In Greece, the British state’s primary aim was to hold the country within the imperialist camp after the defeat of fascism. This meant denying support to the Greek popular resistance movement and ultimately collaborating with pro-fascist elements of Greek society to suppress it with armed force. The Atlantic Charter’s proclaimed “respect [for] the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live” was trumped by the goals of imperialism and by the secret deal between Churchill and Stalin to carve up post-war Europe.
In Asia the war followed a similar pattern. Continue reading
The USA and the UK, just as much as their adversaries, fought the Second World War to defend and extend their imperial power – in defiance of their own proclaimed war aims.
The most explicit piece of evidence that the liberation of Europe was not an Allied war aim comes from the infamous “percentages agreement” between Churchill and Stalin, a deal struck at the Moscow Conference of 1944. Continue reading
It is obvious that the war fought by the Axis powers – Germany, Italy, Japan – was an extraordinarily and unprecedentedly savage war of imperial conquest and enslavement. And conversely, according to the “good war” myth, their adversaries – primarily Britain, the USA, the USSR – were therefore fighting:
- a war of self-defence
- a war for liberation
- a war for democracy
- a war against fascism, racism and genocide
The Second World War presents a problem for the left. Continue reading