Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  As FDR called it, a “date which will live in infamy”.  For our grandparents this was a defining moment in their lives. This was one of those events which is frozen in time, allowing you to recall where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news.  It is what 9/11 has been for my generation.  But it shares another similarity as well.

Pearl Harbor could have been avoided.  Just like 9/11, it was the result of foreign intervention on the part of the United States in the affairs of other nations.  The president at the time was Franklin D. Roosevelt.  FDR was relishing the idea of getting the US entangled in World War II but wanted an excuse to do so.  His first attempt was the coordinated attack with Britain on German U-boats in the North Atlantic.  Hitler did not take the bait.  After this first failure, FDR changed his focus to Japan (an ally of Germany).  Japan at the time was in the midst of an industrial revolution and relied heavily on the importation of raw materials and oil for its economic success.  Japan was also posing as a challenger to China’s geographical authority.  FDR, being a sympathizer of the Chinese and seeking an excuse for war leveled strict sanctions and trade embargoes against the Japanese in consort with other US allies.  This posed a serious problem for Japan, who ultimately retaliated against Pearl Harbor, just as FDR had hoped.

So before damning the Japanese for their attack against the US, check the history and see why they did it.  These are the important things you didn’t learn in school.

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