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Allow Japanese Nukes
Washington Post ^ | 10/20/06 | Charles Krauthammer

Posted on 10/19/2006 9:27:34 PM PDT by AmericanExceptionalist

The first stop on Condoleezza Rice's post-detonation, nuclear reassurance tour was Tokyo. There she dutifully unfurled the American nuclear umbrella, pledging in person that the United States would meet any North Korean attack on Japan with massive American retaliation, nuclear if necessary.

(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: japan; northkorea
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Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

To: AmericanExceptionalist

Japan will realize this on their own soon, especially if the american electorate hands the Dems power.


2 posted on 10/19/2006 9:29:19 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: AmericanExceptionalist; Grampa Dave; Jeff Head
The importance of Japan as an ally was emphasized by Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro in The Coming Conflict with China.

It is important that Japan develop consciousness that it needs its own nuclear deterent vis-a-vis not merely the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (which threw a Taepodong over Japan in 1998) but also against the Kim Family Regime's (KFR) lips-and-teeth control, the Peoples Republic of China.

3 posted on 10/19/2006 9:36:09 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist

I'm sorry, having Japan nuclearize has the same amount of appeal as having a nuclearized Germany.

We don't need more countries having nuclear weapons, period.

Ally today, enemy tomorrow.


4 posted on 10/19/2006 9:44:30 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: diesel00

Whatever newbie. Of all the nations on Earth, Japan is the one we could trust most with nuclear weapons.


5 posted on 10/19/2006 9:47:44 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Free Republic is Currently Suffering a Pandemic of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist

Will Japan always be an ally?


6 posted on 10/19/2006 9:50:53 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist

Allow 'em, hell! Give 'em to them - and the Taiwanese, too.


7 posted on 10/19/2006 9:51:33 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist; maikeru; Dr. Marten; Eric in the Ozarks; Al Gator; snowsislander; ...
Charles hits the kugi (nail) on the atama (head) yet again!

Japan * ping * (kono risuto ni hairitai ka detai wo shirasete kudasai : let me know if you want on or off this list)

8 posted on 10/19/2006 9:51:38 PM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist

This is the worst idea ever. Other countries in Asia haven't forgotten World War II. They still fear and loath the Japanese. A nuclear Japan pushes South Korea, the Phillipines, Indonesia, even Taiwan closer to China. Do the South Koreans have any need to see a nuclear Japan as a threat? No. But they will anyway. And they'll see China as their strategic counterweight. If South Korea leaves the American orbit for China's -- as it is threatening to --, that will be very bad for US interests in the region.


9 posted on 10/19/2006 9:57:14 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: diesel00
I'm sorry, having Japan nuclearize has the same amount of appeal as having a nuclearized Germany.

What's wrong with a "nuclearized Germany"? They aren't a threat to the rest of the civilized world, and neither is Japan.

10 posted on 10/19/2006 9:58:09 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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To: Alter Kaker

What do you suggest? More diplomacy? Clinton and Carter did that and look where that got us.


11 posted on 10/19/2006 9:59:04 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
What do you suggest? More diplomacy? Clinton and Carter did that and look where that got us.

I'm not sure I understand your point. How does a nuclear Japan help things? If the interest is in deterring a Korean attack on Tokyo, the US could simply reassert its historic commitment to providing a nuclear umbrella. A nuclear Japan isn't any more likely to launch a preemptive attack on Pyongyang than a nuclear Washington is. In fact, it's probably less likely to.

12 posted on 10/19/2006 10:01:17 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: Alter Kaker
If the interest is in deterring a Korean attack on Tokyo, the US could simply reassert its historic commitment to providing a nuclear umbrella.

Then what the hell do you call "arming Japan with nukes"?

A nuclear Japan isn't any more likely to launch a preemptive attack on Pyongyang than a nuclear Washington is. In fact, it's probably less likely to.

Of course. NK knows that too. They also know that if they attack first, they will be instantly marginalized from the rest of the world, who will rush to our side, because we're the only nation on the face of the Earth willing and able to deal with the problem.

13 posted on 10/19/2006 10:08:39 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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To: oceanview

The very reason we trust Japan as an ally is the same reason they opt out of having nukes on their own accord.

They beleive in stability, and their developing a nuke would simply add to the instability. Of course, they live in a world where not enough countries feel the same.

Ultimately, I think if Japan was nuked by Korea, we would then nuke Korea. The Japanese and probably the Koreans also think this, in my opinion. Therefore, since they would never preemptively nuke another country, they can have their cake and eat it too, without seeming agressive on the world stage.

Meanwhile, they can build any number of "Defensive weapons" and I have no doubt they will.


14 posted on 10/19/2006 10:09:13 PM PDT by Greenpees (Coulda Shoulda Woulda)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist

You can't post the entire article. WashComPost has to be excerpted.


15 posted on 10/19/2006 10:13:30 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Then what the hell do you call "arming Japan with nukes"?

There's all the difference in the world between having an American and a Japanese finger on the button. The US long ago said that any attack on Tokyo would merit a nuclear response from the United States. That should be restated and made explicit. But I'm still not sure how allowing Japan to develop its own nuclear weapons makes things any better, and I do see how it makes things a lot worse.

16 posted on 10/19/2006 10:15:08 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: AmericanExceptionalist
I hope both Japan & Taiwan build & test some nukes very soon.
17 posted on 10/19/2006 10:17:27 PM PDT by Left2Right ("Democracy isn't perfect, but other governments are so much worse")
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To: Alter Kaker
But I'm still not sure how allowing Japan to develop its own nuclear weapons makes things any better

If Japan was ruled by a crazed dictator, then you might have a point. But, alas, you don't.

18 posted on 10/19/2006 10:17:40 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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Having been in the Navy long enough, I know that we are always nearby in case the ugly stuff hits the fan. Needless to say, we can certainly mount a quick and deadly counter-offensive if need be.


19 posted on 10/19/2006 10:22:42 PM PDT by rbosque
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To: oceanview
Japan will realize this on their own soon, especially if the american electorate hands the Dems power.

France has a small nuclear arsenal. In a strategic nuclear exchange with any super power she would lose. However, Charles Degaule postulated, would the United States go to war and sacrifice New York for Paris if France was attacked? If I were the Japanese I would get very busy building a nuclear deterrent under their control.

20 posted on 10/19/2006 10:24:52 PM PDT by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash and proud of it, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist, Iconoclast)
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To: PzLdr

"Allow 'em, hell! Give 'em to them - and the Taiwanese, too."

Sounds reasonable to me. However, we could just give them the designs. They have all the expertise and fissionable material to do the rest.


21 posted on 10/19/2006 10:27:13 PM PDT by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash and proud of it, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist, Iconoclast)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
If Japan was ruled by a crazed dictator, then you might have a point. But, alas, you don't.

I don't get you. I'm not worried Japan will use their nukes. I'm saying Japan doesn't need nukes, and a nuclear armed Japan will scare the bejesus out of America's allies in the region. A scared S. Korea will move closer into the orbit of China, which hurts US interests.

22 posted on 10/19/2006 10:27:39 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: Alter Kaker

South Korea and China already have nukes.


23 posted on 10/19/2006 10:31:35 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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To: BigSkyFreeper
South Korea and China already have nukes.

South Korea has nukes? That's news to me. China has nukes, but South Korea doesn't perceive China to be a threat. South Korea does, however, feel threatened by Japan. You and I may disagree with their view, but it's a fact.

24 posted on 10/19/2006 10:34:54 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: diesel00
I'm sorry, having Japan nuclearize has the same amount of appeal as having a nuclearized Germany. We don't need more countries having nuclear weapons, period. Ally today, enemy tomorrow.

Hate to break this to you, pal, but we did equip the Bundeswehr with nukes back in the day. It was a "dual-key" arrangement, in which a US officer held a virtual "veto" over whether or not the nukes would be used (based on a decision by the National Command Authority). In this case, it's a moot point, since Mr. Abe says that the Japanese don't want any nukes, just missile defense.

25 posted on 10/19/2006 10:47:42 PM PDT by pawdoggie
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To: Alter Kaker
...South Korea doesn't perceive China to be a threat.

Which is a bunch of left winged BS anyway. China is a bigger threat to South Korea than Japan could ever hope to be.

26 posted on 10/19/2006 10:49:15 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (Karl Rove you magnificent bastard!)
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To: Left2Right
Unless Taiwan can build more nukes than China (and be able to land them in China), I really don't think a nuclear Taiwan would be any more of a deterrent than a non-nuclear Taiwan. A nuclear test by Taiwan could very well be perceived as a declaration of war to the Chinese. It's utterly foolhardy and serves no purpose.

Having all of East Asia nuclearize is NOT in the best interests of the United States believe it or not. Rice and the Bush administration are well aware of this. The end result of a nuclearized East Asia is that US forces leave the region, it would do jack squat in containing China.

Japan isn't gonna nuclearize, even if it had nukes, it wouldn't test them.
27 posted on 10/19/2006 10:56:07 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: pawdoggie

That's not the same thing as having an autonomous Japanese nuclear program, which is basically what Krauthammer and some of the posters here want. The Germany veto setup is not too different from a nuclear umbrella, just merely localized.


28 posted on 10/19/2006 10:59:36 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Will Japan always be an ally?

Dunno. But it is safe to assume that North Korea will always be an enemy--at least, as long as "Dear Leader" reigns supreme. And the enemy of my enemy...well, you know the rest.

29 posted on 10/19/2006 11:02:58 PM PDT by AmericanExceptionalist (Democrats believe in discussing the full spectrum of ideas, all the way from far left to center-left)
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To: Alter Kaker
I disagree.

No one on the planet fears Japan arming themselves with nuclear weapons more than China.

The very threat of Japan going nuclear has a very high likelihood of forcing China to reign in their Chia pet to the south. It is an excellent threat to hold over China's head to act and act now. Doing so may well save hundreds of thousands of lives in both NK and SK along with thousands of our soldiers lives.
30 posted on 10/19/2006 11:03:02 PM PDT by DB (©)
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To: Alter Kaker
How does a nuclear Japan help things?

NK does what it does because the Chicoms let them. Don't buy this crap that they're upset about the North's behavior. They gave them the green light to go for it. A nuclear Japan will force the Chinese to reign in their attack dog because while we may promise we will retaliate for a nuclear attack on Japan, a Japan with nukes will without a doubt retaliate.

31 posted on 10/19/2006 11:04:13 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: Alter Kaker
I'm saying Japan doesn't need nukes, and a nuclear armed Japan will scare the bejesus out of America's allies in the region. A scared S. Korea will move closer into the orbit of China, which hurts US interests.

Right. A nuclear Japan does not necessarily help in containing China, in fact, it might just do the opposite and move the rest of East and Southeast Asia closer to China. Basically it achieves nothing, and probably would only cause Japan to feel brave enough to ask our troops to leave.
32 posted on 10/19/2006 11:06:17 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: DB

We agree.


33 posted on 10/19/2006 11:08:02 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: PzLdr
Allow 'em, hell! Give 'em to them - and the Taiwanese, too.

We wouldn't have to give nukes to them. The South Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese are quite capable of making them in short order. Probably weeks rather than months.

34 posted on 10/19/2006 11:09:57 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: DB
No one on the planet fears Japan arming themselves with nuclear weapons more than China.

That may well be true. But they're not the only ones who fear a nuclear Japan, and all the other regional powers will look to Beijing -- not Washington -- to ensure regional security in the face of what they will perceive to be Japanese aggression. That's, imho, a grave geopolitical mistake.

Additionally, a nuclear armed Japan will legitimize everything the DPRK is saying -- that their nukes are purely defensive, and make it impossible for the US to build the kind of international resolve necessary to enforce an effective embargo of the DPRK. The US needs Kim Jong Il to remain the bad guy -- how he's currently viewed. If Japan builds nukes, the children and grandchildren of victims of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will start seeing Japan as the bigger threat.

35 posted on 10/19/2006 11:10:11 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: GATOR NAVY
NK does what it does because the Chicoms let them.

Maybe, to some extent. But I don't see how a nuclear DPRK helps China.

A nuclear Japan will force the Chinese to reign in their attack dog because while we may promise we will retaliate for a nuclear attack on Japan, a Japan with nukes will without a doubt retaliate.

Maybe yes, maybe no. But is it worth losing influence over South Korea, Indonesia, the Philipines and even Taiwan? Why not just restate the US' committment to providing a nuclear umbrella for Japan?

36 posted on 10/19/2006 11:14:12 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: diesel00
A nuclear test by Taiwan could very well be perceived as a declaration of war to the Chinese.

Yet the South Koreans apparently don't consider North Korea's nuclear detonations "a declaration of war"--not to mention the gazillions of conventional arms aimed at Seoul.

Some people might think the totalitarians are just more serious about this deadly game than the West is.

37 posted on 10/19/2006 11:16:17 PM PDT by AmericanExceptionalist (Democrats believe in discussing the full spectrum of ideas, all the way from far left to center-left)
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To: diesel00

Umm...If nukes weren't a deterrent, why would NK, Iran (okay, Iran might actually want to use them), and a slew of tin pot dictatorships want to procure them, even in small amounts? You're right that Red China would think of that as a declaration of war, but it definitely serves a purpose. The Chicoms are pretty fervent about taking Taiwan, but having the possibility of a radioactive Beijing, Shanghai, or any big city is certainly going to influence whether they try and take the island by force.


38 posted on 10/19/2006 11:17:22 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: DB
No one on the planet fears Japan arming themselves with nuclear weapons more than China.

This is mostly speculation. Sure, China doesn't want Japan to have nukes, but in the end it doesn't matter whether Japan has them or not. Japan has 1/40 the landmass of China, and 1/10 of its population. Japan could not win a nuclear war with China on its own. If Japan wants nukes only as a deterrent, then the US nuclear umbrella is good enough. It's mostly ego and posturing for Japan to have nukes. The strategic benefit is pretty minimal.
39 posted on 10/19/2006 11:19:38 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: Constantine XI Palaeologus

What you say is certainly true, but the problem is that Taiwan doesn't have the means of delivering a nuke to Shanghai or Beijing. Taiwan is in the south, it only has missile capabilities of reaching Fujian province, which is mostly rural.


40 posted on 10/19/2006 11:23:34 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: Alter Kaker
Other countries in Asia haven't forgotten World War II. They still fear and loath the Japanese.

That's why Japan is such a great US ally . . . because everyone else hates Japan. Japan is like Israel. Everyone else in the world hates the country.

Unfortunately, Japan, like Israel, needs nukes. The US can't be trusted as an ally and may cut-and-run as it did in Vietnam, and as the Dems are threatening to do now in Iraq.

It's far better to have nukes and not need them, then to need nukes and not have them.

41 posted on 10/19/2006 11:28:51 PM PDT by Retief
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To: Retief
That's why Japan is such a great US ally . . . because everyone else hates Japan. Japan is like Israel. Everyone else in the world hates the country.

Japan isn't like Israel. Israel and jews didn't go around killing, raping and looting all those Germans, Muslims, Poles and Frenchmen.

East Asian wariness of Japan is not the same as fanatical Muslim hatred of Israel. The former has good and solid historical basis.
42 posted on 10/19/2006 11:41:43 PM PDT by diesel00
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To: Retief
That's why Japan is such a great US ally . . . because everyone else hates Japan.

Except the US can't afford for the Far East to turn into the Middle East. The US needs to have not just Japan, but also South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philipines, etc. in its sphere of influence, not China's, if it wants to contain China. Also, I'm not sure that Japan sees its relations with the US in quite the same way that Israel does.

43 posted on 10/19/2006 11:45:58 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: Alter Kaker
I'm not sure I understand your point. How does a nuclear Japan help things? If the interest is in deterring a Korean attack on Tokyo, the US could simply reassert its historic commitment to providing a nuclear umbrella. A nuclear Japan isn't any more likely to launch a preemptive attack on Pyongyang than a nuclear Washington is. In fact, it's probably less likely to.

Put yourself in Japan's shoes. Would you trust the Americans to come to your aid? Now? Sure, but how about 5 years from now under the Clinton or Obama administration? When you've got nukes you never need to worry about whether someone else will provide your deterent for you.

44 posted on 10/19/2006 11:50:58 PM PDT by elmer fudd
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To: diesel00

Well, I might be wrong, but I thought Taiwanese industry would be capable of producing missiles with adequate range. I'm talking about technological capability to produce, not whether they can legally. IIRC South Korea was pressured not to produce ballistic missiles by us a while back. Maybe we've got something like that in place for the ROC.

I don't know why we're so reluctant to share technology with Taiwan (they're still using upgraded Kidd-class destroyers IIRC). Are we behind them or not (but that's another issue).


45 posted on 10/19/2006 11:51:13 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: elmer fudd
Put yourself in Japan's shoes. Would you trust the Americans to come to your aid? Now? Sure, but how about 5 years from now under the Clinton or Obama administration?

I understand why Japan wants nukes. But I don't see how the US would want Japan to get nukes. A nuclear Japan would increase China's power relative to the US enormously. A slight increase in Japanese peace of mind results in a tremendous decrease in American regional influence.

46 posted on 10/19/2006 11:54:27 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: diesel00

If we're talking about historical hegemony, Korea'd do well to remember that China dominated them for a good deal of their history. The same goes for much of Asia. The Vietnamese still remember Chinese domination, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want a return to that past.

Apart from a few pirates here and there and the brief moment of expansionism, Japan has left well enough alone for most of its history. Unless I'm forgeting something. :)


47 posted on 10/19/2006 11:55:49 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: Alter Kaker
I understand why Japan wants nukes. But I don't see how the US would want Japan to get nukes.

Because it could prevent both a war and a human tragedy. Our nukes probably won't always be a deterent to North Korea attacking Japan and we shouldn't have to put ourselves in the position of risking WW3 to defend a country with the means to defend itself.

48 posted on 10/20/2006 12:12:26 AM PDT by elmer fudd
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To: diesel00
I'm sorry, having Japan nuclearize has the same amount of appeal as having a nuclearized Germany. We don't need more countries having nuclear weapons, period. Ally today, enemy tomorrow.

Japan or German will not ask you if they see the necessity of a own nuclear force. It will happen silent and fast - just like it happened in Israel a long time ago. No offical statements but everybody will know that they have damm good working nukes since we do not have to discuss the technical skills of those countries.

It is not probable that Germany will produce its own nukes in the near future, because it is under the direct nuclear umbrella of France. In difference to the US the defense of a nuclear attack in Germany would also be a question of survival for France. Everybody in Germany knows that. The confidence into the US upon this question is not that strong anymore in the meantime.

I assume that the Japanese have the same reservations (as long as we talk about this question) against the US just as political Germany has. In difference to Germany they have no "nuclear" neighbour that is "married" (sarcasm) to them. Therefore it is not sure to me if they not already rule over a nuclear inventory. If I would be the Japanese prime minister I would.

49 posted on 10/20/2006 12:53:47 AM PDT by Atlantic Bridge (De omnibus dubitandum.)
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To: Alter Kaker
The US needs to have not just Japan, but also South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philipines, etc. in its sphere of influence, not China's, if it wants to contain China.

Forget South Korea. That's just the France of the far east.

Forget Indonesia. That's 98% radical Islamics, working on ethnically cleansing the 2% Christians from their islands. The US would have about as much chance as getting Indonesia on its side as it would Iran. Remember the Tsunami? How grateful was Indonesia for US aid?

The Philippines, maybe. They kicked the US out of their bases there, but they need help fighting of the Islamofacists.

Thailand, not much of chance. They just had a military coup and installed a Muslim PM, and the Islamofacsits are advancing from the south.

Taiwan, yes. That's another country without allies. Vulnerable and nobody will stick up for them because if you do, you invite powerful enemies. It's sort of like being friends with Israel. Say something bad about both countries and hopefully China and the Islamofascists will leave you alone.

50 posted on 10/20/2006 1:31:43 AM PDT by Retief
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