According to the blog “Powerline” the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored a conference that featured disturbing and extreme revisionist views on the history of World War II, painting America as the aggressor and Japan as the victim.
“In July 2010 the NEH sponsored a workshop for college professors at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. The title of the conference was “History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War.” As one of the 25 American scholars chosen to attend the workshop, Professor Penelope Blake anticipated an opportunity to visit hallowed sites such as Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial and the Punchbowl Cemetery and engage with scholars who share her interest in studying this often neglected part of World War II history.
“Instead, Professor Blake was treated to the most disturbing experience of her academic career, a conference which she found to be driven by an overt political bias and a blatant anti-American agenda.”
Professor Blake, who teaches at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, has published a letter she sent to her Congressional representative Donald Manzullo describing what went on at the conference. In both the scholarly presentations and the preparatory reading, she found a number of disturbing messages. In summary:
“1. The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a “pristine collective memory” of the war.
“2.The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression.
“3. War memorials, such as the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery (where many WWII dead are buried, including those executed by the Japanese on Wake Island and the beloved American journalist Ernie Pyle), are symbols of military aggression and brutality ‘that pacify death, sanitize war and enable future wars to be fought’
“4.The U.S. military has repeatedly committed rapes and other violent crimes throughout its past through the present day.
“5. Those misguided members of the WWII generation on islands like Guam and Saipan who feel gratitude to the Americans for saving them from the Japanese are blinded by propaganda supporting “the image of a compassionate America” or by their own advanced age.
“6. It was “the practice” of the U.S. military in WWII to desecrate and disrespect the bodies of dead Japanese.
“7. Conservatives and veterans in the U.S. have had an undue and corrupt influence on how WWII is remembered.
“8. Conservatives are reactionary nationalists (no distinction was made between nationalism and patriotism), pro-military ‘tea baggers’ who are incapable of ‘critical thinking.’
“9. Relating to the above, even members of the NEH review board are not immune to ‘reactionary’ pro-military views.
“10. Veterans’ memories of their own experiences in the war are suspect and influenced by media and their own self-delusion.
“11. War memorials like the Arizona Memorial should be recast as ‘peace memorials,’ sensitive to all viewers from all countries, especially the many visitors from Japan.”
Words almost fail at the idea of a conference, paid for with American tax dollars, designed to denigrate the role the United States played in World War II. Reading an account of this conference, one wonders if many of the people attending, besides Professor Blake, were even aware of Japanese atrocities such as the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, or the maltreatment of allied prisoners of war.
Casting the United States as an “aggressor” in the Pacific War seems to be as loony tunes as denying the Nazi Holocaust or the Moon landing or claiming the 9/11 was an “inside job.” And yet there seems to be at least a subset of “scholars” in academia who hold that view.
Under our system of government, people are allowed to say what they think, even if it is outrageous and untrue. But it seems to be beyond the pale that Americans should be expected to pay money to enable such nonsense.
Perhaps, if the National Endowment for the Humanities cannot keep itself from financing junk, revisionist history, that the NEH itself should be defunded. There is, after all, a deficit problem and one would think that paying for people to say that the United States was the bad guy in World War II is rather low on the priorities calling upon the public purse.
Source: Investigate this, Powerline, November 1st, 2010