Top 12 Reasons the Good War Was Bad: Hiroshima in Context

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Welcome Ceremony in Japan 33962

Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question.

Of course this belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there’s a good war next year, even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there’s general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me.

And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them.

I’ve written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially this one. But perhaps it would be helpful to provide a column-length list of the top reasons that the good war was not good.

1. World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, without Wall Street’s funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to commies), and without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.

1.第二次大戦は愚かな方法で始めもっと愚かな方法で終え、多くの賢い人々を即座に第二次大戦を予想させ第一次大戦をなしに、(共産党員には好ましい)ウオール街のナチス・ドイツの何十年にわたる資金供与、将来繰り返す必要のない軍備競争と多くの悪い決定なしには起きえなかった。

2. The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had committed to Churchill to provoking Japan and worked hard to provoke Japan, and knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor — before which time, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning.

2.米政府は不意打ちを喰らったのではない。フランクリン・ルーズベルト大統領は日本そ挑発するようチャーチルに加担し日本を挑発するよう懸命に働き、攻撃が来ることを承知しており、真珠湾の前夜にドイツと日本両国に対する宣戦布告の草案を始めに書いておりーその時以前にFDRは合衆国と複数の海洋に基地を築き、基地のために英国人と武器貿易をし、徴兵を始め、国内のすべての日系アメリカ人のリストを作り、中国に飛行機、軍事訓練員、飛行士を提供し、日本に厳しい貿易禁止を課し、合衆国軍部に日本との戦争が始まることを忠告してい居た。

3. The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations would not allow Jewish refugees in, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that Hitler might very well agree to that but it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.

3.その戦争は人道的でなく、それが終わるまでそうだと売ることさえしなかった。

4. The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships actually assisting British war planes were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was in fact a threat to the United States. A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and created more damage than might have been, had it done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples of other wars.

4.その戦争は自衛の為ではなかった。・・・

5. We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed, and that success more likely to last, than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.

5.我々は今や占領と不正義に対する非暴力的抵抗がより多く成功し、その成功は暴力的抵抗よりより長く続行するというより多くの資料をもってより広く知るようになった。

6. The good war was not for supporting the troops. In fact, lacking intense modern conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at the enemies. That those soldiers were treated better after the war than soldiers in other wars had been, or have been since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would take way more than World War II stories to get people into military recruiting stations.

6.その良い(と言われた)戦争は軍人を支援するものではなかった。・・・

7. Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made this war the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. That it was somehow “opposed” to the far lesser killing in the camps — although, again, it actually wasn’t — can’t justify the cure that was worse than the disease.

7.ドイツ戦線で殺された人々の何倍も戦争中それ以外の所で殺された。・・・

8. Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilian cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took this war out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation — and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a legacy that has continued.

8.都市の全く弁護不可能な核攻撃に極まる(軍事でない)市民都市の全体破壊を含む戦争のエスカレーション(拡大)はこの戦争をその導入を弁護した多くの人々にとって弁護可能な事態の領域を超えさせたしーまた正しくそうなった。・・・

9. Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the “good” side in a war, but not the “bad.” The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had an apartheid state for African Americans, camps for Japanese Americans, a tradition of genocide against Native Americans that inspired Nazis, programs of eugenics and human experimentation before, during, and after the war (including giving syphilis to people in Guatemala during the Nuremberg trials). The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war. They fit right in. The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since.

9.巨大な数の人々を殺すことは戦争の「善い」側にとって弁護できるものと想像されたが、「悪い」側にとってはそうでなかった。両者の区別は幻想されるほどはっきりしたものでは決してなかった。合衆国はアフリカ系アメリカ人に対するアパルトヘイト国家、日本人に対する強制収容所、ナチを鼓舞した原住アメリカ人に対する人種全滅の伝統、とその戦争前・中・後における優生学と(ニュルンベルク調停中のグアテマラ人に対する梅毒投与を含む)人体実験のプログラムを持っていた。合衆国軍部はその終戦後何百人というトップ・ナチを採用した。彼らはまさに適合した。その戦争の前・中・以後ずっと合衆国はより広い世界帝国を目指した。

10. The “good” side of the “good war,” the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn’t make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish the tales of triumph for “democracy.”

10.「善い戦争」の「善い」側、勝利の側の最大の殺戮と死亡をなした部分は共産ソビエト連邦であった。それは共産主義にとって戦争を勝利とはせず「民主主義」の勝利の物語を実際は汚すものである。

11. World War II still hasn’t ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn’t have their incomes taxed until World War II and that’s never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary. The bases have never closed. The troops have never left Germany or Japan. There are over 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.

11.第二次世界戦争はまだ終わっていない。合衆国の普通の人々は第二次世界戦争まで収入に税を課されることは無かったが、今もって終わっていない。それは一時のものと考えられていた。基地は決して閉鎖されていない。兵士達はドイツと日本を決して去ることがない。ドイツには合衆国と英国の十万発以上の弾丸が地中にあり、殺人が続いている。

12. Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial, world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn’t attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I’ve got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you’ve still got to explain how the world of the early 1940s justifies dumping into 2017 wars funding that could have fed, clothed, cured, and environmentally protected the earth.

11.75年前の核の無い、植民の、完全に異なる構造・法令・習慣を持った世界に戻り、それ以後毎年合衆国に最大の支出を正当化することは、それより小規模な如何なる企てを正当化しようとすることを試みることがなされなかった自己欺瞞である。たとえ私が第一項から第十一項まで全く誤っていると仮定しても、1940年代初期の世界が2017年の戦争に食べ、着せ、治療し、地球を環境的に守る為に金を大量投棄するのを正当化するのを説明すべきである。

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