Excerpts from a speech delivered by Charles Lindbergh in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941.
"It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda, or patronage can force a free and independent people into war"
Des Moines Speech: Delivered in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, this speech was met with outrage in many quarters
Ever since its inception, our arms program has been laid out for the purpose of carrying on the war in Europe, far more than for the purpose of building an adequate defense for America.
Now at the same time we were being prepared for a foreign war, it was necessary, as I have said, to involve us in the war. This was accomplished under that now famous phrase "steps short of war."
England and France would win if the United States would only repeal its arms embargo and sell munitions for cash, we were told. And then [illegible] began, a refrain that marked every step we took toward war for many months--"the best way to defend America and keep out of war." we were told, was "by aiding the Allies."
First, we agreed to sell arms to Europe; next, we agreed to loan arms to Europe; then we agreed to patrol the ocean for Europe; then we occupied a European island in the war zone. Now, we have reached the verge of war.
The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their three major steps into war. The greatest armament program in our history is under way.
We have become involved in the war from practically every standpoint except actual shooting. Only the creation of sufficient "incidents" yet remains; and you see the first of these already taking place, according to plan [ill.]-- a plan that was never laid before the American people for their approval.
Men and women of Iowa; only one thing holds this country from war today. That is the rising opposition of the American people. Our system of democracy and representative government is on test today as it has never been before. We are on the verge of a war in which the only victor would be chaos and prostration.
We are on the verge of a war for which we are still unprepared, and for which no one has offered a feasible plan for victory--a war which cannot be won without sending our soldiers across the ocean to force a landing on a hostile coast against armies stronger than our own.
We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out. It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda, or patronage can force a free and independent people into war against its will. It is not yet too late to retrieve and to maintain the independent American destiny that our forefathers established in this new world.
The entire future rests upon our shoulders. It depends upon our action, our courage, and our intelligence. If you oppose our intervention in the war, now is the time to make your voice heard.