Yankee go home!

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.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • http://onemanbandwidth.com Lonnie Hodge

    I lived in Japan for many years. Please have no illusions about their affinity, then( WWII)or now, for Gaijin.

    They detest the Chinese and behind out backs often call us Ketoh or “Hairy Chinese.”

    Japan is easily one of the most racist countries on the planet. They are protectionist about imports for the US and they have systems in place that allow them to steal many patents without repercussions.

    We need japan because of the perceived threat of North Korea and China. Japan is asking for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and movements are afoot to amend their constitution to allow their military to engage in war.

    Pretty frightening stuff for a country that remained silent when Mitsubishi announced recently that it was not responsible for wartime slave labor abuses of Chinese because Japan may not have invaded China at all.

    I say leave them to their own strange and ethnocentric devices.

  • Michael H. Wilson

    When, if ever, will the LP get serious about this issue?
    Some years ago I read a piece in Time magazine that the U.S. troops on Okinawa resulted in a benefit of $1000 annually for each citizen of the island.
    Today we have about 280,000 troops on about 750 bases in over 120 countries and that doesn’t include Iraq, Afganistan, or Kuwait. It has been estimated that it cost over $100 billion annually to keep these troops abroad and a long ago estimate was that we had spent over $15 trillion since WW2 for the priviledge of doing so.
    M.H.W.

  • Michael H. Wilson

    Sorry one more point. I read the other day that the U.S. has to borrow $3 billion everyday just to stay afloat. In the meantime we go around the world spending all this other money. Haven’t these people got an ounce of brains? Guess not.
    M.H.W.

  • http://blog.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A Nagy Jr

    Lets get all our troops home from all bases on foreign soil and be done with it.

  • disinter

    Regarding the civil war link… I find it very odd that very, very few people in this country realize that Iraq IS AND HAS BEEN in a civil war. Are we in denial or is acknowledgement of civil war “unpatriotic”?

  • Julian (a Vietnam Vet)

    Where are the discussions on how to organize, run and successfully get libertarians elected to office? Once there are sufficient libertarians in office and they can effect change, then discussing issues about how many troops are stationed on foreign soil and how much it costs taxpayers for the troops will be moot.

    Libertarians will be making the decisions, the troops will be home and the taxpayers will save a ton of money. Until then, some of these discussions are a waste of space and time. What is the point? They are there until political change in the U.S. takes shape.

    The real issue is organization and success in getting libertarians or like minded politicians elected to office.

    I believe we start at the local level and go from there.

  • disinter

    Julian,

    I agree.

  • Stuart Richards

    Where are the discussions on how to organize, run and successfully get libertarians elected to office? Once there are sufficient libertarians in office and they can effect change, then discussing issues about how many troops are stationed on foreign soil and how much it costs taxpayers for the troops will be moot.

    While I fully agree with this, punditry of the type above helps us identify issues that we can successfully run on, and also helps non-Libertarian politicians determine the average voter’s voice. I know my own Senator, Chuck Hagel (hardly a libertarian he) has stolen a few good ideas from the LP in times past. So if political change is the goal, punditry helps.

    I actually am working on a rather in-depth analysis of a state LP right now, that should help us target areas and messages to voters, and that’s more along the lines of what you’re talking about. But that kind of research work is rather difficult and can’t happen every day.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    I say we do what we did in Vietnam. Leave the country to its government.

    Every one knows that Vietnam has moved in a much more libertarian direction to the benefit of its citizens since we left that country.

    If America stopped being the world’s policeman the world would be much improved.

    If we had only paid attention to Alexander the Great the world would be a much better place. And what was Alexander’s position? The world should be ruled by the strong. The corollary is that the weak shall serve.

    End Pax Americana and let the world fight it out. We picked up a lot of really good deals post WW2. Don’t buy until there is blood in the streets I always say.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    To get Libertarians elected you must hew closely to what people want. Bread and circuses.

    When the Libs put on offer bread and circuses let me know.

    I do agree with most of the Lib positions (except for the Middle East Problem – I’m a Randian there). However the Lib grasp of electoral politics is tenuous at best.

    Since I favor gradual change for practical reasons I have allied myself with the Republicans. Yes I know – it is an uphill battle with the current regime pressing relentlesly downhill. However – Lib leaning Rs do occasionally get elected. Ever hear of Ron Paul?

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    Pax Americana is not cheap. Neither are atomic wars.

  • Michael H. Wilson

    Julian in reply to your comment I agree to a point. Sunday night I was discussing with a friend his possible run for the House of Representatives. He has run previously as a candidate for the legislature and the issue of our troops overseas will be one he brings up if his campaign goes forward. So this is not entirely in vain. We are working on other stuff.
    M.H.W.

  • paulie cannoli

    Sheriff’s races are good, they can actually get elected in some counties, and if they do they have the power to order the feds out of their county.