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Voices Growing for Iraq War inquiry in Japan


By jimstaro - Posted on 21 February 2011

JAPAN AND THE IRAQ WAR/ Koizumi went ahead without consulting his Cabinet team

2011/02/21 - In August 2010, President Barack Obama declared an end to the U.S. military's seven-year combat operations in Iraq.

Nevertheless, the country's security situation remains as unstable as ever.

The Iraq War was supposedly fought for two main reasons: weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and connections with international terrorist organizations.

Even though neither of these situations actually existed, more than 100,000 Iraqis have reportedly lost their lives in the conflict.

In the Netherlands and Britain, probes into their countries' involvement in the war are proceeding at the behest of their respective prime ministers. Is the lack of a similar process acceptable for Japan, which supported the United States and was consequently complicit in the war?

In researching my 23-part series "From the abyss of the Iraq War," which ran in the vernacular Asahi Shimbun from July to September 2010 (November to December in the English edition), I met with various individuals in Iraq, Europe, the United States and Japan, who were connected to the war in some way.

Most of all, I came to realize the opacity of the Japanese government's decision-making process regarding the Iraq War.

"I believe it would be appropriate to support the United States should it resort to the use of military force."

So said Junichiro Koizumi, then Japan's prime minister, when he met reporters on March 18, 2003, two days before the Iraq War started.

Shigeru Ishiba, then chief of the Defense Agency, now the Defense Ministry, says this was the first time he heard Koizumi state that Japan would support the Iraq War.

"There had been no discussion of whether to support the Iraq War at meetings of Cabinet members," he says.

Even the then chief Cabinet secretary, Yasuo Fukuda, says he never heard Koizumi say explicitly, "We will support the Iraq War" before the conflict began. {continued}

He and others still using IBC need to realize that IBC is infantile at statistics. It isn't a research organization; it's a farce for counting the number of Iraqis killed and dead because of this war. News media are far from close in the numbers they report, if we're to total those numbers.

Some Iraqis were killed and others died other than by being killed, but still dying because of this war. Their combined total is of "excess deaths" above what would normally have occurred or been expected in Iraq if it wasn't for this war.

Most people know this by now, but evidently not everyone does, or they do, but they don't care to refer to the reliable and world-supported research numbers.

The competently estimated count is over 1,000,000 and enough Web sites and persons say 1,400,000+ for today's realistic count; since 1,000,000 is from two or three years ago and excess deaths of Iraqis have continued to climb.

Saying numbers much less than 1,000,000 is like providing whitewashing for Washington, the UK, et cetera. It's a very bad watering down of the consequences of this war. And the numbers are going to continue to climb for many generations to come, if Iraqis can survive that long in their country. When WW II was over, it was pretty much over, but the US likes to leave a permanent reminder that it'll continue to kill or cause death even long after the US and its allied forces withdraw; if and whenever that happens, withdrawing, that is.

Koizumi should spend some time getting informed at www.brussellstribunal.org, f.e. If he wants to seriously try to do justice, then he should definitely spend time getting informed from the best sources and BT is certainly one of these. Otherwise, he's going to be superficial in his efforts.

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