Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day, 2011

Once again, it's Pearl Harbor Day, and I am reminded of the parallels with 9/11, particularly the parallels in the attacks on both US administrations for being complicit in the attacks.

It is well known that the detailed plan of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese was available to President Roosevelt, and that he did not give the information to the commanders at Pearl Harbor. A Communist friend says that's a right-wing lie, but it's been widely reported, and it is in the history books.

The right-wingnuts said Roosevelt wanted an excuse to enter World War II on the side of the Communists in the USSR against that anti-Communist, Adolph Hitler, so he withheld the plans and let the Japanese kill more than 2,000 Americans.

What really happened was the the Roosevelt White House did not trust any Japanese Americans. Or any nippophiles, as evidenced by their having studied Japanese culture or language.

So, when US intelligence intercepted the detailed plan, they handed it over to a true-blue 100% American armed with an English-Japanese dictionary, and he managed to translate enough of the document to understand its import on 7 December '41, shortly after hearing reports of the attack on the radio.

The Roosevelt White House HAD sent a warning to Pearl Harbor that intelligence indicated a Japanese attack was expected 'within weeks,' but the best military intelligence indicated that Japan would attack the Philippines, and Pearl did everything to get ready to respond and send the fleet out to support the Philippine defenders. They locked most of the ships' ammunition away where Japanese saboteurs could not detonate it. They had all the pilots digging defences against an amphibious attack and their planes tied down where those saboteurs couldn't get to them. They did everything the book said they should do. Only the treacherous Japanese didn't play by the American book.

Likewise, there was lots of chatter before 9/11. Intelligence clearly indicated that extremists planned an attack in summer or autumn of 2001, so the US prepared: every embassy and consulate in the MENA region was on high alert, with soldiers ready to shoot anyone who looked suspicious (I was almost shot, since I always look very suspicious, but that's just the face I was born with).

There was also chatter about hijacking a plane, so, when the hijackers approached, security found their names on the list and searched them very carefully, only letting them board after it was absolutely certain they had no weapons of any kind, so there was absolutely no way they could hijack the plane.

Again, the US security forces did everything 'by the book,' not realising that the hijackers never read that particular book.

Just as right-wingnuts were (and are) sure that Roosevelt planned and ensured more than 2,000 American deaths to get the US into World War II, the left-wingnuts are equally sure that Bush, Jr. did nothing to stop the 9/11 attacks to get the US into the disasterous War on Terror.

In fact, both FDR and Bush, Jr. did all that could reasonably have been expected to prevent Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

The difference is that, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt went before Congress and got the US to declare war on Japan, while, as Peter Sagal put it, had Bush, Jr. been President in '41, he would have declared war on Bulgaria.