There Was No Need to Fight With Japan
An Interview with Jason Morgan, Ph.D. Candidate, Japan Studies (Part 1)


Q: Firstly, I’d like to ask you what makes you so interested in Japanese history?

A: Well, I guess it goes quite a ways back. I was interested as a boy. I think the first sort of real thing I knew about Japanese history was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima Nagasaki. I think that was probably the first substantial fact that I knew about Japanese history.

Q: At about what age?

A: I was a child. I was maybe 8 / 9 / 10, somewhere around there. So from there, I just sort of became interested and kept going. So I suppose I was always interested in Japan mostly and then Asia secondarily, but mostly Japan.

Q: I found in the article that you were taught by your grandfather the existence of Tokkotai?

A: He was in the war. He was in the Navy, and he was actually quite impressed with Japan. Well, of course they were enemies, so he found them quite frightening, but he also had a great deal of respect for them, and he was in Japan for maybe a year or so after the war. He was in Yokosuka, and I think he was stationed there for about a year. And at that time he really began to respect Japan quite a bit, I think so when he told me about the war, it was in a way that I found very interesting because he had been enemies with Japan and some of his friends had been killed in the war, but at the same time he was quite positive about Japan.

He liked Japan quite a bit and he thought that as he got older, I think he believed that the Pacific War had been a tremendous waste of human life. I think he believed that it was completely unnecessary.

Q: In what sense?

A: Well, he was of the opinion that it was necessary to fight Hitler and Germany, and I agree with him completely. And Hitler and Germany were a starkly and unarguably evil sort of political development in Europe. But when it came to the Japanese, I think he was, he couldn’t understand why it was necessary to fight Japan. What were we actually trying to accomplish?

Because if you look at the Pacific Ocean, it’s huge. It’s enormous. And so there was really no threat to American mainland from Japan. And I think he also thought if I remember him correctly that the attack on Pearl Harbor was not something that happened in a vacuum. He was interested in seeing Pearl Harbor as something that happened after another series of developments before it.

And I think from that I was made aware of a much more complicated story than the one that just simply begins at Pearl Harbor and ends on the Missouri in 1945. It wasn’t just that 4 and a half year period, it was much, much longer than that before, and that was sort of what he had begun to see, too, my grandfather.

Q: There were economic sanctions?

A: Right, the sanctions were part of it, and I think he was also deeply suspicious of Franklin Roosevelt’s domestic policy as well. So, I think he, if I’m remembering my grandfather’s ideas correctly, I think he thought that on the one hand the economic sanctions against Japan were somehow suspicious.

It was strange that there should be these sanctions against a country that really posed no threat to the United States, and also was doing the same thing in Asia that the other Western powers had been doing. And this is maybe mixing my own ideas, too, but Colonialism was nothing new in East Asia. And so it’s not as though the Japanese were doing anything different from the English or even the Americans or the Germans or the French. And so in that sense there’s a longer story internationally.

But domestically as well, my grandfather was not a democrat, he was not a Roosevelt New Deal democrat. He saw the expansion of state power as something that was deeply troubling and frightening even. And I agree with him completely. I think Franklin Roosevelt was, his reputation is very high in the United States, but I think he was actually one of the worst political leaders that we have ever had. I think he was interested in expanding the power of the government in a way that I find very disturbing, I think.

Q: Domestically?

A: Domestically and internationally as well. So, lately I’ve been reading some of the work of for example M. Stanton Evans and Diana West who are historians in the United States. And they’re reminding us that the Communist Party had infiltrated the American government to the highest level in the 1930s.

Q: During the Roosevelt administration?

A: During the Roosevelt administration, and before then, but especially during the Roosevelt administration, and it sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, right, but it’s documented. Whittaker Chamber wrote a book called Witness about this. It’s beyond doubt that the Soviet government had placed agents of the Communist Party within the American government at all levels, at all grades, not just in the upper echelons, but throughout the bureaucracy, the federal bureaucracy.

Q: Why was he so lenient on Communism?

A: I don’t understand the man actually. He, at the time Communism was quite fashionable as you know, so he probably was influenced by the Communist propaganda as though they’re trying to save the world and prevent poverty from increasing, that sort of thing. That’s what the Communists said. They’re doing good work. But if you look at what the Communists do, it’s quite frightening actually.

They, they were sending agents out into governments and using assassination and espionage and that sort of thing and bribery. Also, the Soviet government has now found the files of the KGB, the former NKVD, were opened in 1995, and those Soviet files corroborate largely the suspicions of men like Eugene McCarthy who was treated as some sort of a maniac in the United States, but actually McCarthy was right. There were Communists in the government. There were hundreds, thousands of them.

And so my grandfather, I think, at the time, sorry my answers are quite long, my grandfather at the time was deeply suspicious of the Roosevelt administration both the man himself, Roosevelt and the people surrounding him. It was a very bad time in American history. And the Japanese I think from my perspective now looking back, I think the Japanese were correct. They understood the Communist threat.

Q: We feared the threat of Communism.

A: It was quite clear. And of course you’re right next to the Soviet Union, and so the Manchurian defense perimeter I think was completely necessary. Not only necessary, but it was, if they had not, if the Japanese had not made Manchukuo into sort of a Japanese territory then the threat from Stalin was quite real and especially not just Stalin but especially the COMINTERN within Japan.

There was, as you know quite a vibrant Communist Party in Japan at the time, and they were interested in overthrowing the government. They hated the Imperial House, and they wanted to destroy the government of Japan, so in that sense the peace preservation law in 1925, again it’s treated as though the peace preservation law was some sort of fascist piece of legislation but it was completely necessary. I think. Anyway, I’ll stop there for a second and let you ask more questions.

Q: So it’s great to know that you really understand the importance of the Manchuria. I think there are not so many Americans who understood the importance of Manchuria, to protect Japan from Communism. It’s surprising to know your stance on it.

A: Excuse me, there are historians who have studied Manchuria quite intensively in the United States, and I’ve benefited from their work. I think it’s very good historical work, but my, the question that remains after I read that work is why would Japan do this? Why would they set up the Manchurian State? And I don’t think that Japan entered Manchuria for the sake of controlling and conquering territory and populations. It was totally different, I think.

I recently gave a talk about um, it was for another organization, but I gave a talk comparing the Nuremberg trials and the Tokyo Trial, and I think it comes down to… That was one of your questions in the email, was about the Tokyo Trial, it comes down to that, I think. The Tokyo Trial was designed, in fact the entire American occupation was designed, and even the entire American war, and before the war, the American government’s policy toward Japan was designed to make Japan appear to be an evil, reckless, colonial power. That was the policy towards Japan, it was propaganda, falsehood, and demonization of the Japanese project in East Asia.

But if you look at the Tokyo Trials and compare them with the Nuremberg Trials, what you find is something completely different. The Nazi leaders were without exception, they were evil men, and their design were always, from the beginning, from the very beginning, from the Munich Putsch in 1923, the Night of the Long Knives, their design was to kill Jewish people. That was their entire project. They were all insane, they had this mad project to kill, not just Jewish people, but also the Gypsies, the Roma people, the Slavs, disabled people, old people, their project was to kill everyone who was not a strong Aryan white person. That was their project.

Q: That was insane.

A: They were all complete lunatics, all of them without exception, and in order to carry out their design they created a Nazi Party, and using the Party they took over the entire German government, and then from there they twisted the government to their ends, which was to start a war and take over Europe.

The Japanese project was totally different, totally different. Their project in East Asia was liberation, it wasn’t mass murder and it certainly wasn’t aggrandizement. It was, I mean if you look at the government’s actions, you’ll see that they were establishing defensive perimeters, of course, to protect Japan, there were multiple reasons for this, but there simply was no project like the Showa in Germany.

There simply was not a project to take say for example everyone who wasn’t Japanese or everyone who wasn’t Asian and put them in train cars and then to take them to ovens and burn them. It simply didn’t exist. It was completely different. And as you study the Trial, I think you find that the American conception of the war was propagandistic from the very beginning and I begin to have greater doubts about what in the world we were doing fighting Japan in the first place.

Now I will grant that the attack on Pearl Harbor was short-sighted and foolish, I think, it was a very bad idea, but it’s not as though Yamamoto Isoroku Sensei woke up one morning and said I think we should attack Pearl Harbor, it was, there was a reason for it. Anyway that’s my take on that particular topic.

Q: You said that the Japanese purpose for war was liberation. In what sense do you mean liberation?

A: I don’t think it was the sole purpose actually, I think it was one of the purposes, perhaps even the main purpose, but by liberation I mean if you simply listen to what the Japanese were saying at the time, and then if you look at what they were doing, their entire thrust was to in a way, it’s not so much Okawa Shumei as it is Okakura Kakuzo, which is sort of the Asia is one. It was pan-Asianism, exclusive pan-Asianism, which is to say that they wanted Europe out of Asia, and if you look at the sort of the back and forth between Okakura Tenshin and Rabindranath Tagore in India. Tagore in the end he was disappointed in Japan because they were pursuing a military strategy to sort of get Europeans out of Asia, but I think their intellectual project was the same, or at least quite similar, which was to liberate Asia from colonial domination.

A lot of Americans don’t realize this, but shortly after Pearl Harbor the Japanese also attacked Singapore, right, and they also attack the Philippines, and of course there was a reason for this because there was a British base at Singapore and Hong Kong, they attacked the American military bases in the Philippines. These were, it’s not coincidental that they attacked these places first because their project was to get Europeans out of Asia.

Now you can disagree with their method, but I think they were sincere in their desire to liberate Asia from colonial domination. I think it’s beyond argument actually. It’s true that there were other motivations, too, of course they’re not purely motivated by these altruistic desires to liberate Asia, that’s not the only reason but it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest reason I think, and if you look at history, if you look back, and you take the Japanese at their word, then everything begins to look different actually, even the invasion of Manchuria, which I think was an Army policy, if you look at the Manchurian Incident, I think it’s clear that it was a plot by the Army to force the government in Tokyo to back them up. I think that is clear, so that wasn’t necessarily a central government initiative.

But thereafter, if you look at for example the South Manchurian Railroad, that was a developmental policy, it wasn’t a Nazi policy of extermination and conquest, it was a developmental colonial policy, which is the same policy I should add that the Americans pursued from the East coast all the way to the West coast and then to Alaska and Hawaii. It was a developmental policy. Every state actually, west of the original 13 colonies, was created by the same set of policies that motivated Japan in Manchuria, I think.

If the one is wrong the other is wrong. There must be some sort of intellectual consistency. You cannot conquer an entire continent as the American federal government did and then get to the end of that continent and go beyond that to Hawaii and then from Hawaii look at Japan and say, “Stop developing Manchuria.” It’s simply hypocrisy beyond belief to say that. So, in that sense, to answer your question I think that it was liberation mixed with other motivations.

I should say also that I don’t want to disparage the United States. I love the United States actually, I love my country. I grew up in the South, and I loved growing up in the United States. It was a blessing to be able to grow up in a place that’s free and we didn’t have to worry about poverty and war, it was a blessing. So, I’m not critical of the United States, but I am critical of the American federal government, which I think has been pursuing bad harmful policies for quite some time now in many places.

Q: It’s quite impressive that you learned a lot, came to that conclusion, and found out some of the causes for Japan to enter into war. How were you able to come to your conclusions? There are so many American scholars who cannot see the true reasons or causes for Japan’s war efforts, so I’m wondering how were you able to come to your conclusions?

A: I think I have the benefit of a bad character. I tend to be quite contrarian. If someone tells me something is A, I will say no it’s probably not A. And so I was told these things

Q: It’s not your bad character.

A: Well, I think so. I’m not being falsely modest, no. I think that I do have a contrarian character, which probably needs some work. So, in that sense, I read these books and somehow I was never quite satisfied with the answers.

There are many other things, when I was an undergraduate, I remember many of my professors were, I had very good professors, very good professors, but I began to think that there must be something more than what they’re telling us, not that they would try to hide anything, I don’t think it was intentional but I began to think that there must be more to the story somehow in many things, not just history but in political things…

I remember this is neither here nor there but when the Clinton Scandal happened in 1998, I don’t know if you remember that, the media was saying one thing and it seemed as though they were all in agreement and I thought there must be something more to what’s going on, and so from there I began to sort of question the standard narratives of most things, I suppose.

And so here I am today, a contrarian with these wild views about history.

Q: But you’ve broadened your views of history. You must have benefited a lot of people, I think.

A: Yeah, there’s a saying. It’s a Portuguese saying, I think, that God writes straight with crooked lines, so He uses even people with bad character to somehow discover the truth about things, I reckon, perhaps that’s neither here nor there.

Q: Can I ask you about the Tokyo Trial? I found out that you researched the similarities between the Tokyo Trial and the Versailles Conference and Treaty. In what sense are there similarities between the two?

A: I sort of fell on this. I was looking at. What was I? I can’t remember how I got to know, oh, a professor that I know, he’s in Japan, he recommended the work of a scholar named Ushimura Kei, at the Nichi Bunken in Kyoto, I think. I’ve never met him actually, I don’t know him at all.

At any rate, I was recommended his work, and I began to read his re-interpretation of Maruyama Masao. And as you know, Maruyama Masao was, he was, he had a very low opinion of the defendants at the Tokyo Trial, in fact, what did he call them, he called them dwarfish fascists, which I thought was quite insulting actually and I read when I was in graduate school, we read Maruyama Masao books in English translation by Ivan Morris or some or other who did translation of his books, and Marayama Sensei is quite a learned man.
But he was contemptuous of the, not so much of the Trial, but of the people at the Trial. For example, Tojo Hideki-san and people like that, and so I read Ushimura Sensei’s re-interpretation of Marayama and Ushimura Sensei had some really interesting things to say about Marayama Sensei’s own ideas.

And from there I sort of began to take a deeper look at the Trial and then I got to know the work of an American historian named Albert Jay Nock, and Nock was a historian of the First World War, and he said Nock said, that, um, and actually this quote was used by Ben Bruce Blakeney, who was one of the American lawyers in the Tokyo Trial, and Blakeney is a wonderful person. If you have the chance to study him, he was quite a friend of Japan and he was a good lawyer. I think he was from Oklahoma.

Anyway, Blakeney used Nock’s quote, and Nock said about the Hull Note that something like if the principality of Monaco or the grand Duchy of Luxembourg had received the Hull Note, they also would have declared war on the United States. And so Nock, I went back and read Nock’s take on the Treaty of Versailles.

In WWI, the United States often portrayed the Germans as the aggressor, right, that the Germans were the Hun, they’re called, the Germans were these sort of blood thirsty tyrants who were trying to take over the world. If you look at what actually happened, I think it’s much more complicated than that, and Nock was saying that we should stop looking at the Germans as though they were some sort of demons in WWI. In WWII, they were definitely demons. In WWI, I tried to understand that it wasn’t so neat as all that, right?

And so I looked at Versailles, which I thought was quite similar to the Tokyo Trial. In Versailles, Woodrow Wilson and the other statesmen, the French also, portrayed the Germans as though they had deliberately and single handedly started WWI, which is simply not true, which is simply not true at all. There was a great deal of tension in the European continent, but the Germans didn’t single handedly and intentionally start this war. It takes two sides to start a war, right?

And so Nock was quite critical of Versailles, and I’d never heard anything critical of Versailles actually in my life. Versailles is portrayed in the United States as some sort of a grand achievement. But Woodrow Wilson I think was quite, he was quite stupid in his dealing at Versailles. He was also quite childish, he wanted to get his way in everything, and in order to do that, he portrayed a loser nation as responsible for the entire war, which if you examine the Tokyo Trial, it was exactly what happened to the Americans in the Tokyo Trial.

Now the Nuremberg Trial is different. The Nazis were completely responsible for all of this. No one else is to blame. The Nazis were lunatics who started this crazy war for the purpose of killing as many people as possible, no doubt about it, but the Tokyo Trial and Versailles are very, very similar. They both tried to portray a loser nation as having been 100% responsible for starting a war that was probably not even necessary in the first place, and that the victor nations used as a means to advance their own domestic policies.

Wilson did the same thing in WWI. He greatly expanded the power of the federal government. There are free speech cases from 1917 and 1918 in the United States. There were Supreme Court cases in which the Supreme Court ruled for the first time in American history that the federal government had the power to sharply regulate free speech even speech that was not really threatening at all. And Wilson found the war to be quite useful in that sense, and so did Roosevelt, right?

Roosevelt found the Pacific War to be extraordinarily useful. In that sense, Roosevelt has a lot to answer for. I think there are a lot of men and women and children who died horrible violent deaths because Franklin Roosevelt wanted his domestic policies to succeed.

Have you been to the Edo-Tokyo museum? There’s an exhibit about the firebombing of Tokyo. It’s quite chilling. When you realize that in May of 1945, the United States Air Force under General Curtis LeMay intentionally firebombed a city filled mostly with old men and women and children.

Q: Yeah, a densely populated area.

A: A densely populated area filled mostly with non-combatants, almost exclusively, all the young men were fighting the war, right? When you realize that, you begin to think what in the world is going on? Was it really necessary to kill hundreds of thousands, not just 2 or 3 people, but hundreds of thousands of women and children for what? For Roosevelt’s policies? It simply staggers the imagination.

Q: I heard that more than half of Americans still believe the dropping of the atomic bombs and the Tokyo air raids were necessary in order to bring the quick end to the war.

A: That’s the, there’s a very good article about that by a man named Gar Alperovitz, I think. And he wrote an article in which he, this is back, he wrote the article back in the 70s or 80s I think, quite a while ago, and he examines all of the justifications for the droppings of the atomic bombs, all of them, and I think he quite handily disproves all of them. Truman had said that dropping the atomic bombs saved half a million, I think, American lives.

It’s true that the Battle of Okinawa was extremely bloody, I think well over one hundred thousand people, soldiers and civilians alike, died in Okinawa during that battle. A lot of them were women and children who jumped off of the cliffs, who blew themselves up, shot themselves. I can see how Truman might have thought that it’s better to avoid a battle like that and just get the war over with. If that’s the case, you also have to explain why the Americans ignored the fact that the Japanese were sending out peace feelers at the end of the war.

Q: With the help of Russia?

A: With the help of Russia and Russia didn’t help them because of course Russia went to enter the war, right, of course, but through other places, too, I think the Swiss Embassy, I forget who it was, through Grew, that’s right, the Americans knew that the Japanese wanted peace, right?

Why not negotiate peace? At that time, Japan was completely defeated. There was no more Japanese Navy. It was all at the bottom of the sea. It was completely gone. What’s the rush? Why rush to… Then it becomes clear that the Americans had developed this bomb, and it’s often said that the atomic weapons dropped at Nagasaki and Hiroshima were not the last shot of WWII, they were the first shot of the Cold War. Because looking ahead, it became clear that we would have to fight Russia after this, and so these bombs were a warning to Russia, that this is what happens if you encroach upon our territory, ok, maybe that’s true, but why sacrifice hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children?

If you really want to show the power of these weapons, right, drop them, for example, drop them in a desert somewhere or drop them in the ocean or drop them over some sort of mountain or forest or something and take pictures and show that this is a serious weapon, but don’t drop them on people, you know? If that’s your justification, then it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think it ended the war any more quickly than it would have ended anyway.

The Japanese were out of oil, they had no more ships, they were fighting with wooden ships, they had wooden fishing boats that they were commandeering to move materials around. The women of Japan in mompe were using bamboo spears to do their defense of the Japanese homeland. Looking back it’s almost ridiculous. Why not just wait? Why not just wait?

The Potsdam Declaration was a tremendous strategic mistake. I’m actually thinking of writing an article about this, about the policy of total surrender. It’s a uniquely, it reminds me very much of the Civil War because when you fight the Americans they have no mercy. I’m trying to figure out why because Lincoln could have ended the war a lot earlier than 1865. He could have ended the war in 1861 if he wanted to. He could have negotiated with the South, and things would have gone back to the way it was before, but he chose to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of Americans. For what? Because he didn’t even want to end slavery until 1863. What was the purpose of…I can’t understand, so I think this policy of total surrender has a tendency to prolong wars.

This policy of total surrender prolonged the war, I think, probably unnecessarily in Germany. There easily could have been an uprising against Hitler in 1943 or ’44, and the Japanese war could have been ended after Midway in 1942, easily could have been ended if the Americans had negotiated, and said this is enough, this is enough.

Q: I think America has a tendency to demand total surrender, looking at Iraq, Vietnam, and back on history. I wonder why it demands total surrender.

A: I’m trying to figure it out, I really can’t figure it because to my mind, it begins in the Civil War, this policy of total surrender. I thinking of calling the article The Yankee Way of War because it’s not a particularly, it’s not a European phenomenon, total surrender, most European wars have been negotiated peaces, ended in negotiated peaces, and the South was ready to negotiate, right?

In some ways perhaps I don’t know, perhaps it’s a Puritan legacy. I was thinking because the Puritans were distinctly Yankee, right, which is sort of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, those sort of upper northeast states, which from a Southern perspective seems to me to be quite foreign, that sort of the Yankee way of looking at things by Yankee I mean northeastern. That way of war continued after the Civil War all the way West. If you look at the way the Americans fought the Native Americans, it was quite brutal and there was no negotiation, there was simply, if you lose, you lose everything.

Q: No dignity.

A: Right, there’s no dignity, it’s just you lose everything, and that was sort of the way it went all the way past the west coast, Hawaii, into Japan. Total surrender from the Nazis I think was probably a good idea, you have to eradicate Nazism, you have to destroy it completely at the root, I agree, but the strange thing is if you’re interested in destroying evil in Europe, why in the world would you form an alliance with Joseph Stalin who was clearly worse than Hitler? Clearly much worse than Hitler. I’m glad Hitler was defeated, thank God for it, but Joseph Stalin as an ally undermines everything that you can say about the Nazis because you’ve held hands with the devil in order to defeat a demon, you know, you’ve…

Q: Which was Churchill’s policy?

A: Churchill, I think, was quite smart. I think he was smarter than Roosevelt. I think Churchill had a disgust for Joseph Stalin, but he wanted to protect England and France, I think, and he wanted and he just hated Hitler even more, I think, so in that sense, he wasn’t naïve. I don’t think he believed that Joseph Stalin was this great person in terms of expedience; Churchill was willing to say Hitler is the devil next door and Stalin is the devil next, next door. So, we’ll fight the devil next door first, and then we’ll see, but Roosevelt was different. Roosevelt’s administration was very much pro-Stalin, there was a man named Harry Dexter White, who was a… Do you know about him?

Q: He was a Communist spy?

A: Right, right, so he was definitely working for Stalin, Hata Ikuhiko Sensei has a good article. He debunks the theory that White crafted the Hull Note, and I agree with Hata Sensei. Hata Sensei is a very good, a very good scholar. So, I don’t think that Roosevelt was a Communist spy, and I don’t think that White had as much power as some people say, but Harry Dexter White was definitely pro-Stalin, he went to Moscow, and he arranged the Lend-Lease program with Russia, in which a tremendous amount of war material was sent to Russia free of charge, thousands and thousands of ships and jeeps and all sorts of things that you would need guns and tanks and everything, everything that you could imagine, plans even, sent to Russia at almost no charge, most of it was free, to help Joseph Stalin do what exactly? I mean what was the …

There’s an interesting book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the man who wrote the Gulag Archipelago, he was a refugee in Vermont actually in the 1960s and 70s and Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a wonderful man. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was one of the heroes of the 20th century. He’s a fantastic human being, a fantastic writer and scholar and author. Alexander Solzhenitsyn has an interesting vignette in one of his stories, he says that he heard that the Americans were, had a pro-Stalin policy and he was in Russia in the Red Army, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn was rushing to the front so he could meet the Americans, which was, they were his allies at the time, right? To tell them you’ve got it all wrong about Joseph Stalin, he’s actually a monster. He’s killing thousands and thousands of people in Russia for no reason. It’s strange, isn’t it? Solzhenitsyn, the Russian, is coming from Russia, and the Americans are coming from the land of the free, and they’re meeting in the middle and Solzhenitsyn wants to tell the Americans, “Look, this guy Stalin is not your friend. He’s not friends with anyone.”

Isn’t that interesting? Isn’t that strange? That the whole world knew about Stalin, but somehow he was our best friend in the 1930s and 40s? It’s actually terrifying when you think about it. It’s actually chilling, it’s terrifying. Being friends with Joseph Stalin is not a good way to accomplish your… If you want to fight a moral war, which is what Roosevelt was saying, if you want to fight a war for freedom, you can’t be friends with Joseph Stalin, it undermines everything that you claim to accomplish, and the equivalent would be if you’re fighting for women’s rights, for example, and your ally is the Islamic State or Saudi Arabia or something, it undermines everything that you’ve tried to accomplish. The American federal government claims even now to be fighting for women’s rights while giving hundreds of millions of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, which kills more female children in a single day than ISIS has in its entire existence. We didn’t have the moral high ground then, and we still don’t.

Q: But it means at that time the American people weren’t cautious. Didn’t they feel any threat from the Communism regime? By the end of WWII, they didn’t know how terrible the Stalin regime was, so they wanted to be friends with them, I think.

A: They must have known. I think the average American probably believed most of what the government was telling him, but it was no secret Whittaker Chambers had, I think Witness came out in the 1950s, but it was clear by the 1930s at least, there was the episodes of Rosenberg who was captured as a spy, it was clear the Russians were infiltrating the United States, it was absolutely clear. The Americans must have known, surely they must have known.

Maybe they didn’t understand exactly what the Russians were trying to do because the Americans, it’s a good thing actually, the Americans tend to be quite naïve, I think we have a hard time understanding that there really and truly is evil in the world, and that this evil tries to expand and take over things, and so it’s hard to understand, “Could there really be such an evil person as Joseph Stalin?” It’s hard to conceptualize, right?

So, perhaps we were sort of like ostriches putting our heads in the sand, perhaps, but I think surely we knew, but perhaps the extent of the Gulag wasn’t really known at the time. That might be a valid point, but I think if you wanted to know, you could have known. It wasn’t too much of a secret probably. At any rate, Roosevelt knew. His closest advisors knew. The American intellectual class knew. Diana West’s book, Herbert Hoover’s book, they all make it perfectly clear.

Q: You pointed out in your abstract that the democratic nations hadn’t necessarily codified the rule of law. It means the United States, right?

A: Yeah, most of the United States, (let me think if there were other countries?), yeah, I mean the rule of law is actually I think the rule of law in a democratic nation is probably a contradiction because if you read the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, he was an American Supreme Court Justice in the first decade of the 1900s, and then through the 1920s, I find that Holmes was saying that this was sort of the age of legal pragmatism, right? Oliver Wendell Holmes, this is the age of legal pragmatism.

The idea was that it doesn’t matter what the law is if it’s the law, it’s the law, and there is no natural law above, so Holmes was saying, “Look, sometimes legislatures might pass a bad law, but it doesn’t really matter because if 51% of the peoples say it’s the law, then it’s the law, and if 51% of the people say that even an outrageous law is the law, you have to apply that law. You can use your own faculty of moral reasoning.”

So in that sense, there really is no rule of law in a democratic society. It’s the rule of the mob. In Greek the word for it was the ochlocracy, it’s the rule of sort of the mob from the French Revolution, and I think that’s the tension because the Americans are constantly talking about the rule of law, the rule of law.

If you look at the American government today, for example, under the reign of Barack Obama, of whom I am not fond, you’ll find that it’s ruled by law, not rule of law. They simply pass whatever law they want to get whatever objective they want. That’s not the rule of law, that’s the rule of men over other men and they cloak their fists in the law. The law becomes the glove over the iron fist. That’s not rule of law.

Roosevelt imprisoning Japanese Americans who were American citizens putting them in concentration camps with no, absolutely no constitutional authority and no legislative prerogative, that’s not the rule of law. When Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in the Civil War, there was a famous Supreme Court case in Ex Parte Milligan about this. He suspended habeas corpus is not the rule of law, you simply cannot when the law is inconvenient, you simply cannot dismiss it. That’s not rule of law, that’s rule by law

Q: By men?

A: By men, yeah, exactly.

Q: Not by natural law?

A: Not by natural law.

There Was No Need to Fight With Japan
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