Revisiting US involvement in the Second World War
By David T. Pyne
Today, liberal Democrat Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman are toasted by neocons like President George W. Bush and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as iconic figures, role models and visionary leaders to be emulated. Yet a study of the history of the Second World War reveals that they made many of the same mistakes in the aftermath of that devastating war that Bush has made in Iraq in destroying the balance of power and leaving a vacuum in power which was filled by our long-term enemy. Their foreign policy mistakes abroad cost the lives of tens of millions of innocents, perpetuated avoidable conflicts and left a legacy of Communist subjugation and slavery for hundreds of millions of people across the world while their domestic policies brought welfare-statism and quasi-socialism at home. Truman's dismal record of losing China to the Communists and being the first American President to lose a war in Korea resulted in his leaving office in disgrace with the lowest approval rating of any American President—a mere 22%. Is this really the legacy that the neocons hope to lay claim to? If so, it is no wonder that the American people chose to reject their America-Last ideology during the November 2006 elections as entirely alien to America's tradition of standing tall for peace and freedom and opposing mass-murdering dictators while fighting only just wars in our national interest and insisting upon victory with an eye to establishing a more just and lasting peace.
In recent years, we have all witnessed the disastrous consequences of what happens when the neoconservatives attempt to warp and twist the facts of history and use this distorted version of history to justify our involvement in a war in Iraq in which our continued participation only serves to benefit our enemies. Perhaps the foremost example of this is the incessant neoconservative attempt to equate principled opponents of Bush's present no-win war in Iraq with supporters of the policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler during the 1930's. This despite the fact that the historical analogies of the period if anything caution us against pursuing a policy of unprovoked aggression in the Middle East and suggest we limit ourselves to fighting and winning but one war at a time, rather than pursuing a policy which has the effect of multiplying our enemies and overextending our military so that it is unable to meet more pressing threats. If the actual truths of this period of history were widely-known to the American people, neoconservative propaganda used to retain public support for this no-win war, would be treated as the complete and total nonsense that it is, and the President would be compelled to immediately begin to correct his mistakes and either allow us to win this war quickly or begin an immediate withdrawal. Furthermore, a knowledge of actual twentieth century and specifically World War II history would have allowed our leaders to predict failure in Iraq and perhaps caused them to avoid repeating the mistakes of history in Iraq altogether.
Liberal historians condemn the efforts of those to uncover the truths of history as "revisionist." If by revisionists, they mean we are trying to revise history to fit the facts of what actually happened obscured by their whitewashed history of the victors and pretty myths, they would be correct. As a lifelong student of US military history, former US Army officer and patriotic American, I believe it is important to expose the truth about what really happened in World War II and how America may well have been better off to have limited its involvement in both world wars to avoid the catastrophic consequences to the world that followed. It is well known for example that World War I and the ensuing Treaty of Versailles led to the rise of Hitler, the Nazi takeover of Germany and the Communist takeover of Russia leading to the genocide of tens of millions. It also led directly to the outbreak of World War II, which cost the lives of many more lives than its predecessor and served to make the world safe not for democracy, but for Communism with Stalin as the war's only real victor. I believe that the America First Committee and the leaders and authors who have come to be known as the "Old Right" were right in embracing a foreign policy of non-interventionism of our Founding Fathers which put America's interests first and kept us out of all but a few foreign wars.
It is my contention that many of the assumptions we have been taught by Liberal Establishment historians about US involvement in the Second World War are incorrect. Specifically fourteen points present themselves:
1. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) lied us into World War II by deliberately inciting Japan to attack us at Pearl Harbor for the purpose of getting the US into war with Germany "through the backdoor" and "maneuvering Japan so that she would fire the first shot." Japan under pressure from FDR's oil embargo during the latter part of 1941 was willing to withdraw from all of mainland China, but Inner Manchuria (Manchukuo) and Jehol province and was willing to pull its troops out of French Indochina to avoid war, but FDR rebuffed its offers. US codebreakers having broken the top-secret Japanese code months before, FDR had foreknowledge of the timing and location of the attack, but deliberately withheld warning from US military commanders in Hawaii in the hopes that the Japanese would inflict maximum damage and thus goad the American people who previously opposed US involvement in WW2 by 80% into supporting a US declaration of war. This is as if George W. Bush had incited Bin Laden to attack us and conspired to withhold warning of the Al Queda attack from the WTC and Pentagon officials on 9-11 in order to goad the Americans into a wide-reaching war on terror to support a US war against Islamic states in the Middle East (which of course was not the case).
2. Western involvement in the Second World War itself may have been unnecessary as a close examination of his statements and writings reveals that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler did not want war with the West. His planned crusade against Bolshevikism and invasion of the USSR could not have resulted in a German victory so long as he remained in power (due to his military incompetence) and thus would have resulted in defeat for Nazi Germany even if the Western Allies had not aided the Soviets. It was the Treaty of Versailles provision that the so-called Polish Corridor be given to Poland thus dividing Germany in two that resulted in the outbreak of war between Germany and Britain and France. Had the Polish corridor not been handed over to Poland by the Allies in 1919 in violation of President Woodrow Wilson's stated principle of national self-determination, Hitler would have had no territorial claims against Poland thus likely averting his perceived need for a German invasion of Poland entirely.
3. The Soviet Union, not Nazi Germany, represented the greater threat to Western civilization and to US/UK national security. Due to the fact that the Soviet Union was a co-aggressor with Nazi Germany that invaded Poland and started the war, the Allies should have considered declaring war on the USSR as well or at the very least not allying with the Evil Soviet Empire and providing it with massive military aid enabling it to conquer the eastern half of Europe and most of Asia as they ended up doing. During the period from 1939-1940, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin invaded and/or annexed parts or the whole of six countries to the USSR the same number as was invaded by Hitler during the same period. Furthermore, at the time of the formation of the Grand Alliance between the US & UK on the one hand and the USSR on the other, Stalin had killed up to one-hundred times as many innocents as had Hitler. Thus, contrary to popular perception, Stalin, not Hitler was the greater evil at the time. Hitler having declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, instead of allying with the Soviets the Allies should have signed a non-aggression pact with Stalin and raced the Soviets to overrun as much of Europe as possible in order to liberate the captive nations from totalitarian control, not merely hand them over from one murderous totalitarian occupying power to another.
4. Stalin planned to involve his main enemies the US and UK in a two-front war which he termed "the Second Imperialist War" against Germany and Japan in which the Soviet Union would end up being the main beneficiary as it occupied the territories previously controlled by the Axis powers. Stalin planned to invade Germany and eastern Europe between July 1941 and early 1942 regardless of what Hitler did. Thus, the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941 may well have unwittingly pre-empted the planned Soviet offensive. This fact was revealed based upon a study of documents released from Soviet archives during the early to mid-1990's.
5. The war could have been ended far sooner had the Allies not insisted on unconditional surrender, the prolongation of the war that benefited no one but Stalin and had they not refused to support the anti-Hitler resistance which included a great many of the top Field Marshals and senior generals of the German Army.
6. FDR's and Truman's insistence in prolonging the Pacific War long enough to allow the Soviets to intervene armed with US tanks, planes and artillery provided to them for the purpose and occupy Japanese-controlled territories in northern Japan, northern Korea and northern China was one of the main reasons that the Communists were able to seize control of mainland China. This disastrous policy led to the loss of 450 million (now 1.3 billion) Chinese to Communist control and to the Korean and Vietnamese wars which cost the lives of nearly 100,000 Americans.
7. The Yalta agreement at which Churchill and FDR agreed to surrender 140 million eastern Europeans in nearly a dozen countries to Soviet control represented the greatest appeasement of evil mass murdering dictators and the greatest betrayal of freedom in world history, dwarfing the transfer of 3.5 million Sudeten Germans to Germany under the terms of the Munich Pact.
8. Operation Keelhaul--the forcible transfer of 2-6 million anti-Communist freedom fighters and their families to be killed at the hands of Stalin and his henchmen--was another great betrayal of freedom and war crime committed by Allied leaders including Churchill, Truman and Eisenhower.
9. The Jewish Holocaust could have been prevented had Allied leaders behaved differently in either signing a temporary armistice with Hitler after the fall of Poland or France or allowing Germany to relocate the Jews to a homeland state of their own such as Palestine or Madagascar as Hitler preferred. Though FDR and Churchill learned of Hitler's planned Final Solution in late 1942, they did little or nothing to prevent it.
10. The Western Allies committed war crimes against Germany and Japan by using conventional and atomic bombing raids to incinerate entire cities thus killing two million innocent Axis civilians in the process. The use of the atomic bombs against Japanese cities was entirely unnecessary because Japan was already thoroughly defeated and had been seeking a conditional surrender since at least January 1945 when it sent a surrender overture (with terms nearly identical to those accepted after the atomic bombings in August) to General MacArthur which FDR subsequently rejected.
11. The partial implementation of the Morgenthau Plan in terms of the official Allied policy of deindustrializing Germany and withholding sufficient food rations to German civilians and POW's following the war resulted in the deaths of over 1.2 million innocent German non-combatants at US hands with hundreds of thousands more killed by British and to a lesser extent French implementation of this immoral policy.
12. The destruction and dismemberment of Germany and the killing of ten million innocent Germans by the Allies (mostly by the Soviets) in the closing months of WW2 and the years that followed represented a Carthaginian peace that made the Versailles Treaty look gracious in comparison and created a power vacuum in Europe which was filled by the Soviets. This immoral Allied policy enabled the Soviet enslavement of the eastern half of Europe and the genocide of several millions with the tacit approval of Churchill, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and other Allied leaders.
13. General George S. Patton was right to champion a more just peace for Germany in order to enable them to assist in the defense of Europe against the threat of Soviet attack just as General MacArthur was right to insist on winning the war against Communist China in Korea several years later. Patton had made many enemies with his calls to get tough with the Soviets and rebuild Germany and the German Army to fight the Soviets. Patton was likely assassinated by Stalin's agents in and out of the OSS, which was heavily penetrated by Communists. At the time of his death, he was a mere two weeks away from resigning his commission over some very- heated differences with Truman and Ike's pro-Soviet policies particularly their policy of implementing parts of the Morgenthau Plan designed to crush Germany and starve hundreds of thousands of innocent people and surrendered soldiers.
14. Joseph Stalin, the greatest mass murderer in human history at the time and his Evil Soviet Empire were the only true victors of the Second World War. The Western Allies won the war militarily but lost the peace by surrendering most of the fruits of victory to the Soviets at the end of the conflict. Had World War 2 been waged with an eye to securing the future peace and freedom of the world's nations rather than merely military victory at all cost and at any price, many of the problems we are experiencing today with regards to Communist China and North Korea for example might have been entirely averted, 1.5 billion people who now live under Communist enslavement would today be free, and the lives of tens of millions of innocents who lost their lives to totalitarian genocide might have been spared.
Though US involvement in the Iraq war has been thus far much less extensive than our involvement in the Second World War, given the unprecedented cost to freedom, liberty and humanity of our involvement in what has been mistakenly termed "the good war", one wonders what the ultimate cost will be to this country of our involvement in this latest no-win war in Asia. Already the war in Iraq has lasted longer than US involvement in World War II, but the fact that we are losing and the deception and denial at the White House is causing the war in Iraq to increasingly resemble US involvement in Vietnam.
David T. Pyne, Esq. is a national security expert who currently serves as President of the Center for the National Security Interest, a national security think-tank devoted to championing policies, which serve to enhance U.S. national security. He also serves as the President of the New Mexico Republican Assembly and as a Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. Mr. Pyne is a licensed attorney and former United States Army Officer. He holds an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. Mr. Pyne is in the process of writing a book entitled "Empires at War," in which he speculates how an alternate history World War II might have developed had Imperial Germany won the First World War. David T. Pyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org © 2007 David T. Pyne