“But for Joseph Stalin, it was also a good war. From his pact with Adolf Hitler he annexed parts of Finland and Romania, and three Baltic republics. His armies stood in Berlin, Prague and Vienna; his agents were vying for power in Rome and Paris; his ally was installed in North Korea; his protege, Mao, was about to bring China into his empire. But it was not so good a war for the inmates of Kolyma or the Russian POWs returned to Stalin in Truman’s Operation Keelhaul.”
– Patrick J. Buchanan
Today is the 71st anniversary of D-Day. My father soldiered in WWII toward the end of the conflict and with the advent of VE Day in April 1945, was getting ready to ship to the Pacific to invade mainland Japan. Fortunately, that got turned off and he instead exercised Patton’s horses in Germany and returned to the states in one piece. Almost. The experience rippled through his life until he died in 2013.
On reflection, despite the nonsense about the Greatest Generation and other such self-congratulatory back slapping, the end of the war quickly devolved into a bipolar world which would eventually find hundreds of millions living in slave states in the East and slave state aspirants in the West vying to see who could outdo the USSR in economic illiteracy and the adoption of socialism as the formative building block of government and society. WWII supported the grand illusion that immoral means could yield moral ends, an impossible moral equation.
It is the greatest generation in one dismal sense; it may be one of the greatest spontaneous generations of maximum states planet-wide.
Like all wars, the US government used this as an opportunity to pile on confiscatory tax measures and other population control measures that far outlasted the actual hot war. This would include Milton Friedman’s income tax withholding.
“However, both sides agreed on the need for high taxes (along with heavy borrowing) to pay for the war: top marginal tax rates ranged from 81%-94% for the duration of the war, and the income level subject to the highest rate was lowered from $5,000,000 to $200,000. Roosevelt tried unsuccessfully, by executive order 9250, to impose a 100% surtax on after-tax incomes over $25,000 (equal to roughly $340,721 today). However, Roosevelt did manage to impose this cap on executive pay in corporations with government contracts. Congress also enlarged the tax base by lowering the minimum income to pay taxes, and by reducing personal exemptions and deductions. By 1944 nearly every employed person was paying federal income taxes (compared to 10% in 1940).”
The American political world after WWII or the War to Save Josef Stalin to more accurately identify why the conflict took place, used the “Communist menace” to buttress the incredible growth of the American and Western European state; ironically emulating many of the worst aspects of central planning and citizen control. At least the French, British and Italians were honest enough to have significant voting blocs of self-avowed communists in their countries while the same were hounded in America despite the child-like reverence for the power of the state demonstrated by both major parties in America. Ironic that the Soviets had penetrated the Roosevelt White House so thoroughly in WWII. As the Democrat party started to evolve into the Socialist International after 1968 and the Grand Old Politburo stumbled behind with its incoherent statist/progressive agenda, the US became the Olympic Gold winner in the new era after the USSR simply just fell apart in 1989-91 getting the Silver Medal to build the bigger state.
The US was a hairs-breadth away from staying out of what was essentially the next phase of WWI if Lindbergh had defeated the odious and bloody-minded FDR in 1940. The America First Committee boasted almost a million members and wielded considerable influence on the dissenting voices. After eight years of clownish performance and a slobbering devotion to socialist and fascist ideas, FDR still secured the majority of the vote from the American booboisee and quickly set the groundwork to get the US involved in the European war and the Pacific war in the larger sense.
One can see that if WWI had not been entered by the US, the whole sordid chain of events that led to the advent of WWII may have been avoided. The sealed train to Russia to inaugurate the conflicts of the Red and White armies that would fight until 1923 would not have transpired and the ambitions of Hitler would have been crushed before they even started by the limited victories of the Central Powers and the absence of a Versailles Treaty that cruelly set the conditions for future slaughter and mayhem.
The subsequent seizure of the White House by avowed socialist revolutionaries in 1933 would march hand in hand with the rise of Hitler and Mussolini learning at the knee of Josef Stalin and his more murderous but frankly more honest campaign to enslave his nation and others.
The entry of America in WWII in concert with the Communist menace in the USSR, married at the hip, to make the world safe for the savage collectivism that was the joint vision of the Allies to include Churchill and De Gaulle was a prophecy fulfilled. At the time of the landings at Normandy celebrated on this day, it was a mere sideshow compared to the gargantuan land-borne fights that had savaged the Germans and Soviets alike since the launch of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. While the Allies diddled in the Kasserine Pass being schooled in failure and loss and mounted glacially-paced campaigns on the Italian peninsula, the Germans and Russians schooled each other in the crushing of armies of men, hundreds of thousands of soldiers locked in mortal combat that would see plenty killed and millions injured and wounded away from the small sideshow at Normandy.
Not one American should have ever stepped foot on the European continent unless on a tourist passport. The rippling effects of the foothold and the eventual “liberation” of Europe from the National Socialists would merely usher in Hitler’s vision absent the liquidation of certain undesirable groups such as Jews, gays and Slavs. That liquidation would continue apace in the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. One would be hard pressed to look at the NSDAP platform of the Third Reich and not find most of its ambitions accomplished in the European states after the war and then rocketing to prominence in the modern socialist entity of the European Union.
From the civilian bombing campaigns to repatriation of Soviet émigrés to Operation Keelhaul and its analogs (like the Blaiburg Repatriations) to the savage Allied occupation of Germany in the aftermath, WWII put the final stamp of approval on the maximum state and its evolution on post-WWII Earth. Niall Ferguson calls it a “war of the world” but more accurately it was a war to snuff out individual autonomy and liberty.
WWII gave America the withholding tax, rationing, perceived legitimacy of Keystone Keynesian economics, price controls, imprisonment for biology and genetics and the nationalization of the economy. It provided the gargantuan life support to the brutal and homicidal regime in the USSR and the means to use that regime’s post-WWII ambitions to start building a welfare/warfare state in the West that would outlive the foe that gave it life. The war would give every usual government supremacist the ultimate wild card to expand government – national security.
The aftermath of the war would on the one hand insist orders weren’t enough to absolve crimes against humanity for the losers but pardon the murderous bombing crews and give a blank check to Allied barbarity against the Europeans after April 1945.
This is not to say Hitler was an admirable man; he was a sullen and existentially cruel psychopath who provides the clarion example of just how bad democracy can be. Had the US not stepped in, the collectivist forces of the National Socialists and the Communists would have battered each other senseless without giving one advantage over the other but Stalin’s assisted victory made the world safe for Communism in the Eurasian sphere and collectivism planet-wide. The Nazis killed millions of innocents and the Soviets did the same; the serial killers club had simply gone to war with itself.
One need only look at the numbers to see that the entry of the Allies in the Western theater in Europe was merely a slight feint compared to the gargantuan enterprises in the east. The Soviet-Japanese war in August 1945 would reveal just how lop-sided a contest it was for Russian victory. But the USSR could not have had any of that if not subsidized substantially by the West.
In essence, on this day in 1944 70 years ago, a sizable Allied force was securing a beachhead to race the Russians to victory in Berlin to see who could get the most spoils. Roosevelt’s intimate relationship with Stalin should leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth but Churchill was no better in his manipulation and flirtation with the Soviet premier.
Operation Tiger on 28 April 1944 was a portent of the slaughter to come on the beaches of Normandy by the German forces defending the beach. The unblooded Eisenhower would order live fire at teh beaches of England used for the rehearsals. It would be costly.
“Now, the idea was that the shelling would stop very, very shortly before the American soldiers came onshore, so that the wreckage of war would still be around,” Milton said. “The smells of war, the sounds, the shell-blasted beach would be there. But there was a terrible mix-up of timings, which meant that as the American soldiers came onto the shore, the British were still shelling the beach. [This] meant the Americans came under devastating friendly fire from the British.”
Within minutes, 300 more American troops were dead. Gerolstein helped ferry some of the wounded to the hospital.”
Fortunately, more Americans would perish on the English beach than “Utah” on invasion day. When the whole affair was over, close to a thousand American troops were dead. Such was the martial talent on the eve of actually engaging Axis forces on the Continent.
I would suggest that we can take a moment to reflect on the losses (some say sacrifice) of the tens of thousands of young Americans who died during the conflict and especially during the near-fatal Allied general officer malpractice that would be Arnhem and Ardennes in the next six months of the war. In the end, the war simply accelerated the socialist evolutionary turn in the American state and allowed the USSR to have a new lease on life after nearly expiring in 1940.
The greatest generation is true in one respect; the war created and generated the paroxysm of giant centrally planned states that quite literally made the plantations of old look quaint and pastoral. These cancerous big government confabs consumed individual liberty and freedom to the point of regulating every human transaction in existence, East and West.
June 6th is not a day of memorial or celebration but the anniversary of a wake to pinpoint yet another fork in the road to create the maximum state in the West and give a new lease on life for dictators yet unborn.