TheFunnyMan comments

Posted in: Palin meets her first world leaders See in context

Have any of you meet world leaders and been in a press meeting??? But you all seem to judge her political ability on this

OK, so firstly as far as I know, none of us are running for the vice presidency. To attempt to lessen the impact of her lack of experience simply because we don't have it is intellectually dishonest. Secondly, the only reason that her political ability is being judged based on this is that she has no other record in foreign policy. She has not made major or memorable statements on international issues, except on the visibility of Russia, and has never had any kind of education or job experience that relates to dealing with the world. The fact that the media is implying that she gains experience by having short chats with Kissinger and Karzai simply re-enforces the fact that she knows absolutely nothing about what is most likely the second most important issue in the election.

Thirdly, if a politician wishes to be the most powerful person in the world, they must be able to deal with stress. Should a confrontation with a nuclear power occur, the stress of even a presidential campaign will pale in comparison with what the leader will go through, and US nuclear strategy is based on the assumption of clear-headed leadership. If Palin is to be VP, despite her inexperience, the one thing that is absolutely necessary is for her to be able to keep a cool head. So far she has not demonstrated this ability under pressure because no pressure can be brought to bear on her. McCain, Obama and Biden all have had to deal with pressure in the public spotlight, and all have been able to deal with it.

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Posted in: Does the U.S. need to have military bases anywhere in Japan? See in context

Imagawa, To a certain extent there is not a difference. Business (more specifically money) is always linked to political power. For America or any other country, money is a necessity for power, which is in turn a necessity for security. However, it is but one factor among many, and America has on occasion subordinated business and monetary interests to political factors. The effort poured into assisting the reconstruction of Japan after WWII and the protections accorded to Japanese business in order to allow it growth are examples of that. (look up the Yoshida doctrine to see just what American military engagement with Japan post WWII did for the economy)

Although they seem useless now, I disagree with your assertion that the bases were always that way. They proved extremely helpful in the Korean war, a war which significantly aided Japan's economy, and which did succeed in preventing the spread of a brutal communist regime. They also proved useful in the symbolic containment of Soviet power throughout the Cold War. Only after the Cold War ended did they lose their utility.

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Posted in: Does the U.S. need to have military bases anywhere in Japan? See in context

Imagawa, "For either the USSR or China to attack the US they would first have to go through these defence rings. It would have stopped them, but it would have expensively slowed them down."

From the "but it would have slowed them down" I assume that you meant "it would not have stopped them" I can assure you that the Soviet Union and China did not have the potential power to land a significant number of troops in Japan at any time during the cold war once the US had established those bases, and given the closeness of Japan, it would have been a cakewalk compared to an attempted invasion of America. The Soviet Navy in the region lacked the power to do much of anything to its American counterpart, and the Chinese navy was more or less non-existent until after they broke with the USSR. The military bases in Japan were not placed there with the intention of preventing an invasion of America (which was unnecessary thanks to ICBMs) but rather with the intention of preventing the spread of communism, which was considered an threat to American interests, and therefore an indirect threat to American security. They did additionally provide security for Japan in the early years of the cold war when it was believed that it might fall to communism. Read up on the effects of the Yoshida Doctrine on Japan and see what that says about security arrangements and the economic results of American basing.

Which brings me to my opinion on the US military bases in general. As an American, I think that forward deploying military forces to East Asia is expensive and at this point the costs far outweigh the benefits. We do not need those bases anymore, Japan is unlikely to be invaded (and since its military budget is the 6th highest in the world, in case of conflict it could look after itself) and should a conflict with China occur over anything other than Japan (Taiwan is far more likely), the Japanese government would likely forbid the use of these bases in the war effort. Japan doesn't need them, we don't need them, and they are expensive. Why are they still there?

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