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What if the Greatest Generation Had Declared Victory and Gone Home?

Nazis and Islamists

What if, after all the blood and treasure expended in the Normandy invasion and expelling the Nazis from France, the United States had simply declared victory and gone home?

Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the great leaders of the western alliance against the Nazis, understood that such an outcome was impossible to contemplate because more than territory was at stake in the war.

And in the lead-up to the war and especially once the United States was in the war, Roosevelt educated the American public, and the American military, for a long war against the darkness of Nazi ideology, “There are men who believe that democracy, as a form of Government and a frame of life, is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate that, for some unexplained reason, tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future--and that freedom is an ebbing tide. But we Americans know that this is not true.”

Roosevelt prepared Americans for a war to preserve our way of life, not to simply reclaim the territory Hitler and his dark legions had conquered.

And contrary to much of today’s conventional wisdom about American public opinion in the lead-up to Pearl Harbor, Americans understood what was at stake.

In late November of 1941 (before the Pearl Harbor attack) a public opinion survey found that when asked the question “Which is more important, keeping the US out of war, or defeating Germany?” by a margin of 68% to 32% Americans favored defeating the Nazis over keeping the US out of war.

Contrast the clarity offered by Roosevelt to the muddled political correctness with which President George W. Bush, and especially President Barack Obama, have described our reason for fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and the “war on terror” in general.

Americans have never heard from their President that we are in a war that was declared on us, and western civilization generally, by radical Islamists, who may be (temporarily) without a national state, but who are an ideologically coherent and highly motivated political organization.

Americans have never been told by their President that this is a religious war and that our opponents’ ultimate goal is the conversion or death of those who do not share their radical interpretation of Islam – including other Muslims we might add.

And most importantly, Americans have never heard from their President that we are in a war for the preservation of western civilization with a foe every bit has ruthless and genocidal as Hitler’s Nazis.

Instead Americans have been told that we are in a “war on terror” as if the tactic of terrorism has no ideological basis. 

And most damaging of all, Obama has led Americans to believe that we can unilaterally set a date certain for the withdrawal of American forces from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and for us the war will be over.

The radical Islamist juggernaut rolling through Iraq leaving the roads lined with the beheaded corpses of the Iraqi police officers and soldiers we spent billions to train tells us that is not just a lie, but a folly that endangers the very future of our country and western civilization.

Americans have rarely chosen to impose our way of life at the point of a bayonet; our national values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the values of peace.

And in a nation where religious tolerance is enshrined in our founding document, the very notion of a religious war contradicts 226 years of political and cultural tradition that have become part of our national DNA.

But this isn’t a war Christians or non-believers have declared on Muslims; this is a political, cultural, and yes, a religious war, a minority sect of radical Islamists have declared on the entire world, including other Muslims, but especially on the United States.

In preparing Americans for the war with the Nazis, President Roosevelt put the truth to the American people:

"No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender."

Americans should be told that a nation can have peace with the jihadis only at the price of total surrender. It is long past time for our leaders to tell Americans the truth about the war we are in, the war the radical Islamist jihadis declared on us, and to mobilize the full weight of our national power and culture for the battles to come.

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