“It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace”.
Franklin Roosevelt – Pearl Harbour Speech December 8, 1941
On this day in 1941-the day I was born–the Japanese Imperial Navy sailed from Tokyo Bay to a staging point rendezvous within striking distance of Pearl Harbour, which they attacked at dawn on 7 December. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” was to be forever seared into the collective consciousness. The attack finally brought the United States into World War II.
Their tardiness in being involved in the two world wars was in stark contrast to the alacrity with which they engineered the war against Iraq to effect “regime change” by getting rid of Saddam Hussein, originally their man.
Revelations in the last few days about the pre-Twin Towers timing of the Blair/ Bush agreement, which lead to the “shock and awe” martial rhetoric and then the real thing, demonstrate that the “War on Terror” was not preceded by a war on error which would have confirmed Iraq’s lack of alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The United Nations weapons inspection evidence at the time showed that the only thing likely to be blown up was the spurious evidence. But Blix was nixed and the WMD claims Colin Powell made at the UN were totally overblown. A war with strong opening moves, a weak middle game and no end game was launched with indecent haste. It, too, was obviously planned many months before; all that was needed was a casus belli or at least a half plausible rationalisation.
Playing black in the military game of chess rather than white, as in 1941, certainly has some public relations and historical memoir advantages, not to mention cv benefits. In respect to Iraq, if not Afghanistan, Tony Blair may now wish he had followed Harold Wilson’s example of not sending troops to Vietnam. Not only did the decisions to support the Americans elicit little in return diplomatically, they would have been a big factor in Blair being recently sidelined for the European President’s job. After his long wait in the wings Gordon Brown could be forgiven for not being entirely heartbroken about this.
The attack on Pearl Harbour was a giant step to lifting the profile of Hawaii and paving the way for eventual statehood in August 1959. That was to make one Barack Obama, born in Hawaii two years later, eligible to run for US President. Last year he became Hawaii’s first president as well as the first of African American descent to hold the office.
He is certainly in the right place at the right time to wind back an offensive military strategy.
Lyall Lukey 27/11/09
Attack on Pearl Harbor Documentary