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If Ernie Pyle Had Worked for CNN

By Doug Patton

November 10, 2003

The daily criticism of America’s “failures” in Iraq makes me wonder how World War II might have been analyzed by political leaders and the media if they had applied today’s selective scrutiny. Imagine…

Dateline London – June 3, 1944

CBS - “This is Edward R. Morrow, reporting from London for the CBS Radio Network… Rumors abound here of a massive invasion within the next few days, and this reporter has learned from sources speaking on condition of anonymity that such a plan is, in fact, going forward. The White House, the Pentagon and Gen. Eisenhower all vehemently deny these reports. Meanwhile, the latest CBS poll shows that Americans in increasing numbers are opposed to such an invasion. This is Edward R. Morrow reporting from London…”

Dateline Albany - June 4, 1944

The New York Times – In his strongest condemnation yet of President Roosevelt, New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey today called the conflict in Europe “a senseless war.”

“This administration’s policies have been a miserable failure,” said Dewey, who is seeking this year’s GOP presidential nomination. “Germany has done nothing to us. Why have we been sacrificing American lives fighting Hitler and Mussolini? Now we hear of plans to invade France and attack the Germans at Normandy. Why?”

Asked about the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dewey said that no link has ever been conclusively established between Hitler and the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Naval forces in Hawaii by the Japanese. “No such link has ever been proven, because no such link exists,” he said. “Roosevelt made it up.”

When asked about statements from the White House that his opposition to the war gives aid and comfort to the enemy, Dewey replied, “That is the last refuge of a scoundrel! Franklin Roosevelt wraps himself in the flag and then calls his critics unpatriotic. I am merely exercising my First Amendment rights by speaking out against his policies. That’s as American as apple pie!”

Dateline Washington – June 5, 1944

The floor of the United States Senate – Statement of the Honorable Sinclair Weeks (R-Mass.):

“I rise to protest the continued slaughter of our young men on the battlefields of Europe. This rumored invasion of France is just the latest example of the president’s exploitation of our boys in uniform to further his political career."

“First, we were told that Adolf Hitler was involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He wasn’t. We were told that he was an imminent threat to the United States. He wasn’t. We were told that Germany had TSWs – Terrible Secret Weapons. They didn’t. We have found no evidence of TSWs."

“Mr. President, this entire war in Europe was a lie concocted up in Hyde Park, and I say that this war has gone on long enough. I yield back the balance of my time…”

Dateline London – 6 June 1944

“This is Ernie Pyle, reporting for CNN from the front here at Omaha Beach… An unprecedented – and some say unjustified – invasion of France is under way at this hour. As you can see from the carnage behind me, American boys are dying on the beaches of Normandy – perhaps your boy, Mr. and Mrs. America. This reporter can confirm that American troops are sustaining massive casualties, here and on Utah Beach, against heavily armed German fortifications… Of course, the question that will be asked is “why?” Why did it have to come to this? Why was it necessary to sacrifice so many young men – the bright and shining future of America – in an invasion that many said didn’t need to happen… Meanwhile, on the home front, Republican members of Congress are calling for an investigation into the intelligence failures that led to the Navy’s inability to prepare for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is Ernie Pyle, reporting from the front, for CNN…”

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers across the country, on www.MensNewsDaily.com, and on www.GOPUSA.com, where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).

Readers can e-mail him at dpatton@neonamp.com.

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