Last edited by Carjosse; 05-05-15 at 10:15 PM.
The resoluteness and character of the British people in defending their homeland during the war is to be admired and respected. My post was simply intended to respond to a post which downplayed the US' contribution during the war - to remind that poster that without the addition of the US to the war effort, things would likely have ended up quite differently.
My post was a rejection of the premise that Americans overstate their contribution to WW2.
While America has done many questionable things during its history, the fact that the nation, in Europe's greatest hour of need, sacrificed treasure and lives in defense of our friends and allies while many other nations sat idle bespeaks a higher side of our nature of which we have now proven capable and has set a standard to which we should now seek to emulate in our present generation.
It was a moment in American history over which Americans should rightly feel proud.
We were not attacked by the Germans. We were not defending our homeland. We were not double-crossed like the Russians. Our involvement was not forced, it was voluntary.
America intervened on the European battlefield simply out of a desire to support and rescue our allies, and our sacrifice toward that end in terms of lives and treasure lost make the moment worth commemorating for every American as one of our finest hours.
Last edited by Peter Grimm; 05-06-15 at 12:10 AM.
1. and 2. You may be right about how other Europeans view American patriotism, comparing it with fascism, but in Britain, we really don't. We've never had a fascist past of our own which we recoil from and which skews our view of America in this way. Our history of fighting fascism in Europe is one which is shared with the USA. A lot of Brits would go along with your analysis of US influence but not me. Criticisms of America are more along the lines that it has had huge military and commercial power and has not always used it responsibly, blinded by its own patriotism. The level of criticism would depend on one's position on the political spectrum.
3. Moving on to your thought experiment, WW2 would have ended very differently if we took out the contributions of any one country, especially Russia, UK and USA. If the Nazis had eventually been defeated but European forces alone, then Europe would have been even weaker, including Russia. The Warsaw Pact countries correlated more or less with the countries ceded to the USSR under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. I've not heard of Russian ambitions to conquer Western Europe in the aftermath of WW2 which were checked by the USA and NATO alliance but I don't claim to be an expert.
Certainly, the arms race and various proxy wars and manoeuvring across the world in the Cold War maintained the USSR's desire to remain a superpower to compete with the USA. In the absence of the USA, a major reason for its expansionism would have fallen away. European powers would probably have had to work with each other in a more conciliatory way. A war-weakened Russia may not have been able to contain uprisings in Hungary and the Czech Republic. We saw how quickly the Iron Curtain collapsed and this process could have started sooner. Endless conjectures are possible and we'll never know.
4. and 5. I don't see how you can predict these things.
6. Starvation in developing countries could have been higher at various times and could have been lower at various times. Despite the colossal wealth of the first world, we still haven't been able or willing to use it to ensure that African countries are self-sustaining, 70 years on. The USA's long-standing influence on global trade rules as they affect the third world is something we could look into. I'd wager that the rules favour US and European producers over those in the developing world.
7. and 8. Perhaps so. The space race is a colossal waste of money in my view. Other inventions may have been created in place of existing ones.
After all this, perhaps we should revert to the thread issue - the apparent greatness of the USA. You admitted to some "mistakes" along the way by the USA. Which ones were you thinking of?
Since there's still a few people on this thread who persist with the notion that the USA is objectively the best country in the world despite making some "mistakes", here's an interesting Wikipedia article about US war crimes for your perusal. Check the articles linked at the bottom too. Does anyone want to discuss these issues, in the context of national greatness?
United States war crimes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I expect you would find similar actions from any country involved in any war.
Unacceptable, true. But it seems like the nature of war brings out the ugly side of humans, and the longer and dirtier it is the more likely something like that will happen.
Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller