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Old 12-07-2004, 11:29 PM   #1
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The day that lived in infamy (Part II)

I was pushed off another thread because I posted this so I started a new one...

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
Didn't the US know about this attack and used it as an excuse to get into WWII? Some stories keep circulating about how the majority of the boats were away from the harbor when the attack happenned.

If this is true I don't understand the silence.
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:39 PM   #2
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It's never been conclusively proved one way or another, from what I understand.

There are some really weird coincidences--the ships being moved, a Hawaiian newspaper running a headline reporting on the attack. A Japanese submarine was discovered prowling shortly before. A secret meeting was held in Washington the day before. I forget them all now--it came up in one of my classes once...I'd look on the Internet but I'm skeptical of what I might find.

What I have always believed (or wanted to believe!) is that they knew an attack was iminent, but not where or to what extent. But that they did let it happen as an excuse to get into the war. America was so radically isolationist because of the mess of WWI that FDR knew it would take something to get them involved.
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:58 PM   #3
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I personally have been very grateful that Pearl Harbor occured and the US got involved in the war at that point in time (If the US was not involved to stop the advance of Imperial Japan the world would be a much different place; a very good rundown of the advanced knowledge debate may be found here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_H...owledge_debate
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:14 AM   #4
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It was before my time, but I've never been able to figure out the isolationism of the U.S. during that period of time. Was it apathy? It makes no sense.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:25 AM   #5
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It makes perfect sense if you put the context of the time, coming out of a truly crippling economic disaster, not wanting to risk going back again or loosing what was built up, those citizens felt ripped off by WW1, they lost men and money fighting a European war, America was not meant to protect freedom around the globe but only within their own country, they felt that by going to war and millitarising they would be sacrificing their freedoms at home for no good cause, they had little problem letting the Europeans sort their war out and deal with whomever came out on top (mind you this was the isolationists and not the administration, there was support for Britain well before the US declared war on the Axis). The paralells between the America First movement of yesteryear and many quarters today is astonishing.

Ultimately it was by going into Europe that America secured dominance, it's casualties in the Western European theatre and N-Africa were smaller compared to the Russians and they gained a lot more (untouched industrial base at home, gained control of W-Europe compared to the Soviet Union which rallied its base but lost some millions of lives for some impressive but still costly territorial gains across Eastern Europe). The Pacific was a solid set of gains; used atomic weapons and probably prevented the Soviet Union making unreasonable demands within Europe they did gain Japan and it was moulded to be a solid ally and buffer in many ways but China fell to the communists and within the decade Korea was an issue, and then down the line Vietnam as well (considering that the US did not give support to Ho Chi Minh against the Vichy French during the war and then backed the French against the communists pretty quickly after the war).

It is a very interesting piece of America built from it's immigrant populations (the German American Bund comes to mind) as well as good old fashioned isolationists who felt it was the best way to keep America's interests closed off and not to put themselves at risk for the sake of others (think of Pat Buchanan today). I certainly think that the world is a lot safer with America engaging and not being isolationist, some would disagree and argue that the US is no better than the USSR and that it's freedoms are simply illusions, and then their lines of argument eventually create a faux moral equivalence that justifies abandoning a fight against radical Islam or to simple blame America for the problem. In the end many isolationist attitudes existed back then and they exists today - tempered by the experience of Vietnam - history judged the attitudes in the 1930's by these groups poorly and I wonder how todays attitudes will be reflected upon.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: The day that lived in infamy (Part II)

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
If this is true I don't understand the silence.
both the silence and the discussion you have incited are justified. but they should be done seperately.

we shouldnt undermine the commemoration of innocent deaths. i understand that was not what you intended, but the two issues are best kept seperate, as intimately linked as they may or may not be.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:59 AM   #7
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OK, I got ya, Wanderer! It was in the middle of the Depression. I should have at least thought about that. We're still having controversy over the whole interventionist thing. It's been too long since I read a book about the politics of the era.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:25 AM   #8
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It's just a rumor and conspiracy theory just like the "Bush plotted 9-11" stuff.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:29 AM   #9
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History has a mysterious way of working out. I hate to consider it this way, but maybe Pearl Harbor was a wake up call. Being that we were trying to stay out of the situation, we got pulled into it.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
It's just a rumor and conspiracy theory just like the "Bush plotted 9-11" stuff.
Agree, I have my masters in American History--mind you a masters that I got from very liberal professors--we did look into it and even they said it was a conspiracy theory with very little circumstantial evidence to back it up.

I believe that if the U.S. would have known about the attack in advance, it wouldn't have kept the majority of the Pacific Fleet docked at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese would have attacked either way, so why would the U.S. want such devastation to the fleet? Makes no sense.
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Old 12-08-2004, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ImOuttaControl


Agree, I have my masters in American History--mind you a masters that I got from very liberal professors--we did look into it and even they said it was a conspiracy theory with very little circumstantial evidence to back it up.

I believe that if the U.S. would have known about the attack in advance, it wouldn't have kept the majority of the Pacific Fleet docked at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese would have attacked either way, so why would the U.S. want such devastation to the fleet? Makes no sense.
Thanks! You're right, it just makes no sense destroying millions of dollars worth of stuff, really! I say the same thing to the 9-11 conspiracy theorist, sure, the gov't wants to destroy 2 of the coolest buildings in the world, major tourist attraction, with so much important info inside, and wipe out thousands of the brightest financial minds of their time. Come on.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:01 PM   #12
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But you see, the US does this sort of thing to get their way.

They wanted to build a canal in Panama so they helped the rebel forces of Panama become independent from Colombia.

In Chile, they helped the militaries and Pinochet overthrow the president Allende just to get what they wanted and not caring for others.

That is why I don't understand the silence. People die all over and we're here fighting over whether or not men can marry men.

The world sometimes really seems upside down.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy


That is why I don't understand the silence. People die all over and we're here fighting over whether or not men can marry men.
Haven't given a whole lot of time to the theory, but you do make an excellent point. I do think there are thousands of pointless deaths that rest in the hands or our government and we're arguing pointless shit.
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