Archive for March 2011

Okinawa and Japan

March 26, 2011

Reading a recent fictional story where a few high school kids visited Okinawa on a school vacation trip, I was invested in reading some more concerning the history of Okinawa.

In list of reading order, here is what I found.

Battle_of_Okinawa

Mass suicides
With the impending victory of American troops, civilians often committed mass suicide, urged on by the Japanese soldiers who told locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping. Ryukyu Shimpo, one of the two major Okinawan newspapers, wrote in 2007: “There are many Okinawans who have testified that the Japanese Army directed them to commit suicide. There are also people who have testified that they were handed grenades by Japanese soldiers” to blow themselves up.[27] Some of the civilians, having been induced by Japanese propaganda to believe that U.S. soldiers were barbarians who committed horrible atrocities, killed their families and themselves to avoid capture. Some of them threw themselves and their family members from the cliffs where the Peace Museum now resides.

However, despite being told by the Japanese military that they would suffer rape, torture and murder at the hands of the Americans, Okinawans “were often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy.”[28][29] According to Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Selden, the Americans “did not pursue a policy of torture, rape, and murder of civilians as Japanese military officials had warned.”[30] Military Intelligence[31] combat translator Teruto Tsubota, a U.S. Marine born in Hawaii, convinced hundreds of civilians not to kill themselves and thus saved their lives.[32]

[edit]Rape allegations
Civilians and historians report that soldiers on both sides had raped Okinawan civilians during the battle. Rape by Japanese troops “became common” in June, after it became clear that the Japanese Army had been defeated.[6][33] One Okinawan historian has estimated there were more than 10,000 rapes of Okinawan women by American troops during the three month campaign.[34] The New York Times reported in 2000 that in the village of Katsuyama, civilians formed a vigilante group to ambush and kill a group of black American soldiers whom they claimed frequently raped the local girls there.[35]

Marine Corps officials in Okinawa and Washington have stated that they “knew of no rapes by American servicemen in Okinawa at the end of the war, and their records do not list war crimes committed by Marines in Okinawa”.[36] Historian George Feifer, however, writes that rape in Okinawa was “another dirty secret of the campaign” in which “American military chronicles ignore [the] crimes.” Few Okinawans revealed their pregnancies, as “stress and bad diet … rendered most Okinawan women infertile. Many who did become pregnant managed to abort before their husbands and fathers returned. A smaller number of newborn infants fathered by Americans were suffocated.”[37]

Suicide order controversy

There is ongoing major disagreement between Okinawa’s local government and Japan’s national government over the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides during the battle. In March 2007, the national Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) advised textbook publishers to reword descriptions that the embattled Imperial Japanese Army forced civilians to kill themselves in the war so they would not be taken prisoner by the U.S. military. MEXT preferred descriptions that just say that civilians received hand grenades from the Japanese military.
This move sparked widespread protests among the Okinawans. In June 2007, the Okinawa Prefectoral Assembly adopted a resolution stating, “We strongly call on the (national) government to retract the instruction and to immediately restore the description in the textbooks so the truth of the Battle of Okinawa will be handed down correctly and a tragic war will never happen again.”[38]

On September 29, 2007, about 110,000 people held the biggest political rally in the history of Okinawa to demand that MEXT retract its order to textbook publishers on revising the account of the civilian suicides. The resolution stated: “It is an undeniable fact that the ‘multiple suicides’ would not have occurred without the involvement of the Japanese military and any deletion of or revision to (the descriptions) is a denial and distortion of the many testimonies by those people who survived the incidents.”[39]

On December 26, 2007, MEXT partially admitted the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides.[40] The ministry’s Textbook Authorization Council allowed the publishers to reinstate the reference that civilians “were forced into mass suicides by the Japanese military,” on condition it is placed in sufficient context. The council report stated: “It can be said that from the viewpoint of the Okinawa residents, they were forced into the mass suicides.”[41] That was, however, not enough for the survivors who said it is important for children today to know what really happened.[42]

The Nobel Prize winning author Kenzaburō Ōe has written a booklet which states that the mass suicide order was given by the military during the battle.[43] He was sued by the revisionists, including a wartime commander during the battle, who disputed this and wanted to stop publication of the booklet. At a court hearing on November 9, 2007, Ōe testified: “Mass suicides were forced on Okinawa islanders under Japan’s hierarchical social structure that ran through the state of Japan, the Japanese armed forces and local garrisons.”[44] On March 28, 2008, the Osaka Prefecture Court ruled in favor of Ōe stating, “It can be said the military was deeply involved in the mass suicides.” The court recognized the military’s involvement in the mass suicides and murder–suicides, citing the testimony about the distribution of grenades for suicide by soldiers and the fact that mass suicides were not recorded on islands where the military was not stationed.[45]

This covers in greater detail what goes on in Japan concerning historical revisionism and the entire purpose of it. It is not to erase the past, but to make it ambiguous. The truth, but not the whole truth. And what we call the Japanese, the Okinawans, take exception to that. That’s because Ryukyu islands are Chinese in ethnic make up, not Japanese, and that’s why the Japanese don’t consider Okinawans Japanese. That’s because the Okinawans don’t consider themselves Japanese. Assimilation has proceeded quite well over 50 years, but it wasn’t at the time.

Josef R. Sheetz
Pedro del Valle

Are two notable names.

Times magazine has a time travel article, written during the 50s at the time. Far better than the modern ones.

On Okinawa, where more than four years ago U.S. arms won a famous and a costly victory (80,000 dead & wounded), General Douglas MacArthur’s Pacific command has carried on a postwar occupation without much notice from the outside world. TIME Correspondent Frank Gibney toured the all-but-forgotten island, cabled:
The rice and sweet potato fields of Okinawa creep over the slate volcanic soil, covering the shell holes and the bloodstained caves where two great armies fought for eleven weeks. Weeds cover the charred foundations of what once were neat stone houses. Near by rise clusters of lean-tos made of cloth, battered boards and castoff American corrugated iron.
For the past four years, poor, typhoon-swept Okinawa has dangled at what bitter Army men call “the logistical end of the line,” and some of its commanders have been lax and inefficient. More than 15,000 U.S. troops, whose morale and discipline have probably been worse than that of any U.S. force in the world, have policed 600,000 natives who live in hopeless poverty. When a typhoon (dubbed “Gloria” by meteorologists) swept the island last summer and caused widespread damage, the Army finally investigated the situation. The island’s command was shaken up. Major General William W. Eagles, commander of ground forces, was replaced by breezy Major General Josef R. Sheetz, a convivial hustler who had done an able military government job in Korea. Air Force troops on Okinawa are commanded by grey, quiet-spoken Major General Alvin C. (“Ack-Ack”) Kincaid, whose slightly absent-minded philosopher’s air belies his hardheaded attention to discipline and morale. Since the change of command, Okinawa’s scandalous decline has been arrested. But Sheetz and Kincaid still have a tough situation on their hands.
Plight of the Occupation. Most American occupation families live in run-down Quonset communities that look like hobo camps. A few officers are quartered in small concrete houses (built with materials brought in from the U.S., at a cost of $40,000 apiece). The rest of Okinawa’s garrison live in hovels. Complained one young officer: “You get tired after a while of nailing the same piece of tin onto your house, watching it blow off in the typhoon, and then nailing it back.” It will take an estimated three years of building, and at least $75 million, before the Okinawa garrison will have adequate housing. (Congress has so far appropriated $58 million.)
Sheetz and Kincaid are faced with other morale hazards. Recreational facilities consisted of a few broken-down movie shacks and football fields. Okinawa had become a dumping ground for Army misfits and rejects from more comfortable posts. In the six months ending last September, U.S. soldiers committed an appalling number of crimes—29 murders, 18 rape cases, 16 robberies, 33 assaults.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,856392-1,00.html#ixzz1Hjd9Vvvj

History of Okinawa reveal distinguished record of conquerors.
We have honor to be subjugated in 14th century by Chinese pirates.
In 16th century by English missionaries.
In 18th century by Japanese warlords.
And in 20th century by American marines . . .
But Okinawans most eager to be educated by conquerors.
Deep desire to improve friction.
Not easy to learn.
—Sakini, in The Teahouse of the August Moon.
AT the bitter end of World War II, the U.S. captured Okinawa in the bloodiest engagement of the Pacific, and for four years the despondency of devastation settled over the island. On its fields, supplies—stockpiled for an invasion of Japan that never happened—moldered and rotted. Okinawa became “the junkyard of the Pacific,” the outpost of the outcasts, the place where old jeeps and obsolete colonels went to rust away under the gentle melancholy of the August moon.
There was even talk of returning it to Japan forthwith.
But in the U.S. awakening that followed the Communist conquest of China and the invasion of Korea, U.S. strategists discovered that Okinawa could be a valuable outpost for more than teahouses. At that point, Okinawa too awoke.

Japanese life, culture, and perspective

March 25, 2011

In light of absent commentary on the quake/tsunami in Japan, I thought I’d put something else, a different spin, on things.

One of the things I’m noticing more and more is how alien Japan’s culture is. Take this as an example. Their schools have two festival types, Founding Festival which celebrates the founder from which the school was named after and a sort of spring festival.

During these festivals, each class is tasked with deciding and creating a business. A class that decides to do a short movie will then assemble, film, and employ class members to create the film. Another class can decide on a cafe or baking sales mission goal, and create that atmosphere. Complete with white linen table cloth, uniforms for the waiters and waitresses, homecooked bread and pastries, and so on and so forth.

All of them require “cash” to enter. This is hosted in the specific classroom itself With the preparation, cleaning, maintenance, and management done entirely by the self-elected members of the student body. With supervision by the school wide student’s council, which is supervised and given powers/authority by the teacher’s body.

In one of the versions of the “cafe” theme is the Japanese otaku “maid” style cafes, where all those serving food are female and they wear a maid costume, while serving customers with greetings like “Welcome home, master” in a cute girl voice. I’ve seen that particular one numerous times in manga depictions. One time when it was hosted for actual adults at a convention.

And oh, if you were wondering the age of those involved, this is not college or university. This is high school. This is Japanese high school, from year 10 to our year 12.

So if people are wondering how come Japan is so economically competitive and ambitious, just look at their culture. What are they teaching their kids? A lot of people think the difference in human manpower and training between countries is due to “education”. I say look to the culture. It’s not because blacks are poor, stupid, or “discriminated” against that they do poorly in school .it’s because Afrikan culture is inferior to white culture. And this can be seen in who starves more: Afrika or Europe. Given that Europe has to send food to Afrika….

If there is a difference, look to the culture.

The maid cafes seem to be very popular amongst the customers, which would be high school boys or guests from outside the school.

This is only possible in Japan. You couldn’t do it in Iran. You couldn’t do it in Saudi Arabia. You sure as hell can’t do it in Britain. And not even in America do you see this kind of student freedom, accountability, and Ambition.

The Japanese are alternatively extremely bound by social hierarchy and etiquette, yet also extremely fond of freedom and the power required to exercise freedom.

It would be a mass of contradictions if you did not see the underlying foundation tying it all together for them.

The Japanese, like America, can be restrained and bound and hobbled by stupid Leftist laws and bureaucratic clap trap, for humans are mortal and to err is to be human. Yet, regardless of these underlying factors pulling down the maximum potential of both countries, there is still CULTURE running through it all. As much as the world seeks to change and as much as people seek to un-change it or destroy us through too much change, culture remains constant. Regardless of what political winds may blow, Jacksonians are still Jacksonians. Wilsonians are still Wilsonians. And the Japanese are still the Japanese.

(Just wanted to put that out there given I haven’t commented on the Japanese tsunami/quake here yet)

Different takes on Nathan Bedford Forrest

March 8, 2011

http://grimbeorn.blogspot.com/2011_02_27_archive.html#4376333219424646886

http://www.bookwormroom.com/2011/02/16/is-it-hate/

Forrest was born poor, and received little education. Yet his native intelligence and spirit allowed him to win a fortune before the war. He never received a military education like most of the Confederate generals, so when the war broke out he enlisted as a private — and worked his way up to Lieutenant General.

He formed his own cavalry units and fought them with such brilliance and insight that a number of his methods fundamentally reformed the training and doctrine for the U.S. cavalry for decades to come. As motorized units came into play later, they became the foundation of our understanding of maneuver warfare: the kind of warfare still practiced today. US Army and Marine Corps front-line combat units take pride in their distinction as “maneuver units,” a distinction that we really owe to Forrest.

At Brice’s Crossroads, Forrest destroyed an enemy army more than twice the size of his own, using tactics that he invented without any formal training.

In other news, a dissenting view.

Z:A large number of African Americans lived under Jim Crow, and were denied equal opportunities in education and jobs, and felt first-hand the sting of bigotry and discrimination. These are not historical slights, but living memory. Some people are still bigots. Others are just incredibly insensitive (such as considering Nathan Bedford Forrest for a license plate in Mississippi). The new generation is more able to rise above these divisions, but they still remain.

Hmmm

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mscivilw/wizards.htm

The link won’t help out Zach, cause he refuses to learn anything that might contradict his assumptions, but for those of Southern born or Northern inclinations, read some of the material in the link about cavalry tactics to better understand why Nathan Bedford Forrest is known as one of the greatest military leaders of the US Civil War.

Then read the wiki pedia article, easily found online, concerning NBF.

It is no mystery why the South respects him. And there is no question that the Left hates him. Then again, the Left hates many people that got in their way, including Bush, Palin, the last Shah of Iran, Diem of South Vietnam, Batista, the white rulers of Rhodesia, and of course… the Chilean benevolent dictator that is called by the name “Pinochet”.

Never, ever, believe at face value the lies the Left says about historical figures. They are never telling you the whole truth. They aren’t interested in telling you the whole truth. That is not what they are paid for.

For a short summary of what NBF was:
Forrest started from uneducated origins and got rich by taking risks. He became a major planter of the South, owning and selling slaves, given that the Southern economy was based upon cotton, mostly. And cotton required slaves. He enlisted in the war to fight the Union as a private, when at the time major planters were “given exemptions” on being drafted into the army. Yea, you guessed it right. The huge plantation owners, the slave masters de jure, those who benefited most from winning the war, were in fact the ones ordering everybody else to suffer and die, while they sat safely. Until the Union came for them, at least. Forrest is a killer. He’s brave. He’s undaunted. He is very charismatic. He had a pure, unrefined, quality that allowed him to ignore social status and get right to what’s importance. This quality is part of his charisma. And it’s why he didn’t even think of himself as somebody exempt from war or someone entitled to a commission just because he had money and status.

In terms of personal qualities. Forrest had 90% of Democrats (here and now) already beat. For his time, Forrest was better than 90% of his fellows (of his time). In military courage and skill, better than 95%. And in certain reckless valor, better than 99%.

At the time the war was lost, this was what he said.

Civil war, such as you have just passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings; and as far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate friendly feelings towards those with whom we have so long contended, and heretofore so widely, but honestly, differed. Neighborhood feuds, personal animosities, and private differences should be blotted out; and, when you return home, a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect of your enemies. Whatever your responsibilities may be to Government, to society, or to individuals meet them like men. The attempt made to establish a separate and independent Confederation has failed; but the consciousness of having done your duty faithfully, and to the end, will, in some measure, repay for the hardships you have undergone. In bidding you farewell, rest assured that you carry with you my best wishes for your future welfare and happiness. Without, in any way, referring to the merits of the Cause in which we have been engaged, your courage and determination, as exhibited on many hard-fought fields, has elicited the respect and admiration of friend and foe. And I now cheerfully and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the officers and men of my command whose zeal, fidelity and unflinching bravery have been the great source of my past success in arms. I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous. N.B. Forrest, Lieut.-General
Headquarters, Forrest’s Cavalry Corps
Gainesville, Alabama
May 9, 1865

After the war, he convinced the first Klu Klux Klan organization of self defense militias to disband, something the Democrat party never even tried since it would have required the principle of obedience to the law. Afterwards, the Democrats took over the KKK unofficially and used them to kill white Republicans and black slaves to prevent them from voting in Republican reps in the South. This caused the Republican regimes to fall, ushering in Jim Crow and “no blacks allowed” policies.

It mattered little what Nathan Bedford Forrest thought of negroes, blacks, or Union whites in the beginning of the war. Many Southerners thought poorly of Northerners. Believing that the North lacked any spine for real fighting. After 4 years of Civil War, neither side could say of the other that they lacked the guts to kill and die for their beliefs.

In line with a post written before about the Left’s need to sow weakness, this is the same issue.

Why does the NAACP attempt to stop license plates honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest? Does the NAACP lobby Congress to deny Robert Byrd official recognition because Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act and was actually part of the violent, mob death squad KKK as their Kleagle? If the NAACP is fine with Robert Byrd, for much of the time Byrd was alive, what makes them so hot and bothered about Nathan Bedford Forrest. Is it so hard to honor a dead enemy that fought with valor and skill?

It is impossible, I say, for weaklings like the NAACP or Leftist cult members to act anything other than as insecure children. Creating a better future requires personal confidence and strength. The NAACP has none of that. The New Black Panthers has none of that. The Left has none of that. If they ever got it, they would eject that person from their group for fear that the taint will spread.

Strong leaders, alphas of their pack, do not become hot and bothered over the honoring of dead enemies. They don’t begrudge people’s need to believe in a strong and glorious past. especially not when it is also part of the past of the country they are supposed to be leading. They don’t try to control how people feel by making them worship only “approved symbols”. They don’t sit around thinking up ways to make people worship the state religion’s god. They don’t use violence to win arguments. And they sure as hell don’t make up lies believing they are real.

Yet, all of these weak as hell acts are present amongst the Left. Why is that do you think?

Western culture vs other cultures

March 8, 2011

We have this from the European representation.

In 2003, Interview magazine publisher and Greenwich polo king Peter Brant commissioned a statue by nutty Italian-American artist Maurizio Cattelan. The art piece was to be of his wife, Stephanie Seymour, and she would be nude clutching her breasts, jutting out like a figurehead on a boat. Cattelan agreed, and went to work on the statue. It is called “Stephanie,” but it’s better known by its wry nickname: “Trophy Wife.”

Then we have this.

I was reminded of various comments older adults made about the smut in American music videos. Thought it’d be interesting to do a compare and contrast setup. While I didn’t use a music video, I’m pretty sure English speakers already know of them, by word of mouth if nothing else. The rumor mill is the only reliable form of faster than light communication medium.

History of the ARVN: Republic of Vietnam and their War against China/Russia

March 1, 2011

The real story is basically that Congress cut off logistics to the ARVN and no air support from the US. Those were the two key factors. Without food, fuel, or bullets, not even elite US military units can hold out for long. Also without air support, the Chinese/Russian armored columns just could not be defeated or even appreciatively held up.

Many Americans would not like hearing it said that the totalitarian states of China and the Soviet Union had proven to be better and more faithful allies than the democratic United States, but that was in fact the case. William Tuohy, who covered the war for many years for theWashington Post, wrote that “it is almost unthinkable and surely unforgivable that a great nation should leave these helpless allies to the tender mercies of the North Vietnamese,” but that is what we did.

Until the progressive and draconian reductions in assistance began to have drastic effects, the South Vietnamese fought valiantly. In the two years after the January 1973 signing of the Paris Accords, South Vietnamese forces suffered more than 59,000 killed in action, more in that brief period than the Americans had lost in over a decade of war. Considering that such losses were inflicted on a population perhaps a tenth the size of America’s, it is clear how devastating they must have been, and the intensity of the combat that produced them.
Merle Pribbenow has pointed out that North Vietnam’s account makes it clear that during the 55 days of the final offensive much hard fighting took place. This is a tribute to the South Vietnamese, who had to know at that point what the eventual outcome would inevitably be. Noted PAVN Lieutenant General Le Trong Tan, during the final campaign “our military medical personnel had to collect and treat a rather large number of wounded soldiers (fifteen times as many as were wounded in the 1950 border campaign, 1.5 times as many as were wounded at Dien Bien Phu, and 2.5 times as many as were wounded during the Route 9-Southern Laos campaign in 1971.” Pribbenow calculates that “this would put PAVN wounded at 40,000-50,000 at the very minimum, and possibly considerably higher, not the kind of losses one would expect in the total ARVN ‘collapse’ that most historians say occurred in 1975.”


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