A slight advantage in the Battle of the Coral Sea

When Americans see a tourist attraction in Australia, their automatic reaction (according to what Australians tell this columnist) is to tell the Aussies just where and how it has been done better in the USA.

There are exceptions to everything and when it comes to  the <a href =http://www.awm.gov.au/> Australian War Museum</a> there’s no contest that the Aussies have outdone America because there is nothing like it in the USA.

One of the most interesting items for Americans is the documentary about the <a href =http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/coralsea/coralsea.htm>Battle of the Coral Sea</a>. 

In books published in America (as the columnist recalls), the American success was attributed to luck and skill.  In the film shown in the museum in Canberra, the audience is told that the Americans had cracked the code being used by the Japanese military and knew what they were going to do before they started their response.

If the Americans had broken the code after the attack on Pearl Harbor, that means they did so while at war and were able to distribute listening abilities down to the combat level of operations in five months. 

If, however, the Americans had broken the code before the attack on Pearl Harbor, that tends to indicate that some high-level decisions were made which helped involve the United States in the World War by avoiding evasive action which could have diminished the effect of the “surprise” attack.

Americans can’t tell the Australians that the Yanks have done National War Museums better because a Google search for a National War Museum was inconclusive.  There were specialized war museums, but not a generic all inclusive National American War Museum .  A future column will be written urging that the United States should have such an entity, but for this column, we will just note that the Australian Museum’s reputation for scholarly research and the information that the Japanese code had been broken only five months after the attack on Pearl Harbor has disturbing important implications for Americans.  If a Democratic President could lie about not knowing that the Japanese were going to make a surprise attack, then surely a Republican President can tell a few innocuous fibs about Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, can’t he?

Franklin D. Roosevelt said:  “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”  He didn’t call it a “surprise attack.”

Now the disk jockey will play Willie Nelson’s song, <a href =http://www.actionext.com/names_w/willie_nelson_lyrics/old_age_and_treachery.html> Old Age and Treachery,” </a> and we will vanish.  Have a “what you don’t know, won’t hurt you” type week.

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