Death, destruction, and mercilessness do little justice in describing the horrible events that took place on December 7th, 1941. What Pearl Harbor fails to accurately depict is the complexity of the situation. The actual causes of the attack and also the long-term effects that the attack on Pearl Harbor had on the world are some aspects one doesn't see. Was the bombing of Pearl Harbor a success? Who benefited the most in the end? Scholars have long pondered these questions and with descriptions of the preceding events, the actual attack, and post attack events, one can form his/her own conclusion.
The path to problems between Japan and America started many years before the attack, in the 1930's when Japan tried to conquer all of China. This was partially successful, with Manchuria and all of Indochina falling to Japanese rule (Infamy). At the same time, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto felt it necessary to develop a powerful naval air force to combat its enemies since joining Nazi Germany and the Axis Alliance (Infamy).
America, alarmed by the imperialistic moves that Japan was making, decided to support China financially and militarily. America developed a program to develop China's power in the pacific. America, led by Franklin D. Roosevelt, placed an embargo on all aviation fuel, steel, scrap iron, and other raw materials to Japan. Then, a crucial event took place on August 17th, 1940; Lieutenant-Colonel Friedman (an American Cryptographer) breaks the secret "Japanese Purple Code (MAGIC)" (Essential Pearl Harbor). America could now decipher some secret messages being sent to and from Japan.
The Japanese government saw these acts on behalf of America, an Arsenal of Democracy, as a threat to Japan remaining an independent and surviving nation. Because their country lacks natural resources and had...