• On the Ethics of Hell

    June 15, 2017

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    Posted in: Hooper's War

    flyers



    Japan absorbed WWII. The collective memory was tidied up. Little is taught about the war in modern Japanese schools, and even less of what is taught is true. There seems no reason to bring up all those bad deeds and rotten memories. For the most part, the Japanese created their own alternate history of the war.


    Vivisection

    So it is all the more shocking that a Japanese university opened a museum acknowledging that its staff performed vivisections on a handful of downed American airmen (above) during World War II. The incident has been previously documented by both sides of the war, but the very public and ongoing acknowledgement of the atrocity at the site where it was committed is quite unusual for Japan.

    The newly-opened museum at Kyushu University explains how eight U.S. POWs were taken to the center’s medical school in Fukuoka after their plane was shot down in May 1945. The flyers were subjected to horrific medical experiments. Doctors dissected one soldier’s brain to see if epilepsy could be controlled by surgery, and removed parts of the livers of other prisoners as part of tests to see if they would survive. Another soldier was injected with seawater, in an experiment to see if it could be used instead of sterile saline solution to help dehydration.

    The airmen so tortured were aboard a B-29 on a bombing raid over Fukuoka. They all bailed out when their aircraft was rammed by a Japanese fighter.


    Firebombing

    The ethics of hell come into play when we think a bit on what those flyers were doing in the skies over Fukuoka: dropping bombs in hopes of burning, shredding or maiming as many Japanese as possible.

    The U.S. at this late stage of the war was as a strategy not discriminating between “military” and “civilian” targets, and often conducted mass firebombing raids over cities. Thousands of incendiaries were dropped simultaneously in hopes of creating a firestorm, a conflagration that burned hot and long enough to literally suck the oxygen out of the air and kill everything beneath it.

    I have a history of the war on my bookshelf that makes quite a point of being horrified, with no obvious irony, that when the Japanese captured another group of shot-down B-29 crewman from firebombing missions, the flyers were burned alive in an impromptu fire; some others were killed with boiling water. It says elsewhere a negotiated peace was impossible when one side was fighting for civilization and the other represented barbarism.

    Same kind of thing in an actual description from another book of one of the terrible things that happened in the Pacific War: “As the bodies started to sizzle, their arms and legs twitched, and they sat up as if they were alive. Smoke came out of their eye sockets, their mouths opened, and licks of flames came out. Their lungs were full of steam, and hissing noises came out.”

    Did that description come from the firebombing of a Japanese city, or from the burning alive of American prisoners? It was one of the two, though it describes both, but how does that matter?




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...

      1

      Door gunner in FULL METAL JACKET in response to the question of how he could have shot women and children Vietnamese running in rice paddies. “You just don’t lead em so much.”

      06/15/17 8:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      The truth is man has an infinite capacity to kill…period. Man will kill anything. Slaughter is a defining behavior of our species. We kill all other creatures, and we kill our own.

      Think baseball is our national sport? No, killing is our field of dreams. Read today’s paper. Read yesterday’s, or read tomorrow’s. The enormous industry of print and broadcast journalism serves predominantly to document our killing.

      Violence exists in the animal world, of course, but on a far different scale. Carnivores kill for food; we kill our family members, our children, our parents, our spouses, our brothers and sisters, our cousins and in-laws. We kill strangers. We kill people who are different from us, in appearance, beliefs, race, and social status. We kill ourselves in suicide. We kill for advantage and for revenge, we kill for entertainment: the Roman Coliseum, drive-by shootings, bullfights, hunting and fishing, animal roadkill in an instantaneous reflex for sport. We kill friends, rivals, coworkers, and classmates. Children kill children, in school and on the playground. Grandparents, parents, fathers, mothers–all kill and all of them are the target.

      Dont expect wartime to show any more morality.

      Play ball.

      06/15/17 8:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Just to make it a level playing field the US government shouldnt be supplying just rich countries with killing machines. It should supply every citizen with an AR15 with armor piercing bullets. That goofball shooting at some guys playing hardball would have struckout before he got off his first strike.

      06/15/17 10:28 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Of course, millions would kill themselves if the government was crazy enough to let the morons gave guns…oh, they do?

      Well, just how stupid are we? Well…

      A Department of Agriculture study commissioned in the early ’90s found that nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef. This is understandable when you realize these idiots still eat at McDonalds. Millions of these idiots also think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

      So maybe it is a good idea to give them the means to remove themselves from the gene pool.

      06/15/17 1:08 PM | Comment Link

    • lindaj said...

      5

      Why try to stop climate change? Mother Nature is right to shake us off.

      06/15/17 3:14 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      6

      It may be that in order to prevail in a Darwinian evolution only the nastiest critter prevailed. We’re that killer ape. We might be able to evolve beyond that needed stage of top killer.

      06/15/17 3:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      The rich are the epitome of Darwin’s theory. They are trying to kill US so they can propogate their genes. Global warming is a means to our end. Trump is their ideal.

      06/15/17 4:09 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      8

      The rich most likely pay homage to a deity they admire. Whatever that deity may be it isn’t anything I’d want to throw in with no matter how tempting the promise of everlasting life is for being a true believer. Believers kill easily. Doubters don’t kill. Take away certainty and you become a better person.

      06/15/17 5:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      If the greedy bastards believe in their everlasting life, they are going to be very disappointed.

      06/15/17 6:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      The Hell you say:

      Trumpie sending 4000 more troops to Afghanistan. The Pentagon decision could be announced as early as next week, an official said. The bulk of the additional troops reportedly will train and advise Afghan forces, although “some” forces would be assigned to counterterror operation.

      06/16/17 5:00 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      11

      How did the Obomber surge of 30k troops there go? War is a racket. Pigs are…

      06/16/17 6:40 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      12

      Will Trump get a Nobel Peace Prize?

      06/16/17 6:43 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      13

      UNAC Conference starts tonight. It will be live streamed. PVB was great at a previous one. Peace…

      06/16/17 6:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      14

      1st statement….. “..I’m not saying we kill all the stupid People… I’m just saying… We Remove the safety labels and let things sort themselves out…”

      2nd…… Rich….

      Your “Play Ball ” comment…. Sounds a lot like your condoning what happened in Virginia……. Or….. Are you off your meds again???

      M

      06/16/17 5:55 PM | Comment Link

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