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After World War II, the evidence that FDR had steered us into war, while asserting he was doing his best to avert war, was so massive even his court historians admit he lied. Wrote Thomas A. Bailey in FDR's defense, "He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for his own good."
Roosevelt had cut off Japan's oil, sent the Flying Tigers to China and sought to tempt Japan into attacking a line of picket ships. He had lied about German subs torpedoing U.S. destroyers and Nazi plans to conquer South America and replace the Christian cross with the swastika. This mattered in 1950. For, with Stalin triumphant in Europe and China, it appeared – in Churchill's phrase – that we "had killed the wrong pig."
But today, with the immense focus on the Holocaust, the question is no longer, "Did FDR lie?" But, "Why did we not declare war sooner?"
Vietnam was, in Reagan's phrase, "a noble cause." But because it was a lost cause, it is now said and believed we only went to war because LBJ had misled us about the Tonkin Gulf incident."
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