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    Having seen a TV programme about the US-orchestrated makeover of Emperor Hirohito into a British-Monarchy-style figurehead after VJ day, I am struck by the thought - why didn't they try that with Saddam? The reasoning was that the Emperor's continued presence, even in a different guise, would offer stability (in those days a defence against Communism taking hold in possibly the most wrecked country in the entire world apart from Germany), and prevent an insurgency. Unfortunately the programme did not really show HOW Japan was turned into a democracy, which is kind of the point.

    If there had been some way to batter Saddam into submission, and then persuade him that holding into a little of his power and much of his prestige as a symbolic leader was better than losing the lot, the US should really have done that, rather than removing any kind of practical (albeit inhumane) government and plunging the country back into the chaos that Saddam dragged it out of, which is in fact what has happened. They persuaded the Emperor to renounce his divine status, and surely if they could do that, they could have talked Saddam round.
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    Hirohito had had no actual power before the change to Jpaan's constitution either.
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    Well, that's the conventional view, but the main thrust of the programme was to do with recently published diaries etc. that show he was in favour of war with the US, and in favour of Pearl Harbour. The "Hirohito at the mercy of his military" view was constructed, or at least exaggerated, as part of the "makeover" to absolve him from blame, thus allowing him to stay on and provide stability. The blame was laid on General Tojo, about whom I know next to nothing, and on Ex-Prime Minister Konoe, who had in fact been strongly opposed to the war.
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    I saw the prog too, the key thing was the American professor explaining that in just a few months the 'Hollywood' propaganda machine transformed the Japanese political structure and the way the Japanese saw the Emperor. Frightening.

    That's why they couldn't do the same thing with Saddam--the US couldn't control information in the same way. I'm sure they're working on it.
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    Japanese Emperors, bar for a few short periods (e.g. around the introduction of the Meiji constitution), have had very little real power since the late 12th century and the establishment of the bakufu and today have none.
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    While examining the reasons the Japanese royal family were kept may be interesting, it's hardly comparable to Iraq because (specifically) removing Saddam was pre-eminent in the reasoning for invading Iraq.

    Edit: Then there's the fact that Saddam was symbolic of Arab nationalism (although not pan-arabism, and certainly not Islamism) and so becoming a 'western puppet' would negate that.
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    Not a chance that would have worked when the Americans had already been in one war in Iraq. Most of the people of Iraq detested Saddam (remember the statue?) wheras the people of Japan saw the emperor as a God. That's the difference, whereas Saddam's followers remain (a small but determined minority) - the whole of Japan would have been in uproar at the removal of their God-Like Emperor.

    Easy.
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    (Original post by Woodsy)
    Not a chance that would have worked when the Americans had already been in one war in Iraq. Most of the people of Iraq detested Saddam (remember the statue?) wheras the people of Japan saw the emperor as a God. That's the difference, whereas Saddam's followers remain (a small but determined minority) - the whole of Japan would have been in uproar at the removal of their God-Like Emperor.

    Easy.
    The statue scene was staged and the Japanese don't really believe that the Emperor is a God. Honestly. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Llamas)
    While examining the reasons the Japanese royal family were kept may be interesting, it's hardly comparable to Iraq because (specifically) removing Saddam was pre-eminent in the reasoning for invading Iraq.

    Edit: Then there's the fact that Saddam was symbolic of Arab nationalism (although not pan-arabism, and certainly not Islamism) and so becoming a 'western puppet' would negate that.
    WMD certainly, and 'regime change', at a stretch, could have allowed Saddam a role as puppet-leader. Impossible propaganda war made it impossible.
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    horses for courses.
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    (Original post by Llamas)
    The statue scene was staged and the Japanese don't really believe that the Emperor is a God. Honestly. :rolleyes:
    Back in 1945 they certainly believed that the Emperor was something of the sort, a sacred and divine being. Now, I don't think so, although the Japanese Imperial Family are venerated and deeply respected by almost all Japanese, and certainly much more so than our Royal Family is.
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    They no longer claim the Emperor is a god, they just claim he's directly descended from one. :cool:
 
 
 
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