Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Yesterday was the sixty-eighth anniversary of Pearl Harbour. I remember Pop, my grandfather, firmly placing me before the radio – I was aged seven – to listen to President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous ‘day of infamy’ speech. The New York Times has an interesting column placing the blame for Japanese expansion firmly on President Theodore Roosevelt’s policy at the beginning of the 20th century. He actively encouraged Japanese imperial aims in North-East Asia and indeed in 1905 without Congressional knowledge secretly approved the annexation of Korea. At the same time his own expansionist operations led to the American control of the Philippines. Thirty-odd years later two bloody battles were fought in that nation between the USA and Japanese troops.