Plunge Pontificates

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Japnopologist on the Loose

Hey folks. I had to read the following a few times to even understand what was being discussed. With that, let’s take a look at Ampontan’s latest rant over at Japundit. He entitles it “Batty in Beijing” suggesting that the Chinese government is having mental problems.

He starts:

If we were to see someone in public frothing at the mouth and displaying obvious signs of insanity, we’d quickly call an ambulance or the police. That’s not an option, however, when the lunatic under observation is the Chinese government.

Think I’m exaggerating? Then try this Reuters article from the Courier-Mail in Australia reporting on an editorial in the People’s Daily:

China has an old saying: “One pellet of rat s..it spoils a bowl of soup,” said the commentary, signed by Wu Ming, probably a pseudonym. “Using this sentence with the Yasukuni Shrine is perhaps not correct because the shrine is not good soup, but it is notorious regardless of whether it has rat faeces.”

Okay. So, we are talking about an editorial in the People’s Daily, a communist shill of a newspaper, that is reported on by reuters in the Courier-Mail, an Australian paper. I think I’ve got that so far. He quotes the article as above. So, what is the article about? Going to the link he provides, the article says:

TENSION between China and Japan escalated yesterday with a major newspaper here describing Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to a Tokyo war shrine as the actions of a person who knowingly eats "rat s..t".

Mr Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours war criminals along with Japan's 2.5 million war dead, is a huge irritant in China-Japan relations, which are strained thanks to a range of disputes, some from Japan's occupation of parts of China during WW II.

Okay, now we can see where this is coming from. First, you have Koizumi’s continued visits to Yasukuni. Then you have Foreign Minster Aso’s comments from the other day. Combine these together and you have an angry Chinese government. If Ampontan had taken the time to describe the entire situation, there wouldn’t be the confusion. Instead, he decides to try and make this look like China’s government has gone off the deep-end of the mental pool.

This isn’t the case of a frothing mouthed lunatic, this is a government angry at actions and words of the governemnt officials of it's neighbor, Japan. While the imagery used isn’t pleasant, it conveys a strong depth of feeling, not lunacy. This imagery is supposedly taken from an ancient Chinese proverb, I couldn’t locate that though. As I’ve recently shown, it isn’t just China and Korea angry at the actions of Koizumi, there is anger through-out Asia and other parts of the world. Unfortunately, people like Ampontan would like to suggest that it is only China beating up on poor Japan.

Let’s continue, he next writes:

It’s not online, but the Japan Times included more direct quotes from Reuters and the People’s Daily than did the Courier-Mail, as well as the letter of the alphabet the Queensland daily removed:

”A sane man knowing the soup contains rat shit drinks it anyway. Other people try politely to stop him and he blames them. People can only think he has a special interest in rat shit.”

Any flicker of sanity in those sentences, much less a passing acquaintance with reality, is purely coincidental. I have to wonder if the pollution in China is now so bad that the drinking water has been contaminated by mercury.

It’s no surprise the Chinese public loses all sense of control when the issue is Japan. If all I had to read was the People’s Daily, I’d have to be fitted for a straitjacket, too.

Again, more harsh imagery by the People’s Daily. Koizumi, time and time again and by countless sources, has been criticized and castigated for his continued visits to Yasukuni. He knows how his visits angers other Asians and upsets governments from all over. Yet, he persists in these visits, to the detriment of Japan and its reputation internationally. Therefore, the imagery given in the article. Koziumi, knowing the soup (see Yasukuni) is poisoned, continues to drink it (visit the shrine). People (other nations, leaders and publications) try to stop him, but he gets angry at them for interfering while he is trying to drink, astonishing those who are only trying to act in his best interest (insinuating Koizumi has some special interest in Yasukuni).

It isn’t a lack of sanity, it is imagery; and while harsh, has a great deal to do with reality. While I’m not going to argue the pollution in China, I am wondering if Ampontan has eaten some bad raw fish lately. I do think we can leave out the talk of straightjackets though, talk about your over the top imagery.

Next…

The Courier-Mail did include one sentence that was puzzling in a different way. I can’t decide whether it more closely resembles Stalinism as depicted by Orwell or the Big Lie as propounded by Goebbels:

“The Yasukuni Shrine has long been regarded as a symbol of the revival of militarism,” the commentary said.

Any revival of militarism in Japan is a figment of the imagination of the propaganda arm of the Communist Party in China, deliberately used by the Chinese leadership to deflect the nation’s attention from the problems at home by focusing them on a bogeyman abroad. If the Chinese actually think they see any militaristic revival–other than their own–it’s evidence they’re hallucinating.

YES! How could we go through a rant without invoking the evil specter of Nazism! Let’s be clever though and not actually mention Hitler, we’ll just throw in his right hand man Goebbels. That aside, let’s look at the statement Ampontan is in a tizzy about; Yasukuni and the revival of a militarized Japan. He goes on as to how this is completely unjustified and a ‘figment of the imagination of the propaganda arm of the Communist Party in China…’

While painting Japan as a current militarily antagonistic nation would be wrong, it is easy to see how others might not have this view. Japan has the second highest military budget in the world, second only to the United States.

The world's top five spenders are the US, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and China.

The US-led "war on terrorism" - after attacks on New York and the Pentagon in September 2001 - has triggered a dramatic increase in US military spending, boosting overall global figures. US spending alone has risen from $296 billion in 1997 to $336 billion in 2002 and $379 billion in 2003. In contrast, Japan spends an average of about $44 billion annually on its military, France about $40 billion, the United Kingdom about $35 billion and China about $26 billion.

Beyond this are the current attempts to alter the constitution in Japan to allow for a more aggressive military. Personally, I’m all in favor of this considering the current conflicts in the world and the need for nations other than the US to handle them all. But in saying this, it is also easy to see how it would make other nations in the region extremely nervous. Remember that it is less than a century since Japan began the deadliest military campaign in history responsible for the deaths of untold millions and a monthly death rate of hundreds of thousands. Given that, we might want to excuse the jitters of those that suffered under Japan’s militaristic past.

Moving on…

But that’s not the only symptom of illness. Here’s how Reuters describes the strategy of the government and the People’s Daily:

The People’s Daily has been stepping up its rhetoric against Japan even as the Government tries to keep public sentiment from boiling over.

Yes, turning up the heat on the stove is an excellent way to prevent the soup from spilling over the side of the pot.

Does this not suggest a split personality? See if this definition doesn’t fit the Chinese behavior as snugly as a hospital gown:

Schizophrenia is the most severe of the major mental illnesses. Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into two categories – positive and negative. Positive symptoms are characterized by paranoia, delusions, hallucination and thought disorder.

Well, at least they get full marks for something.

Oh please. Give it a rest here. We are now saying the entire government of China is schizophrenic? First, this is the OPINION of Reuters on what the Chinese government is doing. So, based on the opinion of one reporter, Ampontan is going to declare the government of China insane. It is only with the recent visit of Koizumi to Yasukuni AND the comments of Japan’s foreign minister that the latest article in the People’s Daily was written. What is more accurate, in my opinion, is that the Chinese government is continuing to keep attitudes in China anti-Japan. There is no call for demonstrations or the like. It is just another jab at the ‘evil’ Japanese. It is an ongoing campaign, seemingly well orchestrated, aimed at keeping the people annoyed, but not enough to explode.

Onward…

But, as with all lunatics, even the Chinese have the occasional interlude of lucidity:

Last month, a paper’s columnist said China should prepare for enduring conflict with Japan and embrace nationalism as a source of unity, adding that tensions were likely to deepen as the two compete for export markets and energy supplies.

When most countries start barging down the militarist path to empire, they usually fabricate some excuse based on an affront to national pride to hide the real reasons for their aggression. Prime Minister Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni provide them with the excuse. But the Chinese want to have their cake and eat it, too. Not only are they trying to whip up their natural nationalist arrogance—which they seldom try to disguise in Asia—to an even greater level of insufferability, they suggest a conflict is in the cards because they’re going to try to grab the region’s energy supplies on the way to establishing a hegemony.

While China is the big bully on the block, the current situation seems no more extreme than at any other time, in fact, it seems less volital if anything. The people of China are not marching in the streets shouting anti-Japan slogans. It seems pretty much business as usual. In fact, if Koizumi would STOP visiting Yasukuni and if Aso could keep his mouth shut, the situation would calm even further. Instead, they spoon feed the Chinese government exactly what it needs to keep the animosity levels at high but controllable. What China really seems to be doing is using Japan and the conflicts there to focus its population’s mind on an external enemy instead of the economic woes faced by the vast majority of the Chinese people. But, the economy of China is another story altogether. As far as arrogance goes, Koizumi is second to none.

And then…

Now that I think of it, the “enduring conflict” expression has more of an Orwellian ring.

Meanwhile, the village idiots of the Western press are burying these stories on the inside of the paper without comment, or trying to maintain an air of neutrality (while subtly tilting against free market and democratic Japan) even as they wipe the Chinese faeces off their faces. Or spoon it out of their soup along with the rat s..t.

Oh please. Poor Japan, poor, poor Japan. Nobody in the west is ignoring China. China is recognized for the proper threat that it is. This attitude of victimization is sickening and saying that China is preferred over Japan is a desperate cry and attempt to deflect proper scrutiny of recent actions by Japan. There is not a ‘subtle tilt’ against Japan towards China anywhere except in Ampontan’s vivid imagination.

Finally…

Why do these self-proclaimed defenders of truth and justice refrain from calling a spade a spade just because the spade is made in China? Perhaps this article answers the question—self-preservation.

A newspaper editor who was severely beaten by police about three months ago has died from multiple injuries, his wife and former colleagues said on Monday.

…Mr Wu’s wife, who did not want to give her first name but is also surnamed Wu, confirmed his death, although she declined to elaborate exactly what he had died of.

“I am not able to say,” she said. “It is not convenient for me to say over the phone… in the end, it was due to his liver problems.”

Up to 50 police raided the newspaper’s office on October 20, a day after it published an article criticising traffic police over charging arbitrary fees for electrical bicycle licenses. Up to eight police beat and kicked Mr Wu, before hurling him out of his office and bundling him into a police car, Xinhua reported the next day. The Xinhua report said Mr Wu had a liver transplant two years earlier and the beating caused severe damage to his liver, as well as other injuries.

Another journalist at Taizhou Wanbao, who also declined to be named, said Mr Wu had remained in hospital following the beatings on October 20. He added that newspaper staff had been warned against discussing the incident with outsiders.

“All the news that’s fit to print,” they tell us. What they really mean is, “All the news that keeps us fit, we’ll print.”

Yes, yes, China is evil. Nobody is denying this except in your imagination once again. You say that the western news refrains from calling China what it is and then you quote an article, from a western news source, whose headline is, “Chinese editor dies after police beating.” How more explicit can you be?!? What in the hell else do you want the article to say? It described exactly what happened and placed the death exactly where it belonged, at the feet of the Chinese police. Where is the cover-up? Where is the attempt at not reporting this? Unless you are talking about Chinese reporters and then, who can blame them for not reporting everything? Hell, they face death if they do and the western press is getting the word out. For the life of me, I’m not sure what you are trying to say in this last part. In fact, in a just published poll, people in the US consider China to be the #2 threat to the US after Iran!

Instead of creating this vast tinfoil hat scenario, just say it like it is. The Chinese Government is evil. It focuses attention on outside enemies to control its population. Japan makes an easy target for this because of the arrogance and actions of Koizumi and those around him. Japan could do a hell of a lot to ease this situation, but once again, the arrogance level is too high. But instead of laying blame where it belongs, it is easier to try and heap it all on to the evil communist neighbor and play the victim. Each side has added to the current conflict. Seeing as how Japan wants to be the leader in the region and a leader in the world, it’s time for them to step forward and take the lead in calming the current situation.