SAN JOSE, CA, December 5, 2017 — Seventy-six years ago, a few minutes before 8 am, hell exploded over the naval base that the United States maintained in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Contemporary military historians usually agree that the surprise bombing and torpedo assault on U.S. planes and ships on December 7, 1941, was one of the most successful in the history of warfare.
Who is responsible for Pearl Harbor – Japan or the U.S.
It is not as clear as it once was who was actually responsible for the insidious attack. Immediately afterward, amidst the death and destruction, it was evident that the Empire of Japan had initiated the attack and was proud of the success.
Yet, intellectuals and scholars now dispute whether the U.S. government was responsible.
Contemporary historians and common American citizens today may disagree regarding a number of variations of conspiracy theories attached to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Despite blame or doubt that may be leveled at Franklin D. Roosevelt or his Administration, the fact is that the source of the horrific attack was the Imperial military of the Japanese government.
Regardless of internal U.S. politics and sheer intellectual speculation (minus hard evidence), there have been a number of conspiracy theories that claim the U.S. government, including F.D.R., was aware of the pending bombing of the military installation. In a similar manner, conspiracy theories surfaced after the terrible terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Conspiracy Theories vs. Simple Truth
The popularity of conspiracy theories often outweighs actual evidence or simple truth; they often do not easily go away. The human mind is quite capable of manufacturing creative explanations when the truth is hiding. Nevertheless, such conspiracy theories have served to primarily confuse, distract, and churn distrust of the U.S. government during turbulent and uncertain times.
In the case of the attack on Pearl Harbor, disinformation has caused Americans to question reality. To wonder whether the U.S. could actually be the cause of such devastation and destruction. Actually, revisionist historians had a field day with the disaster at Pearl Harbor. It is their way of stirring up distrust of the government plays into the hands of politicians seeking to make use of a blame game; to destroy the credibility of any political opposition.
Disinformation or real propaganda has proven to be effective time and time again in creating chaos throughout human history. Yet, in the midst of all the conspiracy mumbo-jumbo, many Americans may simply conclude: The U.S. was attacked! What else is there to know?’
Pearl Harbor Attack
The Pearl Harbor attack was an act of war and a horrendous atrocity. This at least is crystal clear. In just two hours, over 2,400 Americans had been killed. 1,178 military personnel and civilians had been wounded, 188 aircraft had been destroyed with an additional 159 more aircraft damaged, and approximately 20 ships were either completely sunk or severely damaged.
That vision is usually the limit of what citizens may recall about the horrific incident, but Americans need to know that there was much more.
The tragedy at Pearl Harbor went far beyond Hawaii and the U.S.
By the time President Roosevelt addressed Congress on December 8, 1941, the Empire of Japan “had undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area.” F.D.R.’s report to Congress was that he was aware that the Japanese imperial government had launched simultaneous attacks against Hong Kong, the Philippine Islands, Malaya, Guam, Wake Island, and Midway.
Japan’s response at Pearl Harbor
The confusion or doubt that continues to linger over the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor provides little help understanding this infamous event within a meaningful set of parameters. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor can offer a clear warning to all who want to heed the more obvious lessons. And while many are fairly familiar with the events of the day of the attack, most not familiar with the history of Japan that led to this horrible tragedy.
It needs to be absolutely clear that a tyrannical-imperialistic government deliberately attacked the U.S. for purposes designed to expand an already growing empire.
The divisive history of Japan in the first half of the 1900s reveals what led to the violent events at Pearl Harbor, and the brutal confrontation between the U.S. and Imperial Japan. Japan’s history during this period helps to provide answers to the questions over responsibility for such death and destruction on such a massive scale.
More specifically, their turbulent history reveals a slow and deliberate ascent to absolute power of a small faction of military elitists who strongly believed in the old Japanese Empire. Who sought the romanticized notions of an Asian feudal system under the orderly protection of the legendary Samurai.
Japan and Korea
Essentially, the empire-building ambitions of militarists reach back into the centuries. In the mid-1800s, Japan attained victory in a war with China. Thus eliminating Chinese influence in the region, including Korea where Japan had colonial ambitions.
At the turn of the century, the Japanese gained strong economic and military influence over Korea. Yet, rivalry with Russia over control of the developing nation led to the Russo-Japanese War, fought from 1904 to 1905.
Through victory, Japan eliminates the remaining rival for dominion over Korea, which became a protectorate through the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905.
Ironically in the early 1900s, President Teddy Roosevelt succeeded in hosting the peace negotiations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, some forty years later, was the one to ask Congress to declare war against the Empire of Japan.
Through the Portsmouth Treaty, the U.S. government recognized Japan’s “paramount political, military, and economic interests in Korea.” The Imperial government was able to attain complete dominion over Korea, and the colonization of Korea. This eventually leading to the Empire of Japan’s formulation of a workable model of colonial dominion.
“Reforms,” made to weaken any chances of Korean resistance, were transforming for the new colony. The Korean Army size went from 20,000 to 1,000 troops. Japan disbanded all garrisons, leaving only one troop in the capital, Seoul.
Japan also eliminated the Korean police in Seoul and installed a Japanese police inspector in each of the Korean prefectures. Korea was a pacified colony of the Empire of Japan long before the outbreak of the Great War in Europe.
The chain of events leading to Pearl Harbor
After the Great War, significant efforts among the Japanese people pushed the Japanese government toward greater democracy; but from 1921 to 1941, Japan gradually became a divided nation. At its center was a bitterly fractious government powerless to control the mad dog behavior of a Japanese Imperial Army intent on world dominion.
As the extreme militarists within Japan’s army ascended to power, they trampled upon the quest for democracy. They even murdered democratically-inclined political leaders that got in the way of their treachery.
A study of the efforts of the militarists in this period reveals the violent internal political strife within Japan and unprovoked aggression against neighboring nations.
Beware the extreme militarists
The extreme militarists eventually initiated a chain of events that culminated in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
Especially in light of current global tensions and recent international terrorist atrocities, remembrance of the Pearl Harbor atrocities should not evoke hatred or ill-will toward Japanese people; but, it should be directed at unrestrained government power.
Clearly, a devious, destructive, and deadly dictatorship deliberately attacked the U.S., and this brief moment in history should serve as a reminder for all in the “Free World” to be absolutely wary of extreme militarists. A nation’s free citizens must be quite vigilant to prevent too much power being in the hands of extremely absolutist leaders.
It is widely believed that it was Edmund Burke who declared, “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.”
But regardless of who made this now famous observation, it clearly fits current history and is the undeniable truth.