Thoughts on Two Photos

Two photos in the news elicited a few thoughts:

Photo 1

Dawn Blitz













Even though my brain knows that Japan is a US ally now and that World War II was a long time ago, it was still a bit jarring to see this picture of a Japanese military platform bearing the “rising sun” military flag amphibiously “attacking” the US coast as part of a military exercise.  Like South Koreans and Chinese – as the Wikipedia (!) entry on the flag notes – many people associate that flag with militarism and imperialism.  I do too.  In particular, I think of Nanking and Pearl Harbor.  I wonder why the US didn’t forbid the use of this flag after WWII, especially since it only inflames anti-Japanese sentiment around Asia.

Photo 2










Pretty darn cool for George H.W. Bush to shave his head in support of a child’s fight against cancer.  The child in the picture is the kid of one of the members of Bush’s security detail – pictured above.  But aside from thinking well of Bush the Elder’s action, I was struck by how large his security detail is.  If all of those men are securing a former President, imagine the cost to the US taxpayer!  Those men don’t come cheap in terms of salary and benefits.  Of course, it makes sense to offer protection to former Presidents, especially since this one was actually targeted after he left office.  But are this many security personnel required at this point in time – 20 years after he left office and years since the death of Saddam?

HT: Farley at LGM.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Two Photos

  1. I count 26 people — to guard an old man in a wheelchair! Amazing. I’d have thought 4 would be sufficient to guard his house and person.

  2. Just compare that sum to the trillions in treasure and rivers of blood that George H.W. Bush spent on behalf of the US taxpayer in order to (1) defend and reinstate the Kuwaiti monarchy and (2)wreak havoc on the Iraqi regime and the region in general and (3)give his wayward son a target upon which to project his “daddy issues” and project on which to expunge his psychological difficulties.

    How much ought we spend on the personal security of former Presidents? Not one dime. (For Bushes, well, they ought to be exiled and not allowed to return to the US.)

    1. I won’t speak to the first paragraph since I too think the Iraq war was imprudent. But as for the second, I disagree. Assuming one is going to have a state and an executive branch, it makes sense to provide protection for the head of that branch following his/her term in office. That person is going to have to make difficult calls in a dangerous anarchic world. Thus the regime should pay to protect its former executives against those who might like to get even or create “propaganda by the deed” by targeting former Presidents.

  3. In regards to the 1st photo of the Japanese landing craft all I have to say is banzai and Dai Nippon. With that said, isn’t it ironic how Japan lost its empire and then concentrated on building up its economy and standard of living from the ashes of WW2. All of this was accomplished with spending on the military at only around 1% of GDP. Of course Japan did this while under the protective cover of the American military. Still,why couldn’t America do the same thing? Ditch our Empire and being world policeman and letting the Japanese,Europeans and others defend themselves. Keep our military strong for national defense and America’s economic vital interests and stop running around the world chasing dragons to slay. The money saved could be used to “balance” the budget or even given back as tax cuts. As war is a racket,the only people to suffer would be the military contractors,America’s debt holders plus the chicken hawk politicians who get the graft and kickbacks.

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