President Bush lied us into war through false claims about how Saddam Hussein possessed CBW (Chemical and Biological Weapons) and could, at any moment, use them on the U.S. He lied us into war by telling us that Saddam was a threat to the United States, yet Saddam’s CWB were never found.
Mr. Bush is not unique in that he is both a president and a liar. A great many U.S. presidents have been liars (they are, after all, politicians), and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the biggest.
FDR’s deceit has been obscured from public knowledge by 60 years of propaganda. If you have not heard it before, perhaps you would know like to hear the truth.
On December 7th, 1941, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The average Joe will tell you the attack was a surprise attack, and an unprovoked act of aggression. That is not true. Pat Buchanan asks, “Why did Japan, an island nation smaller than Montana, attack the most powerful nation on earth? How did Hirohito and Tojo expect to win a war to the death with America that they must have known a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would ignite?”
Here’s the real story, or as much of it as I can reasonably put before you in a brief essay:
In FDR’s Pearl Harbor Speech, given before Congress when he requested that Congress declare war on Japan, FDR invented the following lies.
Lie #1: “The United States was at peace with that nation....”
In his book, World War II: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, Richard Maybury wrote:
The Flying Tigers...were secretly created and financed by the USG for the purpose of fighting the Japanese.
At least three months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, 112 Flying Tiger pilots arrived at an air base near Toungoo, China, and began preparations to shoot down Japanese aircraft.... Most importantly, in 1941, Japanese rulers knew all about it. Japanese spies had found out about the Flying Tigers and had been watching them train. Also, Japan’s rulers knew that in March 1941, Congress had granted FDR permission to send money and equipment to the Chinese under the Lend-Lease Act.
In short, by launching the Flying Tigers, President Roosevelt declared war on the Japanese before the Japanese attacked the U.S. He gave the Japanese the legal right to bomb Pearl Harbor, and did not tell the American people or the commanders at Pearl Harbor.
FDR lied when he said that the United States was at peace with Japan. The Japanese forces in China were being attacked by U.S. planes. Indeed, under the Neutrality Act, which forbade the shipping of arms to “belligerents,” it was illegal for FDR to send planes to China...or to Japan, for that matter.
This site says, “Since invoking the Neutrality Act would penalize China, which was more dependent than Japan on American assistance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose not to identify the fighting as a state of war.” In other words, since invoking the Neutrality Act would put China at a disadvantage in its defense against Japan, President Roosevelt decided to “overlook” the Neutrality Act.
Lie #2: “While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations....”
Pat Buchanan writes:
Japanese militarists wanted war but the government of Prince Konoye did not. He offered to meet FDR anywhere in the Pacific. The prince told the U.S. ambassador that if oil shipments were renewed, Tokyo was ready to pull out of Indochina and have FDR mediate an end to the Sino-Japanese war. FDR spurned the offer.
Japan then sent an envoy to Washington to seek negotiations. On Nov. 26, Secretary of State Cordell Hull rejected negotiations and handed an ultimatum to the Japanese: get out of Indochina and China.
Japan faced a choice: accept a humiliating retreat from an empire built with immense blood and treasure, or seize the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. Pearl Harbor followed. The Tojo Doctrine of pre-emptive war with Japan, as a back door to war with Nazi Germany.
In other words, the Japanese tried time and again to negotiate with the United States, and the U.S. government rejected every offer the Japanese presented. The reason it seemed useless to the Japanese to continue diplomatic negotiations was because the U.S. was diplomatically frustrating every step the Japanese took.
Lie #3: “I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan....”
As I mentioned before, the U.S. had already provoked Japan by sending the Flying Tigers to aid the Chinese. There was more, however.
To again quote from Richard Maybury’s World War II: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today:
Another little-known provocation was B-17 bombers in the Pacific. At that time, the B-17 Flying Fortress was the toughest, most deadly long-range bomber in the world.
By November 1941, the entire factory production of B-17s was going to the Philippines, where their only conceivable target could be the Japanese.
The Japanese knew about this B-17 force in the Philippines and were greatly alarmed, as you can imagine.
And, the USG knew they were alarmed. Japan’s secret messages about the B-17s were being intercepted and decrypted.
General MacArthur in the Philippines had requested 250 maps of targets in and around Tokyo.
We don’t know if the Japanese knew about these maps, “but we do know they told their attaché in Berlin to ask the Germans for data about the effects of British B-17s on German cities.”
But B-17s and Flying Tigers were not the only provocations Japan suffered. “In March 1941,” says Maybury, “President Roosevelt secretly ordered U.S. warships to begin sailing 6,000 miles across the Pacific to encroach on Japanese home waters, including the Bungo Strait. He called these invasions ‘Pop Up Cruises,’ because the Japanese never knew where the U.S. warships would appear. This would be equivalent to Japan sending warships into Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, or Puget Sound in Washington State.”
Maybury says: “We know...that (1) they knew the Flying Tigers were working for the USG, (2) they could see B-17s arriving in the Philippines, (3) they knew what B-17s could do and (4) they knew Japan was the only conceivable B-17 target in that area.” To add to that, the Japanese had cruisers and destroyers from the U.S. Navy sailing around in Japanese home waters.
As Maybury asks, “if you were them, what would you have done?”
Earlier, I presented you with a question from Pat Buchanan. I now give you his answer to his own question: “It was not Japan that sought war with us, but FDR who sought war with Japan.”
The pre-Pearl Harbor provocation of Japan was not over, however.
In 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria as a defensive move to secure her northern flank from Stalin who had seized Outer Mongolia and Sinkiang. Manchuria was as critical to Japan as Mexico is to us.
In 1937, following a clash on the Marco Polo Bridge outside Peiping, Japan and China went to war. For four years they fought, with Japan controlling the coasts and China the interior. For three years of this war, America saw no vital interest at risk and remained uninvolved.
But when Japan joined the Axis and occupied Indochina, FDR sent military aid to Chiang Kai-shek under lend-lease and approved the dispatch of the Flying Tigers to fight against Japan. He ordered B-17s to Manila to prepare to attack Japan’s home islands. He secretly promised the Dutch and British that, should Japan attack their Asian colonies, America would go to war. Japan was aware of it all.
In July 1941, FDR froze Japan’s assets, shutting off her oil. Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner warned FDR it meant war.
Indeed, when Israel’s oil supply was imperiled by Nasser’s threat to close the Straits of Tiran to ships docking in Israel, the Israelis launched their own Pearl Harbor, destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground before invading the Sinai and ending the oil threat to Israel’s survival.
Nevertheless, knowing it meant war, FDR cut off Japan’s oil. Thus was the Japanese empire and national economy, entirely dependent on imported oil, put under a sentence of death.
There were some people who, even 60 years ago, saw through FDR’s deceit. Aakash Raut writes, “On December 8, 1941, former President Herbert Hoover wrote to friends, ‘You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten.’” (For more information from Raut about Pearl Harbor, see his site, “Did FDR Know?”)
To argue that FDR did not knowingly provoke the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor is ridiculous. J.R. Nyquist says, “In 1986 I had the opportunity to ask President Roosevelt’s son, James Roosevelt, about the strategy the U.S. government had followed in 1941. James had worked on his father’s staff at the time, and openly admitted that Japan was provoked intentionally with the embargo (Japan had almost no other sources of oil).”
“Did FDR truly believe China’s integrity was a vital interest?” Buchanan asks. “Hardly. Once war broke out, China was ignored. The Pacific took a back seat to Europe. U.S. forces on Corregidor were abandoned. Aid to Churchill and Stalin and war on Germany took precedence over all.”
Why did FDR lie us into WWII? Raut says, “FDR provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor, intentionally putting an end to ‘the madness of the 1930s.’ The New Deal was a failure (though you don’t learn that in school), and was becoming increasingly unpopular with the public. FDR needed a war to rescue his disastrous policies, and salvage the dignity of his arrogant presidency.” Buchanan says that, “Provoking war with Japan was FDR’s back door to the war he wanted—with Hitler in Europe.”
The idea of a war was unpopular to the American public. A Gallup Poll at the time showed that 88 percent of Americans opposed U.S. involvement in the European war. FDR and his advisors believed something needed to be done to sway public opinion, and believed the way to do this was by provoking the Japanese into what would be perceived as an unprovoked attack on American ships or military installations.
We were lied into war before. There’s little reason to believe it can’t happen or hasn’t happened again.
October 29, 2003
Eighteen-year old Pieter Friedrich lives in a small town in the California Sierra Foothills. He is an amateur political analyst, a writer, a classical liberal, a juris naturalist, a paleo-conservative, a strict constitutionalist, and, foremost, a Christian. He is currently enrolled in Michael Masterson’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and hopes to work as a freelance copywriter, among other things. He is heavily involved in pro-life activism as a member of Sacramento Teens for Life. He may be reached for comment here or at his website.