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Infamy Indeed!
5/25/01

FDR called December 7, 1941, "a date that will live in infamy." But catch Disney's rendition of Pearl Harbor in Japan, and you might conclude otherwise. Fearful of offending far-east audiences -- which contributed 20% to Titanic's massive take -- Disney chiefs cut a closing speech denouncing the cowardly raid that destroyed half our Pacific fleet.

"The filmmakers made a conscious decision to keep it very neutral," the Navy's project officer told the Washington Times. "We were very sensitive to Japan." So sensitive in fact that the dive bombers who decimated our fleet are, according to Newsweek, portrayed as "noble warriors."

Now, it's standard Disney to shellac Snow White with "happily ever after" gloss. It's another thing entirely to reduce a raid that took 2,400 American lives to a ride off into the sunset. But such is the hallmark of a new corporate class for whom profit is king and patriotism is démodé. For them, loyalty lives at the bottom line, and national allegiance merely impedes the drive to go global.

Meet the new masters of the old American powerhouses. Anheuser-Busch proclaims, "While our corporate headquarters remain in St. Louis, we are a global company." At Dow Chemical, CEO Carl A. Gerstacker dreams of "establishing a world headquarters…on truly neutral ground… beholden to no nation." Union Carbide agrees, "It is not proper for an international corporation to put the welfare of any country in which it does business above that of any other." Even America Online's Steve Case recently told stockholders that AOL had to start thinking less like an American company and more like a global company. The days of Engine Charlie's "What's good for America is good for GM" are long gone.

This Memorial Day, the self-styled "world citizens" would do well to remember that the sailors who went down with their ships that fateful Sunday morning did not die to make the world safe for consumption. Their watchwords were duty, honor, country - our country - and the tribute we owe those entombed on the Pacific floor isn't a revisionist blockbuster, but a resolve to do right by the America they died to save.

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