... most of the lessons from WW2 need to have been taken from WW1. for example, if not for the arrogance and bigotry of Wilson, Japan would never have been on the side of the Germans....
If most of the lessons from WWI had been studied carefully, there would likely never have been a WWII. Every time I think that we have hit a concensus on how terrible Barry is, you pull me back into defending him.
President Woodrow Wilson certainly was a racist of the first magnitude but so was almost every member of the North East University luminary at that time, at least a racist as we define such things today. But this begs the earlier discussion in this forum about whether FDR, Woodrow Wilson, or John Kennedy Sr and Jr. Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, and even Leftist playwright George Bernard Shaw were all Fascists by the definition of Fascism in effect in 1938.
At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 President Wilson was approached by a young Nationalist emissary to discuss the possibility of freedom for his country from Colonialism. By all accounts Wilson dismissed this young man like he was a domestic servant or something. Wait a minute, he was a domestic servant and this young man had traveled half way around the world to Paris France, and taken a job waiting tables so that he could meet Wilson and enlist his help in freeing his country, from the yoke of Colonialism that the French had placed around its neck. This young Nationalist's' name was Ho Chi Ming and his nation was Viet Nam.
We shouldn't be too hard on Wilson just because he dragged us into a war that was none of our business. But then Wilson compounded his error by allowing himself to be deceived, bamboozled, and deluded by the European statesmen of the day who were only too happy to show the wet behind the ears American rube now the game of Real Politics was played. But France was just weeks removed from being our ally in Wilson' s war against the Hun and besides, Wilson was a guest of the French. What's a polite University President with a PhD supposed to do, stand up for his ideals or something???
Now for some sniping at Churchill and a little more abuse heaped on Wilson's head. The reason that the Japanese army was in China at the beginning of WWII was that His Majesty's First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill invited them in back in WWI. The reason was that Brittan wanted the German Imperial Navy kicked out of their concession at Kiautschou Bay in China and the bloody British were not real interested in shedding good British (or in British eyes inferior colonials blood) to kick the German fleet out of their headquarters in Tsingtau. So the British offered the Japanese a deal. The deal was that the Japanese would do all of England's heavy Asian fighting in exchange for Chinese territory. At the Paris Peace Conference the British reneged on their promise to Japan, Wilson stood up for the British and the Japanese delegation walked out of the Paris Peace Conference in a huff. The Japanese felt as cheated as the Italians did. Although the Japanese Army left China about 1925 in 10 years or less they were back.
Were previously there was what were called "The Big 5 Allied Powers" sitting at the conference table in Paris now there were only 4. Soon Italy's PM Orlando would be recalled to Rome as the Italians gravitated to Mussolini and the Fascist who promised to get for Italy what in Italian eyes Wilson had cheated them out of. Now there were now only 3 large powers. In Wilson's defense he only viewed the Japanese, the Chinese and Ho Chi Ming as... as... well.... as Asians and everyone knew or though they knew that these people were in British eyes the "White Man's Burden." I will not use the words what Wilson likely used in private when referring to Southern Europeans, especially to those Southern Europeans with vowels at the end of their names.
The impression we left with the Japanese was this one, "If the West won't keep their promises to us, why should we fear their threats? As a test that what I say is true, the Japanese fully expected the USA, Brittan, and Vichy France to negotiate on Japan's terms after the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Why shouldn't they feel that way? I repeat: If we don't keep the promises we make to other nations, who will believe that we'll make good on the threats we make to any nation? Chad, Libya, Egypt, North Korea? Iran? Syria? China, OK then, you tell me, who?
Obama is trying in his own words for a "reset" or world wide Mulligan or redo that will not only erase the marks men like Churchill made, but also men like Gandhi and MLK because in Obama's universe these men would become warriors.