Mickey Z. writes at World News Trust:
“The adjective and the noun don’t match.”
– Studs Terkel (talking about the “Good War”)
The enduring “Good War” fable goes well beyond Memorial Day barbecues and flickering black-and-white movies on late night TV. According to accepted history, World War II was an inevitable war forced upon a peaceful people thanks to a surprise attack by a devious enemy.
Then and now, WWII has been carefully and consciously sold to us as a life-and-death battle against pure evil. For most Americans, it was nothing less than good and bad going toe-to-toe in khaki fatigues.
However, there are a few, um… inconvenient details about the “Good War” we may wanna factor into this perception, e.g.
- The United States fought that war against racism with a segregated army.
- The United States fought that war to end atrocities by participating in the shooting of surrendering soldiers, the starvation of POWs, the deliberate bombing of civilians, wiping out hospitals, strafing lifeboats, and in the Pacific boiling flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts.
- Before, during, and after the Good War, the American business class traded with the “enemy.” Among the U.S.-based corporations that invested in the Nazis were Ford, GE, Standard Oil, Texaco, ITT, IBM, and GM (top man William Knudsen called Nazi Germany “the miracle of the 20th century”).
- While the United States regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face certain death in Europe, another group of refugees was welcomed with open arms after the war: fleeing Nazi war criminals who were used to help create the CIA and advance America’s nuclear program.
- FDR, the ostensible leader of this anti-racist, anti-atrocity force, ordered the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process. Thus, in the name of taking on the architects of German prison camps, he became the architect of American prison camps.
Wait… what’s that about American prison camps?
Read more here.
This was republished under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. No changes were made.