Opinion – The EU’s Southern Neighbourhood [What Think Tanks are thinking] – John Gelmini

English: Map in English of the Mediterranean S...

English: Map in English of the Mediterranean Sea, with the borders and the name of the States following the ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 code. Français : Carte en anglais de la Mer Méditerranée avec les frontières et les noms des États suivant le code ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf is right to bring us this article about think-tanks and their views on the need for Southern Europe to engage and work more effectively with countries in North Africa and parts of the Middle East.

To have such co-operation, the present strife and Muslim radicalisation needs to be stopped, and we should not at a time of austerity and economic difficulty be taking in more economic migrants through Italy, Greece or Macedonia.

Europe possibly has to clear out a large area of Libya by force, using combined military forces and then the present and future migrant flows need to be effectively accomodated there.

ISIS is a Frankenstein, which the West has unwittingly allowed to get too big. History will probably judge Obama’s foreign policy very harshly. Ultimately, ISIS must be neutralized.

That done and Syria resolved, THEN we can look at working together, in the form of a sort of Mediterranean co-operation sphere.

John Gelmini

Opinion – Japan’s dramatic postwar evolution | The Japan Times – John Gelmini

The answer to Dr Alf’s question is that at root Japanese society is still chauvinistic and militaristic, as evidenced by the fact that many, if not all, Japanese businessmen follow the Book of 5 Rings, by Myamoto Mushashi, a famous swordsman who was born in 1536, followed the Bushido code, and killed his first opponent at the age of 13.

The book is a masterpiece in how to defeat opponents in very short order, giving them little or no quarter, so it is not akin to the Marquess of Queensbury rules nor aligned with feminist values.

Subsequently he remained undefeated in more than 60 swordfights, helped to slaughter large numbers of Christians, whose preaching was not liked by the authorities who preferred people to follow Shintoism and more traditional Eastern religeons.

The statement by Don Corleone in the Godfather film sums up the prevailing attitude, “Woman and children can afford to be careless—-men cannot”.

That form of chauvinism which died with men a bit like my late father is still around in business whereby rather too many board members say that they cannot find good woman candidates. They seek good candidates on golf courses, in their clubs and in the UK in establishments with black and white tiled floors where no woman are present.

In Japan they look for people just like themselves, which means more men who in latter day civilian form embody the qualities of their secret hero the long dead but still revered Mushashi a man who never apologized, never justified himself but who always prevailed.

John Gelmini