Our late entry into World War II

The Fresno BeeJune 29, 2014 

Ron Genini (letter June 22) and Lois Manning (letter June 26) have an abbreviated and short-sighted sense of history in praising FDR for his swift and decisive actions leading up to the U.S. entry into World War II.

In 1931 Japanese forces invaded Manchuria, killing, enslaving and torturing millions of Chinese. In 1940, Indochina, Malaysia and many Pacific islands were similarly invaded.

The Germans began their conquest of Europe in 1938 with the annexation of Austria, followed by invasions of Czechoslovakia, Poland and much of Eastern Europe. France was invaded in 1939 followed by the air assault of Great Britain in 1940. The invasion of the Soviet Union began in June 1941. These actions resulted in the killing, enslaving and torturing of millions of Europeans.

All this happened while the U.S. did nothing other than send "advisers," weapons to our allies, and impose sanctions on Germany. It wasn't until actual U.S. territory was attacked that Roosevelt "sprang into action." Speculation is that the U.S. knew of the Pearl Harbor attack in advance, but did nothing in order to get an apathetic population to support the war effort.

This is hardly the immediate and decisive action that these two readers imagine.

George Burman


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