The “Evil Island” and the American BoogeymanPosted: December 31, 2012
Coverage of Okinawa is hideously biased. Every month or so a new feature comes out where the author attempts to do what he apparently thinks hasn’t been done before–write the eponymous expose of the U.S. military’s troop-basing on Okinawa and paint the whole situation as some sort of egregious human rights nightmare. They routinely fall flat because the assertion is absolutely ludicrous. But they still manage to ruin a few hours of my day nonetheless.
Such is Andre Vltchek’s “Okinawa: Notes From the ‘Evil Island,’” recently published in CounterPunch. I have seen my share of lopsided journalism but I can honestly say that this is truly one of the worst. With unabashedly slanted, emotionally charged rhetoric, Vltchek lays out a sordid tale of global apocalypse waiting to happen…all bankrolled and precipitated by the U.S. Vltchek’s unparalleled vanity is such that, in a piece of so-called investigative journalism, he quotes himself talking to his editor:
“With this new administration and the passionate love boleros it sings to US… All this can of course, easily trigger WWIII. These bases are actually here, most likely, to trigger a conflict… to provoke China or North Korea, or both.”
Well, there you have it. One wonders why Vltchek, on Okinawa, surrounded by protestors of the U.S. presence, couldn’t find an actual source to make this comment for him. But hell, if you’re making no attempt to hide your bias, why would you even bother?
His bleeding-heart tale continues with mention of the U.S. Air Force testing jet engines on Kadena Air Base “until the eardrums of the people are ready to burst.” He blames the lack of public transportation in Okinawa on the U.S. military, and claims that “as a result, roads in the cities are often congested, and the entire Main Island has the feel of an ethnic Asian suburb somewhere in the United States.”
Or of a Japanese city like, say, Tokyo. But making this comparison wouldn’t evoke anti-imperialistic rage and so I’m sure Vltchek decided it was best left in his journalistic toolbox for another day.
He also makes the baffling assertion that ” Okinawa has the worst food in Japan,” and again blames this on the “occupation forces.” Funny how Okinawa manages to support the highest number of the world’s centenarians on “the worst food in Japan.”
He makes an unsubstantiated claim that “thousands of Okinawan women were brutally raped, by the US army, after the Battle of Okinawa.” In a reference to the recent uproar over two isolated cases of sexual assault by U.S. military personnel, he claims that “sexual violence continues until now.”
Sexual violence does continue on Okinawa. It continues in the United States. It continues everywhere on earth. Interestingly enough, U.S. service members only account for 1.3% of the Okinawan violent crime rate even though they make up about 4% of the population, meaning that they are less violent and crime-ridden than the Okinawans themselves.
Vltchek doesn’t consider this relevant. I wonder why.
He details his visit to the Sakima Art Museum outside Marine Corps Air Station Futenma: “Here, through art, the tragedy of the past is revealed, in all its brutality and force. The bodies are shown floating on the ocean surface, there are terrified faces of women, and mass suicide.”
Yeah, no shit, Vltchek. If you had made a corresponding trip to the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, you would have seen the Mabuni cliffs and heard the story of how the mass suicides were forced on the Okinawans by the Japanese prior to the end of the Battle of Okinawa. Which is why you wouldn’t dare state explicitly in your article that the mass suicides were somehow the fault of the U.S. Because they weren’t. Although that didn’t stop you from making the implication.
I sit here in utter disbelief that this shit goes on in our world. That so many people will distort the truth and even flat-out lie to support their opinion that the U.S. and especially its military is a force for evil in the world. They completely ignore the reality that without U.S. Forces Korea and Japan, the truly satanic madness that enslaves the North Korean people would cover the entire peninsula. There would be no North Korea. There would only be the DPRK, and its capital would probably be Seoul. That without the U.S. Navy, China would be more than a bully in the southeast Pacific, it would be a legitimate threat.
Do human rights mean nothing to these journalists? You’d think that, if they are so concerned with anomalistic, duly-prosecuted, swiftly-adjudicated and harshly-punished crimes by U.S. service members, they would be truly appalled by the Stalinist horrors of the North Korean gulag. But no. You’d think that, if they are so concerned with the well-being and freedom of the Japanese population, they would be supportive of combined U.S.-Japan efforts to protect that population against a tyrannical North Korean madman who demands to be worshiped as a god and enslaves his population to a war machine whose single-minded goal is attaining nuclear ICBM capability.
The lopsided “moral” outrage against the inconveniences of military basing defies all logic. Journalists such as Andre Vltchek are children who think that the mere presence of weapons is an indication of evil, who have no mental capacity to analyze such concepts as the proper use of power or the intentions of those who possess weapons. Since I do have this mental capacity, I will use it in forthcoming posts to deconstruct the modern liberal ideas of how conflict is “precipitated” and how weapons are some sort of apocalyptic zombie virus that poisons the minds of those who bear arms. Stay tuned.