I turned in my defense draft for my master's thesis at Ethnic Studies University of California San Diego earlier this week and so I just thought I'd share part of it with everyone. This is my intro section, there are about 120 pages following this part. There's a little bit of something for everyone in it, its built like one of those sprawling blockbuster films which are mostly ego and focus groups.
You want action? There's an invasion by Marines. You want intrigue and subterfuge? There's the local elite who are working their daggans off to sell the island as quickly as they can. You want suspense? There's activists who are working against this military increase, against the clock, against all commonsense and stupid American patriotism (to learn more you can join the struggle by heading over to this link, http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/famoksaiyan). You want comedy? Try the delusions of decolonization that I've collected, for many Chamorros and non-Chamorros decolonization means, "an invasion by the Chinese" for others "running a government with barbeque tongs" for others, "everyone being forced to wear loincloths." You want gore? You will have to check out some of the quotes that I've collected about Guam and what people there and elsewhere say about it, it will turn your stomach, and hopefully make you feel like something should be done (the most nasty is a Air Force Officer who says that Guam is like his cup and he can do whatever he wants with his cup, after all, he owns it).
Everything You Wanted to Know About Guam But Were Afraid to Ask Zizek
copyright: Michael Lujan Bevacqua (hehehehe) (or actually maybe UCSD has the copywright)
HACHA – What to Do With 8,000 Marines?… 
In October of 2005, the United States Department of Defense announced that it was in negotiations with the Japanese Government over the planned relocations of more than 7,000 United States Marines currently stationed in Okinawa. This news produced a number of different newspaper pieces both in the United States and throughout Asia. Persistent questions discussed were, how much would Japan pay for this move? How would this affect the balance of power in Asia?
One of the most crucial details, the site to where these Marines will be moved, was just as persistently glossed over, and mentioned only in passing. As two of the most powerful nations in the world negotiated the future of these thousands of soldiers, the future or presence of their destination, the island of Guam, situated on the edge of Asia in the Western Pacific, received little to no attention.
As a colony of the United States, where 1/3 of it land mass is controlled by the United States military, Guam’s banal political existence is closely intertwined with United States military desires. Its natural state is understood both internationally and nationally as site for discussion of American military interests and a receptacle for its troop and technological investments. Therefore, reports such as this most recent movement of Marines, or the announcement of the testing of Global Hawks in Guam sound like bored bureaucratic ramblings. Almost as if, “more military to Guam? Duh, that’s what it’s there for!”
As one of the world’s last “official” colonies the political status of Guam tends to breed this sort of ambiguous banality. This banality entails a delegate to the United States Congress who can’t vote, a vote in national elections, which do not count, and an autonomous government where United States sovereignty is formalized at the center of its existence. What this further entails is a site which is “foreign in the domestic sense,” a lonely somewhat American outpost on the edge of Asia, which is discussed as the tip of America’s spear leveled towards the Orient. A site where the movement of several thousand Marines seems to make no noise, elicit no sound which would indicate colonialism or unfair militarization. Months since the announcement, the estimated total number of Marines that will move to Guam has increased to 8,000, yet in news articles covering this move, the site to which they will be moved seems to require no comment other than its naming. No discussion of the social, environmental or economic impacts on Guam seems necessary, nor does the fact that those on Guam have no say in how this increase shall take place, or whether or not it will happen seem important.
Given this political existence one might assume that movements supporting or at least productively discussion the decolonization of Guam would be a big part of life on the island. In the case of the arrival of these 8,000 Marines whose numbers without the addition of dependents already amounts to 1/20th of Guam’s current population, one might expect that the fact that no representative of Guam has any actual role or power in these negotiations to be an ideal site for stimulating productive discussions of decolonization.
This thesis exists as a testament to the fact that this is not the case at all. For the past few years, throughout all manners of Guam research that I have conducted, whether it be archival, ethnographic or internet chatroom/message board, the notion that “decolonization is suicide” has always, albeit in various forms, been a persistent theme. Far from being something positive, or an act or process through which a more equitable future for Chamorros and for Guam is sought, decolonization is instead understood as something to be feared and loathed, implying that it is something to be fought against. “Decolonization isn’t just suicide” one Chamorro emailed me, “its also stupid.”
From internet message boards, to the editorial pages of Guam’s newspaper, to even ambivalence by Guam’s own politicians, despite the varying precise interpretations of what decolonization is and what it would effect, the majority of those on Guam do not support it in any substantive form. The reasons for this resistance vary, but they nonetheless form a sort of consensus, a deadlock as evidenced by the fact that nearly anyone on Guam, will tell you that no one on Guam’s supports its decolonization.
For Dave Davis, a haole living on Guam this resistance is no doubt attributed to the fact that the majority of Chamorros on others on Guam are too smart and too American to fall for any delusions of decolonization. From his numerous letters to the island’s newspaper editors and his role as a columnist for The Marianas Variety, Davis provides historically weak but nonetheless potent interpretations of the political landscape of Guam that seem to pave the way for an eventual Rice vs. Cayetano confrontation between American would be universality and Chamorro particularity. According to him, indigenous activists working for the island’s decolonization whether through political plebiscites or Chamorro-only government programs are divisive “whiners” who seek to corrupt the greatness of American equality and democracy, and therefore evoke dangerous comparisons with the Nazis in World War II. Davis calls on non-Chamorros on island not to be intimidated or threatened by “by those who would limit or deny their rights,” and turning to Chamorros seeking “special rights” demands that they each “resist the urge to become a whiner.”
For former Maga’lahi of I Nasion Chamoru, Guam’s largest indigenous rights group, Ed Benavente the resistance of so many Chamorros to decolonization simply comes from colonization. According to Benavente, Chamorros have a history of strength and survival, against colonizers such as the Spanish with their guns, germs and steel, against the United States and their patronizing lessons in education and politics which sought to civilize and whiten Chamorros. “The fact that we still call ourselves Chamoru testifies to the strength, the survival of our people.” But this legacy goes largely unnoticed by most Chamorros, who instead see their historical, economic and political existences as dependent upon the largesse of the United States and therefore overcompensate with patriotic exuberance. “Liberation Day” as will be discussed throughout this thesis is an island holiday commemorating the American re-invasion of Guam in World War II, where this devotion and dependence reaches its most bombastic point through fireworks, parades, beauty pageants and other parties. Decolonization is the furthest thing from anyone’s minds according to Benavente since it is critical of the United States and, “Our people are still celebrating being re-occupied and celebrating our victimhood.”
For Jane Furukawa, a former Decolonization Commissioner for the Government of Guam, and many other activists who are actively pushing (in a number of ways) for the island’s decolonization, the issue is simply education. For her, “Too much ‘fear of the unknown’ is circulating in our community, and it’s infectious. Lack of trust and confidence in ourselves, and/or those who will make the determination, and adequate information and understanding, breed this fear.”
From this perspective, decolonization is most consistently thought of as a formal process of political negotiation between the colonizer and the colonizer, mediated by the United Nations, over what the next political status of a territory will be. In a letter to the editor of The Pacific Daily News, Furukawa writes,
"Decolonization would mean developing a constitution for this “state,” be it ultimately an independent nation, a freely associated country, or a full fledged member of the United States. It would also mean a transitional period, possibly decades long, with the aid of the American and/or other government as well as the United Nations."
Through this clear, rational exposition of what decolonization of Guam would entail Furukawa is attempting to put to rest the numerous paranoid schizophrenic delusions that preemptively haunt Guam should it decolonize. Despite whatever formal definition floats above the family of the world’s nations, in Guam decolonization is usually understood to mean independence, and not just independence in the cool, calm manner which Furukawa describes, but one which mingles with colonizing desires and attachments creating potent images of the United States and all it represents disappearing over night. These delusions range from brutishly fast descents into social and economic chaos, drug addiction, race wars between Chamorros and Filipinos, as well as invasions by the Chinese Communists.
Earlier in her letter Furukawa tries to fix these fears, by stating that the decolonization of Guam, far from Davis’ contention that it is an anathema to United States coolness, is instead incredibly in line with it. According to her, “The issue of the decolonization of Guam speaks to the very American ideals of freedom and democracy. The people of Guam who were colonized remain free to choose their own path. Anyone who would deny the people this freedom is un-American to the core!”
HUGUA – the decolonial deadlock…
This overall resistance, reticence and opposition is what I refer to as the decolonial deadlock, which is the status of refusing to admit to a need for any status change, any form of transformative decolonization. Similar to Francis Fukuyama’s thesis on the “end of history” this deadlock is a status to end all statuses. It is form of existence which supposes itself as the last best possible configuration, thereby refusing to recognize any viable alternatives and thus thoroughly resisting any radical change from taking place.
We can find an inkling of this in the 1995 film Strange Days. Set in Los Angeles, days before the start of the 2000 millennium, it chronicles society on the verge of breakdown and collapse as a race war threatens to erupt following the death of an outspoken black rapper. As military and police roam the streets to maintain “order,” one of the characters watching the end of the world on TV, does some amateur philosophizing. He agrees with the overall apocalyptic mood, his reasoning being that, the stuff which would make history History is all gone.
"You know how I know it’s the end of the world? Cause everything’s already been done, you know. Every kind of music’s been tried, every government’s been tried, every f*cking hairstyle, f*cking bubble gum flavors, breakfast cereal, every type of f*cking. What are we gonna do? How are we gonna make another thousand years?"
Over a century of colonization in Guam, the United States has for the most part become understood as a similar end to all things. The limit against which no one, especially not the lowly Chamorro on Guam could question or surpass. As will be discussed later in this chapter, we find this limit and the defense of it, throughout everyday conversations in Guam. Within all attempts at decolonization, or acts of decolonization we find at some level a critique of the United States, its presence in Guam, which either requires or offers something different, something better. Policies and actions of the United States have dislocated Chamorros from their land and from the subsistence agricultural economy they thrived on for centuries. For those who seek to decolonize Guam by returning to the land and farming it, they are contesting the colonizing common sense that we find throughout the Pacific, where the smallness of the islands and lack of “resources” means economic and physical survival will always be based on the mental and material resources of those outside of the Pacific. They are in a sense, saying that the United States didn’t get it right, that in fact there is a better way of doing things here.
But within the decolonial deadlock, the hegemonic response is always a disdainful, rudely sarcastic disbelief. The most distilled version I’ve come across came when I was speaking before a group of Guam high school students about decolonization and my ideas for changing the make up of the Government of Guam. I was rebutted by a student with the following sentence, “What makes you think that you can do better than the United States?”
The you in that statement, is not just me, it is in reality that lowly Chamorro from Guam who stands in weak defiance against History’s end. The connection to the excerpt from Strange Days is clear, greater men and greater nations have tried everything already, especially governments, as Guam is nothing more than a “dot on the map” and the United States is the greatest country in the world, what can you offer against this megalith to create History? As contradiction is the engine of History, what could a Chamorro from Guam offer in competition with the United States, which could be considered an alternative, something understood as conflicting, contradicting? What does this Chamorro have that could be considered something the wheels and gears of interested would even consider turning for?
So in Guam, “this end of history” must mean also a “happy ending,” an understood interning and obvious deferring of any discussions of decolonization, any contestations of this prevailing common sense. But a troubling question persists, on whose behalf is this deadlocked ending “happy?”
As Guam is poised to receive 8,000 Marines and their families, public discussion of the increase persistently fixates on the incredible economic windfall that this increase might represent. Newspaper accounts feature people on the street who are just as energized to have the troops coming as the economy will be once they start spending all that combat pay! But then again, how much a public critique can there be, when the current Governor of Guam Felix Camacho, the most privileged voice in public texts, speaks of these incoming Marines as if he is a romance novel protagonist who has learned to love again? “We all now recognize the value and economic stability of greater military presence on Guam…We really want them here.”
Save for amongst critiques from maladjusted activists such as myself, there is no mention of how troop movement might adversely impact the civilians on Guam. In the media in Guam, there is little to no discussion about how this move will affect local property values, will affect the cost of living, will affect utilities infrastructure, will damage the environment both social and physical.
The few points of opposition to the increase of Marine Corps bodies that do appear, tend to take limp and paradoxically supportive forms. In a 2005 article from The Pacific Daily News titled “Marines Welcomed Warily,” one concern voiced by an “average” Chamorro is that Guam’s water, sewage and power infrastructure might not be able to support these 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents. But given the surrounding universe of positive statements that claim that the military increase itself will provide the money to fix Guam’s “crumbling” and “aging” infrastructure, doesn’t his critique unravel itself by its very form? After negotiations between Japan and the United States were finalized over the move and what percentage the Japanese Government would pay to move the troops of the United States from Okinawa, the Government of Guam announced that given that the total cost would be nearly $30 billion, it would request $1 billion in order to fix Guam’s infrastructure. The paradox meekly emerges because it seems that only the arrival of these Marines can fix the problem that prevents their arrival. The only way to fix Guam’s problem is to follow the lead of its business and political leaders and tap enthusiastically into the “era of unprecedented prosperity” these Marines will bring.
As United States military increases in Guam are not just accepted, but applauded and enthusiastically demanded by Chamorros there, and how in many ways the interests of Guam only become visible through the interests of the United States, we can answer that question I posed above. This happy ending seems to be made especially for the United States’.
It is in seeking a way out of this deadlock that this thesis is heavily invested in. To this end my thesis will attempt to do three things. 1. It will provide a critical discussion of this resistance to decolonization in Guam, providing an outline of its contemporary forms and the history that produces its conditions of (im)possibility. Within this deadlock we find its two most crucial structuring points, first, the positive, “what is good for America must be good for Guam,” and second, the negative, “decolonization is suicide,” or as will be discussed throughout this thesis, that the Chamorro is impossible.
2. In the second chapter I will explore the issues of Chamorro impossibility and the way it surfaces clearly around issues of government corruption in Guam working to prevent or preclude any discussions about Guam’s decolonization. 3. As will be set up in this chapter but dealt with more extensively in my third chapter, the acceptance of Chamorro impossibility and its exploration is not meant to simply deny Chamorros agency, but is more so a strategy of decolonization based on the political theories and notions of subjective destitution from the poorly manicured psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and his eager acolyte Slavoj Zizek. When confronted with Chamorro impossibility, and the various forms it takes, my choice of resistance is not a simple counter assertion of the existence Chamorro possibility, the most obvious avenue of agency. Rather, what this thesis seeks to do is occupy the position of impossibility for the Chamorro. Therefore against the nervous reproach that “decolonization is suicide,” my response is not that “decolonization is not suicide,” but that in the way that this act might represent the death of the Chamorro entangled in colonizing desires, Hunggan! Pinino’ maisa decolonization!
 Each word such as this which begins the different sections is simply a number in Chamorro. Hacha is one, Hugua is two and so on.
 Gene Park, “7,000 Marines, Pentagon announces shift to Guam,” The Pacific Daily News, 30 October 2005.
 Eric Talmadge, “Japan, US enter second day of military realignment talks in Tokyo,” OhmyNews International, 14 April 2006. UPI, “Japan, US, talks end without agreement,” 14 April 2006.
 AP, “US, Japan still working on relocation,” Taipei Times, 15 April 2006.
 The indigenous people of Guam are the Chamorros. The island was first colonized by Spain in the 17th century, with the establishment of a Catholic Mission. As a result of warfare and disease, more than 90% of Chamorros died within the next four decades. In 1898, Guam was taken by the United States as a spoil of the Spanish American War. The island would be run for the next forty years by a US military dictatorship. In 1941, the United States abandoned Guam to the Japanese Imperial Army, which held the island for more than two years, resulting in the death of more than six hundred Chamorros. Guam was retaken in 1944 after a massive bombing campaign by the US military destroying the island’s main villages. After six years of continued military rule, in response to protests both in Washington D.C. and in Guam about the island’s political status, an Organic Act was created for Guam in 1950, which gave Chamorros American citizenship and some protections under the US Constitution. To this day Guam continues to be an unincorporated territory, a colony of the United States.
 Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Theofanis Verinakis, The Consuming Sovereign: Global Nationalism and the Production of US Sovereignty in the Pacific, paper presented at the 4th Annual Crossing Borders Conference, University of Southern California, 4 March 2006.
 As of 2002 the United Nations lists 16 entities which are still colonies or non-self-governing territories: Western Sahara, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Montserrat, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, American Samoa, New Caledonia, Pitcarin, Tokelau and Guam. Non-Self-Governing Territories Listed by the General Assembly, http://www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/trust3.htm 2002.
 “Air Force Plans to Station Global Hawk Squadron on Guam,” Helicopter News, 3 May 2005.
 Clynt Ridgell, Submarine group commander pleased with local crew’s commitment to mission, KUAM, http://www.kuam.com/news/15495.aspx, 27 October 2005.
 (FIX) Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a global protest ensued against the establishment of permanent bases there by the United States. Soon after a smaller, regional outcry resounded against the possibility that the United States might seek to re-establish its military presence in the Philippines. No mention however was recorded globally against the fact that the United States was planning to dramatically increase its presence in Guam.
 Clint Ridgell, “What to do with 8,000 Marines?” KUAM, http://www.kuam.com/news/17674.aspx, 2 May 2006.
 The Colonized Chamoru Coalition, Message to the Guam Legislature Regarding Bill 265, Minagahet Zine, http://www.geocities.com/minagahet/bill265, (2:5), 20 April 2004.
 Michael Perez, “Colonialism, Americanization and Indigenous Identity: A Research Note on Chamorro Identity in Guam,” Sociological Spectrum, (25), 2005. Jan Furukawa, PDN article, fanodda’ poll ni’ kumuentos put este, Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Resisting the Activist Impulse: U.S. Hegemony and the Decolonization of Guam, Paper presented at the 2004 National Association of Ethnic Studies Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 Anonymous, Email to Author, 24 November 2003.
 Anne Perez Hattori, “Micronesia in Review: 1 July 2002 30 June 2003. Guam.” The Contemporary Pacific. (15:1, 2003), 160. I have attended meetings of the Commission on Decolonization, whose member include the Speaker of the Legislature, the Governor of Guam, island senators and mayors, as well as representatives from the community. I have never seen them get a quorum because elected officials fail to attend the meetings. According to one member of the commission, “We were having meetings for two or three years, and maybe one of them was an actual meeting when enough people showed up for quorum.” Rufo Lujan, interview with author. Guam Commission on Decolonization, Aniguak, Guam. 18 June 2004. Jose Ulloa Garrido, interview with author, Office of the Commission on Decolonization, Aniguak, Guam. 18 June 2004.
 In Native Hawaiian “haole refers to any person who is not Native Hawaiian, for those on Guam it simply means “white person.”
 AP, “Hawaiian Programs Challenged,” Pacific Daily News, 6 March 2002, 13. Rice V. Cayetano was a landmark case in Hawai’i where a white settler, Rice contested the existence of Hawaiian only elections for Hawaiian programs. He won his case, which has put into jeopardy similar programs that exist in Guam and in the United States. Yasmin Anwar, “OHA case draws talk of blood quantum,” The Honolulu Advertiser, 2 November 1999. Helen Altonn and Christine Donnelly, “Top Court Backs Rice in OHA vote Challenge,” Honolulu Star Bulletin, 23 February 2000., J.K. Kauanui, “The Politics of Blood and Sovereignty in Rice V. Cayetano,” PoLAR, (25:1), 110-128.
 Dave Davis, “Stop whining, exercise responsible citizenship,’ The Pacific Daily News, 30 April 2002, 19. Dave Davis, “Guam’s Underclass,” Marianas Variety, 12 January 2006.
 Davis, “Stop Whining…”
 Maga’lahi: Chief, highest officer within an organization, the Governor of Guam, or the oldest brother of the Maga’haga or the female leader of a clan.
 See Chapter Four, Michael Lujan Bevacqua, These May or May Not Be Americans: The Patriotic Myth and Hijacking of Chamorro History on Guam, (M.A. Thesis, University of Guam, 2004).
 Ed Benavente, Interview with Author, Guinahan Chamoru, Mangilao, Guam, 21 May 2002.
 Ed Benavente, Interview with author. I gima’-na. Mangilao, Guam, 28 May 2004.
 Jan Furukawa, “Educate Public About Decolonization Issue,” The Pacific Daily News, 15 October 2003.
 The next chapter will discuss this more.
 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, (New York, Free Press, 1992).
 My use of “decolonial deadlock” is inspired by Slavoj Zizek’s use of “liberal deadlock.” Slavoj Zizek, Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle, (London, Verso, 2004). While obviously Guam as a modern political entity is mired in the same liberal deadlocks as other regions, I resist the subsuming of any decolonial deadlock as just another effect of a larger global liberal deadlock (which similarly resists any radical or fundamental change). At least one reason being that such a subsuming doesn’t capture the spectrally indistinct status of Guam today. A distantly imagined appendage to the United States empire as well as deprived of any autonomous national identity (which would make it a member of a global community), Guam and places similar to it cannot be accounted for as merely suffering from liberal deadlocks. Their strategic importance and the strategic importance of their naturalized banality and spectrality requires that some other critique be formed.
 Strange Days, dir. Kathryn Bigelow
 Chatterjee, The Nation and its Fragments, (the division between the political and the spiritual and how the political is always the realm of the colonizer)
 Epeli Hou’fa, “Our Sea of Islands,” A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, (Suva, Fiji, University of South Pacific, 1993).
 Arundhati Roy has said that the “American way of life is simply not sustainable,” and I find this particularly true on Guam, where the American way of life means not just crass capitalist exploitation but also unfettered militarization. Arundhati Roy, “Not Again,” The Guardian, 27 September 2002.
 Fulanu, personal communication, John F. Kennedy High School, Tamuning Guam, 1 May 2003. Fulanu is the Chamorro term for “anonymous male,” Fulana the term for “anonymous female.” Throughout the thesis these terms will be used to designate people I interviewed who wished to remain anonymous, following the interview. The topic of decolonization is still considered taboo for many Chamorros, as are conversations with are even slightly critical of the United States. In a number of instances, interview subjects had initially enthusiastically agreed to an interview, but afterwards felt that they didn’t want their name to be associated with discussions of Guam’s decolonization. The majority of the interviews which are used in this thesis were conducted for my previous master’s thesis in Micronesia Studies at the University of Guam. I made arrangements with my committee there to use the Fulanu and Fulana form, and have continued it into this thesis.
 Louis Althusser, “Contradiction and Overdetermination,” For Marx, (London, Verso, 2005), 87-128.
 Fukuyama, 18. (the museum of history)
 Slavoj Zizek, The Ticklish Subject, section on Super Ego and DEBI DI UN GOSA
 Anderson, “Marines Welcomed Warily.”
 Peter Pae, “Guam Put Out Welcome Mat for U.S. Military,” The Los Angeles Times, 8 August 2004.
 One of the few public, media recorded voices of discontent was from Guam Senator Judi Won Pat, “"I think everybody is ranting and raving about the economic gains and we talk about infrastructure and lands and rentals and all that…however, I think we've forgotten one very important aspect and that is the social impact to women and children." Her and another female Senator Joanne Salas Brown announced plans for a public women’s meeting to take place to discuss these impacts. Ridgell, “What to do with 8,000 Marines?” The news coverage of this meeting however took an interesting spin, in that it focused on the Marines who weren’t allowed to attend the women’s meeting. Therefore, an article which could have discussed the content of the meeting instead became an article on how these Marines were denied their right to free speech in defending the United States Marine Corps against malicious accusations of the social havoc they wreaked in Okinawa. This structuring of the article allowed, the Marines interested in defending the Marine Corps to make insane assertions (such as “what rapes in Okinawa?”) which would nonetheless be taken as fact since they were positioned as the “victim” in this article. Ridgell, “Semper Fi; former Marines defend Marine Corps at women’s meeting,”
 Tammy Anderson, “Marines Welcomed Warily,” The Pacific Daily News, 31 October 2005.
 Dionesis Tamondong, “Marines’ move hangs on talks” The Pacific Daily News, 5 March 2006.
 Tammy Anderson, “The Marines are coming,” The Pacific Daily News, 25 April 2006. Steve Limtiaco, “Working out the logistics,” The Pacific Daily News, 28 April 2006.
 Michael Lujan Bevacqua, The Scene of Liberation, 14th Biennial Asian Pacific American Student Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, 17 February 2006.
 Governor of Guam Felix Camacho, Weekly Radio Address to the People of Guam, 23 May 2006.
 Translation: Yes, decolonization is suicide!