On the tiny island of Guam, the United States Department of Defense is currently preparing a massive military buildup, testing the limits of the islanders’ long-standing patriotism and loyalty to the US. This proposed buildup threatens Guam’s indigenous culture, fragile natural environment, and crumbling infrastructure; and the DoD’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) received the US EPA’s lowest possible rating, “environmentally unsatisfactory.” But the buildup continues, and the local community is powerless to stop it.
The indigenous people of Guam – most of whom have family members serving in the US military – are speaking out in unprecedented numbers against this buildup. Yet many people in the Northern Marianas are eager to bring a US military base to their islands. The Insular Empire will help shed light on the differences between these islands – islands which share the same culture and language, but have been divided by their colonial history.
I am continually impressed by Julian Aguon. He has a razor-sharp mind and a lightning tongue and a strong heart that beats for justice. In his recent presentation at the University of Guam, he discussed how US Constitutional Law and International Law apply to the question of Guam’s political status. Perhaps not surprisingly, he is […]
I can barely keep up with the news coming out of Guam lately: Dispatch Japan‘s article “Dead Plan Walking” and KUAM’s report that “Talks Indicate Delays for Buildup” point to the inevitable demise of the ill-conceived military buildup on Guam. In the (repurposed) words of General MacArthur, “old military land-grabs don’t die, they just fade […]
The Guam PDN recently published an article about USN Rear Admiral Bushong’s recent talk at the Guam Rotary Club. The Admiral noted the recent increase in anti-militarist sentiment on the island, and exhorted the nice folks of Guam to ‘tone down the rhetoric a bit’. After all, he said, military personnel on Guam take their […]
The Huffington Post “Guam: Self-Determination or More U.S. Troops?” by Robert Naiman Usually, when someone refers to a place as a “U.S. colony,” they are making an analogy, suggesting that U.S. influence somewhere is so strong, and the indigenous residents of the place have so little effective say over key decisions, that it’s as if […]
Guam’s public radio station has begun broadcasting a weekly talk show dedicated to discussing the proposed military buildup of the Marianas. Hosted by Vivian Dames, a professor of social work at the University of Guam, the show features interviews with academics, activists, military personnel, politicians, and members of the Guam community with expertise relevant to […]
Viewers of The Insular Empire will recall Hope Cristobal’s repeated visits to the United Nations, trying to get support for Guam’s Chamorro people and their right to self-determinaion. Hope continued her decades-long crusade last month, traveling to the United Nations’ Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonisation in New Caledonia. “For 21st century Guam, it is déjà […]
Guam biologist Dave Burdick has produced an amazing website, using his vast archive of photographs, to document Guam’s marine life. The site is a real achievement, providing visual documentation of both the beauty of this place and the dangers that threaten it. (Note that the US Dept. of Defense currently plans to dredge 71 acres […]
Democracy Now! recently aired this piece, featuring footage from The Insular Empire: From Japan to Guam to Hawai’i, Activists Resist Expansion of US Military Presence in the Pacific. The segment features a discussion with three incredibly articulate activists, each representing people struggling to reduce the US military’s footprint in their island nations. Kyle Kajihiro of […]
Newsy.com – a kind of online video news aggregator – just ran this story on the Okinawa base relocation. Unfortunately, this story didn’t include Guam’s (fairly major) role in the relocation debate – but maybe the next one will? pp Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com
My son asked me the other day, “Mommy, what’s Earth Day?” When I explained it to him (“Well, honey, it’s a day when we celebrate the Earth and try to remember to help keep it healthy”), I felt a little bit ashamed. Without the Earth there is nothing – so why do we only give […]
On Earth Day (April 22), several groups will gather outside the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Building in San Francisco, demanding a halt to US military expansion on the Pacific island of Guam. They will present a petition, urging the White House to: * halt current plans for the military buildup of Guam * […]
Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura recently posted this notice of a discussion to be held at the UH Manoa Law School on April 1st. (And no, don’t get your hopes up that the proposed buildup will be revealed as a massive April Fool’s joke!) Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz of the 30th Guam Legislature is the keynote speaker. He will […]
The DoD’s proposal to increase its already-massive footprint on the island of Guam recently received the EPA’s lowest rating: Environmentally Unsatisfactory. While “unsatisfactory” to me calls up benign images of less-than-optimal spelling homework, this milquetoast language in fact represents a scathing indictment of the proposed buildup – and a serious roadblock to the military’s expansionist […]
The ever-helpful Jean Downey just forwarded me this article in the Huffington Post by John Feffer. In it, Feffer describes a recent Congressional hearing on currently-strained US-Japan relations – in which a Pentagon official was unable to come up with the number of US troops stationed in Japan (47,000), or to explain why the US […]
It was bound to happen eventually – The Washington Post finally ran a comprehensive (and pretty critical, I might ad) article in tomorrow’s paper on the proposed military buildup of Guam. (Yes, that’s right. Tomorrow. Today is the 21st, and the by-line is the 22nd. Don’t ask me. Maybe it’s an international dateline thing.) Anyway. […]
Many thanks to Martha Duenas for forwarding me this interview with Richard P. Lawless, former deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs. Anyone who doubts the seriousness of Japan’s reluctance to agree to move the Futenma base from Okinawa should really read this article. “This is not about a […]
It truly is a small world. A friend of mine in Vancouver just stumbled upon this poetry website featuring the work of Craig Santos Perez — and the speech he read aloud as a panelist at the San Francisco screening of The Insular Empire. What are the chances? Reading Craig’s speech made me appreciate all […]
Marianas Variety just published an article on Obama’s upcoming visit to Guam. The fact that the US President has decided to fly 9000 miles to visit the Marianas is HUGE news… and speaks to how vital these tiny islands are to America’s global strategy. On the same day, the Associate Press reported this story about […]
Hope Cristobal Sr. recently forwarded me this article – it’s a good overview of what’s going on right now on Guam in terms of the local response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), issued recently by the Department of Defense for their planned military buildup of the island. My mother, Virginia, has been doing […]
I love this. It’s kind of like watching a train wreck.
Koohan Paik has assembled a fact sheet about the proposed military buildup on Guam. This concise document distills the intimidating 11,000 page EIS document (released in November by the military) into something the average person can wrap their head around. The results are chilling. Just a few of the many disastrous effects outlined in the […]
The Marianas Variety recently published an article about recommendations included in the Guam military buildup Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), in which the military is recommending that the local people take up indoor activities once all their public land has been taken away. I’m serious. I couldn’t make something like that up. Check it out for […]