76 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies

By David Swanson, December 7, 2017, Let’s Try Democracy.

Donald Trump is tweeting about a particular spot in Hawaii. He visited it recently on his way to threaten war in Asia. It’s a big feature this week in lots of U.S. magazines and newspapers. It has a lovely name that sounds like murder and blood because Japanese airplanes engaged in large-scale murder there in 1941: Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Day today is like Columbus Day 50 years ago. That is to say: most people still believe the hype. The myths are still maintained in their blissful unquestioned state. “New Pearl Harbors” are longed for by war makers, claimed, and exploited. Yet the original Pearl Harbor remains the most popular U.S. argument for all things military, including the long-delayed remilitarization of Japan — not to mention the WWII internment of Japanese Americans as a model for targeting other groups today. Believers in Pearl Harbor imagine for their mythical event, in contrast to today, a greater U.S. innocence, a purer victimhood, a higher contrast of good and evil, and a total necessity of defensive war making.

The facts do not support the mythology. The United States government did not need to make Japan a junior partner in imperialism, did not need to fuel an arms race, did not need to support Nazism and fascism (as some of the biggest U.S. corporations did right through the war), did not need to provoke Japan, did not need to join the war in Asia or Europe, and was not surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor. For support of each of these statements, keep reading.

World War II stands unchallenged as the worst thing humanity in general and the U.S. government in particular (as well as numerous other governments) have ever done in any short period of time. Recent wars don’t come close. There’s even a parallel to the Downing Street Minutes.

On August 18, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill met with his cabinet at 10 Downing Street. The meeting had some similarity to the July 23, 2002, meeting at the same address, the minutes of which became known as the Downing Street Minutes. Both meetings revealed secret U.S. intentions to go to war. In the 1941 meeting, Churchill told his cabinet, according to the minutes: “The President had said he would wage war but not declare it.” In addition, “Everything was to be done to force an incident.”

Indeed, everything was done to force an incident, and the incident was Pearl Harbor.

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