Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Greater and Lesser Importance

Pearl Harbor 70th anniversary
Nearing evening on the 7th of December, 1941
Pearl Harbor,
 known to Hawaiians as Puʻuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island
 of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi,
     It is said by some historians that the Americans broke their agreement with the Japanese concerning the New World Order agreement that was implied with the signing of the treaty after the the Japanese demolition of Russian naval and land forces during a brief war in the earliest part of the 1900s.   It was understood by the Japanese that in return for fairly lenient treatment of the losing side....Russia and Czar Nicholas....Japan would be allowed to become the dominant Imperial Power in the Orient.   They would be allowed to generally order the lives and arrangements and affairs of the lower elements, like the Chinese, Viet Namese, Koreans, Islander tribes.....essentially everything from and not including Australia and India and Hawai'i, but including even insignificant places like Burma, Corregidor, the Islas Filipinas, Corregidor, Guadalcanal, and Midway.    Colonial activity by the Portuguese, French, Dutch, English, and other round-eyes was to be phased out of the Orient.
     The   Americans were to be allowed to control the lesser peoples of the New World, both aboriginal and colonial, from Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia all the way to the previous Russian colony of Alaska.
     In the Japanese was of thinking, the Europeans could argue over the control and dominance of the inferior people in the Middle East and Africa.   India was problematic, but with its perpetual turmoil between Ishmaelite and Hindu, it would never be able to threaten Japan's control of its third of the Planet
     That was Emperor Mieji's understanding of the payment for gentle terms of surrender by the Russian Empire.   It was the broker's understanding as well.   The Great Peacemaker of the Treaty of Portsmouth, 1905?   The Hero of San Juan Hill, The Commander of the Rough Riders in Cuba, the Great Trust Buster and enemy of the Robber Baron Capitalists.  The Founder of the American Progressive Movement (one of about 250 solitary inventors of the deranged Progressive Movement), the Great White Hunter....Theodore Roosevelt.
      The Japanese admired the brilliance and audacity of the Americans.   The building of the Panama' Canal, when the French could not.   The elimination of the meddlesome, indolent Spaniards from the Islas Filipinas.   One could trust that the Americans could run their third of the the Planet.   Even if they were a mongrel race and there were too many Negroes and Mexicans within their borders, certainly the real Americans in America could make things work correctly in the Western Hemisphere.   That was the Japanese way of looking at things. One can almost see the Emperor's Ambassador confiding to his American counterpart in Portsmouth, "When you have any problems with the Orientals in your the Chinese people...remember to trust the advice of your true friends among your Japanese American citizens."
      The American and British intransigence concerning Japanese heavy-handedness in its dealings with China and Korea, along with continuous bristling, huffing, and puffing against the Dutch and Brits about the rubber, tin, and other treasures found in the East Indies  finally brought the Japanese to the point that they knew the Round-eyes would not ever really understand what it takes to rule over one billion inferior peoples.   Japan needed a free hand.   It wished to be judged by its own ancestors, by the Holy Wind of the Breath of the Spirit of the Departed Emperors and Samurai....not a bunch of Anglo-American politicians....Good Grief.
     The Japanese decided to use the "Rule of Oslo" war technique that the Russians had used on the Swedes in the early 1800s.   That was the use of the massive surprize attack.   The Japanese pulled it off against that same Russia in the early 1900s.  No declaration of war, no passing go, no collecting 2oo dollars.
     Considering the size of the Japanese Navy in 1940 and the intransigence of the American negotiators in 1940 - 1941, and the Japanese sense of entitlement based upon the understandings of 1905 at the Treaty of Portsmouth....there really could not have been and Surprize Attack on Hawai'i in December of 1941.   At my age, after my studies of the issues being addressed in the mid-1930s up to the attack on Pearl Harbour, it does not seem possible to me that Washington D.C. could have been so totally unaware of the Japanese plans, or unaware of the existence of a fleet the size of the one under the command of Admiral
File:Isoroku Yamamoto.jpg
Admiral Yamamoto

Yamamoto.   There were so many foreigners in Japan, so many pro-American Japanese, so many sources of information about the Japanese Naval construction projects that it seems improbable that some kind of at the least roughly accurate information could have been derived out of Kyoto, Kobe, and Tokyo.
     My Father had a friend who had been working in Japan in the late 1930s.   He came back to South Texas and spoke to folks about what was going on there, about the Japanese people, the geography of Japan.  My father remembered him as saying that the Japanese people are very much admirers of Americans and America.  He declared that the family with whom he stayed in Hokkaido, who lived in a rural/seacoast area, had a very elegant Shinto shrine on their property built to venerate their ancestors.   There were pictures of various departed ones, beautiful pieces of artwork, poems, incense burning continuously, and one small censer with a baseball beside it.  Examination revealed that the baseball had been signed by a fellow named Henry Louis Gehrig in 1936.   The man of the Japanese household was very proud of the trophy, and although Gehrig was not enfermed at the time, the family put the ball there to venerate the ancestors of Lou Gehrig, an American Hero who had gone out of his way to sign a baseball for this Japanese admirer travelling on business in New York.
      This same friend of my father's also said that the Japanese were importing thousands and thousands of tonnes of scrap iron and steel from Europe and the United States.   He noted that he had seen on a trip in early 1940 to the other end of Japan, near Yokohama and Yokosuka, a huge flotilla of almost new to very new warships, at least 40 or 50 small, medium, and huge ships grouping outside the harbour as if preparing for a shakedown and training.
     My father said many times during his life that if this fellow was just another dummy like the rest of us, then how come he saw these things and the White House did not?

     In any regard, in spite of the warnings and admonitions by the man pictured above, the victor of the Battle of Pearl Harbour, Admiral Yamamoto, the Japanese Empire moved to strike and cripple America's deep water fleets in Hawai'i, essentially by a sneak attack.  Yamamoto said that a great victory at Pearl Harbour would give him six months or a year at the most to secure supply sea-routes for oil and othr necessities of war.   Failing that, the vengeance of a Sleeping Giant would never be quieted.   He saw the end of his  Empire even during the battle.    The Japanese command was amazed at how well the Americans activated their response and fought un-yieldingly against the Japanese onslaught.
        Hence, when complaints are made about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Americans remember the 2,300 dead who never stood any chance at Pearl Harbour, and I respond for the dead and the living, "No Pearl Harbour, no Nagasaki.   No Pearl Harbour, no Hiroshima."
    Sad, but true.
    As an aside, El Gringo Viejo points out to those who complain about our having not fought the War with Japan in a kinder and gentler way, that the atomic bombing of those two cities probably saved the lives of five to ten million Japanese and at least one million American combatants had we invaded the main island.    Every Japanese girl over the age of 9 had been armed with a bamboo punji stick, sharpened to a deadly point, and taught how to use it.  "Always wait in the corner behind the door, turn and thrust quickly with the force of your upper body, pushing with all the force of your legs," were the matter of fact instructions.

Thanks for your patience with these ramblings.   Being born in 1947 and raised by parents who had friends among the Nisei who farmed in the Lower Rio Grande Valley before, during, and after the War....and considering all the Toyotas we never could wear out....perhaps our vision is blurred.   It should be pointed out that one of the flag-raisers at Iwo Jima was a Rio Grande Valley Boy from Weslaco named Harlan Block.   He was killed about 2 weeks after the flag raising.   His cousin was the coach who recommended me to the University of Texas baseball program, mentioned in a previous blog post.

El Gringo Viejo....