As a bona fide American hero Charles Lindbergh threw the weight of his reputation against all efforts to lend assistance to Great Britain and France in opposing Germany as World War II got underway.
In October 1939, he gave a speech in Chicago in which he confided the result of his first-hand research on the causes of the conflict in Europe:
The underlying issue was clear. It was not the support of “democracy,” or the so-called democratic nations would have given more assistance to the struggling republic of post-war Germany. It was not a crusade for Christianity, or the Christian nations of the west would have carried their battle flags to the confiscated churches of Russia. It was not the preservation of small and helpless nations, or sanctions would have been followed by troops in Abyssinia, and England would not have refused to cooperate with the United States in Manchuria. The issue was one of the oldest and best known among men. It concerned the division of territory and wealth between nations. It has caused conflict in Europe since European history began.
As events unfolded in Europe, Lindbergh continued to turn up the heat against the Roosevelt administration. In September 1941, for example, Lindbergh helpfully explained to a Des Moines audience: “If any one of these groups– the British, the Jewish, or the administration — stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement.”
This morning I saw a clip of Al Gore ranting in his preachifying mode to an audience of Tennessee Democrats about how George Bush had “betrayed” the United States by ordering a war against Saddam Hussein that had been “preordained and planned before 9-11 ever took place.”
That sounds awfully close to a charge of treason — far worse than the kind of foul accusations Lindbergh used to make to those adoring America First audiences before Pearl Harbor. What is there to say about a national political figure who makes these kinds of accusations after 9/11?
The AP story on the Gore speech is “Gore says America ‘betrayed’ by Bush.” The New York Times story on the Gore speech is “Gore says Bush betrayed the U.S. by using 9/11 as a reason for war in Iraq.”
UPDATE: In his inimitable fashion, Charles Johnson adds a pertinent point: “Al Gore…was a featured speaker at the Arab League