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Old 06-08-2012, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
11,213 posts, read 7,283,682 times
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As long as we are remembering to "pound" the Japanese with the same enthusiasm with which we pound the Germans, let us not forget to pound Americans for their treatment of the native tribes, the Australians for their treatment of the Aborigines, the Turks for the Armenians, Great Britain for their treatment of the Irish, the Hindus, the Zulus, the Arabs and Caribbean Sea islanders. We also need to pound the Spanish for their treatment of new world tribes, the Russians for their treatment of Poles, Ukrainians, Georgians, Latvians, etc. We keep on rolling and make sure that we pound the Comanches for their treatment of the tribes which they displaced in the American SW, the Sioux for their displacement of tribes in the American NW and of course the Aztecs for their conquest and enslavement of the tribes in Central America. And of course we have a big ol' tub o' blame to splash around on everyone who had anything to do with the African slave trade.

At what point do we let any of this go and decide to base our present day judgments of people on the attitudes and behavior of.....the present day people? Anyone old enough to have been an adult participant in Nazi or Japanese outrages, is now either dead or will be dead within the next decade. Why exactly do we need to "pound" today's Japanese for the crimes carried out three generations ago? What is the precise time period which needs to pass before today's Japanese are placed on the same footing as today's Americans with regard to the treatment of the Indians? You know, the "Yeah, that was a shame, a real crime, but whaddya gonna do about it now?" attitude most of us have.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:41 AM
Status: "The Union forever! Down with the traitors." (set 19 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolefan34 View Post
The cold war is sort of what I was getting at by using the word "Commies'. My point was that we did not like Communists, so we did not care as much about the atrocities that occurred to Communists vs. the atrocities that occurred to Jews and Europeans in general. We also did not care much about Soviet atrocities for many of the same reasons.
The US was heavily involved in China during the war and the country was not "communist" during WW2, far from it. China was still deeply embroiled in the Chinese Civil War at the time and the nationalist and communist forces barely worked together to resist the Japanese invasion. It was not until 1949 that the communist forces prevailed over the nationalist forces (which were supported by the US) that China became communist.

Through the war in China though, we can begin to see US maneuvering to use Japan as a shield against the expansion of communism. From Truman's memoirs:

Quote:
It was perfectly clear to us that if we told the Japanese to lay down their arms immediately and march to the seaboard, the entire country would be taken over by the Communists. We therefore had to take the unusual step of using the enemy as a garrison until we could airlift Chinese National troops to South China and send Marines to guard the seaports".

Basically, even as Japan collapsed and surrendered, we were using their troops in China to resist Mao's forces from taking over areas of the country.

Also, I find it rather ironic that you think the US cared about atrocities to Europeans and Jews more then about atrocities committed against Asians and Communists. Here's a startling fact for you. The US didn't care about any of them. The US cared about securing its position in the post war world. People wanted "justice" to be done against the losers for their crimes. However, there are countless numbers of Nazi war criminals that were never prosecuted or given nothing more then a slap on the wrist because these men were useful to the US and western allies in the post war world. I'm not talking about men like von Braun with casual links to what went on, but men like Manstein who ordered his troops to assist the SS in killing Jews in his command areas, going so far as to dismiss subordinates who protested. Men like Kalus Barbie who were recruited by the OSS to work for the US. A little info on Klaus Barbie:

Quote:
He established his headquarters at the Hôtel Terminus in Lyon. Evidence suggests that he personally tortured prisoners: men, women, and children alike[2], by breaking extremities, using electroshock, and sexually abusing them, including with dogs, among other methods. He became known as the "Butcher of Lyon".[3]

Historians estimate that Barbie was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 14,000 people. [4][5] He arrested and tortured Jean Moulin, one of the highest-ranking members of the French Resistance and his most prominent victim.

In April 1944, Barbie ordered the deportation to Auschwitz of a group of 44 Jewish children from an orphanage at Izieu. After his operations in Lyon, he rejoined the SIPO-SD of Lyon in Bruyeres-in-Vosges, where he led a massacre in Rehaupal in September 1944.
Look at what that man did and you want to tell me, the US gave a crap about atrocities? Do you know who we exectuted for war crimes? The people who weren't of any use.

Quote:
By "We", yes I was referring to America. I don't know much about how the rest of the world felt. I know that America was the primary country administering punishments at the conclusion of WW2. Europe was in shambles and in no position to dictate anything. The Soviets did not care much about atrocities. Stalin was willing to massacre 20 million of his own people, so I doubt he cared about war crime tribunals.
The Soviets cared very much about atrocities and tribunals. In fact very early in the war the Soviets formed an entire unit dedicated to the collection of evidence to use in later trials that were going to be held to punish the Germans who committed them. The Soviet idea was to try in sham courts and the execute roughly 50,000-100,000 German staff officers and senior Nazi's.

Churchill early in the war had advocated a policy of summary execution of senior Nazi's. No trials, just take them out and shoot them. He later relented and agreed that trials should be held to prosecute those involved. He was deadset against the Soviet idea of punishing "soldiers who fought for their country" and was also against executions for political purposes. Basically Churchill's idea was, bring me the people who committed the atrocities and we will try them where the crimes were committed, no large scale trial.

FDR was originally more in Churchill's camp, though he wanted no summary executions. However, by the end of the war and after personally seeing the destruction that happened in Russia, he was much more inline with Stalin's thinking on the matter and even opined that he hoped "Marshal Stalin would once again propose a toast to the execution of 50,000 officers of the German Army".

Overall, from virtually the beginning all of the Allied powers had been planning what to do with the Nazi's and Japanese when the war was over.

While the Soviets certainly committed atrocities against their own people and against Poles and Germans during the war, no one was in a position to make them atone for their crimes. There were no clean hands after WW2 on any side and everyone had committed atrocities in the name of victory or vengeance. Once you get past the idea that there was some sort of moral high ground or imperative governing the post war world, you will quickly realize it was all about jockeying for power and position.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:44 AM
Status: "The Union forever! Down with the traitors." (set 19 days ago)
 
13,669 posts, read 17,522,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
As long as we are remembering to "pound" the Japanese with the same enthusiasm with which we pound the Germans, let us not forget to pound Americans for their treatment of the native tribes, the Australians for their treatment of the Aborigines, the Turks for the Armenians, Great Britain for their treatment of the Irish, the Hindus, the Zulus, the Arabs and Caribbean Sea islanders. We also need to pound the Spanish for their treatment of new world tribes, the Russians for their treatment of Poles, Ukrainians, Georgians, Latvians, etc. We keep on rolling and make sure that we pound the Comanches for their treatment of the tribes which they displaced in the American SW, the Sioux for their displacement of tribes in the American NW and of course the Aztecs for their conquest and enslavement of the tribes in Central America. And of course we have a big ol' tub o' blame to splash around on everyone who had anything to do with the African slave trade.

At what point do we let any of this go and decide to base our present day judgments of people on the attitudes and behavior of.....the present day people? Anyone old enough to have been an adult participant in Nazi or Japanese outrages, is now either dead or will be dead within the next decade. Why exactly do we need to "pound" today's Japanese for the crimes carried out three generations ago? What is the precise time period which needs to pass before today's Japanese are placed on the same footing as today's Americans with regard to the treatment of the Indians? You know, the "Yeah, that was a shame, a real crime, but whaddya gonna do about it now?" attitude most of us have.
Excellent point. I tend to agree with you, there is only so much atoning that can be done for the sins of ones father. In the case of the Japanese, I don't think anyone wants to hold modern Japanese accountable for what happened, but I think people would like to see a genuine acknowledgement and acceptance of what occurred. For the most part the Japanese position has been to ignore or deny what occurred outside of a handful of insistences. I think that is ultimately the difference between some of the cases you raised in your post and this one.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
11,213 posts, read 7,283,682 times
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I don't think anyone wants to hold modern Japanese accountable for what happened, but I think people would like to see a genuine acknowledgement and acceptance of what occurred. For the most part the Japanese position has been to ignore or deny what occurred outside of a handful of insistences. I think that is ultimately the difference between some of the cases you raised in your post and this one.
I'm not certain I can reconcile the statement that no one wants to hold modern Japanese people accountable with the demand that these same modern day Japanese people must issue an apology.

And isn't an ex post facto apology a rather valueless act? "We are sorry for what a bunch of people over whom we had no control, did to a bunch of other people?" Do the children born of the members of the Manson Family need to apologize for the acts of their parents? If one of them should say "Frankly, I don"t feel in any manner responsible for their behavior, I wasn't even born yet.", would we claim this person is in denial and refusing to acknowlege responsibility?
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:33 AM
Status: "The Union forever! Down with the traitors." (set 19 days ago)
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I'm not certain I can reconcile the statement that no one wants to hold modern Japanese people accountable with the demand that these same modern day Japanese people must issue an apology.

And isn't an ex post facto apology a rather valueless act? "We are sorry for what a bunch of people over whom we had no control, did to a bunch of other people?" Do the children born of the members of the Manson Family need to apologize for the acts of their parents? If one of them should say "Frankly, I don"t feel in any manner responsible for their behavior, I wasn't even born yet.", would we claim this person is in denial and refusing to acknowlege responsibility?
There is a little bit of a difference between a family or individual and an entire nation. National responsibility or guilt tends to transcend those kinds of things. In the case of the Japanese we also have the fact that the emperor was retained as the symbolic leader of the nation, so even though there is a "different" nation now, it still has continuity with the one it replaced.

I suppose the root, for me, really gets back to one of acknowledgement. There are quite vocal and powerful forces in Japan that deny the events even happened. There is scant coverage, if any at all, given to it in their history books. Would we not roundly criticize an American for denying that despicable acts were committed by the US against Native Americans? Do we not criticize Turkey for not acknowledging the Armenian Genocide?

While an apology would ultimately be hollow, it would serve as an indication that the Japanese acknowledge that these things happened. Do I think they need to pay reparations and atone for their crimes or make denying them a crime, no. However, ceasing the denial of what occurred at an official level would go a long way to addressing the criticisms.

People want to "force" the Japanese to acknowledge and remind them of what happened precisely because they don't seem inclined to do it themselves.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:43 AM
 
25,248 posts, read 27,352,041 times
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Well, we firebombed and nuked their cities. We humiliated their proud army and navy. We were the first nation in history to occupy them and totally transformed their society from a militant one barely out of the bushido period to a largely pacifist one. Exactly how much more did we need to do?
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,197 posts, read 7,725,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Is wanton slaughter and destruction, not wanton slaughter and destruction regardless if it is done by gas or bayonet or if it impacts 1,000 or 1 million? Is one "justification" for slaughter better then another? That is what you are proposing Yeledaf. That the Japanese attitude was reprehensible, but not as reprehensible as the German one. Does the wording of the philosophy that justifies placing one group of people above another to justify the slaughter of "inferiors" really matter? If we can "justify" to an extent Japanese actions based on their holding onto the "cruder aspects of bushido" why then does that mean that Germans are not equally justified in their belief that certain races were inferior? Were both not essentially a "state religion" of sorts? Are you perhaps condemning the Germans more because they "should have known better"?
Well said. No matter the method or reason, mass slaughter is mass slaughter. The way Hitler eleminated most of his victurms is notable since it was an integrated part of German industry, but if they'd dug pits and lined up their victums in mass graves and just shot them as they started out it would be no less horrible. If some 'group' or 'inferior' is expendable and destroyed like garbage then the wrongness is the same no matter the numbers.

Remember the slipprey sloop reference in the trek movie Insurection? Picard wants to know if its 600 or 6,000, etc that are force moved, when does it become wrong? One of the most simple and plain statements that numbers are trumped by intent.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,197 posts, read 7,725,420 times
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, we firebombed and nuked their cities. We humiliated their proud army and navy. We were the first nation in history to occupy them and totally transformed their society from a militant one barely out of the bushido period to a largely pacifist one. Exactly how much more did we need to do?
I think this is a different matter. No matter that it was horrible for the Japanese, those were acts of war. Just as Pearl Harbor was an act of war. We don't wish them to apologise for that. Military acts during the course of a war are one thing. The deliberate murder of masses of civilians is not an act of war. It is an act of brutality against humanity. And the killing and starvation, slave labor and abuse of POW's because they could because they were inferior is not an act of war. These are acts against humanity. I wouldn't take some 20 year old off the street of Tokyo and say they are personally to blame. But as a *nation* what is asked is a clear admission of past guilt. That crimes were committed. And an apology which takes responsibility.

Americans have acknowledged that their ancestors did horrible things to native tribes. We can't go back and undo it but have as a nation accepted that it was done. That is what is asked of Japan.

As for their county being rebuilt, they were lucky. I'm sure a lot of vets would have done it differently. We LEARNED from the past. Everyone won. It does not seem excessive for modern Japan to simply accept that the nation of Japan had done the unacceptable. If you can't then in some way its still acceptable within the tradition.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, we firebombed and nuked their cities. We humiliated their proud army and navy. We were the first nation in history to occupy them and totally transformed their society from a militant one barely out of the bushido period to a largely pacifist one. Exactly how much more did we need to do?
As Nightbird indicated, these were acts of war - they were the terrible components of what is known as "total war". But we did not start that war, and Japan's (and Germany's) attrocities were, in contrast, acts performed to surrendored nations, forces, and individuals, in other words - done in time of peace. There was no strategic or tactical wartime sense or purpose in what they did, and no comparison can be made.

What we probably needed to do after the war concluded was held more Japanese responsible for war crimes. War crimes trials were held of course, but they sort of fizzled away. Specifically, the Japanese royal family including the emporer himself should have been held accountable. One of the emporer's immediate family, for instance, was a commander during the Nanking attrocities. He should have had his neck stretched for sure, and perhaps the Emperer himself should have faced that sentence. Perhaps they should have dropped him off in Shanghai and had the Chinese citizens deal with him.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:41 AM
Status: "The Union forever! Down with the traitors." (set 19 days ago)
 
13,669 posts, read 17,522,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, we firebombed and nuked their cities. We humiliated their proud army and navy. We were the first nation in history to occupy them and totally transformed their society from a militant one barely out of the bushido period to a largely pacifist one. Exactly how much more did we need to do?
"We" did the same to the Germans as well. How would you feel if members of the Bundesrat openly stated that the Holocaust never happened? How would you feel if the German government purposefully blocked the attempts of ordinary Germans and professors to bring the truth to light? How would you feel if German textbooks never contained anything but a passing mention of what happened?

The denials and moves to rewrite history are also not things that happened in the distant past. The Japanese LDP, which is one of the most powerful political parties in Japan (and held the Prime Ministership for decades) has made it an art form and virtually from the end of active American government of Japan. The US originally rewrote the textbooks that were used and included all of the details about WW2. Once the US influence ended the LDP went about a campaign to rewrite history.

This website sums it up extensively, but I will post a few snippets:
Japan's refusal to acknowledge its war guilt and atrocities

All of these quotes and statements are proven and known fact and not exaggerated or done to prove anything, other then the consistent efforts of the Japanese government under LDP leadership to recast the role Japan played in WW2:

Quote:
The Pacific War was a war of liberation.
Nagano Shigeto, Japan's Justice Minister (1994).

The Pacific War was a war to liberate colonised Asia.
This resolution was moved in the Japanese Parliament (Diet) in 1995 by 221 members of Japan's dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).


Sound familiar? How would we feel if the Germanss taught that WW2 was all about anschluss and reuniting the German people.

Quote:
Japan was forced to go to war by American oil and other embargoes.
Hosei Norota, senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (2001).


What if the Germans taught that Gemrany was forced to go to war to secure resources that were critical to it's national defense?

Quote:
Japan was forced into WW II to liberate Asia from the yoke of Western colonialism.
Hideaki Kase, producer of the controversial Japanese film "Merdeka" (2001).


What if the Germans taught that they only went to war to defeat communism?

Quote:
The Nanjing Massacre is a lie made up by the Chinese.
Ishihara Shintaro, former Japanese Cabinet Minister, interviewed October 1990.

The Nanjing Massacre is a fabrication.
Nagano Shigeto, Japan's Justice Minister (1994).

The Americans brainwashed the postwar Japanese into believing they had committed terrible war crimes.
Professor Nobukatsu Fujioka, Professor of Education, Tokyo University (1997)


This is akin to Holocaust denial.

Quote:
Foreign 'Comfort Women' conscripted for Japanese Army brothels were prostitutes.
Kajiyama Seiroku, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary (1997).


This is like saying the concentration camps only contained people who were criminals.

Quote:
After forty-one years of denial of Japan's war guilt and war crimes by Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) governments, rule by the long-dominant LDP ended in 1993. When Japan's first Socialist Prime Minister, Tomiichi Murayama, was touring South-East Asia in 1995, he apologised for the "tremendous damage and suffering" caused by Japan's "colonial rule and aggression… in the not too distant past". Murayama's apology did not mention atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre, and was the closest Japan has ever come to an admission of war guilt and apology for its war crimes.
What if Germany after 41 years of denying they had done anything wrong finally came out and uttered an apology for their role in the war?

Quote:
The apology by Murayama was viewed as inadequate in China but caused widespread fury in Japan. In an endeavour to repair the political damage that his apology caused to the Socialist Party, Murayama's government officially recognised two infamous symbols of Imperial Japan, the rising sun flag (Hinomaru) and the song of praise to the divine emperor (Kimigayo). The Socialist government ordered that the Hinomaru and Kimigayo be integrated into official school celebrations.
This would be akin to the Germans hoisting the swastika flag and having schoolchidlren sing "Deutschland Uber Alles".

Quote:
With the fiftieth anniversary of the Japanese surrender due on 15 August 1995, Prime Minister Murayama (Socialist Party) had planned to initiate an anti-war resolution in the Japanese parliament (The Diet). Murayama's resolution was pre-empted by 221 members of the LDP who resolved that the Pacific War had been "a war to liberate colonised Asia".
What if the German government was proposing resolutions that would state the official position of the German government is that WW2 was a war to liberate the continent from communism?

Quote:

Until the end of Allied occupation of Japan in 1952, school textbooks were strictly controlled to prevent Japan's military aggression being glorified or excused.

Following the end of Allied occupation, the traditionalists reasserted their control of Japanese education. In 1956, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party denounced schoolbooks that told the truth about Japan's war guilt and war crimes in a published statement entitled "The Problem of the deplorable Textbooks".

At times the falsifications and distortions of history in Japanese school textbooks have become sufficiently outrageous to produce a storm of international protest. In 1982, on the fiftieth anniversary of Japan's forcible seizure and annexation of China's Manchurian region, the Ministry of Education ordered amendments to school history books. The children were not to be told that Japanese armies "invaded" Chinese Manchuria. Instead, they were to be told that Japanese armies made a "gradual advance" into Manchuria. Not content with this falsification of history, the Ministry of Education insisted that children not be told that Japan "annexed Korea in 1910" but that this sovereign country was "reunified with Japan".
What if German textbooks said it was not an "invasion" of Russia, but a "gradual advance"? What if German textbooks said that "Poland was reunited with Germany"?

Quote:
In 1985, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Japan's surrender in 1945, a new history textbook was released for schools. The "Newly Edited Japanese History" declared that Japan's armies entered China, the Philippines, French Indo-China, British Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies not as invaders but to "liberate" their Asian brothers from colonial oppression. This history book denounced as a lie the claimed slaughter of at least 200,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war after the fall of Nanking (Nanjing) to Japanese troops in 1937. China was outraged and lodged a fierce protest. The Japanese government promised that the offending text would be amended, but this was undermined by a public declaration from forty-seven members of the ruling LDP government that Japan's seizure of vast areas of China between 1931 and 1945 was caused by misunderstandings and was not undertaken for the purpose of expanding the Japanese empire.
What if German textbooks taught that the entire point of the war was to liberate the continent from communism? What if German textbooks taught that the war itself was nothing but a series of "misunderstandings"?
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