Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Military Posture of Japan

According to a report by the "New York Times", the Japanese government has committed ¥4.98 trillion for military spending in 2015. That amount represents a 2% increase of the defense budget for the previous fiscal year.

Part of the defense budget is allocated for the development of the ATD-X, which appears in the above picture. The ATD-X is a scaled-down prototype of the first fifth-generation jet fighter designed by Japanese engineers. According to a recent report, the first flight of the prototype has been delayed due to a software problem; nonetheless, the prototype will be airborne by the end of 2015. The ATD-X is a test platform for evaluating new technologies like materials for minimizing a radar signature.

The ATD-X provides invaluable experience to the engineers who will design the i3 Fighter. It will be the replacement for the F-2 jet fighter if Tokyo chooses to use a domestically designed aircraft.

As Tokyo strengthens its military posture, the national government should ensure moral clarity in any future armed conflict. Such moral clarity can be achieved, in part, by (1) nationalizing the Yasukuni Shrine, (2) removing the war criminals enshrined there, and (3) transforming the nearby museum into a memorial of the non-Japanese and Japanese victims of war. The current state of the Yasukuni Shrine and its nearby museum, which glorifies the barbarism of the Japanese Imperial Army, disrespects the victims of World War II.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Westernization Tsunami

In the above picture is Leung Chun-ying, the chief executive of Hong Kong. Using the strong arm of state power, he has threatened to arrest supporters of democracy if they dared to blockade the streets again. The pro-democracy protestors are demanding that Beijing allow free and fair elections of the chief executive. According to a report by "The New York Times" and a report by the "Daily Mail", the Hong-Kong government (with the full support of Beijing) rejects their demands.

This conflict between pro-Chinese Hong Kongers and pro-Westernization Hong Kongers will likely end in defeat for the latter group. Most Chinese oppose democracy and human rights. This opposition is the reason that China remains an authoritarian society. No foreign power is imposing this system on the Chinese; rather, they created it themselves.

What can the minority who favor Westernization do in Hong Kong? They can fight Chinese society in 2 ways. The risky way is to use violence against the government. When it sends the police to arrest the pro-Westernization supporters, they can defend themselves by physically striking -- and killing -- the police.

The less risky way is to attack Chinese culture via the following concrete steps.

  1. All pro-democracy and pro-human rights groups merge into a single political organization called "The Westernization Tsunami" (TWT). Why is "Tsunami" in the name? See the answer below.

  2. The TWT declares that all its members renounce their identity as ethnic Chinese and that they reject Chinese culture.

  3. The TWT declares that it supports transforming Hong Kong into an independent country: the Republic of Hong Kong.

  4. The TWT declares that Japan is an example of how a formerly Asian society can become a Western society and that the TWT supports all the territorial claims asserted by Tokyo.

  5. The TWT invites Tokyo to use its political and military power to promote Westernization across Southeast Asia.

The "Tsunami" in the name of TWT represents the inherent power of Western values in prevailing over Chinese values and acknowledges the success of Japan as a Western society. The existence of TWT would shock the typical Chinese into asking, for the first time in his life, whether Chinese culture really is barbaric.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christian Transformation of China

In the above photo, the women dressed as helpers of Santa Claus represent the new generation of Chinese. Unlike the previous generation, the new generation enjoy the festivities of Western holidays. The most popular holiday is Christmas. On December 25, many Chinese exchange gifts and gather with their families and friends to eat dinner at a restaurant. Most Chinese do not know the religious meaning of Christmas: it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. For most Chinese, Christmas is just a time to relax and to enjoy the season.

The government in Beijing opposes this secular celebration because it, someday, might become a religious celebration of Christmas. If such a transformation occurred, then the full power of Western justice (which is partially based on Christian notions of morality) would overthrow the existing Chinese government.

To understand the threat that Christianity poses to the Chinese government is to understand the difference between Christian behavior and traditional Chinese behavior. Consider how Christianity might have changed history on 1989 June 4.

On that day, hundreds of thousands of people assembled in Tiananmen Square and were protesting against the government in favor of human rights and democracy. Beijing ordered its soldiers to hunt down and kill the protestors. Being typical Chinese, the soldiers dutifully obeyed the orders. They murdered several hundred protestors.

Now, suppose that those soldiers were not typical Chinese. Suppose that those soldiers where devout Christians. They would have disobeyed the orders of the politicians. Instead of killing innocent civilians, the soldiers would have seized the government buildings, taken control of the government, and begun the process for holding free and fair elections.

In other words, Frosty the Snowman in the photo below could be the catalyst

for changing the traditional Chinese mindset (illustrated in the following photo, which shows typical Chinese helping the government to hinder the celebration of Christmas) into the Western mindset.

Interestingly, China has approximately 100 million Christians but only approximately 85 million members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Consequently, according to a recent report by "The New York Times", some Chinese in the CCP believe that "the growing prevalence of Christmas is a tinsel-draped Trojan horse that aims to subvert traditional Chinese culture". Is a social and, possibly, a military revolution around the corner?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Post-election Reality in Ukraine

The results of the recent election in Ukraine indicate that the next parliament will be dominated by pro-Western politicians. How can they Westernize Ukraine?

First, the legislators should accept the fact that the territory controlled by the pro-Russian separatists is permanently lost. The prime minister must not waste any national resources on recovering that territory. Any available national resources should be used to improve the economy.

Second, the legislators must immediately enact all reforms requested or recommended by the European Union or the International Monetary Fund. The most important objective is to modernize the economy.

Third, the legislators should create a business-friendly environment for Western companies like Toyota and Mitsubishi. They can provide the jobs that many Ukrainians need. Before such companies are willing to establish a major presence in Ukraine, Kiev must provide an efficient bureaucracy, honest judges, etc.

How can we commoners in the West help the Ukrainians? We can create pressure on the Russians. Many universities in the West have numerous Russian students (of whom some have parents who work in the Kremlin). On the 15th day of each month, we should assemble in the most public area of such universities and loudly ask these Russian students, "Why are you silent when Russian soldiers invade Ukraine and kill its citizens? Why are you silent?" We should draw attention to these Russians and embarrass them.

We can start by locating the two daughters of President Vladimir Putin and creating a hostile environment for both of them.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chinese Indifference Toward Democracy

According to a report by "The Economist" and another report by the "Wall Street Journal", progress on building democracy in Hong Kong has been slow.

The citizens of a territory -- a special administration region or a full-blown country -- can achieve democracy without bloodshed when the overwhelming majority of them support that goal. Such is the case in Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

Such is not the case in Hong Kong. Its wealthy citizens like the benefits of democracy. Indeed, these Hong Kongers emigrate to the West or send their adult children to the West to study in college and to obtain permanent jobs there. However, these same Hong Kongers refuse to support democracy in Hong Kong.

There is hypocrisy in Chinese society.

If you are a pro-democracy Hong Konger, you are in the minority. What can you do?

You should use violence against, specifically, the Chinese government and, generally, Chinese society.

At the same time, you should support Western efforts to suspend all immigration from Hong Kong (and the rest of Chinese society in China, Taiwan, etc.) to the West. By denying rich Hong Kongers entry to the West, you can force them to suffer the brutality of Chinese rule (in Hong Kong). Then, they will understand the need for supporting democracy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fighting the Russians

According to a recent report by "The Economist", before Kiev could defeat the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Russian troops entered Ukraine and turned the tide of battle. The Kremlin has created a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Western governments refuse to give modern weapons to Kiev. Instead, the West has resorted to economic sanctions. Although they may have an effect in the long term, they are ineffective in the short term. The Kremlin has shrugged them off and continues to foment chaos in eastern Ukraine.

Kiev should not expect any substantial help from the West. The Ukrainians must fend for themselves.

The Ukrainians can ally with Islamic extremists in Russia and help them to terrorize the Russian population. They refuse to be ruled by the Kremlin and want an independent Islamic nation to be carved out of the existing Russian territory. At the same time, the Ukrainians refuse to be ruled by the Kremlin and want an independent Ukraine. The 2 goals are similar.

Both goals can be achieved only by killing enough Russians. At the moment, few Russians feel the horror of war, so they enthusiastically support President Vladimir Putin as he sends Russian troops into eastern Ukraine. By helping the Islamic extremists to kill Russians in unexpected places (e.g., shopping malls and move theaters), Kiev can bring the horror of war from eastern Ukraine into the lives of ordinary Russians. When hundreds of Russians die daily (due to, say, suicide bombers), they will lose the stomach to maintain a military presence in Ukraine.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Beijing Suppresses Democracy in Hong Kong

According to a report by the "Wall Street Journal", Beijing has declared that in future elections for the chief executive of Hong Kong, its voters must choose only candidates that are approved by a pro-Beijing committee.

Although some Hong Kongers object to this formula for electing the chief executive, most residents of the city support the formula. Indeed, in 1997, they participated in parties cheering the return of Hong Kong to authoritarian Chinese rule.

By contrast, the East Europeans, who eventually created prosperous democracies, never cheered authoritarian rule. These people risked their lives to condemn and fight the authoritarian governments imposed by the Kremlin. The courage of the East Europeans eventually transformed Poland and other Eastern European countries into Western democracies.

The Chinese differ culturally and genetically from the Europeans and will surely continue to suppress democracy. The Chinese have done so for centuries.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Building a New Ukraine

According to a recent report by the "Wall Street Journal", the war in eastern Ukraine has damaged the national economy.

Regardless of the final outcome of this war, its cost in blood and treasure is high. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians will have permanent mental and physical scars. The money that Kiev spent on the war will not be available for improving the economic infrastructure.

In order for Ukraine to prosper after the war, the following actions must occur.

The Ukrainian people must vote pro-Western politicians into the Rada, the national parliament, because only it has the political power to set the direction of the country. Unless Kiev implements Western economic and political policies, any aid from the West will be squandered.

Concomitant with this expression of commitment for Westernizing Ukraine, the European Union under the leadership of Berlin must provide financial and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. That assistance would include (1) immediately building temporary shelters for all the internally displaced people, (2) providing ready-to-eat meals for them, etc. We Westerners must show the awesome power of Western compassion to the Ukrainians -- especially, the pro-Russians Ukrainians.

Tokyo, which is usually a laggard in promoting Westernization, can help to boost the Ukrainian economy by providing financial incentives to Japanese companies to establish factories in eastern Ukraine. As a manufacturing base, it can serve as an alternative to China, in which anti-Japanese sentiment is rife. Further, after Kiev bans all military exports to Russia, the workers who become unemployed can find employment at these new Japanese factories.

The nations of the West must help to bring Ukraine into the Western fold, for we are stronger with her than we are without her.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dysfunctional Hong Kong

According to a report by the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ), 163,000 Hong Kongers marched through downtown on 2014 July 1 and demanded democratic governance. They constituted 2.28% of the population. The strength of this protest is much weaker than the strength of the successful protest (attended by 500,000 people, constituting 3.21% of the population) in Prague in 1990 November.

There is an even more notable difference between Hong Kongers and Czechoslovakians. Specifically, for the 10-year period prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to mainland China, the Hong Kongers had plenty of time to clamor for establishing an independent Republic of Hong Kong that would have guaranteed human rights and democracy. Yet, during this 10-year period, no group in Hong Kong ever held demonstrations demanding independence and its accompanying guarantee of civil liberties.

Rather, the Hong Kongers strongly supported Chinese nationalism, and according to a CNN/Time poll on 1997 June 26, more than 60% of the Hong Kongers enthusiastically supported unification. Further, 50% preferred social order over democracy. On the very night of the handover, huge crowds of Hong Kongers enthusiastically participated in Beijing-sponsored celebrations.

Neither the Czechs nor the Slovaks would ever celebrate being ruled by an authoritarian government.

According to a recent report by the WSJ, roughly 100,000 Hong Kongers rallied in downtown on 2014 August 17 to applaud Beijing's suppressing democracy in Hong Kong.

Neither the Czechs nor the Slovaks would ever applaud an authoritarian government's suppressing democracy in their society.

The ugly conclusion is that whereas the Eastern Europeans succeeded at creating democratic societies (in the Czech Republic and Slovakia), the Hong Kongers will fail.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dysfunctional Thailand

According to a recent report by "The Economist", the army rules Thailand with an iron fist. Why is it a dysfunctional nation while the Czech Republic is a prosperous Western democracy?

On 1989 November 25, when 500,000 Czechoslovakians gathered in Prague to demand the resignation of the authoritarian government and to call for democratization, these brave souls accepted the risk of being killed by the secret police. Their bravery helped them to prevail. The government soon transferred power to pro-democracy politicians, and in June of the following year, the first free elections since 1946 installed a new democratic government.

This courage to face down authoritarianism is absent in Thailand. Though the overwhelming majority of its citizens want to build a Western democracy like Japan, they silently cower in fear while the army controls society with an iron grip.

Building a democracy is risky business, for its costs may include fatalities. The Czechoslovakians were willing to pay that price, and today both the Czech Republic and Slovakia are prosperous democracies. By contrast, the Thais refuse to pay that price, and Thailand remains a land frozen in authoritarianism.