「日本には奇妙な資格が満載 芸能人も「資格マニア」…日本人は、何かひとつの事柄に夢中になりやすいようだ。アニメオタク、鉄道オタク、電子製品オタクなど、枚挙にいとまがない。…オタクも方向性さえ間違えなければ、思わぬ斬新な創造と発見を得られるのだ。」









 ・・・It’s not surprising,・・・that many senior citizens in Japan today, those who witnessed the devastation left by World War II – one of the greatest man-made disasters in Japanese history – are expected to have a healthy life expectancy. Many people of this generation have long been aware of the need to love their neighbors and have realized that happiness and satisfaction cannot be found in material or territorial gain.
 So what can be done right now, during this period of Japan’s great need to revitalize its economy and to find confidence internally and globally? Japan could, in a sense, “export” health. The two survey results mentioned above give me hope that Japan could share with the world what we are doing right in regard to loving our neighbor, and keep vigilant mental guard not to allow materialism to run the show. Our spiritual intuition or instinct is to help one another survive, eventually leading to more harmonious living, including even the elimination of war.・・・




 ・・・Invading Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein a decade ago was one of the biggest strategic errors in modern American history. We’ll never know whether the story might have been different if better planning had been done for “the day after,” or the Iraqi army hadn’t been disbanded, or several other “ifs.” But the abiding truth is that America shouldn’t have rolled the dice this way on a war of choice.・・・
 ・・・a Lebanese Shiite who supported the war,・・・on the condition that America was resolute enough to finish what it was starting. “If Rome is strong, the provinces are ready,” my friend said.
 But Rome wasn’t strong enough to prevail. ・・・
 ・・・the danger of creating a political vacuum by overthrowing a dictator. ・・・
 Another lesson is the importance of dignity in the Arab world. ・・・


 THE costs of the second Iraq war, which began 10 years ago this week, are staggering: nearly 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 wounded, many grievously; tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis wounded or killed; more than $2 trillion in direct government expenditures; and the significant weakening of the major regional counterweight to Iran and consequent strengthening of that country’s position and ambitions. Great powers rarely make national decisions that explode so quickly and completely in their face. ・・・
 The first lesson・・・
 Reluctance to send American ground troops to intervene in Libya and Syria, while providing different levels of political and military support, gives some hope that the country will think more than twice before fighting another unnecessary war. Good intentions do not always lead to favorable outcomes. ・・・
 The second lesson・・・
 The British historian Michael Howard noted that it was impossible to perfectly prepare military forces for the next war; what is important is to make sure that you have not gotten the preparations so wrong that the military cannot quickly adapt when it is next needed.
 The Department of Defense failed that test. It ignored preparations for counterinsurgency operations and neglected the need for a deep understanding of languages and cultures,・・・
 Tempered by the Great Depression, the Greatest Generation of World War II fame helped defeat fascism on two continents and save civilization. As loudly as their contributions resound in history, two-thirds of them were drafted. This new greatest generation has fought longer if not harder than its grandparents did, and all have been volunteers. ・・・


 ・・・All along, the Iraqi elite has failed to establish a political system capable of withstanding and resolving sectarian differences under a democratic framework. It has failed to fortify the state and its institutions against the rampant corruption that has become an Iraqi specialty. ・・・
 Why did the United States not better fortify the secularists in civil society to counter the rise of fundamentalism? Why were the Americans complicit in the corruption, quickly losing their legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people? What did the United States gain from spending more than $2 trillion on its war? If it had really been for oil, then why does it seem that China will profit more from developing Iraq’s lucrative oil contracts? Did American forces, which withdrew in December 2011, snatch Iraq away from Saddam’s hands only to place it in Iran’s? ・・・



As the war to rid Mali of Islamic rebels winds down, frustrations are building over a French military now widely seen as siding with a controversial ethnic faction・・・, the MNLA separatists, mostly of ethnic Tuareg heritage, ・・・that had previously cooperated with Al Qaeda.・・・