of high tariffs. Repubhcan Presidentsrnfrom Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reaganrnhave supported protectionism, whilernDemocrats from Woodrow Wilson tornBill Clinton have opposed it. On this issue,rnas on most important ones, there isrnno substantial difference between Clintonrnand Dole. Under either man thernUnited States faces a future of increasedrndownsizing and consequent debt. Evenrna slight economic downturn will sendrnour country spinning off into the nightmarernof bankruptcy and unemplovmentrnthat Mexico has been going through forrnthe past two years. After that the inevitablernscapegoating will begin, to bernfollowed in short order by ethnic conflicts,rnexacerbated by religious and economicrndifferences, that will make today’srnBosnia seem in retrospect a happyrndream.rn—E. Christian KopffrnOKINAWA’S Governor Masahide Otarnhas learned what it means to be governorrnof a Japanese prefecture; precious little.rnWhen Mr. Ota stood up for Okinawansrnwho no longer wish to lease their land tornthe American military, he was assertingrnan ancient Okinawan belief in privaternproperty: “It’s yours, do with it as you seernfit.”rnThe Japanese Supreme Court, 650rnmiles away in Tokyo, set him straight: privaternproperty is where the emperor quartersrnhis troops. In this case, however, becausernJapan has not paid for its ownrndefense for half a century, the imperialrntroops are not sword-swinging samurai,rnbut the United States Marines. And a relationshiprnthat began with the bloodiestrnbattle in the Corps’ history has not improvedrnwith time. Okinawans want thernmarines out, and it is time to give themrnwhat they want.rnWhat’s wrong with stationing an entirernmarine division on Okinawa? Well,rnto the Japanese government, nothing. Inrnfact, it’s a great deal. A third of the FleetrnMarine Force sits both within easy reachrnand at arm’s length. Indeed, what betterrnPacific police than an outfit with an internationalrn—and well-deserved—reputationrnfor getting places fast and furiously?rnJust as long as they pursue their noisyrntraining—to say nothing of their off-color,rnoff-duty pastimes—in someone else’srnbackyard. And whose backyard could bernbetter than that of the “racially inferiorrnOkinawans”? (Really, more Eskimo thanrnJapanese.)rnOf course, to the Okinawans, it’s a rawrndeal. Twenty percent of their alreadyrntiny island—including the best golfrncourses—is occupied by a foreign army.rnOur howitzers and tanks make a lot ofrnnoise. We use up a lot of water (always inrnshort supply). We sell liquor and ricern(believe it or not) on the black market.rnWe even rape schoolgirls. (This is not tornsay that Okinawans are without theirrnsexual sins: women marines have maderngood money turning tricks for islandrnmen, and a popular place with Okinawa’srnbusinessmen is a “theater” inrnNaha for voyeurs and participants alike.)rnNor is it such a great deal for the averagernmarine. Marines call Okinawa “ThernRock,” and although the sentences arernsomewhat shorter and the surroundingrnwater is warmer, the little Pacific islandrn—for marines deployed to it—resemblesrnanother island with the samernnickname. Okinawa is a great place to bernidle, and the moment marines arrivernthey begin the countdown on theirrn”shortimers’ calendars” (some are realrnworks of art) until the day they will boardrnthe “freedom bird” at Kadena Air Base.rnThe island is humid in summer, rainyrnin winter. Okinawa has one Englishrntelevision station, FEN—the Far Eastrn(or “forced entertainment”) Networkrn(which broadcast real-time images of arnfish tank when the emperor died eightrnyears ago)—and the PX may be “thernlargest in the Far East,” but once yournhave dumped your paycheck into a newrnstereo, a new camera, and all the phonyrnsamurai swords you can buy, the charmrnwears thin. (Shopping opportunities arernnow central to our defense policy.rnWhen I was in the Persian Gulf some seniorrnofficer made sure, in October, thatrnthere were ample copies of the PX catalogrnto go around so that marines wouldrnnot have “to worry about their Christmasrnshopping.”)rnBad weather and lousy television,rnhowever, can be blessings to any marine,rnas long as he is able to train, but therntraining in Okinawa (with the exceptionrnof the Northern Training Area—a firstraternjungle) is the worst in the Corps,rnparticularly for artillerymen and tankers:rnthe impact areas are minuscule, the restrictionsrnon night fire are severe, and therncompetition for what few training areasrnthere are, is stiff. Without enough realrntraining to go around, marines in Okinawarnendure day-long “stand downs” tornmake them more sensitive to theirrn”hosts.”rnWhat is more, to keep the Third MarinernDivision manned, marines deployrn”unaccompanied” (without spouses) tornOkinawa for as much as a year. The wearrnand tear on families (a divorce rate abovernthe national average in a service whosernofficer corps is more Roman Catholicrnthan anything else) alone is hard to justifyrnat a time when there is not even arnCold War to fight.rnThe unhappiness—on all sides—rnmight be tolerable, however, if therernwere a compelling security interest inrnkeeping marines on Okinawa. Is thernthreat North Korea? Communist China?rnCertainly there is no shortage ofrnsmaller “contingencies” that the ThirdrnMarine Division is prepared to confront,rnbut when was the last time the UnitedrnStates actually stuck by its commitmentsrnin the Far East? I think we know the answer:rnWorid War II. In Korea and Vietnam,rnmarines got precious little supportrnfrom the politicians who sent them therernin the first place.rnWhy are marines on Okinawa? Thernsame reason the I’nited States Navy hadrna base in the Philippines, and the samernreason the United States Army has soldiersrnin Germany: that’s where they werernat the end of World War II. The Philippinesrntold the Navy it’s time to movernalong, the Army is pulling out of Germany,rnand it’s time to find a friendlierrnplace for the Third Marine Division torncall home. 1 suggest somewhere in thernold 48.rn—Christopher CheckrnPOET, translator, lyricist, and authorrnRichard Wilbur and historian DavidrnHackett Fischer are the recipients of thern1996 Ingersoll Prizes. At a ceremony atrnthe Newberry Library in Chicago onrnNovember 3, Wilbur received the T.S.rnEliot Award for Creative Writing; Fischer,rnthe Richard M. Weaver Award forrnScholarly Letters. The awards, each ofrnwhich carries a cash prize of $20,000, recognizernwriters of abiding importancernwhose works affirm the fundamentalrnprinciples of Western civilization.rnAs poet Peter Viereck observed, partlyrnin jest, “Wilbur has all qualities of a greatrnartist except vulgarity.” Born in NewrnYork City, reared on a farm in NewrnJersey, Mr. Wilbur graduated fromrnAmherst College before serving as an infantrymanrnin World War II. He later receivedrnan M.A. from Harvard. He hasrntaught at Harvard, Wellesley College,rn6/CHRON;CLESrnrnrn