On Memorial Day yesterday, Americans were called upon to remember the American soldiers who have been killed in America’s many foreign wars. U.S. interventionists should have also used the day to apologize not only to the families of those veterans but also to the families who lost loved ones as a consequence of U.S. interventionism in their countries.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Ever since interventionists turned America toward empire and foreign control and domination in the Spanish American War in 1898, there has been no nation-state that has invaded the United States. There is a simple reason for that: No nation-state in Europe, Africa, and Asia has the money, armaments, personnel, equipment, supplies, or even the interest in crossing the ocean and invading the United States. Moreover, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, the same holds true for Canada and Latin American countries.
While U.S. interventionism includes Latin America, America’s deadliest foreign wars have been waged “over there” — in countries thousands of miles away from American shores. Since none of them involved an invasion of the United States, none of them can be said to be have been waged in “self-defense.” They were all based on foreign interventionism.
What about the much-ballyhooed World War II, the big one waged by the so-called greatest generation?
Oh sure, Japan attacked U.S. battleships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and U.S. troops in the Philippines, but let’s put things into context, something that interventionists are loathe to do.
Japan had no interest in going to war against the United States. What would have been the point in doing so? Japanese military forces had invaded China and had their hands filled attempting to subjugate that giant country. Why would Japan want to fight a two-front war, especially against a nation as powerful as the United States? Just for the fun of it?
Of course not. Japan attacked those battleships at Pearl because President Franklin Roosevelt maneuvered and cornered them into doing so. Even though Roosevelt had assured the American people, who were overwhelmingly opposed to entered World War II after the horrific debacle of World War I, that he would never send American boys into another foreign war, the fact is that he was lying. In fact, he was doing everything he could to get the United States into the conflict.
This was a time, however, when U.S. presidents were still complying with the Constitution’s declaration of war requirement. FDR knew that owing to the overwhelming opposition among the American people to getting involved in another foreign war, he had no chance of securing a congressional declaration of war, unless he could get Germany or Japan to fire the first shot, in which he could say, “We’ve been attacked! We are shocked by this act of infamy! Now, give me my declaration of war.”
After failing to get Germany to take the bait, FDR shifted his focus to the Pacific, figuring that if he could get Japan to fire the first shot, that could give him his entry into the European war. Even though Japan and the U.S. were not at war, FDR initiated an oil embargo on Japan that proved remarkable effective in threatening Japan with insufficient oil supplies to sustain its military occupation in China. At the same time, FDR illegally froze Japanese bank accounts in the United States. When Japan tried to settle differences with the U.S. without war, FDR issued settlement terms that he knew would be highly humiliating to Japanese officials.
Moreover, FDR’s code-breakers had broken the Japan’s diplomatic codes and possibly also its military codes, which enabled him to read Japan’s secret preparations for war. While FDR craftily removed U.S. aircraft carriers from Pearl, he left the battleships there. He did the same with U.S. troops in the Philippines, a nation 5,000 miles away from the continental United States that the U.S. government had acquired by conquest in the Spanish American War.
When Japan attacked Pearl and the Philippines, it was not with the aim of invading the United States. It was with the limited aim of knocking out the U.S. Pacific fleet so that it could not interfere with Japan’s acquisition of oil in the Dutch East Indies. Thus, if FDR had never engaged in his interventionist antics, Japan would never have attacked those battleships and those U.S. troops in the Philippines because there would have been no reason to do so.
Following World War II, the U.S. government was converted into a national-security state, a totalitarian form of government structure consisting of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. The justification for abandoning America’s founding governmental system of a limited-government republic was that the U.S. could now wage a decades-long “cold war” against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union and its “godless” communism.
Combining a national-security state with an interventionist foreign policy proved to be a disaster for the American people in terms of a never-ending series of foreign wars — wars that had nothing to do with defending the United States from an invading power.
The Korean War. The Vietnam War. The Grenada War. The Panama War. The Iraq War. The Afghanistan War. The Somalia War. And more. All with the consequence of placing American soldiers, who were made to believe that they were “defending” America, in a position of killing foreigners or being killed by them.
At the same time, the CIA engaged in a never-ending series of regime-change operations, many of which were based on state-sponsored assassinations of foreign leaders. Iran. Guatemala. Cuba. Chile. Brazil. Congo. Nicaragua. Iraq. And more.
It’s worth mentioning that all that interventionism in faraway lands ended up destroying the liberty and privacy of the American people, especially with the perpetual “war on terrorism” that interventionism has produced.
Okay, let’s keep Memorial Day as a way to honor those veterans. But how about adding Apology Day the day after Memorial Day, when all U.S. interventionists would be asked to fall down on their knees, apologize to all the American and foreign families to whom they have brought death and suffering through foreign interventionism, and seek forgiveness from them?