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War On Iraq And The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor Essay

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In July of 1941, Japanese assets were frozen in America, and “the consequent cessation of shipment of oil, scrap iron, and other goods from the United States, Japan’s economy was in most severe straits and her power to wage war directly threatened” and her ability to make war was becoming severely threatened by the ongoing embargoes against her.

Japanese military planners estimated that “reserves of oil, painfully accumulated in the late 1930s when the risk of just such a squeeze became evident, would last at most two years” by which time it would be far too late to make a stand, militarily, against the United States in China or elsewhere.

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Somehow, Japan had found its way to a “no good choices” scenario, with acquiescence to American demands dooming Japan to a less than coequal status with the world’s dominant powers, or war with the United States — sooner than later — before supplies dwindled below practical abilities to make war.

(Russett, 1997, p. 46). Diplomatic efforts proved useless when “The United States, and the British and Dutch,” would end the embargoes only as a response to “Japanese withdrawal from air and naval bases in Indochina”; and at this time the Japanese military began to consider war with the U. S. inevitable. Most of the Japanese elite “were opposed to any settlement which would in effect have meant withdrawal from China” which would also mean the increase of Western, particularly American influence, in precisely those ares which Japan’s ruling castes believed were the natural provinces of the Japanese Empire.

(Russett, 1997, p. 47). While the Japanese military planned for war, the American government also planned for an escalation of hostilities: “By autumn 1941, however, opinion was crystallizing in the highest levels of the American decision-making system” this process was leading to war. Roosevelt ” informally polled his cabinet on the question of whether the country would support war against Japan” and the result was that “All members responded in the affirmative”; with public support behind the war, conflict with Japan seemed immanent.

(Russett, 1997, p. 50) By the beginning of December their attack was irrevocably set in motion. The Japanese conviction that war could not be limited to the British and Dutch had to be based wholly on inference. Yet it was a correct analysis and a solid conviction, as shown by the otherwise inexplicable risk they took at Pearl Harbor “the attack ensured American popular support for the war in the Pacific, just as the moral argument against Hitler in Europe worked to fuel public support for the American entry into World War Two.

(Russett, 1997, p. 51) Although ambiguity persists in the public perception of the contribution of the United States intelligence services to the build up toward the Iraqi War, official statements by high-ranking intelligence officials who served during the time period in question maintain a specific position: that the U. S. possessed credible information that Iraq maintained an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and these weapons posed a potential threat to America.

In point of fact when classified intelligence reports surfaced in 2002 which seemed to indicate that ” the United States had no reliable evidence before hostilities that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. ” (“Official Rebuts Story of,” 2003, p. A03). The question as to whether or not the war can be considered a fall-out of “bad intelligence” then, would seem to be a non-starter. The simple facts, despite leaked report of 2002, are that the intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the DIA posited and maintained the position through the buildup and afterward that Iraq posed a threat to the U.

S. and that Iraq possessed illegal weapons of mass destruction. Since no weapons were found, there was obviously and most tragically a profound failure of intelligence. A failure so profound, in fact, that the blame for a catastrophe involving potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold trillions of dollars should lie squarely on the intelligence gathering agencies who so grossly mishandled their responsibilities and led America into an unnecessary and dearly costly war.

Works Cited

Decosse, D. E. Authority, Lies, and War: Democracy and the Development of Just War Theory. Theological Studies, 67(2), 378+. (2006). Official Rebuts Story of Iraq Intelligence Shortcomings; Says Leaked Classified Report Was Misread regarding Weapons Program. The Washington Times, p. A03. (2003, June 7). Russett, B. M. No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II. Boulder,Colo. : Westview Press. (1997).

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