Monday, January 02, 2006

Days of Infamy

One of the books I've been reading this week is
"Days of Infamy" by Harry Turtledove. Harry is
the "Master of If", almost all of his novels are alternate
histories and he cranks out about 1000 pages of quality
writing per year.

"Days of Infamy" posits what would have happened if the
Japanese had followed up the pearl harbor strike with
an invasion. A really good book, very believable history
that shows how close we came to losing our ass in the pacific,
and also how brutal the Japanese were to civilians and
soldiers who surrendered.

While I was reading this book, I also happened to catch a
show on PBS about the railroad that crossed the bridge over
the river kwai, and how it was constructed by POW's, many
of whom were worked to death. It really drove home that
the brutality portrayed in the "Days of Infamy" was probably
understated.

The show also interviewed a japanese engineer who wouldn't
admit that he did anything wrong, and kept smiling like the
cat that ate a canary. If I had been making this show, I'd have
paid some big green beret type to dress up in WWII era fatigues
and step out of the jungle mid interview. Instead of a thin scarecrow
that he could beat with impunity the japanese dickhead could face
a healthy armed soldier who could deliver a nice rifle buttstroke
right to the middle of his squinty laughing eyes.

[The bastard who ran the worst camp that killed the most POW's
died just a few years ago as an honored professor of engineering.
He was shown on video telling students that the reason so many GI's
died was they weren't used to eating rice.]

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