Monday, July 10, 2006

This Might Be a Bad Idea

I suppose the pre-emption genie is out of the bottle for good now.
Japanese officials also said Monday that negotiations may not be enough, using rhetoric unprecedented in the country that adopted a pacifist constitution after its defeat in World War II.

"If we accept that there is no other option to prevent an attack ... there is the view that attacking the launch base of the guided missiles is within the constitutional right of self-defense. We need to deepen discussion," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said.

"It's irresponsible to do nothing when we know North Korea could riddle us with missiles," echoed Tsutomu Takebe, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. "We should consider measures, including legal changes" required for such an attack, he said.

Japan's constitution foreswears the use of war to settle international disputes, but the government has interpreted that to allow defensive forces. The question is whether such a pre-emptive strike could be defined as self-defense.

Even if Japan resolves the constitutionality issue, its military capability to launch such a strike is another issue. The Defense Agency has said Japan does not own weapons such as ballistic missiles that could reach North Korea, only defensive ground-to-air and ground-to-vessel missiles.

The Japanese were big into pre-emptive attacks, once upon a time.

For instance, in China.

And in Hawaii.

Executing a prisoner for sport.

These were Korean resistance fighters.

Yeah. This might be a very, very bad idea. The rest of Asia would be, to put it mildly, pissed.

But hey, you might finally get the two Koreas reunited. The Chinese would go absolutely batshit if Japan launched a strike on North Korea. Not just because Beijing is the closest thing Pyongyang has to an ally. No, because the Japanese did things in China in the 1930's and 1940's that you can't begin to imagine. Read Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking if you want a hint. No one in East Asia has forgotten the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese act like none of what they did ever happened. Torture, murder, rape, extortion, and experimentation on prisoners (with chemical and biological weapons, as well).

Look all that shit up if you don't believe me. It's out there.

This would be a massively destabilizing strike, to put it mildly.

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