The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.” – Field Service Code issued by Tojo, 1941
“Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Ending wars is very simple if you surrender.” – P.J. O’Rourke
This week’s winning essay,The Glittering Eye’s Apologize For What? is his reaction to calls by the usual suspects for President Obama to follow his usual practice and issue and apology for the bombing ogf Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here’s a slice:
There’s been quite a bit of speculation about what President Obama will say when he visits Hiroshima next week. Some say they think that the president should apologize. This report from ABC News should provide a taste:
A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week.
Two leaders of the Tokyo-based nationwide group told a news conference Thursday that many survivors still want an apology, though they have long avoided an outright demand for one out of fear that it would be counterproductive.
Toshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said he found it awkward to hear local and central government officials say they are not asking for an apology.
“I suspect there was a pressure (not to seek an apology) to create an atmosphere that would make it easier for Obama to visit Hiroshima,” Fujimori said, declining to identify where the pressure was coming from. “But many of the survivors don’t think they can do without an apology at all.”
Apologize for what? For saving the lives of millions of Japanese? That’s how many would have been killed in the invasion for which the Japanese were preparing. Not to mention the tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans who would have been killed.
For many years I thought that our use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been a ghastly mistake. Then I applied what I knew of the Japanese culture of the time and realized that we had, literally, no other way to communicate to the Japanese that the war was over and they had lost. Only the emperor could have told the Japanese people that and the only way of communicating that reality to the emperor was through demonstrations so graphic and awful they could not be denied.
James Gibney, writing at Bloomberg, arrives at the same conclusion:
After reading this book, though, I found it hard to argue with what Yamashita told me: “Had the bombs not been dropped, and had the Allies invaded as they were planning to, it would have been horrible beyond belief.” The numbers support him: As many as 150,000 civilians may have perished in the battle for Okinawa alone, for instance. Never mind the Allied servicemen who might have died — including perhaps my father, a battlefield interrogator in U.S. naval intelligence who went on to join a cadre of postwar Japanologists. Spare a thought for the Japanese boys and girls training to throw themselves under advancing U.S. tanks with bombs strapped to their chests.
More at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Robert Trcinski in the Federalistwith Imagine No Possessions, Imagine Venezuela submitted by The Glittering Eye. Admittedly, John Lennon’s stupid little paean to socialism, atheism and anarchy is an easy target, but Tracinski does a great job of destruction on it by giving us a good look at a place where Lennon’s ‘vision’ is being practiced.
Here are this week’s full results. Only Fausta, The Daley Gator and Angry White Dude were unable to vote this week, but none were affected by the 2/3 penalty for not voting:
See you next week!
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