Although I am used to Hollywood stars making the most outrageous, anti-American and downright stupid statements, I’ve got to admit that I was taken aback by this post over at Hot Air, nonetheless. Its subject: Tom Hanks said recently that America wanted to ”annihilate the Japanese because they were different.” Yes, seriously:
He is pleased that The Pacific has fulfilled an obligation to our World War II vets. He doesn’t see the series as simply eye-opening history. He hopes it offers Americans a chance to ponder the sacrifices of our current soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. “From the outset, we wanted to make people wonder how our troops can re-enter society in the first place,” Hanks says. “How could they just pick up their lives and get on with the rest of us? Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”
As John Nolte explains at Big Hollywood, “no matter how many times you read this passage the context is clear. By ‘different’ Hanks is clearly referring to race, culture and religion, not ideology.” Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey adds:
I thought it was the fact that they bombed us and then fought us relentlessly across the Pacific rather than surrender, but maybe I should tune in for The Truth. So screwy is his read, in fact, that I’m not sure it’s even fair to the Japanese: As I understand it, they hit Pearl Harbor not because “our way of living was different” but because they wanted the oil in the south Pacific and needed to neutralize the American fleet before they made their move. I’m also surprised to learn that whereas the Nazis were unambiguous evil, their strategic ally in the far east — whose imperial army utterly terrorized the civilian population of mainland Asia — was merely “different,” much as jihadists are now. That sure does help me get a handle on that Iraq election held a few days ago.
Hey Tom, perhaps you should stop reading Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States and buy and read a good history book instead. The United States fought Japan, because the Japanese attacked the US and tried to conquer the entire continent of Asia. Not only did they occupy other countries, they proceeded to pillage and ethnically cleanse them. They truly were ruthless. The US, on the other hand, was fighting for freedom and democracy. The Japanese were not being attacked because they were ”different,” but because they were the enemies of humanity.
Please also note that he thinks the West is fighting in the Middle East nowadays, not because Islamists – who adhere to an extreme, intolerant, violent and hateful ideology – attacked us and want to destroy our way of living, but because we’re all racists. I’m sure that makes perfect sense if you’re a cocaine sniffing megalomaniac, but to everyone else, not so much.
I don’t mind Hollywood minions having an opinion about politics, but it would be nice if they’d keep them to themselves. That way I can at least enjoy watching the latest movie without thinking about the lead actor’s stupidity.