Interview 1800 – James Corbett and Keith Knight Tackle Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War

by | Apr 27, 2023 | Interviews, Videos | 22 comments

via James joins Keith Knight of The Libertarian Institute to discuss Patrick J. Buchanan’s 2008 book, Churchill, Hitler and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. They each choose five key insights from the book and explain what those insights teach us about World War 2 in particular and war in general.


Original post at Libertarian Institute

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The WWI Conspiracy

The Bystander Effect

Prolonging the Agony How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Jim MacGregor & Gerry Docherty

Debunking A Century of War Lies

What the Neocons Got Wrong: And How the Iraq War Taught Me About the Limits of American Power” by Max Boot


  1. I find the idea that since monarchies gave way to democracies, the leaders now need to come up with reasons to get the public to go to war, but when I think about it, it seems to me that even under a monarchy or other non-democratic system, the ruler needs to come up with a justification for war. The ruler needs motivated soldiers. Unmotivated soldiers will work in a pinch, but not as effectively. I think most average citizens believed they went to war to defend their country or for the glory of their country, or to defend the faith, or whatever. Did they just fool themselves or did their rulers feed them a story?

    • tzviy

      “…Did they just fool themselves or did their rulers feed them a story?…”

      I do not think most people were involved, not as much as with modern war.

      Back before WW1 the modern British Army was basically made up of aristocratic officers who BOUGHT their rank and the common soldiers who were essentially scum, the dregs of society. The Navy could ‘press’ (conscript) people but the Army in the Napoleonic wars had to pay pretty massive sign up bonuses.

      Between the big religious wars and WW1 most people in Europe did not fight in most big wars, and suffered pillage only when soldiers were physically close to them. Their lives just went on more or less like usual

      The Officers of different nations had more in common (and often more humanity for) Officers of other nations, who were from their own class. I would say, then, that Wars most often happened ‘somewhere else” and were mostly fought by people no one really cared about and quite often (not always!) did not really affect most people….. in a sense just like the 20 year Afghanistan war has not impinged much on normal Americans.

      The real crime of WW1 was not that it was fought (wars always happen) that it debased a whole generation of NORMAL people who were led to do things most people had not done since the middle ages.

  2. When I ask students the following question: “How do you think the world would react if 96 top members of the French government, head of military, finance and including their president and his wife, went down in an airplane crash” due to fog?

    They reply pragmatically: “Well, 96 top members of the French government would never get into a single airplane under any circumstances in the first place.”


    Nevertheless, they have no idea what I’m referring to.

    There’re a couple of other certainly minor questions that have always niggled me concerning what Wikipedia calls “The Smolensk Air Disaster”:

    1: Why was the entire world struck with full-scale amnesia concerning the loss of the ENTIRE Polish government within what seemed like days following the event?


    2: Why didn’t the US government at least put on a show about plausible Russian involvement or at least go to pains to explain why Russia would never try anything so crazy (like Chomsky talking about the neo-cons and 9/11).

    The other impertinent thought that came to mind listening to this very interesting podcast was concerning Churchill’s role in the Bengali Famine and his flippant remark when commenting on the disaster:

    Later in a cabinet meeting, he said —
    “Famine or no famine, Indians will breed like rabbits.”

    Below is just one article among many, I cannot vouch for its quality or accuracy:

    And once again my limited culture evokes the spectre of the “vampires” in the Black Mirror episode “Men Against Fire” when hearing about the impersonalization of tragic victims when represented as mind-boggling numbers. Or you can impersonalize them with a brain chip making them appear to be vampires with “shit in their blood”.

    Kit Knightly is always very interesting to listen to and read.

    • sorry: KEITH KNIGHT. sigh.
      Yes I confused Keith with Kit Knightly of Off-Guardian…
      Now back into the hamsterwheel withya Granny…
      I maintain they’re Both very interesting.
      …but how much of the world has become just one big mish-mash in my pickled mind…?

    • I do not think Churchill CAUSED the famine but I can totally believe that he let it take its course and refused to intervene.

      I watched a rather cool documentary based on the memoirs of Churchills bodyguard and rather got the impression (this was not even a hostile documentary) that Churchill was a borderline personality or even an actual psychopath. He was rather low arousal and appears stimulation seeking which was probably why he was such a drunk

      Add in the normal attitudes of that time and I do not think the deaths of indians would have bothered him at all (he was after all the guy who almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when he got drunk and demanded mass gassing of German cities which would have ended badly for the UK since Germany had way better gases)

      The British had let Ireland starve during the potato famine less then a hundred years before, and (to be fair) India was always subject to horrible cyclic famines so in a sense he could have seen it as the normal Malthusian cycle.

      Maybe his alleged comment on breeding like Rabbits came from Malthusian thinking?

      • The ol’ LIHOP-MIHOP debate?

        Well, I’m no historian but following studies of soil samples several sources seem to claim that there was no drought in 1943 and that it was a “fear of invasion by the Japanese” which led not only to massive destruction of rice supplies as part of what has been called “Denial Policies” and Churchill’s refusal to answer the urgent pleas of several high-ranking officers in India to send emergency supplies of grains that caused some 3 million people to starve to death.

        “…Japan, an Axis power fighting the British-led Allied nations, had an active naval presence in the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the early 1940s, and had annexed Burma (now Myanmar) in 1942. Churchill diverted large supplies of crops and rice, using thousands of boats, from the coastal areas to deny supplies to the Japanese forces should they invade India.

        This was a part of Britain’s 1942 “Denial Policies”. Fearing a Japanese invasion via Burma, the British Raj set about devising a double attack. First, rice was denied to districts along the southern coast of Bay of Bengal, which typically have a surplus of rice. John Herbert, the then-governor of Bengal, directed rice and paddy to be removed or destroyed in these cities immediately.

        The second part of the directive was to deny boats and other forms of transport. All boats that were large enough to carry more than 10 people (and crops) were destroyed, disrupting distribution of food.

        As Mukherjee notes, over 46,000 boats were destroyed, and the scale of damage led to a near-complete breakdown of transportation infrastructure…

        …Meanwhile, several high-ranking British officers, including the governor of Bengal John Herbert, governor-general and viceroy of India, Linlithgow, the secretary of state for India, Leo Amery, commander-in-chief of the Indian Army, General Auchinleck, and the then supreme commander of south-east Asia, Admiral Louis Mountbatten, had been making urgent requests to London for emergency import of rice and wheat.

        Churchill’s cabinet denied the requests…”

        But that’s just a reductionist, 10-minute pre-hamsterwheel, 500-character comments box perspective.
        Guess we could say the 3 million Indian people who starved to death in 1943 were mere wartime collateral damage and the war mongers were not responsible. As usual.

  3. Gerry Docherty, “Feeding The Enemy” lecture for the WW1 Centenary on how the future President Herbert Hoover enabled the German army to continue the war and made a proffit while doing it. I was just reading “One Summer: America, 1927” and it had a section on Hoover running Gov relief to US flood victims…., the guy who was called ‘the greatest humanitarian since Jesus’, lol indeed.

  4. The ACTUAL similarities between Putin and Hitlers situation by Martymade podcast…. He’s kinda a lefty IMO. The weimar/russia looting situation was very similar

    David Irving was a pretty well respected historian before he got into Holocaust history. You can download and read his most of books for free off his website (which looks like it was built in the 90’s from its unfriendly interface)

    Mike King is a researcher on WW2….I’ve heard him speak but not yet read any of his books except “mein side of the story” (which was a decent starter book on the subject)
    He appears to be on pretty solid historical ground from what I hear him say, though does come across as kinda a fan of Hitler.

  5. The historian who noted the very different cultural attitudes towards cruelty and violence in the Greek and Roman world is VERY right.

    CS Lewis wrote, correctly IMO, that being strong enough to protect the weak, AND kind enough not to oppress the weak is ‘a work of art not nature’. Essay linked below.

    The moral framework that most people think they are operating under is just a very thin veneer of Christianity pasted over normal human behavior.

    This veneer is the only reason we do not laugh at ideas like justice, fairness and (at its parasitic edge) Racial Justice, Feminism and the Woke hierarchy of victim hood. The irony is that when that veneer is finally gone the people who have been attacking it will not really have any leverage against the power of the the strong, and will suffer most as we return to normal

  6. Disclaimer: I am Scottish and fully accept the British ruling class’s part in the development of eugenics. It continued until fairly recent times (David Attenborough, Prince Phillip etc.)

  7. Really interesting and helpful conversation to listen to. Thank you both.

  8. “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”

    — Voltaire

  9. James, you forgot the most important part of this story. Hitler wanted peace with England and sent his second in Command to negotiate peace BEFORE the war started.

    “It was decided that Ivone Kilpatrick, who had known Hess in Berlin when he was First Secretary to the British embassy in the 1930s, would travel to Scotland to interview the prisoner and make a positive identification, which he did. Hess subjected Kilpatrick to a 2-hour speech on Hess talking about the Treaty of Versailles and how Germany would win the war soon, and then moved on to his reasons for coming to Britain his proposals for peace. He said had come without Hitler’s knowledge to convince responsible persons that as England could not win the war, it was better to make peace. He made the proposal that Britain should give Germany a free hand in Europe and Germany would give Britain a free hand in the empire. He also added that any agreement could not be with Churchill’s government. If he was aware of plans of Hitler’s about his imminent invasion of Russia, he did not divulge them.

    Churchill, on the advice of his cabinet made only a short bald statement about Hess’s arrival and so the press speculated madly. Hess’s arrival was an embarrassment to Churchill, as any suggestion that the British Government had been in prior negotiations with Germany would have ruined Churchill’s ongoing attempts to get the United States into the war.

    • I’m in no way disputing the information you provide about Hess but I was wondering who IWM was and as it turns out it’s interesting to note that it is largely Chatham House aka the Royal Institute for International Affairs (not to mention ex-Washington Post).

  10. Excellent interview with an abundance of important info.

    James, when I heard you talking about a situation where a discussion about the atrocities committed by the western imperialists (“allies”) comes up (in the context of the first and second world wars) and you did an impression of some hypothetical moral high horse riding, Winston Churchill cheerleading, ‘we’ were on the ‘right side of history’ westerner and you said “Well I never!” that make me laugh out loud. I actually chuckled several times throughout the work day thinking of it as well, thanks for that. 🙂

    I appreciate you leaving no stone unturned and shining light into the uncomfortable shadowy areas of history (which most would rather avoid).

  11. Keith’s book “The Voluntaryist” was awesome.

  12. James makes a good point at the end of this discussion about the idolizing of successful murderous conquerors, in that they may not be so mindlessly idolized in the future.
    Didn’t Jesus Christ say something about the meek inheriting the earth?
    Anyway, the idea of the aggressive bastards killing each other off over time and leaving the earth to those who are humble is presented in the Bible, so yes, at this point in time, We, “the live and let live” out number those who liveth by the sword, and we need to continue to support each other while withholding as much as possible from those who will take everything they can from us.
    From my prospective, Christianity caused the fall of the Roman Empire because it gave the People the strength to refuse to become slaves or soldiers and thus reduced the power of the Roman Government whereby it could not even hold it’s own against invading forces.
    In a nut shell, “I will not Consent” may be all we need to do in order to bring down the house of cards. Without servants who will take their fake money for whatever they want done, the oligarchs are lost.

    • TruthSeeker

      “…From my prospective, Christianity caused the fall of the Roman Empire because it gave the People the strength to refuse to become slaves or soldiers and thus reduced the power of the Roman Government whereby it could not even hold it’s own against invading forces….”

      The fall of the Empire had just about nothing to do with the rise of Christianity. If anything it held the Empire together for a little longer then it would have, and it certainly allowed the rise of the replacement Christian counter culture.
      Dr Jones did an essay on it, the monastic system was quite viable compared to the chaos going on and allowed all kinds of things to happen.

      The fall of Rome had more to do with bad demographics- low birth rate and Mass-immigration of alien peoples and poor monetary policy (inflation and the loss of gold reserves to luxury trade goods outside the economic system).

      It was seen (correctly) as a massive human disaster that caused horrible suffering. People might like to think they want the system to come down, but at the end of the day very few are actually ready to live in the world that comes after.

  13. New here, hi folks, interesting interview and discussion.
    Good work James, if I may would though like to ask the same as Michael Atkinson:

    -What’s your source for the “Nazi’s” (and Kissinger&Co) using the slogan “useless eaters”?

    If interesting to anyone-below the results of my research into that topic:

    Claim 1: Schwab, Kissinger and Co using the term frequently.

    A Google search on
    A) Schwab results in:

    Have not been able to find any exact sourcing/evidence for the alleged quote in those hits, only against it, as this Reuters article represents :

    According to which this is a phrase that is falsely attributed to Schwab, does infact not appear anywhere in his books, but in a (“conspiratorial”) book the author John Coleman called ‘Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300.’ on page 103:

    A Google search on
    B) Henry Kissinger (famous quote “the elderly are useless eaters”):

    Also here strangely, have not been able to find any exact source given for that quote in those hits, only a loose mentioning that it is to be found somewhere in the book by Woodward/Bernstein “The Final Days” from the 70`s.

    But strangely again, the term does actually not appear in that book:

    Thus overall result for 1A) and 1B):

    Have found much evidence for a lot of people widely claiming Kissinger, Schwab and Co were/are using/promoting that term frequently, while none for that they actually do/did.
    But could of course be that I overlooked something. Anyone who has and can link to evidence of that sort?

    Claim 2: the “Nazis” used it (frequently):

    (as claimed also f.ex. in this article:

    Google search:
    Main sources given:

    -Strangely the term actually is not to be found on that page, let alone any primary source for it, as far as I can see?

    -Again, nowhere is the term useless eaters to be found, the entry/page is about the term “Life unworthy of life” (in german: lebensunwertes Leben).

    As (only) source is given the book by Professors Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche of the University of Freiburg:
    “Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwerten Lebens (Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life)”

    firstly: that book was actually a nuanced professorial dissertation on the many -both legal and moral- aspects regarding the question of euthanasia in general, published and publicly debated in 1920 (during the Weimar Republic, 13 years before the “Nazis” came to power), during a period where that question was discussed in most western countries in the same way:

    The “out-of -context” quotes cited from it in the Wikipedia article actually purely factually seem to present a very skewed picture of the nuanced entirety of the books content (which is freely readable online in its original version, see next link below).

    secondly: Again, nowhere in that book is the term “useless eaters” (unnuetze Esser/nutzlose Esser) actually to be found:

    Thus overall result for claim 2:

    Have also here found much evidence for very many people claiming the “Nazis” used/promoted this term, yet not been able to find any accurate primary evidence for that they actually did.
    Could of course be that I overlooked something here too-Anyone who has found/can point to such proof?

  14. If of interest to anyone-

    came over another very detailed discussion of Buchanan`s book and in general WW2 revisionism, which surprised me personally by its journalistic professionalism and level-headedness, especially given the author`s heritage…

    Also available as audio-file (read by author himself):

    The author is Ron Unz, owner of the Unz-review, for which Buchanan also writes/wrote it seems.
    (Along with other heavy weights like Ron Paul, P.C. Roberts, P.Escobar, P.Giraldi, A. Cockburn… But, on the other hand, both impressively as also maybe to some degree unfortunately, Unz seems to have a total journalistic/opinion freedom policy on his site and allows anyone -otherwise censored- author to write freely, radical left and right and all between and unfortunately some of those -like A.Anglin f.ex.- often lower the professionalism-bar by seemingly feeling the need to push the envelop of political incorrectness into rather cheap provocations and polemics.
    Just my impression of course.)

    Was personally most impressed also by Unz`s extensive articles on the highly controversial topic of “Holocaust denial”, simply factually and in regards to style the most eloquent and level headed dissertation on that subject I have ever come across. If interested:


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