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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Why China needs to modernize her armed forces

Why China Needs to Modernize Her Armed Forces

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent – SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 

 

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in China
The nation of China continues to increase her military build up and sometimes you get negative press about this reality. However, from a neutral perspective or Chinese perspective, then this military build up is merely natural and no different from other major powers. After all, China shares a shared space with many nations and her geopolitical reality means that several strategic measures must be taken. Therefore, should major powers worry about China or is it merely mind games or scare mongering by certain nations?
If we look at the region of Northeast Asia then it is more than apparent that this region is very diverse and varied. This applies to geography, economics, politics, religion, ethnicity, and many other factors. Added to this diverse reality is the nuclear dimension and the fact that many major global military powers are based in this region. From this point of view it is abundantly clear that tensions will exist within the complex region of Northeast Asia.
The nuclear dimension alone is more than problematic because America, China, the Russian Federation, and North Korea, are all nuclear powers and of course Japan is a nuclear power de facto because of her protection by the USA and because of past policies, whereby they allowed America to use nuclear submarines within the waters of Japan. Also, on the horizon and within the geopolitics of China, you have India and Pakistan. Given this, the nuclear dimension is extremely complex and this factor increases the importance of Northeast Asia.

If we look at the geopolitics of China, then it is clear that they overlap in many parts of Asia. For example Central Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, Eurasia, the Mekong delta, and South China Sea region. This vast area is very diverse and China faces multiple challenges with regards to expanding her influence and defending any weak area within her geopolitical space. Her main challenge may appear to be Taiwan but this issue is contained within a small geographic region; therefore, her relationship with America is of major concern.

If we look at trade investments between America and China, then just like China and Taiwan, we see enormous economic linkages and mutual ties and respect. However, in the field of hegemony then China worries about certain aspects of America`s foreign policy. After all, the USA have her military based in Japan and South Korea respectively, and they are developing Guam in order to increase their leverages. Also, the USA have bases in other parts of Asia and her relationship with Australia is another added dimension which helps America.

Therefore, China is concerned about this American reality and they also fear a possible nationalist Japan in the future and tensions with India also remain, because Chinese-Indian relations are still fragile despite all the smiles. So China is right to worry about vast areas of her geopolitical space and this nation also fears radical Islam in West China and Tibetan nationalism is also problematic. This reality is pushing China to move closer to the Russian Federation and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In recent times this can be seen via the growing importance of the Shanghai-6 political bloc and China`s recent military modernization was enhanced by military purchases bought from the Russian Federation.

Also, if we focus on military spending then it is clear that America spends around 90% more than China. This merely proves the point within the inner circle in China because it is clear that China is merely protecting her national interests and they are no different from any other regional power. Given this, China`s political and military leaders need to modernize her armed forces in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Therefore, surely China is right to increase her military budget given her geopolitical reality?

 

 

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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Zimbabwe now faces cholera epidemic alongside other ills, so can Mugabe survive?

Letters from Tokyo
Zimbabwe Now Faces Cholera Epidemic alongside Other Ills, So Can Mugabe Survive?

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  -  THE SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 

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President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his wife, Grace

The situation in Zimbabwe is going from bad to worse and now you have a major cholera epidemic. Added to this is rampant poverty and hyper inflation, whereby it is hard to keep up with the ridiculous inflation rate. However, times may at last be changing in Africa because political leaders in Kenya are now openly calling for Robert Mugabe to resign. In the past regional powers, notably South Africa, either remained quiet about the economic destruction of Zimbabwe by the Mugabe regime, or at worse, they supported him. So can Kenya, and other nations, upset the applecart and rid Zimbabwe of Mugabe by supporting the opposition?

Before focusing directly on the Mugabe regime itself, it is important to focus on the cholera epidemic which is blighting Zimbabwe. Yes, of course the linkage is natural with regards to the leadership of Mugabe. For example the destruction of the economy, rampant poverty, chaotic health care system, lack of water sanitation, and so many other terrible woes.

Of course the Mugabe regime is in denial mode and claiming that everything is under control. Yet according to Dr. Eric Laroche, who is representing the World Health Organization (WHO) during the current crisis, it is clear that Mugabe is manipulating language. For Dr. Eric Laroche stated that “the epidemic is clearly on the increase.” Yet once more, Mugabe does not care about issues like this because he fully knows that Zimbabwe is in steep decline.

Therefore, the death rate will keep on rising and at the moment more than 15,000 cases of cholera have been reported and approximately 600 people have died. Also, when this problem is finally contained it will be because of the WHO and other institutions. After all, the current Mugabe regime can not contain the problem. Therefore, the outbreak of the cholera epidemic and the severity of this outbreak can be firmly blamed on the current regime.

The main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is clearly upset by the scale of the problem. Tsvangirai commented that the crisis could only be solved via “a legitimate government.” He further added that “It is up to that government to deal with the problems the country is facing, which are quite wide-ranging.”

Yet clearly the current leader, Mugabe, is sleeping well at night because the current crisis is part and parcel of Zimbabwe under his leadership. After all, growing poverty, destitution, a collapsing infrastructure, and hyper inflation, not to mention so many other important issues, is clearly a way of life under the Mugabe regime.

However, despite the obvious destruction of Zimbabwe by the current regime, it is clear that Mugabe and his loyalists see the world via a different mirror. For example, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the Information Minister, went on the attack because he slated the international community for creating the current crisis.

He stated that “After squeezing and strangling the country with sanctions and contaminating it with cholera and anthrax, the West is seeking to use the window of opportunity provided by the disaster to justify military intervention.” He continued that “The cholera situation is under control” and that “We have enough chemicals to purify the water. We have got enough foreign currency to buy pipes” to mend sanitation lines, claimed Ndlovu.

So according to Ndlovu, and Mugabe diehards, they see a long list of conspiracies against the current regime in Zimbabwe. However, leaders in Kenya are now fed-up with such rhetoric and instead they desire to see change, and quickly. So now it is clear that international discontent is growing. However, does this mean that the Mugabe regime will collapse?

The answer may be no? Because the African Union (AU) stated clearly that tougher measures against Mugabe will not happen. The AU put it bluntly that “Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country,” said Salva Rweyemamu, AU chairman and spokesman of Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. He continued that “We have a serious humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. We have cholera. Do they think that we can eradicate cholera with guns?”

Also, China, a nation which invests in Zimbabwe is still moderate and like the AU, China hopes to see a political solution. Liu Jianchao, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, commented that “We sincerely hope that all concerned parties in Zimbabwe will truly focus on the interests of the country and its people and soon form a government of national unity,” Therefore, comments made by both the AU and China, means that Mugabe is not fully isolated.

Given this, only a major internal challenge within the ruling power structure can change anything quickly. Or of course the natural death of Robert Mugabe could alter the status quo. However, his loyalists would also have to be defeated? Yet it would seem that the international community is still divided, despite growing voices being raised. After all, it is still only voices being raised and not real action. Therefore, Mugabe will play the “victim” and Zimbabwe will continue to suffer from cholera, poverty, growing destitution, rampant inflation, unemployment, and a collapsing infrastructure.
Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA
lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
 
 

 

 

 

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SOMALIA – Islamic radicals support stoning women, terrorism, and killing converts to Christianity

SOMALIA – Islamic Radicals Support Stoning Women, Terrorism, and Killing Converts to Christianity

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent -  THE SEOUL TIMES

 

lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
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Islamic radicals support stoning women, terrorism, and killing converts to Christianity.
Islamic radicals in Somalia desire to create an Islamic state based on Sharia Islamic law and the brutality of their thinking can be seen by recent events in Somalia. This most notably applies to stoning a young lady to death and beheading a Christian convert from Islam. So will major powers support a policy based on the stabilization of Somalia via economic, political, and military support? Or will the international community do little apart from empty words? If the international community does the latter, then Ethiopia and the African Union will be left to deal with the crisis by themselves despite having major capital concerns.
Before focusing on current events it is important to acknowledge that Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) support a stable Somalia, whereby a centralized government can stabilize this country from various militias and Islamic radical organizations. However, militant Islamists desire to follow a radical Sunni Islamic path which will lead to the implementation of Sharia Islamic law. This means that Islamists desire to kill converts to Christianity, stone women to death for adultery, openly flog people for listening to music, and turning Somalia “into year zero.”
Added to this, radical Islamic forces will allow global jihadists to cause mayhem in neighbouring countries, and much further afield. This should alarm regional nations in Africa and throughout the world because we all know the consequences of global terrorism. Therefore, it is essential from a humanitarian point of view to support Ethiopia and the African Union, alongside moderate forces in Somalia. If this does not happen, then the consequences will be tragic.
For liberals and apologists, they will have an excuse for this behaviour or they will deem it to be un-Islamic, however, the reality is simple, conversion from Islam is deemed to be punishable by death in accordance with Islamic Sharia Law. However, the majority of mainly Muslim nations do not apply Islamic Sharia Law to the letter. Therefore, converting from Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, and other nations, is allowed, and non-Muslim minorities have greater freedom in these societies, rather than in nations like Saudi Arabia. So it is important to understand that this codified law is implemented differently and many mainly Muslim nations do not enforce such harsh laws, however, this does not mean that complete freedom exists for non-Muslim minorities.
However, in nations which are not centralized and where radical Islam exists, then the situation is even worse. This certainly applies to Afghanistan and Somalia because random justice is applied by Sunni Islamic radicals and by terrorists who desire to rule by fear. So in modern day Afghanistan and Somalia we can see a linkage because of the weakness of centralization in both nations, therefore, failed states are “breeding grounds” for both Sunni Islamic radicals and terrorists. The same applies to parts of Pakistan where Islamists have a strong power base, however, some centralized nations like Saudi Arabia also persecute non-Muslims via draconian laws.
Given this, global terrorists in both Afghanistan and Somalia desire to implement draconian laws. Also, internal conservative Sunni Islamic forces have little power to stop global jihadists from spreading their dangerous ideology. So even if elements within Afghanistan and Somalia do not support global terrorism or such a rigid system, they have no power to prevent global Islamists from spreading their hatred and terrorism. This notably applies to the Taliban, because the Taliban did not directly support September 11th, but they were unable to contain Al-Qaeda. So it is apparent that Somalia and Afghanistan are frontline states in stemming the tide of chaos and brutal justice, which is being enforced on people who reside under radical Islam in both nations.

If you doubt the harshness of radical Sunni Islam in Somalia, then maybe the next bit of information will wake you up? For example, Mansuur Mohammed, 25, converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005 in Somalia. This individual cared for all Somalians, irrespective if Christian or Muslim, or if you had no faith. Therefore, he worked for the World Food Program (WFP) and he tried his best to help the people of Somalia.

Yet to al Shabab, a radical Sunni Islamic organization in Somalia, he was deemed to be an infidel because he had left Islam. Therefore, on Septmeber 23rd, 2008, the al Shabab beheaded Mansuur Mohammed in the village of Manyafulka. Not only did they behead this kind and considerate young convert to Christianity, but they even filmed the beheading in order to threaten other Somalians. To make matters even worse, the beheading was slow and Mansuur Mohammed was tormented by Islamic Sunni radicals, who were glorifying the name of their prophet, until he passed out and died such a brutal death.

More recently, a young lady in Somalia was stoned to death for adultery. It was reported that Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow had been raped and then sentenced on the grounds of adultery. Therefore, around 50 men began throwing stones at her head after she had been buried in the ground, so that she could not escape and in order for her fear to be complete. At one point nurses were made to check if she was dead after the stoning began, but when it was confirmed that she was still alive, then radical Sunni Islamists began to throw more stones until she died in complete agony.

So if the world wants to stand by and let Ethiopia and the AU deal with this crisis, then shame on all major economic nations for not supporting the stability of Somalia. If we add to the equation both global terrorism and piracy, then it is apparent that from both a humane point of view and from a strategic viewpoint, that stability is required in Somalia. However, this can only happen providing moderate forces in Somalia work alongside the AU, Ethiopia, and other positive forces; however, this needs to be backed by economic, political, and military support, from the international community. Failure to act means that in the long-term you could have a radical Sunni Islamic regime which not only persecutes the people of Somalia, but which also threatens regional nations and which allows Islamists to plot more international terrorist attacks.

Therefore, the choice is stark, either the international community provides genuine political and economic support to positive forces within Somalia and regional nations which are helping. Or nations must accept a chaotic and brutal regime which stones women to death and kills all converts who leave Islam. So which way will the international community decide?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USA – President Bush is trying to contain Russia via Georgia and Ukraine

USA — President Bush Is Trying to Contain Russia via Georgia and Ukraine

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  -  SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

Russian leader Vladimir Putin accused President Bush on Aug. 29, 2008 of orchestrating the war in Georgia in a plot to get Sen. John McCain elected to the White House.

US President George Bush will leave office in the near future, however, before this he appears to desire a more robust foreign policy aimed at alienating the Russian Federation. More alarming, the majority of people in the Czech Republic and the Ukraine are against his policies. Yet despite this both NATO expansion and the American missile defense system are being pushed and who is this aimed at? For most people the answer is obvious, it is aimed at the Russian Federation. So why does the current leader of America desire to create another negative front?

This question angers many people in the Russian Federation because instead of a collective organization or understanding based on geopolitics, we are merely seeing NATO expansion. It is clear, therefore, that America believes that Russia’s only collective space should apply to the Russian Federation. Outside this, then all former Soviet states apart from the Russian Federation are deemed to be possible future members of NATO.

Behind all the smiles and rhetoric of President Bush, it is clear that he, and policy advisers, are intent on encircling the Russian Federation. After all, look at both Georgia and the Ukraine; neither nation is stable. Also, the vast majority of people in the Ukraine do not want to join NATO but this does not matter. Instead we get the American mantra that NATO expansion and the missile defense system is aimed at Iran. However, it is abundantly clear that the real factor behind both these policies is the containment of the Russian Federation.

So let us look at Georgia and why allowing this nation to join NATO would be very dangerous. Firstly, Georgia is deemed important to America because of geopolitics and the West desires to use both Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to bypass the Russian Federation via energy links. By doing this, then both the Russian Federation and Iran will lose out. Secondly, Georgia is probably the most anti-Russian state in the region because of past history so America can garner support more easily in this nation.

However, and this is the crux, Georgia is far from being a stable democracy because of both internal politics and because of major internal ethnic divisions. If Georgia joins NATO then does this mean that NATO forces will crush Abkhazia and South Ossetia? Because both Abkhazia and South Ossetia desire independence from Georgia. So if Georgia is not even a unitary state now, then how can this nation join NATO? If I was either an Abkhazian or South Ossetian I would be worried.

Then if we focus on the Ukraine, then it is abundantly clear that this nation is always on the brink of political meltdown because tensions arise frequently. Also, in the east of this nation you have many ethnic Russians and they certainly do not desire NATO membership. More alarmingly, this nation could certainly be used to launch an offensive against the Russian Federation and this will of course lead to fresh tensions.

Therefore, NATO membership must be prevented and it is up to nations like Germany to stop this American “madness.” After all, you don’t have any justification for encircling the Russian Federation like this. So it would appear that America is bent on causing divisions in the Balkans, the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and in Eurasia.

So nations must stand up to this policy of divide and rule. Because this policy is clearly aimed at containing the Russian Federation and on no grounds can this be justifiable under current conditions. Therefore, it would appear that America wants to contain the entire world, from China to the Russian Federation, and towards any independent nation which happens to disagree with aspects of America’s foreign policy. Surely geopolitics is about understanding the self-interests of regional powers. However, America is now bent on global containment and this policy is not valid in the 21st century.
 

 

 

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PAKISTAN and the persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians

Pakistan and the Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent –
THE SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 
Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui is seen at Jalsa Salana Qadian 2005. the regional president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, Pakistan was killed on Sept. 12, 2008 at around 2.30pm Pakistani time. Dr. Siddiqi was both a most eminent member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and also a renowned physician.

In the land of Pakistan hatred continues to grow in many parts of this nation. This hatred, inspired and ignited by Sunni Islamic extremists, is directed against all moderates and all faiths. To make matters worse the institutions inside Pakistan, notably the government, judiciary, and police, is also part of the problem and internal security services are divided. Therefore, Pakistan is either unwilling or unable to stop the flow of radical Sunni Islam and nations like Afghanistan and India are bearing the brunt of this failed nation state. Also, the internal situation in Pakistan is out of control in parts of this nation. So how can this nation be trusted when so many failures are taking place?

After all, within Pakistan you have many minorities who reside in fear because of the ongoing violence directed against them. This applies to radical Sunni Islamic extremists who are killing and persecuting Ahmadiyya Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians, and other minorities. Even moderates within the Sunni Muslim community face persecution because the madness of radical Sunni Islam appears to be out of control. If this hatred is not challenged, then Pakistan faces a bleak future and regional nations will suffer via terrorism, indoctrination, and agitation.

If we focus on Ahmadiyya Muslims, then it is clear that these Muslims only want liberty, freedom, and the right to live in peace. However, even Ahmadi doctors face persecution despite these doctors loving humanity. After all, Ahmadi doctors merely want to help all people, irrespective if Sunni Muslim, Christian, Shia Muslim, or a member of another faith or a person of no faith. Yet to extremists, mainly in the Sunni Islamic camp, they are deemed to be “infidels” and worthy of killing.

This is clearly happening because since 1982 you have had 15 brutal murders of Ahmadi doctors in Pakistan. The most recent murder happened on September 8, 2008, when Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi was killed. Therefore, a man of peace and a highly respected individual who helped the poor and all people who needed help, was killed in the name of radical Islam. This hatred is sadly growing and all minorities reside in fear and more alarmingly, to the haters of humanity, their list of so-called infidels appears to be growing.

Abid Khan, a representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, stated that “The murder of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi is a grave tragedy. He was a true servant of mankind and lived his life according to the Ahmadiyya motto, ‘Love for All, Hatred for None.’ His death was simply due to his being a peace loving member of the Ahmadiyya Community.” Yet this man of humanity was deemed to be an infidel and “the forces of evil,” the very same forces of evil who massacred hundreds in Mumbai, India, in 2008; appear to be growing in power and influence in Pakistan.

Also, it is not only radical Islamists that minorities fear, but the Pakistan government itself and the judicial system which is openly biased. This applies to the blasphemy law, and other laws which infringe on the rights of equality. Yet of major concern is the blasphemy law because all non-Sunni Muslim minorities fear this law and the same applies to liberal Sunni Muslims who face the same consequences. For blasphemy in Pakistan is punishable by death and Sunni Muslims can use this law in order to persecute minorities and liberals within the Sunni community.

Overall, in modern day Pakistan you have frequent cases of Sunni Muslims raping Christian women and then converting these Christian women to Islam. For Christian parents, it is one long nightmare because regional police forces and the judiciary are obviously biased. All too often these Christian girls are denied equal rights and the courts deem their conversion to Islam to be final, despite the seriousness of their respective ordeals. Therefore, rape and liberty is “thrown out of the window” and instead Islamization is the winner.

I remember writing about the same issue many years ago after the brutal death of a brave Muslim cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali. For in 2002 this brave Muslim cleric spoke out against discrimination and he condemned religious Islamic extremism. This brave cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali was therefore a threat to Islamic militants, for he happened to care for people from all faiths and in the eyes of Islamic extremists he was no longer a Muslim. Therefore, Mohammed Yousaf Ali made many enemies and for this he was murdered.

To make matters worse, this brave Muslim cleric was not only killed by an Islamic zealot, but he was also condemned by the judiciary of Pakistan and, more worryingly, by the government of Pakistan which allows people to be put in prison on the grounds of blasphemy. This means that Mohammed Yousaf Ali was murdered collectively by the judiciary who put him in prison, by the Islamic zealot who killed him, and by the government of Pakistan which allows blasphemy to be a criminal offence.

The gunman who murdered Mohammed Yousaf Ali showed no remorse, on the contrary, he believed that this was legal and part and parcel of the teachings of Islam. For the alleged killer, Tariq Mota, stated that “I now feel spiritually satisfied. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to kill these infidels.” Therefore, this hatred is not only deep but it is based on the Hadiths and Islamic Sharia Law which clearly supports the theory of killing apostates. This fact can be seen clearly in Saudi Arabia where leaving Islam equals the death penalty. So this issue is not just about Islamic extremists, but it is about aspects of Islam itself.

Yet six years later, moving from 2002 to 2008, and we still see the same hatred. Therefore, Pakistan must be sternly rebuked and the international community needs to wake-up! Also, militancy within this nation is being exported to Afghanistan and India, and much further. After all, the terrorist attack in London was done via the behest of radical Sunni Muslims within the Pakistani community in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, how much longer do Ahmadiyya Muslims have to wait before they have equality? Also, why should Christians, women, Shia Muslims, liberal Sunni Muslims, Hindus, and others, reside in fear? Surely this nation needs to be challenged verbally and these crimes should not be hidden from readers. Instead people like Mohammed Yousaf Ali should be remembered for speaking out against hatred, if not, the only winners in modern day Pakistan will be Islamic zealots and criminals who are abusing women. Surely this situation needs to be changed and quickly, but does the international community care?

Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA
lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
 
 

 

 

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