In Europe there were growing signs
of danger, tyrants with designs
on neighbors. We would isolate
ourselves until we felt their hate.
The Thirties, and Japan was quickly rising -- little threat,
at first, or so it seemed! America would soon regret
this thinking. Airman Billy Mitchell boldly criticized
our unpreparedness -- perversely, he was demonized,
court-martialed. Mussolini built a fascist state
in Italy. The Axis partnership would dominate
in Europe, with the Nazis - Adolf Hitler - in the lead.
The U.S. public stood aside -- they saw their nation bleed
too recently, and suffered through Depression. But Japan
had 'raped' Nanking in China, Mussolini overran
the Ethiopians. For now, the isolationist
prevailed; as largely self-sufficient, interventionist
behavior didn't fit America. But did we err?
With pacifists opposing an "imperial" affair,
we quite abandoned Europe, calling France "hysterical,"
and even judging Britain and its neighbors culpable
for Hitler's conquests. England's Chamberlain and Hitler met,
and Chamberlain said peace was guaranteed. But with the threat
increasing, FDR at last responded with "Lend-Lease"
(we lent our weapons for a lease of British bases). Peace
was shattered in America soon after, as Japan
attacked Pearl Harbor. Soon the serviceman and businessman
would demonstrate the great American capacity
for spreading freedom through the world, for that's our destiny.