Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath

By Harry Elmer Barnes | Go to book overview

3
ROOSEVELT IS FRUSTRATED IN EUROPE

by FREDERIC R. SANBORN

No matter how well we are supported by neutrality legislation, we must remember that no laws can be provided to cover every contingency, for it is impossible to imagine how every future event may shape itself. In spite of every possible forethought, international relations involve of necessity a vast uncharted area. In that area safe sailing will depend on the knowledge and the experience and the wisdom of those who direct our foreign policy. Peace will depend on their day-to-day decisions.

At this late date, with the wisdom which is so easy after the event and so difficult before the event, we find it possible to trace the tragic series of small decisions which led Europe into the Great War in 1914 and eventually engulfed us and many other nations.

We can keep out of war if those who watch and decide have a sufficiently detailed understanding of international affairs to make certain that the small decisions of each day do not lead toward war, and if, at the same time, they possess the courage to say "No" to those who selfishly or unwisely would let us go to war.

-- FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, speech at Chautauqua, New York, August 14, 1936.

Governments . . . do not always take rational decisions. Sometimes they take mad decisions, or one set of people get control who compel all others to obey and aid them in folly.

-- WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, The Grand Alliance, p. 603

-187-

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