Pearl Harbor: Why Hawaii Was Surprised and FDR Was Not

Posted by James Perloff in The New American

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, shattering the peace of a beautiful Hawaiian morning and leaving much of the fleet broken and burning.

The destruction and death that the Japanese military visited upon Pearl Harbor that day — 18 naval vessels (including eight battleships) sunk or heavily damaged, 188 planes destroyed, over 2,000 servicemen killed — were exacerbated by the fact that American commanders in Hawaii were caught by surprise.

But that was not the case in Washington.

Comprehensive research has shown not only that Washington knew in advance of the attack, but that it deliberately withheld its foreknowledge from our commanders in Hawaii in the hope that the “surprise” attack would catapult the U.S. into World War II.

Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production, stated in 1944: “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”

Although FDR desired to directly involve the United States in the Second World War, his intentions sharply contradicted his public pronouncements.

A pre-war Gallup poll showed 88 percent of Americans opposed U.S. involvement in the European war.

Citizens realized that U.S. participation in World War I had not made a better world, and in a 1940 (election-year) speech, Roosevelt typically stated: “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

But privately, the president planned the opposite.

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