American Intervention In Wwii Essay

2191 words - 9 pages

World War II is generally viewed to be a moral war, or, as Howard Zinn would put it, “a good war.” This conventional impression of World War II results from American propaganda, along with misinterpretations of related events. Quite the contrary, the United States’ foreign policy, especially during World War II, was driven by imperialist goals rather than humanitarian concern. These foreign interventions are usually justified using political ideologies that advocate the spread of democracy but the United States government fails to act in the interests of the common people in other countries; instead, the US government intervened in foreign countries to protect its own needs and those of its private corporations. In addition, the United States faced competition from other countries, Japan for example, and was naturally pressured into maintaining its superiority internationally. In order to preserve its power, the American government used its ties with Europe to try and amass as much power needed. In the end, this American competition with Japan, American relationship with Europe and the civil injustices within the US prove that this war, as good as it may seem, was motivated by imperialist objectives.
American intervention in World War II is generally viewed as a positive act because, as Howard Zinn described, “It was a war against an enemy of unspeakable evil. Hitler’s Germany was extending totalitarianism, racism, militarism and overt aggressive warfare”; by merely entering the war, the United States gives off an impression of compassion and interest in the welfare of other people. American reaction to Mussolini, for example, demonstrated that, on a rather superficial scale, the United States did in fact attempt to halt the growth of fascism by declaring an embargo on Italy. Additionally, the fact that Hitler was committing genocide against the Jews allowed the United States to promote its causes as humanitarian. To top it off, the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor gave the Americans a legitimate reason to join the war and to portray their intervention as a strictly defensive and protective one. Claiming to spread democracy and stunt the spread of fascism, the United States managed to build its reputation as a protector of the weak, despite its subtle plans to build an American empire.
East Asia was an important region of American influence; its strategic location, with its trade routes, for example, had the potential to offer the US a strong foothold in the Pacific region and the upper hand over the Soviet Union. As a result, the use of the atomic weapons in Japan was a significant issue between Russia and the United States; as put in A People’s History of the World, the American decision to use the nuclear bomb against Japan in August 1945 “was clearly motivated, at least in part, by a desire to show Stalin the enormity of the destructive power at its disposal.” The US had already developed the technology yet the decision to use...

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