Charles L. Mee presented an untraditional observation on how the Cold War began in his article “A Good Way to Pick a Fight”. Providing a compilation of series of events that may have influenced the spark of the Cold War, Mr. Mee gave a different view on why the Cold War seemed inevitable.
Charles L. Mee presented opened his article with several incidents from the three respective leaders that were linked to the Cold War: President Harry Truman of the United States of America, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. He illustrated some of the statements or actions that the three leaders had done that helped to start the Cold War.
The author states that, unlike what most of us know that President Truman started the Cold War, all of the three countries involved in the Cold War made their respective actions for the war to happen.
It is not only President Truman who wanted the war but so as Churchill and Stalin. It just so happened that the United States of America was the one to first declare the war. The author argued that the war is inevitable, that the true starting point of the war was buried in haze because all of the three sides are struggling to be the one to have the upper hand of starting the war.
Indeed, all three of them initiated actions that were later became the source of war. But I think that if only all three of them trusted each other’s agreements, there would be no cold war. When a war has ended, the next thing that should happen is peace. People tend to go to war to obtain peace.
That is, I think, most of us think. But after studying some of the most famous wars of our times, I think that power is the real source of conflicts. It has always been power. Past leaders thought that to obtain peace, they should have more power. To control order, one must become powerful over the other. And I think that power sparked the Cold War.
In a way, I think that Charles L. Mee is right. The United States could have started the war literally but it is also true that the Soviet Union was also planning to go to war. Hence, it was just a matter of who will initiate the first move. The “Big Three”, I think, had each of their contributions for the origin of the Cold War.
Upon reading the article, the most important thing that I have learned was the circumstances that occurred when the atomic bombs were launched to Japan. I have learned that the atomic bombing was not merely necessary and was just a mere act of power.
The United States Government launched the atomic bombs because they want to threaten their future enemies during that time. A particular line from the article caught my attention. That is the statement of Admiral William Leahy on his explanation of the Japan atomic bombing. He said that the bombs were dropped “because of the vast sums that had been spent on the project”.
Another purpose of the “unnecessary” Japan atomic bombing was to show to the Soviet Union that the United States has a weapon capable of destructing massive areas in seconds. The American Government did the bombing to control the situation that was arising between them and the Soviet Union, which later developed as the “Cold War”.
Mee, Charles Jr. L. “A Good Way to Pick a Fight”. American Heritage Magazine. Aug 1977: vol 28, issue 5.
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