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To many of us, the words “Congress ” and “awe” tend to be synonymous. Just take one example, when you read a congressman’s web page you find that he stood up and supported motherhood. Now did he simply support it by means of words and a smile or did he do something that required money and time and effort? One can’t be sure!

I am using the above as an introduction to the wisdom of congressmen. It is necessary to explain that my cynicism does not apply “across the board” but you will find it difficult to determine which example applies at any one time……

I worked on a project for about 7 months to get a sincere apology from Japan. Then E-mails were sent to congressmen informing them of the project. Next, invitations were sent to a number of selected congressmen inviting them to introduce the bill into congress. I received two replies (of sorts) and the remainder never bothered to reply. Follow-up letters were ignored too. I then filed a complaint with the president of the senate; result was no response.
Shortly before this time, I was counting on a large veterans organization; letters were sent to offices in all 50 states and then some follow-ups were mailed. Correct, maybe one or two answered.


The similarity between Congress and the veterans org. was that the matter was terminated simply by not bothering to answer correspondence. The appearance was that the veterans org. was “told” to lay off by some higher authority and Congress received a similar “suggestion” the same way. Understand, the above is only my theory but pure statistics do not play games this  way. I can not tell you the cause but here are the results:

  1. As of now, Congress will not hear the apology case.
  2. Congress does not respond to letters involving getting an apology  from Japan.
  3. The veterans organization took themselves out of the picture. The entire tale is sad here; one of the purposes of getting an apology was to honor veterans and their families. This is like not showing up for your birthday party.
  4. Veterans, veterans’ families and all people are suddenly losers. One must understand that no one has given up on getting an apology but you might want to plan other activities for that day.
  5. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Tokyo March 19-20, 2005, she told Japan that the United States would support them completely to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It is interesting to consider that the UN may want Japan to offer a sincere apology for the seat  on the Security Council. If I understand it correctly, the United States gave Japan a nice gift and ignored WW II, veterans, families, etc.
  6. Now return to the beginning and then refer to the web pages of congressmen. Now , how many took any credit for the above? Ok, so they’re still supporting motherhood.
  7. We are a country of the people and by the people and the First Amendment on Freedom of Speech is still in effect. Veterans, silence was not required under the First Amendment; you could have spoken for or against getting an apology ; being quiet was not a pre-condition and the party was to be in your honor and others.
  8. It is not too late to salvage the drive for an apology. (Everyone) call your elected officials across the country and tell them that you want them to get an apology from Japan   it’s already been 60 years. Quantity and quality count.as does persistence; don’t give up by thinking about the 60 years; think about the rest of this year and ACT.
  9. There is one more possibility. I wrote to Mr. Kofi Annan of the UN and said that I supported the UN’s  position that Japan should apologize before being offered a permanent seat on the Security Council. This is not inconsistent with the above and provides yet another pressure point for us.

Robert Schneider at [email protected] is a freelance writer.  The opinions expressed above represent those of the author and not necessarily of VT.  You are encouraged to email the author or post your comments herein. 


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