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The "Just Let It Happen" school.

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by OpanaPointer, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some things about the conspiracy theories surrounding Pearl Harbor are more annoying than others, but the Just Let It Happen idea is the most annoying of all.

    In the JLIH meme FDR knows about the attack at some point, by means which are always vague and poorly sourced. He then does nothing, he just lets it happen. The reason is to get the US into the war in Europe via the Pacific.

    The problems with this are obvious, of course.

    1. Getting into a war in the Pacific doesn't guarantee a entre into the war in Europe. (Note that the US did NOT declare war on Germany on Dec. 8th.)

    2. There was no way to find out about the attack in advance.

    3. FDR would have had to decide that a defeat would do him more political good than a successful repulse of a sneak attack. Starting a war off with a defeat, according to the CTers, would be the optimal choice here.

    4. It would require that FDR and every other person who knew about the attack to remain mum in the face of probable large scale killing of Americans.

    5. Even if you buy #4 we still have to believe that FDR would have no problem with warships being sunk or damaged. (And remember, it was only luck that Enterprise was not in harbor that morning, so it wasn't just the battleships that were in danger.)
     
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  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I think it's a reflection of people's opinion of the government. Those that feel the most disenfranchised are most likely the first to ask: "How could they let this happen?" or even better: "They saw war comming in 1937 and failed to prepare."

    Conspiracy theorists are knuckleheads.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's definitely related to the "I Hate FDR" agenda.

    As for defense preparation, the CTers conveniently forget that FDR was trying to rearm the country and Senator Nye and the isolationists were fighting him tooth and claw.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Even on the evening of the 7th when FDR saw some of the congressional and senate leaders; those of the isolationist camp still hemmed and hawed about what had happened.

    Of course they changed their tune by the morning of the 8th; but it is no understatement they were deeply attached to their cause of isolationism and no defense spending.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    As I go through the 2000+ speeches I have to upload I can follow the "former" isolationists as they jumped to say they're really "true patriots" and support America, blah blah blah. Then, by 1944 and the presidential election, they're heading back to their old "FDR is an apostate of Hell" attitudes.
     
  6. texson66

    texson66 Ace

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    "FDR is an apostate of Hell" - Not the Prince of Darkness himself? :D
     
  7. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Although I really don't like what FDR did to America, or what the socialist leaning gov'nt leaders have done since, I have a really hard time believing FDR would "let" PH just happen. After all the mindset of the day was the battleship was still the backbone of the modern navy. I don't think he would have risked that much "irreplacable" hardware just to get in the war. What would he fight the war he just got into with?
     
  8. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    The thing is, is that if "they" just let it happen, a lot of people would have had to be involved not only in the silence prior to the conspiracy, but after as well.

    Look, something as innocuous as Nixon's 30 second tape erasure, or whatever the hell it was, leaked out, it boggles the mind that people actually think something like "just letting Pearl Harbor happen" could have been kept secret. Not on this planet!

    And one other thing-surfer sami made a comment about FDR sending the country down the road to socialism, etc. I don't want to derail the thread, but I don't think people nowadays really understand the dire straights this country was in during the Great Depression. I don't think they realize what people who grew up in thirties had to give up because the economic situation. I think we've done pretty well for ourselves here in the USA since FDR, in fact IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE HOW WE COULD HAVE DONE MUCH BETTER!

    sorry but sometimes I think we take what we have for granted.
     
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  9. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    To be fair to point #1, FDR's foreign policy was directed firmly in the direction of Europe anyway. The United States Navy and business interests were already engaged in a 'de facto' conflict with Germany, and for the Navy there was nothing 'de facto' about it. People forget about sinkings lke the USS "Reuben James". It was always going to be a Germany First" policy, something that Churchill clarified as soon as he could after Pearl Harbor, but I feel it really was an example of minds thinking alike.

    Apart from this small point, it is otherwise ludicrous in the extreme to suggest that conspiratorial theroms of the PH disaster are anything of true substance.

    Haven't we buried this one already, once and for all? This corpse keeps getting pulled out of the coffin, and it's a ragged looking pile of bones by now!
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Putting pressure on the Japanese the way FDR did without considering all possible consequences is a big enough mistake for a leader, unless you believe what happened was by design, and then you are in CT territory, you have to conclude he badly miscalculated the effects of his policies.
    What really baffles me is the strategic choice of not attempting an early decisive battle in the Philippines, that implies a correct estimation of IJN capabilities, together with the general unpreparedness at PH that implies an underestimation of it.
     
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  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That is very true Tristan, people who didn't grow up in the thirties have no idea what unbridaled capitalizm had done to the global economy. Even FDR was upset by people claiming he was trying to "kill big business", his response was that; "what these people don't understand is I'm the best friend the corporations have right now. Without this intervention the whole nation may collapse into anarchy." (papaphrasing).
     
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  12. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    After the 911 attacks, it did not seem very long till we got the first generation of "Truthers".

    How long was it till the conspiracy theorists started popping up? Was there any during the war, or was it much later?

    I was just wondering, considering how divided the country was even before PH as to what to do about Europe after Poland was invaded in 39, and considering some of the lunacy that was displayed by that.
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the real "anti-FDR" people in the Republican party started looking for anything they could blame on him as soon as he ran for and was elected to the third term. Put that on top of his mistake in the so-called "court packing scheme", and FDR was vulnerable for the first real time in his political life.
     
  14. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    That would make sense if true. Maybe even some Charles Lindbergh followers? Or that priest-Father Charles Coughlin that used to be a supporter of his, then went hellbent on taking him down with his speeches?
     
  15. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Hard to put a finger on what the US policy was prior to hostilities.

    At least Roosevelt got what he wanted...Japan to strike the first blow...

    From Stimson's diaries, 25 Nov.....

    "FDR stated that we were likely to be attacked perhaps as soon as next Monday." FDR asked: "the question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without too much danger to ourselves. In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors."

    Don't think they were banking on the PH disaster though.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    They had fun with the 3rd term idea, and really chewed the carpet over the 4th term run. The public decided both of those.
     
  17. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    One thing a whole bunch of people are unaware of is the beginning of Lindbergh's annimosity toward FDR. It started back when FDR took the Air Mail Service contract out of private hands, and put it into the realm of the USAAC.

    This was a monetary drain on the Morrow family, as well as Lindbergh himself. If a person takes the "money" out of a man and his in-law's pockets, he isn't going to be on your Christmas list! They had invested heavily in more and larger planes counting on that Air Mail contract.
     
  18. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    I think there is little doubt that FDR knew that war with Japan was imminent, partly because of our policies and partly because of Japan's belicose attitude in achieving a Greater East Asia C0-prosperity Sphere in which Japan would have hegemony over all of Asia and it's resources.

    No, I think he was incredibly disappointed in our military respnse to the PH attack, to say the least.
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The heads of the Army and Navy sent FDR a letter in Nov. 1941, asking him to do everything possible to avoid war for at least sixty days. That is how imminent he thought war was.

    As for "our policies", which exactly would you say were contributory to the start of the war?
     
  20. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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