e n d n o t e s k a t h e r i n e m c n a m a r a
Considering our numbers and economic importance, American artists have an amazing lack of political clout. A 2002 study done by Americans for the Arts found that the nonprofit sector of the arts industry generates $134 billion in economic activity annually and employs 4.8 million people full-time. This is just the nonprofit sector of the arts industry—the artist-helper groups. It doesn’t include the economic activity generated by artists themselves. And what comes back to artists from government for these economic contributions? A more recent study done for the Louise T. Blouin Foundation and the OECD found that while Americans are second from the top as a percentage of GDP when it comes to spending on culture, the U.S. government is second from last in terms of its own spending on culture.
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression. For if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.
-Justice Wiley B. Rutledge, 1946Quoted by James Webb in THE EMPEROR’S GENERAL (New York: Broadway Books, 1999; Bantam p.b., 2000). The case was IN RE YAMASHITA, 327 US 1 (1946). Justices Rutledge and Murphy dissented from the majority opinion of the Supreme Court, which upheld the conviction of General Tomoyuki Yamashita by a military commission appointed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then supreme commander in Japan. The majority argued that the Court did not have authority to Yamashita’s conviction, on the narrow technical ground that the war was not officially over and therefore MacArthur still retained authority in the matter.
Then in words that would bedevil American military commanders during the Vietnam War, [Justice William Francis “Frank”] Murphy made a haunting prediction: “Such a procedure is unworthy of our people,” he wrote. “The high feelings of the moment doubtless will be satisfied. But no one in a position of command in an army, from sergeant to general, can escape these implications. The fate of some future president and his chiefs of staff and military advisers may well have been sealed by this decision.”
The question of war crimes and Yamashita, as written about by Webb, is discussed in these Endnotes.
See also, Charles Lane, “Former Justice’s Influence Felt in 2006,” Monday, July 3, 2006, Washington Post, Page A19, on Hamden vs. Rumsfeld:
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote last week’s Supreme Court opinion striking down President Bush’s plan to put suspected terrorists on trial before military commissions.
But in a real sense, the opinion’s author was Wiley B. Rutledge, the justice for whom Stevens clerked during the court’s 1947-1948 term, and for whom he has expressed great admiration in the years since.
Appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943, Rutledge served only six years before his death in 1949. But in that time, he made a mark by arguing that the United States must respect the rights of its foreign enemies.
His most famous dissenting opinion came in 1946, when he wrote that the majority of the court was wrong to deny a petition for habeas corpus by Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese general sentenced to death by a U.S. military commission in the Philippines for atrocities committed by his troops. “I cannot believe in the face of this record that the petitioner has had the fair trial our Constitution and laws command,” Rutledge wrote.
. . . . . .
Stevens defended not [Osama bin Laden’s former aide, Salim Ahmed] Hamdan, but Hamdan’s rights.
His opinion last week cited Rutledge’s opinion and quoted from a passage in which Rutledge summarized the unfairness of Yamashita’s trial, calling it “outside our basic scheme.” Some of the procedures Rutledge criticized were similar to those in Hamdan’s military commission trial at Guantánamo Bay, Stevens implied, especially limitations on the defendant’s access to all the evidence against him.
Stevens went on to argue that the concerns of Rutledge’s dissent were reflected in later changes to U.S. military law, and in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. As a result, Stevens argued, the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Yamashita’s conviction, “the most notorious exception” to the rule that military trials of U.S. enemies should usually give them the same rights as their American counterparts, “has been stripped of its precedential value.” The origins of Stevens’s opinion in the post-World War II debate underscore how thoroughly it rejected the Bush administration’s military commissions and the political and military concepts upon which they were based.
Administration officials have characterized the conflict with al-Qaeda as a new kind of war in which the United States cannot afford to be constrained by the existing domestic and international legal framework.
. . . The danger posed by international terrorism, Stevens wrote, is not by itself enough to warrant “any variance from the rules that govern courts martial.” (con’t. emphasis added.)
War, at root, no matter the casus, is a combat of will between a handful of men; rarely, women: Thatcher, Golda Mair. The so-called war on terror is the will at work of Bush, Cheney, Blair, earlier Saddam Hussein, bin Laden, a small number of others who have made happen the armed anarchy of Iraq and, increasingly, Afghanistan. Twentieth-century wars were made on civilians, contrary to international treaties: the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the IRA bombs in Britain; massacres of Muslim Bosnians by Serbs; genocides in Armenia, the German Reich, Rwanda. In this century, civilian mayhem continues. A few men of power and influence have, in reaction, mobilized many hundreds of thousands of fighters who enter the fray for their own reasons, believing or not. Under the leadership of these few, national treasuries have been opened and wasted, as have been borders, houses, human flesh. Torture is practiced under their coy misdirection.
If they were ever like us, they are not like us now. We cannot imagine the mind of a Bush or Cheney or bin Laden; the similarities to our own are hardly relevant. We ourselves haven’t (yet) chosen to kill and destroy, no matter if the reason seems good and just. What would seem clear to us is opaque to them; what concerns them is outside the realm of our lives. It is no use thinking Bush would, in a different life, show up at the Kiwanis meeting; and although bin Laden may well have worshipped beside the fathers and brothers of ordinary people, the theology and poetry of his rhetorical style mark him as one blessed. Not dissimilarly, Bush and Blair, without poetry, call out to their own believers.
Michael Herr’s DISPATCHES See “Michael Herr, Dispatches (Knopf,
1977)’”, Portfolio, New York University. and
Neil Sheehan’s See “Remembering
the Vietnam War, Conversation with Neil Sheehan’ http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/conversations/Sheehan/,” Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
See also, “Writings of Halberstam and Sheehan,” C-SPAN DVD. A BRIGHT SHINING LIE, two books by combat reporters, were about the war that poisoned my generation. In November 1969, the journalist Seymour Hersh broke the news of the My Lai massacre. Seymour Hersh reports regularly for the New Yorker. David Halberstam See David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan, C-SPAN American Writers II The 20th Century> Social Transformation to Vietnam > David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, and the Vietnam War Writers. published, in 1972, his anatomy of the American war presidency, THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST. Thirty-five years ago, the New York Times and the Washington Post printed The Pentagon Papers, the secret history of the Vietnam War commissioned by Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defense. Daniel Ellsberg, Daniel Ellsberg, “Iraq’s Pentagon Papers, This unjustified war is waiting for its whistle-blower, says the leaker of Vietnam’s secret history,” Sunday, June 11, 2006, by the Los Angeles Times
. . . . It was questions very much like these that were nagging at my conscience many years ago at the height of the Vietnam War, and that led, eventually, to the publication of the first of the Pentagon Papers on June 13, 1971, 35 years ago this week. That process had begun nearly two years earlier, in the fall of 1969, when my friend and former colleague at the Rand Corp., Tony Russo, and I first started copying the 7,000 pages of top-secret documents from my office safe at Rand to give to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
That period had several similarities to this one. For one thing, Republican Sen. Charles Goodell of New York had just introduced a resolution calling for the unilateral withdrawal of all U.S. armed forces from Indochina by the end of 1970. Unlike the current Boxer resolution, his had budgetary “teeth,” calling for all congressional funding of U.S. combat operations to cease by his deadline.
Two other similarities between then and now: First, though it was known to only a handful of Americans, President Nixon was making secret plans that September to expand, rather than exit from, the ongoing war in Southeast Asia — including a major air offensive against North Vietnam, possibly using nuclear weapons. Today, the Bush administration’s threats to wage war against Iran are explicit, with officials reiterating regularly that the nuclear “option” is “on the table.”
Second, also in September, charges had been brought quietly against Lt. William Calley for the murder 18 months earlier of “109 Oriental human beings” in the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai 4. This went almost unnoticed until mid-November of that year, when Seymour Hersh’s investigative story burst on the public, followed shortly by the first sight for Americans of color photographs of the massacre. The pictures were not that different from those in the cover stories of Time and Newsweek from Haditha: women, children, old men and babies, all shot at short range.
What was it that prompted me in the fall of 1969 to begin copying 7,000 pages of highly classified documents — an act that I fully expected would send me to prison for life? (My later charges, indeed, totaled a potential 115 years in prison.) The precipitating event was not Calley’s murder trial but a different one. On Sept. 30, I read in the Los Angeles Times that charges brought by Creighton Abrams, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Vietnam, against several Special Forces officers accused of murdering a suspected double agent in their custody had been dismissed by the secretary of the Army. (con’t.)See also, Sen. Mike Gravel, “Introduction to the Pentagon Papers”. an investigator seconded to the project from the Rand Corporation, was so appalled by the secret history that he understood it as his duty to inform the citizenry. What shook him was seeing that American presidents were not misinformed about Vietnam. The facts were clear enough: the U.S. was fighting the wrong war, and was losing. But the presidents - Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon - continued to prosecute the war because of political calculation; doing so, they prolonged an unjust war without learning its lessons.
Ellsberg thought the public ought to
know this. (He believed that people acted rationally and,
given accurate information, would make rational decisions.)
See, for instance, Nicholas Lemann, “Paper
Tiger, Daniel Ellsberg’s War,” The
New Yorker, November 4, 2002:
"For Ellsberg, the shattering revelation of the Pentagon Papers was that the American Presidents who made decisions about Vietnam had actually been well informed. Nobody was lying to them about the probability of success of American engagement, and they engaged anyway. All this contradicted not only Ellsberg’s own explanation for mistaken judgments but a whole way of seeing the world, in which if decision-makers can be given good information they will make rational choices. But even after reading the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg remained loyal to the tenets of decision theory; in leaking the Papers to the press, he was simply changing jurisdictions, trading in a faith that perfectly informed Presidents will make rational decisions for a faith that a perfectly informed public will force rational decisions on misguided Presidents. That’s why Ellsberg comes to regard “deception,” “secrecy,” and “lies” as the devils responsible for bad policy – they were other names for misinformation. Hidden within the morally outraged and civilly disobedient radical, in other words, was the soul of a wronged decision theorist. The publication of the Pentagon Papers presented a new kind of Ellsberg paradox: providing the public with complete information didn’t have the effect that Ellsberg expected…. He smuggled a copy of the Papers to Neil Sheehan, then a reporter for the New York Times. On June 13, 1971, the Times published the first installment, and brought down the wrath of a secretive, vindictive presidency on itself and the First Amendment.
About that time, I was a girl in the world with the same name as the Secretary of Defense, who was called a baby-killer, and worse. My sister and I, just out of studentdom, went to Europe for the first time. In a hostel in the Florentine hills, the cute guy behind the desk looked at our passports and told us sternly that we should change our name. We had never thought of ourselves as part of our society’s madness. We were against it! (McNamara wasn’t our relative! Ours was a good name!) We found ourselves defending America against this chic boy who called himself a Maoist. Later, whispering to each other, we were wry and embarrassed, and my sister said, sadly, “We have to learn that we’re not the good guys anymore.” It was a curious experience, being scorned as Americans, impersonally. We didn’t know this as a cultural divide. We were studying war, and the history of war, and our own culpability in that far-away war.
Recently, at a political lunch, a party operative said that the first book that he, and Vietnam vets like him, felt had spoken truly of their experience was James Webb’s FIELDS OF FIRE. (Not DISPATCHES.) Several other men of his age agreed heartily. Webb’s name had become prominent in local political talk. He advertised himself as “Born Fighting,” the title of his latest book, which put some people off. He was a former Marine who won the Silver Star in Vietnam, and had been Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. None of this would suggest him as a writer of serious novels, yet I was curious and willing to be persuaded.
THE EMPEROR’S GENERAL, about MacArthur as proconsul in Tokyo during the American Occupation, came to hand. I found I couldn’t put it down. It is a decently-, at times eloquently-, written historical novel: General and Supreme Commander Douglas A. MacArthur as observed by his aide, Capt. Jay Marsh, the fictional narrator, who serves as the General’s translator, intermediary, and spy. Webb is using, not making, fiction. The novel is a close study of power, the love of power and corruption by it; and of the necessary loss of innocence - better, loss of illusion - of any man who comes close to power.
MacArthur was a great man. His biographer, William Manchester, wrote of him in AMERICAN CAESAR: “He was a great thundering paradox of a man, noble and ignoble, inspiring and outrageous, arrogant and shy, the best of men and the worst of men, the most protean, most ridiculous, and most sublime. No more baffling, exasperating soldier ever wore a uniform. Flamboyant, imperious, and apocalyptic, he carried the plumage of a flamingo, could not acknowledge errors, and tried to cover up his mistakes with sly, childish tricks. Yet he was also endowed with great personal charm, a will of iron, and a soaring intellect. Unquestionably he was the most gifted man-at-arms this nation has produced.”
Webb obviously has read Manchester and agreed with him. The novel’s thesis - there is a thesis, about which Webb has thought and felt deeply - is that MacArthur forced the execution of, that is, murdered, Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese general made officially responsible, by MacArthur and by the Imperial Family, for the Rape of Manila. MacArthur committed this judicial murder for two reasons, insofar as reason can be discerned: because if the peace were going to work as intended, both sides needed a scapegoat, and the commoner, Yamashita, suited each of them; and because MacArthur was cruel, arrogant, envious, and vengeful.
Thus, Webb’s story is classically shaped, more effectively so for having been drawn from history, the plot revealing the delicate, yet cruel, yet complex pressure of will set against will; hybris; fall; disillusion; epilogue.
The story as it unfolds, moves with inevitability. The narrator is Captain Jay Marsh, fluent and literate in Japanese, a junior member of MacArthur’s staff, who lands with MacArthur at the invasion of Leyte, the general having abandoned his men to the Japanese (as Jay Marsh sees it), now returning as he had promised, to deliver them. The American force moves on to Manila, a city dear to MacArthur’s youth, sacked by the Japanese. Marsh explores the ruined city, falls in love, enters the household of a newly-rich, powerful family as suitor to their beautiful, cherished daughter; proposes marriage; is accepted; agrees to join the family business, which is in supplying American bases. MacArthur and his staff, including Marsh, then move on to Tokyo, to accept the surrender of the Japanese. Marsh, as the general’s translator, becomes also his “listener.” He is drawn by Marquis Kido, the Emperor’s Privy Seal, into a back channel through which the Supreme Commander and the Emperor can imply their desires by proxy. Lord Kido rewards, amuses, and enmeshes Marsh in local intricacies, until Marsh betrays Kido into sacrificing himself for the sake of the Emperor, and wins his own release from service to MacArthur.
Jay Marsh is a lucky young man who uses his luck and energy to advance himself; thinks of himself as a decent man, becomes aware of his growing corruption through fascination with MacArthur’s use of power, yet knows he himself is neither great, nor courageous; yet, knows he will betray the woman he loves; yet can’t and won’t suppress his sexuality; yet does the decent thing by his mistress (like “every man,” yet almost in spite of himself, he takes a mistress). At the level of melodrama, his conflict (like MacArthur’s) is that there may be no way to reconcile ‘pure’ romantic love with worldly ambition: the latter will win.
The author writes of the Philippines and of Japan with sympathy and perhaps from experience. He uses Marsh to look at his own culture of sin and guilt, founded in Western, Christian belief, and see it as being alien to the intractable Japanese code of shame and face; to comprehend in his own terms the meaning of the emperor’s divinity. Young Jay Marsh serves the reader, too, as interpreter of this novelized history of the American Occupation.
Jay Marsh comes to understand that, by something more than analogy, Japan knows itself as a whole family, the sacred father of which is the Emperor, who cannot be destroyed if Japan is to live. He will see that the Occupation cannot succeed - that the Occupation forces are, potentially, hostages amid the sea of Japan - unless the two former enemies can work in balance. Here, Marsh is with Lord Kido, the Privy Seal to the Emperor, whose “listener” he has become in the back channel wrought between MacArthur and the Emperor. Lord Kido is speaking:
“Then you know that this is not an easy moment for the Japanese people,” continued Kido. “We have been preparing them [for surrender] for some time.”
“How have you been preparing them?” I asked.
“You must understand the nature of suffering,” answered Kido. . . . “You see, your royalty and ours understand that no matter how ferociously a war is fought, in the end the royalty must respect each other. If we do not, there is no civilization.”
“We have no royalty in America, Lord Privy Seal.”
“Now you’re playing with semantics,” shrugged Kido. “But I am sure you and the supreme commander both get the point. And then I must ask you, what does an ordinary Japanese think when the bombs come down for months at a time but none of them touch the emperor’s palace or the holy shrines?”
“I don’t know, Lord Privy Seal. What does he think?”
“He thinks nothing, Captain Jay Marsh. Nothing. Because he expects this to happen. Do you understand? He might die, and the entire population of commoners might be incinerated. But no harm can ever come to the emperor. . . .
“So, we had to work with the people to prepare them for the end of the war. It could not come too early, or they would feel betrayed in their sacrifices. It could come only when they were secretly begging for it. They would have to feel not only that they had sacrificed but that they could sacrifice no more. And so the time came when their suffering was so great that the emperor, through his decision to accept personal shame even though he was not at risk, was relieving them of their own suffering. Deciding to end the war finally became an act of imperial benevolence. Do you agree, Captain Jay Marsh? . . . We worked very hard for peace. But the people could not be betrayed. If their sacrifice was not complete, would they be so easily welcoming MacArthur, or would they wish to continue the fight? So you see,” shrugged the lord privy seal, “by having the struggle run its course, the emperor has delivered the people to MacArthur. Because in the end we must maintain order, and work together.”
Nonetheless, at the insistence of the
Allies and the Western newspapers, there are to be war
crimes tribunals in Tokyo. “The
Tokyo War Crimes Trials,”
See also, The Truman Library, Tokyo War Crimes page.
See also, “The Tokyo War Crimes Trials (1946-48) ,” The American Experience, PBS
Occupation official turned historian Richard B. Finn notes, “World War II was the first major conflict in history in which the victors carried out trials and punishment of thousands of persons in the defeated nations for ‘crimes against peace’ and ‘crimes against humanity,’ two new and broadly defined categories of international crime.” For most people, this calls to mind the trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. But an equally difficult, fascinating, and controversial set of trials occurred in Tokyo, under the watchful eye of Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur. Webb conveys nicely the backstage arguments and negotiations by MacArthur, who does not favor the trials. In the novel, the senior lawyer from the Judge Advocate General’s office, responsible for organizing the newly-made court, is Col. Samuel Genius, whose frustration with MacArthur is directly related to devotion to his duty. We learn that there are now three legal categories of accountability:
A. Individual atrocities, the easiest to determine: “For instance, we have reports of doctors conducting savage and inhumane experiments on our prisoners of war. Deliberately injecting soybean milk and even urine into their veins. Deliberately bleeding to death healthy men in order to capture their plasma. . . . I have a report that certain members of the Japanese secret police kept pens of naked Western men and women underneath the torture chambers of Bridge House in Shanghai. These kinds of things.”
B. Mass atrocities, somewhat more difficult to assign blame for. MacArthur makes his own assessment about “Asia” and its respect for human life. Col Genius is speaking:
“It involves accountability for what we might call mass atrocities. Situations where Japanese soldiers went out of control for days or weeks at a time, resulting in the large-scale slaughter of innocents.”
“Like the rape of Manila,” interjected MacArthur, his face suddenly a map of vivid, angry memories.
“Exactly, sir,” said the colonel. “And Nanking, which was actually twice as savage as Manila. . . . The key question in both Manila and Nanking is the extent to which the commanders must be held accountable for the actions of their subordinates. No matter how much we might condemn the acts themselves, in the law the issue of command responsibility is not a simple matter. If they ordered such actions, we have one standard, which is murder. If they openly or brazenly allowed them, we have another, which is probably reckless homicide. If they were negligent and did not know but should have known, we have a third standard, which is more likely manslaughter. The extent of the killing also affects the gravity of the crimes we prosecute. It will be difficult to sort this out.”
“Not for Manila, it won’t,” said MacArthur. . . . “Develop a day-by-day account of the sacking of the ancient Christian city of Manila, and the rape of its innocent women and children. . . .
“And there is another distinction with reference to Nanking. We should not lose sight of it. . . . These actions took place eight years ago. At that time, World War Two as we came to know it had not yet begun. Two ancient Asian peoples were throwing themselves against each other in a way that westerners might not fully comprehend, but filled with symbolic signals that each Asian side understood full well.” . . .
Colonel Genius looked steadily at the General. “Two hundred thousand innocent Chinese were raped, bayoneted, used for target practice, buried alive, and otherwise grotesquely done away with. . . . And in all due respect, General, I would call it wholly evil as well.”
C. “Class A” war criminals, charged with “national-level atrocity, prosecuting the war itself”: “They include categories such as ‘conspiring to wage aggressive war,’ and ‘crimes against peace.’ General Tojo is an example, since he was the wartime prime minister. Another is Field Marshal Sugiyama, obviously. And there will be others,’” says Col Genius.
“We must be extremely careful,” MacArthur finally said, staring out toward the emperor’s inner palace. “I do not wish for you to misunderstand me, Colonel, but all this relates to the past. The day-to-day decisions of high government officials regarding the conduct of a war are not in my view criminal acts. I’m dealing with the future every day. The future, do you understand? I am working to secure the well-being and security of a region that holds more than half the world’s people.”
Webb, using fiction as a microscope,
argues that MacArthur as supreme commander brought trumped-up
charges before a military commission of his own devising,
to kill Yamashita, the “Tiger of Malaysia,” a general nearly
the equal of himself, who surrendered his army in the Philippines
only after the Emperor had ordered him to do so- and after
Manila had been destroyed, yet arguably not under Yamashita’s
order or even misdirection. Biography
The Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita (1885-1946) distinguished himself as the “Tiger of Malaya” during World War II. After the war he surrendered in the Philippines, where he was tried for war crimes and executed by the Allies.
Tomoyuki Yamashita was born on Nov. 8, 1885, in Shikoku, son of a medical doctor, who started the child in a military career. At the military academy he was a year junior to his lifetime rival, Hideki Tojo, and graduated at the head of his class. By 1932, when only 47, he became section chief of military affairs in the War Ministry and was earmarked as an eventual war minister or even premier. He was one of the generals admired by a fanatical group of radical young officers, called the Imperial Way faction, who carried out an abortive coup d’etat on Feb. 26, 1936. Although Yamashita, then a major general, refused to go along with the plot, he came under such a cloud of suspicion that he almost retired but instead took an assignment in Korea. This actually put him in an advantageous position when the China incident of July 1937 broke out, and he distinguished himself in action so well that he was promoted to lieutenant general and placed in charge of North Korea.
Meanwhile, Gen. Tojo, whose control faction had benefited from the Imperial Way faction’s demise, again began to fear Yamashita’s revived popularity and finally got him transferred to an isolated Manchurian outpost in 1941. But when Japan entered the war against the Allies, Yamashita was placed in charge of the 25th Army and dramatically took Singapore by a surprise attack through Malaya. The British commander, Lt. Gen. Percival, surrendered to him in February 1942, and Yamashita was made a full general.
Jealous of Yamashita’s fame, Tojo quickly transferred him to the quiet Manchurian border until October 1944, when Yamashita took full command of all the Imperial forces in the Philippines, as the Allies relentlessly moved in. On Sept. 2, 1945, he surrendered his sword at Baguio to the representatives of the Allied forces, among whom was Gen. Percival. By direction of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Yamashita was almost immediately put on trial as the one responsible for the last-minute wild massacres by Japanese troops in Manila, establishing a principle of responsibility the implications of which frightened a number of American officers. Yamashita was hanged on Feb. 23, 1946.
Gen. Yamashita is remembered in Japan as a military leader whose personal career was victimized by that very factionalism in the military that had so much to do with dragging Japan into the euphoria of war and the humiliation and suffering of defeat. His honorary pen name was Hobun. (Quoted in full from BookRags.com. The facts shown here seem to be undisputed.)
Jay Marsh, disgusted, the unprofessional soldier, raises questions in terms of military honor. Did MacArthur abandon his men? Did Yamashita lose control of his army? Who decides on the nature of war crimes? What is the difference - who announces the difference - between the Rape of Nanking and the Rape of Manila?
Where would MacArthur have been at this moment, and what would he have looked like, if he, like Skinny Wainwright and even Tomoyuki Yamashita, had stayed behind with his men? This was not an idle or unfair question. Even Eisenhower had proposed to General Marshall in 1942 that MacArthur stay and fight. But instead of standing white-haired and broken before the world in crimped khakis, begging for some fresh understanding of an ever more distant plight, MacArthur was the new Caesar. During the siege of Corregidor MacArthur’s dreams were so narrow that he had shamelessly inveigled a promise from Philippines president Quezon to rehire him as grand marshal once the war ended, with the same salary as before. Now he was preparing to take the Japanese surrender and to run the entire government of an ancient and mighty nation.
And yet. War is the business of killing. MacArthur has formed his own Philippines War Crimes Commission - “Note the choice of words, now-’commission,’ as in nonjudicial” - in order to hang Yamashita.
A commander’s responsibility is to
his men and to the civilian population - making war on
civilians is a war crime. See Crimes
of War Project: “The Crimes of War Project is a collaboration of journalists, lawyers
and scholars dedicated to raising public awareness of the laws of war and their
application to situations of conflict. Our goal is to promote understanding
of international humanitarian law among journalists, policymakers, and the
general public, in the belief that a wider knowledge of the legal framework
governing armed conflict will lead to greater pressure to prevent breaches
of the law, and to punish those who commit them.”
See also, Tim Kafala, “What is a war crime?” BBC News, 31 July 2003. “At the heart of the concept of war crimes is the idea that an individual can be held responsible for the actions of a country or that nation’s soldiers.” Yamashita, pushed deep into the hills, did not declare Manila an open city, which would have protected the population, but withdrew. There followed - on Tokyo’s order - the rape and sack of the city. Yamashita is to be hanged for dereliction of his duty. But, Marsh learns, he is being framed by MacArthur and the Imperial Family, who have had to reach an accommodation: MacArthur cannot act as Caesar without their cooperation; only he can protect them, in turn, from the War Crimes Tribunal. The peace is fragile. Without the Emperor, the people would resist the relatively few Americans in place, who are therefore also hostages. Yet, MacArthur, knowing well how to display power to the Japanese court, arrives in Tokyo unarmed and allows the imperial guard to ‘protect’ him.
MacArthur goes further, however, by deliberately shaming Yamashita, a man whose highest good is duty to his Emperor. Jay Marsh is shamed by “the fetid odor of unnecessary evil. Unnecessary, that was the reality that shamed me. The spoils of a just war, a war fought on behalf of tolerance and human decency, did not give anyone the right to murder a great man for reasons of political expedience and personal jealousy.”
Looking into his eyes I realized that no matter what he would say, inside his heart he knew that at some level he was wrong.
“It’s not easy for me to pass judgment on a defeated adversary, Captain Marsh. But rarely has so cruel and wanton a record been held up for public scrutiny.”
“I can’t imagine you’d say that if you’ve been reading the transcripts, General. You’re hanging the wrong man, sir. This is an emotional time, but all wars end emotionally. General Grant didn’t seek to hang General Lee after the Civil War just because he lost, did he?”
MacArthur bridled at that, his mouth tightening with disgust. “General Lee did not sanction the killing of innocents. Nor did he pillage and destroy an ancient Christian city.”
I took a deep breath, but said it anyway. “No, I guess we’d have to go to the rape of Georgia and the burning of Atlanta for that. But that was the Union Army, and General Sherman was on the winning side. So I guess we’re not supposed to mention it.”
I was trying to force his hand, to get him so angry that he’d be done with me, fire me and send me off. . . . But for some reason the supreme commander held back. A small, teasing smile crept onto his face. “An interesting point, but you realize you are treading on very thin ice, Captain! My father was a soldier in that march.”
“I well know that, sir. And I make no judgments, although I suppose he did feel some air of conciliation in marrying your mother, a daughter of the Confederacy?”
Marsh quotes MacArthur: “The protection
of the weak and the innocent are the most holy responsibilities
of a battlefield commander.” We still ask, Are leaders
responsible for the savagery of their men? We are met with
evasion. But the rape of Nanking The Rape of Nanking: An Undeniable History in Photographs tells
the story in words and more than 400 photographs of the
Japanese invasion of China and the sacking of its capital
city, Nanking, in 1937-38.
“Between December 1937 and March 1938 at least 369,366 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were slaughtered by the invading troops. An estimated 80,000 women and girls were raped; many of them were then mutilated or murdered.” and the rape of Manila The Sack of Manila “This account of the wholesale destruction of Manila and its people is based on affidavits of victims and eyewitnesses of Japanese atrocities. Their testimony was collected by U. S. forces which liberated Manila. The affidavits were contained in a report made to the War Department by the Commander-in-Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area.” were ordered by the Emperor’s uncles. “Rape” as a war crime is not (quite) touched in THE EMPEROR’S GENERAL: the cities were raped, women were raped as part of that raping. The torture and killing of all people, men, women, children, were equally awful in their methods and numbers. Who was responsible? The Japanese assignment of responsibility (to protect the Emperor and the royal blood) meant honor would be preserved. The general, a commoner, was sacrificed, on the justification that he did not know what his men were doing. This has happened in other wars, in other locations.
Afterward, Korea was a new kind of war, says Marsh in the epilogue, where MacArthur was the wrong general, and was filled with hybris, and was replaced. One is struck, nonetheless, by an honorable American tradition of generosity in defeat as exemplified by MacArthur in Japan. One thinks of Grant’s generosity toward Lee and his officers, or George Marshall’s plan to rebuild Europe. But the author has raised the question of the honor of the American forces by reminding us of Sherman’s march through Georgia. We may be aware that the sacking of cities is part of our military tradition; and we receive more information daily about a misguided and violent triumphalism that does not sit well with what we believe ourselves to be as a nation.
The U.S. Army has adopted what it calls a
war-fighting creed: “The Army’s ‘Warrior
Ethos’ is also illuminating
in this respect. It was introduced in 2001. At its core is
the Soldier’s Creed. Note that it enjoins the soldier
to have just the one type of interaction with his enemy -
‘to engage and destroy him’:
not defeat, which could permit a number of other
politically attuned options, but destroy.” Early
this year, an excerpt was published in the Washington
Post of a critical review of American forces by a British
senior military advisor, Army Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster.
I learned that Aylwin-Foster’s report was read carefully
in the military. Although the prominent retired general whose
opinion I asked was cautious in his reply, he did not dismiss
Aylwin-Foster’s judgment out of hand. The event at
which I asked this was a gathering of policy analysts, retired
foreign service and military people, journalists, and others.
When I pressed on, wondering what, then, will our country
do with these warfighters who come home having learned to destroy,
the only response was (I thought) helpless sadness. An excerpt
follows, with the original source linked afterward.
“Advice from an Ally: Get Past the Warrior Ethos,” Washington Post, Sunday, January 15, 2006; B03.
Last week, Post military correspondent Thomas E. Ricks reported on a sharp, provocative critique of the U.S. Army’s performance in Iraq written last year by a senior British military officer, Army Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who has extensive counterterrorism experience and has served in Iraq. Aylwin-Foster’s paper was published by a U.S. Army journal, Military Review. The Army chief of staff told colleagues last week that he plans to send it to every general in the Army. Here are edited excerpts:
. . . . Armies reflect the culture of the civil society from which they are drawn. According to [retired Army Col. Don] Snider [a West Point senior lecturer], the Army is characterized, like U.S. domestic society, by an aspiration to achieve quick results. This in turn engenders a command and planning climate that promotes those solutions that appear to favor quick results. In conventional warfighting situations this is likely to be advantageous, but in other operations it often tends to prolong the situation, ironically, as the quick solution turns out to be the wrong one. In COIN terms the most obvious example is the predilection for wide-ranging kinetic options (sweep, search and destroy) in preference to the longer term hearts and minds work and intelligence led operations.
Furthermore, a predilection with technology arguably encourages the search for the quick, convenient solution, often at the expense of the less obvious, but ultimately more enduring one.
The Army’s “Warrior Ethos” is also illuminating in this respect. It was introduced in 2001. At its core is the Soldier’s Creed. Note that it enjoins the soldier to have just the one type of interaction with his enemy -- “to engage and destroy him”: not defeat, which could permit a number of other politically attuned options, but destroy. It is very decidedly a war-fighting creed, which has no doubt served well to promote the much sought conventional warfighting ethos, but cannot be helping soldiers to understand that on many occasions in unconventional situations they have to be soldiers, not warriors.
As important, the Army needs to learn to see itself as others do, particularly its actual or potential opponents and their supporters. They are the ones who need to be persuaded to succumb, because the alternative approach is to kill or capture them all, and that hardly seems practicable, even for the most powerful Army in the world. [Emphasis added.]
See also the full article: Brig. Nigel Aylwin-Foster, “Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations,” Military Review, Nov.-Dec. 2005. Soberly, after the terrible revelations of kidnapping, torture, rape, and murder over the last several years by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, and elsewhere, one considers that U.S. forces, and possibly their commanders, including civilian commanders, may during this president’s unlimited “war on terror” be brought to face charges of war crimes.
Rape is also a war crime. This
is the entire post on Tuesday, July 11, 2006, by Riverbend, “Girl
Blog from Iraq… let’s talk war, politics and
occupation,” Baghdad Burning.
It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere.
The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60.
The horrific thing about the killings is that the area had been cut off for nearly two weeks by Ministry of Interior security forces and Americans. Last week, a car bomb was set off in front of a 'Sunni' mosque people in the area visit. The night before the massacre, a car bomb exploded in front of a Shia husseiniya in the same area. The next day was full of screaming and shooting and death for the people in the area. No one is quite sure why the Americans and the Ministry of Interior didn't respond immediately. They just sat by, on the outskirts of the area, and let the massacre happen.
At nearly 2 pm, we received some terrible news. We lost a good friend in the killings. T. was a 26-year-old civil engineer who worked with a group of friends in a consultancy bureau in Jadriya. The last time I saw him was a week ago. He had stopped by the house to tell us his sister was engaged and he'd brought along with him pictures of latest project he was working on- a half-collapsed school building outside of Baghdad.
He usually left the house at 7 am to avoid the morning traffic jams and the heat. Yesterday, he decided to stay at home because he'd promised his mother he would bring Abu Kamal by the house to fix the generator which had suddenly died on them the night before. His parents say that T. was making his way out of the area on foot when the attack occurred and he got two bullets to the head. His brother could only identify him by the blood-stained t-shirt he was wearing.
People are staying in their homes in the area and no one dares enter it so the wakes for the people who were massacred haven't begun yet. I haven't seen his family yet and I'm not sure I have the courage or the energy to give condolences. I feel like I've given the traditional words of condolences a thousand times these last few months, "Baqiya ib hayatkum… Akhir il ahzan…" or "May this be the last of your sorrows." Except they are empty words because even as we say them, we know that in today's Iraq any sorrow- no matter how great- will not be the last.
There was also an attack yesterday on Ghazaliya though we haven't heard what the casualties are. People are saying it's Sadr's militia, the Mahdi army, behind the killings. The news the world hears about Iraq and the situation in the country itself are wholly different. People are being driven out of their homes and areas by force and killed in the streets, and the Americans, Iranians and the Puppets talk of national conferences and progress.
It's like Baghdad is no longer one city, it's a dozen different smaller cities each infected with its own form of violence. It's gotten so that I dread sleeping because the morning always brings so much bad news. The television shows the images and the radio stations broadcast it. The newspapers show images of corpses and angry words jump out at you from their pages, "civil war… death… killing… bombing… rape…"
Rape. The latest of American atrocities. Though it's not really the latest- it's just the one that's being publicized the most. The poor girl Abeer was neither the first to be raped by American troops, nor will she be the last. The only reason this rape was brought to light and publicized is that her whole immediate family were killed along with her. Rape is a taboo subject in Iraq. Families don't report rapes here, they avenge them. We've been hearing whisperings about rapes in American-controlled prisons and during sieges of towns like Haditha and Samarra for the last three years. The naiveté of Americans who can't believe their 'heroes' are committing such atrocities is ridiculous. Who ever heard of an occupying army committing rape??? You raped the country, why not the people?
In the news they're estimating her age to be around 24, but Iraqis from the area say she was only 14. Fourteen. Imagine your 14-year-old sister or your 14-year-old daughter. Imagine her being gang-raped by a group of psychopaths and then the girl was killed and her body burned to cover up the rape. Finally, her parents and her five-year-old sister were also killed. Hail the American heroes... Raise your heads high supporters of the 'liberation' - your troops have made you proud today. I don't believe the troops should be tried in American courts. I believe they should be handed over to the people in the area and only then will justice be properly served. And our ass of a PM, Nouri Al-Maliki, is requesting an 'independent investigation', ensconced safely in his American guarded compound because it wasn't his daughter or sister who was raped, probably tortured and killed. His family is abroad safe from the hands of furious Iraqis and psychotic American troops.
It fills me with rage to hear about it and read about it. The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors. I look at them and wonder just how many innocents they killed and how many more they'll kill before they go home. How many more young Iraqi girls will they rape?
Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get? People are being killed in the streets and in their own homes- what's being done about it? Nothing. It's convenient for them- Iraqis can kill each other and they can sit by and watch the bloodshed- unless they want to join in with murder and rape.
Buses, planes and taxis leaving the country for Syria and Jordan are booked solid until the end of the summer. People are picking up and leaving en masse and most of them are planning to remain outside of the country. Life here has become unbearable because it's no longer a 'life' like people live abroad. It's simply a matter of survival, making it from one day to the next in one piece and coping with the loss of loved ones and friends- friends like T.
It's difficult to believe T. is really gone… I was checking my email today and I saw three unopened emails from him in my inbox. For one wild, heart-stopping moment I thought he was alive. T. was alive and it was all some horrific mistake! I let myself ride the wave of giddy disbelief for a few precious seconds before I came crashing down as my eyes caught the date on the emails- he had sent them the night before he was killed. One email was a collection of jokes, the other was an assortment of cat pictures, and the third was a poem in Arabic about Iraq under American occupation. He had highlighted a few lines describing the beauty of Baghdad in spite of the war… And while I always thought Baghdad was one of the more marvelous cities in the world, I'm finding it very difficult this moment to see any beauty in a city stained with the blood of T. and so many other innocents…
Webb uses romance as an allusion to MacArthur’s own intimate connection to the Philippines -part of his youth had been spent there while his father was Governor General - and as an opening into an intricate society that is macho, hierarchical and status-conscious, Christian, Creole Spanish more than Asian; where the Americans are soldiers or brusque businessmen who seldom take Filipinas as wives. In Manila, Jay Marsh falls in love with a young woman of good family, the Ramirez, who is called Divina Clara. Relations between Marsh and Divina Clara evoke (as the general recognizes before he does) the lost secret love between MacArthur and Consuelo Trani, a high-born Filipina whom he, for the sake of his career, would never marry; who appears only in shadow.
Webb is a romantic. No matter how long they have been separated, no matter how he has treated her (although always with, at bottom, honorable intentions), the woman will always love the man, as Consuelo Trani in her pride loves only MacArthur. Even Yoshiko, a beautiful (of course), skilled geisha whose services are provided him in Tokyo by Lord Kido, seems to love Marsh, as he believes, or wants to believe. He leaves her, too, but gallantly, erasing the shame that has attached to her for serving an American.
One can’t think the situation of these characters is fictional. MacArthur, Marsh notes, will not meet with women professionally, and as a husband, he is at best distant. This narrative, drawn from history, works only when the women are peripheral, no matter how well loved, and are abandoned. No woman of authority or power appears in this kind of story.
As for the beloved women: they recede from history; they live intra muros, behind walls. Yoshiko must be purified of her shame of having pleased an American. Divina Clara, whose trust Marsh betrays, must be immured after her sin of fornication. She is put away by her father into the strictest possible convent, the Discalced Capuchins. In the epilogue, thirty years afterward, Marsh meets her for the last time. She has become a nun who greets him in serenity - but yet allows him to understand that she has forgiven and never stopped loving him.
There is a long distance between “the most gifted man-at-arms this nation has produced” and a very junior captain who has no intention of making a career in the Army. At his own level, Marsh makes friends with a priest, Father Garvey, a man of some wit, much whisky, and moral theology. He, too, in suffering, renounces erotic love, for continued service to God. None of these males chooses the love of a woman over his manly calling: soldier, banker, priest. Indeed, given the inflexible codes they all follow, they have no choice. They might regret a lost love; but is it the woman herself they regret? What lesson is signified here? That such events are common, inevitable, and, in the end, and except privately, unimportant. Temptation can hardly be resisted, one must suppose.
Jay Marsh serves MacArthur, excited by the General’s regard, then grows alarmed at MacArthur’s ungoverned use of power, and finally recognizes that MacArthur has tempted and corrupted him, too, even as he has agreed to it. No matter how high the purpose, Marsh learns, the actual, necessary compromises grow shoddier, more utilitarian, pragmatic.
His final sell-out is banal. Naively thinking himself clever in easing out of MacArthur’s grasp, he is neatly countered by the General, who gets from Marsh everything he desires, including collusion in Yamashita’s death. Marsh’s reward: he is offered the chance of becoming an investment banker, “a very rich, and even a very powerful, man.”
I felt an odd freedom as I drove back to Manila in the sorrowing darkness. Not the freedom that comes from hope but rather a permanent sense of disentanglement, a knowledge that there was no remaining aspect in my life where I would ever again be required to confront the dangerous unknown of my untested innocence. It was undeniably liberating, knowing I had failed on so many levels and yet still survived. No, I thought, survival was not even strong enough a word. I had prevailed, despite consistently betraying my inner instincts. I had a bright future, and the only place I had reached for it was down. I was going to be rewarded with a plush life, a demigod named MacArthur’s compensation for betraying myself.
The novel, therefore, is picaresque also, a study of class: the warrior class and its implication with aristocracy; and the way a smart, lucky young man rises out of one class into another. Jay Marsh, born into a share-cropping family in the Ozarks, has come far, but will go farther. Offhandedly, MacArthur advises him not to accept the job in the family firm offered him by Divina Clara’s father; entering the household as a subordinate would decrease his prestige as an American in Manila, not to be accepted. The young man proves his mettle. Slyly, MacArthur then introduces him to the investment banker in whose service he will later rise, and for the sake of rising, lose his accent and learn the manners of his new station.
One must realize that whatever the
sentimental movies and the books, e-mails and blogs say
about how ordinary soldiers feel and what their mission
is, The National Endowment for
the Arts sponsors “Operation
a series of fifty writing workshops “conducted by distinguished American
writers” meant to guide returning service people in verbal and written
expression in order to “tell their story.”
Recently, the New Yorker (June 12 issue: “Dispatches from Iraq:
Soldiers’ Stories”) ran a well-considered selection of these writings.
Most of the writers were older, surprisingly.
Several authors have dissented from the government’s initiative, being suspicious of its propagandistic overtones. See Aleksander Hemon, “Operation Homeland Therapy”; Eleanor Wilner, “Poetry and the Pentagon: Unholy Alliance?,” with response by Marilyn Nelson. Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA, justified his program to Congress. the central truth is the power wielded in the inner rooms of the big men. A war is a contest of wills between a handful of aristocrats and rulers, and, as Lord Kido explains, when they want it to end, the war ends; not before.
Does Jay Marsh regret the life he would have had with Divina Clara? But could she have come with him? He has noted early the “unsuitability,” as it was considered, of MacArthur’s alliance with a Filipina, and takes the lesson to heart. He is relieved when MacArthur advises him not to join the Ramirez family. How quickly he accepts MacArthur’s introduction to Thorpe Thomas, the banker (“An uncontrollable thrill now shimmered through me. I was as breathless as the first time I had ever seen a naked woman. New York. Hong Kong. Japan. Singapore. And Manila as well! I knew vaguely what investment bankers did. They lived well, traveled to great places, and made millions of dollars”). Pornographic, that quickness. Having betrayed Divina Clara, he can’t yet reconcile himself to having done it. The temptation of wealth and the chance to make it among his own kind is too great to pass up.
One can suppose from Jay Marsh’s retrospective satisfaction that Webb’s portrait of youthful corruption is meant, finally, to be ironic - although moral outrage, not irony, is his authorial temper - as well as instructive, a lesson in history from below that any gifted young man can take as he finds it. Or, is it not chagrin, the wormwood-tinctured flavor of the compromised way we - some few of us - live now.
And it became a good life, prosperous, challenging, rewarding not only to myself but to those who trusted me. In joining the Bergson-Forbes Group I had found the perfect venue for my gift of diplomacy and my instinct for intricate negotiation. I quickly became respected for my judgment, relied upon for my vision of East Asia’s future, and, not incidentally, rich.
And as my career ascended ever upward, I often looked back at that crucial moment in the supreme commander’s office that so unalterably changed the direction of my life. I had faced MacArthur wanting only my freedom and my future with Divina Clara. I had left his office doomed on both counts but launched toward semigreatness. With every success I would secretly ask myself where I might have been if I had acted differently. But the answer, inevitably, was that my very speculation was moot. For I would not have acted differently. . . .
How sweet is the siren of seduction, and how empty are the promises of virgins who know their time has come. To have escaped MacArthur only with the right to forever denounce his actions would have been a hollow, Pyrrhic victory. What indeed would my dignity have purchased? And when all was said and done, how could I think ill of the man who so generously rewarded my service to him by handing me over like a baton to the likes of Thorpe Thomas? . . . MacArthur had opened the door, ushering me from one secret room to another.
There was a political rally downtown, in Lee Park, a green space named for the general revered in Virginia. Democratic candidates from around the state lined up in a show of unity under the banner of Jim Webb, our nominee for Senator, who is running against the morally weak and shallow incumbent, George Allen. Al Weed, who is our district’s choice for Congress against the odious incumbent Virgil Goode, was there, as were candidates from six other districts, and the man who had been Webb’s opponent in the primary and now stood with him, graceful in his losing. I met the state party chairman and greeted the finance director, whom I knew. I said hello to Al Weed, an intense, smart, forward-looking man with a military haircut, whose press handouts call him “farmer, soldier, statesman.” I know enough about him to agree with that. I studied Webb, who looked modest and watchful. He hardly smiled, not currying favor with the decent people who had come out to cheer, and spoke soberly and accurately about how we have to change the distribution of power in Washington. He wore a respectable suit and scuffed tan suede boots, that are said to be his son’s boots. His son, like Al Weed’s son, is serving in Iraq. Maj. Al Weed III is a combat surgeon in Iraq. His father, the candidate, served in the Army reserves, retiring as sergeant-major after forty-two years of service, from Vietnam to Bosnia. Maj. Weed was seen recently in a documentary film, “Baghdad E.R.” Baghdad E.R.: Review, Weekly Standard and Ron Steinman, Digital Journalist. As was “Operation Homeland” (previous note), “Baghdad E.R.” was criticized, but from the opposite side. When the film was shown in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian, a number of higher-ranking officers who had been expected, did not appear. See “Army Officials Won’t Attend Screening of HBO Documentary on Baghdad Hospital,” New York Times, May 12, 2006 . See also, Al Weed and Jim Webb.
Two combat veterans, Weed and Webb, with sons carrying on from where they left off; sons as hostages. The candidate fathers are harshly critical of the President’s war, although they do not agree with each other in all respects about how to draw down the Occupation.
We don’t want to study war no more.
How will we agree to let ourselves be governed: as a republic, or as an empire? It may already be too late to decide, but it seemed to me an American kind of optimism rose in Lee Park, our idiot version of ‘innocence,’ so dangerous in the world, yet containing hope, or the memories of hope, in the goodness of our principles.
The moral question is not, who will prevail, but whose children will be allowed to live?
A note: When James Webb was Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, Lee Goerner, my husband, and I watched him on the old McNeil-Lehrer News Hour. Lee, not a demonstrative man, used to pace when Webb came on; he didn’t like him, he thought him contentious. (I didn’t see that as a drawback. Webb was arguing for his version of the Navy and resigned when his argument was not accepted.) I wonder if Lee, who was then an editor at Knopf, had seen the manuscript of FIELDS OF FIRE; he was not its publisher. He wouldn’t have answered, if I had thought to ask. He had edited DISPATCHES (Gloria Emerson, the late war reporter, told me this after Lee died) and the book had made him as an editor. He was so angry at the war, in which he was not healthy enough to have served. He considered himself a middle-of-the-road man and Democrat. He did not do well in the surge of turbo-capitalism after 1989.
Books, Authors, Media:
Baghdad E.R., Jon Alpert and Matt O’Neill, directors; Lee Grant, Executive Producer; Joseph Fuery, Producer
Daniel Ellsberg, SECRETS: A MEMOIR OF VIETNAM AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS (Penguin Books, 2003)
David Halberstam, THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST, new edition, Foreword Sen. John S. McCain (Modern Library, 2001)
Michael Herr, DISPATCHES (Knopf, 1977)
Seymour Hersh, CHAIN OF COMMAND: THE ROAD FROM 9/11 TO ABU GHRAIB (p.b. Harper Perennial, 2005); and seven other books
THE PENTAGON PAPERS, Mike Gravel Edition; Introduction by Sen. Mike Gravel LINKthis issue (Beacon Press, 1971)
Neil Sheehan, A BRIGHT SHINING LIE, John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam (Random House, 1988; Vintage p.b. 1989)
James Webb, THE EMPEROR’S GENERAL (Bantam Books, 2000)
_______ , FIELDS OF FIRE (Bantam Books, 1982); and eight others
William Manchester, AMERICAN CAESAR: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 ( Little, Brown, 1978; p.b., various)
At Our Own Risk, Vol. 9
In the Fortified City , Vol. 8 No. 4
Some Notes on the Election, and Afterward, Vol. 8 No. 3
A World That Begins in Art, Vol. 8, No. 2
Incoming, Vol. 8, No. 1
The Only God Is the God of War, Vol. 7, No. 3.
Where Are the Weapons?, Vol. 7, No. 2.
Patriotism and the Right of Free Speech in Wartime, Vol. 7, No. 1.
A Year in Washington, Vol. 6, Nos. 3/4
Lies, Damn Lies, Vol. 6, No. 2
The Colossus, Vol. 6, No. 1
The Bear, Vol. 5 No. 4
Sasha Choi Goes Home, Vol. 5, No. 3
Sasha Choi in America,Vol. 5, No. 1
A Local Habitation and A Name, Vol. 5, No. 1
The Blank Page, Vol. 4, No. 4
The Poem of the Grand Inquisitor, Vol. 4, No. 3
On the Marionette Theater, Vol. 4, Nos. 1/2
The Double, Vol. 3, No. 4
Folly, Love, St. Augustine, Vol. 3, No. 3
On Memory, Vol. 3, No. 2
Passion, Vol. 3, No. 1
A Flea, Vol. 2, No. 4
On Love, Vol. 2, No. 3
Fantastic Design, with Nooses, Vol. 2, No. 1
Kundera’s Music Teacher, Vol. 1, No. 4
The Devil’s Dictionary; Economics for Poets, Vol. 1, No. 3
Hecuba in New York; Déformation Professionnelle, Vol. 1, No. 2
Art, Capitalist Relations, and Publishing on the Web, Vol. 1, No.
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