Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:33:08 PM EST
First, the good news. Koizumi is about to announce (Tuesday is a cabinet meeting day) that he will withdraw all ground troops from Iraq soon. It is great to know they did not kill any Iraqi, as far as I know.
Now the bad news:
- This sets a precedent for Japanese hearts and minds that they have successfully(?) sent and managed armed troops for foreign occupation. In the Japanese history, we were always beaten out of foreign land previously. According to the choreographed government noise machine, the official story is that Koizumi now finds the "conditions for withdrawal" have been met as the Iraqi government takes over the security responsibilities in the region. (Or Bush gave consent, more precisely.)
- The government's claim of "success" that Japan, for the first time in the post-WWII history, took part in armed occupation, and showed its resolve not to "surrender to terror" is reverberating among the people who are obsessed with North Korea, and media who continuously fed us with good news of welcome from friendly Iraqi people.