FDR & The Rattlesnakes Of The Ocean

FDR’s Fireside Chat About Pre-Emptive Strikes: While I strongly disapprove of many of FDR’s domestic policies, I have nothing but the highest regard for the way he led America in WW2.

Here are a few quotes from one of FDR’s “fireside chats” about the Nazis and their indiscriminate submarine warfare that I think are VERY applicable to the war on terrorism we find ourselves enmeshed in today…

– “It would be unworthy of a great Nation to exaggerate an isolated incident, or to become inflamed by some one act of violence. But it would be inexcusable folly to minimize such incidents in the face of evidence which makes it clear that the incident is not isolated, but is part of a general plan.”

– “There has now come a time when you and I must see the cold, inexorable necessity of saying to these inhuman, unrestrained seekers of world conquest and permanent world domination by the sword: “You seek to throw our children and our children’s children into your form of terrorism and slavery. You have now attacked our own safety. You shall go no further.”

– “One peaceful Nation after another has met disaster because each refused to look the Nazi danger squarely in the eye until it actually had them by the throat. The United States will not make that fatal mistake.”

– “I assume that the German leaders are not deeply concerned, tonight or any other time, by what we Americans or the American Government say or publish about them. We cannot bring about the downfall of Nazism by the use of long-range invective. But when you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

– “It is clear to all Americans that the time has come when the Americas themselves must now be defended. A continuation of attacks in our own waters, or in waters that could be used for further and greater attacks on us, will inevitably weaken our American ability to repel Hitlerism. Do not let us be Hairsplitters Let us not ask ourselves whether the Americas should begin to defend themselves after the first attack, or the fifth attack, or the tenth attack, or the twentieth attack.”

– “The time for active defense is now. Do not let us split hairs. Let us not say: “We will only defend ourselves if the torpedo succeeds in getting home, or if the crew and the passengers are drowned.” This is the time for prevention of attack.”

Indeed, let us not be “hairsplitters.” Now, “is the time for prevention of attack.” The global terrorist network is a “rattlesnake poised to strike” and we should “crush him” before we experience a tragedy that makes 9/11 look like a birthday party.

Thanks to AMac for pointing this speech out in the comments section of a post on A Small Victory.

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