The Council has Spoken 032610


Don’t know much about history
Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

When I announced the submissions, I emphasized the issues of the day, but this week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s Tom Hanks shows stunning ignorance when he claims Americans were engaged in racial genocide against the Japanese during WWII is less about contemporary issues (though it is a critique of the contemporary mindset among a certain subset of the population) than it is about history.

There was a man who prayed at my parents’ synagogue. When he was younger he was a pilot. It was he and thousands of young men who were prepared to attack the Japanese homeland. The assumption was that a very large percentage of the invasion force would not survive. So he viewed the atomic bombing of Hirhoshima and Nagasaki, which brought about the Japanese surrender, as a life saver.

Soldiers, though, are supposed to be at risk. So when I read Bookworm’s post one sentence really stood out.

Had the atomic bomb not dropped when it did, my mother would have starved to death.

Bookworm’s mother was a civilian at the mercy of a brutal military occupation. Read the whole thing, it is personal, affecting, educational and deeply disturbing.

But if the winning council entry is about correcting past history, this week’s non-council post (also submitted by Bookworm), Abe Greenwald’s Outsmarting History, is about understanding one’s own place in history. Or as council member Wolf Howling put it:

Let me ask, if Obama’s goal was to reduce us from a superpower status and reduce our standard of living, what would he be doing any differently?

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions

Congratulations to all the Winners!