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What Japan is fighting for
What Japan is fighting for
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The Fall of Manila
Another glorious chapter has been written in the pages of history by our valiant Army and Navy when Manila---the last outpost of American Imperialism was entered by our forces on the afternoon of January 2. The Japanese troops converging on the city of Manila from the north and the south are reported to have begun to enter Manila on the morning of January 2. It is not surprising that reports say that American soldiers are fleeing to the fortified island of Corregidor at the mouth of Manila Bay. General Douglas MacArthur, commander-in-chief of the American forces in East Asia, himself reportedly wounded in one of the recent bombings by Japanese planes, has left Manila and sought refuge on the same fortified island. Since there is little likelihood of Japanese air forces overlooking those forces fleeing from Manila, the scene now being enacted around Manila Bay may be akin to what transpired at Dunkirk about two years ago. The fall of Manila, although it will be followed by more or less persistent forms of guerrilla warfare, must shortly lead to the complete subjugation of the island of Luzon by Japanese arms. The second largest and populous island of Mindanao has been in the hands of Japanese troops for some time. The Japanese capture of these islands is important for a two-fold reason. First, it means the loss of the East Asia outpost of American Imperialism, the base for the past forty years for the expansion of American capitalism on the Asiatic mainland. Second, it means the loss of a second keypoint in the trigangular line of defense formed with Hongkong and Singapore, the so-called ABCD encirclement line against Japan. Of these three vital points in the aggressive triangle only Singapore now remains. America began to bolster her defenses at Manila almost immediately after the outbreak of the present war in Europe. It was boastfully said that Manila would be able to take care of itself if defenses were extended at the cost of $1.000 million, provided with 500 airplanes, 100,000 soldiers, and a proportionate strength of the navy. As a matter of fact, the military forces prior to the present East Asia war were estimated at some 130.000 of whom 20,000 were Americans, the air forces at 250 units including the much vaunted "flying fortresses," and the naval forces at some 70, including one heavy cruiser, two or three light cruisers, 15 destroyers, and 25 submarines. With all these forces the Americans succumbed to Japanese arms in less than one month. Their fate was practically sealed when their air forces were annihilated in the opening few days of the campaign. Their hope of being reinforced from any direction was gone when the main Pacific fleet was destroyed at Pearl Harbor on the first day of the war and the main force of the British navy in East Asia went down to the bottom two days later. The campaign of Luzon, taken individually, proves again that no fort can be strong enough to withstand determined human exertion. The conclusion of large-scale military operations in the island of Luzon will unquestionably give the Japanese a free hand in other theaters of war. That the present pressure on Singapore will be doubled is easy to surmise. What further steps may be taken must of course remain a military secret. But when it is known that the current Japanese strategic plan aims at the destruction of the ABCD line, with regard chiefly to the United
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