Peace for the Blue Continent

SOURCE: Koohan Paik (
SUBHEAD: Pacific islanders resists missile launches, war games, military training and bases.

By Koohan Paik on 7 September 2010 for Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice - 
Image above: U.S. Army Missile Defense Command & Strategic Command Radar Center on Kwajalein Island. From (
A loaded gun used in a crime is considered assault even if it is not fired. The violence is still there. The United States levies that same violence on the rest of the world through the presence of its missile facilities strewn across the Pacific. It’s the same loaded gun, but for the peoples of the Pacific, the terror is millions of times greater. We, peoples of the Pacific, should not have to endure this terror if the United States truly did stand for “peace and justice for all.“

The word Pacific comes from the Latin word for “peace,” which was how the European explorers described these waters and her peoples. Ironically, these famously “peaceful” islands are profoundly affected by U.S. war policy. The Pentagon carries out plans daily that destroy reefs, contaminate soil and groundwater, decimate whales and dolphins with cerebellum-numbing sonar, annihilate cultures, and wipe out entire ecosystems.

The launch of missiles like the ICBM from Vandenberg is just one of a multitude of destructive war exercises. The Earth and her peoples can no longer endure this insane way of life. And plans are now in the works to enlarge the network of bases across the Asia-Pacific region. But resistance is building.

We have had enough. Just look at our cousins in Okinawa. For sixty years, their island has endured the rapes, the crimes, the pollution, the constant roar of jets flying low at all hours of the day and night – because the U.S. has riddled the otherwise placid island with scores of its military facilities and tens of thousands of young American males. Okinawan protestors are legendary in the Asia-Pacific region for their fierce diligence, creativity, and sheer numbers.

Though not reported in the American or European press, it has been the Okinawan resistance that has brought the U.S. plans to beef up bases in the region to a grinding stalemate. And on the island of Guahan (Guam) in the western Pacific, a powerful resistance movement is rising like a Phoenix from the ashes.

The young people of the island are leading a movement that opposes the Pentagon’s transfer of tens of thousands of troops and underpaid foreign laborers to their small island. Plans include a berth for a nuclear aircraft carrier that would destroy 71 acres of a vibrant reef; a state-of-the-art missile range that would augment the facilities at Vandenberg, Kauai, Kwajalein and Okinawa; and a land grab that would transform an expansive, sacred valley and archeological site into a live-fire shooting range.

The whole thing would cost the U.S. between $13 and 20 billion. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on education and healthcare for the Americans who shelled out those tax dollars in the first place? We island dwellers always hear our homes described as small, isolated, insignificant. This is a staunchly continental perspective.

The traditional Oceanic perspective doesn’t view any island that way – as isolated. Rather, the ocean connects us all into a single “blue continent.” We here from the Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice have joined forces with our island allies across our hemisphere to protect our peoples’ rights to peace and justice. We are mobilizing to resist the continuation of this violent occupation with its war games and its missile launches.

Stop your military testing. Shut down your bases. You’re not protecting anything. You’re killing the planet. Enough already – the Cold War is over! Stand in solidarity with the thinking Americans who oppose Vandenberg Air Force Base’s ICBM missile launch against Kwajalein.

1 comment :

Janos Samu said...

It is a well-written report and an important piece of information for those who see the danger of the militarization of the Pacific. This should serve as an encouragement to those whose priority is to preserve or restore peace. I would like to suggest to give specific examples of direct actions the protesters in Ryukyu, Guahan etc. are doing so that the local resistence can wage war on wars. General terms as growing opposition, mobilization lose their essence if people do not see actual examples. Please take it as a suggestion and not as a complaint. Thank you for the good writing.
János Samu

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