Attack on Pearl Harbor, what’s up with that? Melanie investigates.

1 out of every 113 people will die this year.  That’s 1.78 people a second.  This number accounts for the five babies being born every second.  If these babies weren’t accounted for, it would be 1 out of every 66 people will die by next year.  If you know 66 people, one of them won’t make it.

(I found this info on

700 people died since I discovered these statistics.

It’s 2:17 AM and my stupid brain is at it again.  I was watching a documentary about the attack on Pearl Harbor which made me pause the show and google “Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?”  They attacked because we cut off their oil and steel supply in order to stop them from gaining territory in China.  That’s the short version of the reason.

But that brings me to another question, why did Japan want to take territory in China?  I googled that too and wikipedia said it was to stop China from importing arms and fuel.  But why?

I kept googling and it taken me to Manchuria and the Russo-Japanese war.  The treaty of Portsmouth that ended the Russo-Japanese war stated that Japan can lease the South Manchuria Railway branch.  As a way to protect their newly acquired railway, Japan stationed soldiers there to watch over it and apparently those soldiers got bored and pillaged nearby villages. This distressed China, and Japan knew it distressed them, so they made a pre-emptive move to strike by staging a bomb scare known as the Mukden incident.

Japan accused China of blowing up their railway (which didn’t actually blow-up and a train sailed safely over it minutes after the bomb went off) when in fact, it was Japan that set off the bomb.  But wait, what about the Russo-Japanese war?  The Mukden incident seems like a by-product of a much bigger issue – a small tertiary branch stemming from something larger.  And that something larger had nothing to do with China, but Russia!

Russia dominated the trade routes and absorbed all local states in the process.  They kept expanding from Poland in the west all the way to the tip peninsula in the east.  They expanded well into the Pacific Ocean as well.  Japan felt threatened because before their efforts to become industrialized, having a cohesive language and school system, they were a poor peasant country that lay as easy prey for the bigger nations demanding trade.  They were considered unequal to the rest of the world and been treated poorly by dominating countries who set up trade towns in which they enslaved Japanese people into handing over their goods.

As a result, Japan fought back by educating their people, strengthening national pride and unifying their nation so it can stand tall with the big boys.  So they wouldn’t be bullied.  They became a modern industrial country in less than half a century.

Imperialistic Russia refused to acknowledge Japan as a “big boy” country by not recognizing Korea as a Japanese sphere of influence.  Japan taken this as a threat and this brought on the Russo-Japanese war.  Japan considered Korea to be their “buffer” country.  If Russia encroached on their buffer, that meant Japan was next.  Not to mention acquisition of all those juicy natural resources they can use now that they’ve become industrialized.

Blah blah, wars and years later, Russia was humiliated.  Japan wrecked them.  Go Japan, right?  As part of the peace treaty (Russia admitting defeat), Japan acquired Russia’s railway in Manchuria as a way to stop Russian expansion into enslaving Japan (and they get to keep their juicy resources).

But now wait a tick, did Japanese soldiers who were guarding the Manchuria railway really spark that big a war with China?  And why did Japan stage that bomb instead of reprimanding the soldiers accused of tormenting villagers?  And why were the Japanese soldiers tormenting the Chinese in the first place?  Was it really out of boredom?

And this question taken me to the Sino-Japanese war.  In a nutshell, after Japan became modernized and educated, they wanted to protect their newly formed nation by annexing other powers (countries) from dominating Korea.  They were looking to secure Korea’s independence, which at the time, Korea was a vassal state to the Chinese.  Which means that China had easy access to Japan – “Korea was a dagger pointed to the heart of Japan” as some Japanese military guy put it.  As long as China occupied Korea, Japan wasn’t safe.

Wars and years later, Japan secured Korea.  They humiliated China before humiliating Russia, but China taken it pretty bad – they’re a very proud people after-all.

Okay okay now wait.  Hold the phone.  What the hell does the US have to do with any of this?  Why would we care if Japan wanted to stop China’s weapon trade?  Let’s go back to the beginning and study again – this time with a little more background to my knowledge.

The Japanese wanted to cut off China’s trade routes as a way to stop the Sino-Japanese war (China’s occupation in Korea).  In order to do this, Japan encroached on China’s territory and started absorbing local states just as Russia did with the Trans-siberian express among other things.  Basically Japan was taking it too far and becoming their own worst enemy, Russia.  And with each victory, Japan became prouder, more ambitious, and more determined to never be bullied again.  Not by China, not by Russia – not anyone.

So Japan continued in their efforts to cut off all supply routes to Korea – the supply routes that fed the Chinese occupation in Korea.  They succeeded in one route, but the route in Indochina remained open.  Vichy France controlled the supply route in Indochina and after several attempts to persuade Vichy France to close off the route, failed.  This failure led to the war and in the end, France yielded, but called for an accord that granted permission to Japan to control the route under the guidelines that Japan was not to venture further into Indochinese territory.

But again, where does the US fit into all this?

Japan didn’t listen to this accord and instead they moved their troops closer to the railhead in Lang Son.  They were undefeatable at this point, and they were like, “why the hell not?  Right?”

Vichy France protested a breach of agreement and what did Japan do?  They bombed the hell out of Vichy soldiers while Vichy sent an envoy to negotiate.  But Japan didn’t want to negotiate, no.  France yielded and allowed Japan to occupy Indochina.  However, Japan didn’t want to send too many troops to occupy it for fear it will inflame relations with the US and the United Kingdom.

Why would it inflame the US and United Kingdom?  Were they tied into this trade route as well?

At the time of this attack, China was US’s ally.  The US didn’t like how the Japanese were imposing their will all across east Asia.  Is that why we cut off Japan’s oil supply?  Because we viewed it as adding fuel to the fire?  Did we feel threatened by Japanese operations in China?  There’s got to be more to the story.

Hold on…..

Did FDR purposely cut off their oil supply to initiate war?  I’m looking into conspiracy theories now.  I should shy away from them.  But it’s strange how I’m finding no definitive answer as to why we cut off their oil supply and since there’s no definitive answer, history books vaguely breeze over the subject leaving room for debate.

Japan attacked us before we attacked them.  Since we cut them off, Japan had to find a new supplier in Malaysia.  And if they went seeking resources in Malaysia, thereby expanding their territory – it would pull the US into war.

Okay….I just stumbled upon a commenter that said before Japan got it’s oil supply from the US, they got it from the Philippines.  But the Philippines was a US colony.  Japan wanted to infiltrate the Philippines to reclaim their oil supply and before they did, they thwarted the US in a pre-emptive strike before we can send troops to defend our supply – a supply that FDR taxed and sold to the Japanese.  He who owns the oil, owns the war.

Okay, I think I’m done for today.  I don’t want to tell you what time it is (not to mention how many people died in the time it taken me to write this).  Stupid documentaries…stupid brain is more like it.  It’s just that I get insanely transfixed on finding answers.  I need everything to make sense.  I need to understand.

I think my thirst for understanding is a way to protect myself from getting hurt.  It’s a way to protect my ego.  Although finding answers to historical events has absolutely nothing to do with me getting hurt by them, but this need for understanding leaches into and spreads to unrelated subjects having nothing to do with me personally – I still need to understand.  I need to understand out of fear.

Ayahuasca told me that every action and every thought is reasoned and seasoned with fear.  And our personalities are shaped and formed around how we interpret and interact with it.  If I understand other peoples fear, maybe that can give me some insight into my own.

We can only understand the things we’ve experienced.  If this is true, and I can’t understand somebody else’s fear, I can at least see what the outcome of it is.  I can witness what it does to people.  So when it happens to me, I’ll be more prepared to handle my reactions to it knowing full well that it leads to nothing but insanity.  To learn from history means to recognize it when it happens again which is the antithesis of insanity.

Anyway, I’d be shocked if you made it to the end of this post – shocked!  But I gotta say that by me writing everything down after learning about it, really helped me understand everything better than if I merely skimmed over the subject.



Filed under Politics

4 responses to “Attack on Pearl Harbor, what’s up with that? Melanie investigates.

  1. See what those “why’s” do to you?!?!?!?

    But learning the answers is fun! 🙂

    • Those “why’s” keep me up at night. And yeah, I admit it was totally fun learning about it. It’s kinda funny when I think about it because history was my least favorite subject in school. When you view anything wanting to know “why” something happened, you’re heart is in it. Kids need to learn what it means to have heart. Then they’ll actually care.

  2. ma

    melanie, when i read your article on pearl harbor it sent goose bumps in my body.

    • That post taken me forever to write. The answers were scattered all over the web and I had to piece them all together. This isn’t my “ma”, is it? Oh lord I hope not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s