Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Friday, August 06, 2010

Ban the Bums

The Obama Administration has, thankfully, declined to apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima on the 65th anniversary although they are sending an ambassador to the commemoration.  Warren Kozak (who I’m quoting from Bainbridge, as it’s under the subscription firewall) has a reminder of the context of the atomic bombing:

Since 1945, Japan’s narrative has centered almost exclusively on the atomic blasts and its role as victim—with short shrift given to the Japanese invasions of China, Manchuria, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indochina, Burma, New Guinea and, of course, the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese children have learned little about the Rape of Nanking or the fact that as many as 17 million Asians died at the hands of the Japanese in World War II—many in the most brutal ways imaginable.

This is an understatement.  Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, has publicly declared that the Rape of Nanking was a fraud and helped fund a denial film.  Very few American students get through school without hearing about Dresden or Hiroshima, about the Trail of Tears and smallpox blankets.  Are Japanese children similarly made aware of Nanking or Bataan?  This is the sort of thing I’d like an opinion on from people who’ve been there (like Contrarian).

Focusing on the atomic bombs paints the Japanese as victims, like other participants in World War II. They were not. The Japanese, like their German allies, were bent on global conquest and the destruction of other people who did not fit their bizarre racial theories. Japan’s continued focus on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been an understandable sore point for its Asian neighbors, who suffered greatly at its hands. ...

Young people today may have a hard time understanding that point because of the moral equivalence and political correctness that have taken over our society, our media and especially our universities. It teaches our children that all countries have good and bad elements within them—something so obvious that it’s trite. But this lesson has become so powerful that it is not out of the norm for young people today to believe that, while World War II was certainly horrible, all sides share some blame.

Bainbridge goes on to make the point that the bombing prevented an invasion that would have killed millions, ravaged the islands and probably left the Emperor deposed or dead.  But I would make a further point.  The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and the long-term devastation we witnessed afterward—is a big reason no atomic bomb has been used since.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/06/10 at 09:03 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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