Written December 7, 2016     
 

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LONSBERRY POLL
Should the Japanese prime minister apologize for Pearl Harbor?
Yes
No

© 2017 Bob Lonsberry

 
 
JAPANESE LEADER SHOULD STAY HOME

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The Japanese guy should stay home.

On the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor -- a day that lives to the eternal shame of the empire of Japan -- that nation chooses to dishonor our history and our dead by announcing that there will be no apology.

Later this month, when Shinzo Abe becomes the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor since the attack, he will not apologize. He comes not to our waters to recognize the cowardice and evil of his progenitors, but to make some sort of political statement. It might make sense to him and Barack Obama, but it mystifies and enrages the rest of us.

A visit without an apology is not an act of contrition, it is an act of contempt.

And it's better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Just stay the hell away.

Seventy-five years ago the waters of Pearl Harbor were roiled and sanctified by Japanese treachery and American blood. Innocent men, servants of a nation quietly at peace, were butchered on the morning of their culture's holy day. On a day when most Americans would rise to worship, the Japanese swept in to kill.

All while officially proclaiming peace and amity with the Americans.

It was an insight into a hateful racial superiority that was already laying rape and ruin across the Asian Pacific. Anything Hitler thought up, the Japanese matched and raised. The evils inflicted upon the Chinese and Koreans by the empire of Japan are almost without equal in the history of hateful man.

And when the Japanese lust for empire spread further east across the Pacific, it put the American people and the American fleet in its sights. And innocent Americans, in the uniform of our country, were slaughtered.

And an alarm was raised across our entire west coast. American territory in Alaska was seized, balloon bombs drifted into California and the Pacific Northwest, active Japanese espionage and sabotage struck the continental United States.

That's what Japan did.

And at Hiroshima and Nagasaki we showed the world that Pearl Harbor was not forgotten, and that the American people don't forget. We beat them across the Pacific, from island to island, and with our bombers we rained down fire upon their major cities. In response, they armed their civilians and trained their children and issued an execution order for our POWs.

But we brought the empire and the emperor to their knees, and aboard the mighty Missouri, in their waters, they capitulated.

They started it, and we finished it. That's the American way.

And we rebuilt them. Our way and their way melded in the years after the war, and Japan rose again on the back of its manufacturing might. For half a century and more they have slept peacefully under our protection and prospered in our marketplace.

And we are friends.

They vote and we vote, and we swap TV shows, and we are neighbors in the Pacific and on the world stage.

And probably the prime minister's visit is not meant to be offensive. Probably this is some sort of tit-for-tat thing he worked out with Obama, in which one goes to Hiroshima and the other goes to Pearl Harbor. Both honor, and neither apologizes.

And that might make sense to them.

But it doesn't to us.

Because Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima are not morally equivalent. Though linked directly -- one caused the other -- they are not the same. Pearl Harbor was a dishonest attack against a peaceful nation, and Hiroshima was an act of war against an aggressor nation. One forced a world war, the other brought a world peace.

We did nothing to deserve Pearl Harbor. They had Hiroshima coming.

But the past is the past, and old fights should be forgotten fights.

And this day isn't about the Japan of today. It's about the treachery of yesterday. To announce, on the 75th anniversary of the attack, that there will be no apology, is to throw salt in the wound, to dishonor our commemoration with old antagonisms.

So stay the hell home.


- by Bob Lonsberry © 2016

   
        
   
 
    
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