Anti-American riots break out all over Muslim countries from North Africa to the Middle East and Asia. We have fought two wars at the cost of thousands of American lives. The federal deficit and national debts are at all-time highs.
We must get dead serious about how, where, and why we are allocating our precious resources to protect American interests and our national values. It's all about hard choices.
Speaking of choices, suppose your friend were caught stealing a car and was ordered by the court to return it. Before he did that, suppose he first removed the stereo and installed it in his own pickup truck. Would you defend him and help him keep the nice stereo? Of course not.
Chinese historical records detailing the discovery and geographical features of these islands date back to 1372. For centuries they were administered as part of Taiwan. But in 1895 after colonizing and occupying Taiwan, Japan unilaterally annexed these islands to Okinawa Prefecture under a new name Senkaku. Then,
Japan's false claim of its "discovery in 1884" of the Diaoyu Islands as uninhabited contradicts many of its own records, including a navigation map in a 1783 Japanese historical document published by the recognized Japanese scholar Hayashi Shihei clearly defining the area as part of China. This mapping dates 101 years before the alleged "discovery".
The U.S. has never recognized Japan's sovereignty claim, according to the U.S. Senate statement of record. We must play no role in this dispute, which should only involve the governments in Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei. The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty only obligates the U.S. to help defend Japan's homeland.
However, Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that "we acknowledge clearly . . . that Japan retains effective administrative control" over the isles "and as such, clearly under Article 5 of the (bilateral) security treaty," implying the U.S. intends to help Japan maintain illegitimate occupation of this or any Chinese territory. The State Department must retract this statement and not let the U.S. be dragged into this mess, which was created by right-wing extremists in Tokyo.
Yoshihiko Noda, Japan's hawkish prime minister and commander-in-thief, is expected to take his phony case to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly this week to state, "China is invading Japan!" — which would be crazier than Fidel Castro and the late Muammar Gaddafi ever acted. The news report will go viral. Predictably, Chinese citizens will throw their Japan-made goods into bonfires and start a grassroots boycott that even the authoritarian regime wouldn't be able to stop.
Sino-Japanese relations will unravel. Economic sanctions against Japan and even military actions will follow. The conflicts will spill over into the U.S. and elsewhere, destabilizing international trade and global peace. The domino effects will be devastating.
The Japanese government's bald-faced fabrication about Diaoyu Islands follows a century-old pattern of deception and bullying that began in 1872, when Japan unilaterally abolished the Ryukyu Kingdom and annexed it under the name of Okinawa. An Imperial appetite whetted, Japan then assassinated the Queen of Korea and annexed Korea in 1910.
This was followed in 1931 by the Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria in Northeastern China. Japan then proceeded to attack and invade the rest of China and many mainland Asian and Pacific Island nations between 1937 and 1945, before its defeat by Allied forces.
The Diaoyu dispute is a reincarnation of the imperialist state. All nations remember that Japan's earlier imperial ambitions led to World War II in Asia and the loss of 35 million lives. The U.S. must play no role in Japan's latest shameful expansionism.
Ignatius Y. Ding, a long time tech industry executive, is executive vice president of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (www.global-alliance.net), a Cupertino based human rights organization. He wrote this for this newspaper.