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挺身隊対策協が儲けは不順（不純）な慰安婦賭け、 チュンダンシキョヤウィアンブ 問題を韓米日安保協力体制を破るために悪用している チ・マンウォン博士 ¦ j-m-y8282＠hanmail.net
정대협이 벌이는 불순한 위안부 놀음, 중단시켜야 위안부 문제를 한미일 안보협력 체제를 깨기 위해 악용하고 있다 지만원 박사 | firstname.lastname@example.org 폰트키우기 폰트줄이기 프린트하기 메일보내기 신고하기 승인 2015.05.23 23:01:55 트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글 msn 카카오톡 카카오스토리 '해방전후사의 재인식' 제1권 434-476쪽에는 샌프란시스코주립대학의 소정희 교수의 귀한 논문이 실려 있다. 아래에 요지를 소개한다. 식민통치의 마지막 10년(1935-45)은 조선의 산업혁명 시기였다. 농민들은 토지로부터 추방되고, 노동계급이 태동하고, 인구의 유동성이 증대하고, 도시 사회가 폭넓게 확산되고, 여성계에서는 소위 신여성에 대한 선망이 확산됐던 그런 시기였다. 1917년 이광수의 소설 '무정'이 연재되었다. 이 소설은 신문명의 보급서였다. 서구의 신문명이 유입되고, 개화사상이 확산되고, 신청년과 신여성을 연애의 표상으로 삼은 신소설이었다. 1935년 심훈의 상록수는 답답하고 고리타분한 농촌을 계몽하기 위한 계몽서였다. 당시의 농촌 사람들의 생각이 얼마나 고루하고 원시적이었는가를 적나라하게 묘사했다. 위안부 역시 이러한 개화기 시대의 산물이었던 것이다. 190명의 위안부를 조사했더니 88%에 해당하는 168명이 바로 탈농촌 시기인 1937-44년 사이에 위안부가 되었다. 도시를 흠모하는 일종의 골드러시가 한창이었던 시절에 가정을 뛰쳐나온 여식들이 인신매매단의 좋은 먹이감이 된 것이다. 181명의 위안부를 조사한 결과 그중 4분의 1 이상이 이미 가족과 떨어져 식모, 공장 노동자, 식당 및 기생집 접대부 등으로 일하고 있다가 위안부가 되었고, 66% 정도가 만주, 대만, 중국 등으로 이송되어 갔다. 위안부로 가게 된 경우는 가정을 이미 탈출해 있던 여성에게만 해당되는 것이 아니었다. 가정에서 부모나 오빠들로부터 폭력을 당하고 있던 어린 여식들이 폭력을 피해 달아났다가 곧장 인신매매단의 덫에 걸려들기도 했고, 배움의 신기루를 찾아 넓어진 세상으로 도망쳐 나온다는 것이 곧 인신매매단의 희생양이 되어 위안부의 길로 들어서기도 했다. 당시 인신매매단의 앞잡이는 대부분 조선인들이었고, 군대 위안부를 경영하는 사람들 속에는 조선인들도 꽤 있었다. 위안부로 가는 길은 두 가지 경로였다. 가정-노동시장-위안부업소로 가는 과정이 있었고, 곧바로 가정-위안부업소로 가는 과정이 있었다. 이런 과정을 촉진한 매개체가 인신매매단이었으며, 인신매매단에 걸려들 수 있었던 환경은 곧 여성에 대한 가정폭력과 학대 그리고 배움에 대한 선망을 무조건 억압하는 무지몽매한 조선 가정의 여성비하 문화 때문이었다. 소정희 교수는 가정에서 곧바로 위안부라는 구덩이로 떨어진 한 많은 위안부 6명의 케이스를 정대협 자료에서 쉽게 찾아냈다. 이러함에도 정대협은 이 사실을 알면서도 위안부 문제를 정치 문제로 부각시키기 위해 사회에 그릇된 인식을 확산시켰다. 정신대의 주장에 의하면 모든 위안부는 가정에 있던 조신한 여식들이었는데, 어느 날 갑자기 일본 순사들이 들이닥쳐 강제로 붙잡아다가 일본군이 운영하는 유곽에 집어 넣었다는 것이다. 소정희 교수에 의하면 이는 사실이 아니다. 소정희 교수가 조사한 6명의 위안부 사례는 이를 이해하는데 생생한 자료가 된다. 이하 소정희 교수의 사례를 요약 소개한다. 조선의 부모가 딸들을 위안부로 내몬 대표적 사례 1) 문필기 : 정대협이 매주 주한 일본대사관 앞에서 주최하는 시위에 늘 참가하는 여성이다. 그녀는 18세가 되던 해인 1943년 후반부터 2년 동안 만주의 군위안소에서 일했다. 1945년 해방을 맞아 평양-개성-서울을 거쳐 고향으로 갔지만, 이내 고향을 떠나 진주-목포-광주-전주를 떠돌며 독신으로 살았다고 한다. 그녀는 1925년, 경남 진양군에서 2남 9녀를 둔 구멍가게에서 태어났다. 어렸을 때 가장 하고 싶은 것이 공부였다. 아버지는 "가시내가 공부하면 여우 밖에 될게 없다"며 화를 냈다. 어머니가 몰래 쌀 한 말을 팔아 보통학교에 넣어주었다. 일주일 안 돼서 아버지가 딸을 교실에서 끌어내고 책을 불태워 버렸다. 그래도 화가 풀리지 않아 딸을 죽어라 패고 집에서 쫓아내 버렸다. 큰 집에 가 있다가 다시는 공부를 하지 않겠다는 약속을 한 후 집으로 돌아왔다. 공부 못한 것이 한이 된 상태에서 9살부터 집에서 살림하고, 밭일도 하고, 목화밭을 매고, 물레질도 했다. 구멍가게에서 파는 고구마도 쪘다. 농사일을 할 때마다 밥을 해서 들로 날랐다. 그러던 1943년 가을 어느 날, 마을에 사는 일본 앞잡이 노릇을 하는 50대 아저씨가 공부도 하고 돈도 벌 수 있는 곳으로 보내주겠다 해서 따라 나섰다. 18세 였다. 그 남자와 일본인 순사가 그녀를 곧장 차에 태워 부산으로 데려갔다. 긴 머리를 자르고 치마저고리를 벗기고 원피스를 입혔다. 그리고 다른 네 명의 여인들과 함께 곧장 만주로 이송됐다. 이 이야기를 포함해 아래의 모든 이야기들은 정대협이 엮은 '증언집'에 수록돼 있다. 이 여인이 매주 수요일 12시에 일본대사관 앞에 나와, 일본이 자기를 강제로 연행해 가서 위안부로 삼았다며 사죄와 피해 배상을 요구하고 있는 것이다. 이 위안부 놀음은 간첩의 처이자 정대협의 상임대표인 윤미향이 꾸려가고 있다. 문제는 이 여인에 있는 게 아니라 정대협에 있다. 2) 이상옥 : 이 위안부의 아버지는 경상북도 달성군 달성면 면장이었다. 머슴을 두고 농사를 짓는 부농이기도 했다. 9살에 학교에 들어갔지만 오빠가 "계집애를 학교에 보내서 어디다 쓰느냐"며 학교를 못 가게 하고, 책을 아궁이에 넣어 태워 버렸다. 그래도 학교에 가려 하자 죽인다고 협박했다. 옆집 언니가 학교에 다니는 게 너무 부러운 나머지 그해 어머니에게도 알리지 않고 서울로 도망갔다. 고모가 학교를 보내주었지만 오빠가 고모에게 집요한 압력을 넣었다. 고모집을 나와 소리개라는 집에 들어갔다. 9명의 처녀들이 있었는데 그들은 모두 그들의 아버지에 의해 팔려왔다고 했다. 15세인 그녀가 가장 어렸다. 이 여인들이 가는 곳으로 따라가 보니, 시모노세끼 였다. 그들을 인솔한 군속이 열 명의 처녀들을 넘긴 곳은 바로 조선인 부부가 운영하는 군 유곽이었다. 그들은 이들 처녀들과는 아무 관계없이 돈을 주고 받았다. 이 여인은 일본말을 한다는 것 때문에 일본 군병원에 일하면서 봉급도 받았다. 일본 군의관이 그녀를 가엽게 여겨 조선으로 돌려보내려 했지만 그날 폭격을 맞아 허사가 됐다. 이 여인 역시 여성에 대한 가정 폭력으로 인해 유곽으로 떠밀린 케이스 였다. 3) 이득남 : 이 위안부는 1918년생이다. 그녀는 1939년부터 3년은 중국에서, 또 다른 3년은 수마트라에서 위안부 생활을 했다. 학교에 가고 싶었지만 아버지는 주정꾼이자 노름꾼으로 이유 없이 마구 때렸다. "집에 있는 것이 죽기보다 싫었다" 17세에 시집을 가라 했지만 그녀는 이를 팔려가는 것으로 생각했다. 이웃 친구와 함께 봉급을 받을 수 있는 직장을 찾기 위해 기차를 타고 인천 방직공장으로 갔다. 그게 위안부로 가는 길이었다. 4) 김옥실 : 이 위안부는 1926년 평양시내에서 10리 되는 촌에서 태어났다. 현재는 김은례로 알려져 있다. 그녀의 아버지 역시 공부하려는 딸에게 가혹한 매질을 했다. 11세 때, 동네친구 하나가 한글도 가르쳐주고 노래도 배워준다는 데가 있다 해서 같이 가서 며칠 있다가 아버지에 들통이 났다. "에미나이 세끼가 글 배워서 어디에 쓰갔네, 연애편지질이나 하려구 그러나!" 매를 든 아버지가 무서워 할머니 뒤에 숨었지만 다리몽둥이를 부러트린다며 때렸다. 그 후 아버지가 보기 싫어 집을 나왔다. 하루는 아주머니들로부터 평양에서는 기생이 최고라는 말을 들었다. 고운 옷 입고, 고운 가마 타고 다닌다는 기생이 되고 싶어 기생집으로 가서 양녀가 됐다. 불과 일주일 만에 아버지에 들켰다. "이 에미나이가 조상 망신, 동네 망신은 다 시키고 돌아 다닌다"며 매를 맞고 집으로 압송돼 왔다. 다시 양말공장으로 뛰쳐 나갔다. 거기에서 3년, 담배공장에서 4년 일하다가 드디어 인신매매 단에 걸려들었다. 5) 배족간 : 이 위안부는 1922년생이다. 이 여인은 자살까지도 기도했을 정도로 어머니로부터 모진 학대를 받았다. 광목공장에서 일하게 해주겠다는 동네 구장의 거짓말에 속아 집을 나간 것이 곧 중국행이 되었다. 중국의 여러 위안소들을 떠돌았다. 1946년 집으로 돌아왔지만 어머니는 냉담했다. 어머니가 임종할 때 딸을 찾았지만 그녀는 가지 않았다. 6) 송신도 : 이 위안부는 1922년 생으로 어머니로부터 모진 학대를 받았다. 16세 때부터 먹고 살기 위해 수많은 잡직들을 전전하다가 좋은 직장 구해주겠다는 이웃의 꼬임에 빠져 중국으로 갔다가 1938년부터 1945년까지 위안부 생활을 했다. 일본인 병사가 결혼하자고 하여 일본으로 동행했지만, 그는 일본에 도착하자마자 그녀를 버렸다. 정치 목적을 위해 위안부 악용하는 정대협 이미지위에 마우스를 올려 보세요!
Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Big Historical Lie Posted on August 6, 2013 by orwellwasright | 21 Comments
We are told repeatedly that, without the use of weapons which current Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui refers to as the “ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil”, Japan would never have surrendered. We are told that President Truman was troubled by the mounting Allied casualties, and that the Joint Chiefs had told him to expect 1,000,000 dead Americans in the pending attack on the Japanese home islands. Yet this figure is a complete fabrication, invented by Secretary of War Stimson. No such claim was made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Truman himself, in different statements, asserted “thousands of lives would be saved,” and “a quarter of a million of the flower of our young manhood was worth a couple of Japanese cities,” and also “I thought 200,000 of our young men would be saved by making that decision.” None of these statements were based on any evidence. The alleged indefatigably of the Japanese military and their unwillingness to surrender is also a proven myth. By the summer of 1945 their position was hopeless and numerous attempts to surrender had already been made. Brigadier Gen. Carter W. Clarke stated: “We brought them down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.” Truman knew weeks before the Potsdam Conference, which began in July, 1945, that the Japanese were making overtures to surrender, the only condition being the retention of the Emperor. But Truman was determined to test the new bombs. In the words of General Douglas McArthur: ”The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.” In the event, the US agreed to the terms of the Japanese surrender anyway – but not until they had tested their new weapons and caused the deaths of 100,000s of innocent civilians. In reality, most of the military top brass were disgusted at the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki and understood completely that it served no military purpose whatsoever. Admiral William D. Leahy, the President’s Chief of Staff said, “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” This view was reiterated by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who said, “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace… The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.” So what is the truth about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Why, when intelligence agencies knew months in advance that contingency plans for a large-scale invasion were completely unnecessary and that Japan desperately sought peace, did they, as Admiral Leahy put it, adopt “an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages”? There are two main reasons. Firstly, the Russians had entered the Japanese war and were making striking advances through Manchuria, decimating the already weakened Japanese army. Indeed, their role was pivotal – as Air Force General Claire Chennault stated: “Russia’s entry into the Japanese war was the decisive factor in speeding its end and would have been so even if no atomic bombs had been dropped.” The last thing the American leadership wanted was for Russia to receive equal spoils of war and emerge from the war as a superpower equal to the US. In this sense, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are more accurately perceived as the opening salvos of the Cold War, rather than the final shots fired in the Second World War – the Cold War was, after all, defined essentially as a balance of nuclear powers; realpolitik and the primacy of power where the arms race and military insanity took supremacy over diplomacy. The other, far more sinister reason, was one of scientific curiosity. After making such a huge investment in the Manhattan Project (2 billion in 1940) and with three bombs completed, there was little to no desire to shelve the weapons. The fissionable material in the Hiroshima bomb was uranium, while the Nagasaki bomb was plutonium, and subsequently there was intense scientific curiosity as to the different effects these bombs would produce. As the US Army director of the project, General Leslie Groves pondered: “what would happen if an entire city was leveled by a single uranium bomb?” “What about a plutonium bomb?” For the science experiment to go ahead, surrender was not an option.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Gang Rapes and Beatings, Brothels Filled with Teenage Prostitutes -- The Depths of American Brutality in Vietnam
Gang Rapes and Beatings, Brothels Filled with Teenage Prostitutes -- The Depths of American Brutality in Vietnam A powerful excerpt from Nick Turse's new book, 'Kill Anything That Moves' exposes the horrors committed by the U.S. By Nick Turse / Metropolitan Books January 19, 2013
The disdainful attitude that led American troops to gleefully cut off ears and run down pedestrians by the roadside was even stronger when it came to a group that, for the young soldiers, was doubly “other”: Vietnamese women. As a result, sexual violence and sexual exploitation became an omnipresent part of the American War. With their husbands or fathers away at war or dead because of it, without other employment prospects and desperate to provide for their families, many women found that catering to the desires of U.S. soldiers was their only option. By 1966, as the feminist scholar Susan Brownmiller observed, the 1st Cavalry Division, the 1st Infantry Division, and the 4th Infantry Division had all already “established official military brothels within the perimeter of their basecamps.” At the 1st Infantry Division base at Lai Khe, refugee women—recruited by the South Vietnamese province chief and channeled into their jobs by the mayor of the town—worked in sixty curtained cubicles kept under military police guard. Jim Soular of the 1st Cavalry Division recalled the setup at his unit’s compound, known as Sin City.You had to go through a checkpoint gate, but once you were in there you could do anything. There were all kinds of prostitutes and booze. The [U.S.] army was definitely in control of this thing. The bars had little rooms in the back where you could go with the prostitutes. I know they were checked by the doctors once a week for venereal diseases.At Dong Tam, the 9th Infantry Division camp, the sign on a large building next to the headquarters read “Steam Bath and Massage.” The troops knew it by a different name: “Steam ’n Cream.” The building boasted approximately 140 cubicles filled with Vietnamese women and girls. At another U.S. compound, the prices of sex acts were announced at an official briefing, and, for a time, “little tickets had been printed up . . . blue ones for blow jobs, and white ones for inter-course,” recalled one patron to an army investigator. GIs paid a dollar or so for the former and around two for the latter Everywhere, every kind of sex was for sale. “At the entrance to the MACV compound in Qui Nhon, a six-year-old girl is offering blow jobs,” wrote one journalist sizing up the sex-work scene. “One night early on in my stay,” he reported, I found myself with a thirteen-year-old girl on my lap insisting “we go make lub now” in the bordello her mother had thrown up opposite an American construction site. The bordello is made of sheets of aluminum somehow extricated from a factory just before attaining canhood. You can read the walls of the structure from a distance. They say “Schlitz, Schlitz,” in rows and columns, over and over again. The girl wants $1.25. With some difficulty I refuse. Later in the war, even walking as far as the camp entrance would become unnecessary, as certain bases began allowing prostitutes directly into the barracks. “Hootch maids,” who washed and ironed clothes and cleaned living quarters for U.S. servicemen, were also sometimes sexually exploited. As one maid put it, “American soldiers have much money and it seems that they are sexually hungry all the time. Our poor girls. With money and a little patience, the Americans can get them very easily.” And other women working on bases fell victim to sexual blackmail. One such case was revealed in an army investigation of Mickey Carcille, who ran a camp mess hall that employed Vietnamese women. By threatening to fire them if they did not comply, Carcille forced some of the women to pose for nude photographs and coerced others into having intercourse with him or performing other sex acts. In addition to sexual exploitation, sexual violence was an every-day feature of the American War -- hardly surprising since, as Christian Appy observed, “the model of male sexuality offered as a military ideal in boot camp was directly linked to violence.” From their earliest days in the military, men were bombarded with the language of sexism and misogyny. Male recruits who showed weakness or fatigue were labeled ladies, girls, pussies, or cunts. In basic training, as army draftee Tim O’Brien later wrote in his autobiographical account of the Vietnam War, the message was: “Women are dinks. Women are villains. They are creatures akin to Communists and yellow-skinned people." While it’s often assumed that all sexual assaults took place in the countryside, evidence suggests that men based in rear areas also had ample opportunity to abuse and rape women. For example, on December 27, 1969, Refugio Longoria and James Peterson, who served in the 580th Telephone Operations Company, and one other soldier picked up a nineteen-year-old Vietnamese hootch maid hitching a ride home after a day of work on the gigantic base at Long Binh. They drove her to a secluded spot behind the recreation center and forced her into the back of the truck -- holding her down, gagging, and blindfolding her. They then gang-raped her and dumped her on the side of the road. A doctor’s examination shortly afterward recorded that “her hymen was recently torn. There was fresh blood in her vagina.” On March 19, 1970, a GI at the base at Chu Lai, in Quang Tin Province, drove a jeep in circles while Private First Class Ernest Stepp manhandled and slapped a Vietnamese woman who had rebuffed his sexual advances. According to army documents, with the help of a fellow soldier Stepp tore off the woman’s pants and assaulted her. The driver apparently slowed down the jeep to give the woman’s attackers more time to carry out the assault, and offered his own advice to her: “If you don’t fight so much it won’t be so bad for you.” Again and again, allegations of crimes against women surfaced at U.S. bases and in other rear echelon areas. “Boy did I beat the shit out of a whore. It was really fun,” one GI mused about his trip to the beach resort at Vung Tau. The sheer physical size of American troops -- on average five inches taller and forty-three pounds heavier than Vietnamese soldiers, and even more imposing in comparison to Vietnamese women -- meant that their assaults often inflicted serious injuries. Sometimes, Vietnamese women were simply murdered by angry GIs. One sex worker at a base in Kontum, known as “Linda” to the soldiers there, was gunned down after she laughed at a customer who, according to legal documents, “thought she was going to go out with another G.I.” On March 27, 1970, in Vung Tau, several Vietnamese prostitutes became embroiled in an argument with a soldier over payment. He assaulted a number of them and stabbed one to death. Most rapes and other crimes against Vietnamese women, however, did take place in the field -- in hamlets and villages populated mainly by women and children when the Americans arrived. Rape was a way of asserting dominance, and sometimes a weapon of war, employed in field interrogations of women captives to gain information about enemy troops. Aside from any such considerations, rural women were generally assumed by Americans to be secret saboteurs or the wives and girlfriends of Viet Cong guerrillas, and thus fair game. The reports of sexual assault implicated units up and down the country. A veteran who served with 198th Light Infantry Brigade testified that he knew of ten to fifteen incidents, within a span of just six or seven months, in which soldiers from his unit raped young girls. A soldier who served with the 25th Infantry Division admitted that, in his unit, rape was virtually standard operating procedure. One member of the Americal Division remembered fellow soldiers on patrol through a village suddenly singling out a girl to be raped. “All three grunts grabbed the gook chick and began dragging her into the hootch. I didn’t know what to do,” he recalled. “As a result of this one experience I learned to recognize the sounds of rape at a great distance . . . Over the next two months I would hear this sound on the average of once every third day.” In November 1966, soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division brazenly kidnapped a young Vietnamese woman named Phan Thi Mao to use as a sexual slave. One unit member testified that, prior to the mission, his patrol leader had explicitly stated, “We would get the woman for the purpose of boom boom, or sexual intercourse, and at the end of five days we would kill her.” The sergeant was true to his word. The woman was kidnapped, raped by four of the patrol members in turn, and murdered the following day. Gang rapes were a horrifyingly common occurrence. One army report detailed the allegations of a Vietnamese woman who said that she was detained by troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and then raped by approximately ten soldiers. In another incident, eleven members of one squad from the 23rd Infantry Division raped a Vietnamese girl. As word spread, another squad traveled to the scene to join in. In a third incident, an Americal GI recalled seeing a Vietnamese woman who was hardly able to walk after she had been gang-raped by thirteen soldiers.139 And on Christmas Day 1969, an army criminal investigation revealed, four warrant officers in a helicopter noticed several Vietnamese women in a rice paddy, landed, kidnapped one of them, and committed “lewd and lascivious acts” against her. The traumatic nature of such sexual assaults remains vivid even when they are couched in the formal, bureaucratic language of mili tary records. Court-martial documents indicate, for instance, that after he led his patrol into one village, marine lance corporal Hugh Quigley personally detained a young Vietnamese woman -- because “her age, between 20 and 25, suggested that she was a Vietcong.” The documents tell the story.After burning one hut and the killing of various animals, the accused with members of the patrol entered a hut where the alleged victim was. The accused, seeing the victim, grabbed for her breast and at the same time attempted to unbutton her blouse. As the victim held her child between the accused and herself, she pulled away. At this time, the accused pulled out his knife and threatened to cut the victim’s throat. The baby was taken from the victim and then the accused took the victim by the shoulders, laid her on the floor and then pulled her blouse above her breast and lowered her pants below her knees. The accused then knelt by the head of the victim, took his penis out of his pants and made the victim commit forced oral copulation on him. After a few minutes of this act the accused then proceeded to have non-consensual intercourse with her . . . The same witnesses who saw the accused commit these alleged acts will testify that the victim was scared and trembling.Quigley was found guilty of having committed forcible sodomy and rape. Some commanders, like an army colonel who investigated allegations of rape in an infantry battalion, nevertheless sought to cast Vietnamese women as willing participants. Writing about the heavily populated coastal regions of I and II Corps, he conjectured that in those areas “the number of young women far exceeds the number of military age males,” so the local women undoubtedly welcomed the attentions of American troops as a means to “satisfy needs long denied.” Assuming that all Vietnamese women longed for intercourse with armed foreigners marching through their villages, the colonel blithely concluded, “The circumstances are such that rape in contacts between soldiers . . . and village women is unlikely.” The colonel’s theory about universally willing partners becomes even more preposterous when we consider the shockingly violent and sadistic nature of some of the sexual assaults. One marine remembered finding a Vietnamese woman who had been shot and wounded. Severely injured, she begged for water. Instead, her clothes were ripped off. She was stabbed in both breasts, then forced into a spread-eagle position, after which the handle of an entrenching tool -- essentially a short-handled shovel -- was thrust into her vagina. Other women were violated with objects ranging from soda bottles to rifles. Excerpted from KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse, published by Metropolitan Books,
Monday, March 09, 2015
The Firebombing of Tokyo Seventy years ago today, the United States needlessly killed almost 100,000 people in a single air raid over Tokyo. by Rory Fanning
Today marks the seventieth anniversary of the American firebombing of Tokyo, World War II’s deadliest day. More people died that night from napalm bombs than in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But few in the United States are aware that the attack even took place. The lack of ceremonies or official state apologies for the firebombing is unsurprising considering that many Americans see World War II as the “just war” fought by the “greatest generation.” These labels leave the war and the atrocities Americans committed during it largely untouched by critique. The little that is available to study on the firebombing, at least here in the US, is told from the perspective of American crewmen and brass, through usually biased American military historians. Those seeking better understanding of the March 9 tragedy must wade through reams of history primarily devoted to strategy; the heroics of American soldiers; the awesome power behind the bombs unleashed that day; and a cult-like devotion to the B-29 Superfortress, the plane that dropped the napalm over Tokyo and the atomic bombs, and was the inspiration for George Lucas’s Millennium Falcon. The overriding narrative surrounding the events of March 9, 1945 is that the American pilots and military strategists such as Gen. Curtis LeMay, the architect of the firebombing, had no other option but to carry out the mission. The Americans had “no choice” but to burn to death nearly one hundred thousand Japanese civilians. . World War II was carried out with brutality on all fronts. The Japanese military murdered nearly six million Chinese, Korean, and Filipino civilians by the end of it. However, to argue that Japanese civilians deserved to die — that children deserved to die — at the hands of the US military because their government killed civilians in other Asian countries is an indefensible position, in any moral or ethical framework. LeMay claimed that the Japanese government relied on residential “cottage” war production, thus making the civilians living in Tokyo a legitimate military target. However, by 1944 the Japanese had essentially terminated its home war production. A full 97 percent of the country’s military supplies were protected underground in facilities not vulnerable to air attack the day of the bombing. The Americans knew this. The United States had broken Japan’s Red and Purple cipher machines well before 1945, allowing them access to the most classified enemy intelligence. American generals understood the war would soon be materially impossible for the Japanese. The US Naval blockade had also prevented oil, metal, and other essential goods from entering Japan long before March 9. Japan was so cut off from basic supplies that it was constructing its planes partially out of wood. The Japanese population at this point in the war was most concerned with starvation. The 1945 rice harvest was the worst since 1909. Surveys commissioned by Japan’s government in April 1945 reported the population was “too preoccupied with the problems of food” to worry about fighting a war. Victory for the Allies was guaranteed by the start of the year. The most damning evidence against the firebombing can be traced to August 19, 1945, when Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune finally published a piece gracefully titled “Roosevelt Ignored M’Arthur Report on Nip Proposals” that he had been sitting on for seven months. Trohan wrote:Release of all censorship restrictions in the United States makes it possible to report that the first Japanese peace bid was relayed to the White House seven months ago…. The Jap offer, based on five separate overtures, was relayed to the White House by Gen. MacArthur in a 40-page communication, [who] urged negotiations on the basis of the Jap overtures…. The offer, as relayed by MacArthur, contemplated abject surrender of everything but the person of the Emperor. President Roosevelt dismissed the general’s communication, which was studded with solemn references to the deity, after a casual reading with the remark, “MacArthur is our greatest general and our poorest politician.”The MacArthur report was not even taken to Yalta. In January 1945 — two days before Franklin Roosevelt was to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in Yalta — the Japanese were offering surrender terms almost identical to what was accepted by the Americans on the USS Missouri in the Japan Bay on September 2, 1945. The Japanese population was famished, the country’s war machine was out of gas, and the government had capitulated. The Americans were unmoved. The firebombing and the nuclear attacks were heartlessly carried out. If anyone is guilty of disregarding the “context” of the firebombing of Tokyo, it’s the sycophantic and biased American historians who deride these critical facts. So why did the Americans continue to raid and terrorize the Japanese civilian population knowing the war could have been over? Many argue that the Americans were flexing their muscles for Russia in anticipation of the ensuing Cold War. Countless pages have been written about this. But what is too often overlooked is the racism of the day. It is America’s racism that best explains the extent of the firebombing and the nuclear attacks. The racist mindset that all too many Americans were comfortable with in the Jim Crow era easily bled onto the Japanese. The horror stories of the almost two hundred thousand Japanese Americans who lost their livelihoods as a result of Roosevelt’s internment camps are just one example of how Americans saw not only the Japanese but Japanese-Americans. The firebombing of Japan was about testing new technologies on a civilian population. Significant funds had gone into the development of American military technology — 36 billion in 2015 dollars funded the creation of the atomic bomb. Napalm was new as well. The firebombing of Tokyo marked the first time it was used on a dense civilian population. The Americans wanted to assay their new inventions on a group of people who they thought were less than human. LeMay famously remarked, “Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time… I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.” LeMay later leveraged his war credentials and racism to earn a spot on segregationist Gov. George Wallace’s 1968 presidential ticket. Terms like “greatest generation” betray Americans by keeping them willfully disconnected from their past. These labels flatten complex legacies, and prevent a thorough questioning of power. Why did no one from the greatest generation stop these needless bombings? How can a country whose leaders constantly invoke its “exceptionalism” regularly fall back on the platitude “All sides were committing atrocities so why focus on the Americans?” These are the questions our high school textbooks need to be asking. .