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PostDid FDR "Provoke" War with Japan? No (Edward Jajko, USA, 10/10/18 3:28 am)
I really have problems with Ric Mauricio's posting of October 9th, on the effect of US sanctions against Japan in 1941.
Yes, granted, I'm not a historian as are so many in WAIS (even many whose training and job are not History). But the argument that Roosevelt's freezing of Japanese assets, etc., at the end of July 1941 forced Japan into war doesn't make sense. Japan had begun intensive planning, preparation, and training for the attack on Pearl in the beginning of 1941, not the mid-summer. Further, the CO of Pearl Harbor was notified of imminent attack, but communication systems in 1941 were not what they are now. The notification was done haphazardly and without necessary urgency.
Ordinarily, I am happy to join in negative commentary about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, of whom I have a low opinion, but not in this instance. FDR's sanctions of 1941 were an attempt to get Japan to halt its destructive and self-destructive actions. After all, Japan was already at war and had been for at least four years, and was beginning to encroach on US, British, and Dutch possessions. A brilliant plan: eliminate the powerful US fleet to allow further attacks without hindrance. A plan to climb mount Niitaka that took almost a year to complete.
I do not read the quotations lifted from the diary of Secretary Stimson in the same damning light as does the Mise author.
The Mise "analysis" attempts to lay the blame for the attack on Pearl Harbor (and other installations throughout the North Pacific) on the United States. FDR supposedly provoked a war that cost the US untold amounts of lives and treasure. Although the war years brought great prosperity to my hard-working parents, I know they worried about my father's parents and two younger brothers, living in southeast Poland first under occupation by German invaders, then by Russians. I still remember the numerous Gold Stars hanging in people's windows; the scrap paper and metal drives; the songs of the war years. Also, after the war, men with greatly disfigured faces, the result of massive war wounds and the inelegant plastic surgery of the mid 1940s.
As little regard as I have for FDR, I can't imagine that he would cynically and criminally sacrifice some 3,000 American souls and almost the entire Pacific fleet so as to draw Japan into a world-destroying war.
JE comments: Ed, someday we'll have to sit down for a chat--why such low regard for FDR? How would the US have fared during the Depression without the introduction of the Roosevelt "alphabet soup"--NRA, FHA, FICA, FDIC? I will grant you that FDR sold Poland down a river that flows all the way to Moscow. Is that the reason for your disdain?