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Japan has to stare at a long-term national interests

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:35 am    Post subject: Japan has to stare at a long-term national interests Reply with quote

Japan has to stare at a long-term national interests

In Iraq there has no end of terror attacks against US servicemen stationed there. Why Japanese government is particular about dispatching Self Defence Force to Iraq, even by fabricating the fictitious story that there is a non-combating area in Iraq. Prime minister Koizumi Junichiro explained the dispatching as international contribution. But people in Japan perceive that it is for loyalty for Bush administration and for a sort of a premium of Japan-US military alliance providing against menace against North Korea.

It would be safer to followed in American footsteps. It is the steadiest diplomatic choice, looking at post-war Japan which has concentrated on economic development, leaving security issues to US. But the choice needs an assumption that the only supper power US has a sense of the leader of the world.

Last autumn US's department of State sponsored an one-month program for studying the process of political decision in the US diplomacy. 18 people such as politicians, diplomats and journalist from 17 countries participated the program and had a discussion with US government officials. Thinking of US,the world leader,there was an impressive scene.

At the time of discussion with a retired army general, one of the participants pointed out the little interest of US in African issues and pressed him that US shouldn't participate in African countries if it doesn't want to lead the world. The general answered that history want US to become a world's leader but US is not aware of it and doesn't hope that.

As its ground he refered to the fact that US left from the Kyoto protocol for prevention of global warming and he pointed out that US had the right to refuse any treaty but although US should have lead the world in order to build a new framework to solve the problem if US was the real leader, there didn't seem to be any attitude in Bush administration.

At the time of discussion with an executive of powerful think-tank, for the question why US didn't make efforts to solve the conflicts in the world such as Palestine and Kashmir, he answered with showing irritation that other countries excessively require of US and blame US at the time of fail.

The significantly big aftereffect which was left to US by the September 11 terror attack was noticed. It seemed that high-profile elites suffered a trauma from the fact that they couldn't protect US from the terror attack even with the biggest military power. The elites, who lost their generosity, looked like that their situation is connected with the US's unilateral diplomacy.

It is unhappy for the international society that US is trying to change the world along its own ideal and purpose through afganistan war and iraq war without its self-awareness as a leader.

Japan has not to follow US policy uncritically because US lacks a sense of a leader. If Japan is so sensitive to US's mood that US lose the confidence from the international society, it won't lead to Japan's benefit.

In Japan, the meaning of security has been discussed only through the mence in its face such as Russia in the era of Cold war and North Korea now. Thought-stopping that Japan is protected by US when Japan depends on Japan-US security treaty has continued for long time and Japan has made little efforts to enlargen decision branch without following US policy.

It is a pity that Japan, which is the world second strongest counry in the economy, is so carefull of the menace around it that it can have only a realistic foreign policy. I'm wondering if Japan has an ideal to become an independent player in the international society. Japan couldn't cut the cycle of its policy of following the US policy in the result if Japan depent only on US and wouldn't contribute to preparing the foundation for building everlasting peace in the east asia, where the structure of the cold war remains.

Mass destruction weapon, which was the main reason of US's attacking Iraq, has not been found. On the other hand, Japan has made its dispach of Self-Defence Force an accomplished fact with having devided the national opinion in two and has deepen its connection with the US's world strategy. Japan should learn that time is coming when Japan has to have a clear strategy to make its diplomacy with US more free.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 2:59 am    Post subject: Discussions in the Arab World. Reply with quote

I think the terrorists in Iraq are changing their strategy from attacking US troops to attacking Iraqi citizens, Iraqi police officers, and Iraqi troops. A vast majority of the Iraqi people want to rebuild their country, so what do the terrorists fear? One would think that the best thing to do is allow the Iraqi people to rebuild their country. Already, there is much discussion in the Arab world and possibly a changing attitude. Below is an interesting article I read published in the New York Times that explains their changing attitude.

Look Who's Talking
Published: February 19, 2004

One major criticism of the Iraq war is that by invading Iraq, the U.S. actually created more enemies in the Arab-Muslim world. I don't happen to believe that, but maybe it's true. What the critics miss, though, is that the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein has also triggered the first real "conversation" about political reform in the Arab world in a long, long time. It's still mostly in private, but more is now erupting in public. For this conversation to be translated into broad political change requires a decent political outcome in Iraq. But even without that, something is stirring.

The other day the always thoughtful Osama al-Ghazali Harb, a top figure at Egypt's semiofficial Al Ahram center for strategic studies, the most important think tank in Egypt, published an article in the country's leading political quarterly, Al Siyassa Al Dawliya, in which he chastised those Arab commentators who argue that the way in which the U.S. captured Saddam was meant to humiliate Arabs.

"What we, as Arabs, should truly feel humiliated about are the prevailing political and social conditions in the Arab world especially in Iraq which allowed someone such as Saddam Hussein to . . . assume the presidency. We should feel humiliated that Saddam was able . . . to single-handedly initiate a number of catastrophic policies that transformed Iraq, relatively rich in natural, human and financial resources, into the poorest, most debt-ridden country in the Arab world, not to mention the hundreds of thousands killed and displaced. We should feel humiliated that some of our intellectuals, supposedly the representatives of our nations' consciences and the defenders of their liberty and dignity, not only dealt with Saddam, but also supported him. . . . The Arabs should have been the ones to bring down Saddam, in defense of their own dignity and their own true interests."

Abd al-Hamid al-Ansari, the former dean of Qatar University's law school, just published an essay, in London's widely read Arabic-language daily Al Sharq Al Awsat, which asks whether the world is better off because of the U.S. ouster of Saddam. Those who say it is worse off, he argues, see only half the picture.

"Let us imagine the world if America had listened to the French and German logic saying: Give the murderers of the Serbs and the Arabs a chance for a diplomatic solution. Would Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq be liberated? Let us describe the situation of the Arabs, and especially of Iraq, had America listened to the European counsel that said: democracy is not suited to the Arabs, their culture is contrary to it. . . . See now how many countries are turning toward democracy. Even Afghanistan has a constitution. In Iraq [they are drafting] a new constitution and handing over the regime, and Libya has changed." (Translation by Memri.)

Saudi Arabia's leading English-language newspaper, Arab News, published an editorial last week denouncing the murder of Iraqi police recruits by pro-Al Qaeda sympathizers and "Baathist thugs." The Saudi paper asks, What do these terrorists fear? It adds: "Iraqis are keen to take back control of their country, and many are acutely aware of the opportunity they now have to build a new and fairer society. There is once again a pride in being an Iraqi. It is this growing feeling of restored honor and the rising confidence of Iraqis which is now the target of the terrorists."

Reuters reported from Damascus on Feb. 5 that a Syrian human rights group has started circulating a petition via the Internet so far signed by about 1,000 people calling for an end to state-of-emergency laws. It says: "We, the signatories, herein demand the Syrian authorities lift the state of emergency and annul all associated measures." Syria suddenly just freed over 100 political prisoners.

The Lebanese analyst Sahar Baasiri, writing in the leading Lebanese daily An Nahar, said the response of Palestinian officials to two corruption charges one in a French weekly about millions of dollars reportedly transferred to Yasir Arafat's wife in Paris and the other an Israeli report about a Palestinian cement factory, owned by a prominent Palestinian family, that is alleged to be secretly providing the cement for the wall Israel is building in the West Bank was not sufficient. "A clear and decisive Palestinian response" is required, the paper wrote.

Maybe the Iraq war made America new enemies. But it's certainly triggered a new discussion.
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