Skip to main content

View Diary: 71 years ago, April 18, 1942, 30 seconds over Tokyo (45 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Japanese killed 250,000 Chinese civilians ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... in retaliation for helping the Doolittle crews.

    I didn't realize that until I was reading up on the Doolittle Raid today. I understand the important of the raid, and salute the bravery of the men who did it, but holy shit, 250,000 dead takes the shine off of it.

    •  The Japanese and the Germans (6+ / 0-)

      Many hold Hitler and the Germans as heinous war criminals, and that is correct.

      However, the Japanese were far worse, in many circumstances. Read "Empire of the Sun", the story of JK Ballard (English science fiction writer who died 2 years ago) and his existence in a prison camp as a civilian. These were starvation camps. There is no resemblence to the nisei camps run by the US.

      Then there is the rape of Nanjing in 1937. In the campaign to establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, the Japanese invaded China and committed atrocity after atrocity. Nanjing was a particularly terrible case. Almost a million civilians were killed.

      So, another Japanese atrocity does not shock me.

      When we have Hiroshima Day, you will hear a lot of Japanese statements about US culpability. You will hear nothing about Korean comfort women. Nothing about millions of Chinese killed from 1935-1945. I have 0 sympathy for the Japanese.

      •  "0 sympathy for the Japanese." Why? Because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lazybum

        their government launched wars of aggression, water-boarded, & established secret prison sites?

        I have "0 sympathy" for the Japanese government of the time & their murderous activities, but a lot of sympathy for Japanese people.

        The fact that too many of the  Japanese civilian population tended to cheer on the militarism & strive for denial of war crimes...saddens me, but I understand it...too well.

        My father fought in the Pacific in WWII, & he came to understand it as well before he died a few years ago.

        America's greatest political dynasty...the Ka'an

        by catilinus on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 06:35:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  O sympathy because they have none for others (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, Jay C

          In all the accounts of the japanese in WWII, I have never, and I mean NVER seen any of them express sympathy for  the horror, murder, torrure and starvation they and their government---which had no internal opposition--inflicted on their neighbors.
          For them its always about what the Americans did to them, never about the million and a half Vietnamese they starved to death, the million Phillipinos they slaughtered or the millions of Chinese they murdered.
          the Japanese inflicted a holocaust on their neighbors that was every bit as brutal and murdersous as that of their pals, allies and role models the Nazis, except it lasted longer. They never began to pay for it and are still denying it 40 years later

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:42:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  70 years later (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:43:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You left out Bataan (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, exlrrp, Jay C

            The Japanese were extraordinarily brutal toward prisoners of war. I have always believed that the warrior beliefs meant that prisoners of war were not fully human and without honor, since they had surrendered. That meant that atrocities were allowed toward the subhuman prisoners.

            The Japanese people were totally supportive of the war effort.

            •  I left out a lot!! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jay C, RiveroftheWest

              I had to for brevity. The scope of the Japanese atrocities equaled or exceeded the Nazis. Furthermore they were going on up to and beyond the day they dropped the bomb.
              The Japanese dominant thought was Bushido---basically a brutal, unforgiving warriors code. This mandated terrible treatment of conquered people and the Japanese lived it for all the years they brought war to other people.
              this is why the atom bombs were effective---forcing the Japanese to abandon their brutal, antisocial culture.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:00:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  In the '80s I went to the Grand Canyon with a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lazybum

            man who had trained to be a Kamikaze pilot as a teen. The war ended before his time came up. When I knew him he was horrified at the atrocities that were committed.

            So there's that.

             

            I mean NVER seen any of them express sympathy for  the horror, murder, torrure and starvation they and their government---which had no internal opposition--inflicted on their neighbors.
            "NVER?" I would direct to Kon Ichikawa's "The Burmese Harp (1956) & his Fires on the Plain (1959). There is also "The Human Condition" trilogy of films (1959-1961) by Masaki Kobayashi.

            So there's that also.

            Unfortunately, I do agree that overall the Japanese show (as do we & all peoples) that too human tendency to both justify violence while at the same time denying it.

            America's greatest political dynasty...the Ka'an

            by catilinus on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 09:43:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Next August 3 (0+ / 0-)

              Listen to the Japanese discussion. There will be a huge ceremony at Hiroshima. They will go to the Japanese central shrine at Yakusuni.

              They will castigate America for the nuclear devices, but no one will say a thing about Pearl Harbor, Nanjing, GE-ACS, Bataan, etc.

            •  They deny they inflicted a holocaust (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              In spite of all the facts
              Their excuse is that other countries were just as brutal.
              Thats like saying Hitlers holocaust was excusable because stalin was also brutal.

              Gee, books from the 50s, films in 1959--1961, how did I ever miss them. Looking over The Burmese Harp ---it IS an anti war film butI don't see how this is an example of the Japanese admitting war crimes.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:13:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Japanese were killing masses of Chinese prior (7+ / 0-)

      to the Doolittle Raid.

      If you want to give the Japanese an excuse for the killings- fine. But the behavior did not start as a result of the Doolittle raid.

      The Doolittle Raid did cause the Japanese to do this.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there were already Japanese atrocities (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, sturunner

        But they stepped it up after the Doolittle Raiders escaped to China.

        From the Wikipedia entry for the raid:

        The Japanese military began the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign to intimidate the Chinese from helping downed American airmen. All airfields in a range of some 20,000 square miles (50,000 km2) in the areas where the Raiders had landed were torn up.[27] The use of germ warfare and other atrocities were committed, and those found with American items were shot. The Japanese killed an estimated 250,000 Chinese civilians during their search for Doolittle's men.

        I'm not making excuses for the repulsive Japanese actions, just pointing out some unintended consequences of the raid that I had never heard about until today.

        •  The Rape of Nanking killed from 200k to 400k. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BOHICA, Notreadytobenice

          10 -20 million million Chinese killed by the Japanese in the era.

          Sorry, I just cant wrap my head around the killing of 250k as stepping it up in the larger picture.

          Quite frankly its not at all clear that the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign was responsible for any more or any less killing.

          SO yeah it happened, was it an increase? No one knows, when 4 million a year were killed..

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:51:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  RF -Last sentence should have a NOT in it? (0+ / 0-)
    •  I don't know about that but ever hear of Nanking.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanking (Nanjing), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. Widespread rape and looting also occurred. Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed.
      Almost every student in China makes a trip to the memorial:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Punches are NOT pulled at the museum. Japan has never apologized for this war crime.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site