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Sherman Stanley

A Summary of the War Steps Taken
by the RooseveltAdministration

(17 October 1939

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 79, 17 October 1939, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A brief survey of the steps already taken or in process of being taken by the Roosevelt government shows how far the American government has gone in its war aims.

We list some of the highlights in the plans of FDR to drag us into the World War on the side of the “Allied” imperialist powers.

(1) Proposed repeal of the Arms Embargo Act. This is scheduled to be completed shortly and then the Allies will begin, purchase of arms, munitions, implements of war, etc. Germany, of course, can purchase nothing.

The “debate” of America’s doddering, old Senators has degenerated into a tragic farce already. One by one, the “isolationists” fold up, or reduce their opposition to pathetic squawking. The results of the debate are cut-and-dried.

“Credit and Carry” – the Old Morgan Game

(2) Proposed 90-day credit clause in the “Title and Carry” provision of the Repeal Act. This gives the Allies needed credit, plus the fact that actual ownership of the goods remains with the American capitalists during the danger period of transit.

This 90-day credit provision, calculated to assure an early entry into the war, is the 1939 equivalent of J.P. Morgan’s long-term credits of 1914.

(3) Proposed exemption of the Canadian-United States border from the “Title and Carry” provisions of the Act. This leaves the Canadian border wide open as an entry through which Americans can carry all forms of supplies bound for the Allies. Let it be remembered that Canada is at war already!

(4) The Declaration of Panama establishing a zone around the two American continents, in some places extending 600 miles out to sea.

This will protect the British and French merchant marine as well as protect colonial possessions of the Allies within the Caribbean area, in actuality, however, extending US imperialist hegemony over Latin America.

Committed to Allied Cause

(5) In addition, there are a series of “minor” facts, all of which taken together further raise the sum total of commitment to the Anglo-French imperial cause: (a) government censorship of information on ship cargoes and sailings; (b) the drive against German-Nazi agents, while British propagandists are untouched; (c) the acitions of American officials and diplomats abroad (Kennedy, Bullitt, Drexel, etc.) which have openly aided the Allies in their practical and propaganda war; (d) delaying of the German liner, the Bremen.

(6) Canada: Roosevelt, in speech after speech, has bluntly declared his intentions of fighting “for Canada” if it is in any way threatened. Canada is listed as a special prize in the books of America’s rulers. Under no circumstances can this, semi-colony of the American imperialists be touched!

(7) M-Day Conference in Washington: This very week the leading. Army officials are meeting in closed conference to discuss the most intimate, practical details of the M-Day war plans. The question that will be asked is a simple one:“Is your department ready for instant action?” “Have you perfected your plans for mobilization of the nation’s men, industries and supplies?”

This Washington M-Day Conference has placed as point one on its agenda. It will put the finishing touches to the vast military dictatorship planned by America’s 60 Ruling Families when the war opens.

Propaganda Coming Thick And Fast

(8) General War and Pro-Ally Propaganda: Many American workers are conscious of the fact that they are daily deluged with pro-war and pro-Ally propaganda. Every boss newspaper in America uses its pages to blare forth war news heavily loaded from official British and French sources.

The movie – here all we have to do is list some of the current Hollywood productions(Nurse Edith Cavell, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Four Feathers, Beau Geste, U-Boat, etc.).

The radio – news broadcasts are heavily tainted; speakers (whether of “isolationist” leanings or not) are all for the Allied imperialists; radio plays and sketches; patriotic jam sessions, etc. – all alike shout for war.

Add the sum total of all these things and you have spelled the words WAR and EARLY ENTRY.

More than any other of the imperialist powers, American capitalism – the most powerful in the world today – stands to gain by the war and its continuation.

Hitler really would like a temporary peace – to consolidate his Polish holdings and to make more secure his pact with Stalin.

The British and French rulers, who are mortally afraid of losing their colonial Empires, would willingly come to a robbers’ imperialist understanding with Hitler if a working agreement could be reached.

But not FDR and the American ruling class! They want war and more of it. It means (1) Huge war orders with an accompanying boom in American business ($80,000,000 in aircraft orders are now being fulfilled and await only the repeal of the Embargo for shipment. This is but a taste of the forthcoming war orders!); (2) Involvement in the war opens up the possibility for America to win by means of crushing blows delivered by the powerful war machine it can create and thus emerging as supreme arbiter of the world – the dictator of a World Versailles Treaty.

These are the main reasons why the capitalist United States of America is not merely a driving force in making the current war take on wider military aspects, but also the reasons why, if FDR has his way, an early entrance will occur.

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