On this day in 1943 was the Double Tenth incident. This was during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. On 26 September 1943, an Australian military unit had carried out Operation Jaywick. It resulted in the sinking of seven ships. The Japanese were understandably not pleased. So on 10 October 1943, the Japanese Military Police arrested and tortured 57 Singapore civilians for taking part in the attack. Of course, none of them had anything to do with it — Operation Jaywick was a total outside job. Fifteen of the arrested civilians died in jail.
I’m pretty fond of the Japanese. But it all shows how any group of people can be just awful. It’s hard to imagine the Japanese doing that sort of thing any time in the next century. They’ve so internalized the lessons of World War II. But who can we image torturing again? The United States. That’s because we’ve never dealt with our past wrongs. We’ve treated our past the way we always have: by ignoring it like a dysfunctional family with a history of addiction and child abuse.
It is only through admission of our wrongs that we can grow. This is one of the big reasons that the United States is a dying empire.