Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Decolonize Guam

Just giving everyone (ni' tumaitaitai este) a head's up that I started a new blog last week to support a petition that will be going out this week, which decries the latest military increases in Guam.

Here's the link:

Mungga en fanatge! It is a very important issue, especially in light of all the posturing recently between the US, Japan, North Korea and China. We are right in the middle of all the nuclear build ups and threats, both grave and empty. Sure, in the United States press we read about the dangers of North Korea and the missile test that they are planning, but what we should be more concerned about is the current clear leader of the nuclear and military arms race, and the one whose nuclear attack body count is by far the highest, the United States.

On The Daily Show recently, one of their fake correspondents discussed the World Cup and why Americans just don't seem to care about it. The telling response was that the World Cup is where nations go to war, its an arena like metaphor where nations and nationalisms do battle. The United States simply doesn't need a metaphor for war, it has war.

When polls everywhere else in the world indicate that the greatest threat to freedom and democracy is not terrorists, but the United States (hmmm, same thing I guess), they are not just jealous and angry over their yearnings for "American" freedom, they are absolutely right. But unlike those in the United States who have an eager cadre of pundits and historical gatekeepers who offer an ever expanding array drugs for inducing imperialist amnesia and imperialist nostalgia, those who receive the collateral damage for the defense of the narrow interests of the United States, it military and its corporate elite, have no such illusory comfort.

In his speech on the "Emerging Framework of World Power," Noam Chomsky quotes a number of people from around the world who respond to the 9/11 attacks, first by agreeing that it is a catastrophe, but second by noting dryly that we are already familiar with catastrophe. As a religious leader in Central America put it, the September 11th attack was like Armageddon, but we too have had our own Armageddon. The most recent Armageddon he was referring to was the United States funded one in the 1980's.

A common saying of manamko' who experienced the Tiempon Chapones or the World War II period on Guam, is that "ai mohon ti un susedi hafa i sinesedi-hu gi i gera..." or "no one should experience what we did."

I do not find my fidelity, my loyalty, my truth in the articulations or the versions of Chamorro history and Chamorro culture that say that war is our way, that find we can exist only within the structure of the US military and what it wants (a few days ago I posted something from someone who argued this exact point). What this logic does is ultimately reproduce the Chamorro as the eternal victim, the eternal dependent, whatever we get we should be grateful for, because we have nothing.

Instead I find fidelity in the Chamorro who does understand war. Who understands the meaning of this statement, from Nikita Kruschev sent to John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis:

We and you out not to pull on the ends of a rope which you have tied the knots of war. Because the more the two of us pull, the tighter the knot will be tied. And then it will be neccessary to cut that knot. And what that would mean is not for me to explain to you. I have participated in two wars and know that war ends when it has rolled through cities and villages everywhere sowing death and destruction. For such is the logic of war. If people do not display wisdom, they will clash like blind moles and then mutual annihilation will commence.

I find truth in the Chamorro who is confronted with two empires clashing and crashing against each other upon her land, in his family, through her very body, and sees the the truth implications of war and rejects the ambitions of both. Who doesn't accept the lies of the Japanese and their Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, but neither accepts the benevolence of the United States and its claims to war in the name of liberty and freedom. The Chamorro who doesn't just know war, but understands Empire, and sets about to make that truth, that no one should experience this, their truth, their life, their goal.


In an Honolulu Advertiser article about the military exercises that will be taking place in the Pacific this summer, intended to provide a show of strength to China and anyone else, the writer notes that the Navy is taking special percuations to protect life during their operations. According to the article, "the Navy for the first time applied for a federal permit to "harass" marine mammals when it uses mid-frequency sonar in the war games."

Since Chamorros and everyone else on Guam falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior (home to Indians, Animals and the Colonials), this sets a perfect precedent. Perhaps in the future when the United States intends to attack North Korea because of their role in 9/11 and connections to Al Qaeda, and it needs to sacrifice Guam and everyone on it for war, they will just have to apply for a Federal permit.

I guess this will be an improvement, since in 1941 it could just sacrifice Guam if it wanted to. We've come along way though, if now at least they have to apply for a permit to throw us into another one of their wars.

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