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Backing Japan Into a Corner

Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover

President Herbert Hoover.

President Herbert Hoover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…as Japan was the direct route by which the United States entered the war it is necessary to examine the major actions during this period which brought about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the more necessary since not only were the actions of our government not disclosed to the American people at the time, but a generation of school children have grown up who never knew the truth of these actions.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Hoover recounts many episodes of Japanese attempts to secure peace or at least a truce, including the replacement of the anti-American Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka with Admiral Teijiro Toyoda, who was pro Anglo Saxon. Hoover counts this as a signal to Roosevelt and Secretary Hull that more liberal elements in Japan had now come into ascendency. However, this was lost on the American administration:

…on July 25, 1941, a month after Hitler’s attack upon Stalin, President Roosevelt, suddenly ignoring the Japanese proposals, announced further economic sanctions upon them.

I have previously written about the myth of Pearl Harbor here.

It is a review of the book by George Victor, The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable. I will refer to this book further while discussing this section of Freedom Betrayed.

Victor believes a significant change came to Roosevelt regarding his view toward Japan in the summer of 1941. Roosevelt became suddenly much more aggressive and provocative toward the Japanese. Victor believes this change was prompted by the German invasion of Russia, and Roosevelt’s desire to draw Japanese attention away from Asia and the Russians and toward the Pacific and Americans. Whereas prior to the German invasion Russia faced little in terms of risk in the war to date, post the German invasion Russia was fighting a fierce and able enemy. Why Roosevelt had this concern for Russia’s fate is unknown, at least to me. Hoover’s statement above is consistent with this idea that Roosevelt suddenly took a different approach during that summer.

XCerpt

via Backing Japan Into a Corner.

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