April 12, 2007

WAR

I started watching War in Europe tonight, and I realized I had never before heard Roosevelt's Washington's Birthday Speech as the US entered WWII. Boy, how I wish I could hear this speech today. The whole thing is awesome, but this was the part I heard on the movie:

We know now that if we lose this war it will be generations or even centuries before our conception of democracy can live again. And we can lose this war only if use slow up our effort or if we waste our ammunition sniping at each other.

Here are three high purposes for every American:

1. We shall not stop work for a single day. If any dispute arises we shall keep on working while the dispute is solved by mediation, or conciliation or arbitration -- until the war is won.

2. We shall not demand special gains or special privileges or special advantages for any one group or occupation.

3. We shall give up conveniences and modify the routine of our lives if our country asks us to do so. We will do it cheerfully, remembering that the common enemy seeks to destroy every home and every freedom in every part of our land.

This generation of Americans has come to realize, with a present and personal realization, that there is something larger and more important than the life of any individual or of any individual group -- something for which a man will sacrifice, and gladly sacrifice, not only his pleasures, not only his goods, not only his associations with those he loves, but his life itself. In time of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this nation is and what we owe to it.

And Roosevelt discussed the flypaper strategy long before Andrew Sullivan:

Those Americans who believed that we could live under the illusion of isolationism wanted the American eagle to imitate the tactics of the ostrich. Now, many of those same people, afraid that we may be sticking our necks out, want our national bird to be turned into a turtle. But we prefer to retain the eagle as it is -- flying high and striking hard.

I know I speak for the mass of the American people when I say that we reject the turtle policy and will continue increasingly the policy of carrying the war to the enemy in distant lands and distant waters -- as far away as possible from our own home grounds.

But imagine anyone accepting this from today's president:

Your Government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst, without flinching or losing heart. You must, in turn, have complete confidence that your Government is keeping nothing from you except information that will help the enemy in his attempt to destroy us. In a democracy there is always a solemn pact of truth between government and the people, but there must also always be a full use of discretion, and that word "discretion" applies to the critics of government as well.

This is war. The American people want to know, and will be told, the general trend of how the war is going. But they do not wish to help the enemy any more than our fighting forces do, and they will pay little attention to the rumor-mongers and the poison peddlers in our midst.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:09 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Your Government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst, without flinching or losing heart. You must, in turn, have complete confidence that your Government is keeping nothing from you except information that will help the enemy in his attempt to destroy us. In a democracy there is always a solemn pact of truth between government and the people, but there must also always be a full use of discretion, and that word "discretion" applies to the critics of government as well. Problem with that paragraph it that since 1946 government has done about zero to deserve OUR confidence, and has done a shitload to diserve our mistrust. Fifty one years of lies have a way of creeping up and biting you in the ass as the executive, and legaslative branches are finding out.

Posted by: BubbaBoBobBrain at April 12, 2007 12:00 PM (BR9zA)

2 Did you catch this part: "We Americans will contribute unified production and unified acceptance of sacrifice and of effort. That means a national unity that can know no limitations of race or creed or selfish politics. The American people expect that much from themselves. And the American people will find ways and means of expressing their determination to their enemies..." Contrast that statement to all the bickering in Washington about setting deadlines and pulling out. "A national unity that can know no limitations of ... selfish politics." President Roosevelt must be rolling in his grave over the actions of politicians this last month. And expressing determination?! Apparently the only determination our politicians can express these days is a determination to give up the fight and abandon our military members at home and abroad!

Posted by: InTheAirForceAgain at April 13, 2007 05:08 AM (6CMb0)

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