Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reader letter on: 70 years ago: FDR and Wall Street wanted war

from Wayne C.

With all respect, much of this has been known for years - partly even as it occurred. Within one year of the declaration of war Charles Beard wrote "Roosevelt and The Coming of War" thoroughly detailing the method by which Roosevelt and his cronies pushed war feelling and preparation in the Senate, arranged "Lend Lese"  so that it would necessitate covnoys and invite acts of war, launched ships into the South China Sea to attract Japanese attack. In fact, he managed to get a couple of American ships sunk in the Atlantic - but that wasn't enough to arouse the American people to war - they underrstood that such risks were entailed in shipping not just arms but a whole reserve fleet to England.

As early as one year after the war began Charles Beard wrote "Franklin roosevelt and the Coming of War" a detailed analysis of how roosevelt and his cronies had manipulated Congress month after month, step after step, arranged provocative acts in the Atlantic - even managing to get a couple of American ships sunk but not succeeding in getting the public aroused enough for war.

Left wing journals of the era all wrote about this as it was happening: Socialist Call (Socialist Party), "The Militant" (Socialisdt Workers Party), "Labor Action" (Workers Party - Shachtman), "The Fighting Worker" (Oehler), Weekly People (De Leonist), Western Socialist (a Boston based sect affiliated with the Socialist Party of Great Britain)j, "Workers Age" (Lovestone), "Modern Quarterly" (independent radical). The point is that it was hardly concealed from anyone who was paying attention. We think too often that only the antecedent sects that gave birth to our younger selves were alert or active in those years. In fact, James Farley, FDR's former Postmaster General and describes in his autobiography the first cabinet meeting and the first question Roosevelt posed on non-domestic issues: "Well, gentlemen, what shall we do about Japan?"

Another recent work that deals with the issue is David Gaddis "The Coming of the Cold War." which deals with Roosevelt's foreign policy from 1941 on.

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