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Topic
War: 1941. World War II


Quotes

“The Church as a Church does not believe in war and yet since its organization whenever war has come we have done our part….we do thoroughly believe in building up our home defenses to the maximum extent necessary, but we do not believe that aggression should be carried on in the name and under the false cloak of defense. We therefore look with sorrowing eyes at the present use to which a great part of the funds being raised by taxes and by borrowing is being put.” (Heber J. Grant, , also J. Ruben Clark, Jr. and David O. McKay signed as the First Presidency, written during World War II Letter to the U.S. Treasury, September 30, 1941.)


“There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.” (Ezra Taft Benson, America at the Crossroads, August 30, 1969.)


“The Rockefeller Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations…intend to prevent, if they can, a repetition of what they call in the vernacular “the debunking journalistic campaign following World War I.” Translated into precise English, this means that the Foundation and the Council do not want journalists or any other persons to examine too closely and criticize too freely the official propaganda and official statements relative to “our basic aims and activities” during World War II. In short, they hope that, among other things, the policies and measures of Franklin D. Roosevelt will escape in the coming years the critical analysis, evaluation and exposition that befell the policies and measures of Woodrow Wilson and the Entente Allies after World War I.” (Charles Beard, former president of the American Historical Association Who's to Write the History of the War?, Saturday Evening Post, p. 172. October 4, 1947.)


“We face the delicate question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure Japan is put in the wrong and makes the first bad move — overt move…The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.” (Henry Stimson, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath, p. 275-76. October 16, 1941.)


“If by these means Japan should be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better.” (A memorandum prepared for FDR by Lt. Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the far east desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence outlined measures intended to goad Japan into an attack, such as freezing its assets in America; shutting down Japanese access to the Panama Canal; cutting off vital exports to Japan, eventually joining Britain in a full-fledged embargo; and demanding an immediate Japanese withdrawal from China and Indochina as a condition of restoring trade relations. October 7, 1940.)


“Shortly before the attack in 1941 President Roosevelt called him [Don Smith] to the White House for a meeting concerning a Top Secret matter…At this meeting the President advised my father that his intelligence staff had informed him of a pending attack on Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese. He anticipated many casualties and much loss, [so] he instructed my father to send workers and supplies to a holding area…on the West Coast where they would await further orders to ship out, no destination was to be revealed. He left no doubt in my father’s mind that none of the Naval and Military officials in Hawaii were to be informed and he was not to advise the Red Cross officers who were already stationed in the area. When he protested to the President, President Roosevelt told him that the American people would never agree to enter the war in Europe unless they were [attacked] within their own borders.…He [Don Smith] was privy to Top Secret operations and worked directly with all of our outstanding leaders. He followed the orders of his President and spent many later years contemplating this action which he considered ethically and morally wrong.” (FDR also contacted high-placed Red Cross officials in the weeks before Pearl Harbor to prepare them for casualties that would result from the impending attack. This was revealed by Helen Hamman, the daughter of Don C. Smith, former director of War Service for the American Red Cross, in a September 5, 1995 letter to a Senate panel.)


“Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.” (Oliver Littleton, British Minister of Production, offering this candid and irrefutable assessment of Pearl Harbor 1994.)


“Diplomatically, President Roosevelt’s strategy of forcing Japan to war by unremitting and ever-increasing diplomatic-economic pressure, and by simultaneously holding our Fleet in Hawaii as an invitation to surprise attack, was a complete success.” (Admiral Robert A. Theobald, who was in Pearl Harbor as Commander, Destroyers Battle Force during the attack.)


“Nor may we overlook that great doctrine of neutrality set up under Washington himself and Jefferson and Hamilton, which was aimed at and brought about the localizing of international armed conflicts, and the preservation , under prescribed rules, of peacetime intercourse between belligerents and nonbelligerents. War was to curse as few people as possible. This has been jettisoned for the concept that every war should involve all nations, making all suffer the ravages of a global war.

“Until the last quarter of a century, this gospel of the Fathers was the polar star by which we set our international course. In the first hundred thirty years of our constitutional existence, we had three foreign wars, the first merely the final effort of our Revolution, which made good our independence. During the century that followed we had two foreign wars, neither of considerable magnitude. During the next twenty-three years, we had two global wars. While the gospel of the Fathers guided us we has peace. When we forsook it, two great wars engulfed us.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“President Wilson had the full departure in mind [of the Founders doctrine of neutrality] when he declared: ‘Everybody’s business is our business.’ Since then we have leaped ahead along the anciently forbidden path.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“Yet, to repeat, we have entered into new fields to impose our will and concepts on others. This means we must use force, and force means war, not peace. What has our apostasy from peace cost us?” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“In values of government and law, these wars and the interminglings of men of different concepts of freedom and human rights, have brought into our own system, the despotic principles of European systems, against which the Fathers warned…” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“I believe American manhood is too valuable to be sacrificed on foreign soil for foreign issues and causes.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“I believe that permanent peace will never come into the world from the muzzle of a gun. Guns and bayonets will, in the future as in the past, bring truces, long or short, but never peace that endures.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“Someone will, at this point, play the ace question, with that smug finality that always accompanies it, — What would you do? I frankly answer, I do not know, for I do not know the facts. Furthermore a critic with no authority or power in a situation, and from whom is withheld a knowledge of facts, is under no obligation to propose an alternative. He may rest by pointing out defects in policy.

“We, the common people, have not been told the facts for years, since long before the last war broke. We are not now being told the facts. We can only surmise. But give us the facts and we will answer. And in our multitude of counsel you will find wisdom.” (J. Reuben Clark, Let Us Have Peace, Church News, November 22, 1947.)


“We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, June 1976.)


“Then as the crowning savagery of war, we as Americans wiped out hundreds of thousands of civilian population with the atom bomb in Japan, few if any of the ordinary civilians being any more responsible for the war than were we and perhaps no more aiding Japan in the war than we were aiding America. Military men are now saying that the atom bomb was a mistake. It was more than that: it was a world tragedy.…And the worst of the atomic bomb tragedy is not that not only did the people of the United States not rise up in protest against this savagery, not only did it not shock us to read of this wholesale destruction of men, women and children, and cripples, but that it actually drew from the nation at large approval of this fiendish butchery.” (J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1946.)


“[This planned destruction of agency would be] largely done during the war, under the plea of war necessity; it is to be continued after the war under the excuse — if we are not then too cowed to require an excuse — that this new political order is necessary that we may rehabilitate the world.” (J. Reuben Clark, warning the church prior to American entry into World War II, and prior to the establishment of the United Nations. Conference Report, April 1941.)


“A large part of the Japanese Navy was already on the bottom of the sea. The combined Navy surface and air force action even by this time had forced Japan into a position that made her early surrender inevitable.

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagaski was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

“My own feeling is that being the first to use it (the atomic bomb) we had adopted an ethical standard common to the Barbarism of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children” (Admiral William D. Leahy I Was There, p. 245.)




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