A New Day of Infamy...
Originally published December 7, 2020
Upon learning the concept of non-interventionism to which I adhere, students inevitably ask which [post Revolution] wars I might have supported, and are intrigued when I answer: “World War II.”
When explaining the inevitable “why” follow-up, I first quote John Quincy Adams:
“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will America’s heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” (Emphasis added).
Everything's Political is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
As a non-interventionist (not to be conflated with an isolationist), I see the use of force on or in other countries as illegitimate unless we are attacked, or damn sure that an attack on our own soil is imminent, and if either is the case, I’m good with “Operation Thanos” as a swift response, as long as it is a constitutionally-declared war.
Long way around, I would’ve supported World War II because:
1. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor, and
2. We helped create “the monster” abroad…
As I’ve written in other posts, history is an ongoing documentary of the human condition, and to fully appreciate and learn from it, we must connect the dots from one event to another. Ergo, I open my history course on the United States (always conjugated in the plural), with the following three questions, and with maybe two or three exceptions, the usual responses are in italics:
What caused the colonies to secede from England? Taxes!
What was the the main impetus behind the War Between the States? Slavery!
What caused World War II? Adolf Hitler!
While not wholly incorrect, full credit would not be given for those answers on future tests or essays because in reality, the reasons for each go much deeper and wider than any one issue, so we must go down a few rabbit holes to avoid the cartoonish, one-dimensional version schools have been teaching for the last 20+ years…
Because of today’s historical significance, let’s look at the third question again: What caused World War II?
Answer: What was World War I…
(Namely the feeding frenzy of nations to divvy up the spoils via the 1919 Treaty of Versailles).
Now again, lest you start producing pacifist straw men in my image, non-interventionism deploys defense as the founders intended…when a foreign or domestic enemy attacks any of our United States and/or their citizens.
But that’s not what World War I was…World War I was just another example of Europe being Europe, as it had been for centuries. We had no more business getting dragged into World War I than we did Vietnam or any other war, but the racist, sexist, bigoted Anglophile Woodrow Wilson, couldn’t help himself, and America paid for it in many ways, not the least of which was World War II.
The provisions written in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I not only annexed Germany’s most productive land to other countries leaving the economy in ruins, but also the government was left in chaos, the German people were left starved, dejected, forced to pay endless reparations and incur 100% guilt for a war they had nothing to do with initiating, all of which set up the perfect power vacuum through which Hitler rose…
…and what’s really scary about that is at present, many here in the United States – some knowingly, some unknowingly – are laboring to produce the exact same situation.
We’re seeing it unfold now. Look at the parallels: the middle class is in economic ruins, government chaos, starving, dejected citizens incurring the punishment and guilt over a virus with a 99.8% recovery rate that they had nothing to do with initiating or spreading (and of which most will likely never have any symptoms). #COVID2020
All courtesy of both foreign and domestic deep-state enemies who had one more blow to throw in 2020: The end of free and fair elections…
Unless the Lord intervenes – and He knows we don’t deserve it – I’ll give the respirator on which the republic rests six more months of battery life, after which those who are genuinely clueless of what has been transpiring, will look at November 3, 2020 as yet another “Day of Infamy.” The day we learned that nearly half the nation, including the upper echelons of our highest, most traditional institutions revealed themselves as seditiously aligned with our greatest enemies, having gleefully sold their souls, their country, their children and grand children to gain power, glory and security for themselves.
…and the day many Americans – who never thought they would – began considering a national divorce.
Mrs. Powel: “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
Ben Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
On December 8, 1941, one day after the Empire of Japan attacked the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gave the following speech to a Joint Session of the United States Congress, sometimes referred to at the “Day of Infamy” or “Pearl Harbor” Speech.
Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:
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 the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of 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. I regret to tell you that 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. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today 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.
But always will our whole Nation remember 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 that 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 it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
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 unbounding 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 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire
Text courtesy of the Library of Congress.
You can listen here: