Debate:Should the United States have entered World War II?

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As Japan attacked the United States and Germany and Italy invaded and controlled much of Europe, the question is a non-question. Perhaps the question that should have been asked is: Should the United States have aided both Britain and China before war was declared on them. I suggest that in both instances the United States was looking after its long term interests.

The United States was attacked by Japanese forces and the Axis powers threatened to take over Europe. America would be greatly harmed if the Axis had taken over Europe because the resources and allies that we had there would no longer exist. If the US didn't want to attack Japan they would look weak to the rest of the world and would risk being attacked again, by the Japanese or another hostile force. So, only looking at the good for America directly it is obvious that war was necessary. The crimes against humanity that the Nazis committed are atrocious but, as we can see from current examples, such as Darfur, it is not enough to get America into battle. --Flax+ 20:08, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Sure, It's a Question

While it's true that the U.S. couldn't directly do anything to undo Germany's DoW on it, that's not really the same thing as saying we had no choice about entering the war. It's one thing to exist in a nominal state of war, and another entirely to launch a total war effort beyond anything the world ever witnessed before. Germany had approximately zero capability to project power into North America, and, while it's U-boats were capable of interdicting American shipping, that didn't require a full scale response. We could have simply chosen not to participate in shipping offensive to the Nazi regime (which collapses back to Flax's point), or simply fought a naval battle to keep open the shipping lanes.

The situation with respect to Japan was a bit more difficult, since Japan had chosen to directly attack us. But, in point of fact, Japan was at the end of its logistical tether. It couldn't repeat the attack on Pearl Harbor, much less carry the war forward. We could have simply chosen to turn the other cheek. Of course, Japan would, in that event, likely have succeeded in expanding its influence to control the petroleum resources in the co-prosperity sphere, which, over the course of 20 years or so, given them the means to project power throughout the Pacific. But that get more to the question of whether it was advisable for us to stay out of WWII, than the question of whether it was possible to do so. User:QBeam


The United States definitely should of entered World War II. The U.S. probably should of even entered the war a lot sooner than it did. So many people around the world, including U.S. citizens like to put the notion out there that the U.S. wants to be the police of the world. That is a completely false and delusional argument. Considering what was happening to the Jews during WWII, the U.S. getting involved was only right. It shouldn't of took the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor to make the U.S. get involved in the war. We should have already been involved in the war. Millions of lives could of been saved had the U.S. entered the war sooner. There is evil in this world and the only way to do away with it is to stand up to it and defeat it. You don't compromise with it or ignore it as if it's not really happening; you rise up and defeat. It's all about standing on the side of righteousness. It's sad how so many people believe in taking the cowardly isolationist stance as if that's the best solution. Isolationism is just another a word for cop-out. Taking the non-interventionist approach (which is different from isolationism) would be described as NOT policing the world but knowing when it's moraly right and wrong to engage in a war. We are non-interventionists but we are not and should never be isolationist. As a conservative Republican, this is one of the biggest reasons why I so adamantly disagree with Libertarians. Libertarians love to flip-flop the meanings of non-interventionism and isolationism and make it seem as if they're the non-interventionists when in reality they're the isolationists. If a dictator in a foreign land is slaughtering people by the millions, libertarians will simply look the other way as if nothing wrong is happening and promote their ridiculous solution of letting said country sort their problems out on their own, while ignoring the fact that millions of innocent lives will be lost. No matter how disasterous a situation may be, Libertarians feel the only time the U.S. should get involved in any war is if there is some kind of interest (usually a financial benefit) in it for us. Trying to save innocent human beings from genocide is not enough of a reason for the U.S. to get involved in a war in the mind of a Libertarian. Whether or not the United States should have entered World War II is honestly somewhat of a silly question. We don't go around sticking our nose in the business of other countries every chance we get, but there is a time when we as a nation have to stand up for what's right, speak out and act out against what is clearly wrong, and lend our helping hand to those in serious need, and WWII was definitely one of those times. If you think otherwise then your either a Libertarian or just a complete liberal.

=====

I agree it is a good question but I reject outright any arguments that stem from a sense of moral equivalency. A good example is the nonsense put forth by Pat Buchanan, who turns heroes like Churchill into villains. Buchanan I imagine is guided by misplaced Irish hate for the British. Britain had every reason to defend itself and engage Hitler in defense. But the question comes to US involvement. I also take the opposition of Charles Lindberg and many so called "American Firsters" with a grain of salt. Much opposition came from big business interestes that had contracts and business they conducted directly with Germany. I think we can definately argue that the Americans should have done less of the heavy lifting and allowed the Soviets to incur more damage. The war with Japan, no question the US had to ask for unconditional surrender. With Germany, an isolotionist argument is one that can be made.

No

The British and French were no better than the Nazis. Their imperialism was what drove Germany to such desperate measures. Also, if left alone, Germany would have destroyed the Soviet Union, which would have halted the spread of Communism and the polarization of the Third World during the Cold War. It was basically the other European powers that were adding fuel to Hitler's fire. If Germany defeated them, the German people would seek a more moderate leader. If FDR hadn't interfered with Japanese expansion in the Pacific, America could have avoided war completely. The Japanese never thought for a moment that they could defeat America. They hoped that after winning a few battles, America would be willing to compromise. neocorporatist

Have you read anything about the history of the war in Europe? Or are you simply spouting what other people have said? For a start, the Nazi's were a terrible party who murdered many millions of Jews, homosexuals, political leaders who opposed the Nazis, disabled people and many more besides. How can you possibly say that Britain and France are even comparable to that? Then you go on to say that it would have been better if Germany had defeated Europe and had a one country continent ruled by an evil dictator; oh wait they wouldn't keep the evil dictator they'd get rid of him. Oh, wait a mo, he killed everyone who opposed him so perhaps getting rid of him might be a bit hard! You need to read up on your history if you think that that's an accurate representation of what happened in WW2. MatteeNeutra 15:03, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

America's involvement in WWII was a total disaster.

WWII started when Germany invaded Poland. After millions dead on both sides at the end of the war Poland was turned over to the Soviets. We never even accomplished the initial goal! Hitler wanted to deport the Jews. Awful yes, but if we would have accepted them we would have gotten a million educated immigrants. Better than the millions of uneducated immigrants we get today. After Hitler's death, the Germans would have gotten back to sanity. With the death of millions of Europeans, the Middle eastern nations were able to rise to more power. This is also the reason millions of Muslims have been immigrating to Europe. With the invasion of Muslims, indigenous Europe will cease to exist in a generation. WWII may have very well be the seed that lead to the extinction of indigenous Europe. Remember the Holocaust didn't start until well after the war started and might never had happened if there had not been a war. So don't use the Holocaust as a reason for the war.

The Japanese front is even a more obvious failure. We never should have stuck our nose into the Orient's business. We kicked the Japanese out of China, thus letting the Communist take over. This lead to Mao's murder of about 100 million Chinese. This is no improvement over the Japanese controlling China. The new Japanese Empire would have collapsed eventually, like all empires do. We didn't need to kill millions to speed it up. Millions dead for no improvement at all and probably made things worse.

  • Just a slight factual correction in your response. The Jews of Europe varied in education, from some of the highly educated peoples of France and Germany to the entirely ignorant populations of Poland and Russia. SunFun2 09:43, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Let's clear some things up

Just to clear some things up. Hitler did not want to deport the Jews, he wanted to kill them, six million of my people were mercilessly murdered in the camps. (America's hands aren't clean though, they refused to accept Jewish refugees.)

Sunfun2, All of my ancestors are from the Jewish communities of Lithuania, Poland and Russia. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't slander them with disgusting lies.

The user formerly known as DLerner 06:34, 24 March 2008 (EDT)


Actually the Nazis initial plan was to force the Jews to leave Germany, he aimed to send them all the Madagascar so they could have a country of their own. Unfortunately, he realised it would be easier to put them in concentration camps than force them to leave the country. The Holocaust was the "Final Solution" to the "Jewish problem" as the Nazis liked to refer to their anti-Semitism.

No. Hitler wanted to kill the Jews, and I think that's been well established. I'm a bit angry myself that FDR took such a long time to sign Lend-Lease because of pressure from the pacifist crowd. --TomRobinson 13:10, 3 June 2010 (EDT)

You have no idea about what happened inside the Third Reich. Hitler wanted to deport them. If you can give me speeches and quotes from before '42 when the very beginning of the death camps got started, where Hitler specifically stated he wanted to kill the Jews, I would be happy for you to bring that to my attention. Otherwise, Hitler planned on deporting them from the Third Reich with the boats he captured from the British Isles after Operation Sealion. Its kind of funny how after the Battle of Britain got screwed over by Hitler's bad decesions, that he began work on the Final Solution, proposed to him by Himmler, in which the mobile killing units and death camps were set up. Those make you think...if you even had a brain. This is just non-debatable that Hitler had plans on moving them out of Europe. Yes, it was terrible, but saying Hitler wanted to do this is about as factual as saying that JFK planned on getting himself shot.

Yes

As a European I'm glad they did, otherwise I'd probably live under Nazi rule now, that is if none of my ancestors had been disposed of by the party.

So I'm glad the Americans joined in, even though I know their reasons for doing so weren't noble: the Holocaust didn't start until after the Americans got involved and the segregation of Jews in Germany was no different from the segregation of blacks in the US. Middle Man

most europeans still hate jews.Jaques 12:38, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
Oh, do we? What a claim... Timppeli 12:54, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Yes because without American intervention the Nazis would be ruling over large portions of the world now.--Fg 12:57, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Edited a bit as your answer was most likely for the original question, not to me Timppeli 13:14, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

I wasn't aware that I hate Jews. That's like saying everyone in the southern US still hates blacks.

That is so stupid to say that most Europeans still hate Jews. In most European countries there is hardly any anti-Semitism, and only really ignorant people are anti-Semitic or are willing to group a whole continent as anti-Semetic.

Middle Man

the segragation of Jews in Germany was nothing like the segragation of blacks. I am not aware of any death camps in Alabama. The Holocaust did start before America's entry. If the Americans reasons werent noble, what were they?Bohdan

And its true that many Europeans do still have negative opinions of Jews. According to Abe Foxman of the ADL 21% of europeans consider themselves anti-semitic! thats one-fifth of the population. 40% of Europeans believe Jews have "too much power in financial markets" everyone knows that's the most basic anti-semitic claim. If one-fifth of our beloved continent openly admits anti-semitism, we have a problem.Bohdan

I live in Europe, and yes, there is some anti-semitism (like there is everywhere on the planet), but not 20% of the population.

No, really, the "final solution" (including the death camps) was set in motion after the Wannsee conference in 1942, partly because the Nazis felt that they wouldn't have the time and resources to ship the Jews to Madagascar (the original plan) now that the US had entered the war.

There were earlier death camps for political opponents and there was a "euthanasia" policy against the handicapped, but those were not the reasons the US entered the war, the possibility of losing trade partners and allies Great Britain and Australia combined with the attack on Pearl Harbor and pressure from America's Jews.

Middle Man


Those sound like pretty good reasons for war to me. I too live in Europe and even I think that these statistics are high, but the ADL stands by them.Bohdan

They are reasons for war, but they do not show the Allies were morally superior to the Axis (before the Holocaust took place), especially if you count the Soviets with the allies.

Let's face it: there's never been a pure "Good vs Evil" war.

were the Soviets really with the Allies?Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Before the Holocaust took place(as you say) the Nazis did many very bad things(large scale anti-semitism among others). The Allies were definately morally superior. Bohdan

That pact lasted until 1941, the Nazis fought the Soviets along the eastern front (20 million Soviet and 3 million Germans died on that front), and the Soviets had entered an official alliance with the western allies.

I'm not saying the Nazis were good (their policies were cruel and racist), I'm just saying we don't like to remember the racism and segregation in the US and Australia (isn't racism towards blacks, hispanics, asians and aboriginals just as bad as anti-semitism?), the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans, the Soviet reprisals against civilians, the Soviet deportations, etc...

Middle Man

this brigs up interesting debate about USSR. nothing the US or Austalia did compares to the actions of Nazis. obviously the Soviets were bad, I personally think they were worse than the Nazis.Bohdan

In Australia, aboriginal kids were put in "re-education camps" and beaten if they spoke their own language, same thing happened to Indians in Canada and Hispanics in the U.S. The U.S. also officially endorsed segregation (also the official policy of Nazi Germany before the Holocaust), natives in the British and French colonies did not have the same rights as Europeans, the allies knew about the atrocities Stalin was committing, but denied it in public, carpet bombing of cities, nuking of 2 cities, that kind of thing...

Middle Man

Remember the part where Germany annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia, then invaded Poland? Segregation in the US, the British and French Colonies, and Australia, as wrong as they were, were not the issues at hand in WWII.

Actually, it was completely Germany's fault that the United States entered World War II. Contrary to popular belief, Germany and Japan did not work together very much. Germany did not have to declare war on the United States after Pearl Harbor. If it wasn't for Germany declaring war, the United States would have been fighting WWII in the Pacific Ocean only. PSMax8956 13:17, 2 August 2007 (EDT)

I think this hypothesis is shown to be false by the way in which the U.S. actually responded to Pearl Harbor. "That was a dirty rotten trick the Japanese pulled, and we're never going to forgive the Germans for it!" would be a reasonable tag line. Both Germany and Japan declared war on us, but it was Japan that killed 2,000 of us in what we at least said we regarded as a dispicable and underhanded sneak attack. So how did we respond? With a maximum war effort in Europe, and no serious committment to the Pacific. In fact, as I indicated above, Germany had essentially zero ability to threaten us, and so their declaration of war was immenently ignorable, if we'd been inclined to ignore it. We weren't, and we didn't. User:QBeam

We Absolutely should have been there helping our friends the Brits, they have always been there for us. It's because of American and Britian (as well as Canada and Australia) that we are free from being a leftist totalitarian state like Germany was in the 30s and early 40s. --Konservativekanadian 19:20, 26 October 2007 (EDT)

Leftist? Are you kidding? German fascism was definitely NOT leftist. Considering it claimed to be the polar opposite and immortal enemy of socialism (especially Bolschevism) the leftist claim seems a little ridiculous. Bruce1 21:04, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Intervention was to prevent the spread of Communism

I think the way the war has been taught in many years has been a bit misleading. The biggest winners of the war were the US who defeated the Japanese and the Soviets who mainly defeated Hitler (80-90% of German casualties were on the Eastern front). Hitler's greatest folly was to invade the USSR as he was up against an enemy far better resourced and far more ruthless than himself stretched over a land mass too large to occupy. As in wars today the story of the war in Europe centers around the oil fields. Once the Italians and Germans were driven out of North Africa and The Nazis had failed to take Stalingrad and gain access to the oilfields beyond Hitler was finsished, it was only a matter of time before the Red army took Germany. America and Britain joined the war in earnest on the Western front only once it was obvious Stalin would win and there was the real danger of the Red Army taking the whole of Europe. If the map of the cold war was redrawn to include the whole of continental europe the outcome might well have been different, although it was always destined to come to an end eventually. User:Mrvipond

The US was right when it went to war with Japan, after Pearl Harbor. The US then had war declared ON THEM by Germany and Italy. With the Germans advancing on Britain, if America never acted, they would have had to defend German attacks on US soil. In the words of Admiral Nimitz... "Our job is to bring the fight to the enemy so we don't have to fight it here.

Yes, from so many perspectives. Both the aspirations and ideals of Naziism would have left a dark, dark world had we not intervened. It's possible downplay how pernicious the Third Reich was because some aspects of it were found in some forms in other governments all over the world, but it was unparalleled in both degree and scale. Whether or not we would have intervened, we were due for a conflict with the Axis powers at some point - and I'm glad that we struck them at a time when they were fighting on other fronts. There's no doubt in my mind...The conflict in Asia was secondary, but I think that was the right thing as well, mainly because of Pearl Harbor It's argued on this page that we could have prevented Maoism, but we don't know what would have happened with an imperialist Japan in charge. Today's Japan is one that we helped build. KingHanksley 23:08, 8 May 2011 (EDT)

Wow, if I have ever read a disengenuine comparison, this is it. Hitler made it fairly plain his hatred and wish to destroy the Jews all through his involvement with the SA over the decade that preceeded his rise to power.

From an Economic Standpoint, Yes

  {{Though I believe wholeheartedly in our decision to go to war, I will focuse on the
economic division of the causes and effects of the war.
The United States in 1940-41 was still struggling painfully to escape
the clutches of the Great Dpression. When war was declared on December 8,
the USA moved over to a War Economy. This entailed price restrictions, massive increases in production,
and government protectionism of American industries. This gave a powerful boost to the American economy,
giving jobs to millions who had not had a job in years.
The war brought strength to ailing industries and drew women into the workforce,
creating another increase in jobs.
Not only this, but the Japanese Empire was also invading American
tradepartners like China, and threatening British-held India,
a large source of income for one of our closest allies.
By crushing Japan, America also gained dominance in the Pacific, securing a great amount of new trade, not
the least of which was Japan itself and the millions of dollars that American investors put in to it's recovery.
This stimulated the American economy, and in fact allowed it to supplant older countries like Britain and France.
This was also in part due to the more flexible system of Capatalism used in America,
the basis of which was free trade with equal partners,
as opposed to the Mercantilist economies of France and Britain which relied on colonies to produce wealth.
In the De-Imperialization era after WWII, the older empires fell apart because of the loss of colonies
to revolts and the freeing influence of the United States, while ours remained strong.
}}
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