US WESTWARD/EASTWARD GLOBAL EMPIRE ENCIRCLING RUSSIA AND CHINA, NEW SERIES NEWSLETTER # 35, November 22, 2016.
Compiled by Dick Bennett, Building a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
Contents: US Imperialism Newsletter #35 (consolidating Imperialism and Westward Imperialism newsletter, see end).
Poem by Gerald Sloan, “Pax Americana”
Defending Against Enemies; Constructing Enemies
From Exterminating the Native Americans to Encircling Russia and China
Chomsky, A Bloody Nation of Forts
Vine, Base Nation: the U.S. “stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands”
Michelle Obama Christens a Submarine
US Addiction to War.
Dick, OMNI’s Russia Newsletters #1-6
Dahlburg, NATO Triples Response Force, Russia Adds Ballistic Missiles, Secretary Carter to
Send Military Equipment to NATO Nations Bordering Russia
Send Military Equipment to NATO Nations Bordering Russia
US and Allies Reassert Sanctions Nov. 2016
Osborn and Johnson (Reuters), Russia Strengthens Baltic Fleet with Missiles
Dick, US and Philippines: “Balance Piston”: Military Exercises Bordering the South China Sea
China Defends Itself from US Double Standards
Japan Again Increases Military Budget, Rejects Its Pacifist Constitution
Turbulence and Resistance Within the Westward Empire
Fran Alexander, Continental USA, NAFTA, Dakota and Diamond Pipelines
Rev. John Dear, Stand at Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota
Native Hawaiian Group Adopts a Constitution
Jon Olsen, Liberate Hawai’i
Rick Wayman, Marshall Islands Nuclear Disarmament Cases at the ICJ
Bevacqua, While US Increases Militarization, Guam Considers Decolonization
E. San Juan, the Philippines Today
Evans, Henoko, Okinawa (Japan) Confronts the Empire
Militarizing All of Japan
What Are We To Do?
Explanation of #35 Consolidation at end
OMNI’s Mission in Context of Controlling Russia and China
By Gerald Sloan (rcvd October 17, 2016)
Who appointed us to rule the world
as if by divine decree? I thought we
killed that concept in a prior century.
I see no royalty or emperor but rather
titans of titanium, captains of industry
who morphed somehow into moguls
of the social media, these deviants
who managed to colonize our DNA.
Think Ghengis Khan in a business suit
commanding a brigade of cyber-geeks.
FROM EXTERMINATING THE NATIVE AMERICANS TO ENCIRCLING RUSSIA AND CHINA (and IRAN and INSIDE THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST): From a Nation of Forts to an Empire of Bases
In 1629 John Winthrop created the Great Seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony which depicted an Indian asking the benevolent British colonists to “come and help us.” The fiction of an“America”ordained by God to intervene for the good of the world led to enormous calamities for the “beneficiaries.” This US “humanitarian intervention,”in the approving words of General Henry Knox, the first U.S. secretary of war, led to the “utter extirpation of all the Indians in the most populous parts of the union,”and in the deploring words of John Quincy Adams led to “merciless and perfidious cruelty among the heinous sins of this nation.”(Chomsky, Who Rules the World? 34). “America” was covered by forts. Take a look at a map of them sometime. From San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle the conquest continued westward. The only thing different? The forts became “bases.” -- Dick
Covering the Planet from the USA to Western Europe (NATO) and Russia and from the USA across the Pacific to China by the US Empire of Bases.
David Vine, Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (American Empire Project) Hardcover – August 25, 2015.
From Italy to the Indian Ocean, from Japan to Honduras, a far-reaching examination of the perils of American military bases overseas
American military bases encircle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. still stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands. These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagon's vast operations. But in an eye-opening account, "Base Nation" shows that the worldwide network of bases brings with it a panoply of ills and actually makes the nation less safe in the long run.
As David Vine demonstrates, the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy towards the United States. They also undermine American democratic ideals, pushing the U.S. into partnerships with dictators and perpetuating a system of second-class citizenship in territories like Guam. They breed sexual violence, destroy the environment, and damage local economies. And their financial cost is staggering: though the Pentagon underplays the numbers, Vine's accounting proves that the bill approaches $100 billion per year.
For many decades, the need for overseas bases has been a quasi-religious dictum of U.S. foreign policy. But in recent years, a bipartisan coalition has finally started to question this conventional wisdom. With the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan and ending thirteen years of war, there is no better time to re-examine the tenets of our military strategy. Base Nation is an essential contribution to that debate."
WWII stimulated the Eastward and Westward expansions of military bases. The greater Middle East has recently received particular attention. “For more than 36 years, the U.S. military has been building an unprecedented constellation of bases that stretches from Southern Europe and the Middle East to Africa and Southwest Asia.” David Vine, “Doubling Down on a Failed Strategy.” Veterans for Peace, Peace in Our Times (Winter 2016; see Vine’s map of US bases surrounding Iran). (From tomdispatch http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176090/tomgram%3A_david_vine,_enduring_bases,_enduring_war_in_the_middle_east/ and truthdig http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/doubling_down_on_a_failed_strategy_the_pentagons_dangerous_20160115 ). My 18 Westward and 16 Eastward imperialism newsletters (now combined into US Imperialism Newsletter #35) connect with Vine’s history and mapping to cover the world. See the excellent book by Andrew Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East.
“Navy Sub Sponsored by First Lady Arrives.” NADG (March 28, 2016). Michelle Obama christened the USS Illinois at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, CT. It’s a deliriously happy moment for the military-industrial complex “after nearly 51/2 years of construction” at a cost of $2.7 billion in three states and “submarine supply businesses nationwide.” And the need? It’ s “the 13th member of the Virginia class.”
CONTEXT OF ADDICTION
Joel Andreas. Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism. Graphic format for “a witty and devastating portrait of U.S. military policy” (Howard Zinn).
Henry A. Giroux. America’s Addiction to Terrorism. A “deeply insightful analysis of the way the words ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ have been appropriated to advance [U.S.] militarist worldviews.” (Rabbi Lerner, Editor, Tikkun).
ENCIRCLING RUSSIA, RUSSOPHOBIA
RUSSIA NEWSLETTERS 1-6
RUSSIA NEWSLETTER #1. March 21, 2014.
RUSSIA NEWSLETTER #2 (AND UKRAINE). April 10, 2014
RUSSIA NEWSLETTER #3. May 16, 2014. http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2014/05/russiaukraine-newsletter-3.html
Russia Newsletter #4, July 22, 2014. http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2014/07/russiaukraine-newsletter-4.html
RUSSIA NEWSLETTER #5, March 16, 2014. http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2015/03/russiaukraine-newsletter-5.html
RUSSIA NEWSLETTER #6, September 1, 2016. http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2016/09/russia-newsletter-6.html
John-Thor Dahlburg. “NATO Military Upgrades OK’d.” NADG (June 25, 2015). NATO ordered an increase in its Response Force from 13,000 “to as many as 40,000”because of “the challenges we face” and to “reinforce within 48 hours any alliance member under threat.”The specific threat was “Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. In another of thousands of canting declarations, the NATO chief said “the alliance’s sole goal is to protect itself—not to threaten Moscow.”But“last week [Russia] said it will add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles,” and it airlifted Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad to demonstrate its “readiness to quickly raise the ante in a crisis.” Then Pentagon Secretary Carter announced that the US “will spread…military equipment across a half-dozen of NATO’s easternmost members that feel most at risk from Russia,”including tanks, aircraft, special forces, intelligence, and other “high end contributions.” Thus do arms races proliferate as poker games.
“Allies Agree: No Letup on Russian Sanctions.” NADG (Nov. 19, 2016). “President Barack Obama and several European leaders ‘unanimously agreed’…to keep sanctions in place against Russia” because of its “intervention in Ukraine” and to express its concern for president-elect Trump’s possible “softening” of US “stance against Moscow.”
“Report: Russia Has New Baltic Missiles.” NADG (Nov. 22, 2016). This 3-inch report in the NADG, from Reuters,is packed with important facts. See The Guardian for another longer versions. ABC and BBC reported angry NATO and US reactions. WORLD NEWS | Wed Oct 26, 2016 | 1:51pm EDT.
(The familiar masculine, schoolyard tit-for-tat arming and threatening that began so many wars.)
Russia beefs up Baltic Fleet amid NATO tensions: reports.
(L-R) Russian navy corvette Steregushchy, destroyer Nastoichivy and frigate Admiral Gorshkov are anchored in a bay of the Russian fleet base in Baltiysk in Kaliningrad region, Russia, July 19, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Russia is sharply upgrading the firepower of its Baltic Fleet by adding warships armed with long-range cruise missiles to counter NATO's build-up in the region, Russian media reported on Wednesday.
There was no official confirmation from Moscow, but the reports will raise tensions in the Baltic, already heightened since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and cause particular alarm in Poland and Lithuania which border Russia's base there.
The reported deployment comes as NATO is planning its biggest military build-up on Russia's borders since the Cold War to deter possible Russian aggression.
Russia's daily Izvestia newspaper cited a military source as saying that the first two of five ships, the Serpukhov and the Zeleny Dol, had already entered the Baltic Sea and would soon become part of a newly formed division in Kaliningrad, Russia's European exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
Another source familiar with the situation told the Interfax news agency that the two warships would be joining the Baltic Fleet in the coming days.
"With the appearance of two small missile ships armed with the Kalibr cruise missiles the Fleet's potential targeting range will be significantly expanded in the northern European military theater," the source told Interfax.
Russia's Defence Ministry, which said earlier this month the two ships were en route to the Mediterranean, did not respond to a request for comment, but NATO and the Swedish military confirmed the two warships had entered the Baltic.
"NATO navies are monitoring this activity near our borders," said Dylan White, the alliance's acting spokesman.
The Buyan-M class corvettes are armed with nuclear-capable Kalibr cruise missiles, known by the NATO code name Sizzler, which the Russian military says have a range of at least 1,500 km (930 miles).
Though variants of the missile are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the ships are believed to be carrying conventional warheads.
"The addition of Kalibr missiles would increase the strike range not just of the Baltic Fleet, but of Russian forces in the Baltic region, fivefold," said Ben Nimmo, a defense analyst at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, who has been tracking the ships' progress.
"The two small corvettes, with their modern, nuclear-capable missiles, may yet have an impact out of proportion to their size in the Baltic."
SWEDEN, POLAND WORRIED
Izvestia said Russia's Baltic Fleet would probably receive a further three such small warships armed with the same missiles by the end of 2020.
It said the Baltic Fleet's coastal defenses would also be beefed up with the Bastion and Bal land-based missile systems. The Bastion is a mobile defense system armed with two anti-ship missiles with a range of up to 300 km (188 miles). The Bal anti-ship missile has a similar range.
Sweden's Defence Minister said his country was worried by the presence of the warships in the Baltic Sea, complaining the move was likely to keep tension in the region high.
"This is ... worrying and is not something that helps to reduce tensions in our region," Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Sweden's national TT news agency. "This affects all the countries round the Baltic."
Swedish media said the Kalibr missiles had the range to hit targets across the Nordic region. The Russian Defence Ministry said in August that the two corvettes had been used to fire cruise missiles at militants in Syria.
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, in Brussels for a NATO meeting, called the deployment "an obvious cause for concern," the PAP news agency reported. "Moving such ships into the Baltic changes the balance of power," he said.
Earlier this month, Russia moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into Kaliningrad leading to protests from Lithuania and Poland.
(Additional reporting by Jack Stubbs in Moscow, Justyna Pawlak and Jakub Iglewski in Warsaw and Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Andrew Heavens)
What’s at stake: US WESTWARD IMPERIALISM, PACIFIC OCEAN, EAST ASIA
(#1 May 8, 2012; #2 August 22, 2012; #3 Nov. 25, 2012; #4 Jan. 12, 2013; #5 March 27, 2013; #6 July 5, 2013; #7 August 12, 2013; #8 Nov. 8, 2013; #9 Jan. 2, 2014; #10 Feb. 3, 2014; #11 Feb. 26, 2014; #12 April 21, 2014; #13, June 26, 2014; #14 Sept. 24, 2014; #15, Feb. 18, 2015; #16, April 12, 2015; #17, July 13, 2015; #18, Dec. 19, 2015).
What is the threat to the US from surrounded China, compared to the threat to China by the US? The expansion of US domination from San Diego to Darwin and Diego Garcia; from Oakland/San Francisco to Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, Okinawa; from Seattle to Seoul and Jeju Island; Tacoma to Taiwan and Tokyo; Bangor Tridents throughout the Pacific! all serve aggressive, encompassing, threatening, nuclear armed USA.
“U.S.-Philippine Drills Start Despite Strife.” NADG (Nov. 16, 2016). “U.S. and Philippine special forces begin annual combat exercises today, continuing joint drills despite opposition by the Philippine president.” I won’t comment here about Pres. Duterte’s friction with the US over his stated intention “to expand security ties with China and Russia.” (See my section below on conflict within the colonies.) Rather, let’s look at the map for a moment. The “Balance Piston exercises”will occur in the western province of Palawan. Palawan is a long archipelago stretching southwest from central Philippines to Malaysia. It appears to be the southern border of the South China Sea—from the Mindoro Strait to the Balabac Strait. My question is, why did they choose this location instead of one on the eastern side of the Philippines? It seems childishly provocative. However, the Philippine and the U.S. armies did agree “to forego live-fire drill in the field during the month long” exercises. But the choice of Palawan should not surprise. It is similar to the annual US/S.Korea exercises near N. Korea’s border that so enrages Kim Jong Un. What is the entire “Pivot” of US armed forces from Europe and Central Asia but a massive attempt to intimidate China (and North Korea)?
A related South China Sea development. China’s first and only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has completed its sea trials and is now “ready to engage in combat….’against enemies.’” Well, hardly. But it’s a brave show. The U.S. has ten carrier battle groups. The one Chinese carrier was built upon a “purchased…incomplete hull” from the Ukraine “more than a decade ago.” Its future use has not been declared, but “it is seen as helping reinforce China’s increasingly assertive claims in the South China Sea in the face of challenges from the U.S. Navy and others.” “Assertive”is less assertive than “aggressive,” which is the word often used by the US and its allies, with aggressive sliding into aggression. Like if the US had one aircraft carrier to defend its shores. But in another glorious US euphemism, we must “pivot” to contain that threat.
Scan US massive force containment near China’s shores on any map showing US bases around China. (Contact the Global Network Against Weapons (www.space4peace.org, 207-443-9502). But pick any map and any country, and you are likely to find a US base. Find our enormous island aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia, then move eastward to US bases at Cocos Island and in northwestern Australia, then north and northeast to Singapore and Malaysia, to the Philippines and Guam, farther north to Taiwan and Okinawa, and to mainland Japan and South Korea and our new base at Jeju Island. Remember, because of our air to air refueling our bombers possess global range. And remember, many carry nuclear bombs, just as do our Trident submarines offshore of China. That’s the enclosing arsenal the US declared it needed to Pivot to!
Staff. “China Accuses U.S. Admiral of Smear.” AD-G (Feb. 26, 2016.
Col. Wu Qian criticized the commander of US forces in the Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., for accusing China of “militarizing” the “vital waterway” and “seeking ‘hegemony’ in East Asia,” while seeking to increase the Pentagon budget before Congress. The accusations speed back and forth. The US operates on double standards, double think? What’s ok for US is not ok for China? --Dick
“[Japan] Record Budget Sought for Defense.” NADG (Sept. 1, 2016). “For a fifth straight year” Japan’s Defense Ministry is seeking a record budget….to cope with increasing pressure from China.” China has nuclear warships off Japan’s coasts threatening its cities and harbors? China is conducting air force exercises near its borders? No, the pressure comes from China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japanese citizens are threatened on the islands? Anybody? Well no, no one inhabits the islands, but Japan shares coastlines of the East China Sea with China, and responding to US pressure “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reversed a decade long downward trend in defense spending after he took office in 2012.” See report below on the change in Japan’s constitution loosening restraints on use of armed force abroad and hardening its role as an ally of the USA. --Dick
RESISTANCE AGAINST THE EMPIRE
Globalization, Continental US, NAFTA, Dakota and Diamond Pipelines, and TPP
“The Golden Rule: Corporations overtaking public in global controls.” By Fran Alexander. NADG (January 12, 2016).
"It's a corporate world," is a phrase often muttered more in frustration than fear, especially since the United States Supreme Court declared corporations to be people in regard to campaign contributions. Their 2010 Citizens United ruling gave corporations the right to fund individual candidates and electioneering communications, and the money is often unlimited and untraceable. This action screwed down the heaviest lid ever put on a democratic government supposedly controlled by "the people" of the flesh and bone variety.
In overwhelming a one person-one vote process with corporate political power and money, the old Golden Rule of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us became completely overshadowed with "he who has the gold rules."
Corporate power over the economic condition of nations just recently knocked very loudly at our country's door. TransCanada, which was hell-bent on building the 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline diagonally across the U.S. from Alberta, Canada, to our ports on the Gulf of Mexico, didn't take too well to President Obama's moment of environmental clarity, when he denied permitting the pipeline's completion. His reasoning is that the burning of this tar sand oil would "undercut [America's] global leadership" in controlling climate change, "the biggest risk we face." About 15 minutes into the Jan. 7 "Democracy Now" program (NPR and PBS) about this lawsuit and trade policies, it was said that 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day were to be piped to the Texas refineries.
The company has sued the United States for $15 billion under the North America Free Trade Agreement's terms. Ironically, however, and maybe coincidentally, the president has also been consistent in pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which many assume he will tout in his State of the Union address tonight.
Environmental and labor organizations have long opposed these trade agreements, believing they destroy American jobs and "allow companies and investors to challenge sovereign government decisions to protect public health and the environment," as expressed in a Friends of the Earth statement. Mr. Obama has dismissed this fear of loss of national sovereignty, but TransCanada has just thrown down the gauntlet as to whether NAFTA and the TPP will indeed allow corporate rule over a nation's laws.
Did Obama play politics with us by tossing environmentalists a bone when denying Keystone, while knowing all along that the pipeline would be finished because of NAFTA's provisions? If TransCanada wins $15 billion of our taxpayer money, it will not happen in either country's courts, but by judges in a private sector investor-state tribunal allowed under NAFTA. Another charming detail is that companies are allowed to sue for "expected future profits" of a denied project. This means if they win they can recoup initial investments plus what would have been made if their business had been allowed to proceed, and to hell with the health, environment, or economy of the country they sue.
According to Lori Wallach of Public Citizen (www.citizen.org/trade), the TPP would expose our country and its taxpayers to about 9,500 multi-national corporations that do business in and with the United States. She points out that just a month ago another U.S. consumer law was gutted because Congress did not want to face the World Trade Organization's threatened billions in sanctions for labeling meats with their country of origin. We will now not be able to judge for ourselves whether to consume mystery meat from countries that may have little or no food safety regulations that we've come to expect here. Such are the powers of corporate rule over government-derived laws established by the citizens of a trade member country. Fear in place of mere frustration is now what we should feel toward the dictating corporate world.
So far it's been just fine with our president and the majority party in our Congress that the TPP was negotiated for years in secret and not open to public or political view until this past November. And, so far these trade deals are just business-as-usual to the Republican candidates for president. Hillary was for the TPP before she was against it, and Bernie Sanders has always vehemently opposed both the TPP and NAFTA as "disastrous."
My grandmother used to say "the chickens are coming home to roost" when I got what was coming to me. Please read up on the TPP and write our congressmen to change their direction and oppose this trade agreement with all their might. Roosting chickens can make a real mess.
(See Fran’s November 22, 2016 follow-up of her Jan. 12 column, “What Could Go Wrong? Will a New Pipeline Run through Arkansas?” Her reply is that stopping it is virtually impossible because “private pipeline companies have been deemed ‘common carriers,’treated as utilities, and granted the power of eminent domain for their rights-of-way across private lands.”)
Rev. John Dear, “Taking a Stand at Standing Rock.” The Free Weekly (Nov. 10, 2016).
(Dear is a US Catholic Priest, syndicated by PeaceVoice, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and author of many books, the latest, Thomas Merton Peacemaker.) Dear’s essay is wide and deep. Here is part of his conclusion: “We can continue the legacy of racism, oppression, corporate greed, war, environmental destruction, and hasten the worst of catastrophic climate change, or we can all become earth and water protectors, Standing rock people of nonviolence.” He means all, for the overturn of the present oligarchy will require a mass movement. Contact Dear: www.campaignnonviolence.org For local protest contact Lay: Mixay Lay Vongnarath mLayvon@gmail.com; Luis: Luis Contreras firstname.lastname@example.org; Gladys, OMNI; Charles, OMNI/CCL: Charles Sisco, email@example.com
Native Hawaiian Group Adopts Constitution at Convention
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8f840cd513c14abfb9b8f557ef3bd519/native-hawaiian-group-adopts-constitution-convention FILE – In
15, 2015, file photo,
HONOLULU (AP) — A constitutional convention of Native Hawaiians has adopted a governing document that will go out to a vote for ratification, the organization behind the gathering announced.
The proposed constitution, approved Friday by an 88 to 30 vote with one abstention, allows room for recognition by the U.S. government while holding out for the possibility of independence, said Na’I Aupuni, an organization that says on its website it’s dedicated to “establish a path for Hawaiian self-determination.”
The U.S. Interior Department is giving Native Hawaiians an option to have a government-to-government relationship with the United States. The plan would extend to Native Hawaiians recognition similar to what many Native American tribes have had for generations. However, the department stresses that the Native Hawaiian government won’t automatically be eligible for federal American Indian programs, services and benefits unless Congress allows it.
Continued: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8f840cd513c14abfb9b8f557ef3bd519/native-hawaiian-group-adopts-constitution-convention FIL
JON OLSEN. “HAWAI’I: ‘BELLIGERENT Occupation’ by U.S. “ SPACE ALERT! (Winter/Spring 2016). “Hawai’i today has over 100 military installations occupying a large percentage of the land mass. These have been imposed on Hawai’i….” Space Alert! - Winter/Spring 2016 - Global Network Against ...www.space4peac... Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power...
May 20, 2014 - Author Jon Olsen has come out with his new book “Liberate Hawai'i,” which ... Jon Olsen . . .convincingly points out that the fraudulent claim of ...
Preview: Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases at the International Court of Justice
By Rick Wayman for NAPF 3-6-16
Over the next two weeks, oral arguments in the Marshall Islands’ nuclear disarmament cases will take place at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) originally filed the lawsuits in April 2014 against all nine nuclear-armed nations (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea). These are the first contentious cases about nuclear disarmament to be brought before the world’s highest court.
The RMI claims that the nuclear-armed nations are in breach of nuclear disarmament obligations under existing international law. This applies to the P5 nations that are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as well as to the four non-NPT signatories (Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea) under customary international law.
“We are, basically, asking the Court to tell the respondent states to live up to their obligations under international law and to conduct negotiations leading to the required result: nuclear disarmament in all its aspects,” said Phon van den Biesen, Co-Agent for the RMI and attorney at law in Amsterdam, who is leading the International Legal Team.
From March 7-16, the cases against India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom will be argued. The three respondents are the only nations among the “Nuclear Nine” that accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. The other six nuclear-armed nations were invited to accept the jurisdiction of the Court in this case, but either explicitly declined (China) or ignored the application (U.S., Russia, France, Israel and North Korea).
The applications filed by the RMI in April 2014 are available online. All subsequent filings – memorials and counter-memorials – have thus far been treated as confidential by the ICJ. Standard practice of the ICJ is to make these documents public once the oral argument phase has begun. If and when the ICJ makes the memorials and counter-memorials public, they will also be available at the aforementioned link.
Arguments in RMI vs. India will take place on March 7, 10, 14 and 16. Arguments in RMI vs. Pakistan will take place on March 8, 11, 14 and 16. Arguments in RMI vs. United Kingdom will take place on March 9, 11, 14 and 16. All sessions will be livestreamed on the ICJ website, and transcripts will be available soon after each session. This round of hearings will address preliminary objections filed by each respondent nation. The Court’s 15 justices will decide whether the cases will proceed to the next phase in which the merits will be considered.
The ICJ issued an Advisory Opinion in 1996 about the legality of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The justices wrote unanimously, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” Twenty years later, no nuclear disarmament negotiations have taken place among nuclear-armed nations, and all nine are engaged in some level of “modernization” of their nuclear arsenals.
While the ICJ will hear arguments exploring complex interpretations of international law, the Marshall Islands continues to highlight the underlying reason for bringing these cases.
Tony de Brum, former Marshall Islands Foreign Minister and Co-Agent in the cases, said, “I have seen with my very own eyes nuclear devastation and know with conviction that nuclear weapons must never again be visited upon humanity. Nuclear weapons are a senseless threat to survival and there are basic norms that compel those who possess them to pursue and achieve their elimination. This is the subject of legal action by my country at the International Court of Justice.”
The United States used the Marshall Islands as a testing ground for 67 nuclear weapon tests from 1946-58, causing human and environmental catastrophes that persist to this day.
See my newsletters on US lawlessness and war crimes:
Guam: The Tip of America’s Spear
By Michael Lujan Bevacqua, PhD
For more than 110 years, the United States has held Guam, an island in the Marianas group in the western Pacific, as an “unincorporated territory”—a colony. Guam is increasingly important strategically, as its location allows the U.S. to project force across east Asia.
Guam is often called “the tip of America’s spear,” only 212 square miles, 29% of that land mass is U.S. Air Force and Navy bases. Since the end of World War II, Guam has been on the United Nations’ list of “non-self-governing territories” with a goal of decolonization and political self-determination. The UN requires the U.S. and other “administering powers” to support the decolonization of these occupied states. Increased militarization and the building-up of bases are detrimental to this goal, as that sidelines the human rights of colonized peoples in the name of national or regional security and strategic interests.
But the U.S. has long ignored its responsibility in this regard and is even seeking to dramatically increase rather than decrease its military presence in the Marianas. Since 2006, the U.S. military has been planning the transfer of thousands of Marines (and their dependents) from Okinawa to Guam. (continued at http://www.space4peace.org/newsletter/Space%20Alert%2033.pdf)
Interview with US-based Filipino intellectual Kenneth Bauzon on the Duterte presidency
E. SAN JUAN, Jr.
Emeritus Professor of Ethnic Studies & Comparative Literature; Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines http://www.cenpeg.org/2016/gov/NOV2016/FIRE-STORM_FROM_THE_BOONDOCKS.html
Emeritus Professor of Ethnic Studies & Comparative Literature; Professorial Lecturer, Polytechnic University of the Philippines http://www.cenpeg.org/2016/gov/NOV2016/FIRE-STORM_FROM_THE_BOONDOCKS.html
Posted by CenPEG.org Nov. 15, 2016
“A howling wilderness” was what General Jacob Smith ordered his troops to make of Samar, Philippines. He was taking revenge for the ambush of fifty-four soldiers by Filipino revolutionaries in September 1901. After killing most of the island’s inhabitants, three bells from the Balangiga Church were looted as war trophies; two are still displayed at Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Very few Americans know this. Nor would they have any clue about the 1913 massacre of thousands of Muslim women, men and children resisting General Pershing’s systematic destruction of their homes in Mindanao where President Rodrigo Duterte today resides.
Addressing this dire amnesia afflicting the public, both in the Philippines and abroad, newly-elected president Duterte began the task of evoking/invoking the accursed past. He assumed the role of oral tribune, with prophetic expletives. Like the Filipino guerillas of Generals Lukban and Malvar who retreated to the mountains (called “boondocks” by American pursuers), Duterte seems to be coming down with the task of reclaiming the collective dignity of the heathens— eulogized by Rudyard Kipling, at the start of the war in February 1899, as “the white men’s burden.”
Mark Twain: “Thirty Thousand Killed a Million”
The Filipino-American War of 1899-1913 occupies only a paragraph, at most, in most US texbooks, a blip in the rise of the United States as an Asian Pacific Leviathan. Hobbes’ figure is more applicable to international rivalries than to predatory neoliberal capitalism today, or to the urban jungle of Metro Manila. At least 1.4 million Filipinos (verified by historian Luzviminda Francisco) died as a result of the scorched-earth policy of President McKinley. His armed missionaries were notorious for Vietnam-style “hamletting.” They also practised the “water-cure,” also known as “water-boarding,” a form of torture now legitimized in a genocidal war of terror (Iraq, Afghanistan) that recalls the ruthless suppression of Native American tribes and dehumanization of African slaves in the westward march of the “civilizing Krag” to the Pacific, to the Chinese market. Today the struggle at Standing Rock and Black-Lives-Matter are timely reminders. Stuart Creignton Miller’s 1982 book, “Benevolent Assimilation,” together with asides by Gabriel Kolko and Howard Zinn, recounted the vicissitudes of that bloody passage through Philippine boondocks and countryside.
Not everyone acquiesced to Washington’s brutal annexation of the island-colony. Mark Twain exposed the hypocrisy of Washington’s “Benevolent Assimilation” with searing diatribes, as though inventing the “conscience” of his generation. William James, William Dean Howells, W.E.B. DuBois and other public intellectuals denounced what turned out to be the “first Vietnam” (Bernard Fall’s rubric).
It was a learning experience for the conquerors. In Policing America’s Empire, Alfred McCoy discovered that America’s “tutelage” of the Filipino elite (involving oligarchic politicians of the Commonwealth period up to Marcos and Aquino) functioned as a laboratory for crafting methods of surveillance, ideological manipulation, propaganda, and other modes of covert and overt pacification. Censorship, mass arrests of suspected dissidents, torture and assassination of “bandits” protesting landlord abuses and bureaucratic corruption in the first three decades of colonial rule led to large-scale killing of peasants and workers in numerous Colorum and Sakdalista uprisings.
Re-Visiting the Cold War/War of Terror
This pattern of racialized class oppression via electoral politics and disciplinary pedagogy culminated in the Cold War apparatus devised by CIA agent Edward Lansdale and the technocrats of Magsaysay to suppress the Huk rebellion in the two decades after formal granting of independence in 1946. The machinery continued to operate in the savage extrajudicial killings during the Marcos dictatorship up to Corazon Aquino’s “total war” against nationalists, progressive priests and nuns, Igorots, Lumads—all touted by Washington/Pentagon as the price for enjoying democracy, free market, the right to gamble in the capitalist casino. This constitutes the rationale for U.S.-supported counterinsurgency schemes to shore up the decadent, if not moribund, status quo—a society plagued by profound and seemingly durable disparity of wealth and power—now impolitely challenged by Duterte.
Not a single mass-media article on Duterte’s intent to forge an independent foreign policy and solve corruption linked to narcopolitics, provides even an iota of historical background on the US record of colonial subjugation of Filipino bodies and souls. This is not strange, given the long history of Filipino “miseducation” documented by Renato Constantino. Perhaps the neglect if not dismissal of the Filipino collective experience is due to the indiscriminate celebration of America’s success in making the natives speak English, imitate the American Way of Life shown in Hollywood movies, and indulge in mimicked consumerism.
What is scandalous is the complicity of the U.S. intelligentsia (with few exceptions) in regurgitating the “civilizing effect” of colonial exploitation. Every time the Filipino essence is described as violent, foolish, shrewd or cunning, the evidence displays the actions of a landlord-politician, bureaucrat, savvy merchant, U.S.-educated professional, or rich entrepreneur. Unequal groups dissolve into these representative types: Quezon, Roxas, Magsaysay, Fidel Ramos, etc. What seems ironic if not parodic is that after a century of massive research and formulaic analysis of the colony’s underdevelopment, we arrive at Stanley Karnow’s verdict (amplified in In Our Image) that, really, the Filipinos and their character-syndromes are to blame for their poverty and backwardness, for not being smart beneficiaries of American “good works.” “F—ck you,” Duterte might uncouthly respond. MORE http://www.cenpeg.org/2016/gov/NOV2016/FIRE-STORM_FROM_THE_BOONDOCKS.html
Henoko in Japan takes on U.S. Imperialism by Maya Evans, 2015.
Henoko Town, Okinawa, around one hundred and fifty Japanese protesters gathered to stop construction trucks from entering the U.S. base ‘Camp Schwab’, after the Ministry of Land over-ruled the local Governors’ decision to revoke permission for construction plans, criticizing the “mainland-centric” Japanese Government of compromising the environmental, health and safety interests of the Islanders.
Riot police poured out of buses at six a.m., out-numbering protesters four to one, with road sitters systematically picked off in less than an hour to make way for construction vehicles.
All the mayors and government representatives of Okinawa have objected to the construction of the new coastal base, which will landfill one hundred and sixty acres of Oura Bay, for a two hundred and five hectare construction plan which will be part of a military runway.
Marine biologists describe Oura Bay as a critical habitat for the endangered ‘dugong’ (a species of manatee), which feeds in the area, as well as sea turtles and unique large coral communities.
The bay is particularly special for its extreme rich ecosystem which has developed due to six inland rivers converging into the bay, making the sea levels deep, and ideal from various types of porites coral and dependent creatures.
‘Camp Schwab’ is just one of 32 U.S. bases which occupy 17% of the Island, using various areas for military exercises from jungle training to Osprey helicopter training exercises. There are on average 50 Osprey take off and landings every day, many next to housing and built up residential areas, causing disruption to everyday life with extreme noise levels, heat and diesel smell from the engines.
Two days ago there were six arrests outside the base, as well as ‘Kayactivists’ in the sea trying to disrupt the construction. A formidable line of tethered red buoys mark out the area consigned for construction, running from the land to a group of offshore rocks, Nagashima and Hirashima, described by local shamans as the place where dragons (the source of wisdom) originated.
Protesters also have a number of speed boats which take to the waters around the cordoned area; the response of the coast guard is to use the tactic of trying to board these boats after ramming them off course.
The overwhelming feeling of the local people is that the Government on the mainland is willing to sacrifice the wishes of Okinawans in order to pursue its military defense measures against China. Bound by Article 9, Japan has not had an army since world war two, though moves by the Government suggest a desire to scrap the Article and embark on a ‘special relationship’ with the U.S., who is already securing control of the area with over 200 bases, and thus tightening the Asia pivot with control over land and sea trade routes, particularly those routes used by China.
Meanwhile, Japan is footing 75% of the bill for accommodating the U.S., with each soldier costing the Japanese Government 200 million yen per year, that’s $4.4 billion a year for the 53,082 U.S. soldiers currently in Japan, with around half (26,460) based in Okinawa. The new base at Henoko is also expected to cost the Japanese Government a tidy sum with the current price tag calculated to be at least 5 trillion yen.
Okinawa suffered devastating losses during the second world war, with a quarter of the population killed within the 3-month-long ‘Battle of Okinawa’ which claimed 200,000 lives in total. Hilltops are said to have changed shape due to the sheer bombardment of ammunition.
Local activist Hiroshi Ashitomi has been protesting at Camp Schwab since the expansion was announced 11 years ago, he said: “We want an island of peace and the ability to make our own decisions, if this doesn’t happen then maybe we might need to start talking about independence.”
Maya Evans is co-cordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK. (vcnv.org.uk). She writes from Okinawa, Japan.
See “Japan Gives U.S. Sailor 2 ½ Years for Rape.” NADG (July 16, 2016).
This crime and that of a U.S. military contractor on charges of rape and murder of a 20-yeaer old woman have inflamed “tens of thousands of people” against US bases on the island.
“Japanese Mandate Allows Use of Force.” NADG (Nov. 22, 2016).
After WWII, the US compelled Japan to forbid in its constitution the use of armed force in settling international disputes. During the Cold War the US urged Japan to change it Constitution, specifically Article 9, to allow Japanese troops to use armed force abroad. This was done in 2015 for“some situations.”
Hyung-Jin Kim (AP). “S. Koreans Pelt Premier in Protest of Missile System.” NADG (July 16, 2016). Residents of a SK town egged their prime minister for “more than six hours”to protest “a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile…system”—the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense. The purpose of the system is “to better cope with North Korean threats,” but the people of Seongju feared electromagnetic waves. And not only N.K. but China and Russia protested the missile system. (That system already existed on Guam; now it will be very close to the borders of N.K. and China.) The author concluded by reminding readers of the 28,000 US troops stationed in S.K.today to deter “potential aggression”from N.K. See above my comments on the Chinese threat and my several newsletters on N.K. (#4 http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2016/02/north-korea-newsletter-4-seeing-enemy.html )
See “Hawaii Missile Defense Gets New Leader.” NADG (August 7, 2016).
WHAT DO WE DO? Questions and Projects.
The newsletter offers many questions for study. Here are more.
Find a cheap map of the Pacific Ocean and Asia going all the way around to Diego Garcia, and draw arrows from the US missile bases to China. Did you forget something?
Do same with Russia from all the US and NATO bases ringing it.
Again using a throwaway map, identify the US global Commands and locate their area of control (Central Command: Centcom) and the headquarters of each. What is the purpose of these Commands? What does the Pentagon say, and what do you think? Do other nations have similar plans?
Using the example of the Navy submarine USS Illinois, begin a topical list (type of industry, location, etc.) of the industries that profited from the submarine. Pres. Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex.
Words other than terrorism and terrorist have been captured to serve a military and imperial purpose, such as service, America, defense. List as many as you can and explain how they work as part of the military-industrial (corporate, Pentagon, Congress, White House, mainstream media, educational) complex.
As you read your newspaper or internet news on foreign affairs, note how often an enemy is assumed, and how often the “enemy’s” point of view is given space and sympathy equal to that of the USA, or even given at all.
Strike up a correspondence with one of your informed and rational congressional representatives and local officials.
Some of the books cited in the newsletter:
Chomsky, Who Rules the World
Vine, Base Nation
Bacevitch, America’s War for the Greater Middle East
Giroux, America’s Addition to Terrorism
Andreas, Addiction to War
EXPLANATION OF CONSOLIDATION OF US WESTWARD IMPERIALISM NEWSLETERS INTO US GLOBAL IMPERIALISM
I began with a Continental Westward Newsletter (an expanding nation of forts), and had begun a Pacific/E. Asia Newsletter even prior to Obama’s “pivot,” because the attempt to surround China and N. Korea was already obvious. The extension of US/NATO pressure along Russia’s western border, now from Finland and the Ukraine, down to Turkey and Afghanistan and more (including the island Diego Garcia) made a separate newsletter seem necessary for awhile, until it was clear no westward/eastward demarcation was possible: the US empire is composed of six global Commands, bombers with in-flight refueling, some 800 to 1000 bases (depending on your criteria), and 10 carrier battle groups for global control. Hence, the US Westward Empire Newsletter and the US Imperial Newsletter were joined into a US Imperialism Newsletter New Series (NS) #35.
US Imperialism Newsletters (16)
US Westward Imperialism Newsletters (18)
#1 July 3, 2007
#1 May 8, 2012
#2 Sept. 20, 2007
#2 August 22, 2012
#3 April 7, 2008
#3 November 25, 2012
#4 Nov. 30, 2008
#4 January 12, 2013
#5 September 13, 2011
#5 March 27, 2013
#6 October 16, 2011
#6 July 5, 2013
#7 January 16, 2012
#7 August 12, 2013
#8 June 3, 2012
#8 November 8, 2013
#9 Oct. 20, 2012
#9 January 2, 2014
#10 April 5, 2013
#10 February 3, 2014
#11 June 3, 2013
#11 February 26, 2014
#12 July 19, 2013
#12 April 21, 2014
#13 Sept. 3, 2013
#13 June 26, 2014
#14 March 2, 2014
#14 September 23, 2014
#15 June 22, 2014
#15 February 18, 2015
#16 May 17, 2015
#16 April 12, 2015
#17 July 13, 2015
#18 December 19, 2015
The mission of OMNI has not changed (peace, justice, ecology) but its priorities have. What is the mission of OMNI? To resist the catastrophic crises of (nuclear) wars and warming. A world free of war and the threat of nuclear war,
and an earth protected from the weather extremes caused by anthropogenic C02, the new epoch soon to be called the Anthropocene.
A society with justice for all,
where every person’s potential may be fulfilled.
END US IMPERIALISM NEWSLETTER #35, November 22, 2016