Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Nick Machiavelli over at the Razor adds this to the silly column today in the Globe.

You've hit upon one of my pet-peeves, and one that hits close to home. Both
my father and my wife's father were on ships preparing for the invasion of
Japan in the summer of '45. In the 1990s I spent 5 years in Japan and met
some people who would have been on the other side of the beach had my father
and father-in-law landed as part of the invasion.

I met a Japanese man who as a little boy was being trained to run towards
the foreigners carrying a backpack. What he didn't know at the time was that
he was being trained to carry explosives which would have been detonated
when he got close to American GIs. I met a "habakusha" - atomic bomb
survivor - who blamed the Japanese emperor for sacrificing his own people
intead of himself (the status of the emperor was the sticking point in the
negotiations held via the Swiss; the USA wanted an unconditional surrender).

One of the best books on the subject is Japan At War which provides first
hand accounts of the militarism and fanaticism of the Japanese. They make
al-Qaida look like the bunch of wussies they are.

Some moral relativists have said that we should have blockaded Japan until
it surrendered. What they don't know is that Japan was completely dependent
on its colonies for food. Japan also lost a good portion of its workforce to
the war. Those that weren't killed were in China, Korea and other locations
off the mainland. The result of a blockade would have been starvation on a
massive scale. The estimates I've seen were from 5-15% of the population of
100 million.

Do the math: 200,000 dead by atomic bomb or 5-15 million from starvation.

As a student of the Japanese who has lived among them and continue to hold
the deepest respect for them (even as they rot my kids' brains with
Pokemon), I get annoyed with the arguments against how we concluded the war
against them. Your letter against intellectual ignorance is much


< email | 8/06/2002 03:52:00 PM | link

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