The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 10, 1942


Site Ed. Note: A strange photograph, a sort of ironic Currier & Ives print of the war, adorns the front page today--a Russian cavalry rider riding by a ditched and vanquished Panzer tank. The twentieth century's insuperable course, the finest precision craft and machinery ever assembled by man, balked by the simplicity of nature's tried and true combination of indomitable force, weather and the horse.

The Time piece reprinted on the editorial page tells of the background and mind of General Yamashita, the new Japanese commander for the Philippines who lately achieved the success in Malaya. It quotes him from the thirties, saying, "War is the mother of creation." A true fascist, trained in large part by observing the German Luftwaffe in action during the first six months of 1941, he brought the lessons, and 250 technicians, flight instructors, and engineers, plus BMW engine and Stuka airframe licenses, home to Japan. The results had brought the air reputation of Japan from the basement to the penthouse within the space of just a few months during the latter half of 1941 and the first two months of 1942, now proving itself even more efficient than the Luftwaffe in operation. He had enjoyed the company of Hitler while in Germany, found him more interested in the spiritual than the material world, the piece informs.

The stupidity of the peon was thus made ruefully evident by equation to the company he found inspirational. By war's end, another military tactical genius would be shown to be simply another war criminal, a common thug with decorations on his chest.

A front page piece, echoing Britain's Sir Anthony Eden's report of the Japanese torture and rape of civilians and British military prisoners in Hong Kong, and the conquerors' consequent supreme hypocrisy in proclaiming chivalrous intentions, drives home the point: peasants emulating Hitler who himself emulated the heroes of military history, those of the nineteenth century and earlier, no matter the ineffable plague to mankind wrought by the conjuration of their hoary spirits incongruously set against the backdrop of a twentieth century world.

War isn't a mother at all, merely a whore. General Yamashita's mother, apparently simpatico with Mrs. Hitler, was sufficiently derelict in her duties, or enough ignorant to abjure same, that she never taught the General this valuable notion.

And "Curiosity" in the column tells of the many ruthless gawkers who came to Smithfield to see the burned roadway where the ammunition truck blew up and killed at least seven, including at least two people in a nearby hotel. The crowd had ignored the advice of their government over potential gas rationing and the shortage of rubber produced by the war. Malaya, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies were still a long way away. They had to see the thirty foot gap in the cement with their own eyes; damn the rubber, damn the war. The habit bound them with adamantine bonds infrangible. What better to do on a March Sunday with the free world slowly being blown to dust and sea? Sit home and read the bloody newspaper?

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