The people gathered one day, made their voices heard and in an 8-to-1 ratio they expressed their political will: Get the Americans out of here!
I’m not talking about Iraq-rather, about Japan. 61 years after American forces landed on the Japanese home islands, we’re still there. 50,000 of us-about 2/5ths the size of our force currently in Iraq. Unlike Iraq, we actually gave liberty, democracy and stability to Japan-but even so, nobody outside of their top government and what’s left of the Japanese hawk movement wants us there.
In fact, the town of Iwakuni, 600 miles west of Tokyo,voted against a plan to expand the U.S. Marine base there by an 8-to-1 margin. The town referendum is non-binding, but it shows well what the average Japanese subject is thinking. In fact, Japan’s main proponent of the deal, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, conceded that it was highly unpopular.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tokyo would aim to meet the end-March deadline, but acknowledged the plan faces stiff opposition from local communities.
“If a referendum were held, the result would be a ‘No’ vote anywhere. That is the difficulty with issues related to national security,” he told reporters.
If, 61 years after we occupied Japan, we’re still providing defense for a successfully democratized, liberalized nation… then what hope do we have for getting out of Iraq safely? We’ve only been in Iraq for 4 years, and the nation is hardly liberal and its democracy is infantile. It’s already becoming more and more obvious that the American legacy to Iraq is civil war, not liberty and stability. Maybe this is why even conservatives are vocally itching to get out of Iraq these days.
I highly doubt anyone’s expecting Iraq to become the next Japan, after all-but regardless of a nation’s status, this just goes to show that every nation likes sovereignty and that America does its best bringing its troops home from abroad.