Mr. Moto

Claudia loves old Charlie Chan movies. I’m not such a fan of them. I remember an “informative” speech a classmate gave back in high school about Warner Oland and other American actors (Although Warner was a Swedish American) who played the Chinese detective. I sort of think I thought the character was a little too cartoony. I liked Mr. Moto.

Moto was an Imperial Japanese spy in a series of popular novels published before Pearl Harbor. If it hadn’t been for an emergency wake up a little past midnight I wouldn’t have checked out the Wiki post that gives a little history. It does answer a question I’ve always had about the series. Was it killed off by Pearl Harbor? I presumed it must have been because we became a furiously Japanese nation during the war. You can see some pretty disturbing Donald Duck cartoons of the Era where the Disney studios helped foment contempt for the little bucked teeth monsters.

I was wrong. The last of the series was written in 1950 five years after the war and during a period when the US Government was working double time to assure America that Japan was our friend again. And that is the point of this post which is being composed at 1:45 while I wait for some emergency laundry to be washed. Today’s friend can become tomorrow’s enemy can become the day after tomorrow’s friend again.

I skipped the latest GOP debate tonight. In fact I’d forgotten about it. I did read a recap and saw that Texas Governor Perry was arguing that we re-invade Iraq. Sheesh.

America paid little attention to Iran until after World War 2 and then its huge oil fields, like those in Saudi Arabia, took on some serious Cold War significance. They were of such importance that we helped overthrow a Democratically elected nationalist government that we regarded as unfriendly to our interests. Its something I’m grateful to Ron Paul for bringing up in the debates with the neocon Republicans.

From this betrayal of our exceptionalist call for democracy came the apocalyptical revolution that brought the Ayatollahs to power and the war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the gassing of the Kurds and the Invasion of Kuwait and the first Iraq War and the following Iraq War that the Texas Governor wants to turn into a third Iraq War and Rick Santorum wants to turn into a bombing of Iran.

Pardon me while I change laundry loads…….

OK now, where was I headed with this? Hmmm.

So before bed we watched one of the old Mr. Moto’s on netflix for live streaming. It was pretty dated but I still prefer Peter Lorre’s portrayal of a quirky super Japanese Agent to the fortune cookie wisdom of the American actors who portrayed Chan. Once again I wondered about how Moto faired in the US after we fought the Japanese. (And of course our relations with Japan alternated between friendly and ominous over the years) I was pleased to read that he was rehabilitiated for one more go.

I wish the Republican exceptionalists would be just a tad more exceptional and anticipate an age when we might once again be friends of Iran. Hey, I could almost imagine our Navy rescuing innocent Iranian fishermen from Somali pirates in an act of unplanned good will.