This one is for Curzon

Maybe my posts suck because I’m too close to the center to say anything controversial. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get a lot of comments on what I blog. And I know the reason. It’s just that I just can’t change my personality or the fact that maybe I’m not cut out for this.

But even I know Panglossian rubbish when I see it.

I found a link to this via my daily check of NewsonJapan.com. The story, “US Asks Japan For Half A Billion Dollars For Missile Defense,” originally appeared in the Daily Yomiuri, and was later posted on this site.

Let’s have a look at some of the comments in response to this article:

While the real problems on Earth like poverty remain unresolved.

Great, why don’t you fire up another doobie, and maybe things will all work out in the end. Of course poverty remains a problem! But don’t you see that the world isn’t that simple a place? It’s terrible that problems like poverty remain unsolved, but bemoaning TMD ain’t going to make things any better. Do you honestly think that the sole reason poverty continues is because no one in the system cares about them?

The US has formed alliances with a corrupt Japanese administration in order to counter their paranoia with regard to China since ww2

Sure, that was a huge mistake we made to ally ourselves with the LDP rather than the socialists and communists back in the early 1950s. Maybe if we had only changed our minds Japan could be like North Korea is today, where paranoia towards China is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

The US’ strong reaction to the European near-decision last March to lift their arms embargo against China shows how little the US wants its military position undermined. An armed to the teeth China might lead to a situation it no doubt considers among the worst of worse case scenarios in any future Far East developments.

You’re damned right the US reacted strongly. And why do you think that’s the case? Why is it that you seem to have no problem with arming China, or with Europe’s arms peddling, but cannot stomach the thought of a defensive missile system (yeah, that’s what the D stands for) for Japan and the United States?

The US is relentless however in working on Japan for it to become its Britain of the Far East with their joint research on the theater missile defense (TMD) system. This is intended to be in a developmental stage next year. The TMD is to target North Korea’s Nodong and Daepodong missiles and will also have a capability of reaching China’s Dong Feng nuclear base.

Say what you will about TMD, but trust me, “Nodong” and “Deapodong” aren’t Korean for “love thy neighbor” and “come here and give me a hug you big galoot!”

And what do you think a Dong Feng is? Have a look at this.
The I in ICBM stands for “Intercontinental.” As in, from one continent to another. As in, they can _attack_ other countries. But that’s okay, because they’re not the hegemon, right? They just need them to protect themselves from the US. Maybe so, but does that make the US any worse? Balderdash. Maybe if you actually read the pages of your history book rather than roll joints from them, you’d agree with me.

You know, now that I think about it, I’ll bet the Chinese could have fed, clothed, and housed a lot of people for the cost of those. Maybe if we set an example, they’d follow suit. Whadda ya think?

US hegemony continues -but does it make the world a safer place?

Safer than what? Sure the U.S. makes mistakes. Sure the U.S. pursues misguided policies. But what makes you think that any other hegemon would act differently? No, what makes you think they would act any better?

Don’t get me wrong. I normally don’t like to ruffle feathers. But the point of this is not to argue in defense of TMD, or US foreign policy, or anything else. And anyone who has a problem with the strength or character of my argument — which admittedly is not based on fact and is somewhat polemical — might want to reread those arguments against which it is directed.

It’s fine to criticize the United States and fine to criticize U.S. policy. I won’t call you anti-patriotic for that. But for the love of Zeus please consider the other side of things before doing it!

Failing that, just stay out of the fray and keep your mouth shut. In spite of however well meaning you are, or how correct the underlying direction of your argument is, you are making it really difficult for those of us here in reality to defend our own sensible arguments from the far right.

UPDATE:

More insanity…

What would it cost Japan if the US decided to pack up and go home?

Having lived in Japan for 12 years (including time in the Army), let me say 90% of the Japanese would love to see the US PACK UP AND GO HOME. They don’t want our bases there. They don’t want our GIs running around raping. They don’t want our arrogance.

The real reason we are still there is that Japan’s Prime Minister is just as big a dumbfuck as our President.If the people voted on it tomorrow, our ass would be out the door.

It isn’t a question of whether they want our bases there or not. It’s a question of what they will do if we leave. They may not like US bases in Japan, but something tells me they will like the alternative of having to pay for their own military expenditures as well as remilitarization even less. Not to mention the fact that they are then going to have to deal with an even more wary China and South Korea. And at some point they would have to face the question of nukes…

If the people cared about this issue as much as you say, and actually did vote (on anything), the LDP would have been out the door a long time ago. So I’m not really buying that.

12 thoughts on “This one is for Curzon”

  1. While I enthusiastically agree with your comments about the utter insanity of North Korea’s missile program (realistically, now, what will the first target of a nuke launch be? The Aleutians? I think not, so we’d better say goodbye to Tokyo instead) I can’t really agree with the logic that the reason why the American military should be based in Okinawa is because if the troops left Japan would be forced to pay for its own defense costs.

    Let’s face it: the American military (and that’s not to say Americans, by the way) in Japan is a total pain in the ass. The military is noisy and bombastic, and I don’t even see how effective it’s been in protecting Japan from…whatever. For example, have you ever seen one of those Japanese tank divisions up in Asahikawa, in Hokkaido? That’s one prime example of Japan looking after its own defense needs, against the Russians. Not an American in sight, though I guess the air base down in Aomori provided some sort of moral support.

    And if the American military has provided such protection, how was it that North Korean agents were able to land all over the Japan Sea and snatch Japanese hostages?

    Let’s be honest: the American presence in Okinawa and other places in Japan is a relic of the Occupation, and this presence benefits the United States more than it does Japan.

    I hate to say it – I love you Yanks – but put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  2. Did you catch their slogan?
    “To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary!”
    oh, to be seventeen again…

  3. Kokuryu,

    You may make a fair point about the American military in Okinawa being a relic of the Cold War. I don’t know your nationality, but especially if you’re Japanese I’m interested in what you have to say (because at least you’re thinking about it). Again, my point was not that the US military should stay in Japan. That’s a whole different debate and certainly good arguments can be made for alternatives to the US presence in Japan. Beleive me, I’m terribly ashamed whenever one of our GIs misbehaves himself. And as for the abductions, like I said, the US isn’t perfect.

    The point was that the criticisms made on the site were utterly inane because they were just that – criticisms. It’s fine to say the US should get out, but then what? I’ve no doubt that the Japanese can more than competently look after their own security. The GOJ knows it, the USG knows it, you know it, and I know it. But I don’t beleive the poppycock about Japan as a US lapdog because I give the Japanese more credit than that. (If anyone thinks less than that, have a look at postwar Japanese trade policy.) They do, and think have always done, what is in their national interest within the confines of the system. If the government wanted the US out, they could very well make a stink about it. The US may be a pain in the ass, but it is a pain at least partially endured by the GOJ willingly.

  4. Kokuryu,

    I’m fairly certain that the reason the US military has bases in Japan is to provide first strike capibility in other east-Asian countries (i.e. North Korea). I’m sure the only interest the US has in protecting Japan is entirely coincidental (like, if attacking China in an act of US defense also serves as an act of Japanese defense, then Japan gets lucky).

    Saru,

    I’m amazed that the article doesn’t mention the one real reason to be against a TMD system: an enemy may conceivably see their last chance for a ballistic missile attack going away, and may pre-emptively attack because soon, any attack will be ineffective. Also, politically speaking, this may lead to arms escalation, which is the opposite of what we all want right now.

  5. There hasn’t yet been even a single remotely successful test of a missile defence system anywhere in the world. They might as well be making plans for a space elevator, cloned-organ farm, quantum supercomputer or cold fusion reactor.

  6. Matt, what kind of arms escalation are you talking about? And Monsieur Mutant Frog, I humbly disagree with that statement. While I am opposed to our rapid deployment of what is clearly a faulty system, we should certain waste little effort in researching missile defense.

  7. Curzon, you misunderstand me.

    Each one of those things I listed are in the category of highly advanced technology that we will probably be able to build in a few years, but not without spending a huge amount of money on research and construction costs. Missile defence is in the same category. It does not currently exist in any form-it is just as much a piece of science fiction as my four examples, but like them it may be reality within a decade or two if we get lucky.

  8. “And what do you think a Dong Feng is?”

    Besides a crappy Chinese auto maker?

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