World View: U.S. Fails to Reaffirm Its Mutual Defense Treaty with Japan

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • U.S. fails to reaffirm its mutual defense treaty with Japan
  • U.N. leaders realizing Central African Republic genocide is unstoppable
  • Chad withdraws from Central African Republic peacekeeping force

U.S. fails to reaffirm its mutual defense treaty with Japan

Chuck Hagel and Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Saturday
Chuck Hagel and Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Saturday

Russia's effortless annexation of Crimea has raised concerns in countries throughout Asia that the U.S. will not honor its commitment to defend them against attacks from other countries, such as China. When America became policeman of the world after WW II, thanks to the Truman Doctrine in 1947, the deal was that other countries could focus on economic growth and not worry about military spending, because America would rescue them if necessary. But after America took no action in Crimea or Syria, and the Obama administration appears to have completely abandoned the Truman Doctrine for the first time, many countries are understandably nervous that now they're completely on their own.

According to one analyst:

"The hard question, particularly when leaders in this region look at what is gone on in Syria, what's gone on in Ukraine, the president drawing red lines and not actually backing up its words, there are questions, legitimate questions particularly I would say in Japan what would happen if there was conflict between China and Japan? Would the United States actually come on the side of Japan as strongly as the Japanese might hope?"

In a meeting on Saturday with Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tried to remove these fears by means of a speech full of reassuring words:

"It’s a pretty predictable, I think, reaction, not just of nations of this area and this region but all over the world. I think anytime you have a nation — Russia in this case — try to impose its will to refine and define international boundaries and violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a nation by force, all of the world takes note of that. ...

[There is no] weakness on the part of the United States as to our complete and absolute commitment to the security of Japan. So I don’t think there is any indication or any evidence that we’re doing anything but strengthening our commitment to the security of Japan."

Hagel also said that Russia suffered unnamed "consequences" for the invasion of Crimea.

So Hagel doesn't actually say that the commitment is being strengthened. He says that "there's [no] indication or evidence" that it's not being strengthened. Pretty clever wording. He's managed to sound good, while saying absolutely nothing. If I were running an Asian nation, I wouldn't be reassured at all. Japan Times/AP

U.N. leaders realizing Central African Republic genocide is unstoppable

This weekend, the United Nations is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The majority Hutus tortured, burnt, raped, mutilated and killed over 800,000 Tutsis over a six month period. As usual, we're hearing the phrase "Never again!" over and over, though it's also mixed in with recriminations, many people blaming the French and Belgians for not stopping it, and some accusing the French of actually participating.

But in the midst of the ceremonies about Rwanda, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is saying that the genocidal acts in Central African Republic (CAR) are increasing, and the peacekeeping forces sent to stop the violence are "overwhelmed":

"The international community failed the people of Rwanda 20 years ago. And we are at risk of not doing enough for the people of the CAR today.

Ethno-religious cleansing is a reality. Most members of the Muslim minority have fled. Muslims and Christians have been placed in mortal danger simply because of who they are or what they believe.

People have been lynched and decapitated. Sexual violence is on the rise. Gruesome acts have been committed while others cheered on the perpetrators. There has been total impunity – zero accountability. This must change."

As I've been writing for months, a CAR genocide cannot be stopped. This is an elemental force of nature. The last time this happened in CAR, the last generational crisis war, was the 1928-1931 Kongo-Wara Rebellion ("War of the Hoe Handle"), which was a very long time ago, putting CAR today deep into a generational Crisis era. There are probably no survivors left from the Kongo-Wara Rebellion, and so it's not surprising at all that a new war of extermination is breaking out in CAR today. It's as simple as that. This is the way that the real world works. They may say "Never again!", but the truth is "Always again!", because that's part of the human DNA, just as much as sex is. Toronto Star and United Nations and AFP

Chad withdraws from Central African Republic peacekeeping force

Chad is withdrawing its 850 soldiers from the 6,000 soldiers in the multination peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (CAR). There have been suspicions all along that the mostly Muslim Chadian troops were taking the side of the Muslims against the Christians in the CAR conflict. Then last Saturday (March 29), a group of Chadian soldiers fired indiscriminately into a crowded market, killing about 30 civilians and wounding another 300. According to a U.N. investigation, the perpetrators were Chadian troops, though they weren't part of Chad's troops in the peacekeeping force. According to a statement by Chad's foreign ministry explaining the decision to withdraw:

"Despite the sacrifices we have made, Chad and Chadians have been targeted in a gratuitous and malicious campaign that blamed them for all the suffering in (Central African Republic)."

CNN


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