I consider myself a fan of The Atlantic, but this post by James Gibney is simply disgusting (emphasis added):
John McCain and others often cite U.S. bases in Korea and Japan as a model for a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq. This rape case, which the Japanese authorities dropped because the family of the 14-year-old junior high student didn’t want to pursue charges, is a reminder of one of the less savory dividends of U.S. bases in your backyard. U.S. military personnel have been raping Okinawans for the last 60-plus years.
Soldiers have often had a bad track record with women, and Japan’s behavior during World War II is proof of that (even if the Japanese don’t admit it), but Gibney crosses the line between saying rape incidents are a problem that causes tension between the US, Japan, and Okinawa* and arguing American soldiers are predisposed to rape. By the Gibney standard, news stories like this should lead us to oppose efforts to send UN Peacekeepers to Darfur.
Gibney’s main point is to use the Okinawa rape case as an anti-Iraq War talking point, and he pushes his argument further beyond the pale by “admitting” in the next paragraph that not all American soldiers are sociopaths. There are numerous reasons against being Iraq, but our soldiers will rape the local women and some of our soldiers are sociopaths aren’t among them. Faulty reasoning got us stuck in Iraq, but bad faith arguments won’t get us out. James Gibney should be ashamed.
(h/t to Marc Danzinger, who is an Atlantic fan no more)
* Note that one of the reasons the Okinawans are so vigorous in protesting transgressions by American personnel is that many Okinawans consider themselves a separate people from the rest of the Japanese, so the Japanese government’s endorsement of the Okinawan deployment is seen as an extension of Japanese domination of the Okinawan people. This fact is rarely mentioned in media discussions of the US presence in Japan.