Editorial: War aims (10-28-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 28, 1942)


Ferguson: War aims

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Now that the Army is reaching into the classrooms after teenage boys, it’s time for our political and military leaders to give us a frank statement of war aims. I’m dead sure the mothers of this country will soon be demanding it.

Not many women really believed they would have to say goodbye to their 18-year-old sons. It was one of those impossible things that just “couldn’t happen here.”

Judging by my mail, mothers are taking it hard. And we can imagine that those making no protest, and who concur in belief that lowering the draft age is a military necessity, are just as anxious to know exactly what the Allied objectives are.

To say we are fighting on 32 fronts and seven oceans in order to wipe the Japs and Germans off the face of the earth is a big statement, but it lacks explicitness. To say we are fighting for the ideals set forth in the Atlantic Charter sounds better, but unfortunately the Atlantic Charter had too little to say about the people of the Pacific area.

We want something clear and definite. Is this going to end up in what Henry Luce calls “the American Century,” with our own country holding the whiplash of economic power over weaker nations? Are we fighting to give China back to the Chinese and India to the Indians? Will we be through when we have destroyed Hitler and Hirohito, or must we go on eliminating dictatorships forevermore? Will the American people be expected to maintain freedom throughout the world and also rebuild and feed a mangled Europe?

These are a few of the questions mothers would like to have answered. We do not expect to be informed about military moves, but since we, the people, are making the sacrifices demanded of us, it is the duty of our leaders to outline precisely, and in clear English, their war and peace aims.


She was ahead of her time!


Asking questions politicians never answer even today.


Agree - this was the mother “Gettysburg” speak of the last century.
Such a very wise sum up of the mess US could / would walk into in the coming decades.