Missed a few weeks because of illness. Here’s the 10th edition of The Spirit of Gangjeong.
Thanks to all of you who have contributed and continue to contribute towards my current project. But, it isn’t money that fuels my fire.
Amidst all of the dark and frightening barrage of daily news, here’s what is bright and hopeful.
The following email is what is most gratifying and why I do what I do. These three fellows were two years behind me at the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton, MA back in the 60’s. One of them heard about The Ghosts of Jeju and ordered it. Since the three have remained close throughout the years and get together regularly, they watched the film recently, and here is what they had to say:
This past weekend we were finally able to view your film: The Ghosts of Jeju. We were all impressed. It’s obvious that a great deal of research, work and heart went into the film–your commitment to the issue and the people there is clear.
All of us learned quite a bit about a situation we confess we knew nothing about. Even though all of us would consider ourselves Catholics who believe firmly in the gospel of peace and justice, much of what was presented was a revelation. We were aware of the massacre at the bridge during the Korean War, but did not know about the earlier slaughter on the island. It is reminiscent of US policy in Central America where anyone who protest the status quo or struggles for true justice is considered a communist…to be eliminated.
We likewise weren’t aware of some of the more recent dimensions in US Geopolitical thinking. We were shocked about the outer space dimension and the language used by the military about such a “cool” strategy.
So, Regis, we want to thank you for the work you have done telling a story that deserves to be told. We share with you the same sense of responsibility as citizens and as people of faith. We appreciate the commitment required of us all to make this world more just and peaceful.
It would be great to get together with you sometime. I know we’ll have plenty more to discuss. And since the three of us do meet up occasionally in New Hampshire it’s not too far afield to travel to Maine.
Redacted slightly so as to “protect the innocent.” 🙂
This is not about race and to buy into that line is to miss the most pernicious attack on our freedoms…EVER! What happened during the Vietnam War protests, Kent State, the riots in 1968-69 were only a preview of what was to come.
The violent, systematic and coordinated put down of Occupy nation-wide by military-armed local police, the U. Cal Davis student protest and the pepper spraying incident by university security guards dressed as riot cops, numerous accounts of local law enforcement in riot gear killing and brutalizing innocent and unarmed citizens – young and old – and of course the pre-planned lockdown of Boston after the marathon, all point to one thing: the dark forces that have overtaken our government know that massive uprisings are coming and they are prepared to hold onto their power at all costs.
They are the same ones who funded both sides of WWI and WWII, and the same who continue the stalemate in Korea, extended the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos because war is profitable, and keeps them in power.
And they are the same ones backing the Israeli genocide in Gaza, and the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine and the goading of Russia into war.
Who are these dark forces? “THEY” are the big banks, the IMF, the World Bank, the military industrial complex (all those good jobs in every state manufacturing articles of war), the multi and transnational corporations, and the elite, wealthy oligarchs, all of whom profit handsomely from war.
They will stop at nothing, not even the ravages of climate change which threatens all life on the planet, and to which they have contributed more than anything else.
Capitalism has been the evil, driving force behind it all…and Americans have fallen for the lies and myths of American Exceptionalism, The American Way of Life, and the spreading of freedom and Democracy around the world.
If one honestly examines the facts since the discovery of the Americas by Europeans, it is a history of genocide, the abuse of human rights, endless wars for profit and the extraction of resources by force.
The facts are, America has invaded, bombed and created chaos more than 400 times all over the world since 1798. America has been responsible for untold millions of deaths of innocent civilians. And, instead of spreading freedom and Democracy around the world, America has spread nothing but death, destruction, and abject poverty.
It is important to understand that presidents and the U.S. Congress do not make foreign policy, conduct wars, and inflate the already bloated war budget. Politicians have long been puppets in the hands of these dark forces.
As my friend John Pilger has stated, “there are only two superpowers left in the world today; the regime in Washington, by which he means the dark forces controlling the U.S. government, and popular uprisings around the world.”
John concludes by saying, “If we remain silent, victory over us is assured.”
And therein lies the hope. The people of the world are rising up in China, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan and Okinawa, The Philippines to name just a few.
The uprising in Ferguson is in tune with Occupy which is not dead, 350.org world-wide, and all of those millions of people everywhere demanding an end to war, an end to inequality, and an end to oppressive and tyrannical governments.
Our only hope as a human species is that we reach critical mass, a tipping point, when a new world order emerges that is based upon justice, equality, freedom, and true democratic institutions.
It may be too late for Americans to wake up, take back our country and join the rest of the world in a peaceful, non-violent uprising. I hope not.
With the ravages of climate change threatening life on the planet within this century, there isn’t much time left.
Viva La Revolucion!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver puts the protests and over-the-top police oppression in Ferguson, Missouri in perspective. It is a must watch.
As you now, my month-long trip to Jeju and South Korea had to be postponed due to illness. To date, I have raised a little over $4,000 US for my new documentary that will cover the effects of U.S. militarism in the Pacific from Hawaii to The Philippines, and the large popular, non-violent uprisings occurring throughout the Pacific (and really around the world) against U.S. military presence and expansion.
So many of you have already supported this new effort with your financial contributions, and I thank you. But, I need your help now in finding progressive organizations, NGOs, and individuals who are known to support documentary films.
This new film will be much larger in scope than The Ghosts of Jeju and will require more money than I have been able to raise from generous and supportive contributors like you.
The film will also demonstrate very clearly, using interviews with independent journalists, former State Department, and CIA officials, the dark forces that make foreign policy, war, and large increases in the Department of War budget.
My plan is to begin filming early in 2015 beginning in Hawaii and Okinawa, and then on down to Jeju and S. Korea, Taiwan, Guam, and The Philippines.
If The Ghosts of Jeju is any indication, this new film will also receive world-wide attention and acclaim. I have no idea how many screenings there have been, nor how many people have seen The Ghosts of Jeju. The screenings number in the hundreds in the U.S. and in at least 15 countries. Thousands of people have seen it and hundreds have purchased copies.
The Ghosts of Jeju has recently been released in South Korea with subtitles, thanks to the tremendous efforts of my dear friend, Joyakgol. Very soon it will be released in Japan having been translated by Maho Yamazaki and activist friends. It is also being translated into French. All of these efforts by dedicated activists for no compensation at all.
Documentary films do not make money! Films like mine are a labor of love that arise from an inner need to educate and inform the world about the serious issues that are threatening life on Mother Earth. My focus is on ending militarism, wars, and the death and destruction of the environment that results.
So, I am once again turning to you for help in finding sources, be they individuals, organizations, or foundations, that will see the value in what I am doing and want to help. As you know, I am a “crew” of one. The only thing standing in the way of making this film is money.
Thank you again for your past support and anything you can do to help make this new film a reality.
Here’s is my short video plea for help in making this film.
As fate would have it, my return to Jeju was derailed when I came down with “C Diff” two weeks before my August 4th departure. I was hospitalized for five days and was on antibiotics for two weeks. I lost a great deal of strength and the doctors would not permit me to travel. As of this date, I am feeling fine, but still get tired easily and don’t have much stamina.
Joyakgol, who accompanied me during the March tour of The Ghosts of Jeju beginning with the Chicago Peace On Earth Film Festival and screenings in California, did the final edit on the Korean translation and had the subtitles placed on the master. Joyakgol is a genius at marketing and promotion and created a press package that went to all of the media outlets in S. Korea. As I write this, The Ghosts of Jeju is being distributed throughout S. Korea and will soon be available on this website.
Because of this exposure, I was interviewed on August 8th by the English-language radio station in Seoul about my views on Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea next week, The Ghosts of Jeju, and my commitment and ties to the peaceful, non-violent struggle in Gangjeong.
Here is the link to that 14 minute interview that was slightly edited.
I also produced the following 22 minute video that I was to have presented at the Pan Island Peace Camp held in Gangjeong. I made the video because I thought it would be better than a talk with slides, and in the event that I was delayed or refused entry into S. Korea. Turns out, I wasn’t able to go anyway.
The video reveals the origins of U.S. Militarism dating back to the discovery of the Americas. It also makes clear what is behind militarism and why the U.S. has invaded other countries more than 300 times since 1798. The video explains why it is important to understand that it is NOT American presidents and the U.S. Congress that are behind wars, militarism and imperial domination, but the “shadow government” that has taken over our government.
My recent illness has not cancelled my return to Jeju, but only postponed it until early 2015 when I will travel from Hawaii, Okinawa, Jeju, Tiawan, and down to the Philippines to film my new documentary on the effects of U.S. militarism in the Pacific and the popular uprisings against it.
The struggle against the construction of that massive naval base by the peaceful, non-violent villagers of Gangjeong and their supporters has inspired all who have seen The Ghosts of Jeju because of their indomitable spirit, energy, and persistence in the face of insurmountable odds.
I believe the only hope we have of defeating the dark forces that would destroy us and our world is in the massive, peaceful, non-violent uprisings we are seeing all over the globe against Capitalism, greed, and the attempt to control the world through full-spectrum domination by the U.S. Military serving the needs of the big banks, multi and transnational corporations, the Military Industrial Complex, and the Oligarchy that have taken over our government and many governments of the world.
To repeat my closing remarks in The Ghosts of Jeju, “By going to Jeju, I found my own voice and realized that knowledge demands responsibility and action. With citizenship in this country comes a responsibility for its deeds. The least we can do is amplify the voices of Gangjeong.”