Friday, December 08, 2006

Pearl Harbor - Worth Remembering, But Not For the Public Reasons

Signs of the Times Remembers:

Pearl Harbor - A Lesson Lost On The People Of The World

Signs of the Times 08/12/2006

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the day when President Roosevelt gave the American people and the world conclusive proof that, as a general rule, war doesn't just happen but is deliberately created by politicians.

From Douglas Reed's Controversy of Zion:
In the First [World] War President Wilson, re-elected on the promise to keep his country out of war, immediately after his re-inauguration declared that "a state of war exists". In the Second War President Roosevelt was re-elected in 1940 on the repeated promise that "your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars". His electoral programme, however, included a five-word proviso: "We will not send our armies, navies or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside the Americas except in case of attack". These five words were added (says one of Mr. Bernard Baruch's approved biographers, Mr. Rosenbloom) "by Senator James F. Byrnes, who was so close to Baruch that it was sometimes impossible to tell which of the two originated the view that both expressed".

The importance of the proviso was shown on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Twelve days earlier Mr. Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary for War, after a cabinet meeting on November 25, 1941, had noted in his diary: "The question was how we should manoeuvre them" (the Japanese) "into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves; it was a difficult proposition".

The pre-history of this notation, again, is that on January 27, 1941 the United States Ambassador in Tokyo had advised his government that "in the event of trouble breaking out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbour"; that the Soviet spy in Tokyo, Dr. Richard Sorge, informed the Soviet Government in October 1941 that "the Japs intended to attack Pearl Harbour within sixty days" and was advised by the Soviet Government that his information had been transmitted to President Roosevelt (according to Sorge's confession, New York Daily News, May 17, 1951); that the Roosevelt government delivered a virtual ultimatum to Japan on November 26, 1941; that secret Japanese messages, from September 1941 up to the very moment of the attack, which were intercepted and decoded by United States intelligence units, gave unmistakable evidence of a coming attack on Pearl Harbour but were not transmitted to the American commanders there; that on December 1 the Head of Naval Intelligence, Far Eastern Section, drafted a dispatch to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet saying "war between Japan and the United States is imminent", which was cancelled by superior authority; that on December 5 Colonel Sadtler of the U.S. Signal Corps, on information received, drafted a dispatch to commanders, "War with Japan imminent; eliminate all possibility of another Port Arthur" (an allusion to the similar "surprise attack" that began the Russo-Japanese war), which was similarly suppressed; that a Japanese reply, obviously tantamount to a declaration of war, to the Roosevelt ultimatum was received in Washington on December 6, 1941 but no word was sent to the Pearl Harbour defenders. A message stating that "the Japanese are presenting at one p.m., eastern time today what amounts to an ultimatum. . . be on the alert" was at last dispatched about noon on December 7, 1941, and reached the commanders at Pearl Harbour between six and eight hours after the Japanese attack.

The record now available suggests that the Americans on Hawaii alone were left without knowledge of the imminent onslaught which cost two battleships and two destroyers (apart from many vessels put out of action), 177 aircraft and 4575 dead, wounded or missing. A direct and immediate consequence was also the disaster suffered by the British navy off Malaya, when the battleships Prince of Wales and Renown were sunk with great loss of life.

Political leaders who are ready to obtain their country's entry into war by facilitating an enemy attack on it cannot be depended on to wage it in the national interest. The American people as a whole still is unaware of the truth of Pearl Harbour, an ominous beginning which led in unbroken line to the ominous end.

Eight investigations were held, seven naval or military ones during wartime and one Congressional one at the war's end. Thus wartime secrecy enshrouded them all and none of them was truly public or exhaustive; moreover, all were conducted under the aegis of the political party whose man was president at the time of Pearl Harbour. The vital facts (that the president knew at the latest eight weeks earlier, from an intercepted Japanese dispatch, that "a surprise attack was being planned and that these intercepted messages were withheld from the Pearl Harbour commanders over a long period) were burked throughout. The Secretary of War's diary (with the significant entry above quoted) was not admitted in evidence and Mr. Stimson himself was not called, being in ill health. Control of the press enabled the long proceedings (six months) to be presented to the public in bewildering and confusing form.

However, the three naval commanders chiefly concerned have published their accounts. Rear Admiral Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet at the time, says of another admiral's belief that "President Roosevelt's plans required that no word be sent to alert the fleet in Hawaii", that "the individuals in high position in Washington who willfully refrained from alerting our forces at Pearl Harbour should never be excused. The Commanders at Pearl Harbour Were never informed of. . . the American note delivered to the Japanese Ambassadors on November 26, 1941, which effectually ended the possibility of further negotiations and thus made the Pacific war inevitable . . . No hint of vital intercepts received, decoded and delivered to responsible officials in Washington on December 6 and 7, 1941, was sent to the Navy and Army Commanders in the Hawaiian area".

Fleet Admiral Halsey, who at that time was one of Admiral Kimmel's three senior commanders, says, "All our intelligence pointed to an attack by Japan against the Philippines or the southern areas in Malaya or the Dutch East Indies. While Pearl Harbour was considered and not ruled out, the mass of the evidence made available to us pointed in another direction. Had we known of Japan's minute and continued interest in the exact location and movement of our ships in Pearl Harbour" (indicated by the withheld message) "it is only logical that we would have concentrated our thought on meeting the practical certainty of an attack on Pearl Harbour".

Rear Admiral Theobald, commanding destroyers of the Battle Force at Pearl Harbour, writing in 1954 says, "Dictates of patriotism requiring secrecy regarding a line of national conduct in order to preserve it for possible future repetition do not apply in this case because, in this atomic age, facilitating an enemy's surprise attack, as a method of initiating a war, is unthinkable".

(The admiral presumably means that he hopes a repetition is "unthinkable"). He adds. "The recurrent fact of the true Pearl Harbour story has been the repeated withholding of information from Admiral Kimmel and General Short" (the naval and military commanders at Pearl Harbour, who were made scapegoats) ". . . never before in recorded history had a field commander been denied information that his country would be at war in a matter of hours, and that everything pointed to a surprise attack upon his forces shortly after sunrise".

Admiral Theobald quotes the later statement of Admiral Stark (who in December 1941 was Chief of Naval Operations in Washington and who refused to inform Admiral Kimmel of the Japanese declaration of war message) that all he did was done on the order of higher authority, "which can only mean President Roosevelt.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. If it works, why change tactics? It should be obvious to anyone that is prepared to think logically rather than emotionally or "patriotically" that involving a country in a war that the population doesn't want is easy. In 1941 it happened by way of Pearl Harbor, Vietnam was helped along by the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the current invasion of Iraq absolutely required the events of September 11, 2001.

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