Friday, September 01, 2006

Republicans almost lost WWII before it started:

On this the 67th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, the event that began the European war that led to WWII, I thought it might be instructive to take a moment and go back a bit and see what exactly Rummy was talking about when he gave his little history lesson the other day in Salt Lake City. To hear Rummy tell it, today's 'anti-war/al-Qaeda types' are making the same mistake the appeasers of Munich made in 1938. I'm assuming he's talking about Neville Chamberlain and Hitler at Munich, but then again his historical analogy is so historically inaccurate it's difficult to tell.

Without any historical context to the administration's new disinformation campaign -- the "Islamo-Fascist" snow job -- one might get the notion that those who are advocating getting our troops out of the middle of a centuries-old sectarian bloodbath are repeating the mistakes that led to WWII.

Since I'm pressed for time today, I'd like to just highlight a few stories from the years directly leading up to WWII that belie Rummy's lies.

The president and his men are implying -- not so discretely -- that the Democrats are weak on dictators. The "liberals" are willing to let al-Qaeda take over Iraq to avoid fighting, the "liberals" are willing to allow Mahoud Ahmadinejad nuke Israel because they're appeasers.

I'd like to point out that Rebublicans of the New Deal era were almost soley bent on making sure FDR was stymied at every turn in his efforts to re-arm this country and assist the British against Hitler's war machine.

On June 20th, 1940 (the same day Hitler toured Paris) the Republican's began their nominating covention in Philadelphia. A commiittee of fourty men was set up to write a platform plank for the election campaign. After much wranlging day and night between those for and opposed to intervention in Europe the plank began like this:

"The Republican plank stands for Americanism, preparedness, and peace. We accordingly fasten upon the New Deal full responsibility for our unpreparedness and for the consequent danger of involvement in war."

Robert M. Ketchum writes in his excellent history "The Borrowed Years: 1938-1941: America on the way to war" that:

"It would not be stretching things, the New York Times suggested editorially, to brand the foreign policy plank a bold-faced lie, since a majority of the Republican spokesmen in the Senate had been doing their utmost for two years to defeat every effort to increase America's military strength, and since it was difficult moreover to see exactly what the Republican Party had done recently to advance the cause of peace. The foreign policy plank was H. L. Mencken sneered, is so written that it will fit both the triumph of democracy and the collapse of democracy, and approve both sending arms to England or sending flowers only.'"

The Republican had also opposed FDR's attempts to adjust the Neutrality Act to allow US munitions to go to the UK and lost by one vote in an attempt to completely dismantle the US Army in October of 1941. All but 19 Republicans voted against renewing the Selective Service Act of 1940.


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