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American guns, Japanese butter

My Japanese girlfriend always gets upset when the world seems to ignore how generous Japan is with foreign aid donations. Today, as world media continued to focus on U.S. giving even after Japan ratcheted up its tsunami relief package to $500 million -- the most government-supplied aid of any nation on earth -- she was livid.

Well, honey, this one's for you: Japan raises aid to $500 million.

Of course, as this U.S. Department of Defense chart shows, Japan spends less on defense as a percentage of GDP than any major nation. It's easier to make big donations if you can cut defense spending because the U.S. military protects you.

As the world properly applauds Japan's massive aid offer, it should also bear in mind that America's military helped make it possible.

14 comments:

Mr. Math said...

Girls can be like that. I have a hard time with the whole girl situation.

fasteddie said...

Are you always this jingoistic or do you ever have negative criticism to our government? Wasn't Japan's military put on a major leash after WW2? As far as the Muslim's in Indonesia, and Islam in general, they seem stuck in a time 500 hundred years ago. The sooner they have a Reformation, and Renaisance of their own, the better.

fasteddie said...

dammit where's the edit button? I change a word and the whole sentence is screwed up.

Gilbert Koh said...

You exhibit the kind of arrogance which has made so many people around the world detest America, and which has made so many Americans detest their own President.

Death toll has exceeded 100,000 and all you can think about is "All these victims had better be grateful for America's help."

Look, next time, just KEEP the money and throw bigger inauguration parties for Bush. Heck, his parties cost ONLY USD40million.

GaijinBiker said...

Wow, my first hate comment! I guess that's a good sign.

Gilbert, it's simply not the case that hoping the recipients of our aid will be grateful is "all I can think about."

First, the real point of my post is not that aid recipients should be grateful, but that accurate comparisons between American and Japanese relief totals should take into account the fact that America subsidizes Japan's military.

Second, I'm not actually worried about whether the people we help are grateful or not.

Why?

Because the most important thing is that we help them, not that we are thanked for doing so (although it would certainly be nice). America, and Americans, will keep right on giving, just because it's the right thing to do, whether the world thanks us or not.

And a lot of the time, it doesn't.

Witness for example, the recent U.N. and foreign criticism of America, first for not doing enough, and then for doing too much.

I think if we are looking for arrogance, we could look there first.

--GB

GaijinBiker said...

I've edited the last sentence of this post to emphasize my focus on international and world critics of America's giving, not on the individual people receiving relief aid.

--GB

fasteddie said...

Your first hate commnet? I try to be even keeled, but it really burned me up, that you seemed to okay, the policies at Guantamano Bay: the legal loopholes that our President's administration cooked up to allow for torture, and denying POW's right to a trial. You cooly pointed out how the Bush administration skirted the Geneva Convention's international agreement on how prisioners were to be treated with human diginity, but never answered if you support these policies.
Repeating myself, there is political agenda, then there is morality. Moralily takes clear precedent in my opinion. Do you agree or not?

Yes and stories about Japan, your adventures would be great. The drunk Japanese girl calling Bush a bad man, is very agressive for Japanese, no? Or your girl- friend being "livid" over the lack of press, sounds like artistic license to me. Can't imagine her storming around, ripping up the NYTimes and cursing. In fact Japanese are famous for maintaining aren't they? Japanese culture that's a frontier I would like to explore someday.

okay peace out. and I agree, keep up the good work.

GaijinBiker said...

Chill, fast eddie. I was talking about Gilbert, who called me arrogant.

Okay, compared to some of the comments you can find on other blogs, it's not extreme hate. But it's the harshest comment I've had here so far.

--GB

GaijinBiker said...

Also, fast eddie, your comments on Guantanamo were out of place in my previous post on trademark law. If Guantanamo really burns you up, why not post about it on your own blog? That's what blogs are for -- to express your own views on whatever subject you like.

--GB

GaijinBiker said...

To clarify, fast eddie: My earlier post was pretty obviously focusing on private-sector "shakedown" lawsuits that big corporations use to pressure mom-and-pop businesses.

It is fine to despise the Bush administration's legal position on the Guantanamo detainees, but it's a different kind of issue and steers the debate away from I wanted to discuss.

Maybe I'll come up with something to say on Guantanamo soon, in a new post.

--GB

GaijinBiker said...

Hey... now that you mention it, fast eddie, your "jingoistic" comment was pretty rough, too. I guess since I've had plenty of comments from you before I didn't take it as badly.

Also, Gilbert had the sarcasm factor turned up to 11 with his crack about having a bigger inauguration ceremony for Bush. I may have been too sensitive in my reaction to him, but I can feel my skin getting thicker by the minute.

(BTW, the inauguration is being financed by private donations; all our tax dollars are paying for is security, and I don't think we want to cut security at an event where the President will be staning in an exposed area in public.)

--GB

fasteddie said...

jingoism, and a defining question is rough? ha! not even close to hate.I can be jingoistic, if the cause is one I believe in.
I never said anything about patent laws. I responded to why people hate lawyers. not all of them mind you. The airforce lawyers had a lot of balls to stand up to chain of command like that.

GaijinBiker said...

Whoa... I was just reading through some old posts, and actually, it looks like my first hate comment was back over here!

For some reason, the direct link to the comment isn't working, but the brave anonymous commenter begins:

You are obviously as ignorant as you are vicious.He was not only earlier, but a lot more hostile than either of you two guys.

--GB

GaijinBiker said...

Yeah, you're right... I just need a thicker skin if I am going to discuss political issues.

--GB

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