Sunday, October 12, 2008


I love when I am falling asleep at night to realize that I am thinking about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and then track back my thoughts to figure out how on earth I go to thinking about Pearl Harbor (in this case, Pearl Harbor, atomic bomb, Enola Gay, my dad, Michigan, joining the church).

Last night, I really was thinking about Pearl Harbor, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea WHY the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I mean, I know it was to make a statement about who was going to be the power in the Pacific, but what was really going on? Was it the U.S. shipping embargoes? Japanese invasion of South Korea? Someone in the military ruling who had a really bad migraine one day? And would and/or WHEN would the U.S. have decided to get involved in stopping Hitler's rampage in Europe IF Japan had not attacked?

History, it is said, is written by the winners. Living in a British military compound in Germany, I learned that they have a completely different view (i.e. history books, teaching) of what we call the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, WWI and WWII. Every country does it; it's how, perhaps, we keep our unity - "but since we were obviously correct...."

Then is history, at least so far, pride?

Anyone any ideas? Anyone except actual historians (I don't want to hear how I've got everything so far wrong).