There has long been a strain of conspiracy theory, which had significant evidence in its favor nonetheless, that Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and allowed the attack to go ahead anyway.
This has long been a favorite of rightwingers then and now. Conservatives at the time thought Roosevelt was a traitor who had deliberately filled his Cabinet with many Soviet spies to whom he gave much classified information.
This is the Commie spy network that Joe McCarthy, etc. set about going after in the 1950’s during the Red Scare. There doesn’t seem to be good evidence for this.
To this day, standard anti-Semitism is almost always rightwing or far rightwing and is heavily tied in with anti-Communism among other things such as anti-modernism and anti-liberalism, two movements that the Jews were seen leading.
Anyway, there were many hard conservatives in the Pentagon around the time of World War 2, and quite a few of them were starting to imbibe the “Jewish Communist threat” line.
Winston Churchill himself was one of the originators of the Jewish Bolshevik hysteria when he made some paranoid and agitated statements along the lines that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish one soon after the October Revolution was through.
It was these nutty reactionary anti-Communist anti-Semites in the Pentagon who were responsible for the “Roosevelt knew” line.
Revilo Oliver had worked in intelligence at the Pentagon during the war and later said that Roosevelt had allowed the Pear Harbor attack. Two very conservative admirals stated after the war that Roosevelt should be tried for treason for allowing the attack. These two admirals did not have good evidence for their charges.
Oliver is apparently lying. He was an extreme anti-Communist, a White nationalist racist, a Nazi sympathizer, and a hardcore anti-Semite who later became very active in the early days of the National Review, to show you how tainted the early days of Buckley’s journal were.
Oliver is of course also a Holocaust denier who railed about the bombing of Dresden (which he exaggerated as such types are wont to do) and the Nuremberg trials, which he regarded as an outrageous orgy of murder. Which in some ways it was, unfortunately.
It doesn’t take long to deeply review the case of the Pearl Harbor advance knowledge theory to show that it is nonsense. We never cracked the main code that the Japanese used in the weeks before the attack. The Japanese fleet turned off their radios as they sailed to the attack, a brilliant move.
Radar was in its infancy and worked poorly. Nevertheless a radar operator noticed large blobs on the screen and notified his superiors, who laughed and told him they were clouds. Early radar has a hard time distinguishing between ships and clouds. His observation made it up to a general nevertheless, but the general laughed the blobs off as clouds too.
It is certainly true that Roosevelt was trying to push the Japanese into a corner and many thought he was trying to bait them into a war. I believe that’s pretty uncontroversial. In fact, the US was alarmed at how upset the Japanese were at the US’ moves such as the embargo on oil sales to them.
In fact in the months leading up to the attack, the US increasingly felt that the Japanese were getting ready to attack the US. They weren’t sure it was going to happen, but they thought it likely. What they didn’t know was where and when it would take place, and Pearl Harbor was not considered to be a likely a target. The large US garrison the Philippines was considered a more likely target.
Roosevelt definitely wanted war with the Japanese. He had made statements along the lines that no way was he going to allow the Japanese to run amok all over the Pacific, conquering lands and slaughtering the natives while brutally colonizing them.
There was a telegram sent to the Japanese ambassador in Washington the night before the attack telling him that the Japanese government was going to break off relations with the US. It was in an earlier code that had already been broken.
The Pentagon felt that that meant that a Japanese attack may be imminent. However, a warning to that effect sent out to US forces in the Pacific got lost in the shuffle and was only read too late by most of its recipients.
There were 10 full investigations of the Pearl Harbor attack. No foreknowledge of the attack by Roosevelt or anyone else in the administration was ever demonstrated.
Although there is some interesting evidence in favor of this conspiracy theory, at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to hold water and simply seems to be one more club that the Right uses to bash Democrats along with one of the Right’s most hated Democrats of all, Roosevelt.
Furthermore the people who traffic in this theory are pretty unsavory. It is a favorite of a variety of conspiratorial rightwing types, including fanatical anti-Communists, hardcore anti-Semites, neo-Nazis/Nazi sympathizers, Holocaust deniers, White nationalists and other charming folks.
4 thoughts on “Alt Left: The “Roosevelt Knew” Bullshit”
Well, regardless of whose leading it – we all know why these revolutions come about. I mean, the ruling classes are very arrogant, condescending – just generally oppressive. However, though, this fact seems to slip the mind of right-wingers – who see the masses as being duped by revolutionaries.
“…To this day, standard anti-Semitism is almost always rightwing or far rightwing…”
I don’t think this is true at all and nothing but propaganda. I’m right wing but fully for the employees and workers instead of the Oligarchical capitalist. The capitalist have no intention of taking care of any country or people at all. They have no morals at all except profit. I think it VERY likely that most right-wing people are National Socialist, (yep like the Nazis). It’s the only way possible to conserve anything. If you’re a anything goes capitalist you get mass immigration to lower the cost of doing business while foisting all the social cost on everyone else. Bastards.
“…heavily tied in with anti-Communism among other things such as anti-modernism and anti-liberalism, two movements that the Jews were seen leading…”
This part is true because commies don’t care about any sort of tradition or nationalism either. They want to melt down all relationships to economics just EXACTLY like the capitalist. They are just the flip side. Even worse it’s guaranteed that any commie revolution will have masses of psychopaths at the top repressing everyone.
You want to see what a National Socialist government can do. Look at Japan. They are 100% Nazi. Their government, banking and business system is 100% structured like the Nazis. Japan may be far from perfect and they have struggled economically but look at their economy. They have not allowed ANY immigration so the working population has shrunk dramatically yet they still live in a modern, clean, healthy environment compared to…say San Fransisco. They don’t have masses of people shitting in the streets. All this even though they have next to no resources in minerals, fuel or food. They still do reasonably well. They’re not rich but have a vast middle class and no one is starving. The reason commies hate National Socialist so bad is that people are happier under National Socialist and have no need of commies to balance against the rape capitalist. It’s already done so the commies have no place.
National Socialism provides a more balanced approach. Where you can actually start and run your own business but there are laws protecting workers. You can still get rich under NS and if this is done by production of goods people want at a decent price and this is a good thing. This constant competition raises the standard of living for everyone. Cheaper computers and maybe someday houses and cars. None of these laws to protect workers exist, or are not enforced, in pure capitalism or communism. They don’t care about people. They care about economics.
“…Winston Churchill himself was one of the originators of the Jewish Bolshevik hysteria when he made some paranoid and agitated statements along the lines that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish one soon after the October Revolution was through…”
He was right. The Jews took over Russia and mass murdered millions of people. This is hardly controversial. The only argument is over just how many they killed. I mean if one of the first laws enacted after a government comes to power is that if you are convicted of anti-semitism you get the death penalty it’s not difficult to imagine who runs things. It damn sure wasn’t the Russians.
Japan is massively hated in the surrounding nations like China and Korea. But, sure, yeah, they’re clean – and they have a highly functioning society.
Anyway, Japan’s snooty-ness is just mirror of the other types in other countries, sub-cultures – hailed by white nationalists – like say: Apartheid era South Africa, Upper-class Latin America, Suburban US citizens, Israel (Well, WNs don’t like that one, but it qualifies.). Is there anywhere that snobs don’t arouse terrorizing resentment?
It’s interesting. Right after I wrote the earlier comment I found a very good proof of what I said about capitalist and commies hating the national socialist by accident. Read this comment, (comment #207 just in case the link doesn’t work right), by
Saggy says: • Website
July 2, 2019 at 2:24 am GMT • 600 Words
He quotes a book ‘Left Wings Over Europe, or How to Make a War About Nothing’ written by British man of letters Wyndham Lewis in 1936.
“…As far as Great Britain is concerned, there is, in 1936, not a shadow of a reason for a war with anybody. It is because that there is no concrete reason that abstract reasons have had to be thought up and trotted out.
Nationalism may be superseded by the issue between different forms of political structure, between parliamentarism, fascism, and Bolshevism. …. Parliamentarism and Bolshevism seem to feel a remarkable affinity for one another, if for no other reason than that they are both consumed with an equal hatred of fascism…”
The last section is the money shot. Neither the capitalist or the commies are of any use at all if the economy is run in a balanced fashion like National Socialism. The capitalist are held in check, some of the crazy commies who want to turn the whole entire country upside down without any proof at all they can run anything are held in check and at the same time business and people who are obsessed with money can make a buck if they work within the boundaries set by the government to protect the people. The National Socialist system is a balanced system. There’s no doubt at all that Hitler made huge gains for the average German. The capitalistic system does provide great material progress if it’s not too monopolized but needs checks which NS provides.
This is why when one time Robert Lindsay said he could consider me a comrade I made a point to say I was not a commie. It’s not that a LOT of our goals are not the same or that I’m not fond of him, it’s the process, or form of government that we desire to accomplish these goals is VIOLENTLY different. Commie governments will ALWAYS end up oppressing the people even worse that the capitalist. At least with the capitalist they don’t care what you think as long as you don’t stop them making money. With commies you MUST think like them or they hate you.