If Lord’s point regarding the America First Committee is the parallel between the rhetoric of Move On and America First, there can be little disagreement. But, if he is hinting that both groups represent a bigoted, fringe element in American society, he misinterprets the pre-WWII isolationist movement. A very sizable minority of American citizens were isolationists prior to Pearl Harbor and it’s worth examining their reasons, both practical and psychological.
Within 20 years of the WWI armistice, it appeared to many Americans that we were headed for involvement in another foreign war and there was widespread disgust and anger over Europe’s inability to maintain peace. The average American cared little for the underlying politics, but clearly grasped the price in dead and maimed loved ones if we participated in another war. The Japanese, in their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, didn’t lust after the lucrative Oahu surfboard concession. They wanted to prevent the American Navy from stopping their move into Southeast Asia to acquire the raw material wealth of Indochina, Borneo, Malaysia and Java. These territories were Dutch, French and British colonies and, as in WWI, Americans would die to protect the overseas empires of Europe.
Psychologically, an admirable virtue of our people is a deep distrust of our government leaders We understood our natures and suspected our leaders wouldn’t put aside politics, ego and ambition when fighting a war. This was born out by Roosevelt and the Joint Chiefs in the prelude to and subsequent conduct of the war. The so-called whipsaw strategy in the Pacific meant the Navy fought an island hopping campaign, the Army fought a land campaign first on New Guinea and later in the Philippines and the Army Airforce fought a strategic bombing campaign, first in China and later in the Pacific. Many historians agree that our inability to develop a sound military strategy for the Pacific resulted in the unnecessary deaths and maiming of thousands of American sailors, GIs and Marines. Our incredible output of munitions and war materials, along with volunteer and drafted personnel, provided each branch with the means to satisfy their ambitions and parochial loyalty to their respective service. Commander in Chief Roosevelt did nothing to prevent this and it’s suspected that he actively encouraged General MacArthur’s bizarre Philippine campaign to keep him out of national politics back home.p>Then, as now, Americans understand that the price of intervention and subsequent armed conflicts is blood and death. In that respect, nothing has changed. br> — Patrick Skurka br> San Ramon, California /p>
“One finds it difficult to believe that men like these would hesitate for a political nano-second to cut the endorsement cord between themselves and MoveOn,” Lord wrote. obviously a political nanosecond differs from the real thing and, no, unfortunately, it isn’t so difficult to believe any politician’s affiliations.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?