- It is now two years since this latest European war began.
From that day in September, 1939, until the present moment, there has been
an over-increasing effort to force the United States into the conflict.
- That effort has been carried on by foreign interests,
and by a small minority of our own people; but it has been so successful
that, today, our country stands on the verge of war.
- At this time, as the war is about to enter its third
winter, it seems appropriate to review the circumstances that have led
us to our present position. Why are we on the verge of war? Was it necessary
for us to become so deeply involved?
- Who is responsible for changing our national policy from
one of neutrality and independence to one of entanglement in European affairs?
- Personally, I believe there is no better argument against
our intervention than a study of the causes and developments of the present
war. I have often said that if the true facts and issues were placed before
the American people, there would be no danger of our involvement.
- Here, I would like to point out to you a fundamental
difference between the groups who advocate foreign war, and those who believe
in an independent destiny for America.
- If you will look back over the record, you will find
that those of us who oppose intervention have constantly tried to clarify
facts and issues; while the interventionists have tried to hide facts and
- We ask you to read what we said last month, last year,
and even before the war began. Our record is open and clear, and we are
proud of it.
- We have not led you on by subterfuge and propaganda.
We have not resorted to steps short of anything, in order to take the American
people where they did not want to go.
- What we said before the elections, we say [illegible]
and again, and again today. And we will not tell you tomorrow that it was
just campaign oratory. Have you ever heard an interventionist, or a British
agent, or a member of the administration in Washington ask you to go back
and study a record of what they have said since the war started? Are their
self-styled defenders of democracy willing to put the issue of war to a
vote of our people? Do you find these crusaders for foreign freedom of
speech, or the removal of censorship here in our own country?
- The subterfuge and propaganda that exists in our country
is obvious on every side. Tonight, I shall try to pierce through a portion
of it, to the naked facts which lie beneath.
- When this war started in Europe, it was clear that the
American people were solidly opposed to entering it. Why shouldn't we be?
We had the best defensive position in the world; we had a tradition of
independence from Europe; and the one time we did take part in a European
war left European problems unsolved, and debts to America unpaid.
- National polls showed that when England and France declared
war on Germany, in 1939, less than 10 percent of our population favored
a similar course for America. But there were various groups of people,
here and abroad, whose interests and beliefs necessitated the involvement
of the United States in the war. I shall point out some of these groups
tonight, and outline their methods of procedure. In doing this, I must
speak with the utmost frankness, for in order to counteract their efforts,
we must know exactly who they are.
- The three most important groups who have been pressing
this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration.
- Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a
number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that
the future of mankind depends upon the domination of the British empire.
Add to these the Communistic groups who were opposed to intervention until
a few weeks ago, and I believe I have named the major war agitators in
- I am speaking here only of war agitators, not of those
sincere but misguided men and women who, confused by misinformation and
frightened by propaganda, follow the lead of the war agitators.
- As I have said, these war agitators comprise only a small
minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence. Against
the determination of the American people to stay out of war, they have
marshaled the power of their propaganda, their money, their patronage.
- Let us consider these groups, one at a time.
- First, the British: It is obvious and perfectly understandable
that Great Britain wants the United States in the war on her side. England
is now in a desperate position. Her population is not large enough and
her armies are not strong enough to invade the continent of Europe and
win the war she declared against Germany.
- Her geographical position is such that she cannot win
the war by the use of aviation alone, regardless of how many planes we
send her. Even if America entered the war, it is improbable that the Allied
armies could invade Europe and overwhelm the Axis powers. But one thing
is certain. If England can draw this country into the war, she can shift
to our shoulders a large portion of the responsibility for waging it and
for paying its cost.
- As you all know, we were left with the debts of the last
European war; and unless we are more cautious in the future than we have
been in the past, we will be left with the debts of the present case. If
it were not for her hope that she can make us responsible for the war financially,
as well as militarily, I believe England would have negotiated a peace
in Europe many months ago, and be better off for doing so.
- England has devoted, and will continue to devote every
effort to get us into the war. We know that she spent huge sums of money
in this country during the last war in order to involve us. Englishmen
have written books about the cleverness of its use.
- We know that England is spending great sums of money
for propaganda in America during the present war. If we were Englishmen,
we would do the same. But our interest is first in America; and as Americans,
it is essential for us to realize the effort that British interests are
making to draw us into their war.
- The second major group I mentioned is the Jewish (people).
- It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire
the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany
would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.
- No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can
condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of
honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without
seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them.
Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should
be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to
feel its consequences.
- Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength.
History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted
Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority
still do not.
- Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large
ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and
- I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people.
Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British
and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their
viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not
American, wish to involve us in the war.
- We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe
to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot
allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our
country to destruction.
- The Roosevelt administration is the third powerful group
which has been carrying this country toward war. Its members have used
the war emergency to obtain a third presidential term for the first time
in American history. They have used the war to add unlimited billions to
a debt which was already the highest we have ever known. And they have
just used the war to justify the restriction of congressional power, and
the assumption of dictatorial procedures on the part of the president and
- The power of the Roosevelt administration depends upon
the maintenance of a wartime emergency. The prestige of the Roosevelt administration
depends upon the success of Great Britain to whom the president attached
his political future at a time when most people thought that England and
France would easily win the war. The danger of the Roosevelt administration
lies in its subterfuge. While its members have promised us peace, they
have led us to war heedless of the platform upon which they were elected.
- In selecting these three groups as the major agitators
for war, I have included only those whose support is essential to the war
party. If any one of these groups--the British, the Jewish, or the administration--stops
agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement.
- I do not believe that any two of them are powerful enough
to carry this country to war without the support of the third.
- And to these three, as I have said, all other war groups
are of secondary importance.
- When hostilities commenced in Europe, in 1939, it was
realized by these groups that the American people had no intention of entering
the war. They knew it would be worse than useless to ask us for a declaration
of war at that time. But they believed that this country could be entered
into the war in very much the same way we were entered into the last one.
- They planned: first, to prepare the United States for
foreign war under the guise of American defense; second, to involve us
in the war, step by step, without our realization; third, to create a series
of incidents which would force us into the actual conflict. These plans
were of course, to be covered and assisted by the full power of their propaganda.
- Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying
the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers
and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles.
A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention.
The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi,"
"anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to
suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter
the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others
dared no longer speak.
- Before long, lecture halls that were open to the advocates
of war were closed to speakers who opposed it. A fear campaign was inaugurated.
We were told that aviation, which has held the British fleet off the continent
of Europe, made America more vulnerable than ever before to invasion. Propaganda
was in full swing.
- There was no difficulty in obtaining billions of dollars
for arms under the guise of defending America. Our people stood united
on a program of defense. Congress passed appropriation after appropriation
for guns and planes and battleships, with the approval of the overwhelming
majority of our citizens. That a large portion of these appropriations
was to be used to build arms for Europe, we did not learn until later.
That was another step.
- To use a specific example; in 1939, we were told that
we should increase our air corps to a total of 5,000 planes. Congress passed
the necessary legislation. A few months later, the administration told
us that the United States should have at least 50,000 planes for our national
safety. But almost as fast as fighting planes were turned out from our
factories, they were sent abroad, although our own air corps was in the
utmost need of new equipment; so that today, two years after the start
of war, the American army has a few hundred thoroughly modern bombers and
fighters--less in fact, than Germany is able to produce in a single month.
- Ever since its inception, our arms program has been laid
out for the purpose of carrying on the war in Europe, far more than for
the purpose of building an adequate defense for America.
- Now at the same time we were being prepared for a foreign
war, it was necessary, as I have said, to involve us in the war. This was
accomplished under that now famous phrase "steps short of war."
- England and France would win if the United States would
only repeal its arms embargo and sell munitions for cash, we were told.
And then [illegible] began, a refrain that marked every step we took toward
war for many months--"the best way to defend America and keep out
of war." we were told, was "by aiding the Allies."
- First, we agreed to sell arms to Europe; next, we agreed
to loan arms to Europe; then we agreed to patrol the ocean for Europe;
then we occupied a European island in the war zone. Now, we have reached
the verge of war.
- The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their
three major steps into war. The greatest armament program in our history
is under way.
- We have become involved in the war from practically every
standpoint except actual shooting. Only the creation of sufficient "incidents"
yet remains; and you see the first of these already taking place, according
to plan [ill.]-- a plan that was never laid before the American people
for their approval.
- Men and women of Iowa; only one thing holds this country
from war today. That is the rising opposition of the American people. Our
system of democracy and representative government is on test today as it
has never been before. We are on the verge of a war in which the only victor
would be chaos and prostration.
- We are on the verge of a war for which we are still unprepared,
and for which no one has offered a feasible plan for victory--a war which
cannot be won without sending our soldiers across the ocean to force a
landing on a hostile coast against armies stronger than our own.
- We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late
to stay out. It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda,
or patronage can force a free and independent people into war against its
will. It is not yet too late to retrieve and to maintain the independent
American destiny that our forefathers established in this new world.
- The entire future rests upon our shoulders. It depends
upon our action, our courage, and our intelligence. If you oppose our intervention
in the war, now is the time to make your voice heard.
- Help us to organize these meetings; and write to your
representatives in Washington. I tell you that the last stronghold of democracy
and representative government in this country is in our house of representatives
and our senate.
- There, we can still make our will known. And if we, the
American people, do that, independence and freedom will continue to live
among us, and there will be no foreign war.
- From Sean Baxter
- Charles Lindbergh gave this anti-war speech in Des Moines
Iowa on September 11, 1941.
- What is amazing is that what he said in 1941 can be said
today. What is more amazing is he was predicting another attach that would
drag the US into war. Sure enough 3 months later was the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attack silenced all anti-war protests. I
read that Lindbergh asked Roosevelt if he could enlist in the armed forces
and was declined. I do not think that Lindbergh knew that Roosevelt knew
that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor on 12/7/41 to motivate Americans
to join the war effort. This is exactly what Lindbergh predicted in his
9/11/41 speech. I do not think he knew how right he was!
- By the way there is a link on the History Channel speech
page that has the audio of this speech. There ware a lot of boo's and cat
calls from the Des Moines audience yet Charles kept to his speech through
all the noise. He had guts!
- Audio Link:
- Sean Baxter
- Blue Bell, PA USA
- From William Fairchild
- It could not have been very hard in September, 1941 to
predict that the US would be sucked into war, just as it should not be
very hard today to see what is going on in the world. There is so much
info now available that tells us what FDR was doing, all the warning signs
he and the US military should have seen, etc., that any reasonably astute
observer, such as Charles Lindbergh, could easily have predicted it. What
would have been hard back then would be to resist all the pro-war propaganda.
- But how could U.S. Army General Billy Mitchell have predicted
the same Japanese attack on Hawai'i 17 years in advance? "... Mitchell's
famous report of his visit to Hawaii in 1924 in which he predicted a future
war with Japan that opened with a carrierbased air attack on Pearl Harbor."
His life story was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper in 1956, which
I saw back then. See http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/mitch.html
for more details of this amazingly prescient air power advocate.
- Bill Fairchild
- Douglas, Mass.