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12 December 2013


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William R. Cumming

Lucius Clay--wiki

Clay did not see actual combat but was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1942, the Distinguished Service Medal in 1944, and received the Bronze Star for his action in stabilizing the French harbor of Cherbourg, critical to the flow of war materiel. In 1945 he served as deputy to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The following year, he was made Deputy Governor of Germany during the Allied Military Government.
He would later remark regarding the occupation directive guiding his and General Eisenhower's actions: "there was no doubt that JCS 1067 contemplated the Carthaginian peace which dominated our operations in Germany during the early months of occupation."

OMGUS and Cold War

Clay was with General of the Army D.D. Eisenhower at Gatow Airport in Berlin during the Potsdam Conference in 1945.
Clay heavily influenced United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes' September 1946 speech in Stuttgart, Germany. The speech; "Restatement of Policy on Germany" marked the formal transition in American occupation policy away from the Morgenthau Plan of economic dismantlement to one of economic reconstruction. Clay was promoted to lieutenant general on 17 April 1945 and to general on 17 March 1947.
On March 15, 1947, Clay succeeded Eisenhower as military governor of occupied Germany—the head of the OMGUS, the "Office of Military Government, United States". Clay's responsibilities covered a wide spectrum of social issues related to Germany's recovery from the war in addition to strictly military issues. He commissioned Lewis H. Brown to research and write "A Report on Germany," which served as a detailed recommendation for the reconstruction of post-war Germany, and served as a basis for the Marshall Plan. Clay promoted democratic federalism in Germany and resisted US politicians who sought to undo a conservative constitution adopted in Bavaria. He also closed the borders of the American Zone in 1947 to stem the tide of Jewish refugees who were generating tension with the local populations.


Iran's is a one port, one commodity economy. And its four super-giants peaked in the 70s. NIOC's gas injection program may be able slow the final collapse, but not for long.

Even then there won't be enough hard currency to pay for refined products, food, and the subsidies that consume 1/4 of Iran's GDP.

Throw in a decline in TFR never before witnessed in human history, the flight of educated youth, environmental degradation, water scarcity ....

Sanctions, no sanctions. Morgenthau, no Morgenthau. It's hard to see how it makes any difference. It's just the end of them.

Rugs may be the best case scenario.

William Fitzgerald

Pat Lang,

The Morgenthau Plan and the decision reached at the Quebec Conference to largely implement it were a manifestation of FDR's detestation of Germany. Had that not been so, the plan would probably never have seen the light of day. JCS Directive 1067 resulted from the decision made at the Quebec Conference and that decision was reached with acceptance of the American view that Germany was to be severely punished for the war. It's clear that Churchill's agreement was procured through coercion. As I recall, he disavowed much of the Morgenthau Plan when he returned to England and faced questions in Parliament.

A great "what if?" from the adoption of the Morgenthau plan and the earlier "unconditional surrender" statement adopted at the Casablanca conference concerns the determination of Germany to fight to the bitter end. That this was all or mostly because of Nazi fanaticism is, I think a myth.

Another myth, believed fervently in America, is the idea that we occupied Germany, helped it recover, brought democracy, and so forth. The truth of the matter is far more complicated. Even the Marshall Plan provided very little aid to the German economy and that was only at the insistence of the War Department/DOD and the State Department.



Given that Iran has no abilities other than, as a best case scenario, making rugs, why doesn't the US lift its sanctions?



Iran, like Germany) has greater potential for industrialization thatnartisanal goods. That is not the point. The point is that as Roosevelt set out under Morganthau's guidance to beggar and pauperize Germany so are we setting out under Obama to do Israel's will upon Iran. pl

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

Castellio can answer for himself. But I had assumed that, in his response to ‘John’, he was resorting to irony, a response you frequently practice yourself, and recently recommended to Tyler.

It seemed to me Castellio was pointing to the tension between the very evident belief of Israeli leaders – which I thought reflected in the comment by ‘John’ – that all the peoples among whom they have to live are irredeemably ‘primitive’, and incapable of ‘modernity’, and their hysterical fear of Iran’s not in the end very advanced nuclear programme.


I suspect that Bibi would prefer a Gaza-style plan for Iran rather than a Morgenthau-style plan. Part of that plan would entail the privatization and tax-exemption of Iranian energy assets.

In their best scenario a clone of the Shah would be installed. The Shah, it will be recalled spent 20% of GDP on the military, and, except for a wealthy few, left the country undeveloped and impoverished. The Shah and Israel were best buddies.


So they pose no strategic threat to the region, especially to Israel and Saudi Arabia; nor do they have influence in Iraq and can't fund Hezbollah in Lebannon nor help Assad in Syria. So glad to find that out.


So the Obama administration is going to start a negotiation with Iran with the view that it is a nation defeated? That's sure to be successful, if success is defined by Bibi and company.

Norbert M Salamon

seeing that Iran Exports electricity , steel and concrete etc., has one the highest scientific journal output in ME land bar Israel, has "nano-technology", builds is own centrifuges, builds a heavy-water reactor, etc., it is presumptuous to think that rug export is the only future for the country as in the eyes of Bibi and co.

Were Obama to act like Iran was a defeated country, he and his cohort are in for a surprise. He is also likely to loose a bunch of the "with-me" crowd in Sanction land. Iran's oil is a demand good by the 2nd and third largest economy of the planet [if we do not take EU to be the largest, which is in fact it is] among others, and most of the rest of the world [including USA Companies] would love to serve that large market [70 million] of educated citizenry.
Neither he, nor the American economy nor American citizenry can afford another war in ME land [treasure, forgone attention to the citizenry's needs, etc.], with probably grave consequences for the world economy.

As an aside it should be noted that no major Chinese firm has been sanctioned by the USA Treasury for the simple reason that you can not scr*w your Major banker [and supplier of the material needs of the famous 90% of broke Americans] in the long run.


"A great "what if?" from the adoption of the Morgenthau plan and the earlier "unconditional surrender" statement adopted at the Casablanca conference concerns the determination of Germany to fight to the bitter end. That this was all or mostly because of Nazi fanaticism is, I think a myth."

I think Sir, that the truth is far more complicated than the Nazi fanaticism argument or the suggestion that our surrender terms may have been too harsh and the subject continues to be the subject of much soul searching to this day.

I personally am attracted to a suggestion in Ian Kershaws introduction to his own work on the topic (The End); that Germans could simply not envision any other system of Government but the one they had at the time.

This argument has, to me, the benefit of supporting Robert Paxtons observation that no country has adopted Fascism without first being a failing democracy. We should also perhaps remember that Germany's total experience of democracy was from 1919 to 1933 - Fourteen years is not a long time to instil democratic traditions.

Kershaws work, BTW, opens with the horrifying description of the hanging of a nineteen year old theology student at Ausbach for trying to save his town from destruction when the American Army was already at its gates. Four hours after his death the town was taken. Irrational fanaticism indeed.


I think that this 'capability' game that the Israelis play about Iran's industrialisation is simply ludicrous.

The argument they make again and again is that a capability is, in a rhetorical slight of hand, tantamount to an actual threat.

That's of course utter nonsense, and sadly goes unchallenged almost every time.

It is on the face absurd to assert that Iran must not enrich. The Iranians have under the NPT the 'inalienable right' to enrich for peaceful purposes. There is nothing difficult to understand about that. They are allowed to enrich for peaceful purposes as much as they feel they need to.

Who gives a poop what the Israelis want? The Izzies aren't even a member to the NPT. How they feel entitled to have an opinion what Iran's right under the NPT are is beyond me, just why anybody is listening to them at all about this.

All that however is beside the point as in reality it is about regime change and the nuclear issue is but a pretext.

JohnH's below point about the Izzies wanting the Shah back is probably rather close to the truth.

Closer still is probably the boneheaded sentiment 'Anything but the Ayatollahs!', which in Iraq and Syria means giving preference to Al Qaeda and like minded people. Nuts!

Andy Mink

Pat, I agree with your main point re Netanyahu and Iran. But Morgenthau wasn´t motivated by hatred and desire for vengeance. I read the book he wrote about his “plan” in college (“Germany is our Problem”) and it´s basically an effort to analyze German militarism and imperialism, and take the tools to realize their deep seated, aggressive tendencies (heavy industry concentrated at the Ruhr) away from the Germans. Morgenthau shared a certain view of the German mind or “character” that must have been widespread at the time and was presented, for example, in Halford Mackinder´s “Democratic Ideals and Reality” in 1919.

Andy Mink


Andy Mink

And you believe him? I saw your country in 1947 and I do not believe him. [pl


Great post. Few seem to recognize the positive potential of Iran in the region and the possibility of our working together rather than at swords drawn.


"Germany's total experience of democracy was from 1919 to 1933 - Fourteen years is not a long time to instil democratic traditions"

You completely ignore that Imperial Germany before was a constitutional monarchy, and that even Bismarck found it necessary to preempt the social democrats by issuing model legislation for social protections and the like.

Imperial Germany did have a parliament from the onset. Of course there was democratic tradition and there were experienced politicians and there were parties.

Where democracy failed in Germany was the 'new order' that came with Versailles. The democratic parties were blamed for surrendering and accepting the reparations. That the Brits continued the blockade from the armistice to the signing of the Versailles treaty didn't help either.

It put the democrats in the unenviable position of bearing the blame for the war and having to make democracy work in the aftermath of famine, disease and war, loss of territory, with revolutions abound and a devastating economic crisis looming, and all of that not made any easier by the reparations and foreign occupation.

I dare say that under such conditions democracy would have failed in many a place.


W. Fitzgerald wrote: "Even the Marshall Plan provided very little aid to the German economy and that was only at the insistence of the War Department/DOD and the State Department."

However, one very important contribution of the Marshall Plan was the political signal: Nobody in Germany longer had to hord raw materials or to fear the brake down of production facilities, with hard currency and access to US hardware the industry was unlocked. Add the "Währungsreform" that supported the local ecomnomy...


Looking at Canada and Australia and seeing what raw material exports does to a country (closed car factories among others) makes me doubt that stopping Iran from exporting oil is bad for the industrialization of Iran. In fact i expect a finished goods export boom after some readjustments.


There was, for instance, a lot of anti-german sentiment in the US during WW-I. There is a reason why German language all but disappeared from public life in the US in the period, and why Frankfurters were renamed hot dogs.

It seemed ludicrous when in 2003 French Fries became Freedom Fries, but such folly has a history.

In Britain anti-German sentiment was so bad that the Royals had to rid themselve of their German titles under suspicion of double loyalty.

It is well possible that Roosevelt or Morgenthau were influenced by something like that.

If one wants to get a more general taste of it, I recommend John Buchan and the later Sherlock Holmes stories by Conan Doyle (the latter also humours with its many references to phrenology and physiognomy, sciences in their day).


And for the heck of it:


That's precisely my point. It doesn't matter, one way or the other. The economy will collapse in the near future in either case.

Iran's GDP is almost entirely derived from gas and oil exports. Its main fields are in steep decline -- some 10%/yr. Gas injection from South Pars can slow that ... a bit. But energy consumption will eventually exceed production. Perhaps by the end of the decade, perhaps by 2025. Whatever extra natural gas production there is from South Pars will go to make up the difference, not to exports.

Basic commodities in Iran are very heavily subsidized, more so even than in Egypt. Iran requires some $100 billion/yr. Egypt only $60 billion. Without those subsidies, body and soul cannot be held together -- not on $300/month in urban households; certainly not among the poorer rural households.

At the same time, Iran is facing an apocalyptic demographic shift. While the average woman of child-bearing age has 6 or 7 siblings, she herself will have less than two. And the TFR continues to decline.

The TFR decline is most rapid among ethnic Persians, who will be a minority in Iran within a generation. Not a good position to be in for a revolutionary regime -- not when it's been oppressing its own ethnic minorities.

Because of the declining TFR, between now and 2050, the elderly dependent ratio will increase ten-fold, to nearly half the population. Simultaneously, oil production will plummet from its current 3.5 mb/d to perhaps 1.5 mb/d, perhaps lower -- all of which will be needed for internal consumption.

To make matters worse, Iran's agricultural sector is in decline. Already rice, wheat, meat, etc., are being imported. With the grave and growing problem of water scarcity, the need for imports will grow. And that will require hard currency, of which there will be none.

One can hardly begin to imagine the misery Iranians will soon face. And there's nothing to be done about it. The processes that brought the country to this point were set in motion in the 1960s and exacerbated by the revolutionary regime. They're also irreversible. Iran's future is one of famine, not regional hegemony.


I think not. Collapsing states are more dangerous than stable ones -- perhaps especially when they're armed with adult caliber weapons and possessed of a revolutionary ideology. Nations like people do unexpected things when faced with the prospect of immanent death.

Andy Mink

That would need a long set of answers, but here´s a try:

—dividing Germany and creating the European Union (by starting to integrate the Ruhr area with France, BeNeLux and Italy in 1951 in the Montan Union) basically solved Morgenthau´s “German Problem” and was based on the same assumptions: Germany is inherently aggressive and must be tamed, declawed and reoriented. This worked tremendously well, esp. for the Germans.

—Germans must have still been under shock when you met them in 1947. The mood must have been quite different in, say, the summer of 1940 after the defeat of France. That the Reich fought so long and ferociously in 1944-45 (while running the extermination camps at a manic pace) must have told Morgenthau and many others that there was something deeply wrong with the Germans that needed to be “treated” in a throrough and lasting manner. But German elites and the wider population learned by their defeat that war and conquest were not productive avenues for the nation and refocussed their energies on industry, learning, etc to great advantage. Let´s not forget that young elites in academia, esp law schools, had been the driving forces of Nazism, esp in places like the SS and their Reichsicherheitshauptamt. These people (if they survived what they had wrought) learned their lesson. When I grew up in the 60s and 70s I met a lot of resentment against the Allies—“we lost due to American material superiority” was a favorite—but nobody wanted to undertake that excercise again (and the Russians were still the enemy).

—The war and defeat therefore fundamentally changed Germany and the Germans, while leaving many traits intact that are based on culture, tradition and the economic basics, ie Germany being rather poor in natural resources (outside the Ruhr) and depending on intellectual ones, plus discipline, learning, etc, instead to make it in the world. Nazism, the war and post-war re-ordering also fundamentally changed German society into a much more homogenized one. Regional, religious and ideological differences hat been stamped out or smoothed, which made the country poorer in many ways, but easier to govern.

But I´ve moved to the US in 1996 and Germany keeps on changing, yet sticking to certain basics established in 1945—turn aggression into productive industry instead of outwardly. Maybe you encountered the beginning of that transition.

Andy Mink


Iran has been collapsing and a threat to the world since 1979. Decades of American policy has lead Iran to the brink of collapse - making is a state more dangerous? Why that means if we change policy and end sanctions - Iran will not collapse and will thus be, why, less dangerous! My, why didn't anyone think of that sooner. So Obama's policy isn't driven by poor strategy but by true love peace and democracy. I look forward to the day (soon) when he earns a second Nobel Peach prize.

You mention "Adult" caliber weapons? What are those? Having been an NCO I only had to handle the lethal kind.



That's the story of the internal side of why democracy failed in Germany in 1933.

However, there is also an external side of that story. One may also think of the power grab of the Nazi movement as something comparable to the "Colered Revolutions" which are engineered by the US around the world nowadays. The Nazi grab of power has stunningly many paralels with nowadays "Colered Revolutions" - with the major difference that the color brown was - as far as I know - never again used for a US sponsored "color revolution". Remember, what happened in Germany in 1933 was called in Germany the "German Revolution" at that time.

To really compare the Nazi power grab of 1933 with today's color revolutions one should ask: were there foreign powers financing the "German Revolution" of 1933?

Well, there were. Read for example the Guardian of 2004:

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power


GDR historians have long claimed that the support of the transatlantic "capitalist factions" in Germany were crucial for the rise of the Nazi movement.

As to why financially powerful US elites supported the German Nazi movement that they see two major reasons:

1st: They found Nazi thinking attractive. One may just read the books of Henry Ford, Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard to understand how close some mighty US capitalist factions were intellectually to the Nazi movement.

2nd: The Nazi movement was seen as a bullwartk against communism and communism was considered the main enemy by the financial elite in the western world at those times in the 20s. And when the Nazis helped Franco to crush the democratically elected left in Spain from 1936 to 1939 Hitler was actually doing what these western elites always hoped the Nazis would do: crush communism.

What the Western elites didn't foresee as they funded the rise of the Nazis was the Hitler-Stalin pact that emerged later in 1939 and changed the whole board of global power configuration.

William Fitzgerald


Thanks for the reply. "What ifs", of course are imponderable. However, the Casablanca unconditional surrender statement did not constitute surrender terms. In fact it meant that terms would not be presented and that Germany would have to accept whatever the victors wished to inflict. The Quebec Conference then indicated to them what the Allies were planning. Faced with the choice between national suicide and fighting on, it seems to me that fighting on would be preferable to most. I think the question in my mind is whether, with the possibility of terms of surrender, an overthrow of the Nazi government would have been possible. A list of the possibilities is huge, so I'll leave it there.


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