I have recently become interested in the issue of the Pearl Harbor attack in the context of FDR's handling of World War II. I have been surprised by the amount of evidence that FDR and certain senior officials in his administration knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, that FDR allowed the attack to occur in order to galvanize the American people to support early American entry into the war, and that he unjustly blamed the local commanders in Hawaii (Admiral Kimmel and General Short) to satisfy an outraged public.
I have been even more surprised to discover that the Japanese did not want war with America and that FDR in fact provoked the Japanese to attack us, partly because he was obsessed with saving the Soviet Union. I never knew that starting in late 1939, FDR began to impose increasingly harsh sanctions on Japan, with the excuse that they were done in order to punish and/or curb Japanese aggression in China and Indochina. Yet, FDR imposed no such sanctions on the Soviets when they brutalized and occupied Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even parts of China. Nor did he impose any such sanctions when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his supporters murdered millions of Soviet citizens from 1934 to 1938 to consolidate Stalin's power.
Oh, yes, the Japanese army could be vicious, as it disgracefully proved in Nanking, but it was no more vicious than the Soviet army. And, yes, Tojo, Japan's prime minister, was ruthless, but he was not nearly as ruthless or brutal as Stalin. (Incidentally, Tojo only came to power because FDR's anti-Japanese sanctions caused the fall of the moderate, pro-Western Konoye government in October 1941.)
Japan was staunchly anti-communist and capitalist, and did not want war with America. Although Japan was no model of democracy, it was not nearly as despotic or oppressive as the Soviet Union. FDR's economic sanctions were strangling the Japanese economy. Japan repeatedly tried to make peace with FDR. Even the Tojo government offered major concessions and even indicated it would ignore its treaty with Germany in the event America intervened in Europe. But FDR refused. So the Japanese had two choices: attack America or suffer economic collapse and long-term third-world status.
Japan's aim in going to war with the U.S. was to inflict enough damage that FDR would agree to a peace agreement in which he would agree to lift the economic sanctions and to cease intervening in East Asia. Japan had no intention of trying to conquer the United States. If we had had a president who was not obsessed with saving Stalin and the Soviets, we could have avoided war with Japan.
As for the evidence that FDR knew that Pearl Harbor would be attacked and did not warn the local commanders because he wanted the Japanese to appear to "fire the first shot," I would recommend the following books:
The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Potomac Books, 2007), by George Victor. Victor's other World-War-II book is Hitler: The Pathology of Evil.
Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath (Doubleday Books, 1983), by John Toland. Toland, one of most eminent historians on the World War II era, initially rejected the idea that FDR had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack (see his comments on the subject in his previous book The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire). As he studied the matter further and became aware of new information, he changed his mind.
Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy (LVMI, 2011), by Percy Greaves. Greaves served as the Republican counsel on the joint congressional committee that investigated the Pearl Harbor attack in 1946.
Although you'd never know it to read most of our history "textbooks" today, soon after the attack, numerous military officers, public officials, and others suspected that FDR had known the attack was going to occur and that he let it happen in order to get America into the war. Two of those military officers included Admiral Halsey and Admiral Theobald. Theobald later wrote a book, The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, in which he argued that FDR had foreknowledge of the attack and that he viciously and unjustly scapegoated Kimmel and Short to try to cover his tracks. Theobald's book is one of the best ever written on the subject.This message has been edited. Last edited by: 15731859,
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"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?" - Gordon Lightfoot
Moving to the Conspiracy Theory forums.
It's a bit disappointing to see this thread put in a sub-forum where there are threads discussing theories about Democrats being involved in a plot to murder Christians and about the US secretly murdering dissidents. But, oh well. Some conspiracy theories are so grounded in facts or are so well established that they are not really "theories" anymore, while other conspiracy theories are nutty and bizarre.
There's not much "theory" about what FDR knew and did in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor. We know the decrypted intercepts that he recieved and was briefed on, and we know about the warnings that he and some of his cabinet members and top aides were given. It's a matter of record attested in hundreds of released government documents, reports, and the private journals of some of his own cabinet members and senior military officers. Way back in 1944, the GOP nominee for president, Gov. Thomas Dewey, found out from military and congressional sources that FDR had known of the impending Japanese attack and that he had purposely kept the local commanders in Hawaii in the dark about it. Indeed, Dewey was going to make this a campaign issue until General Marshall literally begged him to keep quiet on the (dubious) grounds that exposing FDR's duplicity would tip off the Japanese that their codes had been broken. Dewey reluctantly agreed but told Marshall's aide, Colonel Carter Clarke, that FDR should be impeached for what he had done.
These facts have been discussed by noted historians and scholars such as Toland, Morgenstern, Barnes, Victor, Goodman, Beach, Greaves, Theobald, Richardson, and many others.
And FDR's desperation to save the Soviet Union has been the subject of numerous books for the last five decades. Similarly, Japan's repeated efforts to reach a deal with FDR, and the enormous concessions that they offered to try to achieve that deal, are a matter of diplomatic record and have been discussed in untold numbers of books.This message has been edited. Last edited by: 15731859,
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I heard FDR, Stalin, and Churchill came back in time intending to kill and replace the Three Stooges but instead chose to enter politics and save the world.
If Roosevelt expected an attact by the Japanese, most likely he believed it would take place in the Philippines, not at Pearl Harbor.
If FDR "knew" the attack was comming and wanted it to happen, he would not have allowed any "war warning" to be sent to the Pacific.
Kimmel and Short were sacked. Was it fair? Life is not always fair. But with command comes responsibility. And someone screwed up at Pearl Harbor. More than one "somebody." The radar picked up the incomming Japanese and was ignored. The attack on the japanese 2 man submarine was ignores without verification.
I used to believe Roosevelt was behind some nefarious scheme to get America into the war with Germany by way of the "back door" meaning Japan. That he allowed the attack on 12-7-41 to happen. The more research I did, the less I believed it. There is no smoking gun.
Numerous books about saving the Soviet Union?
What "deal" did the Japanese offer? They walked out of the League of Nations rather than leave Manchuria. They refused to end their invasion of China. Indochina? They wanted it as a springboard to the riches to the south.
The Japanese attacked to gain empire and with the Brits tied up in Europe and North Africa and America just starting to rearm saw an opportunity. An opportunity that would fade in the future.
I heard that too. Not true though. It was FDR and Churchill meaning to kill
Abbott and Costello. Stalin was a killer but had no sense of humor.
FDR, Stalin and churchill. Was actually Captain Kirk, Scotty and Spock. To change the time line in favor of the Federation.
Is this legal?
I don't know,but its fun isn't?!
Something that is missing in your nice posting. President Roosevelt, amazing as it seems, was not on the list to receive the most secret intercepts from Navy or Army intelligence. The head of the military services considered Roosevelt quote ,"A Security Risk" and had his name taken off the list BEFORE Pearl Harbor. If you pay attention to the movies TORA TORA TORA, this is mentioned when the Navy Lt. Commander asks the Army colonel why FDR is not on the list for the intercepts. This was not Hollywood dramatizing it, it was fact. I was always told that the War Department had NOT broken the Japanese Naval codes BEFORE Pearl Harbor, I found out in the last several years that this is not true. But again FDR was not privy to the info. They were reading the "Purple codes" the Japanese Diplomatic codes and it was deduced from the messages that an attack was coming. The Philippines was considered the most lielly target. Scooter is right when he says Admiral Kimmel and General Short were to blame for the attacks success because they were in charge. Short did not provide the air search and air protection he was required to give. Kimmel, didn't put the fleet on alert and stop the normal routine from occuring. Many ships at Pearl Harbor were opened up for the Monday zone inspection. Ships buttoned up and at GQ stations later in the war were damaged much more severely and survived. No, FDR letting the attack happen...as my British friends say "BULLOCKS" ain't so!
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So the Nazis/Japs were Borg? Romulans? Grigari?
Is this legal?
I don't know,but its fun isn't?!
Again "BULLOCKS!" Why do people keep bringing that subject up? damn! It like the one where Stanton and Colonel Baker had Lincoln killed. PLEEEEEEASE! Oh well freedom of the press, boing boing boing!
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So the Cold War was actually the Temporal Cold War. And they thought we wouldn't figure this out.
I believe you're misinterpreting the phrase 'surprise attack.' The attack itself was not a surprise, only the method and location.
It was no surprise that FDR positioned the US to block Japanese expansion into the South Pacific, as it was part of his stated foreign policy - a policy in keeping with what he told the nation in a broadcast nearly a year before Pearl Harbor:
Fireside chat #16, December 29, 1940
"Never before…has our American civilization been in such danger as now,...By an agreement signed in Berlin, three powerful nations, two in Europe and one in Asia, joined themselves together…that if the United States of America interfered with or blocked the expansion program of these three nations – a program aimed at world control – they would unite in ultimate action against the United States.”
“If Great Britain goes down, all of us in the Americas would be living at the point of a gun,... There are those who say that the Axis powers have no desire to attack the Western Hemisphere. That is the same sort of wishful thinking which has destroyed the powers of resistance of so many conquered peoples…the vast resources and wealth of this American Hemisphere constitute the most tempting loot in all of the round world.”
Seven months later (July 1941) he froze Japanese assets in the US and prevented Japanese companies from purchasing any products from American manufacturers. This essentially imposed a severe oil embargo - about 90% of Japanese oil trade at that point in time when you add in the Dutch and British who joined the embargo.
Two month after that (September 1941), he refused a summit meeting with the Prime Minister and insisted on complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from China and Indochina - about 500,000 total, many of whom were in active combat operations.
All of these actions were in the public eye, all were fully reported and common knowledge in the American political and public arena. The idea that our entry into WWII was a surprise is preposterous.
The only surprise was WHERE and HOW we were attacked - Japan committed 75% of her total Naval Air assets on a four carrier strike a full 3800 miles from her home islands. In comparison, the British attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto (the supposed 'model' for the Pearl Harbor attack) was conducted by one carrier a mere 350 miles from its base. It was the scale of the attack and its audacious commitment of forces that was the surprise, not that we were at war.
If you feel 'all the pieces were there' to anticipate how the attack was conducted, then I give you a green bean for 20/20 hindsight. The military and civilian leaders at the time had much less visibility that this precise type and scale of attack was going to occur.
But he had received intel from decrypts that Pearl Harbor was a target. He had also received specific warning from Congressman Dies, based on intel uncovered by Dies' committee, that the Japanese were planning an attack on Pearl Harbor. He received the same warning from Ambassador Joseph Grew, our ambassador to Tokyo. Furthermore, even Admiral Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations, had stated that it was likely that Japan would initiate hostilities by attacking Pearl Harbor. And on and on we could go.
On the contrary, that so-called "war warning" was vague and contradictory, and it said nothing, not one word, about the intel that indicated Pearl Harbor was a target. The "war warning" was done for the sake of history and to cover their tracks, so they could later say, "You see, we warned Kimmel and Short." The "war warning" didn't even mention the intercepted Pearl Harbor bomb plot message, which had been intercepted over a month earlier.
The radar detection was ignored by a young, inexperienced lieutenant, and thus it was not sent up the chain, so Kimmel and Short never even heard about it until after the attack.
And the attack on the Japanese sub that morning was not ignored, but there had been numerous false reports of Japanese subs in previous weeks. So when Kimmel heard about it, he immediately ordered that the incident be confirmed--again, given that there had been so many false alarms about Japanese subs in recent weeks. However, we must keep in mind that Kimmmel didn't hear about the sub-attack report until barely an hour before the Japanese planes arrived, so the Japanese arrived before there was time to confirm the report of the sub-sinking.
I think there are several smoking guns. You might want to read Dr. George Victor's book The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (2007). At least some of them are found in the FOIA-released documents relating to decrypts of Japanese intercepts, which indicate that American intelligence was tracking the Japanese fleet and knew that it was approaching Pearl Harbor.
I think a number of smoking guns have been there for decades but have been ignored or minimized by a herd mentality determined to see no evil in what FDR did. I think this is proven by Admiral Theobald's 1954 book The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor.
I have read both of the books you mention and you are reading between the lines just like the people who supposedly killed and plotted against Lincoln.
It would be safe to say, Yes, the Japanese were planning to attack Pearl Harbor, but that has been something of SOP for potential bellergent nations to do. The intitial plan was ruled impracticable because of the depth of the water when launching aerial torpedoes. I don't see any items on your profile to show you have had staff experience or what your rank/rate was. YI'm sure that their staff intelligence people would tell them about the intercepts, or that the intercepts would appear on any kind of action messages that the COs, whomever, would have to sign to show they had seen it.
The young man on the radar station in the mountains of Hawaii was a volunteer to man the station and was, according to his interview on the World at War, just as knowledgeable as anyone there on how to use and interperet the signals. Your statement is full of holes! The formation of planes he reported was believed to be the ferrying aircraft of B-17s from the west coast. US defense plans and orders did not call for an attack to be made from the direction the Japanese came. It was set up to operated in a Southernly, western search area, not the Northwest. That area of the Pacific was used by the Japanese because of the few ships that would traverse the area that time of year. I've been through that area in January and February and it can be as nasty as the Atlantic in mid winter.
The American intelligence people lost the Japanes carrier forces and had sent out the analysis that they were in the South China Seas operating near French-Indo China and southern China.
The British attack at Taranto gave the Japanese new hope at using torpdoes at Pearl Harbor as the British torpedoes were modififed to run in shallow water.
Careful planning of a base for an attack can take months if not years. Military makes up plans and keeps updating them for possible use.
Again I say BULLOCKS!!!!!!
One thing of value to learn when you read things like this subject, and others, is 90% of the historians have a personal axe to grind. They may use impeccable sources, but many times use it to make their point in the interepation of the facts. In other words, they ARE out to convince you they are right and everyone else is WRONG. Don't fall for that trap. We may never know for sure, but I do not believe FDR did that on purpose.
The truth about Pearl is right in front of us, all we have to do is put all the pieces together like a giant puzzle. Given all the data now declassed it's really no great mystery and made perfect sense at the time. Helluva price to pay and underhanded in some respects but be that as it may it was actually a stroke of genius that saved our entire planet.
Consider that President Roosevelt found himself caught between all the social problems written above where he found himself the leader of a people torn between isolationists who wanted nothing to do with another European war and those who wanted to become directly involved. On the one hand by treaty obligations he was obligated to act one way while on the other as our President he was obligated to act another which left him with a dilemma that couldn’t please everyone.
Now add the fact that there were three competing nuclear weapons programs being conducted by us, the British and the Germans who had the distinct advantage of developing companion delivery systems guided by the genius of the master rocketeer himself Werner Von Braun. President Roosevelt was very aware of the continuing German successes and how if left unchecked it would only be a matter of time before they had the weapons and the means to deliver them.
Hence Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s personal diary entry “We knew the best way to a war with Germany was through the backdoor with Japan.”
There are probably many who will scoff at this and while they’ve done the reading they truly don’t see the pieces of the puzzle that reveal the real picture.
Along with many new thinkers, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt saw the true virtue that carrier based air would revolutionize naval warfare so as President he ordered a consolidation of fleet wide forces in San Diego and further transferred them to the Department of Hawaii. Once he placed the oil embargo from Java to the Japanese home islands he placed American carriers at sea while retaining the old Battlewagons in port in an anti sabotage mode which placed them closely together under the ruse they would be easier to protect.
Naturally once the Battleships were taken out of action during the beginning of the war President Roosevelt was given open production lines to replace them and instead he built 18 fast, 9 Light and 83 escort carriers for a total of 110 aircraft carrying ships while only building one class of 4 fast battleships. Prior to this carrier to battleship production was at 1:1.
Back in 1941, like today naval prudence dictates shifting high value vessels into less vulnerable positions so given the known threat at least part of the Battle Line should have moved to another nearby harbor per naval procedure. However knowing his imposed oil embargo was forcing the Japanese to react because it was killing their economy, President Roosevelt grouped the Battleships together at Pearl in order to maximize their damage and the resultant galvanizing effect it would have on the American People at that time. In short he sacrificed the existing Fleet to draw us into World War II and it also gave him the ultimate justification to rebuild a new one more to his liking.
President Roosevelt was such an astute man it’s no wonder he stayed in power as long as he did.
The rest is the fun in you finding out for yourself. Don’t be too harsh or critical as the pieces fall into place because as is always the case ... hindsight is always 20/20. What would you have done if you were in President Franklin's place? They lived it, we're simply living the rewards of their aftermath.
Deano, we've been down this path before.
What you're suggesting is that the Commander in Chief would voluntarily destroy 50% (70% of what he had in theater) of his surface fleet and lose about 35,000 soldiers and sailors for the benefit of a future production of a class of warship that wouldn't be available for nearly a year after the first day of combat (USS Essex wasn't commissioned until December 1942).
If that figure for losses doesn't look right, I'm including the US forces in the Philippines - about 33,000 - 33% of what the US Army had in the entire Pacific basin (this doesn't even include the 90,000 Filipino troops lost there). Without a significant surface fleet, our carriers were unable to relieve the garrison there in time to prevent the fall of Luzon. That was the operational role of the Pacific fleet, the reason for their basing at Pearl, and the very reason Yamamoto chose his brilliant strategy of neutralizing it with a surprise attack.
Next time you play chess, offer to give up your queen and a rook on the first move for a chance at two queens on turn 20 and see how well you do against an even mediocre player.
Sulli Sulli Sulli.
The reference to the TYPES of ships, NOT merely their class is representative of President Roosevelt's thought processes which is the subject at hand.
As Secretary Stimson wrote in his diary:
"President Roosevelt brought up the event that we are likely to be attacked perhaps next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves."
Richard N. Current, "How Stimson Meant to 'Maneuver' the Japanese," Mississippi Valley Historical Review Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jun., 1953), pp. 67-74
Pearl Harbor losses:
1177 KIA were from Arizona
Once again ... what part of President Roosevelt's plan to keep a madman's finger off the nuclear trigger within a few years is not strategic thinking on his part??? He was looking to save our planet.
Never confuse two dimensional chess tactics for three hundred and sixty degree global warfare strategies.
It was an exercise in force ratios to illustrate that if that was a strategy, it was fatally flawed.
Losing half our fleet meant we were at a distinct disadvantage in the subsequent Coral Sea and Midway battles. Without the attack, the Japanese would have never gotten close to New Guinea nor would they have ever dared the Midway operation.
Don't believe the decisive US victory at Midway was inevitable. The battle balanced on a razor thin margin of luck and courage that was by no means preordained. The cost of defeat there would have been very high. We might have even lost Hawaii as a base.
Even a draw would've meant no Solomons campaign, and likely would have cost us New Caledonia. Without that island and its support facilities, New Guinea would have fallen as well. At that point, Australia would likely have been lost or at least neutralized as a base of operations.
Where would THAT have left the US? The entire SW Pacific route taken by MacArthur would have been blocked, leaving all operations based solely out of Hawaii. Our entire submarine warfare plan would have been unhinged and ineffective as we could not extend our interdiction close enough to the transport lanes for the IJN.
The big break for the Navy was the fact the carriers, absent at the time of the attack, would be key to victory in the Pacific as demonstrated by the Japanese themselves.
Now the conspiracy buffs will jump in and claim they were supposed to be gone. But Halsey was delayed by storms or would have been at Pearl if the weather had not intervened. I believe Saratoga was in a West Coast drydock, ; Wasp on the East Coast.
The storm was part of the conspiracy. I notice even you say,"weather had not intervened."
As if it was planed.
That aught to be good for a few more pages of conspiracy.
Okay, I’ll change my response to understood.
Before addressing the specifics in your post, let’s first set the stage.
While your post is very true in some respects let’s remember Imperial Japan was looking to gain temporary, not permanent, control of "The American Lake" which they called the Pacific Ocean. Their overall strategy was to buy a couple of years worth of time before American shipyards could build a replacement Navy strong enough to challenge them on “The Lake” thus they figured we would sue for peace and concede the Western Pacific to them. Given their perception of time back then was measured in years as opposed to months like we view it today, they wagered that by setting up ocean wide island based defensive barriers in depth they would have sufficient land based air coverage in conjunction with their fleet air to support aggressive anti War Plan Orange operations. Imperial Japan was very painfully aware of our blockade plan so they based their strategy on Vice Admiral Alfred Mahan’s concept that “countries with greater naval power have greater worldwide impact.”
President Roosevelt’s Goal and Plan:
He rightly believed Chancellor Hitler would view the destruction of the Navy’s Battleline at Pearl Harbor as a significantly reduced threat thus he’d declare war on the United States in order to further degrade and disrupt our supplying our European Allies’ war efforts against him. President Roosevelt was right and Chancellor Hitler fell for the bait.
President Roosevelt’s plan was based on the simple fact that everyone, including Imperial Japan, knew their most serious weakness was their lack of raw materials within their national borders. This forced them to draw those vital natural resources from all over Southeast Asia hence their creation of The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere which we still see versions of in effect today because they still have this serious lack. It was this very lack of internal petroleum products vital to fuel their society that President Roosevelt embargoed in order to strangle their economy thus forcing Imperial Japan to react with military force.
IJN’s Concept of Operations:
Their mission was to confine the United States Navy to waters east of Hawaii while leaving the rest of the Western Pacific open to their economic efforts in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. This is why they took out our "heavies" while virtually leaving our Escorts, Fleet Headquarters, the Navy Yard and its repair facilities, Submarine Base and fuel oil tank farms intact even though their destruction would have rendered Pearl Harbor useless as a forward operating base.
I’m not so sure. Let’s not forget IJN’s and IJA’s operations where they anchored the north in Alaska, the center in Okinawa, Formosa and the Philippines and the south in Singapore which under land based air gave them open sea lines of communication all along the Western Pacific. Given their existing island defensive perimeters they virtually controlled the south central to south western Pacific which left our only supply sea lines of communication going south through French Polynesian waters. With the exception of the northern central Pacific this effectively cut us off from any direct sea and air routes into Japan’s home islands.
Arguably had Japan not over extended themselves New Guinea was theirs for the taking because Australia was already heavily committed supporting British war efforts in Africa thus they had little to nothing left to stop them.
If we had faced off with them fleet to fleet, given their existing numerical superiority in aircraft carriers coupled with their land based air they quite probably could have defeated us in open battle at sea. But because IJN operated with such caution due to their inability to support a long drawn out war effort they opted for short decisive operations so we’ll never truly know.
With all due respect my Brother, Midway wasn’t hardly decided on a “razor thin margin of luck” because the stars came together and God smiled on the Fleet on that one. That whole operation on our side was a total gamble because Admiral Nimitz was no fool and like you he saw the potential of Hawaii falling to Japanese control so he literally threw everything he could scrape together at them. Mercifully it worked otherwise the war could have been extended by another six months while we retook it given our inexperience in amphibious warfare at that time.
Maybe but Imperial Japanese land based air cover couldn’t continuously extend along our western seaboard so the Navy would have simply hugged the west coasts of the northern and southern hemispheres until they had clear water to New Caledonia. Given the strategic importance of Australia we would have established support bases of our own along the new sea line of communication.
Again we would have established our own supporting advanced naval bases along the new sea line of communication however I will most definitely concede it would have taken us more time and seriously delayed General MacArthur’s northern advance out of Australia.
Thanks for the stimulating conversation as it’s infinitely better than all the political discussions around here.
Yes, hundreds. Can you name me a serious history book on FDR and World War II that discusses FDR's dealings with Stalin that does not acknowledge that FDR was determined to save the Soviet Union? You might start with the highly acclaimed book Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship, written by Dr. Robert Nisbet of Columbia University.
Why do you suppose FDR repeatedly gave Stalin what he wanted, to include agreeing to letting the Soviets dominate Eastern Europe after the war? Heard of "Yalta"? Why do you suppose FDR cravenly supported Stalin's criminal response to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising? Why do you suppose FDR did nothing when Stalin and his henchmen murdered some 20 million Soviet citizens to consolidate their power from 1934 to 1938, even as he screamed about Japanese moves in China (which paled in comparison to what the Soviets were doing)? If FDR was so concerned about China's "sovereignty," why did he do nothing when the Soviets brutally occupied the Chinese province of Sinkiang in 1934? Where was his professed concern for humanity when the Soviets annexed Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania in 1940?
I take it you're not aware that for over a decade now we've known for an absolute fact that FDR's administration included a number of Soviet sympathizers and outright Soviet spies. Google "Venona," "FDR" (or "Roosevelt"), "Soviet," and "spies." Or, go to Amazon.com and order Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel's massive book The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors, considered one of the best and most detailed studies on the subject published to date. (There was ample evidence of these facts before we learned of the Venona decrypts, but the decrypts settle the matter beyond dispute.)
I also take it that you're unaware that Soviet policy was to encourage war between Japan and America. For several reasons, the Soviets did not want to see America and Japan become allies, nor did they want to see a settlement reached between Japan and the Chinese Nationalists (because, for one thing, that would turn loose the Chinese Nationalists to destroy the Chinese Communists, whom the Soviets were aiding). FDR implemented both of these Soviet policy goals: he refused very reasonable peace offers from the Japanese and even refused Japan's request that he broker peace between Japan and the Chinese Nationalists.
A lot of old myths are packed into your arguments. I'm guessing you didn't read any of the sources I recommended in my original message before you responded.
The "deal" the Japanese offered, and that is documented in the books I mentioned in my original message (among other books), was that they would pull out of China and Indochina and would even ignore their treaty with Germany if FDR would lift the sanctions and would broker a peace deal with the Chinese factions. By any rational, objective measurement, that was an incredibly fair, reasonable offer, but FDR turned it down.
Japan only moved south to get oil because FDR had cut off American and European oil experts to Japan. This was brought out in the 1946 Congressional investigation. FDR was warned by some military experts that his oil embargo would compel the Japanese to move south to get an alternative supply of oil.
As for walking out of the League of Nations rather than leave Manchuria, would you have preferred that the Soviets or the Chinese Communists control Manchuria? Are you aware that the Japanese turned Manchuria into a peaceful, prosperous region, so much so that it began to attract immigrants from all across Asia? Before long, most Manchurians wanted the Japanese to maintain a presence there. Manchuria was Japan's buffer against Bolshevist Russia, and Manchuria was far more important to Japan--strategically and economically--than the Caribbean was to America. Even Teddy Roosevelt had acknowledged that Japan had a right to her own "Monroe Doctrine" in Manchuria. (And given the fact that we refused to even join the League of Nations, we can't be too critical of the Japanese for leaving it over the league's unreasonable, Soviet-driven demand that Japan leave Manchuria.)
We're into mythology again. The Japanese were trying to get out of China and literally begged FDR to broker a peace deal to enable them to do so, since the Chinese Nationalists utterly refused to negotiate. As mentioned earlier, Japan only moved south to get oil because FDR cut off their oil supply. They made it clear that they were willing to pull back from Indochina and to withdraw from China if FDR would lift the sanctions and would broker a peace deal between them and the Chinese Nationalists.
Prime Minister Konoye was a pro-western peace advocate who rejected the militarist policies of the hawks. Rather than help Konoye, FDR did all he could to undermine him, refused to meet with him, and caused his downfall, because FDR wanted war with Japan as a backdoor way to enter World War II sooner rather than later.
And what is especially repugnant about FDR's criminal handling of our relations with Japan is that he knew from decrypts of Japan's diplomatic traffic that he was undermining the moderates and aiding the hawks. FDR knew that Konoye was not only willing but anxious to pull out of China and Indochina if only he, FDR, would broker a deal with China and would lift the sanctions, which Roosevelt knew were doing enormous damage to Japan's economy.This message has been edited. Last edited by: 15731859,
Guy, your writing show through a very wide eyed naive view of all these happenings. You are running all speed with this toward the goal line that FDR was the commensurate villian on the world stage. And all this is just happening in the 30s and the 40s. Japan was well aware of its role, the role it wanted on the world stage in the Pacific long before that. Have you heard of Baron Tanaka and his book, The Imperial Way? Also the Way of the Samurai? These were written long before FDR as president appeared on the world stage of politics.
Japan knew she would have to go south and west if she needed to get the rources she needed. Which included food. Korea and China were logical starting places. This triggered the events of the freezing of assets, the oil embargo and the shipments of scrap metal and steel.
I get the impression from your further writings that you want to blame everything on FDR. Many of these happenings were going on without his knowledge. Was he involved in the Japanese nationalist movement? NO. Was he involved in the 1930 bombings in Japan against the pro western leaders, NO. Japan had fought the Soviet Union twice long before Pearl Harbor and gotten there butt beat, badly. Was Roosevelt involved in that? Your rationalizing appears to blame him.
What about Hydreich and Kaltenbrummer's coup of convincing Stalin that all his senior army commanders were plotting against him? Was Roosevlt a party to that too? Stalin liquidating those men?
Sound just as ridiculous? Personally I agree with the guys above....must have Captain Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Ok...you have the knowledge you have the opinion, but Christ'sake back off!
There are some of us out here who may believe the same things but its not going to change things, its over and done. Its history, the past, learn from it is the most important thing, not ignore it. But use that knowledge to change what you can without browbeating the rest of us with it. How about saying, With what I've read, I believe FDR let the attack on Pearl Harbor happen? Can I hear some other views? High stepping out with the sure statement I know he did it, is inviting alot vegetables to be thrown at your podium.
Oh my Gawd. Ha ha ha ... President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ... you magnificent sumbiotch! Ha ha ha ... Dude was totally one helluva player in the game.
We're missing it Guys.
He had the Rueben James incident which gave him total justification to go to war with Germany but he was looking well beyond the war before we even entered it. He was former Assistant Secretary of the Navy and even though he viewed General Billy Mitchell as a contentious azzhole FDR totally bought into his theories of air power application. Now add Vice Admiral Alfred Mahan's theory that sea power turns regional powers into global powers and we see why he believed the aging Battleline had to be destroyed at Pearl Harbor.
Michael everything you wrote about the Russian connection only serves to illustrate how the master of diversion and subtifuge was playing everyone.
President Roosevelt's goal was to turn our United States into the predominant naval global power for at least half a century and it worked because the Soviet Union never truly came on line as a naval power. Sure they fielded really powerful naval platforms but they never developed the high level of expertise required to effect global decisions before they fell. Given more time they very well may have but they never got that far and we're still the world's predominant sea power to this day.
Were President Roosevelt's actions criminal? No. Where they moral. Surely not. Where they effective? We're living proof to this day.
President Roosevelt was a straight up master genius of the game.
I get it that you liked the guy. No problem, he was one of our greater Presidents, but your assertions are well beyond the pale in terms of probability or even logic.
I'll give you one example (there are MANY more). If he were as prescient as you suggest in terms of nuclear weaponry, then why did he give the Soviet Union a free hand in Eastern Europe in regard to the Balkans, Czechoslovakia and the partition of Germany at Yalta?
The largest known mines for uranium in Europe are in these countries, specifically in what later became East Germany. The USSR had NO domestic source of uranium in 1945. Much later, in the late 1950s some few sources were found inside the USSR, but the vast majority of Soviet uranium was sourced from Thuringia, Bohemia, Bulgaria and Poland even into the late 1980s.
The Soviet Union's initial source of uranium in 1945? Confiscated from the Germans and sourced from the Belgium Congo (captured in Belguim by the Germans upon their invasion). Again, if FDR was so good, you'd think his Lend Lease efforts for the USSR would have been less generous, and his war policy to allow the western allies the benefit of occupying all of Gross Deutschland, thereby ensuring a complete monopoly on nuclear weapons.
In other words, by your own admission he 'saved the world' by denying nuclear weapons to Hitler, only to give them to Stalin on a silver platter. Hardly the work of a 'master strategist'.
It just doesn't pass the logic test. He had no such universal prescience or insight. He made pretty good decisions with the limited information he had, but hardly at the uberwissen genius level you assert.
President Roosevelt knew Premier Stalin and his instincts told him as crazy as Uncle Joe was he wasn't stupid enough to actually use them whereas Chancellor Hitler wouldn't have thought twice about it. Therein lay the differnce.
A country can have a large nuclear aresenal but unless they have a credible global naval presence their political and economic influence tends to be diminished which we saw in the old Soviet Union which was primarily a land based power.
President Roosevelt foresaw this and we're still seeing it to this day.
And of course, he knew Stalin would live forever. Or was it that he could forsee the eventual outcome of the Cold War too? Surprised he never bet on the World Series - he could've made a mint with this type of psychic ability.
Your claims are getting thinner and thinner, if not entirely transparent. FDR was good, but not even close to Cassandra. Your assertions are simply not supported by logic or any reputable history on the subject.
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