Did American Commies cause the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Posted On: Friday - August 12th 2022 11:29AM MST
In Topics: 
  Commies  History  China  Books

I don't mean solely in the title, but were they a contributing factor? In aviation incidents and accidents, the term "contributing factor" is very important. Usually, when some mistake or procedure is a "contributing factor", though it may not have been the main cause, it's highly likely that the accident or incident would not have occurred without that additional thing. I can't say much about that regarding these political events from fairly far-gone history (now), as we don't have the kind of details the NTSB does, and there's much more human psychology involved that we can't fully fathom.

I'm referring again to the book I've been slowly reading, called Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies. Though I'm currently much farther along in the book, this post is about the introduction section on the 1930s-'40s American Communists of the US State Department and other advisors to the American Feral Gov't of the era. Previously, Peak Stupidity posted Young Commies in LUV, about the traitorous American Chairman Mao sack-hangers of the day.

I had bookmarked a few pages to write this post, this material in the book being even before that discussed in the other post. There was so much turbulence going on in the the Orient, specifically, China. for over 2 decades - the time of the start of the war between the Nationalists and Communists - August of 1927 to the end of it in October of '49, with an intermission of sorts to fight the Japanese from '37 through '45. Of course, the Japanese were invading far and wide in this region too for all of those years, and their eventual war with America ended all that. Did it have to happen, though?

One can read lots of history that avoids the generally popular American view that the Pacific War in WWII was all the Dirty Japs' fault. I don't know enough to write on the provocations by the Roosevelt Administration, as the Japanese wanted their sprawling empire for resources and military outposts, in conflict with an American government that wanted something similar. I will just mention a couple of pages [69-70] from this book on the deep influence of American Communists, as it's something I'd never read a thing about before.

It's not all the same characters here as in the picture in that Young Commies in LUV post, as there were a multitude of Communist sympathizers but also flat-out Communist spies in China, many in very influential positions. The American contingent of the latter were listened to by Congress and the President, FDR.

During this time, the Japanese were still considering re-starting their war with far-eastern Russia. Since the Russian-German neutrality pact had been busted by Hitler in June of '41, Stalin was worried about being caught in a 2-front war. Soviet master spy Richard Sorge* and his Japanese sidekicks Ozaki and Saionji did their best to influence the Tokyo cabinet to strike not north at Russia, but to the south against the allied outposts in the far East. Per author Stanton Evans:
As this question was being thrashed out in the Tokyo cabinet, a mirror-image debate was being conducted 7,000 miles away in the United States. Here the issue to be decided was whether to seek a truce with Tokyo, winding down its four-year-old-war with China, thus averting a direct clash between Japan and the United States, championing the cause of Chungking**. Ambassador Joseph Grew, our envoy to Japan, was working to head off such a conflict and thought there was a chance to do so. However, when it appeared the State Department might be leaning toward a modus vivendi with the Empire, members of the IPR*** brigade sprang nimbly into countervailing action.
These guys were were very much pro-China - some of them having been raised there by missionaries, but many simply supporting China with the hopes that Mao and his gang would run the place.
Lauchlin Currie, for one, deplored the possibility of such a truce in a memo to FDR, saying any arrangement of the sort would do "irreparable damage to the good will we have built up in China." Another U.S. official disturbed by the prospect of a Washington-Tokyo truce was the Treasury's Harry Dexter White****. "persons in our government," White declaimed, "are hoping to betray the cause of the heroic Chinese people [Which ones, the Communists? Otherwise, why would HE care? Most Americans could not tell, and didn't CARE about the difference, Japanese v Chinese, back in that day.] In keeping with this view, according to IPR spokesman Edward Carter, White in November of 1941 alerted him to the modus vivendi danger and called an emergency meeting to concert resistance.
That was pretty late in the game. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec 7th of the year.
What Carter didn't say and would be discovered later was that White was already working to promote a stiff-necked American policy directly counter to the truce idea, this at the urging of the Soviet KGB. [Our BAL - Bestest Allies for Life!] As revealed by Moscow agent Vitaliy Pavlov in his memoirs, he had earlier come to Washington to brief White on the proper stance for the United States to take in discouraging any rapprochement with Japan. White, who obviously didn't need much prompting, had followed through, drafting and redrafting a tough memo on the subject for Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, forwarded to the State Department for its guidance.
Then, one of Tail-gunner Joe's (later) usual suspects "would also get in on the action".
Professor Lattimore, from his new perch in Chungking would get in on the action --- firing off a cable to Currie in the White House strongly opposing a diplomatic stand-down with Japan as a betrayal of our friends in China. Chian Kai-shek, said Lattimore, was dismayed by the possibility of such a truce, so much so that "any modus vivendi now arrived at" would be "destructive of the Chinese belief in America". The voices opposing the modus vivendi thus formed a considerable chorus on both sides of the Pacific.
Now, I can see that both of the Chinese factions wanted American help, but what good was that all for America? I don't think these Communists cared so much about the good of America ...
In the upshot, the Sorge-Ozaki-Saionji advices***** would triumph in Japan, while those of the Lattimore-Currie******-White trifecta would prevail in the United States. There would be no Washington-Tokyo stand down over China, no Japanese attack on Russia, and no peace in the Pacific.
The motivations of the Communists involved were to help the USSR. How many Americans, American allies, and Japanese soldiers died due to this deep concern for the fate of Communist Russia of our enemies within?

PS: It's history. I imagine the populations of Indonesia, many other Pacific island lands, Taiwan, and China, of course, are better off the way it did happen. However, even then, "America First" should have been policy. 8-decade-ago Communists didn't care about that, and your modern Communists within care even less - they want it destroyed.

* Sorge was a German born Communist secret agent working for the USSR out of Shanghai, China, with Japanese and American sidekicks, the latter smoozing with the Mao Commies in Yenan.

** The author refers to the Nationalist Chinese here, led by Chiang Kai-shek.

*** That's the Institute of Public Relations, which offered a nest for some of the Western Communist traitors.

**** WTF the Treasury Department should have to do with it all is a question of mine.

***** Stanton Evans used "advices" in the plural form like that a lot in the book. It's strange but maybe that's some sort of diplo-talk.

****** Lauchlin Curry was White House economic adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt during WWII. A friend of Professor Lattimore, he was one of the many suspected spies determined from the Verona Project, the important part of it (related to the Atomic Bomb) being slightly before Senator McCarthy's time in the Senate. He eventually bugged out to Colombia, S. America, so I don't know what to make of that, do you?

Sam J.
Monday - August 22nd 2022 1:28AM MST

"...constant provocations over years..."

Maybe we annoyed them, helped the Chinese and refused to sell them raw materials but...they attacked us. They miscalculated.
name redacted
Friday - August 12th 2022 9:14PM MST
PS Chairman Mao was a Yale man. Fellow Travelers will always stick together on the Long March to the global soviet.
Flags and nations mean nothing to one worlders and there is no love or loyalty.
USMC Grampa always said the oil and rubber embargo made it so Japan had no choice but to go on a quest for necessary items.
Friday - August 12th 2022 1:27PM MST
PS: I agree with you to an extent on the Japanese, Alarmist. They were not the good guys over in the Far East, but then what were we there for to begin with? I will say that boxing in a powerful nation like that is not a good idea - same as the 30 year expansion of NATO up to Russia's doorstep, for no purpose I can fathom, is also stupid. The spin on the Ukraine has been something else.

That all said, with all the CIA stupidity and other bad moves, America was still the good guy in the Cold War, so I support those Wolverines of the 1984 movie. None of this is the same now.
The Alarmist
Friday - August 12th 2022 1:09PM MST

Sure, if one ignores the constant provocations over years that led the exasperated Japs to try to neutralise the US in the Pacific long enough to enhance their own foothold over desperately needed sources of resources, it was indeed the Dirty Japs’ fault.

Just like Ukraine was started by Russians in 2022 and not eight years earlier, when the Ukies started shelling Russian-ethnic Ukie citizens in the Donbas while being groomed for entry into NATO. No provocations there, just the dastardly deeds of the dirty Russkies.

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