The Greatness of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or Not?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

Many people are aware that U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt skillfully lured Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor so as to get the American public to support joining England’s war against Adolf Hitler’s Nazis. 

Until the Pearl Harbor attack, all of FDR’s efforts to win the U.S. public’s support for going to war against Hitler had failed miserably, and time was rapidly running out to turn the war’s tide away from Hitler and global dictatorship, and toward Churchill and a possible world future of democracy (the latter being the world future which has made our lives as good as they are, not the hell that Hitler had intended them to be). FDR’s effort to join the war was blocked by congressional Republicans, allied with a few determinedly pacifist Democrats such as Idaho’s Senator William E. Borah, people who ignored the ideological stakes, vast though those were, if they even opposed fascism at all (which in many cases is questionable). Communism was widely hated because America’s rich hated it and propagandized heavily against it; so, Stalin’s perfidies were well-publicized, but Hitler’s and other fascists’ vilenesses weren’t so clearly and unambiguously presented, especially because many of America’s aristocrats were very profitably doing business with Nazis and were hoping to become invited onto what then seemed likely to be the winning team after the war between Churchill and Hitler would be over. Both the Congress and the American public were against FDR on the war-issue, and yet FDR needed to turn all of them around on it, and to do it fast. The process to do this violated moral rules; and, in some respects, it even violated U.S. laws; but FDR did what he had to do, in order to save the world, by joining Churchill’s war against Hitler. 

As the BBC documentary which is linked to there (within the article linked to just above) makes clear (read that article, but above all, click onto that video), Churchill was hiding some important things from FDR, or else FDR was hiding from everyone key things about Pearl Harbor that Churchill had informed him of. No one knows which is the case, but Churchill had certainly been constantly currently informed by British code-breakers regarding all details of Japan’s evolving war-plans concerning Pearl Harbor, including Japan’s decision in January 1941 to attack Pearl Harbor. Of course, Churchill had wanted the attack to occur, at least as much as did FDR, because Churchill desperately wanted Britain not to be defeated, and a U.S. entry into the war was now Britain’s only hope. Furthermore, America’s FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover intercepted British intelligence that showed Germany was helping Japan to prepare its Pearl Harbor attack. (Churchill already knew all about this, since it came from Britain’s double-agent, who had infiltrated German intelligence.) FDR might have been hiding some important things from Churchill, Hitler might have been hiding some important things from Japan’s leaders, Japan’s leaders were definitely hiding some important things from Germany’s leaders, and the situation was even more complicated than that. 

J. Edgar Hoover was hiding some important things from everyone but perhaps FDR, and FDR was hiding some important things from everyone, including from the commanders at Pearl Harbor. And the commanders at Pearl Harbor were, unbeknownst to them, being actively set-up by the U.S. President to take the rap for failing to have protected their forces adequately from an attack which FDR’s people were actually doing everything they possibly could to facilitate and even to cause, and which Churchill’s people knew all the details of, including even the planned day and time of the attack. (NOTE: Those commanders were not punished, only retired from further service, so their “Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor,” as the BBC documentary on the subject was titled, was kept to the very minimum that was necessary for the purpose, and the biggest sacrifice at Pearl Harbor was instead actually the 2,403 Americans who died, and the 1,178 who were wounded. Their sacrifices must be measured against the benefits that have been gained by defeating Hitler — benefits for the entire world, which continue to this day.)

The White House decided to transfer some important military assets away from Pearl Harbor in order to make the target more vulnerable to Japan’s attack. U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who was not in on the plan, was earnestly negotiating with Japan the conditions of ending the U.S. oil embargo against Japan, which blockade (aimed actually to force Japan to attack the U.S.) was strangling Japan, but (at 33:00 in the BBC documentary) Hull was shocked when FDR killed the deal, just at the time when Hull thought he had succeeded; Hull was “feeling betrayed” by the President, for whom he had been working so long and so hard on this. The tapped phone call from the Japanese negotiator, back to Tokyo (34:46), said: “I have made all efforts but they will not yield. … I believe it is of no avail. … Something will have to be done to get us out of this situation [i.e., to end the oil-blockade].”

Hull’s ‘negotiations’ with Japan’s Ambassadors were actually intended by Roosevelt to serve merely the purpose of fooling Japan’s high command to think that the U.S. was trying to avoid a war with Japan. It was part of the trap FDR had set up. He succeeded at fooling Japan’s high command. And he did it in such a way that (according to the taped phone-conversation) caused Japan’s high officials to feel “humiliated” by what seemed to them to be the American President’s casual dismissal of their offer. Hull was confused and frustrated by FDR’s response, and was consequently unable to explain or justify it to his Japanese interlocutors. This was precisely what FDR wanted.

So, in this light, we should all become introduced and welcomed into the world of international relations, regarding how mega-history is really made — not the fantasies that are told about it in the cleansed ‘history’ books (such as Republicans and other conservatives insist upon). It’s made by deceptions. And it’s made by strategically sacrificing some of the people on one’s own side, in order to save others of one’s own people, so as to win victory in the greater international conflict.

Mega-history is made by individuals who, even when they are partners and not merely when they are enemies, don’t trust and are not always honest with one-another. It’s made in a murky world, where each individual, if he is intelligent at all, needs to be doing his own investigation and to take the statements even of people on his own side as being possibly intended to deceive or otherwise mislead. This is the world of intelligence, and it’s also the world of national leadership — even in a democracy. It’s not just right values, and right priorities; it’s also right gamesmanship. FDR was a giant.

The press are constantly being lied-to; and any ‘news’ medium that reports, other than with considerable skepticism, anything that its government is saying or doing about international relations, is purely a propaganda-medium, no authentic journalistic medium, at all. That’s just fake ‘news’ ‘reporting,’ but it is the routine and not the exception. It’s nationalistic, but it is not  patriotic. (There is a big  difference.)

On 29 November 1941 (39:00 in the linked-to BBC documentary), Cordell Hull confided to a journalistic friend, Joe Leib, that “Pearl Harbor would be attacked on December the seventh,” and that “if anything should erupt against him, that he would be protected by a friend.” It was his request to Leib, to be  that friend, “which I have been to him.” Leib immediately then issued a news report, to UPI, “which put it only on the foreign wire. Ironically, the only paper to use it was The Honolulu Advertiser. In its watered-down form,” it was ignored even there locally; the news-editors had turned it into nothing, despite its being an exclusive news report from the U.S. Secretary of State. Even the Pearl Harbor command was still being kept in the dark. No one could imagine that the U.S. President would be willing to do such a thing. Even the U.S. Secretary of State did not fully understand FDR’s strategy and the necessity of the tactics. The President played his cards that close to his vest. And this is how Hitler was defeated. Because: otherwise, there seemed to be no other way he even could  have been. (At that time, the defeat by Stalin of Hitler’s invasion of Russia (“Operation Barbarossa”) was hardly even imagined: Stalin’s counteroffensive, which won the war in the East, just started on 5 December 1941, two days before  the Pearl Harbor attack. At the time of Pearl Harbor, Hitler’s fortunes were at their very peak. This is how desperate things were at that time.)

As an investigative historian, I am dedicated to truth as being a historian’s highest and most solemn obligation, and so I was taken aback when finding that many readers have criticized articles that I’ve written that FDR was one of America’s greatest, if not the very greatest, Presidents (a view that is widely shared among historians but not among the public who read only press propaganda), and who were saying of those articles from me, such things as, “that was truly fdr’s ‘we had to kill democracy in order to save it’ moment. it’s not a democracy if the executive uses a false flag attack to manipulate the public into war. he made his choice. he failed to imagine a better way. it’s hard to respect such a person.”

I replied to him: “FDR did what he needed to do there, because otherwise Hitler would have won the war, and we’d subsequently have been ruled by Hitler. You might prefer Hitler to FDR, Harry Truman, etc., but most Americans would not. FDR faced a public and a Congress who opposed our getting into the war; he needed something like a Pearl Harbor in order to get the U.S. into the war in time to prevent Hitler from defeating Britain. Being a nation’s leader entails the making of a few choices that are like this: an injustice sometimes needs to be done in order to prevent there being an even bigger injustice. Abraham Lincoln knew this; FDR knew this, and you are not better than they for your not knowing this or for your denying that it is true. To the contrary.”

Another reader backed up the complainant’s criticism, by saying, “A justified false flag. Amazing.”

To that, I replied: “Yes, a justified false-flag. It was the only remaining hope for the possibility (which is all it was at the time) that Hitler would be defeated. I am amazed at the number of readers at this site who wish that Hitler had succeeded. Go to StormFront, instead: you don’t belong here.”

And, to that, the original complainant responded by linking to this terrific BBC documentary (the one that was linked to in the present article’s first link, and which has been summarized earlier here). That video was their “case.”

So: now you know both sides of this debate, and can fairly judge it. I think that I have adequately presented both sides.

PS: I have intentionally left out of this debate the other enormous achievements of FDR, such as Social Security, Glass-Steagall, and many more, because the complainants against my respect for FDR have focused almost exclusively upon this ‘scandal’ about him — a ’scandal’ which I believe to be instead against the people who find it to be a scandal, not actually against FDR, in any way. But that’s for you to judge, because the essential facts in the debate are now clear, and are accepted by both sides to it.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • animalogic

    This is a pursuasive thesis, however, there is a tricky hole in it.
    FDR provokes and plans for Pearl Harbour so that the US can go to war with Axis Japan AND Germany. Yet, Pearl Harbour only justifies war with Japan. It was LUCK, unpredictable luck that Germany declared war on the US.
    Lacking that war declaration its not clear that FDR would automatically have got his European war. In fact, with a massive Pacific war to fight many in congress had a perfect reason not to divert resourses to Europe.

    • cettel

      “Yet Pearl Harbor only justifies war with Japan.” Not true.

      Please see that linked-too video, and stop it and think about it where the text goes too fast to be absorbed at its full depth. That video is the most succinct presentation I know of, regarding much of this important history. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover the situation in Congress, so I summarized that here.)

      Japan had side-arrangements with Germany. Germany was committed to declare war against the U.S. as soon as the U.S. would declare war against Japan. Both FDR and Churchill knew this. It’s part of the reason why they craved the Pearl Harbor attack. For both FDR and Churchill, Japan was just a side-show, to get the U.S. into the war. This is why FDR blockaded oil to Japan. He did it to defeat Hitler.

      • animalogic

        The Tripartite or “Berlin”Pact was signed by Germany, Japan and Italy on 27 September 1940. The pact did not commit its signatories to mutual declarations of war again “commoon” enemies.
        From Wikiprdia: “Some technical
        cooperation was carried out, and the Japanese declaration of war on the United States propelled, although it did not require, a similar declaration of war
        from all the other signatories of the Tripartite Pact.”
        I restate my point: if FDR gambled on Pearl Harbour initiating a war with Germany he did indeed GAMBLE. That he “won” his bet so quickly does not change the fact that he was lucky. Pearl Harbour could not be foreknown by FDR as an automatic initiation of war with Germany.

        • cettel

          I said it was a “side-arrangement.” I didn’t say that it was an agreement in writing. Click onto that BBC documentary. Absorb everything in it, even where it goes too fast. Inform yourself. When Germany declared war against the U.S. on 11 December 1941, Hitler was following through with his verbal promise privately made to Japan, and Japan was already an ally of his, not at all like the USSR, which Hitler had always planned to invade and with which he had a paper-agreement that he had no intention to honor. Hitler was aiming to deal with Japan after the war, not violate Japan during the war. What he did on 11 December 1941 was to follow through on that commitment. He needed to do this, in order for The Axis to be able to function at all. Hitler, unfortunately, was an intelligent man.

          • diogenes

            Anyone who regards things like a “BBC documentary” as reliable historical evidence proves himself a fool or worse. Which is it?

          • cettel

            Well, I said you’re closed-minded, and you’ve demonstrated it yet again by not looking at that terrific documentary, which just presents testimony from people who were participants in the history, but you wouldn’t be interested in that, because you refuse to believe what they are saying they heard and said and did.

    • tom

      “It was LUCK, unpredictable luck that Germany declared war on the US”.

      Luck plays very little part in such important decisions, comforting as it might seem to some to invoke it. Actually, Germany declared war on the USA because Hitler was a more honourable man than FDR. Odd as that might sound, it is an unavoidable conclusion. In 1939, Germany attacked Poland after a long campaign by FDR to bring about exactly that outcome. He secretly egged on the Germans to demand Danzig, the Poles to refuse, and the British and French to give guarantees to Poland. Then, when the war broke out, he did not support Britain and France, who were thus left at war with Germany without the expected support of the USA.

      In stark contrast Hitler, at a time when his fortunes had taken a serious and possibly decisive turn for the worse, responded to the unexpected Japanese declaration of war against the USA by declaring war on the USA himself. He did that to support his ally; there is no other plausible motive.

      Which of those two men would you, personally, prefer to rely on?

  • Sarastro92

    This is a very important post Eric about strategic deception. Generally this is all dismissed by academic historians and media pundits as generic conspiracy theory no matter how well documented. So good you’re pressing on this.

    The problem with strategic deception, however, is that it is so corrosive to anything resembling democracy. Once it is accepted as a legitimate way of doing business it becomes a way of life… By he Sixties strategic deception and false flags started becoming out of control and almost led to a nuclear confrontation in Cuba. It really did lead to the Gulf of Tonkin false flag and disaster.

    By the late 90s, as you know, a faction of the ruling elite were calling for a “new Pearl Harbor” … not as protection against a new Hitler but to advance an agenda of Perpetual Global War, and a coup against what was left of the US Constitution with an Orwellian Police State and Unitary Presidency.

    Did FDR have options?

    Perhaps. The guy was a marvel at rhetoric. He could call fireside chats and speak frankly. (“The only thing we have to fear…” type stuff.)

    So why not lay bare the stark choice facing Americans and resolve to keep this reality in front of America in every way possible? It may be tough, but that’s what needs to be done in a Democratic Republic.

    The alternative is Strategic Deception.., but in the long run (Ok.. 70 years) the US itself becomes the new Third Reich. And so what really is gained?

    • cettel

      “Did FDR have options?”

      Quite simply, no. But that’s not an intelligent question. An intelligent question here that preserves some of your intent would be:

      “Were alternative options available to FDR that were sufficiently likely of success — and free of the problem (‘Once it is accepted as a legitimate way of doing business it becomes a way of life’) that is speculative even if it’s at its worst — so as to have warranted FDR’s not doing what he did, at the time when he did it, which was already almost too late to salvage the world from Hitler and his Nazi dream (the world’s nightmare, which would still be our living nightmare even today)?”

      Of course, FDR did “have options.” But none of them was anywhere near to being good enough to have warranted FDR’s not having done what he did.

      I believe that your question is based on ignorance of how desperate the situation there actually was. The ‘news’ media and the ‘history’ books have failed miserably to communicate this basic reality about the nation at that time. I blame them for the public’s ignorance. It is hugely important for the public to know the key facts about that, and about Hitler’s war-aims, such as that the Holocaust was his top priority and he sacrificed major assets to the extermination-program even though his generals were pleading with him to devote those assets to the war-effort. For Hitler, WWII was the way to exterminate all Jews and other Untermenschen, and grab the USSR for Lebensraum so that God’s People would be able to spawn like crazy and enslave the Slavs to the Aryan yokes. His chief objective was to exterminate all Untermenschen. I get into the documentation of that in my book WHY the Holocaust Happened. It happened because Hitler wanted it to happen; and he entered politics in 1919 with the aim of doing it, to completion. He needed to win control of the State in order to do that, so he entered politics at the very moment when he first conceived the objective. He needed WWII, and to win WWII, in order to become able to achieve his supreme objective, cleansing the world of all Jews. Enslaving everyone else to Aryans would have meant an ongoing hell. People don’t understand that. They don’t understand the ongoing hell from which FDR’s wisdom saved us.

      So, I do not blame you for your ignorance; I blame the publishers, and the writers, and the university ‘historians.’

      • Sarastro92

        I’m well aware of the history of the era… but thanks for talking down and proclaiming your superior insights. (People who are eager to declare their brilliance and everyone else’s ignorance are anything but)

        Here’s a clue: Pearl Harbor was not about the Jews. US entry into the war was never about the Jews. They were collateral victims that no one cared about, least of all FDR.

        The real underlying strategy of the Third Reich was led by the British, in a continuation of WWI (in essence a new 30 years war)… the basic idea was to induce the Germans and Russians to engage in mutually assured destruction over which the decrepit British Empire would triumph.

        In Germany itself, the financial and industrial inner circle were deeply intertwined with an international oligarchy (where the Prescott Bush played an not insignificant role in helping the Nazi war effort) … For the Krupps and Thyssen, Hitler as the key to a Final Solution against Communists and labor agitators; as well as securing long-term access to raw resources, especially petroleum. That’s their interest in lebensraum. The bourgeois intellectuals, meanwhile, (Jung and Heidegger types) had mystical dreams of a Volkish agrarian order So Hitler and the Nazis were a large vessel where all sorts of people could invest their warped stratagems.

        In any case FDR cared very little about Hitler’s holocaust plans (and certain segments of the Jewish community in the US actually played a role in suppressing public outcry on the matter)… For sure, if FDR led with a call for “a war to save the Jews” he would have been soundly defeated, especially since there was not a lot of knowledge about the true nature of the camps at that time. Certainly not the lurid footage we all know about today.

        As for FDR’s options: how about the truth?

        How about an all-out offensive showing footage in theaters about the pillage and destruction across Europe? And the massacres in China by Imperial Japan? Images of mass enslavement, mass extermination, ruthless dictatorship that would eventually have crushed the USA. A series of fireside chats and a push by Congressional Democrats to educate the public?

        American citizens may very well have responded to the tocsins if presented that way. This approach has the merit of being a rally cry for freedom in a half-way democratic process. With things being as dire as they were by 1941, speaking directly to US citizens was an option. Admittedly, arranging for a defining atrocity, of course works better than persuasion and knowledge. That’s not to say it was impossible– unless of course invoking the truth is never attempted.

        If the US public did not respond to the menace, there would have been a price to pay. That’s the cost of democratic institutions.

        But in the UK for instance, a sitting monarch was forced off the throne in good part for his pro-Nazi sentiments. So it’s not entirely impossible for major action to have occurred.

        The alternative — false flags and strategic deception — leads to the current perdition we experience today. The US won the War… but lost its freedom.

        • A wonderful, and knowledgeable post Sarastro92. Allot folks think they know history with the ‘LSM’ six Corporations that control 90% of everything they read and hear. You must be a reader!

          September 25, 2004 How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power

          Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now, the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

          • cettel

            So what? What does that have to do with Pearl Harbor?

          • Sarastro92

            It’s peripheral background in reply to your contention that WWII was all about the Holocaust.

          • cettel

            I didn’t say “that WWII was all about the Holocaust.” I said that the Holocaust, in Hitler’s mind, was the central purpose of the war, and that his generals were distraught that he was devoting resources that were needed for the war effort, to searching and killing Jews instead, and that his generals were trying to reallocate some of those trains to the war effort but that Hitler placed higher priority on the extermination-campaign, higher even than on the generals’ needs.

            To say “that WWII was all about the Holocaust” is a gross misreading of what I said, nothing like what I said; and it’s a ridiculous thing that no one I’ve ever read has asserted. Hitler’s priorities were probably duplicated in few, if any, people. They certainly weren’t duplicated in FDR, Churchill, Stalin, or even in many among the public in any nation.

            I write clearly, and so cannot understand why anyone would assert that I have said things that I think are ridiculous for anyone to say, and that I have never said.

          • Sarastro92

            Again you just wrote: “I said that the Holocaust, in Hitler’s mind, was the central purpose of the war,”… Frankly, I don’t think that’s actually true about Hitler’s priorities in his warped, syphilitic mind… but well anyway … can’t argue forever on this point. I think others have read it the way I have…

          • cettel

            Well, for just one piece of evidence on that, see Hitler’s last written sentence, It ends his “Political Testament”: “Above all, I enjoin the leaders of the nation and their followers to scrupulous observance of the laws of race, and to merciless resistance to the universal poisoner of all peoples, international Jewry.” But, as my book, WHY the Holocaust Happened, documents, it started in 1919, his theory behind the Holocaust, and that’s why he decided to enter politics. Without that, there wouldn’t have been any WWII.

            As I documented, Hitler’s generals were outraged that he devoted to the extermination program trains they desperately needed for the war-effort.

          • Sarastro92

            Nonsense. WWII was as inevitable as WWI… it was just one long 30 year war instigated by the British Geo-Strategists…

            Hitler’s ravings are not the center of events leading up to WW II…

          • cettel

            Hitler’s “ravings” were based on over a hundred specific lines from the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New; he had an almost photographic memory, and his Christian theology was at least as coherent and as free of self-contradictions as any other, which is credit to his intelligence because the Bible itself is loaded with self-contradictions. But he called it “the Monumental History of Mankind.” He was a very bright guy, who just happens to have been also a certain type of biblical fundamentalist — Christian, of course, a believer in both the Old and the New Testaments, as being the Word of God. His interpretation of the Bible was distinctively Christian, and he interpreted the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. His understanding of the Old Testament was very much shaped by the New Testament. You’ve been duped to think that Hitler was unintelligent or incoherent. He was neither. However, in 1937, he did change his views somewhat, in ways that my book explains and documents.

          • Sarastro92

            As stated there were much larger forces at play than Hitler. Hitler was a bacillus who played just the right role on setting Germany on a fratricidal war with the USSR. That was the Angl-American geo-strategy all along.

            Sure, he was a genius at playing Hitler. But no one honestly claims he was a master strategic or battlefield commander… Barbarossa lost the war for the Germans… allowing the Brits to evacuate at Dunkirk are two monumental blunders…

            He likely was infected with syphilis which advanced, so that destroyed his judgment.

          • diogenes

            You haven’t documented anything. You haven’t cited a single reputable primary source. Because you can’t. Because they don’t exist.

          • cettel

            I cited Hitler’s Political Testament, by golly. Your mind is so closed, it’s hopeless.

            That book is loaded with such quotations. For example: “The teachings of Christ have laid the foundation for the battle against Jews as the enemy of Mankind; the work that Christ began, I shall finish.” 18 December 1926

          • diogenes

            I would invite you please to supply documentary evidence for your assertion that “the Holcaust, in Hitler’s mind, was the central purpose of the war,” except that I know it doesn’t exist and I know that all your saying so proves is either gross ignorance or fundamental disrespect for factual history. But go ahead and try.

          • tom

            “…except that I know it doesn’t exist…”

            Rarely does one see such a self-destructive admission in writing. Apparently you know all the documentary information in the world, published and unpublished, allowing you state categorically what doesn’t exist.

          • diogenes

            If it existed it would have been turned up already, since there are thousands of people highly motivated to do so. It hasn’t been. Possibly it’s looked away in some hidden vault and will someday be discovered, but this seems unlikely. More likely it doesn’t exist. It’s easy for you to prove otherwise: produce it, with solid specific direct references to reputable sources. That’s REPUTABLE.

          • cettel

            I cite plenty of sources for that in my book WHY the Holocaust Happened.

          • diogenes

            You are invited to cite them here. Given this article, I wouldn’t buy a sentence from you, let alone a book. This evidence does not exist. Prove otherwise, here. You won’t because you can’t because it doesn’t exist. Reputable, evidence-respecting, fact-based historians know this. That you apparently don’t just shows that you apparently don’t. And we can see that already.

          • cettel

            Read my book, “WHY the Holocaust Happened: Its Religious Cause & Scholarly Cover-Up,” which is the only work that has ever researched through Hitler’s own notes, letters, speeches, books, other writings, and through the reliably transcribed statements from him published by people who knew him, in order to track, over the decades, when and how and why the concept of exterminating all Jews first entered his mind, and how it evolved into what it did, and what relation if any it had to his other war-aims. The Holocaust would not have happened if Hitler had not wanted it to happen; and he was, starting in 1919, obsessed to bring it about. It’s the reason he entered politics in 1919.

          • Sarastro92

            Thanks for the kudos.

            This info was out a long time ago…Tarpley and Chaitkin have an interesting volume “George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography”

        • cettel

          Re. your “Pearl Harbor was not about the Jews.”

          Of course it wasn’t. I didn’t say it was.

          Re. “US entry into the war was never about the Jews.”

          Of course it wasn’t. I didn’t say it was.

          Re. “The real underlying strategy of the Third Reich was led by the British.”

          Of course it wasn’t; it was led by Hitler. He, and no one else, led the Third Reich’s strategy.

          Re. “the basic idea was to induce the Germans and Russians to engage in
          mutually assured destruction over which the decrepit British Empire
          would be left standing, triumphantly.”

          That might have been Churchill’s main war-aim, but it might not have been. You are speculating about that. But for you to assert that this was “The real underlying strategy of the Third Reich” (if that’s what your incoherent statement here is intended to be referring to) is ridiculous, because Hitler (whose writings, etc., I have studied in depth, and written about in a book about them) had formulated his concept of the “Thousand-Year Reich) in 1919, long before Churchill had any say-so about it.

          Re. “In Germany itself, the financial and industrial inner circle were deeply
          intertwined with an international oligarchy (where the Prescott Bush
          played an not insignificant role in helping the Nazi war effort),” and Antony Sutton, John Loftus and others have written extensively about that.

          Re. “In any case FDR cared very little about Hitler’s holocaust plans,” that too is false. Although he didn’t “care” about it quite as much as Morgenthau and some others in his Administration did, he cared a great deal about it, but (unlike for Hitler, whose main aim was to complete the Holocaust) FDR’s main aim was to defeat Hitler, end the Nazi regime altogether, because of the severe threat it posed against freedom and decency in the entire world. Whereas Hitler’s main objective was to exterminate the Jews, and his secondary aim was to grab the land of Russia and other Slavic countries for the expansion of the ‘Aryan’ population, the main aim for both FDR and Churchill was simply to defeat Hitler. The Versailles-debt issue had already become a dead letter. The stakes now, going forward for both FDR and Churchill, was democracy within their own country, and a world at peace again, with a new United Nations to help establish a foundation for a more lasting peace.


          “As for FDR’s options: how about the truth? How about an all-out offensive showing footage in theaters about the pillage and destruction across Europe? And the massacres in China by Imperial Japan? Images of mass enslavement, mass extermination, ruthless dictatorship that would eventually have crushed the USA. A series of fireside chats and a push by Congressional Democrats to educate the public? American citizens may very well have responded to the tocsins if presented that way. This approach has the merit of being a rally cry for freedom in a half-way democratic process.”

          I love your idea. I haven’t done the research to know the extent to which it was already being carried out as much as it could have been, or, if it wasn’t, then why it wasn’t. So, I am not competent to say. I don’t speculate; that’s not a historian’s job. However, even if it wasn’t, then starting now to do it would have been way too late. If the FDR/Churchill plan to squeeze Japan by an oil-blockade and so to force Japan to attack Pearl Harbor so as to get the U.S. into the war fast were to have failed, then all reason for any prospect to win the war would have been gone. Until June of 1941 Hitler was allied with Stalin, not attacking Russia. Then in the first four months of Hitler’s invasion of Russia, it was looking like he’d soon control Russia too.

          The oil blockade on Japan started in July 1941. Are you telling me that, with this historical background, starting a propaganda campaign to defeat congress’s Republicans and the pacifists among congress’s Democrats so as to, somehow, gin this country up to, somehow, get this country into WWII, would have been an intelligent thing to try, in order to prevent our country from now being controlled by Germany’s Nazi Party — which we now would be?

          • Sarastro92

            Your first post claimed the FDR has no options but to lie about entering the war because the Jews were about to be exterminated.

            As far as British aims… they well preceded Adolph Hitler… much goes back to Edward VII… but also British global strategy (Mackinder) … also debates in Britain about whether the empire could or should seek colonial exploitation and compete with the US, Germany and emerging Russia. That was the background for Churchill. See the volume “The Warped Vision – British Foreign Policy 1919-1939″ by Margaret George”.

            The Jewish community always resented the fact that the allies made no efforts to stop operations in the camps or publicize their existence. Send your comments to them.

            While FDR’s long-term outlook was to allow the British Empire to euthanize itself, Churchill (and people such as Keynes) wanted to revive the Empire.

            ” Are you telling me that, with this historical background, starting a
            propaganda campaign to defeat congress’s Republicans and the pacifists
            among congress’s Democrats so as to, somehow, gin this country up to,
            somehow, get this country into WWII, would have been an intelligent
            thing to try, in order to prevent our country from now being controlled
            by Germany’s Nazi Party — which we now would be?”

            Well that’s the key point and you’re correct that this was the challenge, and that it is by no means clear that debate would have succeeded.

            However, by 1941 Hitler had been in power for almost a decade and it was pretty clear what he was about. So the propaganda effort needed to start a lot earlier. That’s how democratic societies should work on matters of war and peace.

            I guess we can debate whether “Western democracy” works. But surely open and free and vigorous debate is the only way it can. It’s also true that humans don’t naturally want war… they have ti be terrorized into it.

            In any case, even though the US declared war in December ’41, they saw fit to dither until June ’44 to launch D-Day. So I guess there was time to decide to take action. As it turned oput, the USSR defeated the Nazis, whose war machine sputtered for lack of petroleum, which the Russians possessed and denied them.

            The Anglo-Am only started fighting after it was clear the USSR had largely defeated the Nazis in 1943. So even then, the idea that the US would have been overrun by the Nazis if we didn’t enter the war is equally dubious. The Nazis were falling apart internally… Hitler would have been assassinated sooner or later and the Germans would have sued for peace.

  • someone

    I am sure one can find just as “good” reasons to justify 9-11 as one can to justify Pearl Harbor. Sacrificing people for the “higher good”. Zuesse, what distinguishes you from Stalin, Roosevelt, Hitler, Pol Pot etc?

    • extramike

      Poor baby. Can a lame troll get disability?

      • kimyo

        you don’t see any parallels between pearl harbor and 9/11? hitler presented as much a threat to americans as did saddam.

        • cettel

          Oh, my god! Some people’s ignorance of history stuns me. “kimyo,” I now understand why you post the sort of comments you do.

          • kimyo

            please elaborate on the threat hitler presented to americans. i’m always happy to learn more.

          • tom

            “I would unhesitatingly say that fire was Hitler’s proper element… I never saw him so worked up as toward the end of the war, when in a kind of delirium he pictured for himself and for us the destruction of New York in a hurricane of fire. He described the skyscrapers being turned into gigantic burning torches, collapsing upon one another, the glow of the exploding city illuminating the dark sky”.
            – Albert Speer (“Spandau: The Secret Diaries”)

          • kimyo

            exactly how was hitler going to execute this plan? if he were capable of turning nyc into an inferno, why didn’t he do so to london?

          • cettel

            Your mind is closed to everything that contradicts your set views. Just read Hitler’s writings.

          • cettel

            Just read all of Hitler’s writings, as I have. You come across as not having even read Mein Kampf. Other things that you should read are his letters and notes, plus his political testament, and his Second Book. But many of his speeches, early in his career, were also important. And his conversations in the bunker during WW II were transcribed, and they are important because Hitler changed some of his views after 1937.

          • kimyo

            the ravings of a fallen madman in ‘a kind of delirium’ didn’t present any more of a threat to americans than saddam’s aluminum tubing.

            show me an actual weapon and mode of delivery, then i’ll believe that american lives were in jeopardy. else, you’re just pulling a colin powell.

          • someone

            Hitler wanted in Russia/Ukraine what the British had in India, and the Americans in Central America and the Philippines, a colony to exploit. He envisioned a domination of the world by the Aryan people, which included the British and Americans. He approached the West at numerous times for peace. Hitler’s aim of world domination is phantasy and propaganda.

          • cettel

            Hitler would have done to minorities and disabled people in the U.S. what he was doing to them in Germany.

            Gosh, there are lots of nazis (and/or extremely callous or obtuse people) who post reader-comments here.

          • kimyo

            and now zuesse rolls out his strongest argument yet. disagree with him? you’re a nazi.

          • diogenes

            “Some people’s ignorance of history stuns me” too. In this topic starting with yours.

        • Sarastro92

          That’s a tough call… but in the end it was the USSR that defeated Hitler… FDR and C’hill only jumped in as a mop-up operation and to deny the Soviets control over Europe. Churchill was all to happy to leave the Nazis alone as long as they were marching East.. That was the long-term British strategy.

          Many British oligarchs right up to the Royals were adamantly pro-Nazi and had lost the thread. C’hill was pro-Empire .. his clique saw the Nazis as a useful tool, but never as partners. German industry had dwarfed the Empire and were always the real enemy.

  • Thomas

    FDR lost me when he tried to stack the Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s plan to replace any justice over the age of 70 who refused to retire by appointing a new justice to sit beside the current justice lost my support. Hitler? Wasn’t he put in power to defeat Bolshevism? Reminds me of the Taliban and Bin Laden who rose up after we empowered the Mujahideen or the rise of Isis after we empowered Al Qaeda.

    • FYI- November 18, 2012 Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda

      Creating the Enemies We Now Fight Against We’ve extensively documented that the U.S. and Israel created Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in an attempt to fight other enemies.

      Jan. 24, 2009 How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas

      Moshav Tekuma, Israel Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor’s bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile’s trajectory back to an “enormous, stupid mistake” made 30 years ago. “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades.

      • Sarastro92

        Largely correct Molon… the US was also allied with alQ … The evidence is pretty overwhelming form US sources, that bin Laden was the 9/11 fall guy … and that the whole attack was a joint venture of US and Saudi intelligence and executed with the assistance of the US military.

        • cettel

          So: what is the relevance of that to the question of “The Greatness of FDR”?

          • Sarastro92

            That the US and “allies” in tel Aviv and Riyadh have a long history of false flags and strategic deception, which includes creating frenemies that can be use to stampeded the country into war.

            The Nazis are another example of Made in Anglo-America — not 100%— but enough to fit the purpose.

    • cettel

      You mean: after over a decade of disastrous court-picks by Republicans in the White House, and disastrous economic decisions by not only them but Woodrow Wilson before them, FDR coming in to clean house should have accepted the filth that the Republicans had left on our highest Court, which was blocking FDR from taking the desperately necessary actions to get out from their Great Depression, he shouldn’t have done his utmost to salvage the country. Well: I don’t agree, nor do the vast majority of historians. I agree with the view that Jeff Sesol presented very well in his 2010 book, “Supreme Power: FDR vs. the Supreme Court”

      • diogenes

        You need to read, for starters, John Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (1948), Benjamin Stolberg Warren Jay Vinton, The Economic Consequences of the New Deal (1935), and Ferdinand Lundberg, America’s 60 Families (1938) and then get back to us. The “ideas” you present about the history of FDR’s presidency are nothing but Democratic Party mythology. They have no basis in fact and considerable basis in slander, deceit, and misleading flack. You are grossly misinformed and you are misinforming readers of washingtonsblog.

    • Sarastro92

      Correct Thomas as far as the Hitler role… but it was Mutual Destruction that the British Imperialists were after… Russian-German fratricide, and the Empire presides over the rubble.

      I would agree with Cettel that FDR was justified in playing hard-ball with the SCOTUS… FDR mobilized political and social pressure against these reactionary troglodytes … that’s acceptable… he wasn’t assassinating Justices… This is par for the course before and after FDR, albeit somewhat less explicitly… but the country was in dire straits.

    • tom

      “FDR lost me when he tried to stack the Supreme Court”.

      How old ARE you?????? 😎

  • MM59

    You write – “The process to do this violated moral rules; and, in
    some respects, it even violated U.S. laws; but FDR did what he had to
    do, in order to save the world, by joining Churchill’s war against

    Lies to “save the world”? Tell that to the mothers of the servicemen that died that day and the many Japanese Americans who were rounded up, stripped of their constitutional rights and spent years in our internment camps.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right my friend. Honesty is the best policy.

    • cettel

      Well, of course, as a historian, and as a journalist, I agree with you; however, FDR wasn’t that, he was the leader of a nation; and that’s an entirely different function.

      As regards your “Tell that to the mothers of the servicemen,” that is ridiculous, because a national leader is often making decisions that kill some people so that some other people can live. If you think that Hitler’s winning WWII would have been better, then our values are opposite. I agree with the overwhelming consensus of other historians on FDR, that he was certainly one of our two greatest Presidents, the other being Lincoln. Of course, white racists disagree; and, if that’s where you’re coming from, then the source of our disagreement about values is clear.

      • MM59

        You are what I call a sick puppy. What does racism have to do with this debate? Nothing but to distract. But I guess you are a Japanese hater as you dismiss their misfortunes in this analysis.

        The elections are on – lets see the candidates for President talk about how well they can develop deception plots to purposely kill our servicemen so we “dumb” people can support their “smart” plans. Hopefully one will come up with the idea to create a list of people like you and we can use you and your offspring for the next event – I am sure you will lovingly volunteer your little ones – it is for a “good” cause.

      • diogenes

        Hitler would not have won the war without American intervention. Stalin would have. Soviet defenses were deep and their resources were vast and their army had already turned the tide of battle before American forces had the slightest effect in Europe. You need to acquaint your self with the facts of the history who claim to discuss.

  • “Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!” Nathan Meyer Rothschild


    Following the revolution, the US Government actually took steps to keep the bankers out of the new government! “Any person holding any office or any stock in any institution in the nature of a bank for issuing or discounting bills or notes payable to bearer or order, cannot be a member of the House whilst he holds such office or stock.” — Third Congress of the United States Senate, 23rd of December, 1793, signed by the President, George Washington, but bankers are nothing if not dedicated to their schemes to acquire your wealth, and know full well how easy it is to corrupt a nation’s leaders.

    Rule from the Shadows – The Psychology of Power

    Time we took a look behind the art of deception and propaganda

    2010 US Spending Priorities More than 50% of US Government Spending Goes to the Military

    This image here speaks for itself

    • cettel

      Thanks you for those terrific sources!!!
      Aaron Hawkins (Storm Clouds Gathering) is incredibly brilliant, really profound. That video, well, I get more from it each time I watch it. The thing is: unlike most ‘conspiracy’ sites, he is rigorous, no liar at all. His sources are all rock-solid. He never cites a source without having vetted it for truthfulness. Storm Clouds Gathering is the highest quality ‘alt-news’ site out there. The aristocracy are enemies of it, and enemies to it; so, I immensely admire Aaron Hawkins’s courage, Please tell all your friends about Storm Clouds Gathering!

  • tom

    It wasn’t a justified false flag.

    Point 1: by December 7th 1941, the USSR had already checked the Wehrmacht’s momentum. Bitter as the struggle was to be, as soon as Germany was no longer winning, it was losing. Like a chess player who sacrifices a piece for an attack, once Germany lost the initiative it was staring defeat in the face. Without the USA it might have taken another year or so; or maybe not. To dispense altogether with tact, the USA did not enter WW2 until it was certain that it would be on the winning side.

    Point 2: The USA claims to be a democracy. In a democracy, the people make the really big decisions, and having made their bed they must lie on it. Or, as H.L. Mencken put it, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard”. If the American people had no stomach for fighting Hitler, FDR had no business lying (or worse) to trick them into a fighting mood. It would have been more democratic to do nothing, and wait until (a few years later) Nazi rockets started dropping atomic bombs on the cities of the East Coast.

  • diogenes

    In November 1941, after more than three years of intense pro-intervention
    propaganda from mainstream New York media, over 85% of Americans still strongly
    opposed American intervention in the war in Europe. So did a strong
    majority of both houses of Congress and a wide array of Americans from
    President Herbert Hoover, Norton Thomas, Burton Wheeler, Sinclair Lewis, EE
    Cummings, and Alice Roosevelt Longworth to the young John F. Kennedy, Gerald
    Ford and Sargent Shriver.

    It bespeaks a gross ignorance of the topic, or wilful deception, to assert
    that “Stalin’s perfidies were well-publicized” in America in the 1930s. On the
    contrary, the FDR administration and the NY Times and others closely and
    strenuously collaborated to suppress — the most vile among numerous
    examples — public knowledge of the genocide by deliberate starvation which killed over 5 million
    Ukrainians in 1932-1934 (when Nazi victims numbered in the hundreds)

    Readers interested in a carefully documented, factual account of how
    Franklin Roosevelt deceived America into the second world war should read Robert
    Stinnettt, Day Of Deceit (NY, Free Press, 2000). There they will learn how
    FDR set up a back channel of secret intelligence that kept both Congress and
    most American military staff in the dark while he goaded the Japanese for 2 years and eventually provoked what he wanted, at a cost of the death of over
    3000 hoodwinked American servicemen at Pearl Harbor.

    The end result of American intervention in the Second World War was not the
    salvation of Eastern Europe or of the Jews resident in Poland, or the making of the world safe
    for democracy. It was the end of the British Empire (an objective FDR
    avowed both before and after Pearl Harbor) and the creation of the world empire of
    Wall Street, presided over by a scion of its oldest important family.

  • ClubToTheHead

    George W. Bush is actually the greatest president ever.

    Without his skillful manipulation of intelligence Sadam Hussein would now be ruling the U.S. from Washington D.C., and the U.S. government in exile would still be on the run.

    I am almost always amazed at apologists for Democrats and Republicans, and their support for their Unitary Executives of the Unitary State of America.

  • John Francis

    I certainly do not agree with this author’s views that FDR’s “injustice” was acceptable and indispensable to Hitler’s defeat. I might remind you that such excuses for murder and violations of moral law will never hold up on Judgement Day. I remember reading the heart breaking story of the overturned vessels in Pearl Harbor – the increasingly feeble and faint knocks the doomed sailors trapped in air pockets could be heard for days – nothing could be done to rescue them. These were American boys, sacrificed by their American president. Their blood is certainly on his hands. FDR a great president? Hardly.

    Amazing the rationalizations that human wisdom devises to justify compromise with Satanic agencies. Just like Truman using the atomic bomb to slaughter the innocent for the purpose of impressing the Soviets. Men and nations are measured by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. I’ve often reflected that some American leaders will have to render an account to God for butchery, mass murder and heartless cruelty just as Hitler and Stalin will.