Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guam -- wider militarisation

GuamDiary hardly talks of the island of Guam. Japan's kicking up a duster about the transferring of a US military base from one location to another in Okinowa, is forcing the Pentagon's hand. Soon massive construction on Guam will begin, to house a division of Marines. There is a lot of money to be made which would bring unequal economic advantages to that US possession across the International Date Line, in Asia. It has also stirred up worries and protest from Guamanians.
Guam has 64.000 inhabitants; its population is Chomorro, but also intermarriage among and with other emigrants from Asia and mainland US. As a vacation spot, it attracts tourism from Japan, mainly; it has always had a military presence, but with the coming to its shores of Marines, the Pentagon will hold sway on a tight little island with strip malls, an ersatz 'Rodeo Drive' for foreign tourists, as well as all the fast food American chains, K Mart, so on and on.
Already delegations of Guamanians NGOs and officials,co many women, have gone to Okinowa, to learn how to limit the sexual crimes and crimes which 60 years or more of US bases on Okinowa have spawned. Guam will have to deal with the mushroom like growth of honky tonk bars and licensed or unlicensed prostitution.
In spite of visions of ringing of cash registers, the military and their family will spend money at the base. Little will trickle outside but in outlets which feed the sex industry and feed on lawlessness which albeit subject to US law, will find the military using 'military law' which may excuse much and punish little.
And of course, the military will benefit from eminent domain, grabbing the best land on the island, disrupting the normal tempo of Guam's life and Guam's 'paradise'. It surely will challenge the sacred land of Chomorro beliefs and ancestry.
Thus, in other words, Guam will now experience the 'hell' other peoples have experienced under American military occupation. Guamanians can very well profit from the island of Puerto Rico's long history of opposing unrestricted military authority.

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