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Topic: Did the US provoke Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor?, Pre-attack< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,4:52  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have heard different cases for both sides.  US had an embargo on Japan, and was giving them ultimatums to get out of China.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,6:01 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

First off, deliberate provocation by the US would be very, very stupid.  We needed all our strength to deal with the Nazis.  Starting a war on the opposite side of the planet against an unengaged enemy (at least unengaged with the US and UK) is so dumb as to qualify for out-of-hand dismissal.  That it keeps popping up is just a case of bad history chasing bad history.

As for the embargo, the US stated "stop killing your neighbors".  Japan declined.  The US then declined to provide them with the war materials to continue to do so.  This isn't strange.

As for the "ultimatum", have you read it?  Can you tell me where it becomes an ultimatum?  (Hint:  When somebody needs it to be an ultimatum so they can break off relations with the US and use it to justify going to war.)

When a man has a friend's house on his right he doesn't go picking fights with his neighbor on the left, he has more urgent things to do, even when he knows that neighbor is notorious for burglarizing the surrounding homes.  If that left neighbor decides it's a good time to rummage through the man's garage for power tools what should that man do?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,6:12 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I  wasn't suggesting we did it on purpose, but through our actions we provoked them into attacking.  Wasn't one of the reasons why Japan was attacking China was to get their natural resources including oil.  So what do we do?  We put an embargo on them so they can't get any resources from anyone else, and we expect them to be willing to just go home and leave China alone.

I'm not saying what they did in China was right, but they had their reasons for doing it.  We only made them need it more by putting an embargo on them.  They also weren't doing anything better then any of our allies were doing in Africa and SE Asia.

Lastly, it was an open-ended question.  I was not saying one way or another in the question.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,6:36 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The problem is your question.

"Provoke" connotes an intention to purposely incite a specific reaction.   So asking if we "provoked" Japan inherently insinuates that we took a calculated course intended to lead to war.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We did take a course to further our national interests, which were to prevent Japanese expansion and possible linkage with Nazi Germany, with whom the Japanese had signed an alliance.  When Japan continued a course of territorial expansion in China and occupying French Indochina, we stopped supplying fuel and raw materials which fueled their conquests.  We intended, if anything, to "provoke" a cessation of Japanese conquests and a negotiation of our differences.

Both the US and England were particularly worried about Japan entering the war and draining off further resources from the fight against Germany, and threatening valuable raw materials from English and Dutch colonies.

Any time you take action to stem aggression, there is a risk that the agressor may react irrationally, as Japan did.  But you might just as well ask if Poland and the Western Allies "provoked" Germany into war by refusing to cede the Danzig corridor.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,7:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Japan invaded China.  They were killing thousands of people.  Why should we help them do this?  If a known sex-offender asked for money to by date rape drugs what is the proper response?  

"Japan" didn't want China.  The Japansese militarists wanted a war.  When the government of Japan didn't provide it they manufactured one.  The militarists took over the country and ran it to suit their martial goals.  Some good people in Japan thought they should leave China.  It was bleeding the country to death.  The warriors refused.  They had spent blood and bet their honor on the war.  They would not leave China.  It reminds me of the great line in "Teachers" where the first-time car theft screams, "I stole it, it's MINE!"

The more I research the matter the less reason I find to have given in to the Japanese.  Should we have given them avaiation grade gasoline to fuel the bombers and fighters that were killing women and children?  Should be provide them with scrap to build more tanks to blow up town and villages?  The US would have been just another villan if we had aided and abetted the murder of millions of Chinese.  

Remember, killing Nazis and other fascists wasn't a "fun thing", it was a most important task.  Our system of government made it next to impossible to commence this task until that day came when even the most ardent dove in  Congress, Jeanette Rankin, could not vote against the war.

If this really is an "open-ended" question, perhaps you can tell us what positive thing would have come from NOT embargoing war materials to Japan?

(Edited by Larry Jewell at 6:28 pm on Oct. 30, 2001)

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,9:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The most positive thing that would have come out of leaving the Japanese alone would be one Pearl Harbor would not have been attacked.  Secondly, most likely we would not have sent millions of Japanese Americans to the American version of Concentration camps called interment camps.  Thirdly, there wouldn't be such a still racist view against Japanese Americans still today.

Read books like "Snow Falling on Cedars" and find out how awful these innocent people are.  Just like Muslim Americans are being just as badly treated today when majority of them are innocent.  My roomates friend had to go into hiding, because he was getting so many threats.

Japanese and Germans are all humans too.  They have reasoning behind it, and its not all about killing off the most people that is possible.  Not everyone agreed with Hitler or liked them.  You want evidence read "The Limits of Hitler's Power" by Dr. Edward N. Peterson, who fought in WWII, and married a German citizen, woman who hated Hitler.  How come it seems that people that fought the war are less likely to hate Japanese then modern day historians.  

Don't go to my parents hometown.  You'll find many POW Germans there.  They are treated just as normally as anyone.  The prisoners helped women farm their land, and they were very helpful.

Did you know when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima that 23 American POWS were killed?  My friend's grandfather was stationed in Japan after the war and her father grew up there.  They have no hatred for the Japanese.  

How come you and others see the human side to the Japanese?? Instead of looking at they did look for their real reasons behind it.  Don't let stereotypes get in the way.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,10:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm sorry, but appeasement makes me ill.  Giving the Japanese all they needed to continue their conquest in China just to avoid being attacked is moral cowardice to the extreme.  How many Chinese do we sacrifice to save Americans?  How many Thai, Khmer, Chen, etc., have to be subjugated to provide "peace in our time" in the Pacific?  

You will note that I differentiated between the Japanese and the militaristic Japanese, if you have read carefully.  The thought process that characterizes fascism is what needs killing, no matter what race it happens to infest at any one time.  Please do not jump to conclusions that my words do not justify.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2001,10:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tell me what makes China so different from what happened in Austria, Poland, and Czechslovakia when Hitler invaded.  If the allies had kept their promises there how many Jews could have been saved?  

Based on your reasoning, America has to go to any country and fight against anyone aggressing against them at any time.  Americans have to save everyone's little butt.

How many Chinese lives were saved by going to war with Japan?  The embargo did nothing to stop them.  It only meant that Americans now were going to loose thousands of lives in just one attack.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 31 2001,4:33 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Okay, so the Chinese can go to h*ll, along with the rest of eastern Asia.

I guess if you're willing to sacrifice everyone else on the planet for the safety of the US then there's no good reason not to continue selling Japan the means to carry on their wars of conquest.  Isolationism is beautifully simplistic that way.  

"If the allies had kept their promises there how many Jews could have been saved? "

Millions?  We learned from the Munich debacle that appeasement only makes tyrants greedier.  If England and France had slapped Hitler down a group of Germans was ready to attempt a putsch.  Adolf might have gone down and WWII in Europe would not have happened.  That's how many would have been saved, Jew and non-Jew.  "You can't purchase safety from tyrants, you can only rent it for a short time."

George Carlin has a skit called, "Things you never hear."  One of those things is: "Do what you want to the girl, but leave me alone!"  George, we do hear that one, take it out of the routine, please.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2001,12:12 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The most positive thing that would have come out of leaving the Japanese alone would be one Pearl Harbor would not have been attacked.  

By the same fuzzy thinking, if Britain, France and Poland had just "left alone" the Germans and not interferred with their occupation of the Danzig corridor, World War II could have been avoided.

Hello???

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