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Ousting A Covert Fraud At The New York Review Of Books

By Yoichi Shimatsu
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The ouster of Ian Buruma from his editorship at the New York Review of Books should not come as a surprise since the question arises: Why in the first place was such a diehard conservative historian from the tail-end of British and Dutch colonialism installed at that standard bearer of political correctness in literature? Ostensibly his dismissal was for offending the #MeToo movement by running a lame apology from an Iranian-Canadian radio jock accused by multiple victims of sexual violence. That pretext for firing an editor doesn’t hold up to logic when from Stockholm to Sacramento Soros-funded left-liberals ardently support the immigrant right to short-time companionship with local girls and women. There has to be a more plausible reason for giving him the boot.

Perhaps the new flock at CIA and MI-6, which run the corporate mothership of NYRB, consider Buruma to be as creepy as a lecherous voyeur prowling Lovers Lane. Pity the next aspiring young Haruki Murakami or Arundhati Roy who lands on his lap. However, the more compelling motive lies in suspicion of his having been turned as an agent of influence of a foreign power during his decades in Asia.

Sympathy for a Sex Offender

Before proceeding on to the case of Jian Ghomeshi’s publicist at the NY Review, let me perform the man-datory rite of denunciation of a fellow sinner. There but for the grace of women with short memory spans, go I. So let’s be gentle-manly toward this repentant abuser.

First, the accused did not do anything that’s not celebrated in your average porn video watched by billions of both sexes worldwide, for instance, slapping one’s partner in excitement and choking her or his neck to heighten the orgasm. Some women take these gestures as a compliment to their attractiveness and, gosh, some don’t. The hair-pulling that he’s accused of, however, is bad behavior since she paid the salon up to a hundred dollars, so he should have topped up the escort fee with an equal amount plus a huge tip. See the timid guy in the office who brown-bags his lunch? He paid full fare last weekend.

Second, there’s truth to Jian’s being singled out by #MeToo, even though his abusive behavior is way less humiliating to a woman than Harvey Weinstein’s demand for aspiring starlets to lick his rolls of body fat. Though the odds of being taken to court by an irate date is low, some guy somewhere has to take the fall as a warning to the rest of us. So, thanks, Jian. What really irked me, though, was his sob-sister story about his father dying in the wake of the court appearance. Everybody’s father dies, you crybaby! That #PityMeToo reveals that Jian thinks he’s special, the catch of the day fresh off the boat.

Third, Ghomeshi’s confession was disingenuous about the judge throwing the case out of court, cleverly projecting the assumption that the female plaintiffs had no grounds for complaint. No, in fact, the reason for case being dropped is that Canada has no specific law against rape in a “consensual” relationship. If a woman accepts an offer of a date, anything goes from there on in that paradise of the North. Canada, after all, is a land of fur trappers, loggers and Arctic truckers, and the mounted police have more urgent tasks to perform like pulling road-killed moose off the highways along with the wrecked cars.

For those of you across the border who consider Canada to be a kinder, gentler and more civilized alternative, consider this: If the defendant had done the same things in the Lower 48, well, he’d now be in orange overalls picking cigarette butts off road shoulders by day and at night getting slapped around and chocked by the big thugs in prison. So the lesson for Canadian ladies is to drive south for a Tinder date to a society that actually honors the rule of law, the USA. And the advice for Mr. Ghomeshi, if you don’t like being accosted in barrooms by angry women, then go back to Iran. Now let’s proceed to the other pervert.

Denizen of Kabiko-cho

Sexual license is part and parcel of Buruma’s mythological status as a veteran of yesteryear’s Tokyo, as conveyed by his adoration of film critic and erstwhile gay pornographer Donald Ritchie during the 1970s. Instead of joining his peers at protests against napalm and carpet-bombing, Buruma dropped out of Nihon University’s film department to “research” the demimonde full-time. The gawky lad was a witness-participant in Japan’s postwar underworld, where the Caucasian victors could still lord it over the local boys and girls in the “mizu-shobai”, the water (boozy) trades of the floating world. Under the wing of his mentor Ritchie (Donald was a film reviewer for The Japan Times while I served there as an editor), Buruma could make contact with a wink and nod to cultural secretaries at the major embassies and visiting professors who were in need of a tour guide to the Tokyo nightlife.

In postwar Japan, Buruma took vice to the next level with his paeans to the yakuza, those mobster gatekeepers of Roppongi and Kabuki-cho, the pleasure quarters where every unimaginable fetish from bondage showers to coprophilia was performed to the astonished amusement of gawking embassy staffers and voyeur corporate types, with a short step leading the curious down dark alleyways to little golden girls and rough boys, #TheyToo.

The potpourri of perverse acts on stage had one theme in common: dominance. The youngster from The Hague apparently had no awareness of the sex crimes of Japanese soldiers against Dutch female internees and younger male misprision in occupied Indonesia, as alluded to in the David Bowie film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”. This same rule of lopsided power over the weak pervaded the Japanese economic miracle during those years of rebirth of the “keiretsu” (financial-industrial combines), rearmament cloaked under self-defense, the blossoming of nuclear energy and a national obsession with sumo. Domination was also visible in the massive police blockades around Tokyo’s major universities, trapping thousands of radical antiwar students inside, a dramatic slice of contemporary history that Buruma managed to miss as a dropout.

Caricature of Colonialism

Later as a columnist for the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) newsmagazine in Hong Kong, he was spared the standing joke among journalists in Tokyo’s Golden Gai drinking shacks that “buruma” as a Japanese Anglicism means “a little girl’s bloomers.” His girlish admiration for dominant figures, including yakuza bosses and a passive-aggressive Ritchie, goes far to explain Buruma’s pompous defense of the British Empire in the bully pulpit of its last Crown Colony, Hong Kong.

In the 1980s, that precious pearl of an island was the final destination for arch-reactionaries of a fast-shrinking Empire, expats brimming with disdain for the Yanks and contempt for the Chinese. The only prop missing from Buruma’s anti-Asian posturing was a monocle. His self-righteous denunciations of hard-won Asian self-governance focused on the less than heroic moments, like the long-passed Great Leap Forward, obsessive sanitation in Singapore, and the political mess in postcolonial Indochina. The Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer sloughed off his slings and arrows, whereas senior statesman Lee Kuan Yew banned FEER from newsstands in Singapore. Characteristic of end-of-colonialism hypocrisy, Buruma damned the Asian soul yet lusted for their flesh.

As the Handover approached, the colonial establishment and British citizens on the wealthy island were caught in a tug-of-war between Chris Patten, the ultramontane governor rooted in the old-school MI-6, in his drive to retain the colony, and the geopolitical-realist diplomats at the Foreign Office who favored a future of accommodation with Beijing. Meanwhile, put off by the all-too conventional Suzy Wong singles’ scene in Wanchai, Buruma hit the back roads of Southeast Asia, the favored destination of Western degenerates, opium addicts and pedophiles, those habitues of short stories by Somerset Maugham.

Unfortunately, his travelogues in those exotic lands don’t live up to Rudyard Kipling. His most insightful book is “China Lover”, a biography of the cross-dressing bisexual spy Yoshiko Kawashima, pseudonym of a Manchu princess named Aisin Gioro Xianyu, who loyally and ruthlessly served Japanese Imperial military intelligence in and out of uniform in the puppet state of Manchukuo. As told to me by a region expert (who witnessed the events at Tiananmen Square), Buruma’s engrossment with the subterfuge and role-playing of the poster girl of fascism, who performed both roles as woman or man, is a revelation of his own obsession with deception through bisexuality and espionage as a writer in exotic locales.

Profiteering at Random

In the wake of Tiananmen Square, his Lord Haw Haw imitation put Buruma into good graces of Random House publisher Robert L. Bernstein, the former Air Force intelligence officer and founder of Human Rights in China (HRIC). Though other Asia scholars remember his command of Mandarin to be even worse than his awkward Japanese speaking ability, Buruma was inserted into the board of that last bastion of the Cold War. Presumably, his two Japanese wives were doubly useful as beards and as unpaid Chinese ideogram translators, those never-credited assistants for so many old China hands. His appointment to teach human rights at Bard College on the Hudson was made possible by Bernstein’s widow, a major donor to that private institution. There’s more to his ease of appointment and publication than a winning smile or semblance of creative style (many an academic abroad are harsh about his Asia observations as being little more than surly comments from a jaded tourist.)

New Found Jewishness

Then came the Buruma Back-flip from Anglo-Saxon Cold Warrior to Euro Globalist Liberal, along with public disclosure of his Jewishness. His mother, a British citizen, was of German-Jewish descent. Her motherland of Germany is where the House of Rothschild got its start by financing the Hessian mercenary invasion of the United States in its infancy and offering war credits to the British Royals during the Napoleonic Wars, in short: blood money. The Protestant-dominant Netherlands of his father has of course been indebted to Jewish financial power ever since the independence war against Catholic Spain, as can be detected in Rembrandt’s portraits of wealthy Israelite merchants in Amsterdam. The generosity of the guilt-ridden Eurozone toward human rights activism was not lost on this prodigal son.

Agent of the Rising Sun

And so the reinvention of Ian Buruma as a liberal Jew in New York was completed as quickly as a nose job, enabling his appointment at the Review, which novelist Tom Wolfe called “the chief theoretical organ of Radical Chic.” The NYRB happens to be distributed by major shareholder Penguin Random House, the old MI-6 and Agency connections and the Bernstein legacy once again.

If that’s not sufficient in intrigue, Penguin sold its controlling shares over the FT (Financial Times) group, which holds a 25 percent share in Random House, to the Nikkei press based in Tokyo. The publishing house is an arm of the Nihon Kezai group, which is allied with an alliance of Japanese business executives in the retail sector and export industries with strong links to the ruling LDP, which was just too eager to grab such a tempting CIA asset as the New York Review of Books. With Buruma’s dismissal, their sticky fingers were burned.

At last in this striptease, as the G-string drops, the naked truth is that Ian Buruma is a nesting doll . . . . American, British, Dutch, German, Khazar Jewish and at the very core a talking puppet of the Rising Sun. Fascination with sexual perversion is how the postwar neo-fascist/yakuza establishment has turned Western spies, military officers, propagandists and young voyeurs into groveling minions of an illiberal Japan.

Yoichi Shimatsu is former editor with The Japan Times group in Tokyo and a founding faculty member of a journalism school in Hong Kong.