In October 1936, The Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and Il Duce Benito Mussolini formed the Axis Powers, an agreement in foreign policy. Prince Fumimaro Konoye of Japan joined in August 1939 to create the Tripartite Powers, established "to assist one another with all political, economic and military means." It was the years of World War II (1939–45). Back in 1931, Prince Fumimaro Konoye had annexed Manchuria in the Far East and was seeking "absolute political, economic and financial control" of the region. One commentator described the situation in December 1940, "The pages of history have been turned back to the robber-baron days of the Middle Ages (1154-1485) in this war. Genghis Khan and his horde are riding again (in Kimonas) in Asia, and Attila is again leading his Huns to conquests in Europe under the Swastika banner. There's no change in their ruthless invasions except that, as a result of speedy communications, Genghis and Attila are synchronizing their pillaging expeditions."
In April 1941, Yosuke Matsuoka, the then Foreign Minister of Japan met with Pope Pius XII at the Vatican to survey "the whole world situation". In 1943, the Associated Press reported "an agreement had been reached on '(the) creation of a new world order based on justice and guaranteeing eternal world peace.'". The Berlin radio announced in March 1943, "Italy will send to the Reich a big contingent of skilled workers for particularly important" Hitler's war factories, and declared "a large number" of Italian farm laborers would be sent to the Reich sometime between June and August 1943. In return, the broadcast mentioned, Hitler would send "considerable quantities of agricultural products, particularly potatoes" to Italy by December 1943, and "has agreed to the return to Italy of workers in secondary plants closed by Hitler's new total mobilization plan."
In his radio address broadcast in July 1942, then Secretary of State Cordell Hull called the "new order – an order as old as slavery, new only in the degree to which it has revived the worst practices of the darkest ages in history." Cordell made the point, "Throughout the Ages 2 lessons have remained unlearned. The first is that man's innate striving for freedom cannot be extinguished. Since the world began, too many men have fought, suffered and died for freedom – and not in vain – for doubt to remain on that score. And yet, over and over again would-be conquerors and enslavers of mankind have sought to translate their mad dreams of barbarous domination into reality. The second lesson is that liberty is truly won only when it is guarded by the same watchfulness, the same courage, the same willingness to fight for it which first secured it.
"Repeatedly throughout history, free men – having won the right, having acquired precious rights and privileges which freedom brings – have dropped their guard, relaxed their vigilance, taken their freedom for granted. They have busied themselves with many things and have not noticed the beginnings of new tyrannies, the rise of new threats to liberty. They have become so abhorrent of force and cruelty that they have believed the bully and the gangster could be reformed by reason and justice or be defeated by passive resistance. And so they have been surprised and unprepared when the attacks have come again.
"It is perhaps too much to expect that tyrants will ever learn that man's longing for liberty cannot be destroyed. Dreams of conquest have their roots in diseased mentality. And that malady may well be ineradicable. After the last war (World War I), too many nations, including our own, tolerated or participated in, attempts to advance their own interests at the expense of any system of collective security and of opportunity for all. Too many of us were blind to the evils which, thus loomed, created growing cancers within and among nations – political suspicions and hatreds; the race of armaments, first stealthy and then the subject of fragrant boasts; economic nationalism and its train of economic depression and misery; and finally the emergence from the dark places of the looters and thugs who found their opportunity in disorder and disaster.
"The shadow of a new war (World War II) fell across the world...Events have demonstrated beyond question that each of the Axis powers was bent on unlimited conquest...One of the highest official spokesmen of the Axis powers openly proclaimed that the objective of the 3 partners was a new world order to be achieved by force...A bitter armed attack on human freedom has aroused mankind to new heights of courage, determination, and moral strength. It has evoked a spirit of work, sacrifice, and cooperative effort. With that strength and with that spirit we shall win."
In the years of the Cold War, Senator Herbert Lehman made a speech, "Our justifiable concern over Soviet expansion has, perhaps, blinded us to the fact that today (in 1952) the area of freedom in the world is much greater than it was in 1942 at the height of the power of the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis...Vast numbers in Asia, in Africa, in southern Europe and in the Middle East have been freed...But nevertheless the threat of totalitarianism is greater than it was 10 years ago (in 1942) because it has become more concentrated, and the techniques of totalitarianism have been refined and improved."
Foreign news analyst William Ryan of the Associated Press made the observation in August 1954, "Fifteen years ago (in 1939) it was the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis. Today (1954) it is the Moscow-Peiping (Beijing) Axis. Fifteen years ago the issue was freedom against slavery. Today (1954) it is the same. Fifteen years ago the price of peaceful coexistence was a free hand for totalitarian expansion. Fifteen years ago the world has gone through rehearsals in Spain, Ethiopia and Manchuria for the global war (World War II) to come. Today's (1954) world has seen similar actions in Korea and Indochina (southeast Asia). But there are some big differences. World War II was preceded by a series of aggressions...But in Korea the United Nations, met aggression with armed resistance and the aggression was halted.
"Before World War II, the United States was unarmed, unprepared and just struggling out of the effects of a devastating world economic depression (The Great Depression 1929-39). Then the United States was largely on the sidelines in the forlorn hope that the rest of the world would fight out its own wars without involving Americans. Today (1954) the United States, perhaps even a bit against its will, find itself thrust into a position of world leadership."