Rewriting infamy

It’s a little early and I haven’t guzzled my first mug of coffee yet, but something hit me as rather ironic this morning while I was searching the headlines, so I thought I’d share.

You see, on the 67th year following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, The Office of President Elect is saying he’ll be appointing a Japanese-American as the head of Veteran Affairs.

You’ll need to read the article to notice that this one is also a Clinton era bounce-back.


  1. I’d be interested to hear what Pearl Harbor survivors think about that appointment.

  2. Tinkerbell says:

    I’ve heard of war vets making peace with those who have fought on the other side in battles. I’ve read stories of brave young soldiers in battle looking the enemy in the eye and seeing another brave but scared kid like themselves staring back at them.

    So much of life is an accident of our birth: both birthplace and parents we do not choose, yet they set us on a path which determines many of the opportunies which may be offered in our life.

    Like Dan, I am also curious to know how vets may feel about the appointment. Possibly it will be much the same as the newly appointed Japanese-American feels about his heritage: Hopefully that peace may be found between races.

    It all comes down to content of the individual’s character.

  3. Son Number 2 says:

    I fail to see how this is ironic. Also, I did well on my first exam (Greek).

  4. Everyone has their critics, and good job!

    In my defense, I’ll use one of the Google definitions as provided by Princeton: characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is

    What’s expected is that we’ll remember the “infamy” of the attack by the Japanese forever and hold grudges accordingly. What actually is? We’ve moved on and now have a Japanese-American at the helm of the position set to protect those who suffered in that WWII battle.

  5. Did you know that during the internment of Japanese-Americans, mothers and fathers were not allowed to leave the camps to pick up the bodies of their sons who had died fighting for the United States in the 442nd Infantry Regiment? Of the 112,000 people detained, more than 70,000 were American citizens, and with the detained, were numerous children. Of the two court cases the Supreme Court heard regarding the constitutionality of executive order 9066, neither men, Hirabayashi nor Korematsu, were suspected of any disloyalty to the United States. In fact, neither men had ever even visited Japan. The decision was made simply in regards to whether the President had the constitutional authority to enforce this type of executive order.

    I am glad that the President Elect can distinguish the difference between Japanese-American citizens and the Japanese.

    Seeing this is ironic makes me question whether you even think Eric Shinseki should be a General in the United States Armed Forces. I do not find it incongruous at all. Two republican administrations, President Regan’s and H.W. Bush’s, allotted monetary compensation for the wrongs done by the U.S. government following Pearl Harbor.

    According to the description in the article, “Shinseki was decorated for his two combat tours in Vietnam, where he received a leg injury. He also headed US Army forces in Europe and headed a NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” That sounds like he was able to serve fine as an American, despite his Japanese heritage.

    I agree with you tinkerbell that it should come down to an individual’s character. (The Supreme Court also agreed with this principle n Ex parte Endo, which ensured that before being detained, there had to be proof he or she was not loyal.)

    The fact that we discuss race in this fashion (using it as a means to question a persons loyalty or American-ness”) just perpetuate the racial divides in our nation that are not only unconstitutional, but unfounded. It was Japan who attacked Pearl Harbor, not General Eric Shinseki. If you question the appointment, do it because of his experience and expertise, not his race.

  6. Tinkerbell says:

    I’m glad we seem to have healed in just a generation or two, and I am glad Cindy brought this up as otherwise we would not have known whether others thought like us. I agree it is “ironic” in that the new appointee happens to represent heritage of both sides of the Pearl Harbor attack. I think Cindy posed this in an appropriately neutral way… just as a question… and do not see that she questioned the appointment per se, just asked whether we had thoughts on this. We did!

  7. And that’s exactly the response that should have been written. Good job. I wanted someone to say exactly what you did. If I had tried, it would have been dismissed. (Oh, and I would not have done it nearly as well as you.)

    I don’t have a problem with the appointment. The Clinton retread is the real news to me. I certainly respect anyone’s service to the United States.

    Still, I found the coincidence of the date of the announcement a little unique.

  8. I just find it ironic that the guy who said that we would need hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq to stabilize the “situation” and was then ,promptly, discredited, shunned and dismissed by members of the current administration, is now heading up of the VA just a few years later.

    Good for him.

  9. Tinkerbell says:

    I agree the date is also ironic. Perhaps BO wanted to be sure he caught peoples’ attention?

    Yes, it appears Shinseki’s esitmate was more accurate than Rumsfeld’s and Wolfowitz’s. Please note that while overly optimistic and wrong, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were not “lying”. (This distinction bewteen being wrong and having intent to deceive refers to comments on another topic.) Please also note that Shinseki will be overseeing the soldiers’ benefits after-the-fact, not necessarily planning military strategy and deployment.

    I think a cool thing is that Shinseki served our country both in battle, AND several administrations, under BOTH parties.

    Hmmm… shall we end this topic on a positive note, now that we all seem to have found some agreement? That would be sweet!

  10. We need Gato back to stir crap up.

  11. Tinkerbell says:

    Dear Dan H,
    Since when is crap-stirring a virtue which one should wish to have more of in the world, much less one’s own life?

  12. J. Strupp says:

    No one said Rumsfeld was lying.

    I’m not entirely sure how much Rumsfeld and/or Wolfowitz knew about the adminstration’s intent on using bogus intelligence regarding african uranium purchases by the Iraqi government. My guess is that they were well informed of the adminstrations intentions to fabricate or “taylor” false CIA reports to fit their agenda but I don’t know of any public statements by either of these guys that they would be considered liars.

  13. @Son #2- Nice going

    @Cindy- Fun post and good food for thought.

    Re: Grudges and whether or not they should be held- From Buddy Hackett…”While you’re busy nursing a grudge the other guy is out dancing.”