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65 years ago: A few thoughts about the end of World War II
From the spring of 1941 when President Roosevelt proclaimed a state of National Emergency through the late summer of 1945, 66 Adair Countians - young soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marines - gave their lives. Two others, Pfc Elmo Cooley and Cpl Roy Franklin, died in 1949 while serving in Occupied Japan and Occupied Germany, respectively.
At least sixteen others were held as prisoners of war, including four - S/Sgt Earl M. Conover, Marine Q/Sgt Richard Cooley, Marine Cpl James L. Robertson, and Cpl Nathaniel H. Simmons - who suffered brutality beyond description at the hands of the Japanese.
V-J - Victory over Japan - Day occurred on August 14, 1945, three years, eight months and eight days after Japan's cur dog raid on Pearl Harbor.
First and foremost, I hold no animosity toward the Japanese people of today. They're no more to blame for the atrocities of World War Two than you and I are for the atrocities of slavery in America.
I do, however, hold a deep and abiding bitterness toward the Japanese warlords and their bloody, megalomaniac quest for world dominion. The same holds true for the few today who attempt to reinvent and revere those who ordered and committed the heinous crimes against humanity, and it holds just as true for the addlepated Allied apologists who wail and moan and piss themselves over the means we used to end the war.
While recently researching the end of World War Two, I happened across a reference to Emperor Hirohito's declaration of surrender in which he spoke of Japan having to "bear the unbearable" burden of defeat.
My eyes stayed quite dry, thank you, as I contemplated that burden.
Japan's militarist mongrels should have considered the possibility of bearing the unbearable before pouring hellfire upon an unsuspecting Pearl Harbor; before torturing, raping and massacring thousands upon thousands of civilians in China, the Philippines and elsewhere; and before so hideously mistreating prisoners of war.The bloodthirsty warlords should have contemplated the words of American Vice Admiral William Halsey, spoken on December 8, 1941 as he surveyed the horrible carnage of Pearl Harbor scarcely 24 hours after the destruction wreaked by Japan's sneak attack: "Before we're through with 'em, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!"
The Emperor and Japan's militaristic dogs of war should have considered the steely, single-minded resolve in a December, 1942 message sponsored by the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company. It appeared in newspapers just prior to the first anniversary of Japan's cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor and read in part (the added emphasis is mine):
"Let us consecrate our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to avenging the crimes of dictators and to reclaiming this world for humanity and peace...
"Outraged beyond human endurance by the treachery at Pearl Harbor, America's reaction was righteous wrath. The price we paid for disillusionment was over-whelming, but it brought unity and the rebirth of the American ideal.
"A new America emerged; militant, self-sacrificing, fired with a single purpose . . . the cold determination to rid the world of cruel, wicked, selfish dictators..."
Most assuredly, Japan should have heeded the words of the Potsdam Declaration, released to the world by the Big Three on July 26, 1945 -- eleven days before the atomic annihilation of Hiroshima - particularly that article of the Declaration which read (again, the added emphasis is mine):
"We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."
And my God! Did the Japanese warlords not believe President Truman, when, in a speech given a scant sixteen hours after the fury of hell itself had been unleashed upon Hiroshima, he set forth Japan's choice:
"If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
Japan's General Tojo and his minions yet again underestimated - ignored -- the might and resolve of the United States, and the nation of Japan paid the most horrific price in history for the unmitigated hubris of a few."We now have to see our country surrender to the enemy without demonstrating our power up to 120 percent," Tojo wrote just two days before Japan gave up. "We are now on a course for a humiliating peace, or rather a humiliating surrender."--August 13, 1945 entry in the diary of former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.
Yes, I lament the loss of innocent lives in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki but make no mistake, my thanksgiving - my rejoicing - for the American, Allied & Japanese lives saved by the bombings far, far outweighs the sorrow for the lives lost.
By the most conservative of estimates, half a million Allied troops and millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians would have died in a land invasion -- to end a war Japan started. And unlike Pearl Harbor, Japan had ample warning -- eleven days notice -- of the impending "prompt and utter destruction" before Paul Warfield Tibbets piloted the Enola Gay into history over Hiroshima.
President Truman summed it up nicely a radio address given immediately after the formal peace treaty was signed aboard the USS Missouri -- sovereign US soil! -- on September 2, 1945:
"We shall not forget Pearl Harbor. The Japanese militarists will not forget the USS Missouri."Amen, Mr. President. -"Jim"
This story was posted on 2010-08-15 13:35:47
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