Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The "Not So Good" War : September 1931- December 1941

The Good War began December 11th 1941 when Adolf Hitler persuaded a reluctant American Congress to declare war against the evil of Nazism.

It lasted three years and eight months, from when America  declared war on the evilness of Nazi Germany until August 1945, when America defeated the evilness of Tojo's Japan.

It is the war between the armed forces of morality and the armed forces of evil that American TV chooses to celebrate endlessly.

Infrequently discussed - in America - though perhaps not in the rest of the world, was the ten years and three months of The Not So Good War.

It began with the manufactured Manchuria incident in September 1931 that allowed Japan to brutally invade China without any reaction from the armed forces of morality.

Eventually it involved  two dozen countries being invaded by aggressive neighbours without any action taken to defend them by the armed forces of morality.

That all changed when Hitler's declaration of military war against America on December 11th 1941, forced Congress and America to defend itself against this new military threat.

But this realpolitik approach to dealing with the worst evilness the world has ever known didn't make for good propaganda, both during the war and ever since, and so the War of Good against Evil was created - mostly, it must be said, on a Hollywood backlot set at the time

And ever since then, mostly it has been created in popular American history books, films and TV documentaries.

The big problem is that in any branch of any  public library, there will also be literally hundreds  of books, films and TV documentaries about the Holocaust and their basic line - to their authors' credit - is that America knew all about the Holocaust and did nothing while it was happening.

Hard to reconcile these two very popular "popular history" subjects , the Good War and the Holocaust , isn't it ?

It is almost as if the victims of all those years of the Not So Good War have become honorary Holocaust victims, with the six million dead European Jews also standing  in for millions more dead all around the world who America also knew about at the time but did nothing to help.

Because in many ways, the Not So Good War carried right on through December 11th 1941, on and on well past the official end of WWII.

Then 1939-1945 could best be seen as a six year effort to violently subjugate the Polish people, begun by Hitler, but when he proved to be not up for the job, was finished by Stalin, with the complicity of Churchill and FDR.

The Good War, by this reckoning , was just an cosmetic overlay over a series of episodes between a group of superpowers, with smaller nations mere pawns in the conflict .....

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