Debate: American Involvement in protecting Unit 731

America is mostly known as the promised land, where extortion and lies seems unlikely to outsiders looking in, however that isn’t exactly the case. Injustice is as common as sickness in the 1300’s, cover ups and lies scattered all over, covering a deep flesh wound with a pretty designed superhero bandaid. Around the time of World War Ⅱ, on the lie of it being a lumber mill, a secret testing unit was created in various parts of China, named Unit 731. Japan had invaded China, and caused a civil war that took more lives than those currently living in Canada and Australia put together! Fearing other countries advancements, the science behind the unit was that they would build more effective and deadly bio-chemical warfare, testing it all out on innocent human subjects, referred to by the workers as “logs” at an attempt at dark humor. The atrocities performed are nearly unexplainable and completely unethical, ranging from purposely infecting a subject with a virus and watching them suffer as their body attempts poorly at fighting it off, vivisection without any medication or anesthesia resulting in painful death with barely any information gained, being forced into getting frostbite, being used as targets for weapons, and much more… not to mention the harsh abuse and rape of the subjects, often being forced into pregnancy as well, many babies having the horror show as both their birth and death place. Aside from all this, the United States still manages to get involved, as they often do, and which will be further examined, defend the monster in charge of Unit 731, in exchange for information on test subjects. Many oppose this decision, claiming it to be morally unethical and outright grotesque not only that the country defended it, but also for not exposing them for their crimes.

The other side of the story, of course, isn’t very large, but do have some valid points. Most argue that tons of information, testing the very limits of the human body was vital. Different diseases were discovered, and their effects were noted. Seeing what helps and what doesn’t help, adding a dictionary of disease and treatments, noting tell tale signs of specific diseases, information on pregnancy and so much other valuable information. By allowing Shiro Ishii to pass through prosecution, in exchange for the information collected by the scientists and doctors, some think that was a smart move. Not only were there serious pressures around the globe pushing against each country with WW2 going on, but the need for obtaining other countries plans and research felt crucial. We learned much about different forms of chemical warfare, testing out how they affect those that they wish to attack.

While the information may have been heavily idolized, the real question at stake involves with ethics. The utilitarianism theory relates well, placing different priorities around for a greater outcome, thus being the theory that people who support the decision to not prosecute. However, there are a plethora of different reasons why one would not support.

One reason to astray from the “for the better good” theory, is that transparency is very important in a working government system. America is deemed to be one of the greatest, most free country, however; supporting an atrocious collection of crimes is awful, and not opening that information up to the public is smart, but deviously smart in the wrong ways. They knew in their minds that it was wrong and that's why they felt it should be covered up, and hidden below the rug. While tensions were tight with other countries, American officials chose to make tensions and skeptics grow within their own country, a bold move. Not only that, but understanding the horrific unethical crimes performed on innocent people is horribly wrong, and those responsible should have to deal with the aftermath of the disaster they have created. The fact that this whole thing isn’t well known at all, just creates more fright than anything. Within ten years, over 3,000 innocent people deemed “logs” and “subjects” were killed in inside experiments, and outside experiments, like field tests, had a casualty of tens of thousands! These are just the known deaths, many people that mysteriously went missing could also make that number rise if enough evidence gets discovered.

Because the USSR was lacking this knowledge of germ warfare, America, specifically US General Douglas MacArthur, decided to give immunity to everyone involved in the huge war crime, affecting so many different innocent chinese families. Mothers who died as the child inside of them was ripped from the womb, leaving both humans to bleed out and die, many times the pregnancy forced upon them by scientists and workers who raped the women. Children and adults alike were infected with some of the worst, most deadly, pathogens known to mankind, just to see the effects, which was clearly death. Slow, painful, sickly death. The ones who fought it, their immune systems saving them, were ended by a shotgun. They were punished for their bodies doing it's very job, and ironically enough the ones who needed punishment were the ones to walk free. Those quite ill from the diseases forcefully injected and exposed to them, were placed on a table as the scientists did everything they could to get every last drop of blood out of them, going so far as to stomp on their chests. There were raids of fleas given to the prisoners, the fleas infected with bubonic plague. Seen as a “red dust storm” setting in the towns, which soon realized were fleas, biting and infecting thousands of innocent people. There was also frostbite testing, where limbs of the suffering prisoners were submerged into ice water until frozen. Ironically, because the whole unit was deemed as a “lumber mill” and the subjects called “logs”, there is eyewitness evidence of the limbs sounding like planks of wood when the crane would come down on theme.

The nuremberg trials were going on around the time Unit 731 was successfully disbanded. While all the concentration camp horrors were coming to the surface, the tragedies of Unit 731 were silent for a while, kept that way by the monstrous humans who created it. Once it began to reach the surface and the courts, there were tons of eyewitness accounts made known. Black vans, known as ravens would drive through the city of Harbin, people hearing screaming and pounding from inside. There was suspicion, but nothing was done until it was far too late, and somehow even still with all the eyewitness accounts, those responsible still managed to fly free, unlike the many lives they suppressed into death, murdered without any justice.

In conclusion, a decision was made to cover up an atrocity of mankind, sheltering the truth from so many people affected. So many people silenced, forgotten, wrongly shoved under a carpet as if their name and body held no meaning to anyone. Adults, children, even infants who were only shown the side of the world that wanted to destroy, use and abuse humans, treating them as if they weren't even alive. Of course, anyone looking back at this time, would be horrified, but it would be false to claim that nothing was learned, even if at a gruesome cost. While the methods may have been found in ill ways, one can only wonder what we wouldnt know about the human body. We can also question if their methods were biased, as itś sure that their motivations were on a political based foundation. There are also many other things very similar to Unit 731, Nazi doctors also tested the limits of the human body with hypothermia, and many current scientists still refer back to the old cruel documents for information. Jewish doctors also documented starvation in the Warsaw Ghettos, which was vital information in aiding with hunger diseases. One can argue, that it was all for a greater good, there is no religious figures of the day to sacrifice themselves, so it had to be done unwillingly, aside from the complex of the doctors and scientists just ¨following orders¨ as well as their curiosity. Nonetheless, there is no denying the horror show that Unit 731 was, that the lives of innocent people were stolen, many forgotten and left behind. Not one soul survived the morbid place, all survivors have been executed, although some witness accounts have been collected into a book titled Unit 731 The Forgotten Asian Auschwitz by Derek Pua. We can all argue what was right and wrong, but it is far too late. Not only have many of the offenders died, but the immunity was already granted, the trade is complete. History seems to repeat itself, but we can always look back at the past, taking lessons from it, and hoping not to make the same mistakes.