• The Scat of Empire: US Navy Rape in Okinawa

    October 18, 2012

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    Posted in: Military

    With the exception of a few left over pieces of the old British Empire (Diego Garcia the island, not your pool boy), the U.S. is pretty much the last imperial power. Certainly no other nation maintains so extensive a necklace of military bases around the world. In almost every case, those bases were “acquired” by the U.S. simply by taking land it needed after conquering some formerly sovereign nation. Hell, we took Guantanamo from the freaking Spanish when they still counted as an empire of their own. The U.S. holds bases all across Europe appropriated after WWII and, quite significantly, bases taken from occupied Japan.

    The cornerstone of U.S. military presence in East Asia is ever-compliant Japan, the Koreans and Filipinos having semi-quietly pushed some U.S. troops out, the Vietnamese more forcefully. Of all the U.S. military in Japan, about half the forces are piled on to the small island of Okinawa. The tight confines and relative safety of Okinawa also means that the military and the civilian population come into frequent contact. This is not always good.

    The latest not good side of the ongoing U.S. presence in Okinawa took place October 16, when two U.S. sailors were arrested over accusations that they raped a woman on the island of Okinawa. One of the assailants has supposedly admitted to the crime. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said it went “beyond madness” that the alleged attack took place only two months after a U.S. Marine was arrested over accusations he assaulted and molested a woman in Naha, the capital of Okinawa. Many Okinawan residents recall too easily the rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl in 1995 by three U.S. military personnel, as well as allegations that a Marine raped a 14-year-old girl in 2008. These signature incidents took place alongside a steady litany of vehicular homicide and drunk driving cases.

    For the U.S. side, America’s ambassador to Japan has promised another full investigation. As with Hillary in Libya, when caught like this, the default State Department position is to promise full cooperation and an investigation and hope the press moves on (they will).

    A Thought Experiment

    The usual response from most Americans to news like this is something along the line of “Tragic, but it is only news because it involved the military” and “Sadly, Japanese-on-Japanese rapes happen all the time and this is blown out of proportion because of the military angle.” The same logic is often applied to American-committed atrocities in Afghanistan.

    So let’s try a simple thought experiment.

    Imagine that a foreign power, oh, say India, had 50,000 troops stationed in bases in Florida. Do you think anyone in America would notice if two Indian sailors raped an American woman?

    More on all this from Chalmers Johnson…



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  • Recent Comments

    • Eric Hodgdon said...

      1

      Rape is never acceptable, nor tolerable.

      Whether the soldier’s comrades knew him well enough, or not, obviously military training, police training, falls short in shaping decent outcomes in all cases, here or abroad. Decency and civility have been declining and we know more often too.

      With the federal government, military too, the big picture view holds the individual as expendable in most all cases.

      Solders are cannon fodder, as are the civilians there and here, as not worth much at all to those elected to government, their staffs, and the appointees. While the responsible parties in government may have been decent people at one time, when entering office they usually seem to view all other people as subjects. Matters not local, state or federal, they is them, we is us. They set their selves in an unrealistic frame of mind, where all others are not their concern, just the aggregate whole of their realm.

      This unrealistic view of elected and appointed persons take, is a character flaw in each and every one of them, whoever they are.

      The very thought that government is more important the the people who allow the government to exist, is more than criminal.

      And so, the rapes will continue, because the federal government allows it, the People allow it. The rapes are done in my name, your name, every American’s name.

      10/19/12 3:48 AM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      2

      Biden mistakenly asks audience whether they know anyone who served in ‘Iraq or Iran’
      by Natalia Angulo | October 18, 2012

      Print Email Share Share 0 Comments

      Vice President Biden appeared a little bit confused at a campaign event Thursday in Las Vegas when he asked the audience – twice — whether they knew somebody who had served in Iraq or Iran.

      “How many of you know someone who served in Iraq or Iran? … How many of you know someone who has been injured or lost in Iraq or Iran?” Biden asked.

      Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid answered by raising his hand, though Biden obviously meant to say Iraq or Afghanistan.

      The vice president’s remarks come one week after he urgently cautioned against going to war with Iran during the vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky.

      Talking about possible U.N. sanctions placed on Iran, he said, “These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period.” However, he added that “we feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the Iranians.”

      Biden went on to say at the Las Vegas campaign event, “Well, let me tell you something … we owe these families more than we can ever pay them.”

      http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2012/10/18/biden-mistakenly-asks-audience-whether-they-know-anyone-who-served-iraq-or-iran

      10/19/12 4:10 AM | Comment Link

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