Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In The New York Times was an editorial titled “Mr. Abe's Dangerous Revisionism”

On 2 March, 2014 appearing in The New York Times was an editorial titled:
“Mr. Abe's Dangerous Revisionism.”

The title immediately informs the reader Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sinister intentions by inserting the word “Revisionism” in the editorial’s title.

The word “Revisionism” as defined by the Marriam-Webster dictionary:
“…..support of ideas and beliefs that differ from and try to change accepted ideas and beliefs especially in a way that is seen as wrong or dishonest.”

By that meaning employing the word “revisionism” into Mr. Abe’s actions is a total fabrication and cannot be supported with facts and seems to escape reality.  Based on the fictional title a further examination of this editorial is warranted.  The editorial consists of five paragraphs and will examine each paragraph with a rebuttal / correction following it.       

Paragraph one:
“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s brand of nationalism is a becoming an ever more serious threat to Japan’s relations with the United States. His use of revisionist history is a dangerous provocation for the region, which is already struggling with China’s aggressive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.”

Rebuttal / correction:
Mr. Abe has no brand of “nationalism.”  The author of this editorial inserted the word “nationalism” to purposely sway the opinion of the American reader.  “Nationalism” with its corresponding word “Nationalist,” has always been plagued with a negative connotation in the United States.  The origin can be traced to the rise of Nationalism (loyalty to the nation / state and not the religion, ethic, or tribal identity previously) which was viewed negatively in the United States.  Americans saw the rise of nationalism in Europe correspond with European wars and conflicts: Americans were warned to avoid, starting with George Washington.    

“Nationalism / Nationalist” used in the United States in reference to Japan is meant to invoke the militarist of Imperial Japan and the subsequent entry into World War Two.  The use of those words are only employed to portray a negative image.    

Using the word “revisionist” in the paragraph also is a distortion and a purposeful misinterpretation of Mr. Abe’s stated intention.  Mr. Abe’s office announced a group of scholars will gather to study the historical documents and evidence that lead to Japan’s 1993 apology concerning the Comfort Women issue.  How is examining an historical event “revisionist?”  All aspects of history are continually examined and reviewed by historians world-wide to gain further knowledge.  The study of history is not static it is alive and fluid thanks to continued historical analysis.  It is with this academic discipline the 1993 apology will be studied.  It can only be stamped “revisionist” if one is hostile to advancing knowledge or fearing a change in an anchored reality. 

The editorial in the paragraph then assigns a “dangerous provocation” to Japan’s examination of history while making it seem to incite China’s aggression in the region.  Really?  China has been aggressive in Asia long before any examination of the Comfort Women issue.  The editorial seems to absolve China’s belligerent behavior as it can be viewed as a reaction to Japan’s “revisionism.”  Hooey!

Paragraph two:         
“Mr. Abe, however, seems oblivious to this reality and to the interests of the United States, which is committed to defend Japan by treaty obligation and does not want to be dragged into a conflict between China and Japan.”

Rebuttal / correction:
Mr. Abe is “oblivious to this reality” because “this reality” is anchored in fiction and Mr. Abe’s reality does not include fiction.  Yes the United States does not want to be drawn into a conflict between China and Japan.  The editorial left out, a conflict initiated by China, causing Japan to react to protect their territorial integrity from aggression.  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” - Newton’s Third Law.   

Paragraph three:
“Mr. Abe’s nationalism can be hard to decipher, because it is not directed against any country. It is directed instead against Japan’s own history since World War II, which he finds shameful. He wants to shed what he calls the self-effacing postwar regime and recreate a renewed patriotism.”

Rebuttal / correction:
The reason “Mr. Abe’s nationalism can be hard to decipher,” is because Mr. Abe’s nationalism only exist in the minds of his detractors.  Mr. Abe wants to “recreate a renewed patriotism.”  So?  What is wrong with love of one’s country through expressions of patriotism?  Liberals in the United States of which The New York Times is their printed proponent, detest patriotism as they feel love of nation is evil.  They believe we are citizens of the world and not nations, also only through that belief can peace among the people of the earth be attained.   

A Harvard University study in 2011 concluded “Republicans more patriotic than Democrats.”  Since The New York Times supports the Democratic Party it is easy to understand their vilification of “renewed patriotism.”   

Paragraph four:
“But before he gets to Japan’s postwar culture, he also whitewashes the history of the war. He and other nationalists still claim that the Nanjing massacre by Japanese troops in 1937 never happened. His government on Friday said that it would re-examine and possible rescind an apology to Korean women who were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese troops. And he insists that visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead including convicted war criminals, merely shows respect for those who sacrificed their lives for their country. Despite clear signals from Washington to refrain from visiting the shrine, he went in December.”

Rebuttal / correction:  
Once again The New York Times illustrates their Japan / Abe bashing by affiliating him with “nationalist” and lying about him “whitewashing” the 1937 Nanjing incident.  Where is the quote from Mr. Abe “whitewashing?”  Mr. Abe or his office never stated there would be a possible “rescind” to the 1993 Comfort Women apology.  Can The New York Times provide that quote? 

The Yasukuni Shrine to Japan is what National Arlington Cemetery is to the United States.  Where does Washington or any other nation get to dictate to the people of Japan where they should not travel within their own country?  American style liberalism feel they have a right to dictate to people their movements, behavior, and ideology.  If people in Washington have an objection to the Prime Minister of Japan traveling to certain locations within Japan then those people need to be told “mind your own business.”

Paragraph five:
“A confrontational relationship with China at this time could help him convince a deeply pacifist people of the need for heightened defense preparedness. It seems a peculiarity of Japan that those who advocate a greater military posture tend to overlap with historical revisionists. Mr. Abe’s nationalism aside, however, neither he nor other mainstream Japanese leaders are about to enhance Japan’s military capabilities without American consent because they are deeply committed to the U.S.-Japan security alliance.”

Rebuttal / correction:
The “confrontational relationship with China” should be noted is the result of China’s aggressive actions resulting in Japan’s defensive response.  The result of which of course would lead a pacifist people to appreciate “the need for heightened defense preparedness.”  Why does Japan need America’s consent to protect their territory?  It is peculiar here where American liberals constantly berate the USA for injecting influence around the world, yet finds it acceptable to have Japan get blessings from Washington to defend themselves from Chinese aggression.  When it comes to American liberals there is no consistency.    

This editorial was filled with hallucinations and should perhaps have revealed the authors as being Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (they wrote “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”).

It seems like the only “revisionism” in this editorial was not Mr. Abe’s intention, but the intention of the editorial.  Shame on The New York Times, the once proud “newspaper of record.”  

Link to the editorial:

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