I was taught – deliberately taught – that those nasty Japanese sprung a surprise attack on us on December 7, 1941. That’s what I was taught. That’s what I believed.
Imagine my surprise and disgust that the attack was no surprise, but carefully plotted and planned by FDR and his henchmen well in advance. This was a major life lesson for me about how the world really works. In the 45 years since that revelation I have seen not a single reason or any new facts or additional information to cause me to change my mind.
Here’s what Roosevelt said to open his speech the day after the attack, to both houses of Congress:
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
There are so many lies and distortions of the truth crammed into just those brief paragraphs that even today it takes my breath away.
My own moment of revelation and clarity on the matter came while I was reading Harry Elmer Barnes’ “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace,” when he quoted Eleanor Roosevelt as saying “They hit us harder than we expected.” That simple phrase, backed up with sources (which I checked for validity, of course), simply, suddenly and permanently changed my life.
One of the reviewers of this book on Amazon put it as well as anyone:
[This is a] classic revisionist study of how FDR maneuvered America, against the wishes of most of its citizens, into war against Germany and Japan, and how FDR’s war policy ended in betrayal, disillusion and endless conflict. [It] establishes convincingly that U.S. participation in World War II was neither necessary, nor desirable, nor just. Edited by one of this century’s most influential American scholars, this is a work in the front rank of American historical scholarship.
The book available at Amazon has a publishing date of 1982. The book I read was, obviously, published much earlier, so this must be a revised edition.
Another book that built on Barnes’ is “Day of Deceit” by Robert Stinnett, if you care to chase after that one or need more evidence to prove the lie of the surprise attack. This is from the dust cover of the book:
In Day of Deceit, Robert Stinnett delivers the definitive final chapter on America’s greatest secret and our worst military disaster. Drawing on twenty years of research and access to scores of previously classified documents, Stinnett proves that Pearl Harbor was not an accident, a mere failure of American intelligence, or a brilliant Japanese military coup. By showing that ample warning of the attack was on FDR’s desk and, furthermore, that a plan to push Japan into war was initiated at the highest levels of the U.S. government, he ends up profoundly altering our understanding of one of the most significant events in American history.
“Profoundly altering” indeed. From that moment on I knew the world as it appeared top be much different from what it really is, and I’ve done what I could to shine a little light (from the right!) into some dark corners, believing that sunshine is the best disinfectant.