Poor Kamikaze Pilots

Have you ever thought about whether there’s a difference between suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots? It seems that the comparisons are common enough, and I regarded them without a second thought. Both are people willing to die in order to meet their military objectives. Sure, Japanese kamikazes were army pilots serving a state (of sorts… more of an imperialistic crew of thugs, but anyway), where Islamic suicide bombers are, well, serving a “higher power” of sorts. Or believe they are.

Well, it seems that kamikaze pilots who survived the war don’t like being compared to Muslim suicide bombers.

Aw, poor them! My goodness, we wouldn’t want to offend people who were willing to die in the service of spreading their empire and aiding the Nazis, would we? I mean, being willing to kill and die doing it because you think it’ll please your mommy and daddy, or worse, in the fanatical service of a “godlike emperor” (as one of the pilots described his ex-leader) is totally different from killing and being willing to die doing it because you think it’ll please your God, or because you’re following some secretive organization that purports to be working for the goals of that deity. TOTALLY DIFFERENT, right?

Look at all the differences… all from the article linked above!

They were ready to die out of love for their country, they say; suicide bombers are driven by hatred and revenge.

Yes, love is what drives one to kill, drives one support a colonizing empire into the 1950s. HAve these guys heard about what happened at, say, Nanjing during the war? Shanghai? In Korea?

Wait, that’s history. I forgot, Japan’s poked out the eye in its culture that exists to look into history. Ooops. Sorry to bring up, you know, evil shit that Japan did. It must be extraneous to the argument, now that Japan’s a G7 country.

The Shinto religion offers no reward of life after death. Islamic suicide bombers are promised a place in an afterlife.

Were all of those kamikaze bombers Shintoists? No Buddhists among them? And in addition, I kind of doubt that all Muslims believe in the pack of virgins and other rewards. I would think at least some of the people are nihilistic and just wanna fight back against the culture they find is “kicking their ass”.

They were volunteers, motivated solely by patriotism. Suicide bombers often are recruited by militia leaders who offer money to their families.

Huh? Are they motivated by religion, or by money? Above it seems it was afterlife rewards, now it’s greed. Glory and honor, by the way, and pleasing your mommy and daddy, seem like stupider reasons to go on a suicide mission than a pile of money to one’s family, especially when one is in extremely dire straits. (Not that it’s so sensible then, either, but, you know… it’s better to get some cash for the folks out of it than just to go burn up for the sake of honor and serving your national warlord.) And yeah, they were just killing soldiers, right? Except of course they were doing it in the context of a war in which most “soldiers” were civilians who either volunteered or were conscripted into service because, what do you know, Japan and Italy and Germany were empire-building. Yeah, it’s easy to just kill soldiers when most men have to become soldiers because your country’s helping to get a worldwide war going on.

I frankly can’t imagine why anyone would give a damn what these ex-kamikaze guys think about being compared to suicide bombers. All I can think is that it’s because America’s now on good terms with Japan, and has as much of an affair with the Oriental Romance of Japan as Japan does. Can you imagine in fifty years time, Al Quaeda operatives being asked, “What do you think of being compared to the post-nationalist militia groups?” I can’t imagine anyone caring. So why should we care what the Japanese pilots of fifty years ago thought, either?

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