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About those Islands...
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In debates during the Virginia Senate campaign, each candidate has asked the other a question about an island in order to test his knowledge of issues.
  • Senator Allen asked Jim Webb his position on the Craney Island project — a very important one which "could generate 54,000 jobs and pump an additional $1.7 billion into the [Virginia] economy" — and Jim Webb was forced to say he didn't know about it, or, indeed, even where Craney Island was located.

  • In Monday's debate, Jim Webb tried to turn the table on Senator Allen, asking him his position was on some tiny uninhabited islands in the Asian Pacific. (Senkaku) Senator Allen responded that he would have to study it.

Following his gotcha, the Webb campaign and Jim Webb gloated, saying that "If George Allen is on the Senate Foreign (Relations) Committee, this is an issue that's come up several times".

Unfortunately for Jim Webb, that does not appear to be the case.

A search of the Senate website reveals only two passing references to the Senkaku Islands in testimony about other Asian Pacific issues. Senkaku bay A search of the 2001-2006 Congressional Record [for "senkaku"] turns up "No records found with senkaku", and the last reference in the Congressional Record to Senkaku was in mid-1996.

But Jim Webb is certain — absolutely certain — that it must have come up. I mean, he cares deeply about it, so why doesn't the Senate Foreign Relations Committee spend much time on it? Webb might consider the following reasons:

  1. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee responsibilities are to "evaluate all treaties with foreign governments; approve all diplomatic nominations; and write legislation pertaining to U.S. foreign policy". But there are:

    • no treaties pending over Senkaku,

    • no diplomatic nominations to the uninhabited island, and...

    • no legislation pertaining to US foreign policy, because...

  2. The United States takes no "position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Diaoyu Islands".

    Senkaku 1
    "Sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands is disputed. The U.S. does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Diaoyu Islands. This has been our longstanding view. We expect the claimants will resolve this issue through peaceful means and we urge all claimants to exercise restraint." — State Department Deputy spokesman Adam Ereli, 2004

    "We do not believe [that] these islands will be the subject of any military conflict ... The United States [is not] taking a specific position in the dispute." — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas S. Foley, 1999

Perhaps that's why Senator Allen had no position on the Senkaku Island dispute — the United States has no position on the Senkaku dispute.

Seems like the sort of thing Jim "I've known about the Senkaku Islands since I was 28 years old" Webb should have known before he demanded a position from a US Senator.

[cross-posted from, because I thought QandO readers might find this amusing]

Jon Henke is the New Media Coordinator for the George Allen Senate campaign.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Written By: Mithras
Thanks for summing up much of the left’s position on things ;)
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
If you must campaign for Allen on this site, perhaps you could at least make it a little more interesting.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Not only did I find it amusing Jon, I found it void of the sloganeering too often found in statements by paid consultants.

And I dont even like you... or your racist paymaster /snark
Written By: bains
URL: http://
If you must campaign for Allen on this site
I was under the impression that Jon is one of the proprietors of "this site" and that he could post on whatever subjects he wanted.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Who cares anyways? The place is probably full of smelly macacas anyways. Hey, ya know what’d be a hoot? To ship them a bunch of deer heads. Oh, man, that’d rule.
Written By: jpe
URL: http://
Allen should make sure to inform the Chinese community that Webb used the Japanese name for these islands instead of the proper Chinese name Diao Yu Tai.

I guess he really is a running lap dog for the Japanese emperor.

BTW, every year or so, the Taiwanese and Hong Kong pro-China nationalists go out on boats to these islands to protest.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Jon comes by glibly after remaining strangely silent during 3 weeks of gaffes. The debate was probably a draw, but it once again made clear the utter mediocrity of George Allen. Even though he is the only classical liberal in the Senate, he just is not ready to be President.
Written By: william
URL: http://
Even though he is the only classical liberal in the Senate, he just is not ready to be President.
But since he is, at the present time, only running for a Senate seat, your observation is irrelevant.

Thanks for sharing, though.
Written By: Dale Franks
Jon comes by glibly after remaining strangely silent during 3 weeks of gaffes
Errr...except for the entire website to which Jon posted continuosly over the past "3 weeks." There is a world outside of QandO, you know.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
In all seriousness, if George Allen is a classical liberal, the term no longer has any meaning. The "coup" that he scored in the debate is a multi-billion dollar Corps of Engineers project that may or may not be economically viable. What is classically liberal or libertarian about that?
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
"I was under the impression that Jon is one of the proprietors of "this site" and that he could post on whatever subjects he wanted"

Your impression is absolutely correct. The proprietors were also generous enough to provide a comments section where readers could comment on their posts.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Reminds me of a technical job interview I had some years back. The interviewer, a fairly young lad, in a strong attempt to get his buddy hired, asked me a very obscure question (to him) that, obviously, he dug out of a reference book. His attempt at a "gotcha" however, backfired when he didn’t understand the context and when I questioned him to clarify, he had to respond, "I don’t know".

Typical of the "talking points" and "barf back" crowds, rather than the truly intelligent.
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Only because the racism and mediocrity of the man you support, Dale.
Written By: william
URL: http://
Japan shows its aggression again. Chinese people should never forget Japanese killed millions of Chinese civilian during World War II. Chinese people need to stand up for this aggression and destroy Japanese ambition to hurt China again.
Written By: Sam Kao
URL: http://

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