Sure, but I was talking about the Revolutionary War, in which the French fought alongside the Americans. So does that make the French bad or the Americans good?
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. So the friend of my enemy is my enemy? But my two enemies are fighting each other, does that make them both my friends? And my friend is allied with my enemy, does that make him my enemy? But they are allied in opposition to my other enemy!
Truly, the web of 18th century international relations is a tangled one!
If in doubt invade Lower Saxony, that’s what I always say.
Napoleon would never have sold the Louisiana Purchase to Great Britain, and the Second World War would have gone very badly.
Guys who did not want to pay their taxes.
Even WWII isn’t so clear cut. A big part of that was Hitler vs. Stalin. Can’t call either of them “Good Guys”
True, but WWII was largely caused by, and fought in opposition to, Hitler’s bad-guyness. How much different would WWII have been if Stalin had been a Good Guy?
I’d like to know how different WWII would have been if we had fought Stalin, or at lest not supported him. Let Hitler try and take over the Soviet Union. He’s not going to get that far. And the last 60 years might have been a lot better.
Of course, we still wouldn’t have landed on the moon.
This is false. It was not Hitler vs Stalin. It was Germans vs Russians, and the Good Guys in that were unequivocal: the Russians who were bravely defending themselves against evil invaders. Hitler and Stalin were not fighting this war, and the nobility of the Russian resistance and ultimate triumph cannot be stained by any personal failings of Stalin.
Nyerere was a controversial figure. Across Africa he gained widespread respect as an anti-colonialist and in power received praise for ensuring that, unlike many of its neighbours, Tanzania remained stable and unified in the decades following independence. His construction of the one-party state and use of detention without trial led to accusations of dictatorial governance, while he has also been blamed for economic mismanagement.
By the terms of the debate, good guy = liberal democracy and bad guy = dictatorship. Tanzania seems to have been closer to a dictatorship. One dictatorship invading another dictatorship isn’t exactly what OP was asking about, but in some situations one dictatorship is far worse than the other dictatorship.
Were they the same that invaded Poland in conjunction with the Wehrmacht? or attacked Finland, a known neutral, in the Winter war? or subjugated the Baltic states for 50 years? or seized the Bessarabia on Romania?
WW2 was a war of conflicting empires. One of them was the Reich (hard to do worst… but the Nippon was close) and another one was the Soviet union that in retrospect wasn’t exactly all puppies and flowers. The fact that Hitler choose to betray Stalin can’t hide the fact that during the first two years of the war they were allies. So good and bad may vary greatly …
All you have to do is check the newspaper. E.g., The Onion, August 13, 1985:
Remember, the US was an early adopter of the concept of constitutional democracy, and a lot of later-comers avoided our mistakes by learning from our example. If we hadn’t won the Revolutionary War and implemented our democracy beta test, maybe those other nations would have made the same mistakes instead of us.
OTOH, the fundamentals of British democracy were already pretty locked in by that time - the monarch governs according to the advice of the Prime Minister, who must be able to maintain the confidence of Parliament. The main beef of the colonists at first wasn’t that they were ruled by a king (although he proved a convenient scapegoat) - it was that they had no Parliamentary representation.
Not to mention the Imperial Japanese, who were most certainly the “bad guys”.
Those issues are more complicated. Germany was invading eastern Europe and Russia with a ideology of attaining land for Germanic peoples and that would have involved killing or enslaving the Slavic peoples who lived on that land.
The territories you mention, were stolen from Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Western Allies did nothing to help repair Russia’s losses after the Central Powers defeat, abandoning their previous allies in their time of need. Those are different matters than the German invasion of Russia, territory it had no remote claim to and was seizing with specific homicidal intent.
The Western Allies reversed German territorial holdings going back decades prior to WWI under Versailles, but maintained the stripping of 2.5 million square kilometers from Russia subjected onto it by Germany and its allies when they were winning the war.
You could say that Russia should just have accepted its treaty losses of 1918, but Western allies like France were never held to such a standard. French anger over the loss of Alsace-Lorraine and refusal to accept the treaties it had agreed to in its dispensation was one cause of WWI itself.
True but that was after the Russian expansion. If you think that was part of a clever plan from Stalin to make more space to stall a German invasion, you haven’t see the reactions of Stalin in June '41( incomprehension, hesitation, despair…)
Stolen by Prussia, and when Prussia losses in '18, everyone in Finland, Ukraine, Poland or Baltic States decided to remain independent rather than rejoin communist USSR. The Western Allies were allied with the Tsar, and remained faithful to that alliance: support of troops in Arkhangelsk, Vladivostok and Odessa. The communist insurgents had no claims to any of the territories.
Alsace-Lorraine was dating from 1870, only 48 years prior. Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman empire blew themselves up under nationalistic centrifugal forces. One can say that the Tsarist empire was under the same centrifugal forces. The USSR managed to recreate an empire with seizing of central Asia, Caucasus and Ukraine in the '20’s and was eager to have more. But when the people you want don’t want you, if you continue, you’re an invader and an occupant.
[nitpick] I know you aren’t being serious with “the Nippon” in trying to use an equivalent form, but while “Reich” can be translated into such English words as “realm” or “empire” can and does take the definite article when referring to Nazi Germany, “Nippon” is simply the Japanese word for “Japan” and does not take “the.” [/nitpick]
Also well understood at the time by the people who fought against the Japanese, were in areas occupied by them, or those unfortunate to be taken prisoner by them, history hasn’t remembered the atrocities nearly as much as with the case of the Germans.
Welcome, Janus, and that is a great question, but people may disagree on the answer.
I consider the Korean war to be a good vs. evil scenario because of the way things have turned out. There are stark differences between the north and south today that indicate to me that the war to save the South Korean people from the same fate as the North Korean people was indeed a good vs. evil scenario.
I also consider the war to liberate Kuwait to be a good vs. evil situation because Iraq invaded a free nation with no just cause whatsoever. The same hold trues in Ukraine.
Yes, because Kuwait is a bastion of democracy, well-known for its protection of human rights and free speech. Totally right to protect their freely elected government.