of Honour of the Three Services of the Chinese People's
Army: Fear of China's rise, particularly in the South
Sea, is driving its neighbors into America's arms. But can
still afford to keep the peace?
Isen Shimbun, Japan
Despite War on Terror Mistakes, Japan
Needs U.S. More than Ever
"In the decade since 9/11, the
U.S. has changed so completely, it is as though it were a different person. … With
its wars and recessions, the course of history over the last ten years can only
be described as a wheel rolling down a badly-paved, pothole-riddled slope. … Meanwhile,
China is making its presence known. At this rate, the entire South China Sea
will become Chinese territory. Japan's future development will be impossible without
deepening the U.S. alliance."
On the 11th of every
month, we observe the anniversary of the massive earthquake that struck
northeastern Japan on March 11. This day in September marked six months since
the earthquake, and memorial events were held across the country. The United
States, too, was immersed in a fresh wave of emotions, since the 11th day of
the month signifies something different; the date of the September 11 terrorist
attacks. The attacks not only shocked the world, but they transformed the
United States into a completely different country.
In the decade since the incident,
the U.S. has changed so completely it is as though it were a different person.
U.S. Vice President Biden once said that this has been a “seemingly endless ten
years.” With its wars and recessions, the course of history over the last ten
years can only be described as a wheel rolling down a badly-paved, pothole-riddled
slope. While the 9/11 incident and terrorism played a role in
throwing the global community into a vortex, the U.S. itself was also heavily
responsible. As a result and much to its own detriment, the United States has
since tried and had difficulty pursuing the global strategies it employed during the
Trying to return to the United
States of the 20th century - the U.S. that prevailed in the fight against the
Soviet Union and which exerted itself spreading its own brand of democracy
throughout the world - is a pipe dream. The U.S. and its people believed
nothing was impossible for them. American capitalism spread across the world,
from trade and commerce to finance, with the U.S. dollar becoming the
international currency of choice in many countries. Americans believed that they
would continue to enjoy this status forever. But they never envisioned a world in
which American-style democracy is not embraced by all.
U.S. people believe that making
the American lifestyle possible is good for all. That also extends to religion.
Many Americans identify themselves as Christians, but the world is a large and
diverse place. In addition to Christianity, there are a great number of other
religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc., each with its own unique way
of life and culture. War and endless conflict have begun as a result of the differences
among these varying religious sects. First and foremost, as the world leader,
America should have more seriously examined such religious differences. But
because America mistook one religious sect for another, it was met with disappointment
from some, and in the most extreme cases, made enemies with others. Ten years on
and in the midst of dwindling goodwill, the America of today continues to create
What the United States wanted
to do was mend the wounds caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which so
monopolized the nation's prosperity. The U.S. was outraged. And while its
intent was to do what was best for the world, the results were less than
desirable. Americans did not remain silent. They wanted to know who the
mastermind was behind 9/11. Inevitably, they went about locating the leader of
the attacks. The U.S. marched with determination into an endless War on
Terror. It has been a decade since then. Due to the amount of energy spent
on the war, the United States confronted a growing budget deficit and a slowing
economy. This crisis continues to this day.
During this period, pursuit
of the terrorist mastermind stretched across the globe and the Taliban, a group
running the Afghan government that protected al-Qaeda, was toppled. Eventually,
Osama bin Laden, prime suspect and leader of al-Qaeda, was located and killed.
Revenge seems complete. But the
war on terror nevertheless did major damage to the United States. While total U.S.
troop deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq totaled around 2 million, U.S.
casualties reached about 2,600 in areas that sympathized with al-Qaeda. But the
damage done wasn't limited to soldiers on the ground. One cannot ignore the financial
impact of the wars on the U.S. economy. The amount of money invested in
Afghanistan and Iraq is estimated to be $1 trillion. Medical expenses for
veterans, pensions, and interest on loans used for the war swelled to around $4
But that's not all. America's
international standing also took a major hit. The terrorist attacks and
subsequent wars have since led to a rift between the U.S. and Europe, which
have shared many of the same values in the past. Europe has long had doubts
about the war in Iraq.
Anti-American sentiment skyrocketed
among Europe's significant Islamic population. For that reason, President Obama
stressed during his 9/11 memorial speech that, "The United States will
never wage a war against Islam.” Thus, the U.S. is gradually changing course
from the "decade of war" toward a "future of peace." In
short, the U.S. is becoming more future-oriented and less wedded to the
single-minded pursuit of the war on terror. War and recession: If you think
about it, these have been turning the gears of world history for the last
Now there is a desire to move
on. When the U.S. was victimized by a major terrorist attack, it gave the world
a choice: you are either with us or against us. But the world wished to choose
neither. After the shock of the Lehman collapse and the financial crisis,
developed nations lost interest in diplomacy. European castles built in the
desert began to precipitously crumble, while at long last, flowers of
revolution bloomed in the wasteland of Middle East dictatorship. The U.S. and
Europe remained indifferent to the revolutions, particularly Western Europe,
which couldn't hide its irritation.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
It has been ten years since
the terrorist attacks on the United States. There have been wars on terror in
different parts of the world. The most striking change of the last decade was
the toppling of so many long-standing dictatorships. Equally significant is the
crisis facing the United States. The U.S. faces a large budget deficit and
slumping economy, something President Obama calls a "national crisis,"
- a crisis it is struggling to break away from.
territorial claims in the South China Sea: China sees
United States meddling, whereas other nations in the region
With regard to current
conditions in the U.S., President Obama said in a public address, "After ten
hard years of war, it is time to rebuild this nation." This was one part
of a speech given on the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. But Mr.
Obama finds himself under the severe gaze of the American public. While Mr.
Obama's handling of the war on terror has an all-time high approval rating of
62 percent, his ratings on issues like the economy, unemployment, and cutting
the budget deficit are at a low of 36 percent, and his overall approval rating
of 43 percent is the worst of his presidency. Mr. Obama has focused on
businesses and employment, announcing a $447 billion plan, but there are doubts
about whether it will win enough Republican votes to pass. There are many
methods for securing funds in the plan that remain uncertain, and Republicans are
unlikely to agree on raising taxes.
With that, the U.S. finds
itself in a predicament. While Osama bin Laden has been killed, the Iraq War
that America long waged, despite global objections, has entirely backfired. Because
of the long, drawn-out use of American military and economic power, it has
since been labeled a "hyper power" and a "democratic
imperialist." So what now? America is no longer the sole dominate country.
On the contrary, its continuing brazen military spending has ushered in yet
another economic crisis.
The United States and our country
are now close allies. In the Iraq War, this relationship was shown by the
deployment of a Japan Defense Ship to the Indian Ocean. But the question of the
U.S. military base at Futenma in Okinawa remains deadlocked with no solution in
Meanwhile, China is making
its presence known. Seeing the Futenma issue
and the potential problems it may bring, China has begun to dabble in the
Islands - traditionally Japanese territory. At this rate, the entire South
China Sea will become Chinese territory. What our country should do is take
another look at this U.S.-Japan alliance. Japan's future development will be
impossible without deepening this relationship.
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