So today is December 7th, or as we call it in some areas, “Pearl Harbor Day”. For those of you not in the know, that is the day when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii, and got the United States into World War II. Of course, the fact that the Japanese ambassador had already delivered a declaration of war previously to that helped out a lot.
These days, 69 years later, we are mostly friends with the Japanese. In other words, we are friends, have normal diplomatic relations, trade relations, and people move back and forth between the two countries fairly regularly, either working or as tourists. We’ve been able to get over it, or forgive them, or sell out, or whatever each person wants to fell is the issue. This is a country that attacked us without provocations, fought a brutal war with us, tortured and murdered our prisoners, had two nuclear bombs dropped on them by us, were occupied by them, and yet we’ve each managed to forgive the other and become friends.
Hell, we’re even friends with the French, so pretty much anything is possible. So this got me to thinking about other countries we’ve had ‘issues’ with, and what our relationship with them is, and what the outlook is:
Canada --- we tried to invade them during the Revolution and the War of 1812. Neither was successful, and we let it go at that. Now we have the largest undefended border in the world, and even though we aren’t best friends, we’re at least drinking buddies and everything is pretty normal.
Mexico --- lots of history and bad feeling here, but we have normal relations with them. Kind of two neighbors pissing and moaning over the back yard fence about whose turn it is to trim the communal tree, but friendly nonetheless. Of course, a large portion of Americans claim citizenship on both sides of the border, so it behooves us to get along. Mexico is the black sheep uncle, and we're the white collar relative who never knows how to handle things.
Cuba --- I really hope Castro had something to do with Kennedy’s assassination, because there really isn’t any reason to be this pissed off at them. They weren’t the ones who tried to launch missiles at us, even though they were going to allow it. Nothing will ever change until Fidel is gone, and maybe even a few more years to get rid of the old guard. But as soon as they Cold War Hawks are gone for both countries, things will open up and we’ll be fine. And Havana will get an expansion team. Cuba is the kid from Rushmore, and we're the guys from Breaking Away.
Vietnam --- gave us the only whooping we’ve ever had, but some pretty good movies also. Not that that is a reason to be friends, but we kind of are. My father and uncle are both Vietnam vets, and they don’t have any issues. We both seem to have forgiven the other, and political philosophies seems to be the only drawback to true friendship. This is the work buddy you got into a bar fight with over some silly argument, didn’t speak to for months, and now you’re both tiptoeing around the issue in order to get along again.
Russia --- no more Cold War, no more reason to be enemies. This is just an adversarial; I’m the big dog in the schoolyard kind of relationship. The only reason we can’t be real friends is because we aren’t allowed to be. There has to be two polar opposites in world politics, and even though there is no real animosity, there is no real friendship either. We’re both more worried about China than each other. This is the jock and the greaser competing for the foreign exchange student.
Germany --- we were never really made at Germany. It was the genocidal assholes that we really didn’t like, but we were mostly fine with the Germans. Germans like Americans, Americans like Germans, and everything is fine. There has never been any real problems. We like their beer and women, and they like to visit Disneyland. Germany is Stiffler, and we’re trying to bone Stiffler’s mom.
England/United Kingdom --- no real issue here. They pretend to like us, and we pretend to care. We beat them twice, and now they’re our best friends. The two leading English speaking countries in the world, and we work together to get things done, even though we pick and snipe at each other all the time. Its an extreme rivalry, but with friendship. This is the big brother and the little brother running the family business together; with the big brother keeping the books while the little brother handles sales.
Italy --- yeah, we actually fought Italy during the war, even though most high school students don’t know it. But no one cares about this anymore. It’s the land of vacations, hot girls, and guys in dresses. We all want to visit, but don’t really have a clue about what goes on there. We get along fine, but in a cautious, don’t get too close way. Italy is the hustler cousin who always want to borrow money.
That’s the list for now. I’m sure there are other countries out there, but I’m not really going to go more in-depth. Feel free to add your list. Not much to any of this, of course, but it was kind of interesting. At least to me.