One of the many time sinks (so to speak) aboard ship is a series of lectures on a wide variety of topics, usually (but not invariably) having something to do with the places that we're visiting. Just got back from one of the most interesting I've ever seen, a fellow named Donald A. Gibbs, who spoke about Pearl Harbor. He made a very compelling case that not only did F.D.R. know about Pearl Harbor, but he actually engineered the attack in order to drum up support for entering WW2 among the American public, which before P.H. opposed getting involved in a foreign war by an overwhelming margin. Haven't been able to find any writeup about this on the web, and there's no way I could reproduce enough of the details to do it justice so I'm not even going to try. But he convinced me, and I like to think I have a pretty good bogometer.
Which, of course, opens up the disturbing question of whether 9/11 was engineered (or at least not allowed) by the Bush administration in order to drum up support for attacking Iraq. I had been of the opinion that there is no way that that a secret of such magnitude could be successfully kept, and so the 9/11 truthers are almost certainly wrong (actually, I would have phrased that in more categorical terms before today) but this lecture has be rethinking that position. During the Q&A I asked Gibbs if he thought it was possible that Bush had done with 9/11 the same thing that F.D.R. did with P.H. in order to drum up support for attacking Iraq, and he rather pointedly refused to answer on the grounds that it was his role only to present historical facts and not to draw interpretations from them. I pressed him on this, asking if there were any historical facts that he was aware of that would allow one to categorically rule out such a parallel and he again demurred.
Makes you wonder.