5 Nov. 2007

Yo, Jimbo...

Things are looking pretty dark on the other side of the Pacific. And it's not just Bush's GOP causing the problems. The US Democrats now have the power to end the war in Iraq, but choose not to. They are about to endorse a new Attorney General who point-blank refuses to condemn water-boarding as torture. Blackwater's crimes in Iraq are being ignored, if not whitewashed, and impeachment is still not considered an option. What's going on?

Phillip J. Cunningham, who teaches at a Japanese university, compares the US rightwing today with rightwing denialists in Japan, who still hold firm to a totally discredited version of 20th Century history:
The bad apple school of thought thrives in national narratives because it aids and abets denial for proud individuals and powerful constituencies.

The problem with Japanese rightists, and America's problem understanding them, is not so much the seemingly futile attempt polish up the bad apples, the futile attempt to make the class A Criminals shine. It's not even the rightists' dubious campaign to re-configure war criminals as honorable Shinto spirits at Yasukuni Shrine. The problem with the rightists is they are bound to honor the penultimate leader at all costs, which short-circuits all other arguments and prevents blame from being fairly apportioned.

The result of this implacable cognitive dissonance is denial.
Fortunately, the same thing is not happening here in Australia. I swear it isn't. And I will personally kill anyone who says it is.