Almost one year before the Roosevelt government managed to provoke the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor, provoked by an American oil boycot, leaving the energy-starved Japanese no choice but to attempt to get the oil elsewhere, namely in the Dutch East-Indies… almost one year before Pearl Harbor, the entire US elite knew that the opportunity for war was coming, a war that would enable The American Century. That American Century would come at the cost of Europe and its world-wide empires, Europe that had dominated the planet for half a millennium, but was thrown into the abyss of the Great War, thanks to the actions of the British, who did not accept a German rival on world markets and had setup an alliance with France and Russia for the purpose to defeat and down-size Germany. That almost went wrong, but the British managed to manipulate the Americans in their war, thanks to the powerful US Israel Lobby, that got the Balfour Declaration in return. By 1933 the Roosevelt government recognized the human slaughterhouse USSR and began to demonize Germany (and Italy) as “authoritarian states”, keeping a blind eye on the immense crimes of the Soviet regimes, that were of a total different order than what Hitler and Mussolini did.
We Americans are unhappy. We are not happy about America. We are not happy about ourselves in relation to America. We are nervous – or gloomy – or apathetic.
As we look out at the rest of the world we are confused; we don’t know what to do. “Aid to Britain short of war” is typical of halfway hopes and halfway measures.
As we look toward the future – our own future and the future of other nations – we are filled with foreboding. The future doesn’t seem to hold anything for us except conflict, disruption, war.
There is a striking contrast between our state of mind and that of the British people. On Sept. 3, 1939, the first day of the war in England, Winston Churchill had this to say: “Outside the storms of war may blow and the land may be lashed with the fury of its gales, but in our hearts this Sunday morning there is Peace.” Since Mr. Churchill spoke those words the German Luftwaffe has made havoc of British cities, driven the population underground, frightened children from their sleep, and imposed upon everyone a nervous strain as great as any that people have ever endured. Readers of LIFE have seen this havoc unfolded week by week.
Yet close observers agree that when Mr. Churchill spoke of peace in the hearts of the British people he was not indulging in idle oratory. The British people are profoundly calm. There seems to be a complete absence of nervousness. It seems as if all the neuroses of modern life had vanished from England.
In the beginning the British Government made elaborate preparations for an increase in mental breakdowns. But these have actually declined. There have been fewer than a dozen breakdowns reported in London since the air raids began.
The British are calm in their spirit not because they have nothing to worry about but because they are fighting for their lives. They have made that decision. And they have no further choice. All their mistakes of the past 20 years, all the stupidities and failures that they have shared with the rest of the democratic world, are now of the past. They can forget them because they are faced with a supreme task – defending, yard by yard, their island home.
[informationclearinghouse.info] – The American Century, Henry R. Luce (first published in LIFE magazine 17 February 1941)
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