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

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

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 incountries throughout Asia that the U.S. will not honor its commitmentto defend them against attacks from other countries, such as China.When America became policeman of the world after WW II, thanks to theTruman Doctrine in 1947, the deal was that other countries could focuson economic growth and not worry about military spending, becauseAmerica would rescue them if necessary. But after America took noaction in Crimea or Syria, and the Obama administration appears tohave completely abandoned the Truman Doctrine for the first time, manycountries are understandably nervous that now they’re completely ontheir own.

According to one analyst:

“The hard question, particularly when leaders in thisregion look at what is gone on in Syria, what’s gone on inUkraine, the president drawing red lines and not actually backingup its words, there are questions, legitimate questionsparticularly I would say in Japan what would happen if there wasconflict between China and Japan? Would the United States actuallycome on the side of Japan as strongly as the Japanese mighthope?”

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

“It’s a pretty predictable, I think, reaction, notjust of nations of this area and this region but all over theworld. I think anytime you have a nation — Russia in this case –try to impose its will to refine and define internationalboundaries and violate the territorial integrity and sovereigntyof 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 ourcomplete and absolute commitment to the security of Japan. So Idon’t think there is any indication or any evidence that we’redoing anything but strengthening our commitment to the security ofJapan.”

Hagel also said that Russia suffered unnamed “consequences” for theinvasion of Crimea.

So Hagel doesn’t actually say that the commitment is beingstrengthened. He says that “there’s [no] indication or evidence” thatit’s not being strengthened. Pretty clever wording. He’s managed tosound good, while saying absolutely nothing. If I were running anAsian 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 anniversaryof the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The majority Hutus tortured, burnt,raped, mutilated and killed over 800,000 Tutsis over a six monthperiod. As usual, we’re hearing the phrase “Never again!” over andover, though it’s also mixed in with recriminations, many peopleblaming the French and Belgians for not stopping it, and some accusingthe 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 inCentral African Republic (CAR) are increasing, and the peacekeepingforces sent to stop the violence are “overwhelmed”:

“The international community failed the people ofRwanda 20 years ago. And we are at risk of not doing enough forthe people of the CAR today.

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

People have been lynched and decapitated. Sexual violence is onthe rise. Gruesome acts have been committed while others cheeredon the perpetrators. There has been total impunity – zeroaccountability. 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 inCAR, the last generational crisis war, was the 1928-1931 Kongo-WaraRebellion (“War of the Hoe Handle”), which was a very long time ago,putting CAR today deep into a generational Crisis era. There areprobably no survivors left from the Kongo-Wara Rebellion, and so it’snot surprising at all that a new war of extermination is breaking outin CAR today. It’s as simple as that. This is the way that the realworld works. They may say “Never again!”, but the truth is “Alwaysagain!”, 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 themultination peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (CAR).There have been suspicions all along that the mostly Muslim Chadiantroops were taking the side of the Muslims against the Christians inthe CAR conflict. Then last Saturday (March 29), a group of Chadiansoldiers fired indiscriminately into a crowded market, killing about30 civilians and wounding another 300. According to a U.N.investigation, the perpetrators were Chadian troops, though theyweren’t part of Chad’s troops in the peacekeeping force. According toa statement by Chad’s foreign ministry explaining the decision towithdraw:

“Despite the sacrifices we have made, Chad andChadians have been targeted in a gratuitous and malicious campaignthat blamed them for all the suffering in (Central AfricanRepublic).”


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