'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)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Photos Fwd:[SPARK] Stop the ROK-US joint drill with a nuclear aircraft carrier



_________________________________________________________

* All the source of the below images: Two sites of the Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea(SPARK) on Nov. 28 and 29, 2010. Click HERE and HERE(last photo).

* See also China Daily, Nov. 29, 2010

* 아래는 평화와 통일을 여는 사람들 사이트에서 퍼온 것입니다 (여기여기 클릭)


* Summary translation of the report in the link is below all the photos.

..............................................................................................................

Stop the ROK-US joint drill with a nuclear aircraft carrier
that would bring confrontation and retaliation

Press interview in front of the 2nd Fleet Command headquarter, Pyeongtaek
Nov. 28, 2010
Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea







..............................................................................................................
Activists from the SPARK, KAPM and Democratic Labor Party
in Bieungdo, Kunsan


Stop the war exercise!
Stop the ROK-US joint war drill being mobilized with a nuclear aircraft carrier
that instigates a war in the Korean peninsula!

_________________________________________________________


Summary translation of the report in the link

While the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George Washington has joined the ROK-US joint war drill from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, about 30 activists from the Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK), South Gyunngi-do branch of the SPARK, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements (KAPM) and Gyunggi branch of the KAPM have held the press interview against the joint war drill being mobilized of the nuclear aircraft carrier, USS George Washington, gathering in front of the 2nd Fleet Command headquarter of Pyeongtaek, at 11am, Nov. 28, 2010.

Oh Hye-Ran, Director of Peace Disarmament Team, SPARK said the joint ROK-US war drill in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) this time being mobilized with a nuclear air craft carrier USS George Washington was being staged by going northward even near to Pyeongtaek for the first time in history and its attack range would include not to mention all the areas of North Korea but also the northeastern area of China. She told that even F-22 and RC-135 were mobilized for the drill this time and denounced the drill saying that having a war drill mobilized with the most high-tech war powers of army, navy, air from the ROK and US itself draws the Korean peninsula into the danger of full scale war.

(* See the Korean organizations’ joint statement on Nov. 26, 2010: click)

Mentioning the interviews by the Yeonpyeong residents who have said that they could not stay any more due to the ROK-US war drill with a nuclear aircraft carrier, she urged the South and North to enter for the measure for peace by the ways of dialogue and negotiation, while the related countries of the U.S. and China doing that, too.

Lee Kyu-Jae, Chairman of the Pan-Korean Alliance of Reunification, South Korean branch denounced the U.S. government to draw a nuclear aircraft carrier, while the United States had the original responsibility for Korean’s division. He strongly criticized the Lee Myung Bak government’s hostile policy against North Korea, saying if the Lee Myung Bak government had kept the measures during Roh Moo-Hyun government who had declared the special and cooperation area in the West Sea and defined the peaceful fishing area, there could have not been such incident on the Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23. He also urged the Lee Myung Bak government to enter for the peace dialogue with North Korea.

(* Refer to this blog for more on the ‘special and cooperation area in the West Sea: click’)

Otherwise, the Kunsan, Jeonjoo and Iksan branches of the SPARK, Jeonbook branch of the SPARK and Jeonbook branch of the Democratic Labor Part also held the press interview in the Bieungdo of Kunsan. (last photo)

Text Fwd: ASCK Steering Committee Statement on the Current Crisis in Korea

* The below text was informed at the site of People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
ASCK Steering Committee Statement
on the Current Crisis in Korea

The armed forces of North Korea, South Korea, and United States stand poised to wage a war that could destroy the Korean peninsula and engulf the world in a nuclear holocaust. It is a war that can and must be avoided.

Last week, a joint U.S-South Korean military exercise escalated into artillery exchange between the two Koreas. North Korea’s artillery bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island killed four and wounded many more. South Korea’s response left an as-yet unknown number of casualties in the North. Now the United States and South Korea have begun joint war games in the Yellow Sea. U.S. forces include the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, the 7th Air Force stationed in Osan, and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington based in Yokosuka. U.S. and South Korean marines will stage a combined amphibious landing exercise on the west coast of Korea.

These massive military maneuvers are escalating tensions and threaten to trigger general armed conflict. We appeal to all sides to desist immediately from warlike actions and stop this cycle of ever-increasing threats and shows of force. All parties must back down before sparking a conflict that would threaten millions of lives.

Background to the Rapid Military Escalation

On November 22nd, the South Korean and American armed forces began annual military exercises involving 70,000 soldiers deployed throughout the South, including the West Sea. Fifty warships, 90 helicopters, 500 warplanes, and 600 tanks were being mobilized for the war simulation exercises, scheduled to last until the end of the month.

Amidst the tension heightened by the exercise, South Korean marines on Yeonpyeong Island, just seven miles from the North Korean coast, fired an unknown number of artillery shells into waters claimed by both Pyongyang and Seoul. Hours later, the North Korean military began shelling Yeonpyeong, an island with military bases as well as a fishing community of 1,300 residents. The South Korean military responded by firing its own artillery at North Korean bases.

North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island left two soldiers and two civilians dead and over fifteen wounded. Most of the civilians have had to flee the island. The number of casualties and the level of destruction in the North are not known but could be higher, given the technological superiority of the South’s artillery.

Immediately following the artillery exchange, President Barack Obama dispatched the George Washington, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and President Lee Myung-bak announced that the rules of engagement for the South Korean armed forces have been changed, allowing for an asymmetrical response to a North Korean attack. The North ratcheted up the tension with the statement that it “will wage second and even third rounds of attacks without any hesitation, if warmongers in South Korea make reckless military provocations again.” As the US-South Korea joint military exercises get underway, tensions are rising yet higher.

The Imperative for Negotiations

We deplore all actions that lead to the loss of lives. We denounce the provocative military actions directed at North Korea by South Korea and the United States. We denounce North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island that killed at least four people. We call on the governments of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States to halt their reckless introduction of even greater military force that escalates tensions and risks further loss of life.

We call on all three governments – North Korea, South Korea, and the United States – to stop inflaming an already dangerous situation through their provocative actions and heated rhetoric. They should immediately cease the military exercises and maneuverings that will inevitably escalate tensions.

We call on the three governments to resume negotiations immediately in order to defuse tensions and to work toward finally ending the Korean War. The recent incident on Yeonpyeong is a deeply tragic reminder of the perilous state of ongoing conflict on the Korean peninsula. Since Korea was divided after World War II, a continuing state of war has been the structural cause of artillery exchanges and border clashes. A heightened risk of conflict will remain unless the Korean War is finally brought to an end with a peace treaty, which would establish the mutual recognition of borders and the normalization of relations.

The current crisis therefore underscores the imperative for diplomacy to transform the fragile armistice into a durable structure of peace based on the negotiation of a peace treaty, normalized relations, and the denuclearization of the peninsula. Talks may seem improbable under the present circumstances, but they are needed most when they seem hardest to start. This is such a moment.

November 27, 2010

ASCK

Alexis Dudden, University of Connecticut
John Duncan, UCLA
Henry Em, New York University
John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus
Martin Hart-Landsberg, Lewis and Clark College
Monica Kim, University of Michigan
Suzy Kim, Rutgers University
Namhee Lee, UCLA
Jae-Jung Suh, SAIS-Johns Hopkins University
Seung Hye Suh, Korea Policy Institute
Theodore Jun Yoo, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Site Fwd:[Korea Report] Voices for Peace in Korea Grow


Korea Report
Nov. 28, 2010

In response to the tense situation in the Korean peninsula and dangers of escalation, voices for peace and engagement are growing. Demonstration for peace was held in front of the White House on November 27 (photo above) with participation by anti-war activists and concerned Korean-Americans; other rallies are planned for New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

U.S.-based organizations that have mobilized for peace in Korea include the National Campaign to End the Korean War, the Alliance of Concerned Scholars about Korea, the Korea Policy Institute, Nodutdol, among others. Calls for engagement with North Korea for a peaceful settlement abound: Tim Shorrock on Democracy Now, John Feffer on The Huffington Post. Those U.S. experts who have recently returned from a North Korea visit (revealing North Korean uranium enrichment program) are calling for engagement as well: Siegfried Hecker, Bob Carlin and John Lewis. Peace organizations in South Korea as well as civil society groups are also calling for dialogue and a peaceful settlement.

Text Fwd: NATO's De Facto Members In Asia Include South Korea

* Text sent from Rick Rozoff on Nov 29, 2010

EastWest Institute
28 November 2010 - Issue : 913
NATO’s de facto Members in Asia: South Korea Included
Dr. Greg Austin


NATO has a special class of partners, informally called “contact countries” or NATO’s “other partners”, all in the Asia Pacific.

They “share similar strategic concerns and key Alliance values”, according to NATO, and include “Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand”.

In the 1980s, we often called Japan the 16th member of NATO. This de facto status hinged on the American commitment to defend Japan in the face of possible war with the Soviet Union, a circumstance that would have almost certainly involved NATO as a whole.

Fast forward to 2010....The United States has a bilateral security treaty with South Korea. Does South Korea’s treaty relationship with the United States engage NATO on a de facto basis as committed to defend South Korea if there is an all-out war?

The UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Turkey sent forces to the Korean War (1950-53) to fight alongside their United States allies. (So did Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ethiopia.) The operation was UN-sanctioned, because the Republic of China on Taiwan, and not the Peoples Republic of China, was sitting in the UN Security Council and the USSR, with veto power, had been boycotting the Security Council at the time the vote was taken. The allies (including Taiwan) went to the General Assembly in a Uniting for Peace Resolution to prevent any Soviet veto of the continuation of the UN mandate.

The world is a very different place now, more than half a century later. The UN Command in Korea may still exist formally, as South Africa was reinstated to membership of it in 2010, just last week....But the Republic of Korea continues to deepen its relations with NATO. The Foreign Minister addressed the North Atlantic Council in May 2010 after offering in April to send a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to join NATO-led forces there. South Korea participated in the NATO Summit in Lisbon in November 2010 along with some 19 other partner countries.

The latest North Korean attack coincided with the visit to the South by a NATO parliamentary delegation. NATO has expressed strong concern about the attack.

In the new NATO strategic concept approved at the Summit, Asia is not a subject that gets attention even though the “Gulf” (Persian Gulf?) is. Yet NATO appears to have made what, as a package, could be interpreted as a new formal, if fairly low-level and evolutionary commitment to Asia (and the world). “We will be open to consultation with any partner country on security issues of common concern. We will give our operational partners a structural role in shaping strategy and decisions on NATO-led missions to which they contribute.”

So what is the NATO role in Asia, and more specifically East Asia? It is hard to escape the conclusion that now, as in the 1980s, NATO remains a major determinant of the balance of military power in East Asia. This does not mean that all European members of NATO would become automatically engaged in fighting in Korea if it escalated to all war. The United States and South Korean forces would easily defeat North Korean conventional forces.

It does mean however, that leaders of NATO Europe with an interest in Korean security must now review where exactly they stand. NATO’s centrality to the latest Korean crisis as a continuing power balancer is mandated by the strong and perfectly legitimate interest of China in what may now unfold.
===========================
Stop NATO
Blog site:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Text Fwd: Action Alert – Online Demonstration for Peace in Korea

* Image source: same as the link

* Text sent from Bruce Gagnon on Nov. 28, 2010

End the Korean War
Action Alert – Online Demonstration for Peace in Korea



Action Alert – ONLINE DEMONSTRATION for Peace in Korea - Sun 11/28 and Wed 12/1

President Obama is sending the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (carrying 75 warplanes and a crew of over 6000) and other warships for additional war-games with the South Korean military beginning this Sunday, November 28.

This only escalates the already tense situation on the Korean peninsula and brings us dangerously closer to an all-out war.

And the blogosphere is already full of hate-mongering rhetoric calling for “retaliation” after the tragic incident on Yeonpyong Island earlier this week.

Two civilians and two South Korean soldiers have died. We say NO MORE LOST LIVES.

We need all those who stand for peace to call for de-escalation on the Korean peninsula and an immediate end to the U.S.-South Korean war games.


On Sunday, November 28, from 12 noon to 3 pm EST (9 am to 12 noon PST)

and Wednesday, December 1 from 7 pm to 10 pm EST (4pm to 7 pm PST)

Join the National Campaign to End the Korean War (www.endthekoreanwar.org)
in a coordinated "online demonstration" -


1. Barrage the White House and State Department with emails and urge President Obama and State Secretary Clinton to immediately stop the joint U.S.-South Korean war maneuvers, and sign a Peace Treaty to end the state of war that has existed for sixty years on the Korean peninsula- http://www.whitehouse.gov/contacthttp://contact-us.state.gov/


2. Post replies on online media sites and blogs where they are discussing the issue and beat back the war-mongering rhetoric with calls for de-escalation and a peaceful resolution. Refer to the attached factsheet for talking points. Some suggested sites are -

www.cnn.com
www.nytimes.com
www.washingtonpost.com
www.huffingtonpost.com
www.npr.org
www.bbc.co.uk
www.news.yahoo.com
www.voanews.com
www.abcnews.go.com
www.foreignpolicy.com


3. Post links to articles calling for diplomacy on listserves, blogs, facebook, twitter -

"North Korea's Consistent Message to the U.S." By former President Jimmy Carter in the Washington Post, November 24, 2010

“Retaliation, Retaliation" by Paul Liem of the Korea Policy Institute, Nov 25, 2010

"Crisis in Korea?" by John Feffer, Co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus in the Huffington Post, Nov 23

Tim Shorrock Posted on the Daily Beast

Tim Shorrock on Democracy

“A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex” By Siegfried S. Hecker

“Review U.S. Policy toward North Korea” Bob Carlin and John Lewis


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


Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. ~Henry David Thoreau

Text Fwd: [Bruce Gagnon] U.S. LOOKING FOR A FIGHT

* Image source: same as the link


Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes blog
U.S. LOOKING FOR A FIGHT
Nov. 27, 2010

The Advent vigils (four weeks in a row) began today at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine. BIW is the place where Navy Aegis destroyers are built that are presently being used as part of the U.S.-South Korea (ROK) war games which are bumping up against the coastline of North Korea. I noticed that the USS Cowpens is a part of this U.S. naval battle group that is being led toward North Korea by the aircraft carrier named the USS George Washington.

I know about the USS Cowpens because it was the ship that fired the first shot (cruise missiles) in the 2003 U.S. shock and awe attack on Iraq. I know this because the woman who was driving the USS Cowpens at that historic moment has become a friend of our family and was at our home for Thanksgiving just two days ago.

This young woman was a Lieutenant in the Navy and was the Officer of the Deck at the time of the Cowpens attack on Iraq. She has since gotten out of the Navy and is now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). She has not yet gotten over the pain of her role in that unprovoked, immoral, and illegal attack on Iraq.

North Korea knows all about the U.S. proclivity to attack smaller countries for no good reason. In years past the world has watched the U.S. beat up on Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. North Korea must wonder if their day is coming soon as well.

As I noted in other recent blogs on this subject, the U.S. and South Korea have been running aggressive military war games each month since last July and these massive drills are directed right at North Korea. North Korea must each time put their military and their population on alert because they can't take any chances. Having seen the U.S. record of attacking weaker countries they must consider that this time the war games could be for real.

As I stood on the sidewalk in front of BIW for the hour-long vigil today I held a sign with a picture of a train painted on it by one of our local artist friends. The sign read "Built in Bath". Some of the passing Saturday early-shift workers got the message and smiled as they drove home. The truth is that a number of those working inside BIW know that their "product" is a first-strike attack military machine. They'd rather be building rail systems or wind turbines. But we make weapons and we make war in America today and military production is one of the few jobs around in our declining economy. It's like those who worked in the death camps for Hitler's Army during WW II. It was a job and they wanted to believe that their country was right - Germany uber alles. In America we say - USA, USA, #1!

The U.S. is outfitting these Navy Aegis destroyers with "missile defense" systems and activists in South Korea and Japan clearly understand the role of these warships in U.S. military strategy. The U.S. intends to use these MD systems to pick-off retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack on North Korea or China. The U.S. is doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region for a clear reason.

Like any bully, the U.S. military is poking a sharp stick at North Korea (and China) and basically daring them to fight back. The U.S. (and their junior partners in South Korea and Japan) are out to militarize the region and are just itching for a military response that would then "justify" an overwhelming response.

The U.S. weapons corporations love this game of hardball, or as it used to be called, gunboat diplomacy. The power tripping U.S. government intends to keep pushing North Korea into a corner and will keep pissing on them until they get another response. At the rate things are now going it likely won't take long.

The key factor in all of this is China. How long will China allow the U.S. to keep pouring gasoline on the hot fire in the Asian-Pacific? They hold our debt yet know that if they cut the U.S. loose then the entire global economy will suffer even more. But China is quickly getting fed up with U.S. military bravado in their back yard.

China must support North Korea because if that country is toppled then the U.S. would put military bases right on China's border. This was an important reason for the Korean War in the first place, the U.S. wanted to take control of the entire Korean peninsula and thus have bases right alongside Russia and China.

If the American people knew half of what was going on in their name they'd be freaking out but due to corporate control of the media, and generations of government brainwashing, most of our citizens are in the dark. Virtually all they know about any of what is going on right now in Korea is what they are told by the same people who are stirring the boiling pot of war.

Sadly most Americans have to learn the hard way. Hopefully it won't take a shooting war with China to wake the public up from their deep sleep.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Text Fwd: [Translation] Korean organizations' statement: Immediately cancel the joint ROK-US drill mobilized with an aircraft carrier in the West Sea!



* Image source: Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (Click HERE)

_____________________________________________________________

* Thank you, Bruce Gagnon, for posting this

Organizing Notes
Saturday, November 27, 2010

KOREAN ORGANIZATION'S JOINT STATEMENT

* Thank you, M. S. in Japan for translating this in Japanese

Anatakara
韓国市民団体の共同声明
西海(黄海)での空母を伴う韓米合同軍事訓練をただちに中止せよ!

_____________________________________________________________

# Original Korean statement is informed at many sites of the below signatory organizations such as the Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements (한국 진보 연대, 클릭) and
Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (평화와 통일을 여는 사람들, 클릭).
Below is an arbitrary translation of the statement.

See also:

Dec. 9, 2010
End the Korean War:
Peace Bulletin from the National Campaign
한국 전쟁 종식: 전 미주 캠페인출간 평화 속보


Friday, December 3, 2010
Photos Fwd: Stop to increase defense budget with the pretext of the Yeonpyeong Island Incident!
연평도 사건을 구실로 국방비를 증가시키지 말라

*
Also download the PDF File(source: End the Korean War)
Factsheet: WEST SEA CRISIS IN KOREA (informed at the SPARK site)

factsheet2--west_sea_crisis_in_korea--2010-12-011.pdffactsheet2--west_sea_crisis_in_korea--2010-12-011.pdf
823K View Download

Monday, November 29, 2010
Photos Fwd:[SPARK] Stop the ROK-US joint drill with a nuclear aircraft carrier(click)


Monday, November 29, 2010
Site Fwd:[Korea Report] Voices for Peace in Korea Grow(click)


Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes
U.S. Looking for a fight (Nov. 27, 2010)

_____________________________________________________________

Korean organizations’ Joint statement on Nov. 26, 2010

Immediately cancel the joint ROK-US drill mobilized with an aircraft carrier in the West Sea (Yellow Sea)!

We, praying heavenly bliss for all the people who have been victimized by the incident that has occurred on the Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) on last [Nov.] 23, deliver our deep condolence to their bereaved families. We also pray that all the wounded could get recovered soon.

In the meantime, various fields and classes have expressed their concern that the Lee Myung Bak government’s hostile policy against North Korea and gradually increasing ROK-US joint war exercises could bring war in the Korean peninsula but the authorities of South Korea and United States have ignored those advices. As a result, a limited warfare has actually happened and all the citizens are greatly shocked.

What is most urgent at this point is to solve the crisis of the militaristic collision between the South and North Korea at flashing point. The authorities of the South and North Korea should immediately stop their actions to more aggravate the situation and should immediately enter for dialogue.

The Yeonpyeong Island incident should not be the fuse that makes a terrible disaster that could not be recovered by retaliation and chastisement. In the situation when militaristic clash is already predicted, being consistent only with hard-line confrontation policy can never be the measure to solve the militaristic crisis we are now facing in the Korean peninsula.

The both authorities of the ROK and US should moderate and moderate again themselves toward the directions of mitigating the danger of militaristic clash currently being formed and of preventing any extended war.

In the sense that it is a highly dangerous move to heighten the militaristic danger in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) that the both authorities of ROK and US have announced that they would process the ROK-US joint military drill with the mobilization of an aircraft carrier USS George Washington for the response of Yeonpyeong Island incident, we urge the immediate stop of it.

The both authorities of ROK and US have announced that, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 9,600 ton class cruiser Cowpens, 9,750 ton class destroyers of the Shiloh, Stethem, Fitzgerald participate [the drill] and the ROK military would join it with the two of the Korean style 4,500 ton class Aegis destroyers, patrol frigate(s), convoy(s), logistic ship(s), anti-submarine air crafts.

Even though the United States Forces of Korea says the ROK-US joint military drill is the exercise to strengthen deterrence power and increase regional stability, it only heightens the crisis of militaristic clash in reality.

Especially, there is high concern that the drill joined by an aircraft carrier in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) would provide another militaristic clash again. In case that the intention to increase the degree of drill brings the militaristic actions that could bring about any militaristic clash in the borderlines of the West Sea (Yellow Sea), the situation of the West Sea (Yellow Sea) would be unfolded toward more dangerous direction than now.

Currently, the both ROK and US authorities, operating the ROK-US joint crisis management team, are heightening crisis situation. Even though it is the situation that the joint crisis management team has elevated their watch condition yet [to its 2nd stage], it is told that they are considering elevating the DEFCON (Defense Readiness Conditions) even to its 3rd stage.

In other words, it means that the situation that wartime operational control right would be transferred from the hands of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [of the ROK] to those of the Combined Forces Command would occur, and that such situation would be converted in which the Korean peninsula issue does not stay any more within the domestic situation but into which the United States would directly involve.

We, Korean people do not want the United States intervenes into the issue of the Korean peninsula. We above all, oppose her intervention of which the direction goes toward that of the military crisis acerbating.

We hoping that the Yonpyeong Island accident this time would become the moment to wake up the urgency to improve the relationship between the South Korea and North Korea not the kindling of expanding war, demand as the below.

The both authorities of South Korea and United States should immediately withdraw their plan of the joint ROK-US military exercise in which an aircraft carrier joins in the West Sea (Yellow Sea)!

The both authorities of South Korea and United States should stop the militaristic response measure and should prepare for the peaceful measure to remove the danger of militaristic clash in the West Sea (Yellow Sea)!

Nov. 26, 2010

Imagination for International Solidarity; All Together; Anti-War Peace Solidarity*; Revolution 4.19 Committee*; People’s Solidarity for Social Progress; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea; Hunger Strike Comrades’ Council for the Withdrawal of Troops, 2005*; Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements (Christian Social Mission Solidarity Council*; The Association for Migrant Workers’ Human Rights; Farmers’ Pharmacy*; Solidarity for the Practice of Joint Declarations*; Supporting Committee for Prisoners of Conscience; Korea Council for Democratic Martyr; Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities; Central Council for the Nation’s Self-Reliance, Peace, and Reunification*; Pan Korean Association for Reconciliation(Inc.); Korean Democratic Workers’ Council*; Association of the Family Movements for Democracy Practice*; Buddhism Peace Solidarity*; Council for the Drive on Our Nation’s Unification through Federation System*; Korean Peasants League; Pan Korean Bereaved Families’ Association for Nation and Democracy*; Pan Korean Bereaved Families’ Association for Democracy Movement (Inc.)*; Pan Korean Poor People’s Association for Liberation*; Korean Women Peasant Association; Pan Korean Women's Solidarity*; Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification of Korea, South Korea branch; Veterans for Peace, Corea; Unification Square*; Pan Korean Young People’s Solidarity; 21st Century Pan Korean University Students’ Association*; June 15 Youth and Student’s Solidarity*)

(* Marked are temporary translations)

Text Fwd: [GPPAC] The Need for Talks to Avoid Escalation of the Crisis on the Korean Peninsula

Informed at People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)

The Need for Talks to Avoid Escalation of the Crisis on the Korean Peninsula Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Statement
November 25, 2010
GPPAC International Steering Group Meeting
Beirut, Lebanon

In response to the artillery exchange which took place on Yeonpyeong Island near the border of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on November 23, 2010, the International Steering Group of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)* extends its deepest condolences to the families of all those, including civilians, who lost their lives and to the communities affected by this tragic event.

This exchange of artillery comes as part of an ongoing conflict deeply entrenched in remnant Cold War structures. This situation has repercussions not only on the Korean Peninsula but also throughout the wider Northeast Asian region.

GPPAC strongly calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent escalation into another tragedy as has been experienced on the Korean Peninsula in the past.

Furthermore, as an international civil society peacebuilding network, we advocate non-violent, non-military approaches to find a peaceful solution to this crisis, and emphasise the need for civil society involvement in this process. GPPAC is offering the expertise of its network to contribute to the facilitation of dialogue between the relevant stakeholders.

GPPAC calls for:

1. An immediate cessation of hostilities to be declared.
2. A further investigation to be held into all aspects of the artillery exchange before any judgment or action is made.
3. All sides to refrain from military provocation that could lead to further escalation of tension or violence, including military drills in the area.
4. An emphasis on dialogue, both bilaterally between the DPRK and ROK, and regionally, including the resumption of the Six Party Talks as the only existing framework for dialogue on peace and security in the Northeast Asian region.
5. Civil society participation in dialogue processes related to this conflict.
6. World leaders to build bridges to calm the situation rather than reenact the language and barriers of the past.


* GPPAC is a global civil society-led network which seeks to build an international consensus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. It was established in 2003 in response to a call made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and has since worked to strengthen civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action; and to establish effective engagement with governments, the UN system and regional organisations.

Video Fwd: [Organizing Notes blog] IMPERIAL MILITARY ALLIANCE

Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes blog
Friday, November 26, 2010
IMPERIAL MILITARY ALLIANCE



The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is the largest military force ever assembled, with a potential armed force of more than seven million.

Two decades after its original enemy, the Soviet Union, disintegrated, the alliance has been searching for a new identity and new role.

Text Fwd: International Action Center: SIGN ON to STOP U.S./S. KOREAN WAR PROVOCATIONS! KNOW THE FACTS!

International Action Center
SIGN ON to STOP U.S./S. KOREAN WAR PROVOCATIONS! KNOW THE FACTS!

STOP THE WAR PROVOCATIONS AND ATTACKS ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF KOREA NOW!
KNOW THE UNDISPUTED FACTS!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION to the Obama Administration and s. Korean Govt.
at http://www.iacenter.org/korea/stopattackondprk NOW!

PLAN PROTESTS IN THE DAYS AHEAD TO COUNTER THE GROWING WAR THREAT

READ MORE

__________________________________________

See also the International Action Center, Nov. 26, 2010
Korea ‘crisis’ made in Washington Huge U.S.-south Korean military maneuvers were the real provocation
By Deirdre Griswold
Nov 23, 2010

Text Fwd: [Democracy Now] Tim Shorrock: Direct Talks With North Korea Are the Only Answer to End Korean War

* Text and video thankfully informed and reminded by Bruce Gagnon, Makiko Sato and Irene Eckert from Nov. 25 to 26, 2010

Democracy Now
Tim Shorrock: Direct Talks With North Korea Are the Only Answer to End Korean War
Nov. 24, 2010



AMY GOODMAN: South Korea has found the bodies of two civilians killed in the North Korean artillery bombardment Tuesday. The attack also killed two South Korean soldiers, wounded 18 others and set dozens of homes ablaze. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon called it one of the gravest incidents since the end of the Korean War in 1953. It began when North Korea said the South ignored repeated warnings not to hold military exercises near the countries’ disputed maritime border. South Korea was holding live fire drills, but said it was not firing towards the north. North Korea responded by shelling the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. South Korea retaliated by firing 80 rounds of K-9 artillery and placing F-15 fighter jets on alert. Casualties in North Korea are unknown. President Obama telephoned South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday to pledge US support. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Obama called the attack “just one more provocative incident” and called on China to take a stand against North Korea. Earlier Tuesday State Department spokesman Mark Toner described the attack as unprovoked.

MARK TONER: I think that everybody involved is stunned by North Korea’s provocative actions. I believe the president referred to it as outrageous and that we are working again within an established framework with our partners so that we have a deliberate approach to this. We will not respond willy-nilly.

AMY GOODMAN: The fighting came just days after was revealed North Korea had made rapid advances in enriching uranium at a previously undisclosed plant. For more, I’m joined by Tim Shorrock, an investigative journalist who has covered Korea for more than 30 years and grew up partly in South Korea. Tim, welcome to "Democracy Now!" First, explain exactly what happened.

TIM SHORROCK: Over the last couple of days, the South Korean military, which is part of a joint command with the U.S. military, held massive exercises in a disputed area, near the disputed maritime zone area on the west coast of Korea. These exercises had been planned months in advance and North Korea of course knew about then. They involved tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers, many warships and air force planes as well as personnel from the U.S. Marines and Air Force. And these exercises, as you said, they are live fire exercises. North Korea, shortly before, in the days leading up to these exercises, warned they would react in shells fell in their line of this maritime line, demarcation line, which they dispute and have disputed for years. Apparently, some shells did land on their side of this line and they retaliated by shelling this island and causing many, you know, some casualties. It was a very serious and grave incident that deserves the very serious and sober analysis, which we have not seen in the U.S. media in the past 24 hours. That is what happened.

AMY GOODMAN: Were you surprised by what has taken place? The media is making a great deal of the North Korean leader taking his young son, heir apparent on a tour of a soy sauce factory while this was going on.

TIM SHORROCK: You’re always kind of surprised when these things happen. But in the context of the last 50 years, it is not really that surprising, particularly if you look at the maritime zone and particularly if you look at the history of U.S.-South Korean military and its standoff with the North Korean regime. First of all, over the last few years, there has increasing tensions over this zone. As I said, this border area in the sea, this border line was imposed unilaterally by the U.S. Navy in 1953 right after the Korean war. That line has never been recognized by North Korea, nor by the international community. A few years ago, under the former presidency of Roh Moo-Hyun, there was actually a meeting, a summit meeting, between the president of South Korea and Kim Jong Il, the dictator of North Korea. They sat down and worked out sort of a set of agreements to try to decrease tensions in that maritime area, including the making of free fishing zones and having discussions to alleviate the attention to make sure there were no incidents like this. This new president Lee is very conservative man who has rejected the former sunshine policies of Kim Dae-Jung and his predecessor, who were much more open and tried to cement closer relationships and end the enmity between North and South Korea. Lee unilaterally pulled away from this agreement. And over the last few years, our listeners and watchers will remember, there have been quite a few incidents. Earlier this year, in March 2010, a South Korean naval ship was blown up allegedly by North Korea by a torpedo and sank, killing about 33 sailors. This was also a very serious incident. And many people who watch North Korea believe that that particular attack, if North Korea did it, was in retaliation for an incident that took place last year when South Korea fired on a North Korean ship that had crossed the line and many North Korean sailors were killed in that attack. And so you know this has been going on. I think the first thing that needs to be done is it would be important to restore some kind of discussion, some kind of negotiation so they can reduce tensions in that specific area.

AMY GOODMAN: This all comes after a US scientist, Stanford professor Siegfried Hecker said, after visiting North Korea, said the officials gave him a tour of a previously undisclosed uranium enrichment plant saying it appears to have more than 1000 centrifuges, saying it appears primarily for civilian nuclear power but added it could be converted to produce highly enriched uranium. The Guardian newspaper is saying international concern was already running high after reports North Korea had developed a new uranium enrichment facility that would give it a source of material for nuclear bombs. Many analysts believe the attack was intended to grab US attention and skew the ground for negotiations over denuclearization in favor of P’yongyang. Tim Shorrock?

TIM SHORROCK: That very well could be. This new uranium plant that the scientists saw, he was quite surprised and startled by the fact they had these modern centrifuges, which they somehow obtained despite this embargo that President Obama and the United Nations have slapped on North Korea. So clearly, sanctions have not worked in deterring from building this plant, which may be, actually could be used for peaceful power or it could later be used to transform it into weapons-grade material for bombs. The question is, what did they do it? They invited three scientists from America to show it to them. Yes, the North Koreans want to have, they have been saying this for years, want to have direct negotiations with the US to end this nuclear standoff. Last week, three independent Americans, two former state department people and an independent social scientist who has gone there many times, met with senior North Korean officials and they were told that North Korea would transfer all of its nuclear material to a third country, its bomb making material to a third country if the US would commit itself to have no hostile intentions toward North Korea, which is something the US has said before in public agreements. So they clearly want to have direct negotiations. Many people who have visited North Korea, including Mr. Hecker who just came back and spoke in Washington yesterday, say we have no choice, really, but to recognize North Korea as a sovereign nation that has its own territorial integrity and interest, despite what you may think about the regime, and that to end this crisis, this nuclear standoff, stop this nuclear bomb program, then we have to negotiate directly with North Korea and reach some agreements. I believe that that could start something that could end—we could have a peace agreement to potentially end the Korean War, which has never ended.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?

TIM SHORROCK: The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice. That is not a peace agreement. We are still in a state of war after all of those years. North Korea has been asking for a peace agreement, a formal agreement to actually end the North Korean-US standoff. They are the two parties to the armistice. Of course South Korea would be involved as well. A peace agreement could also deal with these border issues, this line of demarcation, which the North Korean disputes. If he could have some kind of negotiations and come to an agreement to finally end the Korean War, I think that would alleviate a lot of the tension. After all, this is the most militarized border in the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly: China, where does it fit into this picture?

TIM SHORROCK: China plays a very important role. They are North Korea’s closest ally. They are very concerned about what could happen if North Korea imploded or there was a military … a war or military crisis in the peninsula. They’re very close to the North Korean leadership. Kim Jong-Il and his son have been to China and they have looked at China’s economic development and are studying ways to open up their economy more to capitalist expansion and multinational companies like China has and have some kind of capitalism there to have some economic growth and benefits for the people there. So I think China plays a very important role in terms of trying to alleviate the crisis and moving all sides to some kind of negotiated settlement.

AMY GOODMAN:* Tim, we just have less than a minute, but I wanted to ask you a different question. It’s about the anti-imperialist scholar Chalmers Johnson who just died this past weekend. You wrote a long tribute to him on your site.

*TIM SHORROCK: We Americans, particularly those of us on the left who have studied the American role in the world owe Chalmers Johnson a huge debt for exposing our empire as it is and talking clearly about the huge, enormous expansion of the American military bases around the world and what that means. He was a truthful man. He once supported the Vietnam War and had the courage as an intellectual to come around and say he was wrong. That is a rare thing in America these days. I really hail Chalmers Johnson and praise him for his work and urge your listeners to read his books.?

AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, I want to thank you very much for you being with us. We will link you our interview, the hour we spent with Chalmers Johnson in 2007. We played an excerpt from it this week. Tim Shorrock, investigative journalist, has covered Korea for more than 30 years. He is author of the book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

[Text Fwd] Some articles on the Situation of the Korean Peninsula, Nov. 24 to 26, 2010

Press TV (* Informed at the CLG News)
Korean Peninsula inching towards war
Nov. 26, 2010

Stop NATO
Canadian Press
New Korean war could ensnare Canada, documents suggest
Mike Blanchfield
November 26, 2010

Stop NATO
Voice of Russia
November 26, 2010
Pentagon flexes muscles in Korea
Konstantin Garibov

Stop NATO
China Opposes Yellow Sea War Games Near Its Exclusive Economic Zone
Xinhua News Agency
November 26, 2010

Stop NATO
China, Philippines Alarmed Over U.S.-South Korea War Games
RTHK (Hong Kong)
November 25, 2010

Stop NATO
U.S., Japanese, South Korean FMs To Meet On North Korea
Trend News Agency
November 24, 2010

Text Fwd: [SOA Watch] Speaking Truth to Power

* Text sent from SOA Watch on Nov. 26, 2010

Speaking Truth to Power David Omondi and Father Louis Vitale Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison -- Incarcerated in Georgia Jail

Four human rights activists were in court on Tuesday, November 23 after being arrested and charged with federal trespassing at Ft. Benning, Georgia on November 20 and 21. During their arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles, Nancy Smith and Christopher Spicer pled not guilty. Their trial is set for January 5. Franciscan priest Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM and David Omondi of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Community pled no contest and put the SOA on trial through their statements in court. Fr. Louis and David were sentenced to the maximum 6 months in jail. While nonviolent resisters are being sent to prison, those responsible for the use of torture manuals at the SOA have never even been charged for their crimes. Father Louis and David are presently in a Georgia county jail.

Write to the prisoners:
Because they may be transferred at any time, cards and letters to David may be sent to his community for forwarding: David Omondi, c/o The Los Angeles Catholic Worker, 632 N. Brittania St., Los Angeles, CA 90033. Louis' mail may be sent to the Nuclear Resister for forwarding at P.O. Box 43383, Tucson, AZ 85733.

Click here to read the letter that vigil speaker Father Alberto Franco wrote to all the prisoners of conscience from the November vigil and please feel free to ad your own message to the prisoners in the comment section below the letter text!

On Saturday, November 20, twenty-two others were arrested on city and state charges, including unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, and parading without a permit. Two were charged but not taken into custody. Some were blockading the highway leading into Fort Benning with a sign that read, "Stop: This is the End of the Road for the SOA". Many of those arrested were not intending to risk arrest but were swept up as they walked back to their cars after they left the permitted protest following the vigil on Saturday. These included journalists and a Columbus, Georgia resident who came out of a barber shop to take a photo of the protest. The SOA Watch Legal Collective is collecting testimony and photos of the indiscriminate arrests that took place on Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned!

On Sunday, November 21, Columbus Recorder's Court Judge Michael Cielinski found 21 of the 24 who were arrested by the city guilty on all charges. Two were convicted in a state court the next day. All were released from jail by Monday, with fines and bonds as high as $4,152.50. The SOA Watch community stepped up in a big way, supporters maxed out their credit cards at ATMs to ensure that no one had to stay another day in the Muscogee County Jail. Those who were arrested still have to answer state charges, and expect to be arraigned in January.

For more information about the Ft. Benning protest, visit www.SOAW.org.

Text Fwd: US imperialism’s brutal war against the Korean people: 1945-1953

* Text thankfully informed by Lotus Fong on Nov. 26, 2010

In July 1950, under the pretext of eliminating "infiltrators," US soldiers killed 400 civilian refugees--mostly women, children and old men--under and around this railroad trestle at the hamlet of No Gun Ri.


[This is a useful description of the US's genocidal war against the Korean people. However, it does not discuss the important role of the "People's Volunteers" that socialist China sent to support the revolutionary struggle of the Korean people. In late 1950, the US military drove deep into northern Korea and towards the Chinese border, massacring civilians and leveling entire cities. In November 1950, 300,000 Chinese soldiers crossed the Yalu River and launched devastating surprise attacks on the US army and marines, sending them into retreat south. In close cooperation with the north Korean People's Army, the Chinese People's Volunteers fought the "invincible" US military to a stalemate over the following three years.--Frontlines ed.]


Frontlines of Revolutionary
The U.S. War Against Korea

Nov. 25, 2010

This article is reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, U.S.A.

At the end of World War II, the U.S. government signed several documents pledging to withdraw all its armed forces from the Korean peninsula and to support the establishment of a “free and independent Korea” based on the sovereign will of the Korean people.

But the U.S. government did not honor these commitments even for a second. From the first day that U.S. troops landed in Korea, they began to create the infrastructure for permanent military occupation. The patriotic Korean political forces which had fought the Japanese aggressors were systematically suppressed or killed. By 1948, the U.S. had installed a puppet government (based, in large part, on former collaborators with the Japanese) in South Korea and declared the partition of the country.

Not content with occupying the southern half of the peninsula, U.S. imperialism prepared and launched the Korean war with the goal of occupying the entire country. The Korean war was part of U.S. imperialism’s strategy of extending its colonial empire to the four ends of the earth by suppressing the national liberation movements and “containing communism.” Amongst other things, the U.S. sought to create a ring of military bases around China and the Soviet Union. In fact, the Truman administration planned the Korean war as a preparation for “rolling back communism” through an all-out attack on the People’s Republic of China.

Immediately after occupying Korea in September 1945, the U.S. moved quickly to accomplish its goal of turning the Korean peninsula into a U.S. military base. Near the 38th parallel, the U.S. started fortifying artillery positions and bomb shelters. Money was poured into the construction of military air bases, roads, and naval ports. Cheju island was placed under direct control of the U.S. army and its airport was expanded to accommodate B-29 bombers. Naval bases at Ryosu, Inchon, and Pusan ports were all rebuilt and expanded.

During this time the U.S. army command in Korea also began organizing a puppet Korean army in the southern half of the peninsula. A “Korean National Guard” was organized by U.S. military authorities, and an “English Military Institute” was created to train South Korean officers. In the Spring of 1948, President Truman agreed to the decision of his Security Council to increase military aid in order to “build and strengthen a South Korean army.” Soon afterwards, a conscription law was issued forcing Korean youth in all southern provinces into the military. By 1950, the U.S. had amassed a 100,000-strong south Korean army.

In addition to pouring in huge amounts of money in order to turn the peninsula into a U.S military base, the U.S. announced in early 1950 an official “Treaty of Mutual Defense” which called for the “defense and modernization” of the Korean army in the south. According to General MacArthur, the new South Korean military force was “the best in Asia” and the head of the U.S. military advisory group called it “the faithful watchdog guarding U.S. capital.”

READ MORE

Text Fwd: Sick and Dieing Former Fed and Nuke Weapons Plant Workers in KC meet & organize to get Gov. compensation

* Texts sent from Ann Suellentrop and forwarded by Frank Cordaro on Nov. 26, 2010

NBC Action news
Former Bannister Federal Complex employees looking for compensation,
new audit adds to the numbers
Nov. 20, 2010
By: Beth Vaughn

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - A government audit of the Bannister Federal
Complex has given birth to a number of new compensation claims. The
findings expand who may have been contaminated by the toxin Beryllium.


The General Services Administration at Banister denied they had ever
found the toxin on that side of the building. Only a concrete wall
separates the GSA from Honeywell, the area of Bannister where nuclear
bombs are manufactured.


New tests are being run for the toxin Beryllium, depleted Uranium and
chemical vapors.


In the meantime, sick workers are finding paths to compensation from a
group called Cold War Soldiers. Barbara Rice worked at Bannister for
31 years. She explains, “We were book keepers, we were accountants,
pay roll clerks and secretaries."


Working in what's now called the General Services Administration, Rice
never had access to the side of Bannister used for the making of
nuclear bombs.


However, she says there was always speculation of contamination, “For
years, a lot of us had speculated of strange things that had happens
on our side of the building from collapsing ceiling tiles filled with
mold, to a water main break that required us to destroy our clothes."


Now, her husband suffers from Neuropathy, a disease that damages the
nervous system, and at least 60 of her co-workers are dead.


Saturday, at a town hall meeting, Donna Hand from Cold War Soldiers
said the recent audit is a launching point. Hand said, “That confirms
that these workers were exposed to these toxic substances on both
sides and they need to get the compensation that's due to them that
Congress has already passed.”


The filing process is lengthy. Hand says it takes medical examinations
and proof from doctors that the illness was contracted at work.


She adds specific details about the job you were doing when you got
contaminated are vital as well, “What did you do whenever you were
soldering? Where were the fumes at? What were you doing when you used
that E.B. Welder?" For some, so much time has passed that their time
at Bannister is a distant memory. Hand says that makes the claim
filing process tough.


Only a small percentage of claims filed are approved. Hand says at
most 15% are awarded compensation. However, the money set aside for
Department of Energy workers doesn't cover employees like Rice. Her
job is covered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act which
doesn’t include illnesses due to toxin or chemical exposure. She says
she’ll file for FECA compensation as well as compensation from the
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Program Act.


She expects to be denied from the first because of the act’s
limitations and the second because her job title wasn't listed as a
DOE job.


Rice says she’ll apply for both to send a message to the government
that real people need real help. She says, “There have been over 100
people who have died that shouldn't have.” Her fight is dedicated to
her husband, those friends who are long gone and those who suffer
everyday.


Since NBC Action News began its investigation of the Bannister Federal
Complex more than a year ago, the list of dead workers has risen to
130.
-------------------------------

See also

FOX 4 Web Producer
November 21, 2010
Workers Learn About Compensation for Bannister Federal Complex

Text Fwd: [Sudhama Ranganathan] The Power of an Induced Sense of Betrayal

* Text informed by Sudhama Ranganathan through Indymedia Korea on Nov. 26, 2010

The Power of an Induced Sense of Betrayal
by Sudhama Ranganathan

When I was a student at the University of Connecticut, matriculated in the landscape architecture program, I experienced three years of group harassment. I graduated and have thought long and hard about what happened, how it happened and what to do in order to prevent it happening in the future to other people. Fortunately for me, I documented some of it through video and audio evidence. This, backed up with still images and documentation, helped me to remember, recount and to make sense of it in some ways.

The harassment was due to my involvement in a violent student protest in 1990 combined with my race. The protest was from 1990 as I mentioned, but the harassment happened when I went to school at UConn’s Storrs campus mostly between 2003 and 2006. Those doing the harassment were using emotions from post 9/11 trauma and trying to link Al Qaeda type terrorism to what I did back then.

But what I did was about the system of Apartheid in South Africa at the time and perceived racial injustices. It was specifically planned to be an act of vandalism so no person got hurt.

It wasn’t about Islam or any other religion. I wasn’t a Muslim then nor am I now, not that that matters, because not all Muslims, just like not all Christians, believe the same things. The people who did that were religious extremists, just like the people who did the Oklahoma City Bombing were political extremists. The people who harassed me weren’t given all the facts about what happened when I did what I did, so none of what really happened mattered to them. They had decided, and they were out for blood.

The harassment started in my sophomore year mostly from one professor who spread this post-9/11 hysteria across the class I was to be graduating with. We were a group and his goal was to extricate me from the group. It was a small graduating class of 22 people and so it made containing an open secret easy.

He first recruited those who found pleasure in such behavior, next were those who would do it in exchange for better grades or time off with no penalty etc. and for those who still were apprehensive, there came retribution in the way of harassment, a lowering of grades etc. Soon enough all were ready to participate or at least stand aside when the various plans to get me out were launched.

Various techniques were implemented and they were usually woven into the fabric of each new assignment. One popular technique was for the professor to break up the instructions for each new assignment and give some of the responsibilities for handing out certain crucial pieces of the instructions to certain students. These students were always “on board” with things.

They would either make sure to be gone before I could get the instructions, or tell me to wait until they got back from lunch, dinner or another class. They would end up not returning to the landscape architecture studios or something. They would not return my emails or phone calls, etc. At first some other students who felt bad would give me the pieces they received, then pressure was turned up on them and that ceased also.

This way, no matter how well I did I could never do well enough to receive good marks in the group. An incomplete assignment could never be graded well, and no teacher could be punished for not giving a partially turned in assignment a good grade. This was one method for trying to get me out from the group.

The goal was to get me, the person targeted for harassment, to do something which would facilitate my leaving. They hoped I would leave the group from all the stress and games. If not, then they hoped the stress would cause my grades to drop and I would just kind of flunk out, in what seemed like a natural scenario, from the group. If those things failed, they hoped I would be removed from the group by doing something, due to the stress, that would lead to my getting kicked out of either the program, or the school entirely, and the people who wanted me out of the group would be able to extract me from the entire group that way. I graduated anyways, and learned some things during the three years of psychological mind games played on me.

Of the things learned one was that a large number of the techniques employed in the strategies used in the various ploys entailed inducing a false sense of betrayal, or at least trying to. The hope seemed to be that by causing the person they wanted gone from the group (the person targeted for harassment) to feel as though they had been crossed, they would feel spurned or dejected and want to leave the group. Often times after this happened; the idea would be to not lend the person who was targeted for removal from the group a shoulder to lean on, as it were. At least, no one from the group was supposed to. This, it was hoped, brought about a feeling of loneliness from being further betrayed isolated and not supported within the group.

This way, all the negative emotions combined would, hopefully, be strong enough incentive to get the person to go away from the group. Sure they could have tried many things and they did, but they had to always be careful and seemed to always be mindful of carefully setting things up so as not to get caught in their attempts to break the law to get what they wanted.

The perpetrators had a false sense of being righteous, and in their minds this righteousness transcended the laws. It was as though their breaking the laws repeatedly for three years straight was in no way similar to my doing it once, thirteen years prior, when I was a minor. The funny thing is that’s exactly the way terrorists seem to be. They feel righteous, and that that righteousness gives them free license to break whatever laws they want because they know better – they are above the laws and beyond reproach.

In the strategy wherein pieces of information were handed out to students, the technique of inducing a sense of betrayal could be used here also. This was aside from the over arching betrayal hoped to be felt by the targeted person that the entire group just went along and did nothing. That is to say, the larger sense of betrayal, hopefully stemming from a sense that all others in the group all participated and, thus, turned on them in the end. It was hoped they would feel they had been betrayed by all in the group and had no one left in the group to feel close to or count on. Thus, they would want to leave.

It was also employed in a more focused sense. For example, here someone who had been behaving as though they were a friend and someone the targeted person could rely on would say, “don’t worry about asking anyone else, just ask me and when I find out I’ll tell you” regarding the information on the assignment handed out to different people in the class. That person would have previously told the target of the harassment they saw what was happening, and that they thought it was wrong. This way, they would build trust. When the target checked in with them, that person would then do something like say to the target they never got the information.

When the assignments were graded, and handed back the person would walk up with his grade in hand and ask the targeted person what they got, and when they told them, they would show the target their assignment with a full grade, and the part they said the night before they didn’t have would be right there in front of the target in plain sight. At that point there would be some sort of display on the part of the person the target thought they could trust, letting them know the person they trusted did it on purpose and thereby rubbing it in the target’s face, for example.

This would be followed by some sort of ‘not too obvious’ display on the part of the professor and certain members of the class letting the target know it was all purposeful. If the target questioned this all they had to say is ‘of course not.’ There was always plausible deniability built into the games.

As mentioned earlier this game involved trying to induce a strong sense of betrayal on the part of the person targeted for harassment as a means to achieving the desired end result. The hope was this very strong, intense negative emotion, would eventually lead the person they had targeted for harassment to associate the strong negative emotions with the environment of the landscape architecture program, and thus compel them to leave the group, stop working and flunk or react negatively and be kicked out from the group.

Though I felt those things sometimes, it was never enough to get me away from the goal. Those who wanted to force me from the group were unsuccessful. They were successful as criminals, because they didn’t get molested by the law for their crimes, but they were unsuccessful in the end because they were unsuccessful at getting me to leave. They were like terrorists who set the bomb, leave and never get caught, but he bomb ends up smoking and failing in some dud-like fashion.

If they had been successful, I wouldn’t be here writing this tonight. I do so for anyone else out there who has been through group harassment or is going through it. It is difficult, but survival is possible. Just focus on your goal, and, like a Marine in boot camp, don’t allow yourself to quit or mess up too bad. Just keep going. Let the heat temper your steel and make you stronger.

The professor often told the group this happened in the professional world and the workplace. He would hint it was normal and could even help them to do it in the future. It is highly unlikely such phenomena are limited to groups of people in classrooms and school settings alone.

I left out how I survived and usually do when writing articles like this because every situation is unique, and thus, it may hurt you more than it helps. Use these observations if you feel you can and find your path to survive and to succeed. And, succeed is precisely what you do once the people targeting you for harassment have failed. Good luck and persevere.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

[Site Fwd] [Korea Report] The Confrontation in the West Sea Area Begs Peaceful Settlement

* Arbitral English translations were added to an original Korean image

The agreed plan on the 'special peace and cooperation zone in the West Sea',
stated on Oct. 7, 2010
joint declaration

Joint-development-planned:
(1) Peace water and joint fishing area
(2) Haeju port
(3) Haeju factory zone
(4) Water area of Han River mouth
(5) Direct sea route to Haeju
(* translated)
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Korea Report
Nov. 24, 2010
November 24, 2010
The Confrontation in the West Sea Area Begs Peaceful Settlement

Guns have flared again dangerously in Korea -- in Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea (Yellow Sea), within the disputed maritime border area between the two sides of Korea. Despite North Korea's claim that its action was in retaliation to its vocally-protested South Korea's naval exercises in the region, the North Korean military was wrong to fire its artillery directly at the island, hitting both military and civilian targets, resulting in military and civilian casualties and substantial damage to the island. This in turn prompted South Korea to return artillery fire to the North Korean shore.

This confrontation is one of many deadly clashes that has occurred in this area, due to the long-standing dispute arising from the unsettled vestige of the Korean War and the fragility of its armistice, which still stands to this day -- 57 years after its signing. Unlike the land-based DMZ agreed upon by the Korean War armistice, the maritime border was not clearly delineated. The UN command then unilaterally created the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which encroaches dangerously close to North Korea's shores in the area (just 7.5 miles from Yeonpyeong Island to North Korea) -- and which expectedly North Korea does not acknowledge.

The above photo shows an outline of the proposed "Special Area for West Sea Peace Cooperation" around the NLL, agreed as a part of the October 4, 2007 Joint Declaration(* See the below) by then-President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea and Chairman Kim Jong-il of North Korea. The shaded, numbered areas indicate proposed areas of cooperation and development for joint peaceful usage such as joint fishery and economic zone, with the idea of promoting inter-Korea collaboration instead of continuously engaging in deadly military standoff in the area. Had this agreement been implemented by the succeeding administration of President Lee Myong-bak, the clashes in the West Sea would have surely been prevented. Lee administration's other hardline policies toward North Korea did not help the situation.

With Washington's refusal on North Korea's request for direct talks and Seoul's denouncement of the Sunshine Policy of inter-Korea rapproachement, Pyongyang may have hastily and dangerously gambled on a dramatic attempt to get the issue in the front burner of the world stage, along with its recent revelation of uranium enrichment activities. If all parties agree that escalation of the current crisis needs to be prevented to avoid an all-out war and its unimaginable destruction and casualties, all avenues towards a peaceful settlement must be pursued. In this spirit, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter responded quickly to the current crisis, calling for engagement with North Korea. On the other hand, the usual repetition of show of military force using joint U.S.-South Korea exercises including a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier in the West Sea will not be conducive to this path.

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See
October 4, 2007 Joint Declaration

Part of NO. 5
'The South and the North have agreed to create a “special peace and cooperation zone in the West Sea” encompassing Haeju and vicinity in a bid to proactively push ahead with the creation of a joint fishing zone and maritime peace zone, establishment of a special economic zone, utilization of Haeju harbor, passage of civilian vessels via direct routes in Haeju and the joint use of the Han River estuary. The South and the North have agreed to complete the first-phase construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex at an early date and embark on the second-stage development project.'


About Korean activists' statement on Hecker report and defense Minister Kim's remark on redeployment of nuclear weapon in the Korean peninsula, see HERE


See also
Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes blog
Tuesday, November 23, 2010



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