December 7, 1941—The “day of infamy” went down in history as the fateful day Japan bombed the U.S. Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, leaving a reluctant America with no choice but to enter World War II. The next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Congress to declare war on the Japanese Empire, calling the attack “unprovoked and dastardly”. As we shall see, it turns out that the attack was neither unprovoked nor dastardly (dictionary definition of dastardly: of or like a dastard; mean and cowardly). His claim brings us to the first major myth about Pearl Harbor.
FDR’s campaign promise in 1940 was, “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” 88% of Americans at the time opposed getting involved in the war that was quickly brewing on the other side of the world, and they elected FDR. Many of the top military leaders and FDR himself, however, actually wanted to get America involved in WWII, but the American people were not interested in participating in another bloody European conflict.
Years earlier our first president, George Washington, warned generations to come in his Farewell Address, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connections as possible…. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary combinations and collusions of her friendships or enmities.” (emphasis added)
U.S. Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum, like his superiors, desired to get into WWII, and he set out to overcome the widespread feeling of “Stay out of foreign wars!”. To do this, he devised an eight step plan to provoke Japan into attacking America so Americans would be ready and willing to join the Allies and enter the war. These steps included sending arms and troops to Japan’s enemy, China, and transporting the US fleet in San Diego to Hawaii (tiny isolated islands away from the mainland and far more easily attacked). With these and six other steps planned, McCollum hoped to provoke Japan to attack America.
President Roosevelt was also actively (and secretly) working to bring America into the war, and in March of 1941 he sent U.S. warships into Japan’s Bungo Strait. According to World War II – the Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today by Richard J. Maybury (page 137), “This would be equivalent to Japan sending warships into Chesapeake Bay in Virginia or Puget Sound in Washington State.” FDR also froze all Japanese assets.
“I ask that Congress declare that since…Sunday, December 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire,” President Roosevelt said, but he knew better. His mission had been accomplished: Japan had committed an overt act of war against America—only it wasn’t the first. Thanks to FDR the state of war between our country and Japan had been existing prior to the Pearl Harbor attacks. But the events leading up to Pearl Harbor were carefully kept from the American people by those tirelessly working toward entering the war. The media didn’t tell America, either, even though they knew it was coming, too. They were let in on the government’s secret. (Note: President Roosevelt referred to the “Japanese Empire” in his speech. By pushing America into another foreign war, he hastened our unfortunate transition from a Constitutional Republic to an empire.)
Not only was the Roosevelt administration actively working behind the scenes to provoke a Japanese attack, but they were intercepting Japanese messages and knew Japan’s every movement long before the attack—they were well aware that the desired attack was coming. During a pre-Pearl Harbor press-briefing, General Marshall asserted that war would break out in the “first ten days of December”. But they didn’t tell the American people—and they certainly didn’t tell Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii—he would have worked it around to be a disaster for the Japanese bombers rather than the other way around. If he had been allowed to do this, the golden opportunity for FDR to leap into the war would have been shattered. So no one told Admiral Kimmel war was coming.
Admiral Kimmel’s Situation
Unlike his war-mongering superiors, Admiral Kimmel, who was in charge of the navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, desired to protect the ships and sailors under his command. On February 1, 1941, President Roosevelt, annoyed by Admiral Richardson’s multiple protests at FDR’s destructive foreign policy and his unwise decision to relocate the naval fleet from San Diego to the “damned mouse trap” Pearl Harbor (Richardson’s own description), fired Richardson, replacing him with Admiral Husband E. Kimmel.
Kimmel faced many significant dilemmas in Hawaii. One of them was what kind of an attack to prepare for. He was expecting an attack. After all, he received no less than fourteen war warnings between the time he took over command at Pearl Harbor and the famous November 27th warning of 1941 (a period of ten months). Since the US government had already been intercepting Japanese messages, they knew they were sending Kimmel false warnings, preparing him to expect as much from the November 27 warning as from any of the other warnings.
Meanwhile, Kimmel was forced to linger in a constant state of expecting an attack, and he didn’t know what kind of an attack to prepare for—sabotage and espionage or air attack? Washington DC warned him to beware of both.
Preparation for the two are very different. Kimmel decided to prepare for sabotage and espionage, since, as Richard Maybury says in World War II – the Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today (page 154): “Pearl Harbor was thousands of miles from Japan, and 40 percent of the population of Hawaii was of Japanese descent, so Kimmel reasoned that the greater threat was sabotage and espionage; he parked his planes close together” so they could be easily guarded.
Admiral Kimmel knew well the foolishness in choosing such a dangerous location as the “damned mouse trap” surrounded by ocean on all sides, but since Roosevelt would not budge, he made do with what he had and prepared for the worst. In fact, he made sure there was enough gunners on his ships to operate all the guns at all times!
Thus, amazingly, “all the anti-aircraft guns were firing with 7 minutes of the beginning of the attack.” (World War II – the Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, page 152) This could have only been done in a state of extreme readiness.
And who was President Roosevelt’s handy scapegoat for the “unprovoked” catastrophe? The same person who had been warning Roosevelt that his aggressive foreign policies would provoke a Japanese attack; the same person who had prepared for the attack as well as he could with the conflicting information given him (including the endless cries of “Wolf! Wolf!” from the government); the same person who requested more planes and other defense weapons, seeing the fleet’s extreme vulnerability and isolation on the island.
Admiral Kimmel was the war-mongering socialists’ scapegoat, and was relieved of command in extreme humiliation. Meantime, the socialists had achieved their goal: to get into the war and help the Allies (which included Russian mass-murdering tyrant Joseph Stalin) defeat the Axis. Kimmel was left by the wayside, blamed for Pearl Harbor, and his reputation ruined for life. He died in 1968; Congress finally declared Kimmel not responsible for the disaster at Pearl Harbor—in 1999. He was one sacrifice on the road to involvement in WWII among many.
How Did Japan Dare?
This is an important question. How in the world did a tiny country like Japan, who was dependent on oil and other necessary natural resources from the United States, dare to attack the wealthiest and best-equipped nation in the world? The difference of abilities to carry on a war between the two countries is rather shocking. Maybury writes, (page 125) “At any given time in the Pacific Theater of the war, for every American soldier, there were four tons of supplies. For every Japanese there were two pounds.”
It was obvious Japan could not possibly carry on a war with the U.S. for very long, much less conquer us…so why did they attack? According to Richard Maybury the answer is, “Even a rabbit will fight if cornered.”
Knowing this, FDR sought to do just this, which included reducing our oil supply to Japan by 90% and getting other nations, like Britain and Holland, to do the same, completely cutting off our supply of iron to Japan, and freezing all their assets. And, as stated previously, he sent carriers to hang around in Japanese home waters. FDR also sent arms and soldiers to Japan’s open enemy, China. All these actions were before the attack on Pearl Harbor! So in spite of America’s vast superiority in riches, weapons, natural resources, and ability to mass-produce war machines, Japan decided to retaliate. This was not dastardly (cowardly). It took a lot of courage to, in the words of the Pearl Harbor attack commander, Admiral Yamamoto, “wake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”. FDR drove them to it.
This article has only briefly covered some of the major myths told to Americans surrounding the “day of infamy”. FDR wanted to get into the war and stopped at nothing to achieve his desire, costing our nation not only the 2,403 American lives at Pearl Harbor, but also the thousands of lives squandered in the devastating war that followed. Far from being one of America’s “greatest” presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt propelled us into another useless foreign war and sacrificed any in his way. Pearl Harbor was not at all what it was proclaimed to be by FDR and his fellow socialists. Pearl Harbor was simply where Japan finally lashed back at the aggressive American government.
For more information on Pearl Harbor and FDR’s deceit, check out http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4740-pearl-harbor-hawaii-was-surprised-fdr-was-not and read World War II – the Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today by Richard J. Maybury, Bluestocking Press.