Skip to comments.The Presidential response to his tragic mistakes...
Posted on 07/03/2005 11:23:36 PM PDT by pickrell
We have recently been treated to the sight of a United States President having to fortify the resolve of the American citizenry for prosecuting a war against our attackers. Concurrently, in a novel and bizarre form of the insanity plea, a host of Democratic senators have advanced the remarkable notion that labeling our troops as "...a coalition of the coerced and the bribed, indistinguishable from Nazis, Khmer Rouge, or Communists, dying because of a tragic mistake...", should certainly not be construed as a lack of support for our troops.
To demonstrate that this reasonable function of the party out of power must be accepted without penalty to the impugner, by the American voter, it may be of probative value to compare this new-age patriotism to the last time that the continental United States was attacked. To do so, we must take you back 64 years.
Fortunately, the spurious recordings of President Roosevelt's radio address, never before exposed to the public, responding to scathing, non-existent, Republican criticisms of the war in the Pacific, as well as the Republican response to his fireside chat, have been located by diligent reporters. The fact that these statements to the American people have no authenticity, as explained by the news team at CBS, should not detract from their serious consideration. "The issues involved are simply too critical to our times to be allowed to be brushed aside by mere cynical partisan arguments concerning supposed fabrication and fraud."
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the CBS Radio Network welcomes you! The next voice you will hear will be what we presume the President of the United States would have said, should it have been necessary. Mr. President, you're on..."
Good evening. As I sit beside the fire, here, in the Oval Office, I ask for your listening time in order that I may respond to charges that were never made. These charges relate to the recent occupation of Guadalcanal, an island in the Pacific that few have ever heard of.
Powerful Republican Senators have declined to assert that our Marines were sent ashore without a comprehensive plan for the seizure of the airstrip nearing completion by the Japanese on that island. That no planning was made for each of the next 100 days of combat. And that the post-attack planning for the protection of historical artifacts, and location of strip-malls and adequate parking on that neglected island, was tragically left out of the hasty invasion plan. Incredibly, no constitution was previously drawn up, nor infrastructure arranged, for the islanders to establish without our political interference!
It saddens me that these charges, though technically true, were not made, in spite of the fact that such partisan attacks would certainly be broadcast to our enemies as well as our allies. I haven't personally heard any charges that no connection exists between the peaceful islanders of Guadalcanal, a current British colony, and the persons who perpetrated the unprovoked and dastardly attacks on Pearl Harbor. To those who loudly, and publically, deferred from leveling such accusations, I can only respond by saying: you have entirely missed the reason and purpose of our mission on Guadacanal.
My military advisors tell me that we cannot guard every possible port, outpost, factory and city on the West Coast. That adopting a defensive strategy in such a war is the surest delinquency and invitation to disaster. And that telegraphing the intentions of the U.S. Armed Forces would be culpably delinquent.
My fellow citizens, because no one has repeated time and again on the news, that there are now more Japanese soldiers in Guadalcanal today, three months after I declared the occupation of Guadalcanal a success, than there were before we came, that I must take on the task of answering these unlodged accusations. I suppose that I was derelict in my praise of these young men, many in or barely out of their teens, when clapping them verbally on the shoulder recently, by saying "Mission Accomplished!", after they stormed ashore, suppressing their imagined horrors, (that will yet unfold in coming years on the coast of Normandy), traveling in fear of submarine attack, risking drowning to reach the shore, due to our lack of Higgins boats and "alligators" at the outset of this war, handling explosives, weapons and the raw fear in their stomachs from the unknown. In my naivety, I never anticipated that the press would intentionally misunderstand the difference between "Mission Accomplished!...and... War Over!". In order to refute these unvoiced charges, I can only rely on what the Secretary of War has explained to me. Mr. Knox, if you would be so kind, please..."
"Certainly, Mr. President. Apparently, thousands of enemy soldiers, trained and equipped for the attack on Port Moresby and the eventual invasion of Australia have now been necessarily diverted to Guadalcanal, since our invasion there. Untold others, slated for missions unknown to us at this time, have also been diverted, unable to now complete the carnage they originally were scheduled to inflict upon us. Sadly, unnamed sources in the press have referred to charges that might be made, (though they haven't been), that we cannot seal off the island from reinforcements, and that the "Island of Death", as it is now known to our Japanese opponents, is becoming a quagmire. Since we haven't had a nightly referral to this "open secret" among "Washington insiders", we have not heard whether the quagmire is trapping us...or our enemies.
Thus, I have no reason to berate our Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Nimitz, about preparing an exit strategy, and so he finds it unnecessary to reply to me in this fashion... (Admiral, if you would be so kind...?):
"Certainly, Secretary Knox. Our exit strategy is to force the bansai troops of the Ichicki Butai, the Kawaguchi detachment, and numerous other outfits that will follow, to accept battle at a time and place of our own choosing; rather than in San Francisco, or on another Wake Island, and so well away from our precious families. In a place that the fanatics cannot allow the world to know that the Americans have occupied against feeble initial resistance, they are neatly "locked in", unable to retreat politically, unable to find a more vulnerable point where we weren't expecting them, and so "...hit us where we ain't...",(which will form the basis for our successful island-hopping strategy against them in coming months). We intend to continue providing assistance to the enemy in "exiting" the world of the living, until such time as the appeal of the kamikazi meets the reality of American defense of the free world. Future generations of journalists may criticize this as excessively simplistic and warlike. We hope to provide them the freedom to do so in the distant future.
We thus find it unnecessary to provide the complete plans and timetables of every military move that we intend to make over the entire upcoming course of the war, to our hard working members of the press, who may then broadcast this data to the world. While we realize that this would cost staggering additional military casualties, we are sensitive to the need for the journalists to have everything mapped out for them, in simple terms, in order to simplify their reporting schedules. Good guys and bad guys, to be color coded in crayon, and with diligence and repeated effort, so to be distinguishable to even New England reporters. Oddly, our reporters of this era seemed perplexed that anyone would even think to make such ridiculous request. And since they haven't, I've had no need to publicly refuse such journalistic imbecility.
"Our underequipped troops now subsisting on captured Japanese rice and what few rations landed months before, admittedly had no further instructions and guarantees other than "...hold this place against the enemies of the free world, however they may attack...". Their tanks and transport vehicles cannot be constantly criticized by those opportunistic Republicans as criminally underarmored, since they are only now being designed and contracted to be built in Detroit! Instead, the Marines on Guadalcanal now primarily enter battle on leather-personnel-carriers, size 7and a half narrow, through 12 double wide, and rotting furiously in the jungle environment.
Would we have liked to have sent supplies that didn't exist, weapons that are not invented and tested yet, along with massive numbers of troops now only in the training stage, or even still names on the selective service rosters, (since previous Adminstrative action whittled down the size of the U.S. Armed Forces, due to the League of Nation's assurance that war had been permanently outlawed by the Kellogg-Briand treaty)? Would we have preferred to "go to war with the armed forces that we wanted, rather than the armed forces we have..."? Would we have preferred that a Republican President of several decades before had insisted that an all-volunteer army, equipped with the finest weapons, and best training that the American taxpayer could provide, be fielded? What kind of a question is that, coming from the very Senators who vote down the military appropriations, so to have more money for "women's issues" and "the safety net"? What kind of safety net do you feel under you now, Senator, as you heed the warning to run to the air raid shelter under the capitol, and must temporarily abandon the Senate inquiry as to why you were allowed to make such choices, and who may be successfully blamed for it? Fortunately, these and other issues are not a part of our world, here in 1942.
Mr. President, we made the fatal mistake of training our Marines to rely on their various skills and improvise on the battlefield, instead of stripping from our troops, (as the Soviets do from even their Generals in this horrific rear-guard war they wage), the same authority and freedom of action that our Marine corporals now have? Then, we could expect the same massive human wave casualties that the Russians are suffering when 3 month old plans encounter 3 minute new enemy tactics unknown to the planners back at headquarters? And when our Marine Sergeants strip machine guns from our wrecked F4F fighters, in order to stiffen our lines, we could then haul them off to court-martial, for theft of government property. And we all know what a ludicrous idea that would be...
What we did, instead of establishing a strict schedule of costs, number of deaths programmed, and time allotted to our effort in this theatre, was to simply tell a number of too-young men that the fate of the world rested unfairly upon their shoulders, and that we hoped that with the training they'd had, with what little we had in existence to equip them with, and the ingenuity that they have always shown, that somehow, they would prevail against a fanatical enemy. To bleed him, to slow him down until the army that "should have existed all along" is now painfully rebuilt by the "breathing" time that the sacrifices of dead Marines on Wake Island have bought for us.
To show the world and ourselves that the enemy are not supermen, but rather the kind of animals that would kill three quarters of a million Chinese in Nanking in an orgy of "eliminating unbelievers and outsiders". That though they make bonsai charges in the early hours of the morning, that such tactics though unstoppable against every previous enemy, produce stacks of bodies in front of the wire, and in front of Marine foxholes.
For this we gratefully await being summoned to the Senate, where former ku klux klansmen and overweight, dissipated Massachusetts Senators can demand our resignations for making the best of what we have, and heap well-deserved calumnies upon us. We will take time out from collecting the pieces of unfortunate Marines found in enemy interrogation trenches, to reassure that august Senatorial body that the prisoners we take will not be served the luke-warm rations that the line Marines eat, and will be allotted time to render to their Shinto shrines uninterrupted devotion...."
Thank you, Secretary Knox and Admiral Nimitz, for taking the time, which never happened, to assure the American people that the upcoming, hypothetical, Republican response which attacks this "...Mr. Roosevelt's war..." as a tragic mistake, will certainly not affect the morale of those serving. Also, the subsequent questions that they will raise as to the mysterious reasons why our recruiting efforts might now be faltering, are surely as unfathomable to me as they are to the good Senators. Good night, America..."
THE REPUBLICAN RESPONSE:
"Good evening, America. We in the Republican party, having realized that making unfounded, slanderous charges, in a time of war, against those military men offering their very lives to shield our homeland from the intended murderous onslaught of our enemies, would be tantamount to treason in many Marine's parents' eyes... thus have no need to respond to a broadcast that was never made necessary by such actions on our part. We realize that we run the risk of missing precious "face" time on the radio. But none of us confuses the instinct to smear our political opponents, with the duties inherent to legitimate civilian authorities who call on young men to fight and die, if necessary, so that we can have the time to correct our previous mistakes, (which many of us would not think of voicing to the foreign press, because of the reassurance that would provide to our enemies, that we were mere paper tigers with no staying power.) If we actually were responding, we would consider it our duty and privelege to ask your support of the President and the troops, and pray for the souls of those who will not return to their families. Since this response is a fiction, no real harm should then come from
a...our public endorsement of praying,
b...acknowledging the existence of the soul, or
c...hoping that America wins this one.
Good night, and remember in the years to come, while you enjoy the fireworks, and the hot dogs... that a pretty steep price was paid for them."
I'll read it again in the morning. Sad that it's so realistic.
Ping for a great read. A glimpse into where the Democrat Party is today, and what the loss of power has done to them
Hey Congress .........
Thanks for a great read
This is really very good. An OpEd that should be published everywhere
This is really very good. An OpEd that should be published everywhere
For sure. The folks need to get it quick as time is
What a great read! Should be on the front page of the NYT tomorrow. (whoops - today...yawn) Happy 4th everyone!
Great read. Excellent use of comparing history with current events.