Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Rape of Nanking Day

Nanking is one of the two traditional capital cities in China.  The Imperial Japanese Army went on a rampage there in the late 1930s.  Iris Chang's book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II is the best selling telling of this tale.  It inspired the 2007 documentary Nanking.

The book describes how the Japanese Army killed perhaps 300,000 civilians, and raped perhaps 80,000 women.  The Army held contests where soldiers would compete to see how fast they could kill Chinese civilians.  Many were buried alive; others were tortured to death, or thrown to dogs to be torn apart.  Soldiers sliced open the bellies of pregnant women to pull the babies out.

The story so affected Ms. Chang that she took her own life in 2004.

But remember, America is uniquely evil, because it dropped the Atomic Bombs.  At least, that's what the Left will tell you.  Odd how comfortable they seemingly are with evil, except in one particular place.

Part of a continuing saga, inspired by I Want A New Left.


ProudHillbilly said...

It is interesting that the horrors Japan committed never get the same "press" as those of Nazi Germany. Also, a little bit of odd trivia - I can't remember which city of China it was but it was a Nazi official who sheltered and protected as many of the locals as he could in his compound.

Druid said...

And on the Sixth Day...

"The Philippine Campaign was the graveyard of the Imperial Japanese Army: IJA KIA exceeded the estimated (300,000) German and Axis dead at Stalingrad."


At less than 14,000 US KIA (but for 100,000 civilians lost in Manila).

One often wonders what motivated those few IJA soldiers to hide in the jungles for sometimes forty years or more... maybe it was not bushido discipline but because they knew they were already dead?

And, on the seventh day, Uncle Sam rested knowing that 99.9% of the invaders of the Territory of the Philippine Islands were, exterminated.

Beyond Anon said...

However, Mao Zidong is responsible for more Chinese deaths than the Japanese were responsible for at Nanjing, or even possibly in China altogether.

Sure, he didn't rape that many women, if any, and didn't personally kill any ... but maybe he gets a pass because he was Chinese.

Of course, I don't believe that the US is evil either, although I do think that perhaps the second atomic bomb was not needed, but it was war.

Lissa said...

ProudHillbilly, I believe that us incorrect. As I recall, one of the reasons the rape of Nanking was so mind-blowing is that the papers WERE reporting it, and the world STILL did nothing.

Borepatch, I have in fact brought up the Rape of Nanking to a friend who was waxing rhapsodical about how the Museum of Peace in Japan just amazingly shows how awful America is. It was ... interesting.

ProudHillbilly said...

@Lissa - oops, I should have been more clear. I meant these days. Folks recognize Auschwitz, but not Nanking as a place of horror.

Borepatch said...

Lissa, it's interesting what's remembered, and what isn't.

TOTWTYTR said...

Is it me or does the Left not seem to care when people of color are killing each other? Nanking, Rwanda, Libya, Syria, Darfur...

Anonymous said...

As a certified leftist, I have not the slightest fuck of an idea what you are talking about. Nobody believes the US is uniquely evil, certainly not in a way that would give the Japanese a pass for the rape of Nanking.

Borepatch said...

Anonymous, then why do you hear about the Bomb every year, but never about these other things?

The silence is the indictment.

Anonymous said...

You are nuts. Don't you have enough real disagreements with leftists? Why do you have to make up bullshit charges?

Here, I'll help you out: you can easily find leftists who have a fond spot in their heart for Castro and even Stalin. I doubt you could find even one who apologizes for the rape of Nanking. Why would a leftist be soft on the actions of imperial Japan?

Borepatch said...

Anonymous, you make the case well - some evil is denounced, and some is celebrated.

My beef is that this comes from people absolutely convinced in their moral superiority. To the rest of us, it looks tribal.

Contemplationist said...

Is there no scope for nuance or deeper understanding? How about calling BOTH of those acts evil? The atomic bomb DID kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. FULL STOP.
The Japanese army did kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. FULL STOP.

Okay, apart from the hypocrisy of the left, whats the point here? Do I have to excuse American actions because others were evil?

Borepatch said...


Hypocrisy is the entire issue. But it's worse - the hypocrisy is linked to political action, and so the issue is also one of the Left "waving the bloody shirt" to further their political objectives.

I for one would welcome more nuance and deeper understanding. The effectiveness of deterrence would be an excellent place to start, perhaps with a discussion of the effectiveness of "You can't hug your children with Nuclear Arms".

Personally, I have a lot more objection to Curtis LeMay's fireboming campaign, which killed many more people than the Atomic Bombs. But it's hard to argue seriously that the Bombs didn't end the war, and that saved hundreds of thousands of American and likely millions of Japanese lives. That's a post for tomorrow, but you won't see anything like it in the usual Leftie places.

So sorry, I'm not so impressed with the "nuance" and "deeper understanding" shown by the Left. I'd very much like to see it - I think that an intellectualy vigorous Left is important for our society. But we don't have one.

That seems to be the entire point of I Want A New Left's blog.