Is provoking wars an American tradition?
It seems to me that there’s an accepted narrative when it comes to history and current events that involve our nation. The theme that cuts across both is the idea that we’ve only entered wars for noble causes like the defense of freedom or to promote democracy. These are vague and innocuous phrases that reduce the reasons for going to war into simple terms that one is supposed not to question unless he’s prepared to be accused of being “unpatriotic”. A proper distillation of history certainly casts the accepted narratives about America’s past wars in doubt for those who become aware of the truth. The truth is that many of the wars that our nation has engaged in have involved false flags that have been used as a cover to engage in war for reasons far less than noble. Often the real motivation was conquest and the false flag gave the cover of an excuse. After all, you can’t expect to galvanize people behind the effort if you tell them they must give their lives for oil, the US dollar or in general support of hegemony. It’s important to look at the backdrop of history with respect to war now as I happen to believe that we’re in the unannounced phase in the war with Iran that will soon be formally announced as soon as we can position them to appear as the aggressor.
So what has the history actually been? Here are a few of examples to consider that will challenge the accepted narratives and directly call into question the narrative on Iran:
Spanish American War of 1898: How exactly did our our nation wind up with Puerto Rico and Guam as possessions while having broad influence in the Philippines and Cuba before Castro’s revolution? That came as a result this war where a weakened Spain lost the remaining remnants of its colonial empire to the US. The concept of manifest destiny was limited to sea to shining sea and the result was the extirpation of the Native American. The Monroe Doctrine extended US control and influence to the entire western hemisphere and simple hegemon type tendencies took us beyond the hemisphere. According to the history books, the war began with the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor which was sent to Cuba to support Cubans in their effort to “liberate” the island from Spain and to protect US “interests”. Although uncertain of the cause of the explosion, the press of that time, led by Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, whipped the public up in a frenzy claiming that Spain planted a mine. In its weakened state, the last thing Spain wanted was war, but that’s what they got and subsequent investigation revealed that a weapons magazine explosion was responsible rather than the Spanish mine that was assumed. But by the time that was acknowledged, Spain was relieved of its remaining colonies. The general conclusion was that the US was looking for an excuse so it could achieve this outcome.
The Gulf of Tonkin/Vietnam War: Before hostilities get formally announced, the CIA is running a covert action against North Vietnam using speed boats manned by South Vietnamese to conduct a series of coastal raids. This effort is supported by American warships conducting electronic surveillance in “international waters” that is used to direct the speed boat attacks against the North Vietnamese—in effect an act of war in and of itself. In response to continued raids by the speed boats, the North Vietnamese respond by attacking the USS Maddox and are able to score a hit with a single 14.5 millimeter machine gun bullet which gets the boats they used to do this strafed and destroyed. Our nation decides not to back down and the USS Maddox and another ship reappears a few days later along with more speed boats to do the same thing. While doing this, the ships receive radar and sonar information indicating another North Vietnamese attack, but as it turns out “freak weather effects on radar” may have accounted for the attack as the USS Maddox’s captain is unable to visually spot any North Vietnamese boats. Nevertheless, Lyndon Johnson goes on TV to address the nation about the incident and eventually gets the Gulf of Tonkin resolution approved authorizing military force without a declaration of war. So one attack was provoked and another was imagined and that was the entire reason for engaging in a conflict that cost about 50,000 American lives and untold numbers of Vietnamese lives.
World War II: A new book authored by President Herbert Hoover is out entitled Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s History of the Second World War and It’s Aftermath that sheds new light on World War II involving Japan. I‘ve not read the book yet, but according to all of the reviews, it sheds a lot of light on the history of WWII and does not paint a flattering picture of FDR’s role. Hoover was an isolationist and was totally against any US role in what was occurring in Europe. At the time Germany was on the move and primarily looking east for “acquisitions” which actually threw it at loggerheads with Russia. Hoover’s council to Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain was to appease them by not interfering with their eastward expansion which he did for a while, but ultimately Britain and France decided to support Poland when it got in Hitler’s crosshairs. Hitler promptly came an agreement with Russia to divide up Eastern Europe among them and with peace with Russia, turned his attention to France and England. The common narrative with regard to Chamberlain was that his appeasement didn’t stop Hitler, but according to Hoover, it was his interference with Germany’s eastward expansion that was the source of his problem and France’s.
But even more interesting is how the US and Japan came to war. I had heard previous accounts that Japan attacked the US because of an oil embargo, but hadn’t read anything definitive. I find that quite interesting especially when one considers the effect of the current round of sanctions on Iran that are designed to strangle it economically by forcing it to sell its oil well below market. It’s an act of war, much like how Japan apparently interpreted our actions back in 1941 and this is why they’re threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz –which is the casus belli that the US is looking for just as it was in the Gulf of Tonkin, the sinking of the USS Maine and apparently even with Japan. Here’s an excerpt of a book review describing what happened with Japan according to Hoover. It’s an amazing story far different than the commonly accepted history book narrative and the parallels between our economic actions against Japan and the current ones against Iran are very apparent :
Consider Japan’s situation in the summer of 1941. Bogged down in a four year war in China she could neither win nor end, having moved into French Indochina, Japan saw herself as near the end of her tether.
Inside the government was a powerful faction led by Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye that desperately did not want a war with the United States.
The “pro-Anglo-Saxon” camp included the navy, whose officers had fought alongside the U.S. and Royal navies in World War I, while the war party was centered on the army, Gen. Hideki Tojo and Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, a bitter anti-American.
On July 18, 1941, Konoye ousted Matsuoka, replacing him with the “pro-Anglo-Saxon” Adm. Teijiro Toyoda.
The U.S. response: On July 25, we froze all Japanese assets in the United States, ending all exports and imports, and denying Japan the oil upon which the nation and empire depended.
Stunned, Konoye still pursued his peace policy by winning secret support from the navy and army to meet FDR on the U.S. side of the Pacific to hear and respond to U.S. demands.
U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew implored Washington not to ignore Konoye’s offer, that the prince had convinced him an agreement could be reached on Japanese withdrawal from Indochina and South and Central China. Out of fear of Mao’s armies and Stalin’s Russia, Tokyo wanted to hold a buffer in North China.
On Aug. 28, Japan’s ambassador in Washington presented FDR a personal letter from Konoye imploring him to meet.
Tokyo begged us to keep Konoye’s offer secret, as the revelation of a Japanese prime minister’s offering to cross the Pacific to talk to an American president could imperil his government.
On Sept. 3, the Konoye letter was leaked to the Herald-Tribune.
On Sept. 6, Konoye met again at a three-hour dinner with Grew to tell him Japan now agreed with the four principles the Americans were demanding as the basis for peace. No response.
On Sept. 29, Grew sent what Hoover describes as a “prayer” to the president not to let this chance for peace pass by.
On Sept. 30, Grew wrote Washington, “Konoye’s warship is ready waiting to take him to Honolulu, Alaska or anyplace designated by the president.”
No response. On Oct. 16, Konoye’s cabinet fell.
In November, the U.S. intercepted two new offers from Tokyo: a Plan A for an end to the China war and occupation of Indochina and, if that were rejected, a Plan B, a modus vivendi where neither side would make any new move. When presented, these, too, were rejected out of hand.
At a Nov. 25 meeting of FDR’s war council, Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s notes speak of the prevailing consensus: “The question was how we should maneuver them (the Japanese) into … firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.”
“We can wipe the Japanese off the map in three months,” wrote Navy Secretary Frank Knox.
As Grew had predicted, Japan, a “hara-kiri nation,” proved more likely to fling herself into national suicide for honor than to allow herself to be humiliated.
Out of the war that arose from the refusal to meet Prince Konoye came scores of thousands of U.S. dead, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the fall of China to Mao Zedong, U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the rise of a new arrogant China that shows little respect for the great superpower of yesterday.
An amazing and astounding reset of the history of WWII that’s highly disturbing. Basically, our dominance emerging from the War was planned. . Perhaps the most disturbing thing beyond that is the whole idea that the architects of our war with Japan deliberately put American lives on the line in Pearl Harbor and in the battles beyond for conquest by maneuvering Japan into attacking us. This is astounding. When considered against the backdrop of history, several questions immediately present themselves about whether the narratives around many other things are truthful and that would include many current events.
This also brings the current situation with Iran in sharp focus particularly as it follows Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and countless other low intensity conflicts that we’re involved in. The nuclear weapons narrative is a lie that’s being marketed to us to justify conquest. That much is clear.
It’s also clear that the seeds of our current predicament were sewn back then when one ties this current events. Here we sit economically broken conducting wars we can’t even finance internally for the benefit of a very small group of oligarchs. Our congress who should have the authority to declare war can’t because they’ve been taken out of that by the precedent that Johnson set for this to come under the purview of the executive. (Hoover would argue that the precedent was set by FDR). Not only doesn’t the congress not exercise the voice of the people, it’s really lost the consent to govern in light of the recent polls showing only an 11% approval rating. These things, our policies and the want of a truthful premise to support them combine to form our true crisis as a nation. It’s a certainty that someone is waiting in the shadows seeking strategic advantage from our greed and stupidity and it’s highly likely that there are those who are just patiently waiting to pick up the remnants of our empire as we head for our own date with the scrap heap of history.