Now and then


Our contributor Edward Bernard Glick applied contemporary attitudes of the left toward Iraq to World War II, and came up with a revealing set of questions and answers. You can read the entire essay on the Hudson Institute's American Outlook Today website.

If 1941 were 2004, here are some of the questions and answers we would have heard after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the United States:

Q. 'Of course it's sad that the Japanese killed so many of our men and destroyed so much of our Pacific Fleet on December 7th. But it's our own fault.

A. As Doonensbury would say, 'We have seen the enemy and he is US. He's always US. In fact, US is what the initials U.S. really stands for.

Q. 'There's a world organization based in Geneva. Why in Heaven's name don't we take the Japanese and German grievances to the League of Nations immediately, and let the world organization work out an immediate peaceful solution?'

A. Never mind that Japan withdrew from the League in 1933, after a commission of inquiry found that its invasion of Manchuria and its creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo was not a 'genuine . . . independence movement.' Never mind that Adolf Hitler left the League, also in 1933, and ended German participation in its disarmament conferences, because both the League and the conferences stood in the way of his ambitions. And never mind, as well, that America is not a member of the League.

Q. 'Since there are always root causes for bellicosity, what's the root cause of Japan's attack?'

A. Americans have never bothered to learn Japanese language, culture, and history. So we don't understand Japan's complaints against us. Why, there would never have been a Pearl Harbor attack if we had been nicer to Japanese immigrants.

Q. 'What's the root cause for Adolf Hitler's and Nazi Germany's animosity towards America?'

A. Jews have disproportionate influence in the current American administration. That's why President Franklin Delano Roosevelt supports Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East. That's also why Roosevelt is such a lackey of the British, who persist in standing in the way of Germany's legitimate need for lebensraum in Poland and in other parts of Eastern Europe.

Q. 'How can we fight if we don't know how much this war is is going to cost us?'

 A. We're only now beginning to emerge from the Depression. In fact, our 1941 deficit equals 4.3 percent of our GDP. So how can Congress give Roosevelt a blank check? The government's first responsibility is to respond not to unimportant foreign threats, but to urgent domestic needs.

Q. 'How can we fight the Axis Powers without a plan telling us exactly when and how the war will end?'

A. It's not acceptable for Roosevelt to prattle that the war will be long and hard, and will end only when we're victorious. That kind of rhetoric may be suitable for an aging imperialist like Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who keeps telling the British people that their aim must be 'victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.' But there's no room for such talk in liberal America.

Q. 'We're taking very heavy losses. An average of 215 American soldiers and sailors are dying every day in a war we shouldn't have let ourselves get into. Isn't it obvious that the Axis powers are going to win this war, and that we're going to lose it?'

A. Japan and Germany are sinking Allied vessels at a faster rate than they can be replaced. The Philippines, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, Poland, France, Belgium, the Soviet Union, Norway, Denmark, and the Balkans have all been overrun. And North Africa and the Middle East are next. So the right thing to do—the only thing to do—is for the United States to sue for peace and bring our boys home right away. Hirohito and Hitler will be so pleased that they'll be generous when they set the terms for our surrender.