Peace activist David Swanson is the author of the new book Leaving World War II Behind. He debunks the standard misconceptions about the mythical “good war.”
WAS IT ABOUT SAVING JEWS? “In reality, the U.S. and British governments engaged for years in massive propaganda campaigns to build war support but never made any mention of saving Jews.” (p.21)
WAS IT ABOUT STOPPING HITLER’S EUGENICS? “Eugenics had British and U.S. roots and was popularized by Americans in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century…eugenics was funded by the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.” (chapter 4)
WAS IT ABOUT STOPPING NAZI SLAVE LABOR? “As I write this, California is using prisoners to fight forest fires, paying them $1 an hour…” (p.55)
WAS IT ABOUT STOPPING NAZI “LEBENSRAUM” EXPANSION? “In Mein Kampf, Hitler invoked the American conquest of ‘the West’ as a model for Nazi continental territorial expansion in ‘the East.’” (p.67)
WERE WE FIGHTING GOOSE-STEPPING MANIACS DRUNK ON THEIR “ONE ARMED SALUTE”? “If you do a web search for images of ‘Bellamy salute’ you find countless black-and-white photographs of U.S. children and adults with their right arms raised stiffly out in front of them in what will strike most people as a Nazi salute. From the early 1890s through 1942 the United States used the Bellamy salute…” (p.94)
DID WE STOP THE NAZIS FROM CONQUERING AND OCCUPYING THE WHOLE WORLD? “The Nazis did not have the ability to occupy even half of the Soviet Union. Some of the nations they occupied in Europe, as we will see below, effectively challenged their rule. Nonviolent resistance in Germany itself, as we will also see below, showed great potential. Nonviolent resistance to tyranny around the world, as we will see, in the past 75 years has proven itself more effective than armed struggle. The idea that Nazism could have lasted and grown to eventually include an attack on the United States is more fantasy than history.” (p.130)
WOULD PEACE HAVE BEEN WORSE? “In recorded human history, there’s no worse catastrophe than WWII. There’s nothing else that did as much immediate and lasting damage in the space of less than a decade. WWII killed 70 to 85 million human beings. In most wars prior to WWII, including WWI, the majority of deaths were of participants in the wars. With WWII and most wars that have followed it, the majority of deaths have been civilians. WWII injured, traumatized, rendered homeless, and displaced millions of people on an unmatched scale.” (p.147)
WAS THE NAZI OCCUPATION OF FRANCE A “REGIME OF TERROR”?” No, that was the US occupation of France: “In the port city of Le Havre, the mayor was bombarded with letters from angry residents complaining about drunkenness, jeep accidents, sexual assault — ‘a regime of terror,’ as one put it, imposed by bandits in uniform.” As for the US occupation of Germany, which continues at a lesser scale today: “Other estimates…go as high as 190,000 rapes, just in Germany, just by U.S. troops.” (p.157)
DID THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF JAPAN END THE WAR AND SAVE LIVES? “The United States Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that, ‘… certainly prior to 31 December, 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.’” (p.161)
DID THE US PUBLIC SUPPORT WWII? “In May, 1940, 93% of Americans opposed declaring war on Germany.” (p.172) Only the treasonous Pearl Harbor deception could brainwash Americans into supporting the war.
WAS THE POSTWAR WORLD BETTER? “World War II created taxes.” (p.178) Now the feds and their bankster masters loot and pillage American taxpayers and the world, claiming that every anti-imperialist leader in the world is a new Hitler. Among the endless parade of “new Hitlers”: Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al Assad, Vladimir Putin…who will be next?
WAS IT A WAR FOR FREEDOM? “What happens, predictably and consistently, is just the reverse of wars protecting freedoms…liberties are restricted in the name of war.” (p.233) With every war the US fights, the less free it gets. One more big war, and there may be no freedom left at all.