Saturday, March 15, 2014

surprised by kind treatment

“Japanese prisoners taken by the United States forces in the Solomon Islands fighting...were so surprised by the humane treatment they have received that many have expressed a desire never to return to Japan, according to an announcement today by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz's Pacific Fleet headquarters.”
The New York Times, 15 September 1942 

“We learn from Pennsylvania, that many of the Hessian prisoners have offered to enlist in our army, but that their offer was declined for the present.  They express great joy at being released from their late masters, and were greatly surprised to find themselves treated with clemency and kindness.”
The Norwich Packet (Norwich, Connecticut), 3 February 1777

The Revolutionary Generation of Americans, as well as the World War Two generation, embraced humane sentiments about the kind treatment of captive enemies.  Perhaps the influence of popular culture fostered magnanimity, associating mercy with bravery.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Defending Bob Dole

Reporter Andrea Mitchell asks Senator (and former Prisoner of War) John McCain about recent remarks from Senator Ted Cruz about World War II veteran Bob Dole.  Serving in Italy in 1944, Dole was severely injured by German shrapnel and still suffers paralysis in his right arm.

Cruz attempted to discredit Dole as a voice of reason in his party.  Dole, however, has a long record of public service even after his military career.  Dole served in the United States House of Representative from 1961 to 1969 and the US Senate from 1969 to 1996.  In 1996, President Bill Clinton won reelection over Ross Perot as the Reform Party candidate and Bob Dole as the Republican nominee.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stand Up for Bob Dole

This blog repeatedly featured salutes to the generation that endured World War Two.  Americans born in the 1930s, the 1920s and earlier are the group with the highest proportion to say torture is "never justified."  In their rejection of torture, they beat every economic, educational and religious category considered by the Pew Research Center surveyors.

In this clip from 1996, Author and Comedian (now a United States Senator) Al Franken defends World War II veteran Bob Dole from critics who called him "too old."  Please watch and enjoy.