr in his majestic tome, The Neutrality of Belgium…’ etc.

Carragher throws in sarcasm for good measure, and attempts to denigrate the work of Alexander Fuehr. Why? What important message does Fuehr have that requires silencing?

‘…England’s real reasons for going to war with Germany had nothing to do with Belgium’s neutrality. …The fact is that England did not draw the sword for Belgium, but that Belgium is fighting for England. …The frequent notes of moral indignation, the constant references to the national honor and the reiterated assurances that Belgium had always lived up to her international obligations, displayed in those official documents, fall flat now, after the world has learned something about the Belgian Government’s illicit ante-bellum relations. It is obvious that its course of action could not have been determined by any considerations of Belgium’s national honor, but merely by the obligations which, contrary to international law, it had assumed toward England and France. Nevertheless, the question arises: what did the Belgian Government, in carrying out those obligations, expect? Could it reasonably hope and did it really expect successfully to stop the advance of the German army, with the aid of its secret allies…’

[Alexander Fuehr, The neutrality of Belgium ch V. http://www.gwpda.org/memoir/belgneut/BelgC05.htm#5.79 ]

Britain and Belgium were secret allies, according to Fuehr so Carragher attempts to denigrate him with this nasty little sting in his tail:

‘ Herr Fuehr might, just might, have been a German stooge.’

So, Fuehr and Barnes, and presumably ourselves and all others who present evidence of Germany’s innocence might just be ‘German stooges’. On the other hand, Oxford historians beholden to the very men responsible for the war, and who proclaimed Britain’s innocence at every turn, are paragons of honesty and integrity. This from the man who has the temerity to accuse us of being selective with the truth and shamelessly biased.

Let’s see if there are any other ‘German stooges’ suggesting a secret Anglo-Belgian alliance. Canadian Professor J S Ewart revealed that just as Britain had a secret military alliance with France, so she had with Belgium. In 1906 senior British and Belgian army officers began preparing together for the war. Britain would send 100,000 men across the Channel. Planning and preparation were carried out in secrecy, no agreement committed to paper. Agreements reached between General Ducarne, the Chief of the Belgian General Staff, the British General Staff and the British Minister responsible, were to be known only to them. During the Secret Elite’s remorseless countdown to war, the details were worked out in ever greater precision. Belgium was assured that within twelve or thirteen days, two British army corps, four cavalry brigades, and two brigades of mounted infantry would be landed. British Military Attaché, Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston, assured the Belgians that half the British army could actually be landed within eight days. Everything was prepared down to fine detail, including intermediary officers, interpreters, maps, uniforms, hospital accommodation for the wounded, etc. By 1912 the new Military Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Bridges was able to assure Brussels that Britain now had available for dispatch to Belgium an army composed of six divisions of infantry and and eight brigades of cavalry. [JS Ewart, The Roots and Causes of the Wars, pp 542-43.]

What about the famous American war historian, Professor Sidney B Fay? Carragher likewise dismisses him and appears to consider him yet another ‘German stooge’. Fay tells us that in 1906 the Secretary of State for War, Lord Haldane, began secret preparations for war together with General Grierson of the British General Staff and French Military Attaché, Colonel Huguet. In the course of those Anglo-French joint military preparations, British and French Staff Officers carefully studied the ground upon which the armies were to fight, not only in France but in Belgium. Senior British officer Sir Henry Wilson, who was deeply in the secrets of the French General Staff, and Director of Military Operations no less, spent summer holidays on his bicycle reconnoitring the Belgian countryside. A gigantic map of Belgium covered the whole wall of his London Office highlighting roads the British army might follow. When asked by Count Metternich from the German embassy in London what was going on, Minister for War, Haldane, replied that a military convention between France and England did not exist, had never existed, and that no plans were in place for the conclusion of one. He claimed not to know of any conversations that had taken place between English and French officers to prepare military arrangements. [Fay, The Origins of the World War, pp. 212-13]

Henry Wilson was reconnoitring southern Belgium around Namur in August 1908. And again in August 1909 when he cycled the area around Mons. In January 1911 he was back in Brussels and met with members of the Belgian General Staff before driving around Namur. The following month he was back again in southern Belgium, and in October was back yet again cycling the zone south of the Meuse. What does Carragher think senior British officers were doing so often in Belgium and meeting with their General Staff, planning to rob a sweet shop on Rue des Bouchers?

(13) “The entry of the English into Belgium would take place only after the violation of our neutrality by Germany….The Belgian field force of 150,000 was pitifully small, not the sinister menace to Germany and its millionenheer armies that Docherty & Macgregor pretend.

Yet again Carragher conjures false accusations to discredit our work. The vast, vast majority of Belgians were brave, innocent and perfectly entitled to defend their homeland against invasion. They were never a ‘sinister menace to Germany’, and we have never ‘pretended’ that they were. ‘The German invasion of Belgium furnished Sir Edward Grey with his popular-appealing reason for entering the war. He was anxious that he should not be deprived of it by Belgian submission and urged them to resist.’ [Ewart 137]

Germany offered to respect Belgian neutrality if Britain agreed to remain neutral, but Grey declined without even mentioning it to the cabinet or parliament. The ‘sinister menace’ to Germany was not the Belgian army, but Sir Edward Grey and his puppet masters behind the scenes in London. ‘The German invasion of Belgium was not the cause of the war; the invasion of Belgium was not unexpected, the invasion of Belgium did not shock the moral susceptibilities of either the British or French governments. To colour the picture with the pigment of falsehood so as to excite popular indignation was imperative, and it was done with complete success.’ [A Ponsonby, Falsehood in Wartime, p. 56] In any case, as Professor Niall Ferguson states, If Germany had not invaded Belgium, Britain would have.

(14) ‘Many of the claims made in this book are bizarre-at best-and the authors repeatedly go far beyond what evidence supports. Indeed, they come close to endorsing Ché’s dismissal of evidence as “unimportant bourgeois detail”: “Those who consider that the only true history is that which can be evidenced to the last letter necessarily constrain their parameters” (D&M, p 360)This line chimes with those from one of the most dangerous books of the twentieth century…’

Carragher tears one sentence from its context to make it appear that we have a complete disregard for evidence to support our work. He then uses further underhand tactics to link us to ‘one of the most dangerous books of the twentieth century.’ Read the entire page in which the sentence properly sits, and the entire chapter titled ‘Lies, Myths and Stolen History’ and you will see that in lifting the sentence out of context, Troll Carragher is the real danger to truth. The chapter reveals how hundreds of thousand of documents in all countries across Europe which specifically related to the war’s true origins, were removed by an agent of the very men in London who were responsible for the war.

Throughout 1919, and at enormous cost, Herbert Hoover enlisted one thousand men (recently demobbed US officers, including 15 history professors) to scour Europe and remove the secret war documents of all belligerents. They included the complete minutes of the German Supreme War Council which would undoubtedly prove to the world that Germany was not responsible for the war. They were shipped to the west coast of America and hidden away under lock and key from prying eyes. It is explained away with the incredible assertion that Herbert Hoover simply wanted to preserve them for posterity. As the chapter explains, it was the grand theft of European history pertaining to the causes of the First World War, but we have yet to come across a mainstream British, French or American historian who refers to it. Carragher, of course, also totally blanks this astonishing fact in order to concentrate on his devious and despicable troll activities.

The chapter also explains how huge gaps exist in the official archives of the British Cabinet, Foreign Office, War Office and Committee of Imperial Defence for crucial weeks and months before and after the war began. This is no coincidence. The Guardian, considered Britain’s leading quality newspaper, recently reported that millions of these important documents are being kept locked away from historians in a large, high security establishment, Hanslope Park, north of London. One hundred years since the war began and the British Establishment still needs to keep the truth hidden.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/18/foreign-office-historic-files-secret-archive

Insofar as we are aware, never at any time over the past 100 years has any British historian mentioned, let alone questioned, what happened to the massive quantities of documents missing from the British archives. Documents which are undoubtedly crucial to a true understanding of the war’s origins. Carragher apparently knew nothing of this, so when Mr Hof revealed it to him (see above postings) what was his response? Shock? Indignation that the Brits could be so devious? Clamouring for immediate release of the documents in the name of honesty and truth? No! None of these. He swats the astonishing revelation aside with, ‘When the Hanslope Park archive is transferred to the PRO it will be examined by historians who will amend their understanding of the past in light of what they find…’

Astonishing, truly astonishing. Carragher is dismissive of the notion that the conspiracy to suppress the truth about the origins of the First World extends into academic circles in Britain, so who are we to argue? The response of an enlightened Irish academic, Anthony Coughlan, is more to the point:

‘So much for British historians doing due diligence on their sources. If one cannot spot the filching of 1.2 million documents, and draw attention to the implications of such a gap in the official record, British historians surely need to re-assess their methodology. In effect, most conventional British historians have lost their credibility regarding the origins of World War 1.’

This then is the context in which sat our little sentence to which Carragher has attributed such evil intent. The point he cannot accept, wants to hide, is that the truth cannot possibly be evidenced to the last letter because those responsible for the war removed so much of the evidence. While mainstream British academics have purposefully ignored the above astonishing facts, genuine independent historical investigators are now building a true picture of the war using circumstantial evidence. It is a fact that Carragher and his ilk had best get used to. Circumstantial evidence will doubtless be unacceptable to our troll, but for hundreds of years lawyers have successfully applied in the criminal courts and many murderers have faced capital punishment on the strength of it. Lawyers talk about a cable analogy in circumstantial evidence. A cable made up of many strands which individually are not particularly strong, but the more strands which are applied to the cabal the stronger it becomes.

1 of 1 people think this post adds to the discussion.

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 9:15:29 AM PDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

(15) ‘Denis Winter’s creative use of footnotes in Haig’s Command helped expose that book as cheap character assassination and permanently discredited its author. Guess who cites it? Our intrepid duo.’

Guess who reviewed it? Our intrepid troll Carragher. He gave this ‘cheap character assassination’ book (he certainly knows a thing or two about character assassination) and ‘discredited author’ the top five stars on his review of the book on Amazon.

Carragher wrote:

‘A meticulously researched book … Winters backs his claim up with over twenty pages of end notes. Most disturbingly he was forced to do much of his research in the war records offices of Canberra and Ottawa because British archives, he claims, were “mysteriously” closed to him. Indeed, as part of his thesis he claims that the entire Official History was written to justify how the British High Command had conducted the war, and that an historian who was to have written an accompanying “popular history” was undermined and sacked when his version proved politically unacceptable. …a sombre and disturbing book that cannot be cast aside in the name of patriotism, loyalty or anything else.’

Denis Winter is far from being the first to find British archives closed to him, and will not be the last. The historian D’Ombrain noted that records were removed from the files by unknown persons as he was actually carrying out his research. Thanks to the Guardian article we now know that 100 years after the event, the British Government is still hiding such documents away under high security. If the Carragher thesis that Britain was a sweet, innocent country that went to war simply to support poor little Belgium is correct, why the need to conceal anything? Winter’s assertion that “the entire Official History was written to justify how the British High Command had conducted the war” was on the button and the very reason his superb book has been vigorously attacked by British Establishment trolls. What does Carragher’s astonishing 180 degree turn in his opinion of the book tell us? Purchase it and decide for yourself. Haig’s Command is yet another essential read.

(16) ‘…a little guilt-by-association can do Docherty & Macgregor’s thesis no harm.’

Well he certainly knows a thing or two about that bearded trick, since apportioning ‘guilt by association’ is clearly a Carragher forte. Witness how he subtly drops Mein Kamf and David Irving into his odious review of our book. Docherty and Macgregor, you see, are indeed nasty fascist conspiracy theorists and holocaust deniers to boot. Do not listen to a word they say. Carragher would not dare express this outright because he knows we would kick his ass straight into the civil courts. Like all trolls he is a coward. He resorts to cheap innuendo and implies guilt by association to fascism, while hiding behind the anonymity of the Amazon pages.

(17) ‘Given that it more than anything else contradicts their own hypothesis, Docherty & Macgregor pass over the Fischer Hypothesis with suspicious haste, in a bare half page. It was, we are assured, “demolished” by Professor Marc Tractenberg (D&M, p 355).The Fischer Hypothesis isn’t even dented by this pedantic nit-picking, far less “demolished”.’

What a surprise. Carragher is a Fischer fan and accepts his now now mangled thesis of German war guilt. Fischer was German historian who claimed that in early July 1914 the Germans had decided to start a continental war. British war guilt deniers were ecstatic when the book was published in 1961. If the Fischer thesis ‘more than anything else’ is Carragher’s ace card to trump our hypothesis then he truly is floundering. And, if Trachtenberg was merely pedantically ‘nit-picking in his dismissal of Fischer, he must surely be an awesome sight in full frontal attack.

For a summary see: http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=303

If Carragher won’t accept Trachtenberg’s word, how about Gerhard Ritter or Egmont Zechlin or Hans Mommesen or Sir Herbert Butterfield or Niall Ferguson, to name but a few? They will, of course, all be ‘German stooges’.

Niall Ferguson writes: ‘According to Fritz Fischer and his pupils they (Germans) were every bit as radical as the British Germanophobes feared. The war was an attempt ” to realise Germany’s political ambitions, which may be summed up as German hegemony over Europe” through annexations of French, Belgian and possibly Russian territory. …Yet there is a fundamental flaw in Fischer’s reasoning which too many historians have let pass. It is the assumption that Germany’s aims as stated after the war had begun, were the same as German aims beforehand. …But the inescapable fact is that no evidence has ever been found by Fischer and his pupils that these objectives existed before (his italics) Britain’s entry into the war. … All that Fischer can produce are a few Pan-Germans and businessmen, none of which had any official status…’ [Niall Ferguson, The Pity of War, pp 169-70.]

Carragher quotes the Hobsbawm view that ‘The most usual ideological abuse of history is based on anachronism.’ Indeed, and that is exactly what Fischer based his abuse of history on. What Carragher and his ilk cannot stomach is the proof that Germany had no ‘war aims’ prior to August 1914 for the very straightforward reason that she had no interest in a war. After being forced into a defensive war by the Russian and French mobilisations, she quite naturally and properly developed war aims. All countries did. Fischer has lost all credibility apart from a few British historians and apologists like Carragher who grimly cling to one of the few remaining props that shore up the crumbling walls of their myth. Why did Fischer concoct such lies and damning indictment of his own country? Historian, Professor Hans Fenske relates in a personal communication that in 1933 Fischer joined the so-called Sturmabteilung, the armed branch of the NSDAP. This helped promote his career to extraordinary professor of history at the university of Hamburg in 1942. His ‘Griff nach der Weltmacht’ (Germany’s Aims in the First World War)was an effort to dissociate himself from his Nazi past.

So, fascists are after all making an appearance here, and guess who supports them?

(18) “The Secret Elite controlled the writing and teaching of history [notably through] Oxford University” (D&M, p 353); but Oxford no longer holds the sway that it did…’

Few if any historians in England to this day are brave enough to speak out against the English orthodoxy or the word of the ’eminent’ Oxford professors past or present – the court historians who fabricated the history of the war to suit the agenda of their paymasters. That fabricated history – that conspiracy theory – is still taught to this day in English universities and schools. Are their any English Fritz Fischer’s out there prepared to challenge the English orthodoxy? None!. As the historian Murray Rothbard succinctly put it, ‘historical revisionism was an antidote to the dominant influences exerted by corrupt ‘court intellectuals’ over mainstream historical narrative. Mainstream historians distorted the historical record in exchange for power, prestige and loot. The task of revisionists is to penetrate the fog of lies and deception of these court historians and to present true history to the people.’

It comes as no surprise that Carragher fails to mention that the outrageous abuse of the historical record took place not in Germany, but in Britain. Professor Carroll Quigley devotes an entire chapter to the Secret Elite’s control of Oxford University, All Souls College in particular, and through that their control over the writing and teaching of history. He wrote: ‘No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner group accomplished – that is, that a small number of men…should be able to monopolize so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.’ [A-AE, p 197]

In our blog during the month of August we roll out Quigley’s research on Secret Elite control of Oxford, and name the court historians who falsified history in order to exonerate Britain. The Elites funded the professorships, appointed the professors, and ensured that what came out of Oxford followed their narrative. [firstworldwarhiddenhistory.wordpress.com ]

(19) ‘…why don’t either or both of these gentlemen enrol [at university] and get academic imprimatur on their work?

No thank you. We already have university degrees, and it has become very evident to us that a degree in history from an English university does not necessarily make for an honest or open historian.

And finally,

(20) Just down the road from them is the University of Dundee, where they will find Dr John Regan, not renowned for his Anglophilia, and he will be happy, I’m rather sure, to get any genuine dirt on Henry Wilson and Perfidious Albion. “History”, he says, “is about challenging the past and historians”, and Docherty and Macgregor certainly do that.’

Academic historians in Britain happily talk the talk, but seldom walk the walk. Carragher seems to know rather a lot about Dr Regan so let him arrange a meeting and we will be more than happy and willing to debate our work with him – or indeed with any other historian on any other platform. If Carragher has any confidence in his own knowledge base, he should forward his email address and stop hiding behind the curtain of anonymity at Amazon. We won’t hold our breath.

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Wow! Dr. Mac takes Michael Carragher to the woodshed. The literary spanking administered by Dr. Mac to Mr. Carragher is unsurpassed and never more deserved. The best option for Mr. Carragher at this point is a tactical retreat to contemplate his increasingly uncertain future as a reviewer of books.

In reply to an earlier poston 19 Aug 2014 11:15:39 BDT

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

Any issue I take as a reviewer is with a book, not its author or authors, and any book that purports to support its case by drawing on long-discredited sources like Harry Elmer Barnes is immediately suspect. If the same book misrepresents the views of a more creditable author like Carroll Quigley it becomes gravely more suspect. If it fails to place its thesis in the context of current scholarship (addressing some of the salient books, journal articles and doctrinal theses of say the last decade), it forfeits any putative claim to be taken as history. If it tries to dismiss the main impediment to its thesis (the Fischer Hypothesis, in this case) in a half page and a short, grossly overstated single reference, it becomes safe to dismiss it as pretentious at best, and likely much worse.

I make no judgement on its authors; merely on their book. What I read I call for what it is, and what I read is what the authors wrote. There’s a difference between not pulling your punches and “intentionally insulting”.

I don’t propose to reprise my review; sufficient to reiterate that Hidden History is a bad book. It puts forward an account of the past at odds with that which is currently understood, and it “defends” this alternative, not as historians do, with evidence that can be sourced (and whose sources, when checked, back up the claims), but with flagrant misrepresentation, sophistry and bluff.

All these ploys make Hidden History a bad book indeed, and I have a right as a reviewer, if not a responsibility as an historian, to make this robustly and unambiguously clear in order to dissuade potential readers, who may be beguiled by its misuse of sources, and other flimflam, from swallowing its nonsense. If telling the truth makes me a troll, I thank Dr Mac for his compliment.

Dr Mac’s use of words like “calumny” and terms like “cognitive dissonance” makes one suspect that his PhD was not in English Literature or the language in which this is written, any more than it was in history, so maybe he misunderstands “troll”. (Or maybe he imagines that I can be intimidated by anyone who throws cheap buzz-words from behind a user-name.)

His powers of comprehension, if not his very reading skills, are far below what one would seem entitled to expect of any post-graduate, even in these days of grade-inflation: “Carragher knows for sure that Germany was responsible for the war” is abjectly at odds with what I wrote: “While no historian would claim that Germany was solely responsible…” Nor did I ever call anyone either fascist or communist.

But why let facts get in the way of a good ad hominem attack, any more than in the way of a good conspiracy theory?

The idea that Chris Clark is an “English court historian” shows the binary thinking of the conspiracy theorist. Professor Clark is Australian and ever since Charles Bean Australian historians tend to have been critical of, if not hostile toward, Britain’s management of the Great War. Furthermore, Clark is known as something of a Germanophile. Presumably any historian who doesn’t support the beliefs of Dr Mac is an “English court historian”, Germanophiles and even Germans (like Fritz Fischer) included.

As for “prevent[ing] legitimate questions being asked about dubious official narratives”: I have already made clear that like any historian I look forward to the opening of the Hanslope Park Archive and exploration of what it may contain in order to improve our understanding of the past; “questioning … political masters and academics” is a very good thing indeed, and swallowing unsubstantiated nonsense is always bad, as we saw in Germany between the wars and as we see in conspiracy theorists today. Questioning is what historians do; it’s said that if you aren’t occasionally surprised by what your research reveals, you aren’t doing your job. Mining the records for what supports your prejudice, and selectively quoting from what you find, is what conspiracy theorists do.

Should the good doctor wish to address any of the actual points made in my review, rather than distorting and misrepresenting them, I will be happy to engage with him. But I have far better things to do than give oxygen to conspiracy theorists so will ignore any further ad hominem attacks, non sequiturs and other fallacies, rhetorical evasions, misrepresentation and cant.

0 of 2 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 21 Aug 2014 09:23:27 BDT

Last edited by the author on 21 Aug 2014 09:29:58 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

From his disparaging and derogatory “review” of my own book, Our Century, I have learned that in responding to Mr. Carragher, it is always necessary to begin with a correction of his numerous errors of fact. Mr. Carragher writes:

“The idea that Chris Clark is an `English court historian’ shows the binary thinking of the conspiracy theorist.”

No one has charged Christopher Clark with being an “English court historian.” In fact, I gave Mr. Clark a five-star review and called his book (The Sleepwalkers) the best book on WW1 I have thus far read.

Then Mr. Carragher writes:

“I make no judgement on its authors; merely on their book. What I read I call for what it is, and what I read is what the authors wrote. There’s a difference between not pulling your punches and `intentionally insulting'”.

Perhaps Mr. Carrager would like to explain his description of Hidden History as:

“. . . merely more plausible than the paranoid postings of twitching lunatics holed up in cabins and caves, with enough assault-rifles to defend a small republic and more bullets and beans than brains.”

Or consider his insulting and derogatory judgment of Professor Harry Elmer Barnes who has the singular distinction of having authored a trail-blazing book which radically and permanently altered the historical consensus on the cause of World War 1.

In case you’re wondering, here is the theory on WW1, carefully cleansed and shorn of all smelly, underhanded conspiracy as Mr. Carragher would presumably have it:

Having cobbled together the largest Empire in the history of the world with bullets, boots, and battleships, British fortunes sank to a low ebb after the successful gold and diamond heist against the Boer Republics. It was decided that “splendid isolation” was no longer splendid and Great Britain resolved to live at peace with her neighbors. With this in mind, King Edward VII and Foreign Secretary Edward Grey concluded Ententes with both members of the explicitly anti-German Franco-Russian Alliance. With Edward VII clearing the diplomatic ground with his royal gravitas and Sir Edward following behind to cross the t’s and dot the I’s, massive concessions with regard to Morocco, Siam, and Persia (for which Britain would earlier have gone to war), re-aligned the British ship of state with Paris and St. Petersburg. German worries about encirclement were airily dismissed while Grey actively opposed any rapprochement with Germany and conducted intensive and detailed military “conversations” with France and Belgium – all kept meticulously secret from the Cabinet and Parliament and, of course, the people. Thus did the two Edwards – King and Lord – transform the moribund Franco-Russian Alliance into the very potent Triple Entente.

Of course, when the Austrian Archduke and his wife were murdered in Sarajevo, British leaders recognized that while this was serious, they had faith in the strenuous efforts of the indefatigable Sir Edward to preserve the peace.

But wait a minute! In early August there were reports that German troops had crossed the Belgian frontier. OMIGOSH! What was poor England to do? After all, the treaty of 1839 obliged the signatories to observe Belgian neutrality. True, the treaty did not require military intervention, and true, Belgium had merely requested diplomatic intervention. And true, British observance of past treaties had not exactly been sterling – the Act of Algeciras being the most recent example.

But British leaders were determined to do the right thing this time. Yessir! They would consider the treaty in its most extreme interpretation of “armed” intervention. Thus overcome with feelings of nobility and gallantry with not a wicked thought in their hearts, they sent Tommy Atkins cross-Channel to uphold the honor of Belgium even if – HORRORS! – this entailed a war with Germany.

It is astonishing but true that many if not most Britons (and at least one Irishman) cling to this ridiculous view a hundred years later and reject any other as a “conspiracy theory” even while accepting provably false theories like the Fischer thesis. If nothing else, this is eloquent testimony to the towering success of the Secret Elite. I cannot do better than the description of Michael Carragher as offered by Dr. Mac (above). It is eloquent in its brevity and accuracy. To wit:

“The educated, eloquent troll such as Carragher has a penchant for veiled calumny, insulting innuendo and mocking comment. They invariably apply the label “conspiracy theory” in order to denigrate a book and put readers off. Carragher manages to squeeze that tired pejorative into his review six or seven times. Can that be a troll record on Amazon? He clearly has a broad knowledge of war history, but unfortunately it has been garnered from books that simply churn out the falsehoods created by English court historians. Having read all of those books Carragher knows for sure that Germany was responsible for the war, knows for sure that Britain could not possibly be responsible. Everything he has read tells him we are mistaken. Cognitive dissonance prevents him from opening his mind to any other possibility. How dare we write something that challenges his knowledge and everything he assumes to be true. Is it self-righteous indignation against those who challenge his assumptions that causes him to devote time to writing troll attacks on Amazon, or is there another reason behind it?”

Indeed. But Mr. Carragher is not deterred. He writes that “I don’t propose to reprise my review” and “I have a right as a reviewer, if not a responsibility as an historian, to make this robustly and unambiguously clear in order to dissuade potential readers, who may be beguiled by its misuse of sources, and other flimflam, from swallowing its nonsense.”

Mr. Carragher should know that my “right” and “responsibility” are the same as his and I will return the favor in full measure and then some. Even at this late date, Mr. Carragher has yet to state a single reasoned critique. Cogent argument will be replied to in kind, but if he continues in this trollish vein, his bad reviews will inevitably be seen as recommendations, whilst his good reviews will cause the book to be ignored. Call it poetic justice.

Meanwhile, to those who still consider Germany wholly or mostly responsible, “Hidden History” will come like the monsoon rains to a parched desert. They should not allow themselves to be dissuaded by the likes of Michael Carragher.

1 of 1 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 25 Aug 2014 15:46:05 BDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

[READER NOTE: Dr Mac’s comments at Amazon.com are included here.]

Please see Amazon.com where I did indeed address every point Carragher made in his review. Apart from one, however, he failed to engage with some twenty points I raised, for the simple reason that he was completely wrong on all counts and could not answer them. Yet again, despite pleading that he does not throw persoanl insults, we have further obnoxious personal comments about my lack of reading skills and having sub-standard qualifications etc. Like his piece above, he spouted so much obnoxious personal bile on his Amazon.com post about me being ‘stupid’ etc. that they removed his post and warned him off. So much for responsibility and professionalism as an English historian. If he is indeed a historian who is confident in his own powers of comprehension, I challenge him yet again to advise us of his real name and his place of work. I will happily debate our thesis in any place at any time with him and his ilk. I might even throw in a tutorial for him in good manners.

1 of 1 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 25 Aug 2014 16:43:59 BDT

[Deleted by Amazon on 26 Aug 2014 05:55:11 BDT]

In reply to an earlier poston 26 Aug 2014 02:21:46 BDT

Last edited by the author on 26 Aug 2014 07:18:24 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

He’s baaack! Hardly able to sit on his posterior which is still red and stinging from the recent paddling administered by Dr. Mac, Mr. Carragher is back for more. He begins in typical fashion:

“He [Dr. Mac] dismisses as `guff’ the widespread belief that `Historians see the change [in the European balance of power after 1891] rather in terms of the Reinsurance Treaty being allowed to lapse, and the displacement of Bismarck’s kleindeutschland policy by the Kaiser’s weltpolitik’, giving gracious credit to Mr Hof for having `comprehensively dealt with’ my claim that no Secret Elite was involved.”

As I have pointed out to Mr. Carragher on at least two prior occasions, the problem was French hostility and her unremitting lust for “revanche.” Carragher seems to imagine that if only the re-insurance treaty had not lapsed, France would never have found an outlet for her relentless scheming and the world would have lived in peace. Mr Carragher does not know or does not wish to know that treaties are good only as long as the signatories agree to observe them. The Act of Algeciras, violated by France and Great Britain, is a good example.

After this “analysis,” Carragher continues in his inimitable style:

“Mr Hof is the man who single-handedly discovered that Prussia became a Great Power a quarter of a century after guaranteeing Belgian independence, so he’s a formidable antagonist. “

This what I actually wrote in “Our Century”:

“In Germany meanwhile, Otto von Bismarck was making steady and sometimes brutal progress in the unification of a bewildering patchwork of petty kingdoms, fiefdoms, and principalities. Having never before played a dominant role in European politics, Prussia suddenly startled the world with two brilliant military victories; first in 1864 against Denmark, and again in 1866 against Austria. The latter victory gave Bismarck control over the states north of the Main river, and he now formed the North German Federation. It was a long step towards unification and France was beginning to look askance at the growing power of her neighbor to the east.”

There is no mention of “Great Power” as Carragher, someone who abhors those who would “misinterpret” his words, should know. If Mr. Carragher thinks that Prussia played a dominant role in European politics before 1864, I won’t hold it against him.

The tireless Mr. Carragher soldiers on:

“He [Peter Hof] says, `Bismarck constructed his alliance system with the sole object of denying the Powers of Europe as potential alliance partners to an implacably hostile France’; this is certainly true. Also, `the Franco-Russian Alliance was not an alliance at all, but an agreement between France and Russia to attack the Central Powers at the first opportune moment for the purpose of conquering Alsass-Lothringen for France, and satisfying the historic Russian drang nach Constantinople’. How such an `agreement’ would fail to constitute an alliance is puzzling, but the substance of the statement is certainly credible.”

But Carragher says that “this is certainly true” and “the substance of the statement is certainly credible” so why does he raise the issue at all? Is it that huge difference between “agreement” and “alliance?”

But at least Mr Carragher does provide some comic relief:

“We now realise that it was the Kaiser who was the master statesman. We who had imagined Wilhelm to be foolish, erratic, impulsive, bombastic, tactless, timid and possibly brain-damaged at birth must hang our heads before the judgement of Peter Hof. How foolish John Charmley must feel! How bitterly he must regret his “clever” remark that where Bismarck played chess, the Kaiser played bad poker, and gambled away the empire that Bismarck had painstakingly assembled.

The man who gave the world his discovery that the Second Balkan War was actually the Third Balkan War has done it again. As Alan Sokal exposed the pretentiousness of postmodernists, Peter Hof exposes those ridiculous historians who would pretend that the Iron Chancellor was anything but a second-rate statesman, far overshadowed by the august and wise Wilhelm II. Take another bow, Mr Hof.”

First, no one has disputed the fact that Otto von Bismarck was Germany’s greatest statesman, including Kaiser Wilhelm. It should further be noted that the Kaiser – unlike Bismarck – presided over an Empire that was increasingly threatened by the Triple Entente.

Second, Willy and Nikky concluded the Treaty of Bjorko – an improved version of the re-insurance treaty – after which the Kaiser enthused that he had thereby rescued Germany from “the horns of the Franco-Russian dilemma.” But other leaders elsewhere had other ideas and the Treaty of Bjorko became a dead letter – almost certainly the fate of the original re-insurance treaty even without Wilhelm’s help.

Third, Carragher raises yet again the canard about my referencing three – not two – Balkan Wars. This is what I actually wrote:

“Turkey sued for peace and on December 10, 1912, at the behest of Sir Edward Grey, the Powers convened in London. When Turkey and Bulgaria could not come to an agreement on the issue of Adrianople, the armistice collapsed and the second Balkan War began on February 3, 1913. Again the Turks were defeated and again Turkey sued for peace. Having recovered from her initial surprise, Austria demanded that, at a minimum, Serbia must evacuate Durazzo and a new state-Albania-must be created on a vaguely defined strip of territory along the Adriatic coast. Russian pressure forced Serbia to agree and the Treaty of London was signed on May 30, 1913.

Barely a month later, in a disagreement over the spoils of war, Bulgaria attacked her erstwhile allies on June 29. Initially successful against Serbia, Bulgaria was defeated when Rumania joined the war against her and the third and final Balkan War ended on August 6 with the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest.”

If Mr. Carragher can find any fault with this analysis, he should cite it or forever hold his peace. He again libels Professor Barnes shamelessly with the tawdry, utterly false accusation that he tailored his writing for money.

Finally, he regurgitates his earlier notions about Winter and Hussey which have already been dealt with by Dr. Mac.

Carragher’s is an empty sound and fury with an occasional thundering pinprick here and there. But life does have its little annoyances and we learn to put up with them. Our neighbor’s tiny Schnauzer refuses to stop its infernal yapping, but we love him anyway. Only the first part of that applies to the indefatigable Mr. Carragher.

2 of 2 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 26 Aug 2014 07:00:30 BDT

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

“Willy and Nikky concluded the Treaty of Bjorko after which the Kaiser enthused that he had thereby rescued Germany from `the horns of the Franco-Russian dilemma’.”

But … but … if the Reinsurance Treaty had been “in conflict with the provisions of the Dual Alliance”, surely Bjorko would have been too?

What’s it to be? More special pleading?

In reply to an earlier poston 26 Aug 2014 07:27:29 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Another thunderous pinprick by Mr. Carragher and time for another history lesson. So sharpen your pencils, Mr. Carragher, sit up straight and pay attention: class is again in session. Your homework assignment is to study the Dual Alliance and write an essay on why it was incompatible with the re-insurance treaty, but not with the Treaty of Bjorko. Class dismissed.

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

The Dual Alliance and the Reinsurance Treaty were not at all incompatible. Though the former was an Austro-German defensive pact against Russian aggression, the latter was based on neutrality, and the two together gave Germany influence over potential Austro-Russian conflict in the Balkans. To manage both, however, called for more statecraft than was available after Wilhelm sacked Bismarck and decided that he was “the sole master of German policy”, adding, with an exaggerated sense of autocracy and misplaced confidence, “my country must follow me wherever I go”.

Ironically, and in ominous portent, Wilhelm only seems to have been advised by Chancellor Caprivi after the Treaty had been abandoned; he had, in fact, assured Russia that it would be renewed. Abandonment, and the antecedent decision to align more closely with Austria, had been determined by Baron Holstein, the “monster of the labyrinth”, rather than by the “master of German policy”. Already loss of Bismarck’s iron grasp was being felt and Germany entered a period of unstable, uncoordinated, inconsistent, occasionally comical but ultimately fatal mismanagement of foreign affairs.

No matter about that treaty, though! As the “master of German policy”, and a master statesman besides, the All Highest could manage Russia by himself. The fact that the Czar despised him and treated him with ostentatious contempt didn’t deter a man who, with no musical training or significant artistic talent, could tell composers how to arrange their symphonies.

It didn’t take long to realise that Bismarck’s policy of “a good treaty with Russia” had been the right one and that such a treaty was not after all incompatible with the Dual Alliance. The Germans set out to recover the prize they’d let slip.

By now, however, it was clear that a large cannon had come loose in Berlin and the Russians were wary, especially after the rebuffs they’d received to their entreaties for renewal of the Reinsurance Treaty. They had what they wanted now, an ally, and didn’t need Germany as they had before. Besides, Wilhelm had broken his royal word that the Treaty would be renewed; he had revealed himself to be not just unreliable but dishonest.

The Germans persisted in trying to recover what they’d lost, sweating harder as the years went by. “There is hardly a time between 1890 and 1912 when German diplomacy did not keep well in mind the possibility of detaching Russia from France and reviving a Three Emperors’ League” (LCB Seaman, From Vienna to Versailles, p 133).

At about the time of the Jameson Raid Wilhelm proposed a Franco-Russian-German alliance against Britain. The Russians passed. Possibly they were already looking to mend fences with Britain and saw no advantage in antagonising their rival in the Great Game in order to suit a capricious and impulsive treaty partner, and expose themselves to liability that the Kaiser could all-too-easily incur: he had already proposed a Franco-Russian-German-British alliance against the USA, and others against China and Japan.

His bewildering array of alliance proposals illustrates the Kaiser’s inconsistency and silliness. The Björkö “treaty” was too much too late. It played out a little like an episode of Fawlty Towers, or a circus-act with a clown on a tightrope over a shark-pool. Back in Berlin the chancellor collapsed when he saw the amendment that the “master of German policy” had unilaterally added to his, Bülow’s, terms. After he came to he threatened to resign. The Kaiser countered by threatening suicide. Whether he lived or died didn’t matter in St Petersburg where the Russians, aghast at what their ally would be certain to reject, flushed Björkö back into the Baltic.

In its ineptitude, confusion, futility and farce the Björkö episode serves as a cipher for Wilhelmine policy. It revealed German desperation as well as incompetence, reinforced the Franco-Russian Alliance and encouraged Anglo-Russian conciliation, while its failure humiliated Germany and undermined her position at Algeciras (where she was further humiliated by her insistence on an international conference rather than the bilateral negotiations that had been offered).

The Russians saw no incompatibility in their rivalry with Britain and Britain’s Entente with their ally. Rather, in addition to its attempt to break their treaty with France they saw in Björkö a threat to spike their plans for rapprochement with Britain, something that promised a better future in making them one à trois among the Great Powers, as Germany had been under Bismarck, a prize of enormous advantage that the Kaiser had let off the hook.

The prize was swimming in foreign waters now.

The idea that “the Dual Alliance … was incompatible with the re-insurance treaty, but not with the Treaty of Bjorko” is puzzling, given that the former merely committed its parties to benevolent neutrality in the event of war with a third, reducing the danger of Continental conflict, while Björkö was more aggressive in its terms, to the point of committing its members not to make separate peace in the event of war. The idea would seem to be rooted in a peculiar understanding of history so whether the “Treaty” of Björkö means the original proposals or incorporates the Kaiser’s personal amendment is irrelevant.

The Russians’ pragmatism and flexibility in their relations with their ally, France, and their opponent, Britain, stands in contrast to the policy-makers of Berlin, who incorrectly perceived incompatibility between the Reinsurance Treaty and the Dual Alliance. Any incompatibility could be negotiated, and the Russians and the British soon negotiated the Convention of 1907. Germany was “encircled”.

Allowing the Reinsurance Treaty to lapse provided France with an ally and exposed Germany to a war on two fronts, the avoidance of which had been the central plank of Bismarck’s foreign policy. The Germans’ persistence in trying to redeem their disastrous error and restore relations with Russia proves that alliance with both Russia and Austria was as compatible in the Kaiser’s time as it had been in Bismarck’s.

Squandering her relationship with Russia not only left Germany as one merely à deux among the Great Powers, but it thereby entangled her in the Balkans, which Bismarck had claimed was “not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier” but out of which he had predicted some “fool thing” would start the next European war. After allowing the Reinsurance Treaty to lapse Germany lost the power to broker between Balkan rivals Russia and Austria, and found herself increasingly “shackled to a corpse”, and dragged into her only ally’s quarrels.

Abandonment of the Reinsurance Treaty has been described as “the most important foreign policy decision of Wilhelm’s reign” (Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers, p 181). Historians regard it as catastrophic for Germany, leading as it did to semi-isolation and eventually war, which saw his country follow Wilhelm into ruin. Some laymen attribute this isolation and war to conspiracy rather than incompetence, and call on the Kaiser to support their claim. Others blame bad fairies.

(Well, Professor Hof? A or A+?)

In reply to an earlier poston 27 Aug 2014 21:12:32 BDT

Last edited by the author on 27 Aug 2014 21:16:47 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Let’s see what the man who allowed it [the reinsurance treaty] to lapse had to say about it:

“During the last period of his tenure of office as Chancellor, Bismarck declared that the maintenance of friendly relations with Russia, whose Tsar reposed special trust in him, was the most important reason for his remaining at his post. In this connection it was that he gave me the first hints concerning the secret reinsurance treaty with Russia. Up to then I had heard nothing about it, either from the Prince or the Foreign Office, although it happened that I had concerned myself especially with Russian matters.

Very soon the question arose of the extension of the reinsurance treaty with Russia. Caprivi declared that, out of consideration for Austria , he was unable to renew it, since the threat against Austria contained therein, when it became known in Vienna- as it almost unavoidably would- was such as to lead to very disagreeable consequences. For this reason the treaty lapsed. To my way of thinking, it had already lost its main value from the fact that the Russians no longer stood whole-heartedly behind it. I was confirmed in this view by a memorial written by Count Berchem, Under Secretary of State, who had worked with Prince Bismarck.

The much-discussed non-renewal of the reinsurance treaty with Russia, already touched upon by me, is not to be considered so decisive as to have influenced the question of whether there was to be war or peace. The reinsurance treaty, in my opinion, would not have prevented the Russia of Nicholas II from taking the road to the Entente; under Alexander III it would have been superfluous. Prince Bismarck’s view that the Russian ambassador, Prince Shuvaloff, would have renewed the reinsurance treaty with him but not with his successor, is naturally the honest, subjective way of looking at the matter-judged in the light of fact, however, it does not hold water, in view of what the two parties concerned had to consider at that time. For instance, the Under Secretary of State of the Prince, Count Berchem, stated officially in a report to the Prince that the treaty could not be renewed, which meant that it could not be renewed through Shuvaloff either. I thought that not the old treaty, but only a new and different kind of treaty, was possible, in the drawing up of which Austria must participate, as in the old Three-Emperor-Relationship. But, as I said, treaties with Nicholas II would not have seemed absolutely durable to me, particularly after the sentiment of the very influential Russian general public had also turned against Germany.”

William II (2013-08-21). The Kaiser’s Memoirs (Kindle Locations 3504-3514). . Kindle Edition.

Now let’s take a look at two other citations:

“Throughout these years (1871-1914) the revision of the humiliating Treaty of Frankfurt, by which Germany had sealed her victory over France in 1871, remained at all times the supreme and undeviating objective of French statesmanship.”

Kennan, “The Fateful Alliance”

Professor Kennan elaborates:

“The sense of humiliation and resentment flowing from the defeat of 1870 was profound and enduring. France was not accustomed to the experience of total defeat, in the modern manner. The desire for revenge permeated, in one way or another, almost the whole of French society. It would, as Bismarck believed, probably have existed, and this in scarcely smaller degree, even had the Germans not insisted on taking Alsace and Lorraine; but this loss of territory served as a convenient symbol and rallying-point for it.

Equally profound was the belief that France would never be able to achieve this revenge by her own efforts alone: that to make this possible she would have to have an ally. For these reasons, the thought of an alliance with Russia was never, through the entire period from 1871 to 1894, wholly absent from the minds of French political and military leaders. There never was a time when this possibility did not appear as the greatest hope, the highest ultimate objective, of French policy.”

Then there is this:

“Many years before Kennan, Karl Marx observed with uncanny accuracy that ‘If Alsace and Lorraine are taken, then France will later make war on Germany in conjunction with Russia.’

Bismarck had opposed the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine predicting that it would be the Achilles heel of the new German Empire, but he bowed to von Moltke and the General Staff which insisted that Germany needed a geographical barrier against any further aggression. King Wilhelm agreed. He stated that Germany was demanding Alsace-Lorraine not for territorial aggrandizement, but for its security; “to push back the point of departure of the French armies which, in the future, will come to attack us.” In view of the fact that France had declared war on German entities no less than thirty times in the last two centuries, the demand does not seem unreasonable.

France could neither forgive nor forget. Never mind that she herself had initiated-even insisted upon-war despite outraged European opinion. It seemed not to matter that the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been forcibly annexed by France two centuries earlier-Louis XIV acquired the provinces by the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678-and that the German claim to these was at least as legitimate as that of France; or that the terms of the Treaty of Frankfurt which ended the war were far less harsh then those imposed by Napoleon upon Prussia in 1807. And never mind either that Imperial France, after many costly failures, had at long last been set firmly on the road to parliamentary democracy.

To the French, what mattered was that French pride had been grievously injured. After centuries of hegemony in Europe, Paris would no longer be Europe’s capital. In the European symphony, France would henceforth play second fiddle to an upstart Germany and this was all too much for French pride to accept. The French are nothing if not proud. The eclipse of Imperial France by the birth of the German nation rankled, and its effects lingered over the political landscape like a chill and foreboding fog.

Victor Hugo wrote: ‘France will have but one thought: to reconstitute her forces, gather her energy, nourish her sacred anger, raise her young generation to form an army of the whole people, to work without cease, to study the methods and skills of our enemies, to become again a great France, the France of 1792. The France of an idea with a sword. Then one day she will be irresistible. Then she will take back Alsace-Lorraine.’Such sentiments were symbolized and kept alive by Gambetta’s famous phrase: ‘Speak of it never; think of it always!’

While the French desire for ‘revanche’ would wax and wane through successive republican administrations, it would color and poison the political atmosphere in Europe. It would lead first to the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1894 and, finally, to the explosion of 1914 . . . “

Peter Hof, “Our Century” (P.3)

Carragher finally writes: “(Well, Professor Hof? A or A+?)”

Did you really imagine, Mr. Carragher, that this tidal wave of French resentment and “revanche” could have been held in check by the reinsurance treaty? Only Bjorko had a chance – however slight – of insulating the impressionable Nikky from French and (later) British scheming. Those who lambast the Kaiser always seem to omit the very pertinent fact that the lapse of the reinsurane treaty had its only effect from French warmongering.

As for your grade, I’ll be happy to give you an A on this latest posting on account of the absence of the nonsense and vitriol which characterized your initial post and earned you a well-deserved F – concerning which, all pencils have erasers. I suggest you do the right thing and utilize yours.

1 of 1 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 28 Aug 2014 07:56:36 BDT

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

Well thank you, Professor! There’s a virtual apple on your desk.

In reply to an earlier poston 28 Aug 2014 08:45:40 BDT

Last edited by the author on 28 Aug 2014 08:57:12 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

An apple? How nice! I would be happy to take a bite out of that apple, especially with a modest side-order of your virtual eraser to aid proper digestion.

In reply to an earlier poston 29 Aug 2014 15:47:37 BDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

And so Michael Carragher limps off with very few toes left. He claims to have responsibility as “an historian” to dissuade potential Amazon customers from purchasing the product, Hidden History. Since he has consistently personally abused and ridiculed the authors, I believe both we and Amazon have a right to know on what basis he claims to be an historian. He is an “historian” who has somehow or other managed to stay below the radar of my numerous academic friends and acquaintances in Dublin.

Over to you Mr Carragher.

In reply to an earlier poston 1 Sep 2014 08:25:03 BDT

Michael A Carragher says:—————————————-

Apologies, Dr Mac, for appearing to neglect you, but I’ve been rather busy, and entertaining Professor Hof besides.

Your invitation to public debate is declined. Dr James Randi cautions that such debate with conspiracy theorists is unwise, for many reasons. For a start it gives them the attention they crave and whether they win or lose their conspiracy gets publicity.

In addition, the conspiracy theorist has several subtle advantages over his historian/scientist opponent. For a start, his position can never be disproved and he can use this fact in subtle ways.

Debates traditionally have the Aristotelian components, ethos, logos and pathos, the first two designed, we could say, to convince the audience that the debater can be trusted and that he knows what he’s talking about–what we may call argument-to-convince; pathos makes appeal to the audience’s sympathy–what we may call argument-to-persuade; i.e. persuade the audience to vote, spread the word, etc.

Normally argument-to-convince takes up most of the debate, argument-to-persuade following on from this and often restricted to the “peroratio” or conclusion. But because the conspiracy theorist can never be proved wrong he can short-circuit the ethos and logos elements of debate, cutting quickly to argument-to-persuade. If he succeeds, he will almost certainly win the debate.

Because the conspiracy theorist cannot be proven wrong his opponent can be presented as being on shaky ground from the outset, his intelligence and/or motive subtly called into question so that he loses in the ethos stakes. This may be facilitated if the audience, as it usually is in such debates, contains a good number predisposed to believe the conspiracy. The conspiracy affects them as well as everyone else so the ethos of anyone who would deny it is called into further question: “whose side are you on?”

The problem for the historian/scientist is the relative strength of emotionality and rationality. In The Elephant and the Rider Jonathan Haidt likens emotionality to an elephant and rationality to its rider. Normally the rider is in control; but he is small and weak and can be overwhelmed by the elephant’s strength and size. The conspiracy theorist plays on this fact to bring the debate as quickly as possible to the argument-to-persuade stage and appeal to audience emotionality–i.e. fear of the conspiracy.

Of course logos most be deployed too. But here again the conspiracy theorist has the advantage that his conspiracy has so many facets it’s easy to slip from one to another if he gets hard-pressed.

Similarly he has advantages when it comes to supporting evidence: “If you think anyone who’d start a war deliberately would scruple to plant that evidence you surprise me.” Or: “Evidence? Oh there’s tons of evidence. Literally tons of it. Literally miles of shelves stuffed full of it. All safely hidden away by Herbert Hoover. Didn’t you read my book?”

Thus the issue becomes the evidence used to “prove” the conspiracy theorist’s case.

It’s tautology, of course, but it can be difficult to “turn the debate back”, as it can be presented, to the logos stage, where the historian/scientist is on much stronger ground. An audience that’s well on the road to being persuaded can be brought to perceive any attempt to “revert” to argument-to-convince as “scraping the barrel” or “clutching at straws”.

From memory, Dr Mac, you use that very expression twice in trying to refute my criticisms of your book. The problem is you use it on the wrong forum, so to speak.

Dr Randi points out that while public debate favours the conspiracy theorist, one that constrains rhetorical free range favours the historian/scientist. He points out that in the USA creationists often are able to use their rhetorical skills to persuade school boards, and even state legislatures, to incorporate Biblical creationism (nowadays disguised as “intelligent design”) in curricula. But when such measures are challenged in court they always fail, for the simple reason that their logical and evidentiary vacuity cannot be camouflaged under hard questioning.

So I prefer to keep our discussion to this forum, where we can focus on specifics, logic and evidence.

“Please see Amazon.com where I did indeed address every point Carragher made in his review. Apart from one, however, he failed to engage with some twenty points I raised…”

Professor Hof has given me an A for my essay-length treatment of that point in my review that you dismiss as “guff”; if you can direct me to where your posting has been relocated, or replace it on this thread, I will be happy to engage with the remaining points.

In reply to an earlier poston 1 Sep 2014 09:45:12 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Carragher wrote:

“Professor Hof has given me an A for my essay-length treatment of that point in my review that you dismiss as “guff”; if you can direct me to where your posting has been relocated, or replace it on this thread, I will be happy to engage with the remaining points.”

But this is what I actually wrote about Carragher’s A grade:

“As for your grade, I’ll be happy to give you an A on this latest posting on account of the absence of the nonsense and vitriol which characterized your initial post and earned you a well-deserved F – concerning which, all pencils have erasers. I suggest you do the right thing and utilize yours.”

Let me make this so clear that even you can grasp it. Your “A” was on account of the absence of the usual nonsense and vitriol, period. On substance, you get an “F.” My point was that French hostility was the problem – NOT the lapse of the reinsurance treaty, which you failed to address, much less refute – hence your F. I didn’t mention your F in the forlorn but dashed hope of extracting some small measure of rational debate from you. But what did we get? We got “Dr. James Randi” and “Aristotelian components, ethos, logos and pathos” and “creationists” and “Normally argument-to-convince takes up most of the debate, argument-to-persuade following on from this and often restricted to the peroratio or conclusion” Yikes! What in heaven’s name does this unfathomable flapdoodle have to do with WW1? It’s enough to make one yearn for the relative calm of a yapping Schnauzer.

Let me assure you Mr. Carragher, that you are a long way from being “entertaining” and a longer way from rational debate if your latest posting is any indication. Your next assignment is to don the pointy dunce-cap and stand in the corner until you are prepared to address the issues without the pretentious pseudo-intellectual hieroglyphics.

In reply to an earlier poston 1 Sep 2014 10:56:33 BDT

Dr Mac says:—————————————-

It is nice to see Carragher drop his usual nasty invective, but very revealing that he continues to use the pejorative ‘conspiracy theory’ for anything that questions his assumptions, and as his refuge from public debate. On this occasion he manages to squeeze it in about half a dozen times. And this despite the fact that with ‘specifics, logic and evidence’ Mr Hoff has clearly demonstrated it to be Carragher’s beliefs which are conspiracy theory.

Before we proceed I have several questions: Is James Randi, on the strength of whose utterances Carragher declines to have a public debate, James Randi the parlour magician?

He quotes him as ‘Dr Randi.’ What are his academic qualifications?

Carragher alludes to himself as an academic historian. On what basis?

1 of 1 people think this post adds to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier poston 2 Sep 2014 05:01:20 BDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Mr. Carragher is obsessed with the reinsurance treaty. He is quite certain that if only Wilhelm II had not allowed it to lapse, the angels would have prevailed over Satan and the Kaiser could never have hurled his black legions against the shining ramparts of heaven. The thought of innocent Irish youth being subjected to this sort of “history” is disquieting at best. Mr. Carragher is apparently unable to conceive of a “conspiracy theory” except in the pejorative context, but here are two suggestions:

1. Give us an example of a war devoid of conspiracies.

2. Give us your summary – as brief as possible – of the cause(s) of WW1.

Last edited by the author on Aug 22, 2014 3:05:52 PM PDT

Peter Hof says:—————————————-

Michael Garragher retreats – sort of. He admits that “Now everyone gets things wrong from time to time. I certainly got it wrong with my review of Winter and don’t try to conceal that. I have never tried to remove a single word of anything I placed online, as Dr Mac has discovered. Having to live with what you say and being reminded of your fallibility is no bad thing. Besides, trying to pretend that you never said what you once did seems like cowardice to me; certainly dishonesty.”

But then he reverts to his usual too-clever-by-half and overlengthy ja-de-ja-da. He writes:

“I don’t have Dr Mac’s time to go through all the objections he raises to my review, but to knock down one as an example:”

Carragher cannot admit to himself that he cannot “go through all the objections [Dr. Mac] raises to my review” not because he doesn’t have the time but because these are irrefutable. The one “example” he ventures is to quote Dr. Mac as follows:

“In stating that no historian would claim Germany responsible, [Carragher] truly displays his ignorance of the historiography”:

and gives his earth-shattering answer:

“this is almost embarrassing in the blatancy of its misrepresentation of what I wrote: ‘While no historian would claim that Germany was solely responsible….'”

Dr. Mac apparently omitted the word “solely.” But having grasped this straw, Mr. Carragher milks it to the last drop. He writes:

“Can’t Dr Mac read what he just quoted?

Is he too stupid to understand the meaning of a common adverb? [The astute Mr. Carragher is here referring to “solely.”]

Or is he just malicious in deliberately misrepresenting what I said (here and elsewhere in his diatribe)?”

Then (as Cyrano de Bergerac once put it) he barks:

“If he’s neither stupid nor illiterate nor malicious let him “kick [my] ass straight into the civil courts”, as he huffs and puffs and bluffs and blathers he will.”

Thus Mr. Carragher’s bombastic reposte hangs “solely” by a single word. Truly pathetic. But give him credit. He does retreat as his red stinging behind, so thoroughly paddled by Dr. Mac leaves him little choice. But along with the tragedy, there is hope. Carragher – temporarily unable to sit – writes:

“I cannot be certain that they’re [D&M] wrong, of course, and if evidence emerges to persuade me that they’re right I will acknowledge this as I acknowledge how wrong I got Winter back when I was younger and knew less than I do now.”

With this, Mr. Carragher has left the door ajar and the possibility that he will eventually open it wider and walk through into the sunshine. So there you have it. We might appropriately caption Mr. Carragher’s “review” with Quigley’s far more famous title: Tragedy and Hope.

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Click to view or download (1.0MB). >> Hidden History – Amazon Reviews- 1, 2 and 3

 

 

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Version 1: Published Sep 3, 2014

This entry was posted in Africa, Britain, Germany, Hidden History, Jews, New World Order, Revisionism, Rothschild, Secret Elite, South Africa, The International Jew, WW I. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hidden History: Amazon Customer Reviews – 2

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