Saturday, March 23, 2013


OMNI “PEARL HARBOR DAY,” COLONIAL PACIFIC WORLD WAR II NEWSLETTER #5, March 23, 2013.  Compiled by Dick Bennett. Another in OMNI’s NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DAYS series for a Culture of Nonviolent, Positive Peace.

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

Contents of #1  2008
Dick: US History of Wars of Aggression Includes WWII in the Pacific

Contents of #2   2010
Dick:   Review of David Swanson’s War Is a Lie

Contents #3  2011
Dick: US Empire and WWII in Pacific
Wiest and Mattson
Chomsky:  Backgrounds
Revolutionary Work

Contents #4  2012
Pearl Harbor Day
Dick:   No Choice But War
Maslin Reviews Bradley
TomDispatch/Klare:  It Wasn’t Al-Qaeda, It’s China
Cyber Pearl Harbor?
Climate Pearl Harbor?

Contents #5  March 23, 2013
Dick, Japan and US:  Giving and Asking Forgiveness
Conroy, et al., West Across the Pacific, Revisionist Account
Dick, US Days of infamy Timeline

Giving and Asking Forgiveness: Japan and US
by Dick Bennett, December 22, 2012
      Following WWII, with the assistance of Frank Buchman’s Moral Re-armament Movement, Japanese leaders began to apologize to the nations and peoples it had harmed by its invasions, exploitations, and killings.   In 1950 Japanese emissaries visited European countries and the US for reconciliation.  One of the delegates spoke to the US Senate and House and expressed “our sincere regret that Japan has broken an almost century-old friendship.”  He received a standing ovation.
     In 1955 the Japanese government sent a representative to the Philippines to ask forgiveness for Japanese atrocities during the war.  In 1957 a similar apology was given to the Korean government.  In the same year, the pursuit of reconciliation intensified when the Prime Minister of Japan personally visited seven Southeast Asian nations to express his sorrow at the war, apologize, and ask forgiveness.   The Washington Evening Star commented that surely Premier Kishi had performed “one of the most unusual missions ever undertaken by a statesman of his rank.”  Solving the problems and breaking the chain of hate caused by Japanese colonial expansion were at last sincerely begun.   For example, not until 1978 did Japan begin to accept refugees from the conquered countries. 
     In 1950 the Japanese delegation to the US included the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The New York Times commented in an editorial, “’If they, too, felt that they ha d something to forgive they had achieved a miracle.’”   The Saturday Evening Post said:  “’The idea of a nation admitting it could be mistaken about anything has a refreshing impact. . . .Perhaps even Americans could think up a few past occasions of which it could be safely admitted, ‘We certainly fouled things up that time.’”  Forty five years later in 1995 on the fiftieth anniversary ceremonies marking the atomic bombings, the mayor of Hiroshima  apologized for the “unbearable suffering that Japanese colonial domination and war inflicted on so many people.’”  And the mayor of Nagasaki spoke in similar terms at a ceremony in his city, adding this significant point:  “’Without reflection and apology on Japan’s own past, our calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons will not be heard by the people of the world.’”
      Unfortunately, these apologies for their nation’s atrociousness failed to inspire the United States with similar considerateness for other countries or to impede US development of ever more destructive nuclear weapons.   The Japanese apologized for Pearl Harbor, even though it was the inevitable, atrocious response to US colonial policy.   As Roland Worth, Jr., explains:  “. . .the United States knowingly and intentionally imposed economic strangulation upon Japan” (preceding the bombing of Pearl Harbor), “aware that the Japanese economy was being wrecked to a degree that would have been intolerable if this nation had been on the receiving end.   The US embraced a severe embargo “knowing  full well its probable result.  Hence. . .the Pacific war was caused by the United States launching a policy of economic destruction against the Japanese nation” (218).
     As the Saturday Evening Post suggested, the US had also “fouled things up” in the past.   It was a colonial competitor with Japan in the Pacific and East Asian rim; its embargo drove Japan to the violence of Pearl Harbor.  It too should apologize for the “war without mercy,” as John Dower epitomizes WWII in the Pacific, in which so many died needlessly.  Pearl Harbor offers “an abiding lesson. . .that has been little noticed,” Worth writes.  “Never inflict upon another major military power a policy which would cause you yourself to go to war. . . .And don’t be surprised that if they do decide to retaliate, that they seek out a time and a place that inflicts the maximum harm and humiliation upon your cause” (219).
       But the war was not the only foul-up, to repeat the euphemism.   The atomic bombs led quickly to the development of hydrogen bombs.   The US forcibly removed citizens of the Marshall Islands from their homes in order to test 67 hydrogen bombs.  Today testing continues in myriad ways.   In what The New York Times described as a moral miracle, mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki apologized for their country’s atrocities in war, desiring to abolish nuclear weapons, the only rational policy, while the US to this day has offered no apologies for the embargo or for the nuclear destruction of two civilian cities, while it continues to develop more nuclear weapons.   Without reflection and apology by US leaders for their nuclear bombings and continued preparation for nuclear holocaust, all their talk about nuclear weapons control will not be trusted by the people of the world.

See earlier newsletters on “Pearl Harbor Day”/Colonial Pacific World War II.
--Dower, John.  War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War.  Pantheon, 1986. 
--Michael Henderson.  The Forgiveness Factor: Stories of Hope in a World of Conflict.   Grosvenor, 1996.  Chapter 4, “Japan: Struggle for the Soul of a Nation.”
--Roland Worth, Jr.   No Choice But War: The United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific.  McFarland, 1995.

West Across the Pacific: American Involvement in East Asia from 1898 to the Vietnam War 

F. Hilary Conroy , Francis Conroy , Sophie Quinn-Judge 

 March 28, 2008 This book addresses the problem of a country telling a grand narrative to itself that does not hold up under closer examination, a narrative that leads to possibly avoidable war. In particular, the book explains and questions the narrative the United States was telling itself about East Asia and the Pacific in the late 1930s, with (in retrospect) the Pacific War only a few years away. Through empirical methods, it details how the standard narrative failed to understand what was really happening based on documents that later became available. The documents researched are from the Diet Library in Japan, the Foreign Office in London, the National Archives in Washington, the University of Hawai’i library in Honolulu and several other primary sources. This research reveals opportunities unexplored that involve lessons of seeing things from the “other side’s” point of view and of valuing the contribution of “in-between” people who tried to be peacemakers. The crux of the standard narrative was that the United States, unlike European imperialist powers, involved itself in East Asia in order to bring openness (the Open Door) and democracy; and that it was increasingly confronted by an opposing force, Japan, that had imperial, closed, and undemocratic designs. This standard American narrative was later opposed by a revisionist narrative that found the United States culpable of a “neo-imperialism,” just as the European powers and Japan were guilty of “imperialism.” However, what West Across the Pacific shows is that, while there is indubitably some truth in both the “standard” and the “revisionist” versions, more careful documentary research reveals that the most important thing “lost” in the 1898-1941 period may have been the real opportunity for mutual recognition and understanding, for cooler heads and more neutral “realistic” policies to emerge; and for more attention to the standpoint of the common men and women caught up in the migrations of the period. West Across the Pacific is both a contribution to peace research in history and to a foreign policy guided modestly by empiricism and realism as the most reliable method. It is a must read for diplomats and people concerned about diplomacy, as it probes the microcosms of diplomatic negotiations. This brings special relevance and approachability as yet another generation of Americans returns from war and occupation in Iraq. The book also speaks to Vietnam veterans, by drawing lessons from the Japanese war in China for the American war in Vietnam. This is particularly true of the conclusion, co-authored by distinguished Vietnam specialist Sophie Quinn-Judge.
See Robert Shaffer’s rev. in Peace and Change (Jan. 2013).

Compiled by Dick Bennett

Synonyms of Infamy: shame, ignominy, wickedness, iniquity, heinousness, outrageousness, odiousness, many more.
x = Foreign: aggressive wars, invasions, interventions, WMD, anything against non-citizens, other nations.  Entries in bold = invasions or other actions by US that killed people illegally and unnecessarily. 

The December 7, 1941, Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor was proclaimed “a day of infamy” by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.   The following list of US attacks on others (mainly from the “Hidden History of the United States 2012 Calendar” by The Progressive) includes some events not equal in scope or intensity to the Pearl Harbor bombings and some events much more horrendous.    The list is offered in process of discovery of which entries should be omitted, revised, and added.  I intend eventually to include all illegal US interventions and invasions reported by William Blum in Killing Hope and Rogue Nation and by other authors.  Send me your suggestions on the list as it is, and especially send significant Days of Infamy absent from this list, accompanied by source(s).

711: Moors (Berbers, Arabs) conquer Iberian Peninsula
732: Battle of Poitiers, French defeat Moors, beginning of long Muslim retreat
1096:  The Crusades begin, a series of Western Christian military invasions to recover the Holy Land from Muslim control.   Like the Muslim Jihadi today, they were promised earthly, spiritual, and eternal rewards.
1492:  Granada, last Moorish enclave in Spain, conquered by Christians
1609, April 9:  King Philip III of Spain, the most powerful nation in Europe,  decreed expulsion of all Spaniards of Muslim descent.

August 20, 1619:  First black slaves land at Jamestown , Virgina
xJune 5, 1637: 600 Pequot Indians killed by colonists at Mystic, CT
April 6, 1712:  20 blacks burned or hanged after NYC slave revolt
May 30, 1741:  31 Blacks and four whites executed for plotting slave revolt
August 29, 1758 First Indian reservation established
Oct. 26, 1749:  Black slavery legalized in Georgia
xMay 31, 1779Washington orders Iroquois military campaign (the thousands of heinous invasions and atrocities against the Native American make it impossible to do more than mention a few)
Nov 1, 1836: Seminole war protesting removal from Florida breaks out
Nov. 11, 1931:  Nat Turner hanged

xMay 23, 1838:  Cherokee begin Trail of Tears, 1,200 mile forced march to Oklahoma
xMarch 11, 1853:  U.S. troops intervene in Nicaragua
March 6, 1857:  Supreme Court upholds slavery in Dred Scott decision
April 12, 1861:  Civil War begins
March 3, 1863:  First national conscription act passed
July 13, 1863:  Draft riots begin in NYC, leaving 1,000 dead
April 12, 1864:   Confederate soldiers massacre more than 350 prisoners of war
November 29, 1864:  133 Cheyenne and Arapahoe—mostly women and children—killed by Colorado cavalry volunteers at Sand Creek
July 28, 1868:  14th Amendment ratified, guaranteeing due process to all but Native Americans
June 6, 1872:  Susan B. Anthony fined for voting
xFebruary 28, 1877:  U.S. Government seizes Black Hills from Lakota Sioux in violation of treaty
June 21, 1877:  Ten “Molly Maguires’ hanged in Penn. accused of strike violence
xSeptember 5, 1877:  Crazy Horse assassinated while in custody
xOct. 4, 1877: Chief Joseph surrenders with last Nez Perce people
November 3, 1883:  Supreme Court rules that Native Americans are ‘aliens’
xMarch 20, 1886:  U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua
xSeptember 4, 1886:  Geronimo, Apache chief, surrenders to Arizona Territory leaders
July 21, 1887:  20 striking railroad workers killed by state troops in Pittsburgh
November 11, 1887:  Four Chicago labor organizers hanged for alleged Haymarket conspiracy

December 15, 1890: Sitting Bull killed by police at Standing Rock Reservation, South Dakota 
Dec.  29, 1890:  150 Sioux massacred by troops at Wounded Knee, S.D.
July 6, 1892:  Strikers at Homestead, PA, battle Carnegie Steel Pinkerton agents; July 12: state militia break the strike
xJanuary 17, 1893:  Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii deposed by the U.S.
xJuly 6, 1894:  US troops intervene in Nicaragua
xMay 2, 1896:  U.S. troops intervene in Nicaragua
Sept. 21, 1896:  Militia sent to Leadville, Colorado, to break miners strike
September 10, 1897: 19 striking miners killed, 40 wounded , by sheriff’s deputies at Latimer, Pennsylvania
xApril 25, 1898U.S. declares war on Spain
July 25, 1898:  US troops invade Puerto Rico against Spain
August 13, 1898:  Admiral Dewey captures Manilla


xFebruary 18, 1908:  U.S. bars Japanese immigration
xMarines invade Nicaragua  (killed?)
July 22, 1910:  20 blacks lynched by mob in Palestine, TX
xAugust 14, 1912:  U.S Marines invade Nicaragua
April 20, 1914:  Ludlow Massacre:  13 children and 7 adults killed when Colorado National Guard burn striking miners camp
July 28, 1915:  US troops land in Haiti (killed?)
November 19, 1915:  IWW organizer Joe Hill executed
xNovember 29, 1916:  U.S. established military government in Dominican Republic (killed?)
July 9, 1917:  Emma Goldman sentenced to two years for aiding draft resisters
September 5, 1917:  IWW halls in 48 cities raided by Federal agents
Sept. 14, 1918:  Eugene V. Debs sentenced to prison for opposing U.S. entry into World War I
Sept. 28, 1917:  166 Wobblies indicted for interfering in the war effort
January 2, 1920: 6,000 alleged communists arrested nationwide in “Palmer Raids”
April 21, 1921:  Police fire on striking miners in Butte, Montana
May 2, 1924:  Supreme Court upholds involuntary sterilization of mentally retarded persons
November 1, 1951:  5,000 U.S. Soldiers exposed to radiation by nuclear weapons test in Nevada
August 24, 1954:  Congress passes Communist Control Act
July 24, 1925:  John Scopes convicted in TN of teaching evolution
xMay 7, 1926:  U.S. troops intervene in Nicaragua (see 1896)
xJanuary 6, 1927:  US Marines invade Nicaragua (see 1886)
xMarch 5, 1927:  U.S. Marines land in China
April 9, 1927:  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti  sentenced to death in U.S.
August 23, 1927:  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti executed in Massachutsetts
April 6, 1931:  Scottsboro Boys trial begins in Alabama
March 7, 1932:  Four killed when police fire on hunger march in Detroit
July 27, 1932:  Two killed when US Army attacks encampment of WWII vets demanding bonus benefits

June 29, 1940: Alien registration (Smith) Act enacted
xAugust 13, 1942:  Manhattan Project begins developing A-bomb
Sept. 27, 1944:  First large-scale plutonium-producing reactor begins operation at Hanford, Washington.
xFebruary 3, 1945:  U.S. aircraft drops 3,000 tons of explosives on Berlin
July 16, 1945:  First atomic bomb exploded at Alamogordo, NM
xAugust 6, 1945Hiroshima
xAugust 9, 1945Nagasaki
July 1, 1946:  Atomic bomb test at Bikini atoll in Pacific
June 23, 1947:  Senate overrides pres. Truman’s veto of anti-union Taft-Hartley Act
July 11, 1947:  8 black prisoners killed in GA for refusing to work
July 26, 1947:  Dept. of “Defense” established formalizing US National Security State
Sept. 18, 1947:  The CIA and the national Security Council are established under the national Security Act.
November 24, 1947:  House of Representatives cites Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress
July 20, 1948:  US indicts 12 Communist Party leaders
Oct. 14, 1949:  11 Communist Party members found guilty of conspiring overthrow of US gov’t.
June 9, 1950: Two of Hollywood Ten imprisoned
June 15, 1950:  US Sen. opens investing. Of 3,500 alleged “sex perverts” in Fed. Gov’t.
xJuly 29, 1950:  DuPont wins contract to produce H-bomb at Savannah River, SC
xOct. 7, 1950:  US invades North Korea
July 9, 1951:  Dashiell Hammett sentenced to six months’ for refusing to cooperate with anti-communist inquiry
April 8, 1952:  President Truman orders seizure of steel mills
xOct. 31, 1952: US explodes first hydrogen bomb in Marshall Islands
xJanuary 3, 1953: President Truman announces development of H-bomb
xJune 20, 1953:  US military mission arrives in Saigon
xAugust 19, 1953:  Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh ousted with CIA connivance
xMarch 1, 1954: Bikini Island H-bomb test irradiates 7,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean and contaminates Japanese fishermen
xApril 19, 15–megaton bomb dropped in South Pacific
June 19, 1953:  Ethel and Julius Rosenberg executed
August 24, 1954:  Congress passes Communist Control Act
xOct. 13, 1954:  Air Force orders production of first supersonic bomber
August 6, 1957:  11 peace activists arrested at Nevada nuclear-weapons test facility
February 14, 1958:  Part of A-bomb accidentally dropped in ocean near Savannah, Georgia
July 8, 1958:  US and S. Africa sign nuclear cooperation treaty
xJuly 9, 1958:  Pres. Eisenhower sends 14,000 troops armed with nuclear rockets, into Lebanon
Sept. 14, 1959:  Landrum-Griffin act passed limiting trade union activities
xJanuary 3, 1961: United States breaks diplomatic ties with Cuba
June 5, 1961: USSC orders US Communist party to register with Justice Dept.
Oct. 12, 1961: FBI launches Socialist Worker Disruption Program
xJuly 10, 1962:  US rejects Soviet proposal of complete and general disarmament
August 18, 1962:  Five arrested while attempting to disrupt launching of Polaris submarine, Groton, Connecticut
October 3, 1962:  US closes ports to ships with cargo to Cuba
Oct. 22, 1962:  Pres. Kennedy orders blockade of Cuba, beginning Missile Crisis
Sept. 20, 1963:  63 arrested for flocking bulldozers in Syracuse, New York, urban renewal project
xJanuary 9, 1964: US troops kill 21 protesters in Panama
xMay 15, 1964:  US illegally begins bombing Laos
xAugust 7, 1964:  Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which was based on a lie that lead to Vietnam War
December 7, 1964:  Mario Savio, leader of Berkeley Free Speech movement, arrested
xApril 28, 1965:  U.S. Marines land in Dominican Republic to support military junta
August 31, 1965: Congress declares it is a crime to destroy draft cards
December 13, 1966: First U.S. Bombing of Hanoi
July 23, 1967:  Week of racial rioting begins in Detroit, leaving 43 dead
August 25, 1967:  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover authorizes COINTELPRO activities against Black Nationalist groups
Oct. 21, 1967:  700 arrested in VN War protest at Pentagon
April 4, 1968, MLK Jr. assassinated
August 28, 1968:  Hundreds arrested in Chicago during Democratic National Convention
December 9, 1968:  Underground blast in Nevada breaks through ground, releasing fallout and violating the Test Ban Treaty
Sept. 26. 1969:  Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial opens
December 4, Chicago police murder  Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark
xApril 29, 1970:  President Nixon announces invasion of Cambodia
May 4, 1970:  Ohio National Guard kills four unarmed students at Kent State University when protesting Cambodian campaign
April 11, 1970:  Six blacks protesting prison brutality killed by Augusta, Georgia, police
May 14, 1970:  Mississippi state police kill two black students at Jackson State University
December 18, 1970:  Underground nuclear test in Nevada blows cloud of radioactive dust 8,000 feet in air into Wyoming
May 3, 1971:  12,000 arrested in protest against Vietnam War in Washington D.C.
Sept. 13, 1971:  Prison uprising at Attica, New York, ends with deaths of 39 inmates
December 30, 1971:  Daniel Ellsberg indicted by a Federal grand jury for releasing Pentagon Papers to news media
June 17, 1972:  Watergate break-in
December 14, 1972:  President Nixon authorizes Christmas bombing of Hanoi
xSept. 11, 1973:  Military coup overthrows elected Chilean President Salvador Allende
Oct. 20, 1973:  Pres. fires Cox and Ruckelshaus
September 8, 1974:  President Ford pardons former President Nixon
July 2, 1976:  USSC declares death penalty “not unconstitutionally severe”
August 22, 1976:  179 arrested at anti-nuclear rally in Seabrook, New Hampshire
xOct. 18, 1978:  Pres. Carter orders production of neutron bomb components
xMarch 19, 1979:  President Eisenhower states willingness to launch first-strike nuclear attack
April 28, 1979:  5,000 protest, 284 arrested at Rocky Flats nuclear –weapons facility, Colorado
November 27, 1980:  Justice Department moves to drop charges against former FBI Director L. Patrick Gray III for authorizing agents to break into homes without search warrants
December 2, 1980:  Four U.S. Catholic missionary women killed by death squads in El Salvador (client state)
xMay 21, 1981:  Senate approves $20 billion program for chemical and nerve-gas weapons
August 3, 1981:  11,500 air-traffic controllers strike and are fired by President Reagan
Sept. 15, 1981: 1,000 arrested in week-long protest at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant
December 1981:  President Regan authorizes CIA to conduct domestic surveillance
June 20, 1982:  2,500 arrested in two days during blockade of Lawrence Livermore labs
August 12, 1982:  12 arrested in sea blockade of first Trident submarine, near Hood Canal, Washington
August 17, 1982:  Enten Eller becomes first draft resister since the Vietnam War to be convicted, Roanoke, Virginia
Sept. 29, 1982:  U.S. Marines land in Lebanon as part of multinational force
Oct. 1, 1982:  First Trident submarine, U.S.S. Ohio
May 24, 1983:  Congress approves $625 Million for research and development of MX missile
Oct. 25, 1983:  5,000 US Marines and Army Rangers invade Grenada
November 14, 1983:  First U.S. cruise missile arrives at Greenham Common, England
xApril 14, 1986:  U.S. bombs Libya
July 3, 1988:  US Navy shoots down Iranian airliner, killing 290 civilians
December 20, 1989:  U.S. Invades Panama
xJanuary 12, 1991:  Congress votes to allow US troops to be used in offensive operations in Iraq
xJanuary 16, 1991:  Persian Gulf War begins with US bombing of Baghdad
April 29, 1992: Cops acquitted of beating Rodney King, leading to L.A. riots
December 24. 1992:  President Bush pardons Caspar Weinberger and five other Reagan aides involved in the Iran-contra affair
April 19, 1993:  FBI agents attack the Branch Dravidian compound in Waco, Texas; about 70 cult members die
July 17, 1998: in Rome, US voted against the International Criminal Court, one of 7, including China, Libya, Qatar, Yemen, and Israel, opposed to 120 nations voting for.  Ref.: Johnson, Blowback (65ff.).

xMarch 24, 1999:  U.S & NATO begin 78 days of bombing Yugoslavia


December 12, 2000:  U.S. Supreme Court halts Florida recount in Gore-Bush Presidential race
April 7, 2001:  Cincinnati police shoot and kill unarmed black youth; violent demonstrations follow
xOctober 7, 2001: invasion of Afghanistan begins
Oct. 26, 2001:  Bush signs US Patriot Act
xMarch 19, 2003:  Invasion of Iraq
xApril 9, 2003: Baghdad falls
xJanuary 4, 2004:  America starts finger printing most visitors from foreign countries
Dec. 16, 2005:  Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act—HR 4437—made illegal aliens and those who harbor or assist them felons (= Nazi Germany)
Sept. 28, 2006:  Military Commissions Act passed by Congress
xOct. 26, 2006:  Pres. Bush signs law to build 700-mile fence on US-Mexican border
April 5, 2010: WV mine explosion kills 29 miners
June 21, 2010:  Supreme Court ruling Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, Obama Admin. argued that advice is felonious “material support” for terrorism and won, “maybe the worst…attack on civil liberties” under Obama.  Chomsky, Power Systems, pp. 70-71.
May 1, 2011:  Osama Bin Laden killed



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