When our country is currently shackled by two wars being fought against a shadowy enemy, it’s nice to have a miniseries that takes us back to the classic days of being allowed to be obligatorily racist against specific groups of people.
The Pacific, HBO’s ten-part miniseries about the Japanese theater of World War Two, harkens back to the good old days of international relations when white Christian boys could be as racist as they wanted without fear of politically correct ostracizing. Whether you miss calling anyone of Asian descent a Jap, Gook, Ricecake or Slanty-eyed Motherfucker, or you just pine for simpler times where you could take in an all-white game at Ebbets Field, The Pacific has finally met your need.
Watching The Pacific must be frustrating for present-day Marines, who have to deal with a whole assortment of minority groups amidst both the enemy and in their own ranks. How can a soldier today get his frustration across when he has to take into account the religions affiliation of the person who wants to blow his head off?
Their lives would be so much easier if the Marines could call the enemy Fez, Ahmed, Cabbie or Sand Y’know, but this would offend half the people in their platoon. So instead, they have to say that a Secular Sunni Arab from the Helmund Province is trying to blow their heads off.
This is why The Pacific satisfies demands for old school viewers. Not because the war was against a clearly-defined enemy with a specific goal of trying to force surrender, but because we could refer to the enemy as slanty-eyed Japs and nobody cared. Maybe if our wars today were against Towelheads and Cabbies instead of Sunnis and Afghans, the rest of our goals would fall in line.
The fault lies with our modern-day generals who have failed at examining history to solve our current day crisis. If they had taken more time to look at the Soviet Union’s failed invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, we could see that the fault lied in the Soviets’ efforts to extend the iron curtain, rather than make the curtain more racist. Clearly we lost the Vietnam War because our efforts coincided with a time of enlightenment and cultural sensitivity in America.
If we can reach further back in history, maybe The Pacific will help us learn that racism clearly wins wars and it’s the only way to put America back on top.