Stucky (a regular on TBP) wrote this fine piece in response to TBP’s resident village idiot bb; it should be required reading for all.
Posted on 10th June 2014 by Stucky in Economy
“War forces ‘national planning’. To permit total mobilization of your country’s economy, you gladly surrender many freedoms. You know regimentation was forced by your country’s enemies.” ———— “The Road To Serfdom”, Step 1
“Criticism of the decisions made during war only come from people who have never fought in a war but you sure have enjoyed the results of all those men dying. Right?” ———— Village Idiot (bb) to me, referring to D-Day and WWII
Well, let’s take a look at The Good War, and the “results” I have “enjoyed”.
BEFORE THE WAR —- FDR’S NEW DEAL
Herbert Hoover couldn’t adequately deal with the Great Depression. So, disgusted Americans elected FDR in 1932. FDR’s campaign promises in 1932 were to; cut federal spending, balance the budget, maintain a sound currency, and stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington. That didn’t work out to well. Instead he gave Americans a bewildering, incoherent mass of new expenditures, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and direct government participation in every aspect of economic activity. For starters, how about 47 new Federal Programs and Agencies implemented between 1933 – 1939? Listed in order of implementation;
Emergency Banking Act , Government Economy Act, Beer-Wine Revenue Act, Civilian Conservation Corps, Abandonment of Gold Standard, Federal Emergency Relief Act, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, Tennessee Valley Authority Act,, Securities Act, Abrogation of Gold Payment Clause, Home Owners Refinancing Act, Establish the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), Glass-Steagall Banking Act, creation of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Industrial Recovery Act, create the Public Works Administration (PWA), Emergency Railroad Transportation Act , Civil Works Administration , Gold Reserve Act, National Housing Act, create the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Securities Exchange Act, Federal Communications Act , Soil Conservation & Domestic Allotment Act, Emergency Relief Appropriation, Works Progress Administration , Rural Electrification Act , National Labor Relations Act /Wagner Act, Resettlement Act, Social Security Act (SSA), creation of Social Security Trust Fund, United States Housing Act, Bonneville Power Administration, Farm Tenancy Act, Farm Security Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), New Agricultural Adjustment Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Federal Security Agency
[Side Note: It has been said that FDR was much loved, and that’s why he was elected four times. That’s not true. The 1936 election is touted as one of the biggest landslides in history. Nevertheless, some guy named “Alf” was able to garner 17 Million votes. Look again at the above 47 acts … WHO benefits? Old folks, young folks, blacks, poor folks [supposedly], Unions, farmers, and anyone wanting or owning a home, amongst others. In other words, enormous swaths of the country needing free shit. Even blacks, loyal to the Republican Party ever since the Civil War, abandoned the GOP in exchange for the pitiful relief payments and crap jobs in the federal work-relief programs. It’s called Buying Votes. John T. Flynn, in his book, ‘The Roosevelt Myth’, said ——– “it was always easy to interest him in a plan which would confer some special benefit upon some special class in the population in exchange for their votes,” and that eventually “no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs.”]
In a 1936 book called ‘The Menace of Roosevelt and His Policies’, Howard E. Kershner wrote that Roosevelt; ——– “took charge of our government when it was comparatively simple, and for the most part confined to the essential functions of government, and transformed it into a highly complex, bungling agency for throttling business and bedeviling the private lives of free people. It is no exaggeration to say that he took the government when it was a small racket and made a large racket out of it.”
Under heavy criticism for all this crapola even FDR himself eventually said that he was — “not willing that the vitality of our people be further sapped by the giving of doles, of market baskets, by a few hours of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves, or picking up papers in the public parks.” But, just like his broken campaign promises, the Free Shit Handouts did continue throughout his Presidency.
FDR’s true colors should have been apparent to everyone after his first inaugural speech when he said ——- “we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline.”. Then he made a comment Obama would have been proud of by warning Congress that if they didn’t do his bidding he would seek —— “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” FDR, the new King, swinging his E.O. pen from the Bully Pulpit … it won’t be the last time a president ignores the will of the people.
FDR often clung to the analogy that just as war was a national emergency, so was the current economic climate. Just as in war the government controls and mobilizes the economy, so should the government do likewise in this economic national emergency. Aside from the fact that whenever the government declares a war on any aspect of social / economic life (i.e.; war on drugs, war on poverty, war on racism, war on obesity, etc.) that the war always ends it dismal failure, is the fact that successfully prosecuting a war has virtually nothing in common with the necessary requisites of getting an economy out of a depression. But FDR was determined to change every aspect of the American landscape, a war where the protagonist was the American Government, and the victims the American People who voted the scoundrels into office. As expected, his war on the economic national emergency would fail. Eventually, only a real war would save his ass …. and preserve Big Daddy government he perfected.
Prior to the Good War, exactly how did things work out? In 1939, ten years after its onset and six years after the commencement of the New Deal, 9.5 million persons, or 17.2% of the labor force, still remained officially unemployed …with 3 million of those “employed” being enrolled in emergency government make-work shovel-ready projects. As late as June 1939, industrial production remained significantly below 1929 levels (81 vs. 100).
Furthermore, mounting evidence makes it clear that poor people were principal victims of the New Deal. New Deal programs were financed by tripling federal taxes from $1.6 billion in 1933 to $5.3 billion in 1940. Excise taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, corporate income taxes, holding company taxes and so-called “excess profits” taxes all went up. New Deal taxes were major job destroyers during the 1930s. Higher business taxes meant that employers had less money for growth and jobs. Social Security excise taxes on payrolls made it more expensive for employers to hire people, which discouraged hiring. The National Industrial Recovery Act cut back production and forced wages above market levels, making it more expensive for employers to hire people – blacks alone were estimated to have lost some 500,000 jobs because of the NIRA. The NIRA forced consumers to pay above-market prices for goods and services, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act forced Americans to pay more for food. Amazingly, FDR banned discounting by signing the Anti-Chain Store Act and the Retail Price Maintenance Act.
The most important source of New Deal revenue were excise taxes levied on alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, matches, candy, chewing gum, margarine, fruit juice, soft drinks, cars, tires, telephone calls, movie tickets, playing cards, electricity, radios – in other words, the New Deal was substantially financed by the middle class and poor people. Consumers had less money to spend, and employers had less money for growth and jobs. It wasn’t until 1942, in the midst of World War II, that income taxes exceeded excise taxes for the first time under FDR.
By 1939 the whole damn house of cards was about to tumble. Unemployment climbed back over 20%. This, despite cartelizing industry, subsidizing farmers, creating massive make-work projects, promoting organized labor, and launching the modern welfare state (social security, minimum wage laws, AFDC) …. all funded by a combination of increased debt, excise taxes, and high progressive income taxation. Even FDR’s secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, confessed to the House Ways and Means Committee on May 9, 1939;
“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before AND IT DOES NOT WORK … We have never made good on our promises … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. …. And an enormous debt to boot!”
Where the New Deal succeeded beyond FDR’s wildest imagination was in changing the country’s dominant ideology. Just look at the 47 new acts and agencies. Each interferes with the effective operation of the free market. Each renders the economy less productive with its subsidizing, financing, insuring, regulating, fines and punishments. The New Deal set a precedent that virtually any government program could gain sufficient political support in Congress. Limited constitutional government no longer applied …. especially after the Supreme Court revolution that began in 1937. After the New Deal virtually everyone would look to the federal government for solutions to problems great and small, real and imagined, even personal as well as social. After the New Deal any new proposed federal program might be opposed because of its structure, personnel, or cost … but virtually no one objected on principle, that this new program by its very nature was inappropriate to the role of government. Government now is The-Solution-To-Everything. FDR’s lasting legacy is a bloated, very stupid, extremely intrusive government trampling on citizens liberty. But, even so, it almost died on the vine.
Prior to entering the Good War, FDR’s economic war plans to remake America into a socialist utopia was failing miserably, as shown above. What he needed was a real damn war. Not to save Europe or help America! But to preserve his new found powers and to keep the Federal Bloated Pig fed into perpetuity.
WINNING THE GOOD WAR AND ENJOYING ITS RESULTS
Let’s start with Poland. Why? Because Britain and France declared war against Germany when German military forces attacked Poland …. and Britain and France would liberate Poland, they said. How sincere was that pledge? Not, very. Soviet forces attacked Poland from the East two weeks later, ultimately taking even more Polish territory than did Germany, and the leaders of Britain and France kept silent. Was Poland free after WWII ended? Of course, not. They had to endure decades of brutal (at times) Soviet domination. So, the Good War wasn’t so good for Poland.
What about all of Eastern Europe? Also dominated and ruled by the Soviets. No freedom for them as a result of the Good War.
What about England? They won!! Churchill, in his ‘Finest Hour’ address, said: —— “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.” A few weeks earlier in his ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ speech, he said that unless Germany was defeated, there would be; ——– “no survival for the British empire, no survival for all that the British empire has stood for…”. How did wining the Good War turn out for the Brits? Even Churchill lamented the war’s outcome three years after the end of fighting; —— “The human tragedy of the war reaches its climax in the fact that after all the exertions and sacrifices of hundreds of millions of people and of the victories of the Righteous Cause, we have still not found Peace or Security, and that we lie in the grip of even worse perils than those we have surmounted.” The once mighty British empire … the one in which the sun never set … that empire has vanished into history. The Brits can now watch the sun set on their empire every day, and they don’t even need to leave their island.
British historian Basil Liddell Hart wrote: ———- “All the effort that was put into the destruction of Hitlerite Germany resulted in a Europe so devastated and weakened in the process that its power of resistance was much reduced in the face of a fresh and greater menace – and Britain, in common with her European neighbours, had become a poor dependent of the United States. These are the hard facts underlying the victory that was so hopefully pursued and so painfully achieved ….. It confirmed the warning of past experience that this victory is a ‘mirage in the desert’ – the desert that a long war creates, when waged with modern weapons and unlimited methods.”
What about the rest of Western Europe? Well, several of them are saddled with a permanent Occupying Force — at least that’s what it’s called when Russia did likewise. None of them can adequately protect themselves. All of them are sock-puppets to Uncle Schmuel. This is not freedom. Europe for the first time in its history was no longer master of its own destiny. In 1941 FDR and Churchill issued the “Atlantic Charter”, a formal declaration of Allied war aims, that the USA and Britain would seek; —- “no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned”. They lied! They re-drew so many borders with impunity dividing up countries like an Etch-A-Sketch Gone Wild. Their horrible decisions took decades to come to its bloodletting fruition, such as in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and still in the Middle East to this day. Wow, that’s some kind of ‘victory’.
But, the USA (the government) and Soviet Russia came out smelling like a rose. FDR, Stalin, and Churchill met in Yalta and accomplished EXACTLY what they accused the Krauts, Nips, and Dagos of conspiring to achieve ……. world domination. One must be willfully blind to not see the hypocrisy. WWII was not a war for freedom. Rather, it was a war for who would become the winner of the global game of Risk, and the players at Yalta, each in his own duplicitous way, tried to assure that only one power would be left standing.
Russia did exceptionally well, although it took seven decades to realize the full potential. Russia today has virtually no debt, and with their thousands of nukes is the only nation in the world that can legitimately stand up to American military might, and has enormous natural resource wealth with oil, minerals, and arable land, and along with China and other nations is working hard to put an end to the petro-dollar …. which would certainly put the final nail in the coffin of the American Empire. I wonder how the Village Idiot will enjoy those results.
There is no doubt that the end of WWII launched an era of astounding prosperity. Perhaps that’s what out Village Idiot means by me enjoying “the results of men dying”. But, that would be quite a statement coming from the Village Idiot, who is also an unabashed Fundy Bible Thumper. It’s almost as if he never read the warnings from Scripture against loving things, acquiring unnecessary wealth, and the evils of loving money. The only question that matters is whether or not obtaining this prosperity was worth the cost. I don’t think it was. Decide for yourself.
ISOLATIONISM DIES ……… GIVING BIRTH TO GLOBALISM
Yes, there are exceptions (taking the land from Native Americans, taking/buying lands from the French, taking/fighting the Mexicans for huge portions of land), but for the most part, American history is one whereby its citizens and politicians preferred isolationism. For a hundred years after George Washington’s farewell address warning against “foreign entanglements”, America basically minded its own damn business. Then along came that rat-bastard, Woody Wilson (may he rot in hell), who was elected largely on his promise to keep America out of the European War. But about a month after his inauguration this war-mongering Ivy League elitist gives his “War message to Congress”, not because our security is at stake, but because America suddenly acquired this duty to spread liberty across the world; —– “The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.”
Anyway, war was declared, the people went along with the charade, millions died, and ………… peace in Europe was never achieved. As a result, by the 1930’s, disillusioned Americans became more convinced than ever that foreign adventure was a disastrous policy. American isolationism was renewed with a vengeance. The majority of Americans were very firmly opposed to entering WWII. Most people know that FDR’s goading Japan to attack Pearl Harbor changed all that. But there was another guy who helped kill isolationism, Henry Luce.
Luce was the founder and editor of the Time and Life empire. Those two magazine were THE source of news for Americans. Luce penned an editorial in 1941, “The American Century.”. Luce should be the patron saint of Fox news and neocon warmongers. Luce said the US was already the strongest nation in the world for several decades, and that NOW was the time to accept the responsibilities of that power, writing that the US should “exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.”. He said the US must be a force for good. How? By spreading our culture, feeding and clothing the world, and spreading the ideals of democracy, freedom, and justice around the globe. His editorial was received with great enthusiasm. It effectively marked the death of American isolationism.
A FANATICAL REVIVAL OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM
America was birthed with a belief in its exceptionalism going as far back as the 1600’s whereby the Puritans believed themselves to be on a “special mission from God”. The end of WWII fueled our exceptionalistic beliefs, like throwing gasoline on a fire. Ours was the only significant economy left standing, and one without global competition. Our military was invincible. Always a religious people, it seemed even atheists acknowledged that America was specially blessed by God. We could do whatever we wanted, when we wanted, for as long as we wanted, and cost was never an issue. We believed one of the craziest notions of all time ….. that each successive generation would surpass the affluence of the one before.
The process of breaking these illusions and returning to reality STLL HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE!! To listen to Obama’s West Point speech a couple weeks ago was like taking a Time Capsule trip back to May 8th, 1945. Obama actually believes in his heart we are still an exceptional nation, who can do what it wants, when it wants, including bombing other nations unilaterally as we see fit, and cost is never an issue.
Historian Murray Rothbard summed it up most succinctly when he wrote: —– “World War II is the last war myth left, the myth that the Old Left clings to in pure desperation: the myth that here, at least, was a good war, here was a war in which America was in the right. World War II is the war thrown into our faces by the war-making establishment, as it tries, in each war that we face, to wrap itself in the mantle of good and righteous World War II.”
It is our belief in an exceptional military that is so dangerous … to us and the rest of the world … for exceptionalism inevitably leads to over-confidence. Since 1945, American presidents have repeatedly sought to justify US military actions in foreign countries Exceptionalism/over-confidence led that that jackass Lydon Johnson to believe the Vietnam war would be over in a few weeks. It led Bush to compare fighting Iraq – another “good war” — with our mission against Hitler, and his moronic son to prematurely ejaculate “mission accomplished”. Fast forward to the current Moron-In-Chief and you get a numbskull who calls Afghanistan a “necessary war”, and who is desperately seeking to re-ignite a Cold War with Russia — because we are exceptional, and they are not — or, possibly even WWIII, the next Good War that will certainly this time be the war to end all wars.
THE CURSE OF AFFLUENCE
Hey, I watch the Honeymooners. In one episode Alice complains to Ralph about their lack of modern conveniences saying that their last month’s electric bill was eighty-nine cents!! Ha! I don’t want to live like that! I’m delighted I have a fridge, a gas oven, a vacuum cleaner, and other niceties of life. But, as stated earlier, what was the real cost in completely transforming society?
The most obvious is that everything became larger; media, education, entertainment, corporations, you name it but, especially government. Individual craftsmanship gave way to mass production. Mom and pop gave way to franchises. Quaint towns and villages each unique to its geographical location gave way to suburbia … a mind numbing sameness that is only marginally better than those old Soviet-era grey concrete apartments.
The growth of suburbia created a “consumption multiplier”; more homes meant more appliances had to be produced, and furniture to furnish them, and malls to supply the homeowner with all their needs, more roads needed to be built, and more automobiles to transport the consuming masses, and children largely abandoned by their parents needed more toys, phones, computers, and gadgets to keep them occupied.
A mass-produced society really doesn’t need a lot of people who work for themselves. So, now, instead of people like our own Hardscrabble Farmer, we have hordes of worker drones working for someone else in corporations, government offices, and universities; mostly white collar workers in their cubicle fiefdoms, and millions upon millions in the soul-destroying “service industry”. Schools are incapable of coming to the rescue as their only interest is producing little robots that conform to the status quo, individualism be damned.
Even the Most Holy of Holies has been replaced by The Holy God Of Stuff. Go to any Christian bookstore and you’ll find row after row of books on how to ‘name it and claim it’… in the name of Jesus, of course. The theology section might consist of two rows of shelves. From Joel Olsteen (the psychologist to neurotic Christians) to Trinity Broadcasting Network (for Christians so materialistic it makes the Devil blush) the case can be made that Friedrich Nietzsche was correct; “God IS dead”, at least in most American churches.
So, tell me, how wonderful has all this material abundance really been? Not that it really matters … because the Age of Abundance will soon pass. This generation is already worse off than mine was, and the next one will be still even worse. The Honeymooners kitchen in the not too distant future will look like the lap of luxury.
AN OUT OF CONTROL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and PRESIDENCY
The math is simple. During the war years, federal civilian employees increased from one million to nearly four million. Washington’s spending grew from $9 billion to $99 billion dollars. And like a cancer, neither has stopped growing since. Time after time FDR assumed more and more authority, almost acting like a King. Important decisions concerning both domestic and foreign policy were not made by Congress, but by the President and his advisers. Not every president after FDR was as bad. But, no one complained, no one was outraged, no one questioned FDR’s abuse of the Constitution, and so, the precedent was once again established (after a hiatus from the Lincoln years). Obama has read FDR’s playbook, and perfected it.
THE BIRTH OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
The partnership of Big Science, Big Government, and Big Business established in1940 had created a firm foundation for future projects. Scientists were commissioned to perfect new weapons like the atom bomb, better radar, jet engines, penicillin, etc. Prostitution increased dramatically as FDR offered big business executives key positions. Corporate profits doubled. There was a demand in markets that previously did not exist. It was the beginning of the end of the family farm as larger commercial farms absorbed them. This was all pretty nifty at the time as it helped win the war. BUT, the beast didn’t stop growing after the war, it just grew and grew and grew … a cancerous blob of protoplasmic slop that will, in time, consume itself.
Eisenhower talked about the dangers of the MIC in his farewell speech. During the war an organized relationship arose between big business and the military’s spending on defense as hundreds of millions of dollars were spent which, in turn, inflated American industrial capacity. Small companies disappeared as two-thirds of government contracts went to the 100 largest corporations. Today the MIC spends more on American defense than the next 9 largest spenders combined … and that includes Russia and China …not to mention we are the world’s number one arms exporter by a huge margin.
Military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity. In fact, it might not actually “create” any jobs at all. Military spending doesn’t make our country richer, otherwise, why wouldn’t we just build 10 millions tanks so we could all become millionaires? If you like Paul Krugman and his Weaponized Keynesianism band, you won’t believe this, but every dollar spent on military spending is a dollar not spent making something that will help all Americans economically. It’s pissing money down the toilet.
THE CURSE OF ADVERTISING AND CREDIT
I loathe advertising at about the same level I do bankers and politicians. How can I respect an industry whereby every product output is basically a lie (of either omission or commission), a half-truth, or an exaggeration, and whose goal is always for their clients (us) to commit one of the 7 Deadly Sins, that of Greed? The post-war explosion in the production of consumer goods created an explosion in the advertising industry …. because people just don’t buy all that crap on their own, they need to be suckered into it. But, even with mom now in the workforce, there often wasn’t enough money to buy stuff, as there was so much of it. This new materialism led to the creation of an economy run on credit …. a concept basically unknown before the war, when most families borrowed money only to buy a house, or perhaps a car. The credit card changed America, and not in a good way for its many debt slaves.
BLACKS (or African-Americans, Neegrows, colored folk, …. or whatever)
In 1941, 10 of 13 million Blacks still lived in the rural South. One million blacks migrated to the North during the war. Two million were employed in the defense industry. As early as 1943 a riot broke out in a federally-sponsored housing project in Detroit, leaving 35 blacks and 9 whites dead. A little over two decades later Newark, Watts, and other areas were left burning. Civil disobedience – “sit-ins” first, violence later – occurred almost immediately after the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942.
The need for farm workers rose dramatically after Pearl Harbor. To meet the demand, the United States established the Bracero (work hands) Program in 1942, and by 1945, several hundred thousand Mexican workers had immigrated to the Southwest. Commercial farmers welcomed them; labor unions, however, resented the competition, leading to animosity and discrimination against Mexicans. The war opened the immigration floodgates, both legal and illegal.
The war had a dramatic impact on women. The most visible change was the sudden appearance of large numbers of women in uniform, such as 250,000 women joining the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), as well as the other service branches. And over 6 million women entered the work force, and for the first time in history, married working women outnumbered single working women. “Rosie the Riveter” became the popular symbol of women who abandoned traditional female occupations.
I’m not a misogynist. I have no qualms with women having the same opportunities as men. But this ‘social engineering’ came at a cost to family life and therefore to society, and to deny it is foolishness. Moms either stayed on the job, or went to work outside of the home in large numbers, not because they needed to, but because they could. There became suddenly so many things to buy! Consumerism may not have been born during the immediate post-war era, but it was surely Super-Sized. And one of the reasons Boomers became the most fucked up generation ever (according to many here on TBP) may have been because we were raised by others not called mom-and-dad. We did enjoy them buying us stuff to assuage their guilt. We watched. We took notes. And, when we grew up, many of us bought BMWs and McMansions.
ENEMY ALIENS IN OUR MIDST!!!
At first, Japanese-American-owned banks and businesses were closed, as well as Japanese language schools. FDR ordered members of suspected “enemy alien” groups to turn in their cameras, radios, and weapons. The U.S. Attorney General established curfews in military zones and forbade “enemy aliens” to travel outside of a five mile radius from their homes. Then, eventually, 112,000 of America’s 127,000 Japanese living on the mainland were sent to Internment Camps (lesser known is that about 15,000 people of German and Italian ancestry were also subject to Amerika’s wartime confinement program.)
The above events are rarely discussed and easily dismissed as a necessary act during a time of war. In other words, no big deal, move along. However, it is one of Amerika’s darkest moments. I will keep my argument simple; —- THEY WERE AMERICANS!!! Many were born HERE, some families going generations deep. Even those not born here, they immigrated here because they wanted to be Americans, and they were loyal to this country. I was born in Austria, but after living here 55 of my 60 years, if you try to tell me I’m not an American, trust me, I’m likely to punch you in the brain.
Once again, this heinous act set (or, re-established) a precedent … that it’s perfectly OK to send AMERICANS to prison —err, interment — camps for some stupid trumped-up fear-mongering reason. And if you disagree with that, my friend, you will really enjoy the FEMA Camps, coming to a theater near you, soon. How will you feel when they come for YOU, because you own a gun, or belong to the Tea Party, or because you are a wacko ‘Constitutionalist”, or belong to the 99 other groups this Federal Government is so afraid of that there’s an FBI Watch List monitoring them all? Will you still say, “It’s no big deal?”
HOW “GOOD” WAS THE GOOD WAR REALLY?
“What kind of war do civilians suppose we fought, anyway? We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter-openers.” That quote comes from a 1946 Atlantic Monthly article by Edgar L. Jones titled ‘One War Is Enough’. The article is here, and well worth the read (if you can handle the truth); —- http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/bookauth/battle/jones.htm
BACK TO THE VILLAGE IDIOT
The Village Idiot (bb) eventually did answer my question regarding WHICH results I’ve “enjoyed” as a result of “all those men dying”. This is all he could come up with;
“Think about it, if we had lost the war America as we knew it would not have been.”
To which I say, “If only that were true. If only ….”. There are a great many people who understand that our WWII victory was a Pyrrhic one. The Village Idiot will not believe me. He’ll probably even call me bad names. So, I close with a quote from Charles A. Lindbergh, 25 years after the war ended he wrote;
“We won the war in a military sense; but in a broader sense it seems to me we lost it, for our Western civilization is less respected and secure than it was before. In order to defeat Germany and Japan we supported the still greater menaces of Russia and China – which now confront us in a nuclear-weapon era. Much of our Western culture was destroyed. We lost the genetic heredity formed through eons in many million lives. It is alarmingly possible that World War II marks the beginning of our Western civilization’s breakdown, as it already marks the breakdown of the greatest empire ever built by man.”