From: Toledo, Ohio
Your contributions to this thread have been less than stellar...
I am crushed, no, devastated by your assessment of my postings
I find it amusing that you question the possiblity of the President being "bloodthirsty" and yet your tagline is:
"Kill Japs, Kill more Japs" - Adm. William F. Halsey I suppose it's okay for Admirals but not Presidents?
Halsey's comments were part of a campaign to raise morale and refocus the Allied efforts on Guadalcanal. While they may sound insensitive to our 21st Century ears, they were merely stating the obvious task before the Allies at the time. Killing one's enemy is merely the essence of war. I think you could imply racism in Halsey's remarks especially if you study some of the other quotes accredited to him. Then again, considering the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March, many people felt the same way about the Japanese race. I am not saying the Japanese were inheritantly evil just that a superficial study of their actions supported the prevalent attitudes. The Japanese leadership chose to start a war of aggression. They and unfortunately the Japanese people only reaped the whirlwind they set in motion against them
IF HOSTILITIES CANNOT REPEAT NOT BE AVOIDED THE UNITED STATES
DESIRES THAT JAPAN COMMIT THE FIRST OVERT ACT
That was sent several times to all commands. What do you suppose that means? If every other piece of conspiracy theory lore is wrong except that message, which is indisputable, it means the POTUS desired that SOME American base or ship SOMEwhere be attacked first.
No it does not. It means the President was resigned to the fact that war with Japan was likely inevitable. If that were indeed true, it was his desire and largely the desires of the American people that US forces did not fire the first shot. Considering what was already in play by the morning of 7 December 1941 (PH, PI, Malaya, etc), it is historically a ridiculous position. Nonetheless, at the time, it was considered to be a national policy that the USA would not be the aggressor. This order is nothing more than the explicit expression of that policy to all commands
Do you suppose the POTUS believed that the first Japanese overt act would be to drop leaflets somewhere saying "Yankee go Home!?" How many American deaths do you think the POTUS would have accepted for the first overt act he desired? How many resulting American deaths until he's a monster with an evil plan, as you say? Probably not 1. 100? Perhaps the crews of two U.S. cruisers he wanted to send to provoke the Japanese. Now we're getting close to 1000. We are halfway to Pearl.
[Action D from McCollum's Eight Action Plan - "Popup Cruises" FDR - "I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing. I don't mind losing one or two cruisers, but do not take a chance on losing five or six."] Does someone become a monster somewhere between two and five cruisers?
Other parts of the message advising necessary cautions should be taken is nonsensical. If the President orders you to take one on the chin, you take one on the chin.
First of all, which TF that was at sea on 7 December 1941 do you consider to be a "pop-up cruiser" TF. The one escorting troops to the SoPac? The one near Johnson Island? Houston? Boise? None of these TF's were acting provocatively in any way, shape, or form There were not violating Japanese sovereignty nor were they anywhere near Japan proper nor any of her territories. Quote McCollum's memo all you want but there is not a single USN ship that you can even remotely make the case was acting in a way consistent with McColum's recommendation. Second even if there were such aggressively deployed TF's say around the Marshalls or Formosa, how does putting them in such a position COMPEL the Japanese to attack them? (assuming that they did not violate territorial boundaries). Are bank's responsible for armed roberies because they have money in them?
I don't know what you think or know about a President's cabinet and administration, but don't you suppose that after being in office for 13 years, FDR wouldn't have men around him that supported him and his views? You must have a really rose-colored view of the world.
No, the opposite. I believe politics is the dirtiest, most ruthless business there is. It is filled with people whose ambition will lead them to step on, over, or through any one who stands in there way. As such, if FDR tried to pull off what you propose, some one would have eventually got wind of it and used it to bring him down. FDR was by no means universally loved then nor now. You talk about FDR and his inner circle pulling this off. The problem is that to accomplish this nefarious deed dozens if not hundreds of people would have to be involved.
As for heroes... as they say, the winners write the history books. General Sherman (a la March to the Sea fame) is considered by many to be a hero. He even got a tank named after him. But to many, he was a real ba$tardo that followed the orders of a President to conduct a campaign of terror against a defenseless populace (which went against centuries of acceptable behavior during wartime. Read: Total War) by raping and pillaging, burning homes leaving thousands to die from exposure, and killing prior confederate soldiers, some invalids, just because they were on the other side, on his way to the beach.
How about Joe Rochefort? Do you consider him a hero? Per Stinnett, in a post-war assessment of the attack Rochefort said "It was a pretty cheap price to pay for unifying the country." Is that bloodthirsty? Cold hearted? Unifying the country. That sounds like what FDR wanted to do to get into the war. Golly gee.
How does Rochefort's comments have any relation to FDR's intent. Pure guessing on my part here but I will go out on a limb and say I bet the two men never even met. Yes it was a rather cold and insensitive remark regarding the lives that were lost. That said, it in no way implies intent or any other support for your theory
Believe what you will. I can say for sure that taking quotes out of contenxt, bending facts to fit into your theory, and demeaning other posters will not convince any one on this board. In case you haven't noticed it, the people here are pretty knowledgable, educated, and logical. Only sound reasoning supported by irrefutable facts will have any sway around here.
"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Commodore O.H. Perry