Essay 8: The history of war in the Pacific may be starting to repeat itself

When I was three or so years old, I can remember sailors and chief petty officers who had finished fighting in WW2 in the Pacific, piling into our home in Huntington Park, California, ten miles from the Long Beach naval shipyards.

There was a lot of drinking and dancing and eating and laughing, but absolutely no talking of the war they had won. Victory without bragging – that’s not what humans usually do. Years later my father-in-law once talked about the Pacific War. “The first time I heard the big guns go off, I was scared the rest of the war,” he said. Again no talk of victory, just a frightened young hillbilly working himself up to chief petty officer keeping the engines running.

But the truth is, history does tend to repeat itself every fifty to seventy years or so. The reason is humans repeat behaviors. Humans repeat behaviors because humans are basically the same. Humans have built in genetic codes that facilitate repetitive behavior. There are a set number of behaviors we repeat generation after generation. For example:

Since the end of WW2, in 1945 – We are starting to repeat a serious cycle of history with Japan’s close neighbor China.

Frank Fannin, US Navy, WWII, USS Iowa

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan bombed the island of Hawaii (Pearl Harbor). Days later, America declared war on Japan.

Today, China is threatening to invade the island of Taiwan which if happens will draw America into another possible world war.

Forget the causes, fix your mind instead on the results. America went to war with Japan over an incident over an island. Today, the possibility exists that America will go to war with China over an island. Two wars, two islands in the same ocean. History is possibly starting to repeat itself again.

I have sixteen grandchildren, six of whom are sixteen to twenty six; they are more or less within the age range of my father, uncle, and father-in-law, who, to repeat with the greatest clarity, fought in the most terrible war in human history. Over fifty million people were killed in that war. War is evil, and is a uniquely dark activity carried on solely by humans.

I do not want my sixteen grandchildren caught up in another war like that of their grandfathers went through at approximately the same age as those six grandchildren are presently. To have a war repeated on these sixteen beautiful children today would be an ugly irony too cruel to contemplate.

For the present, however, it does not appear that China has a strong enough motivation to engage America in a direct war. Other than having more warships than the U.S. Navy, China lags behind America in all other powerful military weaponry. Plus, is the wanton destruction of China’s peacetime economy on par with trying to invade Taiwan? The answer is NO. Nevertheless, Taiwan is forever in the minds of many Chinese. Rightfully so, it’s a strategic piece of real estate.

I will be engaged every single day to ascertain information about China’s movement toward aggressive acts. What’s more I will do the same thing if my own country skulks toward war.