Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sympathy Lacking

There has been much made recently of the sufferings of the Japanese people, always referred to as 'innocent civilians,' when the two atom bombs were dropped in 1945.  Now suffering such as this is indeed terrible and it is to be wished it had not occurred however I find my cynical nature rising at this as I contemplate the sufferings of the people in Korea, dominated by Japan since before the turn of the century. The Korean women used as prostitutes for the Jap army, the Phillipino, Indian, Burmese, South east Asian people who suffered brutality under the Japanese occupation also get mys sympathy.  As does our own British troops and our allies, Indian, Australian American beaten to death, tortured and enslaved by cruel Japanese forces.
When the Japanese admit their 'rape of Nanking' their despicable treatment of the Chinese civilians, women raped to death and men tied up and used for living bayonet practice, then I might feel sympathy for their suffering.  However being unwilling to 'lose face' the Japanese have never admitted their faults (the Germans of course have) nor have they faced up to their wrongs.  Lets not forget that had the allies invaded Japan every POW would have been shot, over 100,000 of them, but of course they don't count.
Two points here, one is the recent discovery that those who suffered under the bombs were more or else ignored and kept aside by the government of their own nation as they did not wish to remember their wartime actions!  Another discovery was an email claiming (with photographic evidence apparently) that the Chinese did not suffer but happily welcomed the Japanese, this 'evidence' arrived the other day showing how some still refuse to accept their wrongs in Japan.
The 'A' bombs were devastating, however more died elsewhere from other bombings, including Japanese bombs.  Those two bombs did however stop any nuclear war in the west as all were soon aware of the cost.  We all know what even small nuclear devices can do and the nine nations that possess them require to maintain control over them and their neighbours (yes India and Pakistan I mean you!).  While people feared nuclear war in the west some fifty million were dying in south east Asia, Africa and central America as the cold war was fought by proxy with everyday weapons.  I never feared the US or USSR would use theirs, it is more likely a rouge state or one with an unbalanced mind in charge that would be tempted.  We are back to India & Pakistan!
'Innocent civilians' those supporting their soldiers, sailors and airmen, making bombs, guns, weapons and encouraging and praising their men were all involved in war like the citizens in the west who suffered.  War today as it always has doe includes civilians.

It appears that people in the outlying areas of Australia, I suspect this means Queensland, have been misusing Australia's staple diet.  These people have not been eating 'Vegemite' but turning it into alcohol, getting drunk and beating one another up as if they lived in Glasgow.  Now I realise that some folks canny stand this sort of edible but many of us have tried it and found it better than 'Marmite' (the spellchecker calls this 'Termite')  the original substance that is difficult to describe.  However few to my knowledge have ever attempted to turn that into alcohol but I suppose somewhere in Glasgow as we speak several shops are being broken into and the 'Marmite' removed.



Lee said...

Alcohol has been banned in many of the Aboriginal communities, Adullamite...domestic violence and child abuse is rife and some in the communities will go to great lengths to replace alcohol - use anything to get a "high". Petrol sniffing is also rife.

A little further detail is given below for those who may not understand what you're commenting about.

"The iconic Vegemite is being brewed into alcohol in some remote communities, according to the minister for Aboriginal affairs. Source: supplied. A spokeswoman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the minister heard reports the popular spread was being used to concoct home brew in some dry Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and North Queensland Aboriginal communities. Addiction of any type is a major concern but communities, especially where alcohol is banned, must work to ensure home brewing of this type does not occur.

The minister added that in some cases, children were failing to turn up to school because they were too hung-over, and that Vegemite was an increasingly common factor in domestic violence cases.

But Dr John Boffa of the People's Alcohol Action Coalition, who is based in Alice Springs, in Australia's Northern Territory, says the problem is not widespread.

"We're talking about an isolated problem in a couple of communities around a very large nation, and a nation where there is a very large number of Aboriginal communities, and every community is different," he told the BBC."

In schools etc., Japanese aren't taught about their part in the Second World War...I wonder why? I'll say no more...I think you've covered it pretty well.

I wanted to play hockey when I was a kid, but Mum wouldn't let me...I guess that's the reason why I hate vacuuming to this day!!

carolincairns said...

Thanks Lee ~ can I just add that Queensland could not be considered remote, but there are remote parts of Queensland that are alcohol free communities. And substance abuse is not isolated to these communities. Chroming is a serious problem even in our cities where children sniff the aerosols from deodorants and such. You cannot buy these on the shelves in some stores, you need to ask for them behind the counter. Same with codeine based products that are the base for home run drug labs. It might seem like a laughing matter to the world, but my heart broke when I read this on the weekend. I couldn't bring myself to blog about it because the social issue is far too complex for outsiders (including myself) to truly comprehend. There is no way I would feel equipped to live and work in these remote communities.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

It is a shame that your attempt at humor concerning Vegemite overshadowed your excellent points on the atomic bombs and the general Japanese imperialistic attitude at the time, and I would advise a profuse apology toward Lee and Carol. For aboriginal alcohol abuse in parts of Australia is indeed a tragedy of epic proportions.

Adullamite said...

Lee, Very interesting that.
The Japs have never taught their people about WW2, and a recent film of the soldiers suffering met much abuse from the far right.

Carol, Such things occur everywhere. Edinburgh is full of junkies of all sorts. The 'Athens of the North' has it's own problems. This area has also, such has always been part of life.

Jerry, Aye, it's a tragedy here and in the US also.

carolincairns said...

Jerry, no apology necessary.

soubriquet said...

On a related note, Greenlandic Inuit (and native american/canadian communities) also seem to have a tendency toward serious alcohol problems, as early as 1778, the Danish tried to institute a ban on booze in Greenland. In 1978, a study showed that the alcohol consumption per capita of Greenland was about four times that of other scandinavian countries...
Some communities are 'dry' communities, others have rationing, or restricted sales of alcohol. The dry communities have significantly lower instances of violent crime, murder, rape, child abuse.
In Greenland, the only transportation links between villages and towns are often only by sea or air, it is rare to have such a luxury as a road to the next settlement, so differences are clearly seen. When I travelled there in 1980? I had people pretty much offering me anything they had of value... hunting knives, grandpa's harpoon, sealskin pants... if I would just give them my booze ration-card. I resisted the blandishments, because the mayor had told me of he heartache that alcohol binges bring. It was normal for a man- or wowan, I was told, on getting their month's ration card, to buy the full amount of booze they can get, and drink it all in one binge session, which often ends in a police cell, after first being stitched by the doctor. When parents and their friends are drunk, the kids suffer. I'm sure this is exactly the same problem that spared the vegimite ban.