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FDR’s Crimes

Still, we can recognize crimes as crimes, which brings me back to Roosevelt. Why are Americans still treating this monster as a hero?

I hardly know where to start. His contempt for the U.S. Constitution he was sworn to defend, in everything from creating a national welfare state to putting U.S. citizens in concentration camps, is almost a minor item on his ledger. So are his deceits in getting the United States into World War II, while assuring the American public that he was doing everything he could to keep us at peace.

Long before that war began, he befriended Joseph Stalin by granting diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union, shortly after it had deliberately starved millions of Ukrainians. During the war, he made an alliance with Stalin, not as a regrettable necessity, but with effusive praise for “Uncle Joe.” He even urged Hollywood to make pro-Soviet films to dispel “prejudice” against Soviet Communism and lent a hand in the production of the egregious propaganda movie Mission to Moscow. (Jack Warner later called the film the worst mistake of his long career.)

As the war progressed, Roosevelt ordered the massive bombing of Japanese and German cities for the express purpose of killing as many civilians as possible. His victims, from Tokyo to Berlin, numbered in the millions. He was uninhibited by the ancient principle of Christian civilization that warfare should spare noncombatants.

But that wasn’t enough. Meanwhile Roosevelt launched the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb, which could obliterate whole cities in a flash. He thereby took the world into a dreadful new era in history, which concerned him not at all.

Long after Pearl Harbor is forgotten, the name of Franklin Roosevelt should “live in infamy.” Yet the United States still officially honors him when an official apology to the entire human race would be more fitting. ~Joe Sobran

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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