Posts tagged ‘america’

I feel like a conspiracy nut…

…but this documentary is from the BBC, and seems to be backed up pretty well. The short version: the attack on Pearl Harbor was not a surprise at all, and FDR willingly let thousands of Americans die as an excuse to enter World War Two. Congress wouldn’t allow the US to go to war unless the country was attacked. Instead, they created an oil embargo against Japan. The Japanese needed to get oil from elsewhere, so they started to look at Indonesia and other islands in the pacific. They could easily have been defeated by the US fleet in Hawaii while doing this (I’m still a little hazy on this bit), so they first needed to get rid of the US forces there. The Japanese tried to go the diplomacy route to end the embargo, but when that failed, they sent their fleet to attack. Radio operators all over the Pacific (from California to New Zealand) all intercepted these signals, they all could decipher the code used, and they all knew about the attack several days before it was going to happen. This information was relayed to Washington, but people deliberately prevented it from getting to the commanders at Pearl Harbor itself. The attack happened, thousands of Americans died, but Roosevelt had his excuse to declare war on Japan, and the rest is history.

I found this fascinating, if a little unbelievable at first. In school, I had always been taught that the attack was an unprovoked surprise, but that never jived for me. If the Japanese hadn’t attacked, the Axis would probably have won WWII, and it seemed stupid of them to create more enemies in the war. This documentary at least partly explains things: the Japanese actually had a good reason to attack (they needed the ships out of the way before they could get resources from Indonesia), and the Allies had enough of a spy network that they could actually find out about obvious things like large fleets sailing across the Pacific. I still don’t fully understand why the Japanese couldn’t just get their oil from Indonesia and leave the Americans alone, but at least I have part of the picture now. This brings new meaning to the phrase “December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy.”

Breaking news!

The American embassy in Athens, Greece was apparently bombed this evening? I can’t find any articles on the internet about it, but I suspect there will be several tomorrow. Remember: you read it here first!

More details when I can find them…

Edit: That’s right—I beat Reuters to a news story! by about an hour! The blast appears to have been outside the building itself, and it looks like no one was hurt, though it shattered quite a few windows. Personally, I suspect this is a group of leftist extremists trying to “retaliate” to Bush’s speech last night. Many Greeks are against the Bush administration, as shown by the protests when Condi visited the country in April.