Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nothing Funny Today


    Even though it's has been joined by other "Where Were You?" moments (e.g., the Kennedy Assassination, 9/11), the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor still resonates.  

    I was far too young to remember, of course (what the hell do you mean by "of course...yeah right!", wise guy?), but I have developed my own beliefs on its impact.  Unfortunately, many Americans seem to forget that World War II had been going on for over two years at that time.  Unspeakable acts of barbarity had already been committed by then.  Some of us know better, though, and don't look at things from a purely "black and white" perspective.  I don't think the United States necessarily were the guys in white hats dragged innocently into war.  There are shades of gray (and I don't mean dirty books) when you're talking about human beings.

    NOTE:  I'm proud of my country and could think of no other place in which to live.  If nothing else, all of my stuff is here.  I just don't think we have the market cornered on virtue.  

    For what it's worth (and without Googling anything, so if I get a fact wrong, you may direct your complaints to the Stratford, Connecticut School District)....

    I believe Franklin Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were going to attack somewhere, although I'm fairly certain he didn't think it would be Hawaii.  The U.S. embargo on oil and steel pushed the Japanese to the wall.  To me, only the foolish would think they would not attack.

   NOTE:  I'm not crazy.  The Japanese weren't choirboys, as evidenced by their rampages through the Pacific.

    I believe that the Philippines was viewed as a real possibility or any of the other little American protectorates.

    I believe that the administration viewed any possible attack would be quite small.  Maybe a few people would die, but that would give the U.S. the excuse to go to war.  Plus (conspiracy, perhaps?) this would also open the door to war with Hitler, as well.

    NOTE:  After the attack, Hitler declared war on the United States, thus relieving any machinations to go to with Germany.  That seemed kinda crazy to me.  But, hey, Germany had already invaded the Soviet Union by then.  Methinks Adolph got a little too big for his britches.

    I believe that, had the American aircraft carriers been in port, things would been different.

    I believe (and this may be an incendiary thought) that, even though Roosevelt thought the Japanese would attack, they couldn't possibly do any real damage.  Sure they laid a whuppin' on the Chinese and could probably handle the Filipinos, but, c'mon.  They were little yellow men who couldn't possibly harm the United States.  And cross the world's largest ocean to do it?  Forget about it.

    Incidentally, I'm not so sure the Japanese didn't think they were a special group of people, either.  There were those who thought if they gave the Americans a bloody nose, there was no way they'd fight.  They were soft white men, after all.  

    Maybe in the late 20th or early 21st centuries, perhaps, but it was still the 40's. 

    Racial hubris can be a deadly thing.

    Thousands of dead Americans and Japanese would agree.

    Yes, it's a day which lives in infamy.  But, sadly, it has a lot of company.

36 comments:

  1. Sometimes it's worth going away from the funny. There are a lot of thoughts about Pearl Harbour but much like every day mired in "thoughts", nothing can take away from how many people died and the ramifications of it.

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    1. I know. I feel fairly introspective today, not only because of what this day represents but because many of my countrymen blithely go about their business ignorant of history. For example, my town is having a Christmas tree lighting ceremony today.
      BTW (and apropos of nothing), my Navy squadron was actually on Ford Island during the Japanese attack. NOTE: I was not there.

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  2. Thank you for this post, friend.

    Bless you.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Countless thousands of innocents lost on all sides then and since. I hope we never forget.

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    2. Oh, what am I saying?
      MILLIONS.

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  3. You've made some valid points, definitely. I think there were quite a few people suffering from a cockiness and complacency they shouldn't have had, and that each of them bears part of the responsibility. Yes, it's one day of infamy among others, but each needs to be remembered so we may learn from history, and to honor those who have lost their lives.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. You are absolutely 100% correct. I've quoted Robert E. Lee before and I'll do it again (please note I'm paraphrasing-don't feel like looking up the exact quote-how lazy is that???). After the Battle of Fredricksburg (I believe), Lee said something like, "It's a good thing war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it."

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  4. Some things are way more important than funny.

    Well done.

    Hug!!

    Calerie

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  5. I wonder what they'll say about the wars currently going on right now in the history books of my grandchildren's grandchildren.

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    1. Whatever the victors want it to say, I'm afraid.

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  6. War isn't funny, and the leaders never seem to learn fro what has come before

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    1. I'll admit that I sometimes make light of things, but this I can't.

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  7. What you say.... I'm shocked. Absolutely shocked that you say a president would put us in harms way...tsk tsk. The only infamy was FDR's betrayal of the U.S. You, dear friend, are absolutely 100% correct in that Roosevelt knew that Japan would attack. He orchestrated the whole thing. What he really wanted was to join the war with Churchilll against Germany. England needed us as they just were not equiped to do it alone. FDR had been sending them arms and supplies but they needed the man power too. It wasn't our fight.... not with Germany nor with Japan at that time. The constitution states very clearly that we cannot declare war just because a country that is a friend has been attacked. 80 some % of the American people were against any war and he had promised the American people in his campaign he would never send their sons to war. Hitler wasn't going to attack us but the way to get into the German fight was through Japan. Japan had no resources of it's own and depended on U.S. for scrap metal and the sweet crude. He cut that off... but there is a long history from 1933 that I don't have time to go into.... first thing FDR did when elected, took us off the gold standard and created a fiat paper currency based on air, on nothing. Most countries went along with this popular paper money but Germany did not as they had backers of hard money based on gold. Fast-forward to pre-attack on P.H. FDR froze all Japanese and Chinese assets in the US and western hemisphere. Like the Reichstag, Japan held their own gold currancy but that was now frozen in the US. FDR chose Pearl Harbor because it was the perfect location for a surprise attack. Lots of warnings went out to FDR but he brushed them off. Adm Richardson Commander of the fleet in Pacific warned him AND for a year before...... the US had broken Japan's Code Purple so they knew everything, yes everything that was going on.
    Roosevelt duped the American people. Wanting to protect this beautiful country and our constitution, the people now clamored to go to war. Then he could go to war against Germany and his mission was accomplished. Killing, killin all those innocent American boys who DID NOT know that they were wasting their lives for greed of just a few wealthy men. It takes years to dig out the truth. Dying men want to tell the truth and others just want to set the records straight but eventually the truth always comes out..... that is if we live long enough.
    Never get me started ..... There is soooo much.

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    1. We are of like minds and you put it much more intelligently than I. Thank you!

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  8. We watched From Here To Eternity last night, and you've provided a much better back story than Ben Mankiewicz from Turner Classic Movies.

    Julie

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    1. But, I didn't have any make-out sessions in the surf. Or Ernest Borgnine.

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  9. Modern historians are starting to write about one long world war in the Twentieth Century lasting from 1914-1945 because all the seeds for the second war were planted in the first. I'm not cynical enough to believe Roosevelt knew about the attack or we would have been better prepared, even though it is an interesting coincidence none of our carriers were in Pearl that morning.

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    1. I'll bet, in decades to come, the concept of one long war (with an intermission for-what?-economic catastrophes) will gain traction. Yeah, funny about the carriers, huh? Though there were a lot of people who put all their eggs in the batteships (much like some people put all their eggs in aircraft carriers today).

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  10. well, we probably do not have all the facts cause generally, as we all know, the government knows a whole bunch of things better than the masses, so it could be that it was a pre-emptive strike.

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    1. I don't think we'll know a lot until well in the future. From what I know about the species, having looked at thousands of years in human history, I can't help being cynical.

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  11. Brilliant tribute to what was an absolute tragedy and that goes forgotten far too often. Some of your wittier lines made me smile a little Al but what happened is nothing but a serious issue.

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    1. I can't help being me sometimes, but I hope I paid sufficient respect.
      Unfortunately, there are countless examples of things like this in every country and in every age.

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  12. Great post, of course I was not born during the second world war but that doesn't stop me being interested in it and everything. War is terrible and so many innocent people die on all sides of the war.

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    1. Part of why I enjoy studying history is that it's the story of real people. One day, WE will become history. I just hope we do ourselves proud when all is said and done.

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  13. You have made some very valid points here Al. I personally wouldn't put it past our government to lie to it's people. They've done it before. So why shouldn't they have done it in 1941? And I love being an American. It's not about that. It's about cover ups and lies.

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    1. While I have no intention of turning in my passport, I've become cynical. They're ALL weasels: donkeys, elephants, and all the creatures in between.
      And have been for a couple hundred years.

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  14. All about the greed. They will lie to get in on it and be damned if all the other guys get killed along the way.

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    1. Money. Making evil go round and round for millennia.

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  15. I agree with you on the FDR knowing but not sure where. Many people make it out to be like FDR got a personal letter from Hirohito giving the time, day, location, and numbers of planes and did nothing.

    It was a "victory" for Japan, but any attack small or big would of been enough to go into WWII without much criticism.

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  16. We can learn a great deal from history, so thank you for reminding us, Al.
    As an Englishman I try not to forget the debt we owe to the armed forces, from all nations, who repelled the Nazis. Let's hope peace is maintained so as to avoid any further senseless loss of lives on a grand scale.

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  17. Interesting post...you raise some very good points! You only learn the "black and white" version in the history books.

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    1. And the history books are always written from the victors' perspective , too.

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