Monday, August 15, 2005

Don't Know Much About History

The horrors suffered by American POW's at the hands of the Japanese during WW II:

One of the POWs had a ring on and the Japanese guard attempted to get the ring off. He couldn't get it off and he took a machete and cut the man's wrist off and when he did that, of course, the man was bleeding profusely. [I tried to help him] but when I looked back I saw a Japanese guard sticking a bayonet through his stomach.
On the second day, a fully pregnant Filipino woman threw some food out... this POW in front of me picked up the food and started eating it; and a Japanese guard came... and decapitated that POW... and then he went and cut the stomach out of the Filipino woman. She was screaming "Kill me, Kill me," and they wouldn't do it....

It also became clear after the war that the Japanese were responsible for horrific abuses of POWs aboard tankers leaving the Philippines and bound for Japan. These tankers became known as hell ships. The Japanese put masses of men in the holds of tankers and gave them little food, light, room or water. The men died at an alarming rate -- of suffocation, thirst, and madness. They also died of allied bombing , since the hell ships were not marked with a white cross, as specified by the Geneva Conventions, to indicate POWs were on board. The men who survived these tankers became slave laborers in Japanese mines and factories....
It is an astounding fact that while POWs died at a rate of 1.2% in Germany, they died at a rate of 37% across the Pacific.

And yet, there is no Greek chorus on the MSM mourning these events: only Guantanamo & Abu Graib.

Near the end of WW II, when Hitler knew that there was no way he could win, he deployed a submarine a U-235, with a large amount of nuclear materials (enough to make two atomic bombs), to Japan. Shortly after it was sent to sea, Germany surrendered & the submarine arrived at New Hampshire to give it-self up to the US. It is interesting that there is very little mention in the MSM or the syllabi of most schools or college courses of the existence of a Japanese nuclear program & the possibility, though highly disputed, that there was a test in North Korea, which was colonized by Japan at the time.

And yet, there is no mention of this on the MSM: only Hiroshima & Nagasaki & how evil America was to want to end the war & save thousands of lives, both American & Japanese, as well as countless other Asian colonial subjects of Japan. Never mind that had Japan really been prepared to surrender, one bomb would have sufficed.

We are a nation that has forgotten its history. This is partially due to laziness, but also, especially for young people, because history is never taught in a through manner at all levels of education. Multiculturalism & political correctness has taken precedence over facts. Rarely are we taught of all the good things that America has done or the threats she faced from enemies. In fact, any who recognize the threats & insist on acting on them are routinely called "war mongers" or "racists & fanatics". Able Danger told us that there were people who wished to harm us, it told us who they were & yet, the information was not acted upon.

Indeed it is our ignorance of history that allows those who harbor a pathological hatred of America to spread their propaganda. Had we truly been aware of what a real gulag is, would AI's claim have been believed by some? Had we really know what the killing fields of Cambodia & Hitler’s concentration camps were like, would Sen. Dick Durban have dared to make such a spurious claim? Had we been taught about the Japanese nuclear programs as we were taught about Hiroshima & Nagasaki, would there be so much chest beating?

Why is it that our media & education establishments chose to focus only on carefully selected vignettes, which support their ideology? Why do we not know the names of any other mother who lost her son in Iraq other than Cindy Sheehan? Why did the NYT take so long to report the Air America scandal & why did they entitle the article, Bronx Boys Club's Finances Investigated?

We have been much too tolerant of half-truths for much too long. As this nation is a democracy, it is not only the right, but the obligation of every citizen to demand that our history be taught properly & that our media not distort the news.

HAT TIP: Metrolingua, Sailor in the Desert

Thanks for stating this so well.I agree wholeheartedly. I was young during WWII but I remember it well. I also was aware of the atrocities visited on our troops.
We need some major changes in our curriculum so that our young do not grow up ignorant of our proud history. We have made mistakes, mistreated groups of people but we have done magnificent things for the world.
Thanks for the link. There was a History Channel special that mentioned that the Japanese were planning to attack northern California with dirty nuke bombs, 10 days after we dropped the A-bomb. They were already planning to do that--they would've killed hundreds of thousands of people, ironically Asian-Americans too.
Pat, I agree we need to change our curriculums. I did not learn of these things in school or college. I had to learn them on my own & it shouldn't hae been so.

MJ, I was looking all over to find a link for that on the web. If you can find it, I'd really appreciate it if you could forward it to me. I'll post it with a hat tip to you.
Great post. I don't think the Japanese EVER apologized for their mistreatment of Allied POWs or civilians in occupied territories (one reason that the Koreans and Chinese hate and fear the Japanese to this day).

It really drives me berserk when I hear people (usually lefties) say that "America is as bad as ______" when it's pretty obvious that they don't know the first thing about what they are trying to compare. I recall a protester - college student, of course - at the RNC Convention in NYC last year. She had a sign to the effect that Bush was worse than Hitler. When somebody asked her why, she replied:

"Well, Hitler only killed a couple of hundred Jews, and Bush has killed millions of Iraqis."

What can you say? The only thing to do is give her a lifetime supply of birth control pills and BEG her never to breed or become a school teacher.
its hard I think not to know about the war and my parents reminded us so often how it was and not only that we saw many documentries on tv , so the knowlege is there , and how can these fellow americans act as if we are the bad guys when we were just defending ourselves ...great post nygirl.
The MSM and the education establishment seem to have become a kind of "Ministry of Truth" that we were warned about by George Orwell in 1984.

But I don't agree that we have forgotten our history. Something much worse is happening. Remember the infamous saying (also from 1984): He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. History books are being deliberately changed by leftists to advance politically-palatable fables. Those who remember that history books once said otherwise are denounced as reactionary right-wing radicals.

This is the essence of revisionist history.
Alas, most western countries are run by liberal elites. These elites seem ashamed of the civilizations they have inherited, and refuse to defend them. Liberals enjoy re-writing history, omitting anything that gets in the way of their view of the world.

War is never pleasant, innocent civilians are going to get killed. The atom bombs brought the war against Japan to a prompt halt. Japan wasn't going to call it a day before we dropped the bombs. We did what we had to do, against a nation that was vicious in it's treatment of foreign civilians and POWs.
Nice post - how many times do we hear that history is written by the victor.
Very good post. To the liberal, history is not a record from which to learn, but rather a palette from which to paint their ideological pictures. Liberals have, it appears, a fundamental problem with reality, and it is not surprising that this problem is reflected in their inability to accept anything but a selective version of history.
Hi & welcome Universal Soldier. Revisionist history is hardly healthy. The funny thing is, we won WW II, & yet, our schools denigrate the sacrifices of those who made it possible.
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