Roosevelt the Second, as Mencken referred to FDR, maneuvered the US into war with Japan and Germany, deceiving few in the higher rungs of government and the military. Senator Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota said on August 4, 1941: “….And now we see America being stripped and groomed for another….war, only a more terrible and even a less justifiable one from our point of view….You know as well as I do, that this, as in the last war, has been a propaganda job. [Our government will] plunge us into the bloodiest war in history. And for what reason? To make the world safe for British Imperialism and Russian communism?” (Congressional Record, August 4, 1941)
“As time passed, it seemed clear to [FDR’s Ambassador to France Admiral William D.] Leahy that America’s support of Britain would inevitably bring the United States into war with Germany. The sinking by a U-boat of the American freighter Robin Moor, Leahy thought, might very well “be the Lusitania incident of the present war.” When American forces relieved British troops in Iceland, he wrote that the action “of the President appears to have moved America about a thousand miles toward the European war.”
On the morning of 22 June , the Leahy’s picked up a BBC broadcast telling of the German invasion of Russia. The next day, he received Soviet Ambassador A. Bogomolov, who wanted to find out what the new American attitude would be toward Russia…..Having received no instructions, Leahy could only fence and show that he had learned the practice of diplomacy by referring to the president’s recent statements of “full sympathy with all those nations that are resisting Axis aggression.” When in doubt, quote the boss!
[In a letter to Sumner] Welles, Leahy summed up French feeling on the German invasion of the USSR. Most Frenchmen welcomed the new war, for they felt it would divert the Germans who would then leave France more to her own devices. No one expected the German venture to fail [and added] “Most of my contacts of all classes feel that a successful completion of the German campaign in Russia will be followed by peace proposals that Great Britain will accept.”
[In early 1942 it] soon appeared that Germany did not want a rupture of French-American relations. France, Hitler thought, might be useful if a negotiated peace could be worked out with the western allies. Then Germany could devote her full attention to the destruction of Bolshevist Russia…[Hitler] would like to see Frenchmen free to “volunteer” to fight against the Russians.
[In March of 1942] the Nazi’s were demanding the return to power of arch-collaborator Pierre Laval – “Black Peter” – to a major role in the [Vichy] government. “Black Peter” told Leahy that he expected to act as mediator between the United States and Germany, so that Germany would be free to devote herself to the annihilation of Bolshevism. “My policy, Laval declared, is founded on reconciliation with Germany. Without this reconciliation, I can see no hope for peace, whether for Europe, France, or even the world. Warming to his subject, he declared the present war was a “civil war” of which “Stalin will be the only victor if the democracies continue to fight the Reich.”
“I am convinced,” Leahy recorded, “that M. Laval is fully committed to go as far as he can in an effort to collaborate with Germany and to assist in the defeat of what he termed Soviet-British Bolshevism. He definitely is not on our side in the war effort.”
(Witness to Power, The Life of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Henry H. Adams, pp. 157-158; 176-178)