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Articles, Letters, and Great Speeches by Patrick J. Buchanan

ARTICLES, LETTERS, AND SPEECHES


On the FDR Memorial: A Modest Dissent
by Patrick J. Buchanan
May 16, 1997

To watch self-styled "conservatives" vie with one another in bending the knee at the shrine of Franklin Delano Roosevelt is to appreciate the rot at the core of a once-great movement. Have we no heroes that we must beg for folding chairs at the dedication of a monument to the amoral man who destroyed the Old Republic? Undeniably, FDR was a political genius. His golden voice was perfectly tempered to the Great Depression. He gave a nation hope.

Though his New Deal schemes miscarried, no one can fault the man for trying to alleviate the suffering of his people or failing to reignite a stalled economy that no one else understood any better. But for all his courage in fighting polio, FDR was a fake. The "I hate war" quote on a tablet in his memorial, for example, is from a 1936 speech at Chautauqua: "We are not isolationist, except insofar as we seek to isolate ourselves from war. ... I have seen war. ... I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. ... I hate war." FDR was posturing as an isolationist, while his own Congress was passing the very neutrality laws that, he would whine four years later, tied his hands in dealing with Adolf Hitler.

As for all that mud, blood and gas, it is manure. A Navy bureaucrat, FDR spent World War I sneaking off into the Virginia countryside with Lucy Mercer, cheating on the mother of his five children, breaking Eleanor's heart. The man did not have the truth in him. A year before Pearl Harbor, in the most dishonest campaign ever conducted, FDR declared: "Mothers and fathers ... I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." At that very moment, he was plotting war. When Hitler turned on his ally Joseph Stalin in mid-1941, Americans, more than ever, wanted to stay out. But FDR was wild for war.

When the destroyers Greer and the Kearny were fired on by submarines, FDR decried this unprovoked "piracy" and declared a "shoot-on-sight" policy for German ships. Again, he was lying. The U.S. war ships had been collaborating with British planes, attacking the German submarines for hours before the subs fired back. Failing to whip up war hysteria, FDR claimed he had "a secret map" of Hitler's plans to carve up all Latin America into "five vassal states," plus a copy of Hitler's plan "to abolish all existing religions," liquidate all clergy and create an "International Nazi Church." "(I)n the place of the Bible, the words of Mein Kampf will be imposed and enforced as Holy Writ. And in the place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols -- the swastika and the naked sword. ... The god of blood and iron will take the place of the God of love and mercy."

These "grim truths," said FDR, will be "hotly denied in the controlled press and radio of the Axis powers." The documents did not exist. Again, he was lying. As Clare Luce said, he "lied us into a war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it." Though he unleashed the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service on the America First Committee, smearing these patriots as neo-Nazis, FDR lacked the courage to confront them. In October 1941, America First called for an up-or-down vote in Congress on a declaration of war against the Third Reich. FDR ducked the challenge, preferring duplicity, stealth and provocation to get the war he desperately wanted.

Once at war, FDR became a base appeaser of Stalin. Among his first acts in 1933, he recognized Stalin's barbaric regime even as the Forgotten Holocaust of Ukraine was going on. In 1943, FDR declared Germany's "unconditional surrender" to be the Allied war aim, ensuring that Germany would fight to the death, more Americans would die, and Stalin would inherit Hitler's empire. At Tehran and Yalta, FDR and Winston Churchill drunkenly signed away the independence of Poland, for which Britain, presumably, had gone to war. Stalin was permitted to keep the fruits of his evil pact with Hitler, and U.S. armies were deliberately held back to let the raping hordes of the Red Army take Vienna, Prague and Berlin. "Yalta," apex of FDR's diplomacy, is today a bitter curse in all of Eastern Europe.

His regime shot through with Communist spies and traitors, FDR even betrayed China. As a young congressman said in 1949, as Mao's Communist armies massacred our old allies: "Whatever share of the responsibility was Roosevelt's, and whatever was Marshall's, the vital interest of the United States in the independent integrity of China was sacrificed, and the foundation was laid for the present tragic situation in the Far East." The words are those of JFK. Have conservatives no heroes that we must slaver over this unprincipled politician and icon of the American left?


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