Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Anniversary

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the infamous event which catapulted trebucheted (fixed for Dr. B.) the U.S. into World War 2. Of course, the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy also inspired to United States' government to do something shameful. Well, there's also this, which is nothing to inspire pride:

The internment of the Japanese-Americans was an unfortunate example of bigotry, and Japanese-Americans rose above such bigotry to serve the U.S. with distinction. The book Yankee Samurai details the heroic service of Japanese-Americans in the Pacific theater, serving largely as translators. The book has a harrowing account of a young GI being lowered naked into an Okinawan cave to convince the people inside to surrender. Sadlynaught commenter pedestrian (in an epic, epic thread) suggested that Ito Hideaki play said GI).

Of course, parallels can be drawn to the conflict in which the U.S. is currently embroiled, to the extent that right wing pundits (notably the odious Michelle Malkin nee Manananggal (heh, Wak Wak)) defended internment, making a case for similar treatment of Muslim Americans. The "sneak attack" aspects of both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were remarked upon, and the unfortunate characterization of American citizens and resident aliens as a "Fifth Column" soon followed.

Yeah, remember Pearl Harbor, but learn from it. The people of Japan are now steadfast allies of the people of the United States. This is mostly due to the fact that our occupation of Japan post World War 2 was relatively restrained, and efforts were made to rebuild the Japanese economy (I imagine this was largely as a bulwark against Soviet expansion in the Pacific Rim). Yeah, soft power works. Unfortunately, we have recently tended to treat our allies worse than we used to treat our enemies.

To get your minds of Malkin and wingnuts, here's FDR's famous "Pearl Harbor" speech:


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

One of the better books I've read about WWII excerpted here.

Laura said...

I was never much of a history or war buff so I only know the basics of what went on.

I like how you stated that the people of Japan are now allies because of how the U.S. handled themselves post war. You're right, we could/should learn from that!

Great post. :)


M. Bouffant said...

Nice pictures, but never in a million yrs. could you have gotten me to listen to patriotchild.

I'm currently wading through this tome, which I bought 10 yrs. ago on the 60th anniv., & managed to hold on to for those 10 yrs. I am just now at the Pearl Harbor section. A day (or two) late yet again.