Free Markets, Free People

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I have little sympathy for the Japanese on this subject (update)

It is the annual Hiroshima remembrance in Japan and the usual cries of "outrage" and demands for an “apology” fill the air.

My father fought against the Japanese in WWII on Saipan, Leyte and Okinawa. I have studied the war in detail. I’ve been particularly interested in the planned invasion of Japan.

Okinawa was the first indicator of what that would have been like – it was and is considered a Japanese “home island”. My father was slated to be with the first wave of divisons landing on Kyushu. The technical description of their anticipated condition after a day or so was “combat ineffective”. That means those initial divisions would have been destroyed and unable to continue to fight.

The assumed number of casualties for that first big fight – and it wasn’t even on the main island – was about a million men on both sides. Don’t forget that they had a regular army home defense force of well over a million men and a home defense militia of 14 million. They had with held thousands of kamakazi aircraft and boats back for the expected invasion. And they planned to make a last stand and take as many invaders as possible with them.

Remember also how the territories the Japanese conquered were treated. Korean women forced into prostitution as “comfort women”. The rape of Nanking. Babies tossed around on bayonets.

So when I read things like this –

Moments before the atomic bomb was dropped, my mother’s friend happened to seek shelter from the bright summer sunlight in the shadow of a sturdy brick wall, and she watched from there as two children who had been playing out in the open were vaporized in the blink of an eye. “I just felt outraged,” she told my mother, weeping.

– I had difficulty summoning any outrage myself. The Japanese people supported the war, cheered the victories and reveled in the spoils it brought. They were brutal and murderous conquerers. And they refused to surrender.

After the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Japanese war cabinet of 6 split in their vote, refusing to surrender. After Nagasaki, they still refused to surrender until, in an unprecedented move, the Emperor intervened and essentially ordered them to do so.

If those who survived the atomic bombings at Hiroshima feel “outrage”, they should look in the mirror. They enabled and supported a regime that “outraged” the world. They cheered and shared in the spoils of a war they started which devastated much of Asia. They supported a brutal, murderous and criminal militaristic war machine that raped and murdered at will. If anyone should be “outraged”, it is those who suffered under the horrific but thankfully short Japanese rule of that time. If anyone should be apologizing yearly, it is the Japanese.

UPDATE: Richard Fernandez also discusses the subject.

~McQ

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Big Peace launches

One of the reasons I’m highlighting this is I’ve been invited to write for the site and will be doing so.

It’s Andrew Breitbart’s latest website in his “Big” genre.  Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism and now Big Peace.  The focus will be on national security topics and it has an impressive collection of editors to include Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institute, Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and Jim Hanson of BlackFive.

It should be an interesting experience.  And the 4th of July seemed to be an appropriate launch date – wouldn’t you say?

I’ve also started contributing to the Washington Examiner (as has MichaelW) as a paid blogger (hey, the best kind, no) with opinion pieces and QandO blog reposts. 

Anyway, that’s the story – give Big Peace a chance. 

Sorry, couldn’t resist it.

Happy Independence Day – relatively speaking.

~McQ

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Happy Father’s Day

I’m proud to be able to say my dad was my hero. I was fortunate enough to have him around for 46 years. He died at age 78.

He was a good, decent, honorable man who did his best to teach his 3 sons what they needed to know to be men of honor. He was that. His word was his bond and a handshake was all you ever needed from him to know you had an irrevocable contract with him.

He was a 36 year career Army man. He joined as a private, worked his way up to the highest Non-commissioned officer rank and then went to Officer Candidate School. He rose to the rank of Colonel. He used to joke that he’d held every rank but warrant officer and general officer.

He was a cavalry officer – recon in those days. He always ragged me about being a grunt and loved the ground his only grandson walked on because he too had become a cavalryman.

There are things you remember about your dad. His sense of humor. He loved a good joke. His self-discipline. He always suffered bad health – he’d lost a lung in WWII, had emphysema and asthma. But he never let it stop him. Never. And when the doctors would tell him he had to do something, he did it, without fail and consistently.

He did everything else in his life the same way. Having to deal with those sorts of health problems and still try to maintain a career in the Army in combat arms wasn’t easy. But he did it.

He used to tell us, “you live between your ears”. We knew what he meant, and I can’t tell you how many times those 5 words have come back to me as I face some difficulty or daunting problem. Once you realize where you “live” life isn’t at all as tough as it could be.

He also used to tell us that honor could be summed up by “doing the right thing, even when no one is looking”. He said, that’s what honorable men always do. He was right.

He wanted what was best for his boys. He was a disciplinarian of the first degree and none of the 3 of us are worse for wear because of it. In fact, with a good moral grounding and him as an example, I think we all were given the basics in life which gave us a chance to be what our dad was – a good man.

Of course my mom was involved in all of this as well, but this is Father’s Day, and I wanted to honor him. I’m 62, a grandfather and I still miss my dad. I’d give anything for a couple of hours just to show him his grandson and his 4 great-gransons (he never got to see any of them). He’d love that.

So give your dad a hug today and tell him how much he means to you. Some day you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Father’s Day.

~McQ

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Memorial Day 2010 – What price freedom?

I keep this photo as probably the most powerful reminder for me of what the real price of freedom looks like. Those that give their all as well as those they leave behind. We should remember both as we celebrate the freedom they’ve blessed us with and assured for us on this Memorial Day.

Dedicated to Stuart Lee Barnett, SP4, KIA, RVN, 8/26/1970. Thank you Barney – rest in peace, my friend.

Nashville is flooded, as if you had not already heard that from a dozen sources

This is the worst flood of my lifetime here in Nashville. Several main arteries have been underwater for times varying from an hour to almost twenty-four hours. I-24 southeast of the city had the worst of it yesterday, which this video of a school’s temporary classroom floating down the interstate and imploding shows vividly:

In that video, you can also see a rather large number of cars caught up in the flood. Many were folks just driving through Nashville on the way to somewhere else, probably listening to Lady Gaga and having no idea they were about to be trapped in a flood.

This morning, the west and southwest parts got hit hardest. This video shows Charlotte Pike, which is one of main arteries going west from the city. A large section is underwater and some guys have been on a roof for a couple of hours waiting for rescue.

Last I heard, the death toll was six, but that doesn’t really communicate the large number of businesses and homes that were washed out. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing those, plus the usual number of videos from guys in pickup trucks demonstrating their foolishness by driving through flooded areas to shoot their video. Of course, YouTube has the successful ones. We don’t get to see the ones in which “Hold my beer – watch this” was preceded by a vehicle caught up in the flood.

I’d put up some of my own pictures, but there’s no particularly photogenic flooding around my neighborhood, and the local officials have requested everyone to stay home if at all possible. The water table got high enough to flood our old coal room to about six inches deep with some artesian pressure, but the only casualty was a 25-year-old water heater I was about to replace anyway. My teenage sons and I cleared the drainholes and bailed water for a while, and it’s drained now. We even had time for a shower apiece from the old heater before the water gave out.

The rain has stopped and things will probably be back to normal soon. Some numbers: We got about twenty inches of rain in less than three days, which is normally about a six month supply for us. That’s on top of a couple of inches last week which did a nice job of saturating the ground in preparation for this deluge.

Next week’s expected outlook: widely scattered insurance claims and flood damage sales.

*** Update 6:00 PM CST ***

If you want to see plenty of pictures and some more video, including a shot of the aftermath of the I-24 flooding, Donald Sensing has a couple of good posts up (found via Instapundit):

Yesterday.

Today.

Buy this book

And no, I wasn’t asked to put this up. In fact, I knew nothing about this book until I literally discovered it all on my own from a random link referral. The author has no inkling this is coming. Or that I know about the book.  However, having read McPhillips for years, I’m sure that it is an excellent read.

Congrats, McP.  I look forward to reading it.

~McQ

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