Most Americans will observe this day as the beginning of World War Two….when the Japanese attacked our fleet in Pearl Harbor.
The date is burned into our history but the reasons for it have eluded us and our educational system for over 75 years.
I would like to take you back through our history with the nation of Japan to help explain what and why the attack was necessary…..
To understand Pearl Harbor, Burke took the audience back to 1853-1854 when U.S. Naval Captain Matthew C. Perry sailed to Japan and negotiated the opening of Japanese ports for trade. After more than 200 years of self-imposed isolation, Japan wanted to engage with the rest of the world.
To compete globally, Japan needed resources—a theme that persistently pushes the narrative of Pearl Harbor to its climax. Iron and coal were key natural resources in the steam era at the end of the 19th century, but were not available in any significance on the Japanese island. Japan needed to look elsewhere.
Japan engaged in war in 1894-5 with China and in 1904-5 with Russia to secure resources. It was a 1905 win against the Russian Navy that shocked the world and alerted the U.S. that they needed to be prepared for a potential war with Japan.
In case more reading is needed……https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/your-history-book-needs-help-real-reason-japan-attacked-pearl-harbor-99212
Our biggest problem that allow this attack to succeed was out hubris…
The US knew, in the second half of 1941, that Japan was preparing for war in the western Pacific and south-east Asia. Tokyo needed to secure material for its military operations in China – principally oil, tin, bauxite and rubber. But Washington was never aware of the final details of these plans.
US strategists knew, of course, that a Japanese offensive would chiefly target Dutch and British possessions in south-east Asia, because it was there that the raw materials required to fuel Japan’s imperial ambitions were located. They knew, also, that the US’s military presence in the Philippines would at some point come into the crosshairs. For some time, it had been clear that Japan was war-minded. Emperor Hirohito’s expansionist regime had been beating the war drum in Asia since it had entered Manchuria in 1931, and had begun military operations elsewhere in China in 1937. The world had seen the alacrity with which it had forced a humiliated France to submit to its demands in Indochina in June 1940, and had watched Japan sign the Tripartite Pact on 27 September 1940 with the European fascist aggressor nations, Germany and Italy.
Please take a few moments out of your busy day to remember those that fought on that day…..there are not many of the veterans of that day and that war left for us to turn to and thank.
We cannot let their sacrifice and the debt we owe them to die in history by an uncaring nation.
“Lego Ergo Scribo”