September 22nd 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Water, water everywhere, but not for the farmers

EDITORIAL Power companies in clover after closures

CANBERRA OBSERVED Liberals in need of an internal peacemaker

ENERGY Solar, wind dependence will add $1300 to power bills, engineers, scientists warn

LIFE ISSUES Queensland life march busts media stereotypes

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS Unmask activists disguised as nature lovers

FOREIGN AFFAIRS China takes up challenge to imitate and overtake America

CHINA AND AUSTRALIA Paul Monk thunders at kowtowing former pollies

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Hawaii: Pearl of the Pacific

BOOK EXCERPT From Patrick J. Byrne's book, Transgender: One Shade of Grey

FREE SPEECH University of Western Australia blinks again

LIFE ISSUES Queensland law will open floodgates to sex-selective abortion


MUSIC Pop and singing: A certain antagonism

CINEMA Christopher Robin: The best something comes from nothing

BOOK REVIEW A so-called industry with only a dark side

BOOK REVIEW Population see-saw changes direction



EUTHANASIA No concoction can kill peacefully

Books promotion page

Hawaii: Pearl of the Pacific

by Jeffry Babb

News Weekly, September 22, 2018

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched 353 aircraft from six aircraft carriers in two waves against the United States’ base at Pearl Harbour.

The USS Arizona rests where it sank on December 7, 1941.

The Americans were taken completely by surprise. All eight battleships in Battleship Row were sunk or damaged, although all but the USS Arizona were raised and saw service later in the war. The Arizona is now a war cemetery.

The plan for a third wave attack against Pearl Harbour was abandoned. Marshall Admiral of the Navy Isoroka Yamamoto, who masterminded the attack, warned that the third attack was essential. As it was, the fuel storage tanks, which are still in use, the intelligence headquarters and the naval dockyard all survived. Also, while the attack achieved its aim of knocking out the heart of the Pacific fleet, the carriers were at sea on exercises and escaped the Japanese blow.

The day of the battleship was over. The tide of war turned when the U.S. Navy, commanded by Admiral Chester Nimitz, struck the Imperial Japanese Navy a moral blow at the Battle of Midway. The U.S. fleet engaged the Imperial Navy from June 4 to 7, 1942, sinking four aircraft carriers.

The Japanese had intended to capture Midway and use it as a jumping off point for further conquests in the Pacific. Although it is unlikely that Yamamoto described the Japanese actions as “awakening a sleeping giant”, it is true that the United States could replace its losses, while Japan could not. Among other things, the U.S. fleet had superior intelligence.

By looking at a map of the world, it is obvious why Hawaii was – and remains – central to the Pacific strategy of the United States. Honolulu Harbour is the major entrepot and trade centre for much of the Pacific. The name “Honolulu” means “sheltered harbour”. Pearl Harbour remains the most important naval base in the Pacific.

The USS Missouri, the last battleship constructed in the United States, lies at anchor as a memorial to “Valor in the Pacific”. Hundreds of people visit every day. The “Mighty Mo” saw action in World War II, Korea and the Gulf War. The Mighty Mo has nine 16-inch guns, each of which can throw a shell over 20 miles (32 kilometres). A good gun crew can have two shells in the air at once. The ship is best known for its role in the surrender of Japan to the Allies on September 2, 1945. We shall not see its like again.

Hawaii, until its annexation by the United States, was a monarchy. Honolulu has the only Royal Palace on U.S. soil. The U.S. government, aided by U.S. business interests, took control of the islands because it did not want Hawaii falling into hostile hands. In recent years, there has been some talk of reviving the monarchy but, as native Hawaiians now form only 5 per cent of the total population, this is unlikely to overly concern the U.S. government.

Hawaii was the 50th state, and the last to gain admission to the Union. The two largest ethnic groups are Japanese and Filipinos. Most of the population is of Asian background. The Polynesian background to Hawaii’s culture is influential. Polynesia, which means “many islands”, is well represented in Hawaiian culture and folklore.

It is worth speculating why the U.S. was caught out so badly at Pearl Harbour. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described the attack as a “day that will live in infamy forever”. It is known that the Japanese aircraft were detected on U.S. radar, but the junior grade officer on duty told the radar operators that they were “some of ours” and that they should ignore the blips.

In the broader perspective, the Japanese had been on the march in Asia. Japan occupied Manchuria in China’s northeast. The Kwangtung Army was a virtual law unto itself. In 1937, the Japanese manufactured the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. The Marco Polo Bridge is on the outskirts of Beijing. The Japanese then invaded China proper, resulting in a war of almost unparalleled horror that did not cease until Japan surrendered in 1945.

The United States and other powers responded with sanctions, particularly by restricting the supply of strategic materials such as petroleum and rubber. Japan responded with its Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.

If the Americans believed that they could impact the Japanese ability to wage war without provoking an aggressive military response, then they appeared to be naïve. Of course, the Pearl Harbour attack brought America into the war and in one of the strokes of folly for which he became notorious, Adolph Hitler declared war on the U.S. several days later without provocation.

Pearl Harbour is still the centre of U.S. naval operations in the Pacific. Hawaii depends on two things to make a living – the U.S. military, and tourists, many of whom are Japanese.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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