Sunday, April 14, 2013

Who bombed Pearl Harbor?

You'd be surprised at the answer given by many of your fellow Americans. (Especially the younger ones.) What freaks me out is the sheer passion with which they express their ignorance.

Back in the 1980s, a high school teacher told me that most of his students insisted that Russia was our main enemy during World War II. When the teacher tried to explain the truth, the students refused to believe him.
Bluto in Animal House rallied his fraternal brothers with this take: "When Germany bombed Pearl Harbor, did we quit? Hell, no!"

So a generation later, at least the kids are getting the right hemisphere. Progress! (?-- lol!)

And a chief reason for the decrepit state of the republic is further exposed.

I'm not sure that Jacob Garza (the first twit on the page when I clicked the link) is really an ignoramus, since his sentiments appear roughly identical to those expressed by my (Japanese) boss when I was living in Tokyo during Gulf War I:

That Saddam guy is pretty stupid - he's making the same dumb mistake we did.

Nowhere does young (presumably) Mr. Garza claim that the DPRK was responsible for Pearl Harbor - he just points out that they have failed to learn from it.

They're not all morons, Joseph - just most of them ;-)
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" ;)

Sorry if the link fails, but I lack the cyber-savvy to make links on Blogger's bare-bones comment system.
Back in the late 1980s, certain youngsters in the USSR used to enjoy reading Kim il-Sung when they were stoned.

Here's a press release from the North Korean press agency, issued 3 days ago:

Kim Il Sung and White Horse

Pyongyang, April 11 (KCNA) -- Displayed at the Korean Revolution Museum here is a picture of President Kim Il Sung on a white horse in the period of the anti-Japanese armed struggle.

The white horse, well-known as faithful horse, carried the President on its back to battlefields and through primeval forests for nearly two years. There were many stories about the horse's cleverness during the days.

In the battle to defend Xiaowangqing, called Machun battle in the history, the overcoat of the President commanding the battle caught fire. The flames could have enveloped him in an instant, but he did not notice it.

It was only when the horse began to run with the wind that he discovered the flames on his coat. He had no time to pull it off. At this critical moment, the horse slowed down in front of a snow-covered depression and then slid into it sideways, with its forelegs folded in. The President stumbled into the snow, and the fire on his coat was put out as he rolled over in it.

Other stories say that the white horse's foreleg tapped on the fallen tree and the sound woke the President up and that he was surprised to see tears trickling from the horse's eyes as it should have a premonition of parting to be used as draught horse for the people in the guerrilla zone.

The President in his reminiscences "With the Century" said: "There is an expression saying 'a faithful dog and a pet horse', but I would rather change the word order and say 'faithful horse and a pet dog.'"
Well, I was in High School in the 1980's, and I was fully informed about most aspects of World War II...including who are main enemy was and who bombed Pearl Harbor. I'm not certain that was due to my teachers or the large number of TV mini series that were produced in those days about WW II (dealing with Pearl Harbor, Ann Frank, etc.).
For the record: for boys at school in England in the 1970s, the enemy in play-war was always the Germans, and in the USSR it was also almost always the Germans, all through the big Soviet-US arms race. (The Soviet Far East may have been an exception here.) My guess would be that in England it's now some Muslims or other (that's among non-Muslims of course), and that in Russia, it's still the Germans. Poor old Germans.

Gus - out of interest, did the teachers say who declared war on whom, between the US and Germany?
B, no I don't recall. I of course know the answer, but couldn't tell you if they told me that back then. I assume so, but years of college after that (including history classes) and my own personal studies have made it difficult to remember exact details like that.

For what it's worth, the villains in my and my friends play battles were always Nazi's.......but that was more the result of Indiana Jones than of history lessons in school.
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