Friday, March 27, 2009

Common Dreams

The website Common Dreams is a great resource for people wanting to know what's going on in the United States and the world from a progressive perspective.

When I moved to the states in 2003 to start graduate school, I made Common Dreams my homepage, so that every morning when I got up I could see what was happening in or happening to the progressive world. I admit, I enjoyed having my vision broadened, but like anyone from a small, disrespected and ignored community, who nonetheless thinks that their little spot in the world is the best in the world, I was irritated at how little attention Guam received on the site. A couple years back I searched for Guam mentions or Guam pieces on the site, and didn't find much. But this is the both the story our lives and in particular the story of my dissertation.

Although Guam is a site where American militarism and colonialism co-habitate in perfect harmony, this doesn't seem to mean much to most peace groups or anti-war groups out there. Although they might decry the greedy fingers of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld reaching out to take ownership over "someone else's" nation or sovereignty, Guam is either entirely unknown to them, or does belong to the US. On Common Dreams, when I did a search a few years ago, I found no articles that dealt with Guam from this perspective, but only from Guam as a site for potential outbreaks of SARS, Mad Cow Disease and the Avian Bird Flu!

Thankfully all of this is changing. I came across this comment on Common Dreams recently left by another Guam blogger Drea:

Japan wants to decrease the presence of the U.S. military in Okinawa. There have been protest against the U.S. military by the locals. Why else would they pay to move another nation's military?

The real question is why, knowing this, is the government and people of Guam allowing it to happen? Truth is we have no choice. We live by their constitution, but can't even vote for president. Our congresswoman can't vote. We are pretty much at their mercy. And all of this is happening in today's world on supposedly U.S. soil. Our economy has become almost completely dependent on the military. Tourism will surely drop when all these marines and their dependents arrive and shortly we will be completely dependent on the military. And the families who've lived here for generations upon generations will become the minority and will be unable to compete for housing and jobs. We will be homeless in our own homeland. We will basically serve the military to survive. Our sons and daughters will join the military to provide for their families. This is what the people of Guam have to look forward to.

The comment was attached to an article from January 2009 titled "US Plans for Military Base Leave Guam Wary." I represents an important shift in the level at which Guam has been dealt with in Common Dreams article, and how since 2005 and the announcement of the transfer of several thousands Marines and their families form Okinawa to Guam, more and more progressive groups, especially those dealing with war, peace and militarism are forced to give Guam more presence.

Here's some of the coverage that Guam has received recently on Common Dreams. Some of these issues, receive or have received little to no coverage on Guam and so its always interesting when this sort of disconnect happens and someone who has only read a single article on Guam, might actually be better informed than someone who lives there. Another note, Sabina Perez, a good friend in Famoksaiyan and from other struggles was fortunate to have a piece that she wrote with several other women from the group Women for Genuine Security republished on the site.

Air Force Wiping Out Rare Wildlife Of Guam, March 5, 2009
Rampant Poaching, Beach Paving and Human Intrusion Ruins Island Habitat

Resisting the Empire, March 20, 2008
by Joseph Gerson

Gender and US Bases in Asia-Pacific, March 14, 2008
by Ellen-Rae Cachola, Lizelle Festejo, Annie Fukushima, Gwyn Kirk, and Sabina Perez

A New Network Forms to Close U.S. Overseas Military Bases, March 12, 2007
by Medea Benjamin

Cornering the Dragon, February 23, 2005
by Conn Hallinan

1 comment:

Drea said...

I commented on another forum recently and one of the viewers asked me if I'd write something about Guam for his blog. I'm glad Guam is getting more notice around the world.

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