Ethical Deviations and the Trail of Pain

By: Nyliam Vázquez García


2012-12-07 | 17:18:22 EST
Experience suggests that it is not year-end incursions, individual desperation or temporary delusions. It can’t be said either that it is just isolated cases when there are plenty of examples worldwide: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Japan are just a few of the many countries where the excesses of the U.S troops have proved that the army ethics must have twisted somewhere.  

As indelible mark, they leave a trail of pain on all those places they go with the supposed mission of saving them.  In Okinawa, where Washington maintains the bulk of its troops stationed in Japan, U.S. soldiers are not precisely welcome these days. Residents have increasingly protested about the presence of these soldiers that disrespect them and cause immeasurable damage to their children.

The latest victims of U.S. troop excesses were a young girl, who was raped and robbed by two very young soldiers; and a high school student, attacked in his own home by a soldier who punched him in the face.

There is a legal process ongoing and the two soldiers involved in the raping will be judged by a Japanese court. As to the boy’s assailant, he has said in his statements that he has no recollection of what happened because he was too drunk. He later admitted hitting someone because he thought it was an intruder who had entered his house, Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Cognisant of the potential extent of this problem, the superiors imposed a curfew on the soldiers and they were forced to impose a Prohibition this week.

It seems that the characters of the soldiers are clouded beyond the permissible by alcohol which triggered incidents like the ones described above. Alcohol has been the cause of other incidents: Marine Luis Fernandez of Futenma Air Base, Okinawa Prefecture, hit another vehicle while driving under the influence. Petty Officer 2nd Class Oscar Hayes Wiygul III, a crewmember of the George Washington aircraft carrier, got naked in a bar, also while under the influence.

Now all the staff must undergo sobriety test to go out of the bases. Japan State channel NHK disclosed that the Pentagon has required the staff to be accompanied by a family member or a colleague when they are walking or visiting Japanese territory. And this measure shows just how little confidence U.S. soldiers, who are supposedly formed under certain principles, inspired among the Japanese.

Saving the honor of honest soldiers is right, but it is noteworthy that these actions are not limited to isolated cases or to a particular corner of the world  and that’s why every new action and victim raises a lot of questions about the values of the troops of the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, the United States.

The legislators of the Municipal Assembly of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, translated the popular anger into a resolution, unanimously adopted, that condemns the criminal attitude of the U.S. troops. During a special session of the legislature held in late November, the legislators warned of possible widespread protests against the U.S. military presence in the Asian nation, especially after the rape of the girl.

In recent months, more than once, the Japanese have taken to the streets to protests against the events that recall a similar event which occurred in 1995, when a 12 year old girl was raped by two U.S. soldiers.

Perhaps the most terrible thing for Okinawans, who had been told that the U.S. troops are “necessary” there, is that these incidents are repeated from time to time, despite the laws and punishments. And the incidents take place over and over and they cannot be mended with tears and excuses in front of the TV cameras. Japanese know that and cannot take it anymore.

Meanwhile, the ethics of the U.S troops keep twisting away.

Translated by ESTI

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