December 08, 2005

December 8th, 2001, December 8th 1941

Insty has an interesting link up about public opinion in Afghanistan four years after the Taliban fell, and four years and four weeks after the left declared Afghanistan an unwinnable quagmire (brutal Afghan winter, anyone? Bueller?)

Yesterday, I happened into a conversation with two colleauges in the hall outside of my office where they were talking about "good liberals." They both refused to believe my statement that FDR was the greatest president of the 20th century. And the reason why is December 8th. (Scroll through here to listen to various recordings of news reports from December 7th and 8th of that year.)

Here's why FDR was the greatest president of the 20th century:

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will be remembered the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Now, what is missing from that speech?
Ah yes, any mention of Nazi Germany and Italy. And our first large scale military offensive after Pearl Harbor was to invade......North Africa.

FDR saw the larger threat, and acted decisively, and for a generation at least swept foolish isolationism and America-firstism off the table. I wrote a longer piece last fall about the Arcadia Conference and FDR's adoption of the "Europe First" plan, based in part over fears of Nazi development of an atomic bomb.

Wherein Steve-O tries to channel Howard Dean over FDR's lies that got us into the 60 year European quagmire:
FDR lying again to the American people by pretending to stand up, all the while leading us into an unnecessary war against Nazi Germany---WHO HAD NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER TO PEARL HARBOR!!!---based on bogus WMD "intelligence" from so-called experts like that Einstein guy all to save the Imperial pretensions of Winston Churchill!!!

And 60 years later we're still in Germany and Japan!!!


einstein 1.gif
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The Neo-Con lies from so-called "experts" about German attempts to procure Uranium from Africa that were the pretext for our illegal imperial invasion of Europe!

Ironic that since 1968 the Dixiecrats left the Democrats and joined the Republicans, while the isolationist cranks and America-firsters left the Republicans and joined the Democrats.

I prefer a party with neither, but that's just me, Mr. Vegas.

Posted by Steve at December 8, 2005 02:03 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, I noted in my 12/7/41 post yesterday the similarities between The islamofacists and Japan. I left the rest of the comparison unsaid, but not unnoticed on my part. Well said.

Posted by: Brian B at December 8, 2005 02:27 PM

America declared war on Italy and Germany several days later after the Axis declared war on the USA.

Posted by: LMC at December 8, 2005 02:27 PM

I think Einstein's letter only proves that he was a War-hawk Neocon looking for an opportunity to get America into the fight.

There are documents that a friend of mine's uncle heard about which prove that Einstein had the patent* on a process that would turn Bratwurst into OIL.

* AE was a patent office clerk. Very suspicious.

Sorry gotta go. Meds time!

Posted by: Gordon at December 8, 2005 03:17 PM

But John Kerry said that the War in Iraq is not like WWII. I'm confused...


Posted by: jen at December 8, 2005 03:36 PM

You mean LBJ wasn't your favorite? He saw the bigger picture.

Posted by: LB Buddy at December 8, 2005 04:47 PM

Yes, if by "bigger picture" you mean Elizabeth Taylor's ass...

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at December 8, 2005 06:46 PM

I think an argument can be made against your statement:

Ah yes, any mention of Nazi Germany and Italy. And our first large scale military offensive after Pearl Harbor was to invade......North Africa.

We didn't invade North Africa until late 1942, in Operation Torch in November. We were staging troops in Britain beginning in January, of course, but we weren't exactly ignoring the Pacific. Before Operation Torch began, there were the raids on Tokyo by Doolittle, the Battle of the Coral Sea, a little battle you may have heard of called MIDWAY, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, etc. We had also been pushed out of the Philippines by this point.

With those events in mind, I think your argument that our first large-scale offensive was in North Africa is weak.

As for reason to get into a war with Germany, I think the fact the Axis declared war on us was a decent enough reason, even if they hadn't done so when Roosevelt made his speech.

Posted by: Matt at December 9, 2005 09:44 AM

Coral Sea and Midway were defensive battles, in which we checked Japanese advances. It took a considerable amount of time for U.S. industry to ramp up enough to put together a naval fleet large enough to begin offensive operations in earnest, particularly with the primary allocation of material to the European theatre.

As for Doolittle's Raid, that was launched specifically for purposes of morale and had nothing to do with any serious campaign.

I think Steve-O's point about Operation Torch being the first genuine American offensive of the war is legit.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 9, 2005 02:01 PM

Let us also remember the U.S. Navy was operating on "shoot on sight" orders concerning U-boats while escorting Lend-Lease convoys in the summer of 1941, well before Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: LMC at December 9, 2005 02:07 PM