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David Stockman on Pearl Harbor

It brings me immense pleasure that David Stockman doesn’t buy the textbook version of Pearl Harbor, which is that FDR and the American Government were sitting back twiddling their thumbs and then all of a sudden Japan bombed.  Stockman (this excerpt is from an article having mostly to do with the markets, I just thought this was a neat portion):

This was another tumultuous week to nowhere in the stock market. In fact, two days of robo trader enthusiasm based on headlines that Greece and China are fixed got us all the way back, well, to exactly where the market was last December 7th.

That was seven months ago, and come to think of it that was also Pearl Harbor Day. Perhaps the metaphor is a tad more than apt.

After all, FDR and his advisors claimed they didn’t see the great Japanese fleet’s 12-day steam to Hawaii. According to the textbooks it was a dastardly “sneak attack” without warning.

Not exactly. While the Japanese fleet was enroute, the Roosevelt Administration tightened its embargo on Japan and cut off oil supplies for even civilian use. The Japanese archives make clear that it was the final straw. The attack was executed because war hawks in the Japanese government were finally able to prove that negotiations aimed a lifting a two-year US embargo on oil, scrap steel and other crucial industrial commodities were futile.

So FDR wasn’t surprised by the Pearl Harbor attack. He knowingly brought it on.

Sacred Cows now slaughtered.

Published in C.Jay Engel