Obama's appalling ignorance

Bruce Thompson
The past week has been a strange one for American-Japanese relations. While discussing an unrelated subject, the President ignorantly mischaracterized the Japanese surrender. He said:

I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

Does he really think the Japanese are harboring resentments to this day as a result of General Douglas MacArthur's statements from the deck of the U.S.S.Missouri? Maybe this native son of Hawaii ought to visit her at her new berth in Pearl Harbor and take in the exhibits.

The concept that Emperor Hirohito descended from the Imperia Palace (or maybe he thinks Mount Fuji?) to be publicly humiliated is absurd and rivals John Kerry's fantasy that he was ordered into Cambodia by President Nixon during Christmas 1968. Here is a You Tube video of the surrender ceremonies

The Showa Emperor, as he is known to the Japanese, was nowhere near the USS Missouri.

MacArthur's comments are remarkable in that they are clearly in the American tradition of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Compare Lincoln

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

With MacArthur

But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume.

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.

Then in his "The Guns Are Silent" address, MacArthur said this of the Japanese

"We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. It is my purpose to implement this commitment just as rapidly as the armed forces are demobilized and other essential steps taken to neutralize the war potential.

"The energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are turned into constructive channels, the country can lift itself from its present deplorable state into a position of dignity."

This attitude, combined with his service to both nations during the American occupation has led to Japan becoming one of America's strongest allies.

Which brings us to another aspect of Japanese-American relations. As Ed Timperlake noted on American Thinker  a current issue in our relationship is whether we should sell the Japanese (and Israelis) our most modern fighter aircraft, the F-22.  Today, both of these allies face rogue nations bent on developing nuclear weapons and threatening their neighbors, North Korea and Iran respectively. In the face of this threat, the Democrat led U.S. Senate voted to end F-22 production. The administration also wants to cut back spending on our ballistic missile defenses. Japan is one of the very select group of nations to which we have exported our most sophisticated naval anti-missile radar, the Aegis Combat System. They are a prime candidate for export of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System for defense against North Korean nuclear missiles.

One wonders what the Japanese public thinks about a nation whose leaders seem to be so totally clueless about the history of the end of the war, who their allies are and what threats exist in a dangerous world.

Bruce Thompson blogs at machiasprivateer.blogspot.com.
The past week has been a strange one for American-Japanese relations. While discussing an unrelated subject, the President ignorantly mischaracterized the Japanese surrender. He said:

I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

Does he really think the Japanese are harboring resentments to this day as a result of General Douglas MacArthur's statements from the deck of the U.S.S.Missouri? Maybe this native son of Hawaii ought to visit her at her new berth in Pearl Harbor and take in the exhibits.

The concept that Emperor Hirohito descended from the Imperia Palace (or maybe he thinks Mount Fuji?) to be publicly humiliated is absurd and rivals John Kerry's fantasy that he was ordered into Cambodia by President Nixon during Christmas 1968. Here is a You Tube video of the surrender ceremonies

The Showa Emperor, as he is known to the Japanese, was nowhere near the USS Missouri.

MacArthur's comments are remarkable in that they are clearly in the American tradition of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Compare Lincoln

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

With MacArthur

But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume.

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.

Then in his "The Guns Are Silent" address, MacArthur said this of the Japanese

"We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. It is my purpose to implement this commitment just as rapidly as the armed forces are demobilized and other essential steps taken to neutralize the war potential.

"The energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are turned into constructive channels, the country can lift itself from its present deplorable state into a position of dignity."

This attitude, combined with his service to both nations during the American occupation has led to Japan becoming one of America's strongest allies.

Which brings us to another aspect of Japanese-American relations. As Ed Timperlake noted on American Thinker  a current issue in our relationship is whether we should sell the Japanese (and Israelis) our most modern fighter aircraft, the F-22.  Today, both of these allies face rogue nations bent on developing nuclear weapons and threatening their neighbors, North Korea and Iran respectively. In the face of this threat, the Democrat led U.S. Senate voted to end F-22 production. The administration also wants to cut back spending on our ballistic missile defenses. Japan is one of the very select group of nations to which we have exported our most sophisticated naval anti-missile radar, the Aegis Combat System. They are a prime candidate for export of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System for defense against North Korean nuclear missiles.

One wonders what the Japanese public thinks about a nation whose leaders seem to be so totally clueless about the history of the end of the war, who their allies are and what threats exist in a dangerous world.

Bruce Thompson blogs at machiasprivateer.blogspot.com.