Journal Postings

Group B

01/29/02 (The Missing Peace)

 

Adam Drake

www.pearlharborattacked.com is my web address.  It shows just how tragic any war could turn out right on the cover of the page. 

In chapter 10 of "The Missing Piece", it begins by talking about WWII being "The Good War," says Studs Turkel, the Chicago newsman in 1984.  In this chapter, he is quoted saying "That war killed more people, created more refugees, destroyed more cities, and disrupted more social and political systems than any war in human history."  That's the darn truth!  In my history knowledge, this war was the most talked about and studied of any war I know.  Except for the Civil War.  Another bad war in Americas history was the war in Vietnam. 

There were so many bad wars in the United States history I probably can't name them all.  Most of the reasons for these wars simply for the reformation of another countries political system.  At least for WWII, that's what it happened for; political ideas.  Is the U.S. so selfish in a way that we have to rule the world and have every other country and their ally to be just like us politically?  Is the meaning of life to gain as much power and control as possible?  I have some very intense negative feelings towards our government and it's actions because I know that there is so much undercover work and information that we as a public don't know.  Granted they were elected to their positions, but in the hopes that they would give us a good representation of what the citizens need rather than living a political life in a "power trip."

I would like to think that if we as a country could keep our noses to ourselves, that we would be a lot better off in the long run.  We try to help too many people in too many countries and get ourselves into trouble.  I heard a quote once, I think it is from Bill Cosby actually, it goes, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone."

The final thought I have is the disagreement w/ the statement that WWII was "The Good War."  I'm not sure that any war can be considered a "Good War."  War is a touchy issue that comes along w/ living in the human race, and I guess someone has to protect us and try to make the best decisions concerning our wellbeing.

www.pearlharborattacked.com is my web address.  It shows just how tragic any war could turn out right on the cover of the page.  "It just could not be possible."  There is a message board for all kinds of comments and articles related to the attack.  There is a shop and also a USS Arizona remembrance link.  Pretty horrifying, even for me, to think I could have been alive when this happened! 

 

William Fisher

Since I found a word I have never seen before [Pragmatism] I used that in my search on the Internet.  It talks about the present dilemma in philosophy and gives another definition.  There are eight different lectures for people to look at and get a good idea about pragmatism the way it is used.  William James is the name in this website but I figured I would give one that concentrates on the main word being used.

http://paradigm.soci.brocku.ca/~lward/James/James1_toc.html

I thought this reading was hard to follow because I felt like I was not being told anything.  Everything was just put together as if there were no facts just sentences that happened a while ago.  There are some parts where I had a chance to give my opinion on and I am glad I got a chance to because of how the reading was to me.

After reading I come to realize how powerful the United States is or could be.  I feel like they were trying to tell me that we own Cuba simply by the fact of the “Platt Amendment” was expressed through U.S. domination of Cuba to the Cuban constitution.  This limits Cuba’s power to make treaties and contract debts.  When there is a part in another countries constitution about the U.S., then I believe that that country has a huge role in the everyday living of that particular place.

The best idea that I found came from a man by the name of William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State for President Woodrow Wilson.  He came up with the idea of a “cooling off period” for the management of international disputes.  “The Brooklyn Eagle labeled Bryan’s plan a diplomatic adaptation of the maxim, ‘When angry, count fifty; when very angry, count a hundred’” (p. 183).  This idea to me is the best way to channel our anger rather than by violence or other forms of confrontation.  I find myself sometimes in a very pissed off mood and feel like I am about to snap on somebody so this could be a good way for me to “cool off” rather than making a fool out of myself by making a scene or even getting my butt whooped for starting stuff with the wrong person.  If more people were to try this method of cooling off then I feel that more things can get accomplished and being able to avoid violence is doing nothing but making this place better for everybody.

John Dewey came up with the philosophy that guided the new generation was known as pragmatism, “a practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems” (www.dictionary.com).  This also seems to be a good way to deal with problems other than violence.  William Jennings Bryan gets my vote for best way of resolving problems because I think it resorts to my life in a way.

Since I found a word I have never seen before I used that in my search on the Internet.  It talks about the present dilemma in philosophy and gives another definition.  There are eight different lectures for people to look at and get a good idea about pragmatism the way it is used.  William James is the name in this website but I figured I would give one that concentrates on the main word being used.

(http://paradigm.soci.brocku.ca/~lward/James/James1_toc.html)

 

Bradley Immel

Here is a site that contains eyewitness accounts of Pearl Harbor, the London Blitz, Blitzkrieg, Hiroshima and even a Japanese account of Pearl Harbor.  Also contains pictures of the destruction caused by these events.

The first chapter of today’s reading dealt with several ways that violence became a hindrance to progress in America in the 20 years leading up to the outbreak of WWI.  It talked a little bit about the morality of military interventions, specifically the US intervention in the dispute between the Cuban rebels and Spain.  Cuba asked us for supplies and to be recognized as a legitimate government, and what we gave them was a military inhabitation of their country.  It also talked a lot about the non-violence movement that occurred in the years just before 1920.  It said that this movement was mainly among religious groups such as Quakers and other Anabaptist groups, while other Protestant church clergymen actually offered the blessing of civil religion on the war effort.

One thing that the chapter talked about a little bit was an essay that was written by Henry James in 1910 called “The Moral Equivalent of War”.  In this essay, he argued that peacemakers should not deny the human tendency to be violent at times, but instead find ways to channel this natural violence.  He did not believe that warfare and service were contradictory with each other, but were both an expression of self-sacrifice.  A copy of this essay, which was based on a speech given at Stanford University in 1906, is available here. 

The second chapter I found to be more interesting.  It was about World War II and many misconceptions of it.  One major misconception was that it was a morally justified war.  People think that our war with the Japanese was justified because of their brutal attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.  The war with Germany was justified because they declared war on us, and we later learned of the atrocities of the Holocaust.  While the term “Holocaust” generally refers to the Nazi murder of the Jews during the war, in general, the entire war could be classified as a “Holocaust” all its own.  Sixty million or so people died as some result of the war, and the majority of them were civilians.  And this was only one result of the war.  It also dislocated millions of people, disrupted cultures in Europe and Asia, and destroyed completely vast areas of many countries. 

One thing that I found to be interesting was that originally, before World War I, the military draft was considered a violation of a person’s privacy and civil liberties.  I did not know about the detaining of 112,000 Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, even though they had no proof of any espionage by any of the detainees.  The brutality of the American Marines towards the detainees was shocking to me.  Another thing that shocked me were the fire-raids during the war, which cause incredible firestorms and hurricane-force winds, which caused more damage to a larger area.  Also, the firebombing of Tokyo and other cities, which destroyed almost 60 cities in Japan seemed a bit extreme to me.  And the fact that we spared Hiroshima and Nagasaki specifically so we could test out our new Atomic Bombs on them.  While these bombings did help to bring an end to the war, the text makes it clear that there were several alternatives to this massive slaughter of the Japanese.  I also found it interesting that Roosevelt’s freezing of Japanese assets in the US actually forced the Japanese to either go to war or abandon its plan for new government.  We could have prevented Pearl Harbor from happening.  That bothered me a little bit, knowing that we could have stopped so many people from being hurt and killed, but I guess that we know that now, but in 1941 we may not have known that our action would lead the Japanese to attack. 

At any rate, I feel that there are times when war is simply unavoidable.   A prime example of this is the Attacks of September 11.  Personally, I don’t think that there was any other response that we could have had to those events.  The government had to act in the best interest of the Country, and not taking action against the groups that attacked us would only lead to further attacks on our nation.  That is my opinion, that there are times when war is simply unavoidable, but from what the book says, WWII was not one of those “unavoidable” wars – It could have been prevented before the first bomb dropped on Pearl Harbor.

Here is a site that contains eyewitness accounts of Pearl Harbor, the London Blitz, Blitzkrieg, Hiroshima and even a Japanese account of Pearl Harbor.  Also contains pictures of the destruction caused by these events

 

Erika Keegan

http://www.pbs.org/itvs/thegoodwar/ww2pacifists.html

I found a website that talked about the “Good War” and its conscientious objectors.  It mainly talks about how World War II was a bloody war and that the people who objected to killing were the outcasts.

http://www.pbs.org/itvs/thegoodwar/ww2pacifists.html

This particular section of reading was about war and reform.  I choose to concentrate on responding to World War II and the fact that it is remembered as a “Good War.”  This statement alone is a little shocking.  When I think of war, nothing good is really ever associated with it.  I think of death and destruction.  World War II did however accomplish many things for our nation.  The economic and political system was better.  There was also a great sense of unity throughout the entire country, according to the reading material.  All we are ever taught is about the good things that came from the war.  We are never really told that World War II was the bloodiest war ever.  Over 60 million people died in the war.  Many of these people were innocent civilians.  The U.S. lost less than 1% of the total.  Most of them were people of the military.  It is just unreal to think about military men going into villages and cities and massacring innocent people.  Was all of this bloodshed really necessary to achieve what we did?   I’m not really sure of this answer, but again, if we can solve something without losing innocent lives, shouldn’t we do it that way?  I found a website that talked about the “Good War” and its conscientious objectors.  It mainly talks about how World War II was a bloody war and that the people who objected to killing were the outcasts.  It people didn’t believe in killing or war, they were looked down upon.  This website also mentions things about conscientious objectors in the field, in camps, behind bars, and alternative services.  I found this website to be pretty interesting just to get a look at a different view on things.  I mean I had never really thought about conscientious objectors until I read this book and then looked for sites.  I just found the whole subject interesting.

 

Jill Kerlin

This website gives further accounts on the invention and dropping of the A-bombs: http://www.hist.unt.edu/w2-14abg.htm. 

This website is really short and is written by a student, but I thought that his viewpoints on the prevention of WWII and alternatives to Hiroshima and Nagasaki were interesting (not that I necessarily agree with them): http://library.thinkquest.org/25909/html/content/ww2_alts.html. 

I decided today to concentrate my response on the chapter of WWII because I personally feel more affected by WWII.  Not at all in an attempt to diminish the loss of life and the causes fought for in WWI, but simply because I feel better informed and have stronger convictions about the intentions of WWII.  These convictions being the connection I can feel due to the attack on our own soil at Pearl Harbor and the tyrannical rule of Hitler and the genocide of the Jews.

First, I wondered what affect the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor had on Hitler's declaration of war on America.  I wondered if Hitler would have felt so confident in this declaration against the most powerful economic and political power in the world at that time, if Japan would not have already enacted their massive strike against our fleet and troops.  I had always viewed our fight against Hitler, in an attempt to rescue the suffering Jewish population in WWII, as one of our main justifications of the war and was surprised to read: "Liberation of the concentration camps was an unintended benefit of the war."  According to Juhnke and Hunter, beside the retaliation and revenge for the attack at Pearl Harbor during the war, America fought against Hitler in order to curb his bid for "world political domination."  In light of this, and of consideration of the justification of other conflicts throughout America's history, it seems that our main goal in war is to defend democratic policy - yet not only the defense of democracy, but through this, to prove our power and our courage to stand up for what we believe in.

I was awestruck to think of the mortality statistics in that the "Tokyo firebombing alone, Americans killed more than thirty Japanese civilians for every one American military death at Pearl Harbor" - Juhnke and Hunter's point obviously that the United States had gone entirely too far in our retaliation for Pearl Harbor.  This retaliation continues to the point of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki... an event that the authors claim needn't have happened in order to claim victory for our cause.  Historians claim that the massive bombing that occurred prior to the A-bombings led to such a routine evil that alternatives to this were not even considered.  This website gives further accounts on the invention and dropping of the A-bombs: http://www.hist.unt.edu/w2-14abg.htm.  This website is really short and is written by a student, but I thought that his viewpoints on the prevention of WWII and alternatives to Hiroshima and Nagasaki were interesting (not that I necessarily agree with them): http://library.thinkquest.org/25909/html/content/ww2_alts.html. 

The reading was enlightening and I think it's amazing how many intricate details and events occur that lead to something as massive as world war.

 

Lisa Langood

I found a web site at http://www.phil-am-war.org/ dedicated to the centennial of the [Philippine-American] war.  It has a ton of information about the war. 

What struck me in Chapter 9 was the information about the Philippine-American War.  I can’t remember any of my history classes going into much detail about it.    I wondered if this was another event that doesn’t get mentioned a lot because people don’t want to believe that the U.S. committed such atrocities.  It seems unbelievable that the U.S. forced people into concentration camps and allowed them to die of disease and malnutrition there.   Especially disturbing was the information about General Jacob W. Smith, who had told his forces “I want no prisoners.  I wish you to kill and burn.  The more you kill and burn the better you will please me.  I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms in actual hostilities against the United States (178).”  It’s frightening to think that someone who sounds like a sociopath was put into a position to control if people lived or died.

I found a web site at http://www.phil-am-war.org/ dedicated to the centennial of the war.  It has a ton of information about the war.  I didn’t go through it all but I found some interesting information in the section titled “War Atrocities.”  It gave information about the massacres the U.S. was involved in, as well as torture methods they employed.   There was a photo of the “water cure” torture method being used to get a man to talk.  This involved forcing four to five gallons of water down someone’s throat then kneeling on their stomach till they talked.  One of the worst massacres was at Lonoy, where Americans killed 406 Filipinos, including those who were surrendering.  This occurred about six months before the Balangiga Massacre, where Filipinos ambushed and killed fifty-four out of seventy-four U.S. soldiers.  I’m surprised that The Missing Peace didn’t mention either of these incidents. 

Angel Lombardo-Edwards      

My web page is http://2think.org/quotes.html regarding John Dewey mentioned on page 180 in our book. [ . . . ]“It is not truly realistic or scientific to take short views, to sacrifice the future to immediate pressure, to ignore facts and forces that are disagreeable and to magnify the enduring quality of whatever falls in with immediate desire.  It is false that the evils of the situation arise from absence of ideals; they spring from the wrong ideals.”  

I truly loved the quote, “Wars of intervention do not serve justice if they do not respect purposes and institutions of the local people,” (pg. 176.)  This was regarding the Spanish-American war.  It seems the U.S. takes advantage of other countries battles to make sure that they maintain some control over them with the pretense of “helping” them.  The Platt Amendment pretty much summed that up.  I read over and over again about various concentration camps, in Cuba, the Philippines, and even in the U.S. with the Japanese.  I would have never thought that the United States could be so barbaric and allow such treatment equivalent with that of the Nazis!!  What it really comes down to is control in all these situations.  The U.S. longs to be in control of the other countries, fearful of their power, by helping them with their battles they get leverage to instill their laws, morals and values onto other countries, and by doing this gain control over them.  Then we sit around and listen to people discuss other countries social and economic situations as if they could empower themselves?  I doubt it, it seems to me that the U.S. government benefits by their oppression, by being able to keep their fingers in the pie, so to speak.  If they need our help we will help them at a price, their independence, culture, and people must all pay the price for our help, back to my beginning quote, “Wars of intervention do not serve justice if they do not respect purposes and institutions of the local people.”   But I will oppose myself, because there are always two ways of looking at an issue.  These countries do ask for our help at times and it is to our benefit to help them.  The very control I talked of earlier is beneficial for the United States.  We have access to their resources and cooperation if so needed in wartime situations, but we take more than we give unfortunately, and usually leave them in some form of dependence on us.  We have the power but have been unable to empower others in our attempts to help them, leaving them worse off than before.  We can bomb the crap out of the middle east looking for Bin Laden, destroy the innocent in a search for the guilty, drop them some food, let them know we care, but in truth, out of our anger and need for retaliation, just like in WWII, we have only made more enemies, reinforced the message Bin Laden was sending, and destroyed a country soon to need our help.  We will help them, we are the wonderful Americans, but we will take more than we give, take what we want, and leave them less off than they were before and dependent upon us. 

One thing that bothers me and always has is why we did not help the Jews when they were being murdered, this book talks little of it.  If Hitler had bombed the U.S. we would have been there in full force, rescuing the Jews.  There is no way the United States did not know what was going on.  If there were oil we wanted, we would have been there.  If Hitler would have bombed our army or leveled our twin towers we would have showed, but because there was no vested interest for us, we just let them die?  And if I am correct it is because WWII was occurring at the same time, we wanted revenge on the Japanese, so we forgot about the Jews?  I have never followed history and never had to read about it until now.  I watched the Sept. 11 disaster on tv the day it happened and I felt terrible for those who died and those who lost their loved ones.  But my heart went out to all the innocent people who I knew were going to die in the retaliation.  It is difficult for many to realize that just because others have different cultures, religions, and ideals, does not make them wrong.  And this also applies to wars gone by, should we take a peaceful stance and have been the bigger person?  It would make us look weak and vulnerable, wouldn’t it?  It would open us up to further attacks.  But there must be a way to negotiate.  I do not know the answer here.  It is for the innocent I pray, for the ordinary person like myself who doesn’t really care about anything past taking care of daily living, unfortunately, those people pay for the price of war, for the hostility, murder, and agenda of a few in power.  It is sad, terribly sad.

My web page is http://2think.org/quotes.html regarding John Dewey mentioned on page 180 in our book.  His quotes are quite over my head, and I had to think really hard to understand them, philosophy, wow!!!  It is 12:00 a.m. and I have to get up in 6 hours but here goes, “It is not truly realistic or scientific to take short views, to sacrifice the future to immediate pressure, to ignore facts and forces that are disagreeable and to magnify the enduring quality of whatever falls in with immediate desire.  It is false that the evils of the situation arise from absence of ideals; they spring from the wrong ideals.”   In regards to WWII or our war time situation at present, we are sacrificing our future to the immediate pressure as we did in WWII.  We are hurt and angry, we want revenge, granted.  Our immediate desire is to hurt them as we have been hurt.  Our absence of ideals to solve these issues lead to the evil John Dewey speaks of.  Retaliation is wrong, it is an immediate gratification to a problem, but we are creating more evil in the world by our lack of finding a more constructive solution.  Did I get it, did I pass philosophy class? Something to think about however, should I mail it to the commander in chief, think he will get it, doubt it.  Really doubt it!                         

 

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