View Full Version : I had forgotten this about Lindbergh

stan v
03-19-2003, 06:51 AM
The minority leader's attack on George W. Bush puts him in the dubious company of Charles Lindbergh.
by Hugh Hewitt
03/19/2003 12:00:00 AM

Hugh Hewitt, contributing writer

SENATOR TOM DASCHLE'S attack on President Bush on Monday was unprecedented for the leader of the opposition party in Congress, but high-profile Americans have a long history of getting it wrong on matters of war and peace. Most famous among these is Charles Lindbergh, who help found the America First Committee in September of 1940. Lindbergh barnstormed for isolationism, blasting the British as he went, demanding that America "not dissipate our strength, or help Europe dissipate hers, in these wars of politics and possession," exclaiming that "I would as soon see our country traffic in opium as in bombs," and denouncing the prospect of--sound familiar?--dead children: "I do not want to see American bombers dropping bombs which will kill and mutilate European children, even if they are not flown by American pilots."

Lindbergh's efforts were not without harm. They contributed to German miscalculation, as William Shirer makes clear in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." The German military attaché in Washington, General Friedrich von Boetticher "overestimated the influence of the isolationists in American politics," writes Shirer, "especially of Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, who emerges in his dispatches as a great hero." One wonders how Daschle and others are being portrayed in the Iraqi dispatches this week.

Here is Shirer's summary of Lindbergh:

Charles A. Lindbergh, the hero flyer, who had seemed to this writer to have fallen with startling naivete, during his visits to Germany, to Nazi propaganda boasts, was already consigning Britain to defeat in speeches to large and enthusiastic audiences in America . . . He condemned England for having "encouraged the smaller nations of Europe to fight against hopeless odds." Apparently, it did not occur to this man that Yugoslavia and Greece, which Hitler had just crushed, were brutally attacked without provocation, and that they had instinctively tried to defend themselves because they had a sense of honor and because they had courage even in the face of hopeless odds. On April 28 Lindbergh resigned his commission as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve after President Roosevelt on the twenty-fifth had publicly branded him as a defeatist and an appeaser. The Secretary of War accepted the resignation.

Shirer dealt with Lindbergh in a footnote. A future historian of the war to liberate Iraq may not be so generous with Senator Daschle. President Bush, who has thus far dealt with his domestic and foreign critics with only indirect criticism, should keep in mind FDR's example. At some point the American public deserves to have the proponents of vulnerability at home and indecision abroad rebuked.

Hugh Hewitt is the host of The Hugh Hewitt Show, a nationally syndicated radio talkshow, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.

© Copyright 2002, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

Chris Coose
03-19-2003, 07:00 AM
SENATOR TOM DASCHLE'S attack on President Bush on Monday was unprecedented for the leader of the opposition party in Congress,... Jesus, I missed this one. Prior to the attack did he give warning? Was there any diplomatic effort?
Anybody die? Weapons of mass destruction involved?

Imagine a (supposed) leader of the (supposed) opposition attacking another?
I thought they were supposed to engage in words, which I'm still waiting for, rather than the spinless majority following the dubbya like sheep.
"Oh, it would have been nice of him to get the 2nd resolution like he said he would, but we'll bend over a little more."

stan v
03-19-2003, 07:02 AM
Yes, the left knows a great deal about bending over. Furthermore, why didn't Dashole go to the UN first? DID HE GET A UN RESOLUTION TO ATTACK?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-19-2003, 09:14 AM
Greatly as I detest what Lindbergh did at that time, and as an Englishman I certainly do, he none the less gets higher marks than that ultimate appeaser and Nazi creep, Joe Kennedy, because when war did come Lindbergh did some good work on developing the P38 fighter.

03-19-2003, 10:07 AM
Democracy is so messy. We have to put up with and listen to so many people we disagree with. That is price we pay. It's worth it.

We need our critics. Otherwise we fall into the trap of believing our own fantasies. That's fatal.

03-19-2003, 10:26 AM
Failing to support Bush is the same as supporting Hitler? I think you've got it backwards there, Bub. Even during Vietnam I don't recall the rhetoric becoming this distorted. If this venture turns sour, next up is blaming everyone who opposed it, for encouraging the Iraqi people to oppose the invasion of their country. We all sincerely hope they will sit down and let this happen, but no one knows for sure.

Don Olney
03-19-2003, 10:53 AM

SENATOR TOM DASCHLE'S attack on President Bush on Monday was unprecedented for the leader of the opposition party in Congress,

Absolutely not true. My recollection is that when NATO warplanes began bombing Belgrade, Trent Lott stood on the steps of the Capital and glowered at the cameras something to the effect of "I cannot support this action at this time."

Many people were stunned that a Senate Majority Leader would make such a statement while our military was in harm's way. No one could remember such a thing happening before.

Within hours, Lott quickly backpedaled and said that he supported the action but not the President. Then eventually, weeks later,when success was already in the bag, he came fully on board as if it were his idea all along.

Prior to NATO action, this was Lott's position:

"Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott strongly opposed US involvement in Kosovo, and was actually quoted as saying "Give peace a chance."


Ross Faneuf
03-19-2003, 11:20 AM
I mentioned the book 'Borrowed Years' on another thread. In it, you can get an excellent account of Lindbergh's actions and speeches, in which he looks rather less like a Hitler supporter than sound byte portrayals suggest. He was, however, and emphatic America First'er (the most intelligent of the bunch). His main points, as I recall, were that (1) US should stay out of Europe (2) be strong enough to keep any European power at arm's length, and currently wasn't (3) Roosevelt administration was conniving illegally to get US into the war.

Roosevelt detested Lindbergh for these actions, with pretty much exactly the effect described in Stan's post.

[ 03-19-2003, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: Ross Faneuf ]