Organizing Notes

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....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Militarization of Jeju Island


I made it home at 2:00 am this morning after the very long journey from Narita airport in Japan.  The flight from Narita (on my 2nd try) was two hours late getting off the ground so I missed my connecting flight from San Francisco to Boston.  Luckily I found a seat on another Boston flight and got to the gate just as they were boarding the plane.  Needless to say I am worn out.

Since getting home I heard that the Korean Air Force flight demonstration team made a second run at Gangjeong village yesterday.  It appears that those flights were part of the so-called "Jeju Sky Love Festival" under way on Jeju Island.  Taking a look at the poster above it is obvious that the US-South Korean government have bigger plans for the militarization of the island.

In addition to the Navy base now well underway in Gangjeong village there has also been an aerospace museum set up on Jeju that is mind-washing thousands of Korean tourists each year in the joys of war planes and military rockets.  This process is a key part of developing the political consciousness of the people so they will support massive expenditures for military and space weapons technology in the coming years. (This will of course mean further cutbacks in social spending.)

Many of the activists now fighting against the Navy base in Gangjeong village are convinced, and this poster above gives credence to their claims, that there are plans to build an Air Force base on Jeju at a former Japanese imperial air field that remains otherwise undisturbed.  You can imagine that the US Navy admirals that will be docking their nuclear aircraft carriers, submarines, and Aegis destroyers in Gangjeong village are going to want an airfield nearby so they can fly in and out of Jeju at their pleasure.

They will of course make the case that an Air Force base will be needed to provide air cover for the naval warships that will be ported in Gangjeong village.  The public will be told that the government must ensure that the Navy base be protected - after all that money has been spent building the base it must be guarded by an active nearby airfield!  It would be irresponsible not to do so South Korean military leaders will claim.

Then of course the Air Base will need to be guarded from the possibility of a Chinese land invasion of Jeju Island so an additional post for Army and/or Marines will also be necessary.  Again it would be irresponsible not to provide such needed 'protection of the otherwise vulnerable island installations'.

But as the poster clearly reveals, the public need not worry about any of this, having Jeju Island militarized will be fun, exciting, entertaining, and of course patriotic.  Don't worry about pollution from the military, becoming a prime military target, bars, tattoo parlors or whore houses.  That only happens in other places - that could never happen on the friendly tourist mecca of Jeju Island.

Sadly for Jeju it sits at the strategic door way of the Yellow Sea shipping lanes that China uses to import 80% of its resources. Forget that Jeju has been named "The Island of Peace".  Sacrifices must be made in order to appease the imperial war making plans of the United States and their corporate sponsors.

So the resistance to the militarization of Jeju Island must and will go on.  Some activists on the island have figured out what is coming next while others have yet to realize that more militarism is on the way.  There is much work to be done as the US moves toward 'Full Spectrum Dominance' in the Asia-Pacific.

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