Skip to comments.Washington Post Shows Historical Ignorance
Posted on 08/13/2005 5:53:12 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
A Washington Post story for tomorrow (Sunday, 14 June) demonstrates spectacular ignorance of American post-war histories, with a dollop of political bias added.
Here is the entire lead paragraph of Sayonara to Japanese Pacifism? by Ayako Doi and Kim Willenson:
In 2002, as the Bush administration prepared to invade Iraq, Washington policymakers reassuringly insisted that once combat was over, they would repeat America's post-World War II occupation success story -- the reformation of Japan. The flaws in that design, though, were twofold: Not only did Iraq turn out to be a very different sort of country, but these days, the success of the postwar remaking of Japan itself seems to be partly unraveling.
The writers cite no names of policymakers who compared Iraq to Japan. As I and other writers based in history have noted, the proper comparison was to Germany, not Japan. In Japan the Americans made the wise choice not to depose the Emperor. The Emperor, in turn, urged his people to accept and cooperate with the Americans. As a result, there were almost no incidents against General MacArthurs occupation and reformation of Japan.
On the other hand, in Germany the Nazis created the werewolves to continue the fighting after Germany surrendered and the war officially ended. The werewolves conducted assassinations, sabotage, and attacks on occupying American, French and British troops for two years after the surrender, in May, 1945.
Capable reporters, meaning those with a reasonable education in American history including WW II, would have known the difference between post-war Japan and Germany. Those who dont, including these two writers, should order on the Internet and read the definitive history of post-war Germany, The US Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944-1946, by Dr. Earl F. Ziemke, now in its fifth edition.
Why did these reporters write this lead paragraph? The article is about Japan reconsidering its pacifism, enshrined in its MacArthur-installed constitution. With a hostile North Korea apparently possessing nuclear weapons, and having already fired a ballistic missile across Japan, such reconsideration makes sense. But the reporters here wanted to take a gratuitous slap at the Bush Administration, so they installed two errors in the lead.
The first was the false comparison of Japan to Iraq. The second was the assumption that Japans reconsideration of its military posture in the 21st century somehow indicates a failure of an American occupation that ended in 1948. Did these reporters, and their editors, think that none of their readers would be reasonably educated in post-WW II history?
John / Billybob
It's a willful attempt by the 'educated liberal' to SPREAD mis-information and ignorance.
I guarantee that they were safe in assuming that 99% of their readers wouldn't know it. A recent Gallup poll showed that 25% of Americans couldn't place the Pacific Ocean on a global map.
Yes. Those who have no clue as to their history are not only doomed to repeat it, but are more-easily controlled; and the educrats have been busy not teaching history for the last 30 or so years.
The only reason why that number isn't higher is because there were a few Californians that took that survey.
It's also easier to control the minds full of mush when they have no clue as to where anything is.
This is one of the lefts favorite tactics,make a statement so obtuse and disjointed that in the time one is trying to fathom WTF it is saying the lib has jumped on to some other pearl of profound stupidity.
There can be no real comparisons between Germany or Japan as each had its own motives and cultural ethics.If the Allieds had not prevailed those two would have been at war with each other in a short period of time.
To try to extend a comparison to Iraq is like comparing a model T to a modern car because they both have a motor and four wheels.
This is just an attempt by a leftist reporter expressing his opinion,cloaking it as an investigative report to get around a papers (wink)editorial standards.
Did you mean Sunday, 14 August?
Don't you mean Sunday 14 August instead of 14 June?
I agree. Even and idiot would eventually get something right which the Times never does. So it must be agenda though idiocy certainly goes hand in hand with that agenda
The MSM is ignorant and arrogant at the same time. Therefore:
1. They don't know the history.
2. If they did, the answer to your question would be "yes".
As all news is history, the WP does this everyday.
I have a very low opinion of the "book smarts" of most Americans, but you cannot be serious.
I'm not joking. The results of the Gallup Poll are probably a year old by now, but I read them. I'm sure you could confirm that if you did an internet search of news stories.
"Did these reporters, and their editors, think that none of their readers would be reasonably educated in post-WW II history?"
Although it is natural to presume a sneaky agenda on the part of unsophisticated toilet papers like the Washington Post, I think that in this case the "reporters and their editors" are genuinely ignorant and uneducated themselves. But regardless of that, I happen to believer that ignorance can be malicious, and I think that you have correctly nailed them for it here.
How many illegal immigrants or DU'ers on that poll, friend?
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