The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore is bringing David Swanson to the Johns
By David Swanson
An excerpt from "War Is A Lie" http://warisalie.org
One type of "defensive" war is one that follows a successful provocation of aggression from the desired enemy. This method was used to begin, and repeatedly to escalate, the Vietnam War, as recorded in the Pentagon Papers. Setting aside the question of whether the
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's fervent hope for years was that
"It may be taken as almost certain that the entry of
On May 11, 1941, Robert Menzies, the prime minister of Australia, met with Roosevelt and found him " a little jealous" of Churchill's place in the center of the war. While Roosevelt's cabinet all wanted the
" . . . trained under Woodrow Wilson in the last war, waits for an incident, which would in one blow get the USA into war and get R. out of his foolish election pledges that 'I will keep you out of war.'"
On August 18, 1941, Churchill met with his cabinet at
When President Franklin Roosevelt visited
"Such insolent behavior makes us most suspicious. It makes us think a major disturbance is purposely being encouraged in the Pacific. This is greatly regretted."
Whether it was actually regretted or not is a separate question from whether this was a typical and predictable response to military expansionism, even when done in the name of "defense." The great unembedded (as we would today call him) journalist George Seldes was suspicious as well. In October 1934 he wrote in Harper's Magazine
"Do you accept the naval axiom that you prepare to fight a specific navy?"
The man replied "Yes."
"Do you contemplate a fight with the British navy?"
"Do you contemplate war with
In 1935 the most decorated
"At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals…don't shout that 'We need lots of battleships to war on this nation or that nation.' Oh, no. First of all, they let it be known that
"The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline in the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.
"The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the
In March 1935, Roosevelt bestowed Wake Island on the
"The Man from Mars who saw how men suffered in the last war and how frantically they are preparing for the next war, which they know will be worse, would come to the conclusion that he was looking at the denizens of a lunatic asylum."
"There is a lot of talk around town to the effect that the Japanese, in case of a break with the
On February 5, 1941, Rear Admiral
As early as 1932 the
On May 24, 1941, the New York Times reported on
"I am very happy to be able to report today the President directed that sixty-six bombers be made available to
Our ambassador had said "in case of a break with the
The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force, also known as the Flying Tigers, moved ahead with recruitment and training immediately and first saw combat on December 20, 1941, twelve days (local time) after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
On May 31, 1941, at the Keep
On July 24, 1941, President Roosevelt remarked, "If we cut the oil off , [the Japanese] probably would have gone down to the
Reporters noticed that
On August 7th four months before the attack the
By September the Japanese press was outraged that the
What might the
In late October,
On November 3, 1941, our ambassador tried again to get something through his government's thick skull, sending a lengthy telegram to the State Department warning that the economic sanctions might force
Why do I keep recalling the headline of the memo given to President George W. Bush prior to the September 11, 2001, attacks? "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in
Apparently nobody in
Ten days later Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary that he'd met in the Oval Office with Marshall, President Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Harold Stark, and Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
The day after the attack, Congress voted for war. Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin (R., Mont.), the first woman ever elected to Congress, and who had voted against World War I, stood alone in opposing World War II (just as Congresswoman Barbara Lee [D., Calif.] would stand alone against attacking Afghanistan 60 years later). One year after the vote, on December 8, 1942, Rankin put extended remarks into the Congressional Record explaining her opposition. She cited the work of a British propagandist who had argued in 1938 for using
Rankin found that the Economic Defense Board had gotten economic sanctions under way less than a week after the Atlantic Conference. On December 2, 1941, the New York Times had reported, in fact, that
Whether or not World War II was the "good war" we are so often told it was, the idea that it was a defensive war because our innocent imperial outpost in the middle of the Pacific was attacked out of the clear blue sky is a myth that deserves to be buried.
David Swanson is the author of "War Is A Lie" http://warisalie.org from which this is excerpted.