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Islanders Unite to Resist a New Pacifc War


#1

Islanders Unite to Resist a New Pacifc War

Koohan Paik

Last September, I attended a remarkable gathering in Okinawa of
impassioned young people from all over the Asia-Pacific. They convened
at a critical moment to urgently discuss ramped-up militarism in their
region. Thousands of hectares of exquisitely wild marine environments,
peaceful communities and local democracy are now under extreme threat.
Participants hailed from: Taiwan; Jeju (South Korea); the Japanese
Ryukyu islands; Indonesia; New Zealand; and the Japanese Ogasawara
islands. I was invited to represent Hawaii, where the headquarters for
the U.S. Pacific Command (PACCOM) are located, and where decisions are
made that have profound consequences for these young activists, and the
rest of the world. These include missile base-building on pristine
islands, rampant navy war games that destroy coastlines, reefs and other
vital ecosystems, not to mention adding to climate change, pursued with
no regard for local opinion.


#2

We have Warongers pushing us to WW3 on a number of different fronts. What is going on in Syria now is a perfect example.


#3

Love the picture. It is worth a 1000 words. A goose and her goslings headed to who knows where. Have we not better uses for our resources? Paging Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler...


#5

Graham lies when he says the Syrian people do not support Assad. Polls show that the majority of Syrians do in fact support Assad. His premise is wrong. We live in a very sick country, a country ruled by powerful yet incompetent people such as Graham.


#6

Syria is off topic here but here's the link showing that Graham's premise is wrong: Most Syrians back President Assad – but you'd never know from western media: Jonathan Steele http://gu.com/p/34n2n/stw
You can find the article at The Guardian website.


#8

How is it that there is no mention of China's expansionist moves bullying her way into control of the South China Sea? No real discussion of the countries whose shores are on the SC Sea and how they feel about China's creating a supposed territorial claim by constructing islands to be used as military bases! This article blames the USA clearly enough and seems to be saying that the Japanese have no say about changing their constitution but have done so because of American influence.

However there is no mention of China's role and barely any mention of China's building the islands nor that it has been going on for some time. China ignores the continuing protests of the other South China Sea nations and fails to mention that China had no prior claim to the reefs nor the Spratly Islands (although Taiwan had a disputed claim historically.) A look at the map shows just how far from the mainland these new islands are and how close they are to the Philippines and Vietnam and Indonesia.

Why is China not being criticized as expansionist and aggressive and the other nations viewpoints completely ignored by the author. An overtly pro-China aggressiveness bias is being shown. Chinese militarist expansion (China is constructing military facilities - an air and naval base - that will give her control of a most vital international waterway yet the author acts like the USA is the aggressor behind the scenes. Where are the viewpoints of Vietnam, the Philippines and other SC Sea nations? They is little mention concerning their opposition to China's militarist expansion and the building of military facilities.

I do not understand why this pro Chinese perspective about China's overt military expansion is being presented as an anti war piece. There is no analysis of the China's moves to create a military base that effectively claims the South China Sea as Chinese territorial waters. I would think a anti American bias is evident but perhaps mention should also be made that the instigator of these tensions and resulting militarism in the area has been China.

"It is no coincidence" that Japan's move to change her constitution coincides with China's construction of a military base in the same South China Sea that is so critical to Japan's economy. Why is China's militarism not criticized as starting tensions but America is blamed long after they started? Note should be made that containment is illusory (we still have bases in Britain for example) but China's imperialism and expanding military forces in a strategic economic corridor are not. This is real world aggressive domination by the Chinese that is opposed by the neighboring countries.


#9

I don't defend China's current militarism, but tell me, if you were faced with a rabid nation sworn to contain you, while building a military industrial complex that was several times the strength of the combined militaries of the world, wouldn't that be an incentive to build up a strong defense?
* We've already seen what the US Fourth Reich does to any weaker nation whose territory or resources is coveted by it. Between military force and economic starvation, those nations are essentially destroyed. If their people fight back, they are droned and killed as terrorists.
* The Reich gives billions of dollars in weapons and gifts to any regime that will work in concert with it to stamp out dissent.
* I was just thinking about what General Patton advocated at the end of WW-II, shortly before he was killed. He wanted to rearm the Wehrmacht, supply it, and send it against Russia.
* General Smedley Butler said, "War is a racket," and that is true, But for the Fourth Reich, it is a bloody, bloody, bloody racket.
* Any nation with the power and resources to defend itself from the Reich's wet dream of Full Spectrum Domination should do so.
;-})


#10

So what is your point? All I am doing is applying the same standard towards both America and China. China is the expansionist power here are they not? Serious big time expansionist although not in land area but in acquiring territorial strategic control just the same.

Why is China being excused this militarist imperialism? Containment is a fiction and is a left over economic policy in many ways. We maintain influence more than we contain anyone. What is contained by the way? Post WW2 the word had meaning but 70 years later how do we contain? That is why I mentioned our bases in England. We have bases in a lot of places. Containment doesn't contain anybody with cruise missiles and ICBMs.

In any case why is China pushing around the Philippines, Viet Nam, Indonesia etc. okay? China is creating a claim to dominant economic/military control of that very important waterway. If it were the USA doing this, people would be screaming bloody murder. They should be doing that about China doing it too.

By the way, this is not an easy situation to resolve whereas the Ukraine and even Syria can be resolved with peace agreements. Not this one. It looks like trouble to me. No way to put this genie back in the bottle.


#12

I am continually amazed by the hollowness of the epidemic fumes of "development" with which the modern world is infected. As addictive ideation it is literally based on the hollowing out or destruction of any and everything that does not serve to create plaque as exoskeleton for its demonstrably dysfunctional psychotic 'metrics'.
Cause and effect are constantly inverted and perverted so that naught but final production of fecal heaps is claimed as the price for anything benign to serve the bases of life, which is of course a blatant delusion as the cumulative consequences attest.
Like a fever resulting in violent hallucinations, PR is emblematic of the hollow metrics of statistics. Stress, now an engine of corporate government, results in the release of deadly chemistry of flawed rationalizations. And like a brain incapacitated by that chemistry, it is not even capable of recognizing that it is incapacitated, much less doing anything about it. Fracking and presidential kill lists are prime examples - but the disease, so widespread, comes full circle in the hollowness of the basic premises of what is blithely dragged around with the genocidal label rattling around in it reading "capitalism".

The feedback loops are intensifying and we are well into a virtual birth canal of the next iteration of entire spectrums of alternative paradigmatic concepts of life. Each time that I look at the dominant model, I see the 'exceptional' exceptions of its death rattles. It has adopted all of the intoxicating toys of neoteny - permanent infantilization - characterized by peter pan but with nuclear weapons and a profile of clinical psychosis.

All that has been denaturalized, dehumanized, marginalized, claimed to be of no value, these are the living treasures.


#13

This is little more than mindless ranting and pointless. Yeah okay you hate the USA. Big deal. It isn't even reasoned just spewing an anti-USA rant. You may care to justify China's expansion into the South China Sea by force and dismiss the citizens of the Phillipines as if they, the vietnamese and the Malaysians etc. are insignificant but they are the ones who see China bullying her way into dominance where she has not had a prior territorial claim. This author can't read a map it seems. Saying the reefs are off the SECoast of China and not mentioning the far closer proximity to the smaller countries who have long had prior claims to these islands that are far closer to them is hypocritical.

Chinese merchant marine? What are you talking about. Do you mean ordinary merchant vessels? To you this means they have a claim becuse they travel to other countries? This is babble. Look at a map and remember that there is prior international law which says underwater reefs are not territorial waters (12 mile limit etc). China simply created islands and then said we have a 12 mile limit. There were no islands before this. Moreover it gives China complete dominance of the sea corridor. You ignore every other countries concerns or their prior claims if not their close proximity.

This mindless hate for the USA is hypocritical and excuses the overt militarism from China. I am astounded that China who is clearly the aggressor here and is trampling over the rights of smaller countries is being excused this imperial reach and the use of force.

I see no point in further contesting poorly reasoned rants. This author should apply the same anti-militarist standard to both countries.


#14

Many people could talk about this and that about the South China Sea because they know very little about it. If there were no islands there, then how is it that Vietnamese school texts during the 1970s said that the Xisha and Nansha (and yes, the Vietnamese also called those group of islands by those centuries-old names) belonged to China? As recently as a year or so ago, Vietnam did admit this, but said that they'd no choice as they needed Chinese help to fight the Americans during what they called the "American War." And how is it, at the end of WW2, the Japanese government officially returned the islands to the Republic of China (which since then had fled to Taiwan after their defeat in the Civil War) at one of those islands? It should not be difficult to find 1960/early 1970s copies of the magazine "China Pictorial" which were published in several languages and see the ecological surveys undertaken by the PRC during that time, without any protests by any of the littoral governments. Some people complain of the nine-dotted lines that were on Chinese maps around the late 1940s: the interesting question is why no country has maps that claimed those islands until very recently (and let no imposter say they'd been at this or that southeast Asian nation, etc. I was born there and had lived there for over 4 decades).

Some people derided the "old" maps (which as I pointed above aren't so old) and so on, some of which were actually preserved by Guangdong fishermen, many of whom today still possess diaries and other artifacts showing their occupation of those islands.

Does that mean the other nations have no case at all regarding those islands? No. Vietnam especially has a strong case to nearby islands as they - as part of China thousands of years before the French tore the state away - had been to those islands too (the former name of northern Vietnam was Annam or "Peaceful South" and not "Pacified South" as Western propaganda would have it. The Vietnamese used the same Chinese script until the French romanized it for obvious reasons. "Ho Chi-Min" was written and pronounced in the Chinese way).

Another nation having strong claims is the Phillipines, again on the basis that their fishermen too had used those islands. Many who ventured more than a hundred miles or so were Chinese and many became Filipinos when they fought against Spain for independence (Jose Rizal, the "Father of modern Philippines" was from the Lim family at Xiamen ("called "Amoy" during that time), Fujian. The first President of the Philippines had struggled against Spain, returned to China, and was ferried back to the Philippines by the Americans to help fight against Spain. Unfortunately, this guy, Aguinaldo, later found that the Yankees had no intention of allowing the locals independence, so he started a guerrilla war and millions of Filipinos were killed/wounded.

In addition, other littoral nations too have their claims, and I do think ALL states have the right to use proximity as a reason. The idea that the first people who visited or used the islands first have the best claim may work for the West, but Asians - all victims of some of the worst murders and carnage committed against them by the West - must modify that right.

Actually, that is why China is talking and not warring against those states. And why contrary to the Western media, both China and Vietnam had agreed to settle their claims peacefully (just recently the Vietnamese president talked about a "special relationship" with China). And according to a Taiwanese report, Philippines Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said that "they (the Chinese) have been there for a long time and they are guarding what they think is their interest in the South China Sea. No expansion is happening. They are just pursuing their interest," he added.

Hope nothing would happen to the Rear Admiral because of this quote.

I don't want to mention about the Falklands War in which Margaret Thatcher threatened to use the atomic bomb against Argentina, or the "relocation" of the entire native populations of Diego Garcia. Peace is more important than throwing mud at this or that nation.


#15

According to you China has a claim to Vietnam too. No mention that the issue isn't even the Spraty Islands (or Taiwan's supposed claim) but to underwater reefs and artificial islands which are being constructed for military reasons and by force, as the smaller nations cannot match China's power. It is imperialism and in violation of international law and in conflict with the neighboring nation's territorial claims and far closer proximity.

You support China's expansionism...okay ... got it. Um are the Philippines still Spain's because the name and all is Spanish?


#16

Does China have a claim to Vietnam? Yes, it does! But do the Vietnamese want that? I don't think so, but if one day that's their wish, it's ok too (just like Crimea going back to Russia IF that's their wish).

Decades, ago, an Indian admiral, Vaidya, I think, said: "If india cannot control the world's oceans, it must at least control the India Ocean." That said by someone who knew that many countries shared the Indian Ocean. Luckily, the Chinese never claimed the entire Pacific, though Douglas MacArthur said, just after WW2, that "the Pacific Ocean is now an Anglo-Saxon lake." Now, that's ex ..ex.. what's that - expansionist?

But I digress. As far as artificial islands are concerned, no, not all the islands are artificial - that's the point of my comments. And no, it's not imperialism nor expansionism if a nation has been there, and had occupied the islands earlier. BUT as I said, proximity should be considered as well. It IS expansionism, however, if there are local people already there (think the kingdom of Hawaii, or Diego Garcia), and if the Chinese really have no claim at all (unlike claims that could be disputed by other nations). As I said, other nations can - and should - bring forward claims on the basis of proximity. Again, as the Filipino Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said: "They (the Chinese) have been there for a long time and they are guarding what they think is their interest in the South China Sea. No expansion is happening. They are just pursuing their interest," he added.

The Filipinos and the Vietnamese are certainly not afraid to tangle with China, as alleged by a propagandistic article here some time ago. Why should they, when the valiant Filipinos sacrificed millions of lives hurling themselves against the strongest power in the world during the late 19th century, and more recently, about 4 million Vietnamese also perished fighting against the strongest power in the world? Fear? Nothing of the sort. And given time, these nations would be able to solve their problems.


#17

As I said in an earlier post, in this instance I applaud the US Navy. China is no more and no less than an imperialist power, with Mussolini-style daydreams about returning to its former feudalistic imperial glory. China was beating up Vietnamese and Tibetans and no doubt others long before white man spoke with forked tongue on the eastern seaboard of the Americas. Never forget that China supported Pol Pot's guerrillas, funnily enough as did the USA, once the Vietnamese had cleared that particular genocidal filth out of Cambodia.

China may have all the rights of avoiding being overrun by others, but others also have exactly the same rights.

And just because China had a merchant marine in the 1400s; well, it means about as much today as did Sir Francis Drake's claim of California for the British.

China's illegal imperialistic seizure of the Spratly Islands can be claimed by the Chinese to give them a circle of control of 350 nautical miles around each island. If we had 'em, this Brit would send a gunboat.


#18

China lost its claim to Vietnam in 939AD, if ever it had one. As reinforced by the Vietnamese in 1978 and in the preceding centuries.


#19

What are you talking about? You are all over the place and your facts are wrong.Once again the issue are the artificial islands which were underwater reefs not dry land until China dredged up coral and sand to build them up. You talk your opinion as if that was based in international law. So China has a claim to Vietnam does it? The Crimea suffered deportation of the Crimean Tartars to Siberia and repopulation by Russians. Similarly China is expropriating Tibet based not on the rights of the indigenous citizens who have both an ethnic cultural distinction as well as a different language. Plus they have thousands of years of occupancy yet Imperialistic China has literally conquered the land and tells the world that it is theirs. Yet the Tibetans say no and have suffered depopulation and tens of thousands murdered.

You want to excuse one crime in the present by crimes committed in the past? Try to get straight and focus on the reality. China is the aggressor here and the Malaysians, Vietnamese and the Philippines (you can claim some General said Tinker Bell gave China the okay or whatever but try citing a published quote that can be checked by others or spare us this silliness) have little choice in this matter. You seem to think that they could simply invade China if they minded China's aggression. Yeah sure.

There were no islands there and no people. That is a different issue. These were underwater reefs only. You are trying to justify Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

In case you are having a hard time with this... by what legal framework does China have a claim to Vietnam? What international law? You have heard of international law right?


#20

China moved into Vietnam into 232BC and was kicked out in 939AD. The Chinese attempted repeated invasions during the European mediaeval period, if I recall correctly in the 1700s, and lastly in 1978, receiving a bloody nose each time, after which events the Vietnamese, being pragmatic, acknowledged China as big brother and apologised for defeating them once again, but certainly insisted on maintaining total independent sovereignty.

As for the Falklands, the British physically occupied these islands in the 1840s, before Argentina was a country, and even though Spain may have claimed them, that claim is as valid as is Sir Francis Drake's claim to California on behalf of the British Crown. I rather think Thatcher was talking nuclear tipped torpedoes against the Belgrano rather than dropping nuclear bombs on Argentina..

Yes: peace is essential. But.........


#21

Nonsense. Vietnam was part of China and was called Annam (Peaceful South ) till the French carved it out and during that period the Vietnamese appealed the Ching court for help. Though the Ching did help and actually defeated the French in the first battle, they gave up when the French tried again. Many Annamese criticised the Qing officials and called them traitors to the Han people ("Hon Yuan") which the Annamese considered themselves to be and they were right: "Viet" in Cantonese is pronounced "Yiet" and in Mandarin "Yue." The Yue (Viet) people were part of China since the Spring and Autumn period. The most famous Chinese beauty, Xi-Shi, was a Yue, which was why when mainland China presented a movie of Xi-shi many papers in Vietnam claimed her as their own. "Yue Nan" or Vietnam means Southern Yue, which means there is a Northern Yue. So, other than Vietnam, Yue people are found throughout eastern China, from Guangdong to Shanghai, just like the Wu people. Most people in Eastern China have both Yue and Wu blood, in addition to other mixtures. Yue language still survives in Vietnam AND Guangdong, known to the world as Cantonese. Cantonese opera is also known as Yue Opera. It is my mother tongue. As for the 1978 skirmish, anyone can read the ACTUAL reports from old papers and periodicals, before the Western media put their spin on it. Deng talked about teaching Vietnam a lesson and then promised to withdraw after the ceasefire which Vietnam observed. Pictures of Chinese troop withdrawal and reports in Southeast Asian papers are sufficient proofs as to who were the victors, though it was a most stupid "war" conducted by Deng - the idiot wanted to show the Americans that he could do it. Deng even promised to do it all over again if Vietnam proved intransigent: this was much criticized by the Malaysian news media.

Several Vietnamese papers said that they suffered greatly from the skirmish, but it was a minor affair from a historical perspective, and the hero of Dien Bien-Phu, Nguyen Giap ("Nguyen" means "Yuan" or China's Yuan dynasty, a common name adopted by many Vietnamese) went to the first Asian Games held in Beijing saying that Vietnam would never forget China's help in defeating the French and the Americans. Every year, including this year BOTH nations would get together to celebrate those victories in Vietnam and in Southern China.

Chinese occupation of the Xisha and Nansha stretched back to the Han dynasty but more often during the Ming, which was why Vietnam's schoolbooks during the 1970s conceded the islands were Chinese. But as I said, the Yue people were also "Chinese" - in the sense that Annam was part of China - during all those years. This again is most easy to confirm: just read history or geography books written before 1945, and not after the Western products from the 1960s/70s. As for the Falklands, the most prominent feature was Thatcher's threat to use the atomic bomb on the Argentinians. That was sheer ferocity.

Note: Ho Chi-Min means peace and brilliant, and his earlier name was "yuan or Nguyen Ai-Quoc" ( in Mandarin "ai - guo" means love country - a patriot). Another common name written in the romanized way was "Tran" which is Chan in Cantonese. Recently, my nephew's Vietnamese wife remembered the old custom of saying to a former student of mine: "Oh, chou lai!" or people from the same ancient family.


#22

Fine you Britnicks can have New Jersey and California but that's it! They're both annoying anyway!

You know they make a rousing tale of Master and Commander and somewhat more historically accurate remakes of appallingly inaccurate movies ( medieval characters sporting doowop pompadours like Elvis) but Old Frankie Boy sure was a pisser. Sir Francis Drake was a world class scoundrel, rogue, adventurer, master seaman, intrepid explorer, SOB towards the Spanish, mountebank and apparently quite a ladies man (which probably saved him from being hung as much as did his returning home with a fortune.

A realistic movie about Sir Francis Drake would not be believable if they stuck to the truth. So fine ...he had lousy directions from his travel agent and missed San Franciso Bay entirely. Piffle! Characters like him should not be forgotten just because Errol Flynn was the last to make a movie about him.


#24

the issue are the artificial islands which were underwater reefs not dry land until China dredged up coral and sand to build them up.<

Ah, so you're talking specifically about the islands that were dredged up, and not hinting that there were no islands in the island. Good: that's one thing people must remember - there were islands and China does have a claim there.

China is expropriating Tibet based not on the rights of the indigenous citizens.... Plus they have thousands of years of occupancy yet Imperialistic China has literally conquered the land and tells the world that it is theirs. <

Wow. The Chinese people of all ethnicities, including Tibet, of course have occupied their lands for thousands of years. And during those thousands of years this minority has also invaded other parts of China, just like the Chings had invaded the Southern parts, and even those in the East historically known as the Dong-Wu had invaded the West and so on. But all the parts did become a unitary state for centuries, as all Dalai Lamas MUST be confirmed by the central authorities before they have the title. This includes the latest Dalai, who was confirmed by the Kuomintang in a short ceremony. And no, read any old English geography book written as recently as the early 1960s, and they could give the Tibetan population of around a million plus. Now it's two million plus, unlike Native Americans who numbered over ten millions and was less then a million during the early 20th century (now a little more - many of mixed blood). During the 1950s, the average life expectancy of Tibetans was around the same as the rest of China, about 35 years old. Today, the average life expectancy is roughly 65 years, about the same as the "world's largest democracy" India (if we include Kashmir it might be worse in India, as reports of mass killings and mass graves that Arundhati Roy protested about clearly indicates some form of genocide). The average life expectancy of the Lakota Indians is around 50 years, and in a first world country!

China is the aggressor here and the Malaysians -- blah, blah..<

The former Malaysian former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir did mention that the Chinese never robbed and pillaged and attacked Southeast Asia. He's still alive: why not write to him?

And we do know how the Filipinos were invaded and tortured and killed; even Mark Twain condemned it. Why not read some history books?

And we also know that millions were killed in Vietnam, and that Agent Orange continues to deform and kill generations of Vietnamese. Why not do some reading on that?

You seem to think that they could simply invade China if they minded China's aggression.<

What an idiotic conclusion: not being scared of China means that they are not scared if China really attacks them, just as they were not scared even when the most powerful country in the world attacks, tortured, and mutilated them.

You are trying to justify Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.<

Tell readers here where is the aggression. Building up islands and so on? I think the Philippines did that too. The US itself says that its ships did move into such areas (built by other countries other than China) as well. And in this case, it's hard to say that the US is legally wrong. What most people critique about the latest affair - moving into Chinese built structures - is not that action per se, but the overall threatening gestures indicated by the many US warships and military bases that ring China.

Does China have a claim to Vietnam? What international law? You have heard of international law right?<

What a dumb reading of my answer: you asked the question whether China has a claim to Vietnam, and I said yes, and followed with IF the Vietnamese people want to be part of China, which I said no. China can claim, certainly, but that does not make it possible nor legal IF the Vietnamese refused.

Even when we omitted the years when Vietnam was semi-independent, the state had been under Chinese rule for about a thousand years (China gave the Annamese territory away around 1884 - the Sino-French Tientsin Accord). Crimea, however, became part of Russia for only a bit over 2 centuries. But Crimea wanted to be part of Russia, and they have that right: so does Russia.