Tuesday, April 11, 2006

1952

Over the weekend I was helping a friend sort through lots of old stuff he had recently acquired. While looking through this stuff, I ran across a book with the title 1952. It was basically a yearbook, summarizing the events from around the world during the year 1952. As I was flipping through the pages, I ran across the chapter on France and a photograph of French protesters holding signs saying "American Monsters". The caption stated that these Frenchmen were protesting atrocities committed by U.S. troops fighting in Korea under the U.N. banner.

I continued to look through the book and found many curious details and events that history has forgotten. I turned to the chapter on Japan. I found another photograph with a caption of "Yankee Go Home!" Roughly a hundred-thousand Japanese protesters were rioting against American occupiers.

1952 was seven years after the end of World War Two. That is seven years after thousands Americans sacrificed there lives for the liberation of France, yet the French were, even then, looking for the opportunity to bash America. Ironically, they were bashing the America for the actions they took while liberating another country, South Korea.

Seven years after the war, our enemy, Japan, was fighting an American occupation. It was an occupation focused on rebuilding the Japanese infrastructure and government, so that they would go on to be the peaceful, prosperous, innovative ally that they are today.

When people say history repeats itself they are not wrong. In 1952 the French hated us. In 1952, while trying to rebuild a country in the aftermath of a war, its populous hated us. None-the-less we kept on task and finished the job for the betterment of the world in both cases discussed here. I will think about this every time I here some lament about how the whole world is against us. I will say to myself, "It is not the first time and it won't be the last."
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