On this day, in 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the United States.
We reacted by kicking the shit out of them.
It wasn’t all a Frank Capra film. We made some little mistakes along the way, internment camps for Japanese and Italians, for example. But, for the most part, we went through the War with our ideals intact. In fact, WWII spurred us to be even better. We didn’t change who we were because some pussy-assed “Emperor” okayed an attack on us.
When we rolled into a place, they called us “liberators.”
That was when this country had courage and conviction. That was when “land of the free, and home of the brave” was the goddamned truth.
Never forget, right?
Today, we react to even imaginary enemies and threats with hang-wringing, the elimination of civil liberties, and we let abject flunkies do it to us. We invade countries for money and influence, with liberty be damned. Our “enemy” is ourselves, not some goat-fuckers in some shit-hole of a country thousands of miles away. Monsanto and the Department of Homeland Security have done more damage to us than every Mitsubishi Zero combined.
Happy Pearl Harbor day, land of the mewling cowards.
Go check your Facebook page or your Twitter feed – I’m sure that it is smeared with “NEVER FORGET.” I don’t care if we forget that the Japanese bombed us. In fact, fuck it, lets forget. Japan is our buddy now. They’re really sorry about all that shit, the same way we’re sorry that we nuked them. I don’t need to remember that Japan was a bunch of warmongering assholes a half a century ago.
What I want to “never forget” is that a half a century ago, we were a nation of bad asses that stood for something. What I want to “never forget” is not just that my grandfather went to war (and that’s a good story), wondering if he would ever come back, but that while he was at war, everyone back here pitched in too.
Taxes went up to pay for the war. We rationed to support the effort. Everyone pitched in, rich and poor. Everyone went to war, privileged or not.
If George W. Bush had said on September 12, 2001 that he was going to raise taxes to pay for the war he was about to launch, his best friends would have had him assassinated. If we instituted a draft, so that everyone in the country had to be part of these idiotic adventures in the Middle East, there would be riots. If any one of us, not already in the military, had to sacrifice one bit, you can bet we’d cut and run from Iraq and Afghanistan faster than you can say “Mitt Romney.” Our reaction to our last attack was to turn in on ourselves, and rip out our own guts and hearts.
So, never forget that on December 7, 1941, we all pulled together – militarily, financially, socially, to defeat the enemy, and we didn’t sell out our ideals to do it. We were Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
What a difference a half a century makes.
Any one of you who posts “never forget” or some other jingoism should remember that this is what we are now:
Those members of the “greatest generation” who are still alive should spit in our faces and kick our asses for what we’ve let America become, because we might remember the day, but we forgot who we are.