Obama maintains our “Foreign Legion” in Japan

Washington has given up on moving 8,000 U.S. Marines to the U.S. territory of Guam from Japan by 2014…a potential blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is already struggling over a U.S. base dispute.

The planned transfer of Marines from the southern island of Okinawa is a part of a larger agreement between Washington and Tokyo that includes relocating functions of the U.S. Futenma airbase in Okinawa to a less crowded area on the island…

Any postponement over moving the controversial base on Okinawa, host to about half the U.S. troops in the country, could be a blow to Kan’s government, already reeling from a poor showing in an upper house election this month…

A scrapped government pledge to move the base off Okinawa had sparked anger from local residents who complain of noise, pollution and crime, and led to the resignation of Kan’s predecessor in June.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada reaffirmed in a meeting in Hanoi…that experts will work out details of the Futenma relocation site by end-August as agreed in a May deal. But doubts remain over whether the deal can be implemented on time.

An election for the Okinawa governor is due in November and the result could also affect plans to move the airbase, coming near the time when U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan for an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit.

If there’s anything that reveals how tied at the hip our two supposedly conflicted political parties are – it’s the phoniness of foreign policy “discussion”. Both parties function on behalf of the new imperialism we took over from the Brits after World War 2.

Differences are of degree and tactic – not qualitative relations with foreign countries, not strategy. Our military is stationed all over the globe at immense expense – and none of that is to be questioned. Not by Congress. Not by Americans without risk of their “patriotism” being evaluated by our insecurity services.

Obama differs not from Kennedy or LBJ – who didn’t stand out in a crowd of Nixons or Reagans.

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