Friday, April 3, 2015

Zero fighter pilot, 98, wages anti-war campaign

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]
It's enough to bring tears to the eyes:
"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....
“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.”
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.

Yes, we must try, but I see little or no reason to sidestep the fact that that effort will end in failure.

1 comment:

  1. History really does repeat, no matter that a few learned from it... war, peace, patriotic outrage, antiwar outrage. And those in charge no doubt learned from it as well, send the sons of others, reap the rewards of militarization.