Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Illiterates

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You know when you can't read, but how do you know you're a history illiterate?

I wrote about The Irrelevants, now it’s time to address The Illiterates.

Actually, they are the Selective Illiterates. They can read. They just won’t read anything that doesn’t agree with or reinforce their Leftist ideologies.

For example, a couple of years ago I had a brief argument with a local pacifist and serial peace protester at a dinner fundraiser at the Gualala Arts Center.

She began by deploring the atomic bombing of Japan, and then stated that the United States forced Japan to attack us because we were unfairly embargoing iron and oil from being shipped to Japan. In her view, and from many Leftist articles she had read, the United States was practicing economic imperialism against Japan.

As the discussion continued, it became apparent that she had no knowledge of events prior to the United States and Australian iron embargo in 1940. The “Rape of Nanking” rang no bells in her memory of historical events. However, she was sure that if we had just listened to the Japanese and paid attention to their concerns about their economic security, all would have been peaceful and harmonious.


A little historical background for the one or two Leftists reading this, necessary in light of their inveterate historical illiteracy. The Empire of Japan invaded China on July 7, 1937. Next to the Soviet Union, China had more civilian deaths in World War II than any other nation – twelve million civilian deaths in the Soviet Union, seven million in China. In addition, two million Chinese military were killed. In contrast, not counting Holocaust victims, the Germans only had two million civilians killed, and the Japanese only six hundred thousand.

Almost all of the Japanese civilian deaths occurred in the last months of the war, and about half were Okinawans who became part of Japan, under duress, only sixty years before the Battle of Okinawa. When defeat was inevitable, the Okinawan’s Japanese “brothers” urged and assisted them in committing suicide in vast numbers.

More “Japanese” civilians were killed in the invasion of Okinawa than by both atomic bombs combined. One of the largest causes of Japanese civilian deaths was the fire bombing of their cities during the first stages of preparations for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. Had the atomic bombs not been dropped, and the invasion of Japan by conventional forces had commenced, it is estimated that ten million Japanese would have died from starvation alone.

Getting back to China, after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the invasion of China in1937, and the Nanking Massacre in early 1938, the United States did negotiate fruitlessly with Imperial Japan for two years before following Australia in 1940 with an embargo on iron.

The bottom line: the United States did what my pacifist friend said they should, and as usual, all our peace efforts produced were a lot more dead victims of aggression.

“When will they ever learn?
Oh when will they ever learn?”

Please click on the label below to see all my articles on this topic.

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