Monday, February 18, 2008

Guam: Where America's Empire Begins

Michael posts this about Guam's place as the "tip of the spear" in the Pacific and the effect it has on the effect it has on the people. For a taste:

From the perspective of the DoD, Guam appears to be an ideal example of a patriotic, militarized society. Despite the fact that (a) 30% of the island’s 210 square miles are covered by Navy and Air Force bases, (b) the entire island has been severely contaminated by military dumping and use, and (c) federal policies have kept the island economically dependent to keep it from seeking independence, most on Guam don’t consider the U.S. to be a malevolent, militaristic colonizer, but rather a benevolent liberator. The most common reason for this is the U.S. role in expelling the Japanese who brutally occupied the island for 32 months during World War II.

On the surface, the Chamorros and other residents of Guam seem to overwhelmingly support the U.S. military and its missions. This is manifest most prominently through “Liberation Day,” the island’s largest annual celebration that brings together massive parades, parties, carnivals and beauty pageants every July 21 in celebration of the U.S. return to Guam in 1944.

To the Pentagon, Guam appears to be an oasis in a world where the tide of sentiment against U.S. bases is rising. In contrast to populations in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Iraq, who have protested U.S. presence on their lands, Guam appears to understand the role of the U.S. military in the world today. Hence, rather than resist the militarization of their lives or challenge the role of Guam as “the tip of the spear” of the U.S. war machine, the island seems to enthusiastically welcome military presence and actively participate in it.

It's a fantastic essay. Click here for the whole thing.

Of the blogs I presently read, Michael's is easily the best. I blogroll him for a reason. You should really check his blog out.

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