Michael Hirsh

Stories by Michael Hirsh

  • Under Assault: The Ministry Of Fear

    It was evening by the time Yoshimasa Nishimura, chief of the Japanese Ministry of Finance's banking bureau, left his office, strode down the creaky wood-parquet corridors of his ministry and entered a waiting limousine. He was whisked to Tokyo's Minato ward, where Akira Fujita, then president of Daiwa Bank, awaited him nervously. Fujita, like most bank presidents, was used to being treated with lordly imperiousness by "top MoF" men half his age. Nishimura was in a grim mood--and it was about to get worse. ...
  • Making It In Mandalay

    Sen. John McCain is nothing if not forgiving. While a POW in the Vietnam War he was tortured by Hanoi; now he's leading the effort to fully restore U.S. relations with his former captors. But even McCain balks at being nice to the generals who run neighboring Burma. "These are very bad people," says McCain, who met with Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, a key junta leader, on a fact-finding tour of Southeast Asia in April. The general harangued McCain for an hour, then played a videotape showing villagers being beheaded by "communists" wielding machetes. It was Khin Nyunt's blunt way of telling McCain that the regime will not budge on human-rights issues, or release Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese dissident kept under house arrest for nearly six years. The regime says that Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is merely a front for communist subversives.Seven years after bloodily crushing a democracy movement, Burma's military junta believes it has beaten the rap-and is thumbing its nose at U.S....