I like the Microsoft slant as humor.
Let me go on record to state that I am patriotic and an avid admirer of what the men of our nation did to overcome the tyranny of the Japanese and Germans in WWII. If you click on the military category of my posts, you will see that when I get cut, I bleed red, white and blue. I believe in the greatness and considerable achievements of the United States as well as it being the largest contributor for the betterment of others by any country in history.
However, as an amateur historian and an observer of the (in)competency and motives of bureaucrats in Washington, what our government did leading up to and on that day shows the weaknesses of humans. It should be noted that the Americans and more especially the soldiers who fought the war are held as honorable in my opinion. This post is not written to tear down any of the bravery accomplished during the war. They fought valiantly and protected freedom with the Allies.
This event brought together the country so that good overcame evil and I have the utmost respect for what was accomplished in that war.
Much of this was inspired by “History Honors Pearl Harbor” on the History Channel as well as other documented sources.
America was woefully unable to protect itself by December 6, 1941. It is not unlike today, December 7, 2016, as our current military has been decimated, or the decay of the military before the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers by the administration in charge during the decade of the 1990’s .
On the day of the attack, Roosevelt was viewed by his son as frozen at times because of the thought of what it would do to his legacy. Just like the 42nd and 44th president, their legacy was more important than the nation. The worst attack on American soil would be under his watch and he would be unprepared to deal with it. Fortunately, by 8 am on 12/9/41, brave young men around the country were lined up at the draft offices, but it would take the monumental effort of the country to overcome the government’s lack of responsibility to have a force that could protect our borders.
Next was the communications between Pearl Harbor and Washington. Roosevelt couldn’t get information about what was happening. Granted, the communications infrastructure was not what it is today, but there weren’t even secure lines or even direct lines to Washington. The Naval commander in Hawaii who tried to communicate information to the Chief Naval officer Admiral Stark at the War Department couldn’t give specifics as he wasn’t sure if the Japanese were listening in.
Further, the American leadership greatly underestimated the mental acuity of the Japanese thinking that they weren’t technologically capable of such an attack. It was speculated that the Germans had given them assistance. Hitler later admitted he had no idea that the Japanese were planning to, or had attacked Pearl Harbor despite what was taught at Faber College.
Douglas MacArthur couldn’t be reached in the Philippines for most of the day. General Marshal of the Army tried for the better part of the day to warn him of the happenings in Hawaii and to prepare for a similar attack. Washington wasn’t sure of where he even was or if the Japanese had already attacked. MacArthur boasted that he had special insight into the oriental mind. When he finally was reached, his response was that he was on full alert and that “We are ready, we have our tails in the air”. History documents that the Japanese attacked and drove him out of the Philipines shortly thereafter as MacArthur did virtually nothing and lost the islands in an embarrassing defeat. He was woefully unprepared, but his ego wouldn’t let him admit it.
Finally, the government couldn’t spend more than $750 on an automobile so they couldn’t get a bullet proof car for the President to be transported from the White House to the Capitol to give the speech. The Treasury Department had confiscated Al Capone’s car earlier so that one was used instead as they couldn’t be bothered to have proper protection for the leader of the free world. That would haunt Washington as recently as November 22, 1963.
Roughly 6 hours after the attack, FDR approved Executive Order 9066 which imprisoned 92,000 Japanese to internment camps for no reason other than their might be a fifth column attack within. It was supposed to be limited in scope to arrest any spies but morphed into what was one of the lowest points of FDR’s term of leadership. Little to no evidence is ever recorded that there was any treason on their part and no one was convicted of espionage or disloyalty.
They were deemed guilty rather than innocent in one of the greatest acts of prejudice by an administration.
MORE INCOMPETENCE AND DID WASHINGTON KNOW ABOUT THE ATTACK BEFOREHAND?
As I’ve stated, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I am for facts. FDR ordered an investigation headed by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts of the attack 18 days after the attack. Some interesting things were revealed. You can read further about it in the book A Matter of Honor, Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest for Justice.
Admiral Kimmel, head of the Navy in the Pacific had asked Chief of Naval Operations Harold Stark six months before the attack to keep him apprised of latest intelligence regarding what the Japanese were up to. Washington knew that Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack as early as November 1940.
Stark held back the information that aerial torpedos capable of being deployed in waters shallower than at Pearl were being used, despite Stark reassuring Kimmel that the water in the harbor was too shallow for a torpedo attack. How this wasn’t an act of treason is curious.
The FBI had intercepted information that the Japanese had made inquiries as to the depth at Pearl and whether anti-torpedo nets had been deployed there, but again Kimmel was never informed. Not sharing this with the command was grossly incompetent or an act of political chess.
Code-breaker Lawrence Safford visited Kimmel after he had resigned. He then told Kimmel about project Magic that broke coded Japanese diplomatic messages. Washington failed to inform Kimmel what they knew prior to the attack. It reveals the Japanese had spies informing the Imperial Forces where the exact location of the ships anchored as recently as 3 months before the attack. The code breakers who discovered this in Magic was only shared by as few as 10 men who couldn’t or wouldn’t tell anyone else. It was a power play by political operatives in Washington instead of military strategists who would have warned the fleet in Oahu and had the capability to defend against a surprise attack.
A message to the Japanese embassy was decoded instructing them to move to negotiations that had to be completed by 11/5/41, or things will happen automatically beyond that.
The Japanese fleet set sail on November 25th. There was no turning back at this point.
FDR was aware that the Japanese were going to break off negotiations and 10 days prior to the attack, Admiral Stark issued a warning that there could be an attack, unfortunately not mentioning or notifying the Hawaiian Islands that they were a possible target.
Three hours prior to the attack, Stark received a message that indicated what was about to happen but failed to notify Kimmel. By the time the message was placed into Kimmel’s hands, it was 8 hours after the attack and was not marked priority.
The intelligence was available, but Washington failed to connect the dots.
I hope that the administration which has meandered it’s way around the safety of our country hasn’t set the table for a repeat by those who have lost their respect for our capability to defend ourselves.
Missy LaHand, FDR’s assistant for 21 years contacted him on December 7th. She was closer to the president than Eleanor during that time, some speculate in many ways other than a secretary. With everything that was going on, the last thing he needed was to hear from a woman he’d had a relationship with. Eleanor allegedly pushed for a divorce after discovering hat FDR had an affair with her social secretary, so the last thing he wanted to do was push the envelope unnecessarily by contacting her. With the decisions that would change the world in front of him, all he needed was additional drama from his wife and another woman. He decided not to return her call from Warm Springs where she was recovering and it devastated her so greatly that she attempted suicide shortly thereafter. Presidents have had trouble keeping their pants zipped.
As a side note, but belonging in the sex category, Edward R. Murrow interviewed FDR that night. Not that it has anything to affect the situation, Murrow carried on a wartime affair with Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Digby Churchill when he was a reporter in London. He had a close relationship with the Leaders of the Free World and an even closer relationship with some of their relatives.
Roosevelt had a chronic sinus condition from which he suffered most of his life. Shortly after the attack, he had a headache and was congested, so he was wheeled into the office of his physician, Dr. Ross Macintyre where he was treated with cocaine. It can be argued that it may have affected his decision-making that day. Since it was legal, it wasn’t an issue. Drugs used to be a political show stopper until Obama, who admitted he snorted it got elected.
ROCK AND ROLL
Fortunately, the attack woke up the nation and kick-started the industrial might the US. Some of the greatest human, scientific and technological achievements happened during the war.
Most important though was the lesson on how wars should be fought and won, something that has been lost on the leadership today. You fight to win and settle only for unconditional surrender. At that point, you set the terms of how the relationship will proceed. Germany and Japan have become industrial and world leaders, built up by the USA after the war unlike Vietnam and the middle east where our troops were strangled by congress rather than let soldiers fight the war.
A unique survey of the swearing habits of men and women over the past 20 years has revealed that not only is the English language constantly discovering new ways to be rude, but women are using the f-word more often than men.
According to the Times from this link, women (mostly British in this study, but listen to YouTube to realize the U.K. doesn’t have the patent on this) have potty mouths now worse than men, except for maybe James Governor. The study, conducted by researchers from Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press, also found that women were ten times more likely to say s–t than men.
But it wasn’t always this way. According to studies from the early 1990s, men used ‘f–k’ 1,000 times out of every million words they said; while women said it 167 times. They should get a better vocabulary I guess.
I’ll speculate that men have been told to watch their mouths and women think that it makes them empowered. In reality, unless you are very creative with your speech patterns, it’s not very linguistic to speak like this. It’s not like everyone hasn’t thought it or said it, but to legitimize it on this scale is disturbing. It also brings down a population segment.
I also find women with higher IQ’s use considerably less foul language than wannabee’s. Conversely, celebrities and entertainers seem to be trying to legitimize this type of speaking. It seems that the female politicians have taken to this trend also.
Maybe that’s why there is an attraction to intelligence?
You all should be ashamed of yourselves. 😉
It is interesting to think of what he observed in the mid 1800’s vs. the country we have in 2014. Here are his comments based on a visit:
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that stuck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.
In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of Freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom; it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point -of -view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.
I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of cities or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.
The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.
Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God.
Moreover, all sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same.
In the United States the sovereign authority is religions…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect [denomination], this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect, from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together [Christianity], everyone abandons him and remains alone.
I do not question that the great austerity of manners that is observable in the United States arises, in the first instance, from religious faith…its influence over the mind of woman is supreme, and women are the protectors of morals. There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.
In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…
Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate…
I sought for the key of greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and the institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the chutes of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
Christianity is the companion of liberty in all of its conflicts–the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.
They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe than by styling it in a democratic and republican religion…From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.
The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a most alarming spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them along is so strong that it cannot be stopped, but is not yet so rapid that it cannot be guided; their fate is in their hands; yet a little while and it may be no longer.
Read the rest of this PolitiChicks.tv article here: http://politichicks.tv/column/2014-alexis-de-tocqueville-esque-year-restoration/#5ulfUJKsDb9hcb3G.99