Thursday, March 27, 2014
Like it or not, war is an important part of human nature as the primary resolution of fundamental disagreements between nations of men. It is important to consider the history of human beings through all the centuries for thousands of years; never has there been a single century without multiple wars between collections of men who see no other way to accomplish their goals, good or bad.
During the previous or 20th century there were major wars that involved essentially two major theaters – the European theater and the Oriental or Asian. World War I involved only the European theater with America’s entry into that war, while at a late date, was nonetheless instrumental in affecting the ultimate outcome.
World War II involved both the European theater and the Asian theater. The war in the European theater was a direct result of treating the major protagonist, Germany, with hatred and unjust punishments in the treaty at the end of world war I.
Adolf Hitler rose up as the tyrannical leader of the German people whose aim was to seek revenge on those countries who had perpetrated hostility and hatred against the German people in the treaty that ended World War I. The United States made a late entry into the European theater only because of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese December 7, 1941. Up to this point England had been the only country trying to contain Hitler in his rampage in the continent of Europe and the Mediterranean area, principally in North Africa.
In the European theater the key leaders were Winston Churchill of England, Franklin Roosevelt of the United States and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. In the Asian theater there was essentially one leader of note, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. More Americans understand the workings of the events in the European theater compared to the events of real importance that transpired in the Asian theater. The young people of today in America, as elsewhere, have little knowledge or interest in these and other wars that took place in the latter part of the 20th century: The Korean War and the Vietnam war.
It is, though, of extreme importance to understand the outcomes of these wars in terms of their impacts after the wars. One of the results of the 2nd world war is the encroachment by the Soviet Union on the countries of Eastern Europe such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, as 1well as the Baltic states Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. This spread of communism by the Soviet Union resulted in what is called the “Cold War” between America and Europe on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other. The Cold War involved the threat of ultimate extinction by one side or the other through the use of nuclear weapons. With the demise of the Soviet Union around 1990 many of these subjugated countries found their freedom.
One of the results of World War II was the loss of colonies of the European powers in Asia, India and Africa. Many of these former colonies fell under the sway of communism. The fight against world communism involved the struggle against North Korea and the Communist Chinese in the Korean War in the early 1950s. and In the long struggle against communism in Vietnam; Americans fought and died in the Vietnam War from about the early 1960s until 1975.
The present century has seen wars in a new theater, that is, the Mediterranean theater where the chief protagonist has been a group of followers of Mohamed who have twisted the writings of the Koran to suit their terroristic aims; we have already seen their capability and determination to conquer the western nations, especially America, in the attack on the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001, the first year of the 21st Century. The resulting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have constituted the new theater of war in the Middle East. The names of the leaders on both sides are numerous.
Currently the American government is playing a dangerous game by weakening our potential for fighting wars that will surely come from determined terrorists in the Middle East. Hopefully future leaders of America will endeavor to educate, in particular, the young to take an interest in the history of the wars of the 20th and the wars of the 21st century and their impacts on all our lives and the lives of all men and women the world over. Our future and the future of the world depends upon this.