The politics of refusing power

Usually, politics is a competition between individuals and factions each of which wants to be, as we say, “in power.”  In Japan, though, there is a political struggle between a faction that wants to put a man in power and that man who does not want the power.

As we blogged about, the party of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won enough seats in parliament to accomplish his goal of revising the Japanese Constitution, which was primarily the work of Gen. Douglas MacArthur after World War II in an effort to ensure that Japan would become a peaceful Democratic nation.  Abe wants to bring back elements of pre-war Japan.  He and his party have connections to a group that wants to bring back both Japanese militarism and Emperor worship.

But now the Emperor has given an unexpected speech in which he rebuked those efforts, including the desire to give him more power and to treat him as a god.  Ironically, those who think the Emperor is a god are opposing him!

[Read more…]

Japan flirts with World War II ideology again

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has just won a 2/3 majority in both of its houses of legislature, enabling it to amend its Constitution, which had been imposed by the United States after World War II.  The party wants to change the Constitution because it enshrines “the Western European theory of natural human rights,” including the freedom of speech.

Many in the party, including the Prime Minister, belong to a group that believes Japan was in the right during World War II.  These lawmakers want to rebuild Japan’s military capacity and to return to worship of the Emperor. [Read more…]

C.S. Lewis, secret agent?

The discovery of a recording of a lecture by C. S. Lewis has connected him to the British Secret Service during World War II. [Read more…]

World War II ended 70 years ago yesterday

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.  Not many of those who fought in that bloody epic conflict are still around.  We should salute those who are.

Do you think a world war on that scale could happen again?  Would we be capable of the same sacrifices, both on the battlefields and on the homefront?

A tribute to the anniversary after the jump. [Read more…]

“Up to now, I’ve given nothing for what I have taken”

Peter Wehner shares a letter written by his wife’s uncle, Frank Keaton, shortly before landing on Omaha Beach.  It makes very good reading for Independence Day. [Read more…]

D-day + 70 years

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when allied troops landed at Normandy on the French coast, the beginning of the end of World War II.

I remember a number of years ago visiting Normandy and looking down at Omaha beach from the remains of a German bunker that overlooked a tall bluff to the beach below.  The landing crafts and the soldiers who somehow made it to the beach were sitting ducks and thousands of Americans died in those first waves of the attack.  And yet, somehow, they kept coming and eventually climbed up the sheer cliff and took that bunker and the others like it.

The heroism shown by the American, British, Canadian, and other allied troops is nearly unimaginable.  Each beach had its own story.  Read about two of them and link to the rest after the jump. [Read more…]


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