Friday, December 7, 2012
71 Years Ago Today, Pearl Harbor
All I know about these photos is that they were taken in Hawaii in 1942. I've written about this before, and it's time to bring it up again. My father believed that the great depression and World War 2 were good for the average American. Not the New Deal or the money of a booming war economy, but how the disruption of those two great catastrophes forced Americans to move from their small towns or the old neighborhood, to go out and mix with people not like them, to go out into a greater world. I doubt the men in these photos would have ever seen Hawaii if it hadn't been for the war. Many would loose their lives, and that doesn't make for the better life that my father talked about, but for those who survived....it's one of those things that's impossible to prove, but I tend to agree with my father.
Now, to move on to a bit about Pearl Harbor. This week, I had a rather one sided discussion with a couple of young men about Pearl Harbor. One sided because I felt that what I was hearing was so irrational that it was pointless to reply. And yes, what they told me is something that many Americans believe. It was that old saw of the Franklin Roosevelt conspiracy to get America into World War 2. Once again I had someone tell me that FDR new all about the coming attack and let it happen so that he could get a reluctant America into a pointless war for personal gain. In the past I used to point out that a failed attack by the Japanese would have been just as effective in getting us into the war. That if Roosevelt knew in advance, surely we would have set a trap for the Japanese fleet. In the end though, I got tired of people telling me that I was an idiot. Didn't I know that FDR and his friends made more money rebuilding the fleet? That's why he wanted all of our ships sunk. So he could get rich. Sadly, that's not the stupidest thing I've heard from one of my fellow citizens about the war. That honor goes to the young man who told me that we and our German allies beat the Russians and the Japanese. When I tried to tell him who were actually our allies and which countries were our enemies, I was told that that was my opinion, and that no person's opinion was any more right than any other person's opinion. And this is what we fought for.