American Pens: Mightier Than the Sword
by Mike Walsh
THE UNITED States is lately stigmatised by an image problem due to its electoral shenanigans and misadventures abroad. All too often forgotten are the great Americans, especially its literati, who contributed so much to the world’s wisdom.
Leaving aside such essentials as the three Rs (reading, writing and (a)rithmetic) I suggest Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn to be far more educational than a 10-year college term. As an eight-year-old schoolboy the teacher couldn’t get my head out of Jack London’s White Fang. From such men I learned White pride, loyalty, honesty, bravery, honour — and yes, even good race relations.
From Mark Twain and Jack London I learned the values of a work ethic, stoicism under hardship, human weakness and failings; I learned real life. As I matured I delved into Jack London’s John Barleycorn and the novels of other great American writers. I learned more about life from these great thinkers than a generation of conventional schoolteachers could offer me.
One seldom hears America’s great aviator Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) given credit in the world of literature. But in fact Lindbergh was a prolific prize-winning author, an internationally acclaimed explorer, an inventor of some merit, and a great environmentalist.
The power of his pen, dipped frequently into the inkpot of truth, taught me more about World War 2 than a Library of Congress full of books written by palace historians. No armchair pundit, Charles Lindbergh flew over 50 combat missions in the Pacific theatre of war.
The reason I trust him more than any other war writer is due to the aviator’s ability to write honestly and to see the war through the eyes of the foe too. This is a gift that few possess; it should not be underestimated. Assuredly, none of the epic flier’s recollections and accounts is ever going to be turned into movies. Nor will their lessons influence jingoist John-Wayne-style and Audie-Murphy-type fictional books, movies, or documentaries.
Perhaps the American aviator’s inner common decency and common sense, spliced with his Germanic heritage, separated Charles A. Lindbergh from his contemporaries. Of Allied conduct in both the Pacific and European wars the flier was scathing. Only if you are man enough to put loyalty to conscience and self before devotion to plastic patriotism can you fully comprehend this amazing chronicler’s account of real history. Here’s an example:
A long line of such incidents parades before my mind: the story of our Marines firing on unarmed Japanese survivors who swam ashore on the beach at Midway; the accounts of our machine-gunning prisoners on an Hollandia airstrip; of the Australians pushing captured Japanese soldiers out of transport planes which were taking them south over the New Guinea mountains. The Aussies reported them as committing hara-kiri or ‘resisting’; of the shinbones cut, for letter-openers and pen trays, from newly-killed Japanese bodies on Noemfoor; of the young pilot who was “going to cream that Jap hospital one of these days”; of American soldiers poking through the mouths of Japanese corpses for gold-filled teeth, which was the infantry’s favourite occupation. Of Jap heads buried in anthills “to get them clean for souvenirs”; of bodies bulldozed to the roadside and dumped by the hundreds into shallow, unmarked graves; of pictures of Mussolini and his mistress hung by their feet in an Italian city, to the approval of thousands of Americans who claim to stand for high, civilized ideals.
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Source: Mike Walsh; THE ALL LIES INVASION Volume One
Author-historian Mike Walsh is the literary WikiLeaks of the 20th and 21st centuries. His beautifully illustrated THE ALL LIES INVASION is one of his best-selling exposures of the false propaganda of World War 2’s victor nations.