I have watched a number of Tom Hanks movies. Some of his movies are among my favorites. I am particularly appreciative that Tom Hanks produced “Band of Brothers” the superb story of paratroopers in World War II based on Stephen Ambrose’s best seller “Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.” Now Hanks finds himself in the in the middle of a self-made controversy as he promotes a new series “Pacific” about Marines in World War II based on the novels “With The Old Breed” by Eugene B. Sledge and “Helmet For My Pillow” by Robert Leckie. Most likely Hanks developed his views on World War II in America’s public school system. Hanks paints our war against the Empire of Japan as one based on American racism. Apparently he was absent the day they covered the attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Guam, and The Philippines. Rape of Nanking ring a bell Tom? In one interview he points out that Americans had to “kill them all” as they island hopped their way toward the Japanese home islands. No doubt he missed the part about the Samurai code and the suicidal actions of Japanese troops throughout the war.
Then Hanks and others drift to the internment of Americans and resident aliens of Japanese decent during World War II as proof of American racism. This is couched in term that we excluded the internment of Americans and resident aliens of German and Italian decent. Again – that conforms to the public school system version. However, it is false. Large numbers of German and Italian Americans were rounded up and interned. The Germans have even set up The German American Internee Coalition to bring attention to their internment. Indeed the Germans were even kept longer than their Japanese counterparts.
I suppose that the policy was unevenly carried out – but hey – it was a government operation. What do you expect? Of course George W. Bush didn’t push for the internment of Muslim- Americans after 9/11 – but you wouldn’t expect that from a member of the Freedom Party anyway. It was after all Democrats led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt who interned tens of thousands.