Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Roosevelt War Years
By Richard E. Noble
The majority of Americans were not in favor of going to war. Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes in defense of her husband’s activities that up until the day before Pearl Harbor ninety percent of Americans were not in favor of the war in Europe. There were pacifists, isolationist and those who couldn’t decide. The Germans had considerable American support, but the majority supported aid to the British. Most Americans seemed to know enough about Adolf that they didn’t want the U.S. to be a subsidiary. But minding our own business, building up our borders and enhancing our military seemed a very good option. But on December 7, 1941, the day that will live in infamy, everyone’s mind was made up for them. The Japanese had decided to attack Pearl Harbor, and shortly thereafter Adolf had decided to declare war on the U. S.
This is another of Adolf s moves that I don’t understand. Why not just keep your mouth shut and let the Japanese keep us busy in the South Pacific, while Germany continued with its efforts in Europe? The American Government would certainly have had to stretch to convince the American people that assisting England was of a higher priority than defending ourselves against the Japanese.
There was definitely something wrong with Adolf Dunkirk was stupid. The pact with Russia over the division of Poland in 1939 was insane and against all of Adolf s popular advertisements, going all the way back to his book, Mein Kampf, written in the early twenties. Attacking England before conquering Russia, even if militarily possible or achievable, was stupid from a propaganda point of view. And propaganda was Adolf s business. Adolf had considerable support in England, ranging from Kings, Prime Ministers, and bank presidents to regular folks. All that he had to do was attack the evil Bolsheviks in Russia, and he could have had a free ride.
If he had held off on declaring war against the U.S., and attacked Russia before attacking England, things may have gone fine. Even taking on Poland and Russia simultaneously, should have been successful. In his War with Russia England may have turned out to be one of his allies, and so too the U.S.A. Certainly they both would have been silent partners to such a cause.
There is the theory that Rudolf Hess went to England to cut just such a deal. Rudolf was the co-author, if you will, of Mein Kampf. He knew the Adolf philosophy from the start. If he didn’t go to England as a legitimate emissary, but on his own, it very well could have been his attempt to put his buddy back on course. Convince the British that attacking them was all just a bad mistake, and now Adolf had seen the error of his ways. Let’s once again be friends and join in a positive war against a mutual enemy, Russia.
This seemed to be the original plan? So why the attack on England? Why the pact with Russia? Why declare war on the U.S.? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Adolf was obviously hearing voices, or following the stars. He had completely lost his direction. If he had kept his proper course, he, no doubt, may have been the world’s latest Alexander the Great. But instead, his actions had now united his enemies. Now England, the United States, and Russia were all on the same side.
Either, by this time, he was out of his mind, or he was so over-confident that he felt anything, and any course of action would be successful.
F.D.R. now got the American War Machine rolling. Just as he had tried anything and everything to turn the tide of the economic depression, he did the same for the War effort.
I find it strange that there are people, even with academic credentials, who claim that it was not Roosevelt’s Keynesian economics that saved the world from the Economic depression, but the war.
And what is war, but excessive government spending? There could be no bigger government spending WELFARE program than going to war. Whether the war be justified or not, it is government spending in the most unproductive, non-Capitalistic, Socialistic, Federalized manner, greater than the grandest dictator in history could have devised.
Even building a pyramid would be higher on the priority list of any practical minded economist, or positive constructionist. Of all the wasteful, non-productive things for a government to spend money on, war has to be first on the list.
If destroying things for the sake of then rebuilding them after-wars makes economic sense then why don’t we just destroy things in a controlled, peaceful manner, without all the human tragedy? There are lots of places in the U.S. that I have seen with my own eyes that could be destroyed with very little regret on the part of anyone. We could then destroy and rebuild to our hearts content. Our whole nation could be the new Las Vegas.
The big complaint with government spending is that it precipitates inflation. But couldn’t inflation be looked at and attacked from the other end?
In other words, could we not define inflation not as an excess of available capital but an under supply of things consumable, primarily in “variety” of goods and services, not quantity. Counteract inflation with production of “new” desirable goods and services. In other words, the government can not spend in one area at the expense of the other. While government is increasing social spending, thus putting more money into circulation, it must also invest in new home start ups, and new consumer goods to purchase, or entire new industries as markets for the new dollars plus reasonable increases in those goods and services currently being produced.
In the capitalist theory we say that we must wait for the entrepreneur, but could this not be looked at as Hooverism; waiting for things to get better, instead of taking action to make them better.
Thomas Edison mass produced creativity. Today no one sits and waits on genius, research institutions have taken their place. Government and industry could establish research institutes for creating new products and new markets. Or government could support private enterprises with this goal. Government spending to not only stabilize current output, but to promote entrepreneurship and genius could be used to counteract inflation.
It is conceivable that even without increases in population, inflation could be countered by making more, and better, things available to the current population. Investing government spending on both the business and the consumption end, might also tend to eliminate the chief obstacle to such government “intervention” - the successful themselves.
As inflation rises, production must be increased. With more and varied products available, wouldn’t prices remain stable?
Inflation is caused by more money for the same supply of products. To counteract inflation, increase the variety and quantity of products available. Now the same dollars won’t be competing for the same quantities or types of products. More choices for the consumer’s increased dollars means more consumer goods for everybody and continued stable prices for the goods that were previously available. Certainly consumers could have more things along side all of their other things. More, in addition to, and not instead of, being the key.
Roosevelt had taken on the impossible task of turning the tide of depression and now he was given the task of turning the tide of Nazism, and Fascism.
Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin; a democrat, a royalist, and a dictator - a very unlikely alliance. Once America was attacked the majority of doubts and deliberations were put aside. The vast majority of Americans were at last, rolling in the same direction.
Nevertheless, there were those who questioned the legitimacy of Pearl Harbor. Had Roosevelt actually allowed the event to happen in order to avoid breaking his solemn promise to the American people that he would not send their young men off to another foreign war?
This question is still being argued today in the streets, in intellectual circles, and by historians.
The “traitors” in this instance of questioning the righteousness of their government, being for the most part, conservative Republicans and not Liberal Democrats.
My investigations tell me that not only did Roosevelt and others know about the incoming attack, so to, had the joint leaders at Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt was told by Marshall that the leaders at Pearl Harbor were not only informed but had been advised to take the proper protective actions. Why they took the wrong protective action is a study in the inadequacies of the military bureaucracy.
Marshall summed it all up in his testimony before a congressional investigating committee. They asked him, if he had been in charge at Pearl Harbor would the same devastation have occurred.
“No,” he replied.
“Why?” they asked.
“Because I know how to read,” he suggested.
The inference being, that any commander who was not aware that Pearl Harbor was in danger of attack obviously wasn’t abreast of even the general news, never mind any private, secret military information.
The more I read about the Roosevelt years, the more impressed I am with the caliber of Mr. Roosevelt. He was not only a pragmatist in economic policy he was also very pragmatic in all other aspects of government.
In his cabinet he had both those who were sympathetic to our allies and those who were sympathetic to our enemies. He had Nazi sympathizers as well as Communist sympathizers. He used both to his advantage. When each side told him of the other’s presence and intrigues, he thanked them and told them to please keep him abreast of what they were up to. It is better not to expose our enemies he told them. Exposure would just chase them underground. This way we can keep an eye on whatever they are doing. He had a similar response when it was brought to his attention that there were prosperous American businesses that were trading with the enemy. Better to know what they were up to, and where, to whom, and by what means they were conducting
their nefarious transactions, than to force them into greater secrecy and intrigues.
Strangely enough the Government had more Nazi sympathizers than Communists which is probably the reason behind the eventual McCarthy period. Roosevelt was a master a juggling both ends to justify the middle. How he kept it all in the air was a miracle of political craftsmanship.
After Franklin died, poor Harry was left in a dilemma. In which direction was Roosevelt heading? What were his goals? Did he have a plan? Harry was obviously not the type of man that Roosevelt was. The buck stops here said Harry. Unlike F.D.R., Harry was incapable of juggling both ends in favor of the middle. He had to choose a side. F.D.R., like his cousin Teddy, knew how to play the game of the rich against the poor, the left against the right, the middle against the ends.
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