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Letting Go – For Good

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December 7th, the day that will live in Infamy. America's "Never forgive, never forget" moment.

To this day, Americans whose parents weren't even born when Pearl Harbor was attacked still hate the Japanese for bungling a too-slick timing play intended to start the war to "free Asia from Western dominance" with a bang, and to impress upon the West that the East was too powerful and unified to resist. By harboring such hatred, contemporary Americans ignore the fact that Japan reaped the whirlwind resulting from the war seeds they sowed. It's a lesson we should have learned long before this.

American losses at Pearl Harbor were insignificant compared to those inflicted upon the Japanese up to three years and eight months later, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vaporized. The permanent loss of two obsolete US Navy battleships and a target ship (all other damaged ships returned to service before the end of the war) and 2400 lives on December 7 is nothing compared to the up to 220,000 "acute deaths" and the destroyed centers of two cities suffered by Japan from the atomic bombings.

Even down in Texas, that's known as being repaid in spades.

Japan was beaten as badly as is possible when the war ended. The last air attack on that country, conducted just hours before the cease-fire of August 15, 1945 was to go into effect, was launched in part to halt the operation of Japan's Nippon Oil refinery at Tsuchizakiminato in northern Hokkaido, the last functioning refinery, in case cease-fire negotiations broke down (as they usually did each time since the first tentative peace overture was attempted in September of 1944). The American air raid was conducted almost with impunity, as the only loss reported by official records was a single fighter plane lost to ground fire.

It was as if Japan was unconscious on the mat and the US aimed a final victory kick at the head, an act of barbarousness intended to inflate the ego and to exult the superego in victory.

I won't attempt to claim that Japan didn't have it coming. The continuing current day uproar in Asia over Japan's long-term refusal to apologize for wartime atrocities and the deaths and destruction caused by Imperial ambition speaks to that.

But when is it okay to release the hatred one's grandparents felt toward an enemy of their nation long since defeated in war?

One has to wonder. Even our site sponsor Amazon still markets war groupie films from The Pacific War, a product which in the wrong hands merely refuels the historic animosity. When said adversary holds so much of our secured indebtedness, such actions might not be in our interest, so maybe the right thing to do is to look at why this continues with an eye toward correcting the imbalance.

Historically, American wars ended definitively, if a bit untidily. For all intents and purposes, the Revolution ended at Yorktown even if hostilities did not. The Civil War ended with Appomattox, even if not every Confederate recognized it as such. For America, the last war to end "cleanly" was the so-called Good War.

On the other hand, the Korean War is still technically underway after 57-plus years, and Vietnam ended in the embarrassing rout of our puppet regime in Saigon.

No war since WWII – not even the Cold War – ever tested the abilities of the American military-industrial complex. Reagan's bully-boy battle with Grenada, and Poppy Bush's World Policeman's Ball in Panama were merely the elitist expressions of a militarized regime which harbored notions of innate natural superiority in the manner of the 1930's Imperial Japanese High Command. But these "actions" weren't enough to feed the blood-lust necessary to drive the world's dominant military power ever forward to new victories, so the Gulf War was used to set up an evil straw man (in the form of a disobedient lackey in need of serious chastisement) so as to be able to boast that he was successfully knocked down.

About pessimist

  • Clavos

    Observing the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is hardly an expression of hatred.

    These days such observances emphasize remembering the dead, and refrain from casting the Japanese in a negative light.

    How much do we hate the Japanese? After the war, we gave them money and expertise to rebuild, for several decades now we have been the primary market for virtually all their industrial output, Japanese companies now build manufacturing plants on our soil which employ tens of thousands of Americans, we have exchange programs and “sister city” programs with the Japanese, and on and on.

    One of the virtues of Americans is that, as a nation, we do not hold grudges.

    By implying that Americans of today hate the Japanese, you demean Americans and dehumanize the Japanese.

  • Baronius

    Realist, if you really think that a sizable chunk of Americans salivate over conquest, no wonder you’re terrified of conservatives.

  • Dr Dreadful

    This article is baffling. Where exactly is all this widespread hatred of the Japanese? Realist doesn’t explain.

    Today is about remembering the dead, not rekindling old enmities. Most of us realize this.

    I visited the USS Arizona memorial earlier this year, and it is a somber place. But the focus is on remembrance. I sensed no anger toward Japan.

  • Doug Hunter

    I’m not surprised by Realist anymore, he is the inevitable result of the multibillion dollar propaganda battles that rage through our political structure; people who actually believe most of the garbage.

    Not to confuse the lemmings the tone either expressed or implied in most left wing speeches focuses on a few hate bullet points.

    1) The right is racist. Their most valuable weapon, 90% of the black vote and 66% of the hispanic is the only reason their ideas or candidates are even remotely viable. They MUST keep this old drumbeat up. (Another amnesty for illegals could put them in a permanent majority)

    2) The right is imperialistic, war for oil, Reagan going to get us all nuked, bush is hitler, nazis, etc.

    3) The right cares about material things more than people.

    Consider these three left wing hate points then go back and reread all of Realists articles. He’s taken the bait hook line and sinker and like any good soldier of the revolution he’s done his best to spread the message to others.

  • Baronius

    Doc – That’s my problem with this article too. I mean, I’m far enough out of the loop that there could be some underground anti-Tojoist chic, and I wouldn’t know anything about it. But the idea that it’s animating US foriegn policy is just bizarre.

  • Dave Nalle

    I’m with Dr. D. Where is the widespread hatred of the Japanese in the younger generation? Do they hate them by being unnaturally fascinated with Manga, Anime and Japanese culture? Or perhaps they hate them by consuming their computer and video games and hardware? Or do they hate them by an unnatural fascination with their quasi-pedophiliac schoolgirl porn?

    Sorry, I just don’t see it. The only people I know who actively hate the Japanese are those who have lived in Japan for an extended period of time.


  • Clavos


  • Matthew T. Sussman

    I thought the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor

  • Jacob

    It was the Germans — but Iran put them up to it.

  • Zedd

    I think that most of you missed what this article is about.

    Its about our self image…

    Read it again and perhaps you’ll get a little bit more than that he is saying that we hate the Japanese

  • Dave Nalle

    When he makes an initial statement so overwhelmingly stupid I think that causes people to not read any further because they figure that the rest of it can’t be worth anything.

    And I did read on – and they would be right.


  • Dr Jetfuel

    I also read on.

    It’s perfectly valid to make an extravagant statement like that, but you do then have to back it up with an argument.

    All Realist can offer us is a brief analysis of America’s Pacific war and its foreign policy since WWII. He doesn’t make even a perfunctory attempt to demonstrate why he thinks Americans still harbor resentment towards Japan.

  • http:.// Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I have to concur with what most folks here say. Americans, by and large, DO NOT have an abiding hatred of Japan. That might have been true when I was a boy playing “Japs and GI’s” in Brooklyn on Sunday mornings in 1961 or so. There were plenty of folks around then for whom the Pacific Theatre of WWII was still a vivid, searing memory.

    But today?

    No. There is no hatred to give up – not anymore. American generally are not a hating people – not with respect to defeated enemies, anyway. Whining about American hatred of Japan is just so forty years old.

    Having said that, I am forced to note that the warning at the article’s end still should be taken very seriously.

    So here we are. We don’t frighten away potential challengers anymore, and our money isn’t as good as it used to be. Our friends are feeling abused, and they aren’t in a forgiving mood. Can we fix things before we find ourselves unconscious on the mat, with someone about to kick us in the head? If we don’t, we will certainly have earned what’s coming to us.

    We’ll know what it’s like to be on the receiving side of successive generational hatred from the grandkids of those we harmed.

    Others, notably Jews, Arabs, Persians, Chinese and Koreans, for example, are generation to generation haters. They neither forgive nor forget.

  • Dave Nalle

    Ruvy, I’d argue that the whole ‘our friends are feeling abused’ argument is pure bullshit, even if it may be true. Given the burdens we’ve been bearing for them for 50 years our so-called friends have no right to feel abused and the fact that they do so argues that they aren’t our friends or worthy of the sacrifices we’ve made for them.

    Rather than reevaluating our actions, I think it’s about time to reevaluate who our friends really are.


  • Christopher Rose

    Perhaps you should write an article detailing exactly who you consider the friends of the USA to be and what burdens it has carried for them. Go on, I need cheering up!

  • http:.// Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I don’t know, Dave.

    Your real friends, the people who feel closest to you in the world, are the Australians, Canadians, and the Israelis. Your government has ignored the Australians benignly, ignored the Canadians less than benignly and are screwing over the people of Israel.

    You might consider the burdens that Americans have borne for the sake of their regime in Washington and the oil and banking cartels that control it, and look real hard. I don’t think you have too much soul searching to do with respect to Australia. But consider carefully your friend to the north, and your friends in Israel. With respect to the Canadians, I suggest that you give their culture the respect it deserves, at the very least, and support their efforts not to be a mere appendage of the United States. With respect to Israel, I suggest that your government stop trying to screw over the Jewish people. You can start by abandoning this bullshit “peace” plan that will bring death to us, and then surely death to you.

    You know just as well as I do that the technology of this country, combined with the marketing power of your country, can easily solve your energy problems, which has been the excuse oil companies and bankers have been using for over four decades to suck you dry and lead you on the path of supporting pigs like the Wahhabi and the Pahlavis.

    Between Canada, Israel and America, the problems of energy, starvation and thirst the world over can be solved, not merely ameliorated. A wonderful peace, as well as a sense of freedom from want and fear, can indeed be brought about on this planet. Each man can sit under his own fig tree without a terrible missile war and the bankruptcy of your nation. Each of the world’s families can sit securely, knowing that they will be respected and treated with dignity, from the South Syrian Arabs who rot in Gaza to the East Bengali who starve in Dhaka, to Phillipine girls who huddle in fear that their parents will sell them into slavery.

    That option yet lies in front of you if you will seize it.

    Unfortunately, I doubt that you will.

  • Dave Nalle

    Perhaps you should write an article detailing exactly who you consider the friends of the USA to be and what burdens it has carried for them.

    “France toujours! France quand meme!”

    Now just think as the US as France prior to WW1.


  • Dave Nalle

    Ruvy, you know as well as I do that the peace plan is totally meaningless and will do nothing real to harm Israelis that your government wouldn’t have been just as likely to do on its own to serve its own ends. Things will continue to totter along towards destruction with or without the peace plan or the US contribution to the efforts unless a totally new approach is devised accompanied by a radical shift in attitude in Riyadh, Damascus and Tehran.


  • Irene Wagner

    Does paragraph #5 in comment #16 contain seeds of the “Messianic vision” piece you said you were planning to write, Ruvy? How would anyone get the folks in paragraph #4 to buy into the plan? What would their motivation be?

    People following the light can expose and remove small splinters of evil’s monumental and yet insidious influence in the world (and as Realist points out, right here in the good old USA)–but the vision is not there for the hoi polloi to “seize.”

    Am I wrong?

  • http:.// Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Very perceptive, Irene.

    That paragraph does outline the basis of what the messianic world will look like. What I offered Dave was Redemption ahead of schedule (geulá aHishéna), without the terrible suffering outlined in the various Books of Prophecy in the Tana”kh.

    If it is not accepted (it is only a rhetorical question for Dave here to accept or not) as it likely will not be, the world will suffer the terrors of the coming of the Redeemer and all the fighting, death and destruction (purification) that will occur in the wake of that event – geulá b’itá. But after all that, the basic outline will still be in that paragraph, where all the Children of Israel, and there are a lot more of us than you realize, will be involved in making the world into a paradise….

  • Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Ruvy, as a rational atheist I look for redemption only in my own actions.


  • http:.// Ruvy in Jerusalem

    That’s okay Dave, I’m not really preaching here, and more to the point, I’m aware that you are an atheist – which is why I said that to you this was more of a rhetorical question.

    Nevertheless, there are opportunities to make real money with what I’m proposing, and if you convert the dollars/euros/pounds you make to gold coins, you get to keep your money….

  • Irene Wagner

    …unless of course an “FDR for today” confiscates all the gold the way the first one did in 1933. You make me laugh, Ruvy, and I’m saying that in a good way.

    Hitch your wagon to a Black Hole, Dave Nalle.