President Obama’s Memorial Day trip to Japan to the World War II site of Hiroshima to presumably apologize for dropping the atom bomb has ignited furious criticism of the president. Among those critics is Breitbart’s John Hayward, who documents an extensive historical context for the education of those who have only had the opportunity to read progressive-approved textbooks, including apparently the President of the United States. Why is this important? Because the dropping of the atom bomb didn’t happen in a vacuum – it was used as a means to end a brutal war started by Imperial Japan. And although the destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons is a horror that haunts civilization since, we must remember that they were created in response to other horrors. Hayward’s grim list of Imperial Japan’s war crimes includes:
- Pearl Harbor:
“Mr. Obama, who claims to be a lawyer and devotee of international law, may be interested to know that every single one of the 3,581 casualties at Pearl Harbor (according to the National WWII Museum tally) were considered non-combatants, including the 2,403 military personnel who were killed, because Japan did not declare war before the attack. If it happened today, it would be rightly denounced as a terrorist attack.”
2. The Bataan Death March
“In an act of pure, deliberate sadism…the Japanese forced their prisoners to march a hundred miles to a prison camp on foot. Many of the prisoners were killed out of hand, including anyone who dared to ask for water… and anyone who collapsed from dehydration. POWs reported Japanese soldiers taking away their meager supply of water and feeding it to horses while they watched. Starving men were tortured … Prisoners… murdered…It has been estimated that between 5,000 and 11,000 of Japan’s prisoners were killed during the Bataan Death March. That wasn’t the only death march the Empire perpetrated, either. The prisoners of Sandakan were subjected to multiple forced marches, once the Japanese lost interest in using them as slave labor. By the time they were finished, only six of the original 2,390 prisoners were still alive….One of the Japanese torture methods recounted by survivors of Sandakan involved pouring water down a prisoner’s throat until his stomach became distended, and then kicking him in the stomach.”
3. The Rape of Nanking
“a literal rape, involving up to 80,000 sexual assaults…The death toll ran into the hundreds of thousands, leaving some modern observers to speak of genocide…The figure generally accepted at post-war trials was over 200,000, but some think the total number is closer to 400,000.”
4. Targeted Murder of Medical Personnel
“Working in a hospital afforded no protection from Imperial Japanese forces. When 65 Australian Army nurses tried to escape from Singapore ahead of Japanese occupation, Japanese planes blew their overloaded boat out of the water, then strafed the survivors…Imperial Japan deliberately attacked hospital ships on several documented occasions, including the Manunda and Centaur of Australia. Japan did not formally admit to sinking the Centaur until 1979.”
5. Conducting Medical Experiments, Torturing and Cannibalism of Live Prisoners
Imperial Japan was infamous for torturing and killing its prisoners, in defiance of all international laws…In the 1990s, documents were uncovered that described widespread cannibalism by Japanese troops…at least 100 cases of cannibalism against Australian and Indian soldiers, and forced laborers in New Guinea, plus evidence of more such atrocities in the Philippines….Imperial Japan also conducted horrifying medical experiments on its prisoners, including the removal of their organs while they were still alive, without anesthesia.
Hayward notes that even this extensive list (detailed even more thoroughly in his article) is but a sampling of the horrors Imperial Japan unleashed on the region during WWII. Hayward asserts that the manner in which Japan conducted war during this time bears an uncanny resemblance to a modern terror group:
“Imperial Japan approached its Chinese foes with the same strategy ISIS uses against its enemies today: maximum carnage and savagery, to terrorize the foe into submission. They used some of the exact same methods ISIS does, including burning captives alive, beheading them, and burying them alive in slaughter pits.”
It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the same politicians and ideologies that want to “contain” ISIS or believe that extremist Islamists are victims of Western colonialism and need job programs, would want to apologize for past US actions in what could at the very worst be considered an evenly fought and brutal war. When the past historical record is examined, it is clear that Imperial Japan was the brutal aggressor and the actions of the United States to decisively end the war were warranted.
Although all wish that the horrors of nuclear war had never been unleashed upon the world, they were because of the aggressive actions of the Axis powers, not because of the defensive actions of the United States. The deaths of millions of innocents throughout the Pacific would never have taken place if not for Imperial Japan’s actions.
Although as fellow human beings we have compassion for the Japanese civilians who lost their lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we also must realize that that day came about only in response to the suffering and death of millions of other civilians and servicemen during the preceding years of conflict. To draw a moral equivalence as the President is wont to do in cases such as these, as to say: “you committed evil, we committed evil, we apologize”, is inaccurate. Japan and the Japanese people are now our strong allies, and we have great respect for their people. However, Imperial Japan at that time was the nation at fault for bringing war upon the entire region, and the necessary destruction wrought by the atomic bomb was required to decisively end the war.
In addition, the President’s timing could not be worse. To apologize for American actions during a national time of remembrance for fallen servicemen and servicewomen is an insult. Families who lost loved ones in these very conflicts and who remembered them in these past few days were treated to their Commander in Chief apologizing for their actions at the very time the nation is honoring their ultimate sacrifice. The comments section on Hayward’s Breitbart.com article and across other forums online are filled with many service members’ family members’ stories of sacrifice and suffering from these conflicts in the Pacific. It is truly unfortunate that the POTUS put the politically correct anti-nuclear agenda ahead of honoring America’s veterans and the sacrifices they and their families made this Memorial Day.
Read the whole article here.