Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ventured in movie criticism [UPDATED]

Apparently Roger Moore (in true Hollywood fashion) wishes to stick to his knowledge of WWII gleaned from watching Tora, Tora, Tora;
Go sell crazy someplace else, sport. You’re off topic and off your nut.
Off topic?   It's a movie based on the Emperor's culpability for Pearl Harbor.

Nor is it new, as Howard Zinn, in his People's History of the United States mentioned it;
One of the judges in the Tokyo War Crimes Trial after World War II, Radhabinod Pal, dissented from the general verdicts against Japanese officials and argued that the United States had clearly provoked the war with Japan and expected Japan to act. Richard Minear (Victors’ Justice) sums up Pal’s view of the embargoes on scrap iron and oil, that “these measures were a clear and potent threat to Japan’s very existence.” The records show that a White House conference two weeks before Pearl Harbor anticipated a war and discussed how it should be justified.
Now, Zinn's analysis in most things could be criticized as 'being off [his] nut', but his citing the Indian jurist Pal is accurate.

We guess Jack Nicholson was right, some people 'Can't handle the truth.'

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At Roger Moore's Movie Nation's Next Screening posting on The Emperor with Tommie Lee Jones; 
The actual facts about Pearl Harbor have been known since 1996, when retired KGB General Vitalii Pavolov published his memoir, 'Operation Snow'.  Essentially, Soviet intelligence knew that Hitler was going to turn on them and attack--it was obvious, Hitler was transferring troops and tanks from France to Poland.  In order to meet that threat Moscow had to be able to free up its troops from the far east of Russia (where they stood ready to repulse an attack from their historical enemy, Japan) and move them west.  Problem; Stalin refused to believe his new best friend Adolf would be so treacherous.
So in the spring of 1941, Pavlov  (then a newly minted espionage agent), was dispatched to Washington DC to re-activate one of their most valuable assets within New Deal Washington; Harry Dexter White.  White, a former Harvard economist, was the brains behind then Treasury Sec'y Morgenthau.  Pavlov, over lunch at a restaurant, filled White in on Hitler's plans and gave White the assignment of provoking Japan into attacking the USA.  Meaning they couldn't also attack Russia at the same time.
White's machinations were successful.  Essentially, he got the American govt to change its diplomatic stance toward Japan from neutrality toward outright hostility.  Historians had long been puzzled by the diplomatic blunders in the summer of 1941--especially cutting Japan off from its lone source of petroleum, which made the oil fields of Indonesia suddenly a prize for the taking--Pavlov's story makes those 'blunders' understandable; they had a purpose.
Japan did not want war with the USA, but were left with little alternative thanks to the Soviet penetration of the American govt at the highest levels.  Whether or not MacArthur knew this story is doubtful.  But, he could have, as the FBI had been on to Harry Dexter White thanks to the Venona decrypts for some time before the end of WWII.
I'm making a wild prediction; none of the above will be in this movie.
Let's see what makes it into Mr. Moore's blog.

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