By Jug Varner
There are thousands of cases of Japanese cruelty to their captured Americans and other enemies during WW II. Now, after some 60 years silence and most of these heroic Americans are in their graves, the stories are finally being publicized. Too little, too late!
Unfortunately (and retrospectively a totally misguided effort of Japanese appeasement by our government) the suppression of thousands of such reports went unnoticed by a population tired of war and wanting to get on with their post-war civilian lives. Author Peter Maas's excellent article on this subject, They Should Have Their Day In Court, appeared in the June 17 issue of the Sunday supplement Parade Magazine.
Not only did the Government purposely suppress stories of Japanese cruelty, and ordered the POWs not to talk about the atrocities they endured (supposedly to make easier its task of rebuilding the conquered nation into a democracy), it spent billions of dollars helping rebuild the new Japanese government and its industries. In the process, Japan gained a favored trade nation status and imported millions of automobiles that eventually cornered the market here, bringing near financial ruin to several of our nation's automakers.
Did our leaders of that time have a guilt complex from dropping the nuclear bombs that ended the war? Surely, the decision was a right one at the time, considering the staggering losses that could have occurred in the invasion of the Japanese homeland of fanatic do-or-die resisters. The story of Iwo Jima demonstrated that! Certainly Japan's induced death toll in China and other Asian atrocities from 1937 through 1945 caused far more casualties than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined!
So why are we still appeasing Japan, even in small ways - such as the filming a special Japanese audience version different from the recently released Pearl Harbor for the American audience? Not that the American version was all that accurate! Hollywood has never worried too much about accuracy, and grows progressively worse.
Why, over the years, has nothing been done about Japan's failure to allow several generations of their people to grow up without knowing the true story of their nation's imperialistic takeovers and atrocities?
History repeats itself. China now looms as the demon of the Orient, with the manpower and natural resources to become the most dominant nation in the world. The Clinton Administration supposedly aided and abetted them tremendously with its gift of many nuclear secrets, and the recent P3 landing gave them a few more. Congress doesn't seem to be very well attuned to history, so the beat goes on!
In any case, even 60 years after the fact, American should know the truth about Japanese POWs! Such stories about Korean POWs were more available, as were those about Vietnam POWs, although the mainstream press, being so against that war, seldom printed or telecast anything positive about the heroic efforts of our service personnel in that war.
With many liberal revisionist historians busily replacing what really happened with their own version, one wonders if future generations will even know the truth about 20th Century wars.