Acts of war and criminal acts

People die in wars. As often as not, the people who die aren’t soldiers armed with guns and engaged in battle, but civilians caught in the cross fire. (There was even a civilian death at Gettysburg.) It’s almost impossible to imagine a war without the attendant horror of civilian deaths, whether through direct military action (bombs dropped on their homes, machine guns raking across their marketplaces), or indirect military action (food shortages, disease and exposure as a result of the war).

In less politicized times, the world has not called the indirect deaths of civilians a “war crime.” Instead, war crimes occur when military forces intentionally target unarmed civilians, either to spread a reign of terror that helps the military achieve its goals or, as in the case of the Nazis, to wipe a distinct segment of the human race from the face of the earth. The Nazis carried their war crimes to such horrific extremes that they resonate even now. (To get a sense of scale, immediately after the world realized the ferocity of the Rwandan slaughter, I read somewhere that the number of dead, and the pace at which they were killed, was equal to a mere ten days worth of killings during 1944 in the Nazi death camps.)

Because the Nazi crimes seem to be inescapable, a priest in the Ukraine has engaged in a massive project to interview Ukrainian citizens, many of whom were children at the time, and all of whom were co-opted to aid in the Jewish slaughter:

Children, stomachs empty and knees quivering, saw and heard Jews massacred by the Nazis all across the killing fields of Ukraine. Teenagers were forced to bury the victims, shoveling dirt over neighbors and playmates.

Today, these now aged men and women are unburdening themselves of wartime memories, many for the first time, in testimonies to a French priest. Their words may change history as they shed light on this poorly known chapter of the Holocaust.

The project is central to a broader reassessment of the Nazi horrors in Ukraine. Last month, a team of rabbis in another project visited a newly found grave site in the Ukrainian village of Gvozdavka-1 where thousands of Jews were killed during the occupation by Adolf Hitler’s army.

That was just one site among many: Father Patrick Desbois and his mixed-faith team have been crisscrossing Ukraine for six years and have located more than 500 mass graves so far, many never before recorded.

At least 1.5 million Jews were killed on hills and in ravines across Nazi-occupied Ukraine, most slaughtered by submachine guns before gas chambers industrialized mass death. Researchers are only now peeling back layers of Soviet-era silence about what they call the “Holocaust by bullets.”

***

The destruction of Ukrainian Jewry is symbolized by Babi Yar, a ravine outside the capital, Kiev, where the Nazis killed about 34,000 Jews during just two days in September 1941. But there were many other killing fields.

Read the rest here.

Father Desbois’ work is being made public in a big way as part of a Holocaust exhibit in Paris right now:

Part of Desbois’ work — video interviews with Ukrainian villagers, photographs of newly discovered mass graves, archival documents, bullets and shell casings — is on display for the first time in a haunting exhibit at Paris’ Holocaust Memorial through Nov. 30.

The AP story is illustrated by this picture of an ordinary middle aged man, wearing an ordinary overcoat, and what looks to be a nice tie, sitting on the edge of a large pit. At his back is a crowd of smug Nazis, in front of him, his ultimate destination, is a pit of dead Jews. At his head is a gun. Thanks to the Nazi obsession with recording their heinous acts for posterity, we are watching this man in the last second of his life:

All things considered, he looks surprisingly resigned. He’s so emaciated (he may be younger than middle aged, with the heightened aging one sees in starvation’s victims), that this is probably only the last stage in a horrible journey of fear and abuse. By this time, death may be welcome, and his only hope is that he takes a clean hit to the brain, and isn’t one of those unlucky ones at the bottom of the pit, slowly bleeding to death, in tremendous painand fear, as more and more bodies fall.

This type of slaughter of the innocents, not in the heat of battle, but in the coldness of race hatred, is one of the most horrifying things I can imagine. What makes it worse is that it’s not the past. It’s still the present. As Michael Yon documented in his chilling post Bless the Beasts and Children, Al Qaeda fighters and their fellow travelers, on a smaller scale, are going from village to village in Iraq and doing what the Nazis did: rounding up innocents, people living ordinary lives, dragging them over to pits, and shooting them.

Incidentally, if you think I’m doing some political twisting and turning here, you’re wrong. I come by my beliefs on this subject honestly.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mother was a prisoner of war of the Japanese in Indonesia, starting a month after Pearl Harbor and ending a month after Truman dropped the bomb. (That’s almost four years for the math or history challenged.) The experience was horrific. Indeed, one of her camp commandants was the only Japanese camp commander executed for war crimes. Nevertheless, my mother never had any hostility to the Japanese, although she did hold on to an abiding and fervent hostility for the Nazis. Why the difference, I asked? Because their motives were different, she said.

The Japanese were fighting war the old way, which was trying to obtain new territories. Faced with an existing civilian population which, in an earlier age they might have killed, they opted for the “modern” technique of isolating them in camps, with an ultimate plan to relocate them (something that, fortunately, never came to fruition, since American Marines will tell you that relocation meant death). The Nazis, on the other hand, were not dealing with civilians who got in the way of the battlefield. Their objective, which they carried out as brutally as possible, was to kill the civilians, something that ran on an entirely separate and parallel track from their effort to obtain geographical territory.

War seems to be hard-wired in the human brain, at least according to Nicholas Wade’s wonderful book Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. Over the centuries, however, as we in the Judeo-Christian West have struggled away from this genetic destiny, we’ve tried to civilize the way we fight, by acknowledging the necessity of fighting, but trying to make civilians off limits as intentional targets. What was the ultimate evil about the Nazis wasn’t their territorial greed, but the fact that they abandoned entirely, on a hitherto unprecedented scale, the modern effort to tame war.

And what makes the jihadists such frightening and formidable enemies, whether they’re in Iraqi villages; flying planes over American soil and into American buildings; driving cars through London and Glasgow; planting bombs on Spanish trains; blowing up nightclubs; etc., is that they embrace, enthusiastically, the worst and least humane side of our human propensity for war. Only people who have abandoned reason and ethics entirely would attempt to make morally equivalent, on the one hand, a situation in which civilians are killed as part of war’s byproduct and, on the other hand, a situation in which armed marauders intentionally slaughter civilians like animals.

UPDATE:  Just so you can get a better handle on the sadistic string tying today’s Al Qaeda directly to yesterday’s Nazis, I offer you a couple of paragraphs from Michael Yon’s most recent post, Baqubah Update:  05 July 2007, about the successful operation to recover Baqubah from the Al Qaeda stranglehold.  Once in, Americans got some first hand reports about Al Qaeda’s recruitment tactics:

Speaking through an American interpreter, Lieutenant David Wallach who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al Qaeda united these gangs who then became absorbed into “al Qaeda.” They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al Qaeda. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people.

At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent.  He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat.  And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked.  Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

19 Responses

  1. […] [Discuss This Article with Bookworm] Share Article war, war crime, Nazis, Babi Yar, Father Desbois, Al Qaeda, prisoner of war, Indonesia, Pearl Harbor    Sphere: Related Content | Trackback URL […]

  2. Incidentally, if you think I’m doing some political twisting and turning here, you’re wrong. I come by my beliefs on this subject honestly.

    The revolutionary enemies of America, whether communist or islamic in origin, have been doing this ever since they thought us their mortal enemy, Book. They did the same in Vietnam.

    The propaganda line is always that the local population and leaders are corrupt or are puppets of America, while the VietCong go through village after village with lists of those sympathetic to Americans and executing them. They aren’t worth saving because they are corrupt, is a fine line of reasoning up to the belief that the Jews were an inherent corruption upon the perfection of the Aryan race. Marxist class warfare has always believed that the proletariat should rise up and destroy the middle class. Obviously because dictatorship by the party is so much better than the rule by the middle class, since obviously the middle class is corrupt.

    This propaganda line is not that effective, you know. Which is why they have to resort to executions since if it was effective, they wouldn’t need to do that just to combat US support. Those that are weak must rely upon lies and deception, as the Left does, but it does not make them any less dangerous for it. In point of fact, it makes them more dangerous for a person with nothing to lose and everything to gain in jihad land, will be able to use deception as a very nice weapon to supplement their spiritual and ethical weakness.

    And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

    Cute, but not all that effective. It is not nearly as effective if the boy was alive, since now you ain’t got any body to lever on the family. Al Qaeda’s problem is that they rely on psychological terror and shock, which is fine up to the point where the populace is no longer shocked and awed. There’s no infrastructure there. They don’t even attempt the brainwashing of the 11 year olds.

    Everyone remembers a few months back about how the Left kept saying the Iraqi government was not stepping up, was corrupt, and so forth. This is a way to demoralize us so that we no longer support the Iraqis against the Left’s friends. Friends like Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

  3. I had an argument with a Lefty family member recently wherein he tried to argue that Hitler was “right wing”. I refuted him with historical facts (which he could not comprehend)but realized later that we were having the wrong argument: the real dichotomy isn’t between “right” or “left” political labels but between a secular and materialist view of humanity and a transcendental (let’s for simplicity sake call it a Judeo-Christian view of humanity, even though I recognize that is a view shared with other transcendental faiths, such as Buddhism and Hinduism).

    The Judeo-Christian view recognizes humans to be broken (i.e., fallen) angels, built in God’s image but inherently flawed. We view every individual as having the potential to do good and evil as the outcome of moral (God-like) or immoral (Satanic-like) decisions. Our most important religous duty is to transcend our bad side, which we believe we cannot do without God’s direct intervention.

    Conversely, each one of us also has the potential of being a Nazi, depending upon the choices we make in life. Our challenge is to build societies that generate moral human beings and build in checks and balances to curtail our immoral impulses. How we, as individuals, deal with this has a bearing on the state of our existence in the afterlife, hence we are held accountable for our choices and actions on Earth.

    The Materialist/Secular concept of humanity derives from Rousseau’s “Natural Man”, whereby humans are biological machines that are born “good” but corrupted by their environments. There no afterlife so there is no accountability: it is up to humans to create their own heaven on Earth (Eden). Of course, there are earthly obstacles to overcome, such as already-corrupted individuals (bourgeois, Jews, Republicans, neo-cons, conservatives, Christians, etc.)and the corrupting human institutions that produced them (schools, family, religion, capitalism, globalism, etc.). Consequently, no heaven on Earth is possible unless these obstacles are removed and a “New Man” (socialist, collectivist, Green,etc.) created to populate the secular humanist Eden.

    This is why the Left is so dangerous – they do not see themselves capable of evil because they do not believe it exists other than as a relativist semantic abstraction. They cannot see evil in themselves. The fact is that Nazis, Communists, Islamic Jihadis and at-least some elements of the American Left are alike in this respect – they pursue creation of Eden on Earth (however defined)not matter how horrific the human cost (all relative, in their world views) blissfully ignorant that such can never be attained because neither society nor humankind cannot be perfected – ever! They share their commitment to the destruction of existing institutions and their “corrupted” progeny. Once those corrupted institutions and individuals are “removed”, then each believes that they will be free to created their new-and-improved societies. Naturally, they will fail because, from the beginning, they never understood their own human nature.

  4. Danny, did you watch Serenity?

  5. Yeah, YM! Great flick, great theme and totally on message. That’s why it resonated so well with so many of us “not-on-the-Left”.

  6. I guess Book’s the only one not uptodate on Firefly and Serenity, eh?

    The reason I brought it up was due to the primary villain of the piece. The Left are full of useful idiots and few true believers. The true believers are actually Bookworm, the Serenity villain, and various military branches. The difference is simple, true believers never really change their fundamental core belief, the source of their identity. But everything else can change, because the only thing that matters is that core belief and because the true believer’s faith is so strong, you can strip everything from them and still if they believe then they can continue the fight.

    The useful idiots however, are different from the Jihad and their enemies. The useful idiots essentially are built upon lies and illusions, because they are not strong enough to believe in a core foundation and because they are not strong enough they cannot look within themselves to see what holds everything together. This leads to the construction and fabrication of an entire illusionary world to maintain their denial of themselves and of whatever beliefs they do hold. They are nihilists primarily because they either don’t believe in anything or aren’t strong enough to believe in anything; they fake it because illusion is all they can produce.

    Thus when you attempt the change the mind of such a person living in a protected cocoon of illusion, they will grow violent and sink deeper into their shell. Even the Islamic Jihad is not full of 100% true believers, you have plenty of petty criminals and others folks that were disillusioned by the jihad. And of course, if you are dumb as nuts or brainwashed, then regardless of what you believe in, you’re still a tool. You’ve heard about the Islamic Jihadists fleeing in burqas, Danny. Would a true believer in human rights, be willing to destroy that which he seeks to save? No. The Islamic Jihad is different from us in that their beliefs put no limitations on their worldly behavior. They can kill the world and still believe that their reward is in heaven, such a true belief is built upon lies and illusions, which means while the Islamic Jihad hates the Left and the Left claims to hate right wing fanatics, they are more similar than they realize.

    It is a curious setup, to which the villain of Serenity puts into stark contrast in a way. He believes in fighting for a better world, yet he sees his own survival as unnecessary because in that better world they will not need him.

    And of course, movies like Serenity shows you what a true freedom fighter should behave as. Which sets up a much better contrast when you hear propaganda from the Left about how America is the Imperialist Occupation and so such. Illusion is no match for reality, so if you dont’ have examples of real freedom fighters, then the Left could always fool you into believing in their lies. As they fooled many people before 9/11 and OIF.

    I’m reading the Deathstalker series, and it’s an interesting compilation of heroes and villains.

  7. Oh btw, clarification on difference between useful idiots and true believers of the Jihad. You’ve noticed the similarities, but the basic reasoning is that true believers are defined essentially as those that will kill and die for their beliefs; but this doesn’t describe certain inconsistencies amongst the Jihad. Nihilists are defined as those that don’t believe anything is worth dying or killing for.

    Now because the Jihad believes in an illusionary world, then obviously their behavior is going to be similar to the Left, even though the Left doesn’t really believe in anything except their personal illusionary world.

    True belief is about belief in something that has some truth with a faith that is extremely strong, but truth is malleable to some extent. Some, but there are limitations.

    With the Cartoon Jihad, they get as angry as a Leftist when you question their patriotism. Because in a sense, they just got a glimmer of themselves inside and looked away, hoping to cave in someone’s skull for daring to show them what they didn’t want to see. But that’s not how the Leftist acts, in a sense, well not the brainwashed Communist Revolutionary Leftists anyway. The Leftist still goes violent, yes, but it is not powered by his belief.

    Yuri did say that some of the useful idiots that believed in the utopia will become the most bitter enemies of the new regime once they see how their “idealism” had been betrayed. And that is true in a sense, because simple belief is not enough. Until you combine truth to it, it doesn’t rise to the level of true belief. And when the idealists see as they saw in Iran’s revolution, what the promise turned out, then and only then will they truely believe.

    But I tend to think most people on the Islamic Jihad are useful idiots themselves, but they do have a lot more true believers than the Left has. It is hard to say in a way, because true believers require education otherwise it is just brainwashing and intimidation. They’re hard to find and they are a powerful weapon for their cause, whatever their cause is.

    Besides the theoretical arguments, the practical applications are perhaps more useful and clear. It is easy to see what Bookworm and Neo-neocon truly believes in. Just as it is easy to see what the Left and the Jihad truly believes in. Regardless of the rhetoric or the slogans, their actions speak for themselves. For if someone truly believed in freedom and liberty, why the Fairness Doctrine? There is an inherent reality and consistency that no matter how many illusions you produce, you cannot cover up. The Jihad doesn’t even believe in Shariah or Heaven, because why would their leaders continually use burqahs to escape our forces intent on sending them to Jihad land? In a sense, why does their actions conflict with their stated beliefs? A true believer’s beliefs and actions should be consistent, if the claimed beliefs are truly theirs.

    And if they are not… well there you have your weakness that you should exploit.

  8. To build on your points, YM, the “Left”…like Communists, Nazis, Jihadis and other Utopian movements have the true believer who truly are evil, for they know what they do.

    I believe that it was Heinrich Himmler who once mused that, if the Nazis succeeded, they would be revered as the saviors of humanity by subsequent generations but, if they failed, they would be reviled for eternity.

    The true believers are truly evil. The rest are weak-minded, like children, motivated by self-gratification, delusion and emotion – much like the Eloi in Jules Verne’s classic, the Time Machine. This is why one cannot argue effectively with them.

    Speaking of literature, has anyone picked up the link between the UK’s banning of the terms “terrorist” and “islamic” and Harry Potter’s Voldemort,as “he who cannot be named”? I am really beginning to appreciate the level of JK Rowling’s social commentary. Will she be the moral scribe to our generation’s struggle as Tolkein and C.S. Lewis were to the WWII generation?

  9. To blow my own horn, Danny, I picked up on it in an American Thinker article I did more than a year ago. Here’s the link: http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/05/harry_potter_and_the_war_on_te.html

  10. The he who cannot be named bit goes all the way back to Norse fable in which if you called out Odin’s name, then the god will suddenly pay attention to you. That may or may not have affected the Catholic church’s treatment concerning naming the Devil or God. Certainly for Americans, they prided themselves on not taking the lord’s name in vain.

    Silly superstitions wrapped in societal justifications and mores, shined to a finish with 21st century advances.

    Btw,

    http://www.fonerbooks.com/surfing.htm

    Here’s an explanation I found for how Amazon ranks, which appeases my suspicion that Amazon based their ranks on items sold per daily/weekly.

  11. There is a sort of pseudo conflict between self-sacrificial goals and beliefs and inner strength. What I mean is that those that don’t believe in anything, can sustain themselves by not sacrificing themselves, yet they are not truly getting any more powerful. Two variables come into play here, the instinct for self-survival and the instinct to believe in something greater than yourself.

    I think the most effective combination to teach children is to teach them that doing good doesn’t mean dying for evil or good, it means living, growing stronger, and resisting evil eternally. For someone that believes that in the long term, that if good can resist evil that good will eventually become stronger than evil, both on an individual and group basis, that person will be able to maintain the fight longer and he will not become disillusioned with his beliefs.

    Humans always like perpetual self-advancement, and while historically this has been tied to factionalism, selfishness, and reversal of societal goods, it can also be channeled into the greater good. It is pretty much a fundamental factor that in order to create a good society, you need good people to defend it, yet if all the defenders are pacifists, no matter how fervent, then you are in big trouble. Thus personal strength is not something the Good can ignore simply because the Evil unleashes such destruction and terror upon entities and places.

    There’s a lot of movies and some such that say that in order to succede you must somehow collude with evil so to speak. In the sense that they treat capitalism as such, that success only comes because you exploit others. Meaning, good can never come without sucking the life out of someone else, that true evil is the only one that can truly become the greatest power on earth due to the fact that true evil gobbles up the life energies of other people. So the logical response for a lot of people is to band together under a group of aristo leaders called “Lords”, otherwise known as Feudalism. However, feudalism is only necessary if the individual serf is weak and powerless.

    If you apply some of these sentiments to America, you get a retrograde response. America is obviously the most powerful nation in the history of the human race, but if you believe strength only comes from evil, then what would you see in America? Teaching people that good is the ultimate source of strength, and it ain’t cause good people kill themselves in front of evil in self-sacrificial actions, will allow them to see that just because a person becomes stronger, doesn’t mean someone got weaker.

    I always get the sense that when I write about evil and good, that there needs to be like 5 different words for both good and evil in application to various relationships. I wonder why English doesn’t actually make up different flavors for good and evil, since certainly there are a heck load of them.

    For example, there are two main ways to look at self-sacrifice. As a foolish and fanatical way to kill yourself for little to no gain. Or as a grand action to the cause of Good and the safety of others. One’s a forfeit of your life. The other is offering up what you value for something you value more, a deal made of your own free will.

    Because losing your life is against a person’s self-survival instincts, this can make them believe that it is a waste. For example, the Left believes it is a waste to fight in Iraq and they wish to discontinue this waste of lives in Iraq based upon the principle that they don’t want to lose their life so they are the people rescuing those dying in Iraq.

    But there’s a higher truth, in the sense when we say that a soldier offered up his lives to save his buddies by falling on a hand grenade. According to Samurai Bushido code, only when a fighter removes all concern for his own life can he achieve the superior levels of being a warrior. It is not the same as being suicidal, as the Jihad says, it simply says that whatever is required to accomplish the job will run through you brain and be applied, with no hesitation or limitations put upon you by your self-survival instincts. If it is more efficient for you to live and keep fighting, then that shall be what is done, but if it is more likely to accomplish the mission to fight to the end and die, then that will be it. I see Good as transcending your human limitations and instincts, enforcing your will on the hard wired desires and commands of your biological body. And as such, when a champion of good dies, he will not die in vain since he’ll kill as many of his enemies as he can when he is alive, and then when he dies, he’ll get rid of the ones still alive with his death hopefully. This is compared to evil, which simply blows itself up like Hitler, having already taken down everyone of their OWN allies in the process before his death. Palestine, as well you know.

    So going back to reality here, with American Idol and rap music. Essentially, people like strength and will believe in strength. If they believe Christianity is powerful, then they will join it and believe in it. If they believe rap music is powerful and rappers powerful and successful, they will emulate rap music and rappers. Same for American Idol.

    People side with and believe in the Islamic Jihad because they are the ones showing their strength by crushing women and children. If you are able to show that their Jihad and Suicide Bombing is weak and pretentious, then that’s a large step to final victory.

    As a practical example to get rid of all the theoretical talk, let’s look at Iraq. America is becoming stronger and stronger every day it stays and fights in Iraq. It becomes stronger in experienced fighting men, it becomes stronger in more fighters allying with our cause, it becomes stronger due to the friction of war stripping the baby fat from inexperienced war apparatuses, and it becomes stronger because the steel after having been in the fires for a long time is now ready to be tempered into a strong and flexible weapon. Yet there are people who believe for their own reasons, that American strength can be increased if you stop fighting.

    Since when did life ever become stronger when it stops fighting entropy?

    Every power on Earth has proven itself through force of arms. The British, the Spanish, the Russians, the japanese, and the Americans; including everybody else around in history.

    The belief that you can just stand down, cause you have power for the moment, is a decadent belief. It is a Leftist belief that the only danger to humanity is from those that control the means of production, meaning the uber-dogs; as in contrast with the underdog proletariats.

    It is laziness, it is procrastination, the belief that you have time. This is weakness, and weakness has never produced anything Good.

    Everybody and their monkey on the Left wants to say America is good and powerful therefore America should take a break and conserve herself for Americans; i.e. Mayor Nagin and the Left. They say the military stretched and needs to go back home because American military adventures weaken the US defenses. Yet the biological imperative of exercising your mind and body has not changed; least of all for Hollywood seeking to create a perfect body image. Since when has a muscle become stronger due to you not using it and not stretching it? When has a mind become sharper if you just thought about yourself in a sensory deprivation tank and nothing about the stimulus from outside?

  12. Book, you raise a point about Japanese conduct in WWII that I think is not correct.

    Japan waged a war to control territory. True.

    But they waged a *massive* extermination campaign against their victims. By some counts as many as 20 million Chinese were killed. Many of them in truly horrifically inventive ways. By some accounts it was as bad as what the Nazis did, but a little less focussed on one ethnic group.

  13. That’s why I enjoy your blog so much, Book – you always offer such interesting perspectives. Ditto with your posts, YM, …but FYI, “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” is one of the Ten Commandments, which I do believe precedes the Norse fables. Thought that I should put that in proper perspective, eh.

  14. You’re absolutely right, Joe, as to the Japanese. The rape of Nanking, for example, ranked up there with the worst genocidal acts of the Nazis. My perspective, though, is from my Dutch mother, whose relationship to them was as a captured citizen in conquered territory, not as the potential victim of genocidal slaughter.

    Thanks for the clarification about some of the Japanese’s other, less traditional war time activities, for which there is no excuse.

  15. The Japanese were essentially xenophobic and with a superiority complex. Their entire system of government were built upon feudal systems of warfare and samurai codes of honor and obedience. Japan is and has always been an extremely hierarchical society, to an extent that Americans are probably extremely alienated by due to America’s focus on individualism. Japanese have suicided due to group pressure and a sense that they have failed to meet the standards of family or peer group. They don’t do hara kiri anymore, but in a sense the basic fundamentals have not changed much at all.

    What makes them very different from the Catholic Church or any other Western hierarchy, whether military or religious or political, is that they are also inherently artists that believe in sensuality. The ideal model of a samurai or warrior is Miyamoto Musashi, someone who went unbeaten in his many duels, first blood or to the death, yet also took up caligraphy, poetry, writing, etc in his spare time in seclusion.

    Homicidal artists restrained only by a personal sense of honor or duty to a lord, is one way you could sum up Japan’s history. Do you know why the Katana is shaped the way it is and why it is curved and long? It is because that thing is designed to slice and saw through armor and flesh, not “hack”. The Europeans focused on articulated full plate, massive and heavy high tech armor that would stop any number of blows and shortbows. The Japanese focused on offensive power and sword skill, in addition to personal mobility and agility. The Europeans, on heavy cavalry and jousting. The various technological pathways have lead to some differences, such as the Asian skills in the martial hand to hand arts, which kicked the crap out of Americans when they first saw it in the latter 19th century.

    Japan only opened up to outside trade in the latter 19th century, after a treaty was signed with America and others; in point of fact that was why they had the Sino-Russo war in the first place. It was chiefly why they depended upon about 100% of their oil imports from the US. They only had about half a century to industrialize, and that’s not enough time to find independent raw resources outside of japan. Part of Japan’s expansionary aims were to grab resources, which Japan has almost nothing of concerning natural resources; other than fish and sushi and rice farms.

    Thus the xenophobia, combined with the increase in need for resources, and the Japanese culture of hierarchy didn’t end up being a very good thing for conquered populations in China. The Japanese back then thought they were superior to everybody, it didn’t matter what you looked like or how your eyes were shaped. They still have some of that, if you were ever a Westerner in Japan, you would stick out pretty much, and the word for foreigner in Japan translates just as well to barbarian. In a sense, they are very similar to the Greeks. Don’t speak Greek or Latin? Barbarian you are.

    They make good allies precisely because they are good warriors and extremely bound to tradition; even though the lot of women have been seeing reforms because of a new generation of Japanese. Unlike the South Koreans and Arabs, the Japanese are upset about American bases only because they are foreign, and not because they are powerful. And many Japanese still don’t like foreigners, find them strange, yet the newer generation has a different view on “new” especially “English” new. Power and authority they have always respected, which made the post-war process very streamlined after MAcArthur protected Hirohito from the war crimes lawyers in the US and Europe. (Got to watch out for those lawyers, the military has always had to if they wanted to keep things peaceful) I cannot quote to you what South Korea’s historical motivations have been, but certainly their current behavior does not create any real respect amongst me.

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/South_Korea_Pushing_US_Relocation.html

    I tried to find some anti-American protest info on Japan, but nothing came out on the front page.

    Now hell, that’s a real riot. Guess what, when Pakistanis get mad at AQ blowing up Shia mosques, they kill those working in American franchises. Priceless? (Link after comment)

    Japan is a very well ordered society, just like Germany, and they don’t tolerate riots or whatever. This is even including their own Leftist/Marxist revolutionaries, Book. Japan had its own i dentity crisis in the 60s and 70s, just as the rest of the world did. They had a revolution which distanced them from the past, much as it did for Germany’s Prussian military efficacy and traditions; forever shattering Germany’s military expeditionary and professional military ability. For Japan though, they never had to deal with Russian propaganda as much as Germany did, due to the Iron Curtail and the Berlin Wall. The Soviets had many many agents there working to brainwash the East Germans and West German useful idiots. Japan was slightly insulated from that, because China was their chief neighbor, not the Soviets. And their being an island and a fracking homogenous island at that, it was extremely hard to pass agents into their well ordered society. I can’t recall any additional details concerning Japan in the Cold Intel Wars, but they played their part and had their own agendas; but hard to figure out exactly without japanese sources and declassified Soviet documents which Americans only tried to translate the ones pertaining to English spheres.

    This is turning into a full post, so I’m going to have to cross post it to my blog.

  16. http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/338859

    Here’s the link to the riot in Pakistan, and there are some other stories there that I’ll be blogging about.

  17. There is a distinction between killing and murdering. The man in the photo is being murdered. If a US soldier came along and shot the Nazi psycopaths behind him, they would be killed. I am sad that people cannot seem to make a distinction between the two.

  18. The distinction requires a kind of empathy, that allows a person to see things from another’s viewpoint, killer or killee.

    Those that cannot or will not see themselves defending others to the death or killing aggressors, will always say that killing is wrong; that war is wrong, that there are no justifications because nothing would ever convince them that your life is worth taking a risk on their pristine souls and hides.

  19. […] American Relations Filed under: History — ymarsakar @ 4:11 pm I was talking over at Bookworm about Japanese history and i came across a set of Japan Today news articles and comments that I […]

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