THROUGH THE FIRE: The General

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By BILL WATANABE

War was declared!

America had to get ready to fight a mighty battle against an unknown but dangerous enemy, which was lurking over the ocean beyond their sights. The task of defeating this enemy and protecting our country was given to THE GENERAL.

Initial information about the enemy was scant and perhaps not reliable, so THE GENERAL simply hoped that the threat would just go away, miraculously. Having hope is a good thing – but not so much when having to fight a war.

And then it happened! The enemy invaded parts of the country and the invasion was on – but THE GENERAL told everyone that everything was under control and not to worry. In fact, he thought reports of a major invasion might be a hoax and so THE GENERAL did not mobilize his forces.

Some of THE GENERAL’S lieutenants, spread out in 50 different regions, began to sound the alarm that the enemy had come and they urged THE GENERAL to produce and deliver war supplies, ammunition, defensive equipment, and other material to fight this new and dangerous enemy; they told THE GENERAL the invader was causing major injuries and many were dying. THE GENERAL was taken by surprise and promised his lieutenants and the front-line infantry fighters they would get everything they need for battle.

Days passed by and the lieutenants desperately told THE GENERAL that they needed the promised war equipment and that the enemy was very powerful and growing stronger and the battle was being lost! THE GENERAL told the lieutenants they will have to fend for themselves and find their own battle gear. Without THE GENERAL’S help, the 50 lieutenants scrambled to find war equipment on their own and fight on the local war front.

Meanwhile, many victims were being taken by the enemy and the body count was growing by the thousands every day.

Some war advisors urged THE GENERAL to instruct civilians to stay out of harm’s way and not give the enemy a chance to attack them, so THE GENERAL reluctantly asked the people to stay home and out of sight. But the next day, THE GENERAL told the civilians to do the opposite, so there was confusion about what the lieutenants and the civilians were supposed to do.

People and the local military began competing amongst each other due to the mass confusion and lack of coordination and all the while, the enemy was attacking and devastating the economy.

THE GENERAL appeared on TV and told everyone that an amazing weapon to fight the enemy will soon be available and will save the day – but no one knew for sure when this amazing new weapon would appear and if it would actually work.

Meanwhile, the enemy continued its attack on the country and every day the body count grew and grew until well over one hundred thousand Americans had died.

THE GENERAL continued to tell the people on TV that he was doing an amazing job. THE GENERAL blamed others for the enemy’s onslaught – he blamed the previous General, he blamed the media, he blamed other branches of the military, he blamed other countries, he blamed the lack of international support – he pointed fingers in all different directions as he declared he takes no responsibility for what happened.

Shouldn’t THE GENERAL be replaced?

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Bill Watanabe writes from Silverlake near downtown Los Angeles and can be contacted at [email protected] Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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