Consider these summary statements by George Victor. And, by the way, George Victor is by no means a Roosevelt basher. It's the other way around. He greatly admires Roosevelt and entirely approves of the actions Roosevelt took to bring the United States into the war. So that's why I think he makes a good source for my purposes. You know he didn't set out to provide grist for my mill.
He has a very nice book out called The Pearl Harbor Myth, which I believe is completely honest and well done in its documentation. I'm going to read a long excerpt from that book by George Victor: "Roosevelt had already lead the United States into war with Germany in the spring of 1941; into a shooting war on a small scale. From then on, he gradually increased U.S. military participation. Japan's attack on December 7th enabled him to increase it further and to obtain a war declaration.
Pearl Harbor is more fully accounted for as the end of a long chain of events, with the U.S. contribution reflecting a strategy formulated after France fell in the spring of 1941. In the eyes of Roosevelt and his advisors, the measures taken early in 1941 justified a German declaration of war on the United States; a declaration that did not come, to their disappointment.
Roosevelt told his Ambassador to France, William Bullet, that U.S. entry into war with Germany was certain, but must wait for an incident, which he was confident the Germans would give us. Establishing a record in which the enemy fired the first shot was a theme that ran through Roosevelt's tactics.
He seems, eventually to have concluded, correctly as it turned out, that Japan would be easier to provoke into a major attack on the United States than Germany would be.
The claim that Japan attacked the United States without provocation was typical rhetoric. It worked because the public did not know that the administration had expected Japan to respond with war; to anti-Japanese measures it had taken in July 1941. Expecting to lose a war with the United States, and lose it disastrously, Japan's leaders had tried with growing desperation to negotiate. On this point, most historians had long agreed.
Meanwhile evidence has come out that Roosevelt and Hull persistently refused to negotiate. Japan offered compromises and concessions, which the United States countered with increasing demands. It was after learning of Japan's decision to go to war with the United States, if the talks "break down" that Roosevelt decided to break them off.
According to Attorney General, Francis Biddle, Roosevelt said he hoped for an incident in the Pacific to bring the United States into the European war." These facts, and numerous others that point in the same direction, are for the most part anything but new. Many of them have been available to the public since the 1940's. As early as 1953, anyone might have read a collection of heavily documented essays on various aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1930's and early 1940's, edited by Harry Elmer Barnes, that showed the numerous ways in which the U.S. government bore responsibility for the country's eventual engagement in World War II.
It showed, in short, that the Roosevelt administration wanted to get the country into the war and worked craftily, along various avenues, to ensure that sooner or later it would get in; preferably in a way that would unite public opinion behind the war, by making the United States appear to have been the victim of an aggressor's unprovoked attack.