I noticed a report that the United States will be stationing troops in Australia…once again. Anyone that has read the history of World War Two knows that MacArthur hid out in Brisbane after fleeing the Philippines. Anyone stained with him had a very nice life, compared to those on ships, Pacific islands, or the jungles of Asia. General Stilwell, who received far less glory, lived a less comfortable life dealing with Chiang Kai-Shek.
Anyway, I recall an Australian friend telling me what his countrymen thought of their American allies. He had not been born at the time, so the phrase must have imbedded itself into the culture. He said that Australians considered Americans to be “over-paid, over-sexed, and over-here”.
Wars never end; the shooting might—I repeat, might—stop, but battles continue with words, intrigue, and slights.
English television programming would be gutted without repeated stories of past wars. Although friendship with Germany is mentioned in reports on membership in the European Union, citizens are not allowed to forget what they did in 1914 (when the cousins squabbled) or 1940 (even if the friendship of the future king with the German dictator is covered up). And, militarism is not allowed to die or even fade, as seen in the “royal” family traipsing around in uniforms (even the women). What would the English do without a war drum to beat. Recent reports claim that the prime minister wants NATO to send troops to Ukraine, despite the fact that this country is not a member of the alliance. This guy must not have read history (or watched local television) of World War Two (or One). Perhaps, he is posturing, as did his predecessor, to impress the United States, where the cons (short for neo-con, but also for criminal) are beating the same old drums.
Clauswitz wrote that war is policy by other means. Nowadays, policy is war by any means. After all, the laws of capitalism demand that the sales weapons and munitions must continue unabated. And, self-proclaimed statesmen must posture from the safety of their clubs and offices far removed from danger.
Here is another case of truth being stranger than fiction. Who would have thought that the the root cause of Japanese Naval success at Pear Harbor was the character of one English aristocrat. And, if anyone doubts the “it’s all about the money”, here is another example. Nations will always give priority to arms sales over national security. This was all revealed in a fascinating program on BBC called the The Fall of Singapore: The Great Betrayal.
After World War !, the English developed the first aircraft carrier. When the Japanese wanted to inspect this new weapon, the military rejected all requests. But, the government allowed a civilian team to sell technology. This came back to bite them at the outset of WWII, because the Japanese used this in the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Singapore. Of course, English arrogance played a role. They believed that the Japanese, because the were not good cavalrymen, could not be good airmen.
This is not a case of shooting yourself in the foot: it’s a case of shooting yourself in your colony and providing the bullet to shoot those with which you supposedly have a “special relationship”. The United States has some Englishmen to thank for Pearl Harbor. Without them, the Japanese could never have developed carrier-based aircraft, naval pilots, or aircraft carriers. British officers provided the intelligence and know-how, which ensured success of the attack at Pearl Harbor, the fall of Singapore, and ultimate suffering of many Englishmen.
It is surprising to learn that two Englishmen changed the course of history, but providing secret information to a foreign government. What is more surprising--and shocking-- is that the English government knew about their acts, but did nothing to stop them. I do not like to use the word unbelievable, because few things are. This story is believable, because governments are made up of people, and people can be fools. The English have proven to be a particular type of fool, because they foolishly cow to aristocrats. It seems that the aristocracy has priority over national security. Such folks can be proud that an Englishmen was responsible for the fact that England lost its dominance in Asia...and the world.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.