Monday, March 26, 2007

Japan Again Denies Role in Sex Slavery - New York Times

A follow-up to an earlier post on Japanese historical revisionists supporting anti-Semitism (read it here).

Japan Again Denies Role in Sex Slavery - New York Times

To anyone who doubts the role absurdly bad ideas have on important policy debates:

It starts with a few crackpot academics and right-wing nuts advocating that history be falsified to "enhance" a nation's history. Those who take such things seriously laugh it off at first. As the contagion takes hold, the laughter turns to disbelief. By the time action is taken it may be too late. It starts with a crackpot professor deliberately purging textbooks of the truth. It leads to the leader of a modern democratic nation advocating false history as a matter of public policy. Where does it end?

Make no mistake: the belief in falsifying history in the national interest is an extremist philosophy with the potential to lead to extreme actions. Take a look at "Birth of a Nation" and the impact it had on the resurgence of the KKK. The false history it promoted played (or plays) an important role in racism this country. Take a look at the thousands of false images of American Indians promoted by the movies and pop culture and think of the impact they've had on how the Indians have been treated. And, of course, look at holocaust denial, which is the avant garde of anti-Semitism, paving the way to neo-Nazism in its various guises, most notably with respect to hatred of Israel.

To those who think that all that's in the past -- that the promotion of false ideas, be they crackpot philosophies or falsified history, has a limited impact, think the influence that fascism and communism had on Islamism. Without that influence (mainly via Sayeed Qutb), Islamism would not exist.

I don't claim to know enough about Japan to predict impact of this development, but I do know this: if the world sits back and let's this happen, the repurcussions may come back to haunt us. This denial of this history is morally wrong and cries out for reaction. If you are aware of the truth of Japan's attrocities during the Second World War, then speak up. Tell your representatives that, as a nation, we should not stand by and allow our allies to sink into this sort of fascist mindset.

This is the Asian equivalent of holocaust denial. It may not seem so now, but ultimately there's a lot at stake.

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