tv Lectures in History CSPAN November 2, 2014 12:00am-12:58am EDT
that he thought his boss, president kennedy, could have proved. he didn't expect it president to be dead. he was running a document on the 21st that john kennedy would be alive to see. >> just a point about the >> question. >> a point about the business of there -- to address dr. kaiser's point. pursuingts are always to, three or even four tracks. just because you can document that something is being done does not mean something else was being done, that is how it works. he knows that because he was a diplomat. megeorge bundy actually told
that they had a word for it, multi-tracking or something similar to that. thatrtainly knowledged they were still looking at cia operations, although, truth be told, they were limited. wasnomous operations supposed to distance the cia from the exiles and let them go off and do their own thing so that we would be less involved. the point is that kennedy also wanted to explore a different route was under serious exploration under the moment he was killed. >> can i ask you one question? >> no, i'm sorry. thank you very much, peter. [applause] october the first. back channel to cuba. >> you were watching american
history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. >> each week, american history puts on a lecturer with a college professor. you can watch these every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight. next, major andrew forney talks about the effects of propaganda on american use of the japanese during world war ii. the class compares anti-nazi propaganda, which was against a political party to anti-japanese messages which often did not distinguish between combatants and civilians. the class also debated how the distinction may have been influenced by jim crowe laws and racism in america during the 1940's. this class is about 55 minutes. >> ok. i would like to welcome
everybody to lesson 19th, society and culture. we will be focusing on the world war ii in the pacific, the racial nature of the war. the last time i asked you guys about, is it word association or is it racial baggage? patrick is going to be leading us off in discussion today. what have you got? >> the main topic is the desensitization. -- there are many ways to define it as a disregard of a prewar, moral or legal norms duyring war, usually as a result -- you see this manifest in the pacific war as a firebombing of tokyo, targeting civilian areas. war trophy collecting amongst
the individual soldiers and general transition from the goal of the war to be a military defeat towards racial extermination. my first question for the class to lead us off would then be, what is the purpose of laws of war? >> philosophy on this? like -- >> whatever you want. laws of war. >> all right, the goals of the laws of war is to establish a baseline of expectations for soldiers in order to -- practical value and then who follows the laws. and if you follow the laws they will do the same for you and more inclined to surrender and people when they are captured. and what is interesting about them is you do not really see them practiced on either side of the civil war as much as in -- the pacific war as much as in other theaters. >> why? >> a good question, sir. >> that is why asked it.
>> partly because we do not see the rise of the international institutions that bond states to adhere to norms after world war ii. >> there was an international institution. you had the league of nations going on. >> but to what degree did we adhere to those international institutions? for example, the notion of human rights did not gain preponderance until after the holocaust. that was fairly sobering. >> and at the same time, don't we -- the things that are happening -- the things that are happening -- i guess this leaves to and as i read this, one of the things, the lindbergh example. in the war without mercy, it talks about charles lindbergh basically traveling to the front in new guinea, right? now what is his take on what is , going on? because i think he has a very clear perception of how the war
is being conducted in the south pacific. and what is his views on that? yep? >> well, the much -- pretty much increasingly, the japanese were viewed as subhuman. there was not that feeling like in europe where these soldiers, they were courageous and doing their duty. it was not the same outlook for the japanese, they were viewed as fanatical. whereas if an american talked about dying for his country, they will be viewed as honorable. but if a japanese was seen as leading a courageous charge against the americans, they would be seen as fanatical and zealous. >> ok. lindsay? >> to draw a dichotomy, the war on the european front put into a political construct. where's the pacific front was in a social construct. >> yes.
>> we can see that from the habitats used. members of the united states, whenever the government referred to the germans was the nazis. the japanese were the japs. the projection onto a whole population instead of a section. of the population. >> there was a video i wanted to show. maybe we'll get to it. an indoctrination film for the american public to describe who the japanese were. because obviously people at the time did not really know much about them. what i found most interesting is it started out describing images of the civilian population. if you are trying to show a video trying to get your military to know who your enemy is why is the civilian , population even in consideration? >> the points you brought up about not knowing the japanese, we had just fought the germans a couple of decades before in world war i. so we know them. with japan, it started with a clean slate. the public does not know a lot.
the government can write pretty much whatever it wants to get people fired up. you notice that a lot of japanese atrocities were published for to much admittedly while the germans were during the holocaust. soldiers did not -- did we know what was going on? probably. a lot of soldiers did not know until they stumbled across it. when you publish things like that, the first seen the american people had as the japanese as a whole of what they were doing in china or the philippines. >> i want to push back on that a little bit because -- and i want to tie this -- if you go to page 60. that he makes that comment. the first paragraph, middle, the
japan --omic with conflict with japan was inseparable from fundamental development, westward expansion and racial. we have interacted in the pacific since the 1800s. commodore perry opened up japan in the 1840's. we may not be as familiar with the japanese as with the germans, but we had interactions for at least 100 years on a national level, cultural level. right? so i think when you take that into consideration of the next others, do weand not have notions of the japanese or what they are prior to the beginning of the war? >> sorry. >> let's go to lucas. because i was kind of replying to him. sir, butwere notions, not the groundwork we have from world war i. world war i, you have what the germans are doing in belgium. which leads to people referring
to them as the huns. you already have that groundwork of dehumanizing the germans. meanwhile, with the japanese -- we are familiar with their culture, especially on the west where there are a lot of japanese-americans. but you do not have a groundwork as someone as subhuman -- >> ok. chris? -- what i do see us establishing him as, though, is that, nor perry, -- is that commodore perry when he rolled into japan, he did not open up trade. he threatened them until they capitulated and said we will trade with you. the first interaction we had was with a threat. >> ok. >> i think we can look at justice versus vengeance as far from the american people going back to the first question, rules of war and morality. when we start on page 68, the second paragraph says what is overlooked, however, is
countless thousands of japanese perished because they saw no alternative. so i think that's something to look into, too. we sometimes have a biased perspective. so i do not know if that ties into the original question, but where do we draw the line between what we are justifying? >> ok. >> just to tie into that i was , thinking the same thing. when you look at the involvement in the european theater versus the japanese by the americans, i feel like the americans are able to look at the europe situation a little bit more objectively. because it is outside looking in, it is not their fight necessary -- necessarily but they are going to take beside that they think is right. whereas in japan, it is a vengeance thing. they came to american soil and
bombed pearl harbor. and so that gives americans more of a personal motive to want to hate and to defeat the japanese because they want payback for being attacked. whereas in europe -- with the exception of the jewish population of america, perhaps knowing about the holocaust they have a personal motive to fight to the nazis. other than that, not so much. they are just trying to help out european allies. i know it seems like simplifying it. when you look at it, it all adds up. you know, there is a difference between stepping in and to reacting. >> ok. i am glad you brought that up. let's watch a clip real quick and i want to talk about this idea of reciprocity going forward. >> would it surprise you to know that conventional weapons could be just as deadly?
our topic today is operation meetinghouse. the u.s. firebombing of tokyo on march 10 1945. , the japanese attack on pearl harbor in december 1941 left the united states reasoning in the pacific. toy lacked the ability prosecute war in a sustained way. in april 1942, doolittle had an air raid. the attack gave america a much-needed morale boost by showing that the japanese homeland was not invulnerable. however, his raid did little damage to japan itself. instead of taking the fighting immediately to japan, u.s. forces spent the first three years after pearl harbor island hopping in the pacific. andlaces like guadalcanal saipan, american slowly rolled back japanese control. by late 1944, the united states had advanced far enough that the new u.s. bomber, the b-29, could
reach tokyo on a regular basis. the first u.s. bombing raid did minor damage. so u.s. bomber pilots developed new tactics. they flew low and at night and began to use incendiary bombs against the japanese attacks. -- japanese cities which were largely constructed of wood. this came to a culmination in operation meetinghouse. 334 b-29's. a firestorm. temperatures reached an estimated 1800 degrees fahrenheit. 15 square miles of tokyo, equivalent to half of manhattan, were burned out. nobody knows for sure how many people died to be firebombing of tokyo. the estimates range from 90,000 to more than 100,000. that is a death toll equal to if not higher than the atomic bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki. a reporter for "the new york times" sibley wrote the heart of tokyo is gone.
they continued for the next five months until japan's surrender in nagasaki. some of one million japanese side, the vast majority because of conventional bombing attack. -- some one million japanese died, the vast majority because of conventional bombing attacks. what is the lesson of the firebombing of tokyo? the danger of nuclear weapons should not blind us to the destructive power of conventional weapons. on -- the rwandan genocide of 1994 killed more than half a million people. whenever victims died from machete attacks. 100,000 people died in the violence that has rocked iraq. 50,000 died fighting in libya. the death toll of war goes beyond the battlefield. the fighting in the eastern congo since 1998 has killed an estimated 6 million people. many of the victims died of malnutrition and disease. problems like to become rampant when violence destroys all
semblance -- that can become rampant when violence destroys all semblance of law and order. the destructive power of conventional weapons is not a reason to never use military force. it is a reason to consider their use carefully and not to underestimate their consequence. the destructive power of conventional weapons is the reason why countries have a responsibility to protect civilian populations where they can. here's the question to consider -- what more should the international community be doing to prevent political warfare? -- conventional warfare? i encourage you to weigh in with your answer on my blog, which you can find at cfr.org. i am jim, and thank you for watching this installment of lessons learned. >> i want to watch one more clip. this is a little bit -- it's contemporary to the firebombing. -- we'll takee if a look at what contemporaneously is happening.
>> a task force of b-29's, their noses pointed towards japan. their shining bellies are filled with alms for tokyo. bombs for tokyo. north across the pacific for 1500 miles toward the heart of the enemy. but then tokyo, 20,000 feet below. make sure that military justice are followed. the aircraft plant is the main target. and at the site, through heavy clouds, results are difficult to record. but you can see the bombs landed far below. ps had a much closer view.
but japan does not take this treatment lying down. b-29's blaze when the japs hit back. one of the raiders is not spinning from the sky. the japs dug a hard blow. when they struck at this airfield. but tokyo has a lot more coming to it. >> i think there's a lot of things we can unpackaged their rere. initially my thoughts as logan to the idea of reciprocity, ok, does the attack on pearl harbor allow us to do things differently in the context of the law of war? >> it gives us the idea that we can. it does not necessarily that we can justify the cost -- --
because, did you want to look at as a 1:1 trade-off. them attacking pearl harbor would mean that we have the right to attack one major military installation of theirs. and that would reciprocate. but a point that is brought up in the video, oddly enough, they talk about how they have on these b-29's. double digits. and they have how many bombs? >> about 200,000. >> and their main location is one factory. i am a history major not a math genius. you do notue that need that many planes and that many bombs to take out the military factory. >> one thing that was interesting is that in the propaganda film, they use the phrase that is hard to necessarily know what the damage was because of the clouds. but they still dropped the bombs.
>> what i thought was the most interesting is of there were considerations to bomb civilian areas even before pearl harbor happened. on of the british side, it had before while in the u.s. said we would do strategic bombing on industrial capabilities. i cannot find it in the book, but is not right there's a time , that were considering bombing civilian areas before pearl harbor. so that -- >> yeah, the nazi blitz targets london. right? the british are very quick to go towards the bombing of civilian locations in europe. but this brings up an issue of duality. because the united states in the european theater tends to be gun out carpetut and bombing of cities.
although there are examples like the firebombing of dresden. however, that consideration seem to enter into the same kind of [indiscernible] >> i want to go back to lindsay's point about calling the enemies japs versus nazis. and different, like, cultural specifications. we all learned it in philosophy, and i think the thing that happened was there was a huge strawman argument made once someone attacked and kill someone, they sacrificed the right to life, basically. it is a very strawman version of it. the fact we looked at the entire japanese culture as the enemy versus nazi, gave us a subconscious justification for what we do with the bombing. because if we do not specify the one specific enemy like the you havegovernment and the strawman theory in your head, it makes it more ok in our minds to do what we did.
in the european theater we were , allied with european countries and we talked about the lines between different european states being blurred, and some had less racial tensions toward them. >> given that the united states , even more so than the european allies, is founded by ideology, we typically conduct our foreign affairs very much in the elitist way. we think our ideology supersedes and eclipses that of others. given that germany had a stable democracy before world war ii, japan did not. that think we assume provides us some tacit justification for attacking japan with much more veracity ity thanmany -- vorac germany. >> just because it is important a we have to debate in little more with germany bombing cities
does not mean that we did not do it. by the time the war ended, just they stop sending bombers out because they ran out of cities to destroy. >> that brings us to a good point. and i want to go back to lindsay's point about the notion know, moral or democratic rightness. self-righteousness. >> we learn about that in theory. >> if you eradicate the nazis, the foundation for the ideal government is still there where as in japan -- >> let's be clear. japan in the 1930's, parliament, they prided themselves on being a modern country. government, prime ministers, cabinets those things existed. 1930's isee in the
the creation of military state much in the same manner we see the nazi party with the eventual creation of a one-party state. we have to be somewhat careful when we try to characterize the japanese state in the 1930's as less than modern, i guess. >> this might be a product of the clash of civilizations argument. that our elitism is injected into the asian sphere and not the european severe, frankly because political and social elites in the united states have some european heritage. probably. >> absolutely. >> i want to come back to that. >> the japs versus nazi terminology. nazi was a political group. onnever germans surrendered the western front or in europe, the first thing that were likely
to say was that they were not nazi. jap is not a political grouping . every person from japan. just inherent in the language. >> i think you are right. the characterization we are talking about, is it a stretch to see this as an extension of the manifest destiny argument we were talking about last week? and this idea of the civilized frontier and what is on the other side of it. jeff, you're making a face. >> i think that is kind of a stretch but i see where you are coming from, sir. we have run out of space in america, so now we have to conquer what is further away. i do not know. i do not necessarily -- i do not buy it. i do not buy it, sir. >> it could be justified with our, almost, disregard or more so to civilian casualties.
because i think in europe -- anybody can correct me if i am wrong. there was more -- they paid more attention to making sure it was a military, you know, axis. >> the united states. >> the united states as a whole, which is talking from the video about the different bombings in general. the doolittle raid was supposed to be emotional and the rest were follow-ups, i guess. and with the big bombings, not just killing soldiers, not just killing the people who planned the attack on pearl harbor. >> ok. >> i think if you are looking at reasons why that is the case, i think there is a lot of fear and uncertainty. we are used to dilute with -- we are used to dealing with
conflict in europe and that is kind of balance of power and the interaction between european nations and ourselves. we are not used to dealing with such it a real threat will stop the threat or actions on pearl harbor had enormous influence on our view of the japanese because, i know, in the book, it talks about the kill or be killed psychology and how that becomes a vicious cycle. and that definitely played in o our interaction with the japanese. characteristic of a -- when you feel your ideology, your nation actually attacked, you tend to feel more justified in the fact you are able to kill them. >> ok. i think we are -- as interesting ---- i had not talked to
plan to talk about the nature of war today. thank you. when two nations go to war, are they wars of people -- people and cultures against each other? >> when we talk about -- most of the history majors took it last year. , his thing is lee society goes to war together. that's why we created rules of war. it is subject. our society almost -- our society basically gave the military the ok to bomb civilians in the japanese better when they- theater created the concentration camps here for the japanese citizens.
>> the internment camps. >> the internment camps. i cannot think of the word. >> concentration camp was the word elsewhere but in the united states we call them internment camps. >> it is the normal term. >> when we created that and it was made by congress. that is society approving the separation of these people for our safety. it is kind of like if they are doing that in america, we have to do whatever we can over there. >> i have a question. so if the society is improving -- approving of all the things we are doing to the japanese, at what point is it the fault of the government run propaganda? like the picture. because we are showing the japanese to be an evil people and you have congressman saying you cannot trust a third or fourth in generation japanese guy. once japanese, always japanese. he is to try to take out america. >> that is a really good point. what is this poster trying to get you to do?
>> it feeds into the view that people are calling for complete annihilation. >> yes, but at its core, what is it telling you to do? >> support the war. >> look at it. >> stay on the job. do not strike. >> galvanizing -- >> the picture -- [indiscernible] >> the picture of the cartoon of the person saying -- i guess it is the same thing. >> do not waste materials. right? have a signt just saying you support the war effort and do not throw away old ulk? washed up early. like, so -- do not rush out the door and take your time to clean up after yourself? i mean somebody when they make
these, make a conscious effort, we could just say help the soldiers out and do not throw away old tools. and do things right. do not strike. but we are also making the conscious effort to go back to the very first one. do not strike because we have to wipe out every murdering jap. >> it is contingent on you if we lose as opposed to just the soldiers. the soldiers lose the war because the people at home are striking and not doing their job well. the kind of hinges that guilt on the american people as well. >> notice the murdering part, too, sir. it is not just like, you cannot strike because they're japanese people out there. there are murderous japanese people out there, and how do you feel when you strike and they murder you? [laughter] >> it plays into the fear of the japanese people.
1937, you have the rape of nanking. being occupied by germans, the idea is different then by being occupied by japanese. there is a fear that this asian menace has been conquering asia for the past few years and they are coming after america next. something like this is playing into that fear. >> all right. lindsay? >> or typically laces fairly -- places fairly drastic demand on populations. it requires populations to act outside of their own individual self interests. so i think that by projecting self interests onto a nation and not,gating, specious or existential threat makes it within individual self interest to act in accordance with the national and place demands. so by placing this wider threat of the ubiquitous japanese who
is threatening to wipe the united states off of the face of the earth, it might behoove the individual to help the effort. >> people often respond better to fanatical characters. that is the same reason we have a purple dinosaur telling people to tie their shoes. that is what i see when i see tokyo kid. >> society going to war. i am seeing the government, the way i look at the government in the 1940's, kids get pulled out of school to work and they do not have a lot of education. you are talking to the masses and you put a cartoon japanese dude up there with fangs coming out of his mouth. what is a group going to think about it? they are going to think, oh my god we are going to get attacked , by japanese monsters. is it the society fighting the war or the government fighting the war? and the government is getting the society to do what they wanted them to do. >> the society elects the
government and continues to elect the government throughout the war. the government is a representation of what the society wants. them doing propaganda is just more of a continuation to help fund besides buying war bonds. nobody is just going to donate to the government. but that is what is more all. the use the propaganda in order to continue to feel them, kind of like a cycle. >> you stated that because we elect our government officials, they are representation of our society. and i would contest that. i would say the government , within its locus of control can completely determine what , society thinks by its message -- investment in human capital, propaganda, and messages it sends to the lower echelon of masses. educated or not. >> i want to tack onto that. from the propaganda that we watched. we have what u.s. and one
japanese. the u.s. bombing through cloud cover in a city. and the japanese lash back at a bomber base. ok, so, that doesn't seem to be -- i do not want to get into a discussion of, japanese zeros can only go this far. that's not what i'm trying to do. but those are not reciprocal in nature. right? and we are explored a lot of things here. we have unpackaged the notion of reciprocity and we are dealing with that. the idea of society going to war. well, what do we know about society in the 1940's from what we read? >> racist. >> ok. it is heavily charged racially. we have the jim crow south trade we talked about domestic service and labor management. like, are we bringing that into
the pacific war? you had your hand up, andrew. i threw a question in, but go ahead. rides, we are bringing that it seems that every country have their own racial theory. japan believes that house some divine heritage. -- believe they have some divine heritage. >> the second half of this book is what the japanese bring to the war. but this is american history and culture so we will not read that part. if you read the introduction, there is a clear japanese conception. it is linked up to notions of anti-imperialism, divine -- the divinity of the emperor, and the purity of kind of the shintoism. you're absolutely right. do you want to add onto that? >> not really. >> lucas, and then patrick. >> i was about to say.
talking about japan's future, and i know we're not going to read it. ji restoration that took place during world war ii at what happened, the people doing it, they were not calling for building japan up or modernizing or anything like that. their main rallying point was come to us. and repel the barbarians. so everybody outside of japan was a barbarian. not to say this made a right on our part. but both sides brought that element to the war. >> so nobody is right? >> right. >> once again in the video i was going to show -- the opening when they are describing what the typical japanese soldier is like. and the first characteristic the narrator talks about is the height and weight. how does that have any played it to the military capabilities?
and then when you have the life magazine publishing the picture of the blonde white girl -- at her desk. >> that is in the book. >> i am seeing elements of phrenology and trying to distinguish and finding scientific ways to distinguish yourself from the japanese from this other race when it's probably -- >> you are right. >> the letter opener to roosevelt. >> there is in the middle , portion of the book, that is great propaganda and cartoons for both sides. i have the blown up color. from page 189. pictures 13. we even -- as you read chapter four, we barely touched on the gender or sexual nature of some of this propaganda, right? so we have this yellow peril
basically taking away a naked white women. there was literally no military campaigns where the japanese came and took naked white women away. if you look at the pictures in the middle of your book, you have got the -- and i love this first one. this virile u.s. sailor, he is by a loaded cannon and he is saying war without mercy on a treacherous thug. and are we now incorporating -- because one of the things we talked about when we watch "birth of the nation," the notion from that movie that we must protect women's purity. is this thing wrapped up into all of this? chris? >> with the whole japanese guy running over with naked white deal,over his shoulder
what i am thinking about on this one is king kong, the video, the original movie, it was released in 1933. so that's what i am thinking they are trying to get at work. -- at with this. because every other picture shows the japanese as apes. >> 88 has one of them is a monkey. >> they can relate this guy to a big, brutish ape. that just kidnaps women and climbs up and destroy cities. >> i would make the point that something like this it did happen in china. the rape of nanking. >> you're absolutely right. >> it is playing on the fear of the strange enemy over there and if they take one of our cities, they will do this. >> i think that is exactly what this picture is. the fact that they are
distinguishing this chinese woman from the japanese got a look at his hand holding onto her leg. the color difference. that's what we've been getting at the entire class. --t you define what you said whiteness as. there were not german internment camps. that separates the european theater from japanese. >> i would caution us not to constrain our racial consciousness to the pacific. they are easily leveraged into the war on the european front. bear in mind, we knew about the atrocities occurring at austerlitz in 1942. we did nothing until two years later. millions of jews died. we sat on our butts and it did nothing. s. st. louishe m. and reports? ports?ur
we could've saved jewish refugees. anti-semitism both at the government level and overall masses. >> you are absolutely right. and when we look at, the next wo lessons, we look at jim crow going to war. when you take the jim crow to war, you kind of have the ability to create the other. right? the other already exists, which you are absolutely right. but i think this gets back to the question we have been dancing around and have not yet answered. if society is going to war it would talk about how they have their hangups, do you fight to the society? the firebombs in tokyo appears to be we are fighting the society, not necessarily the war machine itself. now you can -- they are trying to bomb a plant. but when you look at some of these other bombings, we're
going to bomb tokyo. is that ok? >> it is not really depend -- >> and does it? hold on a second. you say that leads to capitulation and it does not. >> there are some states that simply do not care. this would be unjustified. in a democratic state, that said, a democratic state typically does not go to war against another democratic state. the government is beholden to its population, so you assume that egregious violation by the population. that will need to capitulation. >> the strategic bombing survey after world war ii shows the diffusion armies of enemy populations really did not do anything to make anyone capitulate. the reality had the opposite effect to strengthen the resolve, the bombing of britain and germany. stuff like that. what it comes down to is these bombs are not effective and why are we still doing it? we are waging a war against the
enemy civilization and enemy society as opposed to pursuing capitulation >> total war. . >> total war. >> yes total war. major lee had said, if -- let me give him a shout out on c-span -- if societies are going to war, are wars against society? and if so, is it a slippery slope? >> i think it would be. because, i mean there is an , example right in world war ii. the nazis were going to jewish -- against the jewish society. that is a pretty slippery slope if you ask me. it can turn into genocide when you're going against society. >> where do you stop? and i think that's kind of what you are getting at, sir. at what point should be destroyed equity firebombing or destroy them the army and then try to change the society? >> ok.
andrew and then patrick. >> so i think, yes wars are , fighting society against society. and that it is a slippery slope. and to answer that's original question, we have rules of war to mitigate that slippery slope. maybe, b, try to maybe two alleviate any guilt afterwards for the side that wins. we destroy their society, but hey, we mostly abided by these rules of war, and therefore it is ok. >> ok. patrick? >> maybe -- this is just a possibility. i have not look into it that much red but -- much. but military is a representation of everything that makes up society. your economic ideology, conceptions of warriorness it is -- and that is why you place the two militaries against each other.
because then if you want to go into the moral equivalence of combatants, then they both enter this realm of we are both willing to lose our lives against each other. that realm. that is the moral laws of war limit the violence in effect of war. if you take that approach. so that is why, yes, it is as andrew just said. i think i'm repeating exactly what you said, actually. [laughter] i hope i sounded smart. >> go-ahead. >> that is the thing. at what point is genocide considered genocide? because if you look at how the nazis were doing it, they were taken military forces and killing civilians. and the americans were taking military forces and killing civilians in japan. so, i mean as far as numbers are there is a,
difference, but is a how we are going to define it? if you kill this many innocent civilians, it is genocide and if you keep it under a certain number, it is not. the reason why the rules -- there has to be some type of limit to what you are allowed to do in war. because i feel like it gets justof overlooked that we about japanese cities. and people do not collect -- -- call it -- like the distinction between interment camps and concentration camps. their are a lot of similarities but for some reasons, they are not called the same name. because we are not nazis, we are above that. and it kind of ties back to the elitism we discussed earlier. we have these higher patriotic and moral codes. so what we are doing is not genocide, it is winning the war. >> i do not think it could be comparable to genocide because the ultimate goal of her actions
as it relates to the categorization of it. the germans wanted to extinguish jews. so they wanted to get rid of a culture but we didn't wanted them to surrender, complete surrender. so that's -- -- but there were suggestions that were many military officials who do not care about surrender and the public. they wanted to eradicate. that was a true sentiment. i am not saying purveyed an entire population, but it existed. >> every murdering jap is wiped out. is that the end of state of the war russian mark -- war? is that a strategy? i just finished a book -- have you read that lindsay? it is fascinating because, for
me, being a european historian, it attempts to take the stalinist purges and nazi holocaust and put them into a political and strategic place. -- strategic calculus. it takes this notion, nazi death camps and the holocaust outside of the context of they are just killing people. and it shows that there is a progression. of resettlement, of massive movement, of deportation, of arrests. and when the united states gets involved in the war, reverses in the german army in 1942, now there creates a political narrative of international jewishness that is preventing
them from winning the war. it takes it and it makes it less the idea of we are just killing jews to this actually a strategic military objective. does that notion reconfigure what is going on in the pacific? world gone crazy with notions of ethnicity and race? >> i think we need to bear in mind what our objectives were. with germany, we could clearly say in hindsight, the nazis subcontinental if not world hegemony. the united states was a reluctant hegemon. we have to ask are we defending democracy? -- morear more elusive than obtaining hegemony.
this murder of the japanese fueled and hatred or meant to defend democracy? we have to draw the narrative between one and the other. i mean, how do we construe this as a means to defend democracy and promote it abroad? >> the question you brought up, whether this is desensitization or racial baggage we are bringing. if you look at what happened after the war, once it is done there are no more calls for , annihilation or whatever. people are saying -- they started rebuilding japan and in addition, some of the -- >> rebuilding japan, there are cold war reasons for that as well. >> that is true. with that, the book mentions unpleasant experiments on people from the unit that the soviets captured and not have a good time. but the ones we got had a much better time because we needed to -- their research.
and after that, a lot of the went on to be leaders in society. it is interesting to look out how the war is done once you do not need the element of race anymore, a difference in how different nations handle it. >> well i think this is -- you have a very good point. it is society going to war or government going to war? is race political? are we generating these others to accomplish goals? japan is trying to become a regional power. they are defending democracy reciprocity and stop the japanese expansion there. those are very strategic things we could say are colorblind. but the wars executed by both
sides along racially coded lines. so, you know how do we deal with , that? is race -- what is race? it is something used politically? when societies go to war, is this something that is done to engender compliance? erica? >> i think that race can be used as a scapegoat especially the fact that we can -- and the government can mobilize society in terms of painting a specific culture as enemy. and if you look at the historical context of world war ii, we were very isolationist prior to pearl harbor. and honestly, fdr was smart in moving and mobilizing the population towards innovation -- invasion and military involvement.
but it was not until we were to that which change our sentiment. i think that that says something, that we were not on this rampage to spread democracy. it took this action are the japanese. and since it was the japanese, we can paints them as the enemy and the government can picture -- painted their society as evil because they were the ones who sent us over the edge. >> and that makes sense, but also, there has to be a baseline, underlying of racism pervasive in this country and in this case, the united states. any sort of government campaign to paint another enemy like the japanese as an inferior race that could be destroyed in order for us to survive, without the racial predisposition already in place, it is not going to work. there are some very soft --
unresolved racial issues in the u.s. >> to your rebuttal? >> do you think that we were so racist against the japanese until pearl harbor. i think that's really energized those feelings of racism. >> there has to be a predisposition to racism. it was the situation. >> they projected onto the japanese a painted their culture as evil. >> and they were racist toward people from the asian descent before. the entire time building the railroad from the pacific east, it was let's send 10 chinamen. carrying a stick of dynamite. and blow up the rockies. that was their plan. they had no problems having age -- asians kill themselves to build it.
>> lend lease is in place by the end of 41 hundred so we are 41.ady -- so we are ready giving stuff to china. there is racism. the government is not being racist or creating anti-chinese racism. they are working, giving stuff to china. the racism is specific. two japan. >> it comes off as a little bit racist. >> i love it when we start off our sentences. >> but they look alike. do you think it was easier for us to paint a japanese person as an enemy when everybody thought the chinese and japanese looked at the same? >> we will address that. that actually comes up in a book. the united states makes clear distinctions between the japanese and chinese. and through the contents of the war, they are separate entities. and the united states has a much longer history with the chinese than with the japanese.
so we will explore that. i want to go to andrew and maybe where about out of time. >> to jump off of that point. the book talks about how the chinese and filipinos were considered good asians whereas the japanese were considered bad asians. they draw a scene of different pictures of japanese, chinese, and other asians. like the differences of how you the difference between a chinese person and a japanese person read stereotypical reasons like looking at their face. and that gets at why you need to be able to tell the difference because a japanese man is bad where a chinese man is good. >> yet. -- yeah. i think you are right. i want you to think about this notion of society going to war. and can we make assessments of cultures and people? that are broad ranging. and i would encourage you if you can -- i will try to sht