(8 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Corporatist War Monger President George W. Bush, in a pathetically desperate attempt to use an International speech to smear his domestic Democratic opposition as appeasers, quoted a Republican Senator as an example of American appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II.
While delivering an address before the Israeli parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of Israel, President Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists. CNN reports that Bush was comparing Obama to “other U.S. leaders back in the run-up to World War II who appeased the Nazis.”
In his speech, Bush said, “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”
The Senator whom Bush quoted verbatim was Idaho Republican William Edgar Borah:
From 1924 to 1933 [Borah] was chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his major interest was in foreign policy…. An advocate of disarmament and the outlawing of war, he suggested the Washington Conference of 1921-22 and promoted the Kellogg-Briand Pact; in 1939 he fought revision of the Neutrality Act.
Of course Borah was far from the only ‘appeasing’ Republican. Indeed, prior to WWII, the Grand Old Party was home to many of the fiercest advocates of appeasement.
Appeasing Republicans prior to WWII included Republican Senate leaders Robert A. Taft (nicknamed ‘Mr. Republican’):
[A]s a staunch isolationist, [Taft] fought against the increased military appropriations and international agreements that threatened to draw the U.S. into war.
The acknowledged but unofficial spokesman of Senate Republicans on foreign policy matters, [Vandenberg] advocated strict neutrality and a rigid arms embargo to prevent American involvement in the war.
Appeasing Republicans even included future President Gerald R. Ford:
While attending Yale Law School, [Ford] joined a group of students led by R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., and signed a petition to enforce the 1939 Neutrality Act. The petition was circulated nationally and was the inspiration for The America First Committee, a group determined to keep America out of World War II.
Other appeasing Republicans against American intervention in WWII included prominent businessmen:
[The America First Committee’s] most important supporters were a core group of Republican Chicago businessmen. Chief among them was General Robert Wood, CEO of Sears, Roebuck….Other Chicago businessmen, such as meat packers Jay Hormel and Philip Swift, and William J. Grace, head of one of Chicago’s largest investment firms, had never supported the president. All became key Committee members. Colonel Robert J. McCormick, owner of the Chicago Tribune, was the most influential of all. A passionate Roosevelt hater and Anglophobe, his paper became an important disseminator of AFC propaganda.
as well as appeasing Republican Party supporters like Charles Lindbergh:
On September 11, 1941, Charles Lindbergh appeared in Des Moines, Iowa, to speak on behalf of the isolationist America First Committee. The famous aviator criticized the groups he perceived were leading America into war for acting against the country’s interests. He expressed doubt that the U.S. military would achieve victory in a war against Germany, which he said had “armies stronger than our own.”
Of course, let’s not forget the greatest Appeasing Republican of them all:
George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany….
The evidence has … prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
So the next time you hear a Republican bemoan ‘appeasement’, remind the historically challenged individual (or President) just whose party (and family) wrote the book on it.