Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Way It Was

"There are some timid ones among us who say that we must preserve peace at any price -- lest we lose our liberties forever.

To them I say this: never in the history of the world has a Nation lost its democracy by a successful struggle to defend its democracy. We must not be defeated by the fear of the very danger which we are preparing to resist. Our freedom has shown its ability to survive war, but our freedom would never survive surrender. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

There is, of course, a small group of sincere, patriotic men and women whose real passion for peace has shut their eyes to the ugly realities of international banditry and to the need to resist it at all costs. I am sure they are embarrassed by the sinister support they are receiving from the enemies of democracy in our midst -- the Bundists, the Fascists, and Communists, and every group devoted to bigotry and racial and religious intolerance. It is no mere coincidence that all the arguments put forward by these enemies of democracy -- all their attempts to confuse and divide our people and to destroy public confidence in our Government -- all their defeatist forebodings that Britain and democracy are already beaten -- all their selfish promises that we can "do business" with Hitler -- all of these are but echoes of the words that have been poured out from the Axis bureaus of propaganda. Those same words have been used before in other countries -- to scare them, to divide them, to soften them up. Invariably, those same words have formed the advance guard of physical attack.

Your Government has the right to expect of all citizens that they take part in the common work of our common defense -- take loyal part from this moment forward.

I have recently set up the machinery for civilian defense. It will rapidly organize, locality by locality. It will depend on the organized effort of men and women everywhere. All will have opportunities and responsibilities to fulfill.

Defense today means more than merely fighting. It means morale, civilian as well as military; it means using every available resource; it means enlarging every useful plant. It means the use of a greater American common sense in discarding rumor and distorted statement. It means recognizing, for what they are, racketeers and fifth columnists, who are the incendiary bombs in this country of the moment."(my emphasis)

If you noticed the quotation marks, you realise this did not originate with me. Do you know who said these words? None other than the President of the United States in a Radio Address Announcing the Proclamation of an Unlimited National Emergency, "We Choose Human Freedom" May 27, 1941FDR RadioAddress

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