This is exhasperating. FDR was guilty of goading Tokyo, not of knowingly allowing a sneak attack to destroy our fleet. He goaded Japan into war by imposing the oil embargo. EVERYONE knew it was only a matter of time before Japan had to do something to break it. The question was when.
Some, like Stimson, believed he could put the day of reckoning off by standing down everywhere in the Pacific, offering no chance of an exploitable situation.
He was convinced America was unprepared for the war FDR's policy was bringing on, and was buying for time. Right up to the moment the zeroes unloaded their bombs over Pearl Harbor.
Truth is, allowing the sneak attack would not have been necessary. People give too much credit to "isolationism". Fact is, it was long gone by then.
Everyone in America was in a war mode. World War II was more than two years old. The Watch was extended across the United States. Preparedness and premobilisation was in effect. Rationing was being set in place.
Most importantly: Everyone seems to forget that, at the same moment the USS Arizona was keeling over in flames, the Japanese simultaneously attacked Wake Island, Midway Island, Guam, and the Philippines.
ANY of these attacks by themselves would have been enough to rouse Americans to a fever pitch, eager to spare life and limb to see Tokyo in flames. We did not have to lose our fleet and suffer a year's reversals just to win over an isolationist public.
All it had to take to throw America lives into the grinder for victory was one single event. Maybe the sinking of an American ship on its way to Guam.
"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"
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