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29 August 2002 @ 09:29 am
Yay, revisionist dumbness.  
So, if you feel inclined, take a peek at http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/08/28/pearl.harbor.sub.ap/index.html.

In a nutshell, they finally found a Japanese sub sunk off of Hawaii just before the US entered WWII. They know from reports that it was sunk an hour before the planes arrived at Pearl Harbor. It was part of a 5-submarine force sent in to cause additional damage to the Pacific fleet during the air attack.

So far, so good. But I dunno if it's just my imagination, but it seems to me that the article is trying to send the message, "The US started the war with Japan by firing first." They *repeatedly* stress that the shot that sunk the submarine was "the shot that started the Pacific war."

Scuse me? This sounds awfully PC-revisionist to me. Those 5 submarines were coming into US waters to sink US ships. They were followed an hour later by an enormous air strike. And we started the war by sinking one of them? Are we supposed to think, "Wow, the Japanese must've been so outraged by the sinking of their heavily-armed, unannounced submarine that was skulking about in US waters during time of war that they had no choice but to go back in time a few hours to send a huge air attack in retaliation." Okay, maybe, just maybe, the article intends to say, "Though the Japanese were the aggressors, the US got in the first shot." But from the tone of the article, and the current PC climate, I doubt it.
A few facts:
1. The Japanese initiated aggression against the US, with the very clear goal of removing the US as a naval power in the Pacific.
2. It didn't work.
3. This was over 60 years ago, and is part of history, long since smoothed over by decades of cooperation, assistance, and healthier conflict on the economic battlefield.
4. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
5. Those who revise history into oblivion for their PC agenda are probably doomed to repeat it, too.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Rattus scientificus: caerrick-grumpskorzy on August 29th, 2002 08:22 am (UTC)
I have arguments similar to this with people over the US decision to use atomic weapons to end the Pacific campaign. It *boggles* my mind on how easily people forget WHY that decision was made.

1. The US knew that the imminent (and necessary) invasion of Japan would be a prolong, bloody struggle costing both sides MANY casualties. Japan's non-combatant populace would suffer greatly as well.

2. With a homeland invasion, the US would've had their forces stretched dangerously thin.

3. The island hopping campaign proved that Japanese soldiers still clung to the concept of "Bushido" even in the twilight days of the war and would literally fight to the death rather than surrender. VERY few numbers of their soldiers surrendered even as we approached Okinawa. Alot of the Japanese civilian populartions felt the same way. A Homeland invsation would've been a bloodbath unlike anything previously encountered.

4. Homeland combat would've been door to door urban warfare, something the US didn't want to repeat after the conflict in Europe..

5. The *mindset* of the world back then was one of panicked weariness over the war. Something most people in this country haven't experienced. Any advantage that promised to end the war unconditionally was clearly a viable option.

6. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on the target list for a *military* reason; they were major manufacturing areas for the Japanese war effort.

The decision to use nuclear weapons was one made correctly, given the circumstances of the time. We weren't "wrong" in making that decision and I *bristle* when people tell me it was. It was a regretful outcome of a horrible situation. It was also a lesson in history that... seems too many US citizens are forgetting...
Jenniferburan on August 29th, 2002 09:43 am (UTC)
They said I was daft to drive a midget sub into the harbor. But I did it anyway!

And the first one was shot, rolled over, and sunk ...
The clearest night is the coldest.: Redeyeoctantis on August 29th, 2002 10:51 am (UTC)
Some points on history are hazy, but this is not one of them. It's obvious the US was going to be attacked. What's done is done. I'm glad we have a strong relationship with Japan now.

I'm guessing the USS Ward happened to be out there on patrol or something, and got to poke the Imperial fleet in the nose before the main force came crashing in, rather than the attack being a complete and utter surprise. I'm not sure why this writer wrote it the way he did, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth too.

Also conspicuously absent is the fate of the Ward. I wonder what happened to it.
Espresso: Grarcaffeinewabbit on August 29th, 2002 01:47 pm (UTC)
Crap like this is so rampant nowadays, its digusting.
Since I haven't seen it (and don't plan to), I can't verify it for certain, but in the movie Pearl Harbor they supposedly try to justify the attack as retaliation for the oil embargo against Japan. What they convieniently leave out of the movie, however, is that the embargo was inacted because of the invasion of Manchuria and the conquest of the Pacific Islands.
I'll never understand people's need to villainize their own nation in a time when we were probably the least villainous.