Saving Private O'Casey

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Thu Oct 26 19:53:39 PDT 2000

>From Jim Heartfield to Leo:

>In message <60.81cb174.2729a643 at>, LeoCasey at writes
>>The notion that Europe was
>>about to fall to Tito's partisans makes sense only in the political twilight
>>zone of sectarian Trotskyism.
>Leo makes light of the partisan struggle against Fascism, which sheds
>some light on his own narrowly chauvinistic interpretation of the
>victory. I can't object to the fact that Leo knows little of European
>History (which presumably does not feature greatly in his Jingoistic
>Civics classes), but that's no excuse for re-peddling Hollywood
>patriotism. For him, only the Americans saved Europe from Fascism. But
>the numbers say different.
>295 000 American servicemen killed though out the Second World War, 13
>million Russians.
>In 1943 the Italian partisans put 100 000 men in the field and lost 45
>000, overthrowing the Fascist regime - before they were occupied by the
>Americans (who put in place the assassination squad Gladio to crush the
>anti-fascist forces and save the country for Christian Democracy).
>The Italian partisans were assisted by Tito's Yugoslav Partisans who
>(against Stalin's advice) liberated Belgrade from German control after
>pinning down 612 000 German troops, 33 Axis Divisions in 1943, long
>before one US or British infantryman set foot on European soil.
>Similarly the Greek ELAS fighters liberated Athens until General Scobie
>was told to occupy Greece as a hostile power until the fascists could be
>reinstalled in power by Britain and American.
>As Eric Hobsbawm rightly says, while the US and British forces were
>successfully held off in the West 'only the Soviet Armies continued to
>advance, and only in the Balkans - mainly in Yugoslavia, Albania and
>Greece - did a largely communist inspired resistance movements cause
>Germany, and even more Italy, serious military problems.' (The Age of
>Catastrophe, p 42)
>And while Russians, Italians, Yugoslavs and Greeks were fighting to free
>their lands from fascist terror, what did the British and American
>'people's war' consist of?
>Well, Eisenhower contributed 100 000 men to a joint British-American
>force in .... North Africa! Sitting back to let Hitler slaughter the
>partisans, the Allies were preoccupied with securing British colonies -
>without regard to their political rights or independence.

Jim's post should shed a new light on _Casablanca_:

***** Rick's Place

World War II military code for the city of Casablanca

As Allied Expeditionary Forces (AEF) landed in North Africa on November 26, 1942, the film Casablanca premiered in New York City. Morocco's chief port city was the setting of both the film and, later, of a major conference of the allied leadership.

In the film, hero Rick Blaine settles in Casablanca after fighting fascism in Spain. When his former lover, Ilsa, arrives at his Café with her French Resistance leader husband, Rick helps them escape. By film's end, Rick and Ilsa have given up each other to serve a greater good--freedom from fascism.

Casablanca suffered severe bombardment during General Dwight Eisenhower's "Operation Torch." Within six weeks, however, it served as the site of the Casablanca Conference attended by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and French Resistance leaders Charles De Gaulle and Henri Giraud. Russian leader Joseph Stalin declined to attend.

Just as Allied invasion of Casablanca advanced box office sale, so the film Casablanca reinforced the war effort by underscoring the value of freedom and the importance of personal sacrifice. As Variety put it on December 2, 1942, "Casablanca will take the b.o.'s [box offices] of America just as swiftly and certainly as the AEF took North Africa." Casablanca's release to nationwide audiences was scheduled coincide with the Casablanca Conference of January 14-24, 1943....

<> *****


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