It takes a nation to protect the nation
This is a remarkable lecture. I have total respect that he used his own time and money to locate and study all the original documents. In a conversation with Henry Morgental on 4 Aug 1944, Churchill admitted that the UK was broke, and that he wasn't going to tell the British people. Irving paid £5000 just to read that diary!
At 44 mins in, he is talking about how the US bled us dry to get payment for all our munitions and supplies (a lot of which ended up on the floor of the Atlantic ocean). It then used Lend Lease to put us £1.1 billion into debt (a lot of money then). I can see how poor we were from the photos of my parents generation. Irving explains how Britain became poor and lost it's empire, mainly due to WW2. And I'll never forget, after WW2, that the US stabbed us in the back over the Suez canal seizure by Egypt - another humiliating nail in the coffin of Britain as a world power.
But some of his other observations seem crazy. Maybe he's spent so much time reading original documents, he's lost sight of the human mind. Does he really believe that if we accepted the peace offer from Hitler in 1939, that Hitler would have kept it? Hitler broke his peace treaty with the Soviet Union using the largest army the world had ever seen! Does he really believe that Hitler's letter to Churchill saying he not only accepts the British Empire, but would help us defend it from the Japanese, is not just pompous flattery and a ploy? What planet is he on? Once Hitler had grabbed all of Europe and the Soviet Union, why would he not just pick off this little island hanging off the end of France?
To back up my argument, I return to the previous point. Of course Churchill lied to the British people about being broke. He lied about the war being winnable, he lied about hope, he lied all the time! The alternative was to give the grim truth and the British people would have been broken and given up. Does Irving not spend any time with fellow humans, does he know nothing of human nature?
It's a shame, because the parts where he goes 'off the reservation' detract from the really valuable things he has to say. My attitude to the US, after what he's shown, will never be the same again. And all those bloody heroic war movies need to be redone showing the US as the rapacious robber baron, and the UK as the fallen woman.
I believe Irving was right about Hitler, if Hitler had broken any agreement, then we could have gone to war with him. We should have formed a united front with Germany against Bolshevism.
With respect Antony, you talk about going to war with Hitler like we were going on a picnic with him. There's a delicate balance of power which is constantly shifting, in terms of territorial advantage, alliances, technology, resources (like oil fields) - so timing is everything. Actually there's a military rule of thumb that often it's better, when given the choice of two options, to take the poor one quickly, than the better one after deliberating and agonising over it. As time moves on, opportunities slip out of your grasp, because your enemy will always use that time to make better preparations.
After helping him defeat his worst adversary, the Soviet Union, how would little Britain have prevailed against that massive German empire? And in that situation, the US would have been more inclined to go with its old position of "Crazy Europeans, always making dumb peace pacts and going to war with each other. Leave them to it, we're ok". Of course, that's assuming the Germans don't do something stupid like sinking ships off the US coast.
And another thing very frustrating about Irving's lecture, is this jocular bit about us losing our empire and waiting for it to turn up at the empire lost property office. Can we have a few more facts please?
The US stripped us of all our gold and commercial assetts, but it didn't strip us of our empire, not directly. It stabbed us in the back over Suez, and it made us so poor we would struggle to fight independence movements, but the US did not requisition our empire.
And the timing is all wrong as well. We lost our empire after WW2 had ended. So, nothing to do with paying for US war aid. His crazed comments are very irritating because a lot of what he says is valuable and true. And I feel strongly about this because I know what my parents went through and I've seen the post WW2 poverty of the UK. We need proper and truthful explanations for the loss of our wealth and the loss of our empire. By all means lay the blame for the first at the door of the US, but I don't think you can't put the second there as well.
The conventional explanation for the loss of our empire is that, after WW2:
Again, I come back to my previous point, does he ever mix with fellow humans? Most of the above points are to do with human psychology, but that seems to be a domain completely beyond his remit.
I've listened to a bit more and found more crazy ideas. Speaking about the Vietnam war, he says it was actually a racist war where the white Americans would show their racial superiority to the Vietnamese. But before the US came, the French were there and got a whooping. So maybe the Americans were trying to show their racial superiority to the French, to show that they were the ones to beat the NVA and Vietcong?
And apart from that, what about the massive South Vietnamese Army? What about the South Vietnamese President and all his generals and infrastructure? If I can borrow a line from David Irving, do we just forget about them in the South East Asia Lost Property Office? You can't call it a war of racial superiority when you are just joining the South half of a country in war against it's Northern half! By that token, the Korean war a war of racial superiority as well, and nothing to do with the Domino theory of the spread of communism. Sorry, but I'm starting to get the impression that Irving is a little bit mad.