Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bice on the Buildup

I was searching around Youtube last night, looking for videos and music to keep me company while I was cleaning up my room and working on an article I intend to submit to the journal The Ethnic Studies Review. Gi i umaliligao-hu, I found these videos of General Bice speaking on KUAM News Extra speaking about the proposed military build up to the island. Its important whenever you read or listen to i fino' i militat, through speakers such as Bice, to not simply believe what they are saying, but to connect what they say to the history of the island (and not just the "liberation" of the island in 1944), namely the treatment of Chamorros by the United States military, and thus pay very close attention to what the military is not saying or intentionally being vague and coy about.

For instance while the military is always more than willing to throw around figures like $15 billion, they are very hesitant and unwilling to tell us what exactly that number is supposed to mean, and how it will be divided up. There is more than ample evidence that this gigantic sum of money will not be used locally, but will either be under the control of the Japanese Government or simply be doled out to American contractors and firms. However, whenever I have heard representatives of the military (and I include Madeleine in this group) being addressed precisely this question, of how much, the answer is always the same, there's plenty of time, things haven't been decided yet. It is a shocking disconnect, that when it comes to selling off the island and welcoming any outside business to come and plunder the island, we cannot waste anytime, everything must be done now! The evidence of this is of course the numerous real estate and business forums which are being held on Guam and elsewhere, to exhibit for these sorts of vultures and carpetbaggers the beauty of our island, which is innocently and defensivelessly waiting to be taken advantage of. When it comes to wanting to know more, making demands of the military, and asking them to simply be up front about their plans, or as Senator Ben Pangelinan put it, when we seek to simply trust, but verify, we are told to be patient to wait, things haven't been decided yet, things are still being worked out.

But above all of this, that $15 billion dollars looms over the island, and those who believe and want more military, suggest very forcefully, patriotically, and rather ignorantly that this looming number is the answer to all of our island's problems, another liberation that the island desperately needs. But just as with the previous "liberation" of our island, it brings solutions, it solves problems, but also destroys so many things. There is no liberation when the liberators intend to stay, and destroy a culture, a language and a way of life, and seize almost an entire island to do this. Around the world, so many others know this, but sadly few Chamorros recognize this hypocrisy.

Needless to say, when I saw these videoes on Youtube, I was distressed that, despite being posted on the site since February, none of them have been viewed more than 100 times! If you care about Guam, whether you live there or not, but if you call the island home, and worry over its future, then inform yourself about its future, and become active in shaping it!

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