On the Rare Reporting of WWII Allied War Crimes.


War makes monsters of us all and there were, no doubt, many instances where the Allies committed what would today be defined as war crimes. However, it seems to me that, given the horror that the Nazis perpetrated, we tend, in the West to overlook any evidence of our own terrible butchery.

Having just completed a reading of World War II by Martin Gilbert, a generally well written and factual account of the conflict, I have only managed to find one instance of allied action that could be counted as a war crime. Here is the very short passage in a very large book:

On the day of the Deptford rocket bomb, a British submarine, HMS Sturdy, on its way from Australia to Indonesian waters, stopped a Japanese cargo ship by surface shellfire. The Japanese crew having abandoned their ship, the only people left on board were fifty women and children, all of them Indonesians. In order to deny the Japanese any use of the ship’s cargo, the submarine commander ordered the ship to be sunk, despite a protest from the officer who had to lay the explosive charges. ‘Get on with it’, was the commander’s response. The cargo ship and its passengers were then blown up, together with the ship’s war supplies.

The Second World War – A Complete History, Martin Gilbert. p. 614

So a ship full of unarmed women and children were blown up. It is interesting to note how the author furnishes the commander with suitable justification for, what seems to be a heinous act. It was entirely okay for him to murder women and children because there were war supplies on the ship.

The date of this war crime, for war crime it surely appears, was November 25 1944. 

There are few other examples in the book but given the size and scope of the war it seems unlikely that this is the only war crime on the allies side that went unpunished. In a fair and just world those who commit crimes would be prosecuted regardless on what side of the battle line there found themselves. 

If the world was a just one then the author of this book might assign the same revulsion to this awful murder as he does, rightfully so, to the awful things that the Nazis did in the name of their Reich.

I think that these civilians were dismissed, by the commander and by the author, because they were Indonesian. I find it almost impossible to believe that had these civilians been upstanding members of the British Empire who understood the rules of cricket, had their tea at 4pm every day and had pale anglo-saxon skin that they would have suffered the same fate.

Maybe I am being terribly cynical though and I am unaware of many important facts concerning the fifth column nature of these Indonesian woman and children.

One day we will live in a world where we can acknowledge our own war crimes. That day does not seem to be today.

addendum: in my stupidity I overlooked the firebombing of Dresden, firebombing of Tokyo, the two nuclear bombs and any number of other “revenge” killings of German soldiers. However my aim with the small quote above was to highlight what seems like the slaughter of innocent women and children without the “luxury” of dropping bombs from a great height. The soldiers who committed this atrocity were actually on the boat laying the explosives. Whether they looked into the eyes of their victims or forced them, at gunpoint to stay on the boat, is not mentioned in the book.

On the Rare Reporting of WWII Allied War Crimes.


War makes monsters of us all and there were, no doubt, many instances where the Allies committed what would today be defined as war crimes. However, it seems to me that, given the horror that the Nazis perpetrated, we tend, in the West to overlook any evidence of our own terrible butchery.

Having just completed a reading of World War II by Martin Gilbert, a generally well written and factual account of the conflict, I have only managed to find one instance of allied action that could be counted as a war crime. Here is the very short passage in a very large book:

On the day of the Deptford rocket bomb, a British submarine, HMS Sturdy, on its way from Australia to Indonesian waters, stopped a Japanese cargo ship by surface shellfire. The Japanese crew having abandoned their ship, the only people left on board were fifty women and children, all of them Indonesians. In order to deny the Japanese any use of the ship’s cargo, the submarine commander ordered the ship to be sunk, despite a protest from the officer who had to lay the explosive charges. ‘Get on with it’, was the commander’s response. The cargo ship and its passengers were then blown up, together with the ship’s war supplies.

The Second World War – A Complete History, Martin Gilbert. p. 614

So a ship full of unarmed women and children were blown up. It is interesting to note how the author furnishes the commander with suitable justification for, what seems to be a heinous act. It was entirely okay for him to murder women and children because there were war supplies on the ship.

The date of this war crime, for war crime it surely appears, was November 25 1944. 

There are few other examples in the book but given the size and scope of the war it seems unlikely that this is the only war crime on the allies side that went unpunished. In a fair and just world those who commit crimes would be prosecuted regardless on what side of the battle line there found themselves. 

If the world was a just one then the author of this book might assign the same revulsion to this awful murder as he does, rightfully so, to the awful things that the Nazis did in the name of their Reich.

I think that these civilians were dismissed, by the commander and by the author, because they were Indonesian. I find it almost impossible to believe that had these civilians been upstanding members of the British Empire who understood the rules of cricket, had their tea at 4pm every day and had pale anglo-saxon skin that they would have suffered the same fate.

Maybe I am being terribly cynical though and I am unaware of many important facts concerning the fifth column nature of these Indonesian woman and children.

One day we will live in a world where we can acknowledge our own war crimes. That day does not seem to be today.

addendum: in my stupidity I overlooked the firebombing of Dresden, firebombing of Tokyo, the two nuclear bombs and any number of other “revenge” killings of German soldiers. However my aim with the small quote above was to highlight what seems like the slaughter of innocent women and children without the “luxury” of dropping bombs from a great height. The soldiers who committed this atrocity were actually on the boat laying the explosives. Whether they looked into the eyes of their victims or forced them, at gunpoint to stay on the boat, is not mentioned in the book.

That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer


Naughty Mickey

That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer

That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer


Naughty Mickey

That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer

Meet America’s emerging minority group — whites


Meet America’s emerging minority group — whites

Meet America’s emerging minority group — whites


Meet America’s emerging minority group — whites

Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning “Urban Gangs” Into His Personal Police Force


Orson Scott Card is a questionable man and I don’t know why I’m sharing this lunacy but I am sharing it.

Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning “Urban Gangs” Into His Personal Police Force

Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning “Urban Gangs” Into His Personal Police Force


Orson Scott Card is a questionable man and I don’t know why I’m sharing this lunacy but I am sharing it.

Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning “Urban Gangs” Into His Personal Police Force

Daily Kos: Texas Defends Voting Laws: “We Don’t Want Democrats To Vote”


I had to include the quote below from the Texas Attorney General defence.

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats….The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated bypartisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.

Daily Kos: Texas Defends Voting Laws: “We Don’t Want Democrats To Vote”

Daily Kos: Texas Defends Voting Laws: “We Don’t Want Democrats To Vote”


I had to include the quote below from the Texas Attorney General defence.

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats….The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated bypartisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.

Daily Kos: Texas Defends Voting Laws: “We Don’t Want Democrats To Vote”

So people thought this was a good idea…


bankuei:

So we’re really making a videogame set in 1930s Shanghai and calling it “Whore of the Orient"?!?!??

You don’t make period piece games about France called “Syphilis Depot of the West" or England, “Fecal Water Wellspring of Europe" so…

Seems atrocious.

Oh wait, because it is atrocious.

But it’s okay because that used to be it’s nickname and the game is merely reflecting the culture and the racism of the time…

…….

So good to see that video games continues a trend that find it’s origins in the finest movies of Hollywood’s golden age.

So people thought this was a good idea…


bankuei:

So we’re really making a videogame set in 1930s Shanghai and calling it “Whore of the Orient"?!?!??

You don’t make period piece games about France called “Syphilis Depot of the West" or England, “Fecal Water Wellspring of Europe" so…

Seems atrocious.

Oh wait, because it is atrocious.

But it’s okay because that used to be it’s nickname and the game is merely reflecting the culture and the racism of the time…

…….

So good to see that video games continues a trend that find it’s origins in the finest movies of Hollywood’s golden age.


When will the white community start owning up to and fixing the violence of their thuggish children?

Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security


Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE!

Although the undercurrent of the piece seems to be that it’s a problem now because white people are suffering which, it seems, is an awful indictment on manner in which the reporting of poverty happens.

Normal if it’s African-Americans and Hispanics who are suffering – that’s just their normal state of being but if it’s whites suffering – OH MY GOD – now let’s do something about it.

Unsurprising that this is the manner in which the problem is approached but no less hideous for all that.

Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security

Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security


Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE!

Although the undercurrent of the piece seems to be that it’s a problem now because white people are suffering which, it seems, is an awful indictment on manner in which the reporting of poverty happens.

Normal if it’s African-Americans and Hispanics who are suffering – that’s just their normal state of being but if it’s whites suffering – OH MY GOD – now let’s do something about it.

Unsurprising that this is the manner in which the problem is approached but no less hideous for all that.

Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security

Culture of Illusion – It’s Not Easy Being Green.


interesting use of language and syntax.

The men who joined Washington’s army were young and mostly poor farmers, fishermen, and artisans; some were Africans.

Now I am not an expert in American history and the National Museum of American History in Washington DC is, no doubt, full of experts in history. I do, however, have a couple of points to make about this small sentence on their wall in their American War of Indepence section.

a. Why is the word Africans put after a semi-colon as if it were:

  1. an afterthought
  2. a profession.

b. The sentence is written as if Africans were just hanging around in America waiting to help Washington free the colony from the draconian yoke of their British overlords. From what little I remember I think all those first and second generation Africans were, at the time, mostly there not of their own free will.

c. Africans fought on both sides of the War of Independence because both sides promised freedom from actual slavery if the above mentioned Africans did so.

I am sure I am being both ignorant and churlish that The National Museum of American History should make reference to it’s sordid past at every turn of it’s very well designed corridors. It is a place where a recreation of the Greensboro Lunch Counter sit-in is but meters away from Kermit the Frog trapped in a perspex box. Inbetween the two the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. In another room the original Old Glory, the fine flag in a low lit room, the national anthem playing softly in hushed religious tones as you walk up to pay respect to a very beautiful idea of freedom; hard won. An idea of freedom that even now has difficulty manifesting itself in every day life.

Why should they mention slavery at every turn when Britain never mentions it’s involvement in slavery? For the British the common story is that we stopped slavery. How little we wish to remember, how we enjoy our ignorance throwing glances of superiority at our old colonies. We like to forget that the Americans were British before they were American. We like to forget that we helped finesse and perfect the insidious triangle between Africa, America and our own island before we found it to be economically inefficient. We like to forget that we took tea from one ancient Empire in exchange for opium and used another great Empire as a garden in which to cultivate that tea. How civilised is that little bag of dried leaf. How civilised are we.

The National Museum of American History is a building of mythmaking and all nations are guilty of that. No one likes to look into their dark rotten heart. Let the kitchz rub up against the profound. Let the hard won battles of the oppressed be preserved in amber; made anodyne and safe – nuetered and free of all context. It seems like the meat and the marrow has been sucked and licked of the bones of the past and all we are left with are clean plastic moments. Let the bravery of those young men and women who risked their lives drinking a milkshake at a bar sit as equals with Kermit the frog and his struggles. We all like Kermit the frog. What could be so wrong with that? These things are in the past, these issues have been solved. Move along please. Bow to the flag, respect the frog. Gape at the slippers. Wonder at the unusual syntax. It’s not easy being green.

I am sure that I am being both ignorant and churlish.

Culture of Illusion – Boardgames as Activism.


Activist Boardgames
Click me.

Because race is an issue that constantly bubbles under the surface, and sometimes on the surface, and sometimes above the surface, of this great nation and because it will no doubt be addressed today in the State of the Union Address, I thought that this link would be worth a look. Click on THIS or click on the pic. I suspect that this game was made by well meaning white people for well meaning white people. I get the feeling that, at the time, it was no surprise to black people in 1970s America that they were, generally speaking, at an economic disadvantage. I could, of course be wrong, being, as I am, a white male who grew up in Scotland.

Oh America, for shame, you make me sad in my face.


It is when reading stories like this that I realise that things like ethics and morality are learned and not innate, stupidity is all too common currency and there are no limits to how insensitive human beings will be about violence and oppression.

Oh America, for shame, you make me sad in my face.

Oh America, for shame, you make me sad in my face.


It is when reading stories like this that I realise that things like ethics and morality are learned and not innate, stupidity is all too common currency and there are no limits to how insensitive human beings will be about violence and oppression.

Oh America, for shame, you make me sad in my face.


Because race is a debate that constantly bubbles under the surface in this great nation and because it will no doubt be studiously ignored as an issue during the Presidential Race, I thought that this link would be worth a look. Click on the pic.


Because race is a debate that constantly bubbles under the surface in this great nation and because it will no doubt be studiously ignored as an issue during the Presidential Race, I thought that this link would be worth a look. Click on the pic.