Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Spies and Saboteurs

The primary reason that Asian Americans have had difficult time assimilating into our culture, was most likely was because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
The tradition of death instead of defeat, capture, and perceived shame was deeply entrenched in Japanese military culture.  Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured only because they had been knocked unconscious. 
The Japanese weren’t able to build as many ships and warplanes as they were losing in the battles.  Their admirals realized that it was almost impossible to win against the Allied troops with so few aircraft and not enough pilots.  Therefore, they decided to initiate kamikaze attacks by crashing into Allied ships to kill as many American sailors as possible.  Initially, those attacks were ineffective.  But, by the end of the war over 2800 Japanese pilots had sacrificed their lives to sink 34 Navy ships, and kill over 4,900 American sailors.
Legendary WW II Admiral William “Bull” Halsey detested the Japanese Empire and seldom missed an opportunity to encouraging his men to kill the enemy in increasing numbers.  Halsey insisted: “The only good Jap is a dead Jap.”  I remember hearing that expression numerous times as a child.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order, to evacuate all Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.  Approximately 120,000 people were relocated to 10 internment camps located across our country.  In 1988, Congress awarded restitution payments to each survivor of the camps.  
Spies and saboteurs were a concern on both coasts.  My family lived a block from the Rotterdam Army Depot.  A German family in our neighborhood had their radio that was capable of receiving shortwave frequencies confiscated by the FBI and never returned.  


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