SEARCH BLOG: WAR and JAPAN and ISLAM.
That marked the beginning of the Pacific war for the U.S. as World War II expanded into a vast northern hemisphere conflict in which over 50 million and perhaps close to 80 million people ultimately died.
Today that is a dying memory as most of the generation who fought during that time are in their 90s or older. Manufacturers from Japan and Germany have been welcomed into the U.S. and there are about 1.3 million Japanese Americans.
Ask a person what comes to mind when they hear the word "Japan" and you are likely to get "Toyota" or a reference to some electronics manufacturer. Few will respond with Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Americans don't like bad relationships and bad memories and quickly move on to establish better ones. That is a strength and a weakness. It is a strength because Americans don't waste time or energy pursuing destructive relationships after the fighting is over... probably because as winners they can afford to be generous. It is a weakness because they don't seem to understand multi-generational grudges that grind away at the human spirit and drag down whole cultures into irrational hatred and violence.
The 71 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor have cleansed the enmity between Americans and Japanese. That is a good thing. Unfortunately, in the Middle East, such cleansing has not happened and may not happen until another war of massive proportions occurs. Islamists are convinced of their own "Manifest Destiny" and the superiority of their beliefs to the extent that all who are not with them must be subjugated or destroyed.
It will be much more than 71 years before there is "forgive and forget" in the Middle East.