Friday, August 19, 2005

The Great Raid

I'm really sorry I haven't been able to see this yet. There aren't many movies I make an effort to actually go see, but I think this will be one. Haven't been a big movie goer for 15 years. I took my Dad to see Miracle on Ice a couple of years ago and it had probably been a couple years then since I'd been in a movie theater. I rarely even rented movies, but I do enjoy DVD's and the ease of getting them now. I like to see historical movies which correctly dramatize history and not revisionist history. I long ago was tired of the revisionism which occurred with the war with Japan. I hate that schools teach the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of aggression by the US against Japan. How can one learn from history if the truth of history is never taught? As much as Japan is an ally today, the Japanese were cruel and brutal almost along the scope of the Islamofascists of today. There was no care for life whatsoever.

Apparently this movie, "The Great Raid" does a fairly accurate portrayal of the cruelty and depravity of the Japanese military and culture during WWII from what I've read and heard.

Despite its flaws, The Great Raid teaches some important lessons. First, it accurately documents the sheer brutality of the Japanese army, and in doing so offers the American people a real image of prisoner abuse. No supposed Quran desecration or underwear-on-the-head here; no, this was indiscriminate torture and killing, done with the calculated indifference of serial killers.

Second, it further vindicates President Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. August 15 marked the 60th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in WWII, something that wouldn’t have been possible without atomic weapons.

The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death. Had the U.S. invaded the island, the death toll – both American and Japanese – would have dwarfed the more than 200,000 killed in the nuclear attacks. Truman’s choice was difficult but clear: he had to save lives by ending lives. And lest we forget, it took two bombs to force a Japanese surrender.

Don't miss this one. From Michael Medved's interview with the director the other day the movie uses real black and white movie reels from that time.

Steve Muscatello: The Great Raid

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