One of the Left Behind parents commenting earlier had pointed out something similar to what I had been saying, that the State Department pushes the Japanese on the child abduction issue only as far as the Defense Department allows.
I wonder if one of the problems, though, is that these items are separate–when, in fact, they are inseparable. We do not have bushido. Our military is a civilian military. It comes from us. The people who serve America are those who are the core of America. Not some warrior class.
When the Japanese government refuses to honor our custody decisions, in effect, they ask our citizenry to doubt whether we should continue the same strength of military alliance.
Moreover, when Americans live in Japan and don’t get the benefit of equal protection, the question of whether our military should be in Japan ought to be part and parcel of any discussions.
You know, the Iraq War “ended”. There was a ceremony last month, but what people have already forgotten is that the reason the war ended is because Iraq didn’t want to agree to SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) anymore. We left Iraq because Iraq didn’t want to agree to terms.
If the diplomats arguing child custody met with the Japanese in the same room as the Defense Department officials who accept the annual renewal of SOFA, would the result be the same as has been over these many years of negotiations?
I wonder about that.
[Update: You see, it really isn’t about threats, or anything like that. It’s about realities. When the State Department is talking to the Japanese about child kidnapping, is anyone from the Defense Department in the room? Even just as a silent observer? As I say, I wonder why, or why not? Justice Department? No one, right? Just State. Does that send a good signal to the Japanese negotiators on the other side, or a bad one?
When it came to Iraq, when we didn’t get the terms the Defense Department wanted, we left. That’s why. Nothing about “national interest”. We didn’t get what “we” wanted in Iraq, and we left it. That’s how the Iraq War ended. In fact, it ended last Saturday, because that’s when the Status of Forces Agreement expired. But we were already out of there.]