Sending troops to Iraq despite the clear danger? -- Akahata editorial, November 12

The Koizumi Cabinet has decided to delay approving plans for sending the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq until after the special Diet session ends, apparently with the intention of averting criticism in the Diet of the reckless dispatch plan.

Iraq has turned into a place where it is impossible to prevent attacks anywhere, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said before leaving for a trip to Japan.

Even commercial newspapers carried opinions of SDF members and their family members, asking the government to think of people who may die in the battlefield, pointing out that the SDF has no obligation to assist in foreign forces' blunders.

In defiance of these criticisms, the Koizumi Cabinet still insists on sending the SDF to Iraq.

Increasing resistance

Combat in Iraq is so fierce that the situation takes on aspects of a continuing war of aggression.

The U.S. forces' hostility towards Iraqi citizens and armed crack downs on public protests are causing many casualties.

Reports from Iraq indicate that many young Iraqis are joining resistance groups to liberate their country from the occupation by foreign forces.

With the sharp increase in U.S. casualties, U.S. President George W. Bush is justifying the war as a fight for the cause of democracy. This reveals that the true intention is to overthrow another country's government by force.

This is what U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's criticism of the United States was about. He said, "(The logic of pre-emption) represents a fundamental challenge to the principles on which world peace and stability have rested."

Sending the SDF to Iraq is aimed at helping in the war of aggression and has nothing to do with helping in Iraq's reconstruction.

The historical lesson of wars of aggression is that aggressors are doomed to fail, whatever state-of-the-art weapons they may use, as was the case with the Vietnam War. Aggressors cannot win international support and have to face resistance from everyone in the country they invaded.

One must not forget that Japan, which invaded Asian countries and joined forces with Hitler's Germany to carry out a war of aggression throughout the world, has outlawed war.

Under its Constitution that strictly prohibits the use of force, postwar Japan has never gone to war and killed nobody in foreign countries. In this regard, it is very serious that Japan is preparing to dispatch its ground troops abroad again knowing that they may be involved in combat.

The Koizumi Cabinet explains that in Iraq SDF personnel can count on U.S. military protection; that SDF units will be equipped with anti-tank guns and other heavy arms; and that 100 million yen (90.9 thousand dollars) will be paid in condolence money for every death of SDF personnel.

The prime minister's special assistant for the Iraq question, who was visiting Iraq, stated that it is unavoidable for the SDF units to be targeted in Iraq. The Koizumi Cabinet is preparing for the worst in Iraq, assuming that the SDF units will be involved in combat against Iraq's people resulting in loss of lives.

A majority of the American people have begun to express opposition to the Bush administration's Iraq policy. An influential Republican lawmaker, who used to be an aide to the U.S. secretary of defense, stated that the Iraq war is one of the most flawed assumptions the United States has ever had.

Since the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1511, no country has dispatched troops to Iraq. On the contrary, Turkey withdrew its dispatch plan and Thailand is working on a withdrawal plan from Iraq.

Even the most pro-American person in the Iraqi Governing Council insisted that Iraq needs no additional foreign troops. Then, why must the SDF go to Iraq now?

Public opinion as expressed in the vote

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro alleges that voters in the general election endorsed the government's policy to dispatch the SDF to Iraq. That's not true.

During the election campaign, the Koizumi Cabinet and governing parties withheld information about discussions the government had held with the United States concerning the selection of sites to deploy SDF units in an attempt to distract public attention away from the dispatch issue.

The government's dispatch plan has no just cause.

The Koizumi Cabinet must immediately stop working on dispatch plans. (end)

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