Tuesday, January 15, 2013



OMNI NEWSLETTER #4 US WESTWARD IMPERIALISM, PACIFIC OCEAN, EAST ASIA,   January 12, 2013.  Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.   (#1 May 8, 2012; #2 August 22, 2012; #3 Nov. 25, 2012).  

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for opposition to empire, militarism, and wars.   Here is the link to the Index:  http://www.omnicenter.org/omni-newsletter-general-index/   See: Continental US Westward Expansion, Indigenous People of Americas, Pentagon, US Imperialism, and more.

My blog:
It's the War Department

An underlying theme of this newsletter and of all of the newsletters pertaining to war is the necessity of the US peace movement to be informed, to think, and to act globally.   Often the argument is made that peacemaking must begin with inner equanimity, steadiness, and strength and nobody can deny their importance, but our leaders’ reckless lawlessness, making the world unstable, destabilizes each and every one of us locally, and must be stopped.   In order to act, we do not have to wait until we have fully matured, and anyway a lifetime is seldom enough time to enable that ideal condition.  See Elliott Adams, “Protecting the Wrong People at Drone Base.”  Space Alert! (Dec. 2012), for a strong indictment of US war crimes, and the urgent responsibility of us all to resist now.   –Dick

“Percentage of Americans who say China ‘can’t be trusted: 68.”  (“Harper’s Index” January 2013).   Where do you think that fear came from?   US encirclement of China would not happen without the majority of people first having been persuaded by the warriors to believe China was an enemy, just as with Vietnam and Iraq.


Nos. 1 & 2 at end

Contents #3, Nov. 25, 2012
Dick:  Jeju Island
Obama Focuses on Asia-Pacific
Burns on Panetta: Transferring Forces to China “Threat”
Letman (via Global Nework and VFP): Hawaii, Head of PACOM
US Fear of Chinese Port Management
Andre Vltchek, Oceania, Western Imperialism S. Pacific

Contents #4  Encircling China, Pacific Resistance
LaFebre, Expansion 1860-1898
Dick:  Progress to Pacific
Dick:  General Custer
Lind:  Hawaii
Bardsley:  US Troops to Australia:  China
Paik and Mander: Pacific Blowback
Space Alert! Dec. 2012
   Middleton, Australian Military Connections
   US and NZ: Waihopai Spybase
   Vandenberg Air Force Base
   Canada Joins the Pivot
   Star Wars and China
   Pentagon's X-37B First Strike Defense

Walter LeFeber’s “The New Empire” : An Interpretation of American Expansion 1860-1898  (New York, Cornell University Press, 1963).
 A Review of LeFeber’s “A New Empire”
Walter LaFeber’s “The New Empire” proposes that American foreignpolicy from 1860-1898 was framed by extra-continental expansion basedupon an economic need to find foreign markets in which to sell Americansurpluses. By examining the early theorizing of this economic cause of expansion, its formulation through intellectual, strategic, and economicchannels, and the reaction of policymakers to changing economic situationsthrough the use of expansion from 1893-1898, LaFeber claims that the “NewEmpire” established by 1899 was the culmination of an American foreignpolicy whereby policymakers such as Seward, Blaine, Mahan, and Clevelandused American expansion to establish an economic chain of marketsbeneficial to the growth of the United States.LaFeber begins with the origin of the idea and the policymakers, suchas William Seward and James Blaine, who he claims set the economic drivenexpansion in motion. He uses quotes from Seward such as, “The Nation thatdraws most materials and provisions from the earth, and fabricates the most,and sells the most of productions and fabrics to foreign nations, must be, andwill be, the greatest power of the earth,”
to showcase early calls foreconomic expansion. He presents Blaine’s ability to take the idea to abroader level when he quotes him as saying, “wherever a foothold is foundfor American enterprise, it is quickly occupied, and this spirit of adventure,which seeks its outlet in the mines of South America and the railroads of Mexico, would not be slow to avail itself of openings for assured andprofitable enterprise.”
 He claims the formulation of the idea of economic driven expansionoccurred on an intellectual, a strategic, and an economic level through thework of men such as Mahan, Blaine, and Patterson. LaFeber uses Mahan toshow the intellectual realization that too much surplus lowered prices in theU.S. and would create farmer turmoil, “Americans must now begin to lookoutward. There owing production of the country demands it.”
LaFeber uses James Blaine to point out the strategic need to protect American access toforeign markets when he quotes him as saying, “You know I am not much of an annexationist; though I do feel that in some directions, as to navalstations and points of influence, we must look forward to a departure fromthe too conservative opinions which have been held hithertofore.”
He pointsout the economic formulation during the debate in the House over tariffs in1894 of the call for lower tariffs and trade expansion in order to pull thecountry out of a depression by men like Josiah Patterson of Tennessee whosaid that “free trade points the way to achieve the manifest destiny of theAmerican people.”
LaFeber supports his economic driven expansion thesis by describingdirect manifestations of expansion caused by this idea, including theVenezuelan Border Crisis of 1895-96 and the Spanish-American War of 1898.

From Progress to Exceptionalism to Pacific Ocean
By Dick Bennett
     A key to understanding modern Western civilization and its pursuit of domination has been 1)  the decline of the myth of Providence: the Fall of humanity and rise through Christ and 2)  the rise of the myth of Progress, the belief that history is the record of ever-expanding human power over nature and consequent cumulative improvement in the conditions of life.   Science, technology, industrial capitalism, economic growth, material wealth and comfort, nationalism, democracy, personal autonomy—these developments arose out of the assumption of inevitable advance. 
      But Progress has not even today replaced Providence.   Rather, its power sas immensely intensified everywhere these two engines driving history coincided.   That fateful coincidence occurred particularly in the United States.    The settlers spreading out from  Jamestown hit the ground running, propelled by the Manifest Destiny of opportunity, profit, freedom, bigotry, and the arrogance drive for dominion. 
     But those two powerful myths would probably not have pushed the USA to conquer and confiscate so much so rapidly had they not been reinforced by a third—that of the USA as exceptional among all nations.   Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority but only that it has a specific, ideal world mission to spread liberty and democracy, many leaders and among the people have promoted its use to justify conquest and intervention around the world.  To them, the United States is like the biblical "shining city on a hill."
      Guided by the ambition engendered by belief in Providence, Progress, and Exceptionalism, the people of the USA pursued an extremely aggressive, grandiose, lethal ambition of Domination.    Four hundred exterminated Indian nations later the “United States” ruled coast to coast.   Then the nation looked westward toward the Pacific Ocean and East Asia.



 He needed the map at home.


Promotes peace, deters aggression, responds to crises,
will fight and win security and stability
throughout Asia-Pacific.
Map and Mission pump him up each morning.
Each morning no beat lost between home and work.
Each morning exhilarated as though catapulted,
he hits the ground happily.

Bangor’s nuclear Tridents ready to fight and win,
San Diego’s dry docks prepare against aggression,
Pearl Harbor Neptune speeds the spear,
Midway and Johnston,
Wake and Guam point the spear.

To the north the Aleutians scimitar.
Japan and S. Korean caution the Beijing brain.
Okinawa and Taiwan quell E. China Sea,
Warn the Shanghai/Guangzhou belly,
Philippines and Vietnam control S. China Sea,
China’s pecker amusingly broken, daily fun of the map.

While far South,
Alice Springs spies,
Darwin welcomes the US Afghan troops,
And Cocos Island prepares for war.

Keeping Westward,
China surrounded.

His adrenalined heart quickens with the carnival map,
Poseidon’s spear of land, sea, and air,
each base blinking more intensely orange,
nearer the target;
the closest ring becoming more brightly and rapidly red,
he feels each morning’s crisis,
finger on the button
stopping aggression,
bringing peace,
finger on the button
Red Alert!

Military as Sacred Cow: Case Study in Hawaii

Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:35 am (PST) . Posted by:

"Global Network" brucekgag

Hawaii Monitor: Would Hawaii Welcome 'Peace On Earth?'
By Ian Lind

We're heading into the holiday season, where themes of "peace on earth, goodwill to all" can be heard in private homes and public spaces, from churches to shopping malls.

But if somehow peace were to miraculously break out, ushering in a new era of peaceful and cooperative international relations, would it be greeted as wonderful news by the powers that be? I doubt it.

It isn't hard for me to envision city, state, and federal officials, along with union and business leaders, stepping forward to lobby for continued high levels of military spending, not because they are opposed to peace but, rather, because they are economically dependent on war. 

It's a policy stance that might make sense in purely economic terms, but would be much harder to justify in moral terms. But this would be nothing new. The same pressures have long constrained public discussion of military and defense issues in Hawaii. 

The state's war industry, euphemistically referred to as the "defense" sector, is a sacred cow, a very visible part of our community that has been largely exempt from mainstream questioning or criticism. 

Public officials reduce the big issues of war and peace to matters of local economic interest. Any policy seen as boosting Hawaii's share of federal military dollars is assumed to be good, and more would always be better. Economic blinders often blunt the progressive views of our representatives in Washington, who feel the practical pressures to protect island businesses regardless of their own political leanings. Governor Abercrombie was certainly a case in point during his two decades in Congress.

Even the news media shy away from much examination of the military, except when the reporting is in patriotic, adulatory tones or presented in flat prose of dollars-and-cents business reporting.

Economic Dependence
Defense, to use the polite term, is one of the state's core industries. It includes the federal dollars spent to house, feed, and provide services to more than 100,000 military personnel and their dependents, along with the defense contractors and their employees involved in development of high-tech for ultimate use in weapons or command systems.

There is certainly no disagreement that in economic terms, the military's local impact is substantial. In 2009, active-duty personnel stationed in Hawaii and civilian defense workers accounted for about 10 percent of total employment in the state, according to a RAND Corporation report. As Civil Beat's Chad Blair recently reported, "federal defense spending accounts for 15 percent of Hawaii's gross domestic product ... the highest mark in the country and far above the national average of 3.5 percent."

Even small variations in defense spending reverberate through our economy as their effects are magnified within certain geographic areas and economic sectors. It's no wonder the potential impact of going over the so-called fiscal cliff, with its automatic cuts of some $55 billion annually to the federal defense budget, has created lots of uncertainty among local defense contractors and public officials.

Defense Cuts Are Inevitable
And even if we avoid the fiscal cliff, the bloated defense budget is an obvious target for the substantial cuts in federal spending that will be required in the long-term effort to reduce the federal deficit.

During FY 2011, the U.S. had by far the world's largest military budget and stood alone at the very top of the 10 countries with highest annual military spending, according to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. We spent more than five times as much on defense as rivals China and Russia together, and about 50 percent more than the total combined military spending by other top-10 countries (China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, and Brazil).

"In other words, the US defense budget is not just dominant; it is operating at a level completely independent of the perceived threat," the online trade publication AOL Defense reported earlier this year. 

The fiscal cliff isn't just a problem, it's also an opportunity to realize that long-term cuts in the military budget, including the share that trickles down to Hawaii, are indeed likely. Factor in the loss within a few years of Dan Inouye's clout in the U.S. Senate and his ability to steer federal dollars into Hawaii's economy, and those cuts appear even more likely. 

How do we move forward in a proactive way? The first task is to challenge the military's status as a sacred cow, and subject  it to the same level of scrutiny given other major institutions in our community, including the costs, as well as economic benefits, of the extensive military presence. This is the prerequisite to all further changes.

With persistence, we can create space to debate and discuss the military's economic role as well as its broader political impact, and begin developing plans for alternative civilian uses of at least some of the 118 separate military facilities and 230,939 acres of military-controlled land in the state.

This type of planning can end up creating a self-fulfilling prophesy, as contingency plans begin to demonstrate the viability of alternatives to continued military dependence. It's at least a place to start.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/ (blog)

First deployment of US troops arrives in Australia

The first contingent of a deployment of 2,500 US troops has arrived in Australia to boost American's power in the Asia Pacific as China continues to flex its muscles in the region.
The initial group of 200 marines, to be stationed near Darwin in northern Australia, arrived late on Tuesday.
Their deployment comes amid disputes between Beijing and its neighbours over territory in the South China Sea and East China Sea - strategic shipping lanes and potentially rich with oil and gas.
China criticised the move to significantly increase US Marine and naval forces in northern Australia, bordering Indonesia and just a few hours' flying time from most of South East Asia, when it was announced in November.
The state-run Xinhua news agency branded it an "aggressive step venturing into Asia" despite assurances from the US president, Barack Obama, that it was not part of an attempt to isolate China.
Speaking yesterday, the Australian defence minister, Stephen Smith, said the agreement between Washington and Canberra for the troops to hold six-month training rotations in Australia reflected a wider geopolitical pivot towards the region.
"The world needs to essentially come to grips with the rise of China, the rise of India, the move of strategic and political and economic influence to our part of the world," he said.
Over the next several years, the numbers of US troops will reach a maximum of 2,500. Officials insist there is no plan for permanent US bases in Australia, although the two countries have a joint intelligence centre near Alice Springs.
The US is however reportedly looking to station aircraft carriers and submarines in Western Australia, and may use Australian territory to operate long-range spy drones.
The modest size of the planned US deployment - dwarfed for example by the 30,000 American troops based in South Korea - makes it "more a symbolic move than a real deployment of troops", according to Jia Qingguo of Peking University's school of international studies.
"The number of troops is quite small and it is still quite far away from the South China Sea," he said.
Some analysts however see the deployment as significant to China in the context of a wider programme of American engagement in the region.
Disputes in the oil and gas-rich South China Sea between Chinese vessels and those belonging to Vietnam and the Philippines have raised regional tensions and sparked concerns among China's less militarily powerful neighbours.
Beijing has increased defence spending by double-digit amounts almost every year for the past two decades. However, Beijing's spending remains a fraction of the Pentagon's budget.
Several South East Asian countries are increasing military cooperation with the United States.
The Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, said last month more US troops could rotate through his country.
Similarly, the US is likely to station several warships in Singapore and increase deployments in Thailand.
"A few hundred US troops stationed in Australia will not make a big difference ... but the Chinese government and the Chinese military see the Australian issue in a much bigger context. That's the fundamental reason why China has expressed deep concern," said Ding Xueliang, a foreign affairs analyst at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
 [Our leaders are certifiably paranoid?  They see enemies everywhere.  Remember the Reagan administration’s warning of Nicaraguans marching on Brownsville, TX?   Or the fear of communists attacking San Francisco if we didn’t stop them in Vietnam?  Now China’s the enemy, as though Chinese bases and troops occupied Canada, Central and South America, and their war ships patrolled the Caribbean and Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  Dick]
On the small, spectacular island of Jeju, off the southern tip of Korea, indigenous villagers have been putting their bodies in the way of the construction of a joint South Korean–US naval base that would be an environmental, cultural and political disaster. If completed, the base would house more than 7,000 navy personnel, plus twenty warships, including US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers carrying the latest Aegis missiles—all aimed at China, only 300 miles away. 
Since 2007, when the $970 million project was announced, the outraged Tamna people of Gangjeong village have exhausted every legal and peaceful means to stop it. They filed lawsuits. They held a referendum in which 94 percent of the electorate voted against construction—a vote the central government ignored. They chained themselves for months to a shipping container parked on the main access road, built blockades of boulders at the construction gate and occupied coral-reef dredging cranes. They have been arrested by the hundreds. Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun, who was jailed for three months, said, “If the villagers have committed any crime, it is the crime of aspiring to pass their beautiful village to their descendants.”
Jeju is just one island in a growing constellation of geostrategic points being militarized as part of the “Pacific Pivot,” a major initiative announced late in 2011 to counter a rising China. According to separate statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, 60 percent of US military resources are being swiftly shifted from Europe and the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region. (The United States already has 219 bases on foreign soil in the Asia-Pacific region; China has none.) The Jeju base would augment the Aegis-equipped systems in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and the US colony of Guam. The Pentagon has also positioned Patriot PAC-3 missile defense systems in Taiwan, Japan (where the United States has some ninety installations, plus about 47,000 troops on Okinawa) and in South Korea (which hosts more than 100 US facilities). 
The United States has begun rotating troops to Australia and has announced plans to build a drone base on that country’s remote Cocos Islands. (Also targeted is the gorgeous Palawan Island in the Philippines and the resource-rich Northern Mariana Islands, to name only two more on a long list.) In a September whistle-stop tour of the region intended to gather more allies, Panetta said the United States hopes to station troops in New Zealand as well, though approval for that has not been granted. Obama made his own tour just after his re-election, courting Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia and Thailand as potential trade partners and military allies in the encirclement of China. The United States has even reopened discussions with the brutal Indonesian military—collaboration had been suspended for several years because of human rights issues—in an attempt to influence this key trading partner of China’s. 
Adm. Robert Willard, former head of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), gave context to these maneuverings in September 2011. In a speech at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, he labeled the entire Asia-Pacific region—which covers 52 percent of the earth and is home to two-thirds of its human population—as a “commons” to be “protected” by the United States. Normally, the word “commons” refers to resources commonly shared and controlled by contiguous parties. But Willard seemed to have in mind a massive “US commons” that extends nearly 8,000 miles, from the Indian Ocean to the west coast of North America
Willard’s imperial rhetoric became concrete when current PACOM commander Adm. Samuel Locklear reacted to disputes between Japan and China over islands in the geostrategically vital East China Sea. From PACOM’s Pearl Harbor headquarters in Hawaii, Locklear initiated joint military exercises involving 37,000 Japanese and 10,000 US troops. And in October, PACOM sent an aircraft carrier strike group to Manila to show force in the Philippines’ dispute with China over the Spratly Islands
Less well known is that PACOM activity includes overseeing the South Korean military. This condition dates back to the signing of the 1953 ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty, which is still in effect. In fact, US hegemony over the entire region has remained unchanged for more than half a century, locked into an anachronistic Cold War landscape marked by similar bilateral agreements with Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and a wide scattering of island nations. The rationale behind this “empire of bases” was once “containment” of communism. Obama’s Pacific Pivot is a turbo-charged update, not to contain communism but to contain China—economically, politically, militarily. China has responded by accelerating its production of armaments, including a new aircraft carrier, while courting its own regional allies—especially among countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, like Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, and others including Russia—in addition to reasserting control of shipping lanes in the South China Sea. As these two global behemoths shape a new rivalry and arms race, tensions are escalating dangerously, and smaller nations and peoples are being pressured to choose sides. As one activist said, “When the elephants battle, the ants get crushed.”
Local Impacts
On the island of Jeju, the consequences of the Pacific Pivot would be cataclysmic. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, adjacent to the proposed military port, would be traversed by aircraft carriers and contaminated by other military ships. Base activity would wipe out one of the most spectacular remaining soft-coral forests in the world. It would kill Korea’s last pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and contaminate some of the purest, most abundant spring water on the planet. It would also destroy the habitats of thousands of species of plants and animals—many of which, such as the narrow-mouthed frog and the red-footed crab, are gravely endangered. Indigenous, sustainable livelihoods—including oyster diving and local farming methods that have thrived for thousands of years—would cease to exist, and many fear that traditional village life would be sacrificed to bars, restaurants and brothels for military personnel. 
Gangjeong villagers also worry that twentieth-century history will repeat itself, turning their small village into a first-strike military target, as happened there during World War II and the Korean War. The base protesters never again want to get caught in the cross-fire of global powers. 
The villagers’ struggle has been difficult. Dissidents in South Korea are quickly labeled “pro–North Korean,” blacklisted and often imprisoned. In Gangjeong, they’ve faced continual police violence but have battled daily for five years. They do this even though most of their efforts have gone unreported by the highly controlled Korean press and an oblivious US media—at least, until this past September. 
A miraculous break presented itself when the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)—the world’s largest mainstream environmental group, which claims dedication to “a just world that values and conserves nature”—announced it would hold its quadrennial World Conservation Congress for 8,000 participants on Jeju on September 6–15, only four miles up the road from the destruction and the increasingly bloody confrontations. 
The villagers rejoiced at the prospect of reporting their story to this gathering of world environmental leaders. But they were soon shocked to find that the IUCN planned to ignore the nearby catastrophe. What happened? It turned out that a horrendous deal had been struck, unbeknownst to member NGOs, between the IUCN’s top leaders and the South Korean government. The government had budgeted $21 million to support the convention. In return, the IUCN had agreed not to allow discussion of the naval base during the convention without government approval; nor would it permit any of the villagers to participate in—or even get near—the proceedings. Additional financial support came from several giant corporations, including Samsung, the lead contractor in the base construction. It was only when an internal revolt erupted within the IUCN’s membership that the dubious deal was challenged and the struggle against the military base catapulted onto the international stage. 
Apparently, greenwashing the naval base was not the only reason the South Korean government had paid so dearly to host the 2012 IUCN Congress in Jeju. It also wanted to promote a long list of what it calls “Green Growth” projects to a skeptical Korean public. The term is a grievous misnomer. These hugely profitable, environmentally devastating initiatives are driven by Korea’s chaebol—family-run monopolies like Samsung, Hyundai and LG, which have interests in construction, defense and electronics, among others. Recent Green Growth projects have included the manufacture, promotion and export of “clean nuclear energy.” The most notorious of the Green Growth boondoggles was the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, which had nothing to do with restoration. It involved the construction of concrete channels to straighten Korea’s beloved winding rivers for commercial shipping. The project displaced farmers, caused floods, contaminated drinking water and slashed populations of migratory birds, and it continues to wreak havoc on the collective psyche of the nation. At the 2012 Ramsar Convention, the World Wetlands Network named it one of the five worst wetlands projects in the world. 
After this debacle and in the face of the growing naval base controversy, the Korean power elite needed the 2012 IUCN Congress in Jeju as a PR boost to appease heartsick citizens. It didn’t work out that way.
IUCN Revolt
Once they figured out what was going on, IUCN members were appalled. They were astonished that their leaders had so drastically compromised their values by partnering with the Republic of Korea. They should not have been surprised, though. Four years earlier, in Barcelona, IUCN members had decried a partnership between the IUCN’s leadership and Shell Oil. And this year’s plenary panels were equally revealing: although the Gangjeong villagers were refused entry, Shell president Marvin Odum was invited to speak as an authority on climate change, and the CEO of GMO-breeder Syngenta spoke on sustainable agriculture. 
Many disgusted IUCN members joined in solidarity with the Jeju Emergency Action Committee, a group of anti-base/pro-Gangjeong activists that featured supporters like Vandana Shiva, Robert Redford, Gloria Steinem, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Gerson, Christine Ahn, and dozens of prominent scientists and environmentalists. During the convention, the committee sent a series of fiery protest e-mails to IUCN members promoting meetings and interaction with the villagers. 
Meanwhile, conference participants were getting a great lesson in Korean Civics 101: SWAT teams were roving the building, Koreans were racially profiled and searched at the door for anti-base literature, and four young women were ejected from the premises for wearing yellow anti-base T-shirts. When Gangjeong activist Sung-Hee Choi was spotted entering the convention center, she was rushed by twenty policewomen, who denied her entry and snatched away her admission badge, for which she had paid $600. One IUCN member said, “I’ve never been to a congress like this, where the state Ministry of Defense is at every meeting, putting on the pressure.”
The turning point came when People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a Seoul-based NGO, disseminated a just-acquired report from the Defense Ministry that had been submitted to the National Assembly. The report indicated that ships would regularly pass through the core of the UNESCO biosphere reserve, dooming all life in that area. Capt. Yoon Seok-Han, chief of base construction, promised during a press conference that no ships would travel through the core except in the case of bad weather (which is common in that area).
IUCN members loudly began to denounce their leadership’s “deal with the devil.” The leaders backpedaled furiously to close the rift that was rapidly widening in their ranks. Suddenly, the organization encouraged anti-base presentations and allowed pamphleteering inside the convention center. The Gangjeong villagers found themselves the star attraction of the conference. They seized the moment and sold yellow T-shirts, and even held a concert that drew hundreds of spectators. Young villagers dressed as endangered species, sprawled on the floor in tortured positions, and held signs that said, Please let me live! The Korean sponsors were horrified. 
By day five of the conference, government officials were watching their exorbitant PR investment blow up in their faces. A Chicago-based NGO, the Center for Humans and Nature, introduced a surprise emergency motion to halt construction of the naval base. Within forty-eight hours, a record thirty-four other NGOs had signed on as co-sponsors. 
In the end, the motion won a huge majority of all votes cast by IUCN member organizations, though it didn’t pass because of a peculiar bias in how the IUCN tallies votes: nation-state member votes weigh far more heavily than NGO member votes. The Korean media dutifully reported that “Green Growth” and the “eco-friendly navy base” had prevailed. But for the Gangjeong villagers, the vote didn’t matter much. In their struggle for recognition, the 2012 IUCN “Battle of Jeju” counted as a tremendous victory. Light had been shed on the dire consequences of the Pacific Pivot. As one villager said on the last day of the convention, “We are not lonely anymore.”
Immediately following the convention, hundreds of villagers, joined by Buddhist and Christian leaders, led a one-month march to Seoul, picking up local supporters en route. When they arrived at the capital for a giant rally (unreported by the Korean media), the protesters were 5,000 strong. But back home on Jeju, the government had accelerated base construction to go 24/7, forcing villagers to extend their protest vigil at the construction gate around the clock, through snowy nights and continual police attacks. Meanwhile, the right-wing pro-military candidate Park Geun-hye, daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, won the Korean presidential election on December 19. Thus, the Gangjeong villagers’ life-or-death battle continues. 
New Resistance: Moana Nui
As the Pacific Pivot advances across the region, local resistance movements like Jeju’s are growing rapidly. Communities are increasingly refusing to be sacrificed by their governments as tribute to a superpower benefactor. For example, in Okinawa, 100,000 protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets, fed up after decades of “bearing Japan’s burden” of the US military presence, including violence and rapes of local citizens. Now, the people are protesting deployment of loud, menacing Osprey hybrid aircraft, which fly low over neighborhoods and are infamous for crashing. In the Philippines, protests are building against the increasing US military presence, particularly over toxic dumping. Similar resistance is developing among smaller Pacific island nations—especially from indigenous populations in Melanesia, and in the Marshall Islands, where US missile tests are proceeding. (Marshall Islanders feel that the US nuclear bombing of Bikini and other atolls in the 1940s and ’50s sacrificed them enough.) The latest blowback comes from the far southerly pastoral Japanese island of Yonaguni, only sixty-nine miles from Taiwan. The United States is pressuring Japan to build a China-threatening base there, but local resistance is mounting. 
Now something really new has developed: the heretofore disparate peoples of the Asia-Pacific region are unifying into larger coalitions for mutual aid and action. Fourteen months ago, when nineteen heads of state (including Obama) gathered in Honolulu for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, an unprecedented parallel event was under way across town at the University of Hawaii. Some 300 anti-militarism, anti-globalization, and environmental and indigenous-rights activists from across the region met for the first Moana Nui (Polynesian for “Big Ocean”) gathering. They collaborated for three days of private planning, coalition building and public meetings, concluding with a spirited march through Waikiki and a large protest demonstration outside the TPP negotiations. The gathering was widely reported in the Pacific but not on the US mainland. The second Moana Nui is being organized for San Francisco this spring. Its first goal will be to awaken mainland Americans to all that’s at stake in the Pacific.
The question, finally, is this: At a time of economic and ecological crisis, do Americans really want to ramp up costly and dangerous Cold War programs in hundreds of places, thousands of miles away, nearly always against the will of the people who live there and with awful environmental effects? If not, then now’s the time for wide debate on the Pacific Pivot and all its ramifications.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation on September, Vladimir Putin announced his decision to reposition Russia as a major Asian power. Michael T. Klare reported.

by Dr. Hannah Middleton
There is no official confirmation that
the Pine Gap satellite tracking spy base
near alice Springs in central australia is
being used in Pentagon drone strikes in
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia
or elsewhere. But it certainly has the
capability to be so.
Drones are equipped with satellite
communications equipment through
which they can transmit and receive
information, which is essential for their
operation. Pine Gap is a satellite receiving and transmitting ground station,
which has a footprint covering about
one-third of the world’s surface from the
Middle to the far East.
The US military realignment to Asia
and the Indo-Pacific region makes
Australia an increasingly important
supporter of US military operations. US
drones have been flown from Australia,
the australian Defence force (aDf) is
using drones in afghanistan, and the
Australian Government is planning to
buy drones.
Joining all these dots convinces antiwar activists in Australia that Pine Gap
is complicit in the targeted assassinations
and the indiscriminate murder of civilians by US drones in Pakistan, afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.
The Pine Gap military base in central
australia, controlled by the US and
staffed mainly by the NSA, serves as
a ground station for US signals intelligence collection satellites. Significantly,
Pine Gap controls US satellites that span
a strategically important area of the
globe: from the Middle East oilfields,
across russia and on to china. the facility certainly has the capability to provide
targeting, meteorological data, terrain
information and real time footage of
events for US drone activities.
the royal australian air force has
deployed  israeli-owned drones for
battlefield surveillance and to select
targets in Afghanistan since December
2009. Australia buys time on Heron
drones from a Canadian company that
leases them from Israel Aerospace Industries, which is wholly owned by the
Israeli government. So far none of the
unmanned aerial vehicles employed by
australian forces carry weaponry but
US armed drones have conducted strike
missions at the direction of Australian
Special forces troops.
the australian Defence force is planning to buy seven Northrop Grumman
Global Hawk intelligence and surveillance drones that could cost up to $3
billion (australian).
The Royal Australian Navy is also
planning for drone warfare. Lieutenant
Commander Bob Ferry, who runs the
Navy’s UAV development unit, has said
that the Navy will soon start 300 hours
of trials with small Scan Eagle drones.
The US flew highly classified Global
Hawk spy drone missions from the
royal australian air force base at Edinburgh in South Australia from late 2001
until at least 2006.
adelaide was initially a transit stop for
Global Hawks en route from the west
coast of the US to the al Dhafra air base
in the United Arab Emirates. However, it
is widely believed that some flights were
surveillance missions of Afghanistan.
In 2004 former Australian Defence
Minister Robert Hill told US officials
that he intended to announce the flights
to the australian public. the US air
Force opposed the disclosure, demanding all Global Hawk operations remain
while the australian public was left
in the dark, an Aviation Week and Space
Technology journalist was given access
to a report on a single Global Hawk reconnaissance mission from RAAF Edinburgh to southern Japan and back again.
The mission was launched just one week after North korea had conducted a series of failed missile tests.In late March this year media reported that australia was planning to allow the US to use its territory to operate longrange spy drones, as part of an increased Pentagon presence in the region. the new base would be on the cocos islands, atolls in the indian Ocean off northwest Australia.  Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the key priorities in closer US co-operation were the rotation of Marines through Darwin, greater air access and more use by the US of the Stirling naval base in Perth (West Australia). Significantly, he did not deny the Cocos Islands plan, merely commenting that it was something to be considered “down the track”.
A new, maritime surveillance version of the Global Hawk—the MQ4C Triton—is the favoured option for the Cocos Island basing. The US Navy expects to start flying the first of 68 Tritons on order by 2015. Some will be based on Guam to cover the Asia-Pacific region, while another detachment will fly out of Diego Garcia to monitor the Indian Ocean. The Australian owned Cocos islands are seen as an ideal location to base unmanned patrol planes to keep watch on the world’s busiest shipping routes and the South china Sea.  It is clear that US and australian planners are preparing for the ability to cripple China economically and threaten it militarily.  The movement of the majority of US military assets to the region, plus growth in military facilities and deployment of . . . .

Andrew Lichterman, “Close Waihopai Spybase,” Space Alert! (Dec. 2012).
The Kim Dotcom saga [Internet entrepreneur in New Zealand convicted
of insider trading, embezzlement and
copyright infringement] has certainly
put the New Zealand (NZ) Government Communications Security Bureau
(GCSB) and its Waihopai spy base smack
bang into the glare of the spotlight.
Not coincidentally this is happening
in the same year that the government
has got New Zealand back into aNZUS
[Treaty] in all but name. NZ has hosted
its first visit from a US Defense Secretary
in 30 years and he offered to base US
marines here. For the first time since
the 1980s, American troops have trained
here; NZ troops have trained in the US;
and NZ warships have taken part in
US-led naval exercises. How ironic that
all this was happening at the same time
as the country was celebrating the 25th
anniversary of our nuclear free law.
the public face of New Zealand’s role
as an American ally is the NZ military
presence in  afghanistan. But New
Zealand’s most significant contribution
to the global American war fighting
machine is, and has been for more than
20 years, the waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base, located in the
Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. It is
controlled by the US, with New Zealand
(including Parliament and the Prime
Minister) having little or no idea what
goes on there, let alone any control.
First announced in 1987, Waihopai
is operated by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security
Bureau (GcSB) in the interests of the
foreign powers grouped together in the
super-secret UK-USA Agreement (which
shares global electronic and signals
intelligence among the agencies of the
US, Uk, canada, australia and NZ). its
satellite interception dishes download a
huge volume of civilian telephone calls,
telexes, faxes, email and computer data
It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on
to the major partners in the UK-USA
Agreement, specifically the US National
Security agency (NSa). its targets are
international civilian communications
involving New Zealanders, including
the interception of international phone
Post 9/11 the GCSB and Waihopai
now spy further afield, to those regions
where the US is waging wars. the codename for this—Echelon—has become
notorious worldwide as the vast scope of
its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of
a global spying network, a network that
is ultimately accountable only to its own
constituent agencies, not governments,
and certainly not citizens.
In April 2008 three peace activists were
arrested for breaking into the spy base
near Blenheim and slashing an inflatable
plastic dome covering a satellite dish. In
March 2010, a jury in wellington District
Court took only two hours to find schoolteacher and part-time farmer Adrian
leason, Dominican friar Peter Murnane,
and farmer Sam land not guilty of all
charges against them.
Peter Murnane, who represented himself throughout the trial, said the action
taken by the group had been successful.
“We wanted, in going into Waihopai, to
challenge these warfaring behaviours
and I think we have done this,” he said.
“We have shown New Zealanders there
is a US spy base in our midst.”
waihopai does not operate in the interests of New Zealanders or our neighbours. Basically it is a foreign spy base
on NZ soil and directly involves us in
America’s wars.
a weekend of anti-war protest at this
spy base is planned for January 18–20,
2013. Waihopai must be closed.
—Anti-Bases Campaign is based in Christchurch, New Zealand

December 2012 Space Alert!  P. 11
“Vandenberg & the Future of US Warmaking” By Andrew Lichterman
Vandenberg Air Force Base is best
known as the place where the US tests
intercontinental ballistic missiles and
launches target rockets for missile
defense tests, but there is far more to
it. Vandenberg plays a key role in US
military operations worldwide, as well
as in maintaining the current generation
of strategic weapons and developing
the next.
Vandenberg Air Force Base occupies
nearly 100,000 acres, stretching along
thirty-five miles of the Central California
coast. it is the headquarters for one of
the two US missile and rocket ranges,
the other centered at Cape Canaveral,
Florida. Vandenberg was chosen for
this purpose because satellites could
be launched into polar orbit without
passing over land and missiles could be
launched over open water towards target sites, including US-occupied islands
in the Pacific. Converted to a missile
launch site in 1957, Vandenberg was
the home of the first US nuclear-armed
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),
the Atlas. Many of its successors, from
the Titan to the Minuteman and the MX
“Peacekeeper,” were tested at Vandenberg. In all, over 1,850 missile and orbital
rocket launches have taken place there.
Over decades as a satellite launch
facility, missile base, and test site, Vandenberg developed an extensive array
of ground facilities for tracking missiles
and controlling satellites. Today, Vandenberg is the headquarters of the 14th
Air Force, the command responsible for
providing many space services to the
rest of the military. From Vandenberg
and other bases and tracking stations in
the US and around the world, the 14th
Air Force operates satellites that provide
surveillance, communications, global
positioning data, and weather information to the military. Forces on the ground
receive satellite-produced intelligence
and weather reports via satellite communications, and navigate and target
weapons using satellite-generated global
positioning signals (GPS). Shortly before
the iraq war began, Pentagon Briefer
Major General  frank J. Blaisdell told
the press “We are so dominant in space
that I pity a country that would come
up against us.”
The Air Force Space Command 2004-
2005 Almanac proclaimed that military
space applications in the iraq war included “Global Positioning System-guided
bombs; GPS navigation for ground
forces; missile warning from Defense
Support Program satellites; and communications fed by military satellites
communications systems.”
the Joint Space Operations  center
at Vandenberg does day-to-day planning of space missions, drafting tasking
orders for the positioning and use of
satellites. As one of the main launch
sites for satellites and a coordinating
facility for satellite tracking and control,
Vandenberg constitutes a key element
in a global space surveillance and communications network that virtually all
elements of the US military have come to
depend on. as Deputy Under Secretary
of the Air Force for Space Programs Gary
Payton told a House committee in 2010,
“Our users stretch from the Oval Office
to the mountains of Afghanistan. Using
protected, wideband, or narrowband
communications, the President can command the nation’s nuclear forces, our
UAV pilots can fly Predators over Iraq
and Afghanistan from the US, and Special Forces teams can call for exfiltration
or tactical air support.”
Vandenberg plays multiple roles in
the ground-based mid-course interceptor element of missile defense. Target
missiles for the program have been
launched from Vandenberg for years,
with interceptors fired from Kwajalein
in the Marshall Islands. The first round
of operational interceptor missiles has
been installed at Vandenberg and at Fort
Greeley, Alaska. Vandenberg has four
of the initial thirty interceptors. Ground
based mid-course interceptors like those
at Vandenberg are only a small part of
the ambitious US missile defense effort,
which is exploring a variety of technologies to destroy rockets in the boost phase,
in [deep] space, and after re-entry into
the atmosphere. Additional interceptors already are being deployed aboard
Navy ships.
Missile defenses will be dependent
on an increasingly sophisticated array of satellites to detect launches and
coordinate the weapons used to shoot
missiles down. Vandenberg is likely to
play a leading role in all phases of missile defense, from testing ground and
space-based technologies to launching
parts of the satellite constellations that
missile defense would require.
Minuteman ICBMs, now the only landbased US nuclear strategic missiles, are
routinely flight-tested from Vandenberg.
The Minuteman is being modernized
and the air  force already has begun
planning for the next generation of
land-based strategic weapons. the US
is hoping to take advantage of continuing advances in aerospace and guidance
technologies to place non-nuclear as
well as nuclear payloads on long range
missiles. The goal is to achieve “prompt
global strike,” the ability to hit targets
anywhere on earth in [one hour] or
less from the decision to attack. In addition to long-range missiles, the US is
researching new kinds of weapons with
global reach, including gliding, maneuvering reentry vehicles that could carry
a variety of weapons and that could be
delivered by missile.
after slowing down for a few years
after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the
pace of US weapons research quickened
again in the new century, fueled in part
by two wars. with little public debate,
we have resumed a kind of arms race,
one that may be considerably more complex, both in the number of participants
and in the range and interaction of technologies, than the dangerous first half
century of the nuclear age. there can be
no doubt who is leading this arms race:
the US, with a military budget nearly as
big as the rest of the world combined and
a policy and practice of preventive war.
Those in power have bet all our futures
on a strategy of permanent military
dominance. Vandenberg Air Force Base
stands at its leading edge.
—Andrew Lichterman is research analyst
for the Western States Legal Foundation in
Oakland, California

Canada Joins Obama’s Pivot
Canada has approached the government of Singapore (and other nations)
with a proposal to establish a Canadian
military base there as a “logistics facility”
that would support the US-NATO “Pivot
to Asia”.   Defence Minister Peter Mackay
has admitted Canada’s “military tempo”
is at the highest levels since the Korean
War.  Because the US is exhausted from
the resistance to its occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as from the
capitalist economic crisis, Canada has
in MacKay’s words, “become a go-to”
country to meet the global demands of
Canadian and US corporate imperialism.
The conservative Harper government
will not reveal to its own citizens the content of these new basing agreements or
exactly how many or which countries it
is negotiating with. the Canadian people
are overwhelmingly opposed to their
role in the occupation of Afghanistan
and the growing militaristic position
their nation is taking alongside NATO.

P. 2 Space Alert!   December 2012   by Bruce K. Gagnon
The third test launch of the Pentagon’s
military space plane from Cape Canaveral, the X–37B, has been continuously
delayed because of engine failures on
the atlas rocket that would carry the
experimental craft into space.
Originally set to launch on October
25 the date was reset to November 13
and then further delayed. At the time
of publication of Space alert the launch
was still facing delays.
The first flight of the unpiloted space
plane lasted 225 days, racing over the
Pacific Ocean and landing on a specially
prepared runway at Vandenberg Air
force Base in california.
The second X–37B mission made a
touchdown at Vandenberg on June 16,
2012. That mission remained in orbit
for 469 days.
The Boeing built X–37B is being hailed
as the “successor” to the space shuttle.
analysts though contend the space
plane is part of the Pentagon’s effort
to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional
bunker busting warhead in less than an
hour—known as Prompt Global Strike.
The “official” purpose of the X–37B program remains classified.
the Pentagon has steadfastly refused
to discuss its mission but amateur space
trackers have noted how its path around
the globe is nearly identical to china’s
spacelab, Tiangong–1.
“Space-to-space surveillance is a
whole new ball game made possible
by a finessed group of sensors and
sensor suites, which we think the X–
37B may be using to maintain a close
watch on  china’s nascent space station,” said Spaceflight editor Dr. David
Baker. Spaceflight is the well-respected
magazine of the British Interplanetary
The Washington Times has in the past
reported, “The actual expense [of the
X–37] is hidden in the Pentagon’s ‘black,’
or classified, budget—is likely to cost
more than $1 billion. The launch vehicle
alone—a two-stage, liquid-propelled
Atlas V rocket—costs as much as $200
million. Ten years of development on
the plane—as the project was shuffled
from NASA to DARPA and finally to
its current institutional home in the Air
Force—is likely to have cost hundreds
of millions of dollars more.”
The development of new systems like
the space plane is one reason that the
Obama administration and the Pentagon
are eager to reduce nuclear weapons
stockpiles in russia and china in the
years to come. As key elements in the
expanding US first-strike program, they
become even more effective if the US can
get its potential rivals to reduce their
nuclear retaliatory capability giving the
Pentagon an even greater chance of pulling off a successful decapitating attack.
Coupled with “missile defense”
(the shield) these military space
planes and other first-strike weapons (the sword) make a devastating
In fact at the US Space Command
they have been computer war gaming such a first-strike on China set
in 2016. The military space plane
is the first weapon system used
to launch the attack that attempts
to take out china’s underground
nuclear missiles (about 20 of them)
that are capable of hitting the west
coast of the US
After the initial US attack from
space China attempts to fire a
retaliatory nuclear strike. the US
“missile defense” systems currently
deployed in taiwan, Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea—as well
as on aegis destroyers outfitted
with interceptor missiles deployed
just off China’s coast—take out the
remaining Chinese capability.
Thus as the US moves forward
with these kinds of global strike
systems it becomes more likely that
russia and china will be forced to
respond by refusing to dramatically
reduce their nuclear weapons and
instead develop new technologies
to counter the US program.
     The American people will be made to cheer future launches of
the space plane just as they applauded the dramatic “retirement
parade” of the shuttle Endeavor that was pulled through the streets of Los angeles last October on the way to its museum home. 
     If the public has been conditioned to worship Gods of Metal it becomes much easier in times of austerity to get taxpayers to fork over funding cut from programs of social uplift to pay for expensive space technology systems.
—Bruce K Gagnon is the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and lives in Bath, Maine.

USPACCOM, Misc. First Page Google Entries

1.                             United States Pacific Command - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States Pacific Command's area of jurisdiction covers over fifty percent of the world's surface area – approximately 105 million square miles (nearly ...

2.                             United States Pacific Command | USPACOM | Ensuring security and ...

Promotes peace, deters aggression, responds to crises and, if necessary, will fight and win to advance security and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

3.                             Pacific Command Seeks Collaboration, Not Confrontation

Dec 6, 2012 – 6, 2012 – The United States would like China to be a constructive influence on the world stage, and the U.S. Pacific Command is stressing ...

4.                             U.S. Pacific Command | Facebook

To connect with U.S. Pacific Command, sign up for Facebook today. .... Inouye was aU.S. Army World War II combat veteran with the 442nd Regimental Combat ...

5.                             U.S. Pacific Command Blog

Jan 5, 2012 – The official blog of U.S. Pacific Command has moved to a new address..... the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. ...
6.                              [PDF] 


File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
Feb 28, 2012 – of Transportation Command and its important global mission. Relative to the Asia Pacific, the United States has been and will continue to be ...

7.                             Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC)

www.globalsecurity.org › ... › Agencies  DOD  Pacific Command
Dec 9, 2012 – Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) is the theater special operations command for US Pacific Command (PACOM) Theater ... with over 105 million square miles and nearly 60 percent of the world's population.

8.                             US Army Pacific (USARPAC)

www.globalsecurity.org › Military  Agencies  Army
Apr 10, 2012 – The mission of US Army Pacific (USARPAC), as the Army Service Component Command to US Pacific Command (PACOM), is to provide forces,command ... World War II, numerous Army headquarters in the central Pacific ...

9.                             US names new Pacific Command chief | Inquirer Global Nation

Mar 11, 2012 – CAMP SMITH, Hawaii—The commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led operations that helped Libyan rebels overthrow Moammar ...

10.                         U.S. Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An ...

Aug 15, 2012 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released its... assessment of force posture options for the Pacific Command Area of ...
Searches related to US Global Commands, Pacific

THE SUPREME INTERNATIONAL CRIME IS THE LAUNCHING OR THREATENING OF WAR, declares the KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT, the UN CHARTER,  and the NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES.   See: David Swanson, When the World Outlawed War, on the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which is still the law of the land.    Application of this law to all national leaders who invade other countries would end wars between nations.  --D

Contents #1  May 8, 2012
Tom Hayden, US Brinkmanship
Dick, Breaking News: China’s Eastward Movement
Jeju Island
San Juan, Intervention in Philippines
US Pacific Empire
Vandenberg Space Command
New Provocations
Hawaii Largest Pentagon Command

Contents #2, Aug. 22, 2012
US/S. Korea War Games
US Marines to Australia
New Jeju Web Site
Wright, Jeju Island
Chomsky, Jeju
TomDispatch/Vine, Empire of Bases
San Juan, Philippines
Johnson, Blowback: Indonesia, Okinawa, etc.


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)