From: Pittston, Pennsyltucky
By Michael The Libertarian
A date that will live in infamy.
Seventy-six years ago a swarm of Japanese zeros launched from their carriers with only one desire: wipe out the American Pacific fleet (PacFlt).
This would accomplish two goals.
First, obviously, it would reduce the U.S.'s ability to defend itself from Japanese attack to territories in the South Pacific.
Second, it would mean the United States would have to reinforce the PacFlt with ships and resources from the Atlantic fleet (AtFlt.) which would greatly reduce our ability to make war against the Nazis on that front.
It was a move that was meant to defeat us as swiftly as possible because the Nazis knew they didn't want us entering into the war in Europe. In fact, the pacifist movement not with-standing, had we not been sucker-punched by Hirohito and Hideki Tojo, we might have entered into the war in Europe earlier, saving a few more lives than we did.
It's interesting to note: the architect of the battle plan at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto, was not eager to attack the U.S. and was horrified to find out the declaration of war was delivered late, turning his “master stroke” into nothing more than what he considered a dishonorable exercise.
In "The Reluctant Admiral", Hiroyuki Agawa gives a quotation from Admiral Yamamoto to Ogata Taketora on January 9, 1942, which stated: "A military man can scarcely pride himself on having 'smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack."
It's difficult not to believe that since Japan was allied with Germany, this foolhardy strategy might have been hatched in Berlin; rather than Tokyo. Hitler was not known for his military prowess and a good portion of Japanese commanders realized that if the slightest thing went wrong with the plan and the PacFlt wasn't wiped out, Japan would have found themselves in a perilous situation much earlier on than eventually ensued.
When I was a wee scad and lived in New York, I lived next-door to a Japanese family. I won't give their last name, but I think I once read that its commonality in Japan puts it on a par with “Johnson” here, in the U.S.
This was a proud family. The father, “Ken” had been born in Japan. His wife, “Sally” had been born in the U.S. They met in an internment camp in Oklahoma.
In this country's history, certainly slavery and how we treated Africans is our biggest sinful shame, but the treatment of the Japanese, during this period in history, has to rank a close second (arguably, but this is “Pearl Harbor Day” so give me a break).
I was lucky enough to be able to hear first-hand stories from Ken and Sally about the state of this country from the perspective of people who weren't in the military, but who were still affected in a major way by WWII. Some of the stories I heard were down-right awful, but none were horrifying. We're not talking Nazi Concentration Camps, here, but neither are we talking a weekend in the Borscht Belt.
What has always amazed me was that thirty years after the fact, these people were staunch supporters of the U.S. and even defended the treatment they received, while not defending the actions that brought them to the camp.
I mention this because, while I might despise the tactics of December 7, 1941, when I think about Ken and Sally and their children (one of whom was a dear friend of mine), I find my anger and rhetoric are natural tempered.
When it comes to issues surrounding our war in the Pacific, neither side can claim to have walked with the angels after that horrible day in Hawai'i.
So, on a day like today, as I remember the honored dead, laying on the floor of Pearl Harbor, I also tend to give a thought to Ken and Sally and thousands like them who paid a price for looking a certain way, but also went on to live the American dream.
A Stone in My Shoe
Screen captures (and pissing on shadows) still RULE! Ya feel me?
"For that which I love, I will do horrible things"