Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A rose by any other name is just as gray

I am a big fan of the Japanese, and Japan in general - so it is nice in a way that one of the big items on our agenda is what name our NUKE carrier to replace the conventional Shity-kitty, eerrr, USS Kitty Hawk.
The move must take into account Japanese attitudes, U.S. military strategy, and American politics and economics — much of which will be difficult to reconcile.

At the moment, the leading candidates would seem to be the USS Abraham Lincoln, named for the American perhaps most revered in Japan, and the USS George Washington, named for the father of his country. The Lincoln, based in Bremerton, Wash., belongs to the Pacific Fleet while the Washington is assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and is based in Norfolk, Va.

Among carriers that should not be under consideration are the USS Harry S Truman, named for the president who ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to get Japan to surrender and end World War II, and the USS Nimitz, named for the U.S. naval commander, Admiral Chester Nimitz, in that war against Japan.

Posting the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to Japan would recall the cancellation of President Eisenhower's visit to Tokyo in 1960 in the face of violent protests against the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered carrier to visit Japan, stirred up similar protests in Sasebo, a port in southwestern Japan, in 1968.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is named for the president who negotiated a treaty to end the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 that many Japanese thought unfair.
Let's ignore who is in the yards when and assume that due to the unique nature of the USS Enterprise's plant, it should stay close to home when not deployed. If I had my way, we would keep our Presidents. Give them one of the politicians. If nothing else, it would easier for your average Japanese say "Stennis" or "Vinson" on a regular basis.

Funny, one would have thought the USS Midway would have been an issue. True, it was a HUGE defeat for Japan, but it was one of the few battles where it was mostly honorable on both sides.

I'll give them the name issue. Though - having the USS Harry S. Truman homeported there would be, well, in a word - sublime.

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