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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hondo View Post

    I think that’s why I didn’t feel anything about the firebombing of Tokyo or the atomic bombs, because I had just listened to the part of the book about the fighting in Manila. I am not a squeamish person, or one given to fits of rage, but I had to stop listening to the book for the evening because I was becoming so sickened and angry about it. I’m sure that was what Toll wanted by including so much detail, to shock readers and show the brutality of the war, but it was just too much for me. I had to take a break.
    We had a wonderful tour guide in Manila who went through some of the atrocities that took place there. It was tough to listen to. It was even tougher as I was sitting on the floor of a part of one of the cathedrals that hadn't been bombed into oblivion and he told us how many people were buried down below. Somber stuff. I'll never feel softly towards the Japanese. Prejudice on my part, for sure. But I can't really shake how brutal they were. It was always one of the laments of my mother; she watched a lot of war movies and documentaries about WWII.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by phillygirl View Post

      We had a wonderful tour guide in Manila who went through some of the atrocities that took place there. It was tough to listen to. It was even tougher as I was sitting on the floor of a part of one of the cathedrals that hadn't been bombed into oblivion and he told us how many people were buried down below. Somber stuff. I'll never feel softly towards the Japanese. Prejudice on my part, for sure. But I can't really shake how brutal they were. It was always one of the laments of my mother; she watched a lot of war movies and documentaries about WWII.
      My mom watched it on newsreels. And Dad was about to graduate the V-12 program and be assigned to a ship when it ended. Both of them had very strong opinions about the Axis powers. I was born right at the end of the Korean War (in which my maternal uncle fought), but WWII was a real presence in my young life. Mom and Dad had no use for the whitewashing that went on once Japan and Germany became our "friends." They understood quite well the role that the economic crushing of Germany after WWI played in creating Nazi Germany, so they never railed against the rebuilding of the Axis countries after the war, but they also never forgot the brutality, nor did they delude themselves that it wouldn't happen again if we weren't vigilant.
      "Since the historic ruling, the Lovings have become icons for equality. Mildred released a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in 2007: 'I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, Black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.'." - Mildred Loving (Loving v. Virginia)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post

        My mom watched it on newsreels. And Dad was about to graduate the V-12 program and be assigned to a ship when it ended. Both of them had very strong opinions about the Axis powers. I was born right at the end of the Korean War (in which my maternal uncle fought), but WWII was a real presence in my young life. Mom and Dad had no use for the whitewashing that went on once Japan and Germany became our "friends." They understood quite well the role that the economic crushing of Germany after WWI played in creating Nazi Germany, so they never railed against the rebuilding of the Axis countries after the war, but they also never forgot the brutality, nor did they delude themselves that it wouldn't happen again if we weren't vigilant.
        My grandparents were in their 20's during WWII. I bought a Nissan once. I saw the disappointment in my grandfather's voice (and heard the disgust in his words). He didn't rail against them, but he couldn't understand the American hunger for their products.
        Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
        Robert Southwell, S.J.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by phillygirl View Post

          The drinks were pretty reasonable, as I recall....even with the upcharge for the umbrella.
          And you get to look at a fine piece of man-candy like me. Win-Win for you, says I.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by phillygirl View Post

            We had a wonderful tour guide in Manila who went through some of the atrocities that took place there. It was tough to listen to. It was even tougher as I was sitting on the floor of a part of one of the cathedrals that hadn't been bombed into oblivion and he told us how many people were buried down below. Somber stuff. I'll never feel softly towards the Japanese. Prejudice on my part, for sure. But I can't really shake how brutal they were. It was always one of the laments of my mother; she watched a lot of war movies and documentaries about WWII.
            I was so pissed off the next day that I told my friend that any man who had ever worn a Japanese uniform, and who survived the war, should have been executed. Atrocities weren’t just guys going crazy during a battle, all armies had that sort of thing. With the Japanese, atrocities were part of their normal everyday business practice. What is odd about it is that it is a 180-degree change that happened in just 30 years or so. During their war with Russia in 1904, the Japanese were models of how captors should treat their prisoners. Three decades later they were savages.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hondo View Post

              I was so pissed off the next day that I told my friend that any man who had ever worn a Japanese uniform, and who survived the war, should have been executed. Atrocities weren’t just guys going crazy during a battle, all armies had that sort of thing. With the Japanese, atrocities were part of their normal everyday business practice. What is odd about it is that it is a 180-degree change that happened in just 30 years or so. During their war with Russia in 1904, the Japanese were models of how captors should treat their prisoners. Three decades later they were savages.
              Is there an explanation for the change?
              Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
              Robert Southwell, S.J.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Hondo View Post

                I think that’s why I didn’t feel anything about the firebombing of Tokyo or the atomic bombs, because I had just listened to the part of the book about the fighting in Manila. I am not a squeamish person, or one given to fits of rage, but I had to stop listening to the book for the evening because I was becoming so sickened and angry about it. I’m sure that was what Toll wanted by including so much detail, to shock readers and show the brutality of the war, but it was just too much for me. I had to take a break.
                I don't know how much of the grisly detail was available to the public at the time. I remember seeing a photo of some bodies in the sand after D-day, and the caption called it "one of the first pictures of American dead released to the public."
                • "We must make sure we don’t give platforms to those lying to our faces." — Brian Stelter, leading by example.
                • “I have absolutely no intention of the Democrats not winning the House in November." — Nancy Pelosi, explaining power.
                • "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."— Barack Obama's 1st Rule of Joe Biden.
                • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misquoting Pogo.
                • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
                • "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
                • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by phillygirl View Post

                  Is there an explanation for the change?
                  No, none at all.

                  I think they just went crazy. I’m not joking, I think they had a complete break with reality and somehow convinced themselves that what they were telling themselves was the only truth that made any sense. I know that sounds silly, but I don’t have anything else to really explain it. I’m not Japanese though so maybe there is something in their culture that explains it.

                  The Japanese knew before the war that there was no way for them to win in an all out war against the U.S. They knew this. Yet they convinced themselves that if instead of curbing their aggression in Asia and getting the U.S. to start shipping them oil again they attacked Pearl Harbor and sank the American fleet, not only would the Americans not declare war on Japan, but that the Americans would immediately come to the negotiating table and cancel all of the sanctions on Japan. They really believed this. There is no way to adequately explain that.

                  If it hadn’t been for Hirohito they wouldn’t have even surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped. The Japanese, as all major nations did, knew what atomic weapons were. They all had research programs into their development, we just got there first. When the bombs were dropped, even though the devastation was incredible, the hardliners in the Japanese government said “well, the Americans can’t possibly have many of those weapons because they are much too expensive to produce, so let’s ride things out. Try to evacuate the cities as best we can, let them drop the bombs that they have, and then force them to invade Japan where we can get to grips with them.”

                  There is no good explanation for that other than insanity.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Newman View Post
                    I don't know how much of the grisly detail was available to the public at the time. I remember seeing a photo of some bodies in the sand after D-day, and the caption called it "one of the first pictures of American dead released to the public."
                    That wouldn’t surprise me.

                    One of the things I like about Toll’s books is that he goes well beyond just the military campaign. Press censorship during the war was extremely harsh. While there were war correspondents like Ernie Pyle all through the army and navy, every word that they wrote had to be submitted to the censors and approved. For the early part of the war in the Pacific (I am assuming in Europe as well) almost nothing got thru, and on several occasions that really bit the military on the ass with the American public after defeats. Because they weren’t getting what they saw as useful information, the public just believed the worst about the military leadership.

                    It got so bad that Ernest King, the head of the navy, was convinced to have a private, off the record meeting with a group of D.C. journalists. It isn’t something that King wanted to do, and it definitely wasn’t something that was in his nature. He disliked the Press intensely. It was a watershed moment in press coverage. King sat around with them drinking beers and smoking and told them everything, answered all of their questions candidly. He explained why things were being done as they were. The meeting was a great success, and those reporters went out amongst their peers and started helping to tone down the criticisms from editors and reporters on the front pages. It was such a great success, and King had enjoyed it so much, that he continued such meetings on a fairly regular basis throughout the war.

                    Eventually (probably late ‘43 or early ‘44), the censorship was relaxed a bit because the military started to see that working with the journalists could be helpful to them.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hondo View Post

                      That wouldn’t surprise me.

                      One of the things I like about Toll’s books is that he goes well beyond just the military campaign. Press censorship during the war was extremely harsh. While there were war correspondents like Ernie Pyle all through the army and navy, every word that they wrote had to be submitted to the censors and approved. For the early part of the war in the Pacific (I am assuming in Europe as well) almost nothing got thru, and on several occasions that really bit the military on the ass with the American public after defeats. Because they weren’t getting what they saw as useful information, the public just believed the worst about the military leadership.

                      It got so bad that Ernest King, the head of the navy, was convinced to have a private, off the record meeting with a group of D.C. journalists. It isn’t something that King wanted to do, and it definitely wasn’t something that was in his nature. He disliked the Press intensely. It was a watershed moment in press coverage. King sat around with them drinking beers and smoking and told them everything, answered all of their questions candidly. He explained why things were being done as they were. The meeting was a great success, and those reporters went out amongst their peers and started helping to tone down the criticisms from editors and reporters on the front pages. It was such a great success, and King had enjoyed it so much, that he continued such meetings on a fairly regular basis throughout the war.

                      Eventually (probably late ‘43 or early ‘44), the censorship was relaxed a bit because the military started to see that working with the journalists could be helpful to them.
                      My late mother-in-law (whose husband was in the CeeBees in the Pacific during the war) said they really did NOT know anything about the Nazi extermination camps during the war. I know Eisenhower ordered cameras to record the atrocities to prevent deniers, and I think William Shirer wrote his landmark book for the same reason.

                      As far as the press is concerned, what should probably surprise us is how indignant we are that the media is grotesquely biased. When the British, pre-Treton, were chasing George Washington around like a scalded hound the American press was portraying his amazing escapes as victories.


                      • "We must make sure we don’t give platforms to those lying to our faces." — Brian Stelter, leading by example.
                      • “I have absolutely no intention of the Democrats not winning the House in November." — Nancy Pelosi, explaining power.
                      • "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."— Barack Obama's 1st Rule of Joe Biden.
                      • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misquoting Pogo.
                      • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
                      • "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
                      • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Hondo View Post

                        I was so pissed off the next day that I told my friend that any man who had ever worn a Japanese uniform, and who survived the war, should have been executed. Atrocities weren’t just guys going crazy during a battle, all armies had that sort of thing. With the Japanese, atrocities were part of their normal everyday business practice. What is odd about it is that it is a 180-degree change that happened in just 30 years or so. During their war with Russia in 1904, the Japanese were models of how captors should treat their prisoners. Three decades later they were savages.
                        Several posts about the residual anger and distrust remind me of a very old veteran of the Indian Wars who was a patient of my country doctor father in the 1950s. For that veteran "the only good injun is a dead injun" was a maxim he had absorbed early and permanently. The Indians were NOT drum-thumping flower children. For many brutality had a religious significance; the righteousness of an execution was reflected by its brutality.

                        We can look almost anywhere and find episodes of mind-numbing cruelty. ISIS has to be exterminated, but they're not the only ones. And the difficult truth is that no group of people is immune from such a descent. I find a hint of this in our breezy fantasies about "jailhouse justice."
                        • "We must make sure we don’t give platforms to those lying to our faces." — Brian Stelter, leading by example.
                        • “I have absolutely no intention of the Democrats not winning the House in November." — Nancy Pelosi, explaining power.
                        • "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."— Barack Obama's 1st Rule of Joe Biden.
                        • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misquoting Pogo.
                        • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
                        • "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
                        • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by phillygirl View Post

                          The drinks were pretty reasonable, as I recall....even with the upcharge for the umbrella.
                          "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                          -John Locke

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                          • #28
                            Someplace I have shoebox of pictures my father brought back from the Pacific Home Islands Campaign, They show the results of several Japanese attacks on a beach in an unspecifed Island. It's hard to tell how many they killed, as the bodies are piled in rows, The fanaticism of their attacks were unbelievable. To his death he hated all Japanese,
                            Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
                            and lost …
                            But the Republicans are racist.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Gramps View Post
                              Someplace I have shoebox of pictures my father brought back from the Pacific Home Islands Campaign, They show the results of several Japanese attacks on a beach in an unspecifed Island. It's hard to tell how many they killed, as the bodies are piled in rows, The fanaticism of their attacks were unbelievable. To his death he hated all Japanese,
                              I had a great uncle like that (I guess: my mother's sister's daughter's husband's grandfather, whatever the hell that makes him to me). Just absolutely cussed anything Japanese, from cars to televisions, right into the late '90s.

                              Now, to his credit, he lost a lot of friends at Hickham Field. It was only by pure dumb "luck" that he was on furlough back in Georgia on December 7, there for the funeral of his mother who had died of cancer. So he heard about the attack at the same time as the rest of the continental US and was immediately sent back to Hawaii. Of course, in those days, you didn't just call up PanAm and catch a flight, so it took him several days to get back, just as it had taken him get to Georgia, so he literally had to leave her graveside service in Athens, GA in his class-As and get on a transport (I'm guessing bus, then train, then either plane or ship, but I honestly don't know), and his father died as he was on his way back to Hawaii. He harbored a LOT of anger about that, and was absolutely convinced that his father would not have died, at least not as soon, if he didn't have to leave immediately to go to war. And then when he got to Honolulu, they were still cleaning up the bodies at Hickham Field and some of the ships were actually still either burning or foundered in Pearl Harbor, and that's when he got the news that his father was dead. So it's pretty understandable why he would carry around a lifelong anger at the Japanese.
                              It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                              In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                              Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                              Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Adam View Post
                                I had a great uncle like that (I guess: my mother's sister's daughter's husband's grandfather, whatever the hell that makes him to me). Just absolutely cussed anything Japanese, from cars to televisions, right into the late '90s.
                                "Distant relative" is the technical term.

                                Now, to his credit, he lost a lot of friends at Hickham Field. It was only by pure dumb "luck" that he was on furlough back in Georgia on December 7, there for the funeral of his mother who had died of cancer. So he heard about the attack at the same time as the rest of the continental US and was immediately sent back to Hawaii. Of course, in those days, you didn't just call up PanAm and catch a flight, so it took him several days to get back, just as it had taken him get to Georgia, so he literally had to leave her graveside service in Athens, GA in his class-As and get on a transport (I'm guessing bus, then train, then either plane or ship, but I honestly don't know), and his father died as he was on his way back to Hawaii. He harbored a LOT of anger about that, and was absolutely convinced that his father would not have died, at least not as soon, if he didn't have to leave immediately to go to war. And then when he got to Honolulu, they were still cleaning up the bodies at Hickham Field and some of the ships were actually still either burning or foundered in Pearl Harbor, and that's when he got the news that his father was dead. So it's pretty understandable why he would carry around a lifelong anger at the Japanese.
                                It's good that generations pass away. Things like that are slow to heal.

                                And it's NOT good that the internet makes it so easy to never forget. "Keep hate alive," as it were. (Of course, in black/white affairs we have a whole industry that depends on keeping hate alive.)

                                I've noticed that in "the Lord's Prayer" there is one phrase that is different from the others, as Sesame Street might have put it once upon a time. The prayer is an appeal to God for many things, like "our daily bread," but it does suggest our obligation to forgive: "forgive us as we forgive others." That amounts to swearing before God that we (must) forgive others.

                                I understand that we can't just will hard feelings away, but the idea is we should, or at minimum should try.
                                • "We must make sure we don’t give platforms to those lying to our faces." — Brian Stelter, leading by example.
                                • “I have absolutely no intention of the Democrats not winning the House in November." — Nancy Pelosi, explaining power.
                                • "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."— Barack Obama's 1st Rule of Joe Biden.
                                • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misquoting Pogo.
                                • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
                                • "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
                                • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

                                Comment

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