Thursday, December 7, 2017

How Quickly We Forget



Seventy-six years, an hour, and about forty minutes ago, the first of about 300 Japanese Zeroes, Vals, and Kates swooped in over Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Territory of Hawaii, and several other military installations and air bases on the island, and with the work of a few hours rendered over 2,000 sailors, soldiers, and Marines into compost for military cemeteries, while crippling the US Pacific Fleet.


I'm not diminishing what happened, nor getting all up about it, as it's all been done, in rich detail, about 70 times before now. And if you're inclined, or it's new to you, you should read up on it. If you ever get the chance, take the tour, and visit both Arizona and Missouri. If only because it's seldom that the place the war began and ended sit a hundred yards or so apart, let alone because of the company of the heroes in whose eternal presence you'll walk.


A shiny young 17-year-old Seaman Apprentice then is a ripe old 93-year-old now, and probably all but a handful, perhaps almost single digits, of any combatants present on any side are long dead and buried. Even kids living in Honolulu who witnessed the attack and can remember anything at all would be into their 80s today.

Sometime, visit the national military cemetery in the Punchbowl, the Arlington of the Pacific, to gain an appreciation of what price our people have paid to be a world power through three conflicts on that side of the world - so far.


Paradise always has a hidden price tag, and this one is far more than most people would ever imagine.

If you can't visit, ever, at least do the cinematic history: see a flick about that day.

Japan was soundly thrashed, and we're nominally friends now. The only Mitsubishis they send our way now get great gas mileage.

Nonetheless, the country remains wholly ignorant of not only the original sacrifices of the honored departed, but the lessons it should have taught us, a lesson which bears fruit unto this instant.

Once again, like it's 1940 all over again, we have the weakest, most inept, hollow, incapable, and underwhelmingly weak land, sea, and air forces of any time since that day.

Once again, we've let a pipsqueak nation from the region get to a position of being able to threaten our interests and our national safety, largely through disinterest and pure chicken-shitted short-sightedness in our nominal leadership.

And once again, we've forgotten the proper way to deal with intransigent militant religious fanatics, by explaining our side of the argument to them by the kiloton, using the White Ball Of Enlightenment.

As a result, the likelihood - not possibility, but overwhelmingly near-certainty - is that we'll be forced to re-learn every last one of those lessons again, in the near future, and experientially, not by a simple audit of the prior course materials.

Mark my words: because of our national policy of head-up-the-ass stupidity and a national memory shorter than the presidency of William Henry Harrison, we'll end up having to surge up a massive war machine, rebuild a massive naval fleet, re-learn large-scale amphibious assault and island-hopping tactics, get involved in another land war in Asia, and pop nukes on cities to get certain peoples' attention, and settle the argument. All over again.

Can there be anything so foolish as the nation that would get itself into the same predicaments over and over?

6 comments:

MMinLamesa said...

Dropping nukes on "cities" in N Korea is pointless. These cities, which hardly qualify as such, are almost wholly blacked out at night and the loss of them will confirm to the populace that the propaganda the regime has been pumping out for the last 60 years was true. We bombed them in the 50s, killing over 15% of the civilian population and destroying virtually everything.

I can only hope that our military has identified launch sites, command & control centers, underground nuke labs & facilities, artillery emplacements and government offices and is prepared to destroy them ASAP once it starts.

Dropping nukes on cities, real cities in China is also pointless as they will respond in kind.

You have a much better military mind than I but I also don't see the need for a land war in N Korea. Once Un is gone and that should be a head of the list goal, we're into Mike Tyson territory when he said everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

George True said...

Well, about three generations have gone by since then, none of whom were taught any of these hard learned lessons. So they (we) will have to learn them all over again the hard way, just like the 'Greatest Generation' had to. In the same way that our country sold Japan the iron and steel they used to build up their navy in the 1930's, so did our country under Bill Clinton give nuclear technology to the Norks, and sell our ballistic missile guidance technology to the ChiComs who then transferred it to the Norks. For that bit of treason alone, Bill and Hill by all rights ought to end up bullet riddled and hanging upside down in the public square just like Il Duce and his mistress.

Aesop said...

@George
I'm old-school: if they deserve a firing squad, I vote for flamethrowers.

But given my druthers, I'm a fan of drawing and quartering, by the numbers.
Good enough for William Wallace, good enough for the Clinton Family Crime Syndicate.

@MM
I don't see us needing to nuke the Norks - yet.
Mecca and Medina, OTOH, are far more likely, because certain people don't understand that when we say "Whoa!", we mean "WHOA!" and turning the Kabba into modern sculpture is the only way to finally get their attention.

loren said...

MM,
Haven't you heard? The Saudis are our and Israel's buddies now. Can't be laying down green glass all over the Kingdom can we?
Well maybe a little.
As to the Norks: Carpet bomb the fuck out of them with D5's It's a small place. One Trident sub should do it.

Old Grafton said...

Never Forget.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your recommendation to visit the Punchbowl Cemetery...an amazing and powerful place to visit.