“PEARL HARBOR DAY,” COLONIAL PACIFIC WORLD WAR II NEWSLETTER #7, (resumed) December 7, 2019.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
Another in OMNI’s NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DAYS series for a Culture of Nonviolent, Positive Peace (for more information see below).
My blog: War Department/Peace Department
OMNI is part of the international peace, justice, and ecology movement. These newsletters contribute to the movement’s efforts to understand the causes of wars in order to prevent them. A close study of the origins of WWII in the Pacific, uncontaminated by the myths and propaganda generated by jingoism, ignorance, racism, and fear, strengthens enormously our critical thinking and skepticism toward all US leaders’ calls to war. For example, in AETN’s “Globe Trekker Special: WWII in the Pacific,” Feb. 23, 2014, one of the guides declared
to have been an “unprovoked attack.”
This is false, as the scholarship of these Pearl Harbor Day newsletters
explain. The official righteousness of
that merciless war is just one more stratagem in US imperial propaganda. See the Newsletters “US Imperialism,
Continental Westward Expansion” and “US Westward Imperialism, Pacific/E. Asia”
and a dozen related newsletters.
Table of Contents
Pearl Harbor Day, Colonial Pacific WWII Newsletter #7, December 7, 2019
Dick, Pearl Harbor Day, Fayetteville, AR,
Bruce Russett, No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War Two
Anthony Flood, Z Magazine
Anthony Flood, Z Magazine
Francis A. Boyle. “The Unlimited Imperialists.” Z Magazine (June 2018). 6-7.
Dick’s 6 Pearl Harbor Newsletters 2008-2013
Pearl Harbor Day, Fayetteville, AR, 2019
Enthusiasm for this Day of imperial setback is quieting down, with apparently no local observance, no notice in the NADG the preceding day, only one on 12-7, and 2 on 12-8. Audrey McAvoy, “Ex-sailor’s Ashes to Be Interred in USS Arizona” (12-7), told the interesting story of 98 years-old Lauren Bruner. “Where War Met Its Match,” photo with caption reported on a dozen PH survivors gathered for the 78th anniversary, and Audrey McAvoy, photo with article, “Survivors Return to Pearl Harbor“ (12-8). The reporter gives us bits of history (esp. the USS Arizona) and individual bios of some of the 30 surviving veterans (Bruner, Herb Elfring, Lou Conter). The USAF provided F-22 fighters flying in “missing man” formation. Retired Navy Adm. Harris and Interior Sec’t. Bernhardt delivered remarks. Still nothing reported regarding the true cause of the attack.
Perhaps in a few years the remembrance will end, for it commemorates an enormous military defeat, and both Parties have reason to forget it, particularly the Democrats. Like President Johnson, whose shining domestic--economic and political--reforms were subverted by the Vietnam War he promulgated, President Roosevelt’s New Deal was cut short by the WWII he helped to enlarge, both presidents employing deceit in commencing his war --Dick
Bruce M. Russett
“Participation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology.” -- Bruce M. Russett
I post this solely in support of Professor Russett’s political heresy, not because I share any of the statist presuppositions underpinning his expression of it. I do understand, however, that few will even attempt to swallow such a pill unless many conventional reassurances coat it; many coat his. This essay is a fine example of moderate rather than radical revisionism, a halfway house on the road to the stable-cleaning the American mind must undergo if it is to embrace wholeheartedly the goal of a free society.
For a 2006 interview with Professor Russett, go here.
Posted March 21, 2008
No Clear and Present Danger
A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II
Harper & Row, 1972
Bruce M. Russett
Preface (on this page)
There is no guarantee whatsoever that there would be any better history written should we participate again to bring complete victory to one side . . . Great as is the power of America, we cannot police Europe, much less Asia, and in addition protect the whole Western Hemisphere . . . Nor can we expect that a nation having as many unsolved problems as we have, and as little understanding of some of the problems that lie beyond our borders, would be given, under the all-embracing hysteria of war, wisdom for the perfect solution of all the world’s ills.
Norman Thomas, 1940
The one great danger we face is that we may overcommit ourselves in this battle against Russia . . . An unwise and overambitious foreign policy, and particularly the effort to do more than we are able to do, is the one thing which might in the end destroy our armies and prove a real threat to the liberty of the people of the United States.
Robert A. Taft, 1951
It has been a long trip, and is not yet complete. Nevertheless I have come far enough to want to give a report on the vivid scenery to be viewed from this prospect. I began, as a child in World War II, with a firm hatred of the Axis powers and conviction that American was fighting for its very existence. After the war, Stalinist Russia merely replaced Hitlerite Germany as the insatiable aggressor. With most Americans I accepted without much question the need for active resistance to Communism, and the necessity that such resistance would often have to be military in character. Though as a young scholar I did become very concerned about arms control and the risks of nuclear war, my faith in the requirement for military assistance to threatened members of the Free World remained essentially unshaken. I was fairly hawkish on Vietnam, and saw only in early 1967 that the war had been a mistake. In retrospect, I am not proud of having taken so long. Even then, I considered that the sole mistake was having chosen a conflict where the essential conditions of victory were absent.
In the past few years, however, I have slowly begun to question my earlier easy assumptions. Once some began to fall, others became far less tenable. Here really was a row of intellectual dominoes. If Vietnam was unnecessary or wrong, then where else? How distorted were our images of the origins of the cold war? What has been the role of economic interests in promoting foreign involvements by the United States government?
This is an exciting time in which to be a scholar. Some of these questions were forced on me directly by observing events; others were in substantial part impelled by the questioning of students who had been less thoroughly indoctrinated in the cold war myths than I, and thus rejected them more easily. In this reexamination I am, of course not alone. Many Americans of all generations have come to question their former assumptions. Still, the results differ among us. I find the New Left’s emphasis on foreign investment and trade interests to be stimulating and overdue; in the anti-Communist hysteria of the first cold war decades such matters were all too thoroughly ignored. Nevertheless I am still unconvinced that such influences should be elevated to the role of a primary explanation, and while in this book I sometimes suggest their relevance to pre-World War II policy preferences I do not emphasize them. But I am interested in the work of others on these questions, and consider them with a mind more open than before.
And although there are finally some rumblings on the New Left, and occasionally elsewhere, about the propriety of American participation in World War II, they have yet to surface much in public. The situation is curious. A few writers, I among them,1 challenged the prevailing interpretation about war with Japan some time ago, but with little impact beyond a small circle of professional scholars. Participation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology. Yet it seems to me that many of the arguments against other wars can also be applied, with somewhat less force, to this one too. Hence I came to rethink, and to write while still in the process of rethinking.
For the opportunity to reconsider my old myths I am grateful to a year in Brussels, made possible by a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a Fulbright-Hays award. I neither expected nor intended to spend much time on these matters when the awards were made, but such things will happen when a scholar is given time for reflection. A decision-maker and a scholar helped unintentionally. The process surfaced on the night President Nixon announced the American foray into Cambodia, which I absorbed under the influence of just having read the late Richard Hofstadter’s essay on Charles A. Beard’s attitudes toward the war that was approaching over a generation ago.
Many colleagues, friends, and students made more deliberate contributions by giving their reactions to my early thoughts. Notably helpful were John Morton Blum, Robert H. Ferrell, Glenn May, Paul Hammond, Douglas Rae, James Patrick Sewell, Fred Sondermann, Gaddis Smith, John Sullivan, and H. Bradford Westerfield. My wife, Cynthia Eagle Russett, as so often, played a crucial role in the initial stages by providing both insights and stimulating criticism. Wendell Bell urged me to rescue the first version of this essay from the obscurity of a scholarly journal. Even more carefully than is customary, however, I want to absolve anyone from responsibility for the opinions I express here.
Hamden, Connecticut May 1971
1 See my article, “Pearl Harbor: Deterrence Theory and Decision Theory,” Journal of Peace Research I (1967): 89-105, parts of which are reproduced here. Parts of Chapter 5 are taken from my “A Macroscopic View of International Politics,” in Vincent Davis, Maurice East and James Rosenau, eds., The Analysis of International Politics (New York: Free Press, 1971). All materials are reprinted with permission.
Forward to Chapter 1: Isolationism Old and New
Google Search, Bruce M. Russett. No Clear and Present Danger. A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II. Harper & Row, 1972. www.anthonyflood.com/russettnoclearandpresentdanger1.htm
Amazon.com: No Clear And Present Danger: A Skeptical View Of The UNited States Entry Into World War II (9780813331959): Bruce M Russett: Books.
No Clear and Present Danger. A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II. Harper & Row, 1972. Bruce M. Russett. Chapter 1. Isolationism Old and New.
Mar 21, 2008 - “Participation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology.” -- Bruce M. Russett. I post this solely ...
ref. by WF Kimball - 1972
Jul 9, 2012 - No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World ... Russett, Bruce M.: New York: Harper & Row, 111 pp., Publication ...
Volume 1, 1972 - Issue 1
Aug 1, 2014 - No Clear and Present Danger - Volume 71 Issue 1 - Bruce M. Russett.
by TA Bailey - 1974
Apr 1, 1974 - Bruce M. Russett. No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II. New York: Harper and Row.
Francis A. Boyle. “The Unlimited Imperialists.” Z Magazine(June 2018). 6-7.
The 20th century opened with the “U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898,” when the US “stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near-genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to genocidal conditions. . . . over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the so-called ‘Pacific’ Ocean would implacably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.” Today, US bipartisan “serial imperial aggressions” “threaten to set off World War III.” Francis A. Boyle is a professor of law at the U of Illinois-Champaign.
Pearl Harbor Newsletters Nos. 1-6 at end
Contents of #1 2008
History of Wars of Aggression Includes WWII in the Pacific US
Contents of #2 2010
Dick: Review of David Swanson’s War Is a Lie
Contents #3 2011
Dick: US Empire and WWII in Pacific
Wiest and Mattson
Contents #4 2012
Dick: No Choice But War
Maslin Reviews Bradley
TomDispatch/Klare: It Wasn’t Al-Qaeda, It’s
Contents #5 March 23, 2013
Conroy, et al., West Across the Pacific, Revisionist Account
Contents #6 December 7, 2013
Ienaga, Pacific War, 1931-1945 (2010, 2 Reviews)
Pearl Harbor Myth (2007)
Robert Higgs, US Economic Warfare Provoked Attack (essay 2012)
Greaves, Seeds. . .of Infamy
Tansill, Back Door to War
Morgenstern, Secret War
END PEARL HARBOR NEWSLETTER #7, Dec. 7, 2019