Saturday, June 19, 2021

Roosevelt's preoccupation proved to be costly

by ROGER GREGORY Contributing Writer
| June 2, 2021 1:00 AM

It was World War II, President Roosevelt was occupied with Winston Churchill of England and the war in Europe against Adolph Hitler. Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and now we had a war in the Pacific also.

General MacArthur was in charge of the American military in the Pacific. His headquarters was in the Philippine Islands. The Japanese were advancing toward the Philippines. MacArthur was asking for more troops and equipment, but all he got was promises.

The Chicago Tribune published tables showing hundreds of millions of dollars in tanks, aircraft and artillery that went to Great Britain and Russia. The U.S. Air Corps in the Philippines had a note written to President Roosevelt, "Dear Mr. President, please send us another P-40 airplane, the one we have is all shot up."

The fact was that the Roosevelt Administration's "Europe First" policy, didn't give much consideration to the Pacific Theater. Even prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the administration wasn't taking notice of Japan's intentions.

In modern day talk, Roosevelt was so involved with Churchill and Europe that his administration was "asleep at the switch." So Japan came and conquered the Philippine Islands and captured American soldiers. Then there was the Bataan Death March. Then the Japanese had killed 5,000 helpless Americans. But the news media didn't give it adequate coverage because they were in Roosevelt's camp. Sort of like today's news media, in bed with the Democrats, down on conservatives.

For me, I think it would be good to give these news media people a rifle and send them off on patrol in Afghanistan. Wonder if that would even wake them up?

Roger Gregory is a Vietnam veteran and business owner in Priest River.