Another nice job, Terry. Your transcription catches the intimate tone Welles was at his best at during public conversation.
He may have leaned a bit too hard on the memory of his "War of the World's," but by 1946, he was beginning to need to remind people of the sensation the program caused. And of course, it tied into a genuine worry that he carried the rest of his life about the future of civilization (or the lack thereof).
Interesting to hear how he came back to the same themes his whole life, dressing them in new and old clothes, but holding to them.
His anti-war stance is here, if his propheses are a bit alarmist. We needed those reminders though; even if, in fact, when the three years had passed, possibly two nations had The Bomb. Today, however, I think we are pretty close to the nine nations Welles tells us the war planners believed were going to get those bombs. After all, it only takes one nation to take out up to sixty nations in peremptory strikes, as the Bush Administration told us we were quite ready to demonstrate. Still, if the American Public had taken Welles seriously, they might not have been so shocked, and we might have escaped the McCarthy Period, which for all the patting of ourselves on the back has led to what we have now.
Drew Pearson was a tremendously influential columnist of his day, but I don't quite understand why Welles draws him into his commentary except for comfort, and to link somehow what's being said with his veiled jibe at General Douglas MacArthur, who even in the sunny comfort of World War II Victory was often resented for pronouncements such as: "A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him." MacArthur was always suggesting that his troops were not quite courageous enough to make him look good. He was often known as "Dugout Doug," and he was one of the first modern American generals to have a personal PR officer/Intelligence Chief (the mysterious Major General Charles Andrew Willoughby, German-born and later employed by Francisco Franco and Big Oil).
The stuff about Hollywood and "entertaining the troops" is pretty ephemeral, too, except for the fact that arguments about troop support -- much more serious arguments, really -- go on, today.
Finally, I find it poignant that Welles was making longing references to The Story of Bonito, an unstated reference to a remainder of his IT'S ALL TRUE, four years after his Latin American debacle. He was always in the thrall of that summer he spend with the bulls in Spain as a boy, imagining himself no doubt, at least later, to be his early hero, Ernest Hemingway. And of course, as he informs us off-handedly, he is at the Tijuana fights with his friend Jo Cotten, in the company of "Rita," the most desired Latina in the World at the time.
Thank you, Terry.