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    Terminology

    Joel at Far Outliers links to a discussion that compares Japanese kamikaze pilots with today’s suicide bombers. He notes a strange inconsistency:

    Notice how the Japanese are presented as the victims, and those winning the war as their “oppressors”? Exactly when, during the half-century between 1895 and 1945 did Japan switch from being oppressor to victim? In 1895? In 1904? 1910? In 1931? 1937? In 1941? 1942? 1943? Yes, that’s it, at precisely the moment when they began to lose they became the victims, despite the appalling number of casualties they continued to inflict on themselves and others by not conceding defeat.

    Yeah. Funny how that works.

    4 Responses to “Terminology”

    1. John says:

      You forgot 1939.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      So many years, so little time, huh?

    3. John says:

      Well, Nomonhan is a little different than the other pre-1943 dates in that the Japanese started out as the aggressor, got their asses handed to them by Zhukov, then fought to a stalemate. But it does mark the first time where the Army did something expressly against the orders of the civilian government, and marks the rise of military rule that culminated in Tojo.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      I have shamefully little facility for historical dates. Years like 1066 and 1333 and 1588 and stuff I know. And seriously important high-school-test WWII dates (as in, day and year). Otherwise, I tend to remember sequences of events, but it’s not hard to make me doubt whether I’m sure something happened in, say, 1940 or 1941. Of course, I can never remember my own schedule without consulting my datebook, either, so it’s probably a broad-based deficiency of some kind.

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