Sunday, March 2, 2008

Okinawa Bad Stats

I am usually pretty good at diagnosing bad statistics. That being said, I haven't gone back over this article thoroughly. However, a few things stand out.

Is the fact that the percentage of violent crime committed by U.S. soldiers stationed in Japan is less than the percentage of crime committed by Japanese criminals shows that we misunderstand the threat, that we have something to crow about? It seems a given that professional representatives of their country in the service of their country abroad would commit less violent crimes than the resident criminal population. Michael Hassett seems astonished at the pride this embiggens in him. His small anecdote about Kendrick Ledet makes it seem that the world should be thankful that the U.S. military only releases a small amount of psychopaths into unsuspecting communities.

However, there were no arrests in Japan of SOFA-covered individuals for rape or sexual assault in 2006, even though the NPA did arrest 1,094 Japanese for rape and another 4,733 for sexual offenses — that's nearly 16 a day.

What does this statement tell us? Nothing really. There were no arrests. Does that mean that there were no complaints? No investigations? No crimes? No attempted crimes? No unreported rapes? No reported rapes dealt with in other ways? Hassett claims to be surprised by the amazing stats that he has discovered, but he seems to be more relieved by the imagined stats he has coaxed to the surface.

Many feel that society would be great if we had no need for military forces, but as long as governments don't feel the same way the fact remains that we have to put them somewhere.

Do they force journalists to come out with absurd sentiments like this? Yes, Okinawa has been begging to be occupied. First by the Japanese, now by the Americans. And even if they hadn't, what are you gonna do? As long as governments love militaries, how can this be helped?

All of which raises the question: Is it hypocritical to give such disproportionate media exposure to crimes committed by U.S. service members when the data shows that their adherence to our laws apparently exceeds our own?

More pasty journalist hack false sentiment. No, it isn't hypocritical. One is a foreign military presence crammed down the local population's collective throat over their much ignored objections. The other is the local criminal element. Equivocation, the mainstream journalist's Vaseline.

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.