I was reading my Denver Post over the weekend when I came across an article that threw me into an immediate rage. I don't know about you but I am enraged by people who don't believe in personal responsibility. I am also enraged by hypocrisy. The article that I read combined both a lack of understanding of personal responsibility with an extreme level of hypocrisy. I fussed and fumed as I read a story entitled "Sincere Condolences" that carried the by-line "Japan avoids apologizing over WWII."
Could someone please tell me how a geo-political entity is capable of apologizing? The last time I checked Japan was a sovereign nation somewhere in Asia. How does a sovereign nation somewhere in Asia evolve the ability to speak? Moreover, how does that same nation evolve the ability to consider the words that it is about to speak and somehow avoid saying particular things? Apparently "Japan," whatever it is, managed to develop the gift of language and utter the words "sincere condolences" last week while some other people are upset that it did not say something else.
Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japanese authorities and the end of WWII. Other than being a point of historical interest, I don't care that last week represented the 70th anniversary of the end of another imperialistic war. I wasn't alive then and it did not impact me or anyone that I know. Why should I care about wars of foreign expansion conducted by nations being led by rulers intent upon dominating the world? Yes, I am writing about the Socialist Democracy of Amerika here, as well as Japan, China, Russia, Germany and Italy. All of those countries used WWII as an excuse to attempt to rule, control and dominate other nations. But that is all ancient history. Thoughts about that devastatingly destructive war should have disappeared into the dustbin long ago. Sadly, they haven't.
A photograph accompanying the article I read showed a Japanese woman "praying for Taiwan's 'comfort women,' forced by the Japanese to work as sex slaves during WWII." The woman praying could not be more than 30 years old. The "comfort women" she is allegedly praying for are all long dead. Yet somehow she is moved to tears as she prays for people she never knew and who are now long dead. The clear intimation of the photograph is that this poor, guilt-ridden Japanese woman is displaying extreme sorrow over something she had nothing to do with on behalf of people who are no longer alive. Has everyone gone insane?
The article began by informing me that "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that Japan inflicted "'immeasurable damage and suffering' on innocent people in World War II but stopped short of offering his own apology, drawing criticism from China and South Korea." Apparently every year the rulers of Japan are expected to hold a public meeting and apologize to the world for the things that their ancient military did during WWII. It is also apparent that the wording of the public apology must be precisely what the citizens and rulers in other countries that engaged the Japanese military want to hear. If the wording is not precisely what they want to hear they express outrage. Abe was castigated for the fact that he declared that, "Japan's repeated past heartfelt apologies would remain unshakable but that future Japanese generations should not have to keep apologizing." He did not explain how a geo-political entity called "Japan" had developed the ability to speak and issue apologizes. Nor did anyone ask how that happened. But his comment did outrage people around the world.
Chinese officials said that Abe's apology was "evasive" and asserted that "Japan should have made an explicit statement on the nature of the war of militarism and aggression and its responsibility on the wars, made a sincere apology to the people of victim countries, and made a clean break with the past of militarist aggression." Maybe I am missing something here but I don't recall the Japanese military being involved in any wars over the past seventy years. Why does some Chinese ruler feel the need to order Japanese politicians to pledge to not engage in militaristic behavior when no militaristic behavior has been evidenced by the Japanese in over seventy years? And speaking of militaristic behavior and examples of atrocious and brutal behavior against their fellow man.... has anyone ever heard about the Chinese doing bad things to their enemies? Is it only the Japanese who are responsible for immoral behavior? And if we are going to discuss that favorite whipping boy known as "war crimes," who can forget what the SDA forces did in the Philippines during the Spanish/Amerikan war? Go here if you have already forgotten.
My point is a simple one. I am unaware of any war waged in the history of mankind that was not immoral. I am not aware of any war waged in the history of mankind that did not involve atrocities being committed upon both the soldiers and the civilians of all the countries at war with each other. No armed force has ever behaved morally. None. The only reason Japan is forced to grovel in front of the Chinese, the South Koreans and the citizens of the SDA annually is because they lost WWII when the SDA blew two of their cities to smithereens with atomic bombs. The SDA's decision to drop the bombs was, of course, totally moral and correct. Amerikans remained convinced that God directed those bombs to the ground where they vaporized disgustingly evil people who were worthy of death so that the paragons of moral virtue in the SDA military might live to a ripe old age. You just keep right on believing that.
No Japanese citizen and no Japanese career politician owes any person in the world an apology for the things done by the Japanese military during WWII. Abe is right, no Japanese person should be required to issue an annual public apology. He is also wrong. "Repeated past heartfelt apologies" delivered by Japanese career politicians were equally unnecessary and stupid. There is nobody left alive who is personally responsible for any of the sins committed by the Japanese military during WWII. Therefore, there is nobody alive who can issue a genuine apology. Career politicians in other countries who believe they are due an apology need to grow up and mind their own business. Meanwhile, a heartfelt apology from the career politicians who are still alive and who rule the SDA issued to the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan would be nice. Ha! Ha! Ha!