"would argue that moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor was the opening blunder as it put the fleet within Japan's logistic reach. "
It is a blunder only if the moving the fleet led to a result that was not intended. Roosevelt wanted to come to the aid of the British and was unable to persuade a public whose liberal and conservative factions concurred in opposing a European war. When the Germans and Japanese signed a pact the possibility that aggressive diplomatic and military action against the Japanese would lead to war with Germany. The strategy was successful.
The movement of the fleet was an overt threat to the Japanese. Both sides had war gamed for fleet actions in the Pacific. Roosevelt had a strong naval background and understood well the implications of the meaning to the Japanese of the U.S. fleet moving to position to meet the Japanese fleet. The gauntlet was thrown at the feet of the Japanese and they had few options but to respond. The loss of the battleships was a tactical set back, but huge strategic victory for the U.S. It gave the perfect tool for the propagandists to wield in whipping up the American public.
Had Roosevelt not “blundered” and moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii, how would there ever been war with Japan and Germany? A war that came to be known as WWII.
For the last time, Barnes outlined what he felt were the policies and events which had led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Over the years, Barnes had revised a number of his own assumptions. One of these concerned Roosevelt's December 1, 1941 order to Admiral Hart at Manila, ordering the immediate dispatch of three "small vessels" armed with a machine gun and deck cannon, each commanded by a U.S. Naval officer, and flying the American flag. The three little ships were directed to sail into the path of Japanese Navy convoys that Washington knew were then steaming southward. Had the American ships been attacked by the Japanese, Barnes was now confident that this would have saved Pearl Harbor. "There can be little doubt that the Cockleship plan of December 1st was designed to get the indispensable attack by a method which would precede the Pearl Harbor attack, avert the latter, and save the Pacific Fleet and American lives," he wrote of this aspect of the mystery.
A part of the story that had hitherto been largely overlooked, even by many Revisionists, concerned the secret agreements Roosevelt had entered into with the British and Dutch and which led to America technically being at war with Japan four days before Pearl Harbor. As Barnes succinctly explained, in April 1941 the U.S., British, and Dutch agreed to take joint military action against Japan if the Japanese sent armed forces beyond the line 100 East and 10 North or 6 North and the Davao-Waigeo line, or threatened British or Dutch possessions in the southwest Pacific or independent countries in that region. The agreements were known as ABCD. Thereafter, Admiral Stark said that war with Japan was not a matter of if, but rather when and where. Roosevelt gave his approval to the attendant war plans in May and June. On December 3, 1941, the Dutch invoked the ABCD agree ment, after Japanese forces passed the line 100 East and 10 North, and were thought to be headed toward Dutch territory as well as the Kra Peninsula and Thailand. The U.S. military attache in Melbourne, Australia, Colonel Van S. Merle-Smith, was contacted by the Australians, British, and Dutch and informed that the Dutch were expecting the U.S. Navy to offer assistance. Merle-Smith relayed this information to his superiors by coded message. It should have reached Washington in the early evening of December 4.
Like a number of other students of the period, Barnes suspected that FDR had sought a "good war" to solve the serious economic problems that persisted throughout the New Deal. Whatever his motives, it was undeniable, he concluded, that:
The overwhelming responsibility for the war and the attack was, of course, Roosevelt's deliberate refusal to settle the relations between the United States and Japan in a peaceful manner by honest diplomatic negotiations, to achieve which Japan made unusually impressive gestures and offered very reasonable terms that protected all legitimate vital American interests in the Far East.
Pearl Harbor After a Quarter of a Century remains a note worthy contribution to the literature on the topic. It is as good an introduction to the issues involved as is currently in print.
In the October 1962 issue of the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, Rear Admiral Kemp Tolley gave his account of having been the commander of one of the "little ships" hastily ordered out of Manila to monitor the Japanese Navy in early December of 1941. Although the bare essentials of the incident had been revealed during the Joint Congressional Hearings, Tolley's article sparked much comment. Additional research resulted in the publication
That site is a mix of somewhat disreputable hack history, political ax grinding masquerading as genuine research, right and left wing polemicism, and the sort of revisionist nonsense that has made hash of true objective historical research in both the United States and Great Britain.
Give me primary sources for the above, if you can. I would greatly appreciate that information very much.
The Pearl Harbor commission was set up much the same way as the 911 commission; with members who were far from independent and had a vested interest in creating a result that covered their back sides.
You can debate endlessly the motive of Roosevelt before the war, but a few simple facts speak volumes. The American fleet was moved to Pearl Harbor against the advice of the navy and placed embargos on Japan. The U.S. and Japan were active traders before the war where our trade with China was nil. The U.S. had no vested interest in China at the time and our actions went against our national interests.
We may never discern Roosevelt’s motives, but his actions are pretty clear. He was either the most incompetent diplomat and military strategist we have had as president, or he was a demagogue who led America down the path to war against the wishes of the fast majority of the population.
An emblematic example of how the unsavory pieces of this movement intersect is the career of Wayne Charles Lutton, who holds a doctorate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In the early 1980s, he wrote book reviews for National Review, penned articles on AIDS for Christian-right publications, and won recognition as an expert on population and immigration. At the same time, writing as Charles Lutton, he got involved with the Institute for Historical Review, a pseudo-scholarly group of Holocaust-deniers. Lutton wrote for its journal in the 1980s and ’90s, mostly about military strategy, and joined the institute’s advisory board in 1985. Today Lutton serves as a trustee of the New Century Foundation, the corporate shell holding a think tank known as American Renaissance, an advocate of both scientific racism and white nationalism, and he speaks frequently at its conferences.
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