Tag Archives: Imperialism

McCain a U.S. National Hero?

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?

Indonesia’s Hidden Holocaust

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

A short caricature on politics …

japans-imperialismIn 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 …

Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in United States–Japan–China Relations

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.

senkaku islands title page

Hashimoto’s “Comfort Women” Statement – Is it Really So Bad? A Comment about Why Japan Needs to Give a Real Apology.

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.