Friday, December 7, 2007

The Second Cold War

Bumped up from last December 7. I couldn't let the day go unnoticed.


65 Today

It took them a moment to realize it. To realize they were under attack. What's going on? This can't be happening.

Let's not labor the obvious.

Two thousand four hundred three American personnel were killed in the attack by the Japanese Imperial military on the United States base at Pearl Harbor. One thousand one hundred seventy-seven sailors lost their lives on the USS Arizona; 334 survived the sinking of that battleship; only 34 are still alive. In the war of the following three and a half years, perhaps fifty million people lost their lives

The sunken hulk of the USS Arizona remains to this day as a monument of the sneak attack. Her main battery turrets were removed and emplaced as coastal defense guns. Oil still bleeds from the engines. Survivors, when they die, have their ashes placed within the ship's hull. When they pass through Pearl Harbor, ships of foreign navies -- including those of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force -- routinely salute her.

The current generation saw fit to remove every trace of the attack on 9/11.

Sixty five is retirement age. Which generation is it, though, that has put away that which ought to be remembered? Which generation retires from the field?


While I’m on the subject, I suppose I have a few more things to say. It is unnecessary to point out the parallels between Pearl Harbor and Nine Eleven. Undeclared sneak attacks. An alien and intolerant enemy. Etc.

Consider the outcome, though. Japan is our dear friend. It needn't have happened that way -- Japan could have gone Communist -- but it it our friend. The result of being crushed by a decent civilization is redemption. To be crushed by a cruel civilization is to be destroyed. I refer you to the Assyrians, who built pyramids of severed heads outside the gates of their vanquished foes. Submit or die. Well, who are the Assyrians today?

The Japanese are not to be trifled with. They've had the huge advantage of being a homogeneous people with an often entirely centralized government, and in any case with the enduring symbol of government, in the emperor. That's huge. Invaded and defeated and occupied only once. By us. The traditions of honor and right conduct are deep. There was an aberrant generation that lost its balance between honor and authority, which worked its atrocities on a world-class scale. But that doesn't reflect the Japanese character any more than the Nazi heresy represents Europe or the Germans. These things happen. I have a Japanese (American) acquaintance who said that some Koreans he knows had an uncle who had boiling oil poured down his nose by the WWII Japs. Hardly bushido, any more than death camps are Christian. See? Culture will not save us. Culture gives us flesh, but character holds us upright.

So what of Islam, late on the same road as the Nazis and Tojo's Japan? Will it take a total victory and an unconditional surrender to usher Islam into a relatively current century? Will it take ... not a Third or Fourth World War, but a Second Cold War to make an enemy into a friend? Problem is, Cold Wars don't make friends. The situation is unresolved, and Putin is calling us meddling "snot-noses" and is currently ramping up the Russian military.

The thing about cold wars is that it's generally foreigners who get killed. As a nationalist, I don't have a problem with that, if the alternative is Americans doing the dying. Better them than us. But from a purely pragmatic and disinterested view, World Wars are much cheaper in terms of lost lives, than Cold Wars. Cold Wars, after all, leave in power such beasts as Stalin, and Mao, and the various tinpot monsters, to do their killing by the scores of millions. So it's a dilemma. Dilemmas are meant to be taken by the horns. That's how heroes slay monsters. And the alternative is to stand by and let the monsters ravage the countryside.

We used to think Cold Wars were better. But the situation, as noted, is unresolved, and all it may have proven to be is a delaying tactic, shunting off onto another generation that which would best have been handled decades ago.

Nine Eleven?

Twelve Seven?I just think it's a little odd that people, nominal Americans, have a problem with responding to acts of war. You don't need to attack the right enemy. Attack the nearest one. That's what enemies are for. If they don't respect the fact that you have weapons, they will respect the fact that you use them. Iran, supposedly, stopped its nuclear program four years ago for just this reason, per the latest reports. Ha. Libya certainly did. North Korea didn't, but they know they can fool us. Do we know when we're being fooled? No. Because Iran isn't running 3000 nuclear centrifuges for no reason. If high school students can build atomic devices complete with everything except the uranium, uh, well, I suppose Iran doesn't really need to do any research at all. If they can't find any high school students to help them out, there's always good old reliable North Korea, a nuclear power.

My point? There are no Cold Wars. There are just wars that we fight, and wars that we get other people to fight for us. We only win the wars that we fight. Those other ones will have to be fought, eventually, by our children. This current Cold War on Terror -- well, it's being fought by our children. By my son. It should have been finished decades ago, in 1979. But we were preoccupied at the time, fighting a cold war.


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