The Faustian Bargain
by Jonathan Goodwin
Bargain: an arrangement in which an ambitious person surrenders
moral integrity in order to achieve power and success.
of Churchill, but far more significantly Roosevelt, in the lead-up
to western involvement in this Second World War post the turn of
Hitler against Stalin are difficult to explain or comprehend in
conventional means. There was little or no reason for the United
States to be involved in this war, as a few have commented before.
We can add Hoover to the list of revisionist historians on this
conquest of most of western Europe completed by the surrender
of France in June 1940, Hitler was free to revive one of his foremost
ambitions: the destruction of the Communist government of Russia
and the annexation of living space, Lebensraum, from
Russia and the Balkans
. Signs that Hitler was about to violate
his alliance with Stalin and attack Russia began to reach the
American Government immediately after his conquest of France.
that Hitlers alliance with Stalin was one of convenience.
For an interim period, Hitler did not want a major conflict on Germanys
eastern front, preferring initially to consolidate and secure his
western flank. That flank extended only to the channel as
previously outlined, Hitler did not have the capability to invade
England, and primarily seemed interested in getting the British
to return home, even to the point of allowing a relatively easy
evacuation at Dunkirk.
With the western
flank secure, Hitler was now free to pursue what seemed to be his
primary interest that of securing living space to the east.
But why the east? Why not living space to the west? Perhaps because
east is where the Germans were other than a sliver of France,
the Germans held no historic claim to land in the west, and certainly
these lands could not be considered Germanic. However,
to the east this was quite different. An obvious example was Danzig,
but there were others in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Additionally,
to the east was fertile land, and, of course, oil.
The east was
Hitlers objective, and Russia was the primary obstacle in
his path. The United States government was aware of this, and so
notified the Russians:
In the latter
half of January, 1941, Under Secretary of State Summer Welles
informed the Russian Ambassador in Washington, Constantine Oumansky,
that Germany was preparing as attack on Russia late that spring.
Much of the
knowledge that the U.S. government had regarding the coming attack
by Hitler on Stalin was kept from the American people. Had this
been widely known, and the implications understood, much of the
debate regarding further U.S. involvement (for instance, for Lend-Lease)
would have taken a different tone as the idea that Britain and the
United States were under immediate danger would have been demonstrably
On June 22,
1941, Hitler and his armies of over 2,000,000 men attacked along
the Russian border over a front of 2,500 miles.
And thus was
born the opportunity to let these two tyrants knock each other out.
As we know, instead of taking advantage of such an opportunity,
both Britain and the United States wanted to be further involved.
In fact, this event seems to have been the trigger for Roosevelt
to step up his campaign of baiting the Japanese into attacking the
U.S., as I
have previously discussed here.
this was the greatest opportunity presented to Roosevelt:
The two dictators
of the worlds two great aggressor nations were locked in
a death struggle. If left alone, these evil spirits were destined,
sooner or later, to exhaust each other.
Alas, it was
not to be:
At a press
conference on June 24, two days after Hitlers attack, the
President stated that the United States would give all possible
aid to Soviet Russia.
radio time for an address to the nation. He felt another side of
this story must be told, that the United States government could
take a course other than siding with Stalin. Following are some
of the key statements in his address:
constant question is what we should do now
there are certain
eternal principles to which we must adhere. There are certain consequences
to America and civilization which we must keep ever before our eyes.
find ourselves promising aid to Stalin and his militant Communist
conspiracy against the whole democratic ideals of the world.
the whole argument of our joining the war to bring the four freedoms
to mankind a gargantuan jest.
goes on to recount that four previous American Presidents refused
diplomatic recognition of the Soviets, until Roosevelt did early
in his first term. He reminds the audience that just two years ago,
Stalin and Hitler signed a pact to divide up the lands between their
two nations. He asks the listener to imagine the future if the United
States was to join Russia and help win the war:
we [would] have won for Stalin the grip of communism on Russia,
the enslavement of nations, and more opportunity for it to extend
in the world. We should at least cease to tell our sons that they
would be giving up their lives to restore democracy and freedom
to the world.
American ideals alongside Stalin will be as great a violation
of everything American as to align ourselves with Hitler.
not alone in speaking out against Roosevelts desire to align
with the Soviets. On June 23, 1941, Senator Robert M. La Follete,
Jr. of Wisconsin said:
In the next
few weeks the American people will witness the greatest whitewash
act in all history. They will be told to forget the purges in
Russia by the OGPU, the persecution of religion, the confiscation
of property, the invasion of Finland, and the vulture role Stalin
played in seizing half of prostrate Poland, all of Latvia, Estonia,
Roosevelt, others were cheerleading and propagandizing for war.
On June 28, Senator Claude Pepper of Florida envisioned the results
of a Hitler victory over Russia:
falls you and I know there would not be anybody else between Hitler
and Alaska, and with Alaska taken only Canada, a nation the size
that Belgium was, will stand between Hitler and us here in the
continental United States.
is so uncompromisingly nonsensical that it requires little comment
to lay bare the either naïve ignorance or willfully despicable
intent behind it. Hitler would march all the way to the Pacific
through Siberia? Really? Was there a single western military leader
that felt this was plausible? What of the logistics? What of the
guerilla warfare? What of the intolerable cold, mud, ice, and snow?
And then, through
a tiny passageway, Hitler would send an army through to Alaska?
Has an army large enough to conquer an entire continent the size
of North America ever march through such a frozen passageway?
cannot make heads or tails about his comparison of Canada to Belgium.
The only possibility I can imagine is that he is comparing population
size. In both geography and size, to imply Canada can be overrun
as easily as Belgium is nonsensical let alone the consideration
of differences in logistical distance of the two from Germany.
a (weak) demonstration that members of the press were something
other than the propaganda mouthpiece of the state, Hanson Baldwin
of the New York Times wrote in his book, Great Mistakes
of the War:
opportunity of the democracies for establishing a stable peace
came on June 22, 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, but we muffed
I will only
suggest, we didnt muff anything. Roosevelt
made decisions. These decisions were seen by many, even at the time,
as the exact opposite of what would be in the best interest of the
United States and its people. Roosevelt was not a stupid man. He
had to be as aware as Hoover was that there was every possibility
that Hitler and Stalin would do permanent damage to each other.
Roosevelt could have stayed out of it all, with this silver-platter
opportunity. But he chose not to stay out of it.
could have taken sides with Germany instead of Russia. What made
Stalin more worthy than Hitler, or communism more supportable than
fascism? Both leaders murdered many, but at the start of the war
Stalin outdid Hitler on this count by a ratio of 10,000 to 1.
was clear that Hitler intended to go east, not west. Hitler had
no navy to speak of, no long range bombing capability. Hitler built
a tremendous land army, one consistent with his military objective:
to conquer adjacent land. That Hitler went east posed no risk to
the United States.
didnt muff this. Roosevelt consciously desired
to place U.S. lives in jeopardy, for a purpose other than to defend
United States interests no matter how broadly one might reasonably
define those interests. As was demonstrated in the book The
Pearl Harbor Myth, Roosevelt went further and did everything
possible to get Japan to fire first (after failing to get the Germans
to take the bait) significantly increasing his efforts against
Japan when Hitler invaded Russia.
happen by accident. Roosevelt didnt muff it, or make a mistake.
There was purpose in these actions. The purpose was not in service
to the American people. As to whose bidding Roosevelt was doing,
I must leave it the way I left it in the last installment in this
string: your guess is as good as mine.
made a Faustian bargain
with permission from the Bionic
© 2012 Bionic