Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bush's Speech

The President's speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday garnered much attention mainly for his reference to Vietnam, but it was his parallels to Iraq and Japan which stand out:

    • At the outset of World War II there were only two democracies
      in the Far East -- Australia and New Zealand. Today most of the nations in Asia
      are free, and its democracies reflect the diversity of the region.
    • In the aftermath of Japan's surrender, many thought it naive to
      help the Japanese transform themselves into a democracy. Then as now, the
      critics argued that some people were simply not fit for freedom.
    • Some said Japanese culture was inherently incompatible with
    • Others critics said that Americans were imposing their ideals
      on the Japanese.
    • It's interesting what General MacArthur wrote in his memoirs.
      He wrote, "There was much criticism of my support for the enfranchisement of
      women. Many Americans, as well as many other so-called experts, expressed the
      view that Japanese women were too steeped in the tradition of subservience to
      their husbands to act with any degree of political independence."
    Listening to the President's speech, it's amazing how alike the two periods really are. When you think about it, the rise and fall of nations since the dawn of time hasn't changed very much, only the players.