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FTR #584 Rewriting History

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MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
REALAUDIO [3]

Intro­duc­tion: In Mein Kampf [4] (his auto­bi­og­ra­phy and polit­i­cal man­i­festo), Adolph Hitler spoke of the big lie: “Most peo­ple tell lit­tle lies. They would be ashamed to tell big ones. They would nev­er cred­it oth­ers with such great impu­dence as the com­plete rever­sal of facts. Even expla­na­tions would long leave them in doubt and hes­i­ta­tion, as any tri­fling detail would dis­pose them to accept a thing as true. All good liars know this and, there­fore, stop at noth­ing to achieve this end.”

This pro­gram treats the sub­ject of the big lie in the spe­cif­ic con­text of rewrit­ing his­to­ry. Begin­ning with the mythol­o­gy sur­round­ing Notre Foot­ball star George Gipp and Ronald Rea­gan, the actor-turned-politi­cian who played him in the movies, the broad­cast deals with his­tor­i­cal lies that are accept­ed as truth, truths that are the tar­get of pow­er­ful inter­ests that seek to under­mine their cred­i­bil­i­ty, and the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of his­to­ry to jus­ti­fy a fas­cist polit­i­cal agen­da. At a Holo­caust denial con­fer­ence in Iran, an assort­ment of inter­na­tion­al fas­cists con­vened to dis­sem­i­nate their view that the Holo­caust nev­er hap­pened. Over­shad­owed by the pres­ence at the con­fer­ence of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a group of close advis­ers to Iran­ian pres­i­dent Ahmadine­jad has been net­work­ing with Euro­pean neo-Nazis. Con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry in gen­er­al and the so-called 9/11 “Truth” move­ment in par­tic­u­lar have proved to be fer­tile ground for his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ists. (Par­en­thet­i­cal­ly, it should be not­ed that when some­one real­izes that much of our his­to­ry has been fal­si­fied, it can leave them in an intel­lec­tu­al­ly rel­a­tivis­tic state. “Well, if Oswald DIDN’T kill Kennedy, maybe the Holo­caust nev­er hap­pened.”) The pro­gram notes that a pop­u­lar 9/11 book, The War on Free­dom [5], presents the view that the world is run by a Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy, that Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt delib­er­ate­ly allowed the Pearl Har­bor attack to take place, that Roo­sevelt was respon­si­ble for start­ing World War II, that Abra­ham Lin­coln was a war crim­i­nal, that Abra­ham Lin­coln was respon­si­ble for start­ing the Civ­il War and that the war-mak­ing pow­ers belong to the states. This last con­tention is the ide­o­log­i­cal tenet of the Posse Comi­ta­tus, one of the most vir­u­lent ele­ments of the white suprema­cist move­ment, now pre­sent­ed uncrit­i­cal­ly to the so-called 9/11 “Truth Move­ment.” Con­clud­ing with dis­cus­sion of the Rape of Nanking in World War II, the pro­gram high­lights a forth­com­ing Japan­ese film that denies that the mas­sacre took place. Dis­cussing the actu­al mas­sacre, the broad­cast points out that the event was the gen­e­sis of the all-impor­tant Gold­en Lily pro­gram, which loot­ed the liq­uid wealth of Asia and put it under Japan­ese and con­trol. That stolen wealth became the foun­da­tion for Japan’s post­war eco­nom­ic suc­cess, as well as a prin­ci­pal ele­ment in the post­war glob­al car­tel sys­tem.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Japan­ese right­ists’ cir­cu­la­tion of the “FDR start­ed World War II” myth; Ger­man pub­lish­ing giant Bertelsmann’s use of a house his­to­ri­an who also sub­scribes to the “FDR start­ed the war” myth; Japan­ese Prince Asaka’s direc­tion of the Rape of Nanking.

1. The pro­gram begins with review of infor­ma­tion from FTR#304 [6], high­light­ing the preser­va­tion of an illu­sion cen­tral to the sport­ing and polit­i­cal worlds. Author Dan Mold­ea illus­trates the con­trast between the Hol­ly­wood leg­end of foot­ball and the real­i­ty of the game by ana­lyz­ing Ronald Reagan’s role as Notre Dame star George Gipp in the movie Knute Rockne: All Amer­i­can [7]. This role pro­vid­ed Rea­gan with his polit­i­cal per­sona of “the Gipp­per.” (This was Gipp’s nick­name and was the cen­ter­piece of an ongo­ing myth about the play­er and Rockne. Rockne was a cel­e­brat­ed foot­ball coach at Notre Dame and was played by actor Pat O’Brien in the movie.) Gipp, dying of pneu­mo­nia, sup­pos­ed­ly gave Rockne a deathbed request: “His [Gipp’s] pur­port­ed deathbed request to Rockne, ‘Win just one for the Gip­per,’ was used dur­ing a lock­er room pep talk and helped to inspire Rockne’s 1928 team in its upset vic­to­ry against Army. And, as the Gip­per incar­nate, Rea­gan used the line to inspire vot­ers to elect him to the Cal­i­for­nia governor’s man­sion and lat­er the White House. To those who saw the movie and lis­tened to Rea­gan utter those now-famous words, Gipp epit­o­mized the virtues of good char­ac­ter, sports­man­ship, and ‘the right way of liv­ing.’ His­to­ry, how­ev­er, now shows that Gipp, a man of tru­ly ques­tion­able moral val­ues, prob­a­bly nev­er made any such request on or off his deathbed; that Rockne, who was known for grasp­ing at any­thing to incite his play­ers, had fab­ri­cat­ed the inci­dent and that Reagan’s movie fur­ther embell­ished the Gipp/Rockne cha­rade. . . . Regard­less of the facts, the Amer­i­can pub­lic con­tin­ues to believe the leg­end of George Gipp’s deathbed request to Knute Rockne. The dif­fi­cul­ties in debunk­ing the myth about one col­lege coach and one of his play­ers is an indi­ca­tion of the prob­lems in dis­pelling the leg­ends about an entire insti­tu­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly one as pop­u­lar as foot­ball. Pow­er­ful forces in Amer­i­ca have built empires around these myths; and the preser­va­tion of these empires and the per­son­al wealth of those who own them depend upon the main­te­nance of the leg­ends. In the Rea­gan movie myth of the lives of Rockne and Gipp, there is one scene in which Rockne chas­es away a gam­bler who is look­ing for an edge. Rockne, played by actor Pat O’Brien, tells him, ‘We haven’t got any use for gam­blers around here. You’ve done your best to ruin base­ball and horse rac­ing. This is one game that’s clean and it’s going to stay clean.’ Con­sid­er­ing that Gipp, with the knowl­edge of Rockne, was a noto­ri­ous sports gam­bler, the O’Brien quote per­haps best illus­trates my point. To a large degree, the Nation­al Foot­ball League (the NFL) has become the embod­i­ment of the Gipp/Rockne myth. It has wrapped itself around the Amer­i­can flag and strut­ted into America’s homes to the thrilling stir of brass and per­cus­sion music as the chore­og­ra­phy of bone-crush­ing tack­les in dra­mat­ic slow motion flash­es across the nation’s tele­vi­sion screens. Based upon the illu­sion, the country’s love affair with pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball has giv­en sports fans con­fi­dence that the NFL is an insti­tu­tion unen­cum­bered by cor­rup­tion.”
(Inter­fer­ence: How Orga­nized Crime Influ­ences Pro­fes­sion­al Foot­ball; Dan Mold­ea; copy­right 1989 by William Mor­row and Com­pa­ny [HC]; ISBN 0–688-08303‑X; pp.19–20.) [8]

2. Mold­ea lat­er points out that, when being chas­tised by Rockne for being unmo­ti­vat­ed, Gipp explained that he had $500.00 bet on the game and was, as a result, very moti­vat­ed. (Ibid.; p. 437.)

3. Seek­ing to rewrite the his­to­ry of the Sec­ond World War, Iran host­ed a well-pub­li­cized Holo­caust Denial con­fer­ence. Nev­er one to be ret­i­cent, Iran­ian pres­i­dent Ahmadine­jad used the occa­sion to reit­er­ate his call for Israel to be wiped out. “Iran’s hard-line pres­i­dent said Tues­day that Israel will one day be ‘wiped out’ as the Sovi­et Union was, draw­ing applause from par­tic­i­pants in a con­fer­ence cast­ing doubt on the Holo­caust. Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadinejad’s com­ments are like­ly to fur­ther fuel the out­cry prompt­ed by the two-day gath­er­ing, which has gath­ered some of Europe’s and the Unit­ed States’ best-known Holo­caust deniers. Anger over the con­fer­ence could fur­ther iso­late Iran as the West con­sid­ers sanc­tions in the stand­off over Tehran’s nuclear pro­gram. But Ahmadine­jad appeared to rev­el in his meet­ing Tues­day with con­fer­ence del­e­gates, shak­ing hands with Amer­i­can par­tic­i­pants and sit­ting near six anti-Israel Jew­ish par­tic­i­pants dressed in black ultra-Ortho­dox coats and hats. ‘The Zion­ist regime will be wiped out soon the same the Sovi­et Union was, and human­i­ty will achieve free­dom,’ Ahmadine­jad said dur­ing Tuesday’s meet­ing in his offices, accord­ing to the offi­cial IRNA news agency. . . . Ahmadine­jad has used anti-Israeli rhetoric and cast doubt on the Holo­caust to ral­ly anti-West­ern sup­port­ers at home and abroad, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Asia and the Mid­dle East. Sev­er­al times he has referred to the Holo­caust as a ‘myth’ used to impose the state of Israel on the Arab world. . . .”
(“Iran’s Leader Pre­dicts the Extinc­tion of Israel” via AP; 12/12/2006; p. A19.) [9]

4. Among those in atten­dance were for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Robert Fau­ris­son, a French neo-fas­cist, whom Amer­i­can polit­i­cal lumi­nary Noam Chom­sky has cham­pi­oned in the past. “Iran held a gath­er­ing that includ­ed Holo­caust deniers, dis­cred­it­ed schol­ars from around the world Mon­day under the guise of a con­fer­ence to ‘debate’ the Nazi slaugh­ter of 6 mil­lion Jews. Among those rep­re­sent­ing the Unit­ed States was for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, whose pre­pared remarks, issued by the Iran­ian For­eign Min­istry, said the gas cham­bers in which mil­lions per­ished actu­al­ly did not exist. Robert Fau­ris­son, an aca­d­e­m­ic from France, said in his speech that the Holo­caust was a myth cre­at­ed to jus­ti­fy the occu­pa­tion of Pales­tine, mean­ing the cre­ation of Israel. . . . In anoth­er devel­op­ment Mon­day, Iran­ian stu­dents staged a rare demon­stra­tion against Ahmadine­jad, light­ing a fire­crack­er and burn­ing his pho­to­graph as he deliv­ered a speech at their uni­ver­si­ty, the state news agency report­ed. Ahmadine­jad respond­ed calm­ly when a small group of stu­dents in a crowd­ed hall at Amir Kabir Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty start­ed chant­i­ng ‘Death to the dic­ta­tor,’ The Islam­ic Repub­lic News Agency report­ed. One held up a poster that read: ‘Fas­cist pres­i­dent, the Poly­tech­nic is not a place for you.’”
(“World’s Holo­caust Cyn­ics Get their Chance to Vent” by Nazi­la Fathi [New York Times]; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 12/12/2007; p. A19.) [10]

5. Con­clud­ing the top­ic of Iran’s spon­sor­ship of a Holo­caust denial con­fer­ence, the pro­gram notes that the event was orga­nized by a group of Ahmadinejad’s advis­ers who are form­ing links with neo-Nazi groups in Europe! In this con­text, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that the Iran­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist regime has long had con­texts with Nazis—so-called “neo”-Nazis and mem­bers of the old guard. Bank Al Taqwa direc­tor Achmed Huber has been very close to the regime in Tehran and the Aya­tol­lah Khomeini’s exile in France was paid for by Fran­cois Genoud. Huber has also served as a liai­son per­son coor­di­nat­ing the activ­i­ties of Islam­ic fas­cists and both Amer­i­can and Euro­pean neo-Nazis. (For more about Huber, Iran, Genoud and the neo-Nazi con­nec­tions, see FTR#’s 343 [11], 352 [12], 354 [13], 456 [14], 499 [15].) “Iran’s so-called Holo­caust con­fer­ence this week was billed as a chance to force the West to recon­sid­er the his­tor­i­cal legit­i­ma­cy of Israel. But why would the Ira­ni­ans invite speak­ers with so lit­tle cred­i­bil­i­ty in the West, includ­ing a for­mer Ku Klux Klan grand wiz­ard and dis­graced Euro­pean schol­ars? That ques­tion miss­es the point. Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad por­trays such con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants as David Duke, the for­mer Klan leader, and Robert Fau­ris­son of France, who has devot­ed his life to try­ing to prove that Nazi gas cham­bers were a myth, as silenced truth-tellers whose sto­ries expose West­ern lead­ers as the hyp­ocrites he con­sid­ers them to be. . . .The two-day meet­ing includ­ed no attempt to come to terms with the nature of the well-doc­u­ment­ed Nazi slaugh­ter, offer­ing only a plat­form to those pur­su­ing the fan­ta­sy that it nev­er hap­pened. In addi­tion the orga­niz­ers of the con­fer­ence, a small cir­cle around the pres­i­dent, have been build­ing ties with neo-Nazi groups in Europe. . . . [Empha­sis added.]”
(“Iran Leader Uses Con­fer­ence on Holo­caust to Push Agen­da” by Michael Slack­man [New York Times]; The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 12/14/2006; p. A28.) [16]

6. The flaki­er ele­ments of the 9/11 “Truth Move­ment” have asso­ci­at­ed them­selves with fas­cist revi­sion­ism. Among the reac­tionar­ies pre­sent­ing a revi­sion­ist view of his­to­ry in con­junc­tion with 9/11 is Andreas Von Buelow, who attrib­ut­es 9/11 [and just about every­thing else] to—you guessed it—the Jews. Von Buelow’s com­ments and a ver­i­ta­ble Moth­er­lode of fas­cist revi­sion­ism is con­tained in the “Back­word” of The War on Free­dom, a pop­u­lar book about 9/11. “Von Buelow told AFP [The Amer­i­can Free Press, an Amer­i­can neo-Nazi pub­li­ca­tion] that he believes that the Israeli intel­li­gence ser­vice, Mossad, is behind the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks . . . The BND (Ger­man secret ser­vice) is steered by the CIA and the CIA is steered by the Mossad. . . .”
(The War on Free­dom; Nafeez Mossad­eq Ahmed; Copy­right 2002 by Nafeez Mossad­eq Ahmed; Tree of Life Pub­li­ca­tions [SC]; ISBN 0–930852-40–0; p. 366.) [17]

7. Anoth­er stun­ning exam­ple of 9/11-con­nect­ed revi­sion­ism in The War on Free­dom is the asser­tion that Abra­ham Lin­coln was an impe­r­i­al war­mon­ger, that he was respon­si­ble for vic­tim­iz­ing the Con­fed­er­a­cy dur­ing the Civ­il War, and that the war-mak­ing pow­ers belong to the states! This agen­da is that of the Posse Comi­ta­tus, one of the most extreme ele­ments in the white-suprema­cist move­ment. “The war pow­ers have been usurped and abused by the White House at least since the 1840’s. A new book sharply assails the total­i­tar­i­an basis of our mod­ern Union, as laid by Abra­ham Lin­coln, over the rub­ble of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. ‘Lin­coln lust­ed after Empire. The jug­ger­naut he put in place exter­mi­nat­ed the Plains Indi­ans with the same feroc­i­ty with which South­ern towns and cities were sacked and pil­laged.’ The Indi­ans are in Pales­tine now—evicted into camps, demo­nized, and mas­sa­cred in ille­gal wars. The Con­sti­tu­tion grants all pow­ers not del­e­gat­ed else­where to the States; and del­e­ga­tion of pow­ers is not their aban­don­ment or abuse. Thus, the war pow­ers right­ful­ly revert back to the indi­vid­ual states, and need to be devolved to them, to make such mutu­al defense agree­ments as they deem fit. . . . Yet our states still have the right to secede. DiLoren­zo writes that Lin­coln and his gen­er­als should ‘have been hanged as war crim­i­nals under the Gene­va Con­ven­tion of 1863.’ In our time, complicity—whether indi­rect or direct—in the Pearl Har­bor and WTC attacks is also a trea­son­able crime against human­i­ty, which should be pros­e­cut­ed.” (Ibid.; pp. 377–378.)

8. Anoth­er piece of fas­cist his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism that The War on Free­dom mar­kets to the 9/11 “Truth” com­mu­ni­ty is the canard that Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt delib­er­ate­ly let the Pearl Har­bor attack pro­ceed unim­ped­ed. This is a read­i­ly ver­i­fi­able lie that belongs in the same cat­e­go­ry as Holo­caust denial. In point of fact, the Unit­ed States’ armed forces in the Pacif­ic the­ater were on a war alert from late Novem­ber of 1941 on. Hav­ing bro­ken the Japan­ese [diplo­mat­ic] Pur­ple Code and know­ing that Japan­ese diplo­mats were instruct­ed to break off their peace nego­ti­a­tions on Decem­ber 7 and burn their cables, the War Depart­ment con­clud­ed that the Japan­ese were going to attack. At the same time, Naval Intel­li­gence not­ed that the radio sig­na­tures of the Japan­ese air­craft car­ri­ers had gone silent. From this, they con­clud­ed that the Japan­ese were going to launch an attack from a car­ri­er task force. Admi­ral Hus­band Kim­mel was warned to pre­pare for an attack. He failed to alert the defens­es on Oahu when the U.S.S. Ward engaged and sank an ene­my sub­ma­rine attempt­ing to enter Pearl Har­bor on the morn­ing of 12/7/1941, and the rest is his­to­ry. “Let’s move along to Pearl Har­bor, on Hawaii (annexed, like Cal­i­for­nia, in a sub­ver­sive putsch, turn­ing the Pacif­ic into an Amer­i­can lake). Declas­si­fied files recent­ly revealed that FDR was even more cun­ning than the ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists’ believed. He not only let the Japan­ese attack Pearl Harbor—he first exe­cut­ed an 8‑point plan to pro­voke and lure them, ensur­ing that they saw no alter­na­tive oth­er than to attack. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 336.)

9. Pin­ning the blame for World War II and Pearl Har­bor on Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt (and exon­er­at­ing the Japan­ese in the process) is as fun­da­men­tal per­ver­sion of his­to­ry as is pos­si­ble. In fact, Roo­sevelt stood large­ly alone in attempt­ing to cut off the sup­plies of oil (and scrap met­al), which Amer­i­cans pro­vid­ed to the Japan­ese. Using these sup­plies, the Japan­ese had waged a sav­age war of aggres­sion for more than a decade. Among the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by Japan­ese armies was the Rape of Nanking, dis­cussed below. It should be remem­bered that the Japan­ese oli­garchs and mil­i­tarists were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of vast amounts of invest­ment cap­i­tal chan­neled their way by pow­er­ful Amer­i­can indus­tri­al­ists and financiers. In addi­tion to the fact that suc­cess­ful Japan­ese con­quest brought these investors greater chance of real­iz­ing prof­its on their cap­i­tal invest­ment, influ­en­tial mem­bers of the Amer­i­can pow­er elite were sup­port­ive of the Japan­ese war of aggres­sion because the armies of the Ris­ing Sun were seen as a bul­wark against the spread of Sovi­et and Chi­nese com­mu­nism. For more about the sub­ject of U.S. cap­i­tal invest­ment in Japan, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#426 [18], as well as Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M26 [19], avail­able from SPITFIRE.

10. The house his­to­ri­an for Ber­tels­mann also blames World War II on Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt. Ber­tels­mann is the Ger­man media firm that dom­i­nates Eng­lish lan­guage pub­lish­ing. For more about Ber­tels­mann, see the series of pro­grams pro­duced about Ger­man Cor­po­rate Con­trol of Amer­i­can Pub­lish­ing. “ . . . His book Roosevelt’s Way to War (Roosevelt’s Weg zum Krieg [20]) was pub­lished in 1983. Rewrit­ing his­to­ry, he stat­ed that Roo­sevelt, not Hitler had caused World War II. He also wrote that Amer­i­can Jews con­trolled most of the media,’ and he claimed they gave a false pic­ture of Hitler. Did the book impress [Heinrich’s son Rein­hard] Mohn, then the major­i­ty share­hold­er of Ber­tels­mann? The firm hired Baven­damm as its house his­to­ri­an, and in 1984 he com­plet­ed a his­tor­i­cal study, 150 Years of Ber­tels­mann: The Founders and Their Time—with a fore­word by Mohn. A year lat­er, Baven­damm edit­ed the firm’s offi­cial his­to­ry, which set forth the untrue sto­ry that the firm had resist­ed the Nazis and had been closed down by them. Mohn also asked Baven­damm to write the autho­rized his­to­ry of the Mohn fam­i­ly, pub­lished in 1986 under the title Ber­tels­mann, Mohn, Scip­pel: Three Families—One Com­pa­ny. In a sec­ond book, Roosevelt’s War (pub­lished in 1993, reis­sued in 1998), Baven­damm accus­es the U.S. Pres­i­dent of enact­ing a plan to start World War II. In the same book he sug­gests that Hitler’s threats in ear­ly 1939 against Euro­pean Jew­ry were a reac­tion to Roosevelt’s strat­e­gy against Ger­many. After the rev­e­la­tions about Bertelsmann’s Nazi past appeared, the com­pa­ny announced that it had asked ‘the his­to­ri­an and pub­li­cist Dr. Dirk Baven­damm to look at the new infor­ma­tion and begin to rein­ves­ti­gate the role the pub­lish­ing house played in those days’ and defend­ed his work. . . .”
(“Bertelsmann’s Revi­sion­ist” by Her­sch Fis­chler and John Fried­man; The Nation; 11/8/99; p. 1.) [21]

11. Blam­ing World War II on Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt and alleg­ing that he delib­er­ate­ly allowed the attack on Pearl Har­bor to take place is com­mon among Japan­ese right­ists. “Yasuku­ni shrine offi­cials have agreed to delete a con­tro­ver­sial exhib­it and dis­cuss fur­ther changes to the shrine’s mil­i­tary muse­um, crit­i­cized by many for gloss­ing over Japan’s wartime his­to­ry. Offi­cials from the shrine will meet a lead­ing con­ser­v­a­tive his­to­ri­an today to dis­cuss the alter­na­tions. These are like­ly to focus on exhibits that accuse the US of delib­er­ate­ly forc­ing Japan into the Sec­ond World War, but are unlike­ly to address more con­tentious dis­plays relat­ing to the Japan­ese inva­sion of Chi­na and South­east Asia. How­ev­er, agree­ment to make changes would show that Yasuku­ni, which has become a flash­point in Japan’s rela­tions with Asia, is sen­si­tive to out­side pres­sure even though it is a pri­vate reli­gious orga­ni­za­tion. The muse­um, which was ren­o­vat­ed in 2002 to reflect what many con­sid­er a revi­sion­ist view of Japan­ese his­to­ry, is adja­cent to the shrine, which hon­ors Japan’s war dead, includ­ing a hand­ful of con­vict­ed war crim­i­nals. Hisahiko Okaza­ki, a right-wing polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor, said muse­um staff and an advi­so­ry his­to­ri­an from Japan’s self-defense force had agreed to meet him to dis­cuss poten­tial changes. The meet­ing fol­lows a col­umn in yesterday’s Sankei news­pa­per, in which Mr. Okaza­ki called for the removal of an exhib­it accus­ing Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, the for­mer US pres­i­dent, of engi­neer­ing a war with Japan to strength­en the US econ­o­my. The exhib­it says the plan to force Japan into war fol­lowed the fail­ure of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Mr. Okaza­ki said the shrine had agreed yes­ter­day to delete that ref­er­ence . . . . [Empha­sis added.]”
(“Japan to Remove Exhib­it from War Muse­um” by David Pilling; Finan­cial Times; 8/25/2006; p. 2.) [21]

12. Turn­ing to the sub­ject of Japan­ese his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism, the pro­gram sets forth the grow­ing ten­den­cy in that coun­try to revise his­to­ry in a man­ner favor­able to the mem­o­ry of its fas­cist and impe­ri­al­ist past. (For more about this, see FTR#’s 296 [22], 581 [23]. Japan­ese his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism also embraces the notion that the Rape of Nanking nev­er occurred. [The Rape of Nanking was one of many Japan­ese atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted dur­ing World War II. The late Iris Chang memo­ri­al­ized the slaugh­ter. Ms. Chang’s strange death is dis­cussed in FTR#509 [24].] “When Japan­ese troops con­quered the then-cap­i­tal of Chi­na in 1937, his­to­ri­ans agree they slaugh­tered tens of thou­sands of civil­ians in an orgy of vio­lence known since then as the Rape of Nanking. A Japan­ese nation­al­ist film­mak­er announced on Wednes­day he is work­ing on a doc­u­men­tary with a very dif­fer­ent mes­sage: the mas­sacre nev­er hap­pened. The film, to be called ‘The Truth about Nanking’ and com­plet­ed in August, will be based on tes­ti­mo­ny from Japan­ese vet­er­ans, archival footage and doc­u­ments that pro­po­nents say prove accounts of the killing are noth­ing more than Chi­nese pro­pa­gan­da. ‘This will be our first effort to cor­rect the errors of his­to­ry through a film,’ direc­tor Satoru Mizushi­ma said at a Tokyo hotel, joined by a group of con­ser­v­a­tive law­mak­ers and aca­d­e­mics who sup­port the project. Mizushi­ma, pres­i­dent of a rightwing Inter­net broad­cast­er ‘Chan­nel Saku­ra,’ said he hoped to enter the film in inter­na­tion­al fes­ti­vals late in the year. He is aim­ing to raise about 300 mil­lion yen (US$2.47 mil­lion; €1.89 mil­lion) for the effort. The film is part of a gath­er­ing wave in Japan of ‘mas­sacre denial’ projects, most­ly books, that attempt to debunk a slaugh­ter that his­to­ri­ans say killed at least 150,000 civil­ians. Chi­na says the death toll was as many as 300,000. The film was cer­tain to rile audi­ences in Chi­na, and oppo­nents say it would only cause embar­rass­ment for Japan.”
(“Japan­ese Direc­tor Announces Pro­duc­tion of Nan­jing Film to Deny Mas­sacre” [AP]; The Inter­na­tion­al Her­ald Tri­bune; 1/24/2007.) [25]

13. “‘They say the film will trans­mit the truth about Nanking, but they will be only spread­ing shame for Japan,’ said Shinichi­ro Kuma­gai, a civ­il activist study­ing the mas­sacre in Nan­jing — the cur­rent name of the city — and sup­port­ing Chi­nese war vic­tims. ‘The move only reveals their inabil­i­ty to face Japan’s wartime past by look­ing the oth­er way,’ Kuma­gai said. The film is based on the work of Japan­ese his­to­ri­an Shu­do Higashinakano, whose work includ­ed two books in the late 1990s claim­ing the mas­sacre was a hoax. A Chi­nese court last year award­ed a Nan­jing Mas­sacre sur­vivor 1.6 mil­lion yuan (US$200,000; €156,100) in com­pen­sa­tion after rul­ing against Higashinakano and anoth­er his­to­ri­an for claim­ing she fab­ri­cat­ed her account of the atroc­i­ty. The mas­sacre, brought to a world­wide audi­ence in Eng­lish by Iris Chang’s book, The Rape of Nanking: The For­got­ten Holo­caust of World War II [26], is wide­ly seen as a grue­some sym­bol of Japan’s bloody con­quest of East Asia in most of the first half of the 1900s. The mas­sacre is a cause cele­bre of Japan’s increas­ing­ly active nation­al­ist groups, which are push­ing to cull ref­er­ences to it in pub­lic school text­books and dis­cred­it accounts of the slaugh­ter. . . .” (Idem.)

14. Turn­ing to the his­tor­i­cal real­i­ty of the Rape of Nanking, the pro­gram notes that the atroc­i­ty was direct­ed by Prince Asa­ka, Emper­or Hirohito’s uncle. [In the pro­gram, Mr. Emory incor­rect­ly iden­ti­fies Asa­ka as Hirohito’s broth­er.] “Just before the Japan­ese began their assault on Nanking, Emper­or Hiro­hi­to sent his uncle, Prince Asa­ka Yasuhiko, to take over com­mand from Gen­er­al Mat­sui Iwane, who was suf­fer­ing from tuber­cu­lo­sis. In any aris­toc­ra­cy, there are always extreme nation­al­ists and racists with a nar­row edu­ca­tion, and Japan was no excep­tion. Men like Prince Asa­ka regard­ed them­selves as demigods, and felt only con­tempt for Chi­nese, Kore­ans, and oth­er Asians. In addi­tion, he was an alco­holic, giv­en to wild bouts of drunk­en rage. On tak­ing com­mand out­side Nanking, he told his aides that it was time to ‘teach our Chi­nese broth­ers a les­son they will nev­er for­get.’”
(Gold War­riors; Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­graves; Copy­right 2003 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so Books [HC]; ISBN 1–85984-542–8; p. 37.) [27]

15. The Rape of Nanking was not a fab­ri­ca­tion. “In the Rape of Nanking that fol­lowed, some 300,000 defense­less civil­ians were slain by Japan­ese troops, between 20,000 and 80,000 women of all ages were raped repeat­ed­ly, includ­ing chil­dren, ado­les­cent girls, and grand­moth­ers, man of them dis­em­bow­eled in the process. Men, women and chil­dren were sub­ject­ed to acts of such bar­barism that the world recoiled in hor­ror. Thou­sands of men were roped togeth­er and machine-gunned, or doused with gaso­line and set afire. Oth­ers were used for bay­o­net prac­tice, or to prac­tice behead­ing, in a sport­ing com­pe­ti­tion to see which offi­cer could behead the great­est num­ber that day. Weeks passed while atroc­i­ties con­tin­ued, streets and alleys piled high with corpses. Unlike pre­vi­ous atroc­i­ties, done out of sight, these were wit­nessed by hun­dreds of West­ern­ers includ­ing diplo­mats, doc­tors and mis­sion­ar­ies, some of whom smug­gled out pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence.” (Idem.)

16. The Rape of Nanking saw the gen­e­sis of the deci­sive­ly impor­tant Gold­en Lily pro­gram of sys­tem­at­ic loot­ing in occu­pied Asia. (For more about Gold­en Lily, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 427 [28], 428 [29], 445 [30], 451 [31], 501 [32], 509 [24].) “It was at this bit­ter moment that Gold­en Lily came into exis­tence. When the Japan­ese Army swarmed down the Chi­na Coast in 1937, crossed the Yangtze, and moved west­ward to Nanking, so many units were involved across such a broad front that there was dan­ger of Japan’s rul­ing elite los­ing con­trol of the finan­cial side of con­quest, as rival com­man­ders com­pet­ed for spoils. How could you keep army or navy offi­cers from side-track­ing gold bul­lion and price­less art works, not to men­tion small­er scale theft by sol­diers? At the same time, groups of yakuza were mov­ing through new­ly occu­pied areas, con­duct­ing their own reign of ter­ror. To keep every­thing under strict con­trol at the high­est lev­el, the Impe­r­i­al Gen­er­al Head­quar­ters cre­at­ed Gold­en Lily (kin no yuri), named after one of Hirohito’s poems. This was to be a palace orga­ni­za­tion of Japan’s top finan­cial minds and spe­cial­ists in all forms of trea­sure includ­ing cul­tur­al and reli­gious antiq­ui­ties, sup­port­ed by accoun­tants, book­keep­ers, ship­ping experts, and units of the army and navy, all over­seen by princes of the blood. When Chi­na was milked by Gold­en Lily, the army would hold the cow, while princes skimmed the cream. This orga­ni­za­tion was put direct­ly under the com­mand of the emperor’s broth­er, Prince Chichibu. We know the date because the Impe­r­i­al Gen­er­al Head­quar­ters itself was only set up in the impe­r­i­al palace in Tokyo in Novem­ber 1937, just as the Rape of Nanking was com­menc­ing. The pur­pose of the Impe­r­i­al Head­quar­ters was to keep con­trol of the war in the hands of the emper­or and his senior advi­sors, to avoid repeat­ing what hap­pened in Manchuria, where the Kwan­tung Army grew reck­less­ly inde­pen­dent in all respects. The Impe­r­i­al Army already had a num­ber of Spe­cial Ser­vice Units, among them intel­li­gence teams spe­cial­iz­ing in dif­fer­ent kinds of cul­tur­al and finan­cial espi­onage, and secret ser­vice agents like gen­er­al Doi­hara, out­side the ordi­nary com­mand struc­ture. These were reas­signed to Gold­en Lily, giv­ing it the resources need­ed to find trea­sure of all kinds, from the sub­lime to the most pro­sa­ic. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 38.)