Class Warfare Blog

June 25, 2017

American Principles or ?

Filed under: History,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 7:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I am finally getting around to reading Gordon W. Prange’s wonderful history of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 (At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor). There is an incredible amount of detail in this book, less than was actually available as the book was written for a lay audience.

One detail jumped out at me regarding a meeting between Cordell Hull, our Secretary of State and the new Japanese ambassador, Adm. Kichisaburo Nomura. The plans for the attack on Pearl Harbor were well under way but the Ambassador was ignorant of that fact as he could have been a security leak. Japan was, however, very aggressively pursuing a larger sphere of influence and had its eye on the oil and other resources of Southeast Asia. The two men decided to meet informally to see if they could improve the relationship between Japan and the U.S.

On April 16, 1941, Hull presented Nomura with a set of principles that Hull felt had to underlie any such negotiations. Here are those points:

  1. Respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations;
    2. Support of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries;
    3. Support for the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity;
    4. Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo may be altered by peaceful means.

When I read those points, they seemed an innocuous set of points, a definition of how a free democratic state should behave … and then I realized that I couldn’t recall any point in our history in which we ourselves exhibited those behaviors.

We are constantly using economic and military force to meddle in other country’s affairs. We put the Shah of Iran back on his throne in 1953 after destabilizing the government of a democratically-elected progressive president of Iran. We have assassinated politicians all over South and Central America. We trumped up a reason for war in Viet Nam (The Gulf of Tonkin episode) and trumped up a reason for war with Spain in Cuba (Remember the Maine!). We are currently pursuing a global assassination campaign using drone aircraft (Thanks, President Obama!) and we wage economic warfare almost continuously.

The irony of these “negotiating points,” is I read them in a book centered on events in Hawaii, an independent country that we took over based upon phony claims by wealthy businessmen, for whom the coup would be financially very beneficial. The overthrow of the legitimate government of Hawaii violated all four of the principles, laid down by Secretary Hull.

Is that what the U.S. stands for? Bullshit and smokescreens for doing whatever the Hell we want? Seems like it is. President Trump is not an anomaly in this case.

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9 Comments »

  1. Yes, the point is ‘I have met the enemy and the enemy is us’ or should we say U.S. When I was a kid growing up in the Philippines, I learned of the United States/Philippines War. Learned it from Filipinos, not Americans. After the U.S. liberated the Philippines from the Spanish, Filipinos believed this meant an independent Philippines. But President McKinley, and Congress, had a different idea … colonization. Between 1898 and 1905, U.S. Marines slaughtered over 250,000 Filipino freedom fighters. Men, women, and children … a policy perfected in the U.S. genocidal wars against the indigenous peoples of North America. This is an American war still NOT taught, with regularity, in American schools. Check out the John Sayles film ‘Amigo.’

    Trump is not the enemy…just another stooge implementing American policies.

    Excellent piece, Steve.

    Like

    Comment by Zach — June 27, 2017 @ 8:41 am | Reply


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