Thursday, September 15, 2005

Not An Ordinary War

"In times like these - in times of great tension, of great crisis - the compass of the world narrows to a single fact. The fact which dominates our world is the fact of armed aggression, the fact of successful armed aggression, aimed at the form of Government, the kind of society that we in the United States have chosen and established for ourselves. It is a fact which no one longer doubts - which no one is longer able to ignore.

It is not an ordinary war. It is a revolution imposed by force of arms, which threatens all men everywhere. It is a revolution which proposes not to set men free but to reduce them to slavery - to reduce them to slavery in the interest of a dictatorship which has already shown the nature and the extent of the advantage which it hopes to obtain.

That is the fact which dominates our world and which dominates the lives of all of us, each and every one of us. In the face of the danger which confronts our times, no individual retains or can hope to retain, the right of personal choice which free men enjoy in times of peace. He has first an obligation to serve in the defense of our institutions of freedom - a first obligation to serve his country in whatever capacity his country finds him useful."

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
July 19, 1940

This was said 1 year and 5 months before Pearl Harbor. Can you imagine how Americans felt about being told they must expect to give up their freedoms? Can you imagine how American felt about being told they were at war?