Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/11/2001 10:46:19 PM EST
Here is a Vet of WW2 who seems to understand what it is about. Since it comes from a "Greatest Generation" Vet maybe it will make more of an impression on everyone. I now have more hope for (the interventionalist) and others after reading this. Violence Legit in Self-Defense – Not Otherwise by Tom White I don’t actually remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, but I know I was living in Arlington, Massachusetts, I was a sophomore at Harvard (Class of ’44), and I was 18 years old. I was also sublimely apolitical. I had graduated in 1940 from a government high school in Arlington, and I learned in a hurry in my freshman year at Harvard that I had not gotten an education that put me anywhere within range of the average kid from a prep school, so I spent my first year trying to catch up, following the very kind hints handed out by the “section men” in my first-year history and some other courses. These section men, graduate students doing the professors’ grunt work, were usually public school graduates like myself, underpaid bright guys from some place like Brooklyn. I remember one in particular, an intensely brilliant man, who said he had only recently given up being a communist because he realized every worker in America wanted to move up to foreman. He later became a professor of history at an Eastern college and wrote some distinguished books. These younger scholars knew from recent personal experience what the biggest holes were in my kind of earlier schooling: not enough history, no philosophy, very inadequate foreign language skills (despite high school Latin and French courses), a pretty poor showing on written English, and of course zero sophistication about anything. They were gentle and encouraging, which was not true of some professors. So I studied a lot, and I continued to ignore politics and world affairs. I did not join in or even watch the college peace marches that went on in 1940 or get involved in the communist-versus-whatever rallies I was vaguely aware were going on. My attention was on trying to make sure a small scholarship I had was renewed for the next year. Without it I could not continue in college at all. I do remember being solicited by the Harvard German Club (called by a name I forget that had verein at the end). I attended one showing by the club of an English-language film making much of Deutsche Jugend and Die Natur. It had a musical score with marvelous harmonica music, an impression I’ve never forgotten. That was all the politics I remember from my first two years. page1
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 10:47:01 PM EST
page 2 Came December 7, 1941. My two older brothers were soon in the Navy. I joined the Navy’s college V-12 program, and after finishing college in November 1943 went to officers school and then to service on an LSM (Landing Ship Medium) in the West Pacific. After the war (I was in the battle for Okinawa) I ended up in command of an LSM moving around in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean waters until mid-1946. Most of my energy went into keeping me out of hot water and, when I had a command, my ship out of ditto. I had a healthy respect for courts martial, etc. When (at Eniwetok) I heard of FDR’s death I was greatly saddened at the passing of our great president. And later, in August 1945 (we were at sea returning to Pearl for our “invasion” load), I was grateful for Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb and end the damn war. How one’s views can change with time and information! I now think Truman’s decision was precisely a payout of the anti-war poet Robinson Jeffers’s line, “Now the little men prepare more flaming horrors.” And Roosevelt seems to me the very embodiment of the now hallowed presidential tradition of betraying our national interests to foreign nations (Britain in this case) and the money-and-munitions men. I paid very little attention to our next few wars beyond being grateful I was not in them. But at last my “public affairs” conscience began to come awake, and I started a long course of study and reflection that has continued to the present. It increasingly lands me on forlorn shores. But I now have, thanks to LRC, the greatest sense I have ever had of the existence of a whole crowd of people I can read with pleasure and agree with. War propaganda as presently practiced is a frost and a fraud, and war itself is a truly god-awful horror. As witness Vietnam, and now Afghanistan. My present stance is that any war that is not clearly in self-defense against an aggressor is illegitimate. The response to 9/11 started as the one thing, and is evidently going to turn into the other (60 nations!). I have come to detest the power-mad idea that we Americans have some sort of destiny to bring enlightenment or democracy or some other meaningless shibboleth to the rest of the world, and I loathe the foreign policy we have constructed in the 56 years since the Japanese surrender. Needless to say, I am deep in a red-hot mental frustration these days. Except for Lew Rockwell & Cohort. December 11, 2001 Copyright © 2001 LewRockwell.com
Link Posted: 12/11/2001 11:17:41 PM EST
Top Top