|Kaname Harada, 98, is on a mission to educate an increasingly militaristic Japan about the horrors of war he experienced as a Zero fighter pilot in World War II [Ko Sasaki for The New York Times]|
"Nothing is as terrifying as war .... I want to tell you my experiences in war so that younger generations don’t have to go through the same horrors that I did....Was there ever a peace advocate who did not say the words uttered by Kaname Harada, 98? And was there ever -- god forgive us -- a snowball's chance in hell that his experiences would inspire and inform those bent on the next military adventure, the next 'defensive' or status-enhancing thrust? Be assured that the younger generation, wherever they are, will have to see the horrors for themselves.
“I fought the war from the cockpit of a Zero, and can still remember the faces of those I killed,” said Mr. Harada, who said he was able to meet and befriend some of his foes who survived the war. “They were fathers and sons, too. I didn’t hate them or even know them.”“That is how war robs you of your humanity,” he added, “by putting you in a situation where you must either kill perfect strangers or be killed by them.”
Yes, we must try, but I see little or no reason to sidestep the fact that that effort will end in failure.