The Ever-Elusive Peace on Earth

The unlearned lessons of history condemn present and future generations.

Douglas A. MacArthur

On the eve of America’s full involvement in the Vietnam War, a great soldier was laid to rest.  The 84-year old Douglas Arthur MacArthur served in uniform for 52 years.  Within that time, he participated in the United States occupation of Mexico, at Veracruz, served with distinction in World War I, led with distinction in World War II, and commanded United Nations troops in the Korean War’s opening days (1950-51).  Between the two great wars, MacArthur served as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army, and upon retirement, was appointed to serve as Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

On 26 July 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt federalized the Philippine Army and recalled Douglas MacArthur to active duty in the U. S. Army as a major general and appointed him Commander, U. S. Army Forces Far East (USAFFE).  On 27 July 1941, Roosevelt advanced MacArthur to the rank of lieutenant general.  In that capacity, MacArthur commanded 22,000 troops, of which 12,000 were Philippine Army scouts.

The United States plan for the defense of the Philippine Islands called for the massing of troops on the Bataan Peninsula to “hold out” against the Imperial Japanese Army until an American relief force could arrive.  Of course, this decision suggests that the U. S. Government knew far more about Japanese intentions than they admitted publicly — the Japanese never attacked the United States until early December 1941.  It causes one to question Japan’s sneak attack.  The US government had to know in advance.

Washington’s “stop gap” plan for the Philippines resulted from America’s demobilization following World War I.  General MacArthur was ordered to hold out against the Imperial Japanese until reinforced — knowing that there would be no reinforcements.  The Washington plan for American and Philippine troops in the Philippine Islands was an overwhelming defeat — a sacrifice to garner the American people’s support for the United States’ entry into World War II.

But by then, on 7 December 1941, World War II had been in progress since 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, and Great Britain and France declared war.  Before General MacArthur was recalled to active duty from retirement, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  It was a long and bloody war.  Tens of millions of people died — those serving in uniform and the hapless civilians who simply got in the way of the belligerents.  When the war was over, ending on 2 September 1945 with Japan’s unconditional surrender, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur stated succinctly:

“Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start, workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all, in turn, failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

But the world’s politicians — and those “free men” who elected them — did not heed these words.  How could they?  These politicians, most of whom have never once placed themselves in harm’s way, had no frame of reference to the utter chaos of bloody confrontations.  And so, following the second great war, the protectors of human liberty throughout the world, the victors of World War II, demobilized their armies and navies and went back to sleep.

It is true that, as with those who preceded them in earlier decades, the leaders of the “free world” gaped at the ghastly developments in Europe by the Soviet Union — and opted to do nothing.  No one wanted another war.  And once more, the ugly stain of appeasement was the United Nation’s only plan of action.  Should they ignore these developments long enough, perhaps they would go away.  When war came again in 1950, everyone was looking in the wrong direction.

Who knows what was going through Harry S. Truman’s mind during these critical moments in history, when global communists decided that the time was right to strike — while everyone, so weary of war, slept peacefully at home.  In 1948, Mr. Truman was tightly focused on winning the Presidency on his own terms — to demonstrate that he was much more than President Roosevelt’s vice president; he was a man of the people.  After his success in 1948, Truman refocused his attention on his presidential legacy.  There would be no more war; he would not stand for it — and at Truman’s insistence, the American military was once again dismantled.

But war did come, and it was the incompetence of the Truman Administration that made it possible.  Once again, Douglas MacArthur was taken down from the shelf, dusted off, and put into the field with an army that could not even defend itself, let alone an entire Peninsula the size of Korea.  Many young Americans died unnecessarily because of Truman’s incompetence.  Worse, Truman’s petty arrogance led him to dismiss the good advice he received from the man he commissioned to clean up the mess he created.  By 1951, MacArthur’s patience had become thin, and in his frustration, he began to speak critically about Truman’s incredible ineptness.  Under such circumstances, there was no other choice for the President — as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States — than to relieve MacArthur of his duties.

Soon after, during an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur spoke directly to America’s politicians.  And he told them …

“… Once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.  War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.  In war, there is no substitute for victory.”

“There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China.  They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war.  It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace.  Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.”

“‘Why,’ my soldiers asked of me, ‘surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field?’  I could not answer.  Some may say to avoid spread of the conflict into an all-out war with China; others, to avoid Soviet intervention.  Neither explanation seems valid, for China is already engaging with the maximum power it can commit, and the Soviet will not necessarily mesh its actions with our moves.  Like a cobra, any new enemy will more likely strike whenever it feels that the relativity in military or other potential is in its favor on a world-wide basis.”

“The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits.  It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy’s sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation.  Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description.” […]

“I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. They have met all tests there, and I can report to you without reservation that they are splendid in every way.  It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrifice of life.  Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety.  Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.”

These politicians, too, along with Truman, failed to listen — failed to learn.  Instead, they opted to involve the United States in yet another war of attrition, the defense of a nation that wanted neither their own freedom nor America’s version of it.  They chose for the American people a defensive war that could not, from its very first day, be won.  Once more, young Americans gave up their lives — for nothing.  This, too, was part of Harry Truman’s worldview.  He had the opportunity to engage in a productive discussion with Vietnamese nationalists in 1945 and opted instead to reimpose upon them French colonialism, paid for, at first, by the American taxpayer — adding later, American blood — at the direction of yet another Democrat who not only refused to allow the American military to win that Indochina war (noting that wars are not won through defensive strategies), but also a man who enriched himself from that war.

Now, forty-six years later, these lessons remain unlearned.  The sheer ineptitude of a succession of presidents (of both political parties) has led us to this point in world history.  We are, as a nation, no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave — we are, we have become, the land of appeasers.

The state of war that existed between the United States and North Korea in 1950 was never settled — so a state of war continues to exist with North Korea.  In this context, we are only removed from extreme violence by mere seconds.    

Next door, China proceeds to expand its influence in the South China Sea, creating island naval bases and declaring them sovereign territories of China.  Chinese agents have infiltrated the United States — our corporations, universities, and our Congress.  Chinese diplomats have brokered deals with many, if not most, Central and South American countries, throughout the African nations, and made lucrative arrangements among our so-called Middle Eastern “friends.”  Once again, as danger lurks, American politicians — and the American people — are looking in the other direction.

What are America’s national interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia?  What is it about any of these “nations” that is worth a pint of American blood?  But if there were bona fide national interests, why have American politicians elected not to achieve them?  Are our politicians so dense that they cannot understand that victory delayed or denied becomes even more ghastly and expensive over time?

We should also ask, “What are America’s domestic interests?”  Shall we desire peace at home as much as we desire peace around the world?  Are we doing anything worthwhile to achieve domestic peace and maintain it?  In my judgment, the answer is no.  Peace eludes us at home and abroad because we have not learned the lessons of history.  We have not learned how to employ wisdom in choosing the men and women who chart our nation’s course.  We have not learned the basics of human behavior.  For instance, an enemy always seeks to advantage themselves by discovering our weaknesses.  Why must we insist on helping our enemies to achieve their goals?

Yes, we must seek peace — but we must do so through strength.  Whoever does not understand this has no business in Congress or any executive administration.  Whoever does not understand this has no business voting in national elections.

I have hope for the future — but I do not delude myself about its prospects.  A peaceful world is not an entitlement — it must be paid for, and as the price of freedom, the cost of peace is high.  We have been willing to pay that price in the past, but recently, we have not been willing to protect and preserve that which has cost us dearly.  We Americans, and I am speaking now about all of us, must be vigilant, we must be resolved, and our wisdom must be virtuous — if we ever find it.

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Mustang

US Marine (Retired), historian, writer.

23 thoughts on “The Ever-Elusive Peace on Earth”

  1. I believe the US is very much like France prior to WW-2 in terms of politics and leadership. Alastair Horne’s work To Lose A Battle yields an excellent lesson in the fragmentation of leadership by those who gain political power.
    In the last quarter of 2020 as our political masters were trying to devise financial aid both parties had an eye not on America, but on the coming election.
    That sort of political decision making is the basis not of the good of the nation, but denying a “win” for the opposing party. It reflects the base selfishness of those in power. Decisions are made to protect and advance the power of party rather than the success of our republic.
    When diplomacy fails and nations turn to armed hostile conflict, it is fair to ponder the unity of the nation. We have not suffered war on the homeland. The US has the ability to win at present, but one wonders if we have the will.
    Political leadership is an exceedingly difficult task. Perhaps the tragedy of a Pearl Harbor or Twin Towers is the force to focus plans on a larger scale than our elected leaders can envision. Do we have leaders with vision at that level. I fear not.
    I thank Mustang for his ongoing attempt to educate through his essays. My wish is that his concepts be presented on a larger stage that many others might learn and question.

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    1. To study the past and not learn from it is hopeless stupidity. The American people have solved this problem by refusing to study history at all. Few among us read it. Few among us even read. And so, if we aren’t reading history, then there is nothing to learn. The danger of this to a free society — which has the freedom not to learn, the freedom not to vote, and the freedom not to vote wisely, is that its ignorance will not long sustain precious liberty.

      You did capture our problem’s essence: our lack of national unity — which I will return to in a moment. The absence of national unity is also a repetition of history. The foundation of Rome took place so many years ago that there was no history to record it. All we have, in the beginning, are mythical explanations about how Rome evolved. But Rome did exist, and we believe it began around 2,800 years ago. What made Rome great – some will argue the most incredible history in all the world – was that Rome’s people achieved its greatness. Certainly, too, by its many legions; legions that were (initially) composed of Romans alone, drawn from a society that placed a high value on civic duty. Life in early Rome was austere. People worked hard to achieve their wealth, but their wealth was always put away for a rainy day; it was something to fall back on – rather than something to squander. But in time, the Romans luxuriated in their wealth. They raised spoiled children who hardly ever worked a full day, and with the advent of slavery, there was no need for them to work at all. But there remained the state’s demand for military or some other service – until, of course, these wealthy, privileged, spoiled people learned that they could pay others to do their service. That point, whenever it occurred, marks the beginning of Rome’s end. No matter how great society may become, it cannot be sustained without unity of purpose with the mechanism chosen to lead it.

      When the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, the United States — and all of its people — went to war. Everyone helped pay the price of victory; it was a unified effort. When Islamists attacked us on 9/11, the president instructed the people to carry on with their everyday lives. And they did. While thousands of young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines went to war in the Middle East, America went to the mall. The war had nothing at all to do with them. They didn’t start it, they weren’t going to fight in it, and it was always “someone else’s problem.” We stood as one in 1941; we stand as many today, eighty years later. And as there is no longer a common cause, America today – as with Rome 1,400 years ago, has begun its steady decline. The Roman people became foolish, and they lost their Republic, their greatness. We are even more ludicrous, and the American Republic will not last nearly as long … and, as with Rome, this too is the will of the people. My ghost will have no sympathy for whoever remains in another fifty years.

      Thank you for your thought-provoking commentary, Pablo. I could not agree with you more.

      Semper Fi

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  2. Interesting points. I wonder how true this claim is that not enough Americans are reading history or reading at all. Do you have evidence for that, other than what events you see unfolding on the news? I agree that American society seems fractured and the military has historically served as a bedrock for national solidarity. I think Gen. MacArthur makes many salient points in his testimony before Congress. I do, however, also wonder how your personal fear of present disunity in the country is best exemplified by someone who denounced his Commander-in-Chief publicly. Are generals not supposed to be the apolitical actors of publicly elected officials, no matter personal opinions or disagreements?

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  3. Interesting points. I wonder how true the claim is that Americans are not reading history enough or reading enough at all. What is the evidence for this, other than your present perception of American society and events? I agree that the nation appears fractured but would reading history alone solve the problem? Courses are already taught in schools to varying degrees of success. I think Gen. MacArthur makes some very salient points in his testimony to Congress and yet I also wonder how you find he best exemplifies a national cause. He, who denounced his Commander-in-Chief, surely violated the code expected of officers to obey the government under which they serve as actors of foreign policy and war. Is it not the place of officers to remain apolitical and leave the power in the hands of the people? If any solution, education may mitigate the disunity we observe in our country. However, we must also make Americans enthusiastic about history’s study and purpose as well.

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    1. The presentation of history in America’s secondary schools is, at best dismal. Of course, these lessons are intended as summaries of past events to best appeal to young minds. Still, the politicization of American education, particularly in social studies (which includes human geography), has become revisionist even to the extent of providing a one-sided presentation. Many studies (The PEW Center among them) illustrate this, particularly in assessing what Americans know about their history and how they know it. This problem at the secondary level is not confined to the USA. Overwhelmingly, post-secondary instruction over the past forty years has become subjective rather than objective, with a destructive emphasis on blaming rather than assessing the how, the why, and the consequences of historical events. Therein lies the opportunity for learning how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. I try to address this at my other blog, Old West Tales.

      Your point regarding “Why MacArthur” is a good one. The man was a great general, but not an altogether perfect human being — and I suppose after 52 years of military service, he quite reasonably determined that he knew more about fighting and winning in war than the president, whose only wartime experience was as a commissary officer — in the rear with the gear. Since history does tend to bear out MacArthur’s warnings, we cannot discount his wisdom simply because we may disagree with how he went about “pushing back” against political expediency (or if you prefer, correctness). I personally think that had MacArthur “resigned” rather than waiting for Truman to fire him, history would be kinder to his final episode.

      I think a man like MacArthur is always preferred to a man such as Bradley, who was more focused on kissing the president’s derriere than he was on serving the American people’s interests. A military officer swears allegiance to the Constitution and vows to follow his superiors’ orders — true. When an order is illegal, there is no obligation to obey it; when an order offends an officer’s sense of propriety when it conflicts with his or her principles, then resignation is the only alternative.

      I completely agree with your final statement but lament that given the horrid manner in which history is presented at the secondary level, very few people (as a percentage of the total) are interested in pursuing history at the university level. Thank you for your thoughtful commentary.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hear! Hear!

      Bravo, Sir.

      The CCP has engaged in an unseen war with us for decades – one that involves money, blackmail and sex. You mentioned the League of Nations. The U.N. is exactly the same in coneept… although the U.S. was never a member. The participating members are also puppets of the CCP.

      I will always agree with you that people never learn. The same political leaders get re-elected, by hook or by crook… as proven by the evidence of vote fraud.

      While you likely will not agree, I feel the only way to end this infiltration/war is for military tribunals (via whatever method) to take place, targeted martial law and the shutting down of liberal social media and fakenews. My goodness, the news is the same as how propaganda was – by all involved – before and during WWII.

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  4. As a warning it speaks volumes. But, the real message has been buried in the facts of poor schooling practices, poor media practices, lobbying and ignorance at all congressional levels. The mere thought that anyone in congress is a leader is laughable. There are a few who have served in combat, but they have failed to lead as the bureaucrats have demeaned them into submission. It was stated correctly in a Star Trek Movie; “The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe.” Those in elected positions think you have to have a law degree to be in congress or the presidency. They have failed as they do not understand the constitution as the law of the land. They have been bought and paid for to lie, cheat and steal everything they can and give it to the lobbyists or foreign entities. Nothing is sacred anymore and the press has seen to that. In the present military there are few good leaders left and those that are good leaders are leaving the service.
    The military system now breeds mediocrity at best and promotes those above the good leaders. It will be argued about the past statement above, but it is true. I spent 40 years in the Army as both Enlisted and Officer. Nothing is better than a leader that can critically think, who is a professional (even with a temperament mouth), and knows how to apply history in events that make his/her unit victorious. The services should slow the promotion systems and create a better efficiency reporting system that does not promote the ass kisser because he is liked. General MacArthur saw this and tried to stop it, but the bureaucratic mentality rode rough-shot over him. It is happening today.

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    1. Thank you for weighing in. I appreciate that you have taken the time to add to the discussion. As I agree with what you’ve written, you’ll forgive the brevity of my response. Most (not all) of today’s senior-most officers are administrators, not warriors. It has been a long time since a three or four-star general or admiral has sweated over the outcome of a critical operation. They have a different reality; their tenure has nothing to do with their success as a force leader, but henges on (a) not screwing up and/or (b) how well or how often they kowtow to the bureaucrats. I have listened to hours of testimony offered to Congress by JCS members and others. It is difficult to know which I find most appalling: the inane questions posed by congress members or our flag officer’s sycophantic responses. Recently, I read an open letter written by a major general offering his vision for the future of USMC special operations. It is a full page of platitudes connected by cliches that produce nothing but gibberish. I know less now about his vision than I did before I began reading. He may have been talking to any member of the House Appropriations Committee — but he wasn’t talking to any grunt who ever carried deuce-gear more than three miles.

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  5. Sad to say I agree….and it scares me too much to really comment! We do NOT stand in unity anymore…on almost ANY subject. And now with TRUMP gone and Biden in control, weakness will prevail. I can’t think about it…it’s too scary. Well done, Mustang. Now cheer me UP 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for that history and commentary. I’m 86 years old, Colonel. I’m not as Lean, I’m not as Mean, but I’m still a Marine ! Let me know if you need me, I’ll be waiting.

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  7. When I think of the results of appeasement, I always think of Neville Chamberlain declaring that his meetings with Hitler meant “peace for our time” one year before the invasion of Poland.

    MacArthur’s comments regarding the core of the difficulty- “The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character” is interesting. After all, relating to your comments and looking at the subjective way history is taught (or not taught), I personally think it has a lot to do with the character values that are being held up in our time- the idea that everything is relative, that good or evil can only be determined by the individual, and that any historical figures who don’t check all of the boxes of current values can’t have had value, and aren’t worth learning from. So, if everything is subjective, if there really are no “good guys,” and if one believes that peace means that no one can disagree or fight, it becomes pretty hard to unify people or “sell” anything except appeasement. (I hope that makes sense. Maybe I shouldn’t try to comment on complex topics after after New Years…) Anyway, this article gives a lot of food for thought. Thank you for that. For what it’s worth, some of us are still trying to get the real lessons of history into the classroom 🙂

    One question- it’s a bit off the main topic, so I hope you don’t mind- regarding WWII in the Philippines. I’m familiar with some of the evidence that Washington likely was not really surprised by the Pearl Harbor attacks, and also the thought that perhaps the attacks weren’t prevented out of the hope that they’d propel America into full involvement in the war. When you mentioned the (poor) plans for the defense of the Philippines: “The Washington plan for American and Philippine troops in the Philippine Islands was an overwhelming defeat — a sacrifice to garner the American people’s support for the United States’ entry into World War II.” Did you mean that the poor planning resulted in this sacrifice, or that there’s evidence that the plan actually WAS to fail? (I’m hoping to start reading up on the Pacific war in the next couple of years, so this area’s of particular interest.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good evening, Ms. Claire

      Your commentary is much appreciated; thank you. I think the debate about what FDR knew about Japanese intentions, and when he knew it, has been divided into roughly two camps. Those who adore FDR and have attempted to defend his every decision, and those who simply try to evaluate the events leading up to December 1941 objectively. Of course, the absence of written records is the basis of the pro-FDR group’s argument that the president did not know of Japan’s intention to attack Pearl Harbor — but every president since McKinley has been worried about their legacy, so it is not beyond the pale to think that if Roosevelt did know, or had cause to believe a Japanese attack was imminent, yet did nothing in preparation for it — for political purposes, that he would have been capable of intentionally not having anything in writing as a paper trail for future historians.

      I also believe that if FDR and his advisors did not suspect a Japanese sneak attack, then either FDR and his advisors would have had to be as inept as Truman — or they were never curious about Japan’s previous history in that regard. The Japanese “sneak attacked” China in 1898, they “sneak attacked” the Russian Fleet at Port Arthur in 1904, and they launched a full scale invasion of Korea without any prior warning. And the question could also be not so much about whether they would do it, but where.

      When World War II broke out in 1939, the American people wanted nothing to do with it. Neither did the US Senate. But FDR did want the war, possibly knowing that war meant full employment and the end of the great depression, possible believing that American prestige depended on our participation, and to achieve our engagement in World War II, FDR did everything he could to irritate the Japanese. In this, he followed the example of his predecessors going back to the series of naval disarmament conferences in the 1920s. FDR had to know (if he was lucid) that the one thing that would change the minds of isolationist main stream America about our involvement in another “great war,” it would be an “unprovoked attack” against the United States. In my view, FDR did everything within his power to provoke that attack.

      That FDR knew that war was on the horizon explains steps that he took, long before December 1941, to shuffle the military deck. Naval forces were repositioned, steps were taken to rebuild America’s arsenal, and FDR even found a way to provide armaments to our allies (Lend-Lease Program) … and all of this suggests that Japan’s “sneak attack” was not only expected, but hoped for. Again … but where?

      Was it really a coincidence that the entire Pacific Fleet (less aircraft carriers) were stacked up inside a small harbor when the Japanese attacked? I’d say that was quite an amazing coincidence. I also wonder why the Army’s 25th Infantry Division was left in Hawaii instead of sending that division forward to reinforce MacArthur in July 1941.

      By November, 1941, the Philippine Islands were already “cut off.” If FDR suspected that Japan would direct their assault force against the Philippines, then why didn’t he act on it? My guess is that FDR was hoping for a solid punch from the Japanese, and got two punches instead … any one of which would have guaranteed that FDR would get his war — both attacks made it a sure thing.

      Was there a plan for the failure of the defense of Bataan? No, that would be too large a pill to swallow. But in failing to reinforce MacArthur, failing to provide sufficient supplies for a stout defense of the Philippines, planned or not, the Philippines fell, fell hard, and in the two punch assaults on the United States, the American people rallied, the great depression was over, and the US became the savior of the “free world.” Or, should I say that the American taxpayer became the savior of the free world?

      My conclusion is that the American people have not been well-served by any president for a very long time — and that they have no one to blame but themselves.

      As for values, I completely agree with you. A nation without strong values is a nation adrift, with no compass to show the way forward, and no sails to get us there.

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    2. Thank you so much for the clarification- it’s interesting how conveniently “unaware” politicians can be at key times…
      All the best to you in 2021!

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Something I came across that may interest you, Miss Claire.

      “The President [Roosevelt] brought up the event that we are likely to be attacked, perhaps next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what should we do. The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.” —Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson (personal diary, 28 November 1941)

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    4. Oh WOW- I was recently going over some of Churchill’s memoirs which certainly seemed to indicate that FDR had ideas in this direction, but if there was any doubt that Washington at least wasn’t really taken by surprise, that diary entry certainly seems to nullify it! Thank you for sharing this.

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