In the opinion of the Time Ghost Army High command… Did prior US History influence the American thirst for revenge in this war?
There’s nothing I could tell you all that you don’t already know…but maybe others who read this question won’t know it. We US Americans tend to assume everyone knows our history. To be clear as well I do not look to justify these things only to understand and explain why. Humans are almost never going to so something so gargantuan at random.
Just about every war we have been in started with something that at least could be perceived as an attack for which we wanted revenge. This was then used to “justify” 10x retaliation. The story being that we don’t start wars we finish them. Remember the Alamo… take half of Mexican territory (really occupied by Native American nations though), Remember Fort Sumpter and Free the slaves Sherman burns Georgia etc, Remember the Maine take Spain’s Empire… right on up to 9/11 and the GWOT. Remember Pearl Harbor and all done to our allies in Asia,
In particular the influence of the US Civil War by which this pattern was crystalized as something we wouldn’t just do to non US Americans because of the Alamo but something we’d even to other US Americans under the, right, conditions.
The 1940’s were only 80 years since the Civil war. The last of the veterans of that war did not die until the 1950’s and early 60’s. I’d wager that some of our commanders learned how to conduct war, from people who learned their lessons, from people who were officers in that war. They are ideologically and philosophically descendants of William T Sherman. He learned what he did from Winfield Scott who marched similarly from Veracruz to Mexico City.
As Sherman put it.
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.”
In other words, they treated Germany and Japan exactly as we had once even treated other Americans.
Looking into the war plans made and declassified from War Plan Red to our counterforce and countervalue strategies for a modern Nuclear war… and how we fought in Iraq and Afghanistan that seems to still be the case. We may not need to… area bomb anymore. We can laser guide a bomb right down a smoke stack just about. Instead we can knock out the power grid then let nature take its course, as Russia tried to do last winter. Is that really any better? I don’t think so.
Could you please explain what exactly is US History?
In comparison with history of countries you fought against you are still
Can you please list some wars that were NOT “revenge” war by your definition? Maybe then you can expect an answer.
That is a good question. At what point should the history of any country begin? As soon as any people at all lived there? IF that is the case then US history is as old as the history of anyplace else. IF it is when the current government was constituted then
Frace, the 5th Republic, has only been around since the 1960’s.
The republics of Europe in general would be creations of the early 20th century.
The UK would’ve had the same governent, though very modified for 1500 years or so.
I ask a question about American motives so recapping a bit of US history would be needed.
An American war that was not about revenge. A war the US started without provocation just sheer greedy conquest for the sake of conquest with no pretext other than our Mannifest destiny. Closest I can think of are the Indian wars.
The US would build a fort deep in territory often unceded by treaty. IT would get attacked, and that could be used to manufacture consent.
In general there are many examples in history of conquest just for the sake of conquest. The Punic wars for example started originally from the clash for dominance between Rome and Sparta. With revenge becoming a motive latter.
In modern times though it is hard to think of a country that didn’t need to at least manufacture a provocation. Even Germany did that to attack Poland.
What I think might make the US a bit more brutal is we have this national mythos of always avenging any attack in the most extreme way. We feel justified in it to a degree we shouldn’t.
Punic wars were between Rome and Carthage over world´s dominance but you hit the nail on the head.
Rome´s attitude was a defensive aggression, just like you kill your neigbour before he kills you.
US policy reminds me very much of the Rome.
There´s nothing to do with revenge, just lust for dominion…
Perhaps. The policy in regards to how we prosecuted WWII reminds me much of how we prosecuted the Civil war (as well as the Mexican American war). How it started out real polite then got more brutal.
At the first battle of Bull Run people from DC and Richmond came out to watch it like it was a sporting event.
By Shermans march to the sea… “War is cruelty and so on.” Might be a foul to post a link to another creator. Autun-Shei films did a really good series on the civilwar and in particular on “Was Sherman a WAR CRIMINAL?”
In case any casual reader who doesn’t know US history see this … That Sherman is the same guy the famous WWII tanks are named after. It would be like if Germany name a tank after Rommel or Mannstein or Sepp Dietrich really.
REVENGE. It’s the American way.