NIPPON FALCONS LEAGUE

Our blog's intention is to request the US government to grant us a chance to defend our mother country Japan at the American court of law regarding the resolution "Comfort Women" passed July 30, 07.

オバマは迷っている

obama called middleeast 1.21.09
ほとんどの将軍たちは、マクリスタルの兵員増派4400人を支持している。ところが、オバマの国防アドバイザーたちの意見が割れている。制服組VSシビリアンのはざ間でオバマは迷っているのだ。オバマは、中間策に傾いている。要請されたアフガニスタン増派を少なくしたいと考えている。まだ、会議が続いている。11月11日からアジア訪問が始まる。この記事では、増派を最終決定するのは、20日以降だろうと。当然、共和党からは、「優柔不断」と批判されている。筆者も同感である。戦争は兵士一人が欠けても勝てないものだからである。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

Obama seeking options on forces
MEETING WITH JOINT CHIEFS
President looks to send fewer additional troops


Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 31, 2009

President Obama has asked the Pentagon's top generals to provide him with more options for troop levels in Afghanistan, two U.S. officials said late Friday, with one adding that some of the alternatives would allow Obama to send fewer new troops than the roughly 40,000 requested by his top commander.

Obama met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the White House on Friday, holding a 90-minute discussion that centered on the strain on the force after eight years of war in two countries. The meeting -- the first of its kind with the chiefs of the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, who were not part of the president's war council meetings on Afghanistan in recent weeks -- prompted Obama to request another such meeting before he announces a decision on sending additional troops, the officials said.

The military chiefs have been largely supportive of a resource request by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, that would by one Pentagon estimate require the deployment of 44,000 additional troops. But opinion among members of Obama's national security team is divided, and he now appears to be seeking a compromise solution that would satisfy both his military and civilian advisers.

Obama is expected to receive several options from the Pentagon about troop levels next week, according to the two officials, who discussed the deliberations on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.


Before he can determine troop levels, his advisers have said, he must decide whether to embrace a strategy focused heavily on counterinsurgency, which would require additional forces to protect population centers, or one that makes counterterrorism the main focus of U.S. efforts in the country, which would rely on relatively fewer American troops.

One option under review involves a blend of the two approaches, featuring an emphasis on counterterrorism in the north and some parts of western Afghanistan as well as an expanded counterinsurgency effort in the south and east, one of the officials said. Obama has also asked for a province-by-province review of the country to determine which areas can by managed effectively by local leaders.

The president appears committed to adding at least 10,000 to 15,000 troops in Afghanistan in an effort to bolster the training of Afghan army and police officers in the country. Current plans call for the United States to double the size of the Afghan army and police forces to about 400,000 in the hope that they can take over security responsibilities.

In meeting with the military chiefs, Obama heard their assessment of the how prepared the services are to handle a new commitment. "Each chief discussed the state of their own service, how they are doing today and what the long-term consequences will be for each of their services," an administration official said. The military advisers also put the troop deployments in the context of the rest of their global deployments, including in Iraq.

It was not a "recommendations meeting," with concrete options of how to proceed, the official said. That will presumably come in the next such meeting, which has not been scheduled.

The timing of Obama's decision on Afghanistan remains up in the air. But his request for another meeting with the military chiefs -- and the expectation that he will meet again with his top national security advisers before reaching a conclusion -- may leave him too little time to decide the issue before he travels to Asia on Nov. 11. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to be overseas for much of that time, except for a brief stint at home from Wednesday to Friday. , giving Obama little opportunity to convene his war council in person. It appears increasingly likely that Obama will not announce his new Afghanistan strategy until after returning to the United States on Nov. 20.

Obama has come under criticism from Republicans, notably former vice president Richard B. Cheney, for deliberating so long, but his advisers have said he is determined to get the decision right rather than satisfy his critics.

In contrast to Iraq, where there was significant dissension on whether to deploy an additional 30,000 troops in 2007, the top brass has been mostly united in the support of McChrystal's call for more troops in Afghanistan.

Both Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in the Middle East, have told the administration that they agree with McChrystal's dire assessment of the security situation and his call for more forces to wrest the initiative back from the Taliban.

The service chiefs have not publicly voiced either support or opposition. Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine Corps chief, had campaigned hard this year for the Marines to play a much larger role in the country. In internal meetings, Army chief Gen. George W. Casey Jr. has raised concerns about "dwell time" -- the periods that troops have at home between deployments.

The Army is particularly concerned that soldiers who spend less than 18 months at home between combat tours do not have enough time to train for high-intensity tank warfare.

A U.S.-Iraq security pact requires the United States to withdraw its forces from Iraq by the end of 2011, which would reduce some of the strain on the American military. But bombings this week in Baghdad, which killed more than 155 Iraqis, raise questions about whether Iraq is stable enough to allow for an accelerated drawdown in advance of that deadline, as some military officials had hoped.

このページのトップへ

海自弾道ミサイル撃ち落しに成功

Japan intercepts ballistic missile in Hawaii test

防衛省は28日、海上自衛隊のイージス艦「みょうこう」(7250トン)が同日、米ハワイ沖で弾道ミサイルを撃ち落とす海上配備型迎撃ミサイル(SM3)の発射試験を行い、標的の迎撃に成功したと発表した。

Wed Oct 28, 12:59 am ET

HONOLULU – A Japanese navy ship has intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile in a test off Hawaii.

The U.S. military fired the test's target on Tuesday from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

The JS Myoko detected the target, tracked it and then fired an SM-3 interceptor missile from its deck. The interceptor hit the target in space above the Pacific Ocean.

The Myoko is the third of four Japanese ships to be upgraded with ballistic missile defense technology.

The second, the JS Chokai, participated in a test off Hawaii last November but an unidentified problem prevented its interceptor from shooting down the target. An investigation is ongoing.

The first Japanese attempt, from the JS Kongo in 2007, was successful.

このページのトップへ

アフガン鉄道

Afghanistan’s First Railroad Aims to Undercut Taliban

アフガニスタンに鉄道?昔からあった常識的なアイデアだ。だが、タリバンは破壊者だから、列車撃は
永遠に続く。このアフガニスタンを近代化するためには、タリバンらのテロリストを武装解除しなければ不可能である。アメリカでは厭戦気分が充満してきた。"戦争する価値がない"とブログでは100%だ。オバマはどうするのだろうか?僕自身は兵員増派に賛成だが、、伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

By Dave McCombs

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Afghanistan is building its first rail link with the help of the Asian Development Bank in a bid to improve trade and aid and undermine highway bandits helping to fund insurgents, including the Taliban.

The bank will name the design and operation contractors next week for the $170 million railway from Uzbekistan’s border to Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and a hub for aid and imports, said Juan Miranda, ADB director-general for Central and West Asia. Work on the 75-kilometer (47-mile) line will start this year and may finish in 2010, he said.

Afghanistan has only 25 kilometers of train track and crime gangs along the highways extort cash and steal cargo from haulers. Human rights campaigners and U.S. government officials say the bandits are helping fuel an insurgency that prompted President Barack Obama to send 21,000 additional soldiers to the country this year and to consider committing more U.S. troops.

“It’s a project that will be transformational,” Miranda said by phone from the Philippines capital, Manila. “A railway is a visible sign of progress and it will really help with the trade bottleneck at the border. It’s a sign of hope, rather than desperation.”

U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, wrote in an August assessment requesting more troops that insurgent taxes imposed on the “local population through check points” would enable anti- government forces to fund operations, even if profit from the opium trade was eliminated.

Failed Attempts

For more than a century, every attempt to build a rail network has failed as French, German, Indian, Iranian and Soviet rail plans were abandoned or never broke ground, leaving the landlocked nation without an all-weather transport backbone.

“A rail line would help by cutting off the source of funds for some of the organized crime groups, because they would not be able to stop the train,” said Ahmad Nader Naderi, a member of the Kabul-based Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Afghanistan’s reliance on trucks facilitates “informal payments” such as extortion that inflate shipping costs by 50 percent in the region, according to a 2006 World Bank study. The International Monetary Fund in 2007 estimated shipping costs and delays in Afghanistan are double the regional average.

“Projects like this railway would bring hope for a better future,” said Nader Naderi, whose commission investigates human rights abuses.

King Khan’s Railway

Attempts to create an Afghan railroad began in the 1920s when two German locomotives were used on a 7-kilometer line from Kabul. When King Amanullah Khan, who ordered them, was overthrown, the project was abandoned. The engines now sit rusting among weeds in an outdoor museum, said Andrew Grantham, news editor of Railway Gazette International magazine and author of a Web site on the history of rail projects in Afghanistan.

Three locomotives imported from Germany in the 1950s to supply a power station east of Kabul vanished, their fate unknown, said Grantham, who also said he thinks the ADB-financed railway will be built.

The current rail plan may not succeed, said Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington research organization. While aid projects pay a percentage to the Taliban for protection, that may not prevent attacks, she said in an e-mailed comment.

Security Threat

“Unless enough U.S., NATO, and Afghan troops are prepared to defend the new railway network indefinitely, we could see all of this infrastructure destroyed almost as quickly as we build it,” said Innocent, co-author of the report: “Escaping the Graveyard of Empires: A Strategy to Exit Afghanistan.”

In February, 1,500 metric tons of Russian-donated flour packed onto 25 rail cars arrived at Haryaton, where the Uzbekistan railway line ends, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. The cargo took days to shift onto trucks and weeks to deliver, allowing more spoilage, theft and extortion.

Almost half of Afghanistan’s imports and even more of its humanitarian aid now come through Haryaton to Mazar-e-Sharif, 290 kilometers north of the capital, Kabul.

Local governors have been accused of extorting payments from truck drivers, undermining support for President Hamid Karzai’s central government, Nader Naderi said.

Deteriorating road security is also thwarting the U.S. military. In June 2008 alone, 44 trucks and 220,000 gallons (832,790 liters) of fuel were lost because of hijackings and attacks while delivering fuel to Bagram air field near Kabul, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a March 2009 report.

ADB Investment

While the ADB is financing 97 percent of estimated costs through a $165 million grant, Afghanistan will contribute $5 million. The rail construction contract has been awarded to Uzbekistan Temir Yollari, the Uzbek national railway company.

The ADB expects to invest about a billion dollars in Afghanistan over the next five years, Miranda said.

The paving of a 3,000-kilometer ring road through Kabul, Herat and Kandahar, started six years ago, has yet to be completed as the December 2009 target approaches. Taliban attacks on workers and traffic have delayed construction, Richard Boucher, assistant U.S. secretary of state, said last November.

October became the deadliest month for the U.S. since its 2001 invasion, with 55 fatalities, more than the annual death tolls for the years from 2001 to 2004. Eight U.S. service members and an Afghan civilian working were killed yesterday by improvised landmines, which are often placed along roads.

このページのトップへ

Kabuki Show On Defense

Tokyo Defense Kabuki

There's a widening gap in the U.S.-Japan security alliance.Article Comments (1) more in When the U.S. and Japan announced a sweeping military alliance realignment plan in 2006, both governments characterized their relationship as "the indispensable foundation of Japan's security and of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region." Yesterday, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama paid lip service to the alliance and then told parliament he wants to "frankly discuss" the implementation of a crucial part of that pact, the relocation of a U.S. air base on Okinawa.

This isn't a minor tiff. Mr. Hatoyama's grandstanding endangers the entire 2006 agreement, a complex document that took more than a decade to hash out. The U.S. agreed to close the Futenma base and move it to a coastal area of the island. Washington also agreed to move some 8,000 Marines and their families to Guam by 2014, plus consolidate other facilities and forces in Japan and return land to locals. Without the Futenma link, the other moves are thrown, well, off base.

Military leaders seem to understand how these pieces fit together. Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Wednesday that the Futenma move is "extremely important." The same day, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called it the "linchpin" of the 2006 pact. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Michael Mullen told reporters in Tokyo Friday that stalling the realignment "diminishes the security support for Japan in the region."

There are signs of dissent within Mr. Hatoyama's cabinet, too. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Friday that moving Futenma off the island entirely, as some pols are suggesting, is "not an option." Locals in Okinawa aren't united in opposition to the base, either, as many enjoy the economic benefits it provides.

Mr. Hatoyama may feel that he's simply sticking to a campaign pledge to put more distance between Japan and the U.S. But it doesn't sound like he's thought much about the alternatives. Will Japan spend more on its own defense? Does Mr. Hatoyama think the North Korean nuclear program and growing Chinese military force aren't serious enough to warrant a closer U.S.-Japan relationship? Does he think diplomacy alone can keep Japan safe? These are the questions Japan's new prime minister needs to be asking, rather than putting on a kabuki show on defense.

このページのトップへ

現代アヘン戦争

Afghanistan Opium hunt
10・26・09(MON) 西アフガニスタンで、タリバン阿片密輸組織をハント中の米海兵隊ヘリコプターが墜落した。海兵隊員8名とDEA(麻薬取締官)2名が死んだ。南アフガニスタンのカンダハルでは、ヘリコプター二機が空中衝突して、4名の海兵隊員が死んだ。タリバンは「撃ち落した」と声明を出したが、USコマンドは否定指定いる。(AP記事より)伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ


KABUL – A U.S. military helicopter crashed Monday while returning from the scene of a firefight with suspected Taliban drug traffickers in western Afghanistan, killing 10 Americans including three DEA agents in a not-so-noticed war within a war.

Four more troops were killed when two helicopters collided over southern Afghanistan, making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces in this country in more than four years.

U.S. military officials insisted neither crash was believed a result of hostile fire, although the Taliban claimed they shot down a U.S. helicopter in the western province of Badghis. The U.S. did not say where in western Afghanistan its helicopter went down, and no other aircraft were reported missing.

The second crash took place when two U.S. Marine helicopters — a UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Maj. Bill Pelletier said.

The casualties marked the Drug Enforcement Administration's first deaths since it began operations here in 2005. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium — the raw ingredient in heroin — and the illicit drug trade is a major source of funding for insurgent groups.

The U.S. has decided to target production and distribution networks after programs to destroy poppy fields did little except turn farmers against the American-led NATO mission.

In the past year, the DEA has launched an ambitious plan to increase its personnel in Afghanistan from about a dozen to nearly 80, greatly expanding its role.

NATO said the helicopter containing the DEA agents was returning from a joint operation that targeted a compound used by insurgents involved in "narcotics trafficking in western Afghanistan."

"During the operation, insurgent forces engaged the joint force and more than a dozen enemy fighters were killed in the ensuing firefight," a NATO statement said.

Eleven Americans, including another DEA agent, and 14 Afghan security troops were wounded in the crash, NATO said.

Military spokeswoman Elizabeth Mathias said hostile fire was unlikely because the troops were not receiving fire when the helicopter took off. She said troops had been rushed to the crash site to determine the cause.

The crash came less than a week after a U.N. report found that the drug trade is enabling the Taliban to make more money now than when they ruled Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion in 2001. The DEA sent more agents to Afghanistan this year to take part in military operations against insurgents who use drug smuggling to raise funds for their war against NATO and its Afghan allies.

It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 19 U.S. troops died, 16 of them aboard a Special Forces MH-47 Chinook helicopter that was shot down by insurgents.

U.S. forces also reported the deaths of two other American service members Sunday: one in a bomb attack in the east, and another who died of wounds sustained in an insurgent attack in the same region. The deaths bring to at least 47 the number of U.S. service members who have been killed in October.

This has been the deadliest year for international and U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban. Fighting spiked around the presidential vote in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died that month — the deadliest for American forces in the eight-year war.

President Barack Obama mourned 14 Americans killed Monday and told a military audience he will not be hurried as he evaluates whether to alter U.S. strategy in the war.

"I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way. I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary," Obama said during a visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida.

Obama is debating whether to send tens of thousands more troops to the country to curb the burgeoning Taliban-led insurgency. Doubts about bolstering the U.S. force grew after widespread fraud marred the Aug. 20 presidential election, raising doubt whether the U.S. and its NATO allies had a reliable partner in the fight against the militants.

Afghan officials scheduled a runoff election Nov. 7 between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah after U.N.-backed auditors threw out nearly a third of the incumbent's votes, dropping him below the 50 percent threshold required for a first-round win in the 36-candidate field.

Abdullah complained Monday that there were no assurances that the November vote would be fairer than the first balloting. He called for the head of the government's Karzai-appointed election commission chairman, Azizullah Lodin, to be replaced within five days, saying he has "no credibility."

Lodin has denied allegations of bias in favor of Karzai, and the election commission's spokesman has already said Lodin cannot be replaced by either side.

Another flawed election would cast doubt on the wisdom of sending in more U.S. troops.

With less than two weeks to go until the vote, disagreements have emerged between the U.N. and the Afghans on how to conduct the balloting.

Lodin said the commission hopes to open all 23,960 polling stations from the first round. The U.N. wants to open only 16,000 stations to cut down on the number of "ghost polling stations" that never opened but were used to stuff ballot boxes.

Meanwhile, security forces in Kabul fired automatic rifles into the air for a second day Monday to contain hundreds of stone-throwing university students angered over the alleged desecration of Islam's holy book, the Quran, by U.S. troops during an operation two weeks ago in Wardak province. Fire trucks were also brought in to push back protesters with water cannons. Police said several officers were injured in the mayhem.

U.S. and Afghan authorities have denied any such desecration and insist that the Taliban are spreading the rumor to stir up public anger. The rumor has sparked similar protests in Wardak and Khost provinces.

このページのトップへ

US pressures Japan on military package

gates kitazawa 10.21.09
10・21・09 ロバート・ゲーツ米国防長官と北沢国防相は沖縄普天間移設デ会談した。以下は、WPの記事に寄せたコメントである。伊勢平次郎

U.S. pressures Japan on military package

Worried about a new direction in Japan's foreign policy, the Obama administration warned the Tokyo government Wednesday of serious consequences if it reneges on a military realignment plan formulated to deal with a rising China.


Commentsceflynline wrote:
"laurelphoto wrote: VJ Day was August 15, 1945. Haven't our occuping forces been in Japan long enough?"

We haven't been occupiers for a very long time. In fact we haven't been a BIG presence in japan in a long time.

We use Yokosuka Naval Base to home port a carrier, its support shps, and currently a bunch of Aegis equipped warsips to keep track of North Korea's escapades. We have facilities at sasebo and some other small bases on Honshu, as well as Camp Zama and Yokota AFB for logistical support to Westpac. On Okinawa we have Kadena, and the Marines, and some Special Forces. We probably couldn't out number a full Roit control unit in Tokyo if we had to.

For that investment we get peace in East Asia.

Japan doesn't have to rearm, because attacking them means attacking the U. S., and that just isn't a good idea. Non indigenous terrorists can't get in country to do nasty things. Indigenous terrorists mostly play by the rules and get controlled by the local police.

Japan doesn't need much of a military.

Because japan doesn't need much of a military it doesn't have much of a military, and Taiwan, The Philippines, Indo China, Malaysia, and Indonesia don't worry about Militarists in Japan trying again. Sixty years isn't quite long enough for those memories to fade.

We get the same effect in Korea. One Army Brigade, some intelligence and logistics troops, some Air Force units. They all musterred together wouldn't actually be able to stand very long against the massesof troops the North has. But to attack the troops at Camp casey, necessary for the North to get at Seoul, is to provoke WW III, and the North knows it.

On the Other hand, the South can't decide to sort out the North on its own aslong as the U. S. is still in country as U. N. forces. (My personal bet is that if the South every tried it would succeed handily, but the carnage would be immense.)For a few troops and some careful diplomacy we buy peace on the peninsula. Korea and Japan, in turn, give us bases to keep a presence on the Western Pacific rim, in case we need them there. Guam, Saipan, Tinian aren't nearly as well placed for such bases. None has harbors to match Tokyo, Sasebo, Busan, or Chin Hae.

The price isn't particularly high, monetarily or diplomatically, and the benefit is so big, nearly a century of peace in a turbulent part of the world.

Let's make nice and work things out.
10/24/2009 2:07:26 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

ceflynline wrote:
"slim2 wrote: If Gates threatens to halt the removal of 8,000 marines, Hatoyama only need mention his government is considering liquidating its position in US debt."

Two reasons that Japan can't really contamplate that.

Japan has NO source of oil in its territory. Oil producing countries still like to get paid in dollars, (why? beats me!) and much of japans banked green reserves are held with that realization in mind. Otherwise he Sen would be worth a penny and the Yen would be worth a dollar.

AND

With the yen being worth a dollar Japan's exports would be far too expensive to send to the U.S., and America would make its own transistor radios.

It took me years of wondering why the yen stayed at the rate it holds, considering how many dollars Japan accrues every year, and has for the last sixty or so years. It never made sense, until I realized that our trade with japan is actually multiply triangular, that is we buy from Japan, who uses our dollars to buy from someone else, who may or may not use our dollars to buy from us. Japan only looks like a sink for dollars. The real sinks are Arabia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

This flap appears to be more, by orders of magnitude than it actually is. This is a party that hasn't ever had to try to be the ruling party, and is trying to look like it is a new power in the world.

I'm not quite sure just which existing air strip is being contemplated for the marines to use, or whether they are looking to build a new one up on the Northern end of the island, but if it is the strip at Onna, the locals have a bit of a b...h. Onna Point airfield has been abandoned for a long time, and is surrounded by Okinawa's real natural resource, close in coral reefs and great scuba diving.

The Island is only 58 Miles long, and most of the better dive sites are a city bus ride from wherever you get a hotel to stay at. Off the west coast of the island are numerous sunken warships, some great reefs, and other scuba draws. The Kuroshio runs just off Onna Point, and tuna and other large and very tasty fish flock the black current. Putting a Marine AB there isn't going to make tourists happy.

So the new kid in japanese politics finds something to talk about that makes it look like it is doing something.

We will work it out because the real AB we need on Okinawa is Kadena, and the marine forces on Okinawa are part of what little forward deployed force we maintain on the Pacific rim, and we need them there or there abouts. The rest of the Ryukyus MIGHT provide a useful replacement, but it would be deucedly inconvenient.

But we have squabbled before, and made up. We will patch things up this time too.

And Orion Beer will still taste green, especially in the winter months.

10/24/2009 1:44:28 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

shashank025 wrote:
Kent Calder's racism is palpable.
10/23/2009 4:41:54 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

buvery wrote:
I am a Japanese citizen living in US.
Honestly, I enjoyed your opinions, really.

However, ordinary people (here in America or may be in Japan as well) do not know what issue is at stake right now. I would like to add my two cents.

First, the agreement was not a treaty, by the way. The base in question is a very tiny, tiny one used for marine corps in the middle of residential area in the small island of Okinawa. It is NOT majority of US bases or even a major base. Besides, there is another gigantic Kadena Airfield several miles away for US air force. Marine corps have been refusing to share the base with US air force. Why US military is holding the tiny base, which is not theirs from the first place, is BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY CAN, and because they think Japan will pay the money for the relocation -- inevitably giving profits to military related industry. Secretary Gates was upset because his ex-counterpart in Japan, LDP, was expelled from the government by the last election. Futenma base is not a huge geopolitical story. It is just a symbol, but a really important one for the local residents living in Okinawa. That is why I think Hatoyama government should insist. Looking at the arrogant secretary, I wonder if he is trying to infuriate the Japanese over some tiny profits. It is as if he is proving that befriending him is not a good idea.

By the way, the negotiation of the base began in early 1990s when three American marines kidnapped and gang raped 12 year old Japanese school girl. The rage of local Okinawan people was so intense. The return of the marine corps base sounded to me like attempt to distract the fury.

Japan is now paying US forces 70 billion dollars annually simply for good will, since about 20 years ago. Japan has no legal obligation to pay the money. US forces pays no fee for the use of the bases or airspace they occupy. Even the gas for driving cars is paid by the Japanese government. Few people know that majority of airspace over Tokyo metropolitan area is still controlled by US air force, without any charge.

Some people here say that it is 60 years and it is high time that US should go home. I think they are saying those things in tongue in cheek. But, I agree. Not because the Japanese hate Yankees, but because in current situation, there is no use of US bases in Japan. It is good for America and it is good for Japan. Some say that Japan should pay the defense cost of its own. I agree. Japan should rearm. There is no point in paying US forces stationed in Japan. Japan should use the money to build its own military for defense. We can forget about F22 and buy eurofighters.

Japan is basically a pacifist country and does not send troop to overseas to fight. We can build nuclear arms AND we do not. I think that 60 years of Japanese history has proven what kind of country Japan is. I cannot think of any Japanese attach US cities with nuclear bombs in retaliation, just like some terrorists might do. We do not teach our kids to hate and retaliate.

Japan is proud of the self defense force that have NEVER killed any one since the end of WWII. We do not need gigantic size of military that US has. We only need defense capabilities and international emergency operation capabilities, which we can do with much lower cost.

By the way, the Japanese in general love President Obama. Whatever disagreement we have between the two countries, he will be welcomed. In my opinion, surely there is something that Japan and US can share and do.
10/23/2009 4:13:34 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

laurelphoto wrote:
VJ Day was August 15, 1945. Haven't our occuping forces been in Japan long enough?
10/23/2009 12:06:42 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jhope432 wrote:
Nothing like an entangling alliance with nations on the opposite end of the planet. There's no possible explanation that this is a national "defense" strategy. "Offensive" is more like it. It keeps the US in perpetual war plus it pays well for the military industry lobby.
10/23/2009 9:28:15 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

paddy3 wrote:
Last line:

"I have never seen this in 30 years," Calder said. "I haven't heard Japanese
talking back to American diplomats that often, especially not publicly. The
Americans usually say, 'We have a deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Ah soo
desu ka,' -- we have a deal -- and it's over. This is new."

That unfortunately translates to: "The Americans usually say, 'We have a
deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Is that so?'"

That's either poor reporting, or we sent an Ugly American over there who doesn't
know basic Nihongo grammar.
10/23/2009 8:42:46 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

reubok wrote:
More evidence of the waning power we have become. We can't even get our erstwhile best buddies to do what we want, let alone the serious competitors.
10/23/2009 7:23:51 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dillier wrote:
Please Mr. President Stop Americas past to control the world and interfere with our money any country development creating a lot of hate and bad costumers like some continents waiting our money to endowment their own real estate and changing their government after our opinions and money.
We must grow and dedication our country to our problems and leaving the world to growing and repair their own mistake. The CIA is a cancer in our society. Japan is parting our history that we must forget.
That we remember every year this history screaming revenge only increasing my question why Japan must accept this insult after too much dead and destruction. All actions our world must one day pay a cost, and I do not want that my children and their children must be finding guilty for our mistake. Believe me our debt with the world is large and very horrible. I have 70 years seeing and listening about.
Maybe one day we will know who really have killed President Kennedy...

10/23/2009 12:01:25 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dannyhorn23yahoocom wrote:
I don't think the USA can or should have 768 foregin base, if so their should be a co-pay from the host counties.
The usa need not worry about China Military which we gave them the plans, We need to worries about the petro dollar, and Russia, China, Japan, Iran to name a few. going to Euro. and dumping the petro dollar, it time USA had a wake up call, not a joke like they did for the stock market and the bank, the people is on edge. dan horn
10/22/2009 9:51:49 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kacameron wrote:
I understand that the US wants to 'surround everyone'for its security.
I am also a WW11 person who remembers the atrocities and the invasions of China by the Japanese in the '30s.
Although some think our motives are intelligent----I'm not so sure.
It seems that the US, because it dumps its history year after year, forgets that others don't.

Quit thinking so superior, and read your history!
10/22/2009 8:33:04 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

CincinnatiRIck wrote:
Davidm0604 wrote:
It is time for us to pack up our gear, our troops, our materials, and bring them home. From both Japan and from South Korea. Let them pay the full costs of maintaining a military defense -toops, missles, planes, ships-the whole lot. We provide these countries with a defense shield while they dump refrigerators, appliances, etc., down our always open throats. If their products reflected expense military defense costs, maybe Hyundai cars would be truly priced fairly.
---------------
So you're OK with the nuclear proliferation that results with Japan, S. Korea and probably Taiwan too as we remove our umberella?
10/22/2009 7:45:49 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

BrettPaatsch1 wrote:
clark010 wrote:
BrettPaatsch1 can rest assured that the comment was not deleted or subject to any form of censorship! The and only reason must be that Brett have fumbled with the buttons one way or another.
10/22/2009 8:26:14 AM
--------
No I can't rest assured that the comment wasn't deleted or censored because the following easily checked facts strongly suggest otherwise.

Anyone clicking on my name in this comment will see on BPaatsch1’s page the home tab displaying recent activity. From there (and also under the comment tab) it can be seen three, now four entries down, that I posted under this article at “10/21/2009 10:38:47 PM”.

Now using that date and time stamp going back through the comments under this article its possible to see comments by “biswashira” posted at 10/21/09 10.38.44 pm (3 seconds earlier than mine) and another by “mtravali” posted at 10/21/2009 10.42. pm (later than mine). My comment is not in between them.

I have no way of entering comments to appear under my home page without them also appearing under the article, they go to my home page automatically only after I hit the enter key so, therefore, someone else (perhaps the authors, I don’t know who) must have exercised some control over whether that comment appeared under the article.

Who cares?

Well, I for one find it interesting when comments are censored or deleted to wonder why that one in particular was picked out from others.
10/22/2009 6:53:35 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Beacon2 wrote:
I'm surprised we are surprised. There is clearly a tone of nationalism that comes and goes within Japan, remember Yukio Mishima. Probably a time to listen rather than confront or lecture. I've noticed a recent increase hectoring of the "ignorant" Japanese from the free market folks over the privatizing of the Japan Post Office. For those not following, there is a huge pile of money buried within the Post Office complex of responsibilities. The new party is reversing the plans of privatization and public offerings. No one in the West has explained the advantage of the privatization.

Considering the mess we have made, lecturing is not seemly. Japan owns as much American debt as China. If any lender starts dumping our debt, all will follow, instant supply-side inflation. The dreaded Wiemar dollar. The demise of capitalism will come from the hands of the self-interested free market capitalists and not the over-educated, unemployed, liberal socialists as predicted.

Cheney and Sir Charles the K want more war and more missiles as a proof of our dominance and relevance. I was wondering what China thought when Chairman Bernanke told them to consume more, more on health care, more on education, etc. From what I read, they privatized health care, found it too expensive and are creating a government plan. The Chinese are thrifty and squeeze value out of money. They find no obligation to line capitalist's pockets and they are learning that the citizens have expectations. A factory was merged and in a perfectly capitalistic way all the workers in one factory were terminated. In a perfectly un-capitalistic way, the workers beat the manager to death and the factory stayed open.

Our concept of a consumer based failed economy, obsessed with growth has become tainted. Growth at all cost masks an inefficient, society damaging, profit at all cost policy, that countries find suspicious. Especially when the sitting President has done nothing to harness the wild horses that brought the economy to its knees. King, Stiglitz and Volcker speak the truth about stabilizing the banking system. If we can't stabilize our own economy, why should anyone listen to us? Clearly the Chinese are doing something right up to this point and Russia has taken notice. We need to pull together and put our house in order. The capitalists are going to have to suck it up. You greedy guys have failed the nation. Stop resisting change. If it doesn't work, we will do something different. The win-win deal is not a sign of weakness and it is ok to leave some blood in your victims or leave a little money on the table.
10/22/2009 6:12:18 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

diduconsider wrote:
All of our Allies look at obama now
and start -- RUNNING AWAY.
10/22/2009 5:13:32 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Davidm0604 wrote:
It is time for us to pack up our gear, our troops, our materials, and bring them home. From both Japan and from South Korea. Let them pay the full costs of maintaining a military defense -toops, missles, planes, ships-the whole lot. We provide these countries with a defense shield while they dump refrigerators, appliances, etc., down our always open throats. If their products reflected expense military defense costs, maybe Hyundai cars would be truly priced fairly.
10/22/2009 4:16:55 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

robertsgt401 wrote:
Yeah Gates..talk it up real butch. What are we going to do, quit borrowing money from Japan to fund our illegal wars? These people recognize a dying empire. They don't want to be on the same ship. Looks like our only "friend" in the world is Israel...and that's who got us in this mess in the first place. Some ally
10/22/2009 4:10:37 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

lazaro-martinez wrote:
Good for Japan for finely putting it foot down and tell us(US)to get out.Maybe other countries will do the same
10/22/2009 3:39:58 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mcmchugh99 wrote:
Let's face reality for once: the Post-American Era has already begun, and nations around the world are adjusting to that fact. We have been in decline for 30 years, but now that decline is accelerating, and anyone who has eyes can see it. We are no longer strong enough to play the role of Great Superpower and Global Hegemon, and will have to face the fact that we are just one power among many, with huge social and economic problems at home that must be dealt with. While I have no great affection for Nixon-Kissinger, they should be credited for recognizing the inevitability of this relative decline in US power back in the 1970s.
10/22/2009 3:15:13 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Fred38 wrote:
We're losing our influence because the world sees this administration (and the far left) as a joke.
10/22/2009 3:14:57 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Fred38 wrote:
We're losing our influence because the world sees this administration (and the far left) as a joke.
10/22/2009 3:14:57 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

vincecoit wrote:
I liked chemistmike’s comment. chemistmike said, “Perhaps making Taiwan, Japan and the Phillipines a subservient client state and vassal of Beijing is the pledege collateral for the trillions of dollars this Congress and Administration wishes to borrow.” Yet, alternatively, by increasing progressivity of the tax code, domestically, ASAP, specifically by announcing immediate plans in February, surplus can be generated annually, to pay off notes each year as they come due, and retire all this debt. The pro-corporation culture may go unaddressed, thanks in no small part to corporate media’s unwillingness to promote this idea.

Even if, like Budget Director Orzag said, our country can be put back onto “firm fiscal footing”, the pro-corporation culture should not continue. It is a culture universal within all U.S. government, economy. But most importantly, the pro-corporation culture is reinforced by the individual citizen’s belief system that promotes, as successful and moral, the self-absorption, consumptionism, and the basic attitude that, I am out to get the most I can for myself, as it really only yields substantial tangible gain for those who already have more than they need (Jew bankers first and foremost, but all business interests). Assuming we can tax the rich, and pay off the 11 trillion dollar debt, if we don’t end this pro-corporation culture that is invading, really infecting the minds of all plain American people, we are doomed to repeat the scenario with even worse concentrations of wealth with the rich, through their instrument corporations. We will look back, or are children will look back, and see the point in time where any elements of democracy in the U.S, were dealt away by a government’s irresistible urge to engage in legalized counterfeiting.

If Japan ceases oil purchases in dollars, and converts to purchases in euros or rubels, then the market for dollars, hence the bond market will decline, increasing the costs, in real interest expense, of increases to U.S. debt ceiling. If Japan re-allies itself with Russia, China, and Iran, re-allies itself, as externally seen with purchases of its oil in non-dollar markets, we will need to contract the money supply as I described, to save the nation.

I liked rsbnola’s comment when it spoke of “like Japan and China have systematically been dumping the dollar for other currencies and commodities”. Iraq was invaded to prevent it from joining the “Iranian Oil Bourse”, spoke of as early as 2005 to my knowledge.

Increases to the U.S. debt ceiling have been inexpensive as oil commodities were always traded in dollars. It takes a lot of dollars to buy oil commodities, therefore people want dollars as long as it takes dollars to buy oil. Oil is a huge commodity. When the U.S. finances its deficits by increasing the money supply with debt, the proximity benefits of legalized counterfeiting is like a tax on the rest of the world. Preventing foreign sovereigns’ acts to cease trade of oil in dollars (in favor of rubels or euros), was the true geo-political cause of the Iraq invasion, as in their doing so would have increased the costs, to the U.S, of increasing its debt ceiling. And, we would go to war over this again. We go to war to perpetuate the fraud our country relies on to sustain itself. I am not a fraud, you are not a fraud, and your children are not frauds.
10/22/2009 3:04:46 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

as901 wrote:
Smart move morons! Threaten another alliance nation!

When will our leaders learn that the town bully act will turn the entire world against us!

We have a right to remind our allies about our treaties, but since America has violated all our treaties and continues to do so as long as GITMO remains open, are we not acting like dangerous and power mad leaders to demand others respect the treaties we ignore?

Perhaps we should first obey the treaties we signed before we demand it of others?

In other words, Mr. President, keep your promise and close GITMO now! As commander in Chief of the Armed forces, you have the power to do so.

If you do not close GITMO, do not expect others to respect treaties we continue to break!

Mark Heinemann
US Veteran
10/22/2009 2:32:37 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

thehummelr wrote:
They obviously want to go it alone. Let them go. Pull out all of our troops.
10/22/2009 2:32:17 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Wildthing1 wrote:
The hardest thing is we are losing credibility right and left and our leverage is slipping. Strategic dominance theory and superego are going to have to reflect a new world of mutual respect and cooperation for an interdependent world free of 20th century nationalism. Asking countries to sign on to our Iraq misadventure has pushed some of the worlds buttons the wrong way.
10/22/2009 2:05:45 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rabbitman wrote:
Did the little Napoleon Gates threaten to nuke Japan again? Did he remind them that we are the only country in the world to use nuclear weapons, and we did it against not battle tanks or soldiers, but two large civilian centers? Did the tiny little Hitler threaten to do it again? If I were the Japanese, I would arrest and hang the warmongering midget. What a despicable excuse for a human being. Id love to see him hang like the piece of human waste he is.
10/22/2009 2:00:11 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gandalf17 wrote:
America should stop dictating. Dictating time for Americans is over. Country should decide their own policy and their own destiny.
10/22/2009 1:54:48 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief wrote:
Japan sees the weakness of the Obama Administration and wants to take advantage. Just like everybody else is


10/22/2009 1:37:11 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

ianmac37 wrote:
Sixty-four years after the end of World War II and we still have military forces stationed in Japan (and Germany)? We should withdraw all such troops. We have bases on Guam and other American Pacific possessions that are sufficient, when combined with our Navy's reach, to deter any possible foe in Asia. As far as Europe goes, there is no longer any credible threat of invasion that could not be handled by the European Union by itself, assuming they had the incentive to maintain their own military at sufficient levels. The only reason they do not it because we do it for them with our military. Bring them all home or to US possessions overseas.
10/22/2009 12:51:05 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

CaliforniaSpeaks wrote:
Oh my, "serious consequences". From this administration?
10/22/2009 12:45:21 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

CincinnatiRIck wrote:
The Japanese, even the LDP, realize that Japan must fend for itself. All American allies realize that they can't depend on the Obama administration. It is hilarious to hear Obama administration sources opining that the new ruling party "lacks experience in government." The pot calling the kettle black.
10/22/2009 12:36:43 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rsbnola wrote:
With the demise of the US dollar, nations like Japan and China have systematically been dumping the dollar for other currencies and commodities. Alsong with the loss of the power of the dollar, US foreign policy has been a bag of missed and mixed results. The US has failed in containing both Iran and North Korea in their nuclear ambitions and has violated her alliance with Poland when the US cancelled the European defense shield, a decision that has yet to be proven as wise. The US led war in Afghanistan is unpopular at home and unsuccesful on the battle field. The US economy has mirrored her "apologetic" foreign policy as it has become an embarrasment worth and apology with a government mishandling and ill conceived decisions by the leaders of the private sector. In the meantime nations like China and Russia have formed organizations like the SCO and the CSTO to counter NATO and regional powers like India to Brazil are demanding their rightful role in a changing world where the US by her own hand is becoming irrelevant and nations that once were stalwart allys of the US are now questioning the decisions of Washington D.C.
10/22/2009 12:35:36 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

chemistmike wrote:
Thanks to the free Trade policies of the Republicans, and other Adam Smith minded politicians throughout the world, Our "Most Favored Nation" has acquired vast sums of capital because our politicians failed to enact patriotic, nationalist, Hamiltonian protections for their citizens. The chimeric mirage of billions of customers caused corporarions and their client politicians to believe they could access China's amrkets. However the Chinese are more patriotic, nationalistic and Machiavellian in nature ( for which they should be applauded and emulated). Now they are the finaciers and creditors of our hope and change socialsit , one-world, utopia envisioned by the progressives and liberals in this administration. But the adage "he who pays the piper calls the tune" or the dictum, " The servant is the slave to the lender" will soon become apparent, especially to the Taiwanese, Japanese and Phillipines" I would conjecture that as part of the terms and conditions for the workers paradise envisioned by the Democrats we must not only enect Cap and Trade to stiffle our industries burt we must also betray Taiwan, Japan, and all of Asia into the hegemony of China. Perhaps making Taiwan, Japan and the Phillipines a subservient client state and vassal of Beijing is the pledege collateral for the trillions of dollars this Congress and Administration wishes to borrow. The Loans to the US become The thirty pieces of silver Ameerica accepts to betray our allies. If you doubt this just ask a Hmong or Montenard tribes man or a Kurd after George H. Bush I allowd Saddams return.Ask the poles how the allies defended their freedom after the soviets also invaded in 1939 after the Ribbentropf Agreement or how Roosevelt betrayed all of Eastern, Slavic Europe after Yalta. We will not stop our creditors and financiers and both the Chinese and Japanese know it.Neville Chamberlain has been re-incarnated and those in Tokyo realize the implications, we have become a broken reed.
10/22/2009 12:32:32 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

arnoldbowers1 wrote:
It would save our country a couple billion dollars to close all the post over there and bring the troops home. Just think of the shot of cash this would put in our economy. I thing in Korea and Japan alone thery are over 150 thousand men this infusion of cash in Texas, California, New York and Washington would be great, good for our economy. Frank
10/22/2009 12:08:39 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rsbnola wrote:
The article highlights the axium that "the only thing that is constant is change". Even before the current US crisis major economies have been questioning the role of the US dollar as the benchmark for world currencies. But since the US economic crisis nations like Japan and China that hold vast amounts of US debt have been dumping the US dollar in a well formulated plan; not too fast or they will lose the value of their dollar holdings and not too slow where the depreciation of the dollar would eat into their reserves. America's foreign policy has also mirrored her economic crisis. The US has lost major issues with Iran and her nuclear program and her ongoing war in Afghanistan to date and her decision to scrap the European defense shield is yet to be proven as a wise decision. Add to the Obama's mantra of a de nuclearized world which flies against rising nuclear powers such as Iran and North Korea and established nuclear powers such as India, Pakistan, and China who under no aspect would give up their arsenal has put the US in the unenviable position of becoming irrelevant in world politics. It is natural under these circumstances for nations like Japan to voice her own agenda whether it is in keeping with US policy or not.
10/22/2009 12:07:17 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

MrReal wrote:
GREAT, we should pull out every US military person from the whole area, let Japan defend & pay to protect themselves form North Korea & China & so on... NOT one dime not one ship not on trooper nothing, let them do it themselves & lets us save the money...

This same thing should be done all over the world... Why on earth we are spending one cent to protect the EU is a JOKE... Let the French & Brits & so on protect themselves with their people & their MONEY!!!!!!
10/22/2009 11:46:55 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Bunchan wrote:
Some Japanese clearly think that their country has been sort of yes-country to the U.S., basically going along with whatever the U.S. does. But, now it seems that the U.S. cannot take Japan for granted any more. Japan after all is a sovereign state. It should think on its own and express its ideas to other nations. I just hope this will result in more candid discussions between Hatoyama government and the White House. The U.S.-Japan alliance is very important and shouldn't be hurt by some blunt rhetoric from some politicians.
10/22/2009 11:29:38 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

yokohlman wrote:
Why should Japan worry about the United States? We have a president who cannot decide on anything .
10/22/2009 11:26:43 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

CONCERNED369 wrote:
WE HAVE PROTECTED JAPAN SINCE WORLD WAR II IT IS TIME WE STOPPED AND PULLED OUR BILLIONS OUT! JAPAN ISN,T REALLY STUPID ENOUGH NOT TO BELIEVE IF WE PULL OUT CHINIA WILL BE IN DOWNTOWN TOKYO IN A FEW YEARS. JAPAN HAS NOT SPENT ANY MONEY FOR THEIR MILITARY SINCE 1945 THIS HAS SAVED THEM BILLIONS WE DID IT FOR THEM. THEIR ECONOMY HAS BEEN BASED ON SELLING US PRODUCTS ESPECIALLY CARS. AFTER WORLD WAR II WE REBUILT THEIR CAR PLANTS AND MADE THEM MANY TIMES MORE EFFICIENT THAT OUR OWN. IT IS TIME THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BOUGHT AMERICAN CARS. I OWN TEN VERY PROFITABLE DEALERSHIPS AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THE NEW CHEVROLETS AND FORDS ARE BETTER MADE THAN THE TOYOTAS AND OTHER ASIAN CARS. WE NEED TO GET REAL WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD WE HAVE CARRIED ON OUR BACKS SINCE 1945 WE CAN'T AFFORD IT! WE HAV SPENT BILLIONS IN KOREA AS THE ONLY UN PEACE KEEPING FORCE IT IS OUR MONEY; LET THE REST OF THE UN PROTECT SOUTH VIETNAM FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS AND SEND OUR BOYS AND MONEY HOME! WE NEED TO GET OUT OF ALL WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST NOW. THE SAVINGS WILL PAY FOR HEALTHCARE, SOC SEC, SCHOOLS, ROADS, BRIDGES AND THE THOUSANDS OF OTHER REPAIRS OUR CITIES NEED! IT IS TIME WE GREW UP AND LEFT THE REST OF THE WORLD ALONE WE HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMS OF OUR OWN!!!
10/22/2009 11:16:51 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

sterlinggo1 wrote:
1. Japan is our friend. They are our business partners.
2. Why all the hostilities about a base? Then again, we never thanked them, japanese people, for executing a fine revolution.
3. Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, would be a welcomed envoy for this critical mission. Mrs. Clinton, your country needs you, please, negotiate an agreement. Thank you!

Antonio the Sun
10/22/2009 11:12:12 AM
Recommend (3)

laurelphoto wrote:
SEATO died along with over 528,000 Americans in Vietnam. Bring our Boys Home, and Return those tax dollars to the American taxpayers.
10/22/2009 10:55:33 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

laurelphoto wrote:
We are noe into the fourth GENERATION of AMERICANS being stationed on Japanese soil sinec the Cesation of Hostilities on VJ Day.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
BRING OUR TAX DOLLARS HOME.
10/22/2009 10:50:33 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

arandoph2017 wrote:
Time to come home and let Japan make it's own discisions on what to do about China and all the rest.
10/22/2009 10:40:04 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

BeauDarq wrote:
Fascinating. A new Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in the offing? Japan has done well playing Second Fiddle as long as it is respected in that process. Doubtless there will never be "a lock" for any other nation's interests when Japan is a player, whether those nations are across the straits or across the oceans. The new generation of Japanese may become less impressed with Togetherness with the Neighbors when the implications of income redistribution across national boundaries take hold. The oldest generation of Japanese - the supporters of the ruling party for the last 50 years - already appreciate this.

So a developing new realignment will take a few decades, with lots of checks-and-balances being developed between USA, China, and Japan. And the score or so other players in East Asia, too. Lots of implications for issues such as North Korea and Taiwan.
10/22/2009 10:34:09 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

camiliz wrote:
I can't believe that we are still using rhetoric -- FROM JOURNALISTS -- deeming countries as "burdens" to the U.S. As a young post-grad and journalist, this makes me truly sad. Watch it, WaPo. Remember that you're also teaching the next generation to understand international relations too, and that this story -- and almost all of your international politics coverage -- is framed quite dangerously.
10/22/2009 10:25:07 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

bentleychan wrote:
Why the double standard? One poster got his post removed his politico-historical analysis was slightly unconventional. Yet some posts remain undeleted which refer to "Japs" or which call for the nuclear annihilation of the Japanese or Asians.
10/22/2009 10:17:37 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

davidsketchley wrote:
Maybe someone should warn them of a US-backed coup. That seems to be the way the US deals with 'allies' who have gone astray...
10/22/2009 10:03:51 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iewgnem wrote:
Maybe Gates should threaten them by saying, if US withdrew its troops, China might invade and station troops there indefinitely, therefore the US must station troops there indefinitely to protect Japan.

Haha, give me a break, US military need the base on Japan for its operations in Asia, in the past with Vietnam and in the future potentially with China. Japan knows that, China knows that, and Obama knows that, nobody in any position of power honestly believe the US is there purely to defend Japan.

What if, maybe, just maybe, Japan don't see China as a threat but as an oppertunity, hence the East Asian EU they are proposing? What if they are not interested in part of the US strategy against China?

If Gates is not careful and keep up treating Japan like a vassal, he might find Japan part of China's strategy against the US in a few years.
10/22/2009 10:02:45 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

timscanlon wrote:
belleneige,
Ok that's all bad news. I doubt we're getting the full view of what a egotistical pinhead she is either.
10/22/2009 9:55:36 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

eliseom wrote:
Who doesn't like to have his way? We certainly do. The secret is in accepting the inevitable while preparing for the worse. I'm not saying "If you can't fight them, join them." But be ready for that too.
10/22/2009 9:51:05 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jrnberrycharternet wrote:
The USA should have been out of Okinawa by 1955. There is no earthly reason for us to still have military there. Does anyone think that the few Marines and Air Force people we have there could really do anything to hold back 100 million Chinese troops if they decided to invade? Of course they wont. Why should they? They have time on their side. We do not.
10/22/2009 9:41:44 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Juan__ wrote:
Yet another failure of the Obama administration. I just found the following quote from "a senior State Department official" funny:

"The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the new ruling party lacks experience in government..."

One wonders what country he was referring to, if Japan or his own.
10/22/2009 9:41:05 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jerzy wrote:
In just nine months, Obama has alienated Western Europe, especially Great Britain, Germany, and France; and infuriated all of Eastern Europe.

He has sniffled at the starvation and genocide in Africa and ignored all of Latin America, except as a supplicant to Chavez and Castro.

He has inflamed the Middle East, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost Pakistan, run away from Iran, and begged forgiveness from Al Queda.

He has become a running joke in Russia and China, and now he has lost Japan, our most reliable ally in the Pacific rim.

He hasn't yet failed in Antarctica, but give him time. He'll have the penguins all fleeing back into the sea.
10/22/2009 9:34:25 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

MCWP wrote:
"The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the new ruling party lacks experience in government and came to power wanting politicians to be in charge...."

Who is he talking about??
10/22/2009 9:24:10 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

clairevb wrote:
Is Japan a sovereign nation or a US territory?
10/22/2009 9:00:27 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

ProveMeWrong wrote:
""I have never seen this in 30 years," Calder said. "I haven't heard Japanese talking back to American diplomats that often, especially not publicly. The Americans usually say, 'We have a deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Ah soo desu ka,' -- we have a deal -- and it's over. This is new.""
===================

Makes a big difference when you have a neutered President trying to turn the beacon of the world into a Red Spotlight of Socialism and Entitlement Programs that will NEVER be paid back...

10/22/2009 8:57:51 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mitlen wrote:
Most of our "alliances" stem from the 1940s and early 50s. It is time to reassess all of them. Japan, Korea, Israel, NATO, etc. are in need of a serious review. Hopefully they can be "modernized" to reflect a more current world rather than the world of 1950 or the imagined world of 2009. If not, they should be jetisoned and our relations should be more of a share and share alike relationship. It may not always be in our best interests to take sides based on outdated committments.
10/22/2009 8:50:44 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rcubedkc wrote:
Bring our troops home now. All of them.
10/22/2009 8:49:57 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

monteathp wrote:
The only leverage we have in world politics is our protective blanket and our market place where most of these exporting nations make their money. Thanks to the WTO the latter is not really an option. Keep buying the Japanese, TVs and Cameras my fellow Americans. And just remember your next nuclear power plant is coming to you by Toshiba (Westinghouse).
10/22/2009 8:46:20 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

thuctho wrote:
America must scare Japan to submission. Remind Japan the rise of China is not good for Japan. Japan must keep on lending to the U.S.
10/22/2009 8:41:39 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

thuctho wrote:
America must scare Japan to submission. Remind Japan the rise of China is not good for Japan. Japan must keep on lending to the U.S.
10/22/2009 8:41:39 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dgkfirst19321 wrote:
Makiz speaks the truth. America needs to shuck its military-industrial straightjacket and start making things that Asians will buy. American military imperialism is dead as a DODO!!!!!!!!!... American industrialism needs a rebirth!!!!!!!!!... We need livable income jobs. I mean take a look at WalMart jobs. WalMart is the largest employer in the United States now. And Congress wants to subsidize the WalMarts of the world with a healthcare system that robs one segment of the US population to support the slave wage workers of WalMart. America needs to have an industrial system again that provides its workers with a livable income so government can get off the backs of the people and cut their taxes so they can fund their own retirements and buy their own healthcare plans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...
10/22/2009 8:41:07 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Enlightened_Independence wrote:
While it is sad that the Japanese seem to no longer respect our two nations friendship like they have in the past, it is definitely their right to define their part in that friendship. If they feel abused perhaps the proper response is not to heap scorn whenever American 'orders' are disregarded.
10/22/2009 8:40:45 AM
Recommend (10) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

tropedoabad wrote:
A raising China threat....please! I can't wait for the Japan citizens to start yelling, Yankees Go! Bring back our troops back from garrison duty in Japan, and Korea. Sixty years of duty is enough. It don't take a military genius to figure the next World War will be the final one.
JMA Tampa
10/22/2009 8:37:45 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jeff08 wrote:

So now Obama and the rest of his amateur hour clowns have ticked off:

1) England
2) France
3) Germany
4) Poland
5) Czech Republic
6) Israel
7) Honduras
8) Colombia
9) Japan

in addition to the intelligence community and the military.

On the other hand, the Iranian, North Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Venezuelan leadership can't believe the good fortune that dropped this fool in their laps.

Thanks liberals!




10/22/2009 8:34:49 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jhough1 wrote:
The United States has 5% of the world's population. At the end of the century, it will have 10 percent of GDP and military power. The impact on power will be gradual, but we need some conceptualization in our policy.

Yet, we have a Secretary of State who is not a conceptualizer at all, a National Security Adviser who is a McCain-supporting general, and a Secretary of Defense (who is acting as the real Secretary of State) who was an anti-Russia hawk in the 1980s allied with Cheney.

In addition, a real problem in foreign policy is that 2 Presidents inflated consumption and allowed the rest of the world to grow with an export strategy. Now we cannot perform that role. Japan surely is reacting to its new dependence on the Chinese market. Yet, the absolute czar on foreign economic relations, Larry Summers, is a Greenspan true believer in the free market, but does not agree with Greenspan that his assumptions were wrong. He lives in the 1990s intellectually and has no propensity to learn.

All the really major presidents of the 20th century were absorbed with foreign policy--TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, and Reagan. Yes, including Reagan who overrode Schultz on withdrawal from Lebanon after the terror attac and was absorbed with peace with Russia and nuclear weapons.

Despite the Peace Prize, Obama really does not really seem interested in foreign policy, and he seems guided by a political desire to protect himself from the right that wants to deny the 21st century. This whole reliance on a bullying Gates on Japan seems totally inconsistent with the posture that won Obama the Peace Prize.

The President really needs to diversify his top advisers and start making hard choices. He should also be listening to someone like Joseph Stiglitz and making choices, whatever they are. The buck is supposed to stop at the President's desk, not on the desk of the economic czar and Secretary of Defense.
10/22/2009 8:32:56 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

twdindep wrote:
Oh, how the tables turn. Japan is saying it's not 1945 anymore, now get out. This country can no longer push other nations around the way it once did. The US should just face facts. We've not won a war since 1945 and we're stretched so thin we couldn't defend ourselves if it came to that. Japan and China hold massive amounts of our debt that grows more every second. Without declaring war the rest of the world could bring the US to it's knees by just flooding the world with dollars until its not worth the paper it's printed on. When (not if) the mighty US dollar is no longer used as the international currency, then we'll realize we're not the infallable, better than the rest of the world people that this nation thinks it is. God help us.
10/22/2009 8:31:24 AM
Recommend (10) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

yellowtavern2 wrote:
Its a bout time Japan pay for its own defense.

We do not need to be the policemen of the world.
10/22/2009 8:31:10 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

onemoreexpat wrote:
the final days of US empire are upon us - about time
10/22/2009 8:29:46 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

r_cardona68 wrote:
How is this for a confusing policy: the US is concerned about military China but borrows billions per month from them? This policy is so stale is smells all the way from the orient. Time to leave Japan and it should not take 10 years of talking to resolve issues. Seems like stalling to me.
10/22/2009 8:29:11 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

meatshield wrote:
"Good, Japan has developed some backbone. Good for them."

Not really true. From what I've read about Japanese culture and foreign policy, they historically tend to ally themselves to the power at hand and want a very defined hierarchy. So at home, so abroad. In this case, now that China is moving so far upward powerwise -- especially in a regional sense -- they may be gradually aligning themselves to China from the US. So its no so much backbone...

10/22/2009 8:26:42 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

clark010 wrote:
BrettPaatsch1 can rest assured that the comment was not deleted or subject to any form of censorship! The and only reason must be that Brett have fumbled with the buttons one way or another.
10/22/2009 8:26:14 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dgkfirst19321 wrote:
Hey zippyspeed!!! Guess what? Canada has moved on to trade with the world. It ain't no military empire!!!!!!!!... Canada has already dumped the USA. Have you been on a 'Rip Van Winkle' or something!!!!!!!!!????????????...
10/22/2009 8:25:20 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

LarryG62 wrote:
Looks like the Japanese have the same problem we do.

They elected a bunch of politicians who are incompetent, about like the Odumbo cabal.
10/22/2009 8:21:28 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mikewinddale wrote:
Good, Japan has developed some backbone. Good for them.

Now I'm just waiting for Israel too to cure itself of Stockholm's Syndrome and stand up to the US as its equal, an equal with dignity and self-esteem.

Kudos to Japan.
10/22/2009 8:21:16 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dgkfirst19321 wrote:
It is time to realize that the American military presence in East Asia is over!!!!!!!!!... Now we need to get our industrial house in order so we can sell to Asians things they need from us!!!!!!!... We need not fear any nation in the world. They all know what happened at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We just need to make sure our defensive strategy is clearly understood by China and others in Asia. It should be as John Foster Dulles defined it in the 50's. Massive nuclear retaliation. We need to fill the Pacific with ships and subs loaded with nukes. We need to use some now in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan to let Asians know we mean to defend ourselves!!!!!!...
10/22/2009 8:20:45 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

zippyspeed wrote:
I figured there was a pretty high probability that Obama's inexperience and hubris would lose us Iran, China, Russia, DPRK, and others. But Japan?! At this rate by the end of his one term we'll be getting pushed around by Canada.
10/22/2009 8:18:32 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

belleneige wrote:
timscanlon (7:25:29), it's worse than you said. She is not a mere "government worker," but a legislator with a 6-year term (to 2013).
10/22/2009 8:16:20 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

clark010 wrote:
Frank57 must be living in a cukooland. 10/21/2009 9:27:07 PM. By talking of millions being killed or tortured Frank must have been thinking of the red Indians that was killed in the American mainland, and by tortured he must refer to Iraqis at Aby Gharib, Bagram and other US bases. How withspread torure is on the US bases in Okinawa I do not know but rape and murde of small girls seem to be rampant. Concerning “after the billions we pumped into their infrastructure” I learned on my visits 59/60 that almost the entire Japanese GNP was paid to USA companies in licens fee and other fees. Walking one evening on the streets of SFO while passing that city 1982 overheard two eldely gentlemen discussing the coming demis of the American autoindustry and one of the gentlemen expressed very forcefully the industries neglect for what the customers wanted. This was interesting to listen to as I had very close connetion with the Japanes auto industry, GM, Chrysler, Rover, MB, Volovo et al ending in a 1984 lunch with Henry Ford in Tokyo. Rising Sun' flag emblazoned on a Van can not be half as frightening as cross-burning in USA? California, New Mexico, Nevada and half of of Texas should be returned to Mexico disregarding if federal officers are upset or not. Compared to the Japanese Yakusa the US Mafioso are more prone to shoot outs. A lot of the commentators are rather belligerent and propose all kind of means to turn every save dollar and nickel into more aircraft carrier, air wings or ballistic missiles. Why not introduce general health to the poor who really is the segment of people the have contributed most to the wealth of USA.
10/22/2009 8:13:52 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

aztlan_oz wrote:
Good On Japans new government shaking off years of compliancy to the USA, they have long paid their dues they probably paid any they may have had with the atrocious nuclear attack (the first and only ever perpetuated)they suffered in the dieing days of the Pacific War, it's a new world whites no longer hold dominance a Biracial President doesn't change the USA's dated colonialist instincts
10/22/2009 8:01:01 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

BrettPaatsch1 wrote:
"Worried about a new direction in Japan's foreign policy, the Obama administration warned the Tokyo government Wednesday of serious consequences if it reneges on a military realignment plan formulated to deal with a rising China."
----

Okay so one US government of limited duration made an agreement with one Japanese government of limited duration to try and deal with the reality of a growing in influence Chinese government of perhaps a less limited duration.

And the Obama administration talks of "serious consequences".

What a hoot!

Democratic governments in democratic countries are ephemeral. Of course new administrations in democratic countries are going to change policy in line with their own views of the best interests of themselves (or their constituents).

With a rising China and a fading United States AND the one reliable constant being a lawless opportunistic world, of course governments only looking to the short term interest are going to change policy.

Wasn't it Kissinger who said there are no lasting friendships just lasting interests between nations?

If so, then he understated. There are no lasting nations of free people whose people are stupid and short sighted and represent a minority of the world's population and talent.
---------

PS. I am reposting this comment (with correction of typing mistakes) because it seems to have been deleted and I'm curious as to why.

I know it was deleted from display because it wasn't deleted from my comments - and using the time on the comment in my home page I can see the other comments each side of it from other posters.

Interesting that it was deleted when so many others (both of mine and others) are not.
10/22/2009 7:55:17 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

edanddot wrote:
If they want out of the plan, let them renege. It is their prerogative, but if they do there is no coming back.
10/22/2009 7:46:51 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

francis4 wrote:
The empire is losing influence but above all, it's losing valuable territory.

It's time to bring home those 760,000 troops and cut down on defense spending. 50% of our federal taxes got to defense and the military.
We have too many needs right here in the USA.

10/22/2009 7:32:50 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

tncdel wrote:
This article gives little overall insights.
10/22/2009 7:25:31 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

timscanlon wrote:
"Tanioka snapped back, "I'm smarter than he is.""

Yes, this is pretty much a good example of the sort of problem we have. Dealing with Japanese government workers is quite often a lot like dealing with spoiled children who never grew up.
10/22/2009 7:25:29 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

belleneige wrote:
Two of the Democratic Japanese lawmakers quoted in the article, Mr. Inuzuka and Ms. Tanioka, have sponsored a convention of 9/11 truthers in Tokyo.
10/22/2009 7:16:17 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

clark010 wrote:
USA presssuered the Japanese after 1945 to adopt an American influenced consititution which severly restricted their armed forces and how they could operate. During my ten years in Japan 70/80 I could only smile with scorn at the angry attemps by variouse administration to press the Japanese to abolish their American made constitution in order to provide the American armed forces with back up manpower. It is well known how the American medical socities put in all their combined professionalism when landing at Hiroshima after the capitulation to assess the result of the atomic bomb and in particular the radioactivity effect on the human skin. Measurments, photos and skin grafts was taken on a large number of people and when completed these myriads of Army Red Cross people withdraw tactfully to let the Japanese civilians suffer alone. Before moving to Japan visited Tokyo 1960 at the time when the President Eisenhower visit that had to be canelled due to large demonstrations against the Security agreement that USA wanted Japan to sign. It was also disclosed by D. Ellsberg that USA had clandestinely stored atomic bombs in coves among the Japanese islands despite agreements not to bring atomic weaponry into the country.
10/22/2009 7:09:37 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Makiz wrote:
Inexprience in governing?
What an arrogance from aryans who always consider themselves as superior.
All leaders in that party jumped from classrooms to politics and won the elections? If the Japanese people chose them why should the US want to get involved and tell the Japanese people who they should have voted for?
The US is a power that is on the track of loosing its supremacy or having it severely reduced by 2050.
Japanese have no interest in calling themselves a superpower and act as eternal US adopted child. In 2050 the millitary and economy power of China, India and the European Union will all overtake the USA. Claiming to be protected by the US against China will become more and more ridiculous. Japanese need to redefine who they consider as threatening them and who else in Asia is seeking US protection or is threatened by another Asian nation. Japan is not a state of USA after all. The last thing they need is maintaining American imperialism in Asia under the pretext of protection against a non existing China threat. They have to protect themselves as do all nations with similar scientific, technological and economy might.
10/22/2009 6:41:23 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hartman_john wrote:
any time any nation anywhere in the decides that perhaps bowing to American bullying tactics is not in their interest, the American Bully Boy snorts, huffs and puffs, demanding compliance.

The whole American hegemony thing doesn't work anymore. The American people wanted to promote independence worldwide. The American love of freedom was exported hither and dither.

Now, when nations actually display their independence, the Americans puff up and demand acquiescence.

American Exceptionalism indeed.

Exceptionally arrogant.
Exceptionally insular.
Exceptionally short-sighted.
Exceptionally stupid.
10/22/2009 6:40:13 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gwshening wrote:
Perhaps we should study more deeply into the Japanese history. Throughout its history, Japan had always looked for alliances it considered "beneficial" in order to survive. The alliance with Washington since the end of WW2, helped by the ensuing cold war, revived Japan after its humiliating defeat and destruction.
Since the end of the cold war and the rise of China, Japan has been marginalized. In the coming years, Japan sees very little benefit, rightly or wrongly, to maintain the current status of the Washington tie.
The electoral victory of the DPJ is a watershed event in Japan not only in its domestic policy but more significantly in its foreign policy. Many in Japan see its future, and more pointedly it survival, depends on its relation with China, not the U.S.
Under this circumstance, the American policy of using Japan to counterweight China is no longer attainable. The most we can hope for is an “invisible” Japan that is neither beneficial nor harmful to the U.S. interest in East Asia.

10/22/2009 6:23:04 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

1stPOLICESTATE wrote:
I cannot imagine our Marines being scared of some little-ole-BROWNSnakes. The Guamainians would be happy to barbeque snake every day for our forces.

That would reduce the number of BrownSnakes from 2-3-4-thousand per square mile to about 1 every 150 feet.

As you demographers like to say: win win 24-7 . Plus, it's good for you.
10/22/2009 6:20:11 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

L_Stevens64 wrote:
What do we of Our Forces or Our Allies need to do ...

or what Does Our Govt's need to do not buy them ..of other places..

I would hope to have bases to have Ours and Our Allies defend they should be enough ..

or else what Could Our of sides vacate the unwilling places. if We have to .??

I had stated many times whom are going to be Our U.S. and Allies of whom to rely on and trust also.?

What Forces are against US or Our Allies shun they and let them go what down if that is what it may be required also..

Shun they of the enemy and wait for your opportunity to what to doing then..

some also we do not have to go every which way but what.?

There is a main concern about Jobs in Our own Country and it just seems ..

that Companies or Govt.' is also going against whom of the peoples try again then this is why our economy falters also..

that a many of Our leaders are what selling out to what also..

too bad.?

So is this another fleeecing of what does our taxpaying dollars go to....what or bonuses to whom..why.?

I have washed my hands of a many such peoples of my past...

what thee all may try is like Girls just want to what have what fun ..

or is there a peoples with some Metal,or Sand , or grit , or what merit..

is this all about just a what a Capital Idea to what to a making of whose to what economy .?

well try as thee will Our world is troubled so United we stand Divided of All we may just what..

there is not to fear but..

I go .

try to bring on some hardliners somewhere if possible ..

hard what Love..to where..

what comes around may just go and hit back at whom ..if done wrongly..

to live by the gun is to what..

the pen was said to be.

have a nice Day.

From larry.


What is traded with what and over and over in loans or what is reducing the small businesses ..of peoples whom will try also ..

or what so only the few have oh well good luck anyway ..

our Country tis of thee .

is there such hurts everywhere that none have what feelings or what care.or what..anyway..

support of our vital ..

and support whom,and our troops also..
10/22/2009 6:18:03 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rbe1 wrote:
Maybe they are recognizing the ascendancy (not to mention the proximity) of China and are tired of being the US puppet. The cold war actually is over.
10/22/2009 6:17:23 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Realist20 wrote:
Everyone is pusing around the weak Obama administration. Japan watches the world leaders laughing at Obama and doing as they wish, why shouldn't they get in on the action? The last time the US was so weak in the world, Jimmy Carter was President.
10/22/2009 6:05:06 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

killsing@yahoo.com wrote:
There is one major card up our sleeves. Stopping the import and sale of Honda, Toyota, Nissan etc as well as all of the electronics as well would maybe bring them back into our field of view. They too just assume that we will continue to buy from them while they have so many laws that prohibit the import and sale of American products. That has been the way i ti s for decades. We just buy ands buy while OUR produce rots on their docks while awaiting "inspection" from japanese customs. Maybe it IS time we re-evaluate the way we do business with Japan?? It appears that is the case, but with the present lack of back-bone in the Executive branch I seriously doubt whether this will indeed happen.
10/22/2009 5:54:56 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

79USMC83 wrote:
Always Remember "THE PEACEKEEPERS" 241 Marines KIA on Oct.23,1983 in Beirut,Lebanon while they slept. By an IRAN backed Hezbollah JIHADIST.

Sounds like they voted for change too and see that AMERICA's change is only against the AMERICAN people.

So in other words for 50 years while the former ruling party was in power, jumped when we told them to jump.

Just like the "SPEECH GIVER" is telling AMERICAN, news,CEO'S,corporations and evryone else in AMEREICA to do!! When I say jump,YOU jump. LOL!!
10/22/2009 5:47:48 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hariknaidu wrote:
If you've been reading the tea leaves coming out of new govt. in Tokyo, the signs are self-evident that there is going to be an Asian focus, directed mainly at mainland China, in Japan's strategic outlook long term.

Political consequences arising from focus on amity with China will inevitably imply closing US military bases in Japan for sure.
10/22/2009 5:44:05 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gibo wrote:
WHAT...you didnt know Japan was going to join with China?

If we read the Book of Revelation chapters 9:16 and 16:12 we see the great asian confederacy army called the KINGS OF THE EAST.
200 million soldiers in confederacy, conspiracy and deception.
http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n2066.cfm

What the USA should now be inclined to do, as she sees Japan begin her drift towards the old dragon and the forever blowing flute...is watch her back.

The 'flute of deception' blows in the Far East today and has been for some years.
It blows at the American 'money men' and they follow the flute. They take many of the American politicians with them and in the end the military follows...slowly going to sleep as the gentle flute blows at even them.

"Come we will be dear friends"... the flute says to America.
"We will trade and we will sign peace agreements and we will prosper together".
...and bit by bit the great and powerful American defense shield drops.

You see how it works?
10/22/2009 5:36:16 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

WilliamB1 wrote:
"I have never seen this in 30 years," Calder said. "I haven't heard Japanese talking back to American diplomats that often, especially not publicly. The Americans usually say, 'We have a deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Ah soo desu ka,' -- we have a deal -- and it's over. This is new."

Oh no! Asian peoples talking back to Big Bad America!

You know, America's got to grow up and realise no-one owes it anything. If Japan doesn't want to refuel our ships or continue hosting our bases in their country, tough luck for us. We brought it on ourselves when we went all "mavericky".

I'm glad Japan has the backbone to tell the fifth-rate, no-account USA to step off!
10/22/2009 5:00:55 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

blert wrote:
@gadstian,

As much as scuttling the entire base realignment plan is unlikely, the DPJ may try to earn better terms for it. Under the current plan, Japan pays for a lion's share of the cost of moving US troops to Guam, which leaves a sour taste in a lot of Japanese mouths, and not just in Okinawa. People throughout Japan are sick and angry that the LDP negotiated a deal in which their broke government would pay to move a U.S. base to Guam.

If Japan benefits from having those troops in Japan, after all, then it is Japan's loss to see them leave, so why should Japan pay? And if the troops are a burden on Okinawa and Japan, then shouldn't the U.S. have been paying Japan this entire time at a fair rate for using its land? Either way, the troops and bases are American, so the idea of Japanese people paying to relocate troops elsewhere is a little galling to a lot of people. The DPJ recognizes this, and any reopening of the agreement will be much more about money than about the base relocation itself.

You're right, though. Regardless what happens, the U.S. will have a military presence in Japan for a long time. Japanese people overwhelmingly want the U.S. military there, but within Japan it is mostly a not-in-my-backyard problem. Many bases are consolidated to just a few regions in Japan, mainly Tokyo and Okinawa, so that most of Japan has little contact with them. As such, a few locales bear a heavier burden in living with the bases (noise, associated crime, etc.), which is what draws a lot of the protests. Okinawans probably would focus less on having a base or two there if other bases were distributed evenly throughout Japan, but the situation looks a lot like ethnic Japanese people are dumping an undesirable burden on ethnic Okinawans, who end up with little choice in the matter.

Of course, whether the DPJ does anything on this issue or not depends greatly how long they are in power. They were mostly elected on a "not the LDP" platform, and they have virtually no experience governing. It would be hard to screw up with more gaffes and bad policies than the LDP had tumbled through since the popular Koizumi left office, but if the DPJ ends up looking like more of the same, which they largely are, then disaffected Japanese voters might not care to keep the DPJ around for too long.

What the DPJ does have going for it, though, is that it is not in a shaky coalition with other parties to maintain a majority. The DPJ can stay in power for at least a couple years, and maybe longer, until the next elections are mandated, which gives them opportunity to make a lot of waves in government should they so choose.
10/22/2009 5:00:19 AM
Recommend (2)

jward52 wrote:
JAPAN??!! -The U.S. needs to cut in HALF what we have in Japan,- "NOT" Expand!! And we need to CLOSE half the 700+ Over-Seas U.S. Bases IMMEDIATELY!!! $BILLIONS Wasted every year, instaed of used for AMERICAN Small-Businesses & New Good-Paying JOBS!! Hundreds of "SUCCESSFUL" Small-Businesses can Not even get Loans to EXPAND & HIRE!! This is a JOKE CONGRESS!! You WASTE & "BAIL-OUT" the Criminals whom Caused the Economic $CRISIS!! Then these Greed-MONGER $Bankers will Not LOAN Our own $Money to ALREADY SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESSES to EXPAND & HIRE NEW GOOD-$PAYING JOBS!!! - Stupidity to the MAX!! CONGRESS should be Impeached NOW!!!! WE-the-PEOPLE are being left out for their' support of BIG UN-CARING GREEDY CORPORATIONS!! Where in Our CONSTITUTION does it at all mention We-the-CORPORATIONS???!!! CONGRESS is turning TRAITOR against the CITIZENS!!!
10/22/2009 4:47:48 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Loki3 wrote:
With all due respect to the previous poster who is more informed on the facts than this article could hope to be, facts are one thing and interpretation of facts is another. We do "occupy" not only Japan, but the UK and Germany in many, many of their people's eyes. Which isn't necessarily to say they all want us out, but the occupation of the majority of "strategically important" (i.e. important for US companies to control economically) countries in the world by US troops is the policy that most directly brought Al Qaeda into existence. Then again, Al Qaeda's continued existence does continue to be used as an excuse to justify the US exploitation and troop presence, which in itself creates more recruits. A satisfying cycle, for defenders of Washington's worldwide occupation, such as the Post, nearly always as right-wing on international issues as it is progressive on local ones.
10/22/2009 4:46:31 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Loki3 wrote:
"Other Asian nations have privately reacted with alarm to Hatoyama's call for the creation of the East Asian Community because they worry that the United States would be shut out. 'I think the U.S. has to be part of the Asia-Pacific and the overall architecture of cooperation within the Asia-Pacific,' Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said on a trip to Japan this month."

OK. So, according to The Post, Singapore is a pretty typical example of an Asian country. It wouldn't, um, happen to be an unusually small, unusually Western-oriented remnant of British colonialism which also happens to be the, um, one country out of many dozens in Asia- the one country besides former LDP-dominated Japan, that is- whose right wing government has always oppressed its people's freedoms through true one-party authoritarian rule, in close cooperation with the only military power that has ever actually used nuclear weapons on Asians (or on anyone, and the way the article formulated the nuclear past of Japan was interesting in that it never mentioned the country we all know did this to them).

Secretary Gates, and these Post writers quite obviously, wish to continue America's tried-and-true "Little Brown Brothers" approach to overseas "friendship" for as many more centuries as possible. The bad news: I don't think they'll let us! *waaah waaaaah* *I want my crypto-fascist Yasukuni-shriners back*

The only crybabies here are the US officials, for not accepting that they can't expect other countries to continue financing and lending their (im)moral support to a war half of Americans now believe is useless. Oh, and if you know anything about this election you know this has nothing to do with Obama. Bush made America very weak in the world's eyes. Obama was massively popular in Japan at a time when they were still suffering under the ridiculously weak leadership of Aso, and therefore looked to the strength of the US' democracy as demonstrated last year, as an inspiration to find a stronger leader for themselves, finally, and oust the tired old LDP.

Well, now both our great countries have strong leadership. This should be positive. If the US is serious about the alliance, there is no use in continuing to treat Japan as child sucking on the American teat. Let's face it, things have not gone as either country may have hoped economically. There is no point in grandstanding while they have a willing partner who will not treat them so condescendingly right next door. If Japan chooses rapprochement with China that may in fact be healthier for them in the long run, but perhaps they find they still have a lot more in common with America, as two waning economic superpowers. However, I doubt that happens with Gates' unfortunate behavior.
10/22/2009 4:28:45 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

krj1944cableonenet wrote:
this is a dood move for thr u s ,come home and take of the usa.
10/22/2009 4:22:47 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mharwick wrote:
Just look at the photo of Gates and Kitazawa above, it is worth a thousand words. This is from Time Magazine in 2005:
"

You
don't have to look far to see why Chinese grow up learning to hate Japan. Take the forthcoming children's movie, "Little Soldier Zhang," which Beijing-based director Sun Lijun says he made having "learned a lot from Disney." The film chronicles the adventures in the 1930s of Little Zhang, a cute 12-year-old boy feeling his way through an unfriendly world. But the resemblance to Pinocchio ends there. After Japanese invaders shoot Little Zhang's grandmother in the back, the boy seeks revenge by joining an underground Red Army detachment. He moves among heroic Chinese patriots, sniveling collaborators and sadistic Japanese. The finale comes with Little Zhang helping blow up a trainload of Japanese soldiers and receiving a cherished reward: a pistol with which to kill more Japanese. "I thought about including one sympathetic Japanese character, but this is an anti-Japan war movie and I don't want to confuse anyone," says Sun, who will premier his film on International Children's Day.

Chinese kids can be forgiven for thinking Japan is a nation of "devils," a slur used without embarrassment in polite Chinese society. They were raised to feel that way, and not just through cartoons. Starting in elementary school children learn reading, writing and the "Education in National Humiliation." This last curriculum teaches that Japanese "bandits" brutalized China throughout the 1930s and would do so today given half a chance. Although European colonial powers receive their share of censure, the main goal is keeping memories of Japanese conquest fresh. Thousands of students each day, for instance, take class trips to the Anti-Japanese War Museum in Beijing to view grainy photos of war atrocities—women raped and disemboweled, corpses of children stacked like cordwood. As one 15-year-old girl in a blue and yellow school uniform, Ji Jilan, emerged from a recent visit to the gallery, she told a TIME correspondent: "After seeing this, I hate Japanese more than ever."

So it is not surprising that this nationalist animosity reaches the highest levels of government. The Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, recently created shockwaves by saying he would refuse to meet with Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, at a ground-breaking summit of East Asian nations that begins Monday. Reasons include rising Japanese nationalism and a recent visit by the Japanese Premier to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which commemorates Japan's war dead, including some war criminals from the time of Japan's invasion of China in the 1930s. But underneath that diplomatic spat over history is a struggle for power and influence in East Asia that is increasingly straining Beijing-Tokyo relations. "The China-Japan relationship in the near term is more tense and worrisome than the potential for conflict elsewhere in the region," says Thomas Christiansen, an expert in Asian security at Princeton University.

Of course, nobody expects China to forget the past. The war launched by Japan's militarist leaders killed an estimated 20 million Chinese. During the Rape of Nanjing in 1937-38, soldiers butchered 300,000 civilians, according to Chinese figures. Most Japanese are aware of what happened but their society has never engaged in the type of introspection common in Germany after the Holocaust. Carefully worded official apologies have landed far short of the five-star kowtow demanded by Beijing, senior Tokyo officials occasionally deny atrocities and just last April a new government-approved textbook written by right-wing groups downplayed the wartime brutality visited on civilians.

The problem is that just as Japanese soldiers once dehumanized Chinese, Beijing's propaganda often paints Japanese as pure monsters. Grade school textbooks recount the callous brutality of Japanese soldiers in graphic detail, and credit the Communist Party with defeating Japan. (Another reason for Japan's surrender, it says, was the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S.) More moderate voices are silenced. A 2000 film by one of China's leading directors, Jiang Wen, remains banned because it depicted friendliness between a captured Japanese soldier and Chinese villagers. Although the film showed plenty of brutality, censors ruled that "Devils at the Doorstep" gave viewers "the impression that Chinese civilians neither hated nor resisted Japanese invaders."

Why keep up the propaganda onslaught 60 years after Japan's surrender? Many suspect China's unelected leaders hope to use anti-Japan sentiment to buttress their own legitimacy. Ever since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989, support for the Communist Party has rested on the shaky foundation of economic growth. Nationalism, by contrast, could prove more enduring. "Reviving war memories keeps the nation united against Japan, and behind the party," says Beijing-based writer Liu Xiaobo. It's a risky strategy. Anti-Japan sentiment grew into rowdy street protests in Beijing and Shanghai in April, which the quickly government suppressed for fear they could spin out of control. But until China's leaders have some new pillar of legitimacy, Liu predicts, "the Japanese will stay devils in China."
10/22/2009 4:04:29 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mharwick wrote:
The Chinese hate the Japanese, and vice versa. This is history. When we kowtow to the Chinese we disrespect Japan in their eyes and vice versa.
Obama is a naive politician from Chicago. I'm sure he is reading history books in his spare time but it is too late now.
10/22/2009 4:00:00 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

UnitedStatesofAmerica wrote:
The US could save hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe trillions, by eliminating foreign aid and military bases in countries that don’t want us there. Some of the savings could be better spent on nuclear subs, missiles and next generation technologies, or even internet warfare.

Why worry about China in bed with Japan, when we can’t even protect our own southern border with Mexico from the ongoing invasion?

10/22/2009 3:58:36 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gadstian wrote:
A little bit of information can be a dangerous thing. This article is a good example of how very simple coverage of complicated issues creates misimpressions.

The DPJ did not campaign on a pledge to "remove U.S. troops" from Japan. Japan's security policy is fundamentally based on permanent U.S. basing. The 7th Fleet is in Yokohama, the 5th AF at Yokota, and the carrier air fleet at Iwakuni and Mizawa. Opinion polling, year after year, consistently shows strong Japanese support for the Alliance and the U.S. presence, as well it should. Japan derives huge benefits from America's defense guarantees, technology transfers, arms sales, etc., just as forward basing is beneficial to the U.S. The U.S. is hardly about to quit Japan, and Japan is not western Europe, rife with anti-American and anti-military sentiment.

The main issue at hand is Okinawa-- always a source of friction given strong local opposition to the U.S. presence. Okinawa is a special case, and Okinawans are a special people. A distinct ethnic sub-group, in some ways Okinawans do not identify with the rest of Japan, and vice versa.

The DPJ is not a political party in the sense we think of. It is a protest party, formed by a disaffected LDP defector who, chiefly for personal reasons, wanted to destroy the arthritic LDP. DPJ opposition to the "Realigment Roadmap," and specifically to the Okinawa portion of the agreement, was based more on the fact that it was an LDP agreement than on any ideology. Same thing for the Afghan refueling mission. If the LDP had been opposed to the Afghan mission, the DPJ would have favored it.

The U.S. media has picked up on the DPJ campaign slogan of 'a more equal Alliance relationship,' and a more independent Japanese foreign policy and run with it. It sounds good, rather like the Obama campaign line about getting "Allies to do more in Afghanistan." Of course, as a practical matter, the reality was somewhat different.

Japan's foreign policy is circumscribed be Constitutional restrictions on its armed forces and their deployments abroad. This is a constant source of friction in the Alliance. Japan had a small, limited mission in Iraq that ended under the LDP. The sole constribution to Afghanistan is a single oil tanker in the Indian Ocean; that's it. Japan's Horn of Africa anti-piracy mission was late in coming, and limited ONLY to Japanese vessels!

Far from acquiescing to U.S. foreign policy demands, Japan's security policy is often referred to as a classic example of the "free-rider" dynamic-- quick to call for U.S. assistance and guarantees when threatened by North Korea or confronted with Chinese pressure, but quick with polite excuses when asked to support U.S. actions, the single exception being money for basing.

But the LDP's strong pro-Alliance rhetoric was a good place for the DPJ to attack, and thus the current situation. Again-- if the LDP had taken an "anti-U.S." turn, you would have heard DPJ politicians rushing to defend the Alliance.

Attempts to modify the Futenma replacement Facility (FRF) agreements (NOT remove ALL troops from Okinawa or Japan, as the article implies)are serious. The agreement had been painfully worked out for a decade, hundreds of millions have already been spent on Guam, and bilateral strategic plans drawn up according to the new force posture. The agreement has treaty status in Japan, most recently as a result of an agreement on financing signed by Secretary Clinton on her first foreign trip back in early February. There is absolutely no reason the U.S. should reopen this now, and Secretary Gates is right. Should the DOJ-led government abrogate the Futenma portion of the agreement, everything else is off.

As far as "unheard of" actions by DPJ politicians toward U.S. diplomats-- maybe not. Kevin Maher, the diplomat in question, is the former Consul General in Okinawa, and was reviled by the DPJ and anti-basing movement while in Japan, and excoriated publicly by Japanese politicians all the time. He was even attacked in a Starbucks last year (on Okinawa) by an 'activist' pumped up by such public rhetoric. Many, many DPJ types are of the Joe Wilson/Dana Rohrbacher variety.

All that is not to say that it's not a different day in Tokyo; but not to the extent this article suggests, nor are the fundamentals of the Alliance questioned. And the DPJ-led government, quite frankly, probably won't be around that long in any case. All the more tragic if it is able to scuttle the realignment package in the short tenure it will likely have in office.

A final note, with all due respect to some posters here describing the U.S. "occupation" of Japan-- if the U.S. occupies Japan, I suppose we occupy the UK and Germany as well. Please....
10/22/2009 3:54:16 AM
Recommended (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

blert wrote:
"In a relationship in which protocol can be imbued with significance, Gates let his schedule do the talking, declining invitations to dine with Defense Ministry officials and to attend a welcome ceremony at the ministry."

Having lived in Japan for a time, I can say with absolute certainty that the welcome ceremony and dinner were probably the most important parts of the visit. Skip those, and it really doesn't matter what ends up said or not said in meetings. Business in Japan, including at the government level, happens because people go through the right motions to leave everyone feeling like they are comfortable and on the same page. By skipping out on the ceremony and dinner, Gates basically sent the message that he doesn't care a hoot for Japanese sensitivities on this issue, and he invited the Japanese not to care for him at all.

So, once again, a misstep in protocol by the Obama administration could end up screwing over American diplomacy. The DPJ ran strongly behind the issues of Japanese self-defense force commitments abroad and American military presence in Japan, and Gates knew how delicate these talks were with a new Japanese government in power. Taking a few extra hours for that ceremony and the dinner would have eased the negotiations considerably and made some form of compromise possible. Now, I'm guessing that the DPJ leaders are completely uninterested in placating Gates and probably see no reason not to thumb their nose at him if it wins them political points at home.
10/22/2009 3:36:21 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kahane wrote:
No, Japan, No. Down boy!
The politics of this area is predicated on the assumption that Japan remains a military non-entity. That is a prerequisite of any diplomatic movement with China and both of the Koreas. The Japanese have been expected to confine their frothy-mouthed nationalism to manga. Now their political tables have turned, and they are doing precisely what No Mu Hyun did in Korea. Populist, ultra-nationalist election platform, student organization-grade agenda, and absolutely no grounding in world events.
Japan only has one ally in this area, and we're not from around here. Everyone else would like to sink the whole place into the sea. Such greasy-kid-talk makes headlines, but it's just annoying. Japan will, in the end, do what they're told.
10/22/2009 3:23:37 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mharwick wrote:
Japan has always been an enemy of the U.S.S.R. now Russia. They have been at war. Perhaps the Japanese are not too happy with the appeasement of Russia by Obama, starting with the canceling of the missile program in Europe and getting nothing in exchange for it. Japan sees the flop sweat on Obama's brow when it comes to China. He refused to meet with the Dalai Lama just to kowtow to China.
Japan sees that America is not a strong friend to anyone anymore and they are asserting themselves because we are a paper tiger and they are not impressed with paper tigers. They will seek concessions for their cooperation. The Japanese have never been suckers. They use us when needed and now they see no need to bow as low as Obama did when he greeted the Saudi King.
10/22/2009 3:17:22 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mharwick wrote:
"I have never seen this in 30 years," Calder said. "I haven't heard Japanese talking back to American diplomats that often, especially not publicly. The Americans usually say, 'We have a deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Ah soo desu ka,' -- we have a deal -- and it's over. This is new."
This is a Japan that smells the fear of the Obama administration to act decisively; they smell the financial troubles of America created by the Obama administration; Japan knows that America is strongly divided on Obama and his policies and apparently they have not been overwhelmed by the hubris man, the telepromptered platitudes and lack of Presidential bearing of the Messiah from Chicago.
10/22/2009 3:10:20 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Topper2u wrote:
But of course America is ignorant when it comes to the ways of Asians. We were asleep at the wheel prior to WW2 when Japan was building it's war machine, and we have been asleep at the wheel not considering the NEW nationalism that Japan has been displaying over the past decade. An Asian alliance with China at the core spells nothing but trouble and danger as it relates to our future peaceful relationships. The evidence is here
10/22/2009 3:04:59 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

shirogikumaru wrote:
After this, he goes to Afghanistan and is supposed to promote democracy and a fair election?

Sec.Gates prefers Japan under one-party-rule---no, they won't accept democracy in Okinawa,either
10/22/2009 2:45:01 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dashriprock wrote:
Time for a tune-up,,,Soo Sorrwee you nips.

Here come the 3rd bomb, you thought we didn't have.
10/22/2009 2:26:09 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Tupac_Goldstein wrote:
Japan is wise. The United States isn't much of an ally.
10/22/2009 2:09:41 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

longjohns wrote:
Gates doesn't get it. The whole point of Hatoyama is more self determination and self-respect. High-handed approaches to show who is boss will fail. This is a job for Hillary Clinton--not Gates.
10/22/2009 1:48:44 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Tim_G wrote:
Japan is just going through a phase.

It's the new government trying to assert itself. They'll get over it and settle down before too long.

They don't really want the US to leave.
10/22/2009 1:46:15 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Tempest1 wrote:
Finally the Japanese are showing they got stones.
Good.

Let'um police Asia.
10/22/2009 1:40:38 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

palacehomez wrote:

Maybe he can ask them to return the 17 tons of plutonium he sent them back in the bush one term.

Say, 22 Lbs. per bomb.....Almost enough for 700.!!

So, Robert, Which is it? They CAN be trusted so it's O.K. to givem 17 tons of pure plutonium, or they cannot be trusted and thats why we need to have a mega base on Okanawa with the troops wanderin around raping young girls and roughing up the locals while drunk..

Being occupied by the U.S. is like havin pigs livin in the basement You gets a lil pork now an then...but....It STINKS !!!!!
10/22/2009 1:08:13 AM
Recommend (5)

Tempest1 wrote:
Finally the Japanese are showing they got stones.
Good.

Let'um police Asia.
10/22/2009 1:40:38 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

palacehomez wrote:

Maybe he can ask them to return the 17 tons of plutonium he sent them back in the bush one term.

Say, 22 Lbs. per bomb.....Almost enough for 700.!!

So, Robert, Which is it? They CAN be trusted so it's O.K. to givem 17 tons of pure plutonium, or they cannot be trusted and thats why we need to have a mega base on Okanawa with the troops wanderin around raping young girls and roughing up the locals while drunk..

Being occupied by the U.S. is like havin pigs livin in the basement You gets a lil pork now an then...but....It STINKS !!!!!
10/22/2009 1:08:13 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

timmymeboy wrote:
Actually 'Ah soo desu ka' translates to 'Is that right?' or 'Is that
right!?' which would seem to fit the current direction of the
new government.
10/22/2009 12:13:26 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Bud0 wrote:
RubyontheLeft wrote:
"The issue is now about trust. An alliance, like any partnership, cannot function if one side is untrustworthy."

I would say that a key part of that trust is the assumption that if one ally gives a clear democratic mandate for the other's armed forces to leave its territory, they comply.

Otherwise, it's not alliance. It's military occupation.

Would you still call it an alliance if Japanese forces were on US soil and refused to leave? Don't think so.
10/21/2009 11:26:21 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RubyontheLeft wrote:
The article is missing some facts.

FACT: The Gov’t of Japan picked the location for the Futenma Replacement Facility, not the US.

FACT: This is the second agreement the Government of Japan has signed dealing with this issue. The first agreement was the Special Action Committee (SACO) Agreement in 1996. In this agreement, both the US and Gov’t of Japan agreed to take certain actions on Okinawa. To date, the US has held up its side of the SACO agreement, and the actions agreed to be taken by the US are either already complete or waiting construction to be finished.

In the SACO Agreement, the Gov’t of Japan agreed to relocate the Futenma Airfield, AS REQUESTED BY THE PEOPLE OF OKINAWA. Nine years later, in 2005, the Gov’t of Japan still had not taken any action on the Futenma issue, despite their signing of an agreement that they would.

The latest agreement, signed by both the US and Japanese Governments in 2006, sweetened the deal for the Japanese, by agreeing to relocate 8,000 Marines to Guam if the Japanese would construct the Futenma Replacement Facility, something the Japanese previously agreed to but failed to undertake.

Now, once again, the Government of Japan is wavering, AND NOT LIVING UP TO ITS AGREEMENTS. This isn’t the US imposing itself on the Japanese.

FACT: The US has a defense treaty with Japan stating that, to defend the Japanese People, we will shed our son’s and daughter’s blood. The Japanese are under no such reciprocal agreement to defend us, or shed their blood for us.

That is our agreement, and the people of the US commit their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to live up to that. That is why the Marines are in Okinawa today.

Per the location of the replacement facility for the Futenma Airstation, if the Government of Japan doesn’t like the location, THEN THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE CHOSEN IT!!!

The issue is now about trust. An alliance, like any partnership, cannot function if one side is untrustworthy.

The Government of Japan wanted the US to move from the existing airstation. The Government of Japan signed TWO agreements to make this happen. The Government of Japan did not act on the first agreement. The Government of Japan determined the location for the replacement facility in the second agreement. Now the Government of Japan publically says they are unsure if they want to proceed?

Trust?


10/21/2009 10:59:47 PM
Recommended (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mtravali wrote:
Why must we make a mess wherever we go?
10/21/2009 10:42:23 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

biswashira wrote:
The relationship between our two nations is not just military, it is very deep in other important areas like business,trade and culture. Japan has a new democratically elected government. The obama administration should learn to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution and should do so without insulting Japanese people.
10/21/2009 10:38:44 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

davidfromCanada wrote:
We are seeing the beginning of the end of the U.S. domination of Japanese foreign policy.

Samuel Huntington predicted this in 1996 in his book "Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order".

Throughout history, Japan leaned toward China when China was strong, and challenged Chinese leadership in East Asia when China was weak.

Right now, China is becoming strong. So Japan is making predictable adjustment. Japan's call for an "East Asian Community" has gained official Chinese endorsement.
10/21/2009 10:27:30 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Frank57 wrote:
jewishmother wrote:
Frank57 wrote "As far as I am concerned, the entire nation of Japan belongs to the USA -- lock, stock, and barrel."

--Really?!!! I was under the impression that it was the Japanes buying away America little by little. Silly me!
10/21/2009 10:09:03 PM
-----------------

LOL! I agreeeeee ;-)

But we're all just too happy to sell anything to anyone lately, aren't we? Kind of like those little places along the roads in Nevada -- for the right price (including giving away American jobs) we'll lift up our skirts for anyone these days.

H3ll -- half the time we're giving it away for free!

.
10/21/2009 10:20:08 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jewishmother wrote:
Frank57 wrote "As far as I am concerned, the entire nation of Japan belongs to the USA -- lock, stock, and barrel."

--Really?!!! I was under the impression that it was the Japanes buying away America little by little. Silly me!
10/21/2009 10:09:03 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

LibertyForAll wrote:
Japan must stand up strong and not be bullied by the United States. Japan is a sovereign country that may and hopefully, close the United States military base in Okinawa because there shouldn't be a U.S. military base in Japan in the first place. Although Japan gets military assistance in case of war by the United States, Japan may break that treaty so that the country can be more assertive and not be bullied by the United States.
10/21/2009 10:04:52 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Frank57 wrote:
I'm going to have to side with the hard-liners on this one.

Even after the millions of dead and tortured at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army, after the billions we pumped into their infrastructure, after the millions of jobs in manufacturing we gave them at our own loss in the USA, there are today many restaurants, hotels, sports clubs, public swimming pools, and schools that US citizens are barred from entering in Japan -- simply because we are 'gaijin' (non-Japanese).

On a recent assignment to Hokkaido, it was freaky to see white vans with huge speakers on top and the WWII-era 'Rising Sun' flag emblazoned on the sides shouting for a return to Japanese nationalism and a new standing army.

I learned that the majority of Japanese still feel exclusive and inherently superior above all others.

I learned, as a convertible carrying a fat, tattooed man, surrounded by a dozen motorcycles, blew their horns and revved their engines in front of the police station at 3:00am, that Japan is a place where the average citizen must leave in an uneasy acceptance of both their government and powerful Yakuza-Gitchi Gumi dons who control virtually every aspect of daily life -- unseen by most non-Japanese.

I saw how today's Japanese children were given school books glorifying and white-washing the horrific atrocities and nightmarish experiments on prisoners committed by the JIA and Unit 571 in WWII -- and erasing all mention of the Nanjing Massacre. And from this I learned that Japan is a nation that only feels comfortable with itself when living in denial of it's terrible past.

I believe that the US military should take complete governmental and regulatory control of Okinawa, and those citizens and community leaders that are upset by this should be removed.

I am pleased that the President has seen fit to send the message to these people that, "whine all you want, you are getting the treatment you deserve".

As far as I am concerned, the entire nation of Japan belongs to the USA -- lock, stock, and barrel.

Lest we forget.

.
10/21/2009 9:27:07 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JenDray wrote:
I'm sorry, let me get this straight.

1. The US says Japan is an ally.

2. The US has troops in Japan.

3. The people of Japan just voted in a government that said it would ask the American troops to leave their sovereign territory.

4. The Americans refuse to leave.

That is not the act of an ally.

In fact it's a lot closer to being an act of war.
10/21/2009 9:13:47 PM
Recommend (13) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

vermontague wrote:
To hell with the environment, hey, Mr. Gates? And likewise the Japanese government. The US will do as it bloody well pleases.
10/21/2009 9:02:33 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

phantom187 wrote:
This incident is a great example of how winning--or losing--wars has consequences.
10/21/2009 8:50:31 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Curmudgeon10 wrote:
"I say abrogate the treaty and use the money saved from building and operating the new base to buy a new carrier and air wing."

Now there's something you REALLY need. After all, you only have 11 carrier groups, whereas Russia and China have all of 1 between them.

How can you feel safe (and tough) with just an 11-to-1 ratio in carrier groups? Anybody who suggests fewer than 12-to-1 is an anti-American military-hater.
10/21/2009 8:50:16 PM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

WindSong wrote:
This is a Deep One, I will start with saying God be over the worlds wounds in jesus name, The other is as the Signal Core would have said over the air ways Way the F??? over! Come on it has been the fact world war two ended because of the Two what was it "15" kilo Tons Nuke's 10,000,000, degress in a blink of an eye 177,000 people went straight to heaven did the The War over nationalism stop be it The frist Time and to think people wish to follow Obama in any way, Why would they even think of remove-ing The Common Defense from that part of the world, Christ Al-mighty these people need to stop smoken Moldy Weed,

The Good thing to say about Japan is at lest they Understood at the end of the war the only way to fix the Money problem was to claim Inter national Bank-rupt, on the wisdom of the jews to clear the banks Every 7 years. The bad thing is because they did not carry it out as they should have did we as a cultrue come up with Credit cards to prop up the stail mate of world wide Over production, and Obama's Bail out's
10/21/2009 8:44:47 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

slim2 wrote:
If Gates threatens to halt the removal of 8,000 marines, Hatoyama only need mention his government is considering liquidating its position in US debt.
10/21/2009 8:40:27 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

buzzsaw1 wrote:
Oh, that's right. Let's despoil more of their homeland.

Who can blame them for hating us?
10/21/2009 8:38:09 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Curmudgeon10 wrote:
Sounds like Hatoyama is taking a cue from President Obama. He wants to take his time to conduct a thorough policy review. Looks like Gates has had enough from Obama on this, and can't brook even more from Hatoyama.

If we are bound by treaty to defend these folks, but they don't want us on their land, I say abrogate the treaty and use the money saved from building and operating the new base to buy a new carrier and air wing.

Let the Japs fend for themselves. It's about time.
10/21/2009 8:37:46 PM
Recommend (5)

thetan wrote:
Dear Japan,

You bombed us, you got nuked, and you lost the war! Equal relationship with Washington my posterior....we tell you all what to do and you're gunna like it.

Sincerely, the grandson of a WWII vet.
10/21/2009 8:25:08 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

flippo10 wrote:
Having been in the invasion of Okinawa, and seen friends killed by the Japanese consider "screw japan", they started a war and lost.

Okinawa should have been colonized by the Marines.


10/21/2009 8:19:25 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Moreover, geocon your figures are demonstrably false. Your Italy figure is out of date - I know that's not the 2009 number. But even if it were real, there is no way that a country spending $33 billion would rank 93rd in world spending. It would be well inside the top 20.

But let's pretend for a moment that your numbers were real. My argument would still stand. South Korea would still spend vastly more than North Korea. The EU wzould still hugely outspend Russia. The Arab Gulf States would still dwarf Iranian outlay. NATO would still account for 75% of all world military spending, with most of the rest spent by friendly nations like Japan, S. Korea, India, Brazil.

All of these 'allies' can look after themselves. But you don't want them to, because you enjoy the role of military godfather. In fact, for a large number of US citizens, it seems essential to their self-esteem.
10/21/2009 8:05:56 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Homunculus wrote:
Good for Obama. He is finally spreading his wings and acting like a real leader for a change. Gates is just his errand boy.


Let the Okinawans deal with helicopters buzzing their cities if they want to renege on their promises. And see how the Japanese government deals with business interests chagrin over lost opportunities in developing prime real estate. All for Hatoyama's diplomatic bluster.
10/21/2009 7:53:16 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Every year, geocon, countries around the world publish their military budgets, and then Washington picks those it dislikes, or wants to push around, and accuses them of lying about the true figures.

Every single time this argument has been put to the test, as with the old Warsaw Pact countries, or with the invasion of Iraq, it's the US who's been found to be dealing in false facts. These other countries are more likely to boast about their feeble efforts to keep up with US spending than to play them down. Putin makes grandiose speeches about small extra expenditures that would disappear in the DoD budget.

In fact, one country that demonstrably DOES lie to play down its military spending is the US. The cost of Iraq and Afghan wars is not counted in the DoD budget (it wasn't counted in the entire federal budget under Bush). The cost of nuclear weapons is hidden in the Dept of Energy budget. The cost of military satellites and other aerospace projects is hidden in the intelligence budget, which is itself secret. Above all, the cost of interest payments on previous military budgets - which haven't been covered by tax revenue for decades - is simply ignored, despite being around $240 billion. The real total is therefore just shy of $1 trillion this year.

10/21/2009 7:51:50 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

patrick3 wrote:
The biggest threat to Japanese sovereignty right now is U.S. imperialism.
10/21/2009 7:26:58 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

robertjames1 wrote:
America should learn to be more diplomatic because the world has had enough of its insulting arrogance.

Why should an old treaty be used by the US to extract territorial rights from a host country when its presence is not wanted?

Your approach is too legalistic. It is time that you were sensitive to Japan's wish to regain sovereignty over the base. Your stay should only continue while their is goodwill on both sides and while Japan wants you in their country.

Your threats are beyond the pale. It has all of the decency of a bully boy.

Try again.


10/21/2009 7:25:20 PM
Recommend (12) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
The CIA, unlike wikipedia, has a long, proven history of overestimating the military budgets of rivals, as was proved when the Cold War ended and the Soviet Archives were opened up.

Looking for more recent examples of the CIA overestimating foreign weapons? Try Iraq.
Is that your idea of authoritative?

Anyway, even if your figures were correct, which they're not, even you can't deny that the EU enormously surpasses Russia in military spending, so my point stands either way. The EU doesn't need American troops to protect it. Especially since EU navies could deliver 400 megaton-range warheads on Russian cities in minutes.

You're there because you want to be there, not because you have to.
10/21/2009 7:15:32 PM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

geocon62 wrote:
Actually, Russia spends 3.9% of their Gross Domestic Product or about $88.35 Billion in military spending and ranks 30th in the world. Italy spends 1.8% of the GDP or about $32.82 Billion and ranks 93 in the world. Next time rely on something more authoritive than wikipedia like the CIA world factbook. It's all an estimate, but not even grade school teachers doing show and tell allow wikipedia to be cited as a credible source.
10/21/2009 6:31:14 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
You aren't protecting those countries. They don't need protection. Even Italy has a larger military budget than Russia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
8 Italy 40,050,000,000
9 Russia 39,600,000,000

The EU as a whole has 8 times the military budget of Russia.

(European Union Total 312,259,000,000)

Most of these countries don't want US troops, but like Japan are locked into post-WW2 agreements.

I will never understand this American myth, that US imperialism and military expansionism is somehow forced on an unwilling America by other countries.

Do those other countries also force America to outspend the entire planet combined on weapons? Did they force America to invade Iraq? Give me a break.
10/21/2009 6:07:30 PM
Recommend (11) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dsroberts wrote:
That the reason why the America's deficit will always be high. Why are we protecting countries like Spain, Japan, Italy when the money could be use to provide health care for all Americans
10/21/2009 5:35:34 PM
Recommend (10) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Rob Parker, if there's one thing threatening your way of life, it's your phenomenal expenditure on militarism, a sum greater than the entire federal deficit.

The idea that Americans standard of living depends on foreign bases is absurd. Cheap oil? The price of oil quintupled after Washington executed its plan to invade Iraq and build permanent bases there.

The average American household was far better off in 1999, with about 600 foreign bases, than they are today, with about 900.
10/21/2009 5:30:11 PM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
There is not the slightest need for one single American soldier anywhere in Japan.

Who is going to invade Japan? North Korea? Japan has 9 times the military expenditure of North Korea.

In fact Japan's military spending this year is much higher than Russia's, and is not far behind China's.

Japan is about as susceptible to invasion as Alpha Centauri.
10/21/2009 5:23:32 PM
Recommend (10) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

AlbyVA wrote:
Japan needs to remember who won the War....


Kneel Before Thy Master...
10/21/2009 3:53:59 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Rob Parker,
We should have invaded Canada, oilrich country, close to home and short supply lines. The Canadians son't object.
10/21/2009 3:24:33 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RobParker wrote:
Some of the posters here just don't get it. Want to close all of our bases and bring our troops home? Sounds great in theory but we ALL love cheap gas, access to essentially anything we could want at just about any local store.

Our way of life doesn't come free or even easy. It's because of our political and military influence all around the world.

We can't have our cake and eat it too.
10/21/2009 3:18:34 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RoguesPalace wrote:
in the 1970s we made a big error in returning Okinawa to full Japanese control/Japanese soverignty... previously, Oki. was under US military occupation from 1945 to about 1972... we should have continued to remain on Okinawa and in control of the Island.... the same as the Soviets, and now Russia, continued to retain 4 Islands in the Kurile Islands chain which have rich fishery resources and offshore oil and gas deposits....but being a good liberal, and even more wanting to curry favor with the Wash Post, Nixon decided to return Okinawa to the Japanese flag...
10/21/2009 3:13:22 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RobParker wrote:
jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
America has about 1000 military bases around the worl manned by about 250,000
men/women. What's the importance of Okinawa?
__________________________________________

It's strategically important in order to not only monitor the Korean Peninsula but to stage a large contingent of Marines to deploy anywhere in the West Pacific and Eastern Russia.

The ground forces there were scheduled to be moved to Guam but the airbase was meant to stay on the island.

The Japanese can protest all they want but they can't legally kick us out.

Okinawa will suffer as much as the Phillippines did after our departure. They don't want troops there but they sure LOVE LOVE LOVE the money....
10/21/2009 3:10:51 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rabbitman wrote:
I wish the Japanese would arrest that little tiny man and execute him for war crimes.
10/21/2009 3:10:17 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RoguesPalace wrote:
I must have missed something over the years, but with their strong economies, why are US forces still in Japan, S Korea and Germany 60+ years after VE/VJ day and 50+ years after the end of the Korean War? Part of the reason is that China (and other nations in Asia) would be upset by a Japan that rearms itself... but why on God's green earth are we still defending Japan? Perhaps the US nuclear shield for Japan and S. Korea can remain, but both those nations are more than strong enough and rich enough to provide for their own defense.... the WW2 hangover needs to eventually end... will US forces still be in Japan and Germany in 2045?
10/21/2009 3:07:32 PM
Recommend (6)

rabbitman wrote:
I wish the Japanese would arrest that little tiny man and execute him for war crimes.
10/21/2009 3:10:17 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RoguesPalace wrote:
I must have missed something over the years, but with their strong economies, why are US forces still in Japan, S Korea and Germany 60+ years after VE/VJ day and 50+ years after the end of the Korean War? Part of the reason is that China (and other nations in Asia) would be upset by a Japan that rearms itself... but why on God's green earth are we still defending Japan? Perhaps the US nuclear shield for Japan and S. Korea can remain, but both those nations are more than strong enough and rich enough to provide for their own defense.... the WW2 hangover needs to eventually end... will US forces still be in Japan and Germany in 2045?
10/21/2009 3:07:32 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RobParker wrote:
sharrose wrote:
Weird question, but I'll ask anyways: Does Japan "reimburse" the United States for "contracting/outsourcing" its military from US-inc?
__________________________________________

Japan DOES pay the bulk of the costs of housing our military in their country. The US military umbrella, along with our right to keep installations there is part of their constitution, that was, of course, written by MacArther.
10/21/2009 3:05:22 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Why doesn't Gates talk to the Taliban like this? I bet they would lay down their arms at once! Some good old fashioned gunboat diplomacy is what we need. When will Gates have a face to face talk with OBL?

10/21/2009 2:42:47 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Our main problem is to get rid off the terrorists living in America.
10/21/2009 2:15:43 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

laurelphoto wrote:
The only reason that we have bases and troops in Japan is we need a location to store and troops to protect all those NUCLEAR WEAPONS that we DENY having there.
10/21/2009 2:14:27 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

laurelphoto wrote:
The US maintanes bases wordwide at great expense to the US taxpayers. This is because the military are afraid that the south will rise again, and they will need thourghly indroctinated troops to fight those Confederates.
10/21/2009 2:06:58 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
The writing is on the wall, the fall of the republic can't be stopped anymore. Waging wars on borrowed money is a sign of weakness, keep on printing dollars will mean the demise of the dollar, a record high deficit will cause a high inlation. The demise really started on 9/11 when Bush ignored the warnings of the intelligence service. WHY??
The GREEDY and the IGNORANT people are guilty of the demise.

10/21/2009 2:05:26 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

laurelphoto wrote:
A, The USA can no longer afford the luxery of stationing troops in Japan and Germany 65 years after the cesation of hostilities.
B. Nor can we afford the arrogance of imposing our will on other countries.
C. Neither can we afford to continue shielding American Military from the criminal justice systems of our remaining allies.
D, The therm UGLY AMERICAN is reenforced many times each day by Americans worldwide.
E. Japan would be within their rights to take the United States to the world court, and force us to pay Japanese firms to clean up our polution.
Do we want to start that stampede of countries all over the world?
10/21/2009 2:01:53 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Wildthing1 wrote:
Hey, lets sink Guam with more bases and soldiers and sailors...that makes sense...and gives one a sinking feeling too.
10/21/2009 1:54:55 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Kmd1 wrote:
Realist20 wrote:
Great - the Obama administration is attacking another long-time ally - first Israel and now Japan....yet he saddles up to Sudan, Iran and North Korea, and surrenders America's sovereignty to the UN. Obama is the epitome of weakness and appeasement.
===================

I won't totally agree with your statement....First Obama never attacked Israel...it is in Israel interest to end the long 50 years humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories and work toward a two state solution...the world is watching what is Israel have been doing...

I agree that the U.S has no business in setting a military base in Okinawa...it is not a U.S territory...

I disagree, Obama did not reconcile with N.Korea nor Tehran or Sudan but the new diplomacy the U.S need is reaching out to everyone and give everyone a chance to be a partner on different fronts..build allies beyond Israel in different regions in the world..U.S did not sign a treaty with Israel where Israel will be the U.S only friend..that was the wrong policy..we are in a global economy and leading global wars that need to end and calls for global partners
10/21/2009 1:53:30 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Wildthing1 wrote:
What if Japan steams into one of our harbors all steamed and demands we allow them a base?
The story I heard is that Japan tested an a-bomb somewhere in North Korea just before we tested ours on them.
Nationalism and terrotoriality and dominance are not fitting for the 21st century of global interdependence and mutual benefit. We must learn how to live within our planet's mean before we as a species are the cause of our own war-based extinction. We are going to have to base our world on something more than bases. An eco-economic basis of sustainable living for everyone on a wholistic world not national strategic dominance and creepy kissingerism. The creepy world of acceptable collateral killing.
10/21/2009 1:51:33 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

sharrose wrote:
Weird question, but I'll ask anyways: Does Japan "reimburse" the United States for "contracting/outsourcing" its military from US-inc?
10/21/2009 1:46:44 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kdarice wrote:
Yes, I can see the base is annoying....so was WWII.
10/21/2009 1:42:38 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
America has about 1000 military bases around the worl manned by about 250,000
men/women. What's the importance of Okinawa?
10/21/2009 1:38:52 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mongolovesheriff wrote:
For crying out loud, lets ditch this stupid World Policeman role. Close all of our bases and rebuild America.
10/21/2009 1:36:36 PM
Recommend (11) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

alysheba_3 wrote:
sbdnomunchkin1 wrote:
The Japanese are racist, xenophobic, imperialists. If anyone doubts to this day that the ideals of Bushido aren't extinct, they should go to Japan, and feel the hostility. With one caveat, on the way home, stop at the USS Arizona for reflection. This base NEEDS to be here, and this "society" should remain under thumb. Issues? I don't think so, my name sake survived Bataan.
--------------------------------------
So any country that the US has ever disagreed with should "remain under the thumb"? I suppose you are one of those people who thinks America is never wrong, should run the world, and decides who is right, irregardless of the truth.
10/21/2009 1:34:57 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
The BLUNT Gates never will understand the Japanese culture. Why not? Too complicated for a simple soul as he is.
10/21/2009 1:31:13 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

justmyvoice wrote:
My, hasn't the US and Obama administration recently backed out of several of it's previous commitments made by a former administration? Does not the same standards fit to another ally country who wants to reconsider a decision made by its previous administration? But then again, everyone else is supposed to make snap decisions while this administration can wait until it is good and ready or has done some arm twisting to get what it wants. It is nice to hear the WH spokesman Gibbs saying how wonderful a job that "Secretary" Kerry did in changing Karzai's mind. Then we have what I call Secretary Biden going over to change Poland's mind and we have the real Secretary of State being marginalized to doing anything that seems to make sure that this administration keeps her out of the limelight. Does this portend well for what seems more and more like strong arm tactics from the "men" rather than diplomacy? So now Japan can class itself among all the rest of the enemies like insurance companies, wall Street, and Fox News who don't jump fast enough.
10/21/2009 1:28:29 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

alysheba_3 wrote:
How dare any other country challenge the US about what happens on that country's soil. The US must be allowed to do whatever it wants irregardless of local opinion, crime or anything detrimental to the local community. (Kinda like the US policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.)
10/21/2009 1:27:22 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Atenora,
Ignorance creates arrogance- they walk hand in hand.
10/21/2009 1:26:31 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

ceflynline wrote:
"Heerman532 wrote: I would just keep the base there with a skeleton crew - in case we need to use it again some day - and pull most all of the troops out. Japan can defend itself."

Chucking Futenma is long overdue. It is a postage stamp sized Air Strip that sits in a kind of bowl. It was supposed to be replaced way back in the seventies.

The article just doesn't make much sense, so there is something the reporter missed that even makes abandoning Futenma a problem.

We do get into flaps with the Ryukyuans over misconduct by (mostly) Marines off base and out of bounds, and Futenma is situated in about the absolutely worst possible place for a base handling noisy fighters which have to do the noisiest parts of their take offs and landings way to low over the main living areas of Okinawa.

Given that those marines and their families are headed for Guam, why are we fighting over putting an air base for them elsw where on Okinawa?

Again, somethings in the story don't add up.

By the way, Japan COULD certainly put enough men under arms to absolutely defend itself. By maintaining a minimal presence in Japan the United States makes that Army unnecessary, thus keeping all of the nations in the Area that dread a remilitarized Japan happy. We gain access to good ports and good duty, everyone on the Pacific Rim gets peace of mind, and everyone benefits. That arrangement certainly behooves us to be polite and work things out with Japan.
10/21/2009 1:24:07 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Wildthing1 wrote:
Talk is cheap when you are going broke...the world's only super ego get huffy. The Romans took over lots of lands to protect them. Sometimes there is a fine line between helping the world and helping ourselves to the world.
10/21/2009 1:23:26 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
America started a joke, according to the BeeGees. America should change its political system, capitalism will kill you.
10/21/2009 1:19:43 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hanley12 wrote:
Super. Now more people hate us. But that's what you get when the army runs your foreign policy. Meanwhile, back in Beijing, professional and intelligent Chinese diplomats are busy making friends all over the world.
10/21/2009 1:15:57 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Don't you feel anything? The carpet is moving under you!
10/21/2009 1:15:10 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
AlbyVa,
Ig noring the world around you is a sound reason to bomb those country? Since when is America the judge, the jury and the exectuioner? Christians should know only Ghod has that right! Are you sitting on His throne? That would be arrogant. Wouldn't it? What would you do if all nations would ignore America?? BOMBS-AWAY!
10/21/2009 1:08:59 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Atenora wrote:
Such arrogance.
10/21/2009 1:08:08 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

pondering wrote:
Do we really think the Japanese do not yet have nuclear capability? And do we really think the 8,000 Marines are there to watch the Japanese or North Koreans? Our are we seeing the DJP making a longer term judgment about their strategic alignment between an ascendant China and a US heading the direction of England under Labor in the 60's. Is the DJP concluding that if the US continues on our present course we will destroy the economic base that allows us to project military power?
10/21/2009 1:03:43 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iewgnem wrote:
Japan lost the war, and as a consequence they are occupied by the victors to further the victor's other agendas, that's how the world works. If Japan wants US forces out, they need to kick them out by force, either military force, or economic force. You just don't talk the guy that defeated you into giving up his trophy.
10/21/2009 1:00:13 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

SUMB44 wrote:
Anyone who believes that Gates and his entourage's actions in Japan are not scripted by Obama and he's acting on his own are fooling themselves.
10/21/2009 12:55:12 PM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

AlbyVA wrote:
Henry5 wrote:
Does anybody know why we've got 8,000 Marines in Okinawa, in the first place? Wasn't that war over half a century ago?
----

Its a Strategic Base for the US Navy. When troops need to be deployed to a hot spot, its faster to get troops in-country and/or support them from Okinawa than from Hawaii.

Logistics my friend...
10/21/2009 12:53:05 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

joecflee wrote:
When you're relying on another nation to defend you, the whole concept of an "equal relationship" is somewhat meaningless.

On the other hand, the Obama administration wouldn't want to play its hand too strong. Lucky that the Democratic Party in Japan is dovish on its stance. A pissed off hawkish Japan could easily arm itself with nuclear weapons and create regional and global havoc.

May cooler minds prevail.
10/21/2009 12:53:02 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Henry5 wrote:
Does anybody know why we've got 8,000 Marines in Okinawa, in the first place? Wasn't that war over half a century ago?
10/21/2009 12:45:40 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mosthind wrote:
Bangkokian wrote:
Japan has been a reliable US ally for years. Why would Gates want to destroy the relation by reverting to being an "ugly American"? He needs to do this more diplomatically and take into account the local feelings. Most peoples in the world like Americans in general especially their generosity but can't stand the ugly arrogance displayed as soon as the Americans do not get what they want. It's a real shame for Gates to show his arrogance. I thought he was doing a fairly good job as Sec of Def until now.
--------------------------------------

Agree with you completely. Gates is a holdover from Bush days. He is a decent SECDEF, but he apparently has no understanding whatsoever of the complex social interactions of the Japanese. When dealing with the Japanese they remind me of dogs encountering each other for the first time with all the pawing and sniffing that goes on. Surely, Gates has a trusted interpreter and Japanese expert to whisper in his ear on the absolute stupidity of threatening and backing their leaders into a corner. If they 'lose face' with their voters, they have no recourse but to react not in a way to our advantage. He recently insulted our allies in Afghanistan (UK and Netherlands) saying they don't know how to wage war. I think maybe he is losing his mental grip in old age. Obama better watch him a bit closer.


10/21/2009 12:29:12 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

millionea7 wrote:
this should go over well for Gates. it's not like the Japanese are historically known for preserving honor or saving face.
10/21/2009 12:28:30 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

beesquare wrote:
RE: "Threatening again? Do this for America or else!!!! The world is getting sick and tired of this arrogant attidude." No doubt the world IS getting tired of this attitude. So the world should stop provoking it. Pitch in and help, fer cryin out loud. The US (and GB) are getting tired of having to save the world all the time with too little help and too much opposition!
10/21/2009 12:27:46 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

johnmoran1 wrote:
Remember the saying "keep your enemies close and your friends even closer"? Seems for the sake of preserving peace, Japanese leaders need to live up to the agreement signed in 2006. It isn't as if the US is simply flexing muscle at will - it was a negotiated agreement that Japan's elite doesn't want to adhere to.
10/21/2009 12:22:08 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

MUPPET wrote:
Unfortunately, given our other demands, we really only had time for business on this trip, but look forward to the opportunity for social engagements in the future," said Geoff Morrell, a spokesman traveling with Gates.
===========================

Ouch, how rude.
10/21/2009 12:21:03 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Gates you're fired coz you're pathetic.
10/21/2009 12:18:59 PM
Recommend (4)

AlbyVA wrote:
The JMSDF has an official strength of 46,000 personnel (currently around 45,800 personnel), operating 119 major warships, including 20 submarines, 53 destroyers and frigates, 29 mine warfare ships, 9 patrol craft and 9 amphibious ships (total displacement of approx. 432,000 tons). It also has 179 fixed-wing aircraft and 135 helicopters. Most of these aircraft are used in antisubmarine and mine warfare operations.
10/21/2009 12:17:38 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gt0571a wrote:
A more complete article would have at least briefly mentioned the rape of a 12 year old girl by three marines, the murder of an elderly woman by a drunk sailor, or the numerous other incidents of the past 6 years to have put in proper context the gripes of the people of Okinawa against the US military.
10/21/2009 12:17:20 PM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jhough1 wrote:
To add to my comment. It should be Geithner in Tokyo and elsewhere in Asia, not Gates or even Hillary. He has zero power vis-a-vis Summers, and he is wasting his time and considerable talent. He really knows Asia and he should be used on that.

Japan has an enormous potential economic policy. Because of China's inexcusible pegging of its currency to the dollar, its currency becomes cheaper vis--a-vis the Euro, yen, and other currencies as the dollar declines. That means that as its American market is hurting, China can undercut Europe and Japan in exports to the rest of the world, and both, especially Japan, depend on export strategies.

88 on the yen is very important on the chart, and the dollar has bounced a bit to 90. But oil has broken out and seems headed north of 100. If it continues up, the US currency is likely to fall. China can increase its trade advantage vis-a-vis Japan either by hoarding oil in reserves (and why not since its paper dollars are not worth much) or by driving down the dollar with a few financial statements
about the dollar. All of this interacts badly with the US market, with rolling consequences.

I am not an economist, but I don't see how Japan avoids a W, and that is going to play badly in domestic Japanese politics with the Obama-Gates policy.

One can imagine that Geithner could work out something with China with the threat of a big attack on outsourcing through tax policy that Obama promised in the campaign.
10/21/2009 12:16:59 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Making friends is not hard, keeping friends is much harder. You can't buy frinds either.
10/21/2009 12:14:53 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

AlbyVA wrote:
jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Threatening again? Do this for America or else!!!! The world is getting sick and tired of this arrogant attidude
-----------

And those nations which aren't arrogant get bombed in a surprise attack because they ignored the world around them.

You liberals are a bunch of narrow minded, idealist, which a disease called Isolationism.

We cannot live in a world with blinders on, smoking weed, and listening to the Grateful Dead.


10/21/2009 12:11:35 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
It's one way to lose your allies in the Far East and anywhere else for that matter!
A German Taliban joined by the Japanese Tal;iban?? America's ways are miraculous.
10/21/2009 12:09:28 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

NT17 wrote:
It's amazing how many postings show no knowledge of history and the Japanese Constitution. Look it up boneheads!
10/21/2009 12:08:29 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

slim2 wrote:
Japan needs to get the bomb.
10/21/2009 12:04:55 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

AlbyVA wrote:
Lets not forget people, Japan has the (2nd) largest Navy behind the United States. Japan has the ability to project power as it sees fit.

Friends today? Enemies Tomorrow? Political Change can adjust the world dynamic in relations. Japan just elected a new party and who knows what their world plan might be.

Lets not forget what happened in Russian when the Czars were overthown. A Century of Communism which brought the world to the brink of Nuclear Destruction.


10/21/2009 12:03:23 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Threatening again? Do this for America or else!!!! The world is getting sick and tired of this arrogant attidude.
10/21/2009 12:02:06 PM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Realist20 wrote:
Great - the Obama administration is attacking another long-time ally - first Israel and now Japan....yet he saddles up to Sudan, Iran and North Korea, and surrenders America's sovereignty to the UN. Obama is the epitome of weakness and appeasement.
10/21/2009 12:00:01 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jaymand wrote:
It's time Japan step up, work with us and do more on their own in terms of military cooperation in the region. We've been carrying their water long enough.

10/21/2009 11:57:09 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

sbdnomunchkin1 wrote:
Too many of these comments are from Americans who don't know of the Marshall Plan, nor do they use their computers to find out the issues, really should. Midway, is more than a movie. In the nuclear age, forgetting history and being forced to repeat it would be cataclysmic on a world wide scale. Ask the Asiatics who were occupied under Bushido if the Japanese should rearm and defend themselves. This IS necessary expenditure.
10/21/2009 11:56:16 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Kmd1 wrote:
I feel Americans are notorious of creating and stereotyping countries to achieve their goal..one thing I don't understand is it whether out of fear and caution or out of ignorance....

I mean we stretch our troops through out the globe, wherever we may think evil is " evil as defined in America"...

I really think it is time to rise to a different level and start been part of the global nation instead of living in the past with the illusion that so and so might be a threat to America... might be..is the wrong assumption and has always led us the wrong way
10/21/2009 11:54:46 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Did Gates mention thec Enola Gay??
10/21/2009 11:52:28 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

AlbyVA wrote:
Japan provides the United States with a "Strategic" forward base for operations in the Pacific.

If the US was to pull out or be kicked out of Japan, operations in the Pacific would be shifted back 3,000 miles to Hawaii. So when there is crisis, it might take a week before anything can be done.
10/21/2009 11:52:18 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

pclanger wrote:
amazing, obama's peoplecontinue to play hardball with close allies, but suck up to our enemies.
10/21/2009 11:49:37 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Tokyo Rose calling!!
10/21/2009 11:47:21 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rencarl5441 wrote:
i hope gates can get more out of the japanese negotiators than our trade missions--remember, the japanese are either at our feet or at our throats--
10/21/2009 11:38:19 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

sbdnomunchkin1 wrote:
The Japanese are racist, xenophobic, imperialists. If anyone doubts to this day that the ideals of Bushido aren't extinct, they should go to Japan, and feel the hostility. With one caveat, on the way home, stop at the USS Arizona for reflection. This base NEEDS to be here, and this "society" should remain under thumb. Issues? I don't think so, my name sake survived Bataan.
10/21/2009 11:38:12 AM
Recommend (3)

Kmd1 wrote:
WHAT IN THE WORLD U.S ARMY FORCES ARE DOING IN Okinawa....??!!
10/21/2009 11:35:40 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jhough1 wrote:
This is all strange from any broader perspective. First, Gates is the real Secretary of State except for roving ambassadors like Bill Clinton, Kerry, and Mitchell. In the late 1980s he was Cheney's chief ally in opposing Gorbachev and Colin Powell's desire for a better relation with Russia. Gates still has a thing about Russia. Why do we have a Secretary of State who literally was one of the last Cold Warriors of 20 years ago--and a Republican at that? It does not do Snyder any good just to be humiliating Zorn, and it does not do Obama any good to be absorbed with humiliating Hillary.

Second, what consequences? Japan has so much enriched uranium from its power plants that it can make an atomic bomb in about two weeks. Unless China becomes aggressive, do we really want Japan to defend itself by building such a nuclear force and a better delivery system?

You would think that a Nobel Peace Prize winner would at least want peace with our allies instead of confrontation.
10/21/2009 11:33:21 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Go home Yankee.
10/21/2009 11:31:22 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Bangkokian wrote:
Japan has been a reliable US ally for years. Why would Gates want to destroy the relation by reverting to being an "ugly American"? He needs to do this more diplomatically and take into account the local feelings. Most peoples in the world like Americans in general especially their generosity but can't stand the ugly arrogance displayed as soon as the Americans do not get what they want. It's a real shame for Gates to show his arrogance. I thought he was doing a fairly good job as Sec of Def until now.
10/21/2009 11:30:06 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

sauerkraut wrote:
We spend more on defense than the next ten nations of the world. The last figure I saw claimed we had 150 bases in foreign nations. Time both Asia and Europe started to defend themselves, especially in countries that are less than happy that we are there.
10/21/2009 11:23:51 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

mosthind wrote:
Japan consists of islands. Land is precious. Land is everything. Don't blame the folks in Okinawa a bit. They've put up with bases and our soldiers for sixty years. Time to come home. We've become the guest who overstayed his welcome. With modern technology and a changed world situation (China is our quasi-pal and owns us financially now) we don't need the stupid Japan basing. Just put a carrier or two or three off the Asian coast. Besides closing the base frees up more troops to go to the neverending 'world policeman and defender of Israel Interests WARS' in the Middle East.
10/21/2009 11:20:16 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Says on Jap to the other: Have they forgotten about Pearl Harbour already??
10/21/2009 11:10:39 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

DupontJay wrote:
In other news, Japan threatens serious consequences if it is not allowed to keep troops in the US.

Jeesh, I thought this kind of nonsense ended would end with Bush. I was naive.
10/21/2009 11:10:22 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

FairlingtonBlade wrote:
You can see why Gates is SecDef and Clinton is SecState.

BB
10/21/2009 11:05:36 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iewgnem wrote:
Its amazing how many people actually believe the US is in Japan to defend it. Wake up, the US defeated Japan in WW2 and is occupying Japan as a strategic military base in East Asia, just like the base in Guam. They are there to protect American interests, not Japaneses, to allow American forces ease of access in Asia, enabling them to fight in Vietnam without having to ship everything across the Pacific, and the same in any potential conflict with China. Have some common sense, why else do you think Gates is so determined to stay in Japan when Japan itself wants to kick them out?

It will be interesting to see how much support he loses over this, because if he does lose a lot of support, it will only mean the Japaneses public is very hostile to the American bases, and what Gates' just did will have the effect of splitting the alliance further appart, not exactly something in America's interest.
10/21/2009 11:03:39 AM
Recommend (12) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

boblesch wrote:
"Playing hardball with its closest ally in Asia, the Obama administration warned Japan on Wednesday of serious consequences..."
-------
what consequences?
no one wants to occupy japan - 100 million people in an island nation the size of CA!
attack them for what reason - kidnap a few dozen sushi chefs?

stop all overseas deployment now!!!!

let the people of the world decide for themselves how they want to live.

10/21/2009 10:55:24 AM
Recommend (12) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

surendranathyogi wrote:
Before consulting the heavens and commenting myself, I'd like to know the meaning of one of the earlier comments, "Fung-gu, little guys."
10/21/2009 10:23:49 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

chaffcutter wrote:
How dare the Japanese challenge location of our Bases.

Apparently lessons taught to them for challenging America in 1940s are forgotten

May be time to let them know who is the Boss ?
10/21/2009 10:17:29 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

revoevo wrote:
Having just come back from Okinawa I still do not understand why they do not move the helicopters to Kadena. It is the easy solution.
10/21/2009 10:14:50 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

patrick3 wrote:
Japan should stop buying US government debt and Field Marshal Gates won't be able to afford the jet fuel to fly around the world making territorial demands any longer.
10/21/2009 10:10:26 AM
Recommend (10) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

chucky-el wrote:
And why is the USA paying to defend Japan 60 years after WWII? No wonder we have a deficit.
10/21/2009 10:04:47 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

tru-indy wrote:
Imagine how many billions and billions we could save if we brought all our troops home and allowed other countries to defend themselves.

(the military/politico/industrial industry would Never allow that)
10/21/2009 9:44:57 AM
Recommend (17) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

BrooklandReppa wrote:
The U.S. military will still have an very large presence in Japan without that base. The Tokyo area alone is dotted with U.S. bases. Not sure why this is an issue for the U.S., unless it's their only airbase or largest airbase. At this point, Japan's gov't should have a say in what happens and if the administration changes then their plans should be able to change.
10/21/2009 9:36:33 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

NormanPollack wrote:
One more indication that the Obama administration has not given up the ambition of maintaining military dominance in the world. The Cold War by any other name smells just as sweet. News of secret negotiations for military bases in Columbia and waffling on the Honduran coup, along with a reconfigured design for missile defense in Eastern Europe, confirm the continuities in spirit, muscle, and arrogance, between the Bush and Obama administrations.
10/21/2009 9:09:02 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Heerman532 wrote:
I would just keep the base there with a skeleton crew - in case we need to use it again some day - and pull most all of the troops out.

Japan can defend itself.
10/21/2009 9:08:43 AM
Recommend (16)

Heerman532 wrote:
I would just keep the base there with a skeleton crew - in case we need to use it again some day - and pull most all of the troops out.

Japan can defend itself.
10/21/2009 9:08:43 AM
Recommend (16) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

thuctho wrote:
Just tell the Americans to leave. Japan is strong enough to protect themselves from North Korea. North Korea can't even feed their own people. What makes America thinks they are a threat to Japan?
10/21/2009 9:05:16 AM
Recommend (19) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

KBlit wrote:
Anyone who has ever been stationed in Okinawa and especially Camp Schwab ( yes I have) knows full well there is NO where to build an airfield there. All Gates has to do is go up there and see the place to understand the Jap's are laughing themselves silly. The Jap's have closed down or restricted access to almost all training ranges on Okinawa that any actual training there is a joke. Anyway time to continue with the massive Guam program to put the US military in another place where the troops drink beer and get into trouble. Lot's of Guamanians getting very rich off this deal.
10/21/2009 9:01:56 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

alpeia wrote:
The beloved war criminal nation america. The beloved criminals, americans (Japanese protested their crimes). What are you going to do bob, threaten to forbid them from buying worthless american debt?

Gates: Afghan runoff won't solve corruption issues … That’s riiiiight bunglelow bob…the runoff will not affect american corruption issues one bit! The Associated Press

Gates: War strategy shouldn't depend on result of Afghan election. What strategy? Cultivate the poppy fields which the Taliban had all but eradicated to add to america’s already substantial gov’t ops illegal drug trade that all are afraid to talk about? New military industrial complex welfare program for defacto bankrupt/broke/broken nation america? (AP)


Go to following pages for above links:
http://www.albertpeia.com/currentopics2ndqtr10108.htm
http://www.albertpeia.com/wallstreetlunacy2ndqtr10108.htm
http://www.albertpeia.com

http://www.albertpeia.com/alresume65393.htm

10/21/2009 8:21:13 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

longstory wrote:
We aren't protecting Japan. We are protecting our own interests against our old cold war enemies - China, Russia and Korea.
Its high time we stop occupying Japan. I agree with txengr - we aren't the world's police force.
10/21/2009 8:09:08 AM
Recommended (21) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

txengr wrote:
Why does the US have to spend our tax money to defend Japan? Let them fend for themselves. Pull all forces out of Japan.

They have soaked us for to long. We need to get a backbone.
10/21/2009 7:46:56 AM
Recommend (15)


part 2

ziggyzap wrote:
"warnings from the Obama administration that any reversal would spark serious consequences."

"pressure from the U.S. government"

"U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates used a visit to Japan this week to pressure the government"

Don't you just love American diplomacy? It's akin to the sort of diplomacy you would expect from a Mafia thug.

The best thing that the Japanese could do is to boot the Americans right out of Japan, close every one of its bases, stop military cooperation with the Americans and just build up its own military to protect itself, even acquiring nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

It sure worked for North Korean, because the Americans don't have the balls to attack a nation that can vaporise an entire carrier task force in the blink of an eye.

The Americans have betrayed every single ally they have ever had. I wouldn't allow one American base or facility in my nation if I had the power.

Japan, boot out the Americans now - you'll be so much better off in the long term.
10/23/2009 1:24:45 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iewgnem wrote:
Clearly Japan is reverting back to a state before democracy, no real, legitimate democratic process would elect a government that does not submit to Uncle Sam.

Jeff08 wrote:
"Russia and China combined can't match the US."
If you wonder why people are laughing at the US, its because of statements like that when China alone could bankrupt the US in one day and Russia's remaining nukes is enough to destroy not just the US but humanity itself.
10/23/2009 12:36:18 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JenDray wrote:
Isn't it ironic that the US, that "beacon of democracy", should suddenly get unhappy with Japan immediately after Japan democratically ends 50 years of one-party rule?
10/22/2009 9:33:29 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

shirogikumaru wrote:
Let's make it very clear the majority of Japanese think highly of President Obama.
Stop blaming Mr.Obama for weakening the US position in the world.
He is considered the very best part of the US, so blame the rest of Washington instead.
10/22/2009 9:03:35 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hocov wrote:
There is a reason why NK crisis can not be resolved. There is a need for low degree of tension in that area, it can consume the "friendship" between NK and China and it can also be used to persuade Japan.
Japan is a military power, it does not need any protection from anybody. But if Japan is not controlled, it can go down the path of militarilism again.

10/22/2009 8:54:23 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Homunculus wrote:
The base realignment was a way to address the Okinawans concerns with our Okinawan footprint through our continued troop deployment on their island, that and still maintain our ability to project power in the region. This article misrepresents the facts.


Cancel the move and keep the marines on Okinawa. The current arrangement works fine for America and the ink is still valid on prior status of forces arrangements. We hold all the cards so piss on the DPJ and Hatoyama. They can like it or not like it, who cares?


As for the cancellation of the refueling mission, that requires quid pro quo. This new administration in Tokyo wants to be hostile...so be it.
10/22/2009 7:21:51 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Mickey2 wrote:
Don't you think Japan is happy playing lapdog to the U.S.?


10/22/2009 6:58:03 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

bonesurgery wrote:
No one wants to be a sidekick forever, especially if one values honor.
10/22/2009 5:23:36 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

gibo wrote:
kevrodd. 12:46pm

Actually America is extremely vulnerable to attack.

Not through the front door, but through the side door.
Lulled into a deep sleep by Chinas blowing of its 'gentle flute of deception'...in the end America will let her guard down.
This we see in visions and prophecies like http://noradwarningchina.blogspot.com/

America shouldnt get too full of her own propaganda.

China by far is the SUPERIOR world power (already) because of her cunning and her deception.
In a single day she could eat the USA for breakfast and Amercia wouldnt know it until its too late.
The United States grain harvest is open to destruction any year when its ready to be harvested...so says that prophecy, especially if those 'peace agreements' mentioned in that prophecy are being contemplated.
The USA military needs to stay far from China and her deceptions if she hopes to survive.
10/22/2009 5:14:17 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RichFromTampa wrote:
Can it be that another ally is smelling the sour stink of fear & indecision coming from Mr.O'Bama's pants? RichFromTampa
10/22/2009 4:43:21 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

eaglesnest1 wrote:
More indication of this administration's lack of experience and understanding of the dynamics of global politics. The rules of the game have changed in Japan, and the administration cannot see it. We need our President to interact with world leaders himself, not just send emissaries, which apparently has offended and alienated the ruling party in Japan. From offending Queen Elizabeth (Michelle Obama trying to hug her, for pity's sake,) to the snub of the Dalai Lama, to the missile defense system in Central Europe, this administration is weakening our country and setting us up for another major attack.
10/22/2009 4:17:18 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Skkye wrote:
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause, but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. But when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed to its duties.

10/22/2009 4:16:37 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

blert wrote:
The DPJ ran on a platform of ending overseas support troops and of giving more consideration to local and national complaints about American bases in Japan, so Gates had to have known that the new Japanese government would want to reopen parts of the agreement that had been worked out solely by the old LDP party. Yet, instead of following protocol, Gates snubbed the Japanese welcome ceremony set for him and skipped the dinner with defense counterparts.

Ummm...anyone who knows anything about Japan knows that the welcome ceremonies and dinners and drinking parties after meetings and business are some of the most important parts of any event. These are what establish social understanding between two parties, and what guarantee long-lasting, sound relationships. For Gates to skip over the ceremony and dinner will be seen as a deliberate slap in the face, and it pretty much dooms any future dealings between Gates and Japan...not that this first meeting went terribly well.

To clean up this mess will require a state visit to Japan, at least by Clinton and possibly even by Obama, in which they don't commit any of these protocol blunders and reaffirm a strong relationship with Japan. The DPJ has no interest in dissolving ties with America; they simply want to be able to define those ties on what appears to be more equal footing. If the U.S. wants to work with the DPJ, they need to concede some ground on this. The only other alternative is to hedge a bet that the DPJ will last in office only a matter of months before the LDP returns, but this seems unlikely at the moment, and snubbing Japan now isn't going to make things any easier should the LDP return to power.
10/22/2009 4:16:35 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

TalkingHead1 wrote:
iseheijiro wrote:
I agree with some of you. Bush definitely elianated and confused Japan when he took North Korea off the terorist nation list. But there are more reasons for Japan has began distancing from US. The biggest reason is Hiroshima Nagasaki atomic bombing and 8 of 10 Americans justifies the war crimes saying the two bombs saved millions peoples lives. How many of you can accept that in order to finish off Japan, kill 220,000 innocent women and children? Second reason is Tokyo trial which today any law professor can tell you that it was illegal trial by the victors. Third is that Mike Honda, Tom Lantos and Pelosi in 07 passed the comfort women resolution without ground. If they agree with Japan to go to a court of law they will lose the case miserably you know it. Majority, 80% I would say of Japanese are fond of Americans like Gates who is straight talker and amicable as almost all Americans. Americans are hard to be disliked and Japanese are likewise.

************************************************************************************

Um, let me guess, you must be either a Japanese ultranationalist or a Japanese-American who is like one. Well, to begin, war is hell and some civilian casualties are unavoidable. However, before condemning the U.S. for dropping the atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima to hasten its victory over the Imperial Japan and calling it a "war crime", let's not forget the real war crimes committed by Imperial Japan that invaded, occupied, and tried to annex its neighbors, like Korea and China, in addition to killing ten of thousands of civilians in those two nations, alone, and enslaving and raping hundreds of thousands of them, for decades. Remember the Massacre at Nanking, China, for example? Also, was the undeclared attack of Pearl Harbor by Japan that started the U.S.-Japan War not a war crime? So, now, who's really guilty of a war crime? As for the Tokyo Trial and its aftermath, following the war, it was no more illegal than convicting the German Nazis who imprisoned and killed millions of Jews and other civilians in Europe, which were fully justified. Besides, who would have an advantage of interpreting the laws, the victor or the loser?
10/22/2009 4:13:10 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

MumboJumboo wrote:
The US is being used by apartheid israel supporters to fight endless wars to protect the racist zionist regime, meanwhile apartheid israel is busy with ethnic cleansing of palestinians and spying on US. Five years max and china will be SUPERPOWER.
10/22/2009 4:10:17 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

melvin_polatnick wrote:
There is no doubt that the Japanese people are still angered at the humiliation suffered in WW2. They had no choice but to accept U.S. occupation. The memories of the nuclear bombings and Tokyo trials will never be forgotten.
10/22/2009 4:06:38 PM
Recommended (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

ziggyzap wrote:
There is no legitimate reason why the USA should have military bases in any other nation. Right now, the Americans have bases all over the world, menacing and intimidating other nations.

The Japanese should kick the Americans right out of Japan, develop their own military forces and possibly acquire nuclear weapons as a deterrent against other nations.

There is no better way that speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

However, it is important for the Japanese to understand that the Americans have betrayed every ally they have ever had and cannot be trusted.

Best to be independent, strong and self-reliant.

Kick the Americans out of Japan NOW and to hell with the warnings from the Obama administration. Who do they think they are, trying to dictate to another nation?
10/22/2009 3:52:43 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

shirogikumaru wrote:
I don't think the US dominance in Asia is finished and Japan is not choosing between the US and China.
But the current codition is not sustainable and there must be a realistic alternatives for the future, meaning a substancial scaling down of military bases in Japan.

True, there still is some mistrust between Japan and China, but hiding behind the US and acting tough doesn't help creating peace/trust there.
The US should respect the democratic voices which is finally coming out from Japan and form a real,meaningful relationship with the more democratic Japan.
10/22/2009 3:28:40 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

TalkingHead1 wrote:
I don't know what is really the issue here, according to this article. Is it over the cost sharing of stationing the U.S. troops in Japan? Or, is it over whether the U.S. military should continue its presence in Japan? Or, is it over how Japan deals with its Asian neighbors, including North Korea? Or, is it over all these?
10/22/2009 3:20:49 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iseheijiro wrote:
I agree with some of you. Bush definitely elianated and confused Japan when he took North Korea off the terorist nation list. But there are more reasons for Japan has began distancing from US. The biggest reason is Hiroshima Nagasaki atomic bombing and 8 of 10 Americans justifies the war crimes saying the two bombs saved millions peoples lives. How many of you can accept that in order to finish off Japan, kill 220,000 innocent women and children? Second reason is Tokyo trial which today any law professor can tell you that it was illegal trial by the victors. Third is that Mike Honda, Tom Lantos and Pelosi in 07 passed the comfort women resolution without ground. If they agree with Japan to go to a court of law they will lose the case miserably you know it. Majority, 80% I would say of Japanese are fond of Americans like Gates who is straight talker and amicable as almost all Americans. Americans are hard to be disliked and Japanese are likewise.
10/22/2009 2:41:00 PM
Recommended (2)

Jeff08 wrote:
kevrobb wrote:
Jeff08, your position is nonsensical. All of the American rebuffs you quote came AFTER the new Japanese Govt made it clear that it wanted to change the base agreement. In fact, they were elected on a promise to do so.

So, by definition, your argument that Obama/Gates' rudeness drove them to this position

*********************************************

Nice try, but that's not what I said. I said Obama and Team Incompetent are alienating the Japanese. I didn't say their arrogance caused the Japanese to make their decision, although it probably reinforces it.


10/22/2009 2:30:45 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Jeff08, your position is nonsensical. All of the American rebuffs you quote came AFTER the new Japanese Govt made it clear that it wanted to change the base agreement. In fact, they were elected on a promise to do so.

So, by definition, your argument that Obama/Gates' rudeness drove them to this position is putting the cart before the horse. They held this position before they even came to power, long before Obama and Gates started dealing with them.
10/22/2009 2:14:34 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jonsande wrote:
Good for Japan. They are a sovereign nation and naturally have the right to dictate the use of their own land. I think Calder's quote at the end of this article typifies our arrogant expectation.
10/22/2009 2:12:30 PM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

egdusa wrote:
What do you expect? The Messiah travels the globe on his apology tours, is voting 'present' on Afghanistan, and stabs Poland and the Czech Republic in the back while getting exactly nothing from the Russians in return so the Japanese -- no fools -- smell the inherent weakness and react accordingly.

No doubt our illustrious Community-Organizer-in-Cheif will take the trip to Japan and apologize not only for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but for Pearl Harbor, as well.

'Why can't I just eat my waffle?'

Indeed.
10/22/2009 2:09:05 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

SUMB44 wrote:
Maybe it's time to let Japan pay for it's own defense, and rekindle old animosities and tensions with China and Korea.
10/22/2009 2:02:56 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

tonyholst wrote:
At least with Bush, foreign policy was a no brainer. You were either with us (and a friend) or against us (and an enemy). Nations around the world may “like” us Americans better with a new administration in place, but, I'm not sure they repect us as a great nation?
10/22/2009 1:53:17 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Aprogressiveindependent wrote:
The key question is whether the Obama administration intends to treat Japan as a sovereign nation, therefore entitled to independent foreign policies, or as a subject client state, which is not allowed to have independent foreign policies and must comply with the demands of a nation seeking regional, as well as global hegemony. Obama apparently believes he was entitled as a newly elected president to make some departures, primarily in some rhetoric, less so in policies so far, from the previous administration. However, he and Gates seek to deny the newly elected Japanese leaders the same right, to depart from some of the policies of the previous ruling party.

Gates, conservatives, neo-cons and some supposed liberals seem intent upon creating as many potential adversaries in the world as possible to justify excessive military spending, as well as their goals of imposing a pax Americana on most of the world
10/22/2009 1:49:59 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kdloan wrote:
The question for Japan is China. When you abuse your neighbor the way Japan abused China, in the past that neighbor when they get strong will want revenge. Japan understands the United States is the only hope and that will not be enough is about fifteen years. As China grows strong there influence will include Japan. The point to be tested is how far the United States will go to protect an increasingly weak partner. After all they are not the Jewish lobby in Washington.
10/22/2009 1:37:22 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Gates, a blunt republican.
10/22/2009 1:32:46 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
America spends $750,000,00 on one soldier in Afghanistan per year, most of the money is spent on gasoline; OBL is satisfied
10/22/2009 1:25:58 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
YES, America is on the decline, not because
the world likes it, but because capitalism is self-destructive, and because capitalism favours the VERY rich!
10/22/2009 1:12:52 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hansenthered wrote:
I simply disagree that the US is on the decline. Perhaps China will be a more proactive member of the world community, Gods help those whom seek basic human rights, and perhaps Russia has more room to "grow" in terms of international power but the US and its close allies, Japan/England/German etc are not doomed to fall into the dustbin of history. Economic might and military power have and will continue to wax and wane but to state that the US is on the way out is simply wishful thinking for the anti-American segment out there. The fatalism of the American right is only matched by the naivety of the japans left. Both views are overly simplistic and unrealistic.
10/22/2009 1:04:49 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

RoguesPalace wrote:
pull all US forces out of Japan,and let the ungrateful bastarrds pay for their own defense, raise their own army, patrol their own waters, and go head to head with the N Koreans.... and while we are at it, withdraw the US nuclear umbrealla over Japan.... if the Japanese want to be treated as an equal nation, on an equal level, they need to provide for their own defense 100 percent,, after all, they are the 3rd or 4th largest economy in the world....they can find the money....
10/22/2009 1:03:55 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
FEAR the people who sent us on a LIE to Irak,AfPak to kill innocent civilians!!
10/22/2009 1:01:10 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jeff08 wrote:

kevrobb wrote:
jeff08, please explain how Obama has alienated Japan.

**************************************

Maybe you should try reading the article before posting. For example:

"despite warnings from the Obama administration that any reversal would spark serious consequences"

"Gates used a visit to Japan this week to pressure the government"

"Gates let his schedule do the talking, declining invitations to dine with Defense Ministry officials and to attend a welcome ceremony at the ministry"

"DPJ politicians have accused U.S. officials of not taking them seriously"

"The theatrics of Japan's relationship with Washington are new as well. Take, for instance, the dust-up last month between Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

"On Sept. 9, Morrell demanded that Japan continue its refueling operation in the Indian Ocean. The next day, Fujisaki responded that such a decision was 'up to Japan' and then said that Japan and the United States were 'not on such terms where we talk through spokespeople'"

So I guess you think this is how the US should treat one of our most important allies in the world?




10/22/2009 1:01:07 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
SSky,
Why should the world fear the USA?? Because your mouth is bigger and your voice sounds louder? Remember this: People who have nothing to hide, don't fear anybody! People who treat each other with respect, are free people. Fear the people who stole our habeas corpus!!


10/22/2009 12:56:44 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kabusn6198 wrote:
It's about time that Japan exercised its sovereignty and started doing what is right for Japan instead of towing the line of America. For too long, Japan has been willing to play the little brother role to America.

It is time that America come to grips with the fact that times have changed. While we may have the world's largest military, we are bogged down in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and we are the biggest debtor nation in the universe. The value of our dollar is shrinking as our nation debt is sky rocketing. China is on the rise while we are in decline. Japan, like much of the world, recognizes this power shift and is therefore taking a more neutral stance in the Asian theater. Who can blame them for thinks of themselves at this critical juncture?

If America desires to reorganize and relocate its military units, then it should rightfully be paid for by the American government.
10/22/2009 12:54:39 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hansenthered wrote:
JenDray wrote:
If the Japanese kept an armed force in America, and the American people elected a govt that promised to ask them to leave, and the Japanese refused to leave, would the Americans regard that as maintaining an alliance? No, they'd call it a military occupation.
==
As I said opinions change like the wind. The facts are that the sovereign government of Japan recently signed an agreement about US troops in Japan. The current government is duty bound to recognize the extant treaty or to ask to renegotiate it. They seem to want to do neither. Your use of circular logic only shows us that you do not grasp the diplomatic realities of the situation. If the DPJ want the US troops out of Japan, something they have, despite many posting on this board, ever asked for. If they are serious about US removal from Japan they can call on the US to sit down and discuss the issue. Until then, the DPJ will continue to pick and choose when to be annoyed about US forces, something they seem to be doing more to garner support from their left leaning base.

Of course the fact that we are speaking to Japan upsets many ultranationalists here in the US whom think speaking is a sign of weakness and fear should be the number one diplomatic tool. To me these right-winger commenter’s are just proof of how far off balance the conservative movement has become in the US.

10/22/2009 12:53:51 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
Jeff08 wrote:
"Russia and China combined can't match the US."

Actually, they match it exactly. If WW3 started tomorrow, the US would destroy them, and they would destroy the US.

That's what I call parity. The US just spends vastly more achieving it.
10/22/2009 12:46:38 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

twdindep wrote:
Oh, how the tables turn. Japan is saying it's no longer 1945 , now get out. This country can no longer push other nations around the way it once did. The US should just face facts. We've not won a war since 1945 and we're stretched so thin we couldn't defend ourselves if it came to that. Japan and China hold massive amounts of our debt that grows more every second. Without declaring war the rest of the world could bring the US to it's knees by just flooding the world with dollars until its not worth the paper it's printed on. When (not if) the mighty US dollar is no longer used as the international currency, then we'll realize we're not the infallable, better than the rest of the world people that some in this nation think we are. God help us.

10/22/2009 12:43:52 PM
Recommend (5)

twdindep wrote:
Oh, how the tables turn. Japan is saying it's no longer 1945 , now get out. This country can no longer push other nations around the way it once did. The US should just face facts. We've not won a war since 1945 and we're stretched so thin we couldn't defend ourselves if it came to that. Japan and China hold massive amounts of our debt that grows more every second. Without declaring war the rest of the world could bring the US to it's knees by just flooding the world with dollars until its not worth the paper it's printed on. When (not if) the mighty US dollar is no longer used as the international currency, then we'll realize we're not the infallable, better than the rest of the world people that some in this nation think we are. God help us.

10/22/2009 12:43:52 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
jeff08, please explain how Obama has alienated Japan. Are you saying he's being too hard on them, insisting on this base? I don't think so. So are you saying he's been too soft on them?

Or is it just that you blame Obama when it rains, blame Obama when you fart, blame Obama when you're late for work, blame Obama when your wife has a headache?

It's always about you guys, isn't it? No chance Japan could be changing policy because JAPAN just voted in a new party. No, it must be because Obama won the US election. Sure.
10/22/2009 12:43:22 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JenDray wrote:
If the Japanese kept an armed force in America, and the American people elected a govt that promised to ask them to leave, and the Japanese refused to leave, would the Americans regard that as maintaining an alliance? No, they'd call it a military occupation.

10/22/2009 12:34:17 PM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Truthisbitter wrote:
tch tch.. the call of 'Yankee go home' is ringing around the globe. The US empire is already on the decline and so these voices are getting bolder and stronger. The only true friend US has is the parasitic illegal state of Israel..and they too spy on us. Ironically, this is all our doing.
10/22/2009 12:33:03 PM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iseheijiro wrote:
I have lived in US for 40 years and I understand Obama administration's flustration about Anti-American Hatoyama administration very well. My advice to President Obama is to cancel his trip to Tokyo. The supporters of DPJ which is inclined to far left are fond of Barack Obama with no deep thought. When Obama cancels his trip to Tokyo they will receive a strong message of American discomfort well. Good luck! I love America and my country Nippon.
10/22/2009 12:32:35 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jeff08 wrote:

agapn9 wrote:
Bush weakened our country so much the Japanese aren't sure we can protect them anymore.

Sad but Americans are going to have to realize we aren't the superpower anymore - Russia, China are now thanks to GWB our equals.

***********************************************

Hilarious. Russia and China combined can't match the US. China couldn't even take Taiwan.

And as far as our allies go, Obama has now alienated England, France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, Colombia, Honduras, and Japan. Not to mention our own intelligence community and military.

But he's made the despots in Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, and Venezuela happy. Oh and the Nobel Committee too.

But you keep telling yourself it's all Bush's fault, while the Japanese and the rest of the world wonder why twelve year olds are in charge of American foreign policy.


10/22/2009 12:30:15 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JenDray wrote:
I'm sorry, let me get this straight.

1. The US says Japan is an ally.

2. The US has troops in Japan.

3. The people of Japan just voted in a government that said it would ask the American troops to leave.

4. The Americans refuse to leave.

Keeping an armed force on another country's sovereign territory against the clear wishes of its people is not the act of an ally.

In fact it's a lot closer to being an act of war.
10/22/2009 12:29:49 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JoeCitizen wrote:
We need to bail out of Japan like we did in the PI right after Pinatubo. Let them be responsible for their own defense and watch as their ageing population and GDP collapse under the weight. Those spoiled jap teens aren't going to serve in their Armed Forces.
10/22/2009 12:21:42 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

imhodudes wrote:
The next thing will be, what is Japan doing with it's reprocessed reactor fuel?

http://bit.ly/wYqeQ
10/22/2009 12:16:04 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hansenthered wrote:
iamafg wrote:
Why should Japan be tighly allied with the US when we refuse to sell them essential military equipment they need to defend themselves. I refer to the refusal of Gates and Obama to sell them the F-22 fighter. Cheers to Japan and shame on those two idiots.
10/22/2009 12:06:30 PM
==
Do you simply troll the posting looking for a chance to put down your president and government? I bet you think that your views are somehow representative of the majority of Americans. You simply show us that you are nothing but a spoiled and angry person who cannot cope with change and is scared of the future.

10/22/2009 12:15:11 PM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

hansenthered wrote:
Japan and the US have much more in common than not. Our relationship should be more even and the US needs to learn to respect that sometimes even your allies have different viewpoints. That doesn't mean that they are wrong or we are wrong. Healthy disagreement and the ability to speak frankly with one another are what foster long term relationships. In the end the US/Japan relationship is mutually beneficial to both sides. One thing I will say about the current DPJ folks is that opinions change like the wind. They should not seek to move to quickly in cutting US ties. Likewise the US needs to give them some room to move and not seek to dictate what is what.
10/22/2009 12:10:21 PM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iamafg wrote:
Why should Japan be tighly allied with the US when we refuse to sell them essential military equipment they need to defend themselves. I refer to the refusal of Gates and Obama to sell them the F-22 fighter. Cheers to Japan and shame on those two idiots.
10/22/2009 12:06:30 PM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

maxtel1910 wrote:
Wow, so this is what it's like when they world loves you again. They love us but don't trust or respect us.
10/22/2009 11:56:34 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kevrobb wrote:
There is not the slightest need for one single American soldier anywhere in Japan.

Who is going to invade Japan? North Korea? Japan has 9 times the military expenditure of North Korea.

In fact Japan's military spending this year is much higher than Russia's, and is not far behind China's.

Japan is about as susceptible to invasion as Alpha Centauri.

The American presence is not about defending Japan. It's about being in a good position to attack China.
10/22/2009 11:54:53 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

browneri wrote:
Why on earth do we still have troops in Japan? Who are they supposed to be fighting? This is a sqandering of US troop strength. If we want to increase US troops in Afghanistan we should ship all of our troops in Japan over to that country.
10/22/2009 11:52:30 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

-PBL- wrote:
WHY stay? If they don't want us , bring the troops home. Why use our tax dollars to protect people who hate us?
10/22/2009 11:49:38 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

melvin_polatnick wrote:
Shacking off military dependence on the U.S. is in Japans interest. They are a sovereign nation without enemies and do not need any protection. Japan now looks toward China for their economic and cultural future.
10/22/2009 11:46:20 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

lembukong wrote:
Military is big business. Japan is so developed and it is mind boggling why the shotgun marriage must go on. The US should stop 'either you are with me or not' childish attitude.
10/22/2009 11:44:33 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

belleneige wrote:
"Hatoyama said Gates's presence in Japan 'doesn't mean we have to decide everything.' "
In fact, Mr. Hatoyama said PRESIDENT OBAMA's presence in Japan "doesn't mean we have to decide everything."
http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/1022/TKY200910220430_01.html

eyemakeupneeded1 (10:18), I wonder how many readers could guess that Ms. Tanioka and Mr. Inuzuka are 9/11 truthers.
10/22/2009 11:42:46 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

agapn9 wrote:
Bush weakened our country so much the Japanese aren't sure we can protect them anymore.

Sad but Americans are going to have to realize we aren't the superpower anymore - Russia, China are now thanks to GWB our equals.
10/22/2009 11:32:03 AM
Recommend (2

agapn9 wrote:
Bush weakened our country so much the Japanese aren't sure we can protect them anymore.

Sad but Americans are going to have to realize we aren't the superpower anymore - Russia, China are now thanks to GWB our equals.
10/22/2009 11:32:03 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

therapy wrote:
commie red moles inside japans bureaucracy have become dominant inconspicuous zealots. the newly elected DPJ matriarchs are conspicuously advocating commie red agenda. maybe the usa should reconsider it's military disagreements with the patriarchs of al gebra.
10/22/2009 11:25:59 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

JSKEVV wrote:
U.S. Foreign Policy has really gone to $hit in the last few years, I am sure much of it has been due to the "We will tell you what you are going to do attitude" of the Bush Administration. Our Foreign Policy when it comes to Iraq, Israel, Japan, EU, etc... should be 1) if you don't work with us on issues of common interest, then WHEN China, Russie, Iran, etc... invade your country, we will be happy to help you, FOR A FEE ! We have spent the last 60 years funding the biggest military in the world and keeping the world safe from Dictators, just to have these countries start feeling like they no longer need us. We should focus on ourselves and let some of these other countries find out for themselves that maybe they don't know everything. When China decides to invade Japan, the only free Japanese will be those in the U.S. running Car plants for Toyota, Honda, etc... The U.S. can then nationalize those car companies (Japan will have become a territory of China by then). The U.S. needs to realize that if others don't want to play ball, we should re-examine our World roll, and work to rebuild our infrastructure, manufacturing capability, and refocus on our country. We will trade (on a fair playing field) with these other countries, but do so to our favor. I believe this is a lesson that England had to learn around the time of WWII when they realized that they were no longer the World Super Power they had been for the previous 300 years.
10/22/2009 11:23:46 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

IGiveup1 wrote:
"Other Asian nations have privately reacted with alarm to Hatoyama's call for the creation of the East Asian Community"

Kind of brings to mind the Far East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, doesn't it? I'd be nervous too.
10/22/2009 11:13:11 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Skkye wrote:
Thanks, Obama!!! "The world" does not fear us, nor respect us. Thank you, again.
10/22/2009 11:13:06 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

cleopatra11 wrote:
Well so Japan has decided that it wants some independence in making decisions about its foreign policy! Surprise! Surprise! Get over it and get used to it.
10/22/2009 11:05:15 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

forestbloggod wrote:
Japan has every right to want to extricate themselves from the US military presence and overall objectives.


they already aligned with Nazis once; the kinder, gentler crusaders from the West have their own soft-genocides happening:

a million dead Iraqis

white-phosphorous used on Palestinian civilians

thousands of murdered Afghan and Pakistani civilians


the torture and kidnapping of citizens from all over the world

the list goes on;


why would Japan want to contribute to a weak, semi-failed superstate's ambitions?
10/22/2009 11:00:44 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Michael36 wrote:
@brattykathi1

But bad news for folks who actually understand international relations.
10/22/2009 10:50:24 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

maxtel1910 wrote:
Chalk this up to 3 things:

1) The rise of China as an economic (and soon to be military super) power courtesy of a short sighted American trade policy.

2) The constant dithering of the Obama administration on foreign policy.

3) Throwing eastern Europe (Poland and Czech Repub.) and the former Soviet Republics (The Ukraine and Georgia) under the bus.

The Obamanistas can't blame this on Bush. This is a direct result of the One's community building. Don't want to be the Big Dog in the neighborhood anymore? Fine, someone's always waiting in line to take our place. The Japanese are thinking 50 years down the road.
10/22/2009 10:49:43 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

uzs106 wrote:
Now there are two and they know it. Centers of the world in that region and more. For Japan, it is back to pre 1845 as far as freedom is concerned, the importance of its own power. How isolated can countries be today? How isolated may they want to be?
10/22/2009 10:35:46 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

HassanAliAl-Hadoodi wrote:
Although he drives an Acura, whenever I mention Japan to my neighbor Chin Ho, he waves a finger and shouts what sounds like "Fung-gu!"
10/22/2009 10:33:44 AM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rlkidd58 wrote:
What suprises us so much is a government standing up for it's own interests, it is unfortunate that our government doesn't do the same.

10/22/2009 10:23:44 AM
Recommend (6) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rencarl5441 wrote:
same old story in dealing with the japanese--they ran circles around every one of our trade missions--their trade surplus with the u.s. is enormous--they have blocked every move of u.s. companies trying to gain a foothold and this government continually kow-tows--
10/22/2009 10:22:29 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
Gates, take care of America first; don't
forget you're only a guest, so be polite!!
10/22/2009 10:21:12 AM
Recommend (4) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

eyemakeupneeded1 wrote:
How many people reading this who are not Japanese could guess what Tanioka was talking about? Do your editors know that Kuniko is female? So why didn't Blaine Harden mention this?
10/22/2009 10:18:20 AM
Recommend (2) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

jvandeswaluw1 wrote:
The empire will fold like a deck of cards.
10/22/2009 10:16:47 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

KofiAgadzi wrote:
Well, yet one more sovereign country refuses to be run from Washington. Long Live Democracy !
10/22/2009 10:16:17 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

rancho3chico wrote:
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, august '45. They'll never forget!
10/22/2009 10:08:57 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

dr_vaman wrote:
Japan has a choice to make, it can choose to remove US Military from its bases, which most US citizens like it, since Japan can take care of itself and US needs to reduce its expenses to protect Japan. US also needs to find another base such as Hawaii and Guam which are part of US and therefore these idiotic political behaviors won't happen. US also needs to ensure that it chooses places like Singapore instead of Japan or S. Korea. The military policy of US is only to protect US and not either Japan or S. Korea or both. They can find their solutions independent of US.
10/22/2009 10:02:33 AM
Recommend (5) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

kent_gregory wrote:
Our deficit spending of the last 30 years, unwise trade deals, consumer debt and unncessary wars have diminished our stature. Though we are still the richest most powerful country, we are no longer the benevolent hedegmon of neo-con dreams. This means; we cannot dictate our terms to our friends, and our alliances are more important due to our diminished state - especially NATO.
10/22/2009 9:57:05 AM
Recommend (7

pooleside wrote:
Sadly, I had to go elsewhere to learn the basic facts surrounding this story. Bloomberg states, very succinctly,

"...seeking to alter an agreement between the two countries that would move the Futenma Airbase within Okinawa, which hosts almost half of the 50,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan. Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan wants to move the base off the island."

Hmmm. So the newly elected government is in favor of moving US troops off Japanese soil. I didn't know that before (before I read it in Bloomberg- the Post kept me in the dark).

I wonder what else the Post isn't saying...

"Hatoyama also said he hopes to come up with an aid package for Afghanistan before Obama comes to Tokyo. The assistance would replace the dispatch of Japanese naval refueling vessels to aid the U.S.-led war there that Hatoyama is ending in January."

Oh. The new government seeks to replace its aid to the US war effort with direct aid to the Afghans. Interesting. I wonder why the Post never mentioned that?





10/22/2009 9:54:45 AM
Recommend (3) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

iewgnem wrote:
"despite warnings from the Obama administration that any reversal would spark serious consequences. "
--------------------------------
I love this, what would the serious consequence be? Maybe the US will invade Japan? That'll be fun to watch. Or maybe economical sanctions? Oh wait, Japan is second only to China in being the US's creditor.

Gates and Obama need to realize what they are doing isn't help them getting Japan to go back to following the US like a puppy, if they keep up the arrogant and aggressive talks, not only do they lose a critical ally, the puppy might just turn into a hound against the US again, and this time, they will have China on their side. (Speaking of which, I bet Beijing is quite enjoying the show)
10/22/2009 9:47:22 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

notabeliever wrote:
Cheney says it is time to show them we still have nuclear weapons. It worked before.
10/22/2009 9:47:11 AM
Recommend (1) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

Jeff08 wrote:

So now Bambi and his amateur hour diplomatic corps have ticked off:

1) England
2) France
3) Germany
4) Poland
5) Czech Republic
6) Israel
7) Colombia
8) Honduras
9) Japan

in addition to the intelligence community and the military.

OTOH, the Iranian, North Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Venezuelan ruling juntas can't believe the good fortune that dropped this fool in their laps.

Thanks liberals!


10/22/2009 9:41:23 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

boblesch wrote:
how can we threaten - 'serious consequences' - what are we going to do - raise import taxes on subarus?
10/22/2009 9:38:24 AM
Recommend (9) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

lostinthemiddle wrote:
The relationship between Japan and America is too big to fail. As a result, the Japanese have had strong leverage in the relationship for years, leverage they have not cashed in. Now it looks like they are ready to maximize the benefits of our alliance. In truth, they have earned it.
10/22/2009 9:36:55 AM
Recommend (8) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

brattykathyi1 wrote:
The neo-fascist's dream of world domination is falling apart before their eyes. Their influence is dwindling as fast as the value of their dollars.
This is great news for those that value peace, prosperity, and freedom.
10/22/2009 9:25:41 AM
Recommend (7) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

atomikweasel wrote:
Appalling that the US thinks it appropriate to attempt to treat Japan as a vassal state. Even more appalling that it's unprepared for the consequences.

The US has its interests, and the Japanese have theirs. With the growth of Chinese power it is not likely that Japanese interests consist of providing the US with a bulwark against the Chinese.
10/22/2009 9:13:02 AM
Recommend (16)


>>Japan: No base decision soon
The Japanese government said Thursday it would take its time in deciding whether to renege on a military realignment plan involving U.S. bases, despite warnings from the Obama administration that any reversal would spark serious consequences.
- By John Pomfret and Blaine Harden









このページのトップへ

US 反米・鳩山政権に警告を出す

gates kitazawa 10.21.09
Washington concerned as new leaders in Tokyo look to redefine alliance
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa in Tokyo, pushed Japan to stick with a 2006 deal. (bloomberg News)

U.S. pressures Japan on military package

By John Pomfret and Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 22, 2009

Worried about a new direction in Japan's foreign policy, the Obama administration warned the Tokyo government Wednesday of serious consequences if it reneges on a military realignment plan formulated to deal with a rising China.

The comments from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates underscored increasing concern among U.S. officials as Japan moves to redefine its alliance with the United States and its place in Asia. In August, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan won an overwhelming victory in elections, ending more than 50 years of one-party rule.

For a U.S. administration burdened with challenges in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and China, troubles with its closest ally in Asia constitute a new complication.

A senior State Department official said the United States had "grown comfortable" thinking about Japan as a constant in U.S. relations in Asia. It no longer is, he said, adding that "the hardest thing right now is not China, it's Japan."

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the new ruling party lacks experience in government and came to power wanting politicians to be in charge, not the bureaucrats who traditionally ran the country from behind the scenes. Added to that is a deep malaise in a society that has been politically and economically adrift for two decades.

In the past week, officials from the DPJ have announced that Japan would withdraw from an eight-year-old mission in the Indian Ocean to refuel warships supporting U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. They have also pledged to reopen negotiations over a $26 billion military package that involves relocating a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter base in Japan and moving 8,000 U.S. Marines from Japan to Guam. After more than a decade of talks, the United States and Japan agreed on the deal in 2006.

The atmospherics of the relationship have also morphed, with Japanese politicians now publicly contradicting U.S. officials.

U.S. discomfort was on display Wednesday in Tokyo as Gates pressured the government, after meetings with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, to keep its commitment to the military agreement.

"It is time to move on," Gates said, warning that if Japan pulls apart the troop "realignment road map," it would be "immensely complicated and counterproductive."

In a relationship in which protocol can be imbued with significance, Gates let his schedule do the talking, declining invitations to dine with Defense Ministry officials and to attend a welcome ceremony at the ministry.

Hatoyama said Gates's presence in Japan "doesn't mean we have to decide everything."

For decades, the alliance with the United States was a cornerstone of Japanese policy, but it was also a crutch. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party outsourced many foreign policy decisions to Washington. The base realignment plan, for example, was worked out as a way to confront China's expanding military by building up Guam as a counterweight to Beijing's growing navy and by improving missile defense capabilities to offset China and North Korea's increasingly formidable rocket forces.

The DPJ rode to power pledging to be more assertive in its relations with the United States and has seemed less committed to a robust military response to China's rise. On the campaign trail, Hatoyama vowed to reexamine what he called "secret" agreements between the LDP and the United States over the storage or transshipment of nuclear weapons in Japan -- a sensitive topic in the only country that has endured nuclear attacks.

Hatoyama also pushed the idea of an East Asian Community, a sort of Asian version of the European Union, with China at its core.

Soon after the election, U.S. officials dismissed concerns that change was afoot, saying campaign rhetoric was to blame. Although most of those officials still say the alliance is strong, there is worry the DPJ is committed to transforming Japan's foreign policy -- but exactly how is unclear.

DPJ politicians have accused U.S. officials of not taking them seriously. Said Tadashi Inuzuka, a DPJ member of the upper house of Japan's parliament, the Diet: "They should realize that we are the governing party now."

Kent Calder, the director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a longtime U.S. diplomat in Japan, said that if Hatoyama succeeds in delaying a decision on the military package until next year, U.S. officials fear it could unravel.

Other Asian nations have privately reacted with alarm to Hatoyama's call for the creation of the East Asian Community because they worry that the United States would be shut out.

"I think the U.S. has to be part of the Asia-Pacific and the overall architecture of cooperation within the Asia-Pacific," Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said on a trip to Japan this month.

The theatrics of Japan's relationship with Washington are new as well. Take, for instance, the dust-up last month between Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

On Sept. 9, Morrell demanded that Japan continue its refueling operation in the Indian Ocean. The next day, Fujisaki responded that such a decision was "up to Japan" and then said that Japan and the United States were "not on such terms where we talk through spokespeople." This Monday, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada announced that Japan would end the mission in January.

Then, at a seminar in Washington on Oct. 14, Kuniko Tanioka, a DPJ member in the upper house, went head-to-head with Kevin Maher, director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs, over the Futenma Air Station deal. Maher said the deal had been completed. Tanioka said the negotiations lacked transparency.

Maher noted that a senior DPJ official had agreed that the deal must go through, at which point Tanioka snapped back, "I'm smarter than he is."

"I have never seen this in 30 years," Calder said. "I haven't heard Japanese talking back to American diplomats that often, especially not publicly. The Americans usually say, 'We have a deal,' and the Japanese respond, 'Ah soo desu ka,' -- we have a deal -- and it's over. This is new."








このページのトップへ

米世論は真っ二つ

west kabul
タリバンは大胆不敵だ。カブールの西で、こんな襲撃が起きる。日本でこんなテロが起きたら?と考えてしまう。アメリカの世論は真っ二つだ。兵員増派(4万)を今月中に、決定しなければならない。オバマは、民主党の反対多数と、共和党の多数の賛成のはざまで苦悶している。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

U.S. deeply split on troop increase for Afghan war
LESS SUPPORT FOR OBAMA
Majority says nation lacks clear strategy


By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

As President Obama and his war cabinet deliberate a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, Americans are evenly and deeply divided over whether he should send 40,000 more troops there, and public approval of the president's handling of the situation has tumbled, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

U.S. deeply split on troop increase for Afghan war
Results: Washington Post-ABC Poll
Obama's Afghanistan challenge

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has recommended the substantial increase in troop strength, and 47 percent of those polled favor the buildup, while 49 percent oppose it. Most on both sides hold their views "strongly." The survey also found that a large majority of Americans say the administration lacks a clear plan for dealing with the problems in Afghanistan.

The troop decision is one of the most complex and fateful strategic security choices of Obama's presidency. It also carries great political risk, whichever way he goes.

Ordering more U.S. forces to Afghanistan could open a rift with Obama's fellow Democrats, most of whom call the battle "not worth fighting" and adamantly oppose the idea. But the Republicans polled take diametrically opposed views on the war, and a decision not to accept the commander's recommendation probably would heighten their opposition to the president.

Adding to Obama's political predicament is that few support winnowing the mission in Afghanistan to a targeted focus on anti-U.S. elements, a position supported by some in the administration. Such a move could lessen the need for additional troops.


A day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to a runoff election -- following an investigation by an international panel that found pervasive irregularities in the first round of voting -- the poll showed that two-thirds of the U.S. public also considers the election deeply flawed, with evidence of widespread fraud. That negative appraisal was generally consistent across party and ideological lines.

Obama has conducted a weeks-long review of his Afghanistan strategy, after implementing a new course in the spring that included sending more troops to battle al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that he expects a decision on a revised strategy and troops within weeks -- well before the results of the runoff election are certified.

As the administration's review continues, 57 percent of those polled approve of how Obama is carrying out his duties as commander in chief, but confidence in his leadership on the Afghan war has eroded since the spring. In previous polls, Obama received some of his highest ratings in relation to his dealings with Afghanistan, including 63 percent approval in April of his handling of the situation there. In the latest poll, 45 percent approve, down 10 percentage points in the past month alone, and 47 percent disapprove, an increase of 10 points. Nearly a third of those surveyed say they strongly disapprove.

The sharpest drop in support for Obama's work on Afghanistan has come among Republicans. In September, a bare majority of party members, 51 percent, approved of his performance on this issue; in the new poll, that support has plummeted to 22 percent, with 71 percent opposed.

The falloff has come as Republican leaders have escalated their criticism of Obama, accusing him of dithering and delay at a time when, they say, his military commander has expressed a sense of urgency about deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and the need for more troops to win the war.

About two-thirds of Democrats give Obama positive marks on Afghanistan, essentially unchanged, but there has been some erosion among independents. Over the past month, they have gone from narrowly positive to narrowly negative in their appraisals.

Obama faces a possible loss of support among his Democratic base if he decides to order the kind of substantial troop increase McChrystal recommended. Just a third of Democrats favor sending about 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, with 61 percent opposed -- 51 percent strongly so.

The troop issue clearly exposes the partisan divide. The new poll found that more than two-thirds of all Republicans favor an increase, including 51 percent who strongly support McChrystal's recommendation.

Independents divide on the troop issue, with 47 percent favoring a substantial increase and 50 percent opposing it.

On the question of whether the administration has a clear strategy for Afghanistan, 63 percent of all Americans say it does not. More than eight in 10 Republicans, about two-thirds of independents and nearly half of Democrats think the administration does not have a clear plan.

When it comes to strategic priorities, the public places about equal emphasis on preventing the establishment of al-Qaeda bases and keeping the Taliban from returning to power, upping the ante on the impending troop decision.

Some administration officials argue that the United States should focus on fighting al-Qaeda and those elements of the Taliban that directly threaten U.S. security. A concentration on "anti-terrorism," as opposed to "anti-insurgent," as the rival camps have been described, would mitigate the force requirement to meet the objectives.

The new poll revealed little public interest in redefining the goal: Four in five Americans say U.S. policy should aim to prevent all elements of the Taliban from regaining power in Afghanistan, even if certain segments of the movement do not support terrorism against the United States. About two-thirds of those polled place a "high priority" on stopping the Taliban from taking over, and just as many prioritize guarding against new al-Qaeda camps. On these questions, there are minimal differences across party lines.

Most, regardless of political leanings, also say the United States should attack al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders across the border in Pakistan, although fewer call this a top priority. Fewer still prioritize economic development or working to establish a stable democracy in Afghanistan, although majorities say the United States should be doing these things.

Some critics of U.S. policy have warned that the nation could be headed toward a Vietnam War-like quagmire in Afghanistan. About a third in the Post-ABC News poll said they agreed with that assessment, while about three in five said they think that will be avoided. There is both partisan and ideological agreement on this question.

The poll was conducted by conventional and cellular telephone from Oct. 15 to 18 among a random sample of 1,004 adults. The margin of sampling error for the full poll is plus or minus three percentage points.

このページのトップへ

"前進するときだ"ゲーツ鳩山会談

Gates pushes Japan on troop realignment

By Phil Stewart and Isabel Reynolds
Reuters
Tuesday, October 20, 2009; 11:56 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday pressed Japan to quickly implement a troop realignment deal that could test ties with Tokyo's month-old government.

"It is time to move on," Gates said at a news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa after they held talks on alliance issues. "This may not be the perfect alternative for anyone, but it is the best alternative for everyone."

A broad plan to reorganize U.S. forces in Japan was agreed in 2006 with Japan's long-dominant conservative party after a 1996 deal failed to gain support of local residents, many of whom associate the bases with crime, noise, pollution and accidents.

Kitazawa said he had pointed out the political difficulties involved in the deal, but added he felt spending a lot of time reaching a decision would not be healthy for the alliance.

Japan's Democratic Party-led government has pledged to steer a diplomatic course less dependent on close security ally Washington.


That has prompted concern that security relations between the world's two biggest economies could suffer at a time when China's economic clout and military power is growing and North Korea remains as unpredictable as ever.

"Needless to say, the new administration will place great importance on and cherish our alliance," Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told Gates at the start of their meeting earlier in the day.

"Under the circumstances in which uncertainties remain in this Northeast Asia region, I think it is imperative to maintain and develop our alliance even further."

OBAMA TO VISIT

Gates' visit is intended to lay the groundwork for U.S. President Barack Obama's November 12-13 trip to Tokyo, his first as president to the key trade partner.

The realignment pact is meant to reduce the U.S. military "footprint" on the southern island of Okinawa while improving the ability of the two forces to cooperate.

Central to the deal is a plan to shift a U.S. Marine air base on Okinawa to a less crowded part of the southern island.

Hatoyama has said he wants the base moved off the island, but U.S. officials have ruled that out, saying it would undermine broader security arrangements that took more than a decade to negotiate.

Gates told reporters on his plane before arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday that he saw no alternatives to the original plan, but Japan has suggested it needs more time to work out its stance.

"Our new government has its own thoughts. We would like to spend time and reach a good result," Kyodo news agency quoted Hatoyama as telling reporters ahead of his meeting with Gates.

The United States was the biggest destination for Japan's exports last year. The two countries accounted for about a third of global GDP in 2007, although analysts predict China could overtake Japan as the world's No.2 economy next year.

Few analysts expect the bilateral strains to spill over into economic ties between the two countries, but some say geopolitical uncertainty in the region could eventually affect investment decisions.

Gates will visit South Korea later on Wednesday.
このページのトップへ

ゲーツ国防長官訪日

gates in haneda 10.20.09

10・20・09 ロバート・ゲーツ国防長官は、ベッキー婦人を伴って、羽田に軍用機で着いた。ルース大使や軍関係者が出迎えた。早速、外務省へ出向き、岡田克也外相と30分の会談を行った。日本の新聞では報じられなかった微妙な違いがこのAPの記事にはある。ゲーツは、民主主義の原理である日本国民の民意を尊重しながらも、「日米で取り決めた約束を守るように」と促している。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ


Gates: Disputed US airfield should stay on Okinawa


By LARA JAKES
The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 20, 2009; 9:11 AM

TOKYO -- U.S. leaders expect Japan's new government to stick with existing agreements between the two nations, America's top defense official said Tuesday amid debate over whether to shutter a U.S. military air field on Okinawa. Japanese officials, however, signaled that they expect flexibility from the U.S.

Pentagon chief Robert Gates did not specifically mention the controversy over the Futenma base, a major U.S. Marines hub, during brief public remarks with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. But he made clear that the Obama administration would frown on any action by Tokyo to block a new runway at another base on Okinawa when Futenma is closed.

"As your government exercises its new responsibilities, I want you to know the United States stands with you," Gates told Okada at the start of their half-hour meeting in Tokyo. "And we are committed to advancing and implementing our agreed alliance transformation agenda."

Okada told Gates the administration of newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama would seek a "deeper and sustainable" relationship with the U.S. "Of course, we have a lot of challenges," Okada added.

At issue is the fate of the air field following Hatoyama's election last month. Hatoyama told reporters Monday night, "We will choose an appropriate time to come to a conclusion after thoroughly reviewing the situation and process of the agreement." Hatoyama said he was well aware of the weight of the agreement between the two past governments. "But it is also important for both of us to be flexible."


Three years ago, U.S. and Japanese officials agreed to shift 8,000 Marines in Okinawa to the U.S. territory of Guam and to move the Futenma air field base to Camp Schwab, also on the southern Japanese island.

But some members of Hatoyama's government want all remaining U.S. troops moved out of Japan altogether. Okinawa residents have complained that the military bases cause too much noise and crime.

A Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of Japan-U.S. security alliance said Gates reiterated his stance on the Futenma base issue, saying the current plan is the only one that can be achieved and it should be implemented as soon as possible under the current agreement.

Okada responded that he is well aware of the importance of the agreement but asked Gates to understand the change of political environment in Japan. He said Japan also hoped to resolve the air station relocation issue as quickly as possible but asked the U.S. to understand difficulties in Okinawa. He did not mention any timeline to resolve the issue.

U.S. officials hope to resolve the issue by the time President Barack Obama arrives in Japan early next month. Gates will meet with Hatoyama on Wednesday.

If the base were forced to move, Gates suggested that the entire deal to relocate troops to Guam might fall through. "It's hard for me to believe that the Congress would support going forward in Guam without real progress with respect to the Futenma replacement facility," he told reporters aboard his military jet on the way to Japan.

He said that other, unidentified locations for the air field that were reviewed by the U.S. and Japanese governments were either politically or operationally impossible.

Gates said he had no problem with Hatoyama's decision to review the agreement, and cited "some flexibility" in terms of where, precisely, a new runway might be built at Camp Schwab. But ultimately, Gates said, the runway location is a matter for the local Okinawa government to decide with Tokyo.

The United States is Japan's key military ally, and an estimated 50,000 American troops are deployed there.

Another issue, that of Japan withdrawing two of its naval ships from the Indian Ocean - tankers that have been used as refueling pit stops for Afghanistan-bound allies - was also discussed.

Gates told Okada that Japan's naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean is a major support for the U.S. coalition forces, though whether to continue the mission is Japan's decision. Gates urged Japan to continue providing "strong" support for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Okada repeated that Japan is not automatically extend the refueling mission and that the government is currently considering several Afghan reconstruction projects in areas Japan can best use its resources. The ministry briefer, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to ministry policy, did not specify the projects that are under way.

--
このページのトップへ

ベトナム戦争の亡霊



ベトナム戦争は今でもアメリカ国民の戦争への心理に影響している。52%の米国市民は「アフガニスタンはベトナム化した」と信じている。米民主党は戦時に弱い政権だというパーセプションがある。ケリー、ヒラリー、オバマも、大統領選のキャンペーンでは、「戦時にも対応できる」と強調しなければならなかった。オバマは米軍増派を決断するのか?このアフガニスタン戦争がオバマのベトナムなのか?伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ


"52" That's the percentage of Americans who believe the war in Afghanistan has turned into a situation like the one the United States faced in Vietnam, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey.

That a majority of the CNN sample believe there is a direct correlation between Afghanistan and Vietnam should be of significant concern to the Obama administration given the lingering influence of the three-decades old conflict on the American psyche and the president's upcoming decision regarding troop levels in the country.

The difficulties of "winning" the war in Vietnam -- a hard-to-pin-down enemy, uncertain goals that changed frequently -- turned that conflict into a political nightmare, playing a major role in President Lyndon Johnson's decision not to run for reelection in 1968 and vexing President Richard Nixon for years as well. These challenges are also frequently cited in describing the current situation in Afghanistan.

The specter of Vietnam shadowed the political process for decades after the war ended -- with Democrats spending years trying to convince the American public that they could be tough on foreign countries when the situation demanded it.

(So powerful was the legacy of Vietnam on the Democratic party that many people viewed -- and continue to view -- the 2002 vote for the use of force resolution against Iraq through that lens. Votes by people like Sens. John Kerry (Mass.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) were seen as necessary to avoid being attacked by Republicans as soft of matters of national defense in a national presidential election.)

In many ways, the election of President Obama seemed to end that stage of American politics as the war in Vietnam was eclipsed by the flaws with then President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq in voters' minds.

But, the data from CNN provides a stark reminder for the administration that the conflict in Afghanistan is viewed very skeptically by the public.

Less than four in ten voters favor adding more troops to Afghanistan while 59 percent said they opposed such a move. Within that 59 percent who opposed adding troops, 28 percent wanted to withdraw all troops, 21 percent wanted to reduce the number of boots on the ground and eight percent wanted to keep troop levels the same.

From a political perspective, these numbers cast Afghanistan as something close to a no-win situation for the president. With the wars in Vietnam and Iraq as a backdrop, voters are worried about further involving U.S. troops in a conflict where victory may be hard to define.

How President Obama decides to move forward in Afghanistan and, as importantly, how that decision plays with the American public will have a major say in how the incumbent looks at he prepares for his 2012 reelection bid.
このページのトップへ

アメリカそのものに価値がある

us tresury bond
米ドル(USD)が記録的な下落中にも拘わらず、USボンド~USビル~USノートの三種の米国債は売れている。この理由は多くあるが、やはり、「アメリカそのもののに、価値がある」ということだろうか。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

Treasuries Show No Lost Appetite With Dollar Declines

By Liz Capo McCormick and Daniel Kruger

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Investors can’t get enough Treasuries even as the U.S. budget deficit climbs beyond $1 trillion, the government sells a record amount of debt and the dollar declines to the weakest level since August 2008.

Foreign buyers increased their holdings for a fourth consecutive month in August, to an all-time high of $3.45 trillion, according to Treasury Department data released Oct. 16. U.S. demand is being spurred by a rising savings rate and concern the economic recovery may falter. Fixed-income funds have attracted 18 times more money than stock funds this year, according to data compiled by Morningstar Inc. and Bloomberg.

Bond investors see no reason to abandon Treasuries with the Federal Reserve likely to keep interest rates on hold until at least the second half of 2010. The 15 percent drop in Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s U.S. Dollar Index from its high this year on March 4 means international investors can buy U.S. debt more cheaply without worrying that speculation about interest rates will boost volatility and erode returns.

“The same yield is more attractive” to foreigners because of the weaker greenback, said Todd White, who oversees government debt trading in Minneapolis at RiverSource Investments, which manages $90 billion of bonds.

International investors owned $3.45 trillion of Treasuries in August, up from $3.08 trillion in December. China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, with $797.1 billion, shifted purchases from bills to notes and bonds, buying $15.3 billion in so-called coupon securities in August, government data showed. It owned $727.4 billion in December.

‘Most Liquid Markets’

“The U.S. continues to provide one of the deepest and most liquid markets available for investing,” said Wan-Chong Kung, who helps oversee $89 billion as a portfolio manager in Minneapolis at FAF Advisors, a unit of U.S. Bancorp.

Investors outside the U.S. bought 44 percent of the $1.6 trillion of notes and bonds sold by the President Barack Obama’s and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this year, compared with 27 percent of the $631 billion issued at this point in 2008, government figures show. Barclays Plc, one of the 18 primary dealers that trade with the Fed, forecasts issuance to climb to a record $2.1 trillion this year, and $2.5 trillion in 2010.

Rising demand at Treasury auctions has helped to push the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down from this year’s high of 4 percent on June 11 to 3.41 percent on Oct. 16. Indirect bidders, an investor class that includes central banks, bought 47.4 percent of the $20 billion of 10-year notes sold Oct. 7, compared with an average of 32.7 percent for the past 10 sales.

Not So ‘Terrible’

Purchases rose even as after Merrill Lynch & Co.’s Treasury Master Index of U.S. bonds fell 4.46 percent between December and the end of June, the worst first half on record. The index has gained 1.46 percent since mid-year.

The weakening of the dollar is “terrible news for practically all of the rest of the world’s economies,” except the U.S. and China, Harvard University Professor Niall Ferguson said in an Oct. 16 interview on Bloomberg Radio. China, which manages the yuan’s appreciation, will “intervene to make sure the dollar does not weaken” relative to its currency, added Ferguson, author of “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.”

The greenback will end the year at $1.50 per euro, compared with $1.4917 today, according to the median estimate of 43 forecasters in a Bloomberg survey. Against the yen, the dollar is projected to finish the year at 90 versus 90.79.

‘Settle Down’

Yields on 10-year notes have moved between 3.1 percent and 3.89 percent since June, less than 50 percent of the range in the first half, amid speculation the Fed won’t raise rates before mid-2010. Citigroup Inc. and Societe General SA are among firms advising investors to use options to bet volatility will fall further. Options give the right to buy or sell a security for a certain amount, the strike price, by a given date.

“We are in the camp that the Fed isn’t going to change policy anytime soon, and therefore feel comfortable selling volatility in the fixed-income market to add yield,” said Tim Freeman, head of U.S. equity derivative sales in New York at Capstone Global Markets LLC, which specializes in volatility trading. “The financial system is beginning to settle down and re-capitalize itself. Volatility across asset classes should continue to come under pressure.”

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his fellow policy makers cut the target rate for overnight loans between banks to a range of zero to 0.25 percent at the end of 2008. They will keep the target there until August, when central bankers will boost it to 0.5 percent, according to the median estimate of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8.

Recession Relapse

U.S. central bankers doubted the durability of the recovery last month and for the first time signaled they were open to increasing purchases of mortgage bonds to prop up the housing market, minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Sept. 22- 23 meeting released Oct. 14 in Washington showed.

Policy makers considered a relapse into recession a bigger risk than a near-term rise in prices, the minutes showed. They predicted “cautious” consumer spending, business investment and hiring. At the same time, they repeated their pledge to keep borrowing costs low for “an extended period.”

“The economic news, while mixed, still portrays an economy which could fall short of people’s expectations,” said Gary Pollack, who helps oversee $12 billion as head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank AG’s Private Wealth Management unit in New York. “The expectations are that growth in 2010 will be less than in the second half of 2009. Inflation is not expected to rise for the near term.”

Pimco Buys Treasuries

The U.S. has lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, including a 263,000 drop in September payrolls. The difference between yields on 2-year notes and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities of the same maturity, which reflects the outlook among traders for consumer prices through 2011, ended last week at 0.53 percentage point. The rate of inflation rose 2.87 percent on average between 2002 and 2008.

Pacific Investment Management Co., based in Newport Beach, California, and a unit of Munich-based insurer Allianz SE, predicts the economy is in for a sustained period of below- normal growth. Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pimco, bought government-related debt last month and cut mortgage bond holdings to the lowest level since 2005.

He said he was buying longer-maturity Treasuries because of deflation concerns. Gross boosted the $185.7 billion Total Return Fund’s investment in Treasuries, so-called agency debt and other government-linked bonds to 48 percent of assets in September from 25 percent in July, according to Pimco’s Web site. The holdings are the most since August 2004.

Headed Higher

The majority of economists and strategist surveyed by Bloomberg say yields have bottomed and are headed higher. The median of 57 estimates is for the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps determined rates on everything from mortgages to corporate bonds, to rise to 4.18 percent by the end of 2010.

The yield would still be less than the average 7.24 percent since 1980.

Increased demand for U.S. debt by banks is also helping keep yields low. The rate of U.S. household savings rose to 5.9 percent in May, compared with 0.8 percent in April 2008.

Buying lower-risk securities, such as Treasuries, allows banks to shore up balance sheets after taking more than $1.6 trillion in writedowns and losses since the start of 2007 by pocketing the difference between overnight borrowing costs and government bond yields.

The spread between the federal funds rate and the 10-year Treasury yield, now at 3.19 percentage points, reached 3.7 percentage points in June, the widest since 2004. The average over the past 20 years is 1.46 percentage points.

Banks Park Cash

Bank holdings of U.S. Treasury and agency securities increased $287 billion, or 25 percent, since the end of 2007 to $1.42 trillion in September, according to Fed data tracked by Bloomberg. In 2006 and 2007, holdings shrunk 2.4 percent to $1.23 trillion.

Even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied last week above 10,000 for the first time in a year, from 6,500 in March, investors have been pouring money into bond funds at a faster pace than stock funds.

A net $254.6 billion was added to bond funds during the first nine months of 2009, compared with $14.5 billion for stock managers, according to Chicago-based Morningstar. Almost $3.45 trillion remains in U.S. money-market accounts, up from about $2.5 trillion in mid-2007, just before the financial crisis intensified, data from Washington-based Investment Company Institute show.

“There is a lot of cash on the sidelines that needs to be put to work with over $3 trillion sitting in money market funds,” said Bret Barker, an interest rate specialist at Metropolitan West Asset Management in Los Angeles, with $25 billion in fixed-income assets.
このページのトップへ

タリバンをカネで買う

taliban reintegrated
比較的過激ではないタリバンがいる。一日$10ドルで、こっちの兵隊にならんか?アフガン警察のポリスになると給与は一月$120だ。“アフガンにとって、どっちが勝者か?どっちの給料がいいか?は重要だ”に対して、“いいえ、そんなことはない。彼らの戦争目的は外国人をアフガニスタンから追い出すことだから”と意見は真逆である。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

By Karen DeYoung
Monday, October 19, 2009

"Not every Taliban is an extremist ally," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last week. One of the primary tasks of President Obama's Afghanistan strategy review, she said, is "trying to sort out who is the real enemy."

Trying to persuade those insurgents deemed less extreme to lay down their arms or switch sides will be a major component of the Obama administration's new approach, regardless of whether the president approves the massive troop deployments requested by his military commander, according to administration officials.

But sorting the "reconcilables" -- what the U.S. military calls the "little T" -- from the "big T" of hard-core Taliban members is no small task. Even if the Americans and Europeans are able to tell them apart, neither they nor Afghan officials have a comprehensive plan to persuade them to stop fighting.

And many analysts, particularly in the CIA, do not believe that a substantial "little T" exists among what the agency estimates is a total of about 25,000 fighters in the Afghan Taliban and related insurgent groups. "Small pockets of Taliban members may be convinced under certain conditions to enter into such a process," a U.S. counterterrorism official said, but "it's an uphill battle for most."

"I'm not saying you can't buy off a few guys or get a faction to turn," he added, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. "But as a general matter, our view is that it would be a very difficult thing to accomplish." The prospects for reconciliation, he said, are "dim and grim."

A better paycheck

Others within the administration and the military are convinced that many fighters, even if culturally and religiously attuned to the Taliban, are doing a job that they might abandon for more money. "Our analysis," and that of the Afghan government, Clinton said in an interview with ABC's "Nightline," is that "there are people, quote 'Taliban,' who are hiding because they get paid to fight. They have no other way of making a living . . . [and] get paid more to be in the Taliban than they get paid to be, like, say, a local police officer."


As it did in Iraq, where Sunni insurgents were given $300 a month to join U.S.-backed neighborhood security forces, the military is developing a program to put lapsed Afghan insurgents on the payroll, albeit at a cheaper rate than the Iraqis. Although potential recruits are often referred to in policy debates as "$10-a-day Taliban," the stipend will probably be slightly better than the $120 monthly police salary.

"Economic opportunity, especially job creation, is a critical part of reintegrating the foot-soldier into normal life," Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, wrote in an assessment of the deteriorating war delivered to Obama last month.

McChrystal drew a distinction between "reconciliation" -- which he defined as "high-level political settlements" negotiated by the Afghan government -- and "reintegration," offered by the international military coalition.

"As coalition operations proceed," he wrote, "insurgents will have three choices: fight, flee or reintegrate. ISAF [the International Security Assistance Force] must identify opportunities to reintegrate former mid-to-low level insurgent fighters into normal society by offering them a way out" with "reasonable incentives . . . possibly including the provision of employment and protection."

The authority to give insurgents the option of being "killed, captured or reintegrated" would be decentralized to ISAF field commanders, in coordination with the Afghan government.

A number of experts said McChrystal has too few troops to credibly promise any of those choices. Obama, they argued, cannot achieve reconciliation or reintegration without committing to a larger U.S. force.

"The simplest way to put it is that whether they're getting paid or they're deeply ideologically committed, they all want to be on the winning side," said former CIA clandestine officer Henry A. Crumpton, who led the agency's Afghanistan campaign that overthrew the Taliban in 2001. Whatever their motivation, he said, most insurgents are "thinking about who's going to have the momentum and who's going to have the stamina."

"That would argue for putting in more troops, so we can regain the momentum," Crumpton said. "It's not as simple as paying people off. There's a lot of pride and prestige and honor at play . . . and you have to factor in tribal loyalties."

A way of life

Reconciliation does require "distinguishing the 'good' Taliban from the 'bad,' " Afghanistan expert Michael Semple wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine this summer. But the insurgent movement "contains legions of men who fight for reasons that have nothing to do with Islamic zealotry. For many, insurgency is a way of life. . . . And even if many fighters are fundamentally nonideological, membership in an insurgent network -- in which elders and peers tell them that opposing foreign forces is virtuous -- offers a kind of respectability."

Crumpton and Semple noted that scores of Taliban leaders -- some now in the Afghan government -- defected between 2002 and 2004, when the United States had military momentum and Taliban forces were on the run.

But experts, some of whom have briefed Obama or his senior advisers, differ on how to approach the ranks of insurgent leaders from just below the top political level to the local commanders who control little more than their own valley or village.

One senior U.S. military official, among the relative few to question McChrystal's call for more troops to be deployed to Afghan population centers, said no Afghan-wide reintegration plan was likely to succeed. Rather than beginning with a dubious threat of overwhelming force, he advised, reconciliation should start from the bottom up, with groups of trained military and intelligence specialists who understand the country's cultural and ethnic disparities spreading out and engaging in the painstaking work of making local deals.

Others suggest a top-down strategy in which respected Afghans within or outside the government negotiate with more senior insurgent leaders, possibly at their headquarters in Pakistan. "Simply putting out a few incentives for low-level people simply doesn't deliver," said another Afghan expert who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "You have to have commanders cut deals and bring in whole networks."

Still others believe that the United States and its allies have deceived themselves into thinking the Taliban and its allies -- the Haqqani and Hezb-e Islami groups -- can be broken into pieces by either carrots or sticks. "It's a nationally organized movement," said Gilles Dorronsoro of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The Taliban are not this kind of loosely organized group, doing whatever they want at the local level. It's wishful thinking. Not true. Dead wrong."

"Take the Taliban seriously," Dorronsoro advised. "Stop thinking that they are this kind of losers. These guys are really, really good. . . . They know why they are fighting."

Although the Afghan government has its own reconciliation program, it is woefully underfunded and has little political heft. President Hamid Karzai has said that anyone who is willing to stop shooting and respect the constitution is welcome. So far, he's had virtually no takers.

このページのトップへ

捨てられた南部

eugine robinson
ワシントン・ポスト紙のコラムニスト、ユージン・ロビンソンは、最も、オバマを強く支持してきた人である。だが、ニューオーリンズは、カトリーナの被害を受けて5年、なお、市内病院すらも閉鎖したままだ。ミシシッピー、アラバマにはオバマは一度も尋ねなかった。南部は捨てられたと感じている。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

The Biggest Disappointment of the Obama Presidency

オバマ大統領に最も失望した日

President Obama's brief display of drive-by compassion Thursday in New Orleans was, for me, by far the worst outing of his presidency thus far -- and the biggest disappointment.

I covered Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath -- the flood in New Orleans that drowned a great city, the storm surge in Mississippi that erased whole communities, the devastation, the agony. For weeks afterwards, I had trouble sleeping. I couldn't forget the scenes I'd witnessed or the stories I'd heard.

More than a year later, I covered a Senate subcommittee hearing in New Orleans on the lagging reconstruction effort. I watched as a young senator who was thought to be considering a presidential run -- that would be Barack Obama -- used his Harvard Law skills to eviscerate Bush-era officials for not doing enough to rebuild and revive the Gulf Coast region.


So it was strange and disheartening that Obama would wait nine months to make his first visit to New Orleans as president. It was stunning that he would spend only a few hours on the ground and that he wouldn't set foot in Mississippi or Alabama at all. But worst of all was the way he seemed to dismiss the idea that his administration could and should be doing much more.

I know that local officials say the Obama administration is more responsive and more effective than the Bush administration, but that's not saying much. What says more is that New Orleans still doesn't have an operational full-service hospital. And that an adequate flood barrier is still not in place.

"I wish I could just write a check," Obama said. If that was his message, he should have stayed home. We now know that our government can make hundreds of billions of dollars available to irresponsible Wall Street institutions within a matter of days, if necessary. We can open up the floodgates of credit to too-big-to-fail banks at the stroke of a pen. But when it comes to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, well, these things take time.

I doubt these are the priorities Obama wants to be remembered for.

このページのトップへ

復讐が文化だ

pakistan militants attacks

Pakistan Car Bomber Kills 11; Seventh Attack in Week

By Khalid Qayum and James Rupert

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- A suicide car bomber killed 11 people in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, the seventh attack in a week as jihadists escalate a campaign against security forces.

Eight civilians and three policeman were among the dead in the attack on the city’s Criminal Investigation Agency, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister in the government of North West Frontier Province of which Peshawar is the capital. “We won’t give up,” Hussain said. “We know the terrorism has escalated and terrorists are targeting police as well as civilians but we will fight back.”

TV images showed injured being carried to ambulances and a collapsed side wall of the two-story security building, as militants reverted to the suicide bombings that have hit major Pakistani cities in recent months, including several in Peshawar.

Pakistan’s Taliban and its allies are also turning to commando raids on police and soldiers as a tactic to convince Pakistanis the government can’t contain them. At least 26 people were killed in attacks yesterday on a federal police headquarters and two police training centers in the eastern city of Lahore, and a police station in Kohat.

“There seems to be a new strategy by terrorists in recent attacks,” said Rana Sanaullah, law minister of Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital. Attacking and taking hostages is meant “to get maximum TV coverage and make their demands.”

Revenge Attacks

Taliban spokesmen say recent attacks that have killed more than 140 police, troops and civilians, are revenge for the August killing of their top commander, Baitullah Mehsud, by a U.S. missile. The spate of violence comes as the government and military prepare an assault on the group’s South Waziristan encampments near the Afghan border.

Yesterday, a child was killed and nine people were injured by a remote-controlled bomb in a building housing government officers in Peshawar. That attack came after guerrillas firing assault rifles and throwing hand grenades stormed three police complexes in Lahore, the country’s second-largest city, and militants exploded two bombs in northwestern Pakistan.

While suicide bombings have killed three-quarters of those who died in the past week, most of the Pakistani media’s focus has been on the commando assaults yesterday and the 22-hour siege involving Taliban-affiliated attackers this past weekend at Pakistan’s army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Mumbai Echo

After years of relying on bomb attacks within Pakistan, jihadist groups have made at least four commando-style assaults this year, two in the past week.

The raids echo last November’s three-day attack on Mumbai, India’s business capital, when 10 gunmen killed 166 people at a railway station, restaurant, Jewish center and two luxury hotels. India blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group and halted peace talks with its nuclear-armed neighbor.

The more complex attacks in Pakistan show the groups “are trying to demonstrate their prowess and appear larger than life,” said Kamran Bokhari, regional director for the Middle East and South Asia at Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based intelligence-consulting firm.

Jihadists did use commando assaults in Lahore in March, against a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team and at a police academy that was attacked again yesterday. The tactic has been revived in an effort to fight back after the army drove the Taliban out of the Swat Valley in July and a missile strike killed their top commander, Baitullah Mehsud, in August, Bokhari said by telephone from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

Air Raids

The week-long spate of attacks is in part an effort to demoralize Pakistan’s security forces as the army has deployed what it says are 28,000 troops around the stronghold of Mehsud’s Taliban faction, in the mountainous region of Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

The government said this week it has given the army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, authority to begin an offensive against Mehsud’s fighters, and warplanes have been pounding their positions in the area.

The jihadists boosted the perception of their power through public shock over their Oct. 10 assault on the seat of the army, Pakistan’s most powerful institution, said Mehdi Hassan, the dean of the School of Media and Communications at Lahore’s Beaconhouse National University.

The commando attacks are “part of a well-planned psychological war campaign” and have helped create “a national atmosphere of crisis,” said Hassan. The groups are creating uncertainty in the country of 180 million, partly because of more than two dozen TV news channels that sprang up under the army-led regime of former president Pervez Musharraf, he said in a telephone interview.

このページのトップへ

ドルは50円となり、、

Yen drop and stock rises 9.9.09
“2010年、1USD(米ドル)は、50JPY(日本円)になるだろう~そして、米ドルは世界の基軸通貨の地位を降りる~現時点の貿易収支のパターンを観察すると、二番底に陥る傾向が強い”と三井住友銀行のチーフ戦略家が言っている。

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar may drop to 50 yen next year and eventually lose its role as the global reserve currency, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.’s chief strategist said, citing trading patterns and a likely double dip in the U.S. economy.

“The U.S. economy will deteriorate into 2011 as the effects of excess consumption and the financial bubble linger,” said Daisuke Uno at Sumitomo Mitsui, a unit of Japan’s third- biggest bank. “The dollar’s fall won’t stop until there’s a change to the global currency system.”

The dollar last week dropped to the lowest in almost a year against the yen as record U.S. government borrowings and interest rates near zero sapped demand for the U.S. currency. The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, has fallen 15 percent from its peak this year to as low as 75.211 today, the lowest since August 2008.

The gauge is about five points away from its record low in March 2008, and the dollar is 2.5 percent away from a 14-year low against the yen.

“We can no longer stop the big wave of dollar weakness,” said Uno, who correctly predicted the dollar would fall under 100 yen and the Dow Jones Industrial Average would sink below 7,000 after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. last year. If the U.S. currency breaks through record levels, “there will be no downside limit, and even coordinated intervention won’t work,” he said.

China, India, Brazil and Russia this year called for a replacement to the dollar as the main reserve currency. Hossein Ghazavi, Iran’s deputy central bank chief, said on Sept. 13 the euro has overtaken the dollar as the main currency of Iran’s foreign reserves.

Elliott Wave

The greenback is heading for the trough of a super-cycle that started in August 1971, Uno said, referring to the Elliot Wave theory, which holds that market swings follow a predictable five-stage pattern of three steps forward, two steps back.

The dollar is now at wave five of the 40-year cycle, Uno said. It dropped to 92 yen during wave one that ended in March 1973. The dollar will target 50 yen during the current wave, based on multiplying 92 with 0.764, a number in the Fibonacci sequence, and subtracting from the 123.17 yen level seen in the second quarter of 2007, according to Uno.

The Elliot Wave was developed by accountant Ralph Nelson Elliott during the Great Depression. Wave sizes are often related by a series of numbers known as the Fibonacci sequence, pioneered by 13th century mathematician Leonardo Pisano, who discerned them from proportions found in nature.

Uno said after the dollar loses its reserve currency status, the U.S., Europe and Asia will form separate economic blocs. The International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights may be used as a temporary measure, and global currency trading will shrink in the long run, he said.

このページのトップへ

ムシャラフ “USは増派が必要だ”

Musharraf: More U.S. Troops Needed In Afghanistan

October 8, 2009

Perves Musharraf 10.12.09

前パキスタン大統領、ペルベス・ムシャラフは、クーデターによって政権を奪取して、9年間、君臨した。2008年、最高裁判所の判事を解雇したことから、選挙で敗れた。サンフランシスコで、テッド・コッペルのインタビューに応じた。再び、大統領戦に出る意思がある。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, is coy these days about whether he'd like to return home and run for the position that he once seized by force, but even in the United States, he talks like a man on the campaign trail.

Musharraf appeared today on NPR's Talk of the Nation, fielding questions ranging from U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to the protection of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal from terrorists.

A career Army man who seized power in a 1999 military coup, Musharraf stood by Pakistan's powerful military, even while saying he would need the support of the country's people to return to politics.

NPR's Neal Conan asked the 66-year-old former president what advice he would give President Obama on strategy in Afghanistan.

Would he support the counterterrorism approach, in which the U.S. would not increase its troop strength in Afghanistan, but would use intelligence information and airstrikes to hit al-Qaida and its leadership, Conan asked.

Or would he support the counterinsurgency approach favored by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who has said he'll need up to 40,000 more American troops to take and hold Afghan territory, and create security for the Afghan people?

Musharraf insisted that the two strategies can't be separated because of the linkages between the terrorist group, al-Qaida, and the insurgents, the Taliban. He said he "totally" supports Gen. Stanley McChrystal in his call for more American troops.

Nuclear Weapons

NPR Senior Analyst Ted Koppel pressed Musharraf on a key U.S. concern: the safe-keeping of Pakistan's nuclear warheads. The issue was revived this year by reports that militants had attempted at least one attack on the country's nuclear facilities. Pakistani officials have denied that any such attack took place.

Musharraf insisted that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are in safe hands — guarded, he said, by an Army force of up to 18,000 troops and controlled by a command authority led by the president, the prime minister and top military officials.

He addressed only peripherally the possibility that the command itself could allow weapons or nuclear materials to fall into militant hands.

"Politically, Pakistan cannot in the foreseeable future be ruled by an extremist group that has sympathy with the terrorists," Musharraf said.

U.S. Aid

The former general said he sides with the Pakistani military in its anger over the conditions that could be attached to a U.S. aid bill that would triple the amount of development funding to $1.5 billion a year.

Pakistani military officials have complained that the bill, co-authored by Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar, contains "humiliating" conditions. The bill stipulates, for instance, that the money could dry up if Pakistan fails to fight militants, including Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in the tribal regions along the Afghan border.

The measure would also require Pakistan to provide information about networks that have supplied nuclear technology to other nations. That is a reference to Pakistan's nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, who was accused of selling his country's nuclear technology to countries such as Libya, Iran and North Korea.

Musharraf complained repeatedly that although Pakistan has been touted as America's most important ally in the fight against terrorist groups, "this most important ally is being treated with suspicion. We must be treated with trust and cooperation."

Relations

On other issues, Musharraf defended his country's preoccupation with what he called "an existential threat to Pakistan" from neighboring India. U.S. officials have complained that military aid intended to help Pakistan fight militants on the Afghan border has been diverted to Pakistan's disputed border with India in Kashmir.

Although he said that he believes peace with India is "a requirement, a compulsion" for both sides, he said the U.S. should not grudge Pakistan the right to take "essential measures" in response to the threat of an attack from India.

That right, he said, would extend to any use Pakistan might make of American drone aircraft. Musharraf said he did not agree with the U.S. use of drone attacks inside Pakistan. "It has had tremendous negative fallout on the public of Pakistan, because it is considered a violation of our sovereignty," he said.

Musharraf said he has always believed that the drones should be given to Pakistan, for use at Pakistan's discretion.

The former general returned often to the theme of what he called "the trust deficit that is increasing" between the people of Pakistan and the U.S. He said it traces back to the Pakistani feeling that the U.S. abandoned Pakistan after the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989.

"We were totally ditched," he said, accusing the U.S. of doing nothing to help Pakistan deal with some 4 million Afghan refugees or 25,000 Afghan fighters who later became Taliban.

"After 9/11," Musharraf said, "when we decided to join the coalition, I was asked, 'What makes you think the U.S. is not going to dump us again?' "
このページのトップへ

USDの洪水

USD dangerously falls 10.12.09
各国の中央銀行が抱えるUSD(米ドル)の洪水は、米ドルの信用力を失わせ、ユーロと日本円(JPY)を高騰させている。過去2クオーター(6ヶ月)の外国為替保有量(日本や中国が持つ米ドル)は、個々数十年の間で最大のものとなった。

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Central banks flush with record reserves are increasingly snubbing dollars in favor of euros and yen, further pressuring the greenback after its biggest two- quarter rout in almost two decades.

Policy makers boosted foreign currency holdings by $413 billion last quarter, the most since at least 2003, to $7.3 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nations reporting currency breakdowns put 63 percent of the new cash into euros and yen in April, May and June, the latest Barclays Capital data show. That’s the highest percentage in any quarter with more than an $80 billion increase.

World leaders are acting on threats to dump the dollar while the Obama administration shows a willingness to tolerate a weaker currency in an effort to boost exports and the economy as long as it doesn’t drive away the nation’s creditors. The diversification signals that the currency won’t rebound anytime soon after losing 10.3 percent on a trade-weighted basis the past six months, the biggest drop since 1991.

“Global central banks are getting more serious about diversification, whereas in the past they used to just talk about it,” said Steven Englander, a former Federal Reserve researcher who is now the chief U.S. currency strategist at Barclays in New York. “It looks like they are really backing away from the dollar.”

Sliding Share

The dollar’s 37 percent share of new reserves fell from about a 63 percent average since 1999. Englander concluded in a report that the trend “accelerated” in the third quarter. He said in an interview that “for the next couple of months, the forces are still in place” for continued diversification.

America’s currency has been under siege as the Treasury sells a record amount of debt to finance a budget deficit that totaled $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 ended Sept. 30.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, which tracks the currency’s performance against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc and Swedish krona, fell to 75.77 last week, the lowest level since August 2008 and down from the high this year of 89.624 on March 4. The index, at 76.104 today, is within six points of its record low reached in March 2008.

Foreign companies and officials are starting to say their economies are getting hurt because of the dollar’s weakness.

Toyota’s ‘Pain’

Yukitoshi Funo, executive vice president of Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp., the nation’s biggest automaker, called the yen’s strength “painful.” Fabrice Bregier, chief operating officer of Toulouse, France-based Airbus SAS, the world’s largest commercial planemaker, said on Oct. 8 the euro’s 11 percent rise since April was “challenging.”

The economies of both Japan and Europe depend on exports that get more expensive whenever the greenback slumps. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said in Venice on Oct. 8 that U.S. policy makers’ preference for a strong dollar is “extremely important in the present circumstances.”

“Major reserve-currency issuing countries should take into account and balance the implications of their monetary policies for both their own economies and the world economy with a view to upholding stability of international financial markets,” China President Hu Jintao told the Group of 20 leaders in Pittsburgh on Sept. 25, according to an English translation of his prepared remarks. China is America’s largest creditor.

Dollar’s Weighting

Developing countries have likely sold about $30 billion for euros, yen and other currencies each month since March, according to strategists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

That helped reduce the dollar’s weight at central banks that report currency holdings to 62.8 percent as of June 30, the lowest on record, the latest International Monetary Fund data show. The quarter’s 2.2 percentage point decline was the biggest since falling 2.5 percentage points to 69.1 percent in the period ended June 30, 2002.

“The diversification out of the dollar will accelerate,” said Fabrizio Fiorini, a money manager who helps oversee $12 billion at Aletti Gestielle SGR SpA in Milan. “People are buying the euro not because they want that currency, but because they want to get rid of the dollar. In the long run, the U.S. will not be the same powerful country that it once was.”

Central banks’ moves away from the dollar are a temporary trend that will reverse once the Fed starts raising interest rates from near zero, according to Christoph Kind, who helps manage $20 billion as head of asset allocation at Frankfurt Trust in Germany.

‘Flush’ With Dollars

“The world is currently flush with the U.S. dollar, which is available at no cost,” Kind said. “If there’s a turnaround in U.S. monetary policy, there will be a change of perception about the dollar as a reserve currency. The diversification has more to do with reduction of concentration risks rather than a dim view of the U.S. or its currency.”

The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 54 economists is for the Fed to lift its target rate for overnight loans between banks to 1.25 percent by the end of 2010. The European Central Bank will boost its benchmark a half percentage point to 1.5 percent, a separate poll shows.

America’s economy will grow 2.4 percent in 2010, compared with 0.95 percent in the euro-zone, and 1 percent in Japan, median predictions show. Japan is seen keeping its rate at 0.1 percent through 2010.

Central bank diversification is helping push the relative worth of the euro and the yen above what differences in interest rates, cost of living and other data indicate they should be. The euro is 16 percent more expensive than its fair value of $1.22, according to economic models used by Credit Suisse Group AG. Morgan Stanley says the yen is 10 percent overvalued.

Reminders of 1995

Sentiment toward the dollar reminds John Taylor, chairman of New York-based FX Concepts Inc., the world’s largest currency hedge fund, of the mid-1990s. That’s when the greenback tumbled to a post-World War II low of 79.75 against the yen on April 19, 1995, on concern that the Fed wasn’t raising rates fast enough to contain inflation. Like now, speculation about central bank diversification and the demise of the dollar’s primacy rose.

The currency then gained 26 percent versus the yen and 25 percent against the deutsche mark in the following two years as technology innovation increased U.S. productivity and attracted foreign capital.

“People didn’t like the dollar in 1995,” said Taylor, whose firm has $9 billion under management. “That was very stupid and turned out to be wrong. Now, we are getting to the point that people’s attitude toward the dollar becomes ridiculously negative.”

Dollar Forecasts

The median estimate of more than 40 economists and strategists is for the dollar to end the year little changed at $1.47 per euro, and appreciate to 92 yen, from 89.97 today.

Englander at London-based Barclays, the world’s third- largest foreign-exchange trader, predicts the U.S. currency will weaken 3.3 percent against the euro to $1.52 in three months. He advised in March, when the dollar peaked this year, to sell the currency. Standard Chartered, the most accurate dollar-euro forecaster in Bloomberg surveys for the six quarters that ended June 30, sees the greenback declining to $1.55 by year-end.

The dollar’s reduced share of new reserves is also a reflection of U.S. assets’ lagging performance as the country struggles to recover from the worst recession since World War II.

Lagging Behind

Since Jan. 1, 61 of 82 country equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg have outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks, which has gained 18.6 percent. That compares with 70.6 percent for Brazil’s Bovespa Stock Index and 49.4 percent for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index.

Treasuries have lost 2.4 percent, after reinvested interest, versus a return of 27.4 percent in emerging economies’ dollar- denominated bonds, Merrill Lynch & Co. indexes show.

The growth of global reserves is accelerating, with Taiwan’s and South Korea’s, the fifth- and sixth-largest in the world, rising 2.1 percent to $332.2 billion and 3.6 percent to $254.3 billion in September, the fastest since May. The four biggest pools of reserves are held by China, Japan, Russia and India.

China, which controlled $2.1 trillion in foreign reserves as of June 30 and owns $800 billion of U.S. debt, is among the countries that don’t report allocations.

“Unless you think China does things significantly differently from others,” the anti-dollar trend is unmistakable, Englander said.

Follow the Money

Englander’s conclusions are based on IMF data from central banks that report their currency allocations, which account for 63 percent of total global reserves. Barclays adjusted the IMF data for changes in exchange rates after the reserves were amassed to get an accurate snapshot of allocations at the time they were acquired.

Investors can make money by following central banks’ moves, according to Barclays, which created a trading model that flashes signals to buy or sell the dollar based on global reserve shifts and other variables. Each trade triggered by the system has average returns of more than 1 percent.

Bill Gross, who runs the $186 billion Pimco Total Return Fund, the world’s largest bond fund, said in June that dollar investors should diversify before central banks do the same on concern that the U.S.’s budget deficit will deepen.

“The world is changing, and the dollar is losing its status,” said Aletti Gestielle’s Fiorini. “If you have a 5- year or 10-year view about the dollar, it should be for a weaker currency.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Ye Xie in New York at yxie6@bloomberg.net; Anchalee Worrachate in London at aworrachate@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: October 12, 2009 09:41 EDT
このページのトップへ

Pakistan Pentagon Attaked



Gunmen hold hostages in Pakistan army headquarters

Pakistan Video:Gunmen attack Pakistani HQ Reuters By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press Writer Asif Shahzad, Associated Press Writer – 45 mins ago

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Heavily armed militants were holding up to 15 soldiers hostage inside Pakistan's army headquarters Saturday after they stormed the complex in an audacious assault on the heart of the nuclear-armed country's most powerful institution.

The attack left 10 people dead, including two ranking officers, and appeared to be a warning to the military that its planned offensive on the insurgents' stronghold along the Afghan border would be met with strikes against targets across Pakistan.

The government said the assault on the headquarters, which followed a bloody market bombing and a suicide blast at a U.N. aid agency this week, had strengthened its resolve to push into South Wazristan — a mountainous region where security forces have been beaten back by insurgents before.

The spasm of violence was confirmation that the militants had regrouped despite recent military operations against their forces and the killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a CIA drone attack in August. His replacement vowed just last week to step up attacks around the country and repel any push into Waziristan.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said "four or five" assailants were holding between 10 and 15 troops hostage in a building close to the main gates of the complex in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital, Islamabad. He said the building had no connection to any of the country's intelligence agencies. No senior military or intelligence officials were among those being held, he said.

He said special forces had surrounded the building. "They will decide how and when to act," he said, declining to say whether negotiations were going on more than 11 hours after the attack began.

Late Saturday, sporadic gunfire was heard coming from the complex.

The attack on the center of Pakistan's military establishment began shortly before noon when the gunmen, dressed in camouflage military uniforms and wielding assault rifles and grenades, drove in a white van up to the army compound and opened fire, Abbas and a witness said.

"There was fierce firing, and then there was a blast," said Khan Bahadur, a shuttle van driver who was standing outside the gate of the compound. "Soldiers were running here and there," he said. "The firing continued for about a half-hour. There was smoke everywhere. Then there was a break, and then firing again."

After a 45-minute gunfight, four of the attackers were killed, said Abbas.

He initially told Geo news television channel the assault was over and the situation "under full control."

But more than an hour later, gunshots rang out from the headquarters compound, and Abbas then confirmed that other gunmen had eluded security forces and slipped into the compound. The city is filled with security checkpoints and police roadblocks.

"We are trying to finish it (the siege) at the earliest, clear the area of terrorists and restore complete control," Abbas said.

Abbas said six soldiers were killed, included a brigadier and a lieutenant colonel, and five wounded, one critically.

Pakistani media said the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The United States has been pushing Pakistan to take strong action against insurgents using its soil as a base for attacks in Afghanistan. The army has previously been unwilling to go into Waziristan with significant force, but has likely been emboldened by its successes against the militants in the Swat Valley earlier this year and the killing of Baitullah Mehsud.

"I want to give a message to the Taliban that what we did with you in Swat, we will do the same to you there (in Waziristan), too," said Interior Minister Rehman Malik. "We are going to come heavy on you."

Militants regularly attack army bases across the country and bombed a checkpoint the outside army compound in Rawalpindi two years ago — one of several major bombings to hit the garrison city in recent years. But rarely have the Taliban mounted an armed assault here involving multiple fighters.

In its brazenness and sophistication, Saturday's assault resembled attacks in March by teams of militants against the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore and a police training center, which the insurgents took over for 12 hours before security forces retook it.

Saturday's gunbattle following a car bombing that killed 49 on Friday in the northwestern city of Peshawar and the bombing of a U.N. aid agency Monday that killed five in Islamabad. The man who attacked the U.N. was also wearing a security forces' uniform and was granted entry to the compound after asking to use the bathroom.

Islamist militants have been carrying out nearly weekly attacks in Pakistan, but the sheer scale of Friday's bombing in Peshawar — which killed nine children — pushed the government to declare it would take the fight to the lawless tribal belt along the border where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden may be hiding.

Any operation in Waziristan will be very difficult. Analysts say the militants may have 12,000 well-armed fighters there, while winter will arrive in one month's time and could bog down troops. The army must also ensure that insurgents do not regroup elsewhere in the northwest, including Swat.

このページのトップへ

ふたりだけの会議

Obama McCristal on Airfoce one 10.3.09
On Air Force One, President Obama and Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal discuss the war in Afghanistan and the troops needed to fight it. McChrystal was flown from London to Copenhagen to meet with the president. (By Pete Souza -- White House Photo Via Associated Press)

マカリスタル将軍はロンドンにいた。シカゴにオリンピック招致で、コペンハーゲンに行ったオバマは、マカリスタルと、ふたりだけで話し合いたかった。大統領専用機エアフォース・ワンに将軍を呼んだ。将軍は、“今、消極論(バイデンら)があるが、アフガニスタンをこのまま放置するのは賢明でない~4万人の増派が必要だ”とぶっきらぼうに言った。マカリスタルは飾らない性格である。オバマに無礼ではないかと記者が聞くと、報道官は、それには返事をせず、“大統領は将軍が個人的に好きで、その戦況評価を聞きたいだけだ”と答えた。オバマは、10月中に、アフガニスタン新戦略を発表すると言っている。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

McChrystal Flown to Denmark To Discuss War With Obama

Washington Post
Saturday, October 3, 2009

A brief meeting between President Obama and his top general in Afghanistan on Friday offered the commander in chief an opportunity to question directly the dire assessment of the war effort there, officials said.

The previously unannounced meeting between Obama and Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal took place aboard Air Force One after it landed in Copenhagen Friday morning. McChrystal, who had been in London for a speech, was whisked to Denmark at Obama's request, White House aides said.

The relationship between the two men is increasingly under scrutiny as Obama weighs whether to accept McChrystal's recommendations for a major increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan. National security officials say Obama will decide this month, after a series of top-level briefings that began last week.

Until Friday, Obama had talked with McChrystal only from a distance, and had met him only once. Aides called the private meeting "productive" and went out of their way to say how fond Obama is of the man he chose to lead the war.

Obama likes McChrystal "very much personally," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters. He added that Obama "got a chance, as I said earlier, to meet and talk with his wife, somebody who obviously is, along with General McChrystal, making personal sacrifices in this whole endeavor."

McChrystal has spent much of the past two weeks putting enormous pressure on the Obama administration to back his calls for as many as 40,000 additional troops. The general's classified assessment of the war was obtained last month by The Washington Post and has freed him to advocate for it publicly.

In his speech in London, hours before meeting with Obama, McChrystal warned that refusing to accede to the request for more troops would be unwise.

Asked whether a scaled-back U.S. effort in Afghanistan -- an option favored by Vice President Biden and some of Obama's top political advisers -- would work in practice, McChrystal said, "The short answer is: No."


"You have to navigate from where you are, not from where you wish to be," McChrystal said after the speech. "A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy."

Aides refused to say whether Obama scolded McChrystal for his frank answer or his less-than-subtle campaign on behalf of his troop request. One adviser noted, however, that the meeting was arranged hastily after Obama realized that the two men would be close to each other in Europe during the president's effort to win the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.

"He hired McChrystal to do this job and to give him an assessment," Gibbs said in an interview Thursday evening. "From that standpoint, he's done everything the president hoped he'd do."

He added: "The president said that McChrystal understands that he put together an assessment, and he expects and wants people to ask him questions about that assessment so that we can get the right strategy."

このページのトップへ

G7は終わったのかも知れない


北京がコントロールする 人民元(RMB)。中国は外貨準備高も政界一だ。第二次大戦によって、基軸通貨の地位を得た米ドル(USD)の低下は、今や世界の通貨機構までも変えている。通貨均衡が仕事であったG7(米・日・英・独・仏加・伊)の役目は終わったのかも知れない。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

G-7 May Break With Currency Tradition as Status Fades

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Group of Seven finance officials meet this weekend in Istanbul debating whether to surrender the weapon that helped shape currency markets for three decades.

One week after the Group of 20 anointed itself the world economy’s main policy forum, G-7 finance ministers and central bankers may break with tradition and choose not to release a statement on the global economy and currencies, said officials who declined to be identified. That would deprive traders of the commentary that policy makers frequently use to influence exchange rates.

The debate over the G-7’s role comes as European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney signal concern about the U.S. dollar’s slide over the past seven months and Japan’s new government struggles to find a clear line on the yen. The diversity of the G-20, which includes China and India, means investors may have to deal with conflicting signals as its members seek common ground.

“There may be communication difficulties as policy makers misspeak and inject volatility into markets,” said Stephen Jen, a managing director at BlueGold Capital Management LLP in London. “It will take a few rounds of G-7 and G-20 meetings to form a collective opinion on currencies.”

The euro fell against the dollar yesterday after Trichet said “disorderly movements” in exchange rates have “adverse implications” for economies. The euro traded at $1.4533 per dollar at 10:11 a.m. in Istanbul after falling 0.7 percent yesterday. It has gained 16 percent since the start of March.

Narrowing Imbalances

Officials gather tomorrow, one week after President Barack Obama and other G-20 leaders left Pittsburgh pledging to work together to narrow so-called imbalances such as the U.S. trade deficit and China’s current-account surplus.

“They clearly believe the G-20 will be the appropriate place to discuss currency,” said Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon Corp.

The embrace of the G-20 reflects China’s increased role in the global economy and the view that its policy of managing the yuan’s value against a basket of currencies means its opinions can’t be ignored.

“Only the G-20 can say anything meaningful about currencies because the big policy issue is the dollar-China peg,” said Bilal Hafeez, Deutsche Bank AG’s London-based head of foreign-exchange strategy. China has kept the yuan little changed against the dollar for more than a year.

Faster Yuan Easing

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters in Ottawa yesterday that China should accelerate efforts to ease restrictions on its currency and that exchange rates are “regularly” discussed at G-7 meetings. He wasn’t sure if the group would issue a statement.

The biggest industrial nations first started to meet regularly in the 1970s after the Bretton Woods currency framework that had governed the global economy since World War II collapsed.

Their power to steer currencies reached its pinnacle in the 1980s when five of its members signed the Plaza Accord to weaken the dollar. The Louvre Accord was introduced two years later to buoy it. In September 2000, the G-7 rescued the euro -- the last time it intervened.

Three years later in Dubai, it began to lobby China to allow the yuan to appreciate with a call for “more flexibility in exchange rates.”

Currency Study

A study last year by ECB economist Marcel Fratzcher found the G-7 was successful in moving currencies on 80 percent of the 29 occasions it tried to do so since 1975 within a year.

“G-7 currency statements were not always effective straight away, but there have been times when they have signaled clear preferences,” said Thomas Stolper, a currency strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London.

This time, balancing the world economy will likely weaken currencies such as the dollar and sterling, while boosting the euro and yuan, whose economies are export-led, said Marco Annunziata, chief economist at UniCredit Group in London.

That may concern some in the G-7 as the dollar’s 13 percent slide against a basket of seven currencies since the start of March impedes their recovery by making exports more expensive.

Carney said on Sept. 28 that the Canadian dollar’s gain was a “major risk” and Trichet said the same day that a strong dollar is “extremely important” for the world economy.

Japan’s Fujii

Japanese Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said on Sept. 29 that the government may act to stabilize the foreign-exchange market and denied that he supported a stronger yen. He reiterated today that he won’t discuss the currency’s gains at the meeting, Kyodo News reported.

“There is definitely rising concern about currencies as we’re at a delicate moment for economies,” Annunziata said.

While the dollar’s slide may buoy the U.S. economy by easing lopsided flows in trade and investment, World Bank President Robert Zoellick this week became the latest official to question its role as the world’s only reserve currency. Such speculation could undermine the U.S.’s ability to draw the foreign finance it needs to fund its $11.8 trillion debt.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday repeated that a “strong dollar is very important” to the U.S., while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said there’s “no immediate risk” to the currency.

The trend away from the G-7 has been building since it stopped backing up its talk with money, said David Gilmore, a partner at Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Connecticut. It took almost two years for China to heed the request for more currency flexibility.

“I have a G-7 bias, I was weaned on currency accords,” Gilmore said. “On G-7 weekends now I go fishing.”
このページのトップへ

失業、差し押さえ、傷は深いぞ


USの失業率の推移をみてください。日本は、5.5%~5.7%の間だが、実際は、10%を越しているのだ。仕事を探すことを諦めてしまった人は統計に出ないからだ。さらに、社内失業者(社員600万人が仕事がない状態が続いている)を抱える企業は新卒を雇えないのだ。

今夜のワシントン・ポストは、STIMULUSという景気刺激政策(自動車はすでに切れ・ホームも11月30日に切れる)がストップすると、景気も同時にストップしたと報じている。NY・DOWが200ポイント超下がり、東証も朝からドンドン下がっている。W(二番底)が早々と到来かと思わせる。ところで、ブルームバーグなどの経済記事は、WPの経済記者が各地の統計やインタビューを広くしたものではない。ミックスバッグといわれる要注意モノなのだ。深く、情報を仕分けられない、お方には投資ゲームはたいへん危険なのである。伊勢

We're Still Hurting

あれだけの金融救済やら景気刺激策を以ってしても、傷はまだ深い。失業~ホーム差し押さえ~消費意欲なし~失業~ホーム差し押さえ、、伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ

傷はまだ深い

Washington Post
Friday, October 2, 2009

The fragile economic recovery has relied heavily on government stimulus spending, but new data show that as the money runs out, a sustained rebound may be elusive.

The dramatic decline in sales reported Thursday by the Big Three automakers suggested the extent to which the stimulus act has propped up the economy. The government's wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program drove consumer spending to its highest level in eight years in August. But after it ended, so did the growth in auto sales.

General Motors' sales plunged 36 percent in September compared with August. Ford plummeted 37 percent. Chrysler dove 33 percent.

Cash for Clunkers "was a one-time boost of sales followed by a crater," said Ben Herzon, an economist at Macroeconomic Advisers. The firm forecast that the program was likely to have no effect as a stimulant for national economic output.

Other economic data released Thursday showed that the deep wounds of the recession have yet to heal. Weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, a sign that businesses are still concerned about the future. The monthly unemployment rate, scheduled for release Friday, is expected to rise, albeit at a slower rate. Consumer loan delinquencies remain at record highs, and manufacturing growth has slowed.

"It is a warning not to take the near-term strength of the economic recovery for granted," said Paul Dales, U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

The major stock market indexes tumbled Thursday as investors seemed to lose confidence in the nascent recovery. The Dow Jones industrial average, which in recent days seemed poised to break 10,000 for the first time in about a year, dropped 2 percent to 9,509. The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 2.6 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 3.1 percent.


The most robust of the economic data also benefited from stimulus dollars. A surprising 6.4 percent jump in pending home sales in August to the highest level since March 2007 was boosted by consumers rushing to take advantage of the federal $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, which expires next month.

The index increased in every region of the country. In the South, including the Washington region, pending sales rose 0.8 percent. The index measures the period after a buyer has signed a contract but has not yet closed on the deal. It is viewed as a forward-looking indicator of home sales.

Consumer spending -- which accounts for more than two-thirds of the gross domestic product -- also rose more than expected in August, up 1.3 percent from the previous month.

But much of that rise was driven by the government clunkers program that ended in August and gave consumers a credit of up to $4,500 for trading in their old cars for new, more fuel-efficient ones. It remains unclear whether those sales were merely borrowed from other months or will represent a net increase.

Economists took some comfort in August's 1 percent increase in the sales of nondurable goods, including clothing, food and fuel, following a 0.3 percent dip in July. Still, August is the peak of the back-to-school shopping season, and many states held sales-tax holidays to encourage consumers to spend -- another temporary government stimulus.




"A continued but gradual recovery in consumer spending seems the most likely course," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight.

Overshadowing those gains were reports that showed manufacturing growth slowed in September and more people filed for unemployment benefits last week.

The Institute for Supply Management's index of business activity fell to 52.6 in September, the second consecutive month the reading has been above 50, the benchmark for growth, but August's reading was a more encouraging 52.9.

Thirteen of the 18 industries surveyed in the index reported growth, led by the wood- and paper-product sectors and apparel. In addition, 30 percent of businesses said they expected their industry to benefit from the government's stimulus package.

But economists' bigger concern is that many Americans are out of work, and their ranks continue to increase. That puts them in poor position to pay off the mounds of debt accumulated during the boom times.

Weekly jobless claims rose to 551,000 last week, up 17,000 from the previous week and more than forecast. Though the weekly figures tend to be volatile, the increase is a sign that companies are still cutting back on labor and remain cautious about the prospects for recovery.

Economists are hoping a clearer picture will emerge Friday when the monthly unemployment rate is slated for release. It is expected to rise slightly, and many economists believe it will eventually top 10 percent, dampening the prospect of a consumer recovery.

Throughout the recession, shoppers have cut back their spending to build their savings and pay down debt, bringing the personal savings rate to its highest level in about a decade. But many consumers are still burdened with heavy loans taken out during more prosperous times.


Delinquency rates hit record highs during the second quarter for home equity loans and lines of credit as well as bank cards, according to the American Bankers Association. Home equity loan delinquencies -- defined as accounts that are 30 days or more overdue -- rose from 3.52 percent in the first quarter to 4.01 percent of accounts in the second quarter, the ABA reported Thursday. Bank card delinquencies rose from 4.75 percent in the first quarter to 5.01 percent of accounts in the second quarter.

The ABA also reported increases in delinquencies on personal loans.

"Falling behind on debt payments is an unfortunate side effect of high unemployment and a frozen job market," said ABA chief economist James Chessen. "The picture won't change until the labor market improves and the economy picks up steam. This is going to take time."
このページのトップへ

オバマ、共和党に支持を仰ぐ?

Afghanistan marine
オバマはアフガニスタンでつまった。見方のはずの民主党(ペロシ~リード~ファインスタインら)は増派に消極的なのだ。国民も、“やれやれ、イラクが終わると思ったら」と増派に反対だ。オバマには、一手が残る。それは、共和党(マケインら)に支持を仰ぐことだ。

On war Obama may turn to Republican

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 1, 2009

With much of his party largely opposed to expanding military operations in Afghanistan, President Obama could be forced into the awkward political position of turning to congressional Republicans for support if he follows the recommendations of the commanding U.S. general there.

Congressional Democrats have begun promoting a compromise package of additional resources for Afghanistan that would emphasize training for Afghan security forces but deny Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal the additional combat troops he has indicated he needs to regain the initiative against the Taliban insurgency. The emerging Democratic consensus is likely to constrain the president as he considers how best to proceed with an increasingly unpopular war.

On Wednesday, Obama chaired a three-hour discussion on Afghanistan with Cabinet members and senior officials at the White House. The meeting was largely a reassessment of the past eight years of American involvement in the region, with the president repeatedly probing his military and civilian advisers to justify their assumptions, according to one participant. This source said there was a recognition that the decision facing Obama is one of the most critical of his presidency.

In interviews over the past week, Democratic leaders have endorsed the change in military focus and the expedited training of Afghan forces that McChrystal outlined in his stark initial assessment of the war. But they expressed deep misgivings over McChrystal's impending request for as many as 40,000 new U.S. troops. Some argue that any increase in the U.S. military presence would help the Taliban whip up public anger toward an expanding foreign occupation that already comprises more than 100,000 U.S. and NATO soldiers and Marines.

"We basically need a much larger Afghan army much quicker -- that's the bottom line, that's the winning strategy," said Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Before we commit to additional combat forces, which has a distinct negative, not only for our overstretched troops but also the footprint argument, I believe we must do these other things that are the best way to succeed."

Levin's argument is echoed by many Democrats in the Senate, which is set to vote this week on a $636 billion defense appropriations bill, including $128 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress would be called on to approve additional funds if Obama decides to expand the war effort in Afghanistan.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said history demands that the administration and Congress vet the mission before committing more forces. "In Vietnam, we heard the commanding general on the ground saying we need more troops. We heard the president of the United States say if we just put in more troops, we're going to see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said in an interview for The Washington Post's "Voices of Power" series. "And the fact is that they were wrong because they never examined the underlying assumptions on which our involvement was based."

Recent opinion polls have shown that only a minority of Americans believe the war is worth fighting, and the flawed presidential election in August has eroded the Obama administration's confidence in the Afghan government. Much of the opposition to the war is rooted in Obama's political base, which is angry that he is ending one war in Iraq only to expand another in Afghanistan, even though he pledged in his campaign to do just that.

Obama and his senior advisers, including McChrystal, who participated by video link, on Wednesday concluded two days of initial discussions on the general's assessment. The talks marked the first formal internal White House debate over the report's recommendations, which, if carried out in full, would greatly expand the U.S. commitment to the war in Afghanistan, in terms of both military presence and civilian assistance to build a more stable government from the provinces to Kabul.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made clear in a meeting with Post editors this week that he supports the counterinsurgency strategy that Obama endorsed in March and that is the basis of McChrystal's plan.

"Basically I share [Gen. McChrystal's] view," Rasmussen said. The right policy, he added, "is definitely not an exit strategy. It's of crucial importance to stress that we will stay as long as it takes to stabilize the country."

A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said the administration is asking questions about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan "that frankly have not been asked over the last eight years.

The official said the discussions are focusing on how best to pursue "our core national security goals," which the official defined as defeating al-Qaeda and its allies. But the official indicated that an array of alternatives are under review.

"I don't know if there is such a thing as middle option, because I know there are more than two options," the official said.

In his 66-page report, first published by The Post, McChrystal warned that "a failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum" in the next 12 months "risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible." He stated that "resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it."

Within the administration, divisions have opened over whether to send more resources to Afghanistan or adopt a more narrow counterterrorism campaign that would avoid some of the long-term nation-building tasks that McChrystal considers necessary.

In the past, Vice President Biden has advocated a strategy of shrinking the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and concentrating on disrupting al-Qaeda and its allies through drone strikes and Special Forces operations. Now anti-war Democrats on the Hill are pushing for that option.

"We should use the same approach that we take in parts of the world that we have not invaded," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, citing U.S. operations in Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere.

The emerging Democratic position could compel Obama, whose domestic agenda is facing stiff Republican criticism in Congress, to rely on those same opposition lawmakers for support if he decides to send more combat troops to Afghanistan.

Doing so would give Obama far less flexibility in devising his own plan, given that Republicans have strongly favored giving McChrystal what he asks for. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said last week: "I'm against a half-measure. That's the worst scenario. . . . If you do what the commanders recommend, I will be an enthusiastic supporter of the president."

Feingold warned that "it would probably not be a good idea for the president to rely on Republicans and a handful of Democrats."

McChrystal, whom Obama sent to Afghanistan in May after firing his predecessor, is expected to soon request thousands of additional combat troops, support forces and military trainers. His timeline for more resources roughly coincides with the U.S. withdrawal schedule from Iraq, which calls for all U.S. forces to leave the country by the end of 2011.

At the conclusion of an initial review in March, Obama approved 21,000 additional combat troops for Afghanistan. By the end of the year, 68,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to be on the ground.

Lee H. Hamilton, the former Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who has many former aides working on Obama's national security team, said that "everyone likes the training of troops, which is something we've not been very good at." But he said the key question is whether Congress, if it approves the resources for McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy, will continue that level of support for the years it will take to stabilize Afghanistan.

Even the most politically popular aspects of the administration's Afghan strategy are meeting resistance in Congress.

Last week, a Senate committee stripped $900 million from the administration's $6.6 billion request to train and equip Afghan security forces. In a statement opposing the decision, the White House said Obama's "full request reflects his commanders' plan for Afghan forces to assume a greater share of responsibility for security as quickly as possible."

Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, "This is a very complex stew here, and the McChrystal report is only one element of that stew."

"It's clear we're at a major decision point in Afghanistan, and unfortunately it comes as we're at a major decision point on health care, a major decision point on climate change, a major decision point on financial regulation and the economy," Kaufman said. "But the president's main job is to get this right. Once he has that plan, that will drive the politics."

このページのトップへ

悪い指導者を引っこ抜く


Scholar Barbara KellermanBarbara Kellerman is on the faculty of at the Harvard Kennedy School and the author, most recently, of Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, and Why It Matters and Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders.

バーバラ・ケラーマンは、ハーバード大・ケネデイ・スクールの教授である。多くの「リーダー」を主題に著書がある。最近のものに「悪いリーダーシップ」がある。それは何か~どうして起きるのか~どうして問題なのか~そして人々はどうすれば良いか、、人々がチェンジを創出する~そしてリーダーをチェンジする者たちなのだと。

Uprooting Bad Leaders

悪い指導者を引っこ抜く

"Adamant for Drift" was the brilliantly sardonic title of a speech delivered by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons in November 1936. His mission was to warn an apathetic England against Nazi Germany, and particularly against Hitler, whose appetite, Churchill later cautioned, would "grow with eating." In part because his repute at the time was low, Churchill's words were largely dismissed and his warnings widely ignored.
Nothing could be more thoughtless in situations such as these than making facile historical parallels. Similarly, nothing could be more foolish than neglecting history altogether. What, then, have we learned from the past that would enable us in the present to deal more effectively with so menacing an adversary as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
First off, Ahmadinejad is no Hitler and Iran is not Nazi Germany. This said, all bad leaders have some things in common, and some bad leaders have more things in common than do others. So while what we have in this case is by no means a man as all-powerful as Hitler, what American policymakers have to contend with is this: The putative leader of a regime guilty of some of the same sins as Nazi Germany.
During the past thirty years, Iran has been a sworn enemy of the United States. During the past five years, Iran has become far more powerful a player than before -- this in a region of critical strategic importance. During the past five years, Iran has sought aggressively to acquire more arms, now including nuclear arms. During the past year (as well as before) Iran oppressed its own dissenters -- many to the point of persecution. Finally, Ahmadinejad has himself, ironically, repeatedly and in no uncertain terms, been a Holocaust denier and Jew-hater. To gild this lily he has spoken openly and frequently of obliterating the state of Israel, of "wiping it off the map."
Words like these matter. As Mein Kampf (Hitler's autobiography published in 1925) made all too clear, they must never be lightly dismissed, certainly not from a man whose finger itches for access to the nuclear trigger. For Americans, for the West, to continue to dither as we have up to now, would be therefore as Churchill would have had it, "adamant in the fact of drift."
What, then, is to be done? What worked in the past and what could work now? The list that follows is not meant to suggest this is other than heavy lifting. Bad leaders are notoriously difficult to uproot, and their behavior is famously difficult to modify. But consider the following (it won't hurt):
First, act now. The longer America and its allies wait to take on this formidable foe, the more difficult the task.
Second, act multilaterally: Forge alliances whenever and wherever possible, with those outside Iran, with individuals and institutions inside Iran, with state actors and non-state actors, with businesses and governments, with those at the highest levels, and with ordinary people.
Third, since these various alliances are of critical importance, see them as different one from the other and treat them accordingly.
Fourth, be prepared to use every weapon in your arsenal, from diplomacy to the threat of, and if necessary the use of, force.
Fifth, use technology to connect to different people in different places. This is the 21st century. Be inventive in how you reach out.
Sixth, never underestimate the power of public opinion, both within Iran and outside it. More than ever before people power plays a political role.
And, in that regard, seventh, give high priority to the loyal opposition, to those large numbers of people inside Iran possibly in a position to provide support.
Eighth, broaden the conversation. Focus not only on the matter immediately at hand -- nuclear weapons -- but on the range of problems that have long been festering.
Finally, do not be delusional, in denial. The problem of Iran, of Ahmadinejad, will not of its own go away. Bad leaders never do. They must be forced to change their ways -- or forced out. To do anything less is to ask for even more trouble in the future than the trouble we have in the present.
このページのトップへ

プロフィール

伊勢平次郎

Author:伊勢平次郎
Author: Nobuyoshi Ozaki

A long forty six years have passed since I stepped on to American soil. I have had various odd jobs in the past until I recently retired. Examples include working with Steven Spielberg as assistant director in a film called "1941." I was supervisor and later became Public Relation representative for Toyota Group - USA. My last occupation was a Senior Research analyst working in Silicone Valley for a major news paper from Tokyo, Japan. My spouse, Christine is a flight attendant, traveling often to the Middle East and Africa. We have spent three quarters of our life together as world adventurers. This photo was taken in Argentina. We now live in swampy Louisiana.

最近の記事

最近のコメント

最近のトラックバック

月別アーカイブ

カテゴリー

FC2カウンター

ブロとも申請フォーム

この人とブロともになる

ブログ内検索

RSSフィード

リンク

このブログをリンクに追加する