Imagine, for a moment, that you are a member of the Royal Navy. You are aboard a British ship steaming through the Pacific. The year is, say, circa 1943. Suddenly, like a swarm of bees, kamikazes descend from the clouds and strafe your ship and then, unexpectedly, several of them slam into it, thus turning their aircraft into crude suicide bombs. The wreckage is horrendous. Blood-stained twisted metal, bodies, and body parts litter the decks.
The captain comes over the speaker. In a stern voice, she reassures the crew that measures are being taken to prevent this from ever happening again: ships will no longer sail this route, planes will be outlawed, and, using the strongest deterrent of all, she calls the kamikazes lots of names. She concludes by saying, “Carry on business as usual. These cowards will not destroy our way of life.”
Of course, it does happen again. And again. And again. And yet again …
And your way of life is being steadily destroyed. The attacks don’t diminish even as your freedoms do. Each time, the captain, her officers, and the onboard news agencies say essentially the same thing: There is no connection between these kamikaze attacks and Imperial Japan—that is racist and is to be condemned in the strongest terms possible; kamikazes are not representative of emperor-worshiping cultures, they are a perversion of them; the captain is in close cooperation with the Department of the Navy to create yet more laws to prevent further attacks. Each time she finishes her speech with a rhetorical flourish: “We will win” or “United we stand” or similar.
Now, with this latest attack, the captain has decided to get really tough with the kamikazes. “Enough is enough!” Captain May declared. Uh, oh. She’s mad now! It seems the first time members of her crew were blown to bits, she didn’t take it very seriously. But now? Oh, you’d better watch out you cowardly kamikazes! She going to get you!
Meanwhile, emperor-worship continues unabated because, well, there is no logical connection between that religion and kamikazes.
Keep calm and carry on.
Image Credit: Flickr