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  •  Another possible reason for the last resort (7+ / 0-)

    While I can't speak from any definite historical research on the matter, I suspect the Japanese may have been informed by their own conduct when it came to treatment of those they had defeated. They may have expected the same in return if they were defeated. I believe they were conditioned to expect as much by their own propaganda.

    Brutality begets brutality. One of the opening scenes in the recent movie Lincoln depicts a black union unit fighting confederates in a river, IIRC, and they are showing no mercy to the southern troops. This followed an action where a black unit had been over run, surrendered, and was massacred.

    When one considers the sheer effort, expense, and sacrifice required to wage war, one wonders what could possibly be so difficult about peace that anyone would willingly choose war as an alternative.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat May 04, 2013 at 04:51:19 PM PDT

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    •  One of my uncles was in the Navy. (8+ / 0-)

      He joined on the morning of Monday, December 8, 1941. He was an electrical engineer.

      He was....shall we say....not exactly in uniform when he performed his "military duties" in China from 1941-45.  He died several years ago, but he told me a great deal about the psychology of the Japanese. The idea of shame is an unthinkable burden. During the war he and his colleagues employed a young man as a houseboy. He was a hard worker, but the time came when they had to let him go. They almost never talked him out of committing suicide for the shame of being fired.  

      I don't think is was fear of retaliation so much as being driven by fear of being shamed. Haji (shame) forms the core of Japanese culture and social control, as my uncle described it.

      I am sure there are some who will disagree with me, but he was there during the war, so the society then and now may be quite different. That is how he saw in in the 1940s.

      Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

      by Otteray Scribe on Sat May 04, 2013 at 05:15:55 PM PDT

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