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Opponents Of Intervention Were Absolutely Right

excerpts from a column by William Marvel. August 15, 2005

Herbert Hoover, an Old Right Republican, vigorously resisted this country’s entrance into World War II. The former president found Stalin’s Soviet Union no more admirable than Hitler’s Nazi Reich, and he deemed it wiser to let those totalitarian giants destroy each other than to pitch in on Stalin’s side.

"We should at least cease to tell our sons that they would be giving their lives to restore democracy and freedom to the world," said Hoover in June of 1941, in reference to any alliance with Stalin. More than three months before Pearl Harbor he wrote that the Roosevelt team was "doing everything they can to get us into war through the Japanese back door," because Japan had signed a mutual-assistance pact with Germany. Hoover had good grounds for that belief: no convincing evidence links Roosevelt to advance knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the belligerence of his diplomatic correspondence in the preceding weeks implies that he invited a war with Japan.

As they always do, those who favored joining the war condemned Hoover and other neutrality advocates as dupes of the prospective enemy. But everything he predicted came true: the enormous expense of the war and its aftermath, the further contraction of civil liberties on the excuse of national security, expanded power for the chief executive, increased militarism, a centralized economy dependent on foreign supplies, the employment of "totalitarian methods to ‘fight a war for freedom,’" and half a century of Cold War.

More often than not, events prove that the opponents of intervention were absolutely right, but that yields small comfort in a nation of such short memories. For all the revelations of previous presidential duplicity and stupidity, most Americans seem ready to believe their president during even the most artificial crises. That offers irresistible opportunities for incompetent or unscrupulous incumbents to regain public support, and vastly improves the chances for armed conflict at every diplomatic hurdle.

You have been reading excerpts from "The Eternal War Parade" by William Marvel. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/dbluv. Thanks to interventionmag.com.

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