This morning I was playing Trivia Crack because my wife likes me to play with her even though my win rate against her is almost two out of three, and there was a question about nuclear weapons. Specifically, it asked where the first use of nuclear weapons against civilians was, and because I didn’t take the time to read it thoroughly, I got it wrong and put the United States (the country who used the nukes). But after that I thought about that event and felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and nationalistic shame.
I know, I know. War, Pearl Harbor. Reasons.
But in my mind it’s as if a puzzle piece clicked into place and I could see the whole of US history as a blood-soaked landscape of atrocity. Punctuated, occasionally, by heroic victories for justice, but the dominant color is red by a large margin. The same is likely true for most of the rest of human existence, but I am more familiar with the US since that’s the history I’ve been fed.
Some men just want to watch the world burn, but eventually the flames will wake the rest. I wonder how different the future could be if this understanding of history was taught in schools: a cautionary tale, with students invited to consider how things could have been done differently.