I head to Washington DC in the morning for three days of meetings about the Obama "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific.
The meetings will assemble a couple dozen key activists from around the country to create an on-going strategy to bring greater peace movement activity around this important issue. At this point there is not yet enough understanding and organizing going on around the surge of 60% of US military forces into the region in order to control China and Russia.
Congress and the military industrial complex are certainly far ahead of us. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the
Seapower Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee stated just yesterday:
"Although it is often said, it is worth
repeating: U.S. policy towards the Asia-Pacific remains a truly bipartisan
effort. I understand there are a variety of perspectives on the region and the
long-term security role our Nation should play there. I can say with confidence
there is a broad consensus at a strategic level to continue the now
seven-decade old project to maintain a stable balance of power in the region.
What this series [hearings, closed briefings, and other committee
engagements] will explore are some of the operational and tactical-level
questions that concern our future posture in the region. What shape should our
naval posture and presence look like? What role will the Army and Marine Corps
play? How should our allies contribute and what are the limitations to
cooperation? I look forward to exploring these questions and more as we begin
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), from the same congressional committee, said:
“The Obama administration has recognized that
strategically, economically, and diplomatically, the Asia-Pacific region will
provide our greatest challenges [China & Russia] and opportunities [more money for military industrial complex] going forward. It is time for
Congress to devote more of our resources and energy to providing leadership in
this arena. All of us, particularly those on the Armed Services Committees,
have a responsibility to consider the long-term demands on our military power.
This series aims to enhance the understanding of Asia-Pacific Security issues
for both our colleagues in Congress and the general public.”
I am happy to say that the recently produced documentary The Ghosts of Jeju
is one of the first contemporary films to bring this issue of the pivot, and the use of military space technology to direct all Pentagon operations, to the peace movement and public at large. Using the Jeju Island Navy base story as a baseline, the film by Regis Tremblay gives a clear view to how the pivot is impacting our hopes for peace and the human and ecological consequences of expanded US militarism throughout the Asia-Pacific. This film should be viewed by all peace groups across the US and beyond. Find more information about the documentary here