Saturday, March 24, 2007

Winning the geopolitical game?

Pictured: The boardgame, "Pacific War," by Victory Games


Like many Westerners, I suspect, I was surprised to read in Hisahiko
Okazaki's Feb. 24 column, "Telling the truth at Yasukuni," that "It is
a historical fact Roosevelt induced Japan to carry out a first strike"
against Pearl Harbor. I first dismissed this as historical revisionism
along with the recent denials of wartime atrocities in China and
Korea, but Okazaki's piece inspired me to research this further.

I now concede that there would indeed seem to be a very strong case
that the U.S. government did all it could to induce an attack, in
order to bring the United States into the war. Furthermore there is a
strong argument that the commanders at Pearl Harbor were deliberately
kept in the dark.

This prompts a further question: How far is a government prepared to
go in terms of sacrificing its own people in order to win the
long-term, geopolitical game?

Originally published in The Japan Times.

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