Posted tagged ‘FDR’

FDR’s ‘Rattlesnake’ Rule and the North Korean Threat

September 6, 2017

FDR’s ‘Rattlesnake’ Rule and the North Korean Threat, Gatestone Institute, John R. Bolton, September 6, 2017

(FDR may have honored his “Rattlesnake Rule” vis a vis Germany. He did not do so vis a vis Japan. We should honor it vis a vis North Korea and its enablers. –DM)

“When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.” By these words in a Sept. 11, 1941, fireside chat, Franklin Roosevelt authorized US warships to fire first against Nazi naval vessels, which he called “the rattlesnakes of the Atlantic.”

Roosevelt’s order applied whenever German or Italian ships entered “waters of self-defense” necessary to protect the US, including those surrounding US outposts on Greenland and Iceland.

Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Image source: National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)

Uttered 60 years to the day before 9/11, and less than three months before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt’s words still resonate. North Korea’s sixth nuclear test last weekend, along with its significantly increased ballistic-missile testing, establishes that Pyongyang is perilously close to being able to hit targets across the continental United States with nuclear warheads, perhaps thermonuclear ones.

The Nazi threat to US shipping, both normal commercial traffic and war supplies destined for Great Britain, was undeniably significant, and the Axis powers’ broader totalitarian threat was existential. Nonetheless, right up to Dec. 7, 1941, many American leaders urged caution to avoid provoking the Axis and thereby risking broader conflict. Pearl Harbor followed.

In his chat, Roosevelt observed that others had “refused to look the Nazi danger squarely in the eye until it actually had them by the throat.” We shouldn’t commit that mistake today. North Korea’s behavior, and its lasting desire to conquer the South, have created the present crisis.

Letting Kim Jong-un’s bizarre regime “have America by the throat,” subjecting us and our allies to perpetual nuclear extortion, is not an acceptable outcome.

We have endured 25 years of US diplomatic failure, with endless rounds of negotiations, presenting North Korea with the choice between economic incentives or sanctions. During this time, which certainly constitutes “not looking the danger squarely in the eye,” North Korea has repeatedly breached commitments to abandon its nuclear-weapons program, often made in return for handsome compensation.

Nonetheless, we hear echoes from Roosevelt’s day that “there is no acceptable military option” when it comes to Pyongyang. This means, as Susan Rice said recently, “we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” as we did with the Soviets in Cold War days. The US should not accept such counsels of despair, based on dangerously facile and wildly inaccurate historical analogies.

Why accept a future of unending nuclear blackmail by Pyongyang, whose governing logic is hardly that of Cold War Moscow, and which would entail not that era’s essentially bipolar standoff, but a far-more-dangerous world of nuclear multipolarity?

If Washington lets Kim retain his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, his regime will happily sell these materials and technologies to Iran, other rogue states or terrorist groups for the right price. This is another key difference from the Cold War; Moscow was substantially more worried about nuclear proliferation than Pyongyang now is.

It would be, as Roosevelt understood, “inexcusable folly” to ignore North Korea’s pattern of behavior over the last quarter century: “We Americans are now face to face not with abstract theories but with cruel, relentless facts.” For America in 1941, hope of sheltering behind the oceans was fast disappearing, forcing Roosevelt to extend our maritime defense perimeter effectively across the Atlantic to Europe.

In the age of ICBMs, there’s no “perimeter”; we are at risk in agonizingly short time frames of a missile’s flight launched anywhere, whether from North Korea or Iran. It is completely unacceptable to say we must await a first strike by Pyongyang before we will resort to military force. Roosevelt dismissed such arguments peremptorily: “Let us not say: ‘We will only defend ourselves if the torpedo succeeds in getting home, or if the crew and passengers are drowned.’ ”

The remaining diplomatic options are few, and the time to exercise them dwindling fast. Convincing China that its national interests would be enhanced by reunifying the two Koreas, thus ending what Beijing itself believes is a threat to peace and security in northeast Asia, remains possible. Unfortunately, this is increasingly hard to accomplish before North Korea becomes a fully mature nuclear-weapons state.

We’re moving rapidly to the point where Roosevelt said squarely, “It is the time for prevention of attack.” George W. Bush spoke equally directly in 2002: “Our security will require all Americans to be . . . ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.” The alternative is potentially global proliferation of nuclear weapons, with the attendant risks lasting beyond our power to calculate.

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad”.

This article first appeared in The New York Post and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.

Twelve Memorials that Must Be Removed if Democrats Are Serious About Erasing Racism

August 16, 2017

Twelve Memorials that Must Be Removed if Democrats Are Serious About Erasing Racism, BreitbartAwr Hawkins, August 16, 2017

(I don’t think any artifacts of American history should be removed. They represent our history — good, bad and indifferent. To the extent that we extinguish them we rewrite our history. Our so-called “institutions of higher learning” are already trying to do that. Without accurate perceptions of our history, how will we guide our future? — DM) 

AP/Hillery Smith Garrison

If Democrats are serious about weeding out monuments tied to racist history, the 12 monuments which honor the above mentioned Democrats ought to be first on the list.

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If Democrats seeking the removal of historical memorials tied to racist history are serious, they should be tripping over one another to get in front of a camera and call for the removal of memorials and namesakes to Presidents Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Sen. Robert C Byrd.

These five men had two things in common–all had a penchant for racism to one degree or another, and all were Democrats.

Some of the memorials to them are monuments, some are groves, others are highways, bridges, colleges, and even cemeteries. Of course, the cemeteries ought not be disturbed, but they should be renamed if the Democrats are serious about rooting out the vestiges of racism.

What follows is a short description of each of the Democrats and the memorials and/or namesakes in their honor:

President Andrew Johnson–Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as his running mate in 1864 because Lincoln’s reelection hopes hinged on being able to attract some Democrat voters to his side. Lincoln was a Republican, Johnson a Democrat. The plan worked and Lincoln was reelected. However, following Lincoln’s assassination the oversight of post-Civil War policy for the South fell to Johnson, who believed the South ought to be able to make its own course. During his administration, post-Civil War Democrats enacted the Black Codes in the South, which were precursors to the Jim Crow laws they would implement in the 20th century. The Black Codes served to prevent freed slaves from actually experiencing the fullness of freedom. Johnson is honored with The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and National Cemetery in Greenville, Tennessee.

President Woodrow Wilson–President Woodrow Wilson appeared tolerable of blacks and interested in their plight when running for election, but he made little effort to help better the condition of blacks as the 20th century hit its second decade. In fact, in The Warrior and the Priest, John Milton Cooper, Jr., wrote, “Wilson believed blacks were not innately inferior to whites and would, in two or three centuries, achieve a measure of economic and political, if not social, equality in America.” However, Cooper explained that these views had little impact on Wilson’s behavior as president of Princeton, a position he held prior to being President of the United States. At Princeton, Wilson “maintained the university’s long-standing ban on admitting blacks” and as President of the U.S. he “sanctioned” attempts to instill “segregation into federal departments.” Princeton honors Wilson with a college named The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt–FDR ordered the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In other words, Japanese Americans were rounded up and held in captivity. History.com reports that FDR instituted internment by “[signing] the War Department’s blanket Executive  Order 9066” in February 1942. FDR is honored with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC.

President Lyndon Baines JohnsonMSNBC put it bluntly, “Lyndon Johnson said the [n-word] a lot.” While “discussing civil rights legislation with men like Mississippi Democrat James Eastland, who committed most of his life to defending white supremacy, [LBJ’d] simply call it ‘the [n-word] bill.’” LBJ is honored with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd–Prior to being a Democrat Senator in West Virginia, Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. When Byrd died in 2010, the Washington Postprinted an eulogy which said, in part, “As a young man, Mr. Byrd was an ‘exalted cyclops’ of the Ku Klux Klan. Although he apologized numerous times for what he considered a youthful indiscretion, his early votes in Congress — notably a filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act — reflected racially separatist views.” On June 26, 2010, the Cumberland Times-News reported that Byrd was honored by at least eight highways and/or bridges throughout West Virginia. The Times-Newslisted the memorials as “the Robert C. Byrd Expressway and Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Ohio County; Robert C. Byrd Highway (Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (also Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor G/U.S. 119); Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Huntington; Robert C. Byrd Interchange at Birch River; [and the] Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor L/I-77).”

If Democrats are serious about weeding out monuments tied to racist history, the 12 monuments which honor the above mentioned Democrats ought to be first on the list.