Washington’s blog … South Korea fired first

This short article simply makes that point, and does so judiciously.  

While North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is a madman, and while North Korea was the first to kill anyone in today's skirmish, it was actually the South Koreans who fired first


So, it looks like before things quiet down too much in  Iraq or Afghanistan, we may have two more conflicts – one in Asia and one in Iran.  

I live here in Japan (for the moment), where there was a few years ago a blatant push to re-write Japan's constitution, to revise "article 9" which prevents Japan by law from engaging in any military activity not purely defensive in nature.   Back then Shizo Abe was prime minister.   He said things like, 'the provisions of Article 9 no longer suit the current times', and 'Japan needs to end the postwar "regime of guilt"'.   While Abe and his ministers were plugging for the revision of Article 9 and the "empowering" of Japan's military, Kim Jung Il helped make their case by frequently lobbing a missile or 2 into the Sea of Japan.   Abe and other pro-revision LDP party politicians were never able to make much headway in their aim to revise Article 9, and since the LDP was ousted from power (for the first time in decades) during the past election things have quieted down.   

But the recent confrontation between North and South Korean military reminds me that the power-brokers of the world never abandon their aims when things don't proceed smoothly … they just put them on the back burner.  Apparently, and this is just how I read all this, somebody out there wants war – not just in the middle east and central asia, but here in eastern asia as well.  

America however has their hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as the conflict threatens to expand into Pakistan and even Iran, it may be  too much to expect that America could spare too many soldiers and warships to fight another conflict in eastern Asia simultaneously … and why should they, when they have a well armed ally in the Japanese?   But there's that pesky Article 9, which says no, Japan by law can only mobilize their Defense Forces for defense.  

So, expect to see a new campaign to revise the Japanese constitution soon.   

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