Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....
- Name: Bruce K. Gagnon
- Location: Bath, Maine, United States
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Latest word from Jeju Island is that several small buildings have already been constructed and yesterday a big rock breaking machine was spotted along the coastline busting up the big boulders into smaller pieces. People confronted the machine operator and got him to stop temporarily. The base is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
The other news from Jeju is that plans have been announced to build a $100 million "Aerospace Museum" on the island by 2013. Local media reported the facility would include, "Pilot training simulators, entertainment facilities, training centers and a three-dimensional cinema and planetarium are to be built to attract the younger generation. A history museum focusing on Korean space studies and the Air Force will appeal to other age groups."
I'd bet my life that this "museum" is not just a coincidence. My guess it is being built to act as a cover, or a way to sell, what will be going on at the Navy base. We know from artist renderings of the Navy base that aircraft carriers and Aegis destroyers, loaded with "missile defense" systems, will be ported at the base. So that means airplanes will likely often be flying overhead. It is also possible that ground-based versions of the "missile defense" systems like the Patriot (PAC-3) might be deployed on the base to "defend" it from attack.
So the museum is being built to sell the coming militarism to the future generations on Jeju Island. This means that they are planning on this base being there for some time and that it will be having a major "aerospace" role in U.S. and South Korean military operations.
The next thing to watch for will be major announcements of aerospace corporations building production facilities on Jeju. They will make the case that they will produce "good jobs" providing services to the Navy base. Jeju Island has been chosen to be militarized for two essential reasons. First because of its strategic location and secondly because it is an island and is difficult for protesting peace activists to get to.
I'm afraid the "Island of Peace" is being turned into the "Aerospace War Island".
Extra: My recent radio interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott is now up on her web site for easy listening. You can find it here