Is Fascism Right Or Left?

Here is an extended quote from Dinesh D’Souza’s book, THE BIG LIE, detailing the easy switch from socialist leaders and unions to fascist — overnight:

…on March 23, 1919, one of the most famous socialists in Italy founded a new party, the Fasci di Combattimento, a term that means “fascist combat squad.” This was the first official fascist party and thus its founding represents the true birth of fascism. By the same token, this man was the first fascist. The term “fascism” can be traced back to 1914, when he founded the Fasci Rivoluzionari d’Azione Internazionalista, a political movement whose members called them­selves fascisti or fascists.

In 1914, this founding father of fascism was, together with Vladimir Lenin of Russia, Rosa Luxemburg of Germany, and Antonio Gramsci of Italy, one of the best known Marxists in the world. His fellow Marx­ists and socialists recognized him as a great leader of socialism. His decision to become a fascist was controversial, yet he received congratu­lations from Lenin who continued to regard him as a faithful revolution­ary socialist. And this is how he saw himself.

That same year, because of his support for Italian involvement in World War I, he would be expelled from the Italian Socialist Party for “heresy,” but this does not mean he ceased to be a socialist. It was common practice for socialist parties to expel dissenting fellow social­ists for breaking on some fine point with the party line. This party reject insisted that he had been kicked out for making “a revision of socialism from the revolutionary point of view.” For the rest of his life—right until his lifeless body was displayed in a town square in Milan—he upheld the central tenets of socialism which he saw as best reflected in fascism.

Who, then, was this man? He was the future leader of fascist Italy, the one whom Italians called Il Duce, Benito Mussolini.

Mussolini’s socialist credentials were impeccable. He had been raised in a socialist family and made a public declaration in 1901, at the age of eighteen, of his convictions. By twenty-one, he was an orthodox Marx­ist familiar not only with the writings of Marx and Engels but also of many of the most influential German, Italian, and French Marxists of the fin de siecle period. Like other orthodox Marxists, Mussolini rejected religious faith and authored anti-Catholic pamphlets repudiating his native Catholicism.

Mussolini embarked on an active career as a writer, editor, and political organizer. Exiled to Switzerland between 1902 and 1904, he collaborated with the Italian Socialist Party weekly issued there and also wrote for Il Proletario, a socialist weekly published in New York. In 1909 Mussolini made another foreign sojourn to Trento—then part of Austria-Hungary—where he worked for the socialist party and edited its news­paper. Returning the next year to his hometown of Forli, he edited the weekly socialist publication La Lotta di Classe (The Class War). He wrote so widely on Marxism, socialist theory, and contemporary politics that his output now fills seven volumes.

Mussolini wasn’t just an intellectual; he organized workers’ strikes on behalf of the socialist movement both inside and outside of Italy and was twice jailed for his activism. In 1912, Mussolini was recognized as a socialist leader at the Socialist Congress at Reggio Emilia and was appointed to the Italian Socialist Party’s board of directors. That same year, at the age of twenty-nine, he became editor of Avanti!, the official publication of the party.

From the point of view of the progressive narrative—a narrative I began to challenge in the previous chapter—Mussolini’s shift from Marxian socialism to fascism must come as a huge surprise. In the pro­gressive paradigm, Marxian socialism is the left end of the spectrum and fascism is the right end of the spectrum. Progressive incredulity becomes even greater when we see that Mussolini wasn’t just any socialist; he was the recognized head of the socialist movement in Italy. Moreover, he didn’t just climb aboard the fascist bandwagon; he created it.

Today we think of fascism’s most famous representative as Adolf Hitler. Yet as I mentioned earlier, Hitler didn’t consider himself a fascist. Rather, he saw himself as a National Socialist. The two ideologies are related in that they are both based on collectivism and centralized state power. They emerge, one might say, from a common point of origin. Yet they are also distinct; fascism, for instance, had no intrinsic connection with anti-Semitism in the way that National Socialism did.

In any event, Hitler was an obscure local organizer in Germany when Mussolini came to power and, following his famous March on Rome, established the world’s first fascist regime in Italy in 1922. Hitler greatly admired Mussolini and aspired to become like him. Mussolini, Hitler said, was “the leading statesman in the world, to whom none may even remotely compare himself.” Hitler modeled his failed Munich Putsch in November 1923 on Mussolini’s successful March on Rome.

When Hitler first came to power he kept a bust of Mussolini in his office and one German observer termed him “Germany’s Mussolini.” Yet later, when the two men first met, Mussolini was not very impressed by Hitler. Mussolini became more respectful after 1939 when Hitler conquered Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Norway, and France. Hitler continued to uphold Mussolini as “that unparalleled statesman” and “one of the Caesars” and confessed that without Italian fascism there would not have been a German National Socialism: “The brown shirt would probably not have existed without the black shirt.”

Hitler was, like Mussolini, a man of the Left. Hitler too was a social­ist and a labor leader who founded the German Socialist Workers’ Party with a platform very similar to that of Mussolini’s fascist party. Yet Hitler came to power in the 1930s while Mussolini ruled through most of the 1920s. Mussolini was, during those years, much more famous than Hitler. He was recognized as the founding father of fascism. So any account of the origin of fascism must focus not on Hitler but on Mus­solini. Mussolini is the original and prototypical fascist.

From Socialism to Fascism

So how—to return to the progressive paradigm—do progressives account for Mussolini’s conversion from socialism to fascism, or more precisely for Mussolini’s simultaneous embrace of both? The problem is further deepened by the fact that Mussolini was not alone. Hundreds of leading socialists, initially in Italy but subsequently in Germany, France, and other countries, also became fascists. In fact, I will go further to say that all the leading figures in the founding of fascism were men of the Left. “The first fascists,” Anthony James Gregor tells us, “were almost all Marxists.”

I will cite a few examples. Jean Allemane, famous for his role in the Dreyfus case, one of the great figures of French socialism, became a fascist later in life. So did the socialist Georges Valois. Marcel Deat, the founder of the Parti Socialiste de France, eventually quit and started a pro-fascist party in 1936. Later, he became a Nazi collaborator during the Vichy regimeVacques Doriot a French communist, moved his Parti Populaire Francais into the fascist camp.

The Belgian socialist theoretician Henri de Man transitioned to becoming a fascist theoretician. In England. Oswald Mosley, a socialist and Labor Party Member of Parliament, eventually broke with the Labor Party because he found it insufficiently radical. He later founded the British Union of Fascists and became the country’s leading Nazi sympa­thizer. In Germany, the socialist playwright Gerhart Hauptmann embraced Hitler and produced plays during the Third Reich. After the war, he became a communist and staged his productions in Soviet-dominated East Berlin

In Italy, philosopher Giovanni Gentile moved from Marxism to fas­cism, as did a host of Italian labor organizers: Ottavio Dinale, Tullio Masotti, Carlo Silvestri, and Umberto Pasella. The socialist writer Agos­tino Lanzillo joined Mussolini’s parliament as a member of the fascist party Nicola Bombacci, one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party, became Mussolini’s top adviser in Salo. Gentile’s disciple Ugo Spirito, who also served Mussolini at Salo, moved from Marxism to fascism and then back to Marxism. Like Hauptmann, Spirito became a communist sympathizer after World War II and called for a new “syn­thesis” between communism and fascism.

Others who made the same journey from socialism to fascism will be named in this chapter, and one thing that will become very clear is that these are not “conversion” stories. These men didn’t “switch” from socialism to fascism. Rather, they became fascists in the same way that Russian socialists became Leninist Bolsheviks. Like their Russian coun­terparts, these socialists believed themselves to be growing into fascism, maturing into fascism, because they saw fascism as the most well thought out, practical form of socialism for the new century.

Progressivism simply cannot account for the easy traffic from social­ism to fascism. Consequently, progressives typically maintain complete silence about this whole historical relationship which is deeply embar­rassing to them. In all the articles comparing Trump to Mussolini I searched in vain for references to Mussolini’s erstwhile Marxism and lifelong attachment to socialism. Either from ignorance or from design, these references are missing.

Progressive biographical accounts that cannot avoid Mussolini’s socialist past nevertheless turn around and accuse Mussolini—as the Socialist Party of Italy did in 1914—of “selling out” to fascism for money and power. Other accounts contend that whatever Mussolini’s original convictions, the very fact that his fascists later battled the Marxists and traditional socialists clearly shows that Mussolini did not remain a social­ist or a man of the Left.

But these explanations make no sense. When Mussolini “sold out” he became an outcast. He had neither money nor power. Nor did any of the first fascists embrace fascism for this reason. Rather, they became fascists because they saw fascism as the only way to rescue socialism and make it viable. In other words, their defection was within socialism—they sought to create a new type of socialism that would actually draw a mass following and produce the workers’ revolution that Marx antic­ipated and hoped for.

Vicious fights among socialist and leftist factions are a recognized feature of the history of socialism. In Russia, for example, there were bloody confrontations between the rival Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Later the Bolsheviks split into Leninists and Trotskyites, and Trotsky ended up dead on Lenin’s orders. These were all men of the Left. What these bloody rivalries prove is that the worst splits and conflicts some­times arise among people who are ideologically very similar and differ on relatively small—though not small to them—points of doctrine.

In this chapter I will trace the development of fascism by showing precisely how it grew out of a doctrinal division within the community of Marxian socialists. In short, I will prove that fascism is exclusively a product of the Left. This is not a case of leftists who moved right. On the contrary, the fascists were on the left end of the socialist movement. They saw themselves not as jettisoning Marxism but as saving it from obsolescence. From their perspective, Marxism and socialism were too inert and needed to be adjusted leftward. In other words, they viewed fascism as more revolutionary than traditional socialism.

[….]

Mussolini didn’t believe in race and he wasn’t initially a nationalist; rather, he was a revolutionary syndicalist. The term syndicalism refers to the associations or syndicates to which workers belonged. These were autonomous workers organizations that resembled unions, but they were not unions because the syndicates were organized regionally rather than by corporation or occupation. As dedicated Marxists, the revolutionary syndicalists agreed with Marx that class associations were primary, and that they must be the organizing principle of socialist revolution.

Very much in keeping with this class emphasis that was so central to Marx, the syndicalists, strongly influenced by Sorel, sought to rally the labor syndicates through a general strike that would overthrow the ruling class and establish socialism in Italy. This is what made them “revolutionary.” They intended to foment revolution, not wait for it to happen. They were considered the smartest, most dedicated people in the Italian Socialist Party and they occupied the left wing of the party.

The big names in revolutionary syndicalism were Giuseppe Prezzolini, Angelo 0. Olivetti, Arturo Labriola, Filippo Corridoni, Paolo Orano, Michele Bianchi, and Sergio Panunzio. Most of them were writ­ers or labor organizers. All of them were socialists, and shortly all of them would be camelascists, even though Labriola opposed Mussolini’s regime when it came to power and Corridoni, who was killed in World War I, didn’t live to see it.

Mussolini was their acknowledged leader. He knew them well and conspired with them at meetings and rallies. He read their books and articles and published in their magazines like the Avanguardia Socialista, founded by Laboriola, which was the leading journal of syndicalist thought. Mussolini also reviewed and published the leading syndicalists in his own socialist publications.

Like all revolutionary socialists, the syndicalists had little faith in democratic parliamentary procedures and, consistent with Sorel and Lenin, they sought a charismatic leader who would inspire the workers to action. Mussolini, more than anyone else, fit their prescription. Mus­solini was the one who led the syndicalists into a union with the nation­alists in order to form the new socialist hybrid called fascism in Italy and (with some modifications) National Socialism in Germany.

The syndicalists organized three general strikes in Italy in 1904, 1911, and 1913. Mussolini supported the strikes. The 1904 strike began in Milan and spread across the country. Five million workers walked off their jobs. The nation was paralyzed: there was no public transportation, and no one could buy anything. Even so, the strike ended without caus­ing either the fall of the government or the installation of socialism.

  • Dinesh D’Souza, The Big Lie: Exposing the NAZI Roots of the American Left (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2017), 65-70, 82-83.

Memorial & Veterans Day ~ Tribute from RPT

(Above Video) Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.

Please enjoy this tribute to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much for our country.

(Son to Father. . .)
Do not call me, father. Do not seek me.
Do not call me. Do not wish me back.
We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track.

On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheathe our swords.
All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.

Will there be a rendezvous?
I know not. I only know we still must fight.
We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet.
nevermore to see light.

(Father to Son . . .)
Farewell, then my son. Farewell then my conscience.
Farewell my youth, my solace, my one and my only.

Let this farewell be the end of the story,
A solitude vast in which none is more lonely,
In which you remained barred forever
From light, from air, with your death pains untold.
Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected.
Forever and ever an 18 year old.

Farewell then.
No trains ever come from those regions,
Unscheduled and scheduled.
No aeroplanes fly there.

Farewell then my son,
For no miracles happen, as in this world
Dreams do not come true.

Farewell.
I will dream of you still as a baby,
Treading the earth with little strong toes,
The earth where already so many lie buried.

This song to my son, then, is come to its close.

(Extract from a poem by Jr. Lt. Vladimir Pavlovich Antokolski. Killed in action, June 6th, 1942)

(Via GayPatriot)

memorial day 2016 Lisa Benson

memorial day 2016 Beeler


(Via Gateway Pundit) Brothers ForeverTravis Manion and Brendan Looney were roommates at the naval academy and became as close as brothers. One became a Marine stationed in Iraq, the other, a Navy Seal in Afghanistan. Both died in action years apart and were laid to rest side-by-side in Arlington’s National Cemetery.






































It is the
VETERAN,
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is
the VETERAN
who can at times lay
us down in green pastures.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the televangelist,
Who can get people out of wheelchairs.

It is
the VETERAN

(Also See Tribute Video for all the kids who lost their loved one)




Never Forget Their Sacrifice

This amazing photo was taken in 1918. It is a photo of 18,000 men
preparing for war at Camp Dodge in Des Moines, Iowa (Above)


While the speeches and cartoons are perfect for this Memorial Day… they do not express the loss persons individually feel that express our Nation’s loss through their pain. Pray for the families of the fallen, always.


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A few of the below are from the same heroes funeral,

a link to the story is in the pictures




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True Heroes of History vs. Faux Pop-Culture Heroes

In an age of pseudo political “science” and a waning of an understanding of true heroism in the face of evil — mainly due to a lessening of what evil “is.” I previously wrote about this true hero that had her Nobel Prize swiped from her by the fraud known as Al Gore. Maybe he believes that “global warming” is the #1 issue facing humanity in order anesthetize his understanding that Irena Sendler is a TRUE hero of humanity — who fought real evil. Al Gore’s predictions have failed to come to pass (in Old Testament times he very well may have been put to death), and the following graph shows how fleeting political and environmental heroes can be in the face of real one… like IRENA SENDLER, who should have won the Nobel Peace Prize that year instead of Gore.

JOE BASTARDI finishes off a post (after the above graph) by saying this:

….But there is more to me. Let me lay my cards on the table. Over the years I have become a big fan of Israel. I am not Jewish, but I find the history of the Jewish people remarkable, if not astonishing. What happened in World War II cannot be put into words. Here we have a case of someone with actions far beyond the fantasy of a forecast of tomorrow that took a back seat to … what? Now let me ask you this: If you were in the running for the Nobel Prize against Irena, would you even accept the award understanding that what you are doing involves an agenda that is relying on future events versus actual heroic accomplishments in one of mankind’s darkest hours? Who would do that?

Even more distressing is the idea that you actually equate your cause with causes that have real value for the people who are involved in it. For instance, equating “climate change” with racial equality. That is a flat-out insult to that cause. Or labeling people who disagree with you as “deniers” or “Nazis,” which shows total disrespect for people who can never forget what happened in one of man’s darkest hours. Shame on you. Shame on you trying to equate your straw man argument with real problems that people bled and died for and the problems the world faces today. Shame on the people who think that the heroism of the past is less worthy than fantasy-driven utopian agendas in the future.

I am glad Al Gore has his new movie out. It reminded me of Irena Sendler, who he beat out for the Nobel Prize. Because it gave me a chance to write on someone whose story should be known and once again expose someone who has gotten rich off something that can’t hold a candle to the bravery of people in the era that Irena Sendler exemplified.

Is this an example of the Left relying on old white, wealthy males to guide society rather than lauding women of history?

Extended Sentences for Chilean Cult Members

“Dignity Colony” – was a German commune founded by German-born cult leader Paul Schaefer in 1961. The heavily guarded, 15,000-hectare colony was used as a secret detention and torture centre for political prisoners during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. At its height, about 300 people lived at Colonia Dignidad under draconian conditions, sealed off from the rest of the world and subject to abuse that included the systematic sexual molestation of children.

Schaefer, an ex-Nazi corporal who convinced 250 German followers to emigrate with him to Chile after authorities began investigating him, was sentenced to 33 years for child sexual abuse and other crimes and died in prison in 2010.

(SBS)

Drunk Pilots? (Chem-Trail Debunking)

Drunk Pilots

In a recent exchange, a believer in chemtrails posted the above photo and sarcastically asked if these pilots were drunk. Actually [I thought to myself] they looked like military maneuvers via fighter jets… so I got to looking. I eventually found out where this person got it from, Geoengineering Watch:

(click to enlarge)

Chem Trail Drunkerds

(BTW, just about every photo on that page does not support their premise!)

So I did about 45-minutes of looking and eventually found the source of the photo (thanks to a feature in BING). It is a Chinese media internet channel (see original post here, be sure to have google translate the page if you are still a skeptic). Bingo… military.

Then I found it on METABUNK:

  • “It’s actually from a 2007 photo of contrails left during an exercise of the Chinese air force practicing high altitude dogfights between F-10 and SU-27 fighters”

Yep. Geoengineering Watch caught knowingly lying and misleading people again:

Chinese drunk fighter pilots

METABUNK is supposedly owned by the evil, nefarious government set to control us through ice-crystals.[/sarcasm]

THIS IS THE MAIN POINT (humor aside) to remember when someone is backed in a corner and they say this type of thing… say, “okay, let us assume you are right… how does that information of a government owned entity negate these counter points and seeing the phenomenon happening since the dawn of flight?

In-other-words, if the government, or Sasquatch owned the website (which neither do) , that would not impact at all the point made.

The person who posted the original photo keeps telling me to look up in the sky and see for myself… take note I have pointed out this phenomenon has happened all the time, and that all the below picture ARE someone looking up! To wit, here are a couple other pics I thought were very interesting due to their historical connection to WWII. Here is the info on this first picture (via WIKI):

  • Fighter plane contrails mark the sky over Task Force 58, during the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” phase of the battle, 19 June 1944. Photographed from on board USS Birmingham (CL-62). (Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 1944)

Fighter_plane_contrails_in_the_sky

Here is the second historical shot described (I found this one at The Atlantic):

  • The condensation trails from German and British fighter planes engaged in an aerial battle appear in the sky over Kent, along the southeastern coast of England, on September 3, 1940

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This third one is a Life Magazine shot (many more Life Mag pics can be found here at Contrail Science):

  • 1944 – Allied aircraft vapor trails in skies above (prob.) farmhouse in the Ardennes Forest during last days of the Battle of the Bulge, the final major German offensive of WWII.

Allied-aircraft-vapor-trails-in-skies-ab-LIFE-1

God I love history!

Michael Medved Critiques Obama’s Hiroshima Speech

I wasn’t gonna upload this, but this is an important [and fair] critique of Obama’s “Hiroshima Speech” by Michael Medved.

I usually include phone calls because Medved almost always takes disagreeing calls. But the two that came in were not that coherent. So it will be his commentary and portions of the speech. Barry Soetoro didn’t come out and apologize… like many (including myself) said he was going to. Instead, he morally equated the actions by the Allies (esp. America) to those of Japan. Still VERY disgraceful.

Japanese Internment ~ Regrettable But Complex

This post shed light on an all too simplistic tactic of left-leaning thinking and the internment of many innocent Japanese. Remember, this is NOT a post defending this historical failure of the U.S., but it merely sheds some light on the type of manure created today that causes misplaced activism in our youth.

Part of the problem with the left is that they try to equate our current problem with a low-number of 100-million people in the world that would like to kill and support those that kill Westerners for being nothing more than Kaffir with internment of an innocent population of people in the U.S. — the Japanese American. That being said, another thing I cannot stand about the left is that they do not understand the complexities of decisions in hard times.

They look back and simply say,

  • “I wouldn’t have made that choice.”

They have no idea the choice they would make given the intel of the day in question. Thomas Sowell likens this thinking to Stage One Thinking. So, even though every leading Democrat believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs, and every intelligence agency worth their weight in gold said he had them… Bush still lied, knowingly, in order to steal oil that we never ended up getting.

It’s childish thinking at best, at worst it is destructive to the fabric of our complicated Union. Like the complete-and-total-myth that the Iraq war was over oil. This type thinking and simplifying of complex decisions is dangerouse to the fabric of our nation and since the Iraq war we have gotten extremists movements like Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and others.

(Many actions taken during this time are regrettable)

Here is the excerpt from Michelle Malkin’s book, In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror:

…The Japanese quickly staved off the formation. During the air battle, Nishikaichi shot down one enemy plane, but his aircraft took several hits. One punctured the Zero’s gas tank. Nishikaichi steered the crippled plane toward the westernmost Hawaiian island: Niihau. The 19-mile-long tract was privately owned by the Robinsons, a Scottish ranching family. Fewer than two hundred residents, mostly native Hawaiians plus three laborers of Japanese descent and their families, called Niihau home. Nishikaichi’s superiors had mistakenly informed him that the land was uninhabited. In case of emergency, the Japanese planned to use the island as a submarine pickup point for stranded pilots.

Nishikaichi crash-landed the plane in a field near one of the ranch homes. The first to reach him was Hawila “Howard” Kaleohano, a burly native Hawaiian employed by the Robinson family. The island had no telephones. On that tranquil, late Sunday morning, with church services just letting out, none of the inhabitants was yet aware of the death and destruction that had just rained down on Pearl Harbor.

Nonetheless, Kaleohano wisely confiscated the dazed Nishikaichi’s gun and papers. Kaleohano, perhaps the most educated native Hawaiian on Niihau, had been keeping tabs on world affairs through newspapers supplied by ranch owner Aylmer Robinson (who paid weekly visits to the island and lived twenty miles away on Kauai). Wary but warm, Kaleohano brought the enemy pilot to his home. Along the way, Nishikaichi asked Kaleohano if he was “a Japanese.” The answer was an emphatic, “No.”

“The question was a gambit in what was to become a search for a confederate,” wrote Allan Beekman, a Hawaii-based historian who published the definitive account of the Niihau incident. Nishikaichi would find a yes-man soon enough.

After sharing a meal and cigarettes, Nishikaichi demanded that Kaleohano return his papers, which included maps, radio codes, and Pearl Harbor attack plans. Kaleohano refused. To make their communication easier, Kaleohano asked his neighbors to summon one of the island’s three residents of Japanese descent to translate for Nishikaichi. They first brought a Japanese-born resident and laborer, Ishimatsu Shintani, to the house. He reluctantly exchanged a few words with the pilot in Japanese, but the spooked Shintani left in a hurry—apparently sensing trouble and wanting nothing to do with his compatriot in name only.

The islanders then turned to Yoshio Harada and his wife Irene, both U.S. citizens, born in Hawaii to Japanese immigrants. Harada had moved from Kauai to California as a young man and lived there for seven years before relocating to Niihau with his wife in 1939. The hardworking and unassuming parents of three ran the Robinson ranch’s company store. Nishikaichi was cheered by the Haradas’ presence. “Oh, you’re a Japanese!” the enemy fighter pilot exclaimed when Yoshio Harada addressed him in their native tongue. Instantly at ease with the Nisei couple, Nishikaichi dropped the bombshell news about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Haradas did not inform their neighbors.

That night, the hospitable Niihau residents—still in the dark about the atrocity at Oahu—treated Nishikaichi to a festive luau. They roasted a pig and swapped songs. Silently, Nishikaichi despaired. He had lost hope that he would be rescued.

Later that night, the islanders apparently learned about the Pearl Harbor attack on the radio. They decided to confine the pilot in the Haradas’ home until help arrived.

Exploiting their common ethnic ties and urging loyalty to the emperor, Nishikaichi won over the Haradas. They enlisted the other resident of Japanese descent—the skittish Shintani—in a conspiracy to retrieve Nishikaichi’s papers from Kaleohano. On the afternoon of December 12, a reluctant Shintani visited Kaleohano and asked for the enemy pilot’s papers. He offered his neighbor a wad of cash. Kaleohano refused. Shintani desperately told him to burn the papers. It was a matter of life and death, Shintani pleaded with Kaleohano. Japan made him do this, Shintani insisted. Kaleohano again refused.

An hour later, Nishikaichi and the Haradas launched a campaign of terror against the islanders. They overtook the guard on duty and locked him in a warehouse. Mrs. Harada cranked up a phonograph to drown out the commotion. Yoshio Harada and Nishikaichi retrieved a shotgun from the warehouse and headed to Kaleohano’s home. Kaleohano, who was in the outhouse, saw them coming and hid while Nishikaichi and his collaborators unsuccessfully searched for the pilot’s papers. They recovered Nishikaichi’s pistol and headed toward his grounded plane. Harada watched as the enemy pilot tried in vain to call for help on his radio.

Meanwhile, Kaleohano fled from the outhouse and ran to the main village to warn his neighbors of Nishikaichi’s escape. He returned to his house to retrieve the papers, hid them in a relative’s home, and set out with a strong team of islanders in a lifeboat toward Kauai to get help. They rowed for fourteen hours before reaching shore, where they informed their boss, Aylmer Robinson, and military officials of the intruder Nishikaichi and the treachery of the Haradas. That night, Harada and Nishikaichi set both the plane and Kaleohano’s home on fire. They fired off their guns in a lunatic rage and threatened to kill every man, woman, and child in the village. After gathering for a prayer meeting, many residents escaped to a mountaintop with kerosene lamps and reflectors in an attempt to signal Kauai. Others weren’t so fortunate.

On the morning of December 13, Harada and Nishikaichi captured islander Ben Kanahele and his wife. It was a fateful choice that Harada and Nishikaichi would live to regret. Kanahele was ordered to find Kaleohano. In their own “Let’s Roll” moment of heroism, the gutsy Kanaheles refused to cooperate. When Nishikaichi threatened to shoot Kanahele’s wife, fifty-one-year-old Ben lunged for the enemy’s shotgun. The young Japanese fighter pilot pulled his pistol from his boot and shot Kanahele three times in the chest, hip, and groin. Mrs. Kanahele pounced at Nishikaichi; her once-peaceful neighbor Harada tore her away.

Angered, the wounded Kanahele summoned the strength to pick up Nishikaichi and hurl him against a stone wall, knocking him unconscious. Quick-thinking Mrs. Kanahele grabbed a rock and pummeled the pilot’s head. For good measure, Ben Kanahele took out a hunting knife and slit Nishikaichi’s throat, ensuring his death. A desperate Harada turned the shotgun on himself and committed suicide.

The Kanaheles’ harrowing battle against a Japanese invader and his surprising collaborator was over.

On Sunday afternoon, an army expedition party arrived with Kaleohano at the village and took Shintani and Mrs. Harada into custody. The next evening, the rest of Hawaii finally got wind of the nightmare on Niihau. Radio station KTOH in Kauai broadcast a news bulletin on the ordeal. The Honolulu Star Bulletin published a follow-up account the next day. Shintani was sent to an internment camp and later returned to Niihau; he became a U.S.

citizen in 1960. Irene Harada was imprisoned for nearly three years in Honouliuli. In 1945, after she was released, she asked for permission to bring the bodies of both Harada and Nishikaichi to Kauai for a funeral. Mrs. Harada was never charged with treason or any other crime.

Forgotten in today’s history books, the bravery of Howard Kaleohano and Ben Kanahele was justly rewarded at the time. Kanahele received the Purple Heart and Medal of Merit; Kaleohano received the Medal of Freedom and an $800 award from the army to pay for belongings that had been damaged or destroyed in the fire set to his home by Nishikaichi and Harada.

The significance of the Haradas’ stunning act of disloyalty and Shintani’s meek complicity in collaboration with Nishikaichi was not lost on the Roosevelt administration. “The fact that the two [sic] Niihau [ethnic] Japanese who had previously shown no anti-American tendencies went to the aid of the pilot when Japan domination of the island seemed possible, indicates likelihood that Japanese residents previously believed loyal to the United States may aid Japan if further Japanese attacks appear successful,” noted Captain Irving Mayfield, then district intelligence officer for the Fourteenth Naval District, after a naval intelligence investigation on the Niihau takeover in January 1942. Lieutenant C. B. Baldwin was more emphatic. The facts of the case “indicate a strong possibility that other Japanese residents of the Territory of Hawaii, and Americans of Japanese descent . . . may give valuable aid to Japanese invaders in cases where the tide of battle is in favor of Japan and where it appears to residents that control of the district may shift from the United States to Japan,” he said.

Unbeknownst to Mayfield and Baldwin, at least one high-ranking Japanese naval intelligence officer apparently concurred. In November 1941, less than one month before the Pearl Harbor attack, Lieutenant Commander Suguru Suzuki met with Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s chief of staff, Matome Ugaki, to discuss conditions in Hawaii. If Japan were to invade Hawaii, Suzuki informed Ugaki, local ethnic Japanese probably would cooperate with the occupying forces.

The Haradas were neither radical nationalists nor professional spies. They were ordinary Japanese Americans who betrayed America by putting their ethnic roots first. How many other ethnic Japanese—especially on the vulnerable West Coast—might be swayed by enemy appeals such as Nishikaichi’s? How many more might be torn between allegiance for their country of birth and kinship with Imperial invaders? These were the daunting questions that faced the nation’s top military and political leaders as enemy forces loomed on our shores.

The Fallen of World War II ~ An Animated Visualization

Via The Blaze:

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.