Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor 1941

© MMIX V.1.0.1

December 7, 1941 is emblazoned in our memories because that was the day of the dastardly sneak attack on the U.S. naval station that peacefully slumbered at Pear Harbor that Sunday morning 68 years ago. Even people who had not been born know about this event because it has been celebrated all these years in film and story. "From Here to Eternity" with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr is one best movies ever made and only one of many stories shaping our opinions.

Few wonder why we are constantly reminded of something that was done to us, but we are rarely reminded of anything we did to them. "They started it, so we were only defending ourselves," is what we are supposed to conclude. Few know that U.S. Naval Intelligence was reading — and sending to the White House — all the Japanese military ciphers long before Pearl Harbor. The Japanese certainly never guessed that.

At the time, President Roosevelt's critics said they could smell a rat. Years of research into American military archives has revealed that they were right. The Japanese were maneuvered into becoming America's enemy: the Pacific fleet was stationed in Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific and half-way to Japan against Admiral Richardson's protest. Admiral Richardson was fired and replaced with Admiral Kimmel who was joined by General Short. They had both been promoted ahead of their superiors to command the Pacific fleet and army. The Japanese were boxed in and provoked by Washington — which failed to warn the Pearl Harbor commanders of the attack. Kimmel and Short were then cashiered for dereliction.

Even when people admit that is what happened, they respond that these machinations had been justified to overcome the "isolationists" who were keeping the United States out of the war. If the United States had not saved the world, Hitler would have won, don't you see? Moreover, dropping Atom-bombs on Japanese civilians had been necessary to end the war and save millions of lives. Peace and saving lives is what WW II was all about. We do good. We are good.

The Empire of Japan was used to eliminate the British and Dutch empires from the western Pacific leaving the U.S. Empire as the master of the Pacific and the world — yet things have not turned out quite as one would expect. This often happens in the Japanese board game GO.

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