In which Graeme gets seriously pissed off


Warning: there are some expletives in this posting. Once you read it, I hope you will understand why.

On March 14, Wil Wheaton posted the following on Twitter:

To the “Japan had it coming because OMG Pearl Harbor” crowd that’s crawled out of the sewer: Go fuck yourselves, you ignorant pieces of shit

There are a bunch of people on Facebook and Twitter posting the kind of crap that Wil is referring to: that the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan was somehow payback for the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941. People are even saying things like If you wanna feel better about the earthquake in Japan, google “Pearl Harbor death toll”. When I first read this I was utterly speechless. Once I was able to comprehend that this wasn’t someone’s idea of a sick joke, I basically thought what Wil said above.

It saddens me to no end that there are this many people that think this way. The odd nutjob here and there I could see, but it turns out that there are lots of these scumbags – just click the “Facebook” link above to see a bunch of them. Luckily, since those all came from facebook, there are names associated with them. No more hiding behind the anonymity of the internet – now everyone knows who you assholes are.

First off, what happened at Pearl Harbor in 1941 was a terrible thing, no question. But that was seventy years ago, and Japan is now an ally of both Canada and the US. I did google “Pearl Harbor death toll”, and found that 2,402 people were killed during that attack. Thus far, there are 1,886 confirmed dead due to the earthquake, and thousands more are missing. But if you’re still looking for payback, perhaps you have forgotten that you already did get payback: you fucking nuked them – twice. The atomic bomb that the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 killed between 90,000 and 140,000 people and destroyed over half the city. Then three days later, 73,000 were killed when the US dropped another one on Nagasaki. That’s between 160,000 and 210,000 people dead. For each American killed at Pearl Harbor, most of whom were military, Americans killed between sixty-six and eighty-seven Japanese people, most of whom were civilians. That’s not including the hundreds of thousands of people injured or homeless, or the people that suffered for years or even decades with radiation sickness, or the children of the radiation victims, many of whom themselves suffered and died. The only nuclear weapons ever used during actual conflict were used by the USA on the people of Japan. And that’s not “payback” enough?

I wonder if there were people in Japan (or anywhere else in the world) who saw Hurricane Katrina or 9/11 and thought about payback for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those people, or anyone else who thinks that innocent people who suffer and die deserved it because of the actions of a different generation, would be scumbags as well, but quite honestly, in terms of raw numbers, the Japanese have a lot more to complain about than the Americans.

I also wonder if the people posting this anti-Japanese vitriol realize the irony of doing it using computers and phones that are chock-full of Japanese-designed electronics.

If you disagree with this and do think that the earthquake was somehow caused by karma or that Japan deserved it, you are entitled to that opinion. But please remove yourself from my friends list on Facebook. You are no friend of mine. But even so, I’m going to make a donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society right now, in your honour.

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