Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You wrote that the country was divided before our entry into WWII. I'm surprised because the evil from Germany and Japan was so apparent that I sure thought we were united.

Ah!  We just can't get away from WWII.   I love a question that brings out the history teacher in me.
How important that we study history to learn from the lessons of the past. The above question comes those young people who did not realize that our country was not totally united in its eagerness to resist the Axis Powers in  the late 1930's.  I well remember the many, Keep US out of War: Be Neutral, signs that were on (real) bumpers, in store fronts and homes.  And there were a variety of organized groups proclaiming, American First!   Surely the leadership of Americas' newly crowned hero Charles Lindbergh, who became enamored with the industrial progress of Germany, also added to the opposition.  Of course the opposition also grew from the experience of World War I and the view that entering the wars of Europe (which were virtually a constant throughout history) was folly and America should stay free of any foreign entanglements.

All this changed of course with the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor.   However America's fascination with conspiracy theories continued as the hostility toward Roosevelt was so entrenched that many believed that attack was actually orchestrated by him and his administration in order to silence opposition to our support of the allied powers.. Lynne Olson's recently published book, "Those Angry Days" refers not to our present time, but to the time before WWII.  I highly recommend it.

I wonder how present day events might be changed had there been an opportunity for more enlightened discussion of the issues present before the war in Iraq began. In some ways it appears that war and the threat of war brings out the best and the worst in our country.

Next week I'll respond to a very frequently asked question, "What do you consider to be the most important/dramatic/events for both good and ill during your lifetime?  And I'll tackle it from both a worldwide and personal perspective.  I hope you will give it some thought to it as well.


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