--Grief, Dmitri Baltermants
It seemed like a stretch, but it got me thinking about the war fought by the Greatest Generation (men for whom Ranger holds the highest respect and admiration) and asking the question: Was the entry of the United States into World War II valid and legitimate? (It was that war which predicated later U.S. involvement in Korea and Vietnam.)
History must tell its tale, but let us look at the precipitating war in Europe. While both Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland, the U.S. held Hitler responsible, embracing Stalin as an ally. At war's end, Poland was left worse by becoming a Soviet satellite state.
The British and French were saved through U.S. largess, but it was French colonialism that led the U.S.into a neo-Colonial war in Southeast Asia. The European continent was left disastrously divided after the war; the concert of Europe was destroyed.
While the U.S. was attacked by the Japanese in the Pacific theatre, we do not ask why. Why did the U.S. have a fleet in the Pacific? Why did the U.S. forebear the depredations of French and English Colonial policy, but deny the same objectives to the Japs? Did we find white European Colonials more palatable than yellows? How did U.S. policy turn hostile towards Japan in less than a 50-year span?
Why did the U.S. fight to preserve China from Jap occupation, then fight China in Korea less than six years later? Why do we now protect Japan from the Chinese? Why did the U.S. allow the Brits and especially the French to reestablish colonies in Southeast Asia after they collaborated with the Japanese? Ditto the French in Europe.
--Jew Killings in Ivangorad, Kiev (1942)
My point is, U.S. wars are portrayed as something other than the exercises in futility which they are. On Veterans day we honor the vets but we never ask, "Why did they fight?", and "Do the proffered reasons clash with the reality?" We are as driven by slogans and propaganda as were the people we fought.
Here is a novel thought: Why not honor combat veterans by eliminating future wars?
We entered WWII after 2,000+ U.S. servicemen were killed in a surprise attack, while the ensuing war resulted in 400,000+ U.S. combat deaths, with another 670,000 wounded. Millions of enemy soldiers and civilians were killed.
What did the U.S. gain from WWII? Were the results worth the efforts? Why is our response to violence always more violence?