Category Archives: Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Beyond My Ability

Dear Friends,

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.

Ghosts of Jeju Tour Update

Laurels Expose---Jeju

 

 

Korean Community Group

 

 

 

Today is Monday, March 24, 2014 and I’m in Tucson, Arizona. It has been many years since I’ve been here. Taught high school at Salpointe from 1975-81. Screening tonight at 6:30.

Tomorrow I go up to Phoenix until Friday. One screening at a library tomorrow evening. Will have a couple of days to rest and visit some old friends.

I’ve been on the road since March 4 when I flew to Chicago for the Peace on Earth Film Festival. Great experience, and Ghosts won a major award. Best Expose Documentary.

Joyakgol from Gangjeong Village joined me in Chicago. When the village heard about the film festival they wanted someone to come to Chicago. Money was raised to send Joyakgol and he has been traveling with me on the entire tour. His English is excellent and he is a charismatic and gifted guitarists, so he has added a great deal of energy to the tour. He’s become a great friend and traveling companion.

The film has been received enthusiastically everywhere: Fresno, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, LA (twice) and San Diego. One screening in LA was in Korea Town for over 100 Koreans and the other was at UCLA for the faculty and some grad students in the Korean Studies Department.

Had another great screening in San Diego hosted by the VFP…awesome group and very active.

Everywhere, people thanking me for making the film, especially Koreans. There have been several articles and radio interviews that have helped to spread the word in ways that have not happened before.

Ran out of copies of the film! Having Paul Michaud of Patracompany make another 50 and ship them over night for the remainder of the trip: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Taos, and then Austin, Texas. I’ll have four days in Austin to visit with my daughter Ashley and my grandson, Hayden, and younger son, Tanner. Haven’t seen Ashley and Hayden in two years. I think there will be a screening in Austin on April 3rd. I return home to Maine on April 4.

The only bad news to report is that my left knee (the bad one, surgically repaired twice) “popped” yesterday. Excruciating pain. Got some assistance from a sports trainer and am taking Aleve twice a day and Tylenol just to get me through until I can get home. Afraid the day has arrived that my last orthopedic surgeon said would mean a knee replacement.

The pain has subsided and inflammation going down….ok to walk, but can’t twist or making lifting motions. Joyakgol has been helping with my heavy equipment case and large suitcase. I have trouble even pulling them even though they are both roller types. Damn! Getting old isn’t much fun!

We’ve been having every group pose for pictures with the No Naval Base flags and the Pope Francis banner. Big hit everywhere. The above photo was with part of the large Korean community in LA.

The reaction to the film has been identical everywhere: shame, anger, tears….then thanks and they always ask, “what can we do?” Joyakgol brought a stack of pre-printed and pre-addressed postcards with Pope Francis. We ran out of those several stops ago.

Seems like nearly everyone has wanted a copy of the film and all promise to share it widely. I’ve given copies away to folks who can’t afford them and to students who all promise to share them. Along the way, I keep hearing from people that the film has been screened in cities all over the U.S.  Amazing how it has taken on a life of its own with grassroots groups and activists.

 

Peace on Earth Film Festival & West Coast Tour

Laurels Expose---Jeju

March 5     Screening at University of Chicago

March 6-9 Chicago Peace on Earth Film FestivalChicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater

March 8 – The Ghosts of Jeju screening – Noon –Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater

March 12 – Fresno Center for Nonviolence  Noon and 7 pm

March 13 – Sonoma County Art Museum – 7 pm Univ. of San Francisco at Santa Rosa

March 14-16 – Annual Meeting of The Global Network

March 14   Screening – The Ghosts of Jeju  8:00 -9:30 PM

March 18 – 7 PM East Bay Media Center 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley

March 19 – Won Buddhist Temple  400 Shatto Pl,  LA, 7 PM

March 20 – 7 PM – San Diego Peace Resource Center of San Diego  3850 Westgate Place

March 21 – 1-3 P – UCLA  –  UCLA 11379 Bunche Hall

March 24 – Tucson  –  6:30  PM Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – 1300 North Greasewood – Theology Uncorked

March 25  –  6 PM Phoenix Public Library Mesquite Branch 4525 E. Paradise Village Parkway N

March 28 –  6 PM –  Taos, New Mexico –  Kit Carson Electric Board Room  118 Cruz Alta Road

March 29 – 6 PM – Albuquerque Center For Peace and Justice 202 Harvard St. NE

March 30 – April 3 – Austin, Texas

The Ghosts of Jeju Needs Your Help to Carry On

January 29, 2014

It is somewhat embarrassing for me to ask for financial help to keep the story of Jeju and Gangjeong Village alive, but without your help I will not be able to continue.

Many of you contributed in 2012 which enabled the trip to Jeju and the making of The Ghosts of Jeju. Without your help, the film would never have happened. People around the world and in the U.S. would not know about this important story and the untold history of the U.S. in Korea from WWII to the present day.

Over the past year, I have been able to present the film to various groups and universities from Maine to California where it has been highly acclaimed. I have been able to do this by selling copies of the film and accepting donations along the way just to cover the costs of travel. Many good people have hosted me and passed me on to others. I thank them all for their help and friendship.

Just this week The Ghosts of Jeju was named an official selection of the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago. After four days at the festival (March 6-9), Professor Bruce Cumings will host the film at the University of Chicago.

The exposure of this important story does not end in Chicago. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will screen the film at its annual meeting the following week in Santa Barbara, California.

The day before the meeting in Santa Barbara, the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa has invited me to present the film as part of an exhibit about the April 3rd Massacre on Jeju, though they are not able to defray travel expenses.

I have also been invited to present the film in L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Taos, and Austin that I would like to do immediately after the Global Network meeting.

Beginning with the Peace on Earth Film Festival and continuing on to the West Coast, the Untold History of the United States in Korea and the ongoing military march to dominate the planet will receive the greatest exposure to date and significantly amplify the voices of Gangjeong and peace activists all over the world, but without your help I will not be able to go to Chicago or to begin this tour.

Readers of my emails and blog know that Pope Francis will visit South Korea in August. At the request of the people of Gangjeong and Jeju, I wrote a letter to Pope Francis and sent him a copy of The Ghosts of Jeju. Right now, there is no more important place in the world for Pope Francis to go to promote peace on earth than Jeju, The Island of World Peace. A visit by the Pope would galvanize the international peace movement and attract the attention of the international media that up until now have ignored the situation on Jeju and the anti-base movement world-wide.

I have exhausted my savings making the film and presenting it, and must turn to you for help to keep this important story alive. Please do what you can.

You can contribute in one of three ways:

  • Checks made out to   Regis Tremblay

209 River Rd – Woolwich, Maine 04579

 

Or online

 

In the Special Purpose box for your donation, type in “Ghosts of Jeju.” Your contribution will be tax deductible.

or

  • you can purchase a copy of the film, here:

www.theghostsofjeju.net

Your financial contributions will make a significant difference in the world-wide struggle against war, militarism, the desecration of the environment, and the abuse of human rights.

My very deep and sincere thanks for your continuing interest and support,

Regis

 

 

Korean Sister Stella Soh Indicted

For the first time in the 200 year Korean Catholic history, a Korean nun has been indicted for her role in the peaceful, non-violent protest against the construction of the naval base on Jeju Island that will accommodate the U.S. “pivot to Asia.”

Korean sistersToday, many sisters from Jeju and the mainland came to witness the trial of Sister Stella Soh who has been going to Gangjeong Village to protest whenever she has time and money.

Catholic priests and nuns from Jeju and the mainland have been protesting daily for seven years along with the people of Gangjeong Village and activists from around the world.

I had the privilege and honor to meet Sister Stella while I was there in September of 2012. We had been seated together for dinner on the evening before Sister Stella would return home to Seoul when she asked if I would interview her. With darkness approaching, she positioned herself in front of a fire pit and let it rip without me even asking her a question.

This interview appears in my documentary The Ghosts of Jeju and has been seen now by hundreds of people in the U.S. and in more than a dozen countries around the world. Sister Stella’s sincerity, honesty, and blunt remarks about U.S. imperialism have moved all who have seen the film.

She will undoubtedly be fined a large amount of money as have the more than 600 peace activists who have already been arrested, and quite possibly she will serve time in jail.

Here is that interview again.

West Coast Tour

Greetings from rainy Seattle, the next to last stop on this fantastic West Coast Tour with
The Ghosts of Jeju!

Tonight it will be screened at the University of Seattle, a Jesuit University, sponsored by the Asian Studies Department and the Korean Student Union. Tomorrow it will be screened at “Meaningful Movies” in Seattle sponsored by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace.

On Saturday, Paula returns home and I fly to Minneapolis where I will screen it at the University of Minnesota, and on Sunday at a local theater. These final two screenings are being sponsored by the University, the Korean Quarterly Newspaper, The Korean Forum, Mothers Against Military Madness, and the Veterans for Peace.

My hosts in Minneapolis will be two of my best friends from our Carmelite Seminary high school and college years. So, the trip will end on a wonderful note.

I fly back home to Maine on Monday.

This trip which began in San Francisco, continued to Santa Rosa, then Portland and Chehalis Washington has been exceptional in many respects. First and foremost, the film has been widely acclaimed by all. Many have purchased a copy to continue amplifying the “voices of Gangjeong” in churches, libraries, and activist groups.

The response is the same everywhere: anger, shame at what their country has done and is doing around the world, and disillusionment. But always, they are inspired by the indomitable spirit of the people of Gangjeong Village in the face of overwhelming odds. They stand, clap and cheer before engaging in a spirited Q&A and discussion session. Always, people ask what they can do. Some are even planning to go to Gangjeong. But, most purchase a copy of the film and promise to spread the world.

Along the way, Paula and I have met many wonderful activists who have hosted us, shared their lives with us, and inspired us with their commitment to end wars and work for peace.

Finally, it has been a fantastic vacation for Paula and me. This is Paula’s first trip to the West Coast so we have been seeing the sights. Paula has taken hundreds and hundreds of pictures of all the new plants, trees and vegetation. Being a professional gardener, this was a very exciting part of the trip. We had to visit the various botanical gardens, conservatories and the magnificent public parks such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

I have learned that there are scores of people everywhere who are working to end war and work for peace and justice in the world and this is reassuring. People “get it,” and are working to abolish the dark forces that are threatening our lives and the planet.

It is also gratifying to know that The Ghosts of Jeju is playing a significant role in the peace movement….and the environmental and human rights movements as well. As a result, I will be planning more tours to other parts of the country in 2014 and am now preparing a study/discussion guide to accompany the film.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support. Without you The Ghosts of Jeju would not have happened.

With deep respect, profound gratitude, and in solidarity,

Regis

 

Regis Tremblay

Independent Filmmaker

209 River Rd.
Woolwich, Maine 04579
207-400-4362

Ghosts of Jeju: The History Behind The Resistance

https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2013/10/27/ghosts-jeju-history-behind-resistance-naval-base-koreas-island-peace

Ghosts of Jeju: The history behind the resistance to a naval base on Korea’s island of peace

By Martha Vickery, Korean Quarterly

October 27, 2013

When Maine-based filmmaker Regis Tremblay started digging into the history of the protest against the South Korean government’s construction of a naval base in the tiny village of Gangjeong on scenic Jeju Island, he interviewed Charles Hanley, former Associated Press reporter and co-author of the war crime expose Bridge at No Gun Ri, who told him “you have no idea the magnitude of the issues you are getting into here.”

And actually, Tremblay admitted, “I didn’t. I thought I was going to go to Korea and do a film on just another anti-base protest.”

Tremblay has filmed and produced his own TV film documentaries on a variety of environmental and social issues, including coverage of Maine’s Occupy Movement, and actions against the Tar Sands Pipeline. Covering the human interest side of a demonstration was not new to him.

He heard about the ongoing activities of villagers on Jeju Island from his friend Bruce Gagnon, who heads up the organization Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and thought the issue was worthwhile.

The situation on Jeju Island, however, is far from just another demonstration against a military base, Tremblay soon found out. He did, as Hanley predicted, get much more than he bargained for. The film, The Ghosts of Jeju, is the product of a mind-bending, life-changing year of travel and research, and he is now promoting and touring with it.

The film is making the rounds of peace and justice organizations, particularly through the Veterans for Peace, whose experts are quoted in the film. There will be a screening in St. Paul, sponsored by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, on November 9, and the filmmaker will go on to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington in the same trip.

The Jeju story takes in the historical oppression of the Jeju people, going back to before the Korean War, and details the military manipulations of the Korean and the U.S. government to position a base between China and Japan. It is also about an ancient and sustainable way of life and irreplaceable natural resources that are being literally dynamited out of existence to make way for U.S. military expansion, aided by Korea.

It has all the elements of a great epic drama —- the threat of environmental devastation, the loss of a traditional way of life, a fight by a small and determined group of ordinary people against huge geopolitical forces, the specter of peaceful non-violent resistance against the military machine —- except that it is all true.

In order to understand the tragedy of Jeju, Tremblay decided that the film must describe the history as well as the current situation of the people there. Like most Americans, he said, he knew little about the U.S.’s long military history in Korea, and the many detrimental effects of that influence on Koreans’ lives.

Fortunately, the Jeju Islanders have documented their modern history well; there is even a museum to help visitors interpret it. The film draws from its archives and other documentation.

With careful attention to detail and chronology, Tremblay lays out the case justifying the Gangjeong villagers’ fervent protest against yet another military oppression of their island, highlighting the role of the anti-base activists, including many Korean Catholic priests and nuns, ordinary Korean people, and activists from many other countries. He also explains the endangered marine life on rare coral reefs now being dredged out of existence, and the villagers’ simple and sustainable lifestyle that will be lost once the base is built.

The result is a persuasive film that is shocking and educating audiences in locations world wide. “American audiences are reacting with disillusionment, anger, and disbelief,” he said. “They cry. It has really been amazing.”

In August, the film was screened in Madison, Wisconsin for the Veterans for Peace conference. “About 60 people crammed into a small room, standing room only, and when it was over, we had to go right into the banquet.” There was so much buzz about it after the screening, and demand by others to see it, that they scheduled a second screening the next day.

Grassroots activists in this country and more than a dozen foreign countries have been spreading the film from one city to the next, Tremblay said. Gagnon took the film to the annual meeting of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space in Sweden this summer. From there, the international members brought the film back to their countries, which began an informal international distribution that is widening the film’s reach. Gagnon also went to Hawaii, the Philippines, and Australia with the film. In addition to the Vets for Peace chapters, the film has been distributed by some Christian activist groups, Quaker organizations, the womens’ activist group Code Pink, and others.

Some volunteers have committed to hosting multiple screenings. Tremblay said one activist in Ireland “has five different screenings scheduled, and one will be held when the Gangjeong mayor Dong Kyun Kang will be visiting there.”

Other more traditional routes of distribution have not been as fruitful. Tremblay said he has entered the film into 17 film festivals, but and it was accepted by only two. So far, he has found no commercial distributor for the film. For the time being, he said, he is powering down these more expensive methods, and concentrating on a person-to-person and group-to-group method. He will also appear this fall at several New England colleges, including Boston University and at an event held by the Korean student organization of Boston College, to which writer/activist Noam Chomsky has been invited.

Tremblay was still in the early stages of learning about Jeju history when he was on the island to film the protests in 2012. He described how he was told by several people how he would not really understand the history until he visited the “April 3 Museum,” which documents a massacre that took the lives of thousands of Jeju Islanders. The massacre occurred starting on that date in 1948, in response to an uprising of the people there, and the oppression and genocide continued in several incidents until 1950. The uprising was then characterized by the government as a Communist plot; it is now seen as simply a peasant rebellion.

The cruelty of that massacre, during which over 30,000 women, children, and elderly people were shot down and villages were burned, is seared into the cultural memory of that place. The leadership of the Korean military by the U.S. military at that time is documented in detail in the museum exhibits.

During his trip to Gangjeong village, he said, the atmosphere was informal and welcoming. He hung out with the activists and the people of the village who are farmers and fishermen. As a former Catholic priest, Tremblay was welcomed by the protesting priests there as one of their own. He was up close and personal with demonstrators, who are students, executives taking a leave of absence from their jobs, foreign activists of every stripe, journalists, elderly people, and many Christian and some Buddhist peace activists.

Certain American celebrity activists and writers have taken up the cause, including Gloria Steinem, writer Noam Chomsky, and film director Oliver Stone. Tremblay was able to interview Stone for the film. He took a lot of video documenting the struggles and brave persistence of the demonstrators, some of whom have been on the site for years. The story was compelling on its own, but he still did not have a clear idea of the agenda behind the present predicament.

“The elders of the village would have me to their homes, or would come out at night and they’d bring makkoli and beer, at 10 or 11 o’clock at night. And I didn’t realize it then —- because I only went to the museum on my way off the island —- that these people were survivors of that massacre. They are in their 70s and 80s now.”

His trip to the artistically-striking April 3rd (Sa-sam or 4-3) Museum, in the company of artist Gil-chun Koh, who created sculptural installations there depicting the dead and dying Jeju people, was illuminating for the filmmaker. “I went in there and started reading the stuff on the walls and watching a couple of the videos they had, and it was a chronological story of what the Americans had done, even what their names were.” The Jeju Islanders’ reality became clearer to him, he said. “I started getting angry, and then started getting very emotional.”

During the flight on the way home, he said “I felt very conflicted,” he said. He suddenly did not know how to tell the story of the protest apart from its historical context, and he knew that integrating the complex history of the place would be difficult to do in the film. He talked to author and journalist Charles Hanley at that time, as well as to Korean history scholar and author Bruce Cumings. “I went down to the National Archives, and found a lot of information, and some horrible pictures of what happened there. They are not even classified any more. And I then

started to realize I had an idea how I was going to tell it.”

The filmmaker also requested information from the museum’s curator through Gil-chun Koh. “The curator ended up sending me eight DVDs of footage and photographs and interviews with survivors of the massacre,” he said. Some of that footage is included in the film.

In addition to the modern history of Jeju Island, the film also delves into the geopolitical importance of that area between China and Japan, where the U.S. could potentially cut off China’s oil shipments in a war. It discusses evidence that the U.S. has decided to dominate space in violation of international law; using the type of missiles carried by the submarines to be docked at the Jeju base.

It also talks about the irony of Jeju Island’s recent designation as an “Island of Peace” by the Korean government, in light of the government’s complete reversal of its pledge to keep Jeju peaceful, negated by the building of a naval installation there.

Bruce Gagnon, who lives nearby in Maine, came in towards the end of the editing. “At that point, it was going to end on a very depressing note, and he said ‘you cannot do that. You have got to leave the audience with some sense of hope and inspiration.’ I knew he was right.”

He ultimately used some photos of a colorful “Grand March for Peace” in Jeju during which supporters walked around the whole island. For music, he ended with an inspiring alleluia chorus from a piece he heard at a concert at the nearby Bowdoin College. “It was amazing how it all came together.”

Tremblay is always asked if the Jeju site can be saved from development as a naval base. The harbor has now been dredged, and the famous landmark Gangjeong Rock has been dynamited to make way for submarine bays. “At this point, my answer is no,” the filmmaker said. “The base is going to be constructed, and the villagers are going to have to move, and they are going to build housing for 8,000 marines, which will envelop the village.”

In discussions after a screening, the filmmaker said, people often ask what they can do. “My response is that with knowledge comes responsibility. And that the least we can do is to amplify the voices of the people of Gangjeong village, and that people can share the film with as many people as they can reach out to. And that is exactly what I see happening now with the film,” he said.

Additionally, the villagers still need support for their efforts to defend their civil rights, Tremblay reflected, and it helps them to know there is support coming from the outside. “They are so beaten down and depressed now, that any support from outside gives them a real boost of energy,” he said.

Looking at the issue more broadly, Tremblay said “If you or I or maybe this film can do anything, it may be to slow down or stop this militarism and the advance of the empire. People get that. That is my real hope. And this film is not going to be one of these one-and-done type feature films, where people see it and forget about it. This thing has taken on a life of its own. It is somehow connecting.”

© 2013 Korean Quarterly

Ghosts of Jeju documentary film

11/09/2013 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

 

Who is the Evil One on the Korean Peninsula?

dprk-for-minDeputy Foreign Minister of North Korea, Park Gilyeon gave a speech at the United Nations this week that Neo-Cons, warmongers, and the United States government will ridicule just as they did when the new president of Iran held out an olive branch last week. They will say that it is just a propaganda stunt and disingenuous. The U.S. has used that tagline against everyone that opposes it…forever!

Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, in his speech at the United Nations, focused on respecting the rights of Mother Earth and said that the rights of Mother Earth in the 21st Century will be more important that human rights.

Pres. Morales, said “the origin of this crisis (Climate) is the exaggerated accumulation of capital in far too few hands. It is the permanent removal of natural resources and the commercialization of Mother Earth. The origins come from the system and an economic model of Capitalism. If we don’t share the truth of this crisis with one another nor the international community, we will disseminate a lie to our people whom expect more from their presidents, governments and these kinds of forums.”

Not a word from Obama about protecting Mother Earth, global warming, or climate change.

And prior to speaking at the United Nations, President Morales said in a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, “I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity.”

Morales has filed a lawsuit against the US government for crimes against humanity wherein he decries the US for its ‘intimidation tactics’ and ‘fear-mongering’ after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

As if this US bashing wasn’t enough, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil castigated the U.S. for violating Brazil’s sovereignty with what she called a “grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties.” She was referring the the NSA spying on governments and people in her country and the world.

In contrast, President Barack Obama gave an embarrassing, hostile speech filled with lies and innuendo. (David Swanson http://warisacrime.org/content/top-45-lies-obamas-speech-un). Nothing new for the United States to lie and continuously abuse the United Nations. It has been going on for more than 60 years!

But, back to what North Korea’s, Park Gilyeon had to say. First, he said the UN is being abused by high-handedness and arbitrariness where infringement of sovereignty, interference into internal affairs and regime change continue to go unabated under the pretexts of “non-proliferation and human rights protection. Wonder who he’s referring to? Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia, etc etc etc

Second, he stated that it is the unanimous demand of the international society to completely eliminate all nuclear weapons and to build a nuclear weapon free world through disarmament. Again, no surprise here who wants it both ways. Holding that “BOMB” over everyone’s head is the most egregious act of terrorism ever.

Third, he said despite international efforts for human rights protection and promotion, high-handedness and double standards are becoming ever more undisguised in the UN human rights fora, targeting developing countries selectively as before. I wonder, who could he be referring to with this swipe?

Fourth, he suggested that the UN General Assembly (not the Security Council) should be empowered to have the final say as it represents the general will of the entire membership and UN Security Council resolutions affecting peace and security such as sanctions and use of force should be made effective only under the authority and approval of the UN General Assembly. “The instances of the UN Security Council being abused by a certain state as a tool of its strategic interests should never go unchallenged.” Hmmmmmmm Can’t imagine which state that might be.

Continuing in the same vein, he said “The UN Security Council reform which is the key component of UN reform should be undertaken on the basis of principles of ensuring accountability, transparency and impartiality in its activities and ensuring full representation of developing countries in its composition.” And, why not?

Fifth, he states emphatically, “nothing is more precious than a stable and peaceful environment for the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the Korean people….as the general objective of the government.” What? They want peace and stability and not war?

Sixth, “60 years have passed since the end of the ….3-year-long war and the singing of the Armistice Agreement….Yet, a mechanism that guarantees peace fails to be in place, as a result of which the unstable situation neither of war nor peace continues on the Korean peninsula.” This is because the U.S., not Russia and China wanted it so. Only the USA did not remove its forces after the Armistice as did both Russia and China.

Then he blasts the U.S. directly and unequivocably…”With an aim of militarily dominating the northeast Asia with the Korean peninsula as a stepping stone, the United States, having designated the DPRK as its first attack target, beefs up its military presence in South Korea and its vicinity and on the other hand, stages a series of war exercises against the DPRK every year with massive builds up of hundreds of thousands of troops and modern military equipment, thus aggravating confrontation and tension without letup.” He must be talking about Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” committing 60% of America’s naval might to the region….not a secret operation, but a bold pronouncement. (The Ghosts of Jeju)

Mr. Park, reminds us that “The United Nations Command,”  is the illegal manipulation and bullying of the U.S. and has nothing to do with the United Nations, and that “UN Command” claimed by the U.S. is the outdated legacy of the Korean War and continues to serve the U.S. military strategy by abusing the name of the United Nations even today.

He then moves in with the knockout punch when he states, “the repeated vicious cycle of mounting tension on the Korean peninsula has its roots in the hostile policy of the U.S. on the DPRK. He goes on to say, “the United States designated the DPRK…as its enemy from the very first day of its foundation and has been refusing to recognize its sovereignty and imposing all sorts of sanctions, pressures and military threats on the DPRK for more than a half a century. The only way to ensure lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula is to bring the U.S. hostile policy to and end.” AMEN to that!

We don’t see Russia or China, Iran or N. Korea staging war games off Manhattan, L.A. and in the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t see anyone placing missiles and radar installations on our borders. Why is it that America’s strategic military efforts always seem to be on other sovereign nations’ borders?

But Park concludes with a plea for a peace mechanism dismantling the “UN Command” and the lifting of all sanctions and military threats without delay, and for the reunification of the country.” That’s precisely what the Korean people….I say, people want! Unlike the puppet S. Korean government which is controlled and held hostage by the USA. But, the people want unification and peace.

Was any of this reported in the American media? Think again! These are hardly threatening words coming from a rogue state threatening the security of the United States. In contrast, Obama continues to threaten anyone who doesn’t go along. He threatens with drones and his own personal “kill list.” He threatens with over 1,000 bases in more than 130 countries.  He threatens with sanctions and military threats everywhere on the planet.

Here at home, in “the land of the free” he imprisons whistle blowers like Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, and hunts down others like Julian Assange and Eward Snowden, even trying to intimidate China and Russia in the process. Furthermore, he extends the Patriot Act and the NDAA whereby he can detain anyone indefinitely without charges for protesting the illegal and immoral behavior of his administration, and he funds and empowers the militarization of local law enforcement to beat down popular uprisings like Occupy.

As if this isn’t enough to prove who is the “evil” in the world, he refuses to shut down Guantanamo and approves of torture and rendition for suspected “terrorists.”

President Morales put his finger on the root cause of all the problems facing human existence: “the exaggerated accumulation of capital in far too few hands. It is the permanent removal of natural resources and the commercialization of Mother Earth. The origins come from the system and an economic model of Capitalism.”

Capitalism, the military industrial complex, and a government of puppets bought and paid for by big money and large corporate interests. Far from being “exceptional,” the defender of freedom and human rights, America today looks more like fascism than a force for good in the world.

And as all of this plays out in the United Nations, this corrupt government is shut down and threatening to default on its debt payments which will throw the entire global economy into chaos. But fear not! Essential services like the War Department are exempt.

What an example of democracy, freedom, and exceptionalism!

 

 

 

 

The Ghosts of Jeju – Update

Disc_TemplatesPeople the world over like The Ghosts of Jeju, yet 10 of 13 film festivals have rejected it. Currently, only the Berkeley Film Festival and the Portland, Maine Film Festival have accepted it.

To date, the film has been screened in several states, and over a dozen countries, all with wonderful reviews. Screenings are now being organized in Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Portland, OR, and Seattle where I will present the film. Other screenings are in the planning stages for Charlottesville, VA, Chicago, and Daytona Beach, Fl.

So, while mainstream outlets have shown no interest in the documentary, peace and justice organizations and veterans groups are spreading it far and wide.

006 Fr. Mun et al main gateThe latest news from Jeju indicates that construction of the base continues at a frantic pace, and construction of a new U.S. Naval Operations Headquarters in Busan is underway. Without fail, the activists and Catholic priests and nuns block the gates seven days a week and where Catholic mass is celebrated daily at 11 am.

Three activists are still serving lengthy jail sentences among them Professor Yang, the noted Korean film critic who was visited by Oliver Stone when he visited Jeju in August.

My plea in The Ghosts of Jeju was that with knowledge comes responsibility, and the least all of us can do is to amplify their voices. In addition to letter-writing, sending donations to Gangjeong Village, and going there in person, one of the best ways is to use The Ghosts of Jeju to tell their story.

003 Tetrapods crane wallThe Ghosts of jeju will not stop the construction of this base which will destroy Gangjeong, a 400 yr old farming and fishing village, but perhaps it is playing a small role in opposing the military advance of the United States and the march towards full-spectrum dominance of the planet.

My Reply to Washington Post Column by Gene Robinson

Robinson argues that America IS exceptional. I begged to differ.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/yes-vladimir-america-is-exceptional/2013/09/12/4b234320-1be2-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html?hpid=z3

America is no more exceptional than any other nation, village or tribe. Exceptionalism and The American Way of Life are the two biggest lies that have corrupted what could have been a grand experiment in democracy and the land of the free.

It is rather obvious that this exceptional nation has killed more people in wars of aggression to control and extract the earth’s resources than any other nation. This exceptional nation has used the most horrific weapons to commit genocide beginning with the Native Americans, the Philippines, dozens of countries in South and Central America, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. America has used napalm, white phosphorous, Agent Orange, depleted Uranium, and the most devastating and indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction of all, the Atomic Bomb. Not once, but twice. And, America has been threatening the world with the use of it again should any nation dare to challenge the imperial advance.

I guess in a way, that makes America exceptional. But look what exceptionalism has done to the American people: the greatest income disparity since 1927; foreclosures; good manufacturing jobs shipped overseas; a neglected infrastructure; a under-funded and lousy school system; college debt crippling graduates; the elimination of social uplift programs; the attacks on Social Security and Medicare; no universal health care; tens of thousands of injured vets without proper care; and trillions of dollars of debt. And oh, the nation with the most incarcerated people on the planet, and Guantanamo.

But there’s more. The Patriot Act, the NDAA, and the spying of the CIA, FBI, and NSA have all but deprived us of our freedoms and classified any who speak out against these evils as terrorists.

Vlaidimir Putin is not without fault. Russia itself has a terrible record of repression. He accomplished two things: he forced America to look in the mirror, and he slam-dunked Obama. Neither what we see in the mirror nor Obama are particularly pretty.