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tv   Countdown to Infamy  CSPAN  December 22, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm EST

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these i think extremely important questions, doesn't matter there are so few women in congress? does it matter that congress, is so much wider than the country as a whole? these are extremely important questions. the reason why they've gotten a lot of really good attention in political science. science. so in this book and find a focus on the question we paid less attention to which is doesn't matter there are so few working-class people. ..
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>> what do know is a lot of tea party people are wealthy blue color people themselves and that is what i find in white color government. the most conservative and pro-business lawmakers are the wealthy white color professionals. >> thanks for taking the time. >> thanks so much. >> that was afterwards.
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authors of non-fiction books are interviewed. afterwards airs at 10 p.m. sat saturday and at 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. monday. span2. next >> next, eri hotta examines the attack on pearl harbor from a japanese perspective. this is about an hour. >> good evening, thank you very much for coming. it is somewhat artificial of two people that xoe each other well, husband and wife, to do an interview in public like this. why should i ask the questions i
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can ask her over the breakfast table. but we don't discuss japanese naval strategy in 1941 over the breakfast table. one of the thinks -- things -- i find the most revealing is that it tackles certain myths about pearl harbor. and one of those myths which was encouraged in the immediate post-war period by the japanese and american administration is that japan had been highjacked
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and the japanese people and the emperor himself was duped into this wreck -- reckless ad venture. >> that was a myth that engaged people who were responsible. for the japan nation as well to think that the war could have been averted was too painful a question to ask, i think. and that was sort of self-per pechating myth the japanese people took to. >> you described by it is wrong to think of it in terms of the
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civilians being duped because for much of the time the prince was responsible for a larger part responsible for that. it happened even though he thought it would lead to a disaster. >> the fact the responsibility was shared between the people and the military. and that wasn't the case because the leaders met over 70 times in the one year up to the pacific war and discussed the alternatives and different steps to be taken. those conferences were called
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liazl lie az oncconferences and creat unified voice. so the civilian politicians cannot say they didn't have any say because they had equal say in the conferences >> why did they go long with it? >> it happened over a course of a period which they diluted themselves into thinking week say this much but a -- we can -- but a breakthrough will happen to litigate the steps they were taking. and i think the military leaders have to put up a bold front to p p preserve their faith and appease the other officers were who
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thinking about expanding. and the navy and army were always fighting for a bigger budget and i think the navy and army within themselves were divided into different cliques. so you can not talk about the military voice as one. so that is another myth that has to be discussed. >> and another myth is there is always consensus. there was a japanese expression for the top guys being driven by the middle ranking people who are more radical. perhaps you could explain.
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>> the exact translation is something like the retain is up in the lord -- does that make sense? does that sound okay as a translation? >> yes, the lord has complete authority in principle but it is weak and driven into a radical position by the hot heads into the middle. >> it justifies ousting of power as weak leaders are ineffective. the young officers, especially in the first half of the 1930s up to 1936, i think they were driven by the desire to renovate the japan politics and strengthen the imperil system.
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everything was done to salvage the emperor from the western influence that put them strain. i think there were hot blooded officers and soldiers who were ready to mobilize so it was perceived by the leaders who had to be appeased. so they were in a constant state of fear of what could happen to them as well. >> which is also destroying another myth of japan as an auth authoritarian society. you mentioned the 1936 incident which isn't clear to everybody, but a number of middle ranking
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officers from the northeast often, country boys and the northeast was particularly badly hit by the depression and that is where people were hungry and daughters had to be sold into prostitution, and at the time they believed the believed the people responsible for this plight were the bankers and elite members. they were radicals of the right. and wanted to stage a cuckoo to make the emperor too a dictator. the admirals and generals were sim sympathetic to the hot heads
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and ad mirmired them, but the empirical household thought they went too far. this was a clear case of young people in the middle ranks driving the people in authority in a positions they may not want to be. >> i think the fact the emperor was so effected by the failed cue is important because that affected his passiveness and diffidence in putting his foot down in 1941. he talks about it after the war that he thought that if he tried to veto the war decision he might be, well, japan would have
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a situation like they tried in 1936. and that speaks for the fact he thought peace was possible which isn't in a constitution as clear as possible. >> they could have made a case that he was badly advised and they would have replaced him with -- >> one of the younger brothers who was more radical. >> yes, poplar. he was an army officer. >> what about the other myth? that the japanese people were duped is the standard main mainstream. the right wing myth is japan was forced into attacking pearl
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harbor because america and britain and china and the netherlands were involved and japan had a perfect right to defend their rights in asia. and they were driven by economy boycots and those things. they had to do it. and we can talk about the americans, this is the myth, the americans forced their hands by the holt. >> that is sort of the classic war origin and i think in world war 1 they complained about in
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circlement as well. the war time government made use of the narrative and that fact told you there was a speech on a day of a pearl harbor attack that japan endered the war reluctantly despite all of the nations past efforts of trying to get peace in asia. and the concept that japanese were taken by and abused in the end. but it was useful at the time. and useful to make themselves believe they were fighting for the right cause. so i think that narrative was strong. and who would want to die for the wrong cause? you want to believe that. if you are ordinary citizens
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without much access to real information about the china rule or japanese imperilism it is hard to imagine how appealing that narrative might have been. >> it had a kernel of truth, of course. unlike nazi germany, japan was fighting a war against powers. and it was said they should have recognized the japanese interests more. and the whole problem is stemming from the fact since the middle of the 19th century, the japanese saw as their only chance to survive as an independent nation to be as much
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like western powers and that meant having their own empire. but it was a little late in the game. but one can sort of understand why it was felt that they had their right to an empire just like the european had their rights. >> i can understand that. but it is not an excuse in the fact they had a period of relative peace and democratic experiments in the 1920s. and the league of nations, which japanese took seriously, and i think it is as a shame you had to go down that way. and understanding the broader frame of mind it is useful to look at racism but their not
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triggers of war. the causes for the war was japanese ambition earnest asia and rivalry for the control of china competing against the united states and russia as well. and the fact they had been lucky in their past wars affected the military mindset that perhaps this reckless war can be won. >> and the past wars had been applauded. when the japanese beat the russians in 1905, president roosevelt praised them. and the attack on port arthur
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was a kind of pearl harbor of that time and it succeeded. >> they were not americans being attacked. >> americans are better than the russians at fighting war. >> the soviets don't make as much of a myth about the surprise of stealth nature of the attack. it was so dramatic in the fact america was attacked on their soil, even though it was a heavily populated island with japanese. it became part of the american psyche and is now a symbol of real significance. >> what extent does that play
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into america's myth? john dower, who didn't condone the attack, but his analysts was one of the reasons americas were so shocked and outraged was that it played into so many western movies of the treacherous indians who are attacking without warning the brave pie pioneers. in his analysis, is it "war without mercy" and that is one reason why it is such a strong myth: it is a treacherous attack. was it meant to be treacherous or was that a screw up? >> there is a huge debate about
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who is responsible for the delay of conveying the delay toot whitehouse. but the document didn't specify -- it wasn't declaring war, really. so you cannot really argue -- the stealth of the attack remained. and the treacherous nature would have not been affected in roosevelt's mind, the naked he had a gene mind that enabled him to do that. and there is something to be said about the native americans should i say. >> red skins. we use it on tellivatievision.
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>> it speaks for the a-symm a-symmetrical measure. and that is why people used the 9-11 attack being like the attack on pearl harbor and how undersour under-sourced staff would take on a giant. >> there is another analysis by a japanese intellectual who is no longer with us, but he started off as a communist and
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his phrase was pearl harbor was the hundred year war and it started before that when it opened with the gun ships. there were period of piece, but every since, japan has been fighting back against western dominance. is there truth in that? >> if you look at the whole history in terms of cultural civilization clash, that is just very tempting to explain all of the political events that took place in the meantime and reduce everything to these world views, almost. these things affect one's thinking and act as furniture of the mind, but you cannot say japan went to war because of the
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racism. you can describe individual beliefs and how people might have reacted differently or deferent leaders might have held on to certain beliefs than others, but it doesn't explain the whole picture. i can see how it could be tempted and you could sell a lot of books >> my road is the right ring japanese. why did they do it? what was the hope? because even the mastermind of the attack on pearl harbor who had been at harvard and in the united states embassy in washington -- japanese embassy in washington -- and new the west very well and a very sophisticated man who warned the government it was a very reckless thing to do.
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he was a gambling man and vein enough to to think he was the man who should do t. what did they hope to get out of it? >> they felt it was a gamble but they justified it in terms of the slim possibility something diplomatic could be worked out after inflicting damage on the pacific fleet on the united states. and that even though the war was being declared in the name of the failure of diplomacy they expected the american side to approach japan with diplomatic solutions. so japan didn't have an exit plan. the fact that the japanese war was -- japan didn't have an exit
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plan and it was because of roosevelt's intervention and peace making that japan got away. >> and the japanese almost went bankrupt. they were bailed out by a banker in new york who escaped from russia and wasn't a friend of the russians so helped them. and white russians introduced them to the protocols and they put the two together and said we have to keep the jews on our side. and that is why they refused to hand over the jews to the nazis.
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>> i think we are getting close to question time. but the last question, i think i am right to saying pearl harbor has become a mythical equation. and in japan when people think of world war ii pearl harbor is not the first thing that comes to mind. >> i think hiroshima and nagasaki would be the first thing to come to mind. but the bombings and that experience dies hard as well. but then it has been almost 70 years, nearly 70 years since the end of the war, and that sort of collective experience is becoming thinner and thinner. so i cannot really say even that
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they have this strong attachment to any of the bombings aside from the fact they get told in school much more effectively than they had been told about. >> another reason of why so many japanese intellectuals applauded the attack because it came as an eno eno eno enormous relief. many people felt embarrassed, i think, about it. and even now, more people know
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about the things committed against the chinese than they know about pearl harbor in japan. so a lot of intelelectuals thought we were fighting the proper enemy, the war we should have been fighting to begin with and not fellow asians. >> a lot studied in the west and the first time they experienced in the west and that is why it is engrained an inferority sooch are satch fwofrbg are a complexes are there. >> this is a bit like daniel otega who picked up his anti-ameri
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anti-american rhetoric at berkeley, california. i will open it up to question. can i field them? >> i will. we have microphone sets up and i will ask you proceed and identify yourself and you can address eri hotta or ian with your question. we will start with this gentlemen. could you come to the microphone? thank you. >> i am noah smith from stony brook university. and i am the worst dressed person in the room. i had a couple questions. one of my questions is one thing you didn't discuss is in 1939 japan tried to attack the soviet union and it was a bigger operation than most realized and they were soundly defeated.
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did news of that not get out? i know that experience shook the rig rig rightest people and did that give them pause or was that hushed up? >> it was hushed up in the public. the newspaper didn't report it. but the army leadership was, of course, shaken and that is why they decided they could not fight the soviet union when the chance arose after june 2nd, 1941 and that was on their mind; they could not afford to fight this soviet union. so we will keep it quite, fight china and go into china and french so they can sustain that warring position in china for
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the time being. >> so it is like let's attack another giant. >> it was part of the rivalry between the navy and army. you had the so-called strike of the north action that was army and wanted to go for the soviet union and strike the naval because they needed the sources and wanted to keep going and the debacle in mongolia meant the end of the strike north fraction. >> right. and can i get a second question? >> since you are standing there we will go ahead. >> i am interested in the
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general you mentioned earlier. how was he trying to move japan forward? >> i'm sorry, what was that? >> he was trying to be more -- japan was a factionalized place and what extent was he trying to change that? >> he was into efficiency and he was an able man who kept notes about who he dealt with and held grudges against people. he did try to centralize and also i think his primary motive was to help the emperor because
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he was a devoted servant. when he was appointed prime minister in mid-october 1941 he tried to evert the war and address alternative scenario. and that goes against the idea of him being uncompromising about going to war. it wasn't untrue. and his position was more complex. >> thank you. jeffrey? >> jeff here. ian mentioned the china quagmire and i wondered if you could explore to what extent in 1941 was china and the china quagmire the main driver of japanese war
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and diplomatic policy? the attack on the united states is if you have a problem you cannot solve make it bigger and maybe you will be able to find new opportunities? and to what extent were they talking about a peace feeler or an accommodation or was that off the table? what were the war aims? if you could make a larger picture, what extent were japan's partners in the par tide an inducement to we can be more bold. what extent were they looking to axis partners in europe as a model and insigcitement into looking big? >> i think the china rule was central. they did discuss it was essential for them to end the
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china war and that went to exit honorable. and richard nixon -- well make come windup a peace term -- up -- terms that were acceptable. they had a puppet regime and wanted the americans to recognize having two as well. which didn't make sense to the americans. and in the negotiationegotiatio took place since april 1941 china was always there and the issue is always there. and the conferences in tokyo were discandidausdiscussed. it was the sticking point.
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the military couldn't openly say we are ready at a withdraw. it might have been struck but they could not openly discuss these things. so the military in japan were depending on civilian lead eleao reach a diplomatic brick -- breakthrough -- he promised too much at home to the military. you can prepare because you never know, but yuf you have to allow me to go see roosevelt in hawaii or alaska. and when they sort of noticed that americans are not going to
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come to the negotiating table he panicked and left. going to come to any so china was central and they knew it. your second question was about typards. the japanese wanted to be that, but the people who read the truck, did know the truth of hitler's announcement. so that wasn't the embracing of the ideas but the sort of
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martial aspects of this. and also the fact that the shock factors in europe that people were just japanese casually thought okay southeast asia is ripe for plucking because no one is looking at it and if we could push the regime to hand it over with the threat of force the rest in powers will not qufight because it is so far away. and that was a big mistake and led to the freezing of the japanese assets by allied powers >> and didn't they see it an as opportunity to attack southeast asia and the united states because they thought with the
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russians out of the way europe would go -- >> the hardest call of the military strategy did toy with that idea. that wasn't mainstream because they were not thinking in terms of war in july of 1941. they were more concerned about power struggle at home. the foreign prime minister within the cabinet had to be undermined and he was saying the gestirure would attack them quickly so we can claim to participate in the war and maybe take soviet possessions. but everyone, including the army, who saw the soviet union
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as their enemy opposed it. it was partly because of the experience that told them oth otherwise it was to undermine the position they were taking and they wanted him to leave his cabinet without him having to dirty his own hands. >> but the relations with the ex's power was old because they didn't trust one another. and the issue of wanting to have the jews on their side is one illustration, but you hear stories from german business man who were taken out for a drunking evening by japanese colleagues and thought it would please the west german colleagues if the steins of beer saw the horse vessel lead and that wasn't the thing tho do.
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to do to ingratiate themselves. >> george burlestein. i am interested in rather germany was instrumental in encouraging them to get in on the war and did they know they were going to attack. america declared war but not against germany and there was a period of five days where no one knew it would happen. there was thought it might be beneficial for hitler to not declare war. do you know the details of those five day and did the japanese --
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germans -- urge the japanese to do this? >> i doubt they knew. one of the mysteries was why did hitler declare war on the united states which he didn't have to do. but thank good neness he did because it made it easy for roosevelt to get into the war. and -- >> to add to that, what germans were wanting the japanese to do in the middle of 1941 was to attack singapore and hitler was obsessed with this idea of conquering the isle of britain
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so i think he probably thought the japanese could be used that way more effectively by way of utah -- attacking -- >> there was little communication between the axis partners during the war. he access powers. >> don simmons is my name. for several decades after the war, both germany and japan did all they could to reintroduce themselves with the rest of the world with subdude military policies and trying to create and contribute as much to the common good as they could. in the case with germany, within
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25 years or so the relations with the neighbors and including occupied countries are cordial to warm. that didn't happen with japan and still hasn't. why the difference? >> you have written a book about that so maybe you are better. you have whole books on that. >> there is a long answer and a shortish one. they were different neighbors. germany was in the middle of europe and its neighbors were western democracy and tied to unifying europe. that was a very different proposition to japan's immediate neighbors when were communist china and al llies.
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that is one reason. and one not overstate the warmth of the relations between germany and its immediate neighbors. i remember in 1988, which my own country, the netherlands beat germany at the soccer championship and more people went into the street to celebrate than at the end of the war in 1945. they were different wars having said that. and there were two germanys -- west and east and they had different relatiorelations with outside world. west germany is concerned with coming to terms with the past, people are talking about the holocoho
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holocaust and that is a specific regime. there wasn't an egi equivalent sense in the east. so all of the relations with the outside world, and there are other reasons to do with it, the fact the war time history became veer political issue in japan and polarized unlike the history of the third right in germany. and i think a large number of reasons, none of them have much to do with some kind of essential aspect of the japan character or anything of that
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kind. >> did you wish to add something? >> no, i agree with him. >> okay. over here? >> i had a very soft question. matthew olson. i had a question that you have raised a hard one now. so i will start with the hard one. i read about islands especially in the neighborhood of in ddonea where entire populations were wiped out. i have never forgotten my reading of a great book and when you talk about the difference between what the nazi's were doing, and i understand it was awful, and what the japanese were doing, i am not clear there was a difference because they were both wiping out populations.
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the second question, if you can can, starting with grade school when i started reading history, they talked about the warm relations between the united states after the opening of japan and that warm relation was supposed to have continued until the start of the japanese russo peace broker by roosevelt and the explanation i was given, and i have not read a confliction of this, and that was the end of the relationship because the japanese resented the fact they didn't get more from the piece and thought the united states cheated us. i am open to that hypothesis being questioned or denied, but this is my first opportunity to ask somebody knowledgeable in the subject.
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thank you. >> the second question is what i will answer. i had not heard that narrative before because i think in japan they focus on the failure of diplomats or the negotiateugonu groceryation -- negotiations -- so it was perceived as a failure of diplomacy. and that explains the popularity of strong hard noses of people appointed. very clear-headed diplomats is what they want that can stand up for the japanese interest.
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so i think it is more perceived that the russo japanese war and sett settlements is the failure of japanese diplomacy. i have never heard it blamed on the america side. it is sort of going with the idea that the american grit power could be a broker and peace maker. so that the japanese kept asking americans to be the mediator. i think that built in unfair expectations of the united states being a police man
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standing up for japanese interested. >> it makes little different if you are the victim of someone t torturing you. but there is a difference between military atroscities and they were terrible all over which cannot be excused and they should be faced and they are horrifying. but there is a slight difference to the military atrocities. and we can talk about why it happens. the government that has a program to exterminate people because they don't have the right to exist. in the japanese war there were
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military atrocities. if you like, and one is going to be provauoprovocative about it, like what happened in vietnam nam. you had soldiers that could not see the difference between civilians and gorilla fighters. they were undisciplined and brutalized by their own officers and found themselves in a position where the safest thing do was to shoot everybody. and that escalated to orgies of violence. and earlier, the officers were not in proper control of the middle ranking ones. that played a role as well. the image of the japanese army
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was correct when it came to the discipline of them and treated the pow's well. but the discipline was left to the desired in the second war. so there was raping and looting on a vast scale. but to be a victim of this is equally unpleasant, but it isn't the same thing as gassing people or shooting people because they don't have the right to live. >> could you come down here, please? thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> i am richard cats. i am fascinated by the degree of misconception in tokyo and
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washington of the other. i have had talked with leaders of each at the time who thought the united states proposed their plan b for peace and that the united states would accept the document that radified japanese control over china and the united states didn't do this. the fact they thought the united states would do this is a perception of everything being wrong. and from the american side, two groups in the leadership were nuts on their thinking. you had one member insisting japan would never go to war against the united states and others said out of sheer desperation they might do and he said when has a nation attacked
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from desperation. and he said let's take a hard line because that will force them to back down. and joseph grew who was informed amb amb ambassador in japan that talked about people we don't dare undermine and take a soft line so moderates can come to the floor. and despite all of the areas of interest and clash, but the astonishing degree of misperception on the american side of people who should be better, you can discuss what the self-delusion and what was going on that created this incredible degree of what i see is just people lying to themselves about the other side. >> talking about japan not iran? >> well, you see that is the
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second question. i was talking about china to tell you the truth. >> i think the united states perception of japan could be described as underestimation of their result. but the japanese didn't -- most leaders could not have conceived of this plan of attack. so i think it was outlandish to do and pull off kanyway. roosevelt was expecting a minor attack on the philippines or thailand because he saw the troops mobilizing around taiwan and couldn't conceive of the attack on pearl harbor which was a dramatic turn of eventsfelt
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and the japanese themselves were surprised by that. so there as an underestimation of what he could do on both sides. and the military leaders, someone like the navy and general, when he looked at the plan he said we will not do it. it is too risky and we will not win the war so why risk so much. we will lose all of the battleships he said. >> it is hard to underestimate the human capacity for self-delusion. for example, there is a wonderful film made in japan in 1942, it came out in december 1942 and was commissioned by the japanese navy to celebrate pearl
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harbor. they rerate -- re-created -- the attack so skillfully that they use it in movies about the attack. and one of the movies shows the aircraft carriers on the way over and they listen in to the american radio and they hear jazz music. and someone conducting it dance and they say this is the americans. all they can do is dance and listen to this absurd music. once they get a taste of the real japanese martial spirit they will cave in. it is common mistake of the democries held at the time. and there were more idiotic
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misper exceptions as well. i think on the japanese side they thought the americans couldn't shoot because their noses were too big. and then the asians and their eyes not allowing them to shoot straight. >> i am sure japan of 1941 wasn't the topic of your breakfast talk but you will talk about it at dinner now. i want to thank you both for being with us. >> you are watching booktv. non-fiction authors and books every weekend on c-span 2.
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we will talk about salt, sugar and fat and investigate the world of processed foods. and carla kaplan will profile black women in the renaissance. and david finkel talks about the war on iraq and thanks people for their service. and the life of foster care. chris bean examines what life is like for children in the foster care system. and the science between the human digestive system in gulp.


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