Archive | November 26, 2010

The U.S. Looking for War

The U.S. Behind Korean Tensions

From A.N.S.W.E.R

The Obama Administration and its South Korean client government led by the rabidly anti-communist President Kim Myung-bak are blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for the latest escalation of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula.

But in reality the crisis there is the result of a policy of deliberate provocation by the U.S. and South Korea over the past several months. These provocations are targeting both the DPRK and the People’s Republic of China, countries where the often-concealed but very real aim of U.S. leaders — Democrats and Republicans alike – is “regime change.” They could also lead to a new Korean war, one that could expand to wider regional, and potentially nuclear, conflict.

While hypocritically calling for “calm” in words, Washington is escalating the crisis by its actions. A U.S. naval group led by the nuclear “super-carrier” USS George Washington is on its way to carry out joint military maneuvers with South Korean warships in the Yellow Sea, menacing both China and the DPRK. By moving this huge aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea the Pentagon and White House are sending a direct, threatening message of escalation since China considers these waters to be part of its sovereign territory.

On November 24, an unnamed “senior administration official” confirmed that the U.S. is escalating pressure on China: “China clearly does not like to see U.S aircraft carriers, for example, in the Yellow Sea.” (NY Times, Nov. 25, 2010) 

What’s needed to resolve the crisis:

The DPRK wants direct talks with the United States, a formal Peace Treaty ending the Korean War, and a normalization of relations with the United States. This seemed like a realizable goal in the last months of the Bill Clinton administration in 1999 and 2000. George W. Bush scuttled these efforts shortly after taking office in 2001. The Obama administration continued this policy with new sanctions and endless war games simulating the invasion and bombing of North Korea.

The anti-war movement and all progressive people and organizations should stand against any new war, and demand an end to the U.S.-South Korean provocations.

In the latest incident, the North and South Korean armies exchanged artillery fire on November 23. Two South Korean soldiers and two civilians were reported killed and others wounded. Casualties on the North Korean side have not been reported. As in all such previous incidents, U.S. and South Korean leaders condemned the DPRK. But, as even a close reading of the universally anti-North corporate media here reveals, the first shells were fired by the South during military exercises staged in a disputed sea area close to the west coast of North Korea.

The North Korean government stated that it was “reacting to the military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt powerful physical strike,” and accused Seoul of starting the skirmish with its “reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside the territorial waters of the” North. 

The roots of the crisis:

The western sea border between the North and South is not recognized as legitimate by the DPRK. It was unilaterally created by the United States, using the mantle of the United Nations as a fig leaf and cover for its actions, at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The U.S. and allied forces fought the DPRK under the UN flag, slaughtering millions of Korean people and leveling the northern half of the country by massive bombing. That war further divided a historically unified society into competing states. While an armistice was signed in July 1953, the U.S. has refused the demands of the DPRK to sign a Peace Treaty formally bringing the war to an end U.S.

“War Games” = Preparation for Real War

In recent years there have been at least three clashes in the same area as the November 23 incident. The DPRK had repeatedly warned South Korea against carrying out the latest “war games” the area. In fact, the term “war games” is a misnomer — these maneuvers should correctly be called dress rehearsals for war. No one knows, moreover, whether any particular military exercises is practice or the real thing, until it is over and done with. This is especially true when the “war games” take place in extremely close proximity to an enemy state.

The U.S. and South Korea annually stage such exercises close to both China and the DPRK. The latest and largest joint drills were held this past summer despite strong protests from both the PRC and DPRK. Those “games,” labeled “Invincible Spirit,” included a simulated invasion of the North. 

China’s defense ministry especially objected to the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier close to its coast. In typical arrogant fashion, a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson responded: “Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, using what assets and so forth, are determinations made by the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, by the United States government.” (Agence France Presse, July 15, 2010)

Imagine for a moment the reaction in Washington if the Chinese navy announced that it was planning to hold similar maneuvers right off-shore of New York or Los Angeles. 

The Number 1 Provocation – U.S. Military Presence

The biggest provocation of all is the massive presence of U.S. military bases, troop, nuclear and conventional weapons in the region. In 2010, 65 years after the end of World War II, there are scores of U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine bases in Korea, Okinawa, and all across Japan. The U.S. has provided high tech weaponry of all kinds to Taiwan. Trident submarines, each of which can launch hundreds of nuclear warheads, and nuclear-armed aircraft carriers prowl the eastern Pacific round-the-clock.

This vast deployment of military power halfway around the world far exceeds that of any other country. It and the tens of billions of dollars it burns up every year is justified to the people here as being for “defensive purposes.” But that is just another Big Lie.

The real purpose of this monstrous military machine is to secure and further the interests of the U.S. corporate power and strategic domination in Asia and around the world. It is the enemy of the people of Korea, China, Japan and the people of the United States.

There will be an emergency anti-war rally on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 12 Noon in front of the White House. If you live too far away or can’t make it.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

http://www.AnswerCoalition.org/

Related Topics:

South Korea and the U.S. on the Brink?

The Peace that Will Not Proceed

Lost to the Sea of Life

 

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Lost to the Sea of Life 

By Hwaa Irfan

We can only judge when something happens, how equipped we are for any given situation, but most of us live our lives in fear of the unknown. Despite all the blessings of modernity, we find ourselves less able, not more when a situation arises. If we are blessed, we will have all our senses, and our limbs, but at the ability to think for ourselves is something we learn on the way.

It might not have happened if they were raised in the extravagant West – those three boys were lost in the Pacific Ocean for so long, that their families and relatives thought they were dead. For 50 days, no one knew that they were still in this plane of existence.

From the island (atoll) of Atafu, north of Samoa.Two boys, Samuel Pelesa, and Filo Filo aged 15, and their cousin Etueni (Edward) Nasau aged 14 set out for an inter-island trip of Tokelau, an archipelago of 3 atolls includinf Atafu, in an aluminium boat. Running out of fuel for their motor, they drifted out to sea out of sight of their island home. uth only a small supply of food on board, and between them, whatever understanding they had, a new one was to form out of the need to survive. They had survived on one seagull, which presented itself on their boat and whatever flying fish that also hopped on board. Without means of cooking, what they ate was eaten raw. For water they drank rainwater. Canadian Indians would collect their drinking water from melted snow before the country was industrialized, so there was no real health risk.

They were even searched for by the New Zealand air force, and fearing the worst, a memorial service was held for them by 500 townsfolk. The boys in their aluminium boat drifted 1300 km into a part of the Pacific Ocean where there is little sea traffic, until they drifted into the tuna boat racing home of Auckland, San Nikunau. Before that, they had seen ships that could not see them. 

As time passed, the boys had no drinking water, has there was no rainfall, and resorted to sips of seawater 2 days before they were found. Death was on their minds, and they prayed everyday to be found.

Away from their normal route, the tuna fishing vessel with First Mate Tai Fredricsen was passing through San Nikunau after deciding not to unload their catch in American Samoa out of a desire to get home. They were just trying to take the quickest route home, when in the distant they noticed a small boat Fredricsen told Stuff. Curiosity got the better of them because something was not quite right about it all. As they approached the boys started to wave to. As the fishing vessel drew close up, the crew saw three physically fit, but very skinny boys. 

On board the fishing vessel, Fredricsen, a medical officer put the boys on an intravenous drip, but to his surprise the only medical treatment the boys were in need of was sunscreen lotions. They were able to sip water, and were eager to eat some real food. They had not eaten for 2 weeks prior to being found! After phoning home, the boys were treated to a kiwi breakfast, lunch, cartoons and music by the crew – what an adventure! 

Severely sunburned, but otherwise in good health, the tuna vessel has dropped the boys off in Suva, the capital of Fiji where a hospital check up is waiting for them before flying to Samoa, then a boat trip to Tokelau.

Life Lessons

In the U.K.’s “Wellbeing Challenge” involving 10,000 teenagers, and 400 schools, the youth were asked to complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Test before and after the challenge. It was found by removing 21st century material trappings, gadgets, and make-up, that their self esteem rose by 20%. Psychologist Emma Kenny commented:

The results from the Wellbeing Challenge were astonishing for such a short period of time. It is clear that there is a correlation between increased self-esteem and teens being freed from the trappings of modern day pressures, particularly those affecting their appearance.

“In truth, we are robbing children of their childhood by showing unrealistic images of models and celebrities everyday, which are unachievable. In actual fact make-up is simply a mask for their unhappiness and by removing it we are liberating them from these social expectations, creating resilience and strength.

“David Cameron is taking a lead in investigating what makes us happy as adults. If the Simple Wellbeing Challenge in schools proves anything it is that money is not everything, but that appearance plays a huge role. With increased self-esteem we will foster a new happier generation.”

When there is no illusions of trust, we connect with what is always ever-present, Our Creator. We stand tested to the trials that present themselves as a means of defining who and what we really are – what distracts us, and what confuses us. These boys did not grow up street-wises with all the confusing trappings of boyhood in the city – they have grown up in the traditional ways of their people on the Atoll of Atafu, which one of three which makes up Tokelau. They would not have known what it is like to be without a community for a family, and to be couped up indoors out of fear for the outdoors. They would not have spent endless hours in front of books, homework, and T.V. and video games. They would have explored their environment, and in the process learn lessons that would equip them for life. 

“Take a ship from the Samoan capital Apia and travel north for 28 often stomach-churning hours through the South Pacific ocean — an empty expanse except for flying fish and the occasional pod of dolphins — and you’ll reach Tokelau” South Asian Women’s Forum. 

Under the administrative management of New Zealand, the islanders are free to live according to their traditions – they are aiming to become self governed. Wait for a barge to take you, the post, and supplies to any of the atolls of Tokelau where there is no capital  to confuse you, no airports, cars, television, and the village chiefs take turns each to be the leader of this tiny nation.

“There is no other place I can catch a yellowfin tuna 100 metres from home,” says Mika Kalolo, 31, a government employee who went to school and worked in New Zealand for many years before returning home to Atafu, the northernmost atoll.

Drinking water comes mainly from the rain, which when it falls is held in large storage tanks beside/under each home. Times are changing though, as the open huts, are being taken over by concrete and timber buildings, which are built according to custom, i.e. a single large room. 

“When I came back after getting used to luxury five star living in New Zealand for 11 years, it was a culture shock for me in terms of privacy and sharing, returning to communal facilities and activities,” -Mika Perez, a 45-year-old government official on Nukunonu atoll.

 It is no wonder the boys survived, as they come from a people not ingratiated with excess in lifestyle including food, as the atolls have little soil to grow produce on, so the islanders live on bananas, breadfruit, taro, coconuts, pigs and chicken. Fishing is the main occupation, and this is done as a social activity, as everyone shares in the catch, just as everyone shares in the building or the fixing of a home.

As for national security, it consists of two police officers who have only the odd dispute to deal with, and there is no prison. However, that might change as the young who have lived in New Zealand return with lifestyles from the mainland including individualism and hence competitiveness. May God give them the grace of insight for where individualism sets in there is loss of common values, the values that have made the people of Atafu into one big family. They know little of what it means to be not accepted, to be unimportant, and to always waste energy with the kind of negative emotions that sets one person up against the other, to be a commodity, a value/value-less, to have meaningless passed onto their children, to always be in doubt of who and what you are, and for each individual to fight/find their way through the sea of life.

Sources:

Barber, D. “Boys Alive After 50 Days Adrift in the Pacific.” http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/boys-alive-after-50-days-adrift-in-pacific-20101125-188l1.html

Field, M. “Miracle Survival of Three Boys.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/world/4386825/Three-boys-miracle-survival

South Asian Women’s Forum. “Tokelau Clings to Traditional Ways in South Pacific Isolation.” http://www.sawf.org/newedit/edit03202006/places.asp

“Teen Happiness at All Time Low.” http://www.responsesource.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=61061&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReleaseWireChildrenAndTeenagers+%28Release+Wire%3A+Children+and+Teenagers%29

 “Three Boys Adrift in Pacific Ocean for 50 Days Found Alive.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11836284

“Teenager Found Adrift in Pacific Describes His Ordeal.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11854426

Relate Topics:

Happiness Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

The Missing Link in the Education of Our Boys

Taking Control of Your Family

Climbing the Mountain

The Echo of Life

Mindfulness and Adolescence

AHome or a House!

Live to Work or Work to Live!

The Lesson That Cannot Be Taught!

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Reliving the Art of Communication

Preparing for Life!

What Frequency Am I Traveling on Right Now?

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

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