Tom Hanks on World War II

April 4th, 2010

By Larry Ennis

Tom Hanks is gifted actor, almost an icon. He also considers himself an activist of sorts. Sadly enough, Hanks is nowhere near as good an activist as he is an actor. Only Vice President Joe Biden can match Hanks when it comes saying stupid things. Proof of Hanks’ stupidity is in an interview he gave while pitching a new HBO series, The Pacific.

Among other things, Hanks said:

Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as “yellow, slant-eyed dogs” that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?

Seven days after my second birthday the Japanese attacked and sank most of our naval fleet at Pearl Harbor. It was a well-planned, well-executed attack. However, the planners failed to take into account certain details that guaranteed their defeat in the war they had just started. In spite of all the carnage and destruction of our outdated US Pacific Fleet, not one aircraft carrier was damaged, simply because they were not at Pearl Harbor that day. This fact was evidently overlooked by the many Japanese spies working undercover on the island of Oahu.

That beautiful Sunday morning in 1941 would become one of the most costly days in American military history. The death toll on that day would exceed 2,400. President Roosevelt called it a day of infamy and led Congress to declare war on Japan. The Japanese high command considered Pearl Harbor a victory, which was true to a certain degree. Beyond that degree, it was a mistake made by the same planners who had spread death and mayhem throughout China and most of the Pacific basin.

Japan had reached the point that the resources of their homeland were insufficient to support the needs of the people. Instead of working through diplomatic and trade channels to solve their problems, the military leaders of Japan chose to invade their neighbors. What followed was some of the worst atrocities in history. The Japanese were fanatical killers. It didn’t matter if it was women, children, or enemy prisoners. They were at best deranged, all the way from lowly privates to high-ranking generals. They murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians in China alone. They were barbarians who killed almost as if they got a perverted joy from the act.

The Philippine islands fell to the Japanese shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack. The American and Philippine forces put up a brave defense, but without modern equipment the outcome was preordained. These defenders became prisoners of war of the Japanese. The so-called victors killed and maimed thousands of American POW’s.

What I’ve laid out here should be known by every American in our country. It’s part of our history. The Pacific Theater was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in the history of modern warfare. To criticize the American soldiers who served there or their leadership is the epitome of poor taste.

Hanks’ comments are totally out of line. He owes an apology to every veteran who fought in the Pacific Theater. I’ve never understood how people such as Hanks can be so ungrateful to the nation and people that made it possible for them to be so successful. As far as I’m concerned, he needs stop saying such stupid things and get a life.

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3 Responses to “Tom Hanks on World War II”

  1. Brianna |

    “Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”

    Yes, it sounds just like all the other leftist rhetoric spouted by America’s “useful idiots” that I get treated to through the news and blogs just about every single day.

  2. Tom |

    I can see the wry smile on Hanks’ face when he delivered that last line.

    Many Hollywood celebrities are hopeless on politics and social issues. For one thing, many don’t have a lot of education, like Hanks, and what education they do have is often in drama and the arts. What’s worse, some often begin acting as children, and even their childhood education is stunted. There aren’t many like Jodie Foster, who dropped out of that world for four years to attend and graduate from Yale.

    However, I don’t think formal education is the main issue. Most Hollywood folks live in an environment where there’s a predominant worldview, and people tend to think like everyone they know. Beyond that, the groupthink is so bad in Hollywood that differing from the majority view can actually result in not getting work.

    In reality, many intelligent people educate themselves largely outside the walls of academia by reading and thinking for themselves. A well-read, intelligent person who dropped out of high school can have political opinions that are reasonable and sound, while a university professor with a PhD can live in lala land.

    The best answer is not to worry about these people. There will always be a Tom Hanks and a Charlton Heston (but not many). And the views of Kanye West will always get more attention than mine or yours.

  3. G |

    Too bad Hanks knows so little actual history. I loved “Band of Brothers,” but I think that’s because Hanks and Spielberg had a book to guide them.

    As Reagan said, “..the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” It was true in 1964 and is still true today.

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