What were the mistakes of World War II? What can we learn?
The biggest mistake of World War II was this: The Communists won the War. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Communist sympathizer, with numerous Communists in his Administration. As a defender of big government, FDR fooled Americans into allowing him to commit U.S. troops to the war.
Many people believe that World War II was necessary to protect the world from Big Government National Socialism, but these people didn't notice that the War made the world safe for Big Government International Socialism.
The Vine & Fig Tree vision defended in this campaign has been called "pacifism." Many have asked whether pacifism is "realistic" in the face of evil like Hitler. Here is a representative email:
If America had not come to the defense of Europe, at what point would God have killed Hitler and stopped the slaughter of untold millions of human beings?
Thanks for your time,
In 1968, the prestigious Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University began publishing a multi-volume analysis (Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, by Antony Sutton) of declassified State Dept documents which showed that the Soviet Union ("Communism," or "International Socialism") was created and sustained by global corporations headquartered mainly in the U.S., U.K., France and Italy ("the West") . (In the past, "the West" ["the first world"] has been portrayed as being at odds with International Socialism ["the second world"]. The "second world" was in fact the creation of
"the first world." President Roosevelt referred to Stalin the tyrannical butcher as "Uncle Joe." As the "second world" has grown in independence and hegemony, it has rebelled against its "first world" parents and come into competition with the "first world" for the resources of "the third world.")
These corporations saw the Soviet Union as a vast repository of natural resources, which would require slave labor and government central planning to exploit. (Most people think of corporations and "big business" as defenders of "the Free Market" or "Free Enterprise" system. This is a myth. Freedom cannot be easily controlled. Big Business favors Big Government, not freedom.)
Adolph Hitler and the Nazis ("National Socialism") threatened the International Socialism of the Soviet Union. Wall Street placed FDR in the White House to protect corporate interests in the Soviet Union. Violating his campaign promises, FDR sent G.I.s to Europe to protect Stalinism (and to the "Pacific Theater" to make China safe for the Communist Mao Tse Tung). Senator Joe McCarthy was right: the White House and the State Department were riddled with communists. Some actually believed the lofty rhetoric of communism; others were pragmatists who knew which corporations buttered their bread.
Communists won World War II. As many as 90 million human beings were casualties of a war to make sure Poland and Czechoslovakia were controlled by Communists rather than by Nazis. Americans fought for the Communists, whether the soldiers knew this or not. This does not mean U.S. soldiers who fought in WWII were not brave or "patriotic." It just means they were needlessly exploited.
Many people object to or question the philosophy of "Liberty Under God" or Vine & Fig Tree with regard to war and the military. The Vine & Fig Tree vision would have prevented both World Wars. There are two questions that need to be asked:
- If the whole range of political options advocated by the Bible's Vine & Fig Tree vision (including -- but not limited to -- pacifism) had been practiced, would more or fewer lives have been lost?
- Which was greater: the costs of military intervention, or the benefits?
In 1892, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that America was a Christian nation. The court's opinion was a conservative attempt to slow the accelerating secularism that had become noticeable, especially after the publication in 1859 of Darwin's famous book with the not-as-famous full title: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. During the early part of the 20th century, Darwin's work became quite popular among certain political leaders who blamed the economic stagnation of their socialistic and anti-capitalist economies on certain un-favored races. These dictators called their policies "scientific socialism."
The total cost of World War II was approximately 50 million deaths, including civilians. Details.
|Many people are asking about libertarians, "Would Ron Paul Have Stopped the Holocaust?" The United States did not stop the Holocaust. The Holocaust happened. Not only was Auschwitz "liberated" by the Soviet Union, but all of the other Nazi concentration camps in Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, and elsewhere fell under Communist rule. Why is the U.S. Federal Government held up as the standard by which libertarian non-interventionists are supposedly judged?
Embarrassingly, many powerful people in America, the once-Christian nation, admired the ideas and policies of "scientific socialism," and helped advocates of that position come into power, notably including Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Other notable advocates of "scientific socialism" -- though not flying that banner by name -- were Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In 1925, the "Scope's Trial" sent many Christians ducking for cover, and Christians have been in cultural and political retreat ever since. They are no longer the salt of the earth and a light unto the world, a City upon a Hill.
If America had followed Biblical blueprints, we would not have entered World War I. Winston Churchill is reported to have said:
America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn't entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these 'isms' wouldn't today be sweeping the continent in Europe and breaking down parliamentary government, and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, and American and other lives.
If America had followed Biblical blueprints, the Great Depression would not have occurred. The economic policies that brought about the Great Depression in America were emulated in other nations, which also suffered during the Great Depression. "The Roaring 20's" were not just culturally, but in terms of banking and other economic policies, a repudiation of Biblical Law.
Departures from God's economic laws in the opening decades of the 20th century led to America's Great Depression, which had world-wide impact, including Germany, and directly set the stage for World War II.
If America had been a Christian pacifist nation, following the "Vine & Fig Tree" blueprints in the Bible, she would not have given military and financial support to Hitler and other dictators during the 1920's and 30's.
The "right hand" does not always know what "the left hand" is doing.
Senator Joe McCarthy -- for all the invective against him - was right: The U.S. Federal Government was infested with commies:
- The New American - The Real McCarthy Record - September 2, 1996
- McCarthy's "Witches" - The New American - June 16, 2003
- McCarthy and His Colleagues - The New American - June 16, 2003
The prestigious (and conservative) think-tank at Stanford University, the Hoover Institute, published a multi-volume study of de-classified State Department documents and other government records which proved beyond question that the Soviet Union would not have lasted more than a few years without technological and financial aid from the so-called "capitalist" West. Socialism does not work. It must be propped up by capitalism.
WALL STREET AND THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION
Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, 1930-1945
The purpose of World War II -- which was determined not by the brave men and women who fought in it, but by the communists in the State Department and throughout the federal government -- was to extend communism, which was at least 10 times as lethal as Hitler. America only entered the war against German National Socialism in order to further International Socialism under Stalin.
The same is true for America's entry into the Pacific Theater against Japan: the goal was to eliminate a threat to international socialism in the Far East.
FDR and his communist advisors were planning to enter WWII even as they promised to keep our boys out of war, and in Asia they opened the door to Mao Tse Tung, keeping Douglas McArthur from closing it.
Is there more liberty in the world after World War II, or is there less liberty?
But even if the U.S. put an end to Hitler's national socialism, is there really any important difference between national socialism ("fascism") and international socialism ("communism")? Tyranny is tyranny.
A Century of War - Mises Institute
Did We Really Win?
- Japanese atrocities have gone nearly completely unpunished. Japanese leaders remained in power. Japanese fascism remains in power to this day.
Many of the Philippine islands on which American soldiers gave their lives are now Muslim. The federal government has long given financial aid to and maintained ties with Muslim governments which America's Christian Founding Fathers would have opposed.
- Some researchers on the far left have argued that German fascists actually won WWII and we are under that fascism today:
- How the United States Lost World War II
On the other hand, researchers on the far right are quick to point out that Bush's "neo-conservative" inner circle are devotees of Leon Trotsky.
The total economic destruction wrought by World War II is undoubtedly close to a trillion dollars in 1990 dollars, but the total loss is incalculable, because so many artistic and historic masterworks were lost, including centuries-old architecture filled with historic treasures. Many of these priceless creations were of a distinctly Christian character.
Ask the same question about every war: "Was it worth the cost?" The "cost" is easy to determine, in lives lost and property destroyed. But when we ask "Was it worth the cost," the "it" is usually harder to define. Was it "a war to end all wars?" Was it "to make the world safe for democracy?" Usually none of the stated goals of the war actually were achieved. So what were the actual results of the war, and were these results worth the cost? Not once, I would argue. Not a single time. Click
here for a list of all U.S. wars since 1776, compiled by the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Not one of them was worth the cost. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to kill human beings in order to achieve the promised results of these wars, much less the actual results of these wars. And we shouldn't honor those who refuse to follow Christ.
If Hitler killed six million, Stalin killed 60 million.
American intervention against Hitler [and in defense of Stalin] arguably made matters worse.
We MUST trust God.
This is our duty.
I welcome a continuing dialogue on this issue.
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.
Click here to view the exhibit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., co-sponsored by Rutgers University:
IEEE Virtual Museum: WWII: What was all the Fighting About?
If you've never seen that website, give it a visit. Beginning with the IEEE text on the left, on the right are the questions Christians should be asking:
|WWII: What was all the Fighting About?
World War II (1939 to 1945) was the largest and costliest war ever, both in terms of lives and money. In about six short years an estimated 50,000,000 people died as a result of battles, concentration camps, bombings, starvation, and disease. Millions more were displaced and left as refugees. Billions of dollars in property were also destroyed, as were artistic and architectural masterpieces. The war involved nearly every country, but essentially there were only two sides,
which included the United States, Great Britain and the Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union;
|and the Axis
which included Germany, Japan, and Italy.
Although this exhibit will primarily focus on the technology developed by both sides during the conflict, a basic understanding of the issues surrounding the war is essential.
|In a battle between atheistic communism and pagan Naziism, or in a battle between atheistic communism and Japanese fascism, which side do you want to be on? For which side are you willing to give your life?
Why would you want to be on either side?
|The causes of World War II were complex. A major one was the global depression of the 1930s, which generated worldwide political unrest and encouraged radical political reforms. In Germany, the demand for reform brought the National Socialist Party (the Nazis) to power. Their leader, Adolf Hitler, promised and delivered both a better economy and the revitalization of German pride, which had been badly damaged by the country's humiliating defeat in World War I and the change in national borders in Europe. This pride reached a fanatical pitch with a call to unify ethnically German people living in nearby nations and to "purify" the German "race." "Purification" culminated in the Holocaust, the wholesale roundup and execution of Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, and political dissidents.
"Unification" led to expansion outside of Germany's borders with the annexation of Austria in 1938 and the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. This aggression was met with negotiation by other European nations who hoped appeasing Hitler in the short term would prevent war in the long term. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, however, Britain and France declared war.
||What were the causes of the Great Depression? In the early decades of the 20th century, America made a decisive conversion from Christian Republic to Secular Empire. In 1931 America officially repudiated its Christian heritage, but this repudiation had been taking place for decades. "The Roaring 20's" were not just culturally, but in terms of banking and other economic policies, a repudiation of Biblical Law.
Henry Hazlitt and the Great Depression
The Century of Statism
Five Books That Explain It All
Ludwig von Mises Institute
Departures from God's economic laws in the opening decades of the 20th century led to America's Great Depression, which had world-wide impact, including Germany, and directly set the stage for World War II.
|Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a very different war was brewing. Thousands of miles away, Japan became an ally of the Germans, even though they shared few military or political goals. The Japanese invaded China, seeking to gain territories there and in Southeast Asia. Feeling threatened when the U.S imposed severe trade sanctions in response to this aggression, Japan attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941. Within weeks of the attack the U.S was at war with both Japan and Germany. The USSR, which had seen their nonaggression pact with Germany violated just six months earlier, joined the Allies.
||Do "severe trade sanctions" work? Did they actually accelerate conflict with Japan and U.S. entry into World War II in "the pacific theater?"
Future of Freedom Foundation - Trade Sanctions on Japan
|British and American forces began their counteroffensive by attacking German forces in Africa in 1942, virtually driving the Axis armies from the continent. This was followed by American successes in the Pacific and the Russian defeat of the invading German army. The Allies finally entered German-held France in the famous Normandy (D-Day) invasion in June 1944 and gradually worked their way through France and into Germany before joining the Soviets in taking the capital city of Berlin in the spring of 1945.
|With Hitler defeated, the Allies turned their full attention to the Japanese. Following brutal fighting on numerous small Pacific islands, the Japanese were beaten back toward their homeland. Believing that an invasion of Japan would entail too many casualties, President Truman ordered the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on 6 August 1945. Despite the horrible effects of the bomb, the Japanese did not surrender, and the Americans dropped a second bomb on the city of Nagasaki three days later. The Japanese then surrendered on 14 August, ending World War II.
|A major cause of the unprecedented scale and destruction of World War II was improved military technology. Although submarines, tanks, and aircraft had limited use in previous wars, by World War II they were advanced enough to play a determining factor in the outcome. Submarines were made larger, faster, and deadlier and their torpedoes took a heavy toll on ships all through the war.
|Aircraft and tanks, which had seen limited use in World War I, now became two of the most important types of weapons. Aerial bombing became especially important, as both sides developed bigger bombers capable of delivering more bombs (to see some, flip through the slideshow at right). This improved technology, however, was abetted by new technologies that debuted in World War II and would change war and the world forever.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers does not necessarily agree with the views expressed on this website. Its purposes are not political, certainly not pacifistic, anarchistic, or Christian, but solely for "furthering the understanding of the history of electrical and information technologies."
Did the U.S. Liberate the Jews?
When the federal government had a chance before 1945 to rescue Jews, it refused to do so. One example: a boat full of Jews escaping Hitler came to the U.S., but Roosevelt prohibited the ship to dock on U.S. soil. The story | The details | More about WWII.
Christian pacifism and the “Good War” | Peace Theology
The issue with “saving Jews” is perhaps even more clear-cut than the other two. Many American and British leaders looked positively upon the Nazis in 1933 as a bulwark against Communist influences. When the Nazis came into power they immediately began implementing anti-Jewish policies. As the violence toward Jews increased, humanitarian voices were raised to offer aid for the beleaguered Jews. Mostly, the humanitarian efforts were thwarted by U.S. and British political leaders. When the War actually began and the genocidal violence increased, these leaders continued to resist efforts to offer help. The western Allies simply were not motivated by a desire directly to save Jewish lives. In fact, the War’s expansion
likely had the impact of making the lot of Europe’s Jews even worse.
 See Theodore S. Hamerow, Why We Watched: Europe, America, and the Holocaust (New York: Norton, 2008). Hamerow writes in support of the Allied leaders in face of charges they were anti-Semitic. However, in arguing that these leaders were constrained by circumstances from effectively saving Jewish lives, he also confirms that saving Jewish lives was not part of the purpose of the War for Americans.
 Doris L. Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust, 2ndedition (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009): “War provided killers with both a cover and an excuse for murder; in wartime, killing was normalized, and extreme, even genocidal measures could be justified with familiar arguments about the need to defend the homeland. Without the war, the Holocaust would not—and could not—have happened” (vii).
Ted Grimsrud (see below) has thoughtfully and with too much restraint commented on the terrible effects of World War II, specifically with regard to the creation of the "Military-Industrial Complex":
In time, it became clear that the United States would benefit greatly from this war and that the forces within the United States who would benefit the most were the military and business elites. The War was an opportunity for the military to move into an unprecedented place of power and influence within the federal government, and it was an opportunity for American corporations to profit immensely from the U.S. becoming the one global economic superpower.
I've never seen evidence that leaders of America's defense industry met with the communists in the Roosevelt White House to lead America into war so that defense corporations could rise to such unprecedented power in America. (There may be such evidence, but I've never seen it.) It seems more plausible to believe that because Americans did not have a principled objection to all war, and in practice had made government their god (through a patriotic trust in government as the savior and preserver of our "Personal Peace and Affluence),") defense corporations looked around them after World War II and saw surprising opportunities. Government and
industry sort of bumbled into "the military-industrial complex" rather than self-consciously designing and creating it. A Consensus of worldviews.
WORLD WAR II | Peace Theology | TED GRIMSRUD
THE “GOOD” WAR THAT WASN’T—AND WHY IT MATTERS: WORLD WAR II’S MORAL LEGACY (these are rough drafts of the chapters of a book due published in November 2014 with Cascade Books—here’s the book’s website)
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Jus Ad Bellum: The Reasons for War
- 3. Jus In Bello: The Conduct of the War
- 4. What the War Cost
- 5. Pax Americana
- 6. The Cold War
- 7. Full Spectrum Dominance
- 8. No to the War
- 9. Social Transformation
- 10. Servanthood
A series of posts drawn from the book’s conclusion—“The disaster that was World War II: Could things have been different? (part one)” [posted May 29, 2013]
- “Our fathers’ war” (December 26, 2010)
- “How should a pacifist view World War II?” (January 21, 2011)
- “World War II and America’s soul: Christian reflections” (February 20, 2011)
- “What do we make of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” (February 27, 2011)
- “Who can stand against it? The ‘good’ war and the Beast of Revelation” (May 13, 2011)
- “Was World War II a just war?” (January 10, 2012)
- “Someone else who has problems with World War II…” (April 20, 2012)
- “Why World War II was a Moral Disaster for the United States” [Part 1] (May 27, 2012)
- “Why World War II was a Moral Disaster for the United States” [Part II] (May 28, 2012)
- Baker, Nicholson. Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, The End of Civilization
- Bess, Michael. Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II
- Browning, Christopher R. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
- Buchanan, Patrick J. Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War
- Herman, Arthur. Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age
- Hitchcock, William I. The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe
- Kovac, Jeffrey. Refusing War, Affirming Peace
- Loconte, Joseph, ed. The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm
- Miller, Lawrence McK. Witness to Humanity: A Biography of Clarence E. Pickett
- Schlabach, Theron F. War, Peace, and Social Conscience: Guy F. Hershberger and Mennonite Ethics
- Sheehan, James J. Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? The Transformation of Modern Europe
next: Did World War II end the Depression?