Archive for the ‘War’ Category
Verdict of the International Military Tribunal
A Japanese cabinet member visited a shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime aggression on Wednesday, pouring salt on a fresh wound after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pilgrimage there last week drew sharp criticism from China and South Korea.
Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo said he thought his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine was unlikely to become a diplomatic issue…
But Beijing and Seoul have repeatedly expressed anger over politicians’ visits to Yasukuni, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.
Both China and Korea suffered under Japanese rule, with parts of China occupied from the 1930s and Korea colonized from 1910 to 1945. Japanese leaders have apologized in the past but many in China and South Korea doubt the sincerity of the apologies, partly because of contradictory remarks by politicians.
China condemned Wednesday’s visit, which it said exposed Japan’s war crimes and attempts to “challenge the outcomes of the world’s anti-fascist war“…
Underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, China said its leaders would not meet Abe after he visited Yasukuni on Thursday, the first visit by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.
The quality of Reuters commentary continues to deteriorate. They end the article with one of those fatuous boilerplate sentences famous in diplomatic annals: “Experts see his visit as an attempt to recast Japan’s wartime past in a less apologetic light and revive national pride.”
Which experts, working for which governments — and what sort of national pride is raised by visiting a memorial best-known even in Japan as important to the nation’s greed and brutality to all other Asian nations? There are beaucoup alternatives popular among the Japanese people.
Can you imagine Angela Merkel or Giorgio Napolitano paying a visit of remembrance to Hitler’s bunker or the Esso station in Milan where Mussolini’s body was laid out for the public to spit on. Do you think President Obama should wander through Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina to visit Jesse Helms’ grave? The last and most unrepentant racist elected to the US Senate on a platform of opposing civil rights for non-white Americans – forever!
Right-wing nationalism in Japan only means one policy in the last century of Asian history. Military might and political will commanded to serve Japanese corporate Zaibatsu.
Female fighter in Syria. ‘Her name is Fadwa. She’s 20 years old, a widow with three children. Every time I asked the women of the Free Syrian Army why they decided to fight, the answer was: “My husband died on the front lines, I will die on the front lines, may God help us.”
I presume these Canadian troops are marching away from a memorial to those who fell during the liberation of Belgium during World War 2. Yes, I remember all of those days.
My best friend died a few years back. He was the most decorated soldier from our home state in WW2. He had 16 months in hospital to reflect upon how he got there – not just the German soldier who threw a hand grenade at him at the liberation of a death camp; but, the corporate and political creeps who helped scum like Hitler into power.
We learned a lot together over the years. Both of our families came to the US from Canada, btw. His family from Montreal and mine from PEI.
I salute you, too, Clyde.
Thanks, Mister Justin
Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, began 12 years ago Monday…There are still 54,000 American troops in Afghanistan and the number of coalition bases has gone from a high of 800 to about 100, Stars and Stripes reported…
Discussion and media interest about Afghanistan have faded since President Obama ordered a troop surge three years ago, but a White House spokesman declined to discuss whether Obama is avoiding public discussion, Stars and Stripes said.
A. Trevor Thrall, a professor at George Mason University, said this isn’t the first time a president has tried to avoid news out of Afghanistan, the report said.
“George W. Bush stopped talking about Afghanistan almost immediately after he shifted focus to Iraq,” Thrall said. “Afghanistan was truly a forgotten war [when] Obama took over and it became it again after the surge was over. The result is the public really has no idea what’s going on there.”
Troops still in Afghanistan told Stars and Stripes they have mixed feelings about the lack of attention.
“It’s kind of sad, because I think some people are a little more occupied with the latest TV show,” said Lt. Uriel Macias, a Navy reservist assigned to a stability operations team in Kabul. “But what is often forgotten is that we are still losing people all the time.”
Of course, we could have left a long time ago – just as we could have stayed out of Iraq altogether. But, that not only would have required reason and objectivity among our elected officials in the White House and Congress – it would have required courage in the face of right-wing chickenhawks, war-lovers and profiteers.
Not especially likely in the Land of Liberty.
The 16-year-old Chemical Weapons Convention has been in the spotlight since Syria decided to join in an apparent bid to avoid US-led military intervention over the government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. But here are some lesser known facts about the origins of the treaty, whom it covers, what it covers – and who has complied with its obligations…
Between April 1997, when the convention came into force, and July 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – which polices the convention – conducted more than 5,000 inspections in 86 out of the 189 countries that are party to the convention. But the OPCW can’t do much to enforce compliance, outside recommending measures to states or referring matters to the UN General Assembly or Security Council.
Seven state parties have declared chemical weapons stockpiles totalling over 70,000 tonnes, and so far some 80% of this has been destroyed…But only three countries – Albania, India and a third party widely believed to be South Korea – have destroyed all their stockpiles.
The countries with the biggest declared stockpiles, the United States and Russia, failed to meet deadlines for their total destruction in April 2007 and April 2012. The deadlines have now been extended once again…
The US currently has a stockpile of some 3,000 tonnes of chemical agents – three times the amount Western powers say Syria possesses.
There are some contentious exclusions from the CWC, such as white phosphorus – which if used as smoke (to camouflage movement) is not considered a chemical weapon despite its potential toxic effects. Napalm and dynamite are excluded because their primary destructive effects are considered to be incendiary and not chemical.
The CWC’s remit also does not include biological weapons – weaponisable bio-agents such as bacteria, viruses or fungi – which is covered by the Biological Weapons Convention.
Because of foot-dragging by the US and the Soviet Union, it took a couple decades for the proposed treaty to make it to reality in 1997. All the breast-beating we still hear from our elected officials about the plastic halo they think we deserve for starting to destroy our chemical weapons, we remain responsible for most of the nuclear arsenal remaining in the world, a significant chunk of land mines.
Los Alamos National Labs avoided most of the effects of the sequester stupidity because they – and the nuclear welfare program at Pantex in Amarillo, Texas – are busy upgrading the triggers on our nuclear stockpile of death and destruction.
No arrests were necessary
Police in Sweden said a man who called to report a herd of camels crossing a road assured officers that he was sober.
Investigators said the motorist called police early Monday and said he was traveling on a road in Stockaryd when he had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a herd of five camels…
“When the motorist called us, he began by saying he was sober,” Jonkoping police duty Officer Anneli Johnsson Hammo told the Smalands-Tidningen newspaper.
Hammo said the driver determined the camels escaped from a nearby traveling circus and alerted staff.
The camels were cleared from the road by circus workers and the driver was able to continue on his way.
Then, he stopped for a drink or two.
[I made that part up].