World War II is often viewed as the last good war. In contrast to the wars that followed it Korea and Vietnam, primarily World War II is said to have had a clear purpose: the smashing of Nazism and fascism and all the horrible things for which they stood. The description "last good war" also implies that the outcome, unlike those of later wars, was an unambiguous victory for America and its Allies a victory for freedom and democracy. Korea remains divided. Vietnam was unified under Ho Chi Minh. But in World War II, good triumphed over evil. Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and imperial Japan were completely defeated and then transformed into unthreatening democracies that then took their places among the world's peace-loving nations. And France and the rest of Western Europe were liberated from tyranny.
Unfortunately, history is not so simple, and the consequences of World War II are much more complex. A full accounting is a sobering matter that renders the record less d