Monday, January 20, 2014

Thailand: Perpetrators of the Spate of Violence

According to a recent report (published on 2014 January 20), the violence in Thailand continues. There have been explosions and gunfire.

Although we do not know, with certainty, the background of the assailants who tossed the grenades and who fired the guns, we can make an educated guess. Suthep Thaugsuban wants the military to stage a coup ousting Yingluck Shinawatra, and any large-scale violence will be used by the military to justify seizing control of Thailand. At the same time, the death of Thaugsuban (and other key members of the Democrat Party), the royal family (including the king), and the royalist soldiers would help the Thai people by preventing the overthrow of a democratic government.

Given these facts, the conclusion is obvious. If the violence (via the explosions and gunfire) had actually killed Thausuban, the king, the royalist soldiers, and other prominent impediments to the Westernization of Thailand, then a member of the pro-democracy group (known as the "Red Shirts") likely committed the violence.

Yet, the recent spate of violence did not remove these prominent roadblocks to Westernization but, instead, killed some ordinary citizens of Thailand. Therefore, a member of the anti-democracy group (known as the "Yellow Shirts" and lead by Thaugsuban) likely committed the violence. The members of the anti-democracy group are staging this violence and are sacrificing some of the supporters of Thaugsuban in order to lure the military into overthrowing the government of Shinawatra.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Thailand: National Anti-Corruption Committee Tries to Destory the Pheu Thai Party

According to a recent report (published on 2014 January 7), the National Anti-Corruption Committee (NACC) has initiated steps to suspend or permanently ban 308 parliamentarians holding public office. Most of these politicians are members of the Pheu Thai Party (PTP). The NACC claims that these politicians acted illegally in approving an amendment (to the constitution) that would have made the Thai Senate fully elected. Currently, half of the senators are appointed by a committee of officials and judges.

Yet, the Senate in its present form is undemocratic. The unelected half of the Senate is populated by appointees who subvert the will of the voters by voting in accordance with the wishes of the authoritarian axis (AA): the royal family, the Democrat Party (which is the major opposition party), and the royalist soldiers. Because the Senate has the authority to approve membership of the Election Commission, the Constitutional Court, and the anti-corruption commission, the AA can use the Senate to wield power over much of the government.

By contrast, in Western democracies like Japan, the Senate is fully elected. Senators serve at the pleasure of the majority (of the voters), not an anti-democratic minority. So, the attempt by the PTP to make the Senate fully elected is reasonable and desirable.

Yet, the NACC claims that the 308 parliamentarians acted illegally in supporting this bill. The only explanation for this claim is that, in accordance with the wishes of the AA, the NACC is attempting to (1) destroy the PTP and (2) overthrow the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

For decades, the AA has blocked the Westernization of Thailand.

If you are a student in a Thai university, then you understand that the Democrat Party, the royal family, and the royalist soldiers in the army are destroying any hope for Thailand to become a wealthy Western democracy like Japan. You also understand that in the newly Westernized nations of Eastern Europe, its university students were the strongest opponents of authoritarian governments during the era of Soviet domination. These students risked their lives to oppose politicians like Thaugsuban.

You, the student in a Thai university, cannot sit idly while politicians like Suthep Thaugsuban destroy Thailand. You must kill Thaugsuban and the entire royal family. Little time remains until the military stages a coup. You must act now.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Thailand: Anti-Western Forces Will Shutdown Bangkok

According to a recent report (published on 2014 January 3), Suthep Thaugsuban (in the above photograph) and his supporters will shutdown Bangkok. This action is a grave attempt to violently overthrow the democratically elected government of Thailand. Also, these thugs want the military to stage a coup ousting Yingluck Shinawatra.

To understand the barbarism of Thaugsuban and his supporters, consider the political system in Japan, the only Western democracy in Asia. For decades in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and its political allies received the majority of the votes and dominated the parliament. The opposition parties respected the wishes of the voters and did not attempt to violently overthrow the government.

Moreover, criticism of the emperor and the rest of the imperial family is legal. Such is the nature of a Western democracy.

By contrast, in Thailand, the major opposition party is the Democrat Party and does not respect the wishes of the voters, of whom the majority has supported the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) and its allies. Thaugsuban, a member of the Democrat Party, is leading protestors to violently overthrow the government run by the PTP.

Furthermore, criticism of the king and rest of the royal family is illegal. The king enthusiastically supports imprisoning his critics.

If you are a student in a Thai university, then you understand that the Democrat Party, the royal family, and the royalist soldiers in the army are destroying any hope for Thailand to become a wealthy Western democracy like Japan. You also understand that in the newly Westernized nations of Eastern Europe, its university students were the strongest opponents of authoritarian governments during the era of Soviet domination. These students risked their lives to oppose politicians like Thaugsuban.

You, the student in a Thai university, cannot sit idly while politicians like Suthep Thaugsuban destroy Thailand. You must kill Thaugsuban and the entire royal family. Little time remains until the military stages a coup. You must act now.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thailand: Opponents of Westernization

Suthep Thaugsuban and other leaders of the Democrat Party in Thailand are clamoring for the suspension of its modest democracy. Their supporters have violently protested against its government. According to a recent report (dated 2013 December 26) from CNN, this violence has killed a police officer. These demagogues of the Democrat Party are hoping for a military coup.

When we see this bizarre situation in which a political party in a “democracy” aligns with goons to overthrow a duly elected government, we must ask, “What is wrong with the people of this ‘democracy’? Why do the majority of the people allow a minority to destroy the institutions of democracy?”

This kind of idiocy does not occur in a Western democracy like Germany, Sweden, Japan, etc.

If you are a student at a university in Thailand, then you are well educated, and you can, via the Internet, read about how a nation like Germany operates in a vastly different way. You know that the people destroying the future of Thailand are the royal family, the politicians in the Democrat Party, the thugs who seized control of the government offices, etc.

If you are a student at a university in Thailand and if you care about your nation, then you must take up arms (i.e., weapons) and protect the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. You must kill the king and the rest of the royal family and must kill politicians like Suthep Thaugsuban, etc.

Violence is wrong in a Western democracy, but Thailand is not such a democracy. Its formation has been impeded by the monarchy, the military, and the political minority represented by the Democrat Party. When a nation is harmed by this kind of minority, which constantly threatens to use violence, the majority must rise up and use violence to promote a Western democracy.

Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother need your help. Both she and her brother have tried strenuously to Westernize Thailand so that you, the Thai citizen, can enjoy the same level of freedoms and prosperity that exists in the West. The Democrat Party and the monarchy have tried to block their efforts. Only you, the university student who knows the facts about genuine Western democracies and Thailand, can fix this situation. You must kill the king and the rest of the royal family, and you must kill politicians like Suthep Thaugsuban.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary Clinton as an Independent Candidate

Barack Obama has catered to the 3 main left-wing groups dominating the Democratic party: they include pacifists who oppose military intervention, free spenders who believe that the answer is always more government spending, and apologists for the African-American sub-culture that produces academic underachievers and violent criminals. To the pacifists, he has pledged to never attack another nation unless it directly threatens the USA. So, an Obama-ian response to the Serbs' slaughtering the Kosovars in 1999 would have been to ignore the victims. To the free spenders, he has promised to raise taxes: eliminating the cap on payroll taxes and likely hiking the capital-gains tax rate from 15% to 28%. [1] He will pour some of this new revenue into primary and secondary schools even though we already spend 31% more per student than even the education-obsessed Japanese. [2][3][4] To the apologists, he has offered 20 years of attendance in a church preaching hatred against European-Americans and blaming them for all that ails African-American society.

This 3-pronged electoral strategy has been successful. A majority of young adults (who lack knowledge of history and current events, according to numerous studies), college students (with "higher" education having been a bastion of peaceniks for decades), and wealthy liberals (who have the money to waste on higher taxes) has consistently supported Obama.[5] An overwhelming majority (roughly 90%) of African-Americans has flocked to Obama. He is now mere weeks away from winning the Democratic nomination.

We are witnessing the coronation of another Ned Lamont. Like him, Obama does not represent the views of mainstream America. While most Americans oppose unsuccessful military intervention like the current occupation of Iraq, the very same Americans support successful military invervention: e.g., the Gulf War in 1991 and the NATO-led police action against Serbia in 1999. Also, most Americans oppose increasing taxes to grow the size of government as numerous politicians can attest that they gained political office by pledging "no new taxes". Of course, blaming European-Americans for African-American failure just does not resonate with non-African-Americans, who comprise 88% of the United States and who have witnessed millions of immigrants succeeding without blaming European-Americans.

If Obama is Lamont, then Hillary Clinton could be Joseph Lieberman. Propelled by left-wing groups, Lamont defeated Lieberman to win the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. Still, Lieberman knew that he, unlike Lamont, enjoyed broad support in Connecticut. So, Lieberman bolted from his party, ran as an independent in the general election, and -- won.

Like Lieberman, Clinton has been sidelined by the left-wing groups but enjoys broad support across the American electorate. It supports fiscal conservatism like workfare-focused welfare, cautious social liberalism like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", limited interventionism like the police action again Serbia, and free trade like that embodied by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This philosophy of government is precisely the one which she proactively helped her husband to implement when he served as president.

In a 1992 interview with Ted Koppel, she famously rejected "staying home and baking cookies" and effectively became chief adviser to her husband.[6] His government policies are her government policies. Though the left-wing groups dominating the Democratic primaries have forced Ms. Clinton to distance herself from his policies, her voting record in the Senate affirms her commitment to a continuation of them. For example, despite criticizing free trade on the campaign trail, she actually voted for free-trade agreements with both Chile and Singapore in 2003, dovetailing his support for NAFTA in 1993.[7]

These policies are the reason for her popularity in mainstream America. Even conservative commentators like Ann Coulter and Bill Cunningham have declared support for Clinton.[8][9] So, if she entered the presidential election as an independent candidate, she would likely win a 3-way race among John McCain, Obama, and herself -- just as her husband and Lieberman won their 3-way races in 1992 and 2006, respectively. However, before she can even entertain the idea of running as an independent, Clinton must ask herself whether she has (1) the confidence to win and (2) the courage to burn all her Democratic bridges.

note
1. The essay, "Hillary Clinton as an Independent Candidate", was originally written in 2008 May.
2. Kimberley A. Strassel at "The Wall Street Journal" concurs with most of the key points in the above essay. [10]
3. During the 5-year period ending on 1998 April, President Bill Clinton reduced the number of civilian employees in the executive branch by about 330,000. He reduced "the number of federal government employees to a level lower than any time since the Kennedy administration". [11]
4. The Democratic Leadership Council, of which Hillary Clinton is a member, advocates "free trade, personal accountability and a strong national defense". [12]
5. Barack Obama opposes using the American military to protect the victims of genocide. [13]


references
1. "Obama's Tax Evasion", "The Wall Street Journal", 2008 April 18.
2. "Education Indicators: An International Perspective", U.S. Department of Education, 2003.
3. "Transcript of Thursday's Democratic presidential debate", CNN, 2008 January 31.
4. Curtis Brainard, "Obama’s NASA Plan Gets Little Play", "Columbia Journalism Review", 2007 November 29.
5. "National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study", The National Geographic Education Foundation, 2006 May.
6. Ted Koppel, "Making Hillary Clinton an Issue", ABC News, 1992 March 26.
7. "The U.S. Congress: Votes Database", "The Washington Post", 2008.
8. "Hannity and Colmes" (interview with Ann Coulter), Fox News, 2008 January 31.
9. "McCain apology angers conservative host", CNN, 2008 February 27.
10. Kimberley A. Strassel, "Farewell, New Democrats", "The Wall Street Journal", 2008 June 20.
11. Donald F. Kettl, "Reinventing Government:
A Fifth-Year Report Card
", Brookings Institution (Center for Public Management), 1998 September.
12. John Fund, "The Keepers of Clintonism", "The Wall Street Journal", 2008 July 3.
13. James Taranto, "'It Didn't Happen'", "The Wall Street Journal", July 26, 2007.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Iraq: Our Responsibility as Voters

Though the news media has excoriated Washington for the fiasco in Iraq, the ultimate responsibility for this disaster rests with us, the American people. Why? The government has merely done what we wanted it to do. We live in a democracy, and the government serves at our pleasure. If the direction of the government displeases us, then we vote the offending politicians out of office.

Exercising the right to vote carries a heavy responsibility. A voter must study the issues and keep abreast of current events in order to make an informed choice.

Yet, most Americans reject the responsibility of suffrage. They ignore current events and cannot be bothered to study the issues. [1] According to a survey in 2006, 63% of young adults -- the likeliest source of future military draftees -- could not locate Iraq on a map. [2] Equally shocking, 64% of all Americans could not identify the president of Russia, our strategic partner in
dealing with North Korea and other rogue states. [3]

Most Americans view politics and voting as a game: a sports match between the Republicans and the Democrats. Roughly 61% of Americans tend to mindlessly vote along party lines. [4][5] Instead of studying, in-depth, the relevant issues (e.g., transforming Iraq into a democracy), many Americans simply parrot the official line of their favorite party or their adored commentator (e.g., Sean Hannity). They mock and lambaste the opposing party. The whole process is just good, clean fun.

This willful ignorance leads to our supporting the wrong foreign policy. According to numerous polls in 2003, the American people firmly supported using a too small military force to invade and occupy Iraq. The idea of war on the cheap appealed to us, and President George Bush eagerly obliged. Though he executed the war and subsequent occupation, we -- the American people -- bear the ultimate responsibility for the outcome because he simply did what we wanted. We gave him our approval by re-electing him and his pro-war Republican colleagues in the 2004 election.

The postwar occupation of Iraq went horribly awry. Neo-conservatives touted post-war Japan and post-war Germany as the model for the occupation of Iraq. Being ignorant of world history, the American people bought this nonsense. We simply did not know that the correct model is the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.

After imperial Japan took control of Taiwan, Tokyo stationed soldiers on the island at the ratio of 1 soldier per 60 Taiwanese. [6] Using this troop strength to crush the occasional violent uprisings, Tokyo successfully transformed Taiwan from a barbaric society into a Western one. Applying the Japanese lesson to Iraq, we can conclude that the non-Kurdish part (numbering about 22 million people[7]) of Iraq needs 370,000 Western soldiers to transform the nation into a prosperous, Western democracy. [8][9][10]

Yet, Washington deployed only 170,000 soldiers (including ones from the "Coalition of the Willing") and told the Iraqis, "You build a democracy. You are in charge." The American people cheered this simple-minded approach to nation building. The result is a violent civil war. What else would you expect from the Iraqis? They lived their entire lives under a brutal dictatorship and lack any experience with Western liberalism. Meanwhile, 3200 American soldiers have died for nothing. An additional 24,000 soldiers have been seriously wounded and will need lifelong medical care. [11]

For decades, educators have warned us that American ignorance of world history, geography, and current events will exact a high price. Today, we pay the price in wasted lives.

Twenty years from today, we will pay the price again. Pushing Iraq out of sight and out of mind, we intend to promptly exit Iraq -- after we completely wrecked its society. We intend to leave the Iraqis to wallow in the devastation of sectarian violence. An Iraqi child growing up in this violent mayhem will become an angry adult in 2027. He will likely commit violence against American citizens on a massive scale. Will we Americans then cry, "We are innocent!"?

There is no clean, easy solution to the Iraq fiasco. There are only difficulty choices, of which 2 are the following.

Plan #1: We ramp our troop commitment to 370,000 soldiers for a multi-decade occupation. We push aside the Iraqi government and run Iraq as a colony. Taking a cue from the Japanese, the American military must occupy Iraq for, at least, 20 years in order to enable an entirely new generation of Iraqis to grow up in a Western society and to learn how it operates. At the conclusion of 20 years, we can begin transferring the reins of government to democratically elected Iraqi politicians.

Plan #2: We pull all our troops out of Iraq. As they withdraw, we welcome, to the United States, any Iraqi who wants to flee Iraq. The number of refugees admitted to our nation may number several million. For the next 20 years, we pay financial compensation to the Iraqis who choose to remain in Iraq. To finance the compensation, we levy a special Iraq Compensation Tax on all American citizens. The funds from this tax would be used by the Iraqis to try to rebuild their society. General Colin Powell did say, "You break it, you own it." Now, we pay for it.

Both plans restore normalcy to the lives of most Iraqis, but plan #1 achieves the superior result: a prosperous, Western democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Achieving this Western beachhead requires a multi-decade occupation, and it surely requires a military draft, which most Americans oppose.

So, only plan #2 is realizable. This plan specifies not only exiting Iraq but also making amends for destroying Iraqi lives. Many Americans may cringe at the idea of welcoming Iraqi refugees and paying financial compensation. Well, that is just too bad. Ignorance (of world history, geography, and current events) and an irresponsible attitude towards voting have a price. Would we prefer paying some compensation and admitting some refugees, or would we prefer to confront, in 2027, an Iraqi suicide bomber whom, in his childhood, we abandoned to the violent mayhem in 2007?

note
1. The Department of Defense publishes a field manual for counterinsurgency. The document prescribes an occupation ratio of 1 Western soldier to 50 inhabitants. [12][13]
2. When the Iraq war began in 2003 March, 68 percent of Americans supported the military operation. 83 percent believed that it would succeed. 65 percent were proud of the operation. [14]

references
1. Laura Miller, "America the ignorant", Salon, 2001 September 27.
2. "National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study", The National Geographic Education Foundation, May 2006.
3. "What Americans Know: 1989-2007", The Pew Research Center, 2007 April 15.
4. Heidi Przybyla, "Republicans May Need to Soften Message to Win Back Independents", Bloomberg.com, 2007 November 21.
5. "Strength of Partisanship 1952-2004", The American National Election Studies, 2005 November 27.
6. Kiyoshi Ito, "Chapter 5: The Republic of Taiwan", Taiwan History, 1996 July (translator: Walter Chen).
7. "Iraq", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2007 April 17.
8. Andrew Lee Butters, "Kurdistan: Iraq's Next Battleground?", 2007 April 12
9. Judith Miller, "Kurdistan", "Wall Street Journal", 2006 October 28.
10. reporter, "The Number of Soldiers for a Successful Occupation", 2006 September 17.
11. "Iraq Index", The Brookings Institution, 2007 March 29.
12. Michael R. Gordon, "News Analysis: In Baghdad, pressing to meet new standard", "International Herald Tribune", 2007 January 18.
13. Mark Benjamin, "Bush's new friends: The Sunnis", "salon.com", 2007 September 5.
14. Keating Holland, "Poll: Confidence in Iraq war down sharply", CNN, 2007 March 18.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Economic Fallacies of Desperate Foreign Labor

As Congress deliberates immigration reform, the political pundits are already making claims about the supposed economic necessity of immigrants. I shall highlight the speciousness of these claims in the context of a free market.

Claim #1: The percentage of American citizens without a high-school education is continuously declining, so the American economy needs desperate illegal aliens to do unskilled work. Educated Americans refuse to perform menial labor.

Reality #1: Suppose that 100% of the American population were educated. Would no one do unskilled work? Would we die from starvation because no one would harvest the crops? The free market say, "No!" In an American society with only educated people, some of them would still work as menial laborers. The educational level of a person does not determine her job. Rather, the demands of the labor market determine her job. For example, during the dot-com recession of 2002, former computer programmers worked as waitresses and baby sitters due to a scarcity of high-tech jobs. [1]

That educated people are doing unskilled work is not necessarily a bad outcome. Why? In a prosperous nation having only educated people, menial jobs would actually pay good wages. Since educated people hesitate to do unskilled work, its wages would rise to overcome the hesitation. The wages of skilled jobs would fall due to a massive oversupply of educated people. Thus, the gap between the haves and the have-nots would be quite small!

So, the free market works. Even if all Americans possessed a high-school education, some Americans would still perform menial labor. They will pick the vegetables and dig the ditches. We do not need desperate illegal aliens from Mexico to do such work.

Claim #2: Stopping illegal immigration will worsen the unskilled-labor shortage. This shortage causes unskilled jobs to disappear but does not cause their wages to rise.

Reality #2: The relationship between wages and labor shortages was evidenced by the dot-com boom. At its start in 1997, a computer programmer typically earned $60 per hour as a contractor. At the height of the dot-com boom in 1999, the shortage of high-tech labor boosted contractor wages to $100 per hour. [2] Responding to this increase in pay, American college students flocked to major in computer science. [3]

In the American market for unskilled labor, a shortage similarly boosts wages (and improves working conditions) as employers attempt to attract potential employees. As wages rise, more Americans enter the unskilled-labor market, obviating the need for illegal-alien labor.

When illegal aliens flood the market for unskilled-labor, they destroy this upward pressure on wages. A recent study at Harvard University proved that Mexican aliens (of whom most are illegal) actually reduced the wages of American high-school dropouts by 8%. [4]

Claim #3: Allowing the free flow of labor between Mexico and the United States actually supports the free market here. A guest-worker program facilitates the free market.

Reality #3: Inefficiencies in the non-free market of Mexico include rigid labor laws, monopolies, government ownership of companies, and widespread corruption. [5][6] The poverty resulting from these inefficiencies has driven millions of illegal aliens into the unskilled-labor market of the United States. Their presence here suppresses wages and diminishes working conditions as American employers exploit the limitless supply of desperate Mexican labor.

In other words, the non-free market in Mexico now suppresses the wages of unskilled labor in the American market. When we allow this interference from a non-free market, how can we claim that we are still supporting a free market in the USA?

Many bean counters in American food-processing companies utterly hate the free market. They feel that wages set by this market are too high. So, the companies hire illegal aliens to deliberately lower wages, thus counteracting free-market forces.

Now, the bean counters want a government program allowing them to legally use Mexican aliens to suppress wages. This program is called "the guest-worker program". Greased by political donations, Congress has eagerly obliged American agribusiness by setting the guest-worker program as the centerpiece of immigration reform.

Before Washington intervenes in the free market and reduces the wages of unskilled American labor, Congress should first reduce wages in the federal government. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I propose a guest-politician program. First, we cap the annual salaries of civil servants and politicians at $10,000. Since Americans would hesitate to work for such a low wage, civil service and politics will become "the jobs that Americans just will not do", thus justifying the importation of desperate Mexican labor. Many illegal aliens would be thrilled to earn $10,000 by working as an American civil servant or politician. These newly cheap wages in government would greatly reduce the annual budget deficits.

Claim #4: We need the H-1B program to inject desperate but skilled workers from non-free markets (like India [7] and China) into the American market in order to eliminate a shortage of high-tech labor.

Reality #4: Supposed shortages of high-tech labor exist for the very same reason that supposed shortages of unskilled labor exist. Namely, both high-tech companies and low-tech companies refuse to pay adequately high wages to attract American citizens. Note that the free market, not the individual hiring manager, determines whether a wage is "adequately high". The manager may think that $150,000 per year is "adequately high", but if he cannot hire any American citizen at that salary, then the free market considers it to be too low.

These labor shortages, caused by deliberately low wages, provide the perfect excuse for bean counters to clamor for government intervention via a guest-worker program and an H-1B program. Why should Washington intervene to "fix" a labor shortage? Washington never intervenes to "fix" a labor surplus -- like the one leading to massive layoffs in Detroit. Why is government intervention necessary in one instance but not in the other? The free market needs no intervention in either situation.

Here is the bottom line. The right solution to a labor shortage is not government intervention. The right solution is paying adequately high wages to attract American workers.

Claim #5: Company XYZ cannot afford to pay the adequately high salaries to hire American citizens. So, the company needs H-1B workers in order to remain afloat. Without the relatively cheap foreign workers, the company will cease operation.

Reality #5: The free market is a competitive arena. Companies come and go. In order to survive, a company must build a high-quality product that consumers want to buy. If the company fails to do so, then it loses market share and ceases operation. No one will shed a tear.

Consumers know that competition is good. When an uncompetitive company disappears, a better company with a better product replaces it. We see this dynamic in the automotive industry: Toyota will soon replace Ford as the number 2 seller of automobiles in the USA. Commenting on the plight of Ford, President George Bush bluntly stated that a company survives when it creates "a product that's relevant". [8][9]

Yet, building a "relevant" product is only 50% of the competitive landscape. The other 50% is paying "relevant" salaries to hire good workers building the "relevant" products. If a company cannot pay adequately high salaries to get the necessary American workers, the company should cease operation and be replaced by a competitor that can pay adequately high salaries. That is competition. That is the free market.

Washington refuses to help failing companies that consistently build inferior products. Why should Washington use an H-1B program to help companies that pay inferior wages? We should allow the free market to eliminate uncompetitive companies. We are better off without them.

Claim #6: Increasing our population, by increasing immigration, increases our standard of living. So, we must open our immigration doors to illegal aliens, H-1B workers, or any other person who wants to live in the USA.

Reality #6: We can obtain the economic benefit of a large population -- without increasing immigration. Consider the free-trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the USA. Without increasing Korean immigration into the USA, the FTA economically links 50 million Koreans to the American free market. In so doing, the FTA will increase our standard of living by about 0.33%. In practical terms, an American earning $100,000 would have an additional $330 to spend. [10][11]

We can increase our wealth further by taking an additional step: integrating all the Western free markets -- the European Union, the USA, and the rest -- into a single free market having about 1 billion people. We would enjoy the elevated wealth generated by 1 billion people even though our population is only 300 million.

In conclusion, there is no economic necessity whatsoever for (1) an open-border policy, (2) a guest-worker program, or (3) an H-1B visa program. Moreover, when Washington "fixes" a supposed labor shortage by importing desperate foreign workers, the government actually suppresses wages and benefits. A study at Harvard University has confirmed that immigration generally suppresses wages across the board. In particular, Mexican aliens have reduced the wages of unskilled American labor by 8%.

Yet, we should not slam the door on immigration. There are many ethical reasons for admitting immigrants. Some foreigners flee to our nation to escape dire economic and political oppression. Others are enamored with American culture and want to be part of it. We should warmly welcome a reasonable number of such immigrants.

However, we should maintain our honesty in discussions about immigration. We should not succumb to specious arguments that the economy needs immigrants. It does not need them; rather, they need our prosperous economy.

note
The essay, "The Economic Fallacies of Desperate Foreign Labor", was originally written in 2006, was substantially revised in 2007 April, and was slightly revised in 2007 July.

reference
1. Rachel Konrad, "From high-tech to blue collar", CNet, 2002 February 8.
2. Katharine Mieszkowski, "Even programmers get the blues", salon.com, 2001 March 13.
3. Andrea L. Foster, "Student Interest in Computer Science Plummets", "The Chronicle of Higher Education", 2005 May 27.
4. George J. Borjas and Lawrence F. Katz, "The Evolution of the Mexican-born Workforce in the United States", Harvard University, 2006 March. (See Table 11 on page 64.)
5. Kerry A. Dolan, "The Mexico That Might Have Been", "Forbes", 2005 September 5.
6. "Poverty in Mexico - Fact Sheet (2002)", The World Bank Group, 2007.
7. "India overheats", "The Economist", 2007 February 1.
8. "Toyota redesigns pickups to compete better with Big 3", Kentucky.com, 2007 March 19.
9. Greg Levine, "Bush: GM, Ford Need 'Relevant' Products To Survive", Forbes.com, 2006 January 26.
10. "Gross Domestic Product", MSN Encarta, 2007.
11. "U.S. Official Sees Strong Prospects for U.S.-Korea Trade Pact", USINFO, 2006 September 28.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Taiwan: the Hustler

For the last two decades, both the government and the people of Taiwan have presented a false image of the island to the American public and, thereby, have manipulated Washington into supporting Taiwan. The following 3 points summarize this false image. (1) Taiwan is a democracy and, therefore, it opposes the policies of Beijing and supports Western interests. (2) The mainland Chinese terrify the Taiwanese. (3) Taiwan is a "good friend" of the United States of America (USA), and hence, Washington should continue selling weapons to Taipei.

Central to Taiwanese manipulation are the lobbyists (e.g. Cassidy and Associates in Washington, D. C.) that Taipei hires. [1] In private meetings, they deliberately remind American politicians that Taiwan is a democracy and that it therefore supports Western interests -- especially around the time that Taipei wants to buy American weapons. Indeed, Taiwan is a democracy in which its people elect political representatives to the legislature, but being a democracy does not necessarily mean that Taipei supports Western interests. The Taiwanese actually support Chinese interests, not Western ones, by advocating, for example, nearly all the geopolitical objectives of Beijing. In concurrence with the mainland Chinese constitution, the Taiwanese constitution states explicitly that Tibet is part of China. [2] Promoting this injustice, the Taiwanese education system teaches children that Tibet has been rightfully part of China since time immemorial even while the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) arrests, tortures, and kills scores of Tibetan monks and nuns. Furthermore, the Taiwanese government has repeatedly warned the Japanese government that the Senkaku Islands is the territory of "One China" and that Japanese nationals must stay away from it. [3][4] Similarly, Taipei has told the Philippine government to steer clear of the Spratly Islands because it is also supposedly Chinese territory.

This support for Chinese interests pervades Taiwanese society. Several mid-ranking officers retired from the Taiwanese military have gone to Beijing to secure lucrative jobs. In exchange, the officers have given Beijing detailed information about the American weapons purchased by Taipei. The mainland Chinese now know all the performance characteristics of the F-16 jet fighter. When the "Taipei Times" interviewed a Taiwanese military official and asked him about stopping this hemorrhaging of American military secrets to mainland China, he responded, "We cannot do much about it." [5]

Not surprisingly, the plurality of spies who steal American military technology to give to Beijing is born and raised in Taiwan. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Gwo-Bao Min transferred neutron-bomb technology to Beijing in the late 1970s. [6] In 1985, Peter H. Lee gave laser technology to mainland Chinese scientists. [7] More recently, in 2001 August, Eugene Hsu and David Yang attempted to smuggle encryption devices from the USA into mainland China. [8]

Even more disturbing is the fact that some Taiwanese companies are helping terrorist states committed to destroying the USA. In 2004 December, Washington slapped economic penalties against 7 mainland Chinese companies and 1 Taiwanese company. The Taiwanese company is Ecoma Enterprise Company and gave technology or services to the Iranians to improve their missiles and other weapons that may be used against Americans in a future conflict. [9]

Clearly, the Taiwanese do not support Western interests even though Taiwan is a democracy, and the mainland Chinese certainly do not terrify them. Approximately 1 million Taiwanese, 4.5% of the population on the island, have already emigrated to mainland China to live and to work. [10] After the West (i.e. North America, Europe, and Oceania), mainland China is now the most popular destination for Taiwanese emigration. [11]

In addition, the Taiwanese have invested more than $100 billion into more than 50,000 businesses in mainland China. [12] This flood of money and technology into China began about 16 years ago. In 1989 June, the Chinese PLA killed a few hundred protestors in the incident at Tiananmen Square. The Americans and other Westerners responded by freezing or curtailing investments into China and intended to use economic sanctions to punish the Chinese government. Unfortunately, the Taiwanese and the Hong Kongers seized this window of opportunity and gave Beijing any money or technology that the Americans refused to give. The Taiwanese completely thwarted the economic sanctions. Since that time, Taiwanese investments of money and technology into China have grown annually at double-digit rates. Today, the volume of trade across the Taiwan Straits exceeds that between Taiwan and the USA.

The ultimate symbol of this cooperation between Taiwan and China is the collaboration, in 2000 May, between the son of the chairman of the Formosa Group (a powerful Taiwanese conglomerate) and the son of Jiang Zemin (former Chinese president and the butcher of Tibet) on building an advanced silicon-wafer factory in Shanghai. This collaboration involved $6.4 billion. [13]

Both the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people support Chinese interests even though they contradict Western interests like human rights. Nonetheless, the Taiwanese refuse to be ruled by Beijing, and for that reason, the Taiwanese insist that the Americans sell weapons to them. Yet, selling weapons to Taiwan most assuredly damages relations between the mainland Chinese government and both the American government and American businesses. Beijing becomes less cooperative
on vital American issues like fighting international terrorism and controlling rogue states (e.g. North Korea). Further, Beijing becomes more likely to dissuade Chinese businesses (e.g. airlines) from buying American products (e.g. commercial airplanes produced by Boeing).

The Taiwanese expect that Americans will damage their relations with Beijing in order to support their supposed "good friend", Taiwan. Washington lobbyists paid by the Taiwanese government constantly remind American politicians and the American public that Taiwan is a "good friend" of the USA and that Americans would be abandoning Taiwan if they did not sell weapons to Taipei. Is Taiwan really a "good friend"? The facts suggest otherwise. Taiwan more closely resembles a hustler like Johnny Chung.

Chung was born and raised in Taiwan. He is one of the key culprits who made illegal financial contributions to the Democratic party during the 1996 presidential campaign. [14] He pretended to be a friend of high-ranking Democrats but, in the background, was illegally funneling money from the Chinese communist government to the coffers of the Democratic party. Once the leaders of the Democratic party realized what Chung was doing, they severed their ties to him.

Like Chung, the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people pretend to be a friend of Americans but, in the background, support Chinese interests that contradict American interests. Like the Democratic party, the Americans should severe their ties to the hustler, Taiwan, before it does any more damage to the security and well-being of the USA. Washington should immediately rescind the Taiwan Relations Act and terminate the sales of weapons to Taiwan. To compensate for Taiwanese mistreatment of the Tibetans, the American government should propose that it shall treat Taiwan as a province of China in exchange for the Chinese government establishing Tibet as an autonomous special-administration region like Hong Kong. Beijing would readily agree to such a proposal.

note
The essay, "Taiwan: the Hustler", was originally written in 2004 and was revised in 2005 February.

references
1. Jim Mann, "Big Business Comes to Aid of China", "Los Angeles Times", 1999 November 10.
2. Taiwanese Constitution (English translation).
3. "Japanese nationalists visit disputed Tiaoyutai island", Agence France-Presse ("Taipei Times"), 2003 August 26.
4. "A LEAP OF FAITH -- Barren rocks become a deadly flashpoint for contending claims", "Asiaweek", 1996 October 11.
5. Brian Hsu, "Military secrets on sale to China", "Taipei Times", 2000 July 11.
6. Dan Stober, "Neutron-bomb spy suspect is key link to Wen Ho Lee", "San Jose Mercury News", 2000 April 13
7. "US Physicist Pleads Guilty", Counterintelligence News and Developments, 1998 March.
8. Christopher Newton, "Two Men Arrested for Planning to Smuggle High-Tech Encryption Devices to China", Associated Press, 2001 August 29.
9. "Federal Register", volume 70, Number 1, page 133, 2005 January 3.
10. Keith Bradsher, "Taiwan Watches Its Economy Slip to China", "The New York Times", 2004 December 13.
11. Sam Ng, "Taiwanese Gold Rush to China", "Asia Times", 2004 June 30.
12. John M. Glionna, "Keeping Party Line, Bottom Line Separate", "Los Angeles Times", 2004 July 28.
13. "Sons of prominent Chinese team up on chip venture", "Taipei Times", 2000 May 11.
14. "Campaign Finance Key Player: Johnny Chung", "The Washington Post", 1998 May 21.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Direction of the Chinese Superpower

China is a superpower only in the sense of possessing economic clout and military might. China is this kind of superpower simply because most Chinese people care nothing about the third facet (of superpower greatness): promoting human rights and democracy.

Consider how the Chinese handle North Korea. Driven by famine and brutal oppression, hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees have fled to China. In response, the Chinese spit upon them and aggressively conduct periodic raids to round them up by the hundreds. Chinese soldiers promptly transfer the refugees into Korean custody.
The North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two "socialist allies".

"She asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this," recounted a relative of one soldier who was there.

[...] The soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge. North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand -- the soft part between thumb and forefinger -- with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash.

"She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village," the soldier later told his relative. "Then they dragged her away." [1]
North Korean refugees hiding in China have no rights whatsoever. They cannot appeal to the Chinese authorities for help because Beijing will send the refugees to certain torture and death in North Korea. [2] So, the refugees live a life of quiet desperation.

One refugee hiding in China wrote a letter to Radio Free Asia and pleaded for help.
But the Korean-Chinese people abused us because we couldn't speak Chinese. They arranged jobs for us but took our wages. All of us North Korean refugees have nowhere to go to complain. This has lasted for six years. I don't know what to do now. I have thought many times about committing suicide. If I return home, I am afraid of the security police and if the Chinese police arrest me I may be repatriated to North Korea. [3]
While this monstrous brutality is occurring, the Chinese sing the praises of their superpower status. They feel neither guilt nor shame over the horrific injustice that they are inflicting on the helpless refugees.

As China's economic and military power grows, the Chinese increasingly will spread their despicable system of values to the rest of the world.
In Ethiopia for instance, which has seen much of its European aid suspended because of gross human-rights abuses, China is believed to have offered to make good any shortfall. In Sudan, which has been accused of genocide, Chinese state firms have built a refinery and are getting involved in production. In repressive Equatorial Guinea, China is also sniffing out opportunities to rival the dominance of western companies. [4]
The American response to China has been flawed. In a rush to deal with the Chinese ogres, Washington has tried to ally with New Delhi. Though India is indeed a democracy, it is not a Western nation. The Indian system of values assault Western sensibilities: e.g., the Indians reject the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have aggressively developed nuclear weapons.

Instead of aligning ourselves with the Indians, we Americans should find strength in our own system of values. Western values have created the very Western society into which both Indians and Chinese (who hypocritically reject Western values) fight with tooth and nail to enter.

How can we find strength in our own system of values? We should encourage Tokyo, Canberra, and Wellington to build the Asia Pacific Union (APU), structured along the lines of the European Union (EU) and NATO. The APU shall spread Western values in Southeast Asia and shall treat China in the same way that the EU treated the Soviet Union. [5]

note
Many members of the Chinese Community Party (CCP) have emigrated to the United States. While they enjoy the freedoms and prosperity here, their colleagues in the CCP continue to brutalize the helpless North-Korean refugees. [6]

reference
1. Michael Sheridan, "China on alert over a nuclear neighbour", "The Sunday Times", 2006 October 8.
2. Bill Powell, "Long Walk to Freedom", "Time" (Asian Edition), 2006 April 24.
3. "Korean Service Listener and Reader Comments", Radio Free Asia (RFA), 2006.
4. "China and Africa -- No questions asked", "The Economist", 2006 January 19.
5. reporter, "A Proposal: Japan, the Asia Pacific Union, and Western Values", 2006 October 9.
6. Jiang Xueqin, "Letter From China", "The Nation", 2002 March 4.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Proposal: Japan, the Asia Pacific Union, and Western Values

Despite the astounding economic development of China, the nation remains a bastion of brutal authoritarianism. To this very day, the Chinese army occupies Tibet, and Chinese authorities routinely arrest, torture, and kill Tibetans in a brutal attempt to suppress their right to freedom of expression and religion (according to Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights). [1][2] Most people in the Chinese community (in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, and elsewhere) simply do not care about such "trivial" matters when they are reaping substantial profits in the mainland Chinese market. [3] Money and profits are splendid, and human rights are simply a nuisance best ignored, as the Hong Kongers amply demonstrated when huge crowds of them cheered Beijing during festivities on the eve of the 1997 handover.

Despite this indifference to the present state of human rights, today's Chinese, who were born long after World War II, are keen to harp on 60-year-old atrocities which they never experienced. Newspapers in cities ranging from Beijing down to Hong Kong annually warn of Japanese militarism and accuse today's Japanese (who were also born long after the war) of denying their "complicity" in World War II. Beijing, backed by the startlingly nationalistic Chinese community, then uses the events of World War II as blackmail to extract concessions from Japan and to politically prevent Japan from becoming one of the leaders of the Asia-Pacific region.

Instead of merely responding to the agendas set by the Chinese, the Japanese should take the lead and turn the tables on them. Tokyo, Canberra, and Wellington should form the Asia Pacific Union (APU), patterned after the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The APU shall commit itself to Western values: democracy, human rights, compassion, and free markets. The APU shall invest money and technology in select Southeast Asian countries where Western values are likely to thrive and shall expand incrementally by targeting, for admittance to the APU, any Southeast Asian nation committed to Western values. Thailand would be a good first choice after the Thai make certain adjustments to their overly Asian society.

The East Asian Community (EAC) advocated by the Malaysians and the Chinese differs markedly from the APU. The EAC is destined to be a racist organization: the Malaysians previously called the EAC the "caucus without Caucasians". [4] The Chinese government wants to exclude Australia and New Zealand from the EAC. Of course, the Chinese community at large is in sync with Beijing on this matter.

Further, like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the EAC would avoid interference in the internal affairs of member states even when they are committing gross human-rights violations. Admission to the EAC requires signing the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, which pledges non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. In the event of another atrocity like the slaughter of East Timorese in 1999, the EAC would remain silent, but the APU would aggressively intervene. The EAC lacks the fundamental Western value of compassion.

The ultimate goal for the APU is to create vibrant Western democracies (not Chinese democracies like totalitarian-ish Singapore) in the Asia-Pacific region and to admit all of them as members of the APU. It will siphon off most members of the EAC, which will wither away. So, instead of Canberra begging to enter the morally dubious EAC in 2005, Beijing will eventually come knocking on the door of the APU and beg to become a member. At that time, the APU will require Beijing to meet stringent criteria on human rights and democracy just as the Eastern and Central European nations must meet the same stringent criteria before being admitted to the European Union.

To buttress the mission of the APU and to establish Japan as one of the leaders of Asia, Tokyo should simultaneously (1) repeal Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, thus legalizing any necessary military response in times of crisis and (2) establish a secular national war memorial from which the 1068 convicted war criminals (of World War II) shall be banned. Step #2 will firmly assert the moral clarity of Japanese leadership in Asia.

Last, but not least, Japan is the only Western democracy on the Asian continent and is our staunchest ally in a region that is bitterly anti-American. As such, Japan deserves our unflinching support in any dispute between Beijing and Tokyo (or Canberra or Wellington).

Specifically, Washington should support Japanese claims on the Senkaku Islands and resolutely oppose Chinese territorial ambitions. Unlike the mercenary Taiwanese who support Beijing's claims on Tibet, we Americans must not allow the allure of financial gain in the Chinese market to cloud our vision of moral clarity. We must oppose the expansion of authoritarian rule or influence to additional areas (including islands) of the globe. We must do so if we value the Western ideals for which hundreds of thousands of American servicemen sacrificed their lives.

note
1. Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, and other humanitarian organizations jointly received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for their support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

reference
1. "Tibet: Monk Leaves Prison a Broken Man", Human Rights Watch, 2005 January 26.
2. "Striking Hard: Torture in Tibet", Physicians for Human Rights (awarded 1997 Nobel Peace Prize), 1997 October.
3. "Change in China, Change in L.A.", "Los Angeles Times", 2005 June 4.
4. "Australia's problem with ASEAN amity", "Japan Times", 2005 April 21.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Candidates for Secretary-General of the United Nations

The interests of humankind are best served by supporting leaders who embrace Western values: promoting democracy, advocating human rights, ensuring equality for women, protecting children, fighting ethnic discrimination, etc. Based on that criteria, we evaluate the nations represented by certain candidates campaigning to become secretary-general of the United Nations (UN).

Ban Ki-moon is currently the frontrunner for the post. He hails from South Korea and represents a society that (1) is ardently anti-American, (2) despises non-Koreans, (3) believes that blood should determine the value of a person, and (4) devalues women. The Korean educational system teaches Korean youth to hate Americans, and Korean parents teach their children to despise non-Koreans. Despite this hatred, the majority of Korean orphans who are adopted join ethnically non-Korean families in the West, and the majority of Westerners who adopt Korean orphans are Americans. A typical Korean views anyone outside of his blood relatives to be inferior: this disgusting kind of thinking is the primary reason that most Korean orphans who are adopted find homes in the West, not Korea.

Korea is a democracy, but being a democracy does not mean that it is a Western nation. Indeed, Korean values assault not only Western sensibilities but also global sensibilities like those in the UN. The UN is a home to many nations of peoples who do not have Korean blood, and the typical Korean views them with haughty condempt.

What most disqualifies a Korean from becoming secretary-general of the UN is the fact that Koreans devalue women. Koreans frequently utilize abortions aborting female fetuses. The result is that, at birth, the sex ratio is 1.10 boys for each girl. By contrast, the sex ratio in both Canada and Sweden is 1.05, which is normal. [1]

Washington, London, and Paris should veto the election of Ban to the leadership of the UN.

The second prominent candidate for the top post at the UN is Shashi Tharoor. He represents India. Like Korea, India is a democracy but is not a Western nation. The Indians reject the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and have aggressively developed nuclear weapons. New Delhi gave Washington an ultimatum: the Indians will support the strategic American objectives of promoting democracy and human rights if and only if Washington (1) gives nuclear technology to India and (2) agrees to greatly increase the number of Indian laborers (in the form of H-1B workers) that are allowed to enter the United States. Washington agreed to the terms of the ultimatum. The Americans will now violate the NPT (which Washington signed) by giving nuclear technology to India: catering to Indian ruthlessness drastically undermines American attempts to prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear bomb. [2]

Equally egregious is the foisting of Indian economic problems onto the United States. The Indians continue to maintain laws that inhibit the creation of a free market, which would have provided ample jobs and wealth for all Indians. For example, numerous laws severely restrict foreign investment or foreign ownership in many industries: insurance, aviation, coal-mining, media, retailing, etc. The Indians knowingly and deliberately destroy the wealth of their society and then force their unemployed or underemployed masses onto the United States. [3]

What most disqualifies an Indian from becoming secretary-general of the UN is the fact that Indians devalue women. Indians frequently utilize abortion or infanticide that targets baby girls. The result is that, among children under the age of seven, the sex ratio is 1.08 boys for each girl. The normal sex ratio is 1.05, which both Japan and the United States have. Further, after reaching adulthood, "[Indian] women whose families have failed to stump up a sufficient dowry still get killed and disfigured." [4][5]

Washington, London, and Paris should veto the election of Tharoor to the leadership of the UN. Neither South Korea nor India deserves to lead the UN.

With one exception, the remaining candidates for the top post at the UN also represent failed or grossly defective societies. Ashraf Ghani represents Afghanistan. Prince Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein represents Jordan. Surakiart Sathirathai represents Thailand.

The exception in this field of unacceptable choices is Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She represents the nation of Latvia. After living under Sovet oppression for about 50 years, the Latvians declared independence in 1991. In the ensuing 15 years, they built a prosperous, liberal democracy that firmly embraces Western values. [6][7] Latvia, like the rest of Eastern Europe, is the gold standard by which underdeveloped nations (which comprise the bulk of the UN) should modernize.

Washington, London, Paris, and other Western governments should firmly support the election of Vike-Freiberga to the position of secretary-general of the UN. Vaira Vike-Freiberga will steer the United Nations toward strengthening the very Western values that affirm our humanity.

note
1. The essay, "The Candidates for Secretary-General of the United Nations", was published in 2006 September.
2. According to a report issued by "The Washington Post" in 2007 October, Ban Ki-moon has given preferential treatment to Korean citizens by assigning them to many key posts in the United Nations. [8]
2. In an essay published by the "Financial Times" on 2009 May 18, Gideon Rachman wrote, "The British public, currently hyperventilating about expenses fiddles in the UK parliament, might be interested to know that 128 of the 543 members of the last Indian parliament had faced criminal charges or investigations, including 83 cases of murder." [9]

reference
1. reporter, "Terminating the Military Alliance between the USA and Korea", 2006 September 10.
2. "Nuclear proliferation -- Dr Strangedeal", "The Economist", 2006 March 9.
3. "Reform in India -- Democracy's drawbacks", "The Economist", 2005 October 27.
4. "Survey: India and China -- It's the people, stupid", "The Economist", 2005 March 3.
5. "India -- Missing sisters", "The Economist", 2003 April 17.
6. Olivia Ward, "UofT grad hopes to be first woman to lead UN", "Toronto Star", 2006 September 30.
7. "Latvia", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2006 September 19.
8. Colum Lynch, "Under U.N. Chief, Koreans in Key Posts", "The Washington Post", 2007 October 21.
9. Gideon Rachman, "Indian democracy has an ugly side", "Financial Times", 2009 May 18.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Number of Soldiers for a Successful Occupation

The military quagmires in both Iraq and Afghanistan raise an important question. Namely, what is the number of soldiers required for a successful occupation transforming a barbaric society into a first-world one?

History offers 3 clues: Germany, Japan, and Taiwan. After Washington and its allies defeated Germany in 1945, they partitioned the nation into 4 sectors run by the victors. The population in the American sector numbered about 16 million people at the end of 1946. Washington stationed about 200,000 American soldiers in its sector. The ratio of civilians to occupying soldiers was about 80. Note that the Germans accepted the occupation and supported the political and economic modernization of their society. [1] The occupation succeeded.

After the American military defeated Japan in 1945, its population numbered about 71.04 million people. Washington stationed 354,675 American soldiers in the nation. The ratio of civilians to occupying soldiers was about 200. Note that the Japanese accepted the occupation and supported the political and economic modernization of their society. [2] The occupation succeeded.

After the Japanese military defeated China in 1895, the Chinese government gave Taiwan to Tokyo. At that time, the population in Taiwan numbered about 3 million people, and Tokyo stationed about 50,000 soldiers in Taiwan. The ratio of civilians to occupying soldiers was about 60. Note that, at the beginning of the Japanese occupation, the Taiwanese violently opposed it. [3] Nonetheless, Tokyo eventually succeeded in quelling the uprisings and in transforming a backward society into a first-world society. By the time of the Japanese surrender in 1945, the overwhelming majority of Taiwanese was educated, understood notions of democracy and human rights, and demanded them.

Of these 3 cases, Taiwan best applies to the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, Washington is desperately trying to transform a relatively barbaric society (clinging to Islamic fundamentalism) into a first-world society. Yet, the majority of Iraqis is either indifferent to the American efforts or violently opposing them. The situation in Afghanistan is similar.

The population in Iraq numbers about 26,783,383. [4] The ratio (of civilians to occupying soldiers) required for a successful occupation is 60. In other words, it requires about 450,000 troops. The actual number of soldiers deployed by Washington and its Western allies is about 200,000. [5]

Suppose that we can discount the Kurds from the general population requiring the presence of occupying soldiers. This supposition is reasonable since the success of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq proves that the Kurds are committed to building a first-world society. Omitting the Kurds leaves a population (which is mostly Arab) of about 21,962,374 people. [4] The number (of troops) required to maintain order among this smaller population is about 370,000.

Turning to Afghanistan, its population numbers about 31,056,997. [6] The ratio (of civilians to occupying soldiers) required for a successful occupation is 60. In other words, it requires about 520,000 troops. The actual number of soldiers deployed by Washington and its Western allies is 39,815, of which 20,115 are NATO troops. [7][8]

Note that an overly optimistic ratio for a successful occupation is 200, which is the ratio utilized by the American military in the occupation of Japan. This ratio translates to about 160,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. The actual number of Western soldiers deployed there is significantly less than even this optimistic figure.

To understand the nature of the optimism, consider the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. At that time, the population in Afghanistan numbered about 15.6 million people. [9] To subjugate them under the yoke of Moscow, the Soviet military utilized about 100,000 troops. [10] The resulting ratio (of civilians to occupying soldiers) was about 156. The consequence of this low ratio was that the Afghan guerrillas slaughtered 15,000 Soviet soldiers and drove Moscow out of Afghanistan by 1989. If the occupation ratio of 156 is too high, what will happen to the Western military force at its current occupation ratio of 780?

In obvious conclusion, without substantial increases in the number of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, both quagmires will end in total failure.

reference
1. James Dobbins, John G. McGinn, Keith Crane, Seth G. Jones, Rollie Lal, Andrew Rathmell, Rachel M. Swanger, and Anga Timilsina, "Chapter Two: Germany", America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq, document number MR-1753-RC, Rand Corporation, 2003 (ISBN: 0-8330-3460-X).
2. James Dobbins, John G. McGinn, Keith Crane, Seth G. Jones, Rollie Lal, Andrew Rathmell, Rachel M. Swanger, and Anga Timilsina, "Chapter Three: Japan", America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq, document number MR-1753-RC, Rand Corporation, 2003 (ISBN: 0-8330-3460-X).
3. Kiyoshi Ito, "Chapter 5: The Republic of Taiwan", Taiwan History, 1996 July (translator: Walter Chen).
4. "Iraq", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2006.
5. "Military: US Forces Order of Battle", GlobalSecurity.org, 2006 August.
6. "Afghanistan", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2006.
7. "NATO seeks more Afghanistan troops", CNN, 2006 September 8.
8. Molly Moore and John Ward Anderson, "NATO Faces Growing Hurdle As Call for Troops Falls Short", "The Washington Post", 2006 September 18.
9. "Population, Health and Human Well-being: COUNTRY PROFILE - Afghanistan", World Resources Institute, 2006.
10. "Afghanistan War", The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition, 2006.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Terminating the Military Alliance between the USA and Korea

In an article titled "South Korea and America -- Awkward bedfellows" (2006 September 7), "The Economist" asserts the following.
In Washington, some of the more rabid voices argue that America should abandon its ally in the face of anti-American hostility and what they see as the South's appeasement of North Korea. That is still an extreme view.
What is the nature of anti-Americanism in South Korea? With the full support of most Koreans, the history instructors at middle schools and high schools inculcate their students with anti-American hostility. The textbooks, the standardized tests, and the lessons are rife with anti-Americanism. [1] A 2002 survey demonstrated that, after undergoing several years of anti-American indoctrination in high school, the percentage of students who liked the United States decreased from 51% to 30%. The percentage of students who disliked the United States increased from 32% to 65%. [2] According to a survey conducted by Gallup Korea in 2005, if Pyongyang fought Washington in a war, 65.9% of South Korean youths (with ages between 16 and 25, inclusively) would support the North Koreans while only 21.8% would support the Americans. [3]


Why should American soldiers risk their lives to defend a nation that hates Americans?

In addition to teaching Korean children to hate Americans, the Korean people also embrace values that are radically different from the Western values cherished by Americans and other Westerners. For example, a typical Korean considers anyone outside of his blood relatives to have little value as a human being: the consequence is that the overwhelming majority of Korean orphans who are adopted enter the embracing arms of Westerners. About 50% of adopted orphans find homes in the United States, and about 25% of find homes in other Western nations (including Japan). [4][5][6][7][8]

In Korean society, if you are naked, cold, tired, and hungry and if you do not have the "right" blood, then you will die of exposure -- right in front of Korean passersby. By contrast, Westerners will clothe you and feed you.

In addition to distinguishing between (1) Koreans with family blood and (2) Koreans without family blood, a typical Korean also distinguishes between (1) a person with Korean blood and (2) a person without Korean blood. Unlike Westerners, Koreans believe that there is a clear genetic definition of an ethnic group, and Koreans employ a race calculus to identify a non-Korean and to discriminate against her. The aim is to drive her out of Korea and Korean society.

Indeed, the democratically elected Korean government gives preferential treatment, in granting citizenship, to anyone who can prove that he has Korean blood. A person who has non-Korean blood faces great difficulties in obtaining citizenship. Both legalized discrimination and social discrimination have driven non-Koreans (i.e., someone who lacks so-called Korean blood) out of Korea. During the 30-year period starting from about 1966, the ethnic Chinese population declined from 50,000 persons to 10,000 persons.[9][10][11][12]

Why should American soldiers risk their lives to defend a nation that promotes such callous bigotry?

The Koreans firmly believe that blood (i.e., genetics) determines both (1) the culture which a person should exhibit and (2) the nation to which he should be loyal. This bigoted thinking is quite popular in Korean societies across the globe. In particular, this bigotry is popular in the Korean community of Japan. For decades, most Korean residents in Japan have refused Japanese citizenship (while they demanded the rights and privileges of that citizenship) because they believe that their blood requires them to pledge allegiance to Korea. Until about 1995, only 5000 Koreans annually acquired citizenship. Around 1995, more Koreans rejected traditional Korean bigotry, and afterwards, 10000 Koreans annually have acquired Japanese citizenship. [13][14]

Japanese society welcomes Korean residents' becoming Japanese citizens. Of course, Korean residents who refuse Japanese citizenship experience the same discrimination that any other person (including American citizens of Japanese ancestry) without Japanese citizenship experiences in Japan. However, Japanese citizens of Korean ancestry generally do not experience any ethnic discrimination (i.e., discrimination due to ancestry). Indeed, Shokei Arai was a politician who is a Japanese citizen of Korean ancestry. He served in the Japanese legislature as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. [15]

Unlike Korea, the nation of Japan generally does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic background, and unlike the Koreans, most Japanese do not believe that blood determines either culture or nation of loyalty. Indeed, the Japanese view Americans of Japanese ancestry as foreigners. [16] By contrast, the Koreans view Americans of Korean ancestry as members of Korean society, not as foreigners.

Though Korea is a democracy, it is not a Western nation like Japan or Canada. The most damning evidence that the Koreans reject Western values is the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses. In Korea, the sex ratio (at birth) of boys to girls is approximately 1.10. [17][18][19] By contrast, in Japan and other Western nations, the ratio is 1.05, which is normal.

Why should American soldiers risk their lives to defend a nation that grossly rejects Western values? We Americans should terminate our military alliance with Korea.

note
1. Joshua Stanton, an attorney practicing in Washington, DC., served as a Judge Advocate General (United States Army, United States Forces Korea) from 1998 until 2002, inclusively. He left active duty in 2003. On 2006 September 27, he testified before the House Committee on International Relations. He gave significant evidence that South Koreans intensely hate Americans. [20]
2. In Korea, prostitution is an industry that generates "$21 billion a year -- more than electricity and gas combined. There are an estimated 330,000 sex workers, 80,000 brothels and 69 red-light districts in a country the size of Indiana." Prostitution generates 4% of the gross domestic product (GDP). [21] By contrast, in Japan, prostitution generates 1% of the GDP. [22]

reference
1. Nicholas Kralev, "U.S. sees bias in S. Korea textbooks", "The Washington Times", 2003 September 29.
2. Eric V. Larson, Norman D. Levin, Seonhae Baik, and Bogdan Savych, "Ambivalent Allies? A Study of South Korean Attitudes Toward the U.S.", technical report TR-141-SRF, Rand Corporation, 2004 March.
3. "Poll Finds Pragmatic Patriotism Among the Young", "The Chosun Ilbo", 2005 August 14.
4. Andrei Lankov, "[The Dawn of Modern Korea] Adoption, Abuse of Children?", "The Korea Times", 2003 September 3.
5. "Journey home", "Toronto Star", 2002 November 22.
6. "International adoption of South Korean children", Wikipedia, 2006 August 9.
7. Madelyn Freundlich and Joy Kim Lieberthal, "The Gathering of the First Generation of Adult Korean Adoptees: Adoptees' Perceptions of International Adoption", The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2000 June.
8. Vanessa Hua, "Korean-born in U.S. return to a home they never knew", "San Francisco Chronicle", 2005 September 11.
9. "Republic of Korea Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997", U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor), 1998 January 30.
10. "Republic of Korea: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices ", U.S. State Department (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor), 2006 March 8.
11. "South Korea -- The Vanishing of Chinatown", "The Economist", 1996 August 3.
12. " South Korea -- A standing reproach", "The Economist", 2006 March 2.
13. "Koreans weigh merits of gaining Japan citizenship", "The Japan Times", 2001 April 21.
14. "Koreans in Japan -- What a little sunshine can do", "The Economist", 2006 June 1.
15. "Japanese Capitalism (Part Two)", "The Atlantic Monthly", 1998 June.
16. Norimitsu Onishi, "LETTER FROM ASIA; Japan and China: National Character Writ Large", "The New York Times", 2004 March 17.
17. "Asian daughters -- Missing persons", "The Economist", 2001 February 22.
18. "6.3 brides for seven brothers", "The Economist", 1998 December 17.
19. "South Korea", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2006 September 6.
20. Joshua Stanton, "U.S.-Republic of Korea Relations: An Alliance at Risk?", the House Committee on International Relations (United States House of Representatives, 109th Congress), 2006 September 27.
21. Meredith May and Deanne Fitzmaurice, "A YOUTHFUL MISTAKE: You Mi was a typical college student, until her first credit card got her into trouble", "San Francisco Chronicle", 2006 October 8.
22. "Japan -- Trafficking", The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, 1998.