It has long been part of historical speculation that the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was not quite such a surprise to the Americans as thought at the time. It is not a respectable theory, but a common one. But there is no room for such speculation in Japan, where the chief of staff of Japan’s air force, General Toshio Tamogami, has been fired for writing an essay suggesting Japan had been ensnared in WWII and had not waged wars of aggression. Not that it was our sensibilities they were protecting. “The quick dismissal seemed intended to head off criticism from China, South Korea and other Asian nations that have reacted angrily to previous Japanese denials of its militarist past,” reports The New York Times.