As the Spanish-American philosopher, George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it.” Sadly (due to the fast paced society we live in today) we fail to study our past to recognize what mistakes or right decisions we made to gain either success or failure.
For self-professing Christians, we should know better. The greatest book in the world is filled with history as well as unparalleled wisdom to guide us in the right direction. One of those key pieces of wisdom are found in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, where the Apostle Paul admonished us to do things the right way. Even before Santayana coined the phrase above, Paul told us one of the best ways to take care of business was to learn from the examples found in the Old Testament about our forefathers' history, making it clear that their failures actually happened to them for our benefit.
Throughout history, God has raised prophets (not predictors of future events) to warn the masses that there are repercussions (or rewards) for our behavior, if we abide in His word. True prophets proclaim the will of God, and the truth is that we (humanity) will reap what we sow. Plant good seeds and we will have a bountiful harvest; plant bad seeds and we will struggle with the thorns and thistles of life. He has given us the will to choose to do things His way or our way! Obviously, God's will is that mankind could live together in a peaceful fashion. However, as the Old Testament shows, the entire history of mankind has been consumed with wars and self-destruction. Many of us ask "Why?
The other day, while researching the subject of what causes wars, I ran across a fascinating article written by Mark Weber, who hosts the web site Institute for Historical Review, which contained a story about American aviation hero, Charles Lindbergh. Most of us are keenly aware of Charles Lindbergh's courage; he best known and remembered for being the first aviator to cross the Atlantic. Many of us are also aware of the kidnapping of his son before that historical accomplishment. Newspaper writer H. L. Mencken called the kidnapping and subsequent trial "the biggest story since the Resurrection". The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, called the "Lindbergh Law", which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime. Obviously, enduring that horrendous experience took more courage than his subsequent flight to Europe. But one of the things we were not aware of (because it wasn't taught in our regular history classes in school), Lindbergh also demonstrated great courage for being one of the few most well-known people in the world who opposed the U.S. going to war against Germany. As Mark Weber's article (in an excerpt which follows) recounts, Lindbergh's public opposition of the war rattled many cages and actually placed him in Harm's Way.
The ironic thing about this article (that immediately caught my eye) is a speech that Lindbergh made about his foreign policy concerns, which was given on September 11, 1941, where he was jeered and booed by most of the audience. We have many folks who have been extremely outspoken about America's invasion of Iraq and many are voicing their opposition to the ominous threat of another war that could impact the entire world; arbitrary action where we currently see the U.S. and Israel having the nation of Iran in its cross-hairs, and they could launch their military might any day now. Being outspoken about U.S. and Israel's intention to attack Iran barely causes a yawn to the powers that be; but in the early 40's, that type of action was unheard of. Lindbergh virtually placed his career (and his life) in jeopardy by stating that there were sinister people behind the promotion of war with Germany, and he wasn't afraid to challenge America's leaders to abstain from engaging in the politicial affairs of other countries, nor succumbing to pressures from groups that have an agenda not consistent with American values.
Read Mr. Weber's excellent article and then let me know if you don't see the same thing I see. As one of our other great heroes once quipped, "Hey! It's Deja Vu all over again."
"For many Americans today, Lindbergh’s views on race and culture may seem offensive or outrageous. But for most of this nation’s history, they were not at all unusual. They were in accord with the outlook of such prominent Americans as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Such views were also shared by the vast majority of Americans during the 1930s -- although it was already becoming unfashionable to express them openly.
In his address of August 4, 1940, Lindbergh spoke about how Americans had been badly misinformed about conditions abroad. “I found conditions in Europe to be very different from our concept of them here in the United States,” he said. “Anyone who takes the trouble to read through back issues of our newspapers cannot fail to realize what a false impression we had of the belligerent nations. We were told that Germany was ripe for revolution, that her rearmament was a bluff, that she lacked officers, that she flew her airplanes from one field to another so they would be counted again and again by foreign observers … Statements of this sort have issued forth in an endless stream from Europe, and anyone who questioned their accuracy was called a Nazi agent. These examples show how greatly we have been misled about the military conditions in Europe. If one goes still farther back, he will find that we have also been misled about political conditions.”
In a much-publicized appearance before a Congressional committee in early 1941, Lindbergh testified against further U.S. measures toward war. As he had on other occasions, he voiced the hope that the conflict between Britain and Germany might be resolved through a negotiated peace, and he expressed his view that the U.S. should not “police the world.”
Active during this period was the largest and most important peace group in U.S. history. With some 800,000 members, the America First Committee was a formidable and broad-based citizens’ organization. Lindbergh was its most popular, eloquent and influential spokesman. At a large rally in New York City in April 1941, he appealed for support.
“ … We have been led toward war by a minority of our people,” he said. “This minority has power. It has influence. It has a loud voice. But it does not represent the American people … These people -- the majority of hard-working American citizens -- are with us. They are the true strength of our country … That is why the America First Committee has been formed -- to give voice to the people who have no newspaper, or news reel, or radio station at their command; to the people who must do the paying, and the fighting, and the dying, if this country enters the war.
“… If you believe in an independent destiny for America, if you believe that this country should not enter the war in Europe, we ask you to join the America First Committee in its stand. We ask you to share our faith in the ability of this nation to defend itself, to develop its own civilization, and to contribute to the progress of mankind in a more constructive and intelligent way than has yet been found by the warring nations of Europe.”
Lindbergh’s most controversial -- and courageous -- public address was given at a large meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941. (It was on that same date 60 years later that the World Trade Center in New York was attacked and destroyed.) In this speech, Lindbergh for the first and only time spoke publicly about just who was pushing for war. He said:
“National polls showed that when England and France declared war on Germany in 1939, less than ten 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.”
Lindbergh was careful to add these words: “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.”
Lindbergh went on: “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.”
With regard to Jewish efforts to get the U.S. into war, Lindbergh said: “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.” He then said: “We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own best 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.”
He went on to explain the deceitful measures of those who were pressing for war. “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. … Propaganda was in full swing.”
This address unleashed a torrent of scathing criticism. Lindbergh was viciously attacked -- above all, for his remarks about the Jewish role in the campaign for war -- even though what he has said was measured and truthful.
Ten months before the outbreak of fighting in Europe, for example, the most influential U.S. illustrated weekly magazine was already psychologically preparing Americans for war with alarmist claims that Germany threatened the United States. A major article in the October 31, 1938, issue of Life magazine, headlined “America Gets Ready to Fight Germany, Italy, Japan,” told readers that Germany and Italy “covet … the rich resources of South America,” and warned that “fascist fleets and legions may swarm across the Atlantic.”
In fact, Hitler and all other high-level German officials were eager to avoid conflict with the U.S., Britain or France. But in September 1939 Britain and France -- encouraged by the U.S. -- declared war against Germany.
During this period, President Roosevelt and other high-ranking U.S. officials also sought to generate public support for the administration's war measures with frightening allegations of fantastic German plans to conquer the world.
On the very day that Lindbergh gave his controversial address in Des Moines, President Roosevelt told the American people that Hitler and Germany were seeking “to abolish the freedom of the seas, and to acquire absolute control and domination of the seas for themselves” as part of a grand German strategy that aimed at “domination of the United States … [and of] the Western hemisphere by force.” With this justification, the President went on to announce a “shoot on sight” order to the U.S. Navy against German and Italian ships in the Atlantic -- a provocative and completely illegal war measure.
And in an address to the American people on October 27, 1941, President Roosevelt announced that he had a “secret map” that proved Hitler’s intention to take over all of South America and reorganize it into German-dominated states. The President also revealed that he had in his possession “another document made in Germany by Hitler's government. It is a detailed plan to abolish all existing religions -- Catholic, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish alike,” which Germany will impose “on a dominated world, if Hitler wins.”
Although millions of Americans believed these and similarly brazen falsehoods, seasoned foreign onlookers were not so credulous. One such observer was Poland’s ambassador in Washington, Jerzy Potocki, who reported regularly to Warsaw on conditions in the United States. In a confidential dispatch of February 1938 -- more than a year a half before the outbreak of war in Europe -- he took note of the Jewish role in pushing for war.
“The pressure of the Jews on President Roosevelt and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful,” he wrote. “The Jews are right now the leaders in creating a war psychosis which would plunge the entire world into war and bring about general catastrophe. This mood is becoming more and more apparent … This hatred has become a frenzy. It is propagated everywhere and by every means: in theaters, in the cinema, and in the press. The Germans are portrayed as a nation living under the arrogance of Hitler who wants to conquer the whole world and drown all of humanity in an ocean of blood.
“ … This international Jewry exploits every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations. In this way, the conviction is growing steadily but surely in public opinion here that the Germans and their satellites, in the form of fascism, are enemies who must be subdued by the 'democratic world’.”
In a confidential dispatch of January 9, 1939, the ambassador reported: “The American public is subject to an ever more alarming propaganda which is under Jewish influence and continuously conjures up the specter of the danger of war. Because of this the Americans have strongly altered their views on foreign policy problems, in comparison with last year.”
The Polish envoy made similar points a few days later in his confidential report of January 12, 1939:
“The feeling now prevailing in the United States is marked by a growing hatred of fascism and, above all, of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with Nazism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible -- above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited -- this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe. Right now most Americans regard Chancellor Hitler and Nazism as the greatest evil and greatest danger threatening the world.
“… The American people are unequivocally told that in case of a world war, America must also take an active part in order to defend the slogans of freedom and democracy in the world.”
Twenty-five years after the end of the Second World War, Lindbergh published his Wartime Journals. In an introduction to the book, which prompted much discussion and comment, he looked back on the conflict and its legacy.
“We won the war in a military sense,” he wrote, “but in a broader sense it seems to me we lost it, for our Western civilization is less respected and secure than it was before. In order to defeat Germany and Japan we supported the still greater menaces of Russia and China – which now confront us in a nuclear-weapon era. Poland was not saved … Much of our Western culture was destroyed. We lost the genetic heredity formed through aeon's in many million lives … It is alarmingly possible that World War II marks the beginning of our Western civilization’s breakdown, as it already marks the breakdown of the greatest empire ever built by man.”
As daring as Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight had been, he showed greater courage and devotion to principle in his bold campaign against war:
“We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction,” he warned on September 11, 1941. If Americans had heeded those words, the U.S. would not have suffered the horrors of the 9/11 attack sixty years later. (September 2011 by Mark Weber
For information about (and articles written by) Mr. Weber, please visit his web site at http://www.ihr.org/
For more information this author's books (The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation) For information to access all of the author's web sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz