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Friday, November 25, 2016

Axis To Allies or Access To Allies

One hundred and seventy-fifty years ago—give or take, Japan was a sleepy little Podunk of a nation that had closed its borders to the rest of the world in order for its military to retain absolute control absolutely.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… there was some very minor trade done with a couple of outside countries, but that was so Japan could get a hold of some very useful guns.

If you were an average Japanese person, odds are you had never seen a gaijin… an outsider… until the middle of the 19th century.

Heck… I know that most places not named Tokyo or Osaka - especially those small towns and villages far inland… the populace there may never have seen a gaijin well into the 20th century…. a true statement that sometimes older and younger Japanese would stop and stare at a foreigner and utter the wretched phrase: “Hora! Gaijin-da!” - Look a foreigner/outsider.

And then The United States came a calling in the 1850s… looking to force Japan into opening up its borders to trade. The U.S. came with guns a-blazing… well… large and shiny, showing off all the latest toys like railroads that could transport people or goods around the country… and yeah… canons on a ship or three that quietly insisted that Japan stop its self-imposed exile and work with the Americans.

A few short years later, an entire political system of military rule was over thrown, and a monarchy re-imposed as being equal to God and Heaven.

Japan was on the “allied” side during WWI; then on the “Axis” side during WWII; had two of its cities nearly bombed into oblivion; had its Constitution rewritten by the nation that blew up those two cities; resurrected it’s economy by selling electronics and automobiles to that country of Yankee Doodle Dandies.

Japan grew strong and powerful… but only economically, and needed the help of its former two-time conqueror to help protect its waters and lands from new would be conquerors, like Russia and China, no-longer allies themselves, but each a formidable foe when it comes to quibbling over a bunch of rocks in the ocean.

And now… now we have trouble in a rocky paradise.

Forget about U.S. president-elect Donald Trump saying his first order of business is to remove the United States of Hillary’s popular vote OUT of the TPP.

The TPP—aka the Trans-Pacific Partnership—is a trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.

Forget about that for a second.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (surname first) has put in place his plan to strike down the Japan Constitution that was essentially written by Allied leader, United States of America back in 1945.

It’s plan was to make the female gender a little bit more equal, while bringing the country up to a level similar in scope and stature to the U.S., while still being allowed to maintain its individuality.

“You’re all individuals!” hails the prophet.
“We’re all individuals!” thunders the crowd.
“I’m not,” squeaks the one honest, but confused person.
There are many reasons why Honest Abe (pronounced “Ah-bay”) wants to scrap the Constitution, and it mostly revolves around keeping women down, minorities controlled, and a right to create its own Army, Navy and Air Force in an effort to protect and attack its enemies.

While it really would like the United States to controls its military better when it comes to partying too hard in various Japanese towns and cities, it would still appreciate it if the U.S. would help protect Japan… you know… sort of stick around, but in the background… so that bullies know enough not to attack Japan…

Okay, now back to the TPP. Don Trump (no, not part of any Italian mob)(I don’t think) doesn’t want the U.S. in it at all.

He is aware that like the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), while everyone wins and loses, the optics always make it seem as though the U.S. is losing.

So yeah - screw the TPP.

Trump has already trumpeted the need for countries that want U.S. protection to start paying for it.

“Hey, so like, let’s suppose somebody comes and tries to take your cannoli, what are you going to do about it?”
“What’s a cannoli, Don Trump? Besides, weren’t you going to protect us, because you know… we’re like friends.”
Yes… like friends. But I’m thinking youse gotta start paying more for our protection, you know, because if you don’t something, and I’m not saying who, could come and Putin Japan in its place. You know what I mean?”

The moral of this immoral story is: You can get what you want, and still not be happy.

Hora, gaijin-da!
Andrew Joseph

4 comments:

  1. Very insightful piece but disturbing. I am not a history buff but I've lived with one for 33 years. He's watching Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States. Will this be part of the history that's told or the part that's forgotten? Watching nervously.

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    1. So... are more than half the people of the U.S. nervous? Really? Most Canadians have a Laissez-faire attitude, trusting that things will work out.
      Trump isn't going to come out and create a Nazi state.
      His campaigning tactics were pure political genius. He played people, promising everything, while badmouthing other things and people... and now that he's won, he changes tactics to be less flammable. Also, just because there's a Republican majority every where doesn't mean they are all going to side with him. He was a Democrat once before.
      I just wanted to use the Axis/Access to Allies line.
      Come to Canada. My four best buds as a kid were Canadians of Filipino extraction and Lithuania extraction. No one was a hyphen-Canadian. We were just Canadian. I thin kit avoids a lot of contention when you remove the word that people hyphenate.

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    2. Well, OK -- maybe it's more like 50% of 50% of Americans are a little nervous. Let's see what happens in 2 years.

      Getting rid of the hyphen thing is the next stage of cultural evolution, and this country is not there ... yet (can't lose hope). I have to say this is one time I am jealous of you Canadians. Whenever my own kids were asked their ethnicity on some school survey, I told them to alternate between their dad and me just to be fair. Recently, the surveys let you pick more than one. So I guess that is progress.

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    3. Canada is becoming (since the 80s) a hyphen country. I fought (literally) to be accepted as a Canadian growing up in the 70s... and now to see people casually say they are hyphenated ticks me off. I have no problems in deciding where my loyalties lie.
      As for others who have parents of two ethnicity... yeah... pick one if you have to, but never forget where you are. I, personally, love American patriotism, and wish Canada was at least 50% like our neighbors to the south.
      Strangely... prior to this new school - Catholic school - my soon entered this year, he had never faced racial discrimination... yet has had it thrown at him twice in three months. The school has dealt with it quickly, as my son has all of a sudden had the guts to report it. I never did... which was why there were so many school yard fights in my day. Same school, by the way... just 40 years removed or more. Of course nowadays, a school yard fight will get you expelled... so I like his way better now.

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