Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I have eaten strange things

Ants taste like pepper (it is the formic acid).

Roasted grasshoppers taste, unsurprisingly, like grass.

I am willing to go one step further and eat one of my hats (I have a pair of old straw hats from Worth & Worth that are getting kind of tatty and thus may possibly be fully ripe) if any part of this report is true:

UNSC to praise MSDF antiterror role
Yoshikazu Shirakawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

A resolution to be adopted soon by the U.N. Security Council to extend the mission of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan will include words of appreciation for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which has been carried out by a coalition of nations, including Japan, Britain and the United States, sources said Tuesday.

The resolution likely will mention for the first time the maritime OEF activities the Maritime Self-Defense Force participate in by refueling U.S.-led ships in the Indian Ocean. The maritime activities are being carried out by multinational forces, including those of Britain and the United States.

As the Democratic Party of Japan has refused to extend the Antiterrorism Law, which is set to expire on Nov. 1, the MSDF's refueling operations would be halted. The government therefore asked Britain and the United States to recognize the important role played by the MSDF via its refueling mission in an attempt to sway the DPJ.

According to U.N. diplomatic sources, the key permanent Security Council members--Britain, France and the United States--have entered the final stage of discussion on a preamble to be included in the resolution, which likely will state the council appreciates the role played by participating countries in the ISAF and OEF operations, including the marine activities...
Yes, Vladimir Putin's Ambassador to the United Nations will cheerfully ignore the inclusion of praise of Operation Enduring Freedom, a non-UN operation, in a UN Security Council Resolution. Because at the UN nobody is very careful about the language inserted into resolutions nor worries much about establishing precedents.

Where was the editor here? "According to UN diplomatic sources" --oh, my sweet watusi! Those anonymous diplomatic sources--they never try to mislead or misrepresent ever, do they?--if they even exist, that is.

No names means no credibility.

Suggested New Overnight Robo-call Snap Poll Question:

"Are you too reasonable and level-headed to be reading the Yomiuri Shimbun?"

(Hat tip to Observing Japan to alerting me to this story)

Later - This idea of putting in a request to the U.S. and U.K. delegations for a shout out to Operation Enduring Freedom is so preposterous, I cannot shake a feeling that Sekō Hiroshige must be behind it.


Jun Okumura said...

You probably have seen it already, but for the benefit of your readers, today's hard copy Yomiuri says that Hidenao Nakagawa, Nobutaka Machimura and Taro Aso began pushing for a resolution after the Upper House election. Although some crucial details are missing, what looks on the face of it to be a dubious piece of legal tactics that MOFA Vice Minister Yachi initially resisted seems to have been turned into a harmless – helpful at the fringes? - exercise in public communications as MOFA managed to slip the refueling operations into the (usually) legally inoperative preamble to the ISAF extension draft resolution.

No harm, no foul.

A jmbighvu and a top 'o the mornin' to you!

MTC said...

Okumura-san -

Just think of the goodwill expended, especially with the Brits! Of what possible use could supporting such an inclusion be to Gordon Brown and the UK delegation?

As I guessed, the Russians have gagged on the idea.

As for the report, I am not surprised at Aso's puported involvement and Nakagawa's possibly going through the motions with an indifferent shrug (Why should he care when he was going to be replaced so soon afterward?)

Machimura's involvement, however, seems inexplicable. I would love to see the Democrats grill him on what he, the once and future MOFA minister, thought he was doing--if he indeed was doing it.