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May 09, 2005

Kicking FDR around

President Bush is right when he said in Europe over the weekend that the U. S. played a role in the continent's division into two opposing camps after World War II.
He's off base, though, with the implied criticism of President Franklin Roosevelt's conduct at the conference in Yalta in early 1945, when the U. S. and England more or less agreed to let Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union rule Eastern Europe.
Fact is, the Soviet armies were in place and nothing short of prolonging the war by years would have removed them. While some people -- Gen. George Patton among them -- were willing to turn on the Russians, most Americans, exhausted by four years of war and appreciative of the Russians' role in defeating Germany, wouldn't have stood for it.
If you do want to check out the "it-was-Roosevelt's-fault" viewpoint, read The New Dealers War: FDR and the War Within World War II.

Posted by jcb at May 9, 2005 03:08 PM


If we needed someone with some objectivity, scholarship, perspective, scholarship and intellect to re-think what Roosevelt did after WWII, would George Bush be on our list of commentators? I think not.

FDR could think (and plot) rings around W, and I'm not just saying that because I think Democrats are smarter...

Posted by: Anonymous at May 9, 2005 04:45 PM

Such a deal! Stalin in control of Eastern Europe delays the Cold War for a couple of years, prolongs it by 40 years, costs millions in lives and dollars----what's not to like? We'll never get an honest appraisal of Saint FDR's presidency until all the New Deal/New Left are dead.

Posted by: paladin at May 10, 2005 04:18 PM