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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The Great Raid: I just walked in the door from seeing the last showing of the day of "The Great Raid." It's not quite as emotionally moving as the last great WW II movie to come down the pipe, "Saving Private Ryan," but it's well worth your time to check it out.

I'd read a little about the movie in the days leading up to its Friday release, but what really piqued my interest was a Friday interview with director John Dahl on Michael Medved's radio show. Medved highlighted a statement made in a review by the New York Times' Stephen Holden that made my blood boil, but I felt I should see the film first before proclaiming Holden an ignorant idiot overwhelmed by a politically correct culture.


Its scenes of torture and murder also unapologetically revive the uncomfortable stereotype of the Japanese soldier as a sadistic, slant-eyed fiend.


This just in, moron, the sorry fact is that the Japanese soldiers who ran POW camps were sadistic fiends. The movie opens with Japanese soldiers herding American POWs into "air raid" shelters. Then out come 55 gallon drums of gasoline and the Americans are burned to death -- except for those who manage to climb out, on fire, who are machine-gunned.

As much as it may pain Holden to see it, we shouldn't be covering up what the Japanese did during World War II. Can you imagine Holden complaining about Stephen Spielberg's portrayal of the Nazis in "Schindler's List" as reviving the "uncomfortable stereotype" of the Germans as cold, calculating, methodical murderers?

I've had the book "A Public Betrayed: An inside look at Japanese media atrocities and their warnings to the West," on my bookshelf for a few months, it just got moved in the pile of "things I've got to read." Why? Because I've known for years what Holden still doesn't know -- that the behavior of the Japanese during World War II was just as atrocious and barbaric as that of the Nazis. The book's jacket lists just a few things that most Japanese born in the years after World War II have never heard about:


  • Denying the Holocaust and supporting anti-Semitism
  • Whitewashing and denying one of history's worst war crimes, the Nanjing Massacre
  • Defaming Second World War Japanese military sex slaves or "comfort women"


They could easily have added any number of atrocities against captured POWs -- including the infamous Bataan Death March.

I strongly encourage you to see this film. Unlike too many movies that have come out of post-Vietnam Hollywood, "The Great Raid" tells a story of American military -- and Filipino -- heroism and bravery. For a more honest, and not so blinkered, review, check out Stephen Hunter's piece in The Washington Post.


"The Great Raid" tells the story of 6th Battalion's very good night's work, and while one might have wished for a better movie, and a few smarter decisions regarding the screenplay, generally it's a riveting, even inspirational account of an American feat of arms about which few know but about which many more should.


Here, here. Go see it.

1:31 AM

Comments:
C'mon Matt. Get with the program. The Japanese were only trying to defend their homeland from the onslaught of Western decadence and imperialism. They were merely protecting their children's future. What about the fact that they overran Korea and China? Oh, well that...that..that is highly exaggerated by Americans who want to deflect attention from the atrocities committed in the internment camps.

Matt, the above is paraphrases of conversations I have had recently with dopey liberals who I attend law school with. My favorite thing they say is that we should not have dropped the bomb and instead should have negotiated a settlement. They never have an answer to this question: "What makes you think they would negotiate a settlement? They weren't even reasonable enough to surrender until after a second bomb was dropped!"
 
Some other comparisons to "uncomfortable stereotypes."

- This movie brings back the uncomfortable stereotype that Islamic terrorists are Allahu Akbar shouters that are willing to die themselves in order to kill as many others as possible.

- This movie brings back the uncomfortable stereotype that Stalin was a murderous Commie bastard who caused the deaths of 50 million people.

- This movie brings back the uncomfortable stereotype that agrarian reformers like Castro and Guevera are nothing more than murderous thugs who did not really have the interests of their people at heart.
 
I AM A FILIPINO, WHOSE GRANDFATHER WAS BURNED ALIVE DURING WWII BY THE JAPANES, ACCUSED OF ESPIONAGE. ACCORDING TO EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS,HE WAS TIED TO A POST, DOUSED WITH KEROSENE, AND SET ON FIRE. I WATCHED "THE GREAT RAID" TO HONOR HIS MEMORY AND THOSE OF MORE THAN 25,000 POWS OF THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH.
 
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