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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China)
on: February 27, 2017, 10:13:55 PM
This is a fairly accurate article and captures the current Indian thinking vis a vis China. Something that is not captured in most contemporary articles is the mood in India is quite positive, the thinking is that India will overtake China in about 10-15 years economically. Demographics of India are better as compared to China. New Indian missiles reach all parts of China, so the military threat from China is no longer scary. The thinking is that China has not fought a war in 3-4 decades...does this generation of chinese soldiers even know how to fight anymore ? and do they want to start with India.
That is a key question. China's last war was with Vietnam. It didn't turn out well for them. The PLA has been quite corrupt and it is hard to say how well they will perform in combat.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy
on: February 27, 2017, 09:11:50 PM
If you live in a blue state, it's past time to leave.
Yes, but it's a nice way to hammer the blue states.
Right, but also (further) punishing the red voters in the blue states.
I wrote about this earlier, that NJ ad MN among others were going to get hammered.
Yes it makes sense, but it could be a partial exclusion or have a phase in period.
One thing about extreme ideas like this is that it most likely isn't going to happen. Why not propose tax reform they can pass and pass it now, instead of talking like a think tank while they have a most certainly temporary governing majority.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: Pakistan- the indespensible, unreliable ally
on: February 27, 2017, 07:31:40 PM
Fred Burton spelled enemy wrong.
Editor's Note: The following piece is part of an occasional series in which Fred Burton, Stratfor's chief security officer, reflects on his storied experience as a counterterrorism agent for the U.S. State Department.
By Fred Burton
When it comes to combating terrorism, Pakistan is an indispensable ally for the United States. But as the two countries' checkered history shows, it is also an unreliable one.
Pakistan seems to be a constant center of terrorism and chaos. The Taliban and al Qaeda have long been present in the country. Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden even hid out in his compound in Abbottabad, a stone's throw away from a military training compound, before Navy SEAL Team 6 took him out in a 2011 raid. Pakistani officials have denied that they knew about bin Laden's presence. But for those of us who have spent time in the world of counterterrorism, it's hard to believe that one of the world's most wanted people lived in the city for years without being detected by the Pakistani government or its intelligence agencies.
The raid took place only when CIA suspicions about the terrorist leader's whereabouts were confirmed by a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. He used a fake vaccine campaign to obtain samples of the bin Laden family's DNA, pointing U.S. forces to the compound. For his role in the affair, Afridi was convicted by Pakistan of treason and is currently serving a long prison sentence. Afridi became a cause celebre after U.S. President Donald Trump made a campaign promise to have him freed. But when Pakistan reacted angrily to the suggestion, it became another bone of contention between uneasy allies.
Pakistan's turbulent history also includes a pattern of violence toward its leaders, who have been targets of numerous assassination attempts. In 1988, the mysterious crash of a U.S.-made C-130 claimed the life of President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq and many of his top generals, along with U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Herbert Wassom and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel. Over a decade later, President Pervez Musharraf survived several attempts on his life. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was not so lucky; she was killed in a bombing in late 2007.
In the late 1980s, I was part of a small U.S. team sent to investigate the crash of Zia-ul-Haq's C-130, a tricky case made more complex by the atmosphere we found in Pakistan. First, Zia-ul-Haq belonged to the Pakistani army, but the country's air force was the branch tasked with coordinating our investigation. As in any nation's armed forces, interbranch rivalries ran deep there. From the first briefing with Pakistani officials, it was clear that they had preconceived notions about the cause of the crash, creating immediate friction with our small team. To make an uncomfortable situation even worse, they closely watched our every move.
As an investigator, I strove to rule in or out the variables that could have caused the crash, such as sabotage, catastrophic mechanical failure or weather. Granted, the event was traumatic to Pakistan; after all, it had lost its president. But it was also unnerving for the Diplomatic Security Service. We had lost our ambassador and a brigadier general. In fact, before Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Raphel was the last U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty.
Pakistan's cooperation with the United States on that case and others has not stopped militant groups from festering in the country, despite Islamabad's campaign against them. Pakistan's hard-line Islamist factions and long-running disputes with India provide a breeding ground for militancy, and Islamabad has even had a hand in fostering groups that later committed acts of terrorism.
The recent house arrest of Hafiz Saeed demonstrates the duality of Pakistan's relationship with the United States when it comes to terrorism. As Pakistan's competition with India over Kashmir heated up in the 1990s, its intelligence services supported the development of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the armed wing of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity Saeed had founded. Since being turned loose in Kashmir to harass Indian troops, Lashkar-e-Taiba has pursued its jihadist agenda in other regions as well, targeting Americans among other victims.
Saeed himself is the accused mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people, including six U.S. citizens. The U.S. government offered a $10 million reward for his arrest and conviction for the attacks, which targeted several hotels. Despite the price on his head, Saeed continued to live openly in Pakistan, even giving occasional press conferences. That is, until he was placed under house arrest by Pakistani authorities in late January.
Why the change of heart? It could be to ensure that the new U.S. administration continues to funnel military aid to Pakistan, or to avoid being added to the list of countries with a U.S. travel ban. It could also be a sign of a larger shift in Pakistani politics. Islamabad's reasons are rarely straightforward. Either way, it's unlikely that the Pakistani government is motivated by the prospect of the reward, offered through the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, since states are not eligible to cash in on it.
The one constant I've learned over the years is that Pakistan is key to our silent and sometimes violent war on terrorism. The success of the fight also depends on the continued cooperation of men and women with Afridi's courage. I trust that the Trump administration is working behind the scenes to secure his release. Because if anyone deserves a State Department reward for helping run a terrorist to ground, it's him.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Just say no to autonomous cars
on: February 26, 2017, 01:35:15 PM
No. Just… NO.
February 24, 2017 Kim du Toit Bad News
Via Insty, I discovered this little beast lurking in the bushes. The piece is entitled, “The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost” and is about how Silicon Valley won’t be able to challenge Detroit / Wolfsburg / Stuttgart / Tokyo in the manufacture of autonomous cars. Don’t care about any of that. No, the turd in the punchbowl actually comes towards the end of the article:
There is another area where Silicon Valley could play a dominant role and it’s all about accessing car-based data.
One billion people get in and out of a car every single day. They go to work, they go home, they shop, they play, they do a billion different things. Knowing where they’re going and what they’re doing can be very valuable. That data can be aggregated, sorted, and packaged. And then it can be sold to anyone.
Unlike automotive manufacturing, Big Data analytics driven by Artificial Intelligence does not require large capital investments in factories and equipment. That translates into meaty profit margins, reportedly as high as 90%.
There are basically two sets of data. One set is generated by the car, such as how all the parts and components are performing and how well the car is running. That allows automakers to mine the data for a variety of uses, such as trend analysis to quickly identify warranty issues or learn how to set more effective engineering specifications.
The other set of data is generated by the people in the car; a massive amount of information flowing in and out about where they’re going and what they’re doing. Last year in the U.S. market alone Chevrolet collected 4,220 terabytes of data from customer’s cars. McKinsey forecasts that this could grow into a $450 to 750 billion market by 2030. Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies, and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You can sell the same data again, again and again to a variety of different customers.
I have no absolutely problem with the first data set; if it’s to do with improving the car and its manufacturer’s business, I’m all for it.
I have an enormous problem with the second data set. Here’s why.
As Longtime Readers already know, I used to work in the supermarket loyalty program business; you know, those annoying little cards you have to use to get discounts when you check out of the big supermarkets. (Basically, the supermarket is paying you for your shopping data, which they mostly use to improve things like stock re-ordering, shelf management and pricing strategy. That’s the equivalent of Data Set #1, above.) Let me be perfectly frank about this: I don’t know a great deal about a lot of things, but I know absolutely everything about customer data collection and -marketing. Over a period of five years, I set up data collection methodology and designed databases, reporting systems and marketing programs for a number of supermarket chains all over the United States. Trust me, I know whereof I speak on this topic.
Which is why I look on this Data Set #2 from the automotive industry with alarm and absolute hostility. One of the rules I set up right at the beginning of any loyalty program was that the data didn’t belong to the supermarket chain; it belonged to the customer. Once aggregated, of course, the data became ours — but individual transaction data was absolutely untouchable. We could not release any individual’s data to anyone without that customer’s explicit and specific approval — several times, I refused “requests” (demands) from divorce attorneys and once, yes, from a government agency, to have access to individuals’ shopping data.
Now compare and contrast that policy, if you will, with this breezy attitude towards data sharing:
Retailers, advertisers, marketers, product planners, financial analysts, government agencies, and so many others will eagerly pay to get access to that information. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You can sell the same data again, again and again to a variety of different customers.
I have often cautioned people about this trend towards autonomous cars. Yes, it means that you don’t have to worry your pretty / pointy little head about that messy driving business while you grapple with WOW Level 13 — but what you’re doing, in essence, is giving up control of the car to someone else. (And you can dress it up with all the IT gobbledygook about “algorithms”, “AI” and “predictive planning” you want; I’ll still tell you to blow it out your ass, because at the end of the day, someone not you is going to control your actions.)
Now this. Note that in the excerpt above, the lovely little term “government agencies” is inserted right next to “and so many others” like it’s not just another fucking tool whereby the goddamn government can observe and yes, later control your actions.
One of my heroes is a man named John Cowperthwaite, who was the governor-general of Hong Kong during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and who was responsible for the greatest improvement of a country’s living conditions in history. Here was Cowperthwaite’s take on government data collection (which he expressly forbade, by the way), as told to Milton Friedman:
“I remember asking [Cowperthwaite] about the paucity of statistics. He answered,’If I let them compute those statistics, they’ll want to use them for planning.'”
If it were just planning, I might be okay with it. But what Cowperthwaite suspected, and what I know for a fact, is that governmental “planning” inevitably leads to government control. Information is everything, and we now live in the Information Age. Sometimes I wish we didn’t, because the vast mass of people just don’t care or are completely ignorant of this danger.
Here’s my last thought (for now) on this topic. The automobile was for decades a symbol of an individual’s independence. In his car, a man could drive wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted, for whatever reason he wanted, and for as long as he wanted — all without anyone but himself being any the wiser. Now, under the guise of “autonomy”, this freedom is going to be taken away from us. (At this point, George Orwell is laughing his ass off. “Freedom is Slavery”, remember?)
I once said that if I could choose the way I die, it would either be in my wife’s arms or on the barricades. Well, that first option has been taken from me, which means that if I die, it will be in a pitched gun battle with government agents who are trying to take away my old car and forcing me to use Government Autonomous Vehicle Mk. VII — and if you think I’m joking, I’m not. Fuck this bullshit.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: LGBT Girl to "Boy" Transition on Steroids Wins Texas Girl's Wrestling Title
on: February 26, 2017, 12:23:26 PM
Doping in sports is now ok, if you're "transitioning" from one gender to the other. It may well be the first time a girl has had an undeafeted run all the way to the state title.http://vesselnews.io/transgender-boy-wins-girls-state-wrestling-crown/
Dancing Dog and I grew up wrestling in Iowa (where to this day, it remains the national sport and is revered), there is no way I would wrestle this person... because if you lose, you lose...and if you win, you won against a girl. I wouldn't do it.
By the current LBGTQWTF rules, if you wake up one morning and decide you are female, then you are, no makeup, dresses or surgery required. So, unaltered males that declare themselves female are now free to dominate women's sports. Oh, and enjoy the view of the locker room. Any female that protests gets shamed for her vile bigotry.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
on: February 26, 2017, 10:20:56 AM
Two POTH (NYTimes) articles I posted this morning raise some very important questions.
For us here, listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization has been a simple and obvious call, but the consequences from blow back in the Muslim world may be something we have not fully considered.
Similar issues in the McMaster-Trump article.
The vast majority of peaceful muslims couldn't possibly support a entity like the MB, could they?
I'm glad we didn't take a hard line on the National Socialist German Worker's Party, I doubt we could have won WWII if we did!
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Unmasking Horror -- A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity
on: February 25, 2017, 07:03:52 PM
Unmasking Horror -- A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: March 17, 1995
MORIOKA, Japan— He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife, and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to a bed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.
"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle when they led him into the room and tied him down," recalled the 72-year-old farmer, then a medical assistant in a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II. "But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming.
"I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped. This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time."
Finally the old man, who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project -- the full horror of which is only now emerging -- to develop plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside. No anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.
That research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II: a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare, including plague, anthrax, cholera and a dozen other pathogens. Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army conducted research by experimenting on humans and by "field testing" plague bombs by dropping them on Chinese cities to see whether they could start plague outbreaks. They could.
A trickle of information about the program has turned into a stream and now a torrent. Half a century after the end of the war, a rush of books, documentaries and exhibitions are unlocking the past and helping arouse interest in Japan in the atrocities committed by some of Japan's most distinguished doctors.
Scholars and former members of the unit say that at least 3,000 people -- by some accounts several times as many -- were killed in the medical experiments; none survived.
No one knows how many died in the "field testing." It is becoming evident that the Japanese officers in charge of the program hoped to use their weapons against the United States. They proposed using balloon bombs to carry disease to America, and they had a plan in the summer of 1945 to use kamikaze pilots to dump plague-infected fleas on San Diego.
The research was kept secret after the end of the war in part because the United States Army granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the doctors in exchange for their data. Japanese and American documents show that the United States helped cover up the human experimentation. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, it gave them stipends.
The accounts are wrenching to read even after so much time has passed: a Russian mother and daughter left in a gas chamber, for example, as doctors peered through thick glass and timed their convulsions, watching as the woman sprawled over her child in a futile effort to save her from the gas. The Origins Ban on Weapon Entices Military
Japan's biological weapons program was born in the 1930's, in part because Japanese officials were impressed that germ warfare had been banned by the Geneva Convention of 1925. If it was so awful that it had to be banned under international law, the officers reasoned, it must make a great weapon.
The Japanese Army, which then occupyied a large chunk of China, evicted the residents of eight villages near Harbin, in Manchuria, to make way for the headquarters of Unit 731. One advantage of China, from the Japanese point of view, was the availability of research subjects on whom germs could be tested. The subjects were called marutas, or logs, and most were Communist sympathizers or ordinary criminals. The majority were Chinese, but many were Russians, expatriates living in China.
Takeo Wano, a 71-year-old former medical worker in Unit 731 who now lives here in the northern Japanese city of Morioka, said he once saw a six-foot-high glass jar in which a Western man was pickled in formaldehyde. The man had been cut into two pieces, vertically, and Mr. Wano guesses that he was Russian because there were many Russians then living in the area.
The Unit 731 headquarters contained many other such jars with specimens. They contained feet, heads, internal organs, all neatly labeled. "I saw samples with labels saying 'American,' 'English' and 'Frenchman,' but most were Chinese, Koreans and Mongolians," said a Unit 731 veteran who insisted on anonymity. "Those labeled as American were just body parts, like hands or feet, and some were sent in by other military units."
There is no evidence that Americans were among the victims in the Unit 731 compound, although there have been persistent but unproven accusations that American prisoners of war in Mukden (now Shenyang) were subject to medical experimentation.
Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors locked others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets.
Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes and bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infested fleas to see how many people would die.
The Japanese armed forces were using poison gas in their battles against Chinese troops, and so some of the prisoners were used in developing more lethal gases. One former member of Unit 731 who insisted on anonymity said he was taken on a "field trip" to the proving ground to watch a poison gas experiment.
A group of prisoners were tied to stakes, and then a tank-like contraption that spewed out gas was rolled toward them, he said. But at just that moment, the wind changed and the Japanese observers had to run for their lives without seeing what happened to the victims.
The Japanese Army regularly conducted field tests to see whether biological warfare would work outside the laboratory. Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China, and plague outbreaks were later reported.
Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in wells and ponds, but the results were often counterproductive. In 1942 germ warfare specialists distributed dysentery, cholera and typhoid in Zhejiang Province in China, but Japanese soldiers became ill and 1,700 died of the diseases, scholars say.
Sheldon H. Harris, a historian at California State University in Northridge, estimates that more than 200,000 Chinese were killed in germ warfare field experiments. Professor Harris -- author of a book on Unit 731, "Factories of Death" (Routledge, 1994) -- also says plague-infected animals were released as the war was ending and caused outbreaks of the plague that killed at least 30,000 people in the Harbin area from 1946 through 1948.
The leading scholar of Unit 731 in Japan, Keiichi Tsuneishi, is skeptical of such numbers. Professor Tsuneishi, who has led the efforts in Japan to uncover atrocities by Unit 731, says that the attack on Ningbo killed about 100 people and that there is no evidence of huge outbreaks of disease set off by field trials. The Tradeoff Knowledge Gained At Terrible Cost
Many of the human experiments were intended to develop new treatments for medical problems that the Japanese Army faced. Many of the experiments remain secret, but an 18-page report prepared in 1945 -- and kept by a senior Japanese military officer until now -- includes a summary of the unit's research. The report was prepared in English for American intelligence officials, and it shows the extraordinary range of the unit's work.
Scholars say that the research was not contrived by mad scientists, and that it was intelligently designed and carried out. The medical findings saved many Japanese lives.
For example, Unit 731 proved scientifically that the best treatment for frostbite was not rubbing the limb, which had been the traditional method, but rather immersion in water a bit warmer than 100 degrees -- but never more than 122 degrees.
The cost of this scientific breakthrough was borne by those seized for medical experiments. They were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water, until a guard decided that frostbite had set in. Testimony from a Japanese officer said this was determined after the "frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck."
A booklet just published in Japan after a major exhibition about Unit 731 shows how doctors even experimented on a three-day-old baby, measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger.
"Usually a hand of a three-day-old infant is clenched into a fist," the booklet says, "but by sticking the needle in, the middle finger could be kept straight to make the experiment easier." The Scope Other Experiments On Humans
The human experimentation did not take place just in Unit 731, nor was it a rogue unit acting on its own. While it is unclear whether Emperor Hirohito knew of the atrocities, his younger brother, Prince Mikasa, toured the Unit 731 headquarters in China and wrote in his memoirs that he was shown films showing how Chinese prisoners were "made to march on the plains of Manchuria for poison gas experiments on humans."
In addition, the recollections of Dr. Ken Yuasa, 78, who still practices in a clinic in Tokyo, suggest that human experimentation may have been routine even outside Unit 731. Dr. Yuasa was an army medic in China, but he says he was never in Unit 731 and never had contact with it.
Nevertheless, Dr. Yuasa says that when he was still in medical school in Japan, the students heard that ordinary doctors who went to China were allowed to vivisect patients. And sure enough, when Dr. Yuasa arrived in Shanxi Province in north-central China in 1942, he was soon asked to attend a "practice surgery."
Two Chinese men were brought in, stripped naked and given general anesthetic. Then Dr. Yuasa and the others began practicing various kinds of surgery: first an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. After 90 minutes, they were finished, so they killed the patient with an injection.
When Dr. Yuasa was put in charge of a clinic, he said, he periodically asked the police for a Communist to dissect, and they sent one over. The vivisection was all for practice rather than for research, and Dr. Yuasa says they were routine among Japanese doctors working in China in the war.
In addition, Dr. Yuasa -- who is now deeply apologetic about what he did -- said he cultivated typhoid germs in test tubes and passed them on, as he had been instructed to do, to another army unit. Someone from that unit, which also had no connection with Unit 731, later told him that the troops would use the test tubes to infect the wells of villages in Communist-held territory. The Plans Taking the War To U.S. Homeland
In 1944, when Japan was nearing defeat, Tokyo's military planners seized on a remarkable way to hit back at the American heartland: they launched huge balloons that rode the prevailing winds to the continental United States. Although the American Government censored reports at the time, some 200 balloons landed in Western states, and bombs carried by the balloons killed a woman in Montana and six people in Oregon.
Half a century later, there is evidence that it could have been far worse; some Japanese generals proposed loading the balloons with weapons of biological warfare, to create epidemics of plague or anthrax in the United States. Other army units wanted to send cattle-plague virus to wipe out the American livestock industry or grain smut to wipe out the crops.
There was a fierce debate in Tokyo, and a document discovered recently suggests that at a crucial meeting in late July 1944 it was Hideki Tojo -- whom the United States later hanged for war crimes -- who rejected the proposal to use germ warfare against the United States.
At the time of the meeting, Tojo had just been ousted as Prime Minister and chief of the General Staff, but he retained enough authority to veto the proposal. He knew by then that Japan was likely to lose the war, and he feared that biological assaults on the United States would invite retaliation with germ or chemical weapons being developed by America.
Yet the Japanese Army was apparently willing to use biological weapons against the Allies in some circumstances. When the United States prepared to attack the Pacific island of Saipan in the late spring of 1944, a submarine was sent from Japan to carry biological weapons -- it is unclear what kind -- to the defenders.
The submarine was sunk, Professor Tsuneishi says, and the Japanese troops had to rely on conventional weapons alone.
As the end of the war approached in 1945, Unit 731 embarked on its wildest scheme of all. Codenamed Cherry Blossoms at Night, the plan was to use kamikaze pilots to infest California with the plague.
Toshimi Mizobuchi, who was an instructor for new recruits in Unit 731, said the idea was to use 20 of the 500 new troops who arrived in Harbin in July 1945. A submarine was to take a few of them to the seas off Southern California, and then they were to fly in a plane carried on board the submarine and contaminate San Diego with plague-infected fleas. The target date was to be Sept. 22, 1945.
Ishio Obata, 73, who now lives in Ehime prefecture, acknowledged that he had been a chief of the Cherry Blossoms at Night attack force against San Diego, but he declined to discuss details. "It is such a terrible memory that I don't want to recall it," he said.
Tadao Ishimaru, also 73, said he had learned only after returning to Japan that he had been a candidate for the strike force against San Diego. "I don't want to think about Unit 731," he said in a brief telephone interview. "Fifty years have passed since the war. Please let me remain silent."
It is unclear whether Cherry Blossoms at Night ever had a chance of being carried out. Japan did indeed have at least five submarines that carried two or three planes each, their wings folded against the fuselage like a bird.
But a Japanese Navy specialist said the navy would have never allowed its finest equipment to be used for an army plan like Cherry Blossoms at Night, partly because the highest priority in the summer of 1945 was to defend the main Japanese islands, not to launch attacks on the United States mainland.
If the Cherry Blossoms at Night plan was ever serious, it became irrelevant as Japan prepared to surrender in early August 1945. In the last days of the war, beginning on Aug. 9, Unit 731 used dynamite to try to destroy all evidence of its germ warfare program, scholars say. The Aftermath No Punishment, Little Remorse
Partly because the Americans helped cover up the biological warfare program in exchange for its data, Gen. Shiro Ishii, the head of Unit 731, was allowed to live peacefully until his death from throat cancer in 1959. Those around him in Unit 731 saw their careers flourish in the postwar period, rising to positions that included Governor of Tokyo, president of the Japan Medical Association and head of the Japan Olympic Committee.
By conventional standards, few people were more cruel than the farmer who as a Unit 731 medic carved up a Chinese prisoner without anesthetic, and who also acknowledged that he had helped poison rivers and wells. Yet his main intention in agreeing to an interview seemed to be to explain that Unit 731 was not really so brutal after all.
Asked why he had not anesthetized the prisoner before dissecting him, the farmer explained: "Vivisection should be done under normal circumstances. If we'd used anesthesia, that might have affected the body organs and blood vessels that we were examining. So we couldn't have used anesthetic."
When the topic of children came up, the farmer offered another justification: "Of course there were experiments on children. But probably their fathers were spies."
"There's a possibility this could happen again," the old man said, smiling genially. "Because in a war, you have to win."
Photo: Japan proposed using germ-war balloons against America. (From "Unit 731"/The Free Press) (pg. A1); Gen. Shiro Ishii, head of Unit 731. (pg. A12) Map shows the location of Harbin, China. (pg. A12)
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hidden Horrors: Japanese atrocities include evidence of cannibalism
on: February 25, 2017, 06:58:54 PM
Hidden Horrors: Japanese atrocities include evidence of cannibalism
“For the 10,000-odd soldiers of the Indian Army who endured extreme torture at the hands of their Japanese captors, cannibalism was the culmination. Evidence suggests the practice was not the result of dwindling supplies, but worse, it was conducted under supervision and perceived as a power projection tool.” (War Crimes in WWII: Japanese Practiced Cannibalism on Indian soldiers, International Business Times, 2014)
On Dec. 25, 1942, the US Army’s Allied Translator & Interpreter Section (ATIS), obtained the diary of a Japanese commander whose entry on Oct. 19, 1942, documented starvation of his platoon, and noted that meat had been carved from a dead American prisoner: “This is the first time I have ever tasted human flesh—and it was very tasty.” (Interagency Working Group, National Archives and Records Administration, 2006; pp. 160—163
In 1993, Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes In World War II by Toshiyuki Tanaka, a Japanese historian at Melbourne University, was published in Japanese (English translation, 1996). The book focuses on Japanese atrocities Australian territory and deep in the jungles of Burneo and Papua, New Guinea where thousands of Australian, British, Pakistani and Indian POWs were massacred, and some cannibalized.
Tanaka addressed five categories of Japanese war crimes and explores the broader social, psychological, and institutional culture, examining Japanese conduct within the context of dehumanizing institutionalized wartime brutality. He describes the plight of 2,000 Australian and British POWs who died at Sandakan Camp in Borneo, and the tortuous 160-mile death march which only six survived to tell what happened. He describes human experiments in which POWs were injected with pathogens and poisons; the massacre of civilians, mostly German clergymen, Australian and Chinese civilians. He describes the slaughter of 65 shipwrecked Australian nurses and the gang rape of 32 other captured nurses who were then sent to Sumatra to serve as prostitutes for Japanese soldiers, who are euphemistically called, “comfort women.” And he addressed accounts of cannibalism.
Tanaka indicated that he had collected at least 100 documented cases of Japanese cannibalism involving Australian and Indian soldiers, and refuted the Allies’ contention that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism only when their food supplies were exhausted. “Tanaka said this [cannibalism] was done under the supervision of senior officers and was perceived as a power projection tool.” (Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)
One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers
One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers was Jemadar Abdul Latif of the Indian Army who was rescued by the Australians at Sepik Bay in 1945. He alleged that Indian POWs and local New Guineas were killed and eaten by Japanese.
“At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away… and never reappeared.” (The Times of London, November 5, 1946; Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)
Latif’s charges were buttressed by sworn testimonies to the War Crimes Investigation Commissions set up by the Allies. Captain R U Pirzai and Subedar Dr Gurcharan Singh told the Australian Courier-Mail in August 25, 1945 that:
“Of 300 men who went to Wewak with me, only 50 got out. Nineteen were eaten. A Jap doctor —Lieutenant Tumisa, formed a party of three or four men and would send an Indian outside the camp for something. The Japs immediately would kill him and eat the flesh from his body. The liver, muscles from the buttocks, thighs, legs, and arms would be cut off and cooked.”
(Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014; Jayalakshmi. War Crimes in WWII: Japanese Practiced Cannibalism on Indian soldiers, International Business Times, Aug. 11, 2014)
These witnesses testified that a Japanese doctor, Lieutenant Tumisa, would lead a party of three or four to kill and eat the flesh of hapless Indian soldiers. Similar testimonies by POWs held at other prisons have also provided detailed reports about Japanese cannibalism, such as Havildar Changdi Ram and Lance Naik Hatam Ali, who also gave details of cannibalism practiced in their camps
“John Baptist Crasta of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, also a POW at Rabaul, wrote in his memoir (Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War) about Japanese eating Indian soldiers. He was made part of the Allied investigation into Japanese war crimes later.”
April 2, 1946, Reuters reported: “The Japanese Lieutenant Hisata Tomiyasu found guilty of the murder of 14 Indian soldiers and of cannibalism at Wewak (New Guinea) in 1944 has been sentenced to death by hanging, it is learned from Rabaul.
November 5, 1946, The Times, London: “At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away ostensibly for carrying out duties, but they never reappeared.”
“Based on their testimonies, several Japanese officers were tried. Lieut. Gen. Yoshio Tachibana, the most senior officer found guilty of cannibalism, was hanged.” (Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)
POW death rate under Japanese was seven times higher than under the Germans & Italians Tanaka suggests that the level of brutalities committed by the Japanese Army help to explain why the death rate for POWs under the Japanese was seven times that of the deaths of POWs under the Germans and Italians. He does not accept that starvation and diseases in tropical countries are the only explanation. Tanaka provides insights into the “emperor ideology” that dominated in Japan during this time and tries to separate this ideology from former periods in Japanese history. He shows that the corruption of the samurai class concept “Bushidou” that had been maintained during the nineteenth century had deteriorated to the point that soldiers had to be imbued with a “fighting spirit.”
“the concept for basic human rights, in particular for individual lives, was lacking among Japanese soldiers…they did what they thought would be done to them had the positions been reversed… Ideological pressure produced a blind obedience that went much further than the loyalty needed by a warrior from former times. Japanese soldiers also suffered from a radicalization evidenced by Japan’s decision to start a war without having plans on how to end it or to occupy New Guinea, for example, without further knowledge of the territory.”
Furthermore, Tanaka analyzes the psychological pressures that Japanese soldiers were under:
Rape has been “a device for maintaining group aggressiveness of soldiers…The need to dominate the enemy is imperative in battle with other men… The violation of the bodies of women becomes the means by which such a sense of domination is affirmed and reaffirmed” (p. 107, 108)
Tanaka explains that existing accounts of cannibalism make clear that its practice “was something more than merely random incidents perpetrated by individual or small groups subject to extreme conditions;” he classifies it as a sort of “group-survival cannibalism,” some driven by starvation, although instances of cannibalism occurred before there was a shortage of food.(p. 126) Tanaka highlights the fact that “discipline was maintained to an astonishing degree” (p. 127), thus, some soldiers participated in order to avoid being seen as traitors to group solidarity or even, in some cases, to avoid being eaten themselves by their own companions.
This underscores the inherent danger posed by a collective psychological tendency wherein an individual member in a closed dominant group feels obliged to accede to group pressures. [This was demonstrated in controversial psychological experiments by Stanley Milgrim in his “Obedience to Authority” experiment (1961), and by Philip Zimbardo in his infamous Stanford Prison experiment (1971)].
Hidden Horrors includes a chapter on Biological Warfare Plans. Although the Pacific front was spared biological warfare, plans were made and soldiers were trained for its eventuality. However, POWs at Rabau were subjected to experiments in which they were injected with various poisons or viruses to test their lethality.
Additionally, the extraordinary rate of deaths among Japanese soldiers due to starvation and tropical diseases led doctors to surmise that Japanese soldiers had also been subjected to such experiments. Tanaka suggested that it was as an example of victimizers being victimized; the way in which “those who are guilty are often the victims of war crimes themselves” (p. 134). Tanaka’s findings were later published by The Japan Times In 1997.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alive and safe, the brutal Japanese soldiers who butchered 20,000 Allied seamen
on: February 25, 2017, 06:49:29 PM
Alive and safe, the brutal Japanese soldiers who butchered 20,000 Allied seamen in cold blood
By NIGEL BLUNDELL
Last updated at 17:53 03 November 2007
The perpetrators of some of the worst atrocities of the Second World War remain alive and unpunished in Japan, according to a damning new book.
Painstaking research by British historian Mark Felton reveals that the wartime behaviour of the Japanese Navy was far worse than their counterparts in Hitler's Kriegsmarine.
According to Felton, officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered the deliberately sadistic murders of more than 20,000 Allied seamen and countless civilians in cold-blooded defiance of the Geneva Convention.
"Many of the Japanese sailors who committed such terrible deeds are still alive today," he said.
"No one and nothing has bothered these men in six decades. There is only one documented case of a German U-boat skipper being responsible for cold-blooded murder of survivors. In the Japanese Imperial Navy, it was official orders."
Felton has compiled a chilling list of atrocities. He said: "The Japanese Navy sank Allied merchant and Red Cross vessels, then murdered survivors floating in the sea or in lifeboats.
"Allied air crew were rescued from the ocean and then tortured to death on the decks of ships.
"Naval landing parties rounded up civilians then raped and massacred them. Some were taken out to sea and fed to sharks. Others were killed by sledge-hammer, bayonet, beheading, hanging, drowning, burying alive, burning or crucifixion.
"I also unearthed details of medical experiments by naval doctors, with prisoners being dissected while still alive."
Felton's research reveals for the first time the full extent of the war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Navy, a force that traditionally modelled itself on the Royal Navy. Previously unknown documents suggest that at least 12,500 British sailors and a further 7,500 Australians were butchered.
Felton cites the case of the British merchantman Behar, sunk by the heavy cruiser Tone on March 9, 1944. The Tone's captain Haruo Mayuzumi picked up survivors and, after ten days of captivity below decks, had 85 of them assembled, hands bound, on his ship's stern.
Kicked in their stomachs and testicles by the Japanese, they were then, one by one, beheaded with swords and their bodies dumped overboard.
A solitary senior officer, Commander Junsuke Mii, risked his career by dissenting. But he gave evidence at a subsequent war crimes tribunal only under duress. Meanwhile, most of the officers who conducted the execution remained at liberty after the war.
Felton also tells the horrifying story of James Blears, a 21-year-old radio operator and one of several Britons on the Dutch-registered merchant ship Tjisalak, which was torpedoed by the submarine I-8 on March 26, 1944, while sailing from Melbourne to Ceylon with 103 passengers and crew.
Fished from the sea or ordered out of lifeboats, Blears and his fellow survivors were assembled on the sub's foredeck.
From the conning tower, Commander Shinji Uchino issued the ominous order: "Do not look back because that will be too bad for you," Blears recalled.
One by one, the prisoners were shot, decapitated with swords or simply bludgeoned with a sledge-hammer and thrown on to the churning propellers.
According to Blears: "One guy, they cut off his head halfway and let him flop around on the deck. The others I saw, they just lopped them off with one slice and threw them overboard. The Japanese were laughing and one even filmed the whole thing with a cine camera."
Blears waited for his turn, then pulled his hands out of his bindings and dived overboard amid machine-gun fire.
He swam for hours until he found a lifeboat, in which he was joined by two other officers and later an Indian crewman who had escaped alone after 22 of his fellow countrymen had been tied to a rope behind the I-8 and dragged to their deaths as it dived underwater.
Uchino, who was hailed a Japanese hero, ended the war in a senior land-based role and was never brought to trial.
Felton said: "This kind of behaviour was encouraged under a navy order dated March 20, 1943, which read, 'Do not stop at the sinking of enemy ships and cargoes. At the same time carry out the complete destruction of the crews'."
In the months after that order, the submarine I-37 sank four British merchant ships and one armed vessel and, in every case, the survivors were machine-gunned in the sea.
The submarine's commander was sentenced to eight years in prison at a war crimes trial, but was freed three years later when the Japanese government ruled his actions to have been "legal acts of war".
Felton said: "Most disturbing is the Japanese amnesia about their war record and senior politicians' outrageous statements about the war and their rewriting of history.
"The Japanese murdered 30million civilians while "liberating" what it called the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere from colonial rule. About 23million of these were ethnic Chinese.
"It's a crime that in sheer numbers is far greater than the Nazi Holocaust. In Germany, Holocaust denial is a crime. In Japan, it is government policy. But the evidence against the navy – precious little of which you will find in Japan itself – is damning."
The geographical breadth of the navy's crimes, the heinous nature of the acts themselves and the sadistic behaviour of the officers and men concerned are almost unimaginable.
For example, the execution of 312 Australian and Dutch defenders of the Laha Airfield, Java, was ordered by Rear Admiral Koichiro Hatakeyama on February 24 and 25, 1942.
The facts were squeezed out of two Japanese witnesses by Australian army interrogators as there were no Allied survivors.
One of the Japanese sailors described how the first prisoner to be killed, an Australian, was led forward to the edge of a pit, forced to his knees and beheaded with a samurai sword by a Warrant Officer Sasaki, prompting a great cry of admiration from the watching Japanese.
Sasaki dispatched four more prisoners, and then the ordinary sailors came forward one by one to commit murder.
They laughed and joked with each other even when the executions were terribly botched, the victims pushed into the pit with their heads half attached, jerking feebly and moaning.
Hatakeyama was arraigned by the Australians, but died before his trial could begin. Four senior officers were hanged, but a lack of Allied witnesses made prosecuting others very difficult.
Felton said that the Americans were the most assiduous of the Allied powers in collecting evidence of crimes against their servicemen, including those of Surgeon Commander Chisato Ueno and eight staff who were tried and hanged for dissecting an American prisoner while he was alive in the Philippines in 1945.
However, the British authorities lacked the staff, money and resources of the Americans, and the British Labour government was not fully committed to pursuing Japanese war criminals into the Fifties.
• Slaughter At Sea: The Story Of Japan's Naval War Crimes by Mark Felton is published by Pen & Sword on November 20 at £19.99.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-491548/Alive-safe-brutal-Japanese-soldiers-butchered-20-000-Allied-seamen-cold-blood.html#
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Unbroken: Japan Still in Deep Denial Over Cannibalism Against US Soldiers
on: February 25, 2017, 03:28:40 PM
Unbroken: Japan Still in Deep Denial Over Cannibalism Against US Soldiers
"The corporal said he saw flesh being cut from prisoners who were still alive."
December 13, 2014
Unlike Germany, Japan never came to terms in any way with its wartime history. The Japanese are fed on a diet of official history and pop culture history which makes them out to be the victims of American aggression. This history typically starts with American planes suddenly bombing Japan for no reason and then concludes with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
So Unbroken has led to the expected outrage and denial.
Angelina Jolie’s new movie “Unbroken” has not been released in Japan yet, but it has already struck a nerve in a country still fighting over its wartime past.
And the buzz on social networks and in online chatter is decidedly negative over the film that depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a Japanese World War II prisoner-of-war camp.
Because Japan did nothing wrong.
Especially provocative is a passage in the book that refers to cannibalism among the troops. It is not clear how much of that will be in the movie, but that is too much for some.
“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”
Custom or no custom, there was plenty of cannibalism.
The former President George Bush narrowly escaped being beheaded and eaten by Japanese soldiers when he was shot down over the Pacific in the Second World War, a shocking new history published in America has revealed.
Lt George Bush, then a 20-year-old pilot, was among nine airmen who escaped from their planes after being shot down during bombing raids on Chichi Jima, a tiny island 700 miles south of Tokyo, in September 1944 - and was the only one to evade capture by the Japanese.
The horrific fate of the other eight "flyboys" was established in subsequent war crimes trials on the island of Guam, but details were sealed in top secret files in Washington to spare their families distress.
Mr Bradley has established that they were tortured, beaten and then executed, either by beheading with swords or by multiple stab-wounds from bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Four were then butchered by the island garrison's surgeons and their livers and meat from their thighs eaten by senior Japanese officers.
The next day a Japanese officer, Major Sueo Matoba, decided to include American flesh in a sake-fuelled feast he laid on for officers including the commander-in-chief on the island, Gen Yoshio Tachibana. Both men were later tried and executed for war crimes.
A Japanese medical orderly who helped the surgeon prepare the ingredients said: "Dr Teraki cut open the chest and took out the liver. I removed a piece of flesh from the flyer's thigh, weighing about six pounds and measuring four inches wide, about a foot long."
Another crewman, Floyd Hall, met a similar fate. Adml Kinizo Mori, the senior naval officer on Chichi Jima, told the court that Major Matoba brought "a delicacy" to a party at his quarters - a specially prepared dish of Floyd Hall's liver.
According to Adml Mori, Matoba told him: "I had it pierced with bamboo sticks and cooked with soy sauce and vegetables." They ate it in "very small pieces", believing it "good medicine for the stomach", the admiral recalled.
A third victim of cannibalism, Jimmy Dye, had been put to work as a translator when, several weeks later, Capt Shizuo Yoshii - who was later tried and executed - called for his liver to be served at a party for fellow officers. Parts of a fourth airman, Warren Earl Vaughn, were also eaten and the remaining four were executed, one by being clubbed to death.
That wasn't one aberrant incident. This happened a lot.
One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against the Japanese was Jemadar Abdul Latif of 4/9 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, a VCO who was rescued by the Australians at Sepik Bay in 1945. He alleged that not just Indian PoWs but even locals in New Guinea were killed and eaten by the Japanese. "At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away ostensibly for carrying out duties, but they never reappeared," the Melbourne correspondent of The Times, London, cabled this version of Jemadar Latif on November 5, 1946.
Latif's charges were buttressed by Captain R U Pirzai and Subedar Dr Gurcharan Singh. "Of 300 men who went to Wewak with me, only 50 got out. Nineteen were eaten. A Jap doctor —Lieutenant Tumisa, formed a party of three or four men and would send an Indian outside the camp for something. The Japs immediately would kill him and eat the flesh from his body. The liver, muscles from the buttocks, thighs, legs, and arms would be cut off and cooked," Captain Pirzai told Australian daily The Courier-Mail in a report dated August 25, 1945.
Then there were more similar testimonies by PoWs interned in other camps, such as Havildar Changdi Ram and Lance Naik Hatam Ali, who also gave details of cannibalism practised in their camps. John Baptist Crasta of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, also a PoW at Rabaul, wrote in his memoir (Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War) about Japanese eating Indian soldiers. He was made part of the Allied investigation into Japanese war crimes later.
All these soldiers gave sworn testimonies to the war crimes investigation commissions set up by the Allies, based on which several Japanese officers and men were tried. The senior-most Japanese officer found guilty of cannibalism and hanged was Lieutenant General Yoshio Tachibana.
The Japanese, though, were always dismissive of these charges. Then in 1992, a Japanese historian named Toshiyuki Tanaka found incontrovertible evidence of Japanese atrocities, including cannibalism, on Indians and other Allied prisoners. His initial findings were printed by The Japan Times. In 1997, Tanaka came out with his book, Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes In World War II. There, he refuted the Allies' conclusion that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism when their supplies dwindled. Tanaka said this was done under the supervision of senior officers and was perceived as a power projection tool.
It really happened a whole lot. There was a reason that Americans during WW2 viewed their enemies as savages. They weren't racists. They were dealing with the reality of fighting enemies with absolutely no moral code, only an honor-shame code.
Mr Tanaka, a 43-year-old scholar from Fukui in western Japan, is working at the Political Science Department in Melbourne University. The documents he found concerning cannibalism include captured Japanese army memos as well as sworn statements by Australian soldiers for war crimes investigations. Mr Tanaka says he has amassed at least 100 documented cases of cannibalism of Australian and Indian soldiers as well as Asian forced labourers in New Guinea. He has also found some evidence of cannibalism in the Philippines.
'In some cases the (Japanese) soldiers were suffering from starvation, but in many other cases they were not starving at all,' said Mr Tanaka. 'Many reports said the Japanese soldiers were fit and strong, and had potatoes, rice and dried fish.' Some Japanese press reports yesterday suggested the cannibalism was carried out simply because of shortage of food.
The researcher also denied it was a result of a breakdown in morale: 'The reports said morale was good. Often it was done in a group under instruction of a commander. I think it was to get a feeling for victory, and to give the soldiers nerves of steel.' He said it helped the soldiers to bond 'because the whole troop broke the taboo (of cannibalism) together'.
A Pakistani, who was captured when Japan overran Singapore and taken to New Guinea, testified that in his area Japanese soldiers killed and ate one prisoner a day for 'about 100' days. The corporal said he saw flesh being cut from prisoners who were still alive.
The actual details of it destroy our entire idea of what human civilization looks like.
If there can be a "worst" in such a litany of atrocities, it is the admission of Masayo Enomoto, a former sergeant major. Enomoto remembers raping a young woman, slicing her up with a meat cleaver, cooking her in a pot and distributing her as food to his troops, who were short of meat.
We can keep going, but I think that's more than enough. Japan has adopted the self-righteous pacifism of the left along with its complete refusal to engage in a moral accounting of its own actions. We constantly hear lectures about the atom bomb. This was the kind of society it was used to fight.
Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget.
I can't speak for Shinto, but it was Americans who forgot and forgave. A Japanese occupation of America would not have involved a lot of forgetting or forgiving. It would have involved the same mass murder, mass rape and ritual cannibalism as the Japanese occupations elsewhere.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What Japanese history lessons leave out
on: February 25, 2017, 03:24:56 PM
What Japanese history lessons leave out
By Mariko Oi BBC News, Tokyo
14 March 2013
Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason, in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in Australia.
From Homo erectus to the present day - more than a million years of history in just one year of lessons. That is how, at the age of 14, I first learned of Japan's relations with the outside world.
For three hours a week - 105 hours over the year - we edged towards the 20th Century.
It's hardly surprising that some classes, in some schools, never get there, and are told by teachers to finish the book in their spare time.
When I returned recently to my old school, Sacred Heart in Tokyo, teachers told me they often have to start hurrying, near the end of the year, to make sure they have time for World War II.
"When I joined Sacred Heart as a teacher, I was asked by the principal to make sure that I teach all the way up to modern history," says my history teacher from Year Eight.
"We have strong ties with our sister schools in the Asian region so we want our students to understand Japan's historical relationship with our neighbouring countries."
I still remember her telling the class, 17 years ago, about the importance of Japan's war history and making the point that many of today's geopolitical tensions stem from what happened then.
Image caption Mariko's Japanese textbook: Only a footnote on the Nanjing massacre
I also remember wondering why we couldn't go straight to that period if it was so important, instead of wasting time on the Pleistocene epoch.
When we did finally get there, it turned out only 19 of the book's 357 pages dealt with events between 1931 and 1945.
Nanjing massacre, 1937-38
A six-week period of bloodshed, after the Japanese capture of the city in December 1937
International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), set up after WWII, estimated more than 200,000 people were killed, including many women and children
Dispute over scale of atrocity remains a sticking point in Chinese/Japanese relations - some Japanese question whether a massacre took place
Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanking
BBC History: Japan's Quest for Empire
There was one page on what is known as the Mukden incident, when Japanese soldiers blew up a railway in Manchuria in China in 1931.
There was one page on other events leading up to the Sino-Japanese war in 1937 - including one line, in a footnote, about the massacre that took place when Japanese forces invaded Nanjing - the Nanjing Massacre, or Rape of Nanjing.
There was another sentence on the Koreans and the Chinese who were brought to Japan as miners during the war, and one line, again in a footnote, on "comfort women" - a prostitution corps created by the Imperial Army of Japan.
There was also just one sentence on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I wanted to know more, but was not quite eager enough to delve into the subject in my spare time. As a teenager, I was more interested in fashion and boys.
My friends had a chance to choose world history as a subject in Year 11. But by that stage I had left the Japanese schooling system, and was living in Australia.
I remember the excitement when I noticed that instead of ploughing chronologically through a given period, classes would focus on a handful of crucial events in world history.
All of the photographs that China uses as evidence of the massacre are fabricated
So brushing aside my teacher's objection that I would struggle with the high volume of reading and writing in English - a language I could barely converse in - I picked history as one of my subjects for the international baccalaureate.
My first ever essay in English was on the Rape of Nanjing.
There is controversy over what happened. The Chinese say 300,000 were killed and many women were gang-raped by the Japanese soldiers, but as I spent six months researching all sides of the argument, I learned that some in Japan deny the incident altogether.
Nobukatsu Fujioka is one of them and the author of one of the books that I read as part of my research.
"It was a battlefield so people were killed but there was no systematic massacre or rape," he says, when I meet him in Tokyo.
"The Chinese government hired actors and actresses, pretending to be the victims when they invited some Japanese journalists to write about them.
"All of the photographs that China uses as evidence of the massacre are fabricated because the same picture of decapitated heads, for example, has emerged as a photograph from the civil war between Kuomintang and Communist parties."
As a 17-year-old student, I was not trying to make a definitive judgement on what exactly happened, but reading a dozen books on the incident at least allowed me to understand why many people in China still feel bitter about Japan's military past.
200,000 women in territories occupied by Japan during WWII estimated to have been forced into becoming sex slaves for troops, or "comfort women"
In 1993 Japan acknowledged use of wartime brothels
In 2007 Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was forced to apologise after casting doubt on the existence of comfort women
While school pupils in Japan may read just one line on the massacre, children in China are taught in detail not just about the Rape of Nanjing but numerous other Japanese war crimes, though these accounts of the war are sometimes criticised for being overly anti-Japanese.
The same can be said about South Korea, where the education system places great emphasis on our modern history. This has resulted in very different perceptions of the same events in countries an hour's flying time apart.
One of the most contentious topics there is the comfort women.
Fujioka believes they were paid prostitutes. But Japan's neighbours, such as South Korea and Taiwan, say they were forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese army.
Without knowing these debates, it is extremely difficult to grasp why recent territorial disputes with China or South Korea cause such an emotional reaction among our neighbours. The sheer hostility shown towards Japan by ordinary people in street demonstrations seems bewildering and even barbaric to many Japanese television viewers.
Equally, Japanese people often find it hard to grasp why politicians' visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine - which honours war criminals among other Japanese soldiers - cause quite so much anger.
Image caption Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in 2012
I asked the children of some friends and colleagues how much history they had picked up during their school years.
Twenty-year-old university student Nami Yoshida and her older sister Mai - both undergraduates studying science - say they haven't heard about comfort women.
"I've heard of the Nanjing massacre but I don't know what it's about," they both say.
"At school, we learn more about what happened a long time ago, like the samurai era," Nami adds.
Seventeen-year-old Yuki Tsukamoto says the "Mukden incident" and Japan's invasion of the Korean peninsula in the late 16th Century help to explain Japan's unpopularity in the region.
"I think it is understandable that some people are upset, because no-one wants their own country to be invaded," he says.
But he too is unaware of the plight of the comfort women.
Image caption Chinese protesters often mark anniversaries of 20th Century clashes with Japan
Former history teacher and scholar Tamaki Matsuoka holds Japan's education system responsible for a number of the country's foreign relations difficulties.
"Our system has been creating young people who get annoyed by all the complaints that China and South Korea make about war atrocities because they are not taught what they are complaining about," she said.
"It is very dangerous because some of them may resort to the internet to get more information and then they start believing the nationalists' views that Japan did nothing wrong."
I first saw her work, based on interviews with Japanese soldiers who invaded Nanjing, when I visited the museum in the city a few years ago.
"There were many testimonies by the victims but I thought we needed to hear from the soldiers," she says.
"It took me many years but I interviewed 250 of them. Many initially refused to talk, but eventually, they admitted to killing, stealing and raping."
Image caption Matsuoka accuses the government of a deliberate silence about atrocities
When I saw her video interviews of the soldiers, it was not just their admission of war crimes which shocked me, it was their age. Already elderly by the time she interviewed them, many had been barely 20 at the time, and in a strange way, it humanised them.
I was choked with an extremely complex emotion. Sad to see Japan repeatedly described as evil and dubbed "the devil", and nervous because I wondered how people around me would react if they knew I was Japanese. But there was also the big question why - what drove these young soldiers to kill and rape?
When Matsuoka published her book, she received many threats from nationalist groups.
She and Fujioka represent two opposing camps in a debate about what should be taught in Japanese schools.
Fujioka and his Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform say most textbooks are "masochistic" and only teach about Japan in negative light.
History tuition in Japan
Students first learn about Japanese history in Year Six, over 105 hours of lessons
In Year Eight of junior high school, they study the history of Japan's relations with the rest of the world - this course now lasts for 130 hours
Seven history textbooks are approved by the Education Ministry - schools can choose which they use
Students can also choose to study World History in Year 11
"The Japanese textbook authorisation system has the so-called "neighbouring country clause" which means that textbooks have to show understanding in their treatment of historical events involving neighbouring Asian countries. It is just ridiculous," he says.
He is widely known for pressuring politicians to remove the term "comfort women" from all the junior high school textbooks. His first textbook, which won government approval in 2001, made a brief reference to the death of Chinese soldiers and civilians in Nanjing, but he plans to tone it down further in his next book.
But is ignorance the solution?
The Ministry of Education's guidelines for junior high schools state that all children must be taught about Japan's "historical relations with its Asian neighbours and the catastrophic damage caused by the World War II to humanity at large".
"That means schools have to teach about the Japanese military's increased influence and extension of its power [in the 1930s] and the prolonged war in China," says ministry spokesman Akihiko Horiuchi.
In 2005, protests were sparked in China and South Korea by a textbook prepared by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, which had been approved by the government in 2001.
Foreign critics said it whitewashed Japan's war record during the 1930s and early 1940s.
It referred to the Nanjing massacre as an "incident", and glossed over the issue of comfort women.
The book was not used in many schools, but was a big commercial success.
"Students learn about the extent of the damage caused by Japan in many countries during the war as well as sufferings that the Japanese people had to experience especially in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa in order to understand the importance of international co-operation and peace.
"Based on our guideline, each school decides which specific events they focus on depending on the areas and the situation of the school and the students' maturity."
Matsuoka, however, thinks the government deliberately tries not to teach young people the details of Japan's atrocities.
Having experienced history education in two countries, the way history is taught in Japan has at least one advantage - students come away with a comprehensive understanding of when events happened, in what order.
In many ways, my schoolfriends and I were lucky. Because junior high students were all but guaranteed a place in the senior high school, not many had to go through what's often described as the "examination war".
For students who are competing to get into a good senior high school or university, the race is extremely tough and requires memorisation of hundreds of historical dates, on top of all the other subjects that have to be studied.
They have no time to dwell on a few pages of war atrocities, even if they read them in their textbooks.
All this has resulted in Japan's Asian neighbours - especially China and South Korea - accusing the country of glossing over its war atrocities.
Meanwhile, Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticises China's school curriculum for being too "anti-Japanese".
He, like Fujioka, wants to change how history is taught in Japan so that children can be proud of our past, and is considering revising Japan's 1993 apology over the comfort women issue.
If and when that happens, it will undoubtedly cause a huge stir with our Asian neighbours. And yet, many Japanese will have no clue why it is such a big deal.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon: China's hate farm
on: February 25, 2017, 12:58:29 PM
Japan planted the hate seeds the Chinese power structure now cultivates. I'd like to see Yon address "the rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang.
Japan did horrific war crimes all across Asia during WWII. This included the torture and murder of allied soldiers.https://www.amazon.com/Rape-Nanking-Forgotten-Holocaust-World/dp/0465068367
In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ghost Inside Your Haunted Head
on: February 24, 2017, 10:13:51 PM
Ghost Inside Your Haunted Head
by David Cole
February 23, 2017
In my column several weeks ago, I took a swipe at certain types of Christian conservatives, suggesting that their belief in the reality of “demonic possession” leads them to accept wild notions about how the entertainment industry can magically influence the voting preferences of average Americans. I was trying to make the point that conservatives, especially those in the Midwest and Deep South to whom Hollywood is a foreign, bizarre, unknown entity, get a little magical in their thinking regarding the entertainment industry’s ability to “possess” people and influence or control their thoughts and lives.
Naturally, I heard from a couple of my left-leaning readers, congratulating me for sticking it to those “superstitious religious Neanderthals” on the right. It was not an unexpected response. If today’s leftists pride themselves on anything, it’s their supposed rationalism. Leftists see themselves as enlightened and logical. They “fucking love” science and reject religious hokum, in contrast to the superstitious buffoons on the right, who live in, to quote Carl Sagan, a “demon-haunted world” of their own making. With every leftist I know, this is the characteristic about which they are most proud: They are rationalists and skeptics, with shibboleth-shorn minds free of bewitchment. The problem is, leftists who consider themselves rational and non-superstitious are like scrawny nerds who look in the mirror and see a chiseled Adonis in the reflection. One almost feels bad for people so possessed of a delusion.
Let’s examine a few of the ways in which the wrongheadedness of leftists resembles the religious bunkum they claim to reject.
To begin with, leftists believe in the power of money to solve all problems, much the same as Christians believe in the power of prayer to do the same. Leftists believe that the solution to everything is to throw more money at it. Failing schools? Recession? Institutionalized poverty? If the government simply throws more money at it, all will be well. It matters not how many times throwing money at something has failed to solve a problem; for leftists, the money solution is a matter of faith. Here in bluest-of-blue California, every few years, the teachers’ union demands money to “save our schools” in the form of new bonds, taxes, and ballot propositions. And still, even after voters approve whatever the hell the union asks for, our schools continue to lurk in the lowest-third rankings in the nation. So of course the solution is to ask for more money in the form of new bonds, taxes, and ballot propositions. To the religious, the proper response to a prayer that fails is more prayer. For leftists, even briefly entertaining the notion that money isn’t a guaranteed cure-all is not allowed, lest ye be seen as turning your back on your faith.
“Just as Christians take comfort from the very act of praying, so too do leftists take comfort in government spending.”
Following the deadly Philadelphia Amtrak derailment in 2015, L.A. Times editorialist and letters editor Paul Thornton wrote an op-ed in which he claimed that the head of the Association of American Railroads had stated that “financial hurdles”—lack of money—were the reason Amtrak hadn’t installed the safety features that could have prevented the crash. I emailed Thornton, pointing out that the AAR head had, in fact, stated that money was not the problem, but rather “regulatory issues” were to blame. To his credit, Thornton admitted his error, confessing that he had just assumed that lack of money was the reason. And why did he make that assumption? A belief system that teaches that all problems are caused by a lack of government money, and are solved by an increase in government spending. Just as Christians take comfort from the very act of praying, regardless of whether or not the prayer is fully answered, so too do leftists take comfort in government spending. The act has as much meaning as the results.
If spending is the equivalent of prayer to a leftist, “climate change” is the equivalent of Christian “end-time” cultism. Let me share with you a very recent, and very relevant, example. Over the past week, we here in sunny insane California have faced the prospect of a major calamity as three merciless months of near-nonstop rainfall have led to the possibility of a massive failure at the tallest dam in the U.S., in Oroville, near Sacramento. It’s a big deal; 188,000 people have been evacuated. Concerns about how the aging Oroville Dam would fare in the face of record rainfall were raised years ago, but the state and the feds ignored them.
The story has been amply reported locally and nationally. But what the press conveniently leaves out of its coverage is the underlining theory behind the dam inaction: climate-change apocalyptics had convinced the Silly Putty-brained California powers-that-be that rain was never returning to the state. Quite literally, new dams, and improvements on old ones, were rejected because a doomsday cult had convinced politicians that water was “over,” that the drought that began in 2012 was not a passing thing but an “era,” something that would last decades if not a century. And why build new dams if there’ll be no water for them to hold? Why refurbish old ones if there’s no chance they’ll ever be filled again?
From the L.A. Times, July 2015:
Dams are a relic of the Industrial Age…. They’re particularly ill-suited to the era of extremes—heat waves, floods and droughts—that climate change has brought on.
The New Republic, April 2015:
The Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick said: “Even if we built a couple of dams, we don’t have water to fill them. We’re tapped out. The traditional answer of building more reservoirs won’t solve our problems.” Building additional reservoirs does little when there’s no snow or rain to fill them.
California governor Jerry Brown in August 2015, responding to calls from GOP presidential candidates to build new dams and renovate old ones:
I’ve never heard of such utter ignorance. Building a dam won’t do a damn thing about fires or climate change or the absence of moisture in the air and ground of California. If they want to run for president, they had better do eighth grade science before they made such utterances.
The Sacramento Bee summed it up succinctly: “Questions loom about the value of such projects in an era of scarcity.” Because indeed, leftist voodoo practitioners had brainwashed the state into believing this was an “era of scarcity.” We were told that Mother Earth was punishing us for our CO2 sins by withholding her precious water, and rainfall would only return once we submitted to cap and trade and international climate-change treaties. And anyone who dared suggest that the drought was a passing thing, that weather was not permanent but fluctuating, was ridiculed for not knowing “eighth grade science.”
Witch doctors in white coats who study tree stumps like gypsies read tea leaves told The San Jose Mercury News in 2014 that the drought might last over one hundred, maybe even one thousand, years. If you Google “California,” “drought,” and “will last” or “may last,” you’ll see endless links to left-certified “scientific” snake-handlers who claimed, right up until a few months ago, that the drought may last hundreds of years, or thousands of years, or “forever.”
Yet here we are in February 2017, with the drought completely over in Northern Cal and close to being over in the South. The rainfall of the past few months has shattered all records. The last “abnormal” California winter, 1982/1983, saw rainfall that was 88% higher than the 30-year average. Winter 2016/2017? 120% higher. Cities like Long Beach have seen rainfall at levels never before recorded. The end-time apocalyptic cultists were wrong, but you won’t hear any of them admit it. Just as Christian doomsday cultists never apologize when their Rapture clock turns out to be broken, so too do the macumba practitioners of the “IFL Science” left feel no need to explain themselves. Because the members of their parish—the smug Rachel Maddow-watching, NPR-listening atheist Democrat soft-skulls—demand no explanation. Again, it’s a matter of faith. If the Rapture doesn’t happen as prophesied, it’s not because Pastor Looneybird was wrong in his calculations. It’s because God changed His mind at the last minute and rescheduled the blessed event, and now we must double our faith in our beloved pastor as he attempts to figure out the time and place of the new Rapture.
And if the tree-ring-circus necromancers of the left got the duration of the California drought wrong, it’s not because their models and methodologies were faulty; it’s because Mother Earth cried tears of sympathy on our state to buy us a little more time to confiscate asthma inhalers so that we may regain her favor.
That last sentence may seem a bit over-the-top, but it isn’t. Never forget that the voodoo priests of the left banned the most effective types of asthma inhalers because they were “killing the earth,” even as leftist billionaires were allowed to continue flying private jets all over the world in order to play golf and screw fashion models and conduct similarly important business. There is no way this is any saner than the faith healing and tongue-speaking of the charismatics and evangelicals. Indeed, it’s worse, because it’s way more invasive, way more intrusive, in the lives of bystanders. No right-wing Christian ever forced me to anoint with oil. But leftist charlatans posing as scientists banned the only type of inhaler that helped my elderly mom’s asthma, because the act of her going “puff puff” so she wouldn’t die was bringing about the end of days, while Al Gore’s totally unnecessary private jet oddly had no effect on the environment.
That’s science? No, that’s an Indian rain dance.
There are so many additional ways in which the left embraces superstition and rejects science as much as, if not more than, conservative Christians. During the election last year, leftists attacked Trump for suggesting that intelligence has a genetic component, even though, according to every legitimate expert on the subject, intelligence has a genetic component. Trump had not claimed that intelligence is determined by race; he had only suggested that genetics play a part. And overnight, the notion of a genetic role in intelligence went from undisputed fact to heresy, all because Pope Huffington issued a papal bull(shit) declaring that Trump’s belief that genes contribute to intelligence “may be the most horrible thing that Donald Trump believes.”
Expect more superstitious nonsense from leftists in the years to come, because if leftists have demon-haunted minds, Trump is the ghost rattling around inside, clouding all judgment and giving rise to visions and fever dreams. Undeservedly famous leftist comedians are seeing signs and wonders. Sarah Silverman’s phantom pavement swastikas were nothing more than the leftist-Jewish version of seeing Jesus in a tortilla.
Silverman’s response after being told that her “swastikas” were simple construction markers boiled down to “I’ve been driven to lunacy by Trump’s anti-Semitism.” In other words, she’s possessed; a demon made her do it.
These days, the left has no moral high ground over the religious right. In fact, I’d take a conservative Christian over a demon-haunted leftist any day, because at least conservative Christians admit that their beliefs are faith-based. They don’t go around screaming “science! science! science!” while drinking sacrificial goats’ blood Santeria-style because the rain gods are angry.
I have nothing against people of faith. But hypocrites? They piss me off like a sonofabitch.
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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
on: February 24, 2017, 09:30:47 PM
IMHO China's weakness is not its military, but its need to export, its' non-performing loans etc, and its demographics.
China's aggressiveness stems not from it's strength, but it's weakness.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
on: February 24, 2017, 04:58:59 PM
If I have it right, as a matter of international law this is part of asserting the right of free passage in international waters. If the right goes unasserted, it can be lost.
I get that, I am taking into consideration that China is unlikely to alter their current trajectory of fortifying their islands and picking a time and place to confront someone's ship that will continue ratcheting up their domination of the South China Sea. If Trump can't do a deal, then things will continue to deteriorate. I am very skeptical for the potential for any deal.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Coming soon
on: February 23, 2017, 10:27:40 PM
Straightforward From Here To The Left’s Fascist, Maybe Violent, Endgame
Posted: Feb 23, 2017 12:01 AM
The Democrat Party, its Media serfs, and Social Justice Incorporated are all outraged because we uppity normals are again presuming to rule ourselves, and their agony is delightful. Less delightful is how, in the process of trying to claw their way back into power, they are incinerating the norms and rules that preserve our political order. That stuff Hillary babbled about honoring the legitimacy of elections? Yeah, no. There’s an invisible asterisk only liberals can see that explains that the norms and rules are void when liberals lose.
So, where does this crisis end?
We know where the leftists want it to end, with us silenced and subservient forever, toiling to pay taxes for them to redistribute to their clients as they pick at, poke at and torment us. You look at the things Trump stands for and all of them are about lifting the yoke off of us – cutting taxes, slashing regulations, guaranteeing the Second Amendment, protecting our religious liberty, and safeguarding us from terrorists and illegals. But everything liberals want, everything Hillary ran on, is about clamping the yoke ever tighter around our necks – raising taxes, issuing more regulations, disarming us, limiting our religious freedom, and putting us at risk from terrorists and alien criminals. The whole leftist platform is about putting us down and keeping us down.
Think what they will do if they take power again.
They are certainly not going to risk us ever being able to repeat November’s rejection. California’s decline lays out their tyrannical road map. When the Democrats took power here, they “reformed” the election laws to lock-in their party, co-opted the “nonpartisan” redistricting process, and changed the ballot initiative system to make sure we will never see another unapproved proposition. They ensured there is no way to stop illegal aliens from voting because they want illegal aliens voting.
But even that’s not enough. The state government chose to allow its unofficial catspaws to intimidate and beat dissenters at UC Berkeley. California’s governing class wanted the thugs to prevail; it was a lesson to its opponents. I thought my novel People’s Republic, about post-freedom California, was an action thriller, not the first draft of a future history.
I was wrong.
Do you think Hillary Clinton or whatever aspiring Hugo Chavez they offer up next is going to protect us from violent leftist thugs, or encourage them? Remember how Obama weaponized agencies like the IRS against conservatives? Multiply that by a thousand. Think about the “hate speech” rules used to silence conservatives on campus; imagine them as federal law. That’s coming, just like in Europe – it’s now a crime in France to speak out against abortion. Do you imagine leftists don’t dream of doing that? No, once back in power they will ensure we will never be able to challenge their rule. One man (or woman or other), one vote, one more time, then never again.
How will they do it?
This massive resistance campaign against everything Donald Trump has done and a lot he hasn’t done is one way. The media’s liberal advocacy and tsunami of fake news is another; the press is now just one more partisan political player campaigning to restore the establishment to power. These same liars who fantasize about Trump silencing critics will cheer as the next Democrat commandante does it for real. Remember how they said nothing when Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment so Congress could control speech during elections?
And they think they’re winning.
Sally Kohn, a CNN commentator perfectly personifies the left’s combination of utter cluelessness and utter certainty in its own moral superiority. Drawing from her bottomless well of stupidity, she recently became infamous for wishcasting about what happens “
traight forward from here.” Her scenario starts with Step 1 (“Impeach Trump & Pence”) and ends with Step 6 (“President Hillary”), thanks to a Constitutional process she created herself by blending ignorance, fascism, and wanting.
Sally, however, overlooked Step 2.5, where several dozen million Americans defend the Constitution by taking out their black rifles and saying, “Oh, hell no.” I assume the patriots determined to protect the Union would be confronted, for a short and awkward time, by a pro-coup hipster army locked and loaded with vinyl LPs, participation trophies and unearned self-regard.
There’s no reason not to believe that for these seditious Democrats, the second time will be the charm.
But this amusing idiocy highlights a much more frightening possibility. Dennis Prager has written that America is locked in a Second Civil War already, albeit a cold one. And in light of the absolute rejection by the left of any legitimacy of the grievances, the interests, or the right to participate in governing this country of the tens of millions of red Americans, it’s reasonable to wonder how this can end peacefully. You see read it on social media, you hear it whispered. Are the wounds to our body politic so deep they can’t be healed?
I recently polled people on Twitter about what they thought of the chances of serious violence in the coming four years, and the results from 6,159 people are alarming. “Stop being a nut” got 10%; I was hoping it would get about 95%. “We’ll wise up” and find a way out of this crisis, got 13%. But “50/50 leftists may try violence” got a stunning 41%, while “It’s coming. Gear up” got a terrifying 36%.
So, 77% of the respondents fear serious violence during Trump’s first term. That’s scary, especially since political warfare is not unprecedented in history. Forget Bleeding Kansas. Just reflect on the low-grade insurgency the American left undertook in the 1970s, with more bloodshed than most people remember, and consider how today the left has significantly more cultural, institutional and media support. The reality is that there is the potential for this to get out of control, way out of control, especially considering the likelihood that leftist violence would be met in kind. That 77% indicates that the red side is, as the left loves to say, “woke” to the threat. And the red people have the guns and training, should things degenerate into serious chaos.
Basically, this country is a powder keg, and leftist fools who do not understand the danger are figuratively standing around it, firing up their bongs.
Now, understand that leftist liars will meet this column with the slander that I (and by extension, you) hope for violence. Skim down the comments and check out the idiots no doubt infesting my Twitter feed – you’ll see plenty of such lies. Actually, this is yet another of my several pleas for sanity and peace (including in my book’s preface). But the left’s favorite tactic is to deny substantive truth in favor of narrative; what I (and you) actually believe is irrelevant. This infuriating tactic makes reasoned discussion and argument impossible anymore, which itself makes violence more likely since it forecloses the primary method of peacefully resolving disagreements. If you can’t argue, if you can’t even speak, there’s only one way to be heard.
The left’s combination of evil and stupidity is the driver straightforward from here. With the grim understanding that they hate us, we need to accept that there may be no easy return to peaceful coexistence. Our goal in electing Donald Trump was to remove the left’s hand from our throat, not to put our hand around blue peoples’ collective windpipe. We don’t care how they live their lives, but leftists care very much how we live ours. Their goal is to lock both hands around our throat and squeeze until we submit to leftist tyranny or die.
It’s hard to see how we compromise. Do we just somewhat submit, or only die a little?
This crisis has to culminate somehow. It could end peacefully, with a return to the old norms and reasoned competition between ideas. But it seems no one is interested in that; instead, one side has to win decisively, and one side has to lose decisively. If so, I say we win and they lose, since I’m not ready to submit or to die.
How about you?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The New Mexican War
on: February 23, 2017, 10:12:01 PM
Saturday, February 11, 2017
The New Mexican War
Much has been written, including in this blog, of the threat to America posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Not so much has been written about another threat, perhaps an even greater one. I refer to the threat posed by Mexico to the United States; it is multi-faceted and persistent, and forms a long established core component of Mexico's foreign policy.
Before I get into the subject let me engage in the usual disclaimer required in our snowflake culture. I have been in Mexico many times both on vacation and for work as a US diplomat. I know Mexico well, am fascinated by its history, and consider Mexico City one of the great cities in the world. If you want outstanding restaurants and, above all, world class museums and other cultural institutions, go to Mexico City.
That said, I also have long considered Mexico a major threat to America. I have dealt with Mexican diplomats at the UN, the OAS, and in Central and South America. They are first rate. They are patriotic, well-trained, dedicated, and hard working. They, almost to a man and a woman, are also possessed with a deep, deep animus towards the United States. At the UN and the OAS, for example, Mexico, in my experience, played the role of opponent to whatever we sought to do. They not only consistently voted against us, they collaborated with our opponents on resolutions and projects antithetical to our interests, and, for example, refused to oppose Cuban and Venezuelan human rights violations. They rarely passed on an opportunity to stick it in our eye.
Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico. Mexico is feared and resented throughout Central America as a bully and for its mistreatment of Central American migrants. The horror stories these migrants tell of their passage through Mexico are hair-raising and heartbreaking.
I wrote during the recent hysteria over Russian hacking and interference in our 2016 elections that,
Is there foreign interference in our elections? You bet.
The biggest offender? Not Russia, but Mexico. Mexican officials publicly called on Mexicans in the US to oppose Trump; Mexico's over fifty--yes, fifty--consulates in the US (here) are hot beds of political activity and activism. Millions of illegal and legal aliens largely from Mexico and Central America vote, yes vote. We need to have an in-depth investigation into Mexico's interference in our elections, an interference that goes well beyond revealing embarrassing DNC texts.
There. That's an investigation the GOP should endorse, and the new SecState should take up the issue of Mexican interference in our elections.
That interference in our politics has not ceased since the elections. It, in fact, has increased. Some years ago, I mentioned to a senior colleague in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at State, my concern over the openly political activity engaged in by Mexico's consulates and diplomatic personnel in the U.S. She acknowledged it was a problem but not one anybody wanted to take up. Well, it is now at a stage when it must be taken up. If the Trump administration is serious about protecting our borders and sovereignty the time has come for tough action on Mexico.
We see this story in the Wall Street Journal (and here) in which Mexican officials, including their diplomats in the US, are seeking to "jam" US courts with contested deportations. The Mexican government has set aside millions of dollars to help illegal Mexican migrants in the US fight efforts to deport them. In addition, Mexico, apparently, is contemplating the grotesque tactic of demanding that we PROVE that deportees are Mexican citizens before Mexico will accept them. In other words, we have to provide the documentation that Mexico failed to provide its own citizens. Mexican officials are holding meetings in Arizona with US politicians warning them about the harm to US-Mexico relations if illegal aliens are deported or prevented from coming to the US. Mexican officials are openly encouraging activists to block deportations. I find this nothing short of outrageous, but, nevertheless, a clear manifestation of the hostility that has long existed in Mexican officialdom for the USA.
We must not only defend our border but, in my view, it is well past the time for the US to begin shutting down most of these Mexican consulates. There is no justification for Mexico to have over fifty consulates in the US. Had I the power, we would give Mexico one week to close 25-30 consulates. In addition, we would work out a plan to close additional consulates depending on how Mexico behaves. If Mexico, in fact, refuses to take back deportees, then we would need to take additional actions such as shutting down our visa issuance in Mexico, kicking out their ambassador from Washington, closing down the border crossing for periods of time, and even halting remittances to Mexico--just to let Mexico feel the pain. As part, of course, of any comprehensive reform of our immigration laws, no federal money should go to supporting illegal aliens in the US.
The Southwest USA does not "belong" to Mexico. Mexico, please note, held California for about 25 years; they had Texas for even less time. Spain held the area for a couple hundred years, and we've had it for some 170 years. So enough with that argument. It is tiresome.
The USA has the right to defend its sovereignty and borders. Mexicans have no right of access to the US any more than anybody else does.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Concerning Breitbart:
on: February 23, 2017, 09:56:15 PM
I have been burned a number of times by citing Breitbart. Though often it goes where the pravdas fear to tread, its' headlines are often disingenuous and deceptive. I'd like to ask that it be used as a source around here with care. Please click on the background sources it cites AND READ THEM before citing it here. Where possible CITE THE ORIGINAL SOURCE INSTEAD OF BREITBART.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MUST READ on ideological warfare
on: February 12, 2017, 11:33:32 PM
Posted on 2006-02-11 by Eric Raymond
Americans have never really understood ideological warfare. Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use “extremist” as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.
We don’t expect ideas to matter — or, when they do, we expect them to matter only because people have been flipped into a vulnerable mode by repression or poverty. Thus all our divagation about the “root causes” of Islamic terrorism, as if the terrorists’ very clear and very ideological account of their own theory and motivations is somehow not to be believed.
By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
But it was the Soviet Union, in its day, that was the master of this game. They made dezinformatsiya (disinformation) a central weapon of their war against “the main adversary”, the U.S. They conducted memetic subversion against the U.S. on many levels at a scale that is only now becoming clear as historians burrow through their archives and ex-KGB officers sell their memoirs.
The Soviets had an entire “active measures” department devoted to churning out anti-American dezinformatsiya. A classic example is the rumor that AIDS was the result of research aimed at building a ‘race bomb’ that would selectively kill black people.
On a different level, in the 1930s members of CPUSA (the Communist Party of the USA) got instructions from Moscow to promote non-representational art so that the US’s public spaces would become arid and ugly.
Americans hearing that last one tend to laugh. But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.
Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.
In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
There is no truth, only competing agendas.
All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia.
The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals; summary by Koch here) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.
Indeed, the index of Soviet success is that most of us no longer think of these memes as Communist propaganda. It takes a significant amount of digging and rethinking and remembering, even for a lifelong anti-Communist like myself, to realize that there was a time (within the lifetime of my parents) when all of these ideas would have seemed alien, absurd, and repulsive to most people — at best, the beliefs of a nutty left-wing fringe, and at worst instruments of deliberate subversion intended to destroy the American way of life.
Koch shows us that the worst-case scenario was, as it turns out now, the correct one; these ideas, like the “race bomb” rumor, really were instruments deliberately designed to destroy the American way of life. Another index of their success is that most members of the bicoastal elite can no longer speak of “the American way of life” without deprecation, irony, or an automatic and half-conscious genuflection towards the altar of political correctness. In this and other ways, the corrosive effects of Stalin’s meme war have come to utterly pervade our culture.
The most paranoid and xenophobic conservatives of the Cold War were, painful though this is to admit, the closest to the truth in estimating the magnitude and subtlety of Soviet subversion. Liberal anticommunists (like myself in the 1970s) thought we were being judicious and fair-minded when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather. We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about “Communists in the State Department” were essentially true. The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score.
While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did. These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism.
In this context, Jeff Goldstein has written eloquently about perhaps the most long-term dangerous of these memes — the idea that rights inhere not in sovereign individuals but identity groups, and that every identity group (except the “ruling class”) has the right to suppress criticism of itself through political means up to and including violence.
Mark Brittingham (aka WildMonk) has written an excellent essay on the roots of this doctrine in Rousseau and the post-Enlightenment Romantics. It has elsewhere been analyzed and labeled as transnational progressivism. The Soviets didn’t invent it, but they promoted it heavily in a deliberate — and appallingly successful — attempt to weaken the Lockean, individualist tradition that underlies classical liberalism and the U.S. Constitution. The reduction of Western politics to a bitter war for government favor between ascriptive identity groups is exactly the outcome the Soviets wanted and worked hard to arrange.
Call it what you will — various other commentators have favored ‘volk-Marxism’ or ‘postmodern leftism’. I’ve called it suicidalism. It was designed to paralyze the West against one enemy, but it’s now being used against us by another. It is no accident that Osama bin Laden so often sounds like he’s reading from back issues of Z magazine, and no accident that both constantly echo the hoariest old cliches of Soviet propaganda in the 1930s and ’40s.
Another consequence of Stalin’s meme war is that today’s left-wing antiwar demonstrators wear kaffiyehs without any sense of how grotesque it is for ostensible Marxists to cuddle up to religious absolutists who want to restore the power relations of the 7th century CE. In Stalin’s hands, even Marxism itself was hollowed out to serve as a memetic weapon — it became increasingly nihilist, hatred-focused and destructive. The postmodern left is now defined not by what it’s for but by what it’s against: classical-liberal individualism, free markets, dead white males, America, and the idea of objective reality itself.
The first step to recovery is understanding the problem. Knowing that suicidalist memes were launched at us as war weapons by the espionage apparatus of the most evil despotism in human history is in itself liberating. Liberating, too, it is to realize that the Noam Chomskys and Michael Moores and Robert Fisks of the world (and their thousands of lesser imitators in faculty lounges everywhere) are not brave transgressive forward-thinkers but pathetic memebots running the program of a dead tyrant.
Brittingham and other have worried that postmodern leftism may yet win. If so, the victory would be short-lived. One of the clearest lessons of recent times (exemplified not just by kaffiyeh-wearing western leftists but by Hamas’s recent clobbering of al-Fatah in the first Palestinian elections) is that po-mo leftism is weaker than liberal individualism in one important respect; it has only the weakest defenses against absolutist fervor. Brittingham tellingly notes po-mo philosopher Richard Rorty’s realization that when the babble of conflicting tribal narratives collapses in exhaustion, the only thing left is the will to power.
Again, this is by design. Lenin and Stalin wanted classical-liberal individualism replaced with something less able to resist totalitarianism, not more. Volk-Marxist fantasy and postmodern nihilism served their purposes; the emergence of an adhesive counter-ideology would not have. Thus, the Chomskys and Moores and Fisks are running a program carefully designed to dead-end at nothing.
Religions are good at filling that kind of nothing. Accordingly, if transnational progressivism actually succeeds in smothering liberal individualism, its reward will be to be put to the sword by some flavor of jihadi. Whether the eventual winners are Muslims or Mormons, the future is not going to look like the fuzzy multicultural ecotopia of modern left fantasy. The death of that dream is being written in European banlieus by angry Muslim youths under the light of burning cars.
In the banlieus and elsewhere, Islamist pressure makes it certain that sooner or later the West is going to vomit Stalin’s memes out of its body politic. The worst way would be through a reflex development of Western absolutism — Christian chauvinism, nativism and militarism melding into something like Francoite fascism. The self-panicking leftists who think they see that in today’s Republicans are comically wrong (as witnessed by the fact that they aren’t being systematically jailed and executed), but it is quite a plausible future for the demographically-collapsing nations of Europe.
The U.S., fortunately, is still on a demographic expansion wave and will be till at least 2050. But if the Islamists achieve their dream of nuking “crusader” cities, they’ll make crusaders out of the U.S., too. And this time, a West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years.
I remain more optimistic than this. I think there is still an excellent chance that the West can recover from suicidalism without going through a fevered fascist episode and waging a genocidal war. But to do so, we have to do more than recognize Stalin’s memes; we have to reject them. We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media.
The process won’t be pretty. But I fear that if the rest of us don’t hound the po-mo Left and its useful idiots out of public life with attack and ridicule and shunning, the hard Right will sooner or later get the power to do it by means that include a lot of killing. I don’t want to live in that future, and I don’t think any of my readers do, either. If we want to save a liberal, tolerant civilization for our children, we’d better get to work.
UPDATE: My original link to Protein Wisdom went stale. I’m not certain the new one is the same essay, but it is on many of the same ideas.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WMDs were found in Iraq
on: February 12, 2017, 06:27:00 PM
BOMBSHELL: New York Times Reports WMDs WERE Found in Iraq!
How many times have we been told that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it millions of times. I’ve read stories here and there over the last several years about WMDs being found, but of course it never got much news coverage – until now.
The New York Times shockingly admitted in an explosive front page report that thousands of WMDs were found in Iraq since the start of the war:
From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.
In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
So, now it needs to be repeated millions of times: there WERE WMDs found in Iraq! But of course The Times couldn’t admit that their discovery vindicates President Bush. Instead they claim that these WMDs don’t count and that an active WMD program was the only rationale for the Iraq War:
The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.
Oh, really? Well, it sounds to me in UN Resolution 1441, adopted November 8, 2002, that there was concern about an active WMD program, but a key point of contention with Iraq in the decade after the 1991 Gulf War was the WMDs that had been left over (the ones The Times reports as being found during the Iraq War). Iraq had repeatedly refused to disarm and destroy its WMDs, even kicking out UN inspectors between 1998 and 2002. Some key excerpts from the resolution:
Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapons-usable material …
3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the Government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material; …
– UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to be provided by Iraq the names of all personnel currently and formerly associated with Iraq’s chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programmes and the associated research, development, and production facilities;
In President Bush’s speech to the UN on September 12, 2002, a huge chunk of his case was about Iraq violating its agreement to be transparent and disarm and destroy all WMDs after the Gulf War, maintaining stockpiles (like the thousands that The New York Times reported on!), improving facilities that could be used to produce WMDs, and not complying with UN weapons inspectors:
In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge.
From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
United Nations’ inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons. …
In 1991, Iraq promised U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq’s commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles. Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading, and harassing U.N. inspectors before ceasing cooperation entirely. Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the Security Council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors, condemning Iraq’s serious violations of its obligations. The Security Council again renewed that demand in 1994, and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq’s clear violations of its obligations. The Security Council renewed its demand three more times in 1997, citing flagrant violations; and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq’s behavior totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again.
On the eve of the Iraq War, President Bush laid out his case to the American people. Again, the focus was on disarmament and Iraq’s possession of WMDs:
My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.
The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again — because we are not dealing with peaceful men.
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.
For The New York Times to say, “The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale,” is ridiculous. Now that the leftist claim that no WMDs were found in Iraq has become untenable, they are moving the goalposts again. They say these pre-Gulf War era WMDs don’t count, even though Saddam’s continued possession of these older ones was clearly used as a justification for war.
When Saddam said he destroyed all his WMDs from the Gulf War, we knew he was lying and still had stockpiles, and we were proven right when we found the thousands The New York Times reported. The left has now conveniently changed to saying that no NEW WMDs were found. As if the “old” chemical weapons that were found couldn’t have been put into the wrong hands by Saddam and used in a terrorist attack!
The bottom line is: Weapons of mass destruction WERE found in Iraq. Debate the Iraq War all you want, but this should no longer be a point of contention.
Read more: http://thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-new-york-times-reports-wmds-found-ira