War Without Mercy Essay

Topics: Racism, Empire of Japan, World War II Pages: 2 (779 words) Published: October 1, 2012
War Without Mercy
John Dower's War Without Mercy talks about the racial conflict in War World II towards the Japanese and how it affected the war and the reconstruction of the Pacific. “The Japanese were more hated than the Germans before as well as after Pearl Harbor. On this, there was no dispute among contemporary observers. They were perceived as a race apart, even a species apart -- and an overpoweringly monolithic one at that. There was no Japanese counterpart to the 'good German' in the popular consciousness of the Western Allies." (8) Mostly he focused on the American atrocities than the Japanese atrocities during the Pacific war. To the Americans, the Japanese, unlike the Germans, were all a race to be hated. Because the Germans hadn’t directly attacked the United States, that led to the belief that there were some good Germans and to be ability to differentiate between Germans and Nazis. “The fate of one’s own countrymen and countrywomen carried and emotional impact greater than reports of the suffering of faceless alien peoples, and the vivid and intimate symbolic incident (Pearl Harbor) was more memorable than generalized reports of violence.” (35) What Dower is talking about here is thought on Japanese, German, and American bombing. Also one must now look on how the American treated Japanese Americans. We took them and stripped them of their right and forced then like animals into internment camps that were more like farms. The Japanese on both sides were seen as apes and other vermin of this time, “Japanese were perceived as animals, reptiles, or insects (monkeys, baboons, gorillas, dogs, mice and rats, vipers and rattlesnakes, cockroaches, vermin -- or, more indirectly, 'the Japanese herd' and the like...At the simplest level, they dehumanized the Japanese and enlarged the chasm between 'us' and 'them' to the point where it was perceived to be virtually unbridgeable. “These words and slurs made it easier to commit such violent acts and to treat...
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