[revised and updated]
[...] I also want to speak tonight directly to the Japanese people.
We respect your culture and your faith. Shintoism is practiced freely by many millions of decent Japanese. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Shintoism blaspheme the name itself. (Applause.) The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack the peaceful religion of Shintoism. The enemy of America is not our many Japanese friends. Our enemy is that small radical group of Japanese fanatics who have hijacked the peaceful Japanese nation and declared war on humanity. (Applause.)
The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. My friends, we must be strong in the face of adversity. The enemy wants to destroy our American way of life. We must not let this happen. We must not alter our day-to-day activities and our constitutionally-guaranteed right to the pursuit of happiness. If we change our way of life in anyway whatsoever, then the enemy wins. (Applause.)
A recent report on retail sales shows a strong beginning to the holiday shopping season across the country -- and I encourage you all to go shopping more. So, take the kids and get out the car and go out there and have some fun, my friends. Remember, our enemies are hoping that we will change our way of doing things here in America. We must not give them that victory. Good night, and God bless you all. (Applause.)
We will not change our way of life or the enemy will win.
In other news:
Antiwar widow, Mrs. Emily Ferguson, whose heroic Marine husband Homer was killed in April on Saipan writes another angry letter to President Roosevelt protesting our inhumane treatment of Japanese prisoners of war.
The fiery Mrs. Ferguson, the highly-visible symbol of the growing American antiwar movement WWAW (War Widows Against War) has opposed the War in the Pacific from the very beginning, referring to it as an illegal and unjust act of revenge. "Our treatment of our Japanese POWs is inhumane and unconscionable and goes against all that we stand for as a nation of principles," said Mrs. Ferguson at a recent Peace Rally in Philadelphia. Her message to America: "We should be ashamed of ourselves."
Antiwar rally in Chicago
America First Committee decries war effort. Calls for tolerance and understanding.
Several speakers took to the podium in today's rally at the Grovesner Auditorium in southwest Chicago and accused the federal government of racism and unfair discrimination against Japanese-Americans. The AFC has repeatedly accused FDR of lying to the public in order to bring America into an unnescessary and unwanted war with Japan. "We have brought nothing but death and suffering to the innocent people of Japan," said an AFC spokesman William Connors. "We were attacked on December 7th because of the selfish imperialistic policies of this current administration. We cannot go around the world bullying other nations and not expect to make enemies. We should be ashamed of ourselves."
And from Washington
FDR appoints U.S. Envoy to Japanese Empire, repairing battered image and explaining ourselves
In a move which some critics describe as an effort to mollify the growing antiwar elements within his own party, FDR appointed Japanese-American businessman and philanthropist Yushido Osaki special envoy to the Japanese Empire. His mission, according to a senior White House spokesman, is to repair the fundamental misunderstandings between the Japanese people and the Americans. "It is hoped that by explaining our American culture and our long-term international goals that we can end this unfortunate atmosphere of suspicion and hostility which currently exists between our two great nations."
To some, this is seen as a move to appease some of his more vocal critics both within and outside of the administration, who have long argued for conciliation and dialogue with the Japanese government, rather than continuing military confrontation. We shall see what this latest effort produces.
Tomorrow's story: Rising American casualties in the Pacific. Is it worth it?
Note from Radarsite: Beginning in 1942, gas was rationed at five gallons per week; later that year, sugar and coffee were rationed, followed in 1943 by rationing of shoes, meat, cheese, fats and all canned goods. Over 95% of Japanese POWs survived the war, while only 49% of Allied POWs returned to their native lands.
Originally posted 3/11/08