Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hatred leads to power.
Power leads to victory.
Let your anger flow through you.
Your hate will make you strong.
True power is only achieved through
testing the limits of one's anger,
passing through unscathed.
Rage channeled through anger is unstoppable.
The dark side of the Force
offers unimaginable power.
The dark side is stronger than the light.
The weak deserve their fate.
–tenets of Sith philosophy
Hard Rain Journal 8-28-06: Sith Lords in London & Tokyo? The Neo-Con Impact on Our Allies
By Richard Power
Two notable individuals, one an unimpeachable voice of conscience and statesmanship, the other one of the most engaging foreign policy and national security commentators on the contemporary scene, have offered some vital insights in recent days.
Former US President Jimmy Carter, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, founder of the Carter Center and author of Endangered Values has denounced UK PM Tony Blair in an explosive interview with the Telegraph" Tony Blair's lack of leadership and timid subservience to George W Bush lie behind the ongoing crisis in Iraq and the worldwide threat of terrorism, according to the former American president Jimmy Carter.
Steve Clemons, Director of the American Strategy Program for the New America Foundation, and founder of The Washington Note (perhaps the most important blog focusing on geopolitical issues), has published an important and insightful article on the rise of intolerance in Japan: Emboldened by the recent rise in nationalism, an increasingly militant group of extreme right-wing activists who yearn for a return to 1930s-style militarism, emperor-worship and "thought control" have begun to move into more mainstream circles -- and to attack those who don't see things their way.
(See excerpts and links to both pieces below.)
As I noted in Hard Rain Journal 7-19-06: Neo-Con Fingerprints on the Israeli Offensive in Lebanon, Meanwhile in Afghanistan..., it is vital that you do not misperceive the neo-con cabal as a purely US political phenomena. It is global. It has seized the helm of the ship of state not only in the US and Israel but in the UK and Japan as well. And, in reality, it has more to do with interlocking personal interests than it does with serving national interests of any of these peoples.
As I contemplate what is happening in our societies, the Sith keep coming to mind. In the legend of Star Wars, the term "Sith" refers to both "a cult of warrior priests devoted to the dark side of the Force, serving as the evil counterparts of the Jedi Knights" and to 'a near-human race enslaved" by the cult, who "later took the name of this race as their own" (Wikipedia). George Lucas, of course, was conscious of the kind of myth he was weaving. He knew what it revealed both about our world and about the human psyche.
"Beware the Dark Side..."
Tony Blair's lack of leadership and timid subservience to George W Bush lie behind the ongoing crisis in Iraq and the worldwide threat of terrorism, according to the former American president Jimmy Carter. "I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."
In an exclusive interview, President Carter made it plain that he sees Mr Blair's lack of leadership as being a key factor in the present crisis in Iraq, which followed the 2003 invasion - a pre-emptive move he said he would never have considered himself as president. Mr Carter also said that the Iraq invasion had subverted the fight against terrorism and instead strengthened al-Qaeda and the recruitment of terrorists...."We now have a situation where America is so unpopular overseas that even in countries like Egypt and Jordan our approval ratings are less than five per cent. It's a shameful and pitiful state of affairs and I hold your British Prime Minister to be substantially responsible for being so compliant and subservient."....Asked why he thinks Mr Blair has behaved in the way that he has with President Bush's belligerent regime, Mr Carter said he could only put it down to timidity. Yet he confessed that he remains baffled by the apparent contrast between Mr Blair's private remarks and his public utterances. John Preston and Melissa Kite, Compliant and subservient: Jimmy Carter's explosive critique of Tony Blair, 8-27-06
Emboldened by the recent rise in nationalism, an increasingly militant group of extreme right-wing activists who yearn for a return to 1930s-style militarism, emperor-worship and "thought control" have begun to move into more mainstream circles -- and to attack those who don't see things their way.
Just last week, one of those extremists burned down the parental home of onetime prime ministerial candidate Koichi Kato, who had criticized Koizumi's decision to visit Yasukuni this year. Several years ago, the home of Fuji Xerox chief executive and Chairman Yotaro "Tony" Kobayashi was targeted by handmade firebombs after he, too, voiced the opinion that Koizumi should stop visiting Yasukuni....
Such extremism raises disturbing echoes of the past. In May 1932, Japanese Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated by a group of right-wing activists who opposed his recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Manchuria and his staunch defense of parliamentary democracy. In the post-World War II era, right-wing fanatics have largely lurked in the shadows, but have occasionally threatened those who veer too close to or speak too openly about sensitive topics concerning Japan's national identity, war responsibility or imperial system.
What's alarming and significant about today's intimidation by the right is that it's working -- and that it has found some mutualism in the media. Sankei's Komori has no direct connection to those guilty of the most recent acts, but he's not unaware that his words frequently animate them -- and that their actions in turn lend fear-fueled power to his pronouncements, helping them silence debate. What's worse, neither Japan's current prime minister nor Shinzo Abe, the man likely to succeed him in next month's elections, has said anything to denounce those trying to stifle the free speech of Japan's leading moderates.
There are many more cases of intimidation. I have spoken to dozens of Japan's top academics, journalists and government civil servants in the past few days; many of them pleaded with me not to disclose this or that incident because they feared violence and harassment from the right. One top political commentator in Japan wrote to me: "I know the right-wingers are monitoring what I write and waiting to give me further trouble. I simply don't want to waste my time nor energy for these people."
Japan needs nationalism. But it needs a healthy nationalism -- not the hawkish, strident variety that is lately forcing many of the country's best lights to dim their views.
Steven Clemons, The Rise of Japan's Thought Police, The Washington Post, 8-27-06
SOME RELATED POSTS:
Hard Rain Journal 8-22-06: The Central Theme of Future Historians will be Betrayal, Just Ask Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, Spike Lee & Valerie Plame Wilson
Hard Rain Journal 7-19-06: Neo-Con Fingerprints on the Israeli Offensive in Lebanon, Meanwhile in Afghanistan...
Words of Power #26: Lost Symbols, Part III -- The Goddess of Liberty
Words of Power #19: Colbert and McGovern Echo Murrow and Eisenhower, Is the U.S. Nearing Its Tiananmen Square Moment?
Words of Power #18: 48 Hours -- What Happens When Military and Intel Officers Must Challenge Political Leaders to Uphold the Rule of Law
Words of Power #16: Lt. Gen. Newbold Bears Witness, Sy Hersh Sounds the Alarm & Patrick Fitzgerald Raises the Stakes
Words of Power #14: It's Not The Unipolar Moment, It's The Bipolar Moment
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Iraq, Bush, Koizumi, Tony Blair, Arianna Huffington, United Kingdom, Japan, Jimmy Carter, Steve Clemons, Washington Note, Star Wars, Myth, George Lucas