Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holding onto Pearl Harbor

Well, I don't know what to be more mad about -- Pearl Harbor or the fact that Japan has upstaged Scottish whiskys as the new number one?  If this is true, this is a "Peat Harbor."  I have always been partial to the lslay whiskys myself.  I even own two square feet of land at the Laphroaig distillery, thanks to a promotional a few years back, although I haven't gotten a chance to plant my flag there yet.  Next thing you know the Japanese will be trying to shape a Bourbon into their own.  Not my Maker's Mark!

It seems that after more than 70 years there isn't much in the way of hard feelings left.  Japan is now one of our closest allies, despite having usurped us in everything from electronics to whiskys.  Can anyone remember the last television made in America?  I'll give you a hint.

Yet, no trip to Hawaii is complete without a visit to the site of the USS Arizona.  There have been all kinds of speculation surrounding the tragic event.  The most popular is that FDR was warned and didn't say anything because he needed a reason for the US to enter the war.  Congress had yet to give him that authority, despite two years of pitched battle in Europe.  This is similar to the conspiracy theories surrounding the 911 attack, which indicates a lack of imagination on the part of conspiracy buffs.  Whatever the reason, Japan paid a heavy price for that act, losing the war and being the testing ground for two nuclear warheads, which for many Japanese is a similar date that has lived in infamy.

My personal feeling is that it is better not to remember these dates as it only evokes bad memories, like the time the US rounded up Japanese-Americans and placed them in internment camps, presumably for their own safety.  This is odd, because there were not similar German or Italian-American camps, although similar bad feelings emerged in the wake of the war.  Conversely, there were all those awful Japanese prisoner of war camps, and the ethnic cleansing that the Japanese carried out in China, as if they could ever wipe the Chinese from the face of the map.  Such memories end up leaving a pretty bad taste in the mouth.

Anyway, I will have to try this Yamazaki whisky and get back to you on it.


  1. What’s remarkable is how quickly Germany and Japan after suffering defeat at the hands of the Allied powers became successful democracies and allies. Each had its prior history as militant aggressors that posed an ever present menace to its neighbors. The ordeal of total war and the awful destruction it brought down on them powerfully illustrated the hideous end that such a course can lead to. Neither had the will to resume national policies that might lead to a repeat. It was time to try a different way.

    For the United States, it became a success story to use for a model in future conflicts such as Iraq. Now the US is forced to rethink that strategy. As it does so, World War II looms ever larger in the pages of history as a unique event that powerful nations must not stumble into ever again.


  2. Both Germany and Japan went through extensive reconstruction programs, something we haven't done in Afghanistan and Iraq. If we had spent more money in rebuilding the infrastructure of these two countries I think we would have seen far more progress over the last 10 years. It seems we were more interested in making these countries bases of operation for our perpetual "war on terror."