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Japan Locked Into Whaling War it Cannot Win

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

Give it up Jap whaling dudes! So you sunk a boat after you zapped the crew with an evil noise machine? Problem is that more boats will come and plenty of volunteers to crew them.

 The confrontation is heating up down there in the Southern Ocean and with both sides getting pig headed over the issue the pressure just keeps ramping up. Something has got to give. The sinking of the Ady Gil has upped the stakes. If a solution isn't found soon it won't just be the whales that are dying down there.

The battle lines are so black and white that for the issue to be resolved someone is going to have to back down. The Japanese are not culturally inclined to back down on anything where 'face' may be lost. Their whalers have bought votes on the International Whaling Commission through aid and have protected their whaling fleet with an increasing sophistication that is only a notch or two below hostile military action.

But if the Japanese whaling industry thinks that the fanatical single minded determination that has been utilized in the past by their military and more recently their industries is an asset then sorry chaps you are wrong. All that you have done is lock yourselves into a war you cannot win. Sound familiar? Yes well the last war cost millions of lives and was one you were never going to win right from the start. This new war over whales won't cost many lives but it will cost you billions of Yen.

Why are you going to lose? Because if we had to pick an opponent for you that could match your single minded fanaticism them the international environmental movement would be on most peoples shortlist.  

What is Japan going to do next? Start killing people who are protesting over the killing of whales? Every act of aggression by the whalers adds to the ranks and the funds of organisations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace. Maybe if the whalers didn't have so many scientists tied up scientifically glancing at dead whales before they are sold in supermarkets then they might have worked this one out for themselves.

In years gone by countries could exercise a large degree of control over their subjects. Using propaganda they could even manipulate the way they thought and responded.

Those days are gone now. With the internet, if ordinary citizens from any country have a cause then they can quickly mobilize likeminded people and money from all over the world.

Any movement without borders and the restraint of a National Government is hard to stop. The environmental movement is driven by a small group of hardened professionals backed up by an ever increasing army of dedicated volunteers and supporters. How will you stop them Japan? The battle in the Southern Ocean is not going to be won by you. You can't beat an enemy that you cannot nail down. Look at the United States and its battle against Al Qaeda. Most of the 9/11 bombers were Saudi Arabian, but the Saudi nation faced no action from America. Who will you punish for supporting the protesters and how will you do it?          

Don't pin your hopes on the rumoured backroom deal you've done at the International Whaling Commission that will still see you carry on killing whales. The environmental movement is not bound by any such compromise laden treaty.  

The price of preserving a fading cultural culinary tradition will at best be an international consumer backlash against Japan. At worst it will be the loss of human lives. Whatever ends up happening down there in the Southern Ocean it will - thanks to technology - be splashed across the world's media and internet.   

The ordinary people of the Earth will decide who wins. Not Governments, not treaties, not the IWC or the ICR. So give it up now please or that red sun in the middle of your flag will become a 'bulls eye' target for every pissed off whale lover on the planet who will close their wallet to you. How much will it cost you? I don't know best get your scientists to work on that one, if you can spare any.


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