America's Second Crusade

America's Second Crusade

America's Second Crusade

America's Second Crusade

Excerpt

There is an obvious and painful gap between the world of 1950 and the postwar conditions envisaged by American and British wartime leaders. The negative objective of the war, the destruction of the Axis powers, was achieved. But not one of the positive goals set forth in the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms has been realized.

There is no peace today, either formal or real. Over a great part of the world there is neither freedom of religion nor freedom of speech and expression. Freedom from fear and want is not an outstanding characteristic of the present age. The right of national self determination, so vigorously affirmed in the Atlantic Charter, has been violated on a scale and with a brutality seldom equalled in European history.

The full irony of the war's aftermath finds expression in the growing dependence of American foreign policy on the co-operation of former enemies, Germany and Japan. Three countries on whose behalf Americans were told the war was being waged, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China, are now in the camp of this country's enemies, so far as their present governments can achieve this purpose.

Much light has been thrown on World War II by the memoirs and papers of such distinguished leaders and statesmen as Winston Churchill, Cordell Hull, Harry Hopkins, Henry L. Stimson, and James F. Byrnes. A note of self-justification, however, almost inevitably intrudes in the recollections of active participants in such a momentous historic era. It requires a mind of rare insight and detachment to recognize in retrospect that premises which were held as articles of faith during the war may have been partly or entirely wrong.

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