SOURCE: The Nation
Distant Moments: Reviewing Joan Scott's "On the Judgment of History"
by David A. Bell
The belief in History as a force driving events toward greater enlightenment has long allowed people to punt on making judgment and taking action to future generations. Joan Scott's book examines the seductive power of this faith.
SOURCE: The Baffler
History Won't Judge: Joan C. Scott and Passing the Buck
by Kirsten Weld
Poor Clio, the muse of history, has been tasked with the passing of retrospective judgments that we in the here-and-now are unwilling to make. Unfortunately, that's not how history works.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
The U.S. Role in the El Mozote Massacre Echoes in Today’s Immigration
by Nelson Rauda and John Washington
Renewed efforts to prosecute the perpetrators of the 1981 El Mozote massacre of Salvadoran civilians during the civil war will further demonstrate American involvement in the perpetuation of inequality and violence in Central America and, the authors argue, the hypocrisy of US immigration policy.
SOURCE: Prager University (online unaccredited school)
Vietnam War was won, says Pepperdine fellow
by Bruce Herschensohn
What an online school teaches students about the Vietnam War.
The World War II Tragedy Everybody's Forgotten but Everybody Should Remember
by Jonathan Harrison
The Czech town that was wiped out by the Nazis.
What Happens When You Expose Military Atrocities? People Get Upset (Interview)
by Nick Turse
Nick Turse recounts reaction to his book, Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.
SOURCE: New York Times
For America, Life Was Cheap in Vietnam
by Nick Turse
Obits of General Giap have implied we lost in Vietnam because of North Vietnamese callousness to casualties. That's a half-truth at best.
Evil is Alive and Well (And Right Off Our Coast)
by Humberto Fontova
Raul Castro and Che Guevara in 1959. Via Wiki Commons.Foreign reporters -- preferably American -- were much more valuable to us at that time (1957-59) than any military victory. Much more valuable than recruits for our guerrilla force, were American media recruits to export our propaganda." (Che Guevara 1959)“Reporters in Havana are either insensitive to the pain of the opposition 'or in clear complicity' with the government.” (Cuban dissident and torture-victim Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antunez, in the Miami Herald, August 7, 2013)
James Dawes: Why Do People Commit Atrocities? (INTERVIEW)
by Robin Lindley
A Japanese soldier poses with the head of a Chinese prisoner.The human capacity to injure other people is very great precisely because our capacity to imagine other people is very small.--Elizabeth Scarry, For Love of Country?Most Americans know little of Japanese war crimes perpetrated in China during the Second World War. In the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), Japanese troops tortured, raped and murdered Chinese men, women and children, as Japanese scientists conducted horrific medical procedures on living human subjects at facilities such as the notorious Unit 731, a covert research center for biological and chemical experimentation in northeast China.
SOURCE: Asahi Shimbum
Ex-Korean war criminal seeking compensation, apology from Japanese government
Once sentenced to death for war crimes against POWs, Lee Hak-lae was later spared the gallows and is now on a mission of passing on the sorrow of his colleagues who died as war criminals after being forced to work for Japan during World War II.Lee recently braved the withering summer heat, despite his advanced age, to continue spreading their message as organizer of a Korean POW guards' group seeking an apology and compensation from the Japanese government."I do not want the money," Lee, 88, said. "When the people of my homeland were celebrating their liberation from Japanese colonial rule, my colleagues died in execution chambers in a foreign land. Why did they have to die? Who did they die for? It is my mission, as someone who just happened to survive, to clear away the chagrin felt by my friends."...
Oliver Stone to Japan: Apologize for WWII war crimes
Film director Oliver Stone, who is no stranger to controversy, turned from his sharp attacks on the U.S. for the atomic bombings of Japan to criticize his hosts over their attitude to China and other Asian neighbors.In a speech to foreign correspondents in Tokyo, Mr. Stone said that Japan needs to more completely apologize for its wartime acts, and said it should also resist a shift to relying on military might to deal with security challenges posed by its neighbors such as China and North Korea.Japan’s leaders have expressed “deep remorse” over the physical damage and psychological pain the country has inflicted on other Asian countries, but repeated visits by cabinet ministers to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo and growing talk of revising the nation’s peace constitution have made other countries skeptical about the intention of these remarks....
Amy Kaslow: Will Khmer Rouge Officials Ever Face Justice?
Amy Kaslow is a longtime journalist covering international economics and postwar reconstruction....Despite years of prodding from Cambodian survivors and international pressure, the tribunal only began hearing testimony in 2007. By that time, Pol Pot—Khmer Rouge architect and lead executioner—had been dead for nearly a decade. A royal pardon allowed his brother-in-law, Ieng Sary—co-founder of the Khmer Rouge and mastermind of torture and mass murder—to travel on a diplomatic passport and enjoy both a homestead in Pailin, the former bastion of Khmer Rouge leaders, and his lavish villa in Phnom Penh. Sary, the man Pol Pot called Brother No. 3, was apprehended in 2007 and died this past March while standing trial in Case 002 for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed.
James Dawes: Understanding Why People Commit War Crimes
James Dawes is a professor of English at Macalester College and director of its Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. He is the author, most recently, of Evil Men, just published by Harvard University Press.The man sitting in front of me is a mass murderer. He is a serial rapist and a torturer. We are chatting about the weather, his family, his childhood. We are sharing drinks and exchanging gifts. The man is in his 80s now, frail and harmless, even charming. Instinctively I like him. It is hard for me to connect him to the monster he was so many decades ago. I think it must be hard for him, too.I am visiting with him now because I have spent too many years interviewing survivors of war crimes and human-rights workers and wondering: What kind of person could have committed those heinous acts? I want to know. So I am internally preparing myself, during the smiling pleasantries of our introduction, to ask.When we start talking about his war crimes, we might as well be talking about a figure from a history textbook, for all the emotion we show. If we were on a television program and you were watching us with the mute button pressed, you would imagine I was asking about his grandchildren. Instead I am asking about how he murdered other people's grandchildren.
SOURCE: LA Times
Richard Rashke: Karkoc Among Many Nazis Who Slipped Through U.S. Net
Richard Rashke is the author of "Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals."This month, the Associated Press exposed yet another alleged Nazi collaborator, Michael Karkoc, a carpenter who had been living quietly in Minnesota for decades. During World War II, the news service reported, he was "the top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children."Karkoc's son has vehemently denied his father had such Nazi connections, but even if it turns out Karkoc, now 94, was a collaborator, it would not be all that surprising that he managed to immigrate to the United States. Despite stated policies aimed at keeping Nazis and those who worked with them out of the country in the years after World War II, many slipped through.Estimates of the number of former Nazi war criminals and their collaborators who entered the U.S. during the hectic postwar years range widely from 1,000 to 10,000. Based on my own research, I would put the number at somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000....
Hungarian indicted for Nazi-era war crimes
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian prosecutors indicted a 98-year-old former police officer Tuesday for abusing Jews and assisting in their deportation to Nazi death camps during World War II.They said Laszlo Csatary was the chief of an internment camp for 12,000 Jews at a brick factory in Kosice – a Slovak city then part of Hungary – in May 1944, and that he beat them with his bare hands and a dog whip.He also allegedly refused to allow ventilation holes to be cut into the walls of a railcar crammed with 80 Jews being deported.With his actions, Csatary "willfully assisted in the unlawful execution and torture of the Jews deported from (Kosice) to concentration camps in territories occupied by the Germans," the prosecution said in a statement....
David M. Anderson: Atoning for the Sins of Empire
David M. Anderson, a professor of African history at the University of Warwick, is the author of “Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire.”WARWICK, England — THE British do not torture. At least, that is what we in Britain have always liked to think. But not anymore. In a historic decision last week, the British government agreed to compensate 5,228 Kenyans who were tortured and abused while detained during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s. Each claimant will receive around £2,670 (about $4,000).
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK)
Britain "sincerely regrets" Mau Mau-era abuses
Britain announced compensation for thousands of Mau Mau veterans, saying that it “sincerely regretted” years of “suffering and injustice” carried out under its imperial rule of Kenya, but stopped short of a full apology.The brutal suppression of an independence rebellion led to torture, internment without trial and excessive numbers of executions, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said in a statement to Parliament.He confirmed that more than 5,200 claimants would share compensation from the Government of £13.9 million, but said that the out-of-court settlement did not mean Britain was legally liable for the abuses, although he said the settlement was about a “process of reconciliation.”“I would like to make clear now and for the first time … that we understand the pain and grievance felt by those who were involved,” Mr Hague said....
SOURCE: UW Madison
Mary Louise Roberts documents GI conduct in WWII France
On June 6, 1944, a massive military force arrived on the beaches of Normandy in a surprise invasion intended to overthrow Nazi Germany. The story of brave Allied forces splashing ashore under heavy fire has been immortalized in novels, memoirs, documentary films, and blockbuster movies — with American GIs cast as the unequivocal heroes of the day.A famous photo circulating the globe at the time summed things up: a happy GI embraced by ecstatic French girls.But that photo also illuminates a darker side of the story, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison History Professor Mary Louise Roberts. In her new book, "What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France," Roberts writes that while heroism abounded during liberation, for some Allied troops, command of geographical territory meant command of sexual territory, as well. As they entered and occupied the port towns of Le Havre, Reims, Cherbourg and Marseilles, many soldiers took what they wanted — when and where they wanted — from the French female population....
SOURCE: Washington Times
Washington Times slams Mary Louise Roberts for book on WWII GI rape
A controversial new book about American soldiers fighting in France in WWII charges that many civilians viewed them as rapists and thieves, rather than liberators, The Daily Mail reports.History professor Mary Louise Roberts claims in her book, titled “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France,” that when the first soldiers swarmed ashore in Normandy, it was “a veritable tsunami of male lust” that French civilians came to fear as much as the Nazis, The Mail reports.The book is set to release next month and is likely to stir significant outrage in the United States, where veterans are highly revered as heroes....
The Brutal War on Vietnamese Civilians: Interview with Nick Turse
by Robin Lindley
U.S. commanders wasted ammunition like millionaires and hoarded American lives like misers, and often treated Vietnamese lives as if they were worth nothing at all.--Nick Turse, Kill Anything That MovesIn March 1968 U.S. infantry troops of the Army’s Americal Division massacred five hundredVietnamese civilians, mostly women and children, in the village of My Lai. The military described the massacre as an anomaly, an aberration, the result of a few bad apples in the ranks, and the mainstream media embraced that explanation.In 1971, decorated Navy veteran (now Secretary of State) John Kerry testified before the Senate that such atrocities in Vietnam were not “isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.” Kerry told of U.S. veterans who “relived the absolute horror” of what their country made them do.
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