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Interesting interview with WW2 veteran Robert B. Stinnett

December 11th, 2007 . by Matt

This is an interview from Antiwar.com radio. It gives a fascinating background of politicking in the lead up to America’s entry into WW2.

The main thrust of the interview was the discovery by Stinnett of the McCollum memo, in which it recommends that the US government put put into effect a number of policies that will provoke the Japanese into declaring war on the US to facilitate the US entry into WW2.

The policies are below –

9. It is not believed that in the present state of political opinion the United States government is capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado; and it is barely possible that vigorous action on our part might lead the Japanese to modify their attitude. Therefore, the following course of action is suggested:

* A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.
* B. Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies.
* C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek.
* D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.
* E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.
* F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.
* G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.
* H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.

10. If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better. At all events we must be fully prepared to accept the threat of war.

As far as I know, all of these things happened, and the Japanese did indeed declare war on the US.

Just click on the play button below to listen.


25 Responses to “Interesting interview with WW2 veteran Robert B. Stinnett”

  1. comment number 1 by: bad_moon_rising

    You can find more info here:
    PEARL HARBOR – MOTHER OF ALL CONSPIRACIES

    *23 Jun 1941 – Advisor Harold Ickes wrote FDR a memo the day after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, “There might develop from the embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia.” FDR was pleased with Admiral Richmond Turner’s report read July 22: “It is generally believed that shutting off the American supply of petroleum will lead promptly to the invasion of Netherland East Indies…it seems certain she would also include military action against the Philippine Islands, which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war.” On July 24 FDR told the Volunteer Participation Committee, “If we had cut off the oil off, they probably would have gone down to the Dutch East Indies a year ago, and you would have had war.” The next day FDR froze all Japanese assets in US cutting off their main supply of oil and forcing them into war with the US. Intelligence information was withheld from Hawaii from this point forward.
    *14 August – At the Atlantic Conference, Churchill noted the “astonishing depth of Roosevelt’s intense desire for war.” Churchill cabled his cabinet “(FDR) obviously was very determined that they should come in.”
    *18 October – diary entry by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.”

    And concerning Rainbow Five, the name of the plan the Army gave to waging war on Germany: Rainbow Five

    Fleming tells of how Major Wedemeyer arrived at his office on December 4th, 1941, totally aghast to find a copy of the Chicago Tribune lying on his desk with a published copy of Rainbow Five. The Trib at the time opposed FDR, and it had been leaked by persons unknown–but certainly not Wedemeyer. Fleming reviews the few possible culprits, and concludes “no other explanation fills all the holes in the puzzle as completely as FDR’s complicity.” But why?

    The reason was that a translated copy of the Trib was brought to the desk of Adolf Hitler the next day, and he immediately took counsel with his fellow-thugs. The report, evidently authentic and Top Secret (the US press was buzzing with accusations of treachery) had completely changed his perspective. He now had solid evidence that (a) the US was planning to attack him but that (b) he had two clear years before it could begin.

    While Rainbow Five was under urgent review in Berlin, the Pearl Harbor attack took place, and by December 8th, war had officially started between Germany’s (defensive) ally and her potential enemy. The decision was not hard: to put Russia on hold and wage war at once on an America preoccupied with Japan, with a vigorous Navy-based campaign to put her Atlantic capabilities out of action, and a large reinforcement to his African army to knock out the British there, so forcing an armistice which he repeatedly sought. He badly miscalculated his ability to keep the Soviets quiet, but otherwise that made perfect sense in the radically new circumstances that had emerged in three days flat. Hence on December 11th, the German government declared war on the American one; by the extraordinary cunning of leaking Rainbow Five at the very time he knew the Japanese attack was pending, FDR achieved his objective of joining World War Two– with Germany as his first priority–despite an 85% pre-war popular opposition. And he had done it with both enemies in such a way as to make it seem they were the aggressors!

  2. comment number 2 by: GarlicBreath

    notice no mention of Corea. No support of so called “corean freedom fighers”… why?
    .
    Corea was a willing partner of Japan. Now they deny this.
    .
    When will corea apologise to the west for her part in WWII. (to be fair, corean help in wwii as in all wars where corea was involved in, was minimal, and next to useless, unless you were a POW).
    .

  3. comment number 3 by: Gerry-Bevers

    I just listened to the interview. Wow! Very interesting.

    Don’t just read the above post, I suggest that people listen to the interview by clicking the audio button shown above.

    If all of that is true, then FDR and its administration were responsible for the deaths of more than just the 3,000 and some odd people at Pearl Harbor. They were also responsible for the men killed in the Philippines, Singapore, and other places.

    It is hard to believe that the US and Great Britain would be willing to sacrifice so many people to have an excuse for the US to enter the war against Germany; therefore, I think the US and Great Britain must have miscalculated the strength of Japan. And the tragedy was not just limited to US and British forces. Millions died, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and Indians. Was it really worth starting a war with Japan? Couldn’t there have been another way to stop Hitler? It is very disturbing.

  4. comment number 4 by: stumpjumper

    Was it really worth starting a war with Japan? Couldn’t there have been another way to stop Hitler? It is very disturbing.

    That was the war that got U.S. out of the depression.

  5. comment number 5 by: Ocebey

    And the tragedy was not just limited to US and British forces. Millions died, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and Indians. Was it really worth starting a war with Japan? Couldn’t there have been another way to stop Hitler?

    Considering the casualties the chineses were suffering since even before WW2 in their desperate struggle against Japan there could actually have been even more dead people if the U.S. had not done anything.
    And what other way to stop Hitler do you think about? To let the URSS do it and “liberate” the whole of continental Europe in the process?
    From my perspective the main problem was that WW2 saw the begining of undisputed use Bombing of cities and civilians. This kind of methode of war had not been used before (only since Guernica in 1937).

  6. comment number 6 by: General Tiger

    GarlicBreath:

    notice no mention of Corea. No support of so called “corean freedom fighers”… why?
    .
    Corea was a willing partner of Japan. Now they deny this.
    .
    When will corea apologise to the west for her part in WWII. (to be fair, corean help in wwii as in all wars where corea was involved in, was minimal, and next to useless, unless you were a POW).

    I suppose it’s hard to recognize the KPG when it’s so small, and also since Korea was considered to be “Japanese domain” since the early 20th century.
    .
    You need to touch up on your history, Garlic.
    .
    Gerry-Bevers

    It is hard to believe that the US and Great Britain would be willing to sacrifice so many people to have an excuse for the US to enter the war against Germany; therefore, I think the US and Great Britain must have miscalculated the strength of Japan. And the tragedy was not just limited to US and British forces. Millions died, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and Indians. Was it really worth starting a war with Japan? Couldn’t there have been another way to stop Hitler? It is very disturbing.

    I recommend the book “War Without Mercy” by John W. Dower. It should show how both the Allies and the Axis were racist, and how Japan went from “yellow monkeys” to “the Jap Supermen” and back to monkey.

  7. comment number 7 by: GarlicBreath

    You need to touch up on your history, Garlic

    .

    To this I remind you:

    Corea was a willing partner of Japan. Now they deny this.

    It is you that needs to “touch up” on your history tigg.

  8. comment number 8 by: ponta.

    Considering the casualties the chineses were suffering since even before WW2 in their desperate struggle against Japan there could actually have been even more dead people if the U.S. had not done anything.

    There could actually have been less dead people if Japan and China negotiated the peace treaty earlier.

    And what other way to stop Hitler do you think about?

    FDR could have convinced the people and the congress and declared the war against German.

    From my perspective the main problem was that WW2 saw the beginning of undisputed use Bombing of cities and civilians

    I agree.

  9. comment number 9 by: General Tiger

    GarlicBreath:

    It is you that needs to “touch up” on your history tigg.

    I suppose being a colony was the same as being a junior partner to Japan /sarcasm.

  10. comment number 10 by: Gerry-Bevers

    General Tiger,

    Yes, Korea was a junior partner. But now we know the US has a lot to answer for, too.

  11. comment number 11 by: Matt

    That was the war that got U.S. out of the depression.

    It mobilized the people and reduced the unemployment rate by killing off the unemployed, but WW2 no more gets the US out of economic problems anymore than any other destructive incident. If wars had a positive economic effect then Bin Laden would have been awarded a medal for 9/11.

  12. comment number 12 by: General Tiger

    Gerry-Bevers:

    Yes, Korea was a junior partner. But now we know the US has a lot to answer for, too.

    Well, if you consider colonies as partners, then I guess I’ll go along and say India was the partner of the murderous British. (Just following the logic here)

  13. comment number 13 by: ponta.

    To be exact, many Korean people were postive supporters and the majority were passive supporter for Japan in the same sense the majority of Japanese were passive supporter for Imperial Japan.

  14. comment number 14 by: eli

    Considering the casualties the chineses were suffering since even before WW2 in their desperate struggle against Japan there could actually have been even more dead people if the U.S. had not done anything.

    Yes, just as there could have been a lot more Chinese killed in their Civil War until the Japanese showed up. Don’t be ridiculous.

  15. comment number 15 by: Ocebey

    Yes, just as there could have been a lot more Chinese killed in their Civil War until the Japanese showed up. Don’t be ridiculous.

    I don’t get what you’re trying to say.
    Do you mean the Japanese were in some way moraly right in their tentative to seize China?

  16. comment number 16 by: Ocebey

    Ponta

    There could actually have been less dead people if Japan and China negotiated the peace treaty earlier.

    There would certainly have been less dead people had china not invaded Manchuria and then mainland China. But back then the military in Japan didn’t want to settle for anything less than empire building…

    FDR could have convinced the people and the congress and declared the war against German.

    There was no Casus Belli back then and the U.S. had yet to adopt the Preemptive strike doctrine.

    The american people were also wary of renewal of the conditions that trigered the American-Spanish war.
    The US navy ship USS Maine sank in the Havana Harbor from an explosion whose cause remains controversial. Many believe it was a scam by the americans like for the gulf of Tonkin.
    There was just no way for FDR to declare war that way. And considering the alliance of Japan and Germany he would have ended up fighting the Japaneses anyway. He probably considered that would allow him to galvanize his fellow american citizens (and that it did).

    Althought this is all quite disturbing in the end more that the reason of war the main problem is HOW it was done.
    When generals like LeMay were congratulating themselves about the bombing of Tokyo and how they were going to “bomb Japan back to the Stone age” or how “There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not fighting an armed force anymore. So it doesn’t bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders.”

    I’ll insist again. Since that time the bombing strategy of the military is plain WRONG.

  17. comment number 17 by: ponta.

    There would certainly have been less dead people had china not invaded Manchuria and then mainland China. But back then the military in Japan didn’t want to settle for anything less than empire building…

    Not really . Japan had offfered several terms with China several times to end the war.
    By the way, the U.S. didn’t intervene because she wanted to save China.

    There was no Casus Belli back then and the U.S. had yet to adopt the Preemptive strike doctrine.

    The american people were also wary of renewal of the conditions that trigered the American-Spanish war.
    The US navy ship USS Maine sank in the Havana Harbor from an explosion whose cause remains controversial. Many believe it was a scam by the americans like for the gulf of Tonkin.

    True, still we are talking about the possiblity, we cannot deny the possiblility that he could have persuaded. And looking back, he should have because that is the way any democratic leader should have acted.

  18. comment number 18 by: eli

    Do you mean the Japanese were in some way moraly right in their tentative to seize China?

    No, what I mean is that two wrongs don’t make a right.


  19. […] https://www.occidentalism.org/?p=804 […]

  20. comment number 20 by: madboots

    I don’t know why you find it so surprising. I should think there is nothing new to almost all Japanese historians. Indeed, the Allies were eager and looking for good pretexts to enter WW2 and to beat Japan completely, and the evedidence of the facts has been only now discovered. That’s all.

  21. comment number 21 by: Two Cents

    ponta,
    I do think a majority of the Americans at the time did see the Pacific War as saving China (and Asia) from the talons of Imperial Japan. The appeal for help to the American public by the Wellesley-educated Christian wife of Chiang Kai-shek had been extremely successful. Especially since Japan had utterly failed to present her case to the US. (Well, some tried, like Karl Kawakami who was a Japanese immigrant and was told to shut up if his loyalty lay with America.) However, in those days, I am sure responsible politicians did not put the lives of their soldiers on the line simply to save the plight of another country.

    Since I think the war between Japan and US was inevitable by the mid 1930s, I do think FDR’s tactic was actually quite effective. Whether it was a morally right move for a leader of a democratic country is another question. What I think is truly ironic about the outcome of WWII is that Japan, by losing, achieved her initial goal of gaining access to resources and the market and even inadvertently succeeded in realizing the war-time propaganda, “Asia for Asians.” It also relieved us from the cost of defending Manchuria from the Soviets or China, and let us allocate our national budget on economic development under the protective wings of the US, our former enemy.

    One thing that puzzles me about the US with regards to WWII is its seeming unawareness of the Communist threat. It is not like the US did not recognize the danger of Communism prior to the war, so I cannot understand why the US seemed so off guard of the Soviets (or FDR/Truman of Stalin) when it should have been obvious that the defeat of the Axis which was basically an anti-Soviet alliance would be equivalent to demolishing the Soviet containment wall. Wedemeyer, in his book “Wedemeyer Reports,” has also criticized the Truman administration on its failure, or rather refusal, to give support to Chiang Kai-shek after the war thus allowing China to fall into the hands of the Communists (who were at the time known to be taking orders from Moscow). And so I am left wondering about FDR & Truman’s design for the post-war world. I am sure the Korean and Vietnam Wars were not a part of their plan, and neither was giving Japan a virtually free ride in national security.

  22. comment number 22 by: ponta.

    Two Cents

    I do think a majority of the Americans at the time did see the Pacific War as saving China (and Asia) from the talons of Imperial Japan.

    That does not mean FDR entered the war to save Chinese. Tthere was sympathy from the public, but the fact is that the public was isolationist and against the war.

    Since I think the war between Japan and US was inevitable by the mid 1930s, I do think FDR’s tactic was actually quite effective

    FDR’s tactic was effective for sure, but that does not mean it was invitable.
    I agree with you for the rest of your comment.

  23. comment number 23 by: The Overthinker

    Also, the US was keen to help out a fellow republic in China, one they saw as perhaps a student of how the US threw off a monarchy and became a powerful democracy. That is balanced against the greater economic integration/dealings with the major capitalist powers of Japan.

  24. comment number 24 by: CaptPorridge

    Hi Matt,.

    OOps, unrelated, but I thought you might enjoy this!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPHqnZkxTKw

    Happened last Friday

  25. comment number 25 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Thank you, CaptPorridge. I enjoyed that.

    Matt, you should post that video.