"There will never be so good a time to stop the shipment of oil to Japan as we now have. . . . There might develop from embargoing of oil such a situation as would make it, not only possible but easy, to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia."
Harold Ickes to Franklin D. Roosevelt, 23 June 1941
"(b) It is generally believed that shutting off the American supply petroleum will lead promptly to an invasion of the Netherlands East Indies. While probable, this is not necessarily a sure immediate result. Japan doubtless knows that wells and machinery probably would be destroyed. If then engaged in war in Siberia, the necessary force for southward adventures might not be immediately available. Furthermore, Japan has oil stocks for about eighteen months' war operations. Export restrictions of oil by the United States should be accompanied by similar restrictions by the British and Dutch."
"(e) An embargo on exports will have an immediate severe psychological reaction in Japan against the United States. It is almost certain to intensify the determination of those now in power to continue their present course. Furthermore, it seems certain that, if Japan should then take military measures against the British and Dutch, she would also include military action against the Philippines, which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war. Whether or not such action will be taken immediately will doubtless depend on Japan's situation at that time with respect to Siberia."
Foreign relations of the United States. Diplomatic papers. 1941.V.4. p.839
Two months later an American gunboat, the Panay, was bombed in the Yangtse River in China in the heart of the Sino-Japanese war area. Japan immediately apologized and agreed to pay full damages and to punish the guilty officers. Had the President applied the Neutrality Act, as he was in duty-bound to do―this boat would not have been protecting American oil tankers delivering oil in the midst of two warring armies in China. The purpose of the Neutrality Act was to avoid precisely an incident like this. However, following the Panay incident, Mr. Hull began to churn up as much war spirit as possible and through the radio and the movies frantic efforts were made to whip up the anger of the American people.
The Roosevelt Myth. By John T. Flynn. PP.173-174
Rex and I tried to find the answer. On January 18th we spent hours with Roosevelt at the 65th Street house explaining, as a starter, why we felt it was a tragic mistake to underwrite the Hoover-Stimson policy in the Far East. Rex, always more fluent and excitable than I, elaborated the argument with all the clarity and passion of which he was capable.,I listened intently, trying to discover from F. D. R.'s reaction what had motivated him. We might as well have saved our breath. Roosevelt put an end to the discussion by looking up and recalling that his ancestors used to trade with China. HI have always had the deepest sympathy for the Chinese," he said. "How could you expect me not to go along with Stimson on Japan?"
After Seven Years. By Raymond Moley. PP.95
Matsuoka expressed his ardent desire to liquidate the war in China as soon as possible. He said that Chiang Kai-shek was relying upon American help and that the President was in a position to bring the Japanese-Chinese conflict to an end at any time on terms satisfactory to all concerned if he would use his influence in this direction with Chiang Kai-shek. When I asked him whether he had in mind terms which he was convinced would be entirely acceptable to Chiang Kai-shek and of which the President would approve, he said that he had recently sent instructions to Nomura to take up the subject with the President and to discuss with him the terms upon which the Japanese-Chinese war could be brought to an end. He said that the present was the time "for statesmen to take decisive action" and that "what matters are the big things and not the little ones" and expressed the view that the President has a splendid opportunity "to clear up the entire situation in the Far East" by discussing with Nomura the terms on which the war with China could be terminated.
He added that any clash between Japan and the United States could only benefit the Soviet Union and would unquestionably result in the "communization" of China and probably all of the continental Far East.
Foreign relations of the United States. Diplomatic papers. 1941.V.4. PP.921-923
Yeah America totally wasn't looking for war in WW2.
Korean war started because the US was protecting a criminal (Syngman Rhee)
Laotian Civil War, US didn't start it but still committed war crimes
Bay of Pigs Invasion, US started it to try and invade Cuba
Vietnam war, America staged gulf of Tonkin incident to get involved
Dominican Civil War, US was first international party to be involved in it
Libyan war, US attacked first
Invasion of Grenada, US attacked first
Tanker war, US attacked first and shot down a civilian plane
Invasion of Panana, US attacked first
Iraq no fly zone (also a war crime)
Invasion of Haiti
Invasion of Iraq (based on a false testimony)
Invasion of Syria
But yeah US didn't start most of them