26 October, 2005

USA to democracy: "you just get in the way!"

I've been following the story of the US base on Okinawa for a while. We showed a documentary about Okinawa a couple years back at MIT. It showed the areas where the new air field was supposed to be built: a beautiful cove, one of the last refuges for many species of the area. Sure, let's pour some concrete and oil spills there!

So I was relieved to read in this article that the US had agreed to relocate the air field somewhere else (exact location unclear, and having an air field next door is not good for humans, beasts, land, water or air). But still, overall, a good thing, and a concession from the US to Japan. Japan is after all a sovereign nation who has waged fewer wars on the rest of the world than the US in the past 50 years.

However, the last line did stand out:
"Washington had expressed frustration with the slow pace of progress. Lawless, deputy undersecretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific, on Tuesday suggested Japanese officials were too concerned with "parochial issues" — a reference to local opposition to the plan to build an offshore air station."

First, note that the guy quoted is called "Lawless". Coincidence sure has a sense of humor.

Secondly, and most importantly, and the whole point of posting chez Saurabh and friends here: local opposition is a "parochial issue" above which the Japanese government should rise, like a soaring imperial bald eagle, or some such image. Dear readers: "local opposition" is the very definition of democracy! You advise ignoring it, you're a tyrant. Plain, simple, spelled out.

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