Knock It Off XIV: Iraq v. Japan

Ore : 7:42 AM

Yes, any comparisons of Operation Iraq Colony to WWII are irksome, but one in particular really gets my goat: any attempt to draw parallels between what MacArthur did in Japan and what the Bush Administration is trying to do in "post-war" (yeah, I know) Iraq.

Listen up, wing-nuts: Whatever structure and guidance the MacArthur Plan may have provided, it did not work because of American military might. It worked because the Japanese people wanted it to work. Democracy flowered there not because the Americans wanted it to, but because the Japanese people worked their (at the time) starved and poor asses off, and fought (figuratively) and sacrificed (not-so-figuratively) greatly to make it happen.

And not that the Japanese needed that purple finger ink when they went to the polls, but if they had used it, there was virtually no chance that the arm that purple finger would have been attached to was going to get blown off the next week or the next day. Several years after those surrender papers were signed aboard the U.S.S. Missouri (I can't remember -- was their a pretty "Mission Accomplished Banner" hanging from the bridge there?), you did not hear about people dying daily from car-bombs set off in Wakayama or Kagoshima, and there were no priests at Koyasan exhorting all Shingon Buddhists to resist the imperialist invaders. Those facts alone should put these "Color Me Khaki" fantasies of equivalency to rest.

When neocons indulge in this kind of feel-good self-back-slapping, they not only insult our good friends in Japan, they do a horrible disservice to our troops in harm's way and the Iraqi people currently suffering through chaos. Because if people like Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer are prone to these kinds of syrupy fantasies, then doubtless so are many in this misguided administration. And the more this White House and its allies let themselves be guided by fantasy than reality, the more innocent people are going to die.

The only verisimilitudinous comparison that might have been made is that for the longest time, the more thoughtful among Iraqi civilians may have been repeating their own version of "仕方が無い," whatever that might be in Arabic. Unfortunately, through growing impatience and violence-fueled attrition, their numbers have been dwindling.

So knock it off, already.

posted by teh l4m3 at 7:42 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Knock It Off XIV: Iraq v. Japan
You also gotta remember that even before we dropped the a-bombs, we'd pretty much fire-bombed Japan out of existence. They really had no choice but to let us occupy them- they were totally defeated.

-Brad R.
  • Posted at 3:32 PM | By Anonymous Anonymous

True, true. And we don't even need to get into the utterly different histories of the two countries prior to their respective occupations.

The Japanese, thanks to reforms during the Meiji era, were primed for Western ways, clothes, music, and other silly stuff (remember the Taisho democracy, anyone?). And by the end of WWII, the people themselves were so sick of military rule and constant violence, they saw a positive alternative in representative democracy.

Contrast that with the people of Iraq (which, btw, did not exist as a nation until relatively recently), who've only known Westerners to be condescending exploiters, and take with a grain of salt any promise from George Bush for "Freedom Spread(tm)"

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