'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)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

[Jeju Update] Language, Island, colonial culture and the Jeju naval base 언어, 섬, 식민지 문화 그리고 제주 해군 기지

* Image source: Headline Jeju, Feb. 25, 2011헤드라인 제주, 2011년 2월 25일(클릭)
The sign reads: 'Allow and actively promote the use of the Jeju dialect in schools!
'Critically endangered Jeju dialect' of the UNESCO-registered-and-promoted

It is the responsibility of the Jeju Provincial Office of Education that has not allowed the use of the Jeju dialect for 40 years, who has alledged that it is a ‘rustic and impertinent’ dialect. '
____________________________________________________________
Thanks to the activists who are making efforts to decolonize the cultures of their Islands, for example, Michael Lujan Bevacqua who runs the blog called ‘No Rest for the Awake: Minagahet Chamorro,’ it has become clearer to more people that no base movement cannot be separate with the decolonization movement.

Here in the Jeju Island, the faced situation could be similar to a lesser degree if not the same with the examples in the other regions, especially in those Islands who have been suffering under the imperial eyes and tongues.

The Headline Jeju on Feb. 25 reported an interesting article ( by Yoon Chul-Soo) which was about one man protest by Kim Young-Bo, a high school teacher teaching commerce, who demanded the free use of the Jeju dialect in schools in front of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Office of Education (The Jeju Provincial Office of Education, afterwards) in the afternoon of Feb. 25, 2011.

According to the very article, the teacher protested against the Jeju Provincial Office of Education which he criticized because it had not allowed the free use of the Jeju dialect in schools by alleging that the Jeju language was a ‘rustic and impertinent dialect,’ and to which he demanded that it should allow students to freely speak the Jeju dialect in schools.

Below is the translation of his words cited in the article:

“The Jeju Provincial Office of Education who has not allowed the free use of the Jeju dialect is very responsible for the Jeju language being critically endangered. Even though the situation is very serious as to the degree that it is registered as a critically endangered language by the UNESCO, the Provincial Office of the Education is not trying to fix such wrong education policy.”

It was poignant to hear that the Jeju dialect is critically endangered itself while the UNESCO designated soft corals in the Gangjeong Sea is being threatened with the naval base construction in the Gangjeong village, as well. (* About the UNESCO registered Jeju language, see HERE and HERE)

Here are further translations of his cited words, as well:

"I am more infuriated by the fact that no one really seriously concerns about that, except for short time whenever there were media reports on the Jeju dialect being registered as a critically endangered language. Who would succeed the Jeju language if the current halmang(s)(old women) and harbang(s)(old men) die. The language might disappear.”

"Our generation was not allowed to use the Jeju dialect for talks between teachers and students not to mention for class hours. We had to hear reproach that we were rustic and impertinent if we use the Jeju dialect and we even got a whip. Didn't the students who had been getting punished get one more whip if they unconsciously used the Jeju dialect, did they? It is for the alleged reason that they look as rustic and impertinent from the point of view of teachers.

According to the article, he pointed out that the Jeju Provincial Office of Education was showing the duality by never allowing the Jeju dialect even among the students within schools while it is also making an effort to revitalize the Jeju language such as through hosting or sponsoring competition events such as those on speaking with the Jeju dialect; those on children song with the Jeju dialect, exhibitions on illustrated poems with the Jeju Dialect; and festivals with the Jeju Dialect. It is told that the authority of the Jeju Provincial Office of Education has issued that it has guided that there should be an education course on the Jeju dialect beside sponsoring such events. However, it is contradictorily prohibiting the very use of the Jeju dialect [within schools].

According to the article, the duality is the very point that motivated him toward his own one man protest.

What is interesting about the event and article is that those things very remind the current situation of the Jeju Island whose native cultures are being disappeared with corporate and militarism culture in South Korea, especially with the law on the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, which was brought in 2006 with the concept of Jeju free international city and emphasis on the so-called’ ‘globalization.’

Mr. Go Gwon-Il, a Gangjeong villager thinks the Central and Island governments’ current mobilizations for the Jeju to be one of the new seven wonders even being mobilized with many celebrities along with excessive international propaganda is part of such extended move.


According to him, the Jeju Island should NOT be one of the new seven wonders because it would make worse the situation of the Jeju Island, the UNESCO triple-crowned site(Mount Halla’s Biosphere Reserve recognition in 2002; Natural Heritage Sites designation of Mount Halla, Seongsan Sunrise Peak and Manjanggul cave in 2007; and the geopark designation in 2010) with increasing capitalism and reckless tourism.

Otherwise, according to the Wiki on the Jeju dialect:

One large difference between the Jeju dialect and those of mainland Korea is the lack of formality and deference to elders. For example, while a speaker of the Seoul dialect might say 안녕하세요 annyeonghaseyo ("Hello") to an older person, a speaker of the Jeju dialect would say 반갑수다 ban-gapsuda (lit., "Nice chatting" or "Nice talking"; roughly equivalent to "Howdy"). To many mainlanders, a child saying this to an adult would be appalling, but on the islands, a more "egalitarian" form of speech is used, perhaps a cultural idiosyncrasy that has hung on after the incorporation of Jeju itself (under the Tamna kingdom, which, though having subjugated itself to Korean states since the 7th century, was not brought under the full centralized control of a Korean state until 1404) into Korea.



* Image source: Jeju Weekly, Feb. 6, 2011 (Original source: 'Art by Choi Myung Sun. Photo courtesy Jejudo Hangeul Calligraphy Society') The calligraphy written with the Jeju dialect reads:
Moosangomassim(Why is it?)
Umung-ee haejoon bab muk-eo-bob-seo (Why don’t you have some rice mother has cooked?) Chommallo Masi Jotsooda(It is really delicious.) Moosangomassim (Why is it?) Geu-gun Umunim-eui Saranghaneun mosim-ee bab sogobe godeukgodeuk deul-eo-i-si-nan anikkwa (Isn’t it because mother’s loving heart wholly fills the rice bowl, is it?) –Jeju sokkdam gotnae (cited from one of the Jeju proverbs Gotnae)

There was also an interesting article in the Jeju Weekly. See HERE. According to it:

Looking at the wider linguistic picture, the Korean language is also losing ground on account of the dominance of English.


But looking at the problem more closely, one sees that much of the Jeju dialect is disappearing fast, partly because the capitalistic logic of “efficiency” has been an excuse for our indifferent attitude. During the rapid economic development in Korea which started in the 1960’s, preservation of cultural diversity was considered “inefficient” since it could deter fast decision making. This has since put the Jeju dialect on the list of critically endangered languages.

For reference, the 60’s developmentalism was promoted by the Park Jung-Hee military dictatorship who has eyed on the Jeju Island, a historically strategic point by the imperial countries and dominating class, with the turned-out-to-be a failed military base plan then.

The concern about the possibility of disappearing vernacular terms in the Gangjeong village is being faced with the rapidly accelerated naval base construction: Who would remember the names of Goorumbee(cloud-shaped rocks stuck under the earth), Gaegurumbee (cloud-shaped rocks on the earth), Jinsokkak, (hem-look in the place of deep and and inwardly long water), Neobeunnyo (spacious rock protruded over water), Metboori( * Of which the meaning is not exactly known but according to Mr. Go Gwon-Il in the Gangjeong village, it could be ‘a ritual place offered with rice’) in the Joongduk coast and Natgakk(hem-look in the place of stream) in the downstream of the Gangjeong stream, once all the rocky Joongduk coast in the Gangjeong badang(sea) is reclaimed with concrete by the construction?

The naval base construction would not only bury the heaven-blessed nature of the Gangjeong village but would also erase all the archaic history of it, violently making scars into the memories of the Gangjeong villagers who might not be able to say any more that their hometown Gangjeong used to be the most water-abundant and the most water-fresh village in the Jeju Island.

Text Fwd: How Gaddafi's Words Get Lost In Translation

Information Clearing House
How Gaddafi's Words Get Lost In Translation
By Oliver Miles Former British ambassador to Libya

February 25, 2011 "BBC" -- -Col Muammar Gaddafi's speeches this week will have struck many viewers as crazy and perhaps pathetic, with their overblown rhetoric, theatrical delivery and furious calls to arms against the "drug-takers" who oppose him.

But the speech on Tuesday - broadcast live on television from what looked like a ruined garden shed - brought huge crowds out into the streets celebrating into the early hours with music and fireworks.

Oratory is out of fashion with us - no longer do our statesmen hold the House of Commons in thrall for eight hours at a go. But Mr Gaddafi is also a bad joke throughout the Arab world outside Libya. How can that be?

The Arabic language is rich and powerful. Even to a Christian, some parts of the Koran are poetic, almost magical (the magic is totally lost in translation).

It is also the single most important bond uniting the Arabs, who are otherwise so diverse.

But it has a problem. The educated form of the language, based on the Koran, is literally nobody's mother tongue. All Arabs speak a local dialect. If they are educated, especially if their education is traditional, they aspire to speak correctly, but scarcely ever quite make it.

Hence the common remark to a foreigner who has learned his Arabic from a grammar book is: "You speak Arabic better than I do."

In this respect, Mr Gaddafi scarcely even tries. For the most part he speaks Libyan dialect, and Arabic dialects are not fully understood by Arabs from other regions.

There was a dramatic incident at an Arab summit when the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia cursed Mr Gaddafi in language I have never heard used in polite society. Perhaps, fortunately, the Libyan leader didn't understand, so he asked the then President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak what King Abdullah had said.

The microphones were switched off as Mubarak started to reply.

Mr Gaddafi is also hard to understand, unless you are Libyan born and bred. He spoke at the London School of Oriental and African Studies by direct satellite link a few years ago, on his pet subject Palestine.

His solution is a single state composed of Israel and Palestine and called Isratine, which, of course, infuriates Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Bedouin background

The voice transmission was poor, and a bad interpreter was speaking at the same time as Mr Gaddafi, so the result was 90% unintelligible. At the end, the chairman of the session apologised to the audience for the gobbledygook, turned to me, and invited me to summarise what the Libyan leader had said. Luckily I had read up his theories, so I just made it up. Of such incidents is international understanding born.

Mr Gaddafi's personal style is recognizably that of his Bedouin background. Bedouin have plenty of time and talk a lot when there is anyone to talk to.

He regularly goes on for three or four hours at a stretch.

Add to that, for 40 years or so there has been no-one around to tell Mr Gaddafi to shut up. He speaks without notes and says the first thing that comes into his head.

I remember talking to one of his cousins a few years ago, and saying that the Libyan leader's speeches, always fiery and nearly always anti-Western and anti-capitalist, undermined the efforts he was making to attract investment to Libya. His ministers had to work hard to repair the damage he caused to his own policies.

His cousin smiled and asked me to repeat my comment more slowly so that his secretary could write it down.

One of Mr Gaddafi's most striking characteristics is that he loves to surprise. In a speech in Addis Ababa he attacked the Ethiopians for what he perceived as racism, accusing them of stuffing the bureaucracy of the African Union with anything but Arabs.

"If you don't change your policy," he said, "I will take Libya out of Africa and put it back into Europe".

I thought his speech on Tuesday, if not actually pathetic, was desperate. But what I think is not the point. The speech was addressed to his supporters and potential supporters, and it seems to have scored.

By the way, the ruined garden shed was his family home struck by American missiles in an attempt to kill him in 1986. Since then, it has been a compulsory item on the tourist circuit for VIP visitors.

Text Fwd: N. Korea threatens to shoot directly at S. Korean border facilities

* South Korean propaganda aginst North Korea

Yonhap News
N. Korea threatens to shoot directly at S. Korean border facilities
Feb. 27, 2011

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Sunday threatened to fire aimed shots at South Korean facilities involved in "psychological warfare" in a self-defense action, unless the South suspends its propaganda campaign.

"The on-going psychological warfare by the puppet military in the frontline area is a treacherous deed and a wanton challenge to the demand of the times and desire of all the fellow countrymen to bring about a new phase of peaceful reunification and national prosperity through all-round dialogue and negotiations," a North Korean military official told the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"We officially notify that our army will stage a direct fire at the (Imjin) Pavilion and other sources of the anti-DPRK psychological warfare to destroy them on the principle of self-defense, if such actions last despite our repeated warning," the official added. "The group of traitors in South Korea must stop the anti-DPRK psychological warfare at once, squarely seeing the seriousness of the prevailing situation."

DPRK is an acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Also on Sunday, North Korean representatives at Panmunjom, the inter-Korean border village, reiterated their usual threat against the annual Key Resolve military drills between South Korea and the U.S. forces, which will begin Monday.

The North Korean officials said their armed forces would launch "an all-out war of unprecedented scale" and turn Seoul into "a sea of fire" if the South Korean and the U.S. "invaders" provoked Pyongyang with a threat of war.

Imjingak, a tourism pavilion located just south of Panmunjom, has made headlines, as hundreds of South Korean activists frequently sent anti-North Korea flyers and materials from there.

The North's warning of the direct strike came in light of a recent admission by the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul that the South Korean military has been sending propaganda leaflets in balloons to North Korea, mixing them with life supplies. The leaflets warned the North Korean regime about the consequences of dictatorship, according to a report by the ministry.

A South Korean government source said on Sunday that these leaflets contained details about recent anti-government movements in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, countries where civilian activists have tried to take down long-time rulers.

"I understand thousands of leaflets talked about what has taken place in Egypt and Libya and argued that dictatorship and hereditary regimes (such as the one in Pyongyang) are bound to fail," the official said. "We plan to update the ongoing developments in the Middle East and send more leaflets sometime next month."

North Korea, which has carved a cult of personality for its leader, Kim Jong-il, and his regime, has balked at South Korean activists' sending of balloons carrying leaflets criticizing the communist state and at Seoul's refusal to stop them. South Korea in 2004 agreed to halt such activities amid warming relations.

But after a multinational investigation in May last year found Pyongyang responsible for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, Cheonan, in March, Seoul announced a plan to blast anti-North Korea messages through loudspeakers along the border. The North threatened to strike the speakers if they are turned on.

Before Christmas last year, South Korea lit up a giant Christmas tree on top of a border hill -- an action North Korea sees as part of psychological warfare -- for the first time since 2003, a month after North Korea fired artillery at the South Korean western island of Yeonpyeong.

The glowing tree had served as a symbol of prosperity in the South and provided a stark contrast to the destitute North, which had been concerned that the lights would weaken the communist regime's ideological stranglehold of its people.

North Korea, which has carved a cult of personality for its leader, Kim Jong-il, and his regime, has balked at South Korean activists' sending of balloons carrying leaflets criticizing the communist state and at Seoul's refusal to stop them. South Korea in 2004 agreed to halt such activities amid warming relations.

But after a multinational investigation in May last year found Pyongyang responsible for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, Cheonan, in March, Seoul announced a plan to blast anti-North Korea messages through loudspeakers along the border. The North threatened to strike the speakers if they are turned on.

Before Christmas last year, South Korea lit up a giant Christmas tree on top of a border hill -- an action North Korea sees as part of psychological warfare -- for the first time since 2003, a month after North Korea fired artillery at the South Korean western island of Yeonpyeong.

The glowing tree had served as a symbol of prosperity in the South and provided a stark contrast to the destitute North, which had been concerned that the lights would weaken the communist regime's ideological stranglehold of its people. (jeeho@yna.co.kr)
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See also Korea Times

Text Fwd: Translation errors in KOREU FTA’s 23 versions prompt outcry for correction

* Text fwd from Steve Zeltzer on Feb. 26, 2011

Hankyoreh
Translation errors in KOREU FTA’s 23 versions prompt outcry for correction
The Lee administration was compelled to accept the correction and refer the ratification bill again to the National Assembly
By Jung Eun-joo
Feb. 26, 2011

The Lee Myung-bak administration announced plans Friday to submit a new South Korea-European Union Free Trade Agreement (KOREU FTA) ratification motion to the National Assembly correcting a translation error present in the text submitted in October 2010. However, concerns were raised about additional errors after it was confirmed that the Office of the Minister for Trade (OMT) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade did not independently verify translations in the languages of 21 other European Union nations.

Previously, the OMT’s announcement of its intent not to withdraw the ratification even after discovering that certain figures in the KOREU FTA differed from those in the English-language version, calling it a “working-level mistake,” provoked charges that it was violating National Assembly legislation rights.

The translation error was first noted on Monday by Song Gi-ho, an attorney who specializes in trade law.

“In the English text of the FTA, it says that product in the toy and wax areas are recognized for place of origin and subject to duty benefits if they contain less than 50 percent foreign-made materials, while the Korean text gives different figures, showing 40 percent for toys and 20 percent for wax,” Song explained.

In response, the OMT acknowledged that it was “true that there is a numerical error in the Korean version” and said that it was “discussing a revised draft with the National Assembly.”
According to Article 90, Item 3 of the National Assembly Act on “Bill Revision and Withdrawal Rights,” correcting the error in the agreement would require withdrawing the ratification motion, creating a revised motion, and beginning review procedures once again with the Cabinet.

However, the OMT indicated plans to ratify the agreement as is without correction, calling the translation error a “working-level mistake.” Instead, the OMT said that it would discuss matters with the EU and correct the error at a binational trade committee meeting after the FTA takes provisional effect on July 1.

The move prompted criticisms from Democratic Party Lawmaker Park Joo-sun, who called it a “violation of National Assembly legislation rights,” but the OMT held out, maintaining that “because the European Parliament already approved the text with the error [versions in 23 languages, including Korean], it is impossible for South Korea alone to correct the error.” It also belatedly submitted copies of the KOREU FTA text in 21 languages besides Korea and English to the National Assembly.

When the OMT’s approach was met with criticism both from the opposition and from ruling Grand National Party lawmakers, Minister for Trade Kim Jong-hoon paid a visit late Thursday evening to Nam Kyung-pil, chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification committee, and promised to correct the Korean version and resubmit the motion to the National Assembly. In response, Nam said that if the OMT sent the revised motion to the National Assembly, he would introduce it in the standing committee on March 3.

The controversy did not end there, however. In a government Q&A session Friday, Park Joo-sun asked whether Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan whether the ministry had examined the versions in the 22 other languages, which will have legal force in 27 member nations of the EU.

In response, Kim said, “The EU confirmed that the [translation] verification was finished before sending it to us, so we view the verification as completed through that.”

However, Park raised the possibility that additional errors might be discovered, saying, “Even after it was confirmed that the Korean version was in error, the Foreign Ministry did not verify the versions in other languages itself.”

[Jeju Update] The pain of Gangjeong 강정의 아픔

________________________________
아래는 현재 강정 마을 에서 벌어지고 있는 공사 상황을 요약 (2월 14일 부표 설치, 2월 15~17일 냇깍 테트라파드 설치, 그리고 2월 25일 플랜트 받침 해저 설치 돌입 )함과 동시에 김경훈 시인의 강정의 아픔에 대한 글을 부분 요약 번역한 것입니다. 김경훈 시인의 글 전문은 여기 클릭.
_________________________________
On Feb. 25, the sub-contracting company of Daerim installed the plant supports under the sea. (See more photos and videos) It was a resumption of maritime construction that started with the installation of five buoy markers in the Joongduk Sea on Feb. 14 and 48 tetra pods under the cliff of Meburi near Natgak which is the downstream of the Gangjeong stream for days since Feb. 15.
(Photos from the Gangjeong residents)

While the villagers, activists and Island Council have continuously made voice to stop the construction and withdraw the naval field office, the navy, Island government and the central government have pushed construction despite villagers’ three lawsuits including that on the matter of public water reclamation, which are still in process.

On Feb. 25, it brought the feeling of fury and sadness to see the broken fragments of the rocks which had been roped during the resumed maritime construction and touched with concrete structures.




Kim Kyung-Hoon, a poet who has written two poetry books about April 3 uprising and works in the Jeju April 3 Peace Park had an essay in a Jeju media. The below is a partial translation of his essay titled, “Please don’t bury me in your memory- tear of Gangjeong.” In his essay, he describes the pain of Gangjeong village from the point of view of Joongduk Sea, in the village:

Today, my appearance is already full of wounds by the cells of cancer that gradually gnaws my whole body.

[The navy and Samsung] have made a small straight stone roads breaking the big rocks in the mouth of Joongduk Sea, which are my chest. It is told that some villagers who had been abetted by the development business companies had employed a power shovel and broken them. My bones are being broken in such way.

(#It was on Jan. 20 when a villager who had been in favor of naval base drove a power shovel in the Joongduk coast under the supervising of navy and Samsung. It was told later that the very villager has been regretting his own doing, seeing that an old sea-diving woman who was his aunt was discovered to die during her works in the Sea on Jan. 29. The villagers thought it was because the sea was infuriated by the broken rocks and the navy, considering the atmosphere of the embarrassed villagers who have been in favor of naval base and composed of about 30 % of the whole villagers, postponed its opening ceremony to a week later. )

Do you hear the sounds of water that flows in the Gangjeong stream? Because of small amount of water in the winter season, even the flowing water sounds are not pulsatory. [The navy] is sucking up water [of the Gangjeong stream] using a water pump beside the naval field office. It is sucking up my blood breaking holes into the blood vessels of my artery with an injector.

Tens of tetra pods are pressuring me near the coast. Those submerged underwater are drearily glaring at me, straddling and sitting like a ghost in a marsh. They are trying to repeatedly draw my feet.


In the already sold lands, crops are being taken out and earth is dug. My flesh is cut thin little by little. The pulse of the earth is gradually running down. It is becoming a sterile womb that cannot conceive life any more.

The buoy markers are floating within the sea of the Beom Island. Those are the marks to prohibit the entry to the coast. My body is being imprisoned in such way. They are blocking me pushing me back from going further to the coast line. My body is getting shrunken back and my stifled heart raises disease inside.


____________________________________________

A blue direction mark on the Olle trail to the Joongdulk coast. The navy has set up a sign board on Feb. 25, which orders Olle tourists to detour from the Joongduk coast because of bay and coast construction for naval base starting from Feb. 24. The sign has brought much confusion for the Ole tourists and fury from the villagers. The navy has not really blocked the passage since then so far. However with planned construction in earnest, which is told to be hurried with 24 hours works from March, the passage may be blocked sooner or later.
A red-lettered graffiti on the road to the Joongduk coast, which reads, No navy that destroys nature and contaminates environment!

_________________________________
Hwasoon port where the crane and factory for naval base construction are being built and sands are accumulated for it (Feb. 26, 2011)





In the Hwasoon port, which is about 40 minute distance by car from the Gangjeong village, crane and factory are being built for a naval base construction in the Gangjeong village. Scene on Feb. 26, 2011.


Is the ship dredging enormous amount of sands to be used for naval base construction, from the sea bottom? Scene taken on Feb. 26, 2011.

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

Seogwipo port where the tetra pods, plant supports are being made and shipped (Feb. 26, 2011)




The Seogwipo port is a place where the tetra pods that have been installed in front of the Meboori cliff near Natgakk which is the downstream of the Gangjeong stream and plant supports which have been first installed under the sea on Feb. 25, 2011 are being made and shipped for the naval base construction in the Gangjeong village. Video was taken on Feb. 26, 2011.

Video Fwd: FED UP IN IRAQ

Organizing Notes
FED UP IN IRAQ
Feb. 26, 2011

Text Fwd: Okinawans Continue to Resist in Takae

* Image source: Ten Thousand Things
'Okinawans engaged in nonviolent action to protect their beloved, biodiverse Yanbaru Forest from unwanted U.S. military training helipad construction. Photo: The Situation in Takae Higashimura and Yanbaru Forest website.'
___________________________________________
See also Ten Thousand Things
___________________________________________
* Text fwd from Corazon Valdez Fabros on Feb. 26, 2011

Huffington Post
Okinawans Continue to Resist in Takae
John Feffer
Co-director, Foreign Policy in Focus
February 25, 2011


Some animals should be endangered. Consider the V-22 Osprey. The tilt-rotor aircraft, which takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane, costs more than a $100 million apiece, killed 30 personnel in crashes during its development stage, and survived four attempts by none other than Dick Cheney to deep-six the program. Although it is no longer as crash-prone as it once was, the Osprey's performance in Iraq was still sub-par and it remains a woefully expensive creature. Although canceling the program would save the U.S. government $10-12 billion over the next decade, the Osprey somehow avoided the budget axe in the latest round of cuts on Capitol Hill.

It's bad enough that U.S. taxpayers have to continue to support the care and feeding of this particular Osprey. Worse, we're inflicting the bird on others.

In a small village in the Yanbaru Forest in northern Okinawa, the residents of Takae have been fighting non-stop to prevent the construction of six helipads designed specifically for the V-22. The protests have been going on since the day in 2007 when Japanese construction crews tried to prepare the site for the helipads. "Since that day, over 10,000 locals, mainland Japanese, and foreign nationals have participated in a non-stop sit-in outside the planned helipad sites," writes Jon Mitchell at Foreign Policy In Focus. "So far, they've managed to thwart any further construction attempts. At small marquee tents, the villagers greet visitors with cups of tea and talk them through their campaign, highlighting their message with hand-written leaflets and water-stained maps."

It's all part of the plan that would shut down the aging Futenma air base in Okinawa, relocate some of the Marines to Guam, and build a new facility elsewhere in Okinawa. The overwhelming majority of Okinawans oppose this plan. They want to shut down Futenma, and they don't want any new U.S. military bases.

But the Japanese government has essentially knuckled under to U.S. pressure to move forward with the agreement. Building these helipads in a subtropical forest, with a wide range of unusual wildlife, is all part of the deal.

The recently re-elected Okinawan governor Hirokazu Nakaima opposes the relocation plan. And, according to Pacific Daily News, "Nakaima may actually have the authority to disrupt the plan because of his authority under the Japan Public Water Reclamation Act, which gives the Okinawa governor final authority over reclaimed land."

Washington has said that it won't move forward on the deal without local support.
The Osprey is a budget-busting beast. The Okinawans don't want it. Both Tokyo and Washington are desperate to trim spending.

The V-22 is one animal well worth driving toward extinction.

Text Fwd: Mark Kenney sentence to six months for line crossing at STRTATCOM last Aug 9th


* Text & image fwd from Jerry Ebner and Frank Cordaro on Feb. 25, 2011

Mark Kenney sentence to six months for line crossing at STRTATCOM last Aug 9th

Don't forget that Fr Jack McCaslin returns to Fed Court in Omaha
for the same witness April 12th
http://groups.google.com/group/offitt-list-one/browse_thread/thread/1a67c3ea87cf5162


------

Mark Kenney was sentence to a six month prison term today in Omaha
Fed. Magistrate Judge Thomas D. Thalken. court room. Mark was
represented by "pro bono" attorney & Catholic Deacon Chuck Hannan.
Mark plead guilty.

Mark's prior record of line crossing at Offutt AFB in which Mark has
served a 30 day, 45 day and two six month sentences (the two six
months sentences being given by Judge Thalken) played heavy in the
Judge's sentence. The Judge said he respected Mark's personal
convictions for peace but said Mark has many other option to express
those convictions without 'breaking the law'. Judge Thalken readily
admitted that any prison time given to Mark would not be a deterrent
but only punishment. Yet the Judge sentence Mark to the full six
month maximum jail time because of Mark's prior sentences.

The Judge is allowing Mark to "Self Surrender", which means Mark got
to go home today and wait until the Federal Bureau of Prisons assigns
him a Fed Prison to do his six month sentence. This process takes
between a month to six weeks. Mark will be notify by mail and or phone
when a site has been assigned and he will have to 'self surrender' at
the assigned prison.

Mark can be contacted at:
402 598 2403
markfpeter@gmail.com

---------------------
Mark read the following statement before being sentence.

Since my time in the military, I have struggled with living out my
Christian witness in a world dominated by weapons of war and mass
destruction. I wish I could say my witness was more consistent.

Like many Americans, the 9/11 bombings in New York, city gave me great
pause. Pope John Paul II had certainly made his feelings known, as to
the lack of validity of our going to war in the light of the Just War
theory.. But the silence of the pulpits of the Catholic church on the
issue seemed deafening to me.

I searched other churches through bible studies and services, and
found the same thing. Most pulpits were treading very lightly around
the message of the Sermon on the Mount. After all, Don't we know
better?. Isn't our military the righteous one here? Isn't our cause
Just? The Old Testament, Davidical idea that we can practice living
out god's message and teachings while engaging our enemies in war, was
back on track. The New Testament, Constantinian idea of making the
world safe for the practice of Christianity, through war and conquest,
was making a great comeback.

Nothing of this reality seemed scriptural to me. After all, didn't
Isaiah and Hosea and Zachariah seem to be sensing their current system
was certainly in want of something? Weren't they dreaming and
prophesying of a new reality to come? Didn't Mathew and Paul and the
early apostles and evangelists seem to be saying that Jesus was the
culmination of this desired prophetic reality sought for so many
generations? Certainly John thought so.

In the end, I have no choice but to accept the revelations of the
early prophets, the early evangelists, and the teachings, and life,
and death, and resurrection of Jesus, whom I willingly proclaim as the
promised messiah. No other power or principality holds a candle to
this.

While I recognize that I am a flawed and sinful man, I can not stand
idly by and watch the powers and principalities that be, butcher the
Good News of Jesus the Christ, through slanted interpretations to
false and violent, church driven theologies of acceptable violence,
militarism, and war.

If I am guilty of anything, it's that I desire to hold onto my faith
in Jesus the Christ more than I wish to hold onto the the manufactured
myth of the American Dream. If I am guilty of anything, it's that I
fear God more than I fear the courts.

For these reasons, I do what I do. For these reasons I will try to
accept as faithfully as I can whatever the courts or society have in
store for me. I have nothing further to say on the matter.

For updates and support for both Mark Kenney and Fr Jack McCalsin contact:
The Omaha Catholic Worker
Jerry Ebner, Mike Brennan
1104 N. 24th St. Omaha, Nebraska USA 68102
www.no-nukes.org/cwomaha
Email:cwomaha@gmail.com
Phone 402- 502- 5887
-----------------------------

8 Minute Youtube clip of statements at the line and the line crossing.
"The four Catholic peace activist in their own words." A MOST SEE!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG8A_V8IeoQ

Flickr Slide Show of Aug 6-9, 2010 STRATCOM Vigil and Line Crossing
http://www.flickr.com/photos/frank_cordaro_and_the_dm_catholic_worker/sets/72157624580510523/

Text Fwd: Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?


Global Research
Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Feb. 24, 2011

Is Tripoli being set up for a civil war to justify U.S. and NATO military intervention in oil-rich Libya?
Are the talks about sanctions a prelude to an Iraq-like intervention?

Something is Rotten in the so-called “Jamahiriya” of Libya

There is no question that Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi (Al-Qaddafi) is a dictator. He has been the dictator and so-called “qaid” of Libya for about 42 years. Yet, it appears that tensions are being ratcheted up and the flames of revolt are being fanned inside Libya. This includes earlier statements by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague that Colonel Qaddafi had fled Libya to Venezuela. [1] This statement served to electrify the revolt against Qaddafi and his regime in Libya.

Although all three have dictatorship in common, Qaddafi’s Libya is quite different from Ben Ali’s Tunisia or Mubarak’s Egypt. The Libyan leadership is not outright subservient to the United States and the European Union. Unlike the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, the relationship that exists between Qaddafi and both the U.S. and E.U. is a modus vivendi. Simply put, Qaddafi is an independent Arab dictator and not a “managed dictator” like Ben Ali and Mubarak.

In Tunisia and Egypt the status quo prevails, the military machine and neo-liberalism remain intact; this works for the interests of the United States and the European Union. In Libya, however, upsetting the established order is a U.S. and E.U. objective.

The U.S. and the E.U. now seek to capitalize on the revolt against Qaddafi and his dictatorship with the hopes of building a far stronger position in Libya than ever before. Weapons are also being brought into Libya from its southern borders to promote revolt. The destabilization of Libya would also have significant implications for North Africa, West Africa, and global energy reserves.

Colonel Qaddafi in Brief Summary

Qaddafi’s rise to power started as a Libyan captain amongst a group of military officers who carried out a coup d’état. The 1969 coup was against the young Libyan monarchy of King Idris Al-Sanusi. Under the monarchy Libya was widely seen as being acquiescent to U.S. and Western European interests.

Although he has no official state or government position, Qaddafi has nurtured and deeply rooted a political culture of cronyism, corruption, and privilege in Libya since the 1969 coup. Added to this is the backdrop of the “cult of personality” that he has also enforced in Libya.

Qaddafi has done everything to portray himself as a hero to the masses, specifically the Arabs and Africans. His military adventures in Chad were also tied to leaving his mark in history and creating a client state by carving up Chad. Qaddafi’s so-called “Green Book” has been forcefully portrayed and venerated as being a great feat in political thought and philosophy. Numerous intellectuals have been forced or bribed to praise it.

Over the years, Colonel Qaddafi has tried to cultivate a romantic figure of himself as a simple man of the people. This includes pretending to live in a tent. He has done everything to make himself stand out. His reprimanding of other Arab dictators, such as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, at Arab League meetings have made headlines and have been welcomed by many Arabs. While on state visits he has deliberately surrounded himself with an entourage of female body guards with the intent of getting heads to turn. Moreover, he has also presented himself as a so-called imam or leader of the Muslims and a man of God, lecturing about Islam in and outside of Libya.

Libya is run by a government under Qaddafi’s edicts. Fear and cronyism have been the keys to keeping so-called “order” in Libya amongst officials and citizens alike. Libyans and foreigners alike have been killed and have gone missing for over four decades. The case of Lebanon’s Musa Al-Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement, is one of the most famous of these cases and has always been a hindrance to Lebanese-Libyan relations. Qaddafi has had a very negative effect in creating and conditioning an entire hierarchy of corrupt officials in Tripoli. Each one looks out for their own interests at the expense of the Libyan people.

Fractions and Tensions inside the Hierarchy of Qaddafi’s Regime

Because of the nature of Qaddafi’s regime in Tripoli, there are a lot of internal tensions in Libya and within the regime structure itself. One of these sets of tensions is between Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and his father’s circle of older ministers. Libyan ministers are generally divided amongst those that gather around Saif Al-Islam and those that are part of the “old guard.”

There are even tensions between Qaddafi and his sons. In 1999, Mutassim Al-Qaddafi tried to ouster his father while Colonel Qaddafi was outside of Libya. Mutassim Qaddafi holds a Libyan cabinet portfolio as a national security advisor. He is also famously known amongst Libyans for being a playboy who has spent much of his time in Europe and abroad. There is also Khames Gaddafi who runs his own militia of thugs, which are called the Khames militia. He has always been thought of as possible contender for succession too against his other brothers.

There have always been fears in Libya about the issue of succession after Colonel Qaddafi is gone. Over the years, Qaddafi has thoroughly purged Libya of any form of organized opposition to him or prevented anyone else, outside his family, from amassing enough power to challenge his authority.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

[Jeju Update] Peace Pilgrim will be for a week from March 1 in the Jeju Island


* Image source: News Jeju, Feb. 25, 2011
Villagers and citizens protesting against naval base in the past years
_________________________________________
* The below is the summary translation of the three articles and documents : Sisa Jeju, News Jeju and Life and Peace Fellowship. More detail and other updated contents would come later.

The Pan-Island Committee for Prevention of Military Base and for Realization of Peace Island would stage an opposition movement against naval base along with the Life and Peace Fellowship, through the forms of peace pilgrim and peace culture festival.

On Feb. 25, The Life and Peace Fellowship, issuing its statement, stated that it would step for a peace pilgrim by 100 persons for 100 days, which is for the prayer for life and peace community in the Korean peninsula, concerning about the rapidly hardening situation surrounding inter-Korean relationship after the Cheonan ship and Yonpyeong-do Island incident

The 100 days’ peace pilgrim will start at the Jeju April 3 Peace Park in the Jeju Island that is the first pilgrim course, at 2pm on March 1st and the pilgrim in the Jeju Island will proceed by March 7. The whole pilgrim will end in the Demilitarized zone section after 100 days’ nationwide tour.

Dobub, a Buddhist monk who would lead the ‘pilgrim prayer’ on March 1 was born in the Jeju Island. He has exchanged talks with Fr. Kang Woo-Il, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea & the bishop of the Catholic Jeju district, on ‘establishment on the Peace Island, Jeju,’ in 2007.

After the ceremony, the Life and Peace Fellowship will go to the Gangjeong village, have a meeting with Gangjeong villagers and stay the first night in the Gangjeong village.
On the 2nd day, it would start at the Gangjeong port and will walk westward.

Reverend Jeon of the Life & Peace Fellowship said, “Our organization oppose those things related to war. We oppose the naval base [plan] with the thought that the peace in the Korean peninsula and North East Asia will be dangerous once it is set up [in the Jeju Island],” and “We would walk with our praying heart.”

Photos Fwd: South Koreans' anti-government protest

For more photos, see the Tongil News, Feb. 25, 2011 통일 뉴스, 2011년 2월 25일(클릭)
City Hall square, Seoul, 7pm, Feb. 25, 2011




Text Fwd: Stop the Korea Free Trade Agreement!

* Text fwd from Steve Zeltzer on Feb. 25, 2011

Huffingtonpost
Stop the Korea Free Trade Agreement
Ian Fletcher
Jan. 23, 2011

You would think America had learned its lesson from NAFTA, which the Labor Department has estimated cost us 525,000 jobs.

But no. President Obama and the Republican leadership are united in pressing for ratification of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS-FTA). This is an agreement which the Economic Policy Institute estimateswill cost us 159,000 more jobs over the next five years.

Yes, you read that correctly. At a time when even the president admits that his number one economic priority is job creation, and has created an entire new commission for that purpose, they're going ahead with it anyway. It gives the phrase "contradictions of capitalism" a whole new meaning.

Make no mistake: we're in big trouble. The US economy has entirely lost the ability to create jobs in tradable sectors, and the recent downward blip in unemployment was merely the result of more people giving up looking, which causes them to drop out of the statistics.

Even the official U.S. International Trade Commission has admitted that KORUS-FTA will cause significant job losses. And not just in low-end industries. The ITC foresees the electronic equipment manufacturing industry, with average wages of $30.38 in 2008, as a major victim.
The supposed logic of America swapping junk jobs for high-end jobs simply isn't the way the economics really works out. Pace free-market mythology, there are actually well-understood reasons for this, if you dig a little into what economists already know.

Was this the Obama America voted for in 2008?

No. That Obama is at an undisclosed location somewhere. He campaigned against KORUS-FTA during the 2008 campaign. (It was originally negotiated, but not ratified by Congress, by Bush in 2007.) Among other things, that Obama said:

I strongly support the inclusion of meaningful, enforceable labor and environmental standards in all trade agreements. As president, I will work to ensure that the U.S. again leads the world in ensuring that consumer products produced across the world are done in a manner that supports workers, not undermines them.

Nice words, but none of them are reflected in KORUS-FTA, which contains no serious new provisions on these issues. This agreement is essentially a NAFTA clone. It is, in fact, the biggest trade agreement sinceNAFTA, and the first since Canada with an industrialized country.

This agreement, like NAFTA and the dozen or so other free trade agreements America has signed since NAFTA, is fundamentally an offshoring agreement. It is about making it easier for U.S. companies to move work overseas. The provisions to protect workers and consumers are unenforceable window dressing.

Don't be fooled by the fact that some unions, like the United Auto Workers (UAW), have endorsed the agreement. This is part of a cynical ploy by the White House to split the trade union movement in order to keep the AFL-CIO neutral. The UAW's out-of-touch leadership is so punch-drunk from the 2008 collapse of the U.S. auto industry that it has lost touch not only with what is good for the American economy as a whole, but with what is good for rank-and-file auto workers. Don't take my word for it: in the words of Al Benchich, retired president of UAW Local 909:

The UAW Administration Caucus is the one-party state that controls the UAW at the International level. Every International officer is a member of the Caucus, and they surround themselves with appointed international reps that unquestioningly do their bidding.

No wonder other, more democratic and more intelligent, unions, like Leo Gerard's United Steelworkers, are criticizing the UAW for its decision to support KORUS-FTA. Interestingly, the UAW's past record of criticizing KORUS-FTA is more honest than anything they're doing in a desperate bid to help keep Obama in the White House. For example, here's what they originally said about this agreement:

KORUS-FTA has inadequate protections and enforcement mechanisms to enforce either the spirit or the letter of the law.

Precisely. And changes made since then are, as noted, minimal. As an example of how one-sided the treaty is, consider that it now allows -- to great rejoicing -- America to export 75,000 cars a year to Korea. This translates to a measly 800 jobs. Korea's exports of cars to the U.S. in 2009, on the other hand?

Try 476,833.

Furthermore, even if the U.S. does get to sell more cars in Korea, American companies will mostly not be making the steel, tires, and other components that go into them, because the agreement allows cars with 65 percent foreign content to count as "American."

This is just one example of how KORUS-FTA isn't even as good as the deal the EU just signed with Korea. (The EU got a 55 percent standard on this item.) And remember that the EU and most of its member states, of course, don't really practice free trade anyway: they practice a covertly managed trade that has kept the EU's trade balance within pocket change of zero over the last two decades, while America has been running deficits around the $500 billion mark.
"Free trade agreement," in American English, means "free trade agreement." In other languages, it means "politely codified agreement for managed trade at a low tariff." The Europeans invented this game -- called mercantilism -- back when international trade was conducted with sailing ships. South Korea learned it from the Japanese. Uncle Sam (and maybe John Bull and a few others) are the only naïfs who still don't get it.

Despite what the White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are saying, this agreement makes no sense as a strategy to reduce our horrendous trade deficit. America's trade deficits have a long record of going up, not down, when we sign trade agreements with other nations.
Paradoxically, trade agreements even seem to sabotage our own trade with foreign nations: according to an analysis by the group Public Citizen, in recent years our exports to nations we have free-trade agreements with have actually grown at less than half the pace of our exports to nations we don't have these agreements with. So these agreements don't hold water as trade-expanding measures.

Even leaving aside trade-balance issues, this agreement is a disaster, thanks to something called "investor-state arbitration." Like NAFTA, it compromises American sovereignty and subjects American democracy to having its own laws overruled by foreign judges as interfering with trade. Under NAFTA to date, over $326 million in damages has been paid out by governments as a result of challenges to natural resource policies, environmental protection, and health and safety measures. There about 80 Korean corporations, with about 270 facilities around the U.S., that would acquire the right to challenge our laws under KORUS-FTA.

What kind of problems could this cause? The U.S. was forced in 1996 to weaken Clean Air Act rules on gasoline contaminants in response to a challenge by Venezuela and Brazil. In 1998, we were forced to weaken Endangered Species Act protections for sea turtles thanks to a challenge by India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand concerning the shrimp industry. The EU today endures trade sanctions by the U.S. for not relaxing its ban on hormone-treated beef. In 1996, the WTO ruled against the EU's Lome Convention, a preferential trading scheme for 71 former European colonies in the Third World. In 2003, the Bush administration sued the EU over its moratorium on genetically modified foods.

It gets worse. KORUS-FTA also signs away our right (and Korea's, too, not that this makes it any better) to a wide range of financial regulations of the kind that might have helped avoid the crisis of 2008. For example, it forfeits our right to limit the size of financial institutions. It forfeits our right to place firewalls between different kinds of financial activities in order to prevent volatility in one market from collapsing another. It prevents us from limiting what financial services financial institutions may offer -- Enron Savings & Mortgage, here we come... It bans regulation of derivatives. It ban limits on capital flows designed to tame volatile "hot money."

Why is the U.S. flirting with making such an appalling mistake yet again? Because a) multinational corporations have bought our political system and b) because our government would rather play power politics than keep its own (declining) economic house in order.
It is remarkable how stuck we are in the 1950's, with an invincible economy at home and a Cold War abroad. As a report by the Senate Finance Committee once put it:

Throughout most of the postwar era, U.S. trade policy has been the orphan of U.S. foreign policy. Too often the Executive has granted trade concessions to accomplish political objectives. Rather than conducting U.S. international economic relations on sound economic and commercial principles, the executive has set trade and monetary policy in a foreign aid context. An example has been the Executive's unwillingness to enforce U.S. trade statutes in response to foreign unfair trade practices.

Ironically, it may eventually be our own decline that solves our trade problems, by rescuing us from our own arrogance and stupidity. When we finally realize we can't take our economy for granted, we may finally stop giving away the store in international trade.

P.S. There have been huge demonstrations against KORUS-FTA in Seoul, South Korea. If you live in the Bay Area, there'll be a protest outside Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco mansion on January 29. Click herefor more details.

Text Fwd: South to inform NK people of Mideast protests

* While the Key Resolve US-SK joint military exercise against NK will be from Feb. 28 to March 10 (Foal Eagle is from Feb. 28 to April 30), this kind of South Korean right wing Lee Myung-Bak government's activity will more freeze the inter-Korean relationship.

Korea Times
South to inform NK people of Mideast protests
By Kim Young-jin
02-25-2011 16:56

The Lee Myung-bak administration has been dropping pamphlets into North Korea about popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East along with food and other items as part of a stepped-up psychological warfare campaign, a minor opposition lawmaker said Friday.

Rep. Song Young-sun of the Future Hope Alliance, who received the information from a Defense Ministry report, said the campaign intends to encourage North Koreans to think about change and shed critical light on the power succession underway from leader Kim Jong-il to his youngest son. The ministry has yet to confirm the move.

If confirmed, it would mark the first time the military has dropped goods into the North since the practice was discontinued in 2000.

Food and everyday items such as toothpaste, warm clothes and cold medication are being sent in balloons with baskets timed to open over target areas, the lawmaker said in a statement.

The food comes with a message that reads: “We are the military of the Republic of Korea. This food is safe to eat. If in doubt, feel free to try feeding this to your livestock before eating it yourself.”

The military has stepped up psychological tactics in the wake of the North’s Nov. 24 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, Song said.

But the campaign hit high gear amid the Mideast turmoil, dropping 2.4 million leaflets carrying news of the revolts in Egypt and Libya since early February.

The leaflets associate leader Kim and heir apparent Kim Jong-un with the dictatorships of Egypt and Libya, saying such regimes are doomed to fail.

Radio Free Asia reported that the regime is beefing up surveillance in a bid to prevent news of the Mideast uprisings from seeping in.

Citing North Korean sources, the report said landlines and mobile phones of non-elite citizens are being jammed, while additional forces have been deployed to markets to prevent the news from spreading by word-of-mouth. Monitoring of university campuses has been bolstered as well.

Tensions between the two Koreas soared to their worst point in decades last year after the North sank a South Korean warship in March and shelled Yeonpyeong eight months later. Both sides have expressed desire to ease tensions but their first talks since the incidents collapsed without any agreement.

Korea Times intern Joy J. Han contributed to this article

_______________________________
See also Yonhap News
(Yonhap Interview) N. Korea will try to block Mideast influence: S. Korean minister
2011/02/23 07:41 KST
By Sam Kim

Text Fwd: Chung calls for redeployment of nukes in South

Korea Times
Chung calls for redeployment of nukes in South
Feb. 25, 2011
By Kang Hyun-kyung

A senior lawmaker called on the United States, Friday, to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea _ which were withdrawn in 1991 _ to thwart any nuclear threat from North Korea.

The remarks made by Rep. Chung Mong-joon of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) were expected to cause a stir as a nuclear-free Korea has been a core U.S. policy toward the peninsula.
During a parliamentary session, Chung told Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin that South Korea had no other cards to play to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions.

“Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said North Korea has six nuclear bombs,” he said.

Chung went on to say that he overheard that former Secretary Condoleezza Rice told former U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill that “Don’t try to solve it (North Korea’s nuclear weapons program). Try to manage it.”

The lawmaker took these remarks made by the two U.S. officials as meaning that the U.S. government may accept the North as a nuclear state.

Chung said Seoul cannot accept Pyongyang as a nuclear state under any circumstances.

“But the problem is our hands are tied. We have no options to frustrate the North’s nuclear ambitions,” he said. “That explains why some people here say that South Korea needs to be armed with nuclear weapons. This reflects that we have few other options to tackle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.”

Last November, then Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told a parliamentary committee that South Korea would consider asking the United States to redeploy nuclear weapons. The defense chief’s remarks sparked debate.

Hours after this, an official from the presidential office tried to control the damage. He told reporters on condition of anonymity that there had been no discussion about the redeployment of nuclear weapons to the South and it would never be an agenda item between Seoul and Washington.

Rep. Chung, a presidential hopeful, reignited the controversy months after the former defense minister started it. The lawmaker also questioned China’s motives over the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program.

“China looks as if it opposes a nuclear-armed North. But this may not be its real intention,” he said. “Even though the North has one or two nuclear bombs, China would not feel threatened by this because it also has two other nuclear-armed neighbors in India and Pakistan,” Chung said.

“Some pundits say having a nuclear-armed North Korea as its neighbor is not so bad for China because it will pose a joint threat to the United States and Japan.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan disagreed. Mentioning his recent talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Kim stressed that there was no question that Beijing stood firm on the dismantlement of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Video Fwd: UNDERSTANDING LIBYA'S POWER STRUCTURE

Organizing Notes
Thursday, February 24, 2011
UNDERSTANDING LIBYA'S POWER STRUCTURE

[Site Fwd:Ten Thousand Things] Solidarity Appeal against the Illegal Arrest Of 2 Okinawan anti-war Activists

Ten Thousand Things
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Solidarity Appeal against the Illegal Arrest Of 2 Okinawan anti-war Activists


Peaceful Feb 20 protest at U.S. Embassy, Tokyo. Footage of the violent arrest at 4:00.

Two activists have been arrested during a demonstration in front of the US embassy in Tokyo on February 20th. Despite pre-arrangements to hold talks with the embassy, the activists were arrested with no explanation. The footage above shows a police officers using unnecessary force in arresting a submissive activist, one officer grabbing the activist by the hair while lifting him from the protest area to a police vehicle.

An appeal against the injustices on 2.20 by the "Rescue Committee for the Feb. 20 repression in front of the US Embassy in Japan" follows:

We strongly condemn these arbitrary and illegal arrests and demand the immediate release of the 2 activists. This demonstration was against the construction of a heliport that is part of the US military base in Takae, Okinawa. This construction is carried out despite the opposition by the people of Takae town. We had asked for talks with the US embassy which they granted us to be held at 16:00 on Feb.20. The police of Akasaka district agreed to stand nearby the embassy.

When we arrived at the rendez-vous place, the police wouldn't let us go near the embassy, [and] resorted to violence against 2 activists and arrested them. When another activist asked the police on what grounds, the reason for the arrests,they said that" the reason would be given later, after the arrests." This answer is a total denial of rights. A protest is a legitimate and legal right of citizens that the police cannot deny through violence.

After the arrests, the police refused us the request to hold talks at the embassy by asking us threateningly if we wanted to be arrested like the others. The police prevented lawyers to see the arrested activists on the first day. All these acts by the police are illegal. The response of the US embassy is that they had commissioned the talks with the citizens at the Akasaka police district.

It is clear that these arrests are a message from the Japanese and US governments that any opposition to US military bases will be suppressed by force. We condemn the illegal arrests and demand the immediate release of the arrested activists.

February 22nd protests against the arrest and violation of human rights by the Akasaka police department at Kasumigaseki Public Prosecutor's Offices

Information in French: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/ametaiQ/20110224/1298557024

Information in Japanese: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/ametaiQ/20110220

Demand the release of the activists by calling:

The Akasaka Police Station +81-3475-0110
The US Embassy in Japan +81-3224-5000
The Japan Embassy of your country of resident.
*Send solidarity messages to: ametaiq@gmail.com

- Posted by Jen Teeter

Text Fwd: NATO Chief Convenes Emergency Session Of NAC ON Libya



North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO Secretary General convenes emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council
February 25, 2011

NATO Secretary General convenes emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council
During a visit to Budapest, the NATO Secretary General made the following statement:
What is happening in Libya is of great concern to all of us. It’s a crisis in our immediate neighbourhood. It affects the lives and safety of Libyan civilians and those of thousands of citizens from NATO member states. Many countries are now evacuating their citizens from Libya – clearly, a massive challenges.

I can tell you that I have convened an emergency meeting of the NATO council this afternoon to consult on the fast-moving situation. I will return to Brussels in a few hours. Before I do so, I will meet with EU Defence Ministers and discuss with them how we, in a pragmatic way, can help those in need and limit the consequences of these events.

Q (Reuters): What kind of possible action can NATO consider to help resolve this crisis? NATO Secretary General: I will not go into specifics at this time, but clearly priority must be given to evacuation and possibly, also, humanitarian assistance.

Q (Reuters): What kind of capabilities does NATO have to deploy and how quickly can they deploy these capabilities, if the need arises?

NATO Secretary General: I think, again, it’s a bit pre-mature to go into specifics, but it’s well known that NATO has assets that can be used in a situation like this and NATO can act as an enabler and coordinator, if and when, individual member states want to take action.
__________________________________________
See also Stop NATO
Report: NATO Prepares For Air Strikes Against Libya
The Teamasek Preview

NATO is preparing a possible strike on Libya if the Libyian Government continue to bomb protesters.

A NATO official who spoke to the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper in London said that U.S. and NATO planes stationed in southern Italy have been preparing for the mission since Thursday morning.

International momentum is building for action to punish Gadhafi’s regime for the bloody crackdown it has unleashed against the uprising that began on 15th February.

On Wednesday night, U.S. President Barack H. Obama said that the suffering and bloodshed in Libya “is outrageous and it is unacceptable”, adding that a NATO attack on Libya was a possibility.

British Foreign Minister William Hague said that the UK would initiate a World Court investigation into Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi for crimes against humanity.

French Defense Minister Alain Juppé said that he hoped that Qaddafi would soon be deposed, and that if he was not, France would likely support sanctions against the country.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting that ended with a statement condemning the crackdown, expressing “grave concern” and calling for an “immediate end to the violence” and steps to address the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.

Reports said that thousands had been killed in Libya after being bombarded by air and naval strikes. (Alan Au)

Text Fwd: White House Pushing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Sales Worldwide

Stop NATO
White House Pushing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Sales Worldwide

GlobalPost
Obama’s F-35 sales push :
Why is Obama peddling Lockheed Martin’s stealth F-35 fighter around the world?
Barry Neild
February 24, 2011

With prices starting at $110 million per jet, the F-35 Lightning II fighter isn’t really the sort of thing for sale on Craigslist. But the way the Obama administration has been peddling this sophisticated aerial combat tool around the world, perhaps it wouldn’t be a surprise if it were.

While countries including Australia, Canada, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have all placed orders amounting to hundreds of F-35s, the president and his team of executive salesmen have been pitching hard elsewhere.

Late last year, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in Japan singing the praises of the stealth fighter that has cost his government billions to develop. And in Israel, ministers have reportedly been debating F-35 deals offered by Barack Obama as sweeteners in the Middle East peace process.

To some, it might seem odd that the commander-in-chief is willing to hand over keys to aircraft packed to the hilt with the latest U.S. military technology — particularly radar-evading stealth, which no other country yet has — even if the paying customers are allies.

At a time of global instability, particularly in the Middle East, some observers say this hard sell is risky. In the 1970s, the United States sold F-14 fighters to a friendly, seemingly-stable Iran. These later fell into hostile hands after a regime change.

So what’s behind this sales drive? Has F-35 builder Lockheed Martin proved so successful at lobbying the Obama administration that the presidential team is now effectively selling its products door-to-door? Is it about votes? Is it money? Analysts say the truth – like the aircraft – is far more complex.

The F-35’s back story is scattered with controversy. Still not yet in service, the next-generation aircraft has been beset by missed deadlines, and by budgets that have helped make its decade-long development the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken in the United States.

Lockheed says the F-35 will be worth the wait. When it does finally make it off the runway, many experts agree it should be an impressive machine, crammed with gadgetry. Some models will even be capable of performing vertical take offs and landings.

Still five years from completion, the aircraft has already faced hostilities. It has been criticized for performing poorly in simulations, and for including features beyond what’s needed on the battlefield. It has been deemed such a drain on resources that Gates now wants to cut America’s F-35 order to reduce the Pentagon’s budget.

This reluctance to buy a product at home might seem at odds with the U.S. government’s eagerness to promote it abroad, were it not for the fact that the F-35 has been specifically designed with foreign sales in mind.

Since its inception, the F-35 has been known as the “Joint Strike Fighter” in reference to the involvement of allies including Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey. All have contributed in varying degrees to the jet’s funding and development.

Strategically, that’s an advantage to the U.S., both in getting other nations to help foot the defense bill, and arming friends with familiar “interoperable” technology, says Craig Caffrey, a military aviation analyst with Jane’s Information Group.

“The vast majority of military operations that America undertakes nowadays are coalition operations,” he said. “If you can have a platform in service with your main allied nations — the U.K. in particular is a good example — it makes sense.”

Gates’ recent mission to Japan was also, said Caffrey, an attempt to capitalize on recent high-profile test flight of the J-20, China’s first foray into stealth fighters. “There's obviously a sales pitch here. They're saying if you're worried about that Chinese fifth generation aircraft, we can supply you with one of your own.”

According to reports from the WikiLeaks cache of U.S. State Department documents, American diplomats put pressure on Norway to choose the F-35 instead of rival machines from Swedish SAAB’s JAS Grippen or Eurofighter (another multinational military aircraft project).

Some arms watchers have suggested that the U.S. is playing one country off of another in order to boost its arms trade. Though clearly arranged with a possible threat from Iran in mind, sales of F-35s to Israel could be seen as a way to encourage potential rivals such as Saudi Arabia to spend money upgrading and expanding their fleets of F-15 fighters, made in the United States by Boeing.

To what extent are Obama administration officials acting at the behest of manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin — or perhaps seeking to win key votes from districts involved in the defence industry?

Lockheed spends good money on promoting its interests. In 2010 its lobbying bill exceeded $12.7 million, according to the non-partisan watchdog OpenSecrets.org. Much of this lobbying appears to be aimed at staving off military budget cuts rather than promoting aircraft sales.

But while aggressive sales pitches overseas may suggest otherwise, the Obama administration doesn’t seem to be bowing to the company’s every demand. For example, despite requests from Lockheed Martin, the government has refused to allow overseas sales of another of its stealth fighters, the F-22, which is said to be too technologically sensitive for foreign customers.

Moreover, Obama has urged Congress to scrap funding to build an alternative F-35 engine, a project that currently employs 1,000 people in the swing state of Ohio. (The House of Representatives in early February voted with the president on this.)

It would seem, therefore, that he’s not viewing the aircraft program as a vote winner. Instead, said Caffrey, any promotion of Lockheed’s interests is likely to result from simple economics.

“One key reason why you get heads of states involved in selling this kind of equipment abroad is because they are major industrial deals; they are worth large sums of money, and keep large numbers of people employed in high tech jobs," he said. He pointed out that similar overseas missions have been carried out by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“It’s big business, and it’s long term business. You don't sell an aircraft and that's the end of the company's involvement — it goes on for at least 30 years.”

Jeff Abramson, deputy director of the Arms Control Association, argues that attempts to sell the F-35 overseas are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to double U.S. arms exports and thus aid economic recovery.

But even if F-35s are merely being deployed against economic uncertainty rather than into aerial combat, Abramson warned of other consequences.

“In general, it is unwise to think of arms sales as just any other commercial transaction,” he said, suggesting that the F-35s could be vulnerable to misuse or even contribute to regional arms races and instability.

“Any transfer agreement must consider whether the proposed weapons are appropriate for their intended use, and whether they might contribute to regional arms races or instability. It’s not clear that all the discussions around F-35s have adequately taken these considerations in mind.”

Text Fwd: After Ivory Coast, AFRICOM Readies ASF For Central African Role

Stop NATO
U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Africa
February 24, 2011


Exercise Kwanza Review in Kinshasa Focuses on African Standby Force
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs


-[T]he Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) -- an organization
like ECCAS -- diplomatically responded recently -- and could militarily respond
-- to the electoral crisis in the West African country of Cote d'Ivoire. The
ECCAS could respond to a crisis in its area of responsibility composed of
Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central
African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad.


KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo: In his "Commander's Intent 2011"
message, one of U.S. Army General William E. "Kip" Ward's key approaches was
that, "??[U.S. Africa Command] will continue to support the African Union (AU)
to include strengthening the capabilities and interoperability of the African
Standby Force (ASF) and its sub-regional elements."

To forward that goal, Major George K. Allen Jr. of U.S. Army Africa and
Lieutenant Jonathan Goerk of U.S. Naval Forces Africa traveled to Kinshasa,
Democratic Republic of the Congo in October 2010, to participate in the
Conference Bilan et Retour d'experience de L'exercice Kwanza 2010 or Exercise
Kwanza After Action Review (AAR).

Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) held the exercise in order
to validate Central African Multinational Force (CAMF) to AU standards. The
force is one of five brigade-size elements that make up the AU's ASF--created to
respond to crises on the African continent.

Allen and Goerk sat alongside their ECCAS counterparts to gain a better
understanding of how CAMF performed during Exercise Kwanza in Cabo Ledo, Angola,
from May 22 to June 5, 2010. The observers' participation in the Exercise Kwanza
AAR follows their observation of the exercise this summer.
....
According to Allen, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) -- an
organization like ECCAS -- diplomatically responded recently -- and could
militarily respond -- to the electoral crisis in the West African country of
Cote d'Ivorie. The ECCAS could respond to a crisis in its area of responsibility
composed of Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial
Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and
Principe and Chad.

"ECCAS and CAMF are professional and ready to go," Goerk said. "Exercise Kwanza
proved that as an armed force, CAMF can work with diplomats, gendarmerie, and
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the both the sea and ground."
....
"In working with CAMF and the other regional standby forces, AFRICOM and USARAF
could easily incorporate civilians and NGOs into our military exercise play and
operations," Allen said. "Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and
Multinational (JIIM) personnel are already part of their formations. It is a
win-win proposition."