Monday, September 13, 2004


I have written on this before (see here and here) but American "liberals" seem to have conservatives so thoroughly conned on this that I feel I will still be saying it on my deathbed.

In domestic (internal) politics, it is clear to all that a Democrat President speaks at most only for those who elected him. But this somehow seems to get lost sight of in external (international) politics. The world usually sees what a Democrat President does as representing America, the American Left agrees with that and for some reason most conservatives buy into it. It does not happen with recent Presidents very much. Many American conservatives, for instance, would not be happy with Clinton bombing Christian Serbs who were giving Muslims a taste of their own oppressive medicine. But farther back in history things get blurred. I want to deal today with the case of F.D. Roosevelt, whose war with Japan is now almost universally approved of:

That conservatives ever "own" anything that America's first socialist president did is truly amazing. Lots of people still buy into the lie that FDR "cured" the great depression by his "New Deal" policies but the plain fact of the matter is that at the end of FDR's first two terms in office, the depression was just about as bad as ever (though under the financial management of the conservative Neville Chamberlain Britain had substantially recovered). It was only the war that got America moving again. And a large part of the reason for that was that around that time FDR started co-operating with business instead of attacking it. How he ever thought that attacking business would cure unemployment remains an utter mystery. It is business that creates jobs so if you want more jobs created you have to encourage business, not make circumstances more difficult for it. And it was in fact FDR's policies that transformed a normal cyclic depression into the Great Depression. In previous depressions governments had largely just sat tight. FDR was the first one to try big government interventions to cure it -- with the predictable result of making it worse.

And the idea that FDR was on the side of the poor is typical Leftist deception. His New Deal in fact harmed millions of poor people. Note this comment: "For defenders of the New Deal, perhaps the most embarrassing revelation about New Deal spending programs is they channeled money AWAY from the South, the poorest region in the United States. The largest share of New Deal spending and loan programs went to political 'swing' states in the West and East - where incomes were at least 60% higher than in the South. As an incumbent, FDR didn't see any point giving much money to the South where voters were already overwhelmingly on his side."

But that is just a preamble. It is the war with Japan that was most tragic. But before I go onto that, another small preamble is needed: The essence of conservatism (as I set out at great length here) is "You leave me alone and I will leave you alone" and in international politics that translates to isolationism -- which is of course a great tradition among American conservatives and among Americans generally. The great majority of Americans want the rest of the world to solve its own problems. Leftists such as FDR, on the other hand, believe that they know what's best not only for America but also for the rest of the world. They are coercive interventionists. They want to do the solving of other people's problems and are prepared to use force to impose their solutions if necessary.

So when world events were in turmoil in the 1930s, Roosevelt wanted to intervene and impose his solutions to the various conflicts around. In particular, he wanted to intervene against Japan in the war between China and Japan -- despite the fact that the Chinese themselves were nowhere near being defeated by the attacking Japanese at that stage. He also wanted to intervene in the war between Germany and Britain despite the fact that Britain had at that stage already won the Battle of Britain. FDR's big problem, however, was the isolationism of the ordinary American. They did not want a bar of his grand international schemes. So he had to bring about the one circumstance wherein even conservative Americans will willingly go to war with other countries -- when America is attacked. And FDR brought that about by virtually forcing the Japanese to attack. He cut off their oil supply, which Japan mainly got from California at that stage. He did it of course in the form of an ultimatum to withdraw from China or else -- knowing of course that the bushido code of the Japanese miltary would never allow them to accept such dictation from outside. They would rather commit suicide than give in -- which is precisely what they proceeded to do in slow motion, beginning with their futile attack on Pearl Harbour. So all the loss of American and Japanese lives in the Pacific lies at FDR's door, not at the door of the Japanese.

FDR was very nearly as big a war-monger as Hitler. Since both were socialists and hence lovers of coercion, that is not surprising. FDR did after all at one stage refer to Mussolini as "that admirable Italian gentleman" and got some of his authoritarian economic ideas from Mussolini (who also impoverished his country). So please don't defend FDR's great war of destruction against the brilliant Japanese. The only benefit to China was to give them Mao Tse Tung!

As a postscript, it might also be noted that FDR undoubtedly knew in advance of the Pearl Harbour attack. British and American cryptographers had been decoding Japanese diplomatic and naval messages for some time at that stage. But FDR warned no-one at Pearl Harbour. It suited him for Americans to die there.

And it might be noted that the wartime internment of Japanese Americans that Leftist historians now routinely condemn America for was in fact the doing of FDR, a fellow Leftist. It was NOT the doing of Americans generally and it was certainly not the doing of American conservatives.

I am not in general a Buchanan-ite but Buchanan does know his history so I cannot resist closing with this comment from Buchanan: "As for FDR, he was the greatest politician of the 20th century. But why call a president great whose government was honeycombed with spies and traitors, and whose war diplomacy lead to the loss of 10 Christian countries of Eastern Europe to a Muscovite despot whose terrorist regime was the greatest enemy of human freedom in modern history?". And if you don't like Buchanan, J.F. Kennedy had similar views. See here.

It is a revealing commentary on Leftist mentality that the 9/11 attacks which precipitated America into its present foreign wars are seen by many on the Left as a put-up job too. They are so dishonest themselves that they cannot tell fake from reality.


For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and EDUCATION WATCH. Mirror sites here, here, here and here


Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause

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