Talk:International Brigades

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Rob, I gotta say, you and I are probably the two people on this site the most interested in this topic - though for very different reasons. If you haven't yet, you should read Robin D.G. Kelley's piece on African-Americans who fought fascism in Spain because they couldn't fight it where they wanted to - in Ethiopia. I know where I stand on this, of course, Comrade - but I gotta wonder - Communists versus fascists? Does it drive a guy like you nuts trying to figure out who the good guys are in this one?

All the best-

PFoster 21:57, 16 July 2007 (EDT)

I'll confess I don't know as much as I should, but the Spanish Civil War has emerged as a very important subject for several reasons. And there is a danger of having it recede into the background as a sort of early battle of WWII, whereas it really does need to stand alone as the monumental event that it was. Here's three reasons why today it is important:
  • 1) the issue of non-state combatants is what the present problems in Afghanistan and Iraq is all about. The League of Nations did not foresee this, did not know how to deal with it, and the more I study it, the more I see this is one of the major causes of the failure of the League. Also, the Geneva Convention was reconvened in the late 1940s, after the Spanish Civil War, and still did not address the issue in any detail.
  • 2) in the mid 1930s, expiration of the Palestinian Mandate was still a long way off, and the movement for a Jewish homeland did not concentrate solely on Palestine. Indeed, the Spanish Civil War effort had much greater supprot than than the Zionist movement to Palestine. And, as you pointed out, other areas were considered as well, Ethiopia being one. No where do we see the emotional attachment to the cause of a separate Jewish homeland than in the life of Robert Oppenheimer. All those commie meetings Oppie attended where in fact Spanish Relief efforts. Oppies wife was the widow of a Spanish volunteer. Oppie was intimately bound up with the Spanish Civil War cause, and only after WWII started and he was offered the position at the Manhattan Project did he put it on hold. And Pavel Sudaplatov states that Oppie agreed to share atomic secrets with the KGB after Elizabeth Zarubina told him that Stalin would create a Jewish national republic in the Crimea after the WWII was over.
  • 3) the list of Comintern operatives masquarading as "journalists" is astounding, beginning with Ilya Ehrenberg, Kim Philby, Samuel Krafsur, etc. etc. RobS 23:07, 16 July 2007 (EDT)