U.S. At War: The Worst Is Always True

The U.S. citizen, a song in his heart and Pollyannery in his head, had a good laugh at Horrible Harold Ickes last year. Ickes huffed & puffed and spread the alarm, but the filling-station pumps were always full. Oil-shortage talk, after fooling nobody, finally subsided. The U.S. told itself once again that there never could be an oil shortage, and thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Ickes to resign.

Even last month, when OPA announced gasoline rationing, nobody jumped. The first headlines were scary with predictions of 2½-5 gallons a week. But...