Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jeannette Rankin and WWII

Along with this letter of Dec 11th 1942, Dad included a copy of the Congressional Record with Congress woman Jeannette Rankin's speach on Dec. 8th 1942. She spoke on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and as a congress person who voted against US entry into WWII. Her remarks are very interesting and ask questions about wether the US and Britain worked to provoke the Japanese into attacking the US, so that the US population would accept the idea of declaring war and help the British Empire out in the pacific. It is interesting that part of her argument is the use of 'economic sanctions' as a prelude to war with a nation. She quotes one source as saying " Japan has no choice but to go to war or to submit to economic slavery for the rest of her existence." She also includes a quote of Congressman Sumners of Texas on April 4, 1942 "We have been a very foolish people, which has made it possible for ___ politicians to get away with murder. This blaming the Peal Harbor tragedy on the Japs is like the fellow who had been tickling the hind leg of a mule trying to explain his bunged-up condition by blaming the mule for having violated his confidence." It reminds me of the phrase "Chickens coming home to roost" after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, used by a professor at the University of Colorado, who was highly criticized for his statements. We seem to be less open to critics of our foreign policy than we were in 1942.
Congresswoman Rankins speech is 3 pages and rather interesting to read.

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