Principalities & Powers

Infamies

Exactly 60 years before the terrorist attacks of 2001, September 11 became a day of infamy for many Americans because of what Col. Charles A. Lindbergh said to an audience in Des Moines, Iowa, that day.  Speaking as a member of the America First Committee, Lindbergh warned his listeners, in words that immediately became world-famous, that “the three most important groups that have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration.”  He did allow that others—“a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that their future and the future of the world depend upon the domination of the British Empire,” as well as the communists—were the “major war agitators” in the United States.  But ever since, it is not as an Anglophobe, an anticapitalist, an anticommunist, an anti-intellectual, or an anti-Roosevelter that Lindbergh has been known, but as an antisemite.

If the ruin of Lindbergh as a spokes-man for anti-interventionism dates from his Des Moines speech, so does the canard that anyone who opposes American intervention in foreign wars is probably at least as much of an antisemite as he was.  Lindbergh, in the same speech, hastened to add that “It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany” and that “no person with a sense of the dignity of...

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