I believe … this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.

– Sen. Harry Reid to journalists, April 19, 2007

There are also American citizens, many of them in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States.

– FDR, Dec. 29, 1940

If Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt were alive today, it would be interesting to see his response to Democrat Sen. Harry Reid.

Reid told journalists: “I know I was the odd guy out at the White House, but I told [the president] at least what he needed to hear. … I believe the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically.”

Below is an excerpt from President Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chat” broadcast from the White House, Washington, D.C., Dec. 29, 1940:

We face this new crisis – this new threat to the security of our nation – with the same courage and realism. Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has our American civilization been in such danger as now. …


The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world.

It was only three weeks ago their leader stated this: “There are two worlds that stand opposed to each other.” And then in defiant reply to his opponents, he said this: “Others are correct when they say: With this world we cannot ever reconcile ourselves. … I can beat any other power in the world.” So said the leader of the Nazis.

In other words, the Axis not merely admits but proclaims that there can be no ultimate peace between their philosophy of government and our philosophy of government. … It is no exaggeration to say that all of us, in all the Americas, would be living at the point of a gun – a gun loaded with explosive bullets, economic as well as military. We should enter upon a new and terrible era in which the whole world, our hemisphere included, would be run by threats of brute force. …

During the past week, many people in all parts of the nation have told me what they wanted me to say tonight. Almost all of them expressed a courageous desire to hear the plain truth about the gravity of the situation. One telegram, however, expressed the attitude of the small minority who want to see no evil and hear no evil, even though they know in their hearts that evil exists.

That telegram begged me not to tell again of the ease with which our American cities could be bombed by any hostile power which had gained bases in this Western Hemisphere. The gist of that telegram was: “Please, Mr. President, don’t frighten us by telling us the facts.” Frankly and definitely, there is danger ahead – danger against which we must prepare. But we well know that we cannot escape danger, or the fear of danger, by crawling into bed and pulling the covers over our heads. …

There are those who say that the Axis powers would never have any desire to attack the Western Hemisphere. That is the same dangerous form of wishful thinking which has destroyed the powers of resistance of so many conquered peoples. The plain facts are that the Nazis have proclaimed, time and again, that all other races are their inferiors and therefore subject to their orders. …

Their secret emissaries are active in our own and in neighboring countries. They seek to stir up suspicion and dissension to cause internal strife. … They exploit for their own ends our natural abhorrence of war. These trouble-breeders have but one purpose. It is to divide our people into hostile groups and to destroy our unity and shatter our will to defend ourselves.

There are also American citizens, many of them in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States. These people not only believe that we can save our own skins by shutting our eyes to the fate of other nations… Americans never can and never will do that.

The experience of the past two years has proven beyond doubt that no nation can appease the Nazis. No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender. …

The American appeasers ignore the warning to be found in the fate of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and France. They tell you … that all this bloodshed in the world could be saved; that the United States might just as well throw its influence into the scale of a dictated peace, and get the best out of it that we can. They call it a “negotiated peace.” Nonsense! Is it a negotiated peace if a gang of outlaws surrounds your community and on threat of extermination makes you pay tribute to save your own skins? Such a dictated peace would be no peace at all. …

What they have in mind is only a revival of the oldest and the worst tyranny. … It is not a government based upon the consent of the governed. It is not a union of ordinary, self-respecting men and women to protect themselves and their freedom and their dignity from oppression. It is an unholy alliance of power and pelf to dominate and enslave the human race. …

Let not the defeatists tell us that it is too late. … Our defense efforts must not be blocked by those who fear. … We must be the great arsenal of democracy. … No dictator, no combination of dictators, will weaken that determination by threats. … We have no excuse for defeatism. We have every good reason for hope … hope for the defense of our civilization. …

I have the profound conviction that the American people are now determined to put forth a mightier effort than they have ever yet made … to meet the threat to our democratic faith.

Where Sen. Harry Reid said: “I believe the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically,” FDR said, “They tell you … that all this bloodshed in the world could be saved; that the United States might just as well throw its influence into the scale of a dictated peace, and get the best out of it that we can. They call it a ‘negotiated peace.’ Nonsense! Is it a negotiated peace if a gang of outlaws surrounds your community. … Such a dictated peace would be no peace at all.”



Related special offer:

“The Dunces of Doomsday”



William J. Federer is a best-selling author, former U.S. congressional candidate and president of Amerisearch, Inc. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.