Mr. Ghoul, I think the Japanese started in China as far back as 1933. You are right as to why the US cut off her fuel supplies. You’re right that didn’t give the Japanese the right to attack in the minds of the US and according to their law. And that is probably the right position legally. However, how would the US react if her oil supply was threatened. Ahhhhh yes, if radical Islam swept across all the oil in the middle east and the world decided to shut of the oil to the US. How would the US react.
The only difference is the degree to which their arguments are valid. Both Japan in 1940 and the US in the last 5 years of done some bad stuff, broken internation law etc. Of course the rape of Nanking is orders of magnitude worse then anything the US has done since perhaps the Indian wars, even then it was spread out over centuries not weeks.
I believe the US had and has laws on her books not to sell weapons to countries at war that don’t involve the US. The US was not at war during WWII until Dec 8, 1941. Therefore it was illegal for the US to supply ANY weapons or war materials to any country at war during the period preceding Dec, 8 1941. The US doesn’t like syria selling weapons to Iraq now, why should they expect war time Germany to like the US selling weapons to England.
In fact, Germany had a legal right to stop and sink any ships entering the british home waters found to be carring war materials. But I digress on this law and history lesson.