PatriotPost.usReality Check By Mark Alexander Â· Thursday, March 17, 2011
"If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation." --Samuel Adams The surfeit of images documenting human suffering and destruction in Japan after the 11 March Tohoku Earthquake and resulting tsunami is dreadful. Though the estimated 10,000 dead in Japan pales in comparison to the more than 200,000 dead in the Haitian earthquake of January 2010, the implications of the unfolding crisis, and its consequences for the 1.5 million Japanese men, women and children now homeless is staggering. Compounding the misery, almost one-third of Japan's energy production capability was disabled when the tsunami which followed the earthquake damaged four nuclear reactor units at Fukushima, which is to say that providing basic resources and services for all of Japan is increasingly difficult.
This crisis has significant implications for critical U.S. national security objectives and operations in the region, including containment of North Korea and counterbalance to the rapidly growing Chinese deepwater naval threat.
Japan is a vital national security ally in Asia and host to several major U.S. military staging and support bases. Under the post-WWII Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the U.S. is committed to providing Japan with maritime and ballistic missile defense and disaster response capabilities. In return, the U.S. maintains a major military presence for deployment in the region, including the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Air Force fighter squadrons at Misawa and Kadena and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force at Okinawa. More than 35,000 uniformed military personnel and another 5,000 DoD employees compose U.S. forces in Japan.
All that notwithstanding, on the day of the disaster in Japan, Barack Hussein Obama responded with a golf outing (his 61st as president) followed by an evening hobnobbing with major donors and his media sycophants at the annual Gridiron Dinner. While horrifying images of the quake and tsunami were seen around the world, Obama kept to his schedule, unwilling to interrupt it long enough to support Japanese leadership via the basic gesture of a reassuring interview with its national news service, NHK. He did find time, however, to record a presidential address on "Women's History Month."
To be fair, Obama issued a brief statement through the White House communications office: "Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan... The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable..."
"UNSHAKEABLE"? Perhaps he meant to say, "The friendship and alliance between our two nations will never melt down..." Who could make this stuff up?
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