OPUS 91 Japan and China RAW (Video Presentation)
By: Steve Pieczenik
YouTube Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hLeei2ozUQ
Comments by Charles Sulka
Steve Pieczenik tells it like it is in this short video, an unvarnished look into the sordid history of the Empire of the Sun. One incident, anyway (and there are many others.)
Also in this video: Pieczenik alludes to what is probably the most distressing failure of American foreign policy, reflected in the perception of the rest of the world — America’s *untrustworthiness.* Pieczenik points out that the Japanese have decided to ally themselves with China in a ‘pivot to Asia’ because they have come to realize that they cannot trust the United States. Untrustworthiness is regarded as a particularly grave character flaw in the eyes of the scrupulously honest Japanese. It is a sad reflection on the totally corrupt state of the American government and the duplicitous policy-making elites.
Ironically, it is often said (by Westerners at least) that the Japanese never come right out and say what they actually mean. Unlike Americans, the Japanese think before they speak, and they make a point of being ambiguous in their discussions. What frustrates Western businessmen the most is that the Japanese use a patient deliberative process in making decisions — decisions are made by committee, not in haste, and not by an autocratic boss, as is the Western style. Might the ambiguity and the deference to a higher authority (the directors who approve the terms) be a way of the Japanese avoiding even the appearance of being untrustworthy themselves … when in fact they might not be so reliable themselves in the long term?
The Japanese have a reputation for being ruthless in their business practices (as in war.) While the Japanese may be meticulous in adhering to the terms of a contract, they are known for hard-nosed policies that favor their long-term interests, usually to the detriment of their partners/competitors. To Westerners it seems the Japanese are not bound by the norms of cooperation and trust implied in business dealings. Business partners can become competitors overnight once the original contract is fulfilled. Often, the contract will be nullified even sooner, on some pretense, and the Japanese will reconfigure the arrangement to their advantage. In short, they play hardball. The are not fools. No one takes unfair advantage of the Japanese.
There is probably more to Japan’s strategic shift to China than just the realization that the American market for its products has collapsed, and that the reliability of the American government’s policies (as well as the stability of the American government itself) can no longer be taken for granted. From an economic standpoint, Asia is growing by leaps and bounds, with China in the lead, while the West, and America in particular, is moribund. Politically and socially, America has clearly lost its direction, with its moral compass spinning in circles. No-one sees America as exemplary any more. Economic collapse and political upheaval are seen by many as inevitable. The fact is, all of the nations of the world have come to regard America as totally unreliable — just look at the treaties and international agreements the Trump administration has unilaterally abrogated! Japan, like the rest of the world, sees America as unstable, inconsistent, and untrustworthy.
In the world of politics, unstable is bad — very bad. Unstable is worse than dishonest — all governments are dishonest, and assume their counterparts are, too. All politicians lie: dissembling is standard operating procedure. But inconsistent, unstable, unreliable … these are the hallmarks of a second-rate country led by second-rate statesmen.
As bad as all this is, there is one condition that is universally regarded as even worse than all of these — and that is unpredictable. It is impossible to deal with unpredictable. And that is how the rest of the world views America today. Trump personifies the mercurial nature of America and its diminished status in the eyes of the world. No one knows what Trump will think, do, or say on a particular issue on any given day. Sadly, the same can be said for America as a nation: no one knows what America is going to do. The one thing other peoples of the world can count on is that America will probably attack them, ruthlessly, and for no good reason.
Unfortunately, Pieczenik ends this video with a particularly inappropriate quip from Donald Trump, a mistake Pieczenik makes all too often in his videos. In another video, Pieczenik defends President Trump’s inexcusable use of the term “shithole countries” in a White House press conference, forcing Americans — indeed, the whole world — to suffer again the pain of listening to the utterances of the most vulgar man to ever occupy the Oval Office. Pieczenik is a fairly good analyst, a specialist in profiling public figures (his field of expertise.) But the man is not without his limitations as a communicator.
Never quote Donald Trump; to do so makes one sound like an imbecile (usually a bombastic & vulgar imbecile) while pointlessly insulting both the readers (or viewers in the case of video presentations) and the subjects of the report. For even when President Trump happens to be right on an issue — to the man’s credit, it must be admitted he can occasionally be right on an issue, even if it usually is for the wrong reasons — and expresses his views coherently, he won’t follow through with consistent policy decisions. He will either flip, waffle, or do nothing. Or worse … fail, and then lie about it.
Trump is a huckster, a showman, a buffoon, a caricature … not the type of figure you want to cite in serious writing. Moreover, trying to connect with Trump’s alt-right supporters or curry favor with the President through flattery is short-sighted. Trump’s supporters are coming to the realization that the Trump presidency is about as real as Trump University. Like Trump’s reality shows on television, the fact is that Trump’s political show is little more than spectacle — a sight to behold … but not to be taken seriously. The danger is, the presidency is a lot of power to be in the hands of small-minded people.
Knowing when and how to use satire, sarcasm, irony, or insults is a crucially important part of writing. The trick is to get the target to laugh with you — to laugh at themselves — even if they might secretly want to kill you. This can lead to a process of growth through reflection and change; personal growth is a slow and painful process. What one should avoid are pointless insults that cut to the bone … supposed witticisms that only demonstrate the speaker’s ignorance or viciousness, but which really offer no insight into self improvement. The difference is not always obvious, especially to inexperienced writers. For example, it is OK to poke fun at Japanese sex robots (Good Lord!) but it is not OK to make fun of the Japanese custom of bowing. Ironically, the ignorant comment by Donald Trump about the Japanese custom of bowing instead of shaking hands — sadly, repeated by Pieczenik at the end of this video — was made by a man who himself refuses to shake people’s hands (!) (And Trump, proud and vain as he is, refuses to bow, too. The man is known for his arrogance, lack of manners, and disdain for other human beings — quintessentially American, in the eyes of the rest of the world.)
Note that if we were to examine this issue in depth, it could be argued that bowing is a form of obeisance, a tacit way of bestowing rank or recognizing status in a culture that beneath the surface is a rigidly structured hierarchy … not a hierarchy of competence as is presumed in the West’s (putative) meritocracy (see below.) Japanese society is a hierarchy based on social values that westerners struggle to comprehend. Japanese society incorporates social values far different than those of the West. For example, in Japan the elderly are honored and held in high esteem; in America they are scorned and abused. In Japan, people are always polite in dealing with others; in America, people are rude, crude and abusive. (Trump being a good example.)
The extreme case of customs that tacitly recognize such social hierarchies can be seen in the Hindus of India where some people are deemed to be ‘untouchable’, and face shameful stigmatization from others, not by virtue of anything they have done but rather by their having been born into a lower ‘caste’ (social strata). This bizarre and inherently unfair principle is incorporated in the (rather hideous, actually) presuppositions of the concept of reincarnation. Many Asians — including quite a few Japanese — embrace the concept of transmigration of souls (reincarnation.) But such philosophical considerations are beyond the scope of this discussion.
And with regard to the idea that Western capitalism is a meritocracy ….
While right-wing propagandists like to claim that Western society is a meritocracy, in reality it is anything but. Plutocrats do their best to oppose and suppress meretricious individuals if they cannot co-opt them for their own purposes or personal gain. The moneyed class does everything in its power to ensure that its progeny — deserving or not — continue their reign of power and privilege. This is the Republican version of ‘family values’, which translates roughly as, ‘OUR family and NOT yours.’
Remember, good writing always entails communicating on multiple levels at once. It is important that the message on one level not be undermined by confusing messages on another level.
If there is one rule of writing that one breaks at one’s peril, then, it is this: never quote Donald Trump.
Back to Pieczenik’s obsequiousness to Donald Trump and his close affiliation with the so-called Alt-Right ….
Some have put forth the assertion that Trump is an Israeli plant, and that this is why the President has taken no action against the true masterminds behind the 9-11 WTC false flag operation (Israel and U.S. government insiders) and also why he moved the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (a shameful and outrageous provocation likely to have dire consequences.) Indeed, Pieczenik himself has admitted that he is himself a MOSSAD agent (the MOSSAD is Israel’s foreign intelligence service.) In his videos Pieczenik has gone even further, claiming that America’s pro-Israel foreign policy represents “our” (Israel’s) wishes, and not American interests. Policies favoring Zionism are widely recognized as being inimical to America’s national interests. A growing number of Americans worry that America’s ‘special relationship with Israel’ will result in America’s ultimate destruction.
Assuming, then, that Donald Trump really is a ‘Manchurian Candidate’ (an agent of a foreign power, in this case Israel), as is widely suspected, could it be that Pieczenik is his MOSSAD controller? Might this be why the man grovels and parrots Trump’s outrageous comments, feigning admiration? In tradecraft (the specialized techniques of espionage), it is often expedient to allow the asset (a ‘useful idiot’, in this case Donald Trump) to think he is calling the shots. This is especially true with an asset who has a domineering personality, an enormous ego, a prosaic intellect, and who has problems differentiating between fantasy and reality. The marionette must believe that he is in charge, that he controls the relationship, and that his controller is a loyal supporter, not a puppet-master. The possibility of Pieczenik being Trump’s MOSSAD controller is just speculation at this point, but it really should be looked into. It is important to clarify exactly who is calling the shots in the White House.
It seems I have gotten off track here ….
To conclude: everyone examining the issues related to Japan and China need to first understand the context of Sino-Japanese relations. This short video is a good place to start.
(chs 12-23-2018 2009 -0500)