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United States and the Second World War

John Simkin

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John, it is because of business that America has the standard of living that we enjoy.

Something socialists can never understand.

And it would be impolite of me to belabor the point but it was the vitality of the Americn capitalist system that built the ships and planes that allowed the Americans to save the derrieres of the English (and other freedon-loving Europeans) in WW II.  So every time you do not need to salute a swastika, remember it was capitalism--good ol American big business (the shibboleth of the left) that saved the good old Union Jack!

The hospitality business is the biggest business and employer in the Keys.  It does not pay the greatest, but it offers many many jobs to people who want to live in this beautiful place I am fortunate to call home. 

Which is not to say that there should never be any government regulation of business.  Some regulationis both important and necessary.

Rewriting history again Tim? This is quite an ignorant interpretation. If you sat down and actually studied WWII you would get a different picture. The US played one part in this war together with many other nations. It was on the Eastern front in Europe we first started to see the success of Germany come to an end due to the skills and sacrifices of the Soviet troops...

Well said, Anders.  Also, let's not forget the sacrifices made by the Soviet civilian population, since the Soviets sustained about half of the estimated deaths in that war.  Quite a contribution, but apparently it is Yanqui ass that demands to be kissed.

Meanwhile, at the time of those Soviet sacrifices, the US sat on the sidelines and played "neutral" for a damning two-plus years.  Apparently this bastion of freedom and democracy couldn't locate its misplaced gallantry and nobility until both Japan and Germany had declared war upon it as well.  Had neither Japan nor Germany demanded that the US get involved, I suggest it unlikely that it would ever have done so, but would have contented itself with selling arms and materiel to both sides, as is its history.

So, Tim, for your country's cowardly refusal to tackle the fascist scourge when all others did, and your capitalist captains of industry's record of selling their goods to the enemy throughout, and your country's entry into the war only when it was left with no other choice, other countries owe you what, exactly?

For a guy who prattles on about the importance of reading history, Tim might profit from doing a bit more of it himself.

As far as WWII goes, it wasn't capitalism that bailed out the world with ships and planes.  Capitalism, as I understand it, operates when the manufacturer of goods determines which goods he will produce and sell to the public at what price, and the public determines whether or not the manufacturer is successful.  During WWII, it was the US government who determined what products would be produced at which plants, and not the corporations and individuals who owned the plants.  So it was this necessity-led foray into socialism that ultimately determined what planes and ships and trucks and guns were produced in which plants, the plants themselves existing due to prewar capitalism.  After WWII, US industry was allowed to reclaim control of their own plants and produce whatever products they saw fit to provide to US consumers, signaling a return to capitalism.  Ditto for rationing; while necessary to ensure adequate supplies of strategic goods for combat forces, a market-based, capitalistic system of purchasing whatever goods one desired and could afford simply did not exist during the war [black-market operations notwithstanding].  And official "ceiling prices" on goods sold took the socialistic tentacles of government on down to the level of the local store owner.

So, with the government determining what one could manufacture, what one could purchase, and the amounts one could purchase, as well as the prices that could be charged for certain products...how can this in any way, shape, or form be construed as capitalism and not socialism?

Or maybe "socialism" is, in Tim's mind, merely a "modified" form of "capitalism."

Before Tim gets the wrong impression, I will state for the record that I am a strong backer of capitalism, having grown up with my parents and grandparents all working in small businesses owned by family members including themselves. . .and harboring my own dream of one day owning my own business. But for the sake of honesty, what was going on during WWII was more socialism than capitalism.

And surely even Mr. Gratz can grasp that truth, and admit it.

Now here we've got side-tracked onto WW2.  While its obvious U.S. financial prowess played a role in both defeating Hitler and re-building Europe, it's also obvious the U.S. was less than noble in its behavior.  Many recent historians, revisionists I suppose, have asserted that the U.S. deliberately delayed D-Day while the Eastern front was raging, in  hopes not only that the Germans would weaken themselves, but that the Soviets would pay a heavy price, and be less likely to parade across Europe after the war. Similar arguments have been raised about the U.S.' dropping of the bomb-that it wasn't done to force a Japanese surrender as much as it was done to scare the Russians.  In the world of realpolitik, the motivations and actions of super powers are far from noble, and rarely understood on a wide level.  As I said, Tim watched too many episodes of Death Valley Days and The Lone Ranger, but he's not alone.  I'd wager that 75% of Americans believe the U.S. "saved the day" in both WW1 and WW2, and that as a result Europeans should kiss our butts and support our invasions, no matter how unnecessary.

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I have had the opportunity to live and work in the US several years and I'm often quite amazed about the fairly common view that "the US saved Europe and the world in WWII". Tim is not the only individual that I met with this view of the US role during WWII.

To be able to evaluate the US war effort it's important to first establish what the US did during the war. This will involve the "Cash and Carry" agreements as well as the "Lend and Lease" together with the actual physical participation in the war. Other questions involve the isolation policy, the US diplomatic relations, when US actually decided to get involved in the war and whith what purpose. This should then be compared with the war effort of the rest of the world... - did the US save the world? or to put it from the other extreme point of view - did the US war effort make any difference what so ever?

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The unfortunate truth of the matter is that many of my fellow countrymen have such a lack of knowledge in their own history that they don't know the truth. Most U.S. history classes (until more recently) only made it to World War II. Many students didn't learn about Watergate, Korea or Vietnam due to the way U.S. schools view the importance of history.

As far as "the U.S. saving Europe and the World" I think that most Americans feel that WWII was not the first time it had happened. Most believe that it happened in WWI as well. Again, while I personally, don't agree with this view, I think it comes from the fact that American history classes run at a fast a furious pace to cover Jamestown to current events. Many students don't like history because so many teachers are lecturing to them so all they hear is " The Germans were winning, Blah,blah,Blah, U.S. enters the war, Blah. Blah, Blah, we win." Please do not view this as an excuse for my countries lack of historical understanding, but as an explaination for it.

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The unfortunate truth of the matter is that many of my fellow countrymen have such a lack of knowledge in their own history that they don't know the truth.  Most U.S. history classes (until more recently) only made it to World War II.  Many students didn't learn about Watergate, Korea or Vietnam due to the way U.S. schools view the importance of history. 

I suspect that the adult population in the UK know more about these events that those in the US. However, I doubt if there will be many who would make the kind of statements that Tim made. As someone once said, if someone keeps quiet he might be considered an idiot. However, once he opens his mouth, you know he is.

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