Infamy

December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’ve expressed my views many times in the past on foolishness of developing weapons as powerful as the atomic bomb. Japan was the first and so far the only nation to experience the horrors of nuclear warfare. The nuclear weapons of today are levels of magnitude more powerful, and everyone has them now. The next time they are used will probably spell the end of human civilization as we know it. Japan, thankfully, has learned the lesson. They are now a peaceful nation that wisely shuns nuclear proliferation.

The Japan of 1941 was a completely different animal. They were an empire hell-bent on domination, with one of the fiercest fighting forces that the world has ever seen. They were mostly unstoppable in their campaigns against their neighbors, like China. If Japan had launched a full-scale invasion of the United States, it would have made for one of the bloodiest wars that mankind would probably have ever known. We got a small taste of what was to come when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

The past is the past. We cannot change it, no matter how disturbing we find it. All we can do is attempt to learn from it. The game has changed. Open warfare among modern industrialized nations is simply unacceptable now. The weapons are far too powerful for there to be any “winner.” In an open war between any of today’s Superpowers, everyone loses.

The Stoic in me says that these things are out of my control, and I should not trouble myself with them. This is true. All that I can do as an individual is participate in activities that I think will make the world a better place, and withhold my participation in activities that will make it a worse one. If enough of us “little people” act in this manner, the powers that be will have a much more difficult time kicking off the apocalypse.

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