A place for my thoughts.
Monday, May 30, 2005
The Price of Freedom
"In Rememberance of a Life Well Lived" Thoughts for Memorial Day
Memorials and monuments have been erected in rememberance of great people since the beginning of time. Stateues, walls, and obelisks are put in place to memorialize those who paid the ulitimate price in defending their counry, who lifted the downtrodden, who brought the light of peace, and who rescued others in political or spiritual bondage.Here's wishing you a happy, heartfelt Memorial Day.
Unfortunately, all the people worthy of our acknowledgement have not had large stone monuments erected in their memory. For many quiet heroes, a simple marker may lie unheralded in the grass of a city cemetery. For others, no memorial exists at all except in the hearts of those who recall their acts of service and sacrifice.
Perhaps the greatest monuments ever built are monuments of love, put together piece by piece through individual deeds of kindness. Such memorials are created by selfless caregivers who sit by a sickbed through a long and painful night, by helpful neighbors who love enough to notice a need and then willingly lend a hand, and by anonymous helpers who offer everything from a passing smile to a substantial sum to rescue those in distress.
Public recognition is not the real memorial for tender acts of kindsness or worthy deeds of service. The freedoms won, the opportunities given, the hearts that were touched are the most enduring tributes. Whether for the Unknown Soldier or the well-known hero, the sheer number of people who remember is not the criterion which will, in the end, determine the importance of a good deed. The most enduring memorial is the sincere appreciation which rises to the heavens in testament of a life well lived.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Death of Pacifism in Japan
Forged in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's defeat in World War II 60 years ago this August, the pacifist movement has long pushed for a nonaligned, internationalist Japan that would stand forever for world peace.Despite protests to the contrary, what I and others have been saying seems to coming to pass. Japan is dispensing with its pacifistic ways and force will be the watch word of the future.
But over the past decade, the country's pacifists have faced painful reversals; friendly left-leaning parties have shrunk with the end of the Cold War, and Tokyo has become more assertive and militarily active in world affairs.
Interestingly, the last bastion of pacifism is Okinawa. If this article is correct, that will be the place and people to watch. When pacifism dies in Okinawa, it will be dead in Japan.
Japan's depravity worsens
Home alone one weekend afternoon, Mr. Suzuki wanders into his teenage daughter's room and spots a magazine named EGG on her dressing table. Cracking EGG open, he finds a "Special Section on Sex" whose headline reads, "Key studies into the missionary position, on top, and doggy style!"Yeah, this is what our daughters need to be reading. While I haven't found a magazine this bad in the US geared towards young girls, what we have isn't great. Still, I was shocked to read this.
Suzuki's eyes bulge from their sockets. His face reddens. Even before reaching sweet 16, his little girl appears to be prepping for her initiation into sex -- if she hasn't graduated already.
EGG, reports Shukan Gendai, is the most popular of about 10 magazines for teenage girls, with a circulation of around 300,000. While contents feature stories on hair styles and makeup, each issue incorporates a section on sex.
"According to reader surveys, it's the mag's first or second most popular section," says an EGG contributor. "Girls know that being skilled at sex is the best way to get the attention of boys they like. And the more graphic the stories, the better."
I wonder what things I'll find next, it just keeps getting worse and worse.
Among EGG's recent headlines were "The sexual world of men that women don't know. Part I: Erections" and "Ways to enjoy doing it in his car."
"Nuts" -- another teen zine (which sells 100,000) -- recently featured "I can't cook and hate cleaning, but I wanna get married! The complete shotgun wedding manual."
The June issue of "Ranzuki," (200,000 circulation) meanwhile, has "10 pieces of advice for when he sticks it in." (Examples: "Don't bellow out loud. No matter how good it feels, keep your voice down or you'll get a reputation for being a slut." And "Don't dig your nails into his back until he bleeds. But gentle pressure will excite him.")
I thank the Lord everyday for sending me a wonderful daughter, one with moral standards and a sense of decency.
The editors of the magazines above should be disgusted with themselves.
60% of Japanese tell Koizumi to NOT visit Yasukuni
Nearly three in five Japanese responding to a Kyodo News poll said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should not visit war-related Yasukuni Shrine this year, according to results released Saturday.
Those who gave that answer totaled 57.7 percent, marking an increase of 16.9 percentage points from a survey conducted in December, while those who said he should pay a visit decreased by 16.7 points to 34.3 percent.
Asked about their views on the Japanese government's efforts at improving ties with China that have been seen as being marred by the Yasukuni issue, 50.8 percent said they do not think sufficient efforts are being made, far outpacing the 11.5 percent who said efforts are adequate.
More and more, it is looking like the people of Japan have decided it is time for a change. I see this as a huge positive for the nation and for Asia. Let's hope this is only the beginning!
Saturday, May 28, 2005
China on the rise
Japanese Apologize for Murdering Queen Min!
Two Japanese descendants of hired assassins who killed a Korean empress in 1895 have traveled to Seoul to apologize for their ancestors' deed.Unexpectedly, the arrived at the grave site while ancestors of the Korean royalty were there.
Kawano Tatsumi and Leiri Keiko were among a delegation of 10 who visited the grave of the queen and her husband King Gojong, Channel NewsAsia reported Wednesday.
"I have come to apologize for what my grandfather did," Kawano said.Now, maybe the rest of Japan could follow their example.
Descendants of the Korean royal family happened to be performing ancestral ceremonies at the tomb when the Japanese delegation arrived. Though they did not initially welcome the Japanese, they later allowed them to take part in the ceremony.
Question on Military Service
What about if they join the Guard?
US to invade and occupy..............South Korea!
North Korea on Saturday criticized Washington's alliance with Seoul as a facade to cover up a U.S. plan to occupy South Korea by force.All of you that actually live there, get ready to run for the hills!
"The United States is pretending to be a protector of South Korea ... but it is definitely an aggressor, an occupier," said a spokesman at the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
Washington has a "wicked intent to strengthen its colonial rule and militarist occupation of South Korea and to make South Korea a victim of the U.S. scheme to wage a war of aggression," the unidentified spokesman was quoted as saying by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Two steps forward, three steps back...
Koizumi is determined to put a good face on relations between Japan and its neighbors.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Friday said there is no change on the policy of insisting on China-Japan friendship.
According to Jiji News, Koizumi made the remarks in a meeting with Tsutomu Takebe, secretary general of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Bilateral ties between China and Japan is the most important ties for both sides, Koizumi said, adding that China-Japan ties is influential to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.
"No matter what happens, the policy will not change," the premier was quoted as saying.
One thing with Koizumi, you will normally know where you stand.
Unfortunately, he has to deal with others in his government saying exactly the wrong things. This doesn't help on the heels of his visiting Yasukuni.
...Masahiro Morioka, parliamentary secretary for health, labor and welfare, said Thursday that Class-A war criminals convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after World War II are no longer regarded as criminals in Japan.
China's biggest complaint to Japan is Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals along with 2.5 million war dead. China views visits by Japanese leaders to the shrine as an action that glorifies its militarist past.
Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori also made a potentially explosive remark when he said Thursday that China and South Korea are "nothing but niggling" when they criticize a Japanese history textbook they say is glossing over Japan's militaristic past.
So, for ever couple of steps taken to heal the rift, there are three or for more idiotic things that happen.
UPDATE: Please read this post on Coming Anarchy. Not so much for the post but the comments that follow, don't miss Jing's comment. I'm sure anyone who has been reading my writings the short time I've been blogging will know where I lean in the discussion.
UPDATE II: Some more has been coming out on the problems inside the Diet. The issue of Yasukuni is being to divide members.
Also, more has been released on the comments of Morioka.
Meanwhile, New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba said at a Diet members meeting Thursday that Koizumi should refrain from visiting Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines the country's war dead including Class-A war criminals.
"I wonder if Japan should do something that China and South Korea don't like," he said. "We should take into consideration the sentiment of the people [in those countries] who were victimized in the war."
New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki and Fuyushiba talked about the matter Tuesday. They reportedly agreed at a press conference that Koizumi should refrain from visiting the shrine because the party's supporters said they want the government to clarify its stance on the issue.
Masahiro Morioka, parliamentary secretary of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry criticized the Chinese government for demanding Koizumi stop visiting the shrine. "Class-A war criminals are treated as bad people because of fear of China," Morioka said. "War criminals were categorized as Class-A, Class-B and Class-C at the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals. They were categorized by a one-sided tribunal led by the Occupation forces at which crimes against peace and humanity were created."
"A war is part of politics, and it is in line with an international law. The Diet unanimously agreed to pay pensions to the families of Class-A war criminals who have died. They're not seen as criminals in the country," he said. (emphasis added by me)
I had no idea about the last part. Do other countries pay pensions to the families of convicted Class A war criminals?
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Major Japanese Figure Calls For War Criminals to be Removed From Yasukuni
Japan may need to reconsider the interment of convicted war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine, one of the country's most venerated religious sites, said the chairman of the nation's most powerful business lobby.
``The issue isn't visiting the Yasukuni, but to recognize that the war criminals are there,'' said Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, at a press conference today in Tokyo.
Yes! He gets it! Get rid of the war criminals, get rid of the controversy! For those of you that don't know, not only is Hiroshi Okuda the chairman of the Japan Business Federation, he is also the chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.
I hope more start to echo his words.
UPDATE: Other's are starting to talk.
Ruling coalition New Komeito party Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba cautioned a party lawmaker Thursday for telling the Diet that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to war-related Yasukuni Shrine are akin to a German leader's visit to Adolf Hitler's grave, party lawmakers said.
Fuyushiba orally cautioned House of Councillors member Junichi Fukumoto for being careless and inappropriate for making the remark, they said.Fukumoto criticized the premier's repeated visits during an upper house Budget Committee session last Friday, saying, "It's just like offering prayers at a grave of Hitler."
UPDATE II: Takashi Tsujii also realizes the position that Japan has put itself in. While writing on why he feels Japan is not ready to be part of the UN Security Council he writes:
It is also questionable whether Japan is doing its share as a responsible member of the international community.
Some people argue that it is unreasonable to distinguish between victors and vanquished nations 60 years after the end of World War II.
Although I won't completely deny such vague feelings as wrong, we must also squarely face the reality that 60 years after the war, Japan still has no Asian friends who trust it.
In other words, Japan has yet to settle its history that led to World War II.
Also in this regard, Japan is completely different from Germany, which has positively made an effort to reconcile with its neighbors. The fact that China and South Korea are opposing Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the Security Council is also a sign that Japan is not ready for the post.
Another Gold Medal For Korea!
I found this quite humorous.
Amazing, that small and America's number one ranked female professional eater. Here is a list of her accomplishments:
Sonya Thomas is thin. At 5 feet 5 inches and 99 pounds, the Alexandra, Va., resident is one of those people about whom you think, "She must eat like a bird." And, in fact, she does, but only because birds supposedly eat twice their body weight in food.Not surprisingly, her name notwithstanding, Thomas is Korean.
-- March 20, 2005 -- 46 dozen (552) oysters in 10 minutes. -- Feb. 12, 2005 -- 25 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes. -- Jan. 22, 2005 -- one 9-pound burger with cheese in 48 minutes, 10 seconds. -- Nov. 27, 2004 -- 52 hard-boiled eggs in five minutes. - Sept. 29, 2004 -- 48 soft-shell chicken tacos in 11 minutes. - Sept. 5, 2004 -- 5.09 pounds of buffalo wings (162 wings) in 12 minutes -- Aug. 21, 2004 -- 9.76 pounds of lobster meat (38 soft-shell lobsters) in 12 minutes. -- July 4, 2004 -- 32 Nathan's hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes, a new women's world record (and American record)Read the whole thing for yourself. It is quite long and indepth, I never knew so much went into the 'sport' of eating.
You go girl!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
What is this world coming to?!?
I'm just getting sick of the moral degeneration in society today. I'm glad I have a daughter who seems to understand this as well.
Thanks to Michelle for pointing this out! If you read her article, be careful which links you click on. Some of them are NSFW, yet, for some reason, people feel it is safe for our children.
I thought I would continue to write some more on this. After being to QOAE's site and reading her wonderful posting on parental notification before an abortion and from there to Vista on Current Events for an article on Planned Parenthood saying saran wrap can be used for safe oral and anal sex for 8th graders! What in the BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?!?!
I like how the article brings out a point from the FBI's pamphlet, "A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety" where they are discussing how pedophiles work:
“These individuals attempt to gradually lower children's inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations.”Isn't this what we are doing with all this crap in our schools and on TV and in the movies and music and everything else?!?
Call me a prude, whatever. I have a sweet, wonderful 13 year old daughter. She and I discuss nearly everything together and, luckily, she knows she can ask me anything. I won't be embarrassed, at least not that she will know, and I'll do my best to answer any question open and honestly. She also knows I'll listen to her thoughts and feelings. This is where these discussions belong! They belong at home, with the family! I resent others butting in, thinking that they should be the ones to decide how to properly raise my daughter and what her standards and morals should be.
I'll end my rant, at least for now.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Japan Will Never Learn
Ms Wu cut short her visit and flew home before a planned meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
The visit was meant to improve the countries' strained relations.
But China said it was "extremely unsatisfied" at Japanese comments about the shrine, which honours Japan's war dead, including some war criminals.
"To our regret, during Vice-Premier Wu Yi's stay in Japan, Japanese leaders repeatedly made remarks on visiting the Yasukuni shrine that go against the efforts to improve Sino-Japanese relations," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
It is frustrating. I'm one of those that believes if Japan just recognized its past and dealt with it, it could be THE major power in Asia. Many might say it is now, but with the continuous problems it has with its neighbors over past crimes, Japan will never reach its full potential. They are just too stiff-necked to acknowledge what needs to be done.
I also can never agree with those that say it is a private matter and really shouldn't involve other countries. It isn't a private matter. Once someone takes a high office, everything they do is of public interest, both to their citizens and to those abroad that they interact with.
I'll say it again, if Koizumi had any decency, he would end his visits to the shrine. He would join the Emperor and Prime Ministers before him who understood just how wrong it is to deify war criminals. He would find another way to honor those who fought for Japan. But, the man has no shame. His legacy will be an embarrassment to Japan, a man that set relations with his neighbors back decades.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Leaving the Left -- Must read article
I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.
I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.
Read the entire thing.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Atomic Bomb Section 5 Conclusion
Over the intervening years, the dropping of the atomic bomb has been argued, debated, sliced and diced. It was good, it was bad. It was moral, it was immoral. It was to end the war, it was to warn the Soviets, it was to justify the cost; just about every argument has been made. Yet, when we take a look at the facts, we look at them without prejudice, it is easy to see the proper decision was made.
Historians throughout the years have agreed. Even some Japanese at the time were grateful. Okura Kimmochi, the president of the Technological Research Mobilization Office said:
As far as I am concerned, I think it is better for our country to suffer a total defeat than to win a total victory in the present Greater East Asian War. During the past ten years the military domination of our country has been flagrant, and the reins of government have been totally controlled by the military. What would happen if
In 1986, Toyoda Toshiyuki wrote:
The explosion of a uranium bomb over
Others have written similar as well. The atomic bomb was the reason that
Some have felt that it was immoral to drop the bomb. There are certain types of weapons that are considered ‘inherently’ evil because of the horror that is produced by their use. Poison gases and biological weapons are part of these forbidden weapons. Nuclear weapons are part of this group. But, at the time, their destructive power was truly unknown. They were just a new weapon with no inherent evilness or goodness. It was only later, after their use, after the effects of radiation became known, the massive devastation they can cause became known that the bombs became the demons they are today. Albert Einstein said:
It should not be forgotten that the atomic bomb was made in this country as a preventive measure; it was to head off its use by the Germans, if they discovered it. The bombing of civilian centers was initiated by the Germans and adopted by the Japanese. To it the Allies responded in kind—as it turned out, with greater effectiveness—and they were morally justified in doing so.
There really is not much more to add. There are many more historians that could be quoted, statesmen, and other leaders. But that doesn’t make much difference. We all have to decide for ourselves. It was a unique situation in a horrific war; one that had never been faced before. Yes, a horrifically devastating weapon came to being, the power of which should made anyone shudder. Yet, at that time, its use was justified. More than one soldier who would have had to have invaded
Atomic Bomb Section 6 FAQ – Separating Myth from Reality
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
25 years since the Kwangju Massacre / Incident
I've yet to find a website that I feel acurately portrays what happened, they all have a strong agenda and I haven't been able to find one that shows the American side of things very well. So, I'll recommend some books, each with their own strong agenda, but maybe by reading them all you'll get a better feeling for what happened. My wife has requested that I do NOT write about what happened that day, so I will be on the look out for a website that deals fairly with the incident.
First: Korea on the Brink
Then: Contentious Kwangju
Finally: Kwangju Diary
A sad chapter in Korea's history.
UPDATE: Marmot has a good daily summary going of the events of what happened in Kwangju. Again, please remember that there will be disputes as to what actually occured.
Day 1, Day 2, Day3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 & 7,
(some changes made to above text thanks to comments in the comment section)
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Letter to George Lucas From Someone Who Understands Communism, Arthur Chrenkoff
Then, today while reading The Indepundit, I read this posting which sent me to an open letter to George Lucas from the esteemed Aruthur Chrenkoff.
Dear Mr LucasThank you Arthur. You said it better than I ever could have with a perspective I'll never have. You lived it, I have only read about it.
This might be a good opportunity to thank you for many hours of entertainment that your two "Star Wars" trilogies have provided for me with. I'm not one of the "Star Wars" fanatics, but I've watched the five films so far several times over the years. I most fondly remember watching the first trilogy in the late 1970s and the early 80s at the movies, when I was a boy living in the then communist Poland. Your space saga of Luke Skywalker and his fight against Darth Vader, the Empire and the Dark Side has proved as big a hit on the other side of the Iron Curtin as it did in the West.
You might be aware that all of us who saw the "Star Wars" trilogy throughout the communist world saw it as an entertaining, yet still nonetheless powerful commentary on the current world events. We simply couldn't escape the conclusion that the militaristic and freedom-crushing Empire with its legions of stormtroopers is a futuristic version of the Soviet Empire, which had conquered and enslaved hundreds of millions of people like myself. For us, of course, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and all the others fighting to restore the Republic were brave oppositionists and freedom fighters in the truest sense of the word. Like the Western movie goers, we too cheered when the Death Star was destroyed (twice), but whereas for our counterparts in the Free World this was just a great cinematic climax, for us it embodied the hope ("A New Hope", if you pardon the pun) that one day the specter of totalitarianism will vanish and we will be free again.
Apparently, however, we were wrong - we didn't read your movies correctly...
UPDATE: Some more good comments over at Dean's place.
Koizumi Opens His Lips Even Wider
Maybe I have that wrong, maybe this is him:
Yeah, that's it.
Here is his latest screed:
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged Japan's Asian neighbors Monday "not to interfere" with its internal affairs by denouncing his visits to Yasukuni Shrine.
"Every country wants to mourn their war dead, and other countries should not interfere in the way of mourning," Koizumi told the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
"I still don't understand why it's inexcusable to pay homage and express (our) gratitude for the war dead as a whole," he said in response to a question by Yoshito Sengoku, the Democratic Party of Japan's policy affairs chief.
Is he for real? Does he truly believe this or is he just trying to placate the right wing fanatic nut job portion of the government? Whatever the truth is, it is sad. He is either a complete idiot with no international relations savvy or he is a dupe for fascist nut job.
"As in the teachings of Confucius, it is the offense -- not the offenders -- that should be condemned," Koizumi said.
He also rejected Sengoku's claim that his repeated visits to Yasukuni remind other Asian nations of Japan's militarist past.
Criticism linking the Yasukuni visits to militarism "should not be taken seriously," Koizumi argued, saying Japan won its name in the international community as a pacifist country in the 60 years since the war.
Way to go Koizumi. Hopefully Japan will get a decent Prime Minister next time.
UPDATE: Welcome to Dean Esmay readers. For more on this subject, here is my previous post when it was announced he was going to visit the shrine this year. Here is my post on why I believe Japan should apologize. Finally, my post on how I believe Japan should go about apologizing.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Newsweek screw up
Koizumi to visit Yasukuni again this year
Koizumi has again decided to show that his 'apologies' for past war crimes aren't worth the air used to make them. His political acumen is nonexistent as is his sense of decency.
I find it humorous that the article focuses only on China's protest. It isn't just China, it is any decent individual with a sense of history. It amazes me that the US felt it had to be so careful of Japanese sensibilities back in 1995 during the abortive attempt at an Enola Gay exhibit when you see just how insensitive Japan is towards others concerning their war atrocities.
"Other countries should not interfere with the ways countries pay tribute to the war dead," Koizumi said in response to a call by opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Yoshito Sengoku for the premier to stop the visits due to opposition from China and South Korea.
This is the Prime Minister of a nation that wants to have a seat on the security council of the UN? Good luck with that. If you can't find a way to get along with two of the most important nations to yours when it comes to economic concerns, regional concerns and security concerns; how in the world do you think you can handle the problems of the world?
Also, when your nation waged a war of imperialistic expansion that caused the deaths of 10s of millions of innocent people, I would think you might just want to listen to your neighbors when they are concerned with how you pay tribute to those who started that war. But, yes, who cares that your war criminals retarded the growth and prosperity of Korea for nearly 50 years. Who cares that you raped their women and used their men as slave labor and cannon fodder. Who cares that you slaughtered the citizens of China.
"The Chinese side says we should show our reflections on war by action, but Japan has shown our reflections on war by following the words that we would coordinate with the international community and never wage war," he said.
Ah yes, you see, forget our past crimes; crimes that are less than 60 years gone, crimes that have scared nations and people, people still living today. We haven't done it lately, isn't that all that matters? Whose concern is it if I go and worship at a shrine the deifies war criminals?
My contempt for Mr. Koizumi knows no limits. He isn't fit to wash the feet of a former "comfort woman." His actions again prove just how hollow Japan's so-called apologies have been. His actions remind me of so many criminals in today's world. He's isn't sorry for past war crimes and atrocities, he is just sorry they lost the war and were caught. He isn't apologizing out of any true sense of regret and remorse, he apologizes because it is politically expedient.
Go visit your shrine. Go show the world how little decency you have.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Atomic Bomb Section 4 Why did this have to happen, wasn’t Japan Trying to Surrender?
I want to start with the question about unconditional surrender. There are many that say if the
I will state here, asking for an unconditional surrender was an absolute necessity. The people of the
Let’s take a look at “unconditional” surrenders. Before WWII, the foreign wars that the
At the end of World War I,
Instead of requiring the German forces to retire at once, leaving material, arms and equipment behind, the Armistice terms permitted them to march back to their homeland with colors flying and bands playing, posing as the victims of political conditions…The surrender of the German armies would have been an advantage to the Allies in the enforcement of peace terms and would have been a greater deterrent against possible future German aggression.
Pershing felt this was a huge mistake and his later words to a friend proved to be quite prescient. He later told a friend, “They never knew they were beaten in
Franklin Roosevelt was in complete agreement with Pershing. In 1918, as acting secretary of the Navy, it was his position to recommend the disposition of the remaining German fleet. He recommended that the entire fleet be surrendered instead of just being interned. He won that battle, small one that it was. In the end, the German army was allowed to retreat back to
From the end of World War I, much thought and study was put into how the war and armistice was handled. It was the center of much debate, debate that had its answer only a short time later. On
It is clear that if, instead of an armistice, there had been an unconditional surrender including, as implied, a speedy conclusion of a military settlement of the war, recovery might have been expedited, the peace conference would not have had hanging over it the fear of a renewal of hostilities by Germany, and German resentment over military aspects of the settlement might not have been so intense or prolonged.
This paper was quite influential. It went through various government committees including the State Department Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy, headed by one Norman H. Davis. On
The President said he was going to speak to Mr. Churchill about the advisability of informing Mr. Stalin that the United Nations were to continue on until they reach Berlin, and that their only terms would be unconditional surrender.
The President and the Prime Minister, after a complete survey of the world war situation, are more than ever determined that peace can come to the world only by a total elimination of
After that conference, much has been written about who first came up with the idea of unconditional surrender and how it was proposed. Luckily, we have the minutes from previous
The Japanese in particular were uncertain as to the meaning and intention of
The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of
The leaders at this time also went out of their way to clarify the difference between the leaders of the Axis nations and their populace. In 1943
The term “unconditional surrender” does not mean that the German people will be enslaved or destroyed. It means however that the Allies will not be bound to them at the moment of surrender by any pact or obligation. There will be, for instance, no question of the Atlantic Charter applying to
Unconditional surrender had nearly universal acceptance in the
As the war continued, the surrender discussion was never far away. The military began to push harder to modify the surrender terms. General George Strong, an army planner, submitted two separate surrender documents that would have modified the terms being demanded of
From the end of January to mid February of 1945, military leaders from the
It was shortly after this, April 12th, that Truman became President. Truman understood why
Yet, the military continued to push for modification. While Truman refused to change the wording, he did give a more broad definition to what he felt unconditional surrender meant. In his V-E Day press conference, he said the following:
Just what does the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of
These discussions continued unabated. Each side of the issue wanted to be heard. The sticking point was whether or not the emperor was to be maintained. Truman refused to commit to the retention of the emperor. The
Below is the Potsdam Declaration. When read carefully it let the Japanese people know the terms of the “unconditional surrender” before ever having to surrender. I will post it in full putting my comments in italics and bolded.
Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.
The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against
The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of
Not only is this saying what will happen to
The time has come for
The blame is being put fully on the military. Not the civilian government, not the people.
Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of
Again, blame is only being put on military leaders, the people will not suffer.
Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that
There will be an occupation, but it will be limited in scope and duration. Of course, some feel that occupation continues today.
The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of
The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.
The soldiers will not be punished. They too were duped by their leaders. They can go to their families and being their lives over.
We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
This is a very important part of the declaration.
The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from
Again, the occupying forces will leave, they will not be permanent.
We call upon the government of
Another VERY IMPORTANT paragraph. Please read it carefully. They are calling for the unconditional surrender of the JAPANESE ARMED FORCES, not
This was an amazing document. It gave
I want to explain the government and how it was controlled in
Because a full explanation of the government of
The government of
Understanding that the military was in control of the government when it came to decisions concerning the war makes it easier to understand why any efforts made by civilians to bring about a negotiated surrender was fruitless. Many talk of
In order to discuss these final days, it is important to understand the players. Those trying to surrender are known as the “Peace Party.” They consisted of Emperor Hirohito, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kido Koichi, Foreign Minister
During the cabinet meeting,
While the cabinet was meeting, Kido met with the Emperor. By this time, reports were coming in saying approximately 130,000 people were dead and the city was completely destroyed. The emperor was very concerned, having a science education; he understood better than many the potential of this new weapon. He was also upset that the military was not providing him with more specific, detailed information. During this meeting, the emperor supposedly told Kito, “Now that things have come to this impasse, we most bow to the inevitable. No matter what happens to my safety, we should lose no time in ending the war so as not to have another tragedy like this.”
Having had no luck during the cabinet meeting,
Now that such a new weapon has appeared, it has become less and less possible to continue the war. We must not miss a chance to terminate the war by bargaining for more favorable conditions now. Besides, however much we consult about terms we desire, we shall not be able to come to an agreement. So my wish is to make such arrangements as will end the war as soon as possible.
Until this time, Suzuki had been wavering back and forth in his support of surrendering and ending the war. Now, his support was firm. He said, “Now that we know it was an atomic bomb that was dropped on
The next morning,
Now, with both the atomic bomb being dropped and the
Suzuki opened the meeting saying, “Just when we were smarting from the extremely great shock of the
At precisely this moment, the time during which the military was questioning whether or not the
It is here we can see the true value of the
Unbelievably, the council could not come to a unanimous decision. In part, the military leaders were uncertain if officers below them would accept surrender. It might be the impetus for a coup attempt. They were also concerned for their own lives. They determined, even in the face of two atomic bombs and the
- That there be no military occupation of the homeland by the Allies.
- That the armed forces be allowed to disarm and demobilize themselves voluntarily.
- That war criminals be prosecuted by the Japanese government.
These were non-negotiable, absolute conditions. Without them being met, the military members of the cabinet were adamantly against surrender. They were determined to fight on, even if it meant the destruction of
The meeting ended in a 3-3 deadlock. At on August 9th, they met again. Suzuki began the meeting by saying there was no way the Allies would accept these added terms for surrender. The meeting continued, but again, no decision could be reached. The meeting was adjourned for a short time.
At , they members met again to continue the discussions and try to break the deadlock. Anami was determined to continue fighting unless those three conditions were met. He even said, “The appearance of the atomic bomb does not spell the end of the war…We are confident about a decisive homeland battle against American forces.” He also said, “given the atomic bomb and the Soviet entry, there is no chance of winning on the basis of mathematical calculation.” And went on to say, “there will be some chance as long as we keep on fighting for the honor of the Yamato race… If we go on like this and surrender, the Yamato race would be as good as dead spiritually.” Anami seemed to reflect the mood and attitude of the army officers under him. They were determined to fight to the bitter end.
Other military members of the council were beginning to soften their stance and to agree with the civilian members. Navy Minister Yonai came out saying that
Finally, knowing there was nothing else they could do; Suzuki requested an imperial conference to be held shortly before . At that time, the Supreme War Council as well as the President of the Privy Council, met with the emperor. Dressed in his full, formal military attire, the emperor presided silently over the meeting. For 2 hours,
The Suzuki did something completely unprecedented. He stepped up to the emperor, bowed deeply and submitted the matter to him for an imperial decision. It shocked all assembled. Hirohito realized that he had to intervene if the situation was to be saved. Breaking the silence, he made what is now called the, “sacred decision.” Speaking quietly, he said he agreed with
The Americans sent back their acceptance with a condition of their own. That condition being the emperor would be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Again, the emperor had to intervene as Anami opposed accepting and demanded they prepare for a final battle with Allied forces. Anami accept the ruling of his emperor and at on August 15th, the emperor broadcast to the nation and to the world their surrender.
There is, of course, much more to this. Even with the emperor expressing his will, the army came close to ignoring it. The senior officers met and after a tense discussion, all signed a document stating their acceptance of their emperor’s will in the matter of surrender.
A group of lower level officers tried to stage a coup on the night of the 14th and took over the
During this time, a loyal officer, Takeshita went to try and again urge Anami to join the coup. He found Anami writing what appeared to be his will. They talked and drank sake together. Then, Anami slashed his belly and throat committing suicide. On one of the papers he had written, “Believing firmly that our sacred land shall never perish, I—with my death – humbly apologize to the Emperor for the great crime.”
Despite the best that has been done by everyone—the gallant fighting of military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our Servants of the Stat and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives.
He continued on saying they were surrendering to prevent the complete obliteration of
Even after this, it was difficult to enforce the surrender. The General in charge of the air force had to order all planes to be defueled and all bombs and ammunition removed to prevent fanatics from trying to use them against the allies. At one airfield, they defied orders and for days, dropped leaflets from the air calling on the people to revolt. The airfield was finally taken and the propellers were removed from all of the aircraft. These revolts were widespread and took weeks to finally end. Units on faraway islands and other areas took longer to learn of the surrender and even longer to finally accept it and stop the fighting.
Many Japanese government officials and others were interviewed not long after the war. They were asked about the dropping of the atomic bomb and how it affected their decisions. Kido said the following:
I surmise that the atomic bomb was dropped with the intention of posing a grave threat to the Japanese leaders and the people at large, forcefully compelling them to end the war. And certainly the bomb had that effect. However we of the peace party had already been scheming for a termination of the war, and it is not correct to say that we were driven by the atomic bomb to end the war. Rather, it might be said that we of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war.
He also said:
If military leaders could convince themselves that they were defeated by the power of science but not because of lack of spiritual power or strategic errors, this could save their face to some extent.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Sakomizu recalled:
The atomic bomb was a golden opportunity given by Heaven for
Hayashi Saburo, military secretary to the minister of war Anami. He said this of the
...after a second bomb had been dropped upon
There are many more quotes that I could include.
The war was basically over.
There can be little doubt the dropping of the atomic bombs saved millions of lives. Thank God for men of character like Harry Truman.