well, it’s…

Pearl Harbor Day. 65 years since the US entered World War Two.

i’ve long been ambivalent about this day because of the strange blindness of the American people to the Japanese threat, but i’m not anymore.

while the facts that the Japanese were the aggressors and the US was caught unaware are indisputable, hindsight calls American attitudes both before and after December 7, 1941 into question.

Japan had invaded China in 1937, Germany and the Soviet Union had crushed Poland in 1939. France had fallen in June of 1940. Britain had been under aerial seige from July of that same year, and in June 1941 Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. it seems that it would have been obvious the world was in flames.

but the American people were surprised by the Japanese attack, even though tensions between the US and Imperial Japan had been strained for some time prior to December 1941.

it is this surprise that confused me. when some claim the US knew for a fact the Japanese attack was coming, and the darkness in Europe seemed unstoppable, how could our citizens have been so blind?

which leads to today.

we are engaged in an amorphous war on several fronts, fighting an enemy that we can barely identify, all because of another “sneak” attack on our home soil.

i wasn’t particularly surprised on September 11. sad, yes. but not surprised. but so many of the American people were; content in their illusory security, worried only about the next paycheck or what was going to happen in the World Series. now, i can understand the mania that gripped the greatest generation in the winter of 1941.

and that saddens me the most today; that we haven’t learned from our mistakes and lack of foresight. in hindsight, the events leading to 9/11 were obvious, just as those leading to Pearl Harbor were. i pray, but have little hope, that the American people don’t let this happen again.

quote of the day:

” ‘I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow’s pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I’m gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?’

‘Now that’s the first thing you’ve said right.’

‘I don’t even know what I’m talking about!’ ” – Bud Abbott and Lou Costello


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