Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Caroline Kennedy Turns Her Back on Okinawa

I want to be sensitive here but don't know any other way to say this - US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is just another political player.

Maybe I'm still naive and ignorant but I have to admit that if the CIA had killed my father and my uncle Bobby I'd not then choose to go to work for them by selling out the long suffering people of Okinawa.

Recently Okinawan leaders wrote to Kennedy in part:

Dear US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy

We sincerely welcome you to visit Okinawa. Japan and the United States have faced many challenges in negotiating on the areas of foreign, security, defense and economic policy. However, we hope that you as the US ambassador to Japan will exert your ability with exceptional insight and in the spirit of humanism to reconstruct the US-Japan relationship.

With the sense of responsibility coming from your father, would you open the door to create new friendship between the U.S. and Ryukyu, and put an end to the military colonial rule in Okinawa? We hope that your visit to Okinawa will help change the policy and allow the government to abandon the relocation plan to Henoko and to move the Futenma base outside Okinawa.

The Asahi Shimbun reports on the response from US Ambassador Kennedy:

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga told U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy of his stringent opposition to the relocation of Futenma air base within the prefecture only to be met with a cold rebuff.

In his first meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Japan in Tokyo on June 19, Onaga told Kennedy that it is the “popular will” of the Okinawan people to oppose the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to the Henoko district in Nago.

But the ambassador reiterated Washington’s position on the matter, saying the Henoko relocation plan is the “only solution" that addresses operational, political, financial and strategic concerns.

Kennedy responded that the presence of the U.S. military in Okinawa is a cornerstone of peace and stability in East Asia, and reiterated the unwavering commitment of the U.S. and Japanese governments to the construction of a new airfield in Henoko.

So I shouldn't be surprised.  Yes, Kennedy is presumably a "liberal Democrat" but in the end she upholds the American belief that Okinawa is 'our military colony' and Japan is the US's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' in the Asia-Pacific allowing the US to aim its military might at China.  To me this well illustrates how the US is ruled by various oligarchic families - Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles - but in the end all these corrupt families agree on US 'exceptionalism' and empire.

So what that Kennedy finds herself allied with Japanese right-wing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (the grandson of a WWII Japanese fascist military leader) who wants to get rid of Article 9 in the Japanese constitution that forbids an aggressive military.  In fact its Kennedy's job as ambassador to ensure that Abe carries through on the plan to get rid of Article 9!  So what that Kennedy helps foster policies that increase confrontation with China and Russia in the region.  She is doing what the corporate oligarchy demands and obviously she is willing to do that work.

I once was watching C-SPAN government affairs TV channel and saw former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) receiving an award from former President George H. W. Bush at a college in Texas.  I found it more than ironic that Kennedy (brother of the assassinated JFK) was taking this award from Bush who clearly was involved in the JFK assassination planning.  How could Kennedy accept such a thing from a man who helped kill his brother?

It just goes to show I don't really understand how the game works.  I guess it must be the supreme compliment for one ruling family to shower another with awards and ambassadorial positions.  Nothing else appears to matter much - staying 'relevant' and close to power is all that these families seem to want.


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