Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tokyo needs nukes?

Big hat tip to the irreplaceable Jonah Goldberg at “The Corner” on this one. Sparked a thoughtstream of more than one beer drenched conversation in my little career.

“If you were Japanese and you lived in their neighborhood, would you want a nuclear deterrent?” Answer,
“You bet your sake soaked ass I would!”

First of all, I have a lot of respect for the Japanese people and the Japanese military. Look what they have done in the last 125 years, and especially what they have done in since WWII. This is a strong, successful culture that is now, as imperfect as all democratic governments are, a bulwark of Western Civilization. And yes, I called them Western. Democratic. Free. Capitalistic. Western. Perhaps you could call them an “Adjunct Western Society with Eastern Underpinnings”, but don’t call them an Eastern culture.

Probably the Bill Murray movie
“Lost in Translation” showed it best. From a distance it looks Western, but when you step into it, it isn’t. Anyway, hard to explain. If you want to throw the BS flag, fine. In my mind, the “Western” construct is not an ethnic or racial construct; it is a cultural one that grew out of The Enlightenment. I sweep Japan, South Korea, and Singapore in that bundle for Asian countries. They have thrown off the shackles of Eastern traditional despotism for Freedom that Locke, Jefferson, and Franklin would all understand and be proud of. They might not like the Emperor and all, but what is a monarch or two among friends.

Back to the point. Anyone that has done a RIMPAC or two knows the ins and outs of the Japanese military. Their aircraft are in outstanding condition, their crews top notch (especially in my experience their submarine Skippers), and I would have no problem stepping into the breech with the
Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) anytime.

They are starting to come out of their pacifistic shell, especially after 9/11, and as have always been ready to go alone (smart cookies) if needed. They understand, as I wish all did, that you cannot 100% guarantee that the U.S.A. will be there to defend you from your enemies.

Outside a Tom Clancy novel or two, a nuclear Japan is no more of a threat to the United States than a nuclear Britain or France. It is generally accepted that Japan is ready to go nuclear, on very short notice, if they need to. To think otherwise is to be a fool.

In some ways, a
nuclear Japan may make America safer. They would be much less susceptible to nuclear blackmail, i.e.
“Do this or we will attack you. Do you think Americans will take the risk of loosing San Francisco, Honolulu, and Seattle by responding to our attack on your cities? Under President (put your nightmare president here)’s leadership? Do you trust (him/her) to do this? ….. I didn’t think so.”
Let Japan shoulder her own defense burden some more. Almost 50 years after the war, she has earned it. I would rather have Japan face down a bully from the front than to have them do it from behind Americans strung around the bow of their defensive bulwark. If Charles Krauthammer is right, as he almost always is, in his 2003 article, we only threaten a nuclear Japan and China will take care of the immediate problem of North Korea.

General Patton had a great
'I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me.'
Well, outside the British, I would rather head out over the horizon in the company of the JMSDF than anyone else.

More nukes better? Well, in theory no, but we have to live in the world we are given, not the world we wish we had.

Corner readers - Welcome aboard! Instalanche. Impressive. Visit awhile, the Wardroom is open for MIDRATS.

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