Sunday, July 22, 2007
  Time capsule: Pangborn and the Kamikaze



In 1935, America was fully preoccupied with its own problems. FDR had made a bad start on fixing the Depression (National Recovery Administration), and his second try (WPA) hadn't quite taken hold yet. Europe was starting to boil over but hadn't yet exploded into open warfare. As I've detailed before, the isolationist mood was nearly universal until 1940.

Not quite universal, though. Here's an NBC commentary by Edwin Hill, December 1935, which sounds a lot like us modern hawk types. Hill complains that American diplomats are naive and innocent, always expecting other nations to behave decently, and always shocked when other nations behave like nations. "Good old Uncle Sam, always hopeful, always patient in the face of European skulduggery."

Hill also mentions a Congressional hearing in which the noted aviator Clyde Pangborn warned us about Japan's real intentions. "America is threatened by only one enemy, and that enemy is Japan. Japan has perfected man-operated aerial torpedoes in which the plane and the bomb are one, an instrument deadlier than any known weapon. Certain to bring death to the operator, yet thousands of Japanese have already volunteered for the honor of dying as pilots of these infernal modern weapons."

We had plenty of warning, just as we had warning of the Mohammedan version of the "man-operated torpedo".

There's one important difference, though. In 1941 FDR, learning from Churchill and from Canada, was cured of American naivete and decided to fight the war with total 'skulduggery' and nastiness; decided to get through the war quickly so that we could resume our natural decency. In 2007 George W. Vichy has learned nothing. He is still Shocked! Shocked! Shocked! that our enemies are not Episcopalian Gentlemen, and still cannot bring himself to fight effectually. His idiotic "long twilight struggle" is a guarantee of defeat, a guarantee that we will never be able to return to normalcy.


Listen to Edwin Hill.

= = = = =

Update 7/23: Now "good old hopeful Uncle Sam" is talking with the Persians. According to a report on Prince Walid News (aka Fox) just now, "US diplomats hope to get the Iranians to help stabilize Iraq, which is in Iran's best interests. Meanwhile, evidence mounts that Iran is responsible for helping to destabilize Iraq."

Aside from the basic idiocy that "stability" should be our goal, this is just silly and self-contradictory. In the first sentence Fox says that "stability" is in Iran's national interest, and in the second sentence we hear that Iran is helping to "destabilize" Iraq. Can't we understand that other nations always act in their own interest? Can't we learn something from this?

If we had any sense at all we'd understand that an "unstable" Iraq is in EVERYONE'S best interest, and we'd throw millions of weapons into the mess then stand back and watch the fun. THOSE ARE ARABS KILLING EACH OTHER. ARABS ARE OUR ENEMIES. IF THEY KILL EACH OTHER, IT SAVES US THE TROUBLE AND EXPENSE.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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