Everywhere on the news, we hear about how the late Senator John McCain is a hero and a patriot, someone who rises above partisan bickering, an independent thinker, a maverick – someone who put country above politics. The embodiment of “decency” from a “bygone” era…
It is truly amazing how I hear this from across the political spectrum, Republics, Democrats … and from CNN, New York Times, Time, and Fox News and all major media sources.
Even President Trump – who was no “friend” of McCain and initially did not proffer any perfuse eulogy – would be forced to offer one and to lower the White House flag. Continue reading McCain a U.S. National Hero?
Joshua Oppenheimer is an Oscar-nominated American film director based in Denmark. He recently produced two award-winning documentaries on the genocide perpetrated by the Indonesian government against ethnic Chinese and others throughout Indonesia in 1965-69.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning that atrocity. Joshua penned what I think is a great op-ed in the New York Times about Indonesia’s continued silence about that event … as well as U.S. complicity of that crime against humanity.
Here is a copy of the op-ed. Continue reading Indonesia’s Hidden Holocaust
In the lead up to China’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in WWII, I thought I’d do a little personal aside … that might explain why Japan can be so delusional about so many things.
Politics … in many ways … especially politics in the democratic sense (i.e. at the level of the people) … is about caricatures … about simplifying (over-simplifying as the case may be) the issues. Politics is about setting narratives – about burnishing worldviews – through selective highlighting (and de-emphasis) of reality … to present a particular view of the world that sometimes resembles some aspects reality … but that can some times also be completely in contravention with any sane view of reality.
There is a reason why people often avoid talking politics and religion in polite settings. People can try to use logic and reason … but the problem is that underneath iceberg tip of logic and reason are mountains full of unspoken – and sometimes even unconscious – presumptions. It’s why reasonable people can disagree vigorously and get so worked up about political disagreements. Continue reading A short caricature on politics …
This is not the first time I have read and linked to articles in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus that I find sensible, instead of the misinformation and disinformation we see so often preached in Western press and Japanese press.
I thought this article by Kimie Hara gives a more balanced Japanese view of the issue of territorial dispute between China and Japan and (ultimately, I suppose) U.S. A pdf copy from the site downloaded today is archived below.
So it’s official folks. Google has altered the name of of a disputed South China Sea reef on its map from Huangyan Island to Scarborough Shoal. Since Google says so, it must be so. Has to be so. Continue reading Google alters name of disputed South China Sea reef
Recently, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, a prominent Japanese politician, raised a storm in Asia when he pronounced that the “comfort women” Japan enslaved during WWII as “necessary.” According to this BBC report, Hashimoto said:
In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives…. If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that.
The report continued: Continue reading Hashimoto’s “Comfort Women” Statement – Is it Really So Bad? A Comment about Why Japan Needs to Give a Real Apology.