'저는 그들의 땅을 지키기 위하여 싸웠던 인디안들의 이야기를 기억합니다. 백인들이 그들의 신성한 숲에 도로를 만들기 위하여 나무들을 잘랐습니다. 매일밤 인디안들이 나가서 백인들이 만든 그 길을 해체하면 그 다음 날 백인들이 와서 도로를 다시 짓곤 했습니다. 한동안 그 것이 반복되었습니다. 그러던 어느날, 숲에서 가장 큰 나무가 백인들이 일할 동안 그들 머리 위로 떨어져 말과 마차들을 파괴하고 그들 중 몇몇을 죽였습니다. 그러자 백인들은 떠났고 결코 다시 오지 않았습니다….' (브루스 개그논)





EMERGENCY IN GANGJEONG ON SEPT. 2! (See the below blog)

URGENT PLEA: DEAR FRIENDS of JEJU ISLAND, ISLAND OF WORLD PEACE (Click!)

Please check HERE(Click) for continuous updates of emergency in
Gangjeong, Jeju Island since Aug. 24, 2011 and site links on the struggle against Jeju naval base construction !

8월 24일 및 이후 제주도 강정 마을 긴급 관련, 계속되는 영문 업데이트 및 국문 사이트, 링크들은 여기(클릭)를 보세요!

RELEASE Kang Dong-Kyun(Gangjeong village mayor, 54), Kim Jong-Hwan(villager, 54), and Kim Dong-Won(photographer, 25)! (Facebook: Click HERE)

강정 마을회 까페 사이트(클릭) 강정 마을회 웹사이트(클릭)


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video & Articles Fwd: US Helicopter damaged the Village in the Pyeongtaek














* The three videos above and the Ohmynews article were thankfully informed by Kang, Sang- Won, the director of the Pyeongtaek Peace center.

The two videos above include Kang, Sang-Won's interview with the village people whose fences, gates, and roofs were damaged by the accident around 11:50 am on February 25, 2009(Wednesday) when the CH47 Helicopter which was moving in low flight, from the base to Songwha-2 ri. destroyed of about 10 houses, including Mr. Lee, Si-Baek’s (63). The Pyeongtaek Peace center and the village people in Songwha-2 ri would urge the investigation by the 2nd Combat aviation brigade of the U.S. base in Pyeongtaek, soon.

The third video is about the position of the 2nd Combat aviation brigade of the U.S. base in Pyeongtaek.


For more photos in the Korean article by Kang, Sang-Won

http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/view/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0001077126&PAGE_CD=

The accident that damaged the roofs and walls of a samll village in the Pyeongtaek happened on Feb. 25, 2009

* Other Korean websites *

http://www.peacept.org/bbs/zboard.php?id=peacept_act&page=1&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=109


http://www.peacept.org/bbs/zboard.php?id=peacept_act&page=1&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=108


http://www.spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=spark_7_1&action=viewForm&uid=100

http://www.spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=spark_7_1&action=viewForm&uid=99

http://www.spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=spark_7_1&action=viewForm&uid=97


http://usacrime.or.kr/
The site informs two articles as below:

http://news.sbs.co.kr/section_news/news_read.jsp?news_id=N1000550780

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=003&aid=0002544506

Friday, February 20, 2009

Text & Image Fw: Officials at Osan lift ban on 8 local bars


* Image Source: Pyeongtaek Peace Center*
Pyeongtaek Consolidation plan map

Fwd: From the Pyeongtaek Peace Center

Officials at Osan lift ban on 8 local bars Owners promise to curb violence, prostitution and underage drinking By Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Thursday, February 19, 2009

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Officials here have lifted a ban on eight local bars after the owners promised to keep them free of prostitution, underage drinking and other unsafe or illegal conditions, the Air Force said Tuesday.

Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing commander Col. Thomas H. Deale lifted the ban Monday after the owners spelled out in writing the things they’d do to keep the bars free of crime and violence, said wing spokeswoman 1st Lt. Malinda C. Singleton.

"They said that they’re really going to work to police themselves," she said.

The affected bars are the Stardust, Young Chon, Eagles and Golden Gate clubs, and the Chicago Club, Blood Club, Club Sting, and UN Club.

Deale had put the eight off-limits after Air Force police allegedly turned up evidence of "bar fining."

Bar fining is a practice in which a patron pays the club to allow a bar girl to leave the premises for an agreed-upon period. Authorities say bar fining is typically a symptom of prostitution.

In two letters sent to Osan’s Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, the owners promised "to ensure that their entertainment environment does not support illegal activities," Singleton said. Osan officials would not release copies of the letters to Stars and Stripes.

The owners said they’ll move to avert bar fining, barroom violence and underage drinking, Singleton said.

In addition, she said, the owners will post signs in their clubs "letting U.S. personnel know that bar fining is not allowed."

Owners or their representatives had also held three meetings with the control board.

And they had help from Pyeongtaek city hall and the Korean National Police in finding a way to resolve the ban, Singleton said.

Based on those meetings and letters, the board recommended to Deale that he lift the ban, she said.

The disciplinary control board advises the wing commander on conditions at clubs or other off-base venues that can pose harm to U.S. servicemembers and their families, and the wing commander can put such places off limits.

Yi Sang-chul, manager at the Young Chon Club and a member of the Songtan Special Tourism Association, said club owners welcomed the news. The association represents bar and hotel owners in the Shinjang Mall area of Songtan, a section of Pyeongtaek in which Osan Air Base is located.

The off-limits ban had forced the Young Chon to close for three weeks starting Jan. 22, said Yi.

Yi Jin-yong, owner of the Golden Gate, said he lost weeks of business because of the ban, but still had to pay rent on the property.

"Now we can work … off-limits finish," he said. "That’s good."

Text Fwd: 60th NATO Anniversary Celebrations in Europe



* Image source/caption from*

Space4Peace(Organizing Notes)Feb. 19, 2009

The people of Vicenza, Italy have vigorously opposed plans for a new US air base in their community

130 Czech mayors rallied in Brussels yesterday at the European Union in opposition to US plans for a Star Wars radar base in their country



60th NATO Anniversary Celebrations in Europe to Draw Massive Protests,
By Bruce Gagnon Feb. 19, 2009


2009 is the 60th anniversary of NATO and the US-led alliance is planning big celebrations in Europe to promote their expanded global role as an extension of US foreign and military policy. In 1999, seeking to justify its existence after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, NATO acknowledged that it was seeking to orient itself according to a new fundamental strategic concept. From a narrow military defense alliance it was to become a broad-based alliance for the protection of the vital resource needs (oil/natural gas/etc) of its member states. Besides being mired in Afghanistan today, NATO is now expanding eastward as a tool in the aggressive US program to surround resource rich Russia. There are even discussions now within NATO to take the alliance into the Asian-Pacific to help the US militarily surround China.

From April 3-5, 40 heads of state and government leaders, including President Obama, will come to Strasbourg, France and Baden-Baden, Germany for 60th anniversary events. In response to these events activists from throughout Europe are planning protests in Strasbourg during the period of April 1-5. In order to plan these events 500 activists from 19 countries met at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, on February 14-15.

The No to War - No to NATO coalition issued a statement after their meeting that reads in part: "60 years are more than enough – this is the consensus uniting the participants of the peace, anti-globalization movements, leftist parties and organizations, Trade Unions, and student initiatives. They stand against the war policy of NATO, against today's wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, against the intervention strategy and reinforce their claim to 'No to NATO'. They refuse to accept the EU linked with NATO and ask for a drastic reduction of military spending: we do not want to pay for your crisis , nor for your wars."

NATO of course is responding by trying to keep the protests away from Strasbourg. They have arranged for the city government to outlaw protests. In response No to NATO says, "We want to express our rejection of this kind of politics and want to give the citizens of Strasbourg and the social movements the opportunity to publicize their rejection without any obstacles. These are the demands for the prefecture which turned down the proposal of the NATO Preparatory Committee to demonstrate against NATO in the inner city of Strasbourg on 4th of April. The implementation of the NATO Summit will turn Strasbourg into a fortress; this is not acceptable for its own citizens and for the thousands of peaceful demonstrators form all parts of the world.

"Extraordinary security parameters will be enacted: the establishment of a red zone, the labeling of the citizens, the establishment of an all-encompassing new video surveillance system. For us this staging of heads of states in the city centre of Strasbourg – a closed off city – and its inhabitants who will be unable to have a normal daily life, having no freedom of movement, is unbearable and makes it impossible for us to unveil NATO's real face. Whereas the citizens will pay for the summit and the glorified presentation of NATO their dissenting opinion is to be marginalized."

For activists back here in the US it should be reassuring and exciting for us to see so much effort being organized to shut down the US empire. But we have to do our part as well. We can start by calling for the closing of US bases and for major cuts by Congress in the Pentagon's bloated budget. None of us have to do this on our own. When we work together as a globalized movement we can really begin to make progress.

These are the kinds of issues that will be featured at the upcoming Security Without Empire: National Organizing Conference on Foreign Military Bases that will be held at American University in Washington DC on February 27-March 2. The Global Network will be one of 20 peace groups sponsoring this important event. Key peace movement activists from around the US and all over the world will be attending and presenting. A protest vigil at the Pentagon will kick off the weekend beginning at 4:00 pm on February 27.

For registration information see the conference web site at: www.projectonmilitarybases.org

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
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Brunswick, ME 04011
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http://www.space4peace.org
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Text Fwd: MORE ON MILITARY BASES CONFERENCE


* Image from the original source* Pyeongtaek

MORE ON MILITARY BASES CONFERENCE:
By Bruce Gagnon, Feb. 18, 2009, Space4Peace(Organizing Notes)


* More than 100 years after the colonial Spanish-American war, the U.S. has military bases in Guam, the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico. More than 60 years after the end of WWII and 50 after the end of the Korean War, we have 124 base sites in Germany, 124 in Japan, and 87 in South Korea. Even as we recognize the central importance of diplomacy, new bases are being acquired in Latin America, Central Europe and Central Asia.

* Overseas bases are too expensive, especially in a time of economic crisis.
- Costs are estimated at around $140 billion per year.
- Unlike domestic bases, overseas bases suck taxpayer money away from the US.
- They suck money away from critical needs at home and abroad.
- Much of the spending enriches private base contractors like corruption-plagued KBR.

* Our overseas basing structure is damaging our national security not making us safer.
- As in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan, overseas bases become lighting rods for attacks on the US, encouraging resentment, radicalism, and anti-Americanism. Even in countries like Japan and Germany, their negative impacts on “host communities” have resulted in suffering, resentments and protests.
- Overseas bases often harm the nation’s reputation, engender grievances and anger, and create antagonistic rather than cooperative relationships with other nations.

* Overseas bases do not stabilize dangerous regions of the world. They destabilize them.
- They encourage skyrocketing levels of militarization.

- They enlarge the security threat to other nations who respond by boosting military spending.

* Overseas bases increase the likelihood of war
- They encourage our leaders to opt for military rather than diplomatic resolution of conflicts by making it easier and thus more likely to resort to deadly, catastrophic wars, like the war in Iraq, or military interventions in countries like Nicaragua or Somalia.

* Overseas bases inflict terrible costs on local communities and nations.
- Some of the costs include environmental damage, health hazards, social and cultural disruption, increased violence against women, crime, and prostitution.

* Overseas bases inflict painful costs on military families, separating personnel from loved ones and disrupting family life with frequent deployment shifts around the globe.

* Overseas bases lead us to support dictators and repressive, undemocratic regimes.
- Examples include Uzbekistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

* Congress should hold hearings to examine the overseas basing structure, including its constitutional responsibility to approve SOFAs which are, functionally, treaties.

* We must begin to close our overseas bases to help ensure our and others security. Closing military bases also necessitates cleaning up and removing military toxics so that these sites can safely be put to other uses.

These are the issues that will be featured at the upcoming Security Without Empire: National Organizing Conference on Foreign Military Bases that will be held at American University in Washington DC on February 27-March 2. A protest vigil at the Pentagon will kick off the weekend beginning at 4:00 pm on February 27.

For registration information see the conference web site at: www.projectonmilitarybases.org

posted by Bruce Gagnon |

* Related blog*

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2009/03/full-dc-trip-report.html

Text fwd: [Korean Translated: For the Czech Rep. people] Solidarity message from Japanese citizens, Feb. 18, 2009

Solidarity message from Japanese citizens, 18th Feb. 2009

To friends in Europe who are against the Missile Defense system and the Space Shield


* This is also in http://www.space4peace.org/actions/gnconf_09/papers%20and%20reports.htm#two
as part of the Papers/Reports of the GN's 2009 conference

We are several citizen groups which are respectively committed in peaceful ways to movements of anti-MD system and anti-US Bases in Japan. We would like to convey, by this message, our solidarity with all who are against the deployment of the US MD system into the eastern Europe. We, who live with the various problems arising from many US bases occupying our homeland, always look enviously at the unified efforts in the anti-radar movement by citizens and the League of Mayors in Czech Republic. Your movement has encouraged us a lot and we thank you for that.

Japanese government introduced the MD system in Dec. 2003, and ever since, its deployment has been accelerated here along with the US’ deployment of its own MD system in Japan.

In June 2006, a transferable type of X-band radar was deployed by the US for the first time throughout the world in Shariki, a small, sparsely-populated town in the most-northern prefecture of Aomori on the main land of Japan. This was followed by its globally-second time-deployment into Israel in Sep.2008.

The US X-band radar in Japan is aimed at detecting possible ballistic missile launches from North Korea to Hawaii, making the Japanese main land and islands “a shield “ for defending the USA. This X-band radar in Shariki is guarded by BlackWater Worldwide, a US private military company infamous for its war crimes in Iraq War.

Along with this deployment, the US demanded a limited-flight-zone around Shariki for indefinite duration. This special demand was made just for one military facility, which was also for the first time. This zone has already turned out to be problematic, as the investigation of a maritime accident in the nearby sea was hindered due to the privileged agreement.

Japanese government has become deeply involved in the US MD system through the current joint
development with the US of the improved model of SM3 (Standard Missile 3), an improved intercepting missile loaded on an aegis cruiser. Presently, five US’ aegis cruisers based on Yokosuka, and two aegis cruiser belonging to our Maritime Self Defense Force are equipped with SM3, making the number of the latter four in the near future. As for PAC3 (Patriot Missile 3), it has been deployed in the US base in Kadena, Okinawa and in five bases of ASDF around Tokyo. Finally, ASDF is going to deploy PAC3 in its 11 bases throughout Japan. To our great anxiety, through this joint SM3 development and licensed production of PAC3 in Japan, Japanese private military companies have become one with those in the US, thus newly emerging in Japan as the Japanese military-industrial complex.

At the same time, the MD system in Japan has greatly eroded both the pacifism and the peace-oriented principles based on the Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan which stipulates the renunciation of war as a sovereign right and non-maintenance of armed forces with war potential. Specifically the MD system has watered down the three principles prohibiting exporting weapons, and also the principle stipulating peaceful use of the space.

Contrary to the propaganda by both the government of US and that of Japan, the US MD system, which would enable an easier first strike by making counter-attack powerless, should be called “a device for prompting pre-emptive attack.” And actually because of this nature, it has been causing chain reactions of armament expansion in northeastern Asia.

However, we will not just wait and see, letting this happen. Here in Japan, anti-MD movement is spreading through experienced local campaigns in PAC3 deployment areas. In the forthcoming April, the 17th international conference of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space will be hosted by its Korean Committee in Seoul, South Korea. We consider this a meaningful step towards turning the northeastern Asia, which is still under the atmosphere of the Cold War, into a nuclear & missile-free region. Those in South Korea who are against the US-Japan MD system and like-minded those in Japan will soon start cooperating.

Not only in Japan but in the world as well, poverty has spread because of economical and financial crises.
We should invest our taxes in getting rid of poverty or in environmental conservation, not in military spending. It is missile-reduction, not the Missile Defense, that is most necessary to us.

Let us keep up our efforts in order to realize our goal in common - a world free of the Missile Defense and missile attacks.

In solidarity,
Koji Sugihara ( No! to Nukes and the Missile Defense Campaign )

Endorsing groups:

No! to Nukes and Missile Defense Campaign / Tokyo
Peace Voice Action Network / Saitama
No to Patriot Missile! Action Committee against Narashino Base / Chiba
Yokosuka Peace Fleets / Kanagawa
Nonnuclear Citizen Declaration Campaign Yokosuka / Kanagawa
No! AWACS Society Hamamatsu / Shizuoka
No War Network / Aichi
Citizen Action Net Work Nagasaki / Nagasaki
Committee against the Co-use of Tsuiki JASDF Base by SDF and U.S Military and
Relocation of U.S Marines to Tsuiki Base / Fukuoka


_일본 시민 들의 체코 연대 메시지
Solidarity message from Japanese citizens_
2009 년 2 월 18일
미사일 방어 시스템과 우주 방어 시스템에 반대하는 유럽 동료들에 대한 일본 시민들의 연대 메시지


우리는 일본 내 미사일 시스템과 미군 기지에 반대하며 평화적인 방법으로 싸우는 것에 사명감을 갖고 각각 일해온 몇 개의 일본 단체들이다. 우리는 이 메시지에 동유럽내 미국의 미사일 시스템을 배치하는 것에 반대하는 이들과의 연대를 보낸다. 우리 조국을 점령하는 많은 미국 기지들로부터 일어나는 문제들을 겪는 우리는 체코 공화국의 시민들과 시장 연맹의 레이다 설치 반대 운동의 결속된 노력을 부럽게 바라본다. 당신들의 운동은 우리에게 용기를 불러 일으켰으며 우리는 그 것에 감사한다.

일본 정부는 2003년, 12월, MD 시스템을 소개했고 그 이후 미국의 일본내 MD 시스템 배치와 함께 그 배치가 가속화되었다.

2006년 6월, 일본 본토의 가장 북쪽에 있는 아오모리 관구의 작고 인적드문 마을, 샤리키에 사상 초유로 전이 능력를 가진 X-밴드 레이다가 배치되었다. 이 것은 2008 년 9월 이스라엘에 사상 두 번째로 배치되었다.

일본 내 미국X-밴드 레이다는 북한의 하와이로의 가능한 탄도 미사일 발사들을 탐지하는 것에 목적을 둠으로서 일본 본토와 섬들을 미국을 방어하는 “방패”가 되게 했다. 샤리키의X-밴드 레이다는 전 세계적으로 이라크 전쟁 범죄로 악명높은 미국 군사 사유 업체 블랙 워터에 의해 경호된다.

이 배치와 함께 미국은 샤리키 주위에 한정되지 않은 기간 제한 비행 구역을 요구했다. 이 특별한 요구는 단지 한 군사 시설을 위해 만들어지는 것일 뿐만 아니라 처음으로 요구된 것이다. 이 지대는 근처 해상 사고 조사가 특혜 협정때문에 방해받은 것등 이미 문제가 있는 것으로 드러났다.

.일본 정부는 최근 이지스 순양함 에 장착되는 요격 미사일인 개선된SM3 (Standard Missile 3) 모델등 미국과의 공동 개발을 통해 미국의MD 시스템에 깊숙히 참여하게 되었다. 현재 요코스카에 기반한 5개의 미국 순양함, 우리 해상 자위대에 속한 2 개의 이지스 순양함에SM3가 장착되어 있는데 후자의 숫자는 가까운 시일내 4개가 된다. 패트리어트 미사일3( PAC3, Patriot Missile 3) 로 말할 것 같으면, 그 것은 오키나와 가데나와 도쿄 주위ASDF의 5 개 기지들에 배치되었다. 최종적으로ASDF는 일본 전역을 통하여 11개 기지에 배치될 예정이다. 걱정스럽게도 일본 내SM3 공동 개발과PAC3특허 생산 개발로, 일본 사유 군사 기업들은 미국의 사유 군사 기업들과 하나가 되면서 일본 군산 복합체로 수면에 떠오르고 있다.

동시에 일본의MD 시스템은 평화 주의와 일본 헌법 9조에 기반한 평화 원리 원칙을 퇴행시켰는데 후자는 주권으로서의 전쟁을 포기하고 전쟁 잠재력있는 무장 병력을 유지하지 않는 것을 명기한다. MD 시스템은 무엇보다도 무기 수출을 금지하는 세 원칙들과 우주의 평화로운 사용을 명기하는 원칙을 퇴색시켰다.

미국, 일본 양국의 선전과는 다르게, 미국의MD 시스템은 대항 공격을 약화시켜 선제 공격을 더 쉽게 하는데 “선제 공격을 추진하는 장치”로 불려져야 한다. 그리고 사실 바로 이 본성때문에, 동북아에 무기 확장 연쇄 반응을 일으켜 왔다.

그렇지만 우리는 이 일이 일어나도록 보고만 있지는 않을 것이다. 여기 일본에서는PAC3 배치지역에서 경험있는 지역 캠페인들을 통하여MD 반대 운동들이 확산하고 있다. 다가오는 4월, 우주 무기와 핵무기를 반대하는 전지구적 모임Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space이 공동 주관하는 17 번 째 국제 회담이 대한민국 서울에서 한국 준비 위원회가 마련하는 가운데 열린다. 우리는 이 것이 아직도 냉전의 공기 아래 있는 동북아를 핵과 미사일이 없는 지역으로 전환시키는 의미있는 발걸음으로 여긴다. 대한민국의 미국-일본MD 시스템에 반대하는 이들과 일본의 같은 생각을 가진 이들은 곧 연대 협력을 시작할 것이다.

일본 뿐만 아니라 전 세계에서 경제와 재정 위기로 가난이 번져가고 있다. 우리는 군사 지출 아닌 가난을 제거하거나 환경을 보존하기 위해 우리의 세금을 투자해야 한다. 우리에게 가장 필요한 것은 미사일 방어아닌 미사일 축소이다.

미사일 방어와 미사일 공격으로부터 자유로운 세계라는 공통 목표를 실현하기 위해 우리의 노력을 지속적으로 하자-

연대의 인사를 보내며

코지 수기하라( 핵과 미사일 방어에 반대하는 캠페인)

배서 단체들

핵과 미사일 방어에 반대하는 캠페인/ 도쿄

평화 목소리 행동 넷워크/ 사이타마

패트리어트 미사일 반대 ! 나라시노 기지에 반대하는 행동 위원회/지바

요코스카 평화 함대/카나가와

비핵 시민 선언 캠페인 요코스카/카나가와

No! AWACS 사회 하마마추/시즈오카

전쟁 반대 넷워크/아이치

시민 행동 넷워크 나가사키/ 나가사키

SDF와 미군의 슈이키JASDF 기지 공동 사용과 슈이키 기지로의 미 해병대 이전을 반대하는 위원회/ 후쿠오카

* 위의 원문 사이트는 아래 몇 사이트와 함께 제 영문 블로그에도 실렸읍니다.

http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.com/search/label/Czech%20Republic%2FPoland%2FEastern%20Europe

* 그외 현재 브뤼셀에서 열리는 유럽 연합 의회를 맞아 체코 시장 130여명이 브뤼셀까지 버스를 타고 미국 미사일 방어망 시스템의 하나인 레이다 설치에 반대하는 시위 관련 기사, 4월 초 프랑스 스트라스부르그에서 열리는 NATO 반대를 위한 유럽 전역 움직인에 관련된 기사들을 다음 사이트 들에서 참고하실 수 있읍니다.



http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2009/02/us-catching-hell-on-foreign-policy.html
U.S. CATCHING HELL ON FOREIGN POLICY, Thursday, February 19, 2009

http://www.nenasili.cz/en/3107_meps-mayors-and-the-nonviolent-movement-rejects-star-wars-in-europe
MEPs, MAYORS AND THE NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT REJECTS “STAR WARS” IN EUROPE

http://www.nenasili.cz/en/3097_18th-february-news-from-bruxelles-and-other-cities
18th February: News from Bruxelles and other cities

http://www.nenasili.cz/en/3091_130-czech-mayors-protest-us-missile-defense
130 Czech Mayors protest US Missile Defense 17.2.2009 - Jan Tamáš

Text Fwd: 130 Czech Mayors protest US Missile Defense





* Image Source from"
18th February: News from Bruxelles and other cities, Feb. 18, 2009
February 18, 2009, Bruxelles (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Florence (Italy), Milan (Italy)


The Czech Republic and Poland: US Trojan Horses to divide Europe?
Prague, February 16, 2009


Three buses filled with Czech Mayors from the League of Mayors against the Radar and activists from the Nonviolence Movement will travel to Brussels to meet Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday and to protest against the “Star wars” plan. They have been invited to attend a public hearing about the controversial US Missile Defense enlargement into the Czech Republic and Poland. While in Brussels they will meet with several MEPs, Belgian Senators and the Vice-president of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini. They will also attend a public rally against the radar held outside the European Parliament building.

Dozens of Czech Mayors will be accompanied by citizens from across the country and what originated as a plan to invite 40 people is now a two day trip of 130. The mayors represent a delegation of a total of 130 Czech mayors who publicly oppose the project. The trip of the mayors is also supported by 13 of the total 14 heads of regional governments as well as many mayors from other European countries. As polls show, approximately 70% of Czechs are also against the plan.

„ It’s not by chance that after the fall of the Berlin wall, the United States rapidly opened the doors of NATO to ex-socialist countries. In this way they were able to train the military and political leaders so that they would be closer to their interests.

At the beginning of 2009 one of these “Trojan Horses”, the Czech Republic, took over the Presidency of the European Union; precisely for this reason we are carrying the protest to the heart of the European Parliament and we will ask it to express itself on this fundamental question”, said Giorgio Schultze, Europe for Peace.

A press briefing will take place prior to the departure of the buses in Rokycany at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday, February 17) in front of the Winter Stadium.

Program for Wednesday, February 18 in Brussels:
10:00 first rally outside the European Parliament (Luxembourg Plaza)
12:00 meeting of delegation with the members of the Belgian Senate
14:00 main demonstration and event “The invisibles” (Luxembourg Plaza)
14:45 Jan Tamas (Nonviolence Movement) and Josef Vondrasek (Mayor of Rozmital) will speak at the GUE/NGL meeting in the European Parliament
15:30 meeting of delegation with MEP Jill Evans
16:00 meeting of delegation with vice-president of the EP Luisa Morgantini
16:30 – 18:00 public hearing in European Parliament, building ASP, room 1G3
19:00 departure of the 3 buses back to Prague

The protest will be supported by many people across Europe with events taking place simultaneously in Madrid, Copenhagen, Berlin, Rome, Palermo, Florence, Milan, Turin, Budapest and Buenos Aires. Many international organizations are also supporting the protest, including Mayors for Peace, Pax Christi International, World Without Wars and Europe for Peace.

The Nonviolence Movement formed from the activity of a group of Czech humanists in December 2007. It aims to nonviolently oppose the US missile defense base planned to be installed in the Czech Republic. The movement gained wider recognition with the hunger strike of two of its founders Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in May 2008, the following sequential hunger strike with more than 160 participants, as well as international conferences on the US Missile Defense and disarmament. Its website is www.nenasili.cz.

The League of Mayors against the Radar was founded in August 2007 and currently unites 54 mayors. Its website is www.StarostoveProtiRadaru.eu

Contact information:
Jan Tamáš, Ph.D.,
tel. +420 776 785 839,
jan.tamas@humanisti.cz

www.nonviolence.cz
www.nenasili.cz
info@nenasili.cz

* related articles*

18th February: News from Bruxelles and other cities, Feb. 18, 2009

Solidarity message from Japanese citizens, Feb. 18, 2009

*related blog*

Space4Peace(Organizing Notes), February 19, 2009

U.S. CATCHING HELL ON FOREIGN POLICY



Text fwd: International petition: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE:

Forward from the Lift the Sanctions Campaign

International petition: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE:
http://www.iacenter.org/africa/zimbabweopenletter


First, let us begin by saying thank you. Thank you for demonstrating to and for African people and the world the courage and conviction that must be had to be self-determining in the face of insurmountable odds. Odds that would have crushed others with any less will to be free.

The road you chose for national liberation, which was carved through your first and second Chimurengas (armed liberation wars), cut an enduring path for us all to follow. At this moment in time, when all the enemies of Africa have attempted to circle their wagons around you and crush your right to land and sovereignty, your leadership and the veterans of your struggle have rallied you to unite. The words of one of Africa's greatest patriots are so fitting to your struggle at this time ...

"No brutality, mistreatment, or torture has ever forced me to ask for grace, for I prefer to die with my head high, my faith steadfast, and my confidence profound in the destiny of my country, rather than to live in submission and scorn of sacred principles. History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity."
--Patrice Lumumba's last letter, December 1960

Lift the Sanctions Now!

As anti-war, community, political, youth, trade union activists and Pan Africanists along with other people of good conscience of all nationalities inside the U.S. and worldwide, we are declaring our full solidarity with the heroic struggle in Zimbabwe to defend the right to full independence and sovereignty. At the heart of this struggle is the ongoing fight for the control of African land, illegally and brutally stolen beginning in the late 19th century by racist British colonizers led by Cecil Rhodes.

The Lancaster House Agreement--signed by the representatives of the ZANU-ZAPU guerrilla movements and the British government in 1980--promised to legally transfer ownership of the millions of acres of arable land from a handful of very privileged white farmers back to the Zimbabwean people. The British government reneged on this promise while the people of Zimbabwe patiently waited for reparations in the form of land reform to happen. When their patience ran out after waiting 20 years for legal justice, the people had no other recourse but to expropriate the land themselves by any means necessary.

As a result of taking back what is rightfully their birthright: the land, the people of Zimbabwe have had to bear the full brunt of unmitigated ire and disdain on the part of the U.S. and British governments and more recently, the European Union governments. This disdain is reflected in the political demonizing of government leaders, notably President Robert Mugabe, who has defended the Zimbabwean people's right to the land.

Defending the people's right to the land, the fruits of their labor and the country's resources means recognizing the right to self-determination and sovereignty without any imperialist interference. This is President Mugabe's "crime" in the eyes of the imperialist governments and their media. Behind this demonizing of President Mugabe lies the real crime--the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., Britain and other Western countries that have resulted in the collective punishment of the Zimbabwean people.

These cruel sanctions for almost a decade have caused massive unemployment, malnourishment, hyperinflation, deeper poverty, lack of health care and fuel, the deterioration of the infrastructure and much more. A recent cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of thousands could have been prevented if water purification chemicals had not been banned under the sanctions.

These genocidal attacks on the human rights of the people of Zimbabwe are very reminiscent of the sanctions imposed on the Palestinian population in Gaza by the U.S.-backed Zionist state of Israel. Let's be clear--President Mugabe is not to blame for the economic crisis in Zimbabwe; it is the sanctions.

These economic sanctions along with other austerity measures imposed by the IMF and the World Bank are acts of aggression against the people of Zimbabwe with a goal of igniting political instability and regime change. We unequivocally denounce these sanctions as war crimes and the officials who initiated them as war criminals. Even as a national unity government has been implemented, the sanctions remain in place.

The people of Zimbabwe, like the people of Gaza, Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere, are inspiring examples of resisting all forms of imperialist war and occupation. Millions of people around the world are facing an unprecedented economic crisis, including the U.S., where foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, utility shut-offs, lack of health care, tuition hikes and much more are skyrocketing at an alarming rate. We face the same enemies at home as do the people of Zimbabwe--the worldwide clique of bankers and bosses who put their greed for profits before meeting people's needs. Our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe is not just moral in character but also material in character. Their victory is also our victory.

It is in this spirit of international solidarity that we will continue to work hand in hand with our sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe to demand from the U.S., British and other imperialist governments:

  • End the Economic Sanctions Now!
  • Full Land Reform for the Indigenous Zimbabweans!
  • Respect the Democratically Elected Leadership!
  • Stop the Demonizing!
  • Hands Off Zimbabwe!

Text Fwd: Anger In Kyrgyzstan Over Plane Noise, Fuel-Dumping At US Base Vital To Afghan War


Forward from: Stephanie Westbrook, nousbases@lists.riseup.net, Agatha Haun

* Image caption from the original source*

US military planes , are seen at Manas US military base in Bishkek airport Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev last week announced the closure of the base, which is a crucial staging post for coalition operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. began using the Manas base in December 2001. (AP Photo/Igor Kovalenko) (Igor Kovalenko - AP)

Anger In Kyrgyzstan Over Plane Noise, Fuel-Dumping At US Base Vital To Afghan War

Peter Leonard,
Associated Press, Friday, February 13, 2009; 10:56 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR20090213
01234.html


Mramornaya, Kyrgyzstan - For many in this ramshackle village just outside
the last U.S. base in Central Asia, news the Americans may be leaving
hasn't come a moment too soon.

Villagers voice grievances about pollution, airplane noise and the killing of a
Kyrgyz citizen by an Air Force serviceman. Some also fear the American
presence could drag their country into a regional conflict.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev took Washington by surprise this
month in announcing the closure of the Manas air base, which the U.S.
wants as a springboard for sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan

Bakiyev's government has accused the U.S. of refusing to pay enough for
the base and has gotten a better offer from Russia. But the opposition of
ordinary Kyrgyz to the base would make it easier to evict the Americans.

Bakiyev is under pressure because of the deepening economic crisis and is
expected to call early presidential elections this year. The injection of
Russian cash could help him prop up his popularity through increased
social spending.

One of the most contentious issues surrounding the base is the fatal
shooting of truck driver Alexander Ivanov in late 2006 as a routine security
check was conducted on his vehicle. U.S. officials claimed Ivanov
threatened the serviceman with a knife. Bakiyev has cited the case as a
reason for closing Manas.

Ivanov's widow, Marina Ivanova, says she is angry that the senior airman
responsible for her husband's death has not been held accountable and
says the $55,000 she received from the U.S. government as compensation
is inadequate. ... Villagers in Mramornaya say fuel dumped by aircraft
landing at Manas is causing skin conditions and other illnesses, while killing
off their crops. "We used to have pears, apples and tomatoes growing
here," said Zima Osmonova, a history teacher. "Now all the trees here have
dried out and the crops don't grow any longer."

Osmonova also complained about the plane noise. "If there was an
earthquake, I wouldn't know the difference," she said.

Some villagers also are concerned that the base could one day be used to
launch a strike on Iran, prompting a retaliatory attack against Kyrgyzstan.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Text Fwd: U.S. commitment to Pacific region showcased in India



* image caption from the original source *

_A Luftwaffe Eurofighter conducts aerobatic maneuvers during a demonstration over an F-16 Fighting Falcon at the Aero India 09 air show at Air Force Station Yelahanka, India, on Feb. 9. The F-16, along with the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, F/A-18 Hornet and Eagle Vision ground satellite system, are on hand at the air show, demonstrating U.S. capabilities and commitment to the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Sam Highley)

_Gen. Howie Chandler, Pacific Air Forces commander, watches a C-17 Globemaster III demonstration at the Aero India 09 air show at Air Force Station Yelahanka, India, on Feb. 11. General Chandler is among a number of U.S. senior leaders at the air show, which runs through Feb. 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Sam Highley)

http://www.pacaf.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123135069

by Maj. Sam Highley
13th Air Force Public Affairs

2/11/2009 - AIR FORCE STATION YELAHANKA, India -- About 150 U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense civilians are among the thousands of people from around the globe taking part in the Aero India 09 air show here.

A cross-section of U.S. military aircraft and equipment, including the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules, F-16 Fighting Falcon, KC-135 Stratotanker, F/A-18 Hornet and Eagle Vision ground satellite system, are on display at the show, which began Feb. 11 and lasts five days.

This year's Aero India, which is organized by India's Ministry of Defence and hosted at the air force station here near Bangalore, India, boasts participation from more than 590 exhibitors from 25 different countries.

Col. Ray LaMarche, Director of Plans, Programs and Requirements at 13th Air Force, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and the air boss for U.S. forces participating in the event, said Aero India is a perfect venue for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.

"India is the world's largest democracy, and both the United States and India are committed to a stable Pacific theater," Colonel LaMarche said. "So our countries already share some basic beliefs, and events like this allow our respective military leaders to meet and discuss common challenges."

This special bond between India and the United States was recently highlighted by President Barack Obama, who released a statement Jan. 26 for India Republic Day highlighting the nations' shared belief in democracy, liberty, pluralism and religious tolerance.

"It is our shared values that form the bedrock of a robust relationship across peoples and governments," the president said in the statement. "Those values and ideals provide the strength that enables us to meet any challenge, particularly from those who use violence to try to undermine our free and open societies."

The developing partnership between India and the United States was on full display at the air show, as Indian military officers had the opportunity to see the U.S. military aircraft there up close through demonstration and orientation flights, as well as static displays.

Maj. Mike Dinwiddie, a C-17 pilot from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and the mission commander for the Globemaster III at Aero India 09, said the interaction with the Indian armed forces and representatives from other regional militaries was a highlight of the show.

"This show is really about building relationships," Major Dinwiddie said. "By making these connections now with other countries' airmen, we're preparing ourselves to work together better down the road when it really counts."

The demonstrations also furthered efforts to promote the standardization and interoperability of the equipment and processes used by partner nations in the Pacific theater, Colonel LaMarche said.

"We're building the knowledge base that will benefit us in the future," the colonel said. "When crisis strikes, we have to be able to share data, speak the same tactical language, and plan in parallel if we want to respond successfully. Events like Aero India go a long way toward making that happen."

Promoting interoperability and building relationships was made all the more easier by the remarkable hospitality of the event organizers, according to Capt. Steven Massie, a C-130J pilot at Little Rock AFB, Ark., who came to Aero India to demonstrate the latest version of the Hercules airlifter.

"Our Indian hosts have welcomed us and taken great care of us this entire time," Captain Massie said. "It's an honor to be here, to talk about what we do for a living, and to just see this great country."

Hillary Clinton, Start Dialogue With the North Korea Now!





* image caption*

The letters of the first photo say:

No! Missile Defense participation!, No! Proliferation Security Initiative!, No! US-SK joint military exercise! No! dispatch to Afghanistan!

Yes! Normalization of the US-NK relationship! Yes! Sign the Peace Agreement!



On February 17, 2009, The Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea(SPARK) had a 113th monthly Anti-US imperialism rally, in front of the US Embassy, Seoul, Korea.

The summary of its claims in the rally (tentative translation)

1. Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State visits Korea on Feb. 19-20, 2009. She said that “ If the North Korea is seriously ready to abolish the nuclear weapons completely, verifiably, the Obama government will be willing to normalize the relationship between the two countries, to replace the long time cease fire into the peace agreement, and to provide the North Korean people with the economic help of energy and others"…When the Lee Myung Park government’s harsh policy against the North Korea has led the SK-NK relationship into the closed alley, the change of the political current of the Korean peninsula through the improvement of the US-NK is desperately needed. Therefore we urge the president Obama and her to promote the dialogue with the North Korea, counter-mirroring the lessons of the policy of the Bush administration and to make a breakthrough for the normalization of the relationship between the NK-US relationship.

2. Otherwise, Walter Sharp, the commander of the United States of Forces of Korea(USFK) announced the foundation of the CAC(Combined Air Command) and the policy of the remaining of the USFK 8th Brigade. The both military departments of the both governments are promoting the highly integrated commanding system surpassing the current level of the US-SK joint command system through all areas and abilities, It means the USFK ‘s continuing domination of and meddling into the South Korean military, making meaningless of the decision of the transferring the wartime operational control (OPCON).

3. On January 15, the 8th Special Measure Agreement was submitted to the National Assembly through the official signing. If the assembly, like the government, permits the illegal and shameful increasement of the defense share budget for the relocation of the USFK 2nd brigade, the South Korean people would be the victim by the United States government. We want to expand the consciousness on this issue and to pressure the assembly so that it could actively question the whole issues.

4. It has recently first revealed that the U.S. Department of State has supported the huge amount of the fund to the so called “Human Rights organizations against the North Korea”. We strongly denounce the government of the United States of America who has added oppression against the North Korea with the issue of ‘human rights’ as weapon and who has laid the obstacle in the process for the peaceful normalization of the US-NK relationship.


* Related : A Joint Letter of the representatives of the civil society organizations in South Korea to the U.S. Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton, February 18, 2009

“We, the representatives of the civil society in South Korea,
congratulate Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton on assuming the post of Secretary of State, welcome her first official visit to Korea and take this opportunity to present our policy concerns and suggestions on the matters of U.S. policy orientation towards North Korea, the development of the Korea-U.S. alliance, and aspirations for peace in the Korean Peninsula.”


Related Korean article:

http://spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=s_news&action=viewForm&uid=2113&page=1
113차 반미연대집회 " 힐러리 미 국무장관은 조속히 북미대화에 나서라"
- 2009년 2월 17일(화) 낮 12시, 광화문 미대사관 인근 KT 빌딩 앞 –


http://www.tongilnews.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=82884


* Related englisg article:
http://www.spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=eng_3&action=viewForm&uid=25&page=1
Defense Ministry decides not to classify N. Korea as its ‘main enemy’
Designation as a ‘direct and serious threat’ is separate from a readiness posture or the recognition of a realistic threat


* Related blog: Space4Peace(Organizing Notes) READING THE TEA LEAVES
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2009/02/reading-tea-leaves.html


* related article from the Ministry of the Defense Department, South Korea*
http://mnd.go.kr/mndEng/WhatsNew/RecentNews/


Status of OPCON transfer
Date 2009-02-16 16:16

Entire military working toward transfer under Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States are working toward transferring the wartime operational control (OPCON) of ROK military to the chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as the two sides have agreed to transfer the OPCON on 17 April 2012. The OPCON of ROK forces is currently under control of the commander of ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC).

The agreement on the transfer of OPCON came at a ROK-U.S. summit in 2006 after the two countries agreed to speed up the process in a Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) held in 2005. The sides have since agreed on the timing of the OPCON transfer and other details of the process through SCMs, ROK-U.S. defense ministerial talks and standing military committee meetings.

After the OPCON transfer, the CFC commander will be tasked to draw up a new single command system that will control both ROK and U.S. militaries, transforming the ROK-U.S. alliance.

Under the new single command system, there will be two separate combat theater command headquarters – the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. Korea Command – that will remain independent from each other, but will work together to form a joint defense system. A military consultation body will also be formed to ensure continuous military cooperation between the two sides.

Therefore, the disbandment of the ROK-U.S. CFC following the transfer of OPCON will not lead to the dismantlement of the ROK-U.S. joint defense system or any changes in the ROK-U.S. military alliance, according to Brig. Gen. Jeon In Beom, chief of the OPCON transfer office at the ROK JCS.

Toward this end, the countries are annually holding two meetings of the military committee attended by the chairman of the JCS and the U.S. commander of the ROK-U.S. CFC, as well as monthly meetings of high-level representatives that involve the JCS chief of strategies and the deputy commander of the CFC, while some 20 related offices from each sides are working closely together.

While pursuing all-out efforts to prepare for the transfer, the Joint Chiefs of Staff is holding quarterly reviews on 114 tasks in six fields. The six task fields are the establishment of theater combat command system, a ROK-U.S. military cooperation system, operational plans, command execution systems, joint exercises and basis for the transfer of OPCON.

For the establishment of a new theater combat command system, the JCS is working to restructure its organization. While creating new offices of general staff (J-1…J-7) to enable theater combat command by the JCS, the JCS is working to build a new command headquarters by 2011, as well as the headquarters for a ROK military consultation group in the Pyeongtaek Garrison, where the new U.S. Korea Command will be located.

For the establishment of a military cooperation system, the two countries have agreed to set up an Allied Military Command Center (AMCC), Combined Air Command (CAC), and various other command centers, such as CWIOC, COCG and IPS.

Also, many of the consultative bodies will be run even in peacetime while the sides will each dispatch a number of liaison officers to maintain close cooperation. The sides are also working to write up standard operating procedures for consultative bodies while also trying to set up detailed plans for their location, organization and operation. The structure and operation of intelligence and air consultation bodies will remain intact as they are under the current joint defense system.

For the establishment of a theater combat command execution system, the sides have agreed to establish a joint crisis management system, as well as combined operation plans, and to check the systems regularly through their annual Taegeuk exercise and Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise.

In addition, the sides are trying to develop an operating system for the joint combat command headquarters as well as a C4I system for the joint command. To this end, the ROK military is working to develop an Allied Korea Joint Command and Control System (AKJCCS) by 2011, which will then be linked to the U.S. military’s C4I system.

“The ROK JCS and the U.S. Forces Korea command are working together under close cooperation for the transfer of OPCON,” Brig. Gen. Jeon said. “We will work to focus all our efforts for the successful transfer of the OPCON, which will mark the second formation of our military.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stop the establishment of the AMD CELL and the import of the Early Warning Radar






On February 17, 2009, The Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea(SPARK) had a emergent press interview, in front of the Ministry of the Defense Department, Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea,

The SPARK members participated by some of the members of the families of the political conscious prisoners explained that;

‘ On Feb. 15, The Ministry of the Defense Department, Republic of Korea announced the establishment of the AMD Cell and the import of the Early Warning Radar. Moreover, the Defense Department plans to establish so called the Korean style Missile Defense by the import of the PAC-3 and SM-6 which would be fit to the Aegis Destroyer King Sejong… It means the systematic subjugation process of the Korean MD into the U.S. MD system would be accelerated.’

They claimed the three;
1. Stop the establishment of the AMD Cell and the import of the Early Warning Radar that would totally subjugate the so called the Korean MD into the US MD!
2. Stop the building of the mad Missile Defense system aiming the preemptive strike against the North Korea!
3. Stop the building of the MD that reverses the current mood!


*Related Korean artcles:

http://spark946.org/bugsboard/index.php?BBS=s_news&action=viewForm&uid=2115&page=1
미 MD체제로의 편입을 가속화할 한국형 MD 구축 중단 촉구 기자회견
탄도 미사일 작전통제소(AMD CELL) 구축과 조기경보레이더 도입을 중단하라!

http://www.tongilnews.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=82886

http://www.tongilnews.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=82887



* Related article from the Ministry of the Defense Department, Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea

USFK commander Walter Sharp says U.S. closely monitoring N. Korean missile, artillery, Feb. 16, 2009






Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, on Feb. 9 said the United States is closely monitoring North Korea not only for its long-range missile activities, but also for its short-range missiles and artillery fires deployed near the military demarcation line.

While speaking at a meeting with foreign news correspondents in Korea, Gen. Sharp said the ROK and the U.S. have “excellent radar positions” that can accurately identify the exact location of any North Korean missile launches. He also said the joint forces will counter any aggression with artillery and air forces, noting the planned relocation of frontline U.S. troops to south of the Han River will further strengthen their capabilities.

Regarding the recent news reports that North Korea’s military may have gained more influence in the communist nation, Gen. Sharp said there are no signs of such a development, also noting the size of winter exercises of the North Korean military remained similar to those of previous years. Commenting on the North Korean nuclear issue, he said the U.S. demand was “for North Korea to verify that they do not have nuclear weapons and to denuclearize.”

Regarding North Korea’s demand to verify nuclear capabilities of USFK, Gen. Sharp said the U.S. could consider the option after North Korea first agrees to its verification protocol. “We, the United States, and the other countries of the six-party talks look forward to that day so that we can work these details out,” he said.

Regarding the troop level of USFK, Gen. Sharp said he is confident the troop level will be maintained at 28,500 even after 2012 when the wartime operational control of ROK military will be transferred back to the ROK military from the U.S., also noting the currently one-year tour of U.S. troops to Korea will be extended to three years.

Gen. Sharp also noted there will be changes to the joint command of ROK and U.S. militaries, saying the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff will be responsible for maintaining the Korean armistice and the wartime operational control of troops.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Text & video Fwd: Sign petition to stop expansion of Fort Carson, Colorado, U. S. A.




Sign petition to stop expansion of Fort Carson

From Frank Cordaro
To National CW E-mail List , Google Iowa Peace List E-mail , Google Offutt List
Date Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 10:40 PM
Subject [ Reply to Cordaro Help Bill Sulzman - Sign petition to stop expansion of Fort Carson - its easy, I did it!

Feb. 16, 2009, 10:40 PM (1 hour ago)


"Ft. Carson expansion OK'd" Denver Post
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5225670


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Sulzman
Date: Mon, Feb 16, 2009

We have about 2 more weeks to get signatures on this petition to stop
the growth of Fort Carson and the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. We will
then send copies of this and the hard copy signatures to Senators
Udall and Bennet and to SecDef Gates. It only takes a minute or so.
And if you're a fan of Nancy Griffith you'll like the video. Lots of
internationals are signing on and people from all over Colorado and
the US. The whole world suffers when the Pentagon expands the war
machine. Hope you can join.


Petition site:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/do-not-grow-the-army



Bill Sulzman
CITIZENS FOR PEACE IN SPACE

PO BOX 915, Co Springs, CO 80901
719-389-0644


Image Fwd: Military Spending


* From the space4peace(Organizing Notes) blog, Feb. 15, 2009

Text Fwd: Air Force to hold air war exercise in S. Korea


Text Fwd: Pyeongtaek Peace Center

Air Force to hold air war exercise in S. Korea By Franklin Fisher,
Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Monday, January 12, 2009

* Image caption in the original article: Christopher Boitz / USAF

At Osan Air Base in South Korea last July, an F-16 fighter of Osan’s 36th Fighter Squadron lands after flying a mock combat mission during a training exercise. This week the U.S. Air Force throughout South Korea is holding an exercise to test its readiness to fight an air war.


OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — U.S. airmen across South Korea will take part this week in a training exercise that tests their readiness to fight an air war.

U.S. 7th Air Force (Air Forces Korea) will oversee the quarterly operational readiness exercise, which will involve more than 8,500 U.S. troops, most of them airmen, including those at Osan and Kunsan air bases.

Army Patriot missile soldiers also will take part.

The exercise will test — through various mock war drills — the ability of the U.S. Air Force in South Korea to do the things it would have to do in wartime — mainly to knock out enemy aircraft, attack enemy troops and other ground targets.

“Our primary goal obviously is to make sure we’re ‘Ready to fight tonight’ and win against possible North Korean attack,” said 1st Lt. Malinda C. Singleton, spokeswoman for Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing.

The exercise will test senior commanders in their ability to manage the overall air campaign.

Airmen will have to perform under simulated wartime conditions, often in cumbersome chemical protective gear.

“Learning how to operate and survive in a chemical environment, that is a major part to every exercise we do here,” said 1st Lt. David R. Herndon, spokesman for Kunsan’s 8th Fighter Wing.

Pilots will fly mock combat missions over the peninsula. Ground crews will launch and recover the jets. Other airmen, including Security Forces troops, will practice defending their bases.

Airmen will practice giving first aid to themselves or other wounded airmen. Base medical facilities will operate as if at war.

The soldiers of the Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade will simulate launching their missiles against incoming enemy missiles or planes.

The brigade is headquartered at Osan and maintains firing batteries at various installations on the peninsula.

This week’s exercise will also serve as a rehearsal for a crucial Pacific Air Forces operational readiness inspection, or ORI, that the U.S. Air Force in South Korea is slated to undergo in the spring.

ORIs test war readiness, and all U.S. Air Force bases worldwide undergo ORIs once every two years, Singleton said.


* related email forward * from
Corazon Valdez Fabros , Agatha Haun on Feb. 10

13th Fighter Squadron S. Korea-bound
Misawa unit replacing
Army helo battalion

By Vince Little and Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Monday, February 9, 2009


This time, the 13th Fighter Squadron is staying a little closer to
home.

Air Force officials said the unit from Misawa Air Base, Japan,
is gearing up for a six-month deployment to South Korea, where a dozen F-16
fighters and about 400 airmen will temporarily replace an Army attack and
reconnaissance helicopter battalion set to pull out in March.

The 35th Fighter Wing didn’t release a specific date but said
the Misawa deployment would begin later this month.

The Army’s 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, nicknamed
"Half-Attack," will leave Camp Eagle in Wonju, South Korea, this spring for a
new home at Fort Carson, Colo. The troops will deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan
later this year.

The unit, which flies the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter,
has 24 aircraft and about 360 soldiers. It’s been stationed in South Korea since
November 1994 as part of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Last year, the U.S. military said the Apache battalion’s
close-air support mission would be picked up by 12 Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II
attack planes. It later decided to replace the Apaches with F-16s because of
structural concerns over the A-10 airframe.

The 4th Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Humphreys in
Pyeongtaek will remain as the Army’s lone Apache unit in South
Korea.

"The deployment of the 13th is aimed at balancing assets to
support regional security in the Asia-Pacific theater and meet the needs of the
ongoing global war on terror," said Master Sgt. Allison Day, a 35th Fighter Wing
spokeswoman.

While in South Korea, the squadron and support personnel will
conduct standard training to keep flying proficiencies and tactical requirements
current, she added. That will include sharpening their air-to-air and
air-to-ground roles.

The rotational move "keeps the F-16s within the region and
close to Japan as opposed to out-of-theater deployments that have previously
been conducted," Day said. "(But) as a matter of operational security, it is our
policy not to discuss the details of specific operational or training
missions."

In May 2007, the 13th Fighter Squadron and support airmen
deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq.

More than 300 airmen with Misawa’s 14th Fighter Squadron are
wrapping up a five-month tour to Balad. No return date has been announced.

---------------------
13th Fighter Squadron to bring more jets to S. Korea
By Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Wednesday,
February 11, 2009

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — The fighter squadron to deploy from Japan to
South Korea this month will include 14 jets and about 400 airmen during its
six-month tour, officials said Monday.

Last week, the Air Force said the squadron would deploy with
12 F-16 fighters, but on Monday said it had upped the number of jets to
14.

The planes and airmen of the 13th Fighter Squadron at Misawa
Air Base in Japan will spend six months in South Korea to take up the close air
support role currently held by an Army Apache helicopter unit — the 1st
Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Eagle. The regiment will move to Fort
Carson, Colo., this spring.

"Our primary goal is to ensure there’s no gap in capability,
which this deployment does," said Col. Mike Chandler, chief of staff of 7th Air
Force (Air Forces Korea).

The F-16s to be deployed "more than provide the necessary
firepower for us to defend the Republic of Korea."

The fighter squadron will be assigned a new name, yet to be
announced, during its temporary deployment, 7th Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col.
Rene White said Monday.

The Air Force said that for security reasons it will not
immediately disclose where in South Korea it will base the
squadron.

Besides pilots, the squadron’s personnel complement will
include mechanics and other support personnel.

The move will require no facilities construction to
accommodate the squadron, Chandler said, but additional police may be needed to
pull security duties.

After the Apache helicopter battalion moves to its new
stateside home, its troops will deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan, the U.S. military
has said.

The Army will still have one Apache battalion in South Korea,
the 4th Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, which is at Camp Humphreys in
Pyeongtaek.


Contact:
Ko You-Kyoung
National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S. Troops in Korea
us@usacrime.or.kr

* The Songtan air base is wrongly known as Osan air base.