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American brutality

LAURENCE REES: What about this sense that the war in the Pacific is a different kind of war. It almost reminds me of mainstream America’s attitude towards Native Americans in the 19th Century.

CONRAD CRANE: If you look at the way the war has gone, the nature of the war and the American journals in 1945, they portray the Pacific War as war without quarter. It’s seen as going both ways. Yes, we’re not giving the Japanese any quarter but they don’t give us any quarter either - they’re killing American prisoners and we can’t take any prisoners as they’ll kill us with knives and grenades. So it’s a different kind of war. The Germans have seemed to play by the rules, they put our guys in prison camps, they get their Red Cross packages, they’ve sent letters home. We’ve got Germans building roads in New Mexico and they seem like nice guys. It’s a very different relationship between the theatres and the racism goes both ways. I mean, the Japanese don’t understand us just as much as we don’t understand them. Everyone sees this as a different, much more intense kind of war, and everybody fears the bloodbath that’s going to come when we have to invade the home islands.