Do you remember the Vietnam War, which produced somewhere between 1,450,000 and 3,595,000 deaths? What good did America’s invasion do? If America had won instead of lost, would the invasion have been good? Is any invasion, by any country, ever good?
World War II was different — and not only because it was global, and not only because our side (the U.S. and UK and Soviet Union) won.
The basic principle determining whether an invasion even has a possibility to be good, is whether that invasion is truly essential in order for the invading country even to continue at all to exist — which means, its constitution to continue in force. Only such authentic national defense can ever justify an invasion.
During WW II, the continued existence of the Soviet Union, and of Britain, and of the United States (as well as of many other countries) was, indeed, seriously threatened by Adolf Hitler’s regime, and not only because it was aided by Benito Mussolini’s regime, and by Emperor Hirohito’s regime.
On the Allied side, “non-interventionists” in that situation were merely a combination of Hitlerites, and fools. Hitler had made clear, in his 1925 Mein Kampf, and in his 1928 Second Book, and in his speeches, and in his re-armament of Germany, that he was determined to exterminate all Jews and all disabled persons, and to enslave all Slavs (including Poles, Russians, Czechs, Slovaks, etc.), and that he despised and would never tolerate democracy, anywhere. This was known generally among the top economic classes and all national politicians, within his intended victim-countries — or, at least, among all of these elite who weren’t incredibly stupid. Nonetheless, some tried to negotiate with him, though his rearmament program made clear to anyone who had half a brain, that Hitler meant what he asserted in his books and speeches. The Wikipedia article on the matter says that
“Since World War II, both academics and laypeople have discussed the extent to which German re-armament was an open secret among national governments. A likely element in the thinking of some Western leaders was the willingness to condone a rearmed and powerful anticommunist Germany as a potential bulwark against the emergence of the USSR.”
But what this alleged belief by “some Western leaders” means, is those believers’ conviction that Hitler’s clear statements advocating conquest of other countries and introduction of his dictatorship there, were serious only against communist countries, and that his blatant and proudly expressed racism posed no actual threat beyond the geography of that restricted ideological sphere, the communist nations. In other words: one had to be either an ignoramus, or else an idiot, or else a liar, in order to be a “non-interventionist” after 1933. Any such persons were in clear denial, of clear reality. Hitler was a clear existential threat to all other nations.
So: the situation regarding WW II constitutes a very rare exception, in which invading a foreign country (in that case, the fascist Axis nations) is morally justifiable.
America’s invasion of Vietnam was entirely unjustifiable. This is a fact that can’t be published in America, because the official 47,434 U.S. “Battle Deaths,” and the official 10,786 “Other Deaths (In Theater),” and the official 32,000 “Other Deaths (in Service),” and the official 153,303 “Non-mortal woundings,” and all of those grieving American families, are presumed to oppose honesty about this basic matter of U.S. history. These soldiers died, and were wounded, and they killed Vietnamese etc., for nothing, other than for what America’s elite wanted.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that JFK and LBJ weren’t enormously pressured by the U.S. aristocracy to invade, nor that Richard Nixon wasn’t a psychopath for promising a “secret” plan to end the war by means of a U.S. victory that even he and Kissinger knew was actually impossible. But it does raise the question as to whether the U.S. President really represents the American public, or, instead, represents the U.S. aristocracy.
There are a great many other U.S. invasions that likewise were war-crimes that cannot be prosecuted, because the U.S. empire is beyond the reach of the law, and almost everybody is aware that this tragic situation applies to many U.S. invasions.
Donald Trump inherited some of these invasions/occupations, such as in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, in Yemen, and also in coups, such as in Ukraine (which the U.S. ‘news’media still call a ‘democratic revolution’, instead of a “coup”).
He’s continuing all of them — including the coups/juntas, and not merely the outright invasions/occupations.
The U.S. Government does not apologize for its crimes, and nobody can prosecute its crimes. So, what the world has instead, is lies, about these crimes. As long as these lies go on being repeated, there will be no possibility of change: these tragedies, and more of the same, will then inevitably continue.
Real victory is simply impossible without real truth. But, who even cares about that? There are always excuses, for repeating the deceptions of self, and of others. ‘History’ becomes as it is: one key omission after another, one key falsehood after another, all mixed in with enough truths so as to provide the myth that the aristocracy want the public to believe.
Outside of the United States, the truth about this particular matter is widely known: the only international poll that has ever been done on the question “Which country is the biggest threat to peace?” found that by an overwhelming margin, people around the world (but not in the United States) volunteered “United States” as the answer. 67,806 respondents were interviewed on that, from 65 countries. The poll was by WIN/Gallup, using scientifically random samples in each one of the 65 countries. Those people know it, but Americans do not.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.
Featured image is from Strategic Culture Foundation.