Bloody Mindedness

OK, I’m supposed to be an optimist.

UnknownSo there’s this place in Japan called the Yasukuni shrine, a memorial to Japan’s war dead. Fine, except that it enshrines some top convicted war criminals. And leading Japanese politicians insist on paying visits. This infuriates countries like South Korea and China that suffered at the hands of those war criminals. It’s part of Japan’s obtuse reticence about owning up to the evil it did. They don’t seem to realize confession is good for the soul. And it would be cheap confession: after all, hardly anyone responsible for the crimes is still around.

For crying out loud, come up with some fudge to get the war criminals out of Yasukuni; or just stop visiting there. Sheesh.

imagesSimilar story with Turkey and the 1915 Armenian genocide. Would it kill you to acknowledge this happened? “Not on our watch; it was those other guys, long ago, not even guys we liked; in fact, we rebelled against that bunch and threw them out.” But no; for reasons unfathomable to me, Turkey still balks, and makes it a crime even to talk about the Armenian genocide.

Then there’s the ever-troubling Macedonian question. What is the Macedonian question? The name. I kid you not. When Macedonia became a nation, upon the Yugoslav break-up, Greece objected to the name, as though the Macedonians were somehow stealing it because Alexander the Great, 2300 years ago, was Macedonian, and maybe these uppity new Macedonians were implying a claim to the part of Macedonia still in Greece. images-1Macedonia denied this, but the Greeks refused to be satisfied. For a while, the new country actually had to bear the ungainly name, “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” I’m not making any of this up. Anyway, 20 years later, Greece continues to bitch and make life hell for Macedonia.

If the Greeks won’t be reasonable, just change the damn name. Call it Nonmacedonia, Unmacedonia, Immacedonia, or something.

And somebody please remind me why I’m supposed to be an optimist.

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3 Responses to “Bloody Mindedness”

  1. John Singletary Says:

    Why do your posts come through in very dim gray fonts instead of Rational black?? =======================

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, but the problem must be within your system. It’s never been reported by anyone else.

  3. Greg Says:

    Isn’t it really just all about nationalistic pride, misplaced as it might be? The people need something to hang on to. Every culture I’ve seen does it in one form or another.

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