News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

From the Atimes forum:

Dude wrote >>The civil war was a civil war -- not an attack on a foreign country. The Mexican and Spanish wars are the exceptions that prove the rule: both were wars of aggression, like our war in Iraq. Some will argue that it was misunderstanding in the case of the Spanish war, but it was similar to the Iraq one in that the casus belli had no evidence to back it up. In WWII, Germany and Italy declared war on us, and were furthermore aggressive countries actively trying to conquer large parts of the world.<<

I wrote: The civil war was a declaration of independence by the south and featured one side at least which viewed itself as an independent nation given that the union had been entered into voluntarily. I'm not a partisan of the confederacy, just reworking your semantics. And I think that all of these wars are 'exceptions' casting doubt on your statement that "Democrats favor a foreign policy that was the consensus in America for 50 if not 200 years". I don't see a consensus other than one which could be stated as: "the US is opposed to belligerent war except when it's not opposed to belligerent war."

My understanding of WWII is that Hitler's top generals were strongly opposed to invading France and even convened a conspiracy to depose Hitler and the Nazis in the winter of 1939/1940, not to mention that Hitler tried repeatedly in vain to draw up a peace treaty with the Brits. Churchill instead bombed Hamburg. The US went to war because FDR wanted to go to war despite his election promise that he would not and despite polls showing up to 80% opposition to intervention in Europe. He couldn't get Hitler to declare war on the US so he tried to provoke the Japanese, an ally, through various means. FDR didn't see Pearl Harbor coming, but he did expect (and want) an attack on either the Philippines or Midway Island. I agree that Hitler had to be stopped and that the Japanese did not have to attack the US, but FDR wanted into that war. Though I'm no fan of FDR, if it had been me, I probably would have done the same thing that he did: i.e. lie to the public, as most politicians do regardless of the cause, and do what needed to be done. This seems to be what often passes for statesmanship in our imperfect world.

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