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A Personal Dilemma – Was The Pearl Harbor Attack Foreseeable?

In one of my recent blogs, I mentioned that predictions of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, came from at least two sources.  But I didn’t mention the sources.  So, here they are.  One was from a Peruvian source known to U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew.  This is discussed on page 118, footnote 7, of my new book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on amazon.com in both Kindle and print.

It is pointed out in that footnote that Ambassador Grew’s testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee which issued the report which forms the essential basis for my book, was that, with the single exception of  information on which his message of January 27, 1941 was based, he had no knowledge or indication from any source prior to the attack which indicated the possibility of such an attack.  The information on which that message was based is explained in footnote 7, as follows:  “My Peruvian colleague told a member of my staff that he had heard from many sources including a Japanese source that the Japanese military forces planned in the event of trouble with the United States to attempt a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor using all of their military facilities.  He added that although the project seemed fantastic the fact he had heard it from many sources prompted him to pass on the information.   Paraphrased copies were promptly sent by the State Department to Military Intelligence Division (Army) and Office of Naval Intelligence (Navy).” (Emphasis added).  Interesting stuff.

The other source came somewhat earlier but was more authoritative.  In 1937, General George Patton was the G-2, i.e., military parlance for Intelligence Officer, for the Hawaiian Islands, in charge of security for the Islands and their vulnerability to attack.  Patton had followed  Japan’s continued aggression 0ver the years, including its invasion and conquest of Manchuria in 1931 and its invasion of China in 1933, and believed that war with Japan was likely.  That year, 1937,  he wrote a paper entitled “Surprise” in which he predicted, with uncanny accuracy, a Japanese attack on Hawaii.  This bit of information comes from an excellent book about General Patton entitled “Patton – A Genius For War,” by Carlo D’Este, page 361.

So, the idea of a Japanese attack against the U.S. itself was likely scoffed at and little, if anything, was done about it.  But, nevertheless, those two straws in the wind, coming from widely disparate sources, did exist.

More disturbing to me was the apparent failure of those directly concerned with the nation’s security to foresee that elimination of the U.S. Pacific Fleet would fit nicely into Japanese plans to push south in the Pacific, towards Malaya, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), the Philippines, and Australia, among other areas, plans which were undoubtedly anticipated by the U.S.  (See e.g.,  book, pp 41- 42).

This is where my dilemma arose.   To say the attack was therefore foreseeable would fit well into the “In Retrospect” or conclusory part of my book.   However,  on reflection, to add that comment to the book seemed a bit presumptive on my part.  It just didn’t seem right for me, coming along some 74 years later, to say that the attack was foreseeable and, therefore, should have been preventable.  So, I left it out.  There were some very skilled and highly intelligent and competent people in The White House, the State Department, and the armed forces, who arguably failed to see the attack coming so I decided not to second guess them.  Maybe, when and if I do a revised edition of the book, I’ll put it in.  In the meantime you’ll have to read the book yourselves and decide whether I made the right decision.  Please let me know what you think via a comment to this post.

Copyright©2016.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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The Misguided Public Media – Part 3

There is one more thought to be added to the last two blogs about having balance in the public media’s coverage of the presidential race, i.e., there must be accountability for irresponsible journalism.   What is  considered irresponsible is more likely to exist in the reader’s eye than anywhere else.  Finding any objective criteria to use  is undoubtedly out of reach.  But the lack of media scrutiny of Hillary’s career achievements, or lack thereof to be more accurate,  is startling.  That she is being given a pass by the liberal media is too obvious to merit serious discussion.   Only her “coronation” remains according to prevailing sentiment among liberals.  This is totally unacceptable, particularly where the stakes are so high as in a presidential race.

While “Freedom of the Press” must be given full rein in a democratic society, media irresponsibility is not an isolated occurrence and should not be tolerated.   The media is not perfect by any means.  One blatant example of media irresponsibility, albeit not in a political context, comes to mind, the publication on December 5, 1941, by the Chicago Tribune,  “practically in full,” of “the most highly secret paper in the possession of the U.S. Government.”   That paper contained the U.S. plans for fighting a global war if one should eventuate.   Secretary of War Frank Knox advised reporters that day that an investigation of the Tribune would be likely.  This episode is mentioned on page 300 of my new book “Prelude to Disaster: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on Amazon.com in Kindle and in print.   I am not aware that any such investigation ever took place but no doubt it was considered by many and had it taken place may have been well justified.  Why the Tribune would stoop to such a tactic as revelation of the most closely guarded Government secret at a time when the possibility of war was close at hand was definitely not in the public interest.  Freedom of the press?  This was an abuse of that freedom.  Such an abuse is beyond my understanding and clearly qualifies as irresponsible journalism.

What is going on in today’s presidential race may not be as clear cut as the foregoing example but still qualifies as irresponsible journalism.  I’m talking about the media favoritism that is being accorded Hillary Clinton.  Here is a power hungry woman who brings nothing to the table.  She does not even qualify as a light- weight, she is a no-weight.  But many, far too many, in the media continue to give her a pass so far as her questioning her qualifications is concerned.  Electing a president is serious business.  It’s not a popularity contest.  It runs deeper, much deeper, than partisan politics.  We’re talking about qualifications for running the country.  Where has it been shown that Hillary has the experience to make the difficult, the very difficult decisions that a president must make?  Why doesn’t the media jump on her total and complete lack of a track record so far as success in life is concerned and give that as much coverage as it gives to Trump?  Trump is scrutinized continually.  The imbalance  is  totally unjustified.

No partisanship is intended by singling out Hillary’s lack of performance credentials.  On the Republican side, Carly Fiorina has the same basic flaw as Hillary, i.e., no track record of proven success, nothing to show she has been weighed in the balance and found able to perform.  True she was  once CEO of Hewlett-Packard but she was also fired.  Where is her track record of performance?  There is none to speak of.

The country simply cannot afford to repeat the same mistake it made with Obama, to wit, electing someone as president with no proven experience in making difficult decisions, with no proven qualifications as a leader.  It may well be the right time for a woman president, but it has to be the right woman.  That woman is not Hillary.  Hillary is dangerous for this country, not to mention the free world.   She is incompetent, inexperienced, and totally lacking in the leadership skills, judgement,  and temperament necessary for the chief executive.  She is a world-class liar to boot, and the pending FBI investigation portends possible dishonesty.  In order to strike a fair balance in media coverage of the presidential candidates, those premises all deserve to be and must be fully vetted by the media.

Copyright© 2015.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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“Prelude to Infamy” – Now on Amazon’s Kindle

“The Japanese Navy is itching for a fight with the American Navy.”  News item, ascribed to a Japanese Navy official, on or about October 24, 1941.”

To commemorate the  forthcoming 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, I have posted a new ebook on Amazon’s Kindle.  It describes the diplomatic exchanges between the United States and Japan in the months leading up to the attack. Here’s the complete title:  “Prelude to Infamy: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led To America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”

This book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led to the surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the early morning hours of Sunday, December 7, 1941.  It provides an inside look at the virtual day to day diplomatic negotiations, including reports, conversations, communiques, and telegrams, from August to December, 1941, between officials of the U.S. Department of State and diplomats of the Japanese Empire as dark clouds of war continued to loom in the background.  Essentially based on the report of a Congressional investigation into the attack, released in July, 1946, it effectively puts the reader in  position of becoming an eyewitness to history being made as the process of searching for peace is continued.

The book  reveals in depth how the U.S. continued to negotiate for peace but at the same time sought to build up its military and naval forces to counter Japanese aggression in the Far East.  Militaristic Japan,  bent  on expanding its sphere of influence by force and violence to assure, it asserted,  its survival as an empire, had been reaching out to acquire the raw materials and other natural resources needed for its survival.  It  had invaded and subjugated large parts of China in 1937,  occupied  French Indochina in 1940, and was threatening the Dutch East Indies and other countries and areas in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region.  Peace negotiations faltered as it continued to resist U.S. efforts to pull back its forces.

In February, 1941, unknown to the U.S. and apparently to its own diplomatic corps, the Japanese military began planning an attack on the United States.  In October, 1941, Hideki Tojo, a General in the Japanese Imperial Army and Minister of War under former Prime Minister Prince Konoye, who resigned on October 16, 1941, was appointed Prime Minister by Emperor Hirohito.  Chances for peace dimmed when Tojo, a hard liner, resisted U.S. efforts to have Japan pull its troops out of China, a key point in U.S endeavors, and took a tough stand against continued peace negotiations with the U.S.

On December 6, 1941, Japan began delivery of a 14 point reply to the latest U.S. peace proposal of November 26, 1941.  Due to its own bungling, the 14th point, breaking off talks with the U.S. was not delivered until well after the attack on Pearl Harbor had begun on December 7.  No formal declaration of war by Japan against the United States was received in Washington until 4 p.m. (EST), long after the attack had ended.

The book concludes with  two noteworthy quotes.  One is from the lyric of an old Glenn Miller tune, “You must be vigilant, you must be vigilant, American Patrol…”, and the other is  from a 1790 speech by John Philpot Curran  in Dublin, Ireland, that  “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  These timeless words still ring true today.

For those readers who may not be aware of the diplomatic background behind the attack, this ebook should prove to be very enlightening.

Arnold G. Regardie

 

 

 

 

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“The Shadow of Crisis Has Passed.” Oh Really!

When a world leader is perceived to be cut off from the reality of the world, it is quite a spectacle.  Frightening in its implications.

But that’s what we are seeing now when President Obama, opening his State of the Union address recently, makes a statement such as “the shadow of crisis has passed.”  Did he really say that?  What world is he living in?  If he really believes what he said, he is totally and completely cut off from the realities of the world.  He does not deserve to be president.   And the country needs, somehow, to do damage control  for the next two years.  As in major damage control.  In other words, at the very least a congressional watchdog is needed to make sure Obama does no harm to national interests.  This watchdog must oversee everything he says and does.

Maybe Obama is just too busy working on his golf swing to read the newspapers or watch television.  Maybe he really doesn’t  know or understand whats going on in the world.  Maybe he really doesn’t know what happened in the congressional mid-term elections last November.  Maybe, even scarier, he doesn’t care.

Can it really be true that he has never heard of ISIS, or the Islamic State?  Or  Al Queda.  Or Paris.  Or Yemen.   Or does it just seem that way.  Is Obama really detached from reality?  Is he living in a separate but parallel universe, as one well-known commentator recently asked.  Is he really delusional, or does it just seem that way?  Does the public need a dictionary definition of delusional to understand this guy?  Does he really not see the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism.  If he does, why doesn’t he say so?  In those words.

But it’s more than his detachment from world reality that makes one question his competence.  It’s also his defiance when it comes to domestic matters.  He continuously taunts the Republican Congress by threatening to veto legislation even before it comes to his desk, as in Keystone pipeline.  This is the mark of someone who has his own agenda at heart, not the national interest..  Obama is obsessed with his own importance, wildly obsessed.  By his  continuous taunting of Congress he is showcasing his fury at being told by the electorate that it doesn’t care (to put it mildly) for his policies. The Republican party now controls Congress but Obama can’t accept it.  To adopt a time-worn cliche, it’s his way or the highway.  This is a dangerous state of mind for someone who is supposed to be leading the country.  Very dangerous.

But Obama is more than just  incompetent.  He also has no credibility.  He is a gifted, world-class liar, with lies flowing out of his mouth like water out of a faucet.  How can anything he says or does be trusted?  Is he acting in the national interest or in the interest of his own political program?  He is dead set on closing Guantanamo but is the release of the detainees there in the national interest?  Or Obama’s political interest?  Are th0se being released a threat to America?  Who’s checking on that?  The WH has also said giving Guantanamo back to Cuba is not on the table.  We’ll see.   And his recent comment that Iran’s path to nuclear capability has been halted is too blatantly false to require further comment.  Congressional oversight is desperately needed here, and has traditionally been employed, but Obama has said he will reject it.

Democracy is not perfect.  Sometimes mistakes are made.  Electing Obama is an example. The country must learn from this mistake and not ever again elect someone who has not proven his/her leadership traits.  The country cannot afford another mistake like Obama.  Nor the world for that matter.  Demonstrable leadership qualities must be present in any future presidential candidate.  Are you listening Hillary?   But that’s a whole  new ocean to swim in, which we’ll leave for another time.

Copyright©2015. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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An Equal Opportunity To Respond Law Is Badly Needed

So one-time Hollywood pretty boy Robert Redford has come out against the Keystone pipeline.

Well, it’s a free country so anyone can have his say.  Right?   The trouble here is that a celebrity like Redford gets free publicity.  How about an opportunity for the man on the street to respond.  Publicly.  At the same time and in the same space.  Celebs, particularly liberals (or progressives)  seem to get more air or print time than others.   To the exclusion of the opposing view.  Well, this writer in particular believes the Keystone project should go forward.  Now.  It’s been stonewalled by an incompetent president far too long.

I do believe in the environment.  I like nature, the outdoors, parks,  wild animals etc.  But I don’t believe in extremism.  Moderation is the key.  And I also do believe in progress.  Some balancing is in order.  People like Redford appear to be totally one-sided.  It’s save the environment at the expense of  everything else.  And because of his celebrity his views get to be put forward without any opposing viewpoints.

Well, that’s not right.

The Canadian oil sands, which are at the heart of the Keystone controversy, will be developed, Obama or no Obama. If the oil is not transported through the U.S.  by pipeline to refineries at or near the Gulf of Mexico, then it will have to be transported by rail to other destinations, likely Canadian.  What about the impact on the environment of all that rail activity.  What about the carbon emissions in that scenario? What about the loss of jobs if no pipeline is built?  In an economy which needs to put more people back to work  wouldn’t pipeline construction be helpful?

So, there are many arguments for the pipeline which have not been advanced because a celeb like Redford gets free press  and has the whole stage.  He made a few bucks taking advantage of the American capitalist system  and acquired a bit of a name.  But he’s not entitled to exalted status.  He’s not entitled to mouth off publicly at the expense of those who disagree with him.  And which media outlets are going to publish my thoughts if I want to be heard?  Right.  None.  That’s the point.  Space for an appropriate response to any celebrity outburst should be the law.  In the same space, and at the same time.

That should be the American way.  That should be the law.

Copyright©2015.   Arnold G. Regardie.   All rights reserved.

 

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On The Resignation of Eric Holder: Long Overdue; A Jaded World Series

Eric Holder is finally leaving the post of U.S. Attorney General.  It may sound a bit harsh to say good riddance, but undoubtedly his departure  is  long overdue.  He has been in effect nothing more than an apologist for an incompetent Obama presidency and clearly a partisan idealogue.  Appointed in 2009, he was the first African American to hold that office.

Some media sources have championed his tenure for taking a stand on civil rights but in my opinion he’s been nothing more than weak and ineffective.   I see his original appointment as cronyism, only a gesture of friendship by Obama and not because he was the best choice available.  In his goodbye speech, Holder remarked that beyond having a strong relationship with Obama, “I am proud to call you a friend.”  Not surprisingly, Obama has supported him, saying  “He’s done a superb job.”   A White House spokesperson added that “Holder’s accomplishments have established a historic legacy of civil rights enforcement and restoring fairness to the criminal justice system.”

Well, let’s see.

As previously reported by Fox News, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Oversight and Government reform Committee, said that “Eric Holder is the most divisive attorney general in modern history.”   Issa continued, “By needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement, Attorney General  Holder’s legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any attorney general before him.”  That sums it up nicely.

There are many, many Holder shortcomings (to put it politely, failures to act would be more accurate) which could have easily justified Obama’s jettisoning him much earlier.   The failure to act in the national interest in pursuing the IRS targeting scandal, where the agency targeted certain interests for “special treatment”, is only one glaring example.   Allowing IRS official Lois Lerner to escape prosecution for destroying evidence of her involvement in this scandal or at least conducting an investigation into the matter is inexcusable.  To this day there was been no action by the Justice Department concerning her conduct, which can only be ascribed to Holder’s longstanding friendship with Obama.  And Lerner remains retired, enjoying her government pension paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The botched operation known as “Fast and Furious,” was another scandal .  This was a probe into gun-running  along the Southwest border.  It featured a Holder confrontation with Congress over the Justice Department’s  failure to turn over of records of the operation.  It  resulted in Holder’s being held in contempt of Congress, the only sitting Cabinet member to have been held  in contempt.  In this matter, the government allowed Mexican drug gangs to walk away with high powered weapons.  Key documents and witnesses were withheld from Congress, resulting in the contempt charge.  This is quite a legacy.

Holder also clashed with Congress over other issues, including his department’s civilian prosecution of terror cases and surveillance of media outlets.  His appearances before Congress were often combative.  It has also been reported that during the contempt fight, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was quoted as saying that “Holder’s arrogance knows no bounds.”

Often outspoken in public remarks, in 2010 he  referred to America as a “nation of cowards,” in regard to matters of race.

Obama has deferred naming a replacement until after the mid-term elections.

Skipping to baseball, I can’t get excited about this World Series.  Two also-rans (so-called “wild cards”) are playing each other, the Kansas City Royals and San Fransisco Giants.  Ho hum.  Snzzz.  It used to be that the Series featured the two best teams in baseball, one from each league.  This series has two second place teams playing each other.  The Royals finished two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central Division and and the Giants finished six games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National Ledague West.  What a bore.  I guess opening the playoffs up to wild card teams increases the pot for Major League Baseball and the teams, but this year it results in a disappointing Series.  Maybe some kind of second place trophy would be appropriate for wild cards, but not the World Series.

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Butchery In The Middle East – An Intelligence Failure? Or Sheer Incompetence.

Lessee now. Purported President Barrack Obama took office in the beginning of 2009.  That was some six years ago. As secretary of state, his top advisor on foreign policy,  he appointed an unqualified woman with no experience whatsoever in the position – or any in any other position in government for that matter, our own Hillary Clinton.  Since Obama himself was a neophyte in foreign policy, to put it mildly, as well as in everything else touching on governmental matters, one would have thought he would select someone for this all important post who was well qualified.  Think again.  Here’s the rub.  An experienced foreign policy appointee may well likely have foreseen the rise of the Islamic State and would have better prepared us, and the rest of the free world for its advent.

So here we are, stuck with Obama’s incompetence, watching butchery being performed online virtually on a daily basis.  And Obama says there has been an intelligence failure?  Well such a statement coming from the liar, er, commander in chief is not surprising.  Has this guy ever taken the blame for any of the scandals plaguing his administration?  Its a rhetorical question.  The answer is obvious.  Yet he has the effrontery to tell Fox News Bill O’Reilly, last Super Bowl Sunday,  that there is not even a smigen of corruption surrounding the IRS scandal.  So much for truth in government.

The Islamic State has been a growing threat for a long time.  But what about the role of the foreign policy advisor, the purported expert in foreign affairs, who has been a true sister of silence in forecasting trouble. With no experience in foreign affairs, never wrote, taught, lectured, nothing on foreign affairs, Hillary is the epitome of the worst political appointment any president can make.  Four Americans died on her watch. Yet, she apparently considers herself to be the next coming of Margaret Thatcher and is therefore well qualified to be president. This is a manifestly false state of mind.  She is no Margaret Thatcher.  Her utterances to the public that her “experience” qualifies her to be president are part of the fraud she is perpetrating on the public.  Wake up America!  The truth is that this woman is eminently unqualified for any public office and is  dangerous for the country.  Her incompetence is there for anyone wanting to see it.  The election of an unqualified and incompetent politician is a mistake the country cannot afford to have repeated.

So far as any lack of intelligence is concerned, blaming the rise of Isis on a lack of intelligence would be a laughable statement were it not for the deadly consequences of the lack.  But the intelligence gap is within the president himself and not in any gap in the gathering of information.  Perhaps Obama is a smart politician.  Give him some credit for getting elected (his promises weren’t known to be false when he was running, however).    But the credit stops there; there is no intelligence  when  it comes to having insight into foreign policy, not to mention judgement and understanding.  Maybe in this vein, intelligence should be equated with experience and common sense.  Once again its a question of a president who refuses to take the blame for his own personal shortcomings.

Inextricably tied in with the Middle East butchery is the failure by Obama to listen to advisors such as former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who urged him to leave a U.S. security force in Iraq in 2011 instead of a complete pullout.  Obama, dead set on a complete withdrawal from Iraq, refused to listen, thereby putting politics over the national interest.  The absence of U.S. forces created a vacuum, filled by sectarian chaos leading to the present state of affairs.

So, the so-called intelligence failure is more Obama mishmash.  Its hogwash.  What started out as the “JV team” some months ago is now the “network of death.”  The lack of original perception into the unfolding events in the Middle East is a tribute to Obama’s lack of experience, his incompetence.  He is in over his head.  When will the country ever learn?  Its the price we pay  for living in a democracy, a free country.  Anybody can run for president and if the country likes the message and the politician, qualified or not, experienced or not,  he can get elected.

But something more than experience as a community organizer and an apparently reliable golf swing is needed for the presidency.  Real nuts and bolts experience in confronting and handling problems, in making tough decisions, and in the demonstration of strong leadership qualities is needed.  The country deserves it.  The country, indeed the world, needs it.  A repeat of the  present inexperience and  incompetency in Washington is out of the question.  Hillary are you listening?

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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