U.S. Expands Presence in S. Korea

New Hdqtrs in Busan

 

South Korean and U.S. military top brass, including Vice Adm. Robert Thomas Jr. (4th from L), the commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, attend a ceremony to break ground for a new headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces Korea in Busan, 450 km southeast of Seoul, on Aug. 29, 2013. U.S. naval forces are currently based at the U.S. Army Garrison in Seoul. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2015. Some 28,500 American soldiers are stationed in Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)

Will the advance of the empire never end? It doesn’t say who is paying for this multimillion dollar headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces in S. Korea, but there is little doubt this goes hand in hand with the construction of that massive naval base in Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island.

Busan just happens to be S. Korea’s naval base only a few short miles from Jeju Island. But, with Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” shifting 60% of America’s naval might to the region, the Navy needs their own headquarters to accommodate hundreds or maybe thousands of top brass who will command these hostile actions against China and Russia.

The U.S. will also need housing for 8,000 marines and sailors in Gangjeong Village where Aegis destroyers, nuclear submarines, and massive aircraft carriers will port for supplies and repairs in America’s ever expanding attempts to impose a Pax Americana on the planet.

Testimonial From Germany

Website Flier-small

“I saw your film, The Ghosts of Jeju – thank you for this impressive film!
I visited Jeju first in 1994 and I was in Gangjeong in 2010, already before the construction work started, SONG Kang-Ho and CHOI Sung-Hee are  friends.
Your film really connects very well the history starting from the time of colonialism and all the American influences in Korea afterwards, the facts about the Jeju massacre which is important to understand the reactions of Jeju people…..   and your film really is a cry for peace and lesser militarism in this world! Thank you for this film!
A friend proposed to show the film eventually in a cinema in Berlin to the public.
And I will try to write a film critic for a small magazine called “Korea-Info” published for interested church people in Germany.”

In deep solidarity
Gisela – Stuttgart, Germany

Wonderful Article in the Brunswick, Maine Times Record

Morgana Warner-Evans did a wonderful job with this story. She’s a college student and peace activist from Topsham, Maine.

Local filmmaker documents ‘Ghosts of Jeju’

Woolwich man’s film claims hidden abuses by U.S. in post-war Korea
BY MORGANA WARNER-EVANS Times Record Staff


THE DOCUMENTARY, “The Ghosts of Jeju,” focuses on a six-year campaign the people of Jeju Island have waged against a South Korean naval base being built in Gangjeong Village. Here, people lie down during their daily protest of the construction. The day typically ends with a vigil. THE DOCUMENTARY, “The Ghosts of Jeju,” focuses on a six-year campaign the people of Jeju Island have waged against a South Korean naval base being built in Gangjeong Village. Here, people lie down during their daily protest of the construction. The day typically ends with a vigil.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Regis Tremblay reads these words near the beginning of his film “The Ghosts of Jeju,” and immediately the sound of the U.S. Air Force Band is replaced by the sound of gunshots; the American flag fluttering on the screen is replaced by photos of Korean civilians killed on April 3, 1948.

It’s a sight, he says, that would probably shock and surprise most Americans.


CONCRETE TETRAPODS can be seen at the site of a future military base on Jeju Island in South Korea. Activists allege the base, being built in Gangjeong Village, will be used by the U.S. military. CONCRETE TETRAPODS can be seen at the site of a future military base on Jeju Island in South Korea. Activists allege the base, being built in Gangjeong Village, will be used by the U.S. military. “The Korean war is always referred to as ‘the forgotten war,’” Tremblay said. “And really what it was was ‘the hidden war,’ because strict censorship was imposed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the entire military command.”

Now Tremblay, an independent documentary filmmaker from Woolwich, has filmed, produced and narrated a documentary that he says demonstrates the hidden abuses of the U.S. government in Korea during the postwar era.

“The Ghosts of Jeju” focuses on a six-year campaign the people of Jeju Island have waged against a South Korean naval base being built in Gangjeong (pronounced “kangjung”) Village. Activists allege the base will be used by the U.S. military.


AUTHORITIES deal with a protester in the documentary, “The Ghosts of Jeju,” which will be screened Sunday at Grace Episcopal Church, 1100 Washington St., in Bath. 
COURTESY OF REGIS TREMBLAY AUTHORITIES deal with a protester in the documentary, “The Ghosts of Jeju,” which will be screened Sunday at Grace Episcopal Church, 1100 Washington St., in Bath. COURTESY OF REGIS TREMBLAY But the video takes more into account regarding the United States’ treatment of Korea after the war, including a little-known massacre of South Korean peasants and villagers in 1948.

Tremblay traveled to Korea to take footage and interview citizens protesting the Korean base in September 2012.

“I thought I was going (to Jeju) just to document another protest against war, but after spending a month there, I discovered that this story was much much bigger than just a protest on Jeju Island against the building of this base,” Tremblay said.

It was there that he learned about “horrendous atrocities and massacres” of Korean peasants and civilians at the hands of “the United States military government of Korea” in 1948.

Tremblay, who was born and raised in Waterville and moved away for high school before relocating to Woolwich, said he learned that as many as 60,000 peasants were massacred by South Korean security forces trained, equipped and commanded directly by the United States who were resisting the American occupation of Korea after World War II.

The 1948 protesters also opposed the installation of Syngman Rhee as president of the country, and the division of the country at the 38th Parallel after they were promised elections and unification, Tremblay said.

In the film, survivors testify about what they saw at the April 3, 1948, massacre.

The film shows photos of the Peace Museum on Jeju Island, built to commemorate the massacre: A jumble of sculpted heads, screaming, lies on the floor; the statue of a woman who was shot as she tried to escape crouches around her child.

The film also contains photos intent on showing the natural beauty of Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose rare flora and fauna activists say would be compromised by the military base.

Bruce Gagnon, a peace activist from Bath, has visited Jeju Island three times, and said the naval base shows “America’s disregard for culture, for nature, the endangered.

“(Something) that has a big effect on me is the (destruction of the) soft coral reefs offshore,” he said.

In the film, the villagers protest threats the new base presents to their traditional fishing and farming community. Along with international visitors, they sit in front of the gates to block construction multiple times each day until they are hauled away by police. They end each day with song and dance to keep their spirits up.

A famous Korean film critic from Jeju Island, Professor Yang Yoon-Mo, says in the film, “For the next thirty years, I will live only for my hometown … Jejudo is such a beautiful island. I can’t watch it being destroyed … I will lay down my life for that.”

“The thing that is so remarkable about the people in Gangjeong Village is that all day, every day, and for six years they’ve been laying their bodies down to protest the construction of that base and yet … at the end of every day, they typically have a candlelight vigil and they sing and they dance and this sense of community is really mindblowing,” said Tremblay.

Among the protesters are a great number of people of the faith community. One of them is Sister Stella Cho, a nun from Seoul.

“I didn’t even have to ask her any questions. I just put the camera on her and she rattled on. It was amazing,” Tremblay said, adding that Sister Stella’s interview was originally not going to be in the film because it was taken in poor lighting conditions.

Tremblay said the film has had approximately the same reaction everywhere it’s been shown — from Sweden to the Philippines, from Brunswick to Nepal.

“Regardless of where they are in the world, they all are troubled by the violation of human rights, the destruction of the environment.

“What’s interesting though, is this is no surprise to the rest of the world, but it’s shocking for Americans to learn about what’s been done in their name.”

He said that one message he wants people to take away from the film is the one at the end: “What’s really important and what’s really at stake is not which system is better and who is more powerful. What’s at stake is the survival of us as a species. … And that is the message of Jeju: the least we can do is amplify their voices.”

The film will be shown on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Grace Episcopal Church, 1100 Washington St., in Bath. A trailer can be viewed at www.theghostsofjeju.net.

Morgana Warner-Evans is a Times Record intern.

¦ “THE GHOSTS OF JEJU,” a
film by Regis Tremblay of
Woolwich
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 18
Where: Grace Episcopal
Church, 1100 Washington
St., Bath
Trailer: www.theghostsofjeju.net.

Video @ www.timesrecord.com

We’re Not Goin Away Scotty Walker

Wonderful activism in Madison, Wisconsin. Citizens here have been protesting the administration of Scott Walker for 275 days. We could use this in Maine. Come to think about it, we need more of this everywhere! What an inspiration. Two hundred plus gathered on Friday, August 9, 2013. I’m a the Veterans For Peace National Convention here in Madison.

Enjoy this short video.

Oliver Stone Visits Jeju

I will let this article in the Hankyoreh English version newspaper speak about Oliver’s visit to Jeju this past weekend.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/598369.html

Oliver Stone joins Jeju residents’ battle against naval base

Posted on : Aug.5,2013 12:00 KST

 

Film director Oliver Stone shakes hands with priests and brothers Moon Jeong-hyun (right) and Moon Kyu-hyun at a concert supporting the opposition to the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island, August 3. (by Ryu Woo-jong, staff photographer)

Acclaimed director is touring Asia in criticism of the US government’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy

By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent “Ever since the Second World War, the US has been building military alliances and setting up military bases overseas. A lot of those bases are in Japan and Korea. Jeju Island is less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. It could end up on the front lines if a military conflict breaks out between the US and China.”

Internationally renowned filmmaker Oliver Stone said this about the naval base currently under construction on Jeju Island. The 67-year-old director, whose works on the Vietnam War include “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” met with the Hankyoreh on Aug. 3 at the Peace Center in Gangjeong Village in Jeju.

Noting the US’s overseas military strategy, Stone said the issue with the Jeju base was “global, not regional.”

“The Obama administration has adopted a ‘pivot to Asia’ strategy as a way of containing China,” he said. “It’s similar to the way the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War. And in its push to do this, Washington has built or is building military alliances not just with South Korea and Japan, but with the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, and Myanmar. It’s a foolish, paranoid strategy.”

In view of this strategy, the Jeju naval base may be a military extension of the US forces, who could eventually end up using it, Stone said.

The director said he came to Jeju after seeing documentaries by US directors on Gangjeong Village and the April 3 Uprising of 1948 and reading articles on the villagers battle against the construction.

“I wanted to see for myself,” he said. He arrived on the island on Aug. 2 for a three-day stay.

As soon as he arrived, he went to visit film critic Yang Yun-mo, who was arrested while campaigning against the base, as well as people involved in the Grand March for Life and Peace, an event organized to call for a halt to the construction. On Aug. 3, he went to see activists opposing the base in their battle against police at the construction site in Gangjeong – a visit that left him looking very troubled.

“They’re calling the people who oppose the base ‘pro-North Korea,’ but that’s a very simplistic expression and their methods are easy to attack,” Stone said. “But the residents and activists are very sincere about their home, their rights, and this beautiful island of Jeju.”

He also spoke on environmental concerns, noting the base was “destroying beautiful soft coral reefs and contaminating the water.”

“I’ve heard that Jeju water was some of the cleanest and best in the world,” he said. “What happens when it ends up getting polluted?”

“The Gangjeong residents and activists aren’t alone in their battle against the base. This is going beyond South Korea and turning into a worldwide issue,” he continued. “I don’t know how this battle is going to go, but the residents’ fight will not be forgotten.”

Following his trip to Jeju, Stone plans to head to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where atomic bombs were dropped during the Second World War. There, he plans to attend a conference opposing atomic and hydrogen bombs before traveling on to Okinawa, site of a large US military base.

My Reply To A Portland Press Herald Editorial

First of all, let me state right away, my son is in the Army and just re-enlisted. He’s deployed to Afghanistan. I love my son and have always supported him in all of his endeavors. Like so many, 9/11 was a challenge to fight the enemy “over there.” Like millions of others, he couldn’t find a job and saw in the Army a career with benefits, paid for education and healthcare.

Supporting the troops should not mean supporting the wars, always based on lies, they are sent to fight by wealthy people in Congress and the White House, whose kids rarely ever go to war. They send other kids to war to fight the wars of the multinational corporations in order to extract resources: oil, minerals, fruit, vegetables and water. And, in the process, millions upon millions of innocent, indigenous people are murdered. Their towns, infrastructure, and ecosystems are obliterated by the unrestrained use of force.

It is a very sad commentary on this nation, whose number one export is weapons of war. More than 60% of our tax dollars go to the war department. How do they pay for the ever increasing war machine and the endless wars? They take it out of social uplift programs, education, infrastructure repairs and improvements, investments in renewable energy, and they even take it out of veterans’ and active duty benefits.

Not only are we not permitted to see the caskets coming home from these wars, but we never see or hear about the millions of innocent Iraqi, Pakistani and Afghan men, women, and children who are shot in cold blood, or killed as collateral damage by hellfire missiles fired from unmanned drones piloted from bases back here in the U.S.

Americans aren’t paying much attention to these wars as we did during the Vietnam conflict because without the draft, the wars do not touch the vast majority of American families. However, through sequestration, everyone is beginning to feel it when states no longer receive federal funds, and cities and towns no longer receive state funding because our tax dollars are paying for these wars. Sequestration is also hitting the military which will cut back on troops, but not the billions spent on war ships and stealth fighter planes and bombers.

Supporting our troops can only mean one thing: bringing our war dollars home along with all of our kids. America now outspends the next 14 countries combined for war and that includes Russia and China, and the rest are allies.  The reason is not national security. The reason is because war is profitable and the military industrial complex owns Congress and the White House.

War is a lie. It is not about spreading democracy and freedom. It is not about uplifting the nations we invade. One just has to look honestly at every war America has fought since Korea. In spite of the overwhelming and unrestrained might of the United States, America has lost every conflict against poorly equipped insurgents.

After 60 years, the conflict in Korea is not over. Four million Koreans were killed in that conflict. One million were civilians. North Korea was bombed and napalmed until there were no more targets left. In Vietnam, millions were bombed and napalmed. Entire villages were strafed and napalmed. The countryside and forests were reduced to nothing by Agent Orange.

No one can possibly think that America did any good in Iraq. That country was totally devastated and millions of noncombatants were killed or left maimed for life.

America is now ready to leave Afghanistan, worse off than ten years ago. Victory was never in sight. But, will America ever leave? Not if one listens to the disgraced top general David Petraeus who said there are trillions and trillions of dollars of rare minerals in Afghanistan that American capitalist must have.

Americans must look in the mirror and ask themselves was any of it worth it?

Support the troops, our sons and daughters, by forcing Washington to bring the troops home and bring our war dollars home so we can re-build America.

Bishop of Jeju, Most Rev. Peter Kang

Since Oliver Stone is marching along with Bishop Peter Kang whom I interviewed while on Jeju last September, I thought it would be good to share it again. They are marching with Fr. Mun, my friend Kho, Gil-chun, Choi, Sung-Hee, Paco Booyah, and hundreds of others on the Grand March for Life and Peace around Jeju Island.

This was before I formed Pax Tibi Productions when I was doing Truth TV on local television.

Wonderful OP ED on The Ghosts of Jeju

Judith Hicks wrote this for the local newspaper in Colorado. I had to share it with you.
Dear Editor:  “The Ghosts of Jeju” by independent filmmaker Regis Tremblay of Maine, may be the most important documentary film available to Americans today.  Recently released, it’s already being shown around the world, and is sure to heavily impact the way people far and wide view not only American military activity, but all war.       Tremblay has said, “Hardly anyone in America is aware of the story I tell in The Ghosts of Jeju…”  I’ve followed Jeju’s plight for about two years via reports from Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and just watched this compelling film for the fourth time this week- very unusual for me!  Its production is superb, its effect heart rending.   Jeju Island is a tiny Korean “crown jewel” only twenty miles by 45 miles, located sixty miles south of the mainland.  Gangjeong Village on Jeju’s southern shore, has been populated for five hundred years by peaceful indigenous farmers, fishermen, and their families.  Two rivers of unpolluted, pure drinkable water flow through Gangjeong.  At the seashore lies (or did) a large mass of black volcanic rock named Gureombi which villagers believe to be alive, part of their own hearts and souls, and deeply revered.  Surrounding waters are home to the largest coral reefs of their kind in the world,with gorgeous, bright, vari-colored corals; and several other rare forms of marine life, including bottlenose dolphin.  So rare an area on planet earth, it has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Please note:  UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established in 1946 to “advance mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples”.          Sadly, against the villagers’ will, and contrary to UNESCO principles, all the biggest problematic planetary issues have converged upon this tiny, historically peaceful island, making it a symbol reflecting not its name of “Island of Peace”, but everything the world’s peace movement is challenging:  violation of human rights, ecological devastation, forceful domination- including impending forced relocation of indigenous people.  The plan is to relocate the villagers, and replace them with housing for 8,000 military personnel (and predictably, strip malls, brothels and bars).            Constant, prolonged protest (nearly six years) by villagers, mainland Koreans, and countless activists from around the world, these peaceful villagers now experience depression, often physical injuries from confrontations wih “authorities”, sometimes even lengthy jail time.  Still, every evening they persist in joyous dance to counteract depression and to keep their spirits high..             Salida Regional Library now owns a DVD copy of The Ghosts of Jeju.  I cannot recommend this film highly enough.  Check it out, view it with friends and neighbors, as it’s certain to evoke deep feelings and heartfelt conversation.  Also, see www.savejejunow.org    Order online-www.theghostsofjeju.com or send US $23 to Regis Tremblay 209 River Rd., Woolwich, ME 04579        If you think Jeju is too far away to matter to you personally, see for yourself what’s happening.  There’s much more to this story- don’t miss it!            Sincerely, Judith E. Hicks

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Manning & Snowden: What Would Nuremburg Have Done?

Bradley Manningshetterly_snowden-1152px

 

 

 

 

 

Nuremburg Principle VI –

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

Principle VII

Principle VII states, “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

The present administration and the United States Military consider Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as traitors while most of the rest of the world consider their actions as heroic and patriotic.

Both acted out of conscience because they had information about war crimes and violations against international law committed by the United States. It was their duty, according the Nuremberg Principles, to expose those crimes. It was their duty to reveal to the American people what their government had been doing in our name.

Nuremburg Principle VI –

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

Principle VII

Principle VII states, “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

The United States has blatantly ignored international law and widespread international opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were based upon lies, and is guilty of the crimes against peace outlined above in part a), and very clearly guilty of murder, ill-treatment (torture – Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib), the wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan).

Principle VII is key in the prosecution and persecution of Manning and Snowden and all whistleblowers because it states very clearly, “complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

Unfortunately, only the defeated are tried and convicted under these principles. Ironically, the United States has lost every war since Korea, yet was never conquered or forced to surrender, yet because there are no challengers to its military dominance, America does not submit to trial or judgment by any international body or nation. Might does not make right!

Manning and Snowden did for America and the world what the corporate-owned media should have been doing all along. Only an informed population can take action to re-direct the course this country has been on. It is quite clear that we are all subjects of a tyrannical government that makes a mockery of the Constitution, tramples on individual freedoms, and wantonly kills millions and millions of innocent civilians, while it destroys the environment and sensitive ecosystems.

America’s war policy is quite clear in the words of General Curtis LeMay ,who commanded the carpet bombing and firebombing of Germany, the firebombing of Japan and subsequently dropping the Atomic bomb, and the carpet bombing and napalming of Korea and Vietnam, “if you kill enough of them, they quit fighting.” LeMay also said, “soldiers are always going to be confronted with the moral aspects of war, but if they let that bother them, they’re not good soldiers.”

In Iraq, the United States killed millions of innocent men, women, and children and completely devastated the entire country. “Shock and Awe.” In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States has indiscriminately killed civilians and committed massacres for ten years with unmanned drones and boots on the ground.

It is beyond belief that the president of the United States personally orders the elimination of perceived enemies with his own personal kill list.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice et al, as well as Obama, Clinton, Panetta and the rest are the real traitors and war criminals whom Manning and Snowden have revealed to America and the world.