Saturday, April 30, 2011
[Jeju Update] [April 29] Vicious Jeju Special law passed by the members of the National Assembly at the last minute.. the struggle would be harder
While Yang Yoon-Mo, movie critic has met his 25th fast in jail as of April 30, a great betrayal happened for the Jeju Island and nation.
The members of the Democratic Party, based on the Jeju Island, betrayed their people at the last minute, by working to pass the Jeju special law in the National Assembly under the surface on April 29.
The conservative Grand National party and Democratic party dominated-National Assembly passed the law after 10pm, April 29 despite the opposition by the progressive but minority parties whose votes were only 7 while the favoring votes were 186 among 198 present members’ votes. The annulled votes were 5.
Cho Seung-Soo, representative of the New Progressive Party opposed the passage of the Jeju special law, saying, “The items related to the naval base, included in the law are in violation of procedural democracy principal and have serious flaws in contents as well.”
By the vote, it became possible for the Office of the support for the Jeju-which is premised on the naval base- to continue to be existed under the Prime Minister Office after June.
The media Jeju says, the government’s move toward the establishment on the local development, premised on the naval base would be accelerated as the development-support basis for the vicinity areas of the naval base became to have the law basis.
The struggle against the naval base would be harder and many arrests of the villagers and activists who have hard fought are expected in coming days. The people's vigil tents including Yang's near the naval field office, Joongduk coast and and exhibition hall in the Joongduk coast are endangered to be demolished as the navy would move fast in coming days.. A villager who has kept his green house from the navy’s removal has also gotten its letter on April 29 that he should remove his by April 30 and if not, he should pay the unjust fine of about 16milion won.
* Image source: Sisa Jeju
* Image source: Sisa Jeju
* Image source: Life and Peace Felloship * Image source: Gangjeong village people's council site
But people would overcome and rise up again.. The History will record all the truth of the Gangjeong villagers’ suffering and resistance.
Tetrapods to destroy sea creatures including the UNESCO protected soft corals are being built in the naval base construction site.
The below is the song that I put regarding one day's struggle story of Yongsan struggle on Nov. 22, 200. You can see the link on the day here. The song is needed again today. In the same sentiment, a net-ti-zen lso uploaded the lyrics which is originally a poem by a poet, Do Jong-Hwan.
---Poem by Do Jong-Whan, Song by Kim Jung-Sik and children
It’s a wall.
When we feel it is an impossible wall to get over,
An ivy leaf quietly climbs up the wall.
When people say it is the wall of despair,
With no drop of water, with no seed that can survive,
The ivies, without hurrying, go forward.
They go up inevitably hand in hand one another even if it is only a bit of span,
Until they cover all the despair with their green.
They grasp the very despair without laying down it.
When we drop our heads down, thinking it is the wall we cannot get over.
An ivy leaf leads the thousands of leaves
And finally crosses the wall.
(Unofficial translation of the Korean, below)
도종환 시, 김정식 노래
어쩔 수 없는 벽이라고 우리가 느낄 때
담쟁이는 말없이 그 벽을 오른다
물 한방울 없고 씨앗 한 톨 살아남을 수 없는
저것은 절망의 벽이라고 말할 때
담쟁이는 서두르지 않고 앞으로 나아간다
한뼘이라도 꼭 여럿이 함께 손을 잡고 올라간다
푸르게 절망을 다 덮을 때까지
바로 그 절망을 잡고 놓지 않는다
저것은 넘을 수 없는 벽이라고 고개를 떨구고 있을 때
담쟁이 잎 하나는 담쟁이 잎 수천 개를 이끌고
결국 그 벽을 넘는다.
See the recent photos
Gangjeong village people's council site
Gangjeong tent (April 29)
천사 커피 메이커
A supporting coffee maker (April 29)
Life and Peace Fellowship site
민들레 학교 순례단
A youth group visiting Gangjeong(April 29)
사진관 지킨 생명 평화 결사 등불들
The Members keeping the people's exhibition site in danger to be demolished (April 29)
Writers visiting Gangjeong village (April 28)
LP in Yang tent (April 28)
주민들과 신구범 전 지사님
Villagers and Shin (April 27)
한반도 평화 위협, 대미 무기종속 심화, 국민 혈세 낭비!
대형 공격용 헬기 도입 사업 중단하라!
- 2011년 4월 29일 낮 12시, 방위사업청 앞 -
No Import of the US attack helicopter that threatens peace in the Korean Peninsula
In front of the Korea Defense Acquisition Administration Program
April 29, 2011
Photos Fwd:[SPARK] The Ohyun-ri villagers' 1,000th candle night against the expansion of the Mugeon-ri Military Training Field
천일의 촛불, 천일의 희망!" 무건리훈련장 확장 반대를 위한 주민들의 천번째 촛불
- 2011년 4월 27일 저녁 8시, 오현리 직천초등학교 안 촛불행사장 -
The Ohyun-ri villagers against the expansion of the Mugeon-ri Military Training Field met their 1,000th candle night on April 27.
See the photos by clicking the link
임진각 대북전단 살포 중단하라!
- 2011년 4월 29일, 임진각 -
Stop the flying leaflets against North Korea
Imjingak near the Korean DMZ
April 29, 2011
[세계군축행동의날] 국회-시민사회 공동선언 '우리 세금을 무기 대신 복지에'
Global Day to cut military spending: Our tax to welfare instead weapons
Peace Network 평화 넷워크
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy 참여 연대 평화 군축 센터
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011
VOICES FROM THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR DISASTER
The Imperialist Powers' Odyssey of “Return” into Africa
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24471
Global Research, April 26, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
[Jeju Update] [April 27 to 28] Yang's health in crisis as of his 24th day fast/ Criticism on navy's arrogant and divisive attitude
Yang Yoon-Mo, movie critic whose prison fast meets 24th day as of April 29, is hospitalized.
Yang Yoon-Mo, the movie critic met his prison hunger strike 24th day as of April 29, 2001. He has been violently arrested by the Seogwipo police station on April 6 when he resisted against the Jeju naval base construction by laying down himself under a construction truck. He has demanded the stop of naval base construction and punishment of all the policemen who joined the violent arrest of him.
It is known that his heath has been greatly deteriorating by fast in prison and the Jeju prison has been hospitalizing him since April 25. Before that, Yang has gotten hospital cure on April 22 but has declined to end his fast and to get nutrition pill. The Jeju prison told that while Yang’s blood pressure and pulse were measured normal, his physical power has been greatly dropped out.
Yang insists that he would not end his fast until the naval base issue is settled. Shin Ku Bum, a former Island governor who has started a solidarity fast along with Yang ended his fast in 10days with the statement that he would continue his act against naval base construction as a former politician.
The Gangjeong village people’s council and lawyer Shin Yong-in strongly denounced the navy and companies saying that the navy is using its division strategy among the villagers and between the villagers and activists by saying that it would withdraw the indictments against the villagers if the “outside people( peace activists) leave out the village. They also criticized the navy that it was only considering the damaged construction cost which it says 0.1 billion won a day, if construction is stopped. They exposed the navy’s arrogant attitude even toward the opposition party members and what the navy is doing is not for security business but for its vested interests. The Gangjeong villagers are also infuriated by the Island government’s media manipulation in which it displays itself as if it is doing its best to hear the villagers’s opinion.
Meanwhile the five opposition parties in the Jeju Island announced that the truth investigation committee of the National Assembly would visit the Jeju on May 6.
Otherwise, the passage of the proposed Jeju Special law that includes the vicious items on the support of the areas near the planned Jeju naval base-which would betray the Island people by making matter of fact of the construction- and profit-oriented hospital were failed in the legal matter committee meeting of the National Assembly as the Grand National Party insists the two and the Democratic party insists not including the latter on April 28. It is expected that the law would not be discussed in the National Assembly’s general meeting in April but would be attempted to be discussed again in June. The protestors against the naval base construction have strongly criticized the Jeju authorities’ proposed law.
See the photos of the Gangjeong village on April 27 to 28, in the below links.
Construction and struggle site on April 28
Meeting of Shin and 5 opposition parties in the Jeju on April 27 (Video included)
4258 of 10ton tetra pods 4528to be installed in the sea (picture displayed in the naval field office)
Text Fwd: [Editorial] On Defense Reform Plan 307: Keep an open mind on pending legislation and gather ideas again.
[Editorial] On Defense Reform Plan 307: Keep an open mind on pending legislation and gather ideas again.
Posted on : Apr.28,2011 13:16 KST
Controversy is raging over "Defense Reform Plan 307," which is set to change the upper command structure of the armed forces. The Navy and Air Force are objecting particularly strongly, expressing concerns about problems with the concentration of military authority and the diminishing of their own forces. One cannot help but worry that the government may end up harming military solidarity with its reckless pursuit of reorganization of the military system.
The gist of Plan 307 involves strengthening integrated military organization elements of the existing three-force system in order to transform the military into an operation-centered combat organization. To accomplish this, it would give both military command and military administration authority to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and have him preside over operations and personnel affairs for all of the forces through the individual Chiefs of Staff.
The integrated system and three-force system each have their own merits and demerits. However, the biggest problem with Plan 307 is that the legislation has been rushed. The Ministry of National Defense raced to give a presidential report without conducting any proper hearing. After some segments of the armed forces raised objections, an official from Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office in South Korea, threatened to "regard this as insubordination and strip them of their uniforms." This is a situation where the unrealistic elements should be filtered out after having been reviewed openly within and around the armed forces, yet things have essentially been handled in the opposite way from the beginning.
Another problem is the repeated use of stopgap measures to quiet objections. In a deviation from the original plan, the Ministry of National Defense announced that it would create two or three Deputy Chief of Staff positions and hand operational command to the First Deputy Chief of Staff, who would hold the rank of general. This gives an indication of their intent to give merely nominal authority to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position that circulates among the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and have real authority exercised by the First Deputy Chief of Staff, a position appointed by the Army. This is worse than outright creating a distorted organization in which the higher-ranked party is a figurehead and the lower-ranked party holds the real power.
After Air Force observers commented that it was ridiculous for the Air Force Chief of Staff, a general, to be under the wartime command of the U.S. 7th Air Force Commander, a lieutenant general, the response was to create the new position of the lieutenant general-level Deputy Chief of Staff and have this officer subject to the command of U.S. forces. Here we see a strained Procrustean attempt to cut the person down to the size of the bed. With the increase in deputy chiefs in the Joint Chiefs of Staff and different forces, the leadership has swollen further. One has to ask whatever happened to the plan of simplifying the upper command system and getting rid of the dead weight.
On the heels of a Cabinet vote on Plan 307, the Ministry of National Defense announced plans a few days ago to finish the legislative process at the June extraordinary session of the National Assembly. In so doing, it plans to complete the military system reorganizations before the end of the current administration. However, it is difficult to see the reorganization succeeding without sympathies within the armed forces, and there have also been concerns voiced by the National Assembly National Defense Committee. This is not a case where stubbornness will win the day. We hope the government will start over by gathering opinions on military system reorganization with an open mind.
U.S. Ready to Ratify FTA as Korea Lags Behind
U.S. Ready to Ratify FTA as Korea Lags BehindU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has said the U.S. Congress will begin the process of ratifying the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement bill in May regardless of progress in Seoul. He was speaking at a press conference on arrival here on Wednesday.
The Barack Obama administration will submit the FTA to Congress as soon as possible, and the Korean National Assembly can begin its own ratification process after watching how the U.S. Congress ratifies the bill, he said.
Obama is expected to hold prior consultations with congressional leaders from early May before submitting the bill.
Locke said his administration has completed all the preparations for the submission of the FTA bill to Congress, where it has majority support.
He is in Seoul leading a delegation of four congressmen to build support for ratification and ask the Korean government and parliamentary leaders for help, he added.
Locke also commented on trade conflicts between Seoul and Washington, including the ban on exports to the U.S. of products made in the joint Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. He pledged there will be no more changes to the FTA after what was billed as "supplementary talks" in December, when the two countries agreed to delay the phase-out of tariffs on Korean cars in return for concessions from Washington on pork and medicine.
In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Tuesday, Representative Charles Rangel, one of the delegates and a former chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means which supervises the FTA, said he understands that Korean lawmakers are reluctant to agree to all clauses in the FTA due to difference of interests in each region. But he called on ruling and opposition lawmakers to act in the best interest of their country.
Russia worried by NATO expansion near its border April 27, 2011
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed worries again Wednesday about the expansion of NATO, which has already taken in former Soviet states as members.
"The expansion of NATO infrastructure towards our borders is causing us concern," Putin told a news conference after meeting Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
"NATO is not simply a political bloc, it is a military bloc. No one cancelled the agreements on how the bloc reacts to external threats. It is a defence structure," added Putin.
NATO has already taken in the three former Soviet Baltic states as members, as well as old Warsaw Pact nations including Poland and the Czech Republic.
Moscow has long been worried by the military alliance's growth and the possibility of its further expansion to take in former Soviet republics such as Georgia or Ukraine. And it is wary of U.S. and NATO plans for a European missile defence shield, which it fears could be a threat to its security unless Russia too is integrated into such a system.
Visiting Denmark Tuesday, Putin criticized the Western coalition attacking Libya, saying it had neither the right nor the mandate to kill the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Sweden is taking part in the NATO operation in Libya, though it is not a member of the military alliance.
In the context of the Libya operation, Putin also said decisions on using military force were being taken too easily.
He contrasted this with the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when he said Soviet commanders were much more careful in their use of force for fear of causing civilian deaths and casualties.
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Return of US forces to Subic possible
US military build-up in Guam delayed
By Robert Gonzaga
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: April 28, 2011
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — High-level visits here by American officials have raised the prospect of a return of the United States’ military presence in this former naval base in the wake of disasters that hit Japan, which have delayed the planned US military build-up in Guam.
US Senators Daniel Inouye and Thad Cochran visited this free port on Tuesday and met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Olongapo City officials.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer learned of the visit but was told that it was “not open to press coverage.”
In March, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. also met with local officials and briefed them about the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on the transfer of US military bases in Okinawa to Guam. The visit was not announced to reporters here.
Inouye and Cochran, chair and ranking member, respectively, of the US Senate committee on appropriations, appeared to be interested in the possibility of an increased presence of the US military in the country, a source present at the luncheon meeting for the visiting senators hosted by Subic and local officials told the Inquirer.
The source, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said: “Their official reason for being here was to obtain a situationer of developments in the area and to consult with local officials about these. They even brought their technical staff. During the discussion, they were curious about the reception in the country of an [increased presence of the US military] here.”
The source also said the US embassy “gave strict instructions that [the media] not be allowed to cover the visit.”
“Their embassy arranged the logistics of the visit directly with Olongapo City [officials], and not the SBMA,” the source said.
Facilities in the free port that can be used by the US military, like the airport and seaport, are intact, according to the source.
“Even now, they are already using it as part of the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement). But if they substantially increase their presence here, then the free port can still accommodate them,” the source further said.
Olongapo mayor for US return
Olongapo Mayor James Gordon Jr. said the senators wanted to see the success of the free port, which the Americans left 20 years ago after the Philippine Senate rejected a treaty extending the stay of US military bases in the country.
“They were amazed by what they saw,” Gordon said.
Asked if he would support a return of the US military in Subic, Gordon said: “Of course, we would welcome it. We want two economies here—the one that is free port-based and the other [which relies on support services] to the US military. They can coexist here.”
He said the Guam build-up would be scaled down following the Japan disaster.
“We are open to the possibility that [the US military] might again use the Subic Freeport,” he said.
The US government approved the relocation of its naval base from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam starting 2012. Guam officials have been visiting the Subic Bay Freeport and Olongapo City to learn from the experience of hosting a naval base.
Gordon, however, declined to give details on the discussions about the US military’s possible return to Subic.
“Your guess is as good as mine. Like investors, they come here but initially don’t tell you what [their real plans] are. But if it’s an enhancement of the VFA … that’s already ongoing,” he said.
The US embassy said Inouye was in Manila with Cochran to meet with Philippine officials to discuss issues of bilateral interest.
During their four-day visit, the two American senators also met with President Benigno Aquino III, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, among other officials.
Inouye is a senior senator from Hawaii and the president pro-tempore of the US Senate. For helping pass the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he has been hailed by Filipino veterans as their “champion” in the US Senate.
Cochran is a senior senator from Mississippi.
The source said the US senators arrived on a US government jet that landed at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Subic International Airport where they were welcomed by local officials.
“Then they went on a tour of the Subic facilities. Specifically, they visited the seaport, and the housing areas in Kalayaan and Binictican, as well as [some other areas],” the source said.
After that, the senators and their entourage and military escorts, proceeded to Lighthouse Marina Resort for a luncheon meeting. The US senators left after the meeting that lasted for less than two hours, according to officials present during the visit.
Delays in transfer
Gordon said Inouye and Cochran discussed the delays in the transfer of US bases in Japan to Guam.
“[They cited] not only the disaster in Japan as the reason for that, but also the [political turmoil] in Japan. That country has had a change of at least six prime ministers now since [the beginning of talks for the Guam military build-up]. Also, they are now focused on the [reconstruction] of the disaster-hit areas there,” Gordon said.
Outgoing SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the possibility of Subic being an alternative site to Guam was “officially not discussed.”
“That sort of talk is above my pay grade. Senator Inouye was instrumental in getting a bill passed into law in the US about Filipino veterans getting compensation and benefits. He told us that the US government made a promise to Filipino veterans and [the US government] has to keep that promise,” he said.
Arreza said Inouye, who last visited the Philippines in 2008 for what the US embassy described as a “learning tour” in Zamboanga City, “was interested about how Subic turned out.”
“They were very impressed because they thought the withdrawal of the US Naval Base would result in [the collapse of the local economy],” he said.
In an earlier interview, Dean Alegado, executive director of the Association of Pacific Islands Local Government Conference, said the disaster that hit Japan “made the fate of the military build-up uncertain, to say the least.”
A more militarized CIA for a more militarized America
By Glenn Greenwald
Gen. David Petraeus
The first four Directors of the CIA (from 1947-1953) were military officers, but since then, there has been a tradition (generally though imperfectly observed) of keeping the agency under civilian rather than military leadership. That's why George Bush's 2006 nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden to the CIA provoked so many objections from Democrats (and even some Republicans).
The Hayden nomination triggered this comment from the current Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein: "You can't have the military control most of the major aspects of intelligence. The CIA is a civilian agency and is meant to be a civilian agency." The then-top Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, said "she hears concerns from civilian CIA professionals about whether the Defense Department is taking over intelligence operations" and "shares those concerns." On Meet the Press, Nancy Pelosi cited tensions between the DoD and the CIA and said: "I don't see how you have a four-star general heading up the CIA." Then-Sen. Joe Biden worried that the CIA, with a General in charge, will "just be gobbled up by the Defense Department." Even the current GOP Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, voiced the same concern about Hayden: "We should not have a military person leading a civilian agency at this time."
Of course, like so many Democratic objections to Bush policies, that was then and this is now. Yesterday, President Obama announced -- to very little controversy -- that he was nominating Gen. David Petraeus to become the next CIA Director. The Petraeus nomination raises all the same concerns as the Hayden nomination did, but even more so: Hayden, after all, had spent his career in military intelligence and Washington bureaucratic circles and thus was a more natural fit for the agency; by contrast, Petraues is a pure military officer and, most of all, a war fighting commander with little background in intelligence. But in the world of the Obama administration, Petraeus' militarized, warrior orientation is considered an asset for running the CIA, not a liability.
That's because the CIA, under Obama, is more militarized than ever, as devoted to operationally fighting wars as anything else, including analyzing and gathering intelligence. This morning's Washington Post article on the Petraeus nomination -- headlined: "Petraeus would helm an increasingly militarized CIA" -- is unusual in presenting such a starkly forthright picture of how militarized the U.S. has become under the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner:
Gen. David H. Petraeus has served as commander in two wars launched by the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. If confirmed as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Petraeus would effectively take command of a third -- in Pakistan.
Petraeus's nomination comes at a time when the CIA functions, more than ever in its history, as an extension of the nation's lethal military force.
CIA teams operate alongside U.S. special operations forces in conflict zones from Afghanistan to Yemen. The agency has also built up a substantial paramilitary capability of its own. But perhaps most significantly, the agency is in the midst of what amounts to a sustained bombing campaign over Pakistan using unmanned Predator and Reaper drones.
Since Obama took office there have been at least 192 drone missile strikes, killing as many as 1,890 militants, suspected terrorists and civilians. Petraeus is seen as a staunch supporter of the drone campaign, even though it has so far failed to eliminate the al-Qaeda threat or turn the tide of the Afghan war. . . .
Petraeus has spent relatively little time in Washington over the past decade and doesn’t have as much experience with managing budgets or running Washington bureaucracies as CIA predecessors Leon E. Panetta and Michael V. Hayden. But Petraeus has quietly lobbied for the CIA post, drawn in part by the chance for a position that would keep him involved in the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen.
It's rare for American media outlets to list all of our "wars" this way, including the covert ones (and that list does not even include the newest one, in Libya, where drone attacks are playing an increasingly prominent role as well). But Barack Obama does indeed preside over numerous American wars in the Muslim world, including some that he started (Libya and Yemen) and others which he's escalated (Afghanistan and Pakistan). Because our wars are so often fought covertly, the CIA has simply become yet another arm of America's imperial war-fighting machine, thus making it the perfect fit for Bush and Obama's most cherished war-fighting General to lead (Petraeus will officially retire from the military to take the position, though that obviously does not change who he is, how he thinks, and what his loyalties are).
One reason why it's so valuable to keep the CIA under civilian control is because its independent intelligence analyst teams often serve as one of the very few capable bureaucratic checks against the Pentagon and its natural drive for war. That was certainly true during the Bush years when factions in the CIA rebelled against the dominant neocon Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Feith clique, but it's been true recently as well:
Others voiced concern that Petraeus is too wedded to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- and the troop-heavy, counterinsurgency strategy he designed -- to deliver impartial assessments of those wars as head of the CIA.
Indeed, over the past year the CIA has generally presented a more pessimistic view of the war in Afghanistan than Petraeus has while he has pushed for an extended troop buildup.
That's why, noted The Post, there is "some grumbling among CIA veterans opposed to putting a career military officer in charge of an agency with a long tradition of civilian leadership." But if one thing is clear in Washington, it's that neither political party is willing or even able to stand up to the military establishment, and especially not a General as sanctified in Washington circles as Petraeus. It's thus unsurprising that "Petraeus seems unlikely to encounter significant opposition from Capitol Hill" and that, without promising to vote for his confirmation, Sen. Feinstein -- who raised such a ruckus over the appointment of Hayden -- yesterday "signaled support for Petraeus."
The nomination of Petraeus doesn't change much; it merely reflects how Washington is run. That George Bush's favorite war-commanding General -- who advocated for and oversaw the Surge in Iraq -- is also Barack Obama's favorite war-commanding General, and that Obama is now appointing him to run a nominally civilian agency that has been converted into an "increasingly militarized" arm of the American war-fighting state, says all one needs to know about the fully bipartisan militarization of American policy. There's little functional difference between running America's multiple wars as a General and running them as CIA Director because American institutions in the National Security State are all devoted to the same overarching cause: Endless War.
* * * * *
I'm excited to be speaking tonight at FAIR's 25th anniversary event in New York, along with Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman and Michael Moore. The event, which begins at 7:00 p.m., is sold out, but will be live-streamed in its entirety here.
More: Glenn Greenwald
Thursday, April 28, 2011
[Jeju Update] [April 26~27] ‘Ecology park’ instead ‘naval base’!/ The navy rejects the opposition parties’ and villagers’ demand to stop construction
Text Fwd:INTERVIEW WITH FORMER JEJU GOVERNOR
신구범 전 도지사와의 인터뷰 번역
Text Fwd: PROTEST OF AEGIS "CHRISTENING" PLANNED IN MAINE
브루스 개그논및 미 평화 활동가들, 메인주 이지스 구축함 건조식 에 항의하는 시위, 5월 7일 가질 예정 (국문 번역 추후)
TOn April 27, the representatives of five opposition parties of the Democratic Party, Democratic Labor Party, New Progressive Party, Creative Korea Party and People’s Participation Party in the Jeju Island visited the naval base construction site on April 27. The representatives having a press interview in the site declared the below five demands which are also their future plans:
1. Stop of the naval base construction
2. Policemen’s protection of the villagers and citizens [during the confrontations] in the construction site
3. Suggestion of broad discussion on the matter of the proper drive according to the navy’s declared plan: whether it is really a civilian-military harbor or military harbor?
4. National assembly’s investigation on the promotion and construction process of naval base
5. Announcement of the five opposition parties’ plan for declaration on their position at the end of June (including legal measures)
* Image source: http://www.headlinejeju.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=114049
The villagers and activists along with representatives of the five opposition parties strongly denounced the illegal and violent naval base construction and navy & companies' indictment of the villagers and activists. Recently four people have gotten the letters from the Seogwipo police station that they should be present for police investigation of them by the first date of April 22 and second date of April 28. The four having press interview on April 27, officially denounced such mean investigation and expressed their will not to respond to it.
* Image source: http://www.headlinejeju.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=114051
Translation of Statement on ending fast by Shin Ku Bum, former Island governor (April 27, 2011)
Ending my fast, I thank all the Island people.
-It is a shame that justice is being charged not by the hands of court, Island governor, policemen, navy, intellectuals, leaders but by the hands of the innocent and naïve Gangjeong villagers-
To all the Island people, I apologize to you that I have made you to be much anxious for my fast.
However, through my fast this time, I became to know how the navy and Jeju Island have divided the Gangjeong villagers through betrayal, pacification and manipulation, and how the Gangjeong villagers have been living in great fury and suffering for last four years.
I also became to know how the navy and construction companies are splitting up among villagers, threatening them in inhuman and mean ways in the construction site.
Further, I was infuriated to know that the naval base construction was not the urgent security business for people.
The naval base construction is nothing but a mere business for the navy to increase its power to expand its own power within the military and to contrive its interest with the pretext of security.
Island people, I am to end my fast following the urgent requests by the Gangjeong villagers and those who are with them.
It is to act with them.
Some people would say such below words to the Gangjeong villagers who are against naval base construction. They even readily criticize them:
It is a national security business and the Jeju Island is a part of Republic of Korea, is not it?
If naval base comes in, there would be the population increment and economic interest.
Is it a matter that the Gangjeong was already decided even though the Hwasoon is good [for location and condition], is not it?
Is it that [the Gangjeong villagers] oppose [the naval base] because they want more compensation, is not it?
Even though majority of Island people agree with the point that the most prioritized current matter to solve is the Jeju naval base issue, their consciousness on the truth barely stays at such level.
Island people, if there are people who think as above around you, please recommend them to visit themselves the Gangjeong village, the site of naval base construction.
I, myself had been in the favoring position of naval base as well until I knew the truth of the Gangjeong village through my fast.
As one of the Jeju Island citizens and a former Island governor who has once carried job for you, I feel so ashamed of myself and sorry to all of you. I make an apology to you and beg your pardon.
I thank all the people who have visited me themselves and consoled me: The Gangjeong villagers including the mayor, Kang Dong-Kyun who cared me during my fast; and the people who are with them such as Dr. Song Kang-Ho and the members of the Frontiers; Members of the Life and Peace Fellowship along with Monk Dobub, Fr. Kim Kyung-Il and Mr. Kwon Sul-Ryoung, [chairman of the project on 100day's peace pilgrim in the Gangjeong village]; Ms. Choi Sung-Hee; Mr. Hong Ki-Ryong, chairman of the Pan-Island Committee for Prevention of Military Base and for Realization of Peace Island; and [Actress] Kim Yeo-Jin and Nallari Outside Power group.
I cannot but give my special thanks to my beloved wife who has put up with her tears and waited for her heady husband who left home without notice.
I pray for the prompt end of fast by and release of Yang Yoon-Mo, former chairman of the movie critic association, who met his 22th day hunger strike in jail [as of April 27]
Island people, I truly thank you.
April 27, 2011
[Former Island Governor]
* Image source: http://www.headlinejeju.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=114045
Otherwise, the representatives of the five opposition parties in the Jeju visited the naval field office and strongly demanded the stopof the naval base construction, which were declined by the captain,Lee Eun-Kuk, the chief of the office.
Regarding the people’s demand to cancel the indictment on thevillagers and four people(Go Gwon-Il, chairman of the villagers' committee against naval base, villager Kim Jong-Hwan, activists Dr. Song Kang-Ho, the Frontiers and Sung-Hee Choi) who were recently indicted by construction companies for the charge of business interruption, the captain replied that “ If outside people (meaning the peace activists)leave Gangjeong”, he would “drop out all the charges against thevillagers.” The villagers, including mayor and Go Gwon-Il, chairman ofthe villagers’ committee against naval base construction would do apress on April 28 to denounce his words in which the captainmade clear of navy’s strategy to divide the villagers and activists.
야5당 대표들, 해군기지 공사 사무소 항의 방문. 요구사항 전달.
업무방해 혐의로 4월28일에 경찰에 출두하라는 통지 받은 강정주민과 활동가 4명의 기자회견 내용
야5당 대표들, 해군기지 공사현장에서 기자회견 하다! (내용/사진)
April 26, 2011
* Image source
* Image source:
* Image source: http://www.lifepeace.org/xe/128966#0
* See also an archive photo site
Ganggeong in Feb. 10, 2010(In Korean and English)
'On February 10, 2010, this sitting-down site against Naval Station was removed with force by Jeju law-enforcement and military engineering battalion units.
This Sites was supposed to be built as Naval Command Station Base as Naval Mobile Fleets of Korean Navy. The Construction Consortium DAELIM Industry started this site's demolition today.'
Peace fesitival on April 30
South Koreans, on Jeju Island, protest the construction of a Navy base on their environmentally sensitive island that will be used to port U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
PROTEST OF AEGIS "CHRISTENING" PLANNED IN MAINE
The Navy will "christen" another Aegis destroyer on Saturday, May 7 at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine. Peace groups plan to hold a protest at the event from 8:30 - 10:00 am. Following the protest people are invited to come to the Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) in Bath for a pot luck lunch at noon.
The protest is being sponsored by the Smiling Trees Disarmament Farm, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Veterans for Peace and CodePink Maine.
These destroyers, with so-called "missile defense" systems on-board, are keys to the aggressive Pentagon military strategy that calls for Aegis deployments around Russian and Chinese borders in order to neutralize their nuclear retaliatory forces.
The hard fought struggle of villagers now going on at Jeju Island in South Korea against the construction of a Navy base is linked to these Aegis destroyers as the Navy needs more ports of call for the ever-expanding fleet of these ships.
The recent cruise missile attacks on Libya, costing $1.2 million each, were launched from Aegis warships.
Studies show that spending $1 billion on military production creates 8,555 jobs. But if that same $1 billion was invested in building rail systems at places like BIW we'd get 19,795 jobs.
The public is clamoring for jobs these days. Corporations, despite huge tax cuts, are not investing here in the U.S. because they are attracted to cheaper labor overseas. So if we want more jobs in this country we've got to take our federal tax dollars, that are presently being wasted on endless war, and invest them in building rail systems, wind turbines, and solar systems at facilities like BIW.
For more information please contact (207) 763-4062 or (207) 443-9502.
Now nine days into his solidarity fast, religious leaders meet with former Jeju Island governor Shin inside the tent of Professor Yang on the disputed ________________________________________________
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
INTERVIEW WITH FORMER JEJU GOVERNOR
Interview with Mr. Shin Ku-Bum, former Jeju Island governor
April 23, 2011
By Sung-Hee Choi
Since April 18, Shin Ku Bum (1942- ), a former Island governor has been doing the solidarity fast along with professor Yang Yoon-Mo, a movie critic who was violently arrested by the Seogwipo station policemen on April 6 and has been in hunger strike in jail since then. Along with his concern about Yang’s life, Shin has demanded stop of the illegal and violent naval base construction in the Gangjeong village and national investigation on the process of the naval base construction. Shin has done 9th day solidarity fast in Yang’s vigil tent on the Joongduk coast in the Gangjeong village as of April 26. The below is a short interview with Shin and was held on April 23, the sixth day of his fast. We hope that the below could be one of the reference materials for the people who are concerned with Shin and his solidarity fast.
Please tell about yourself and your life
I was born in the Jeju Island, attended the Korea Military Academy instead of the university because I had no money but left school in the mid-course. [It was because his future wife did not like soldier.] After my first child was born, I taught myself and passed administrative civil service examination then started my life as a government employee and then was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. After that, I studied the agriculture economics in the North Carolina State University. Returning back home, I worked as a director of the bureau then as an agriculture attaché in the embassy in Italy and then as a director of livestock farming after which I spent my life as a visiting researcher in the Georgetown University. Later as I returned back home again, I worked as a head in the office of planning and management in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. After that, I was designated as an Island governor and then elected as an Island governor again. The total period that I worked as an Island governor is from 1993 to 1998. After that I became a chairman of the central committee of the livestock farming cooperative, leaving politics, and ran eco-friendly agriculture business. During the IMF crisis in Korea, I resisted against the integrating move of the agriculture cooperative and livestock farming cooperative then I was jailed because of political retaliation for 790 days which was from Nov. 30, 2007 to Jan. 25, 2010, in the Youngdeungpo prison, Seoul. I see myself as personally conservative but socio-politically reformative figure.
What was the reason for solidarity fast with a professor Yang Yoon-Mo?
On Dec. 15, 2010, the Gangjeong villagers got the court decision of the dismissal on their lawsuit for the reason of disqualification of them as plaintiffs, which they had filed on Feb. 28, 2010 and which had been related to the issue on the absolute preservation areas. Since I myself was the victim of the judicature, I was infuriated by it and became to have concern with the naval base issue, having press interview etc. Since then I became to have more concern with it as I visited the site once to twice.
When I heard the news on the restraint of Yang Yoon-Mo and his fast in jail, I was reminded of his words that he “would die once reclamation of the coast and sea starts,” even though I could see him only for short time. He graduated from the same high school with mine, as my junior, but I could figure out his character. What would be the way to make him live? For that, I thought pressuring him would be the only way - that I would not end my fast in his tent he had lived in the Joongduk coast if he did not end his in jail.
On the second or third day of fast in the Joongduk coast site, my thought on the naval base has become much differentiated. In the past, I had thoughts that there could be the naval base, if needed for security and that Hwasoon [nearby village] would be OK while Gangjeong would not, which were similar to that of ordinary people.
However, I become to rethink on the naval base, looking at the Gangjeong villagers’ suffering, the navy’s role and its attitude toward villagers. There should be no naval base in the Jeju, not to mention in the Gangjeong village. The reasons are: First, the base business the navy is currently building is not the security business. It is for the navy who is in conflict with the army to expand its vested interests. In other words, the navy is doing its own business, under the pretext of security. Second, it is because I became to be aware on the values of life and peace. The Jeju Island should be that kind of Island. Third, if you look at the navy’s official promotion materials, it says that it has no plan for the joint usage of it with the U.S. military. If its words are true, there is no reason for the Jeju to have the naval base. It is needed to have the investigation on the reason and process of the naval base construction. The construction should be stopped at least until the result of the truth investigation on it, as well.
What do you think the reasons of the fact that the Island people’s concern on the opposition to the naval base is low?
First, it is because of their point of view that they should accept the security facilities. Second, it is because the naval base issue entered the Gangjeong village under the name of the civilian-military complex harbor and the majority of the Island people think it positive, considering that such naval base would provide them economic advantage. The Gangjeong village is specially an area where there should enter no naval base but the navy has gotten in its hands the main power class who might have been able to persuade the Island people, when it first came to Gangjeong.
As of your sixth day hunger strike, what have you seen and felt meanwhile?
First, it is the realization that I have not really known about the world we live in. I have not really been concretely practicing the most supreme values of life and peace, even though I have known of them in abstract way. We should do our works with ecology and environment as our most precious values, transforming ourselves from the lives of the development-prioritized era. Second, it is the realization that the lives of the peace activists who work for the values of life outside the political power sphere are far nobler than those of the politics society. Third, it is the realization that the villagers who was originally innocent have become much mature, being aware of the issues on the ecology and environment. The villagers have gone through the hard struggles for nearly four years. We should be one in Gangjeong for our efforts to be achieved, on the historical line from the April 3 [massacre and uprising in 1948].
The April 3 occurred [in 1948] when the state had no power and the essence of the problem was that the nation excessively suppressed people. The Gangjeong naval base issue is on the same line in that latter point, but is different in the sense that the state has betrayed the villagers and Island people rather than that it has no power- in other words, the state has not filled its obligation. However, both of April 3 and naval base are connected to the U.S. military.
What could be the differences between your life in the past and now?
Even though there could be a little difference, it is basically same. If not the past experience, I could not be able to do this. But I have seldom thought that I would experience same thing again in my current age.
During the terms of life as a public servant, I have confronted with governments lots of times for farmers even though I was a government employee. For example, there was the incident called that of the horse matters’ group in 1989. The profit of that group had been used as the public fund for farmers but the Ministry of the Sports attempted to rob of it so I resisted against it. Another example is that, right after the IMF, when the IMF was trying to process structural adjustment and to forcefully integrate the agriculture cooperative and livestock cooperative, I fought against the government. At the time, I had to fight with the departments of the legislative and judicature, as well. As a result of that, I had to go to jail. I have fought against the unjust politics and administrative power. I see the issue of Gangjeong on that same line. I have not thought that I would confront again myself [with those powers].
Whether this struggle would be won or failed, there are things that we should keep. When the people and sovereignty are experiencing unjust suffering because of wrong policy, we should act according to our consciousness. We should be aware of the value of life and act to save it. I am thinking to continue to do on the eco-friendly agriculture in the agriculture field.
Monday, April 25, 2011
PYRAMIDS TO THE HEAVENS
The media is abuzz with the human interest story about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who will be flying to Cape Canaveral for Friday's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour which will carry her husband, Mark Kelly, to the International Space Station (ISS).
Rep. Giffords has recovered well enough from the recent tragic shooting of her and others in Arizona to make the trip. This launch will be the second-to-last mission of the space shuttle program before it is shut down in favor of Obama's plan to privatize key portions of the space launch business.
Like so many other things in our society today, the plan to privatize space launches comes after years of taxpayer investment created the basic space technological infrastructure that will now, to a considerable extent, be turned over wealthy investors. Immediate plans call for private industry to boost "space tourism trips" where people, with too much money on their hands, take a joy ride up into the heavens. From there we'll see private space developers begin to contract with the government for launch services. Eventually private corporations will fly missions to, and make land claims on, the moon, asteroids, and other planetary bodies for the purpose of extracting precious resources from those places.
In the meantime massive government investment will continue to create space military technologies to "control and dominate space" so that when the day comes where profit can be made from mining the sky, the Space Command will be able to patrol a military highway, or create a "front gate," to determine which countries or corporations have the ability to travel to and from Earth to space.
This strategy was all clearly spelled out in the 1989 Congressional study called Military Space Forces: The Next 50 Years. Author, and congressional staffer John Collins, wrote:
Military space forces at the bottom of Earth's so-called gravity well are poorly positioned to accomplish offensive/defensive/deterrent missions, because great energy is needed to overcome gravity during launch. Forces at the top, on a space counterpart of "high ground," could initiate action and detect, identify, track, intercept, or otherwise respond more rapidly to attacks. [This would include bases on the moon, armed space stations, and other orbiting battle platforms.] Put simply, it takes less energy to drop objects down a well than to cast them out.... Armed forces might lie in wait at that location to hijack rival shipments on return.
Nuclear reactors thus remain the only known long-lived, compact source able to supply military space forces with electric power..... Larger versions could meet multi megawatt needs of space-based lasers.... Nuclear reactors must support major bases on the moon..... Safety factors, rather than technological feasibility, will remain the principal impediment to nuclear power in space, unless officials convince influential critics that risks are acceptably low.
This is all a very expensive proposition. Some years ago the industry publication, Space News, wrote an editorial admitting they had to come up with a "secure funding source" in order to pay for their industry's plans in space if the U.S. hoped to stay on top of the heap. In the editorial they notified readers that indeed they had identified such a funding source - the "entitlement programs" and were sending their lobbyists to Washington to secure them for their use.
Officially the entitlement programs are: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what is left of the welfare program. It is these programs that today are under vicious attack by the corporate interests who wish to use those funds in part to build their pyramids to the heavens.
The spectacle of a recovering Rep. Giffords and Obama waving to her husband as he blasts off on the space shuttle will bring tears to many eyes and warm feelings in many hearts. The aerospace industry hopes that more support for "everything" space will also result.
Text Fwd: "Headed to prison today, activist explains nonviolent witness: A journey from the U.S. Navy to Duluth FPC" NCR
* Text fwd from Frank Cordaro on April 27, 2011 under the title of:
"Headed to prison today, activist explains nonviolent witness: A journey from the U.S. Navy to Duluth FPC" NCR - Mark Kenney reports for six month jail sentence for Aug 9 "line crossing" at STRATCOM
Previous posting: Mark Kenney sentence to six months for line crossing
at STRTATCOM last Aug 9th
Apr. 27, 2011
National Catholic Reporter
Headed to prison today, activist explains nonviolent witness: A
journey from the U.S. Navy to Duluth Federal Prison Camp
By Joshua J. McElwee
A young sailor walks through his nuclear submarine, headed for the
engine room. As he winds through the tight, crowded corridors he
suddenly finds himself standing next to a nuclear missile launch
He reaches out an outstretched hand. Tentatively, he places it on one
of the warheads.
Click. Something changes. The destructive power of a thermonuclear
detonation is no longer an abstraction. It’s real. His hand is
Over the next few days, the sailor heads to his chaplain. He asks the
same questions, over and over: What are we doing? How can we justify
Fast-forward thirty years. That ex-sailor, Mark Kenney, reports today
to Duluth Federal Prison Camp for a six-month stint for an act of
civil disobedience at Offutt Air Force Base. He walked about ten steps
onto the property of the complex with three others after a vigil there
The prison stint is the third Kenney’s served for protests at the
base, which is the home of U.S. Strategic Command and responsible for
the planning and targeting of the nation’s nuclear weapons.
It’s a reality that is a far cry from what Kenney thought he’d be
doing when he first enlisted in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion
program in 1977. Yet, in a March interview at the Omaha, Neb.,
Catholic Worker, the 51-year-old didn’t express any regrets.
Holding a thick, well marked copy of the Bible in his hand as he spoke
in a deep, slow voice, Kenney said he thought peace actions like his
are “the only way out” from the threat of nuclear destruction.
Following is NCR’s interview with Kenney, which covered his journey to
nonviolent resistance, how he views his upcoming jail time, and what
it means for his wife and family. The interview has been edited for
length and clarity.
NCR: What happened to you when you touched that nuclear warhead?
To read the rest of this article go to:
For updates and support for Mark Kenney and contact:
The Omaha Catholic Worker
1104 N. 24th St. Omaha, Nebraska USA 68102
Phone 402- 502- 5887