Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Japan Finally Grows Some Balls: Oil Embargo Against Iran is an Act of War - Japan, China and S. Korea Opt Out

Update at bottom!

Good News! Centuries of American hegemony and imperialism have just been given a black eye. Japan, following China's and South Korea's announcement, has stated that it will not abide by an oil embargo against Iran. It is the right choice. 

I think that Japan would know a thing or two about how oil embargoes lead to war. The USA under Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted an oil embargo against Japan that lead to the moderate Japanese government of the time being ousted for a more hard line militarist government that soon lead Japan into total war.

US enforced oil embargo against Japan in July 1941 lead to this in December 1941.

We have US presidential candidate Ron Paul repeatedly stating that embargoes lead to war and we have history as proof that embargoes lead to war too. Japan was the victim of a US led embargo in July 1941 which lead to the ouster of the then moderate Japanese government of Fumimaro Konoe to the hard core right wing nationalist government of Hideki Tojo that lead Japan to war with the United States and England. The militarists insisted, with good evidence, that the Americans were unreasonable and impossible to be dealt with. They came to power and the rest is, as they say, history. 

Here is what Ron Paul says about embargoes:

Embargoes and blockades are acts of war under international law. Americans should know this. That's why, in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy did not call the blockade of Cuba a "blockade" but called it a "Quarantine."

Considering embargoes, the following information came out at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials - the defense of Japan by court appointed US lawyers - and meetings with lawyers in Washington. These transcripts and points were covered up by subsequent US governments for decades.

On December 7, 1928, a group of distinguished Senators gathered in the Capital Building at Washington D.C. to discuss ratification of the Briand-Kellogg Peace Pact, an instrument whose purpose was to “abolish aggressive war”.
Among those present was the author of the Pact, Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg.
During the course of the recorded discussions, the following exchange took place:
“Q: Suppose a country is not attacked - suppose there is an economic blockade...?
A: There is no such thing as a blockade [unless] you are in war.
Q: It is an act of war?
A: An act of war absolutely... as I have stated before, nobody on earth, probably, could write an article defining 'self defense' or 'aggressor' that some country could not get around; and I made up my mind that the only safe thing for any country to do was to judge for itself within its sovereign rights whether it was unjustly attacked and had a right to defend itself and it must answer to the opinion of the world.”
The above was quoted during the Tokyo Trial by American defense council to show that Japan's War of the Pacific, according to the very terms of the Brian-Kellogg Pact itself, did not and could not constitute "aggression".

Briand-Kellogg Peace Pact, signed by US president Calvin Coolidge 
in 1929, made embargoes an act of war.

Like I mentioned Japan has seen with her own eyes (China and Korea too) what happens when a nation is backed into a corner with an embargo. That's probably the biggest reason they want no part of it.
Japan’s War of the Pacific was a war of self-defense for the following reasons: 
- blockade is an act of war (p. 43,051);

- every nation is the judge of what constitutes self-defense (ibid); 
- self-defense is not limited to defense of the national territory (p. 42,239); 
- Japan was provoked into a war of self-defense (pp. 43,050-175);
The Americans froze Japanese assets (in violation of a treaty) and began to embargo oil. It was demanded, as a condition to restoring normal relations, that Japan sign an agreement with various other nations who had never before been party to the negotiations, including Thailand and Soviet Russia (pp. 43,678-98).
To obtain agreement with the other nations in accordance with this demand could have taken months or years; and might never have been possible. Japan had enough oil for a few months only. A conference was held at which it was decided that if there was to be war, it must come now; by spring Japan would be too weak to fight. In any case, the attack on Pearl Harbor was an act of utter desperation. The oil embargo meant the destruction of Japan’s independence and perhaps survival as a nation. (emphasis mine)
(Through an oil embargo) Japan faced immediate military defeat in China; total industrial collapse at home; and destruction through coastal shelling of all the major cities by any one of five traditional enemies (America, Britain, China, the Netherlands, and particularly the Soviets).
Oil had been supplied to Japan for two years in the teeth of hostile public opinion. It was believed essential to keep war out of the Far East;
When this did not work, Japan was forced into war, crushed with atomic bombs, and her leaders hanged for “aggression”. (Read more here).
Could anyone in the world be so naive to think that the USA isn't just itching for a war with Iran and is hoping that, with sanctions and illegal embargoes, that they can trick Iran into firing the first shot - like the USA did to Japan - even if it would be legally justified as "self-defense" under international law? Law or no law, you know the USA (a government who has ignored international law for years) would try to claim the moral high ground by saying, "But they fired first!"

One guess which is the US navy? How dare the Iranians
threaten us with their mighty dreadnoughts off the shores of their own country?

This information needs to become common knowledge for people, especially Americans (who will never be taught the truth in school or on American mass media), to realize that these sorts of actions, namely economic war in the form of things like oil embargoes, by the US government are acts of war and we the people must rise up and stop this madness. It seems that the USA is just waiting for an excuse to turn Tehran into a gravel parking lot. This must be stopped.
That China, Japan and Korea have put their collective foot down and said, "No!" is a great sign that the US empire is finally deflating; especially when you realize that, since 1945, Japan and South Korea have been the staunchest of American allies. This rejection of US will is a total embarrassment for the US government.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of folks.

Yahoo News Reports in Japan Refuses to Stop Iranian Oil Imports:

Japan's foreign minister said Monday that his country would not stop imports of Iranian oil, striking a rare note of divergence with the United States during a visit to Washington.
After talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (war-mongerer) that focused mostly on North Korea, Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba highlighted Japan's sanctions imposed on Iranian institutions due to concerns over its nuclear program.
But Gemba said: "I conveyed my view that there is a danger of causing damage to the entire global economy if the imports of Iranian crude oil stop."
Think about it. Of course Japan has to say "No!" Not only do embargoes start wars, Japan just suffered through the nightmare of March 11, 2011. The earthquake, tsunami and then Fukushima nuclear disasters leading to half of all of Japan's electrical needs being stopped due to nuclear power plant's termination of service. Throw on top of that reconstruction costs and you have a Japan that cannot afford to pay higher bills for oil!

Oil is already over $102 dollars a barrel today! What will happen to Japan's economy if oil hits $250 a barrel as some analysts have predicted?

This is the kind of propaganda Americans are fed. What? How dare the Iranians taunt US warships off the coast of Iran! I wonder how Americans would feel if Chinese warships were buzzing the coastline of California?

Thank god that, like I said, Japan finally has the guts to stand up the the USA. Or, as Americans would say, finally Japan has, "Grown some balls!" I wonder if Obama will make ridiculous statements like Bush did with his "Coalition of the Willing" that included about 8 minor countries that were paid off to support the invasion of Iraq?

Well, Obama can make those statements, but when three of the world's top economic powerhouses don't join in, the USA is starting to look more and more like a paper tiger.

Not a moment too soon. 

UPDATE: What timing! Zerohedge confirms my thesis on the USA pushing Iran towards war with this report on Iran this morning in Hyperinflation Comes to Iran

Hyperinflation has struck again, this time at ground zero of the most sensitive geopolitical conflict in ages: Iran. EA WorldView reports:
An EA source reports that a relative in Tehran ordered a washing machine for 400,000 Toman (about $240) this week. When he went to the shop the next day, he was told that --- amidst the currency crisis and rising import costs --- the price was now 800,000 Toman (about $480). Another EA source says that the price of an item of software for a laptop computer has tripled from 50,000 Toman to 150,000 Toman within days.
, and gave America the green light to enter the war.
And so the opportunity cost for the Ahmedinejad regime to preserve its status quo gradually grinds to zero, as the entire economy implodes (courtesy of a few strategic financially isolating decisions) making further escalation virtually inevitable, in a 100% replica of the US-planned Japanese escalation that led to the Pearl Harbor attack.

...Need I say more? The military industrial complex (and criminal government) of the United States must be stopped from constantly destabilizing regions and causing wars. The true terrorists of our times are easy to identify... And they don't live in caves in Afghanistan... Washington D.C. is their mailing address.


Marc Sheffner said...

Thanks for the history lesson, especially the bit about the War Crimes Trial, that was an eye-opener.
According to Nikkei, "Japan has so far remained reluctant to halt crude imports from the Middle Eastern country, saying it is vulnerable to any energy supply disruption in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

In late December, JX Energy's Senior Vice President Tsutomu Sugimori said only Saudi Arabia could replace crude supplies from Iran and hoped that the U.S. will treat Japan as an exception.

Japan imports roughly 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Iran, nearly 10% of its total crude imports."
(Original article may be for subscribers only).

diego.a said...

How come Japanese citizens are not angry at FDR for helping to push Tojo into power and push Japan into war?

First Tojo, then conventional bombing against innocent civilians. Then entire towns wiped out. Then nuclear weapons. It's amazing how they rebuilt what the US destroyed.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Marc, It is world famous that the Japanese don't like to say "No!" directly. Trust that when they say, "We're thinking" or things like "reluctant" that this is the polite japanese way of saying, "No!" (as an oldtimer in Japan, I don't have to tell you this!)
diego.a, The Japanese are realists about the war and know that the Imperialist Japanese government was up to no good too. There is no honor amongst thieves. The average Japanese knows that oil embargoes were acts of war and atomic bombs on civilian cities were war crimes... They also know that life was bad under imperial militarist rule.... What to do?

Mr. Nobody said...

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the interesting and provocative article! It seems to ask many questions.

As the saying goes it takes two to tango. Even if I am harassed, have things stolen from me by a gang, and am provoked, when is it justified for me to cripple or murder them? Is the the saying "what is good for the goose, good for the gander" applicable? Even if let's say the American government were 90% responsible, someone, or more likely some group in the Japanese government, chose to go to war. Even though there are many who say otherwise, the Japanese government can bear at least some responsibility in the matter, can they not? Without choice, what is man but a beast?

I don't think I will justify the behavior of either FDR, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hirohito, Kai-Shek, or Churchill. It's not like trying to grade the best piece of steak, but instead shit.

May I ask do you believe that most Japanese dislike war because of the horror of it, or because they lost? I can say of my limited experience wrt Germans, it is because of the former. As an aside, do you think that the Germans got off easier than the Japanese?

Do you believe the Japanese government's desire to continued oil trade with Iran is in reality mostly against embargoes themselves, or against the idea of Japan possibly being deprived of needed energy? Because what would Japan be without energy and raw materials, but a higher end Madagascar with its "unique" four seasons? Also, when has the Japanese government stood up for rights except when they are with 80-90%+ of the rest of the world/UN? Is it the case of the nail that sticks up, or generally that the Japanese government's reticence to hurt or embarrass their business interests and/or partners? As another aside, do you think the Japanese government would still be inclined to trade with Iran, if the Iranian government treated Japanese people like they treated other minorities?

Do embargoes start wars? The evidence seems murky. If the Japanese government and the US government in WWII are one example, can you name another? Sure there are embargoes that seem without major justification, see the Iraq between GWI-GWII, Cuba, Palestine, etc. What about South Africa under Apartheid, Rhodesia, North Korea and certain components, the British and certain material with Israel, etc.? Or should the US, and the UK, sell everything that they are good at, and strangely enough, everything a madman wants, from oil, arms, "less than lethal" munitions, to cattle prods, and centrefuges?

As to a potential war with Iran, who can tell for any certainty, but it seems pretty obvious to anyone with eyes and ears, that the Whitehouse and congress are very out of touch with the public, and reality for that matter, that they might as well be separate countries, they do things different there.

In our global "economic fractional reserve Ponzi scheme," paleo-Kenysianism, ie: public works, efficacy aside, has never been popular with the US government. They tend to like military-industrial-Kensyanism. Is there any other way to quickly increase the velocity of money in an incredibly deflationary (in terms of monetary circulation) environment? As Mr. Bass said, pretty soon they are metaphorically, but not unfortunately literally, going to run out of ammo soon. This may be the last gasps of a dying empire. The question is, if the US military controls the world, what will the world be like when nobody controls it?