On Aug. 2, 1939, a Jewish scientist wrote a letter to the president of the
United States, warning him that a fascist dictator was working on a project to
produce a new type of weapon that "if carried by a boat and exploded in a port
might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding
The scientist was Albert Einstein. The letter itself was the product of
conversations Einstein held with Edward Teller and Leo Szilard, also Jewish
They met with presidential adviser Alexander Sachs, himself Jewish, who
agreed to deliver the letter to the president, Franklin Roosevelt, personally.
The dictator was Adolph Hitler, and the weapon they believed posed a threat to
American and international security was the atomic bomb.
Shortly thereafter, with the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the American
administration against popular sentiment began supporting a small
nation under siege and its boisterous wartime leader with large amounts of
military and economic assistance.
Opponents charged that this lack of balance in U.S. policy would drag the
country into a war in which it had no truck.
Opposition rallies took place across the United States under the banner
"America First," led by popular figures such as national hero Charles
Lindbergh. Both on the left and the right, Americans demanded that the
administration focus on the homefront and economic problems rather than
pursuing a foreign agenda.
More extreme opponents claimed that American policy was being unduly
influenced by "international Jewry."
On December 11, 1941, four days after being attacked by Imperial Japan, and after Germany had declared war on the United States in fulfillment of the Tripartite Pact, the United States declared war on Nazi Germany, though Germany had not attacked it, nor did Germany pose any immediate threat to the continental United States. The result of this decision was that American troops were sent to Africa, Italy and the shores of France, siphoning off critical manpower and materiel from the war against Japan.
The result of this decision was that American troops were sent to Africa, Italy
and the shores of France, siphoning off critical manpower and materiel from the
war against Japan.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives in the war in Europe,
millions more European civilians were killed. Cultural monuments were
destroyed and cities laid waste, including the baroque treasure of Dresden,
and priceless works of art disappeared or were destroyed as Allied forces
advanced on Berlin.
As the war drew to a close, Allied troops discovered camps where the Nazis
killed political opponents, artists, intellectuals and one religious minority in
particular by the millions.
But in the end, nearly six years after Einstein had warned Roosevelt about the
threat of the first weapon of mass destruction, Hitler had no atomic bomb.
There remains today a lunatic fringe of revisionist historians who believe that
the war in Europe was contrived by Jews, that the Holocaust is a hoax whose
primary function is to extort money from innocent Europeans and land from
innocent Palestinians, and that the true criminals of World War II were
Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Truman, not Hitler, Tojo, Goebbels and
The advocates of such theories are normally recognized for the frothing
maniacs that they are.
But transfer such theories to the debate about the war in Iraq, and you'll find
them not only on the extreme fringe of left- and right-wing politics, but front and
center, in major newspapers and periodicals, espoused by columnists,
politicians and professors without any regard for context or the ironies of
history, let alone facts.
To read the fallacious charges today about the war in Iraq is to re-read that
history: that the war was foisted on the United States by a neo-conservative
Jewish cabal; that President Bush is a puppet of the war Cabinet of Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; that the war was a diversion from the real threat
posed by al-Qaida and from more pressing economic needs at home; that the
destruction of buildings and artifacts has greater moral bearing than the
slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people; and that the failure to
find Saddam's weapons of mass destruction renders his removal from power
Einstein, Teller and Szilard three of the greatest scientific minds of all
history were wrong about Hitler's possession of atomic weapons, but not
about his drive to acquire them.
Given enough time, or unimpeded by Allied and Norwegian commando attacks
on the Nazi heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway, Hitler might well have
developed the first useable atomic weapons. And the world we live in would be
a much different place.
Whether Saddam Husseinís regime possessed useable weapons of mass destruction at the beginning of 2003 and whether groups like al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad have them today is less significant than their well-established drive to acquire such weapons. And terrorist groups like al Qaeda posed a threat to the vital interests of the United States long before September 11th, and Osama bin Laden had issued his "fatwah" against the United States years before President Bush declared war on terrorism. Likewise the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction is there today, even if few people take it seriously. Will it require a December 7th or September 11th-type shock by weapons of mass destruction before this threat is fully recognized?
The day that useable nuclear, chemical or biological weapons are wedded to
the extremist, apocalyptic ideologies of Islamo-fascism is the day our world
changes, and the day that Einstein's warning to Roosevelt becomes a