Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Other Sleeping Giant Awakening?

Jules Crittenden: "As Japan mulls its right to projecting military power in its own self-defense, expect an uproar from homegrown peace advocates who believe that pacifism is the highest international virtue, and fail to recognize that mature, responsible democracies must be prepared to act aggressively in defense of themselves and others."

The lessons Western Europe failed to learn after World War II and after 9/11 were the same ones they failed to learn after World War I, namely that not everybody wants simply to live peaceful lives, and that declining to fight evil early on only leads to worse suffering later. As Dennis Prager has put it, they decided fighting was evil, not that they must fight evil. I'm reading Alone about the build-up and start of WWII and was surprised to find how the politicians of the time regarded Hitler as a trustworthy partner for peace, albeit with an inexplicable habit of breaking every single treaty he signed, rather than as a monster that they mistakenly believed they could sedate or tame. As an analogy, they treated him more like they treated Arafat, and less like they treated Saddam. Unfortunately though, both methods of appeasement have the same result: dictators murdering and plundering with impunity.

Crittenden also writes:

At war's end the Japanese, finally brought to submission by two atomic bombs, got religion.
Did they though? Besides producing the above-mentioned pacifist / defeatist crowd, modern Japan's decreasing population trend mimics or surpasses the secular countries of Western Europe. Mark Steyn probably said this, but whereas the middle American rejoinder to the famous hippie slogan "Make Love Not War" has been "Why Not Both?", Japan decided upon, "None of the above." The population is shrinking and aging. They haven't had a monotheistic tradition since the Christians were eliminated in feudal Japan. What could inspire them to change direction now? Living next to a nuke-wielding crazy dictator and around the corner from the ChiComs, now with U.S. technology? Those are the kind of excuses ("unstable, dangerous, etc. world") that the center-left typically use for not having children. Hopefully the chance to lead the region and maintain "peace through superior firepower" will inspire Japan to new greatness, but funny t-shirt slogans probably don't have the same civilizational force as faith in the Almighty.

(Via the Puppy Blender.)

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