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Correcting a commenter's misapprehension about US use of power

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America
in response to reader comment: The parallel universe of academia

Submitted by Jay Vail (United States), Nov 22, 2002 at 04:50

Arlinda, just a slight correction re: your statement "The United States in the Twentieth Century preemptively attacked Germany (World War I), Germany and Italy (World War II), North Korea (UN police action), Iraq (Gulf War) Serbia and Afghanistan (War on Terror)."

In WWI, the US entered the war in April 1917 after it had been raging for nearly three years. It was a matter of power politics, driven by Woodrow Wilson's longstanding support of the British. Before this time, the US industrial machine had been propping up the Allies, who were losing.

In WWII, Germany and Italy declared war on the US after the Japanese preemptive attack at Pearl Harbor. We did not declare war on them. After the declaration, Germany began submarine warfare against American shipping in the Atlantic.

In the Korean War, the North Koreans launched a preemptive attack on the South in June 1950. The US sent forces to help the South defend itself against this attack.

In the Gulf War, we intervened to defend and to liberate Kuwait after Iraq's preemptive attack and conquest of that small country.

In Serbia, we intervened to defend the Kosovars from Serbian aggression and ethnic cleansing.

In Afghanistan, we supported and aided the Northern Alliance in its war against the Taliban because of the obvious Taliban support for the militant Islamic attack on our territory which killed nearly 3000 Americans.

We were not the aggressor in any of these conflicts. So let's not muddy these discussions with misconceptions about the American use of power.

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