I am really glad that the media isn’t hyping the 70th anniversary the way I thought it would. That is, with a week of special programming about the attack, mixed in with tributes to our brave men and women of that era, sponsored by people who sell those DVDs and collectors items about World War II.
I bet it gets one mention at the end of the major newscasts tonight, and hopefully it’s framed in the context of things like Operation Tomodachi. If you are regular reader, you know that I want the United States and Japan to focus nowadays on things that are very much 21st century issues. The Pearl remembrances are important, of course, but I think the very old World War II generation has taken the drum beating about the 1940’s a bit too far. By ignoring other parts of modern history, you see how they have helped screw up things like the economy and these multiple wars against shadow enemies in the Mideast and South Asia.
(Only now are people beginning to talk about how government help to the Middle Class “made” America as much as winning World War II did. Where was this talk ten or twenty years ago?)
I appreciate that a generation which accomplished a lot wants to be proud of it. But it strikes me that nowadays some of it is, well, you know the saying, “the empty vase makes the most noise.” It’s just people who are living in the past, and they don’t have good ideas to contribute to contemporary problems.
This goes double, of course, for the people who are going to play Operation Tomodachi to extremes. They, in turn, still act like it’s the Cold War era, and “we need Japan as our ally in the Pacific!” And usually, that talk is trying to send you down a political side allie where you don’t get any relief from the true issues that Japan and America currently have between us as countries and people.
I hope the 70th can be spent thinking about what did happen, how history plays itself out, and how, in our constantly changing world, we can develop some strong and consistent threads among the many peoples of the world who want to live life in harmony.