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Essay: Reaction To The Book "Blowback," By Chalmers Johnson, Dealing With U.S. Operations In Okinawa,Japan As Being Inappropriate.

1170 words - 5 pages

In the book Blowback Chalmers Johnson discusses the way in which the United States has created an empire in which some of its actions could have serious repercussions. "In a sense blowback is simply another way of saying a nation reaps what it sows" (Johnson 17). Blowback is a term originally created by the CIA which is used to refer to incidences which occur as consequences to operations that are secret from the American people. In the book Johnson describes the relationship between the U.S. and some other countries as completely unnecessary. In this paper I will examine the U.S.'s occupation of Okinawa, Japan, and its possible affects on unaware Americans.The description of Okinawa is a real and gruesome account of how the U.S. military seeks to hold onto its power and control in foreign diplomacy. The situation in Okinawa was created just after World War II. From the period of 1945 to 1972, the Japanese southern island of Okinawa was occupied and governed completely as a U.S. military preserve. In 1952 the Japanese gave this right to the Americans in a treaty dealing which led to the end of American occupation of Japan's main islands. The occupation of Japan's U.S. military bases were an absolutely critical part in America's fight against communism in Vietnam and Korea. However, the U.S. never asked if they could conduct war from there, they merely did it. Since this time Americans have still inhabited much of Okinawa and in large part have remained there without major reason. The threat of political instability as an excuse has been used too long since Japan has thrived as a nation since WWII.It is not only that Americans take up the land there or have stayed without a large reason. It is the treatment of the Okinawan people that causes so much resentment. American bases have turned the areas around them into towns with filled with bars, strip clubs, dark alleys and prostitutes. It is not as if these soldiers are without amenities. The U.S. bases there are equipped with swimming pools, theaters, tennis courts, living estates, and golf courses. In 1995 three soldiers based there were charged and accused with the beating and rape of a twelve year old Okinawan girl. In response to this incident the commander of the armed forces in the Pacific, Admiral Richard C. Macke, stated "I think that [the rape] was absolutely stupid. For the price they paid to rent the car, they could have had a girl" (Johnson, 35). For a reaction to something so gruesome the comment seemed more chastising than remorseful of the situation. Yet then secretary of defense William Perry told the Japanese people, "The bases are here more for your good than ours...without the troops, Japan would be vulnerable" (Johnson, 40). There were 4,176 crimes that U.S. servicemen were implicated in between 1972 and 1995. There us also an issue of traffic accidents on the island. In cases where a Japanese person is killed it is custom for the other person to provide some sort of solatium,...

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