Lots to be scared of this Halloween – Frankenstorm and its aftermath, a possible Romey-Ryan Administration, running out of candy at 7:30 while trick or treaters still roam your neighborhood – but here’s a long-term concern, the U.S. military’s “Asia-Pacific Pivot.”
Has anyone asked the American people whether getting into a long-term economic, political, geostrategic and especially military confrontation is a good idea? Especially as the lion’s share of our tax dollars would continue to go to the Pentagon to fund this, instead of urgent domestic priorities? The arrogance of the military and governmental elites is staggering, I’m sure they don’t pause for a second to consider the will of the people, only their interests in perpetuating the endless war machine. In their eyes China is the only plausible enemy that can justify their reason for being, and for continuing to suck our blood and tax dollars dry (the war profiteers and banksters are the real vampires, yes?).
A short International Herald Tribune article and 22 minute video on the Pivot can give you the gist of what is planned, though this is far too sanguine and accepting of elite and U.S. government positions.
Please read below much more uplifting initiative that Peace Action is helping lead:
We are writing to announce the creation of the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.
With the movement focusing on the election, preventing war against Iran, and the struggle over military spending – not to mention media silence– you may have missed that China and Japan recently came to the brink of war over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, and the U.S. reaffirmed that if it came to war, the U.S. would join the battle on Japan’s side. You may have missed that this conflict caused anti-Japanese violence to break out in cities around China, resulting in the destruction of millions of dollars in property, and attacks against Japanese living in China.
You likely missed the massive Japanese protest over yet another G.I. rape of an Okinawan woman and the basing of crash-prone Osprey aircraft at the Futenma airbase which neighbors an elementary school. You may yet to have acted in solidarity with the extraordinary nonviolent resistance of Jeju islanders to the construction of a major offensive naval base which is also destroying World Heritage site. And, you may have yet to have learned that the struggle for control over the oil and mineral rich and strategically vital South China/East/West Philippine Sea could be the most dangerous 21st century tinderbox.
The Obama Administration has repeated announced the U.S. military “pivot” from Iraq and Afghanistan to Asia and the Pacific. And, the military buildup to reinforce U.S. Asia-Pacific hegemony as China rises is the driving force behind increased Pentagon spending.
The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific has been created to provide vision, resources and initiatives to the building of a U.S. peace movement capable of challenging U.S./Asia-Pacific militarization in their comprehensive contexts, and encouraging more constructive U.S. engagement in this region. Its members include leading U.S. peace and Asian-American activists, engaged scholars and national religious leaders. We are privileged to work in partnership with many movements in Asia and the Pacific.
We have just launched the Working Group’s information-rich website, http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org, which we hope will be well used by colleagues and friends as an important resource for analysis, information about events and actions, links and daily news updates.
With partners across Asia and the Pacific, we will be marking 2013, the 60th anniversary of the Korean War’s armistice – not peace – agreement, with the framework of 2013 as The Year of Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific. We hope you will join us in this and other initiatives, that you’ll draw on our action alerts and make contributions to allied struggles. As we develop our speakers bureau, we will be happy to provide or suggest speakers and resources for related events.
To join our e-list, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past week’s statement of outrage, remorse and solidarity with the people of Okinawa follows below. Please consider the possibility of your organization developing a similar statement. We’ll be glad to help you get it to Okinawan partners.
Join us in working for peace and demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific,
For the Working Group,
American Friends Service Committee
Statement of Outrage, Remorse and Solidarity
Dear Okinawan friends,
It is not enough to say that we are outraged by the most recent G.I. rape of an Okinawan woman or by the deployment of crash-prone Osprey aircraft to Futenma Air Base. It is not enough to write that we apologize for what the government that speaks in our name has inflicted on your communities. And, it is anything but sufficient for the U.S. military to set a curfew for U.S. forces based in Japan in response to G.I. sexual crimes or for the U.S. and Japanese governments to certify that the Ospreys are safe.
The only way to bring an end to sixty-seven years of G.I. sexual abuse, rape and crimes or the deadly accidents, property destruction and environmental degradation that have plagued the people of Okinawa is the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from your communities and prefecture, and from Japan as a whole.
We stand in solidarity with your protests and calls for withdrawal of U.S. military forces. As we work for peace and demilitarization of Asia and the Pacific, focusing primarily on U.S. policies and actions, please keep us informed of ways that we can support your nonviolent resistance and campaigns to with the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan.
With outrage, remorse and solidarity,
Working Group for Asia-Pacific Peace and Demilitarization.
(For more information about the Working Group see: http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org)