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Henry Judd

Step by Step Toward Open Intervention

(June 1941)

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 24, 16 June 1941, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Bluntly rejecting any talk or rumors that the big powers were about to patch up their differences. Roosevelt has made it clear that in his opinion anyone who talks “peace” is a Nazi agent or “stooge.” All talk of “peace,” according to FDR; emerges from Berlin and the sinister brain of Hitler.

To further emphasize his meaning the President has engaged in a series of acts and measures which serve only to rush America further and closer to OPEN (“shooting”) participation in the war. Most of these actions have taken place since his unofficial war declaration speech of a few weeks back, We list them below because they give a small idea of what is in store for the American people as they are unwillingly rushed into the war.

  1. Brigadier General Somervell, testifying before a House military subcommittee, said he had received contracts for construction of army camps. He was authorized to award work valued at one billion dollars – or enough to construct 28 new cantonments. These camps (along with those now in use would accommodate an army of 3,000,000 soldiers. Chief of Staff Marshall told Congress in March that the, next increase of the army would be double its present size to about 3,000,000.
  2. W.L. Batt, deputy director of the OPM. declared in a speech at Buffalo that the United States “will have to spend at least one hundred billion dollars to match the German war machine.” He said that at least 25 per cent of the national income must be spent annually on war production. This was immediately followed up by Roosevelt’s request for an additional appropriation of three billion dollars for the army.
  3. Another – the third in a series of 35,000 ton battleships – has just been launched. The keel of yet another was immediately set in the place of the new South Dakota.
  4. The military services have taken over, through purchase and charter since the war began, a total of 93 ships grossing 910,000 tons. Almost all of these have gone to the navy. In the last two weeks alone 28 ships were taken. Most of these ships are passenger-cargo vessels suitable for transport work and the moving of stores to bases. They are the largest, fastest and newest ships of the merchant marine. Most of them are being gathered in East Coast ports.
  5. A steady stream of troops are being shipped out to America’s old bases (Hawaii, Philippines, etc.) and especially to the new bases (Newfoundland, Bermuda, etc.). A faint idea of the number going can be obtained from the official admission that one division (15,000 men) are being sent to Porto Rico alone! The plans call for a steady increase in the flow of men until hundreds of thousands of American youth occupy these imperialist bases.
  6. To date the American people have been warned by the Priorities Board to expect shortages in gas and oil (no Sunday driving has now threatened to become no pleasure driving at all!), automobiles, radios, cooking utensils (no aluminum), all products utilizing rubber, etc. Not to talk about making ALL incomes taxable!

It would be possible to go on indefinitely listing the war plans of the Roosevelt regime. The total sum is enormous. If the imperialists and would-be world conquerors in Washington have their way it will mean the fastening of a colossal burden of death, taxation and economic strain upon the working class primarily, with the middle class also being hard hit. Roosevelt’s war plans mean

  1. an endless flow of men and arms to all parts of the world;
  2. the introduction of a war economy of scarcity and taxation at home;
  3. the end of all normal pursuits and the regimentation of all life around the single purpose of war and still more war.

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