The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

We may be in danger of repeating history

 

January 9, 2020



To The Eagle:

During the early 1930's the U.S.A. had just passed the jingoistic anti Japanese Act in Congress, shutting down Japanese immigration to America and institutionalizing anti-Asian bigotry in this country.

At the time, Japan was a parliamentary democracy. Its right wing political party was dominated by the military and its leader General Hideki Tojo. He pushed for the policy beginning to dominate the Japanese empire that “Asia should be ruled by Asians.” This was the period when Surinam, French Indochina, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies were all colonial possessions of Western Nations. They were conquered and colonized so that France, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and the United states could extract their considerable natural resources, particularly the world’s largest oil fields in the Dutch East Indies. The vast oil reserves of the Arabian peninsula had yet to be discovered.

By the late thirties Tojo’s military cabal, latter day neocons, pushed the Empire into an invasion of China. The U.S. was appalled at the reported brutality of that invasion and immediately instituted stringent sanctions against Japan.

Eighty percent of the steel and oil used by the Empire came from America. With these resources embargoed, Tojo pressured the Japanese government to expand the scope of its Asian conquest in a drive to possess the iron ore mines of China and the vast oil reserves of the Dutch colonies.

Japan’s Prime Minister resigned in protest. General Tojo assumed the seat of power. Japanese Democracy died. The Empire became a military dictatorship. To circumvent American intervention against his planned conquests, General Tojo initiated planning for the destruction of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. The rest is history.

It’s a history we may be in danger of repeating today, rife with all its elements of Western intervention in East Asia, the brutality of nationalist fanatics, stereotypical racial bigotry, increasingly severe sanctions and embargoes of resources, and oil. Always oil.

Faced with the loss of power and a convenient enemy to loath and attack, Trump would not be the first would-be-dictator to start a war to increase the scope of his power and stay in office. Voters are loathe to “change horses in midstream” during a national armed conflict.

The master of distraction and his compliant party seems about to make that fatal reach and we’re going to take the plunge with him.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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