Japan's New Leader and His Country's Fealty to Washington
by William Pfaff
The landslide election of
In both cases opposition parties long out of power (in the Japanese case, all but totally excluded from national power during the six decades of the postwar Japanese government's existence) have been elected at a time of crisis to change the nation's policy.
Such changes are easier to talk about than think about, or worse, actually to accomplish, as
This relationship initially made sense, allowing
It must also eventually come to an end, and this could become a problem for the newly elected
The negatives for
The leader of the victorious
He wrote of respect for the "local economic practices that have been fostered through our traditions." This is a sympathetic position, but it is not clear what he means in practice, even though he suggests that America's world economic domination is waning.
The most important political question faced by a
Other Japanese observe that at a time when
There are, however, two issues the Democrats must face. One is public opinion. The subordinate place
The physical burden of the bases, and the social consequences of having some 50,000 foreign troops in your country, occupying bases for which
These troops were first stationed in
The second issue is who profits from the security relationship.
Unanimous gloom regarding Afghanistan seems clear confirmation that Barack Obama and his chosen advisers have wasted no time in placing themselves and the country -- in a mere five months -- into the same desperate situation that it took the combined Johnson and Nixon administrations 15 years to arrive at in the case of Vietnam. This view would seem widely shared today -- without influencing policy.
It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about. Gen. Stanley McChyrstal says the Taliban are winning.
Thus far in the CIA torture controversy, as in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure, holding current office, taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.
The Latest Tale From the 'War on Terror' Dark Side
Little mainstream comment seems to have appeared on the latest revelations of incompetence and sadistic fantasy that have been published this week about the ways in which the American nation lost its honor and international reputation because of the Bush administration's infatuation with torture.
You Can't Blame Obama for American Stubbornnes
There was a telling caption to a recent French commentary on the American political situation. It read: 'Obama, the man who thinks he's president.
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