Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rice Apologises For Conduct of US Forces in Japan

Remember when the Bush administration claimed that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were down to few individuals? That this wasn't part of a wider problem within the US army? Well, think on.....

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, apologised yesterday for a string of crimes involving American troops based in Japan, amid warnings that failure to improve discipline risked damaging relations between Washington and one of its closest allies.

Resentment towards the US military presence erupted this month following the arrest of a marine for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl on the island of Okinawa, home to more than half of the 50,000 US troops in Japan.

Since then, US soldiers on the island have been arrested for trespassing and drink driving, and another is being questioned about the alleged rape of a Filipino woman in a hotel room.

The rape allegation has echoes of the 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US servicemen, which brought 85,000 people on to the streets in protest and international attention to the US base.

When a government figuratively rapes whole nations, is it really a surprise when it's people do it literally?