Especially when reading about anything you did not experience first hand. It is not that I recommend never reading historical accounts. A great deal can be learned from them since mankind rarely invents new ways to fail, we merely implement the failure in different ways. Nonetheless, always remember that any account you read in the press is going to be colored (tainted, spun, slanted--take your pick) by the author and the publisher. The same can be said doubly for an historical account. History is written by the victors to serve their own purposes and, of course, to make them look good. Since it is Pearl Harbor Day, that brings us to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese leader of the horrific and illegal raid on the peacetime American naval base in Hawaii.
Yamamoto was a fascinating man. He was the hero of the battle of Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War, long before he was the architect of the worst attack on American soil until 9/11. He was also the leading voice in Japan against going to war with the United States. But we won and we got to write the history. Don't get me wrong. He still killed over two thousand unsuspecting US servicemen in an unquestionably illegal, immoral and despicable act of military aggression. Had he not died by having his plane shot down by a P-38 while doing an inspection of the Solomon Islands in 1943, I have no doubt he would have been executed as a war criminal. Still, the fact that he lead the opposition to war with the US makes me think because that fact is rarely reported. So do yourself a favor and always be a skeptical paranoid. Even when reading my blog. Maybe especially so.