Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the "good" side in a war, but not for the "bad" side. The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had a long history as an apartheid state. U.S. traditions of oppressing African Americans, practicing genocide against Native Americans, and now interning Japanese Americans also gave rise to specific programs that inspired Germany's Nazis--these included camps for Native Americans, and programs of eugenics and human experimentation that existed before, during, and after the war. One of these programs included giving syphilis to people in Guatemala at the same time the Nuremberg trials were taking place. [v] The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war. [vi] The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since. German neo-Nazis today, forbidden to wave the Nazi flag, sometimes wave the flag of the Confederate States of America instead.
The "good" side of the "good war," the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn't make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish Washington's and Hollywood's tales of triumph for "democracy."[vii]
World War II still hasn't ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn't have their incomes taxed until World War II and that's never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary. [viii] WWII-era bases built around the world have never closed. U.S. troops have never left Germany or Japan. [ix] There are more than 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing. [x]
Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn't attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I've got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you've still got to explain how an event from the early 1940s justifies dumping a trillion 2017 dollars into war funding that could have been spent to feed, clothe, cure, and shelter millions of people, and to environmentally protect the earth.
[i] War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing, edited by Lawrence Rosendwald.
[ii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).
[iv] Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Back Bay Books: 1996).
[v] Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times, "U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala," October 1, 2010, .nytimes.com/2010/10/02/health/research/02infect.html
[vi] Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (Little, Brown and Company, 2014).
[vii] Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States (Gallery Books, 2013).
[viii] Steven A. Bank, Kirk J. Stark, and Joseph J. Thorndike, War and Taxes (Urban Institute Press, 2008).