spikegifted - Random thoughts
|'Star Wars' missile defense system fails again|
February 16, 2005
How long are we going to pour $$$ into this hole?
February 18, 2005
I'm not entirely sure which part of China you thought saw no threat prior to WWII, but that was certainly not true for any part of what is now common acknowledged as being 'China'.
Where shall I begin? The following is just some of the bigger events:
September 1931: The "Manchurian Incident" - The Japanese Kwantung Army used a very small excuse as pretext to launch a full scale attack against the Chinese Northeast - Manchuria. Subsequently, in 1932, the Japanese installed the dethroned Chinese emperor to become emperor of Manchukuo, a puppet state.
1933 and 1935: The Japanese forced China to form two demilitarized autonomous zones bordering Manchuria. These pretty much separated Manchuria from the rest of China.
July 1937: The "Marco Polo Bridge Incident" - The Japanese again used a very feeble excuse as pretext for occupation at Beijing and Tianjin. The Chinese refused to negotiate an end to hostilities on Japanese terms and placed crack troops outside the Japanese settlement at Shanghai. The Japanese bombed Shanghai to 'protect' its subjects in the city.
December 1937: After a protracted defense of the nation's capital, Nanking, the Japanese entered the city and proceed to massacre 300,000 (conservative estimate) Chinese citizens in Nanking; over 20,000 women were raped. The Japanese soldiers killed, raped, looted, destroyed, shot and burnt down one of the largest cities in China. This incident has come to be known as The Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking.
1938: Hankou in the central province of Hubei and Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) fell to the Japanese advance.
You get my drift?
February 18, 2005
Trust me, the Chinese and Japanese were at each other's throat for over half a century by the time all the really serious stuff happened, so I guess it is easy for some to dismiss them. You're not the first and surely not the last. You shouldn't worry about it. Also, we live in a white man's world, so what's the big deal about some yellow people fighting their little corners in their part of their world? No white man killed right? So, it couldn't have been that serious then.
There are more important things to think/worry about.
February 18, 2005
Look, I’m not upset with you not getting certain bits of history right - that really isn’t the point. To be completely honest, I received my high school education in ‘the West’ and if I didn’t ask my older relatives about them and choose to read about, I won’t know much about what happened outside the European Theater of WWII. My grievance is at two different levels and they’re, to some extent, contradictory.
Regarding my comment about having more important things to worry/think about, it means exactly that - all that stuff happened in the past. Most people choose to use past examples as guides to all future action. That’s cool. However, the past is just a reference - it's in ‘the book’, what are we going to do with the ‘here and now’ is more important. What we do now will affect the future, an unwritten page, let’s try to do ‘the right thing’ (TM) rather than ‘righting the wrong’. This is the pragmatic side of me.
The fact that a great majority of people know nothing about what happened for over fifty years between China and Japan, is no fault of any one individual. It pains me that such a horrible chapter of recent human history is allowed to take place then, to make it worse, is allowed to be forgotten. I’m upset with the corruption and internal strife that took place in China during most of the nineteenth and much of the first half of the twentieth. Those in position of power were supposed to lead and protect the weak, instead they spent their time lining their pockets, gained ‘power’, covered their backsides and left the people to rot. As I suggested, I’m also upset that the atrocities committed by the Japanese against Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Indonesians, etc were allowed to be forgotten. How many people can give you an accurate estimate of the number kill by chemical weapons experiments by the Japanese in Japanese occupied East Asia? To top it all off, those who committed atrocities were not persecuted after the war (unlike the Nazis and Fascists); a defeated nation with blood on its hands is allowed honor its war-dead, many of them war criminals, like they’re heroes (that’s a bit like organizing a Nazi rally in Nuremburg every year to honor the killing of Jews in Nazi concentration camps!!); a country continue to hide behind a noble and honorable philosophy (Shintoism) by linking its criminal brutality during the first half of the twentieth century with ‘religion’. This is the emotional/philosophical side me.
February 18, 2005
The truth is that the Japanese and Chinese had fought to a standstill. The Japanese had much better equipment and training, and they even declared China "conquered" but they never defeated the Chinese army, or the communists, and could not supply enough troops to hold the 5 western provinces.
I am also not sure what you learned in school, but 1937 “Rape of Nanjing" is a fairly well covered subject for most people.
First, every year there IS a rally in Nuremberg and many of the concentration camps by neo-Nazis...they cover it in the news every year as well.
As for the Japanese honoring their war dead...of COURSE they can! Because a soldier died fighting for a country that lost, we should just forget about him? That is a little insane. Maybe they shouldn't be allowed to even BURY their dead; we can save their remains for the winning nation’s populace to urinate on. Would that make you happy?
Simply losing a
war does not somehow negate the fact that nations war dead died fighting
for what they believed. The US celebrates the South’s war dead from the
civil war, Germans can visit the graves of their dead forefathers from
WW1 and WW2, and the Japanese can feel free to celebrate their war dead
from the Russian-Japanese war, or WW2 (or any number of others).
Well, well done. You know something about the Pacific Theater other than the island hopping and surface action of the US Marine/Navy/Army. May be it was the school I went to in the UK, but whole WWII outside the European Theater was mentioned in a couple of paragraphs. However, I did not say anything close to suggesting that the rest of the world had forgotten about China during the war.
So when was the last time you saw the German Chancellor going to the modern day Nuremberg rally? I think I get to see the serving Japanese Prime Minister visiting the famous Shinto shrine to pay his respect to the war dead. There is nothing wrong with honoring war dead, many paid the ultimate price for answering the call from their countries. They deserve my respect. However, while Sectarian Shinto is a noble and admirable philosophy/religion, State Shinto was the ultimate driving force of Japanese militarism and ‘ultra nationalism’. Although there was a decree by Gen. MacArthur to abandon the latter, it is still very much alive today. That’s a bit like a German or Austrian chancellor openly admit that he/she is a devoted Nazi.
If you really think that all those who committed crimes against humanity and crimes against peace were persecuted, please think again.
February 18, 2005
I completely agree with your observation and your comment regarding “fighting the last war”. The best/worst example I can think of was the French prior to WWII - on paper, they had one of the strongest army in Europe at the outbreak of hostility, but not only did they over-relied on fixed defenses, they spread out their armor amongst their infantry, among a whole bunch of other things (like poor leadership). Unfortunately, ‘progress’ left them behind.
IMHO, the “lighter, faster, more flexible and smarter” approach to organize and train the military is one of the ways allow a military force of ‘fixed’ size to deal with more problems simultaneously than say a more ‘conventional’ mass army approach. Each of the four approaches mentioned above had made a difference to how a military performed sometime during history. Combining them into a single doctrine and applying it intelligently will make a well manned force a very powerful one.
Unfortunately, this type of talk has also been used at a time of arms reduction. You know the kind of language used: usually along the lines of: end of Cold War - no large threats like the old Communist bloc - so we need less people - but many smaller problems in many places still - so we make our military lighter, faster, more flexible, etc ,etc... Great! So the accountants have decided how small a military a country can afford/have, then somehow predetermined how many ‘hot’ spots there are to deal with in the future and finally joining the two by making the military ‘better’. Just like that. So everytime someone whispered "lighter, faster, etc", they think smaller, less capable, etc.