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Pearl Harbour after a Quarter of a Century
From Chapter 10 - "The final question"
We may well close the discussion of Pearl Harbor with reference to some basic considerations that relate to the historiography of the subject. The critics of the revisionist historians dealing with Pearl Harbor have violently criticized the latter for placing the responsibility for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor overwhelmingly on Roosevelt, They reveal thereby a strange lapse of logic. Actually, Roosevelt's success in producing a surprise attack was an immensely, even uniquely, adroit achievement in piloting an overwhelmingly pacifically-inclined country into the most extensive and destructive war of history without any threat to our safety through aggressive action from abroad.
These selfsame anti-revisionist critics, who so heatedly denounce Revisionists for revealing and underlining Roosevelt's responsibility, are the very ones who also vehemently contend that, as a fundamental moral imperative, we simply had to enter the second World War to preserve our national self-respect and promote the safety and preserve the civilized operations of the human race. Hence, Roosevelt's success in putting us into this war should appear to them to be greatly to his credit as a statesman – "a good officer", as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. has described him in this connection. Elementary logic would make it seem clear that the anti-revisionist writers should be grateful to Revisionists for having demonstrated Roosevelt's responsibility for this great and benign achievement far more definitively and clearly than the anti-revisionists have ever done.
By denying his responsibility for what is to interventionists a superlative act of humanitarian statesmanship the anti-revisionists are depriving him of the credit due him for his allegedly comprehensive services to mankind.
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