Dear Gillian (from Adrian)
My copy of this book arrived today. I was speaking to a US academic colleague of mine recently, and I happened to mention that I cannot understand how it is that there exist hundreds of hours of US film footage shot during the War in the Pacific (1941-1945) recording US Forces committing endless War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity – and that no one seems to care! I saw a beach covered in the bodies of young, shaven-headed Japanese men (most in their late teens) who had been mowed down by US machine guns in their thousands as they tried to retake the island. This was one of the few times the Japanese attempted a counter-attack, possibly Guadalcanal or Guam, I can’t remember exactly. These men wore clean, new uniforms, carried bright coloured flags, and were led by Officers wearing white-gloves and carrying samurai-swords!
The death and destruction of the attack is not the issue – the men fought bravely on both sides. However, what is disturbing is that the US Army felt the need to ‘film’ US soldiers moving through the piles of Japanese bodies ‘stealing’ their personal property and ‘shooting in the head’ anyone still moving and showing signs of life! Where was the medical treatment? These Americans were also taking the piss out of the photographs of their wives, girlfriends and children. There is also film footage of US Marines machine-gunning unarmed civilians on the island of Okinawa – and who can forget the Life Magazine frontpage that depicted a White American woman holding a pen and starring longingly at the skull of a Kamikaze Pilot (sent home by her Marine boyfriend) and being used as a paperweight! After hearing this, my colleague advised that I read ‘War Without Mercy’ by John Dower.
Dear Adrian (from Gillian)
The absence of the ‘rule of law’ in everything the Americans do left them with a special place of cold burning anger in my grandfather’s heart, he wouldn’t even touch American products, though I presume he occasionally had to fly in a Boeing.
And considering the brutality of the Japanese that he witnessed, he never felt like that towards them. I think he was very well placed, due to his diplomatic work in the 1960s to see first-hand their wholesale rape of the Far East from Korea to the Philippines.
Dear Gillian (from Adrian)
I agree. As we both have Chinese relatives who personally experience Japanese brutality at its most intensive – it is interesting that we do not take the side of US racism! I have always said that if the Japanese hadn’t attacked China like it did – I would have supported the war against the US as a war against ‘racism’. In that scenario, I would hope that China and the USSR would have joined together with Japan to defeat the evil presence of the US! Britain had no right to possess colonies in the East – the same can be said for any Europeans – although I would not resort to the mindless brutality of the Imperial Japanese. Japan is a beautiful country with a stunningly beautiful culture – it could have transformed the world through cultural influence rather than brute force – trying to copy the West.
Japan had to be beaten in the end for our own safety and continued existence at the time – and I respect every American who fought with us in Europe and Asia – but my support and admiration stops short at supporting US brutality. I cannot see any reason to demean the dead-bodies of the fallen – rather than because they are not viewed as ‘human’. The USSR freed China from the Japanese in the end with the Red Army smashing its way through the well-prepared defences of the Kwangtung Army that no other force had been able to dislodge. No atrocities and no demeaning of the dead – just a straightforward fight to the finish. What I am interested in is the Soviet ‘liberation’ of the islands to the North of Japan. I am not sure if the Soviets remained on these Japanese islands until 1991 – it is a subject I need to research further. If they did – the Japanese keep quiet about it. These areas would constitute ‘Soviet’ parts of Japan administered through ‘Socialist’ policies.