Tag Archives: history

“Fake News” Is Nothing New. The “Surprise” Attack on Pearl Harbor May Be Fake News.

There has been a lot of media talk recently about fake news.  But this is nothing new.  In fact, fake news has been around for as long as there has been news.

Take the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941, for example.  Conventional wisdom has it that this was a surprise attack by Imperial Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.  But a veritable cottage industry of second guessers has sprung up over the years, books and articles galore, making the argument that President Franklin Roosevelt not only knew about the coming attack ahead of time but did nothing to prevent it so as to form a basis for America to get into World War II.  Roosevelt did this, so the argument goes, to help revive a struggling American economy by putting it on a war footing,  to come to the aid of  America’s allies overseas, notably Great Britain, as well as to protect its own interests worldwide.

Needless to say, the U.S. was swept by anger and outrage over the attack, the prevailing question in effect being, “How could a great country like the United States  have been caught so flat footed?”   Several investigations were conducted into the causes of the lack of U.S. preparedness,  probably the best known being the investigation by a ten-member Congressional subcommittee, five Representatives and five Senators, six Democrats and four Republicans, which began in 1945 and concluded in July, 1946, with the issuance of a 41,000 page report.  The report, signed by eight of the ten subcommittee members, concluded that there had been no dereliction of duty by President Roosevelt,  various cabinet members, or certain members of the Army and Navy, but errors of judgement had been made.  The majority also stated that the Empire of Japan made the attack on its own and had not been tricked or coerced by the U.S. into making it.

However, there was a minority report signed by two Senators which criticized the majority opinion in a scathing, blistering  denunciation.   This dissenting opinion, some seventy-seven pages long, supported chapter, book, and verse, by detailed references to the record before the subcommittee, concluded that Roosevelt and other high officials in Washington were in fact at fault in not being prepared for the attack.  They were also very critical of President Harry Truman, who came into office after Roosevelt died in April, 1945.  They concluded that Truman had obstructed the investigation so that all the facts concerning U.S. preparedness, or lack thereof,  had not come to light.

To this day it appears that all of the facts about the attack have not been made public due to later restrictions on the release of certain government records having been imposed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Will all the facts concerning U.S. lack of preparedness ever be known?  Was the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 really a surprise attack?  Did President Roosevelt have advance knowledge of it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Is all of this managed news?  Was the “surprise” attack fake news to cover up for Roosevelt?  Who knows?  But I think the American people are entitled to know the facts, all the facts.

Incidentally, for those of you interested in reading  the majority subcommittee opinion, read my book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”  It is essentially based on the subcommittee report.  The book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and provides an inside look at the diplomatic exchanges between U.S. State Department representatives and Japanese diplomats while dark clouds of war loomed in the background.  It puts the reader in a position to be an eyewitness to history.  It is available on Amazon and eBay.

©2017 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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Remembering President Richard Nixon – 40 Years Later

On March 1, 2012, I published a blog about President Richard Nixon. He resigned from the presidency 40 years ago, on August 9, 1974, the only president to do so. Despite the shadow of Watergate, he accomplished a lot as president. To honor his presidency, here is a reprint of my blog.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON’S EMBRACE OF “RED CHINA” – A MASTER STROKE OF FOREIGN POLICY.
The impact of relations between the U.S. and China should be examined in the context of President Richard Nixon’s legacy.

Before Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the U.S. fades from memory, and bearing mind the occasion of President Obama’s visit to China in 2009, it is fitting to put those visits in historical perspective. Recall that it was President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Peking in 1972, some 40 years ago, which opened the door to improved relations with “Red China,” as the Chinese mainland was then known. This trip took place after two decades of bitter hostility, isolation, and non-existent diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China. The two countries had no framework in place for dealing with each other.

Some would say there is nothing about Richard Nixon worth remembering. But if one can cast aside the disgrace of Watergate and the horrors of Vietnam, horrors he inherited from his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, and focus instead on the visit to China, it stands out as a major foreign policy accomplishment, one which should have earned Nixon the Nobel Peace Prize. Whatever else the personal shortcomings of Richard Nixon were, and there were apparently many, credit should be given where credit is due. Opening up the gateway to China was a brilliant master stroke of foreign policy which revolutionized world diplomacy and world trade. It was all the more remarkable in light of Nixon’s strong anti-communist stance during his political career.

The benefits of Nixon’s decision cannot be understated. What had been a miniscule dollar amount of trade between the two countries, roughly five billion dollars in 1979, has grown to the staggering total of between four hundred billion and five hundred billion dollars today. Moreover, cultural exchanges continue apace, involving many hundreds of exchange students. Last year there were over 3 million mutual visits between the two countries. Further, China, while still harboring a communist government, embraces an emerging capitalist economy, resulting in an ever improving life style for its people. For example, China today is the number one automobile market in the world. American capitalistic icons GM and Ford are strongly entrenched there, as are McDonalds and Coca Cola.

Obama’s 2009 meeting with Chinese President Hu, and his recent meeting with Vice President Jinping is hopefully a harbinger of deepening ties between the two countries, as well as mutual cooperation on trade and other issues.

However, historical perspective notwithstanding, the fact remains that Obama received a tepid response in his efforts to gain China’s cooperation in responding to the global economic showdown. This may be due to China’s recognition that America should focus on its own problems first, or it may be that China is simply not impressed with Obama and his administration.

It is clear that Obama is an excellent politician and a gifted speech maker, but it is equally clear that he is simply a novice when it comes to government management and making major decisions. He has no experience at all in administration and governing of anyone or anything. In other words, he comes across as a lightweight president, a figurehead, who has yet to prove himself as a leader. So, China has humored him, adopting a wait and see attitude before agreeing to anything. It remains to be seen whether Obama will have any real impact on the course of world affairs or whether he will be swept into the dustbin of history.

Copyright 11/20/09, updated 2/27/12, All Rights Reserved. Arnold G. Regardie.

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A Centennial Salute To The Babe

Lost amid all of the swirling problems arising from the Middle East and the Ukraine, among others, and the many scandals engulfing Barack Obummer, er, Obama, is the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s breaking into major league baseball. Babe Ruth is one of the great athletes produced by this country. His feats deserve some recognition in this centennial year.

It was 100 years ago, 1914, that The Babe, as a 19 year old, jumped from reform school into the major leagues. Enrolled at St. Mary’s School for Boys, Baltimore, Maryland, since he was about 6 years old, in and out since then but mostly in, he was signed to his first professional contract with the then minor league Baltimore Orioles. Later that year he was sold to the Boston Red Sox.

Hidden among his many batting feats is the fact that Ruth was a premier American League pitcher for many years. He won 89 games for the Red Sox from 1914 to 1919, including 23 wins one year and 24 another. He also pitched 29 consecutive scoreless World Series innings during that stretch, a record that lasted for many years.

In 1919, after recognizing Ruth’s value as a hitter, Ruth became an every day player, playing as a full time outfielder for Boston. It was a momentous year for Ruth as he hit 29 home runs, setting a new major league record. No one had ever hit that many home runs in a single season before. But the best was yet to come.

Following the 1919 season, Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees. Harry Frazee, who owned the Red Sox, was also a Broadway producer and he needed money for a new show, “No No Nanette.” The sale of his biggest star helped to ease his financial strain.

In 1920, his first year as a Yankee, Ruth hit 54 home runs, an astounding feat, and another single season home run record. Ruth thus virtually single handedly helped the world of baseball awake from its lethargy following the Black Sox scandal of 1919, as fans clamored to get a glimpse of this budding new star. And then in 1921, as if to prove the previous year was no fluke, he hit 59 home runs, yet another single season record, the third year in a row for new home run records, a feat never since duplicated, as he led the Yankees to their first American League pennant. It was the first of many to come.

The 1920s was to see Ruth continue to hammer out home runs, including 60 in 1927, a record that stood for many years. In 1925, he was joined in the Yankee lineup by first baseman Lou Gehrig, who batted fourth, right behind the Babe. Together they became an integral part of the famous “murderers row” as the lineup was to become known, a lineup that was to give headaches to many pitchers in the coming years.

Ruth retired in 1935, finishing with 714 career home runs, a record that stood until finally eclipsed by Henry Aaron many years later. He was one of the charter members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, being one of the first five players elected in 1936.

Babe Ruth was truly a giant among baseball players. No one else in the annals of baseball has been both an outstanding pitcher as well as a great hitter. Ruth did a lot for the game of baseball. His accomplishments should be remembered as long as the game is played.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Chris Christie Tips the Scale (No Pun Intended) In His Favor

Republican Governor Chris Christie’s recent overwhelming victory as Governor in New Jersey, one of the bluest of blue states, is a truly welcome event to behold. In trouncing his democratic challenger Barbara Buono by some thirty-odd points, Christie proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

With apologies for any unintended reference to Christie’s weight as an issue (it shouldn’t be), it appears to me that Christie tips the scale in his favor. That is, using the word SCALE as an acronym, he should be chosen as the Republican presidential candidate for 2016. Here’s how it breaks down:
S – strength
C – credibility
A – accomplishments
L – leadership
E – electability

Christie scores points in each category. He has a strong personality and is credible. His accomplishments as governor of New Jersey are manifold. By reaching out across the aisles to broker legislative reforms in the state, he has demonstrated needed leadership skills, lacking in Washington D.C. He is a staunch fiscal conservative, a strong critic of Obamacare, President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and has stood his ground against public employee unions. SCALE clearly shows that he is not only qualified to run for the office of president, but is electable, capable of winning. He has broad charismatic appeal not only to males but to women, blacks, and hispanics. In the recent election, he carried male voters by 63% and female voters by 57%.

Using the same acronym for Hillary Clinton, backed by the liberal media for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she fails on several counts. Her credibility is lacking in view of her record as having lied when the occasion suits her, a matter of public record. Her accomplishments are questionable. Although having been elected to the U.S. Senate on the strength of the name of her husband, Bill Clinton, an impeached president, there is no record of legislative accomplishments in the Senate she can point to. As Secretary of State under President Obama, four Americans died on her watch in Benghazi, a matter for which there are still many unanswered questions. She lied after the Benghazi attack, as did President Obama, falsely attributing it to anger over a publication criticizing Muslims. In short, she has not shown her ability to govern anyone, and is hardly qualified to lead a country of some 300 million people.

As reported in the media recently, Christie’s election victory also reflects his capacity to appeal to independent voters as well as to those Democrats who are willing to cross party lines. These are the types of voters who are necessary to carry him to a presidential victory in 2016.

The question remains as to whether Republicans can stop quarreling among themselves long enough to back Christie as a moderate candidate who can clearly appeal to a broad swath of voters. Traditional ideological purity on issues such as abortion and gay rights may have to give way among conservative Republican supporters in favor of a more pragmatic approach, an approach that carries with it a path to victory in 2016.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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“Common Sense” Revisited In The 21st Century – A Requirement For Presidential Leadership Should Be Written Into The Constitution

It was back in early 1776 that Thomas Paine argued in his pamphlet “Common Sense” for independence by America from the British Crown because it made good sense to do so. The little booklet was a big hit selling 100,000 copies and providing a huge emotional uplift in the run up to the American Revolution.

There is more than enough room for common sense in this time as well. In view of the total and complete lack of experience of President Obama in making decisions and providing the leadership required to properly run the country, it makes good sense to impose an important new qualification for anyone seeking the presidential office, i.e., he/she must have had substantial experience in governance in order to be considered as a candidate. Only by showing that the candidate has leadership abilities, governed people for some quantifiable period of time, made important decisions, and demonstrated the ability to solve problems including fiscal and budgetary problems and, importantly, including the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, should the candidate be considered as qualified to run for President.

This approach is eminently sensible. In a country of some 300 million people, it makes no sense to put someone in charge of running the country unless that person has clearly demonstrated the ability to do so. That qualification would exclude a candidate who has merely served in Congress or a state legislature without more, i.e., a demonstrated capacity for leadership. No successful private corporation would allow anyone to become Chairman of the Board unless that person has previously exhibited the ability to make the important decisions to run the company profitably. That individual will inevitably have experience in effectively overseeing a large number of people, have demonstrated the ability to solve problems, possess the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, make difficult budgetary decisions, and make decisions about what direction the company should be headed to insure profitability. On the job training is out of the question. The same qualities should be present in anyone seeking to run the country.

As things now stand, American presidential politics is a joke, and the joke is on us. The presidency is no place for amateurs. Nor should it be a popularity contest. The country cannot afford a repeat of the current fiasco, to wit, the election of an unqualified and inexperienced but smooth talking politician with no clearly demonstrated leadership skills. To proceed otherwise makes no sense. Today’s world is vastly more complicated than the world of 1788 when the Constitution was signed. To maintain its position as the world leader, the United States must have a president who can lead, not an inexperienced politician. A constitutional amendment to this effect reflecting the foregoing qualifications as a prerequisite for running for office is clearly justified.

There is no doubt when the Constitution was adopted that the Founding Fathers contemplated presidential candidates of special ability, candidates other than inexperienced politicians. Such qualifications are expressly provided for in The Federalist, a series of eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in 1787-1788, to further the public’s understanding and support of the forthcoming Constitution of the United States. The following words from Federalist No. 68, penned by Alexander Hamilton, clearly envisioned well qualified presidential candidates:

“This process of election [use of electors] affords a moral certainty, that the office of president will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents of low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honours [sic] of a single state; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole union, or of so considerable a portion of it, as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue…”

With apologies to Thomas Paine, if these are indeed “times that try men’s souls,” then it behooves the country to take all necessary and proper steps to see that these times are not revisited. The country has an obligation not only to itself but to the world at large to make sure that only qualified candidates with well defined leadership skills become President. Otherwise, we are in for more of the same political and fiscal quagmire that pervades Washington today. This situation has attendant dangerous ramifications for all of us in terms of our monetary stability and our national security, i.e., our survival as a nation.

Copyright 2013 Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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