World War II and the Triumph of Non-Interventionism

On December 24, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast a Christmas message to Americans. Remarking on his recent conference with British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, Roosevelt announced that the Big Three “had devoted ourselves…to consideration of the future – to plans for the kind of world which alone can justify all…

The Necessity and Morality of the Atomic Bombs Reconsidered

On June 10th, 1942, the Ordnungspolizei, the Nazi Order Police, rolled into the Czechoslovakian village of Lidice. Two weeks earlier, the Nazi governor of the region, Reinhard Heydrich, had been attacked when resistance fighters threw a grenade into his car. Heydrich died a week later after refusing medical treatment from non-Germans. The Nazi high command…

How FDR Appeased Stalin and Sowed the Seeds of the Cold War

On the evening of November 29, 1943, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British prime minister Winston Churchill and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin dined together in Tehran, Iran to celebrate the first wartime meeting between the three leaders. The festive atmosphere turned suddenly grim when Stalin happily suggested that the Allies agree to execute 50,000 German…

The Failure and Consequences of FDR’s Unconditional Surrender Policy

On the afternoon of January 24, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a group of reporters on the progress of World War II. The setting was Casablanca, French Morocco, and at Roosevelt’s side was British prime minister, Winston Churchill, with whom the president had just completed an 11-day conference. After briefing the reporters on topics…

Rationing, Taxes and Concentration Camps: America’s World War II Homefront

In the debates over America’s role in World War II, non-interventionists warned that with war would come increases in the size of the government and the powers of the presidency. Such growth, they said, would result in more social regimentation and experimentation at the hands of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Dealers. In this…

Was America’s War with Japan Avoidable?

Around 12:30 p.m. on December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt rose before a joint session of Congress. Beginning the most famous speech in a lifetime of famous speeches, a somber Roosevelt said, “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval…

American Foreign Policy and the Coming of World War II

In their arguments for staying out of World War II, non-interventionists claimed that their position was the traditional American stance on foreign policy. The founders’ advice to steer clear of other nations’ conflicts, they said, had for a century served America well, and that same advice should guide American policy again. On the other side…

Why Non-Interventionists Opposed American Entry into World War II

It is doubtful that any anti-war movement in American history has been as vilified as those lonely souls who opposed American entry into World War II. Activists like the anti-imperialists at the turn of the 20th century have simply been forgotten, left to be neither condemned nor lauded by posterity. Others, like the opponents to…

A Non-Interventionist Appraisal of World War II: Introduction

In the spring of 2001, syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd expressed her frustration with the World War II generation. That year not only witnessed the beginning of construction on the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., it also brought World War II drama to the Silver Screen with the release of Pearl Harbor, and…

Some Remedial History on “America First”

Leftists and neocons (but I repeat myself) are apoplectic over Donald Trump’s “America First” comment in his Inaugural Address. MSNBC commentators labeled it Hitler-esque, while Bill Kristol labeled himself “old fashioned” in decrying the terminology. These groups, as usual, have gotten their history wrong. So here’s a remedial crash course on the history of “America…

The Manning Commutation: Three Thoughts

Yesterday, President Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley/Chelsea Manning, the whistle blower who leaked information, including documentation and videos of Americans killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, to Wikileaks in 2010. Manning was arrested that same year and was convicted of 17 charges in 2013, later being sentenced to 35 years in prison. The story of…

Why I’m Excited for the Trump Presidency

During an acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep took the opportunity to criticize President-Elect Donald Trump. A lot of people, unsurprisingly including Trump himself, have in turn criticized Streep for spouting off her political opinions at a (theoretically) non-political event. But I, for one, found it refreshing. You see, I had begun to…

On Constitutionalism and Liberty

A prominent trait of libertarians is a willingness to ask questions that the adherents of no other political philosophy will. Assumptions that conservatives and liberals take for granted are often challenged by libertarians, and there’s no area of politics that is off limits. This includes the Constitution. Now, it’s true that conservatives and liberals hold different…

Americans Need Independence Again

Two-hundred and forty years ago, American colonists asserted their independence from Great Britain. For a decade the colonists had battled with Parliament over who could legislate for and tax them, with the colonists resorting to ever more open resistance and Parliament resorting to ever more oppressive attempts at enforcing its authority. By July of 1776,…

Will Conservatives Sacrifice Their Daughters to the Empire?

A couple of years ago MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry drew the ire of conservatives when, while discussing public education, she criticized the “private notion of children, (that) your kids are yours and totally your responsibility.” She continued, “we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong…