【PART 5】 The Last Mystery Voluntary slavish obedience and its historical origin
【12】 Transformation of the U.S. from the leader of the democratic world to a “military base empire”
Persuaded by the military, the U.S. chose to turn Okinawa into a military base, and make the whole land of Japan their “potential military base.” However, the side effects were huge.
Please recall the time in 2003, during the unjustifiable Iraq War, when President Bush made a comparison between Iraq and Japan, saying they would make Iraq like Japan. In contrast to Japan at the time of World War II, however, Iraq had committed no crime under international law. Nevertheless, the U.S. called them a “terrorist state,” bombed and occupied them, and forced democracy upon them. Afterwards they remained stationed there indefinitely while making the Iraqis pay for the expenses. I guess that was what Bush meant when he said they’d make Iraq like Japan.
However, such visions were foiled by Iraqi resistance. Eight years after the start of the occupation, the U.S. had no choice but to completely withdraw from Iraq, leaving devastating political turmoil and a large number of children made ill by depleted uranium bullets. This is the conduct of the U.S., a democratic country which once declared, in the Atlantic Charter, “no territorial expansion,” “the right to self-determination,” “the establishment of a peace where everyone everywhere can live free from fear and want,” and made the world rally to their ideals. How far they have fallen. Ironically, the U.S. has become the biggest destroyer of the UN ideals that they themselves declared seventy years ago.
J. M. Roberts, a British historian I highly respect (author of The History of the World, Japanese translation printed into ten volumes by Sogensha), once stated that the Roman Republic’s first step towards becoming a huge empire was the acquisition of an external province, Sicily.
Let me apply those words to this situation. The first step that the U.S., which was the leader of the democratic world in the postwar period, took towards today’s “military base empire” was perhaps in 1947, when the military conflicted with the State Department regarding the occupation of Okinawa, and ultimately won.(*) And unfortunately, the Showa Emperor and Japanese rulers were the ones who offered them a big helping hand.
* ・・・ In his paper on “national sovereignty under international trusteeship”(1954), Jean-Jacques Roche, a French scholar of international law, comments as follows on the “legal trick with the peace treaty’s Article 3” (see PART 4) that made Okinawa’s military occupation possible. “I know of no other method more subtle and artful than this one as a means of realizing the same gains as those attainable by annexing the territory of a foreign country without actually annexing it…. All that exist there … are ‘monsters juridiques’ with their faces frightened with fear.”
After the Second World War, the U.S. capitalized on the principles of no territorial aggrandizement and the respect for people’s right to self-determination that were upheld by the Atlantic Charter, managing to legally and ethically overwhelm Britain, its ally in the war and formerly the “empire with colonies,” and replace Britain as the world’s new hegemonic power. Subsequently, however, the U.S. transformed itself into a “military base empire” by creating these legal monsters in various places around the world, and virtually annexing such military outposts.