Friday, January 19, 2018

Japan needs more humility toward the Comfort Women

Comfort Women
Why Japan needs to revisit the 2015 ‘comfort women’ deal with South Korea

Jeff Kingston says the flawed bilateral agreement, as South Korean President Moon Jae-in asserts, ignores the wartime victims and risks deepening historic resentment. It is time for Japan to take the measure of what it inflicted and make genuine amends

South China Morning Post, January 8, 2018
by Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan

Japan should agree to reopen the bilateral 2015 agreement on “comfort women” and work with South Korea to engage in a victim-centred public process. This agreement, concluded with the impeached former South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, is exceptionally one-sided, never had any legitimacy among South Koreans and thus could never live up to its billing as “final and irreversible”.

The 2015 accord perpetuates the “averted eyes” approach that has persisted for too long and forced women in war to suffer in silence. Insisting that the deal is sacrosanct, while eliding the violation these women endured, dishonours Japan and its victims.

The accord very obviously falls short of addressing the horrific abuses inflicted by Japan’s military on tens of thousands of women, mainly Koreans, in the 1930s and 1940s. On December 27, South Korea released the results of a five-month review of the agreement, which concluded that the victim-centred approach, “established as an international standard when it comes to women’s human rights during war, was not sufficiently reflected during the negotiation process”. In fact, the victims and their advocates were excluded from the secret negotiations – ostensibly meant to sincerely address a profound historical injustice.

Japan says ‘no alternative’ to ‘comfort women’ deal after South Korean president dismisses it

President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly criticised the accord for being flawed in content and process. On January 4, he also met former comfort women and apologised to them for the Park government’s negligence. This compassion was entirely missing in the quid pro quo deal – payouts for silence about a sordid saga of women having to endure sexual slavery. The Japanese government did not even acknowledge its responsibility and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to make a public apology, only phoning it in to Park.

Surely the 2015 agreement is a betrayal of international norms and decency

However, the chances of Japan renegotiating the 2015 agreement appear slim, because it is on firm legal ground. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga insists that the deal is “final and irreversible” and Foreign Minister Taro Kono has warned of serious consequences if Seoul reneges. But condemning Seoul for not abiding by a flawed pact, which a disgraced leader agreed to, is not going to solve anything.

Abe is well known as a revisionist, with a preference for a vindicating and exculpatory wartime history. He has spent most of his political career downsizing and denying state responsibility for the comfort women system. On his watch, comfort women have disappeared from major secondary school textbooks. Abe’s defenders hold up the 2015 agreement as an example of his pragmatism. Indeed, Abe went beyond his comfort zone to authorise it and to indirectly express remorse for the comfort women system.

But what did Abe really concede? He did not have to acknowledge state responsibility for the comfort women system, or have to assume legal responsibility for it; he paid peanuts (US$9 million) to get South Korea to sign away all related claims and did not reach out to the victims or apologise directly to them.

For Abe, Moon’s criticism constitutes a betrayal of trust, but surely the 2015 agreement itself is a betrayal of international norms and decency. The UN Committee Against Torture gave credence to this view last May, when it urged both nations to revise the deal.

Moon is right that the agreement is flawed, but Tokyo is adamant that a deal is a deal. Abe and Japanese diplomats are furious with Moon for moving the goalposts, and not living up to what they believe is South Korea’s end of the bargain: removing the comfort women statues in Seoul and Busan that reproach Japan’s diplomatic presence in these cities.

These statue wars are escalating on the global stage, as Tokyo fights a losing battle to prevent municipalities across the US from installing memorials to the comfort women. This is a counterproductive use of diplomatic resources, as it conveys the impression that Japan lacks compassion towards women victimised by war and wants the world to forget their traumas.

Abe got an incredibly good deal and now finds that it was too good to be true. Japan has to find the courage to take the measure of what it inflicted and act accordingly, by demonstrating greater empathy.

Why modern Japan’s founding moment still divides a nation

Omuta Mine's POW Slave Labor Camp
Mitsui's Miike Mine
UNESCO World Industrial Heritage Site
The Meiji restoration initiated not just modernisation, but also militarism

by Banyan, The Economist, January 11, 2018.

THE story of Japan’s modernisation began 150 years ago this month, when a band of young samurai and their allies overthrew the Tokugawa shogunate and with it seven centuries of feudal rule. Under the shoguns (military rulers), merchant and cultural life—centred upon bustling Edo—had been far from stagnant, as the stunning woodblock prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige attest. But Japan had for more than two centuries been closed and inward-looking. Its stratified society was absurdly rigid.

Above all, the warrior class was ill-equipped to deal with the growing threat posed by the gunboats of America and other Western countries, which had been sailing into Edo Bay and forcing the shoguns to sign treaties opening the country to foreign trade. The contest was unequal. The West had ironclad vessels and the latest guns. The samurai had ceremonial armour with face masks designed to show off impressive false moustaches.

The leaders launched their coup with the slogan “Revere the emperor, expel the barbarians”. For the first part, they called on tradition. They put the imperial line, hitherto mere props in Kyoto, back at the centre of the polity. They brought the 12-year-old emperor, Mutsuhito, up to Edo (now renamed Tokyo, or Eastern Capital), affirmed his unbroken descent from the sun goddess and claimed to rule on his behalf. Mutsuhito died in 1912; posthumously he was given the title of Emperor Meiji. Hence the name for the coup: the Meiji restoration.

As for the second part, far from expelling the barbarians, the new leaders embraced them. In April 1868 a famous “Charter Oath” decreed that “knowledge shall be sought throughout the world” to strengthen imperial rule. Fifty high officials set off on a 22-month world tour to take in everything they could about American and European government, industry, trade, education and warfare. Back in Japan they launched a frenzy of industrial development, administrative reform and military modernisation not even matched by China’s more recent headlong growth. The Meiji restoration was actually a revolution.

For Shinzo Abe, Japan’s current prime minister, the restoration resonates. Mr Abe comes from Yamaguchi, known in feudal times as Choshu. Leaders from Choshu were at the head of the revolution. Mr Abe once told this columnist he identified with them because they did “not simply look inward, but looked…to the world’s wider horizons”. The Choshu men, he explained, saw the threat from Western imperialism. Japan’s harsh choice was either to be the meat served at a Western banquet or a guest at the table. By modernising, Japan became the only big country in Asia to safeguard its independence. It joined the Western high table.

Mr Abe sees lessons in all this, and since he came to office in 2012 he has appeared to be in a tearing hurry to implement them. At home Japan is imperilled by a weak economy, a risk-averse establishment and an ageing, shrinking population. Overseas, China threatens Japan not just in economic terms but, as it grows more assertive, militarily too. A revived economy (with more opportunities for women at work), a vigorous diplomacy and, notwithstanding the constraints of a pacifist post-war constitution, a stronger defence are to him the right responses. (They also help confront the threat posed by a nuclear North Korea.)

The government has gone all-out to promote the 150th anniversary, starting with a push in 2015 to acquire UNESCO “world heritage” status for various spots important in the ensuing industrial revolution. One striking site is Hashima, an island off the coast near Nagasaki that sits above a former coal mine, operated by the Mitsubishi conglomerate, that ran under the sea bed. It was once the most densely populated spot on Earth, housing miners and the families. (Today its post-apocalyptic ruins are best known as the lair of James Bond’s nemesis in “Skyfall”.)

The government website celebrating the Meiji restoration idealises the period as one of grass-roots change and human rights as much as innovation. Yet for ethnic groups whose territory was annexed and culture stifled, such as the Ainu in the north and Okinawans in the south, it was not much fun. The rank-and-file in the new conscript army were brutalised. Workers in the mines and mills led harsh lives. And women, points out Tomomi Yamaguchi of Montana State University, were kept down. They could not vote, divorce or own property. Most Japanese women find little appeal in the nostalgic push by Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party to return to the Meiji era’s “family values”.

Don’t mention the war

There is another problem. The Meiji restoration sowed the seeds of Japan’s 20th-century aggression. The first war dead whose souls were honoured at Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, later controversial for honouring war criminals, were those who died fighting for the restoration (though even the losing side was supposedly fighting for the emperor). The authoritarian constitution of 1890, borrowed from that of Bismarck’s Germany, fostered emperor-worship and glorification of the armed forces—powerful features of Japan’s war machine.

By the time of Japan’s defeat in 1945 thousands of Koreans and Chinese had been forced to work the mines in Hashima, among many other sites. [Editor: this was a policy designed by PM Abe's grandfather Kishi.] Mr Abe’s government, after much resistance, promised UNESCO it would reflect this history. Yet on Hashima neither the guides nor the pamphlets and signs refer to it. Members of Mr Abe’s government, and at times the prime minister himself, seem to deny the existence of forced labour at all. [Editor: There was also extensive Allied POW slave labor at most of the UNESCO World Industrial Heritage sites of which there is no mention.]

You can see the conundrum without sympathising with it. Those, like Mr Abe, who are less than frank in acknowledging Japan’s wartime past, are worried about pulling on a thread. No clear event, no Reichstag fire, marked the moment when the country lurched into militarism. If aspects of what the Meiji restoration wrought come into question, what is there left to be proud about? The quest to find a modern identity for Japan continues.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Monday in Washington, January 8, 2018

THE ASIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS, 20 YEARS ON: A CONVERSATION WITH LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS. 1/8, ̣9:30-11:00am. Sponsor: Wilson Center (WWC). Speakers: Lawrence H. Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University, Professor, Charles W. Eliot University; Meg Lundsager, Public Policy Fellow, Wilson , Former US Executive Director, IMF.

CONFRONTING NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR AND MISSILE PROGRAMS: AMERICAN AND JAPANESE VIEWS OF THREATS AND OPTIONS COMPARED. 1/8, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Foreign Policy Program, Brookings. Speakers: Yasushi Kudo, President, Genron NPO; Shibley Telhami, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Program, Brookings, Professor & Director, Critical Issues Poll, University of Maryland. Moderator: Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow & Director of Research, Foreign Policy Program, Brookings.

ASSESSING INNOVATION IN CHINA’S DIGITAL ECONOMY.
1/8, 10:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Technology Policy Program, CSIS. Speakers: Ding Xiangfeng, Chief Scientist, Internet of Things - Alibaba Group; Kaiser Kuo, Host and Co-Founder, The Sinica Podcast, Former Director of International Communications, Baidu Inc.; David London, Senior Director & Head of North America Government Affairs, Ofo; Paul Triolo, Practice Head, Geotechnology, Eurasia Group; Hans Tung, Managing Partner, GGV Capital. Moderator: Samm Sacks, Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Programs, CSIS.

GHOST FROM THE PASTS? ASSESSING RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN SOUTH ASIA. 1/8
, 10:00am-4:00pm. Sponsor: Asia Program, Wilson Center (WWC). Speakers: Bijan Omrani, Editor, Asian Affairs; Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director & Senior Associate, South Asia Program, Wilson Center; Mridu Rai, Professor, Presidency University Kolkata; Dina Siddiqi, Professor, Anthropology, BRAC University Bangladesh; Farahnaz Ispahani, Global Fellow, Wilson Center; Christina Fink, Professor, Practice of International Affairs, GWU; Raza Rumi, Scholar in Residence, Ithaca College; Cassie Adcock, Associate Professor, Washington University St. Louis; Neil DeVotta, Associate Professor, Wake Forest University; Ali Riaz, Professor, Illinois State University. Moderators: Neeti Nair, Associate Professor, Modern South Asia, University of Virginia, Resident Fellow, Wilson Center; Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director & Senior Associate, South Asia Program, Wilson Center.

HOW CITIES ARE COLLABORATING TO COMBAT VIOLENT EXTREMISM. 1/8, Noon-1:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Strategy, University of Southern California. Speaker: Michael Duffin, Policy Advisor, Office of Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, Author, The Role of Cities in Countering Violent Extremism.

CAUGHT IN CONFLICT: WORKING TO PREVENT THE RECRUITMENT AND USE OF CHILD SOLDIERS. 1/8, 1:00-2:30pm. Sponsor: Stimson. Speakers: Lt. Gen. (ret.) Roméo Dallaire, Founder, Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative; Jo Becker, Advocacy Director, Children’s Right Division, Human Rights Watch. Moderator: Rachel Stohl, Senior Associate and Director, Conventional Defense Program, Stimson.

SHOULD THE FED STICK WITH THE 2 PERCENT INFLATION TARGET OR RETHINK IT? 1/8, 1:00-5:15pm. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: David Wessel, Director, Hutchins Center; Lawrence H. Summers, Emeritus, Harvard University; Olivier Blanchard, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute (PIIE); Jeff Frankel, Professor, Harvard University; John Williams, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Rick Mishkin, Professor, Columbia University; Ben S. Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow, Economic Studies; John Taylor, Professor of Economics, Stanford University; Kristin J. Forbes, Professor, MIT; Sarah A. Binder, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies; John David Murray, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada; Eric Rosengren, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

THE FOURTEEN POINTS: WORLD WAR I AND WOODROW WILSON’S LEGACY 100 YEARS LATER. 1/8, 3:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Keynote Address, John Warner, Former U.S. Senator (R-VA) and former Secretary of the Navy; Jennifer Keene, Professor & Chair, Department of History, Chapman University; Erez Manela, Professor, History, Harvard University; Michael Neiberg, Chair, War Studies, Professor, History, United States Army War College; Mark Moyar, Director, Project on Military and Diplomatic History, CSIS; Daniel F. Runde, William A. Schreyer Chari & Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, CSIS.


SAFEGUARDING DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM: US FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY, 1920-2015. 1/8, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: History and Public Policy Program, Wilson Center (WWC). Author: Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor, American History, Compton Professor, Miller Center, University of Virginia. Moderators: Eric Arnesen, Fellow & Professor, American History, GWU; Philippa Strum, Global Fellow & Former Director, Division of United States Studies, Wilson Center.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The business of Abe

The Shukan Asahi on December 29, 2017 tallied the number of times business leaders dined or played golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2017 based on the Prime Minister’s daily schedules carried by Asahi Shimbun. This does not count formal appointments or where a meeting was not reported. It also does not count people like Nippon Foundation head Yohei Sasakawa, who is a favorite of the PM.


Name and job title
No. of Times
Soichiro Masuoka, Tekko Building senior managing director
Tsuneo Watanabe, Yomiuri Shimbun Group chief editor
5
Fujio Mitarai, Keidanren honorary chairman, Canon Inc. chairman
Yoshiyuki Kasai, Central Japan Railway Company honorary chairman
4
Hironobu Abe, Mitsubishi Shoji Packaging Corp. president (Abe’s elder brother)
Sadayuki Sakakibara, Keidanren chairman, Toray Industries, Inc. adviser
Takashi Imai, Keidanren honorary chairman, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. honorary chairman
Teruto Akiyama, Nikkei Visual Images, Inc. president
3
Akio Mimura, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. honorary chairman
Shigetaka Komori, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. chairman
Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, Keizai Doyukai chairman
Koichi Shibuya, Rickie Business Solution president
Isao Matsuzaki, Morinaga Shoji, Co. Ltd. president
2
Tomosaburo Mogi, Kikkoman Corp. honorary chairman; Nobuyuki Nakahara, former BOJ Policy Board member; Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor president; Hironori Aoki, AOKI Holdings chairman; Kenji Ikemori, Fancl Corp. chairman; Hiromichi Toba, Doutor Coffee honorary chairman; Hisashi Hieda, (then) Fuji TV chairman; Akio Nitori, NITORI Holdings chairman; Masami Yabumoto, Kinshukai Group CEO; Yoshio Okubo, Nippon TV president; Kenzo Tsujimoto, CAPCOM chairman; Hiroshi Hayakawa, TV Asahi chairman; Hiroya Kawasaki, Kobe Steel chairman and president; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi Ltd. chairman; Masayoshi Matsumoto, Kansai Economic Federation chairman; Takeshi Niinami, Suntory Holdings president, and others
1
*As of Dec. 15.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Support Lighthouse in Japan


The video above on JK is by Lighthouse, an NPO that works to eliminate human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, in Japan.

Japan remains a Tier Two country on the State Department's Human Trafficking watch list. This means it is not doing enough to hinder and stop the sexual exploitation of girls and boys. Japan is not enforcing the laws that it has nor is it prosecuting the perpetrators. Simply put, Japan has not changed its societal views of sex trafficking. This backwardness helps explain why the Abe government is unable to come to terms with Imperial Japan's Comfort Women history.

It should be noted that South Korea has long pulled itself out of being a Tier Two Country and is now a Tier One. This is a government that fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards and is expanding its prosecution of traffickers and help for their victims.

It is telling that Japan is the only G7 country not a States Parties to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, commonly known as the Palermo Protocol. This agreement outlines the distinct responsibility governments bear to criminalize human trafficking in all its forms and to prosecute and hold offenders accountable for their crimes.

Japan it seems, can not take responsibility for neither its past nor its future. If the surviving Comfort Women cannot get Japan to be accountable to them, maybe their quest should be, as the Japanese demand, "future oriented." This is to persuade Japan to sign the Palermo Protocol. Such an accomplishment would be the best sign that the rightists of Japan have been buried and that the country now holds a modern understanding of the scourge of sex trafficking.

Friday, December 22, 2017

When Victims of Wartime Rape Are Scorned

Paintings by Korean Comfort Women
As a long year of Japanese denial of Comfort Women history comes to a close, the New York Times ran a powerful op ed about the rape victims of Bosnia and the long-term shame associated with military rape. This piece is timeless and borderless explanation of how sexual violence affects women and why they remain silent. Japan's deniers ignore this psychic toll and the science of trauma. It is as if the Japanese Right wants to again feel powerful by denying the personhood, the humanity of women, girls and boys defiled by Imperial Japan's soldiers and officials.

As a UN Population Fund report in 2015 note:
Stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to improving the quality of life of survivors of sexual violence. Focusing the attention to the stigma against survivors of conflict-related sexual violence must be a priority for those who provide assistance to survivors.
And it is this stigma that Japan presses on each time it brushes off the Comfort Women as willing prostitutes. This is partly a pernicious campaign to compel the women's own compatriots to abandon them and partly antiquated thinking not shared by any of the "Western European and other States" at Japan is grouped with on the UN Population Fund's Executive Board.

When Victims of Wartime Rape Are Scorned

By Riada Asimovic Akyol, writer on gender, nationalism and religion and a Ph.D. candidate at Galatasaray University in Istanbul

New York Times, December 18, 2017

Last month, Human Rights Watch published a report confirming that Myanmar’s army is engaged in the mass rape of Rohingya Muslim women and girls as a tool of ethnic cleansing. That report was followed, last week, by an article from The Associated Press that established the same set of facts: the use of “sweeping and methodical” rape as a weapon of war.

I read both with tears in my eyes and disgust in my stomach. The reports, in all their horror — the dehumanizing gang rapes in front of family, the forced public nudity, the torture and sexual enslavement — all called to mind similar stories from my country, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 women experienced brutal sexual violence, both inside and outside numerous “rape camps.” The largest number of these women, by far, were Bosnian Muslims. Rape was used systematically, with the aim of cultural extermination. The forced impregnation of Bosnian Muslim women by Serbian men was among the distinctive and repugnant genocidal strategies used by the Serbian military, policemen and members of paramilitary groups.

Today, there is no more war in Bosnia. But more than two decades after the fighting ended, it is the lingering effects of this wartime sexual violence that remain among our most open wounds. In the case of the Rohingya I worry especially for the future of the women who have suffered these mass rapes: They might be in the news for now, but as in Bosnia, could later end up marginalized, silenced and abandoned to their traumas, even by some members of their own community.

But not all of them. In 1993, when there was still active fighting in Bosnia, Ahmed Mesic, a renowned Bosnian theologist, Islamic jurist and Sufi sheikh, wrote an essay under the pseudonym Ahmed Nuruddin titled “Message to Raped Women.” His aim was to offer theological explanation and spiritual comfort and support.

In his message, Mr. Mesic declared that Bosnian women who had been raped should be considered “martyrs to the faith.” He emphasized that it was the responsibility of the community — and especially men — to show extra care, respect, support and solidarity toward these women. The message served as a powerful warning, grounded in Islam, against patriarchal tendencies in Bosnian society: Mr. Mesic criticized the lack of organized, institutional support for victims of rape, and didn’t shy away from slamming the Islamic community for not offering adequate care.

Health workers and war rape victims at the time welcomed the message from Mr. Mesic and other religious leaders: “The imam’s engagement and public condemnation of the perpetrators created a possibility for a new understanding of the victims,” wrote the scholar Inger Skjelsbaek.

If only the government and community had paid enough heed. Instead, in the years since, the experience of war rape victims in Bosnia has consisted primarily of pity or neglect, but also stigma. As part of research conducted by the United Nations Population Fund in 2015, two-thirds of participants described how they were subjected to condemnation, insults and humiliation as soon as their neighbors or friends or family members learned they’d been subjected to sexual assault. Who knows how many still remain silent about what they endured as a result.

Part of the problem is that after the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country made up of three constituent ethno-national groups — Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats — has never managed to establish a common narrative about the recent past. Each ethnic group has its own competing nation-building project. Not one has room for rape victims.

“These women are not part of the collective memorialization, because they are seen as a reminder of the nation’s shame and defeat,” said Zilka Spahic-Siljak, a Bosnian scholar of gender, politics and religion and research associate at Stanford University. Honoring those who suffered wartime rape requires men to acknowledge that they were powerless to protect their nation, women and territory. As the scholar Janet Jacobs put it, remembering the suffering and honoring those who were raped during war is “antithetical to the project of nation building and ethnic pride,” which in Bosnia is very much still happening.

We’re still a very long way from any sort of justice for the Rohingya, let alone any kind of nation-building effort. The Myanmar government continues to deny its crimes against humanity, and the future of the Rohingya as a people remains unknown. So much for “never again.”

But there are signs that the Rohingya women who have been raped could face a future not unlike those who were victims of sexual assault in my country years ago. The Associated Press told the story of a woman in Myanmar whose husband had responded to the news of an attack on his pregnant wife by demanding to know why she had not run away, and threatened to abandon her. Human Rights Watch reported that many Rohingya women, even those who have fled to Bangladesh, are not seeking post-rape treatment because of stigma. Other victims of mass rape, such as the Nigerian women and girls raped by Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces, or Yazidi women enslaved by the barbaric Islamic State also potentially face similar fates.

What Bosnian women and others who suffered wartime rape need is a space and means to tell their own stories, which could cast them not only as victims but also as survivors, said Ms. Spahic-Siljak. Such a change could create a place for them in the national narrative of rebuilding. Unfortunately, Mr. Mesic’s note to the women in his community has been largely forgotten over the past two decades, even in Bosnia, and his message is as relevant as ever today.

Mr. Mesic emphasized that we must respect and honor women raped in war. As an Islamic scholar, he also reminded his audience, citing Islamic verses, that the perpetrators of the crimes against them would be punished, and the victims would be specially rewarded by God. God, in other words, would be with those who are suffering, sooner or later.

It seems that many Rohingya victims feel the same way today. “They wanted to wipe us out from the world,” a Rohingya victim of torture and gang rape said to The A.P. “They tried very hard, but Allah saved us.”

Many victims in Bosnia also felt that God was with them, and this helped them survive. But most mortals, from the international community to members of their own communities, were not with them — at least not enough. The same tragedy that took place in Bosnia should not recur with the Rohingya. The genocide must be stopped, and the victims of sexual violence should be given the support, the rights and the respect that they deserve.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Monday in Washington, December 11, 2017


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDING IN THE 2018 US FARM BILL. 12/11, 8:30-9:15am. Sponsor: AEI. Speakers: Vincent H. Smith, AEI; Philip Pardey, University of Minnesota.

U.S.-KOREA DEFENSE ACQUISITION AND SECURITY COOPERATION. 12/11, 9:00am-12:30pm. Sponsors: CSIS; Defense Acquisition Program Administration; Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade; Korea Aerospace Industries. Speakers: Dr. Jeon, Jei Guk, Minister, Defense Acquisition Program Administration; Yu, Byoung-Gyu, President, Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.

BEYOND TRADE: THE COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EXITING NAFTA. 12/ 11, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Richard Miles. Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Americas Program, CSIS; Scott Miller, Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS; Ambassador Carla Hills, CSIS Counselor and Trustee; ​Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne, Senior Adviser with the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina; Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the United States; Ambassador Michael Wilson, former Ambassador to the United States and Former Minister of Finance for Canada; moderator: Romina Bandura, Senior Fellow with the Project on Prosperity and Development and the Project on U.S. Leadership in Development at CSIS.

THE MADCOM FUTURE: HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL ENHANCE COMPUTATIONAL PROPAGANDA, REPROGRAM HUMAN CULTURE, AND THREATEN DEMOCRACY...AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.
12/11, Noon–2:00pm. Sponsor: Elliott School, GW Speakers: Matt Chessen, Foreign Service Officer, State Department; Robert Ogburn, Visiting State Department Fellow, The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, School of Media and Public Affairs and the Elliott School of International Affairs.

CLASHING OVER COMMERCE. 12/11, 12:15-1:30pm. Sponsor: Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) Speaker: author Douglas Irwin, Professor, Economics, Dartmouth College. Webcast.

WHITHER AMERICA? A STRATEGY FOR REPAIRING AMERICA'S POLITICAL CULTURE. 12/11, 2:00pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speaker: John Raidt, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Security Initiative, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES AS GLOBAL LEADERS IN ENERGY AND INNOVATION. 12/11, Noon-1:30pm, Lunch. Sponsor: Sasakawa USA. Speakers: Robbie Diamond, Founder, President and CEO, Securing America's Energy (SAFE); Phyllis Yoshida, Fellow for Energy and Technology, Sasakawa USA; Moderator: Daniel Bob, Director of Programs and Senior Fellow, Sasakawa USA.

ANATOMY OF FAILURE: WHY AMERICA LOSES EVERY WAR IT STARTS.
12/11, 5:30-7:30pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Harlan Ullman, Distinguished Senior Fellow, U.S. Naval War College, Senior Adviser, Atlantic Council; Susan Eisenhower, President of The Eisenhower Group and Chairman Emeritus at the Eisenhower Institute; Edward Luce, Washington Columnist for the Financial Times; Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.