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Title: How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor
Source: [None]
URL Source: https://mises.org/library/how-us-ec ... ked-japans-attack-pearl-harbor
Published: Jan 13, 2021
Author: Higgs
Post Date: 2021-01-13 06:57:10 by NeoconsNailed
Keywords: None
Views: 103
Comments: 20

[This talk was the Arthur M. Krolman Lecture at the 30th Anniversary Supporters Summit of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Callaway Gardens, Georgia, on October 26, 2012. Click here to watch the video of this talk.]

Many people are misled by formalities. They assume, for example, that the United States went to war against Germany and Japan only after its declarations of war against these nations in December 1941. In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its war making took a variety of forms. For example, the U.S. navy conducted "shoot [Germans] on sight" convoys — convoys that might include British ships — in the North Atlantic along the greater part the shipping route from the United States to Great Britain, even though German U-boats had orders to refrain (and did refrain) from initiating attacks on U.S. shipping. The United States and Great Britain entered into arrangements to pool intelligence, combine weapons development, test military equipment jointly, and undertake other forms of war-related cooperation. The U.S. military actively cooperated with the British military in combat operations against the Germans, for example, by alerting the British navy of aerial or marine sightings of German submarines, which the British then attacked. The U.S. government undertook in countless ways to provide military and other supplies and assistance to the British, the French, and the Soviets, who were fighting the Germans. The U.S. government also provided military and other supplies and assistance, including warplanes and pilots, to the Chinese, who were at war with Japan.1 The U.S. military actively engaged in planning with the British, the British Commonwealth countries, and the Dutch East Indies for future combined combat operations against Japan. Most important, the U.S. government engaged in a series of increasingly stringent economic warfare measures that pushed the Japanese into a predicament that U.S. authorities well understood would probably provoke them to attack U.S. territories and forces in the Pacific region in a quest to secure essential raw materials that the Americans, British, and Dutch (government in exile) had embargoed.2

How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor | Robert Higgs

Consider these summary statements by George Victor, by no means a Roosevelt basher, in his well documented book The Pearl Harbor Myth.

Roosevelt had already led the United States into war with Germany in the spring of 1941—into a shooting war on a small scale. From then on, he gradually increased U.S. military participation. Japan's attack on December 7 enabled him to increase it further and to obtain a war declaration. Pearl Harbor is more fully accounted for as the end of a long chain of events, with the U.S. contribution reflecting a strategy formulated after France fell. . . . In the eyes of Roosevelt and his advisers, the measures taken early in 1941 justified a German declaration of war on the United States—a declaration that did not come, to their disappointment. . . . Roosevelt told his ambassador to France, William Bullitt, that U.S. entry into war against Germany was certain but must wait for an "incident," which he was "confident that the Germans would give us." . . . Establishing a record in which the enemy fired the first shot was a theme that ran through Roosevelt's tactics. . . . He seems [eventually] to have concluded—correctly as it turned out—that Japan would be easier to provoke into a major attack on the Unites States than Germany would be.3

The claim that Japan attacked the United States without provocation was . . . typical rhetoric. It worked because the public did not know that the administration had expected Japan to respond with war to anti-Japanese measures it had taken in July 1941. . . . Expecting to lose a war with the United States—and lose it disastrously— Japan's leaders had tried with growing desperation to negotiate. On this point, most historians have long agreed. Meanwhile, evidence has come out that Roosevelt and Hull persistently refused to negotiate. . . . Japan . . . offered compromises and concessions, which the United States countered with increasing demands. . . . It was after learning of Japan's decision to go to war with the United States if the talks "break down" that Roosevelt decided to break them off. . . . According to Attorney General Francis Biddle, Roosevelt said he hoped for an "incident" in the Pacific to bring the United States into the European war.4

These facts and numerous others that point in the same direction are for the most part anything but new; many of them have been available to the public since the 1940s. As early as 1953, anyone might have read a collection of heavily documented essays on various aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1930s and early 1940s, edited by Harry Elmer Barnes, that showed the numerous ways in which the U.S. government bore responsibility for the country's eventual engagement in World War II—showed, in short, that the Roosevelt administration wanted to get the country into the war and worked craftily along various avenues to ensure that, sooner or later, it would get in, preferably in a way that would unite public opinion behind the war by making the United States appear to have been the victim of an aggressor's unprovoked attack.5 As Secretary of War Henry Stimson testified after the war, "we needed the Japanese to commit the first overt act." 6

At present, however, seventy years after these events, probably not one American in 1,000—nay, not one in 10,000—has an inkling of any of this history. So effective has been the pro-Roosevelt, pro- American, pro-World War II faction that in this country it has utterly dominated teaching and popular writing about U.S. engagement in the "Good War."

In the late nineteenth century, Japan's economy began to grow and to industrialize rapidly. Because Japan has few natural resources, many of its burgeoning industries had to rely on imported raw materials, such as coal, iron ore or steel scrap, tin, copper, bauxite, rubber, and petroleum. Without access to such imports, many of which came from the United States or from European colonies in Southeast Asia, Japan's industrial economy would have ground to a halt. By engaging in international trade, however, the Japanese had built a moderately advanced industrial economy by 1941.

At the same time, they also built a military-industrial complex to support an increasingly powerful army and navy. These armed forces allowed Japan to project its power into various places in the Pacific and East Asia, including Korea and northern China, much as the United States used its growing industrial might to equip armed forces that projected U.S. power into the Caribbean, Latin America, and even as far away as the Philippine Islands.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933, the U.S. government fell under the control of a man who disliked the Japanese and harbored a romantic affection for the Chinese because, some writers have speculated, Roosevelt's ancestors had made money in the China trade.7 Roosevelt also disliked the Germans in general and Adolf Hitler in particular, and he tended to favor the British in his personal relations and in world affairs. He did not pay much attention to foreign policy, however, until his New Deal began to peter out in 1937. Thereafter he relied heavily on foreign policy to fulfill his political ambitions, including his desire for reelection to an unprecedented third term.

When Germany began to rearm and to seek Lebensraum aggressively in the late 1930s, the Roosevelt administration cooperated closely with the British and the French in measures to oppose German expansion. After World War II commenced in 1939, this U.S. assistance grew ever greater and included such measures as the so-called destroyer deal and the deceptively named Lend-Lease program. In anticipation of U.S. entry into the war, British and U.S. military staffs secretly formulated plans for joint operations. U.S. forces sought to create a war-justifying incident by cooperating with the British navy in attacks on German U-boats in the northern Atlantic, but Hitler refused to take the bait, thus denying Roosevelt the pretext he craved for making the United States a full-fledged, declared belligerent—a belligerence that the great majority of Americans opposed.

In June 1940, Henry L. Stimson, who had been secretary of war under William Howard Taft and secretary of state under Herbert Hoover, became secretary of war again. Stimson was a lion of the Anglophile, northeastern upper crust and no friend of the Japanese. In support of the so-called Open Door Policy for China, Stimson favored the use of economic sanctions to obstruct Japan's advance in Asia. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes vigorously endorsed this policy. Roosevelt hoped that such sanctions would goad the Japanese into making a rash mistake by launching a war against the United States, which would bring in Germany because Japan and Germany were allied.

The Roosevelt administration, while curtly dismissing Japanese diplomatic overtures to harmonize relations, accordingly imposed a series of increasingly stringent economic sanctions on Japan. In 1939, the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. "On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials." Under this authority, "[o]n July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted." Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, "on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere." Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt "froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan."8 The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in Southeast Asia.

Roosevelt and his subordinates knew they were putting Japan in an untenable position and that the Japanese government might well try to escape the stranglehold by going to war. Having broken the Japanese diplomatic code, the American leaders knew, among many other things, what Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda had communicated to Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura on July 31: "Commercial and economic relations between Japan and third countries, led by England and the United States, are gradually becoming so horribly strained that we cannot endure it much longer. Consequently, our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure the raw materials of the South Seas."9

Because American cryptographers had also broken the Japanese naval code, the leaders in Washington also knew that Japan's "measures" would include an attack on Pearl Harbor.10 Yet they withheld this critical information from the commanders in Hawaii, who might have headed off the attack or prepared themselves to defend against it. That Roosevelt and his chieftains did not ring the tocsin makes perfect sense: after all, the impending attack constituted precisely what they had been seeking for a long time. As Stimson confided to his diary after a meeting of the War Cabinet on November 25, "The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves." After the attack, Stimson confessed that "my first feeling was of relief . . . that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people."11

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Poster Comment:

Definitive and totally devastating on DC's treatment of not only Japan but Germany in ratcheting up the horrors of WW2 for fun and profit. And this is only one suppressed window on DC's behavior since Ft. Sumter -- rest assured others equally damning could be (or have been) written up on that tidy little affair, Philippines, Korea, and DC's other global exploits lo these 161 years.

My favorite War Of Terror moment dates from when it controversially got rolling. My onetime Bible teacher, a lady who with her equally devout husband claim like 40 model ameriKans as descendants, said quite blithely we had do it to save money at the gas pump! Their fundamentalist sect is pacifist no less.

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#1. To: NeoconsNailed (#0)

Poster Comment:

Definitive and totally devastating on DC's treatment of not only Japan but Germany

Total horseshit.

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-13   7:56:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: NeoconsNailed (#0)

Best part is that the FDR admin knew it was coming and let it happen to get the US into the war.

Darkwing  posted on  2021-01-13   8:46:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Cynicom (#1)

Are they lying, Cyni? Making it all up?

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-13   12:06:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Darkwing (#2)

It's much much worse than that. The satanic jew didn't let it happen, he virtually made it happen.

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-13   12:07:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Darkwing (#2) (Edited)

the FDR admin knew it was coming and let it happen to get the US into the war.

The U.S. had broken the Jap Naval Code. Why do you think the aircraft carriers were at sea? ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2021-01-13   12:11:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: BTP Holdings (#5)

Clearing the runway for the Pearl Harbor job ;)

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-13   13:18:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: NeoconsNailed (#3)

neo...

First I was around for the runup to WWII, lost a brother and one other family member.

As a youngster, we knew what was coming in the 1930s. FDR said over and over he would NEVER SEND AMERICAN BOYS TO FIGHT IN FOREIGN WARS. My Father would yell "you lying SOB" at the olde tube radio.

Yes, indeed FDR used Japan to get us into WWII. However,it was well KNOWN THAT JAPAN WAS COMING. History tells us that Teddy Roosevelt warned years before that Japan was coming. In 1920s Gen. Billy Mitchell said Japan was coming,it was all public. The Army court martialed him and threw him out of the Army. MacArthur was only General that voted not guilty. Then in mid 1930s, Gen.Patton sent cable to Washington that Japan was coming. He was stationed in Hawaii. In May-Juned 1941 FDR removed military dependents out of Pacific Islands to Hawaii because he knew Japan was coming. He did not reinforce any of the islands and thousands of GIs died.

Yes, FDR should have been hung, but we have to remember the die was cast, Japan was coming and FDR was owned by the Jews. Americans died. None of us were educated, we were pawns but we knew this...Japan bombed Hawaii in Dec. 1941, killing Americans, then in Nov. 1942, the US """invaded AFRICA"". Then we knew we had been snookered.

The Pacific was a sideshow. Europe had to be taken care of first. We hated the SOB FDR but still Europe came first.

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-13   14:33:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Cynicom (#7)

Japan was coming

Yamamoto had attended University in the U.S.

When Japanese started talking about invading mainland America he told them, "It would be a bad idea. There would be a man with a rifle BEHIND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS."

Yamamoto knew well of how American citizens were armed. ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2021-01-14   0:29:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Cynicom (#7)

Oh, I'm sure generals never exaggerate a threat. No conflict of interest there. It's not like they join the forces looking for glory or A-C-T-I-O-N!

If ameriKa had minded its own business, maintained healthy relations with other countries and kept the military at the ready defense purposes only, I cannot see how Japan would have attacked. Did DC even tel the Japs what nukes they had or invitem to Los Alamos for a demo? How about offering them lots of cheap oil?

War has catastrophically costs and is hell. We have never gotten over WW2's ravages on US and will never stop paying through the nose as long as there's an Israel -- because Hitler! Every war since Vietnam has been BECAUSE HITLER, we're stuck withim.

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-14   10:03:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: NeoconsNailed (#9)

Oh, I'm sure generals never exaggerate a threat. No conflict of interest there. It's not like they join the forces looking for glory or A-C-T-I-O-N!

If ameriKa had minded its own business, maintained healthy relations with other countries and kept the military at the ready defense purposes only, I cannot see how Japan would have attacked. Did DC even tel the Japs what nukes they had or invitem to Los Alamos for a demo? How about offering them lots of cheap oil?

That has no basis in history at all and in fact defies historrical written records that are available for all to read and educate themselves.

History shows us that wars are not fomented overnight. Major wars take years to bring to fruition.

Any student of history can read for themselves that Pearl Harbor attack and war was first laid by Japan PRIOR TO 1900. It is all there for anyone to absorb before offering an opinion.

Geo/politics and history go well together.

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-14   10:32:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Cynicom (#10)

I asked two questions and take it the answer is no, showing that the USG never had the slightest interest in peace under any of its jew presidents. Yeah, that includes Lincoln, TR, Truman (the Hero of Hiroshima), LBJ and prolly Wilson. To their shame, the ameriKan peeples shared the bloodlust each time DC cynically played the war card.

Something tells me you didn't want peace in the 1940s either, Cyni. From the sound of it you would have hated for FDR to avert a confrontation with Japan or Germany. Everything you're saying amounts to ameriKa being made of war -- sure is nowadays!

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-14   13:04:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: NeoconsNailed, Lod, noone222, Esso, BTP Holdings, randge, X-15 (#11)

Something tells me you didn't want peace in the 1940s either,

That is a personal insult.

I suggest all invited here read the letter from Teddy Roosevelt written before 1900 forecasting possibility of war to see if any of you really believe he was promotting war that he saw coming, 1n1897.

www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/trjapan.htm

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-14   14:08:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Cynicom (#12)

That is a personal insult.

No it's not, Cyni -- it's the logical extension of everything you're saying. It's clear that voices of peace, caution and moderation aren't worth spit in your opinion. So far you're not denying what I said or answering any of the article's assertions.

And now you've merely cited another infamous warmonger. TR burbled "The people are ready for a war, and any war will do!" or words to that exact effect -- before his Spanish-American swindle, I believe.

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-14   18:03:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Cynicom (#12)

That is a personal insult.

Neo-nazisNailed is an argumentative insult at some point to everyone that gets near. "Eff Off" !

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. "

noone222  posted on  2021-01-14   18:37:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: NeoconsNailed, noone222, Lod, Esso, BTP Holdings (#13)

A civil, intelligent answer would have admitted to reading or not reading the letter and education yourself. Seeing long dark shadows at high noon is a sign of a problem.

For instance most people with OPINIONS are willing to emtertain opinions of others. For instance Teddy wrote this letter because there was an indication of something he did not understand.Anyone with opinions and interested in history would already know the following.

"""In late 1800s warships were coal fired and powered". All of a sudden Japan turned their warships from coal to oil, first military to do so""".

Teddy knew Japan had NO oil but lots of coal, what did they have in mind?

Try adding to the conversations here and dropping personal arrows. Most people here are civil and very intelligent.

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-14   19:29:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Cynicom (#15)

A civil, intelligent answer would have admitted to reading or not reading the letter

That's pure projection, Cyni. It's obvious you haven't even looked at the Mises article. Teddy has been debunked, discredited and disgraced today -- he's gone.

I have no idea why you're so het up. You're reading something personal into my words that simply isn't there. Sometimes the truth hurts -- for all of us.

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-14   21:19:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: NeoconsNailed (#16)

I bozo NO ONE but I do ignore rudeness and those with lack of rudimentary knowledge of history. Take care...

Cynicom  posted on  2021-01-14   21:43:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: NeoconsNailed (#16)

Get you a bicycle. From the top of a high hill ride as fast as possible directly into a 16-feet-thick steel-reinforced concrete wall. You'll get through the wall before you will teach somebody something who already knows everything.

StraitGate  posted on  2021-01-15   0:14:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: StraitGate (#18)

Hahaaa, that's about the size of it. Hey, he LOST RELATIVES in WW2, so he just trumps me entirely on any war subject :-]

_____________________________________________________________

USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2021-01-15   6:22:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Cynicom (#15)

Most people here are civil and very intelligent.

I recall making Sulfur Dioxide gas in chemistry lab in High School. They had to make it in an enclosed chamber with a fan to ventilate since if you breathed it that would cause Sulfuric Acid to form in the lungs.

The prevailing winds were westerly and the Lakeview Air Quality Station was out east. They had highest reading for Sulfur Dioxide gas for that day.

Now that is darn good recall for me considering the meningitis wiped out so much memory. ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2021-01-15   7:18:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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