Perhaps it is fitting that the Iraq Study Group
chose to make its
report public on "Pearl Harbor Day," calling on, inter alia, President
Bush to seek Iran’s help in extricating us from the mess he got us into by his
"preemptive" attack on oil-rich Iraq’s non-existent nuclear weapons program.
Perhaps even Bush will pause, briefly, to ponder the probable
consequences of launching yet another preemptive attack, this time on
oil-rich Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program.
Of course, the Japanese preemptive attack on our blockade fleet (which was
moored at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands, an American "possession") on
December 7, 1941, was provoked; by President Roosevelt's embargo of July
24, 1941, on Japanese imports of oil.
You see, in 1940, when Roosevelt stood for re-election to an
unprecedented third term, he promised American mothers on a stack of
Bibles that he was never going to send American boys to fight "in any
Unless, of course, we were attacked.
Of course, in Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Message, he gave notice
to mothers, everywhere, that he was not going to wait to be attacked.
That he fully intended to launch pre-emptive strikes against the likes of Iraq,
North Korea and Iran – using nuclear weapons, "if necessary" – if
he suspected they were acquiring or seeking to acquire nuclear weapons and/or
ballistic missile delivery vehicles.
But, back to Pearl Harbor.
Why did Roosevelt slap an oil embargo – an act of war – on Japan, a country
that had done nothing to us?
And why did he do it when he did it?
Well, apparently Roosevelt slapped the embargo on Japan when he did
because Hitler had invaded the Soviet Union only a few weeks before, on
June 22, 1941, and it already looked like the Wehrmacht would be in
Moscow in a matter of weeks.
And for the commie-symp intellectual fore-fathers (around Roosevelt) of today’s
Likudniks (around Bush), that would never do.
Japan – although nominally allied with Germany and other European Axis Powers
– had little interest in their European war.
In fact, Japan had been engaged in an all-out war on the Asian
mainland since 1933, the year Roosevelt became president and Hitler
came to power in Germany. By the fall of 1941, Japan's armies occupied
a huge hunk of Asia, including Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and almost a
third of China.
But the Japanese were then – as they are today – resource poor. In particular,
they were completely dependent on oil (and rubber) from Indonesia and Borneo
and other possessions of the European colonial powers in the southwest Pacific
and Indian oceans.
So, after months of fruitless negotiations with Roosevelt about lifting his
stranglehold on them, Admiral Yamamoto issued Combined Fleet Order No. 1. The
Imperial 1st Fleet – which included all the Japanese aircraft carriers – was
to attack our principal blockade fleet at Pearl Harbor. The Imperial 2nd Fleet
was to attack all Dutch, British and U.S. aircraft, air fields, warships and
naval installations in the Dutch East Indies, on the Malay Peninsula and in
the Philippines Islands. The 2nd Fleet was also to support the invasion that
same day of Malaya and the Philippine Islands by units of the Japanese army.
The Japanese "shock and awe" attacks were spectacularly successful.
They destroyed most of the aircraft and sank most of the warships they found,
including the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Prince of Wales.
All eight of our battleships at Pearl Harbor were essentially sunk
by the Japanese, and nearly all Army Air Corps aircraft destroyed.
Now, Roosevelt et al did expect – and had warned our forces in the Pacific
– that the Japanese might well attack us because of the oil embargo in late
November or early December, 1941, but at Clark Field and/or Subic Bay in the
Philippines. Roosevelt et al never dreamed that the Japanese would – or could
– come all the way to Hawaii to wipe out the Pacific Fleet.
And in their worst nightmares, Roosevelt and Churchill never imagined that
the Japanese – having sunk our battleships and destroyed our land-based bombers
– could then actually invade and quickly conquer Singapore and the Philippines,
as they proceeded to do.
Who fought and ultimately won the War in the Pacific?
Basically, it was our reconstituted and greatly enhanced "embargo"
fleet. In the Pacific, the war was from the very beginning a naval war, about
In 1973, when the Arabs slapped an oil embargo on us, because of our
support for Israel in their war against Egypt and Syria, we only
imported about a quarter of the oil we consumed. Still, there was panic
for a while. There were gasoline and home-heating oil shortages because
of federally-imposed price controls, but prices still went sky high,
increasing by about a factor of five within a few months.
Now, if Bush launches a preemptive war of aggression against Iran – "provoked"
by their refusal to give up their "inalienable" rights, guaranteed
to them under the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to the peaceful
use of nuclear energy (subject, of course, to a comprehensive Safeguards Agreement
with the International Atomic Energy Agency) – sky-high gasoline prices will
be the least of our worries.
In particular, what about our Navy, the warships and supply ships in
the Persian Gulf? They provide absolutely essential support to our
armed forces in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere. But those ships are
sitting ducks for Iranian supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship missiles,
and are far more vulnerable than were our ships at Pearl Harbor.
And without the Navy’s support, how long do you think those garrisons in Iraq
– already besieged – will last?
So, Bush has wisely "decided" to follow the advice of the Iraq Study
Group; to "reach out" to the Iranians for help in extricating us from
the unbelievably disastrous mess he has gotten us into in Iraq, rather than
launching yet another "shock and awe" bombing campaign against the
non-existent – according to the IAEA – Iranian nuclear weapons program – right?
What? And betray the Likudniks?