As the world’s focus recently came to Guam, the people there told us that “the gravest threat isn’t North Korea, it’s the United States”.
Leilani Ganser, an indigenous rights organizer for Guam and a Next Leader at the Institute for Policy Studies, uses words to give us a video-audio portrait of the real daily life in Guam:
“While tourists ads depict the South Pacific as a tranquil safe haven, that tranquility is pierced by the roars of B-52 bombers and submarine water-to-shore artillery blasts.”
“With military bases come extreme pollution, the occupation of sacred lands, and what some scholars describe as an invisible public health crisis …… Over the years Guam has been home to nuclear weapons, mustard gas, and countless other carcinogens. In the 1980s, the Navy discharged radioactive water into a harbor my family has used for fishing …… Multiple wells accessing the island’s one aquifer have had to be shut down due to chemical contamination from areas under or adjacent to these military bases.”
“In fact, they (the Navy) restrict the indigenous populations’ ability to engage in traditional means of subsistence and poison the resources locals rely on for self-sustainability” [Note 1].
The more mainstream media Boston Review also published an “Open Letter from Guam to America” written by Victora-Lola M. Leon Guerreo. She shows us a historical account in addition to their present-day sufferings:
“The worst bombs that have ever been dropped on Guam were yours near the end of the World War II. At the beginning of the war, you left us defenseless to the Japanese … You safely boarded your white military wives on ships and sent them home months before the attack, but did nothing to protect us. … you surrendered in 2 days and left 20,000 people to suffer, many falling victim to the most atrocious of war crimes….”
“When you returned in 1944, you leveled our island with your bombs, leaving most families without a home to return to. We were scattered and displaced so you could build your enormous bases.”
“You play endless war games emitting fumes and dumping waste into our air, water, soil, bodies. We breathe in the fallout when you test your bombs on our sister island upwind. We eat fish from the waters you bomb around us. Grieve the beached whales who rot at the shore, led astray by your sonar testing …” [Note 2]
It is increasingly clear that the American public opinion disapproves a military combat, in any form, initiated by Washington against North Korea — the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Ordinary citizens simply dislike war, and many of them even dislike the government.
Some scholars are worried about the financial as well as political costs, and some analysts have the insight of foreseeing the unbearable consequences of a real nuclear threat onto the American soldiers in South Korea, Japan and Guam.
Steve Bannon, the outgoing strategist for President Trump, implicitly admitted that the American life is at risk by telling an American Prospect journalist that “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here. They got us” [Note 3] .
The Pentagon may not care about the lives of the civilians in Guam, but they can never dare to report to the President and the general public of the United States that they have failed to save the lives of their thousands of foot soldiers in the West Pacific.
The White House has only two choices, one is to make a deal for peace, another one is to withdraw all their soldiers from South Korea and Japan before bombing DPRK against the will of President Moon Jae-in.
The latter is obviously a betrayal of the American allies, so it is unspeakable.
Guam might be bombed, but not because of North Korea, instead it would be because the White House put “America first”.
Keith K C Hui
The 4th Media
Foreign Policy In Focus, “In Guam, the gravest threat isn’t North Korea — It’s the United States”, Aug 3, 2017.
Boston Review, “An Open Letter from Guam to America”, Aug 11, 2017.
The American Prospect, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant”, Aug 16, 2017.