Guam poet against Trump’s nuclear warmongering

This video says about itself:

The History of Guam

10 August 2017

Guam is a virtual US colony, whose residents have been denied the rights afforded to other Americans, says professor David Vine.

And now United States President Trump, not elected by even one Guam person, makes Guam the focus of threats of a nuclear war with North Korea.

By Ryan Grenoble from the USA:

Chamorro [indigenous Guamanian] poet and activist Craig Santos Perez told The Atlantic he’s both concerned and angry that Guam is in this position to begin with.

“Definitely concern was the first feeling, but then of course anger that Guam is put into the crosshairs of the situation,” he said. “My opinion is the American military presence… has made Guam a target most of all. Really, the answer is not THAAD or more weapons, but demilitarization and thinking about how we can create peace in the region and have the de-proliferation of nuclear weapons, both in Korea and in the United States.”

The world is daily and hourly edging closer to the brink of nuclear war, as US President Donald Trump maintains a constant stream of extraordinarily inflammatory and reckless threats against North Korea. Such bellicose language coming from the man in charge of the most powerful military force on the planet is generating increasing shock and fear that war with nuclear weapons could break out at any moment: here.

Washington is preparing for nuclear war in Europe: here.

31 thoughts on “Guam poet against Trump’s nuclear warmongering

  1. Saturday 12th August 2017

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    Corbyn calls for calm and urges countries to get ‘back from the brink’ of threatening nuclear war

    LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the US and North Korea to “calm down” yesterday as confrontation between the nuclear-armed states loomed.

    Mr Corbyn urged the two countries to come “back from the brink” after US President Donald Trump ramped up the brinkmanship on Twitter yesterday, claiming that Washington was ready for war if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went through with a multiple missile test.

    Pyongyang said it was drawing up plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan and into waters around the US Pacific island territory of Guam.

    “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” Mr Trump wrote. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path.”

    The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition and a delegation of journalists, writers and peace campaigners also delivered a letter to the US embassy in London yesterday, urging restraint and a return to talks.

    The letter pointed out that the “threat of nuclear annihilation” came as the world marked the 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
    “We are reminded of the death, pain and suffering that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and are determined that people should not have to suffer like that again,” it read.

    “People around the world are extremely anxious for their future.” Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on holiday, is yet to comment on the crisis.

    Mr Trump’s comments followed a warning to Pyongyang on Thursday against “even thinking about” an attack on the US or its “allies.”

    “Things will happen to them like they never thought possible,” he said.

    Mr Kim could approve the plan in response to the latest twice-yearly US-South Korean Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises starting on August 21.

    The war games, involving hundreds of thousands of troops, are timed to coincide with the Korean harvest season, forcing Pyonyang to call up large numbers of reservists from farms — which employ almost a quarter of the workforce — and factories.

    In his comments yesterday, veteran anti-war campaigner Mr Corbyn addressed Mr Trump and Mr Kim, saying: “There are phone calls that could be made, there are discussions that could be held.

    “Surely in the interests of sanity and safety over the whole world, do it.”

    Mr Corbyn said Britain and other nuclear powers must play their part in reducing the tensions.

    “We cannot play fast and loose with nuclear weapons and nuclear threats because do you know what — a nuclear explosion doesn’t stop at national borders, it doesn’t stop at the vicinity where the bomb drops.”

    He called on them to support the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and “the UN’s efforts to make nuclear weapons illegal worldwide,” which include a recent ban treaty.

    On Thursday the US Pacific Command said supersonic B-1 strategic bombers based on Guam were ready for the US Forces Korea “Fight Tonight mission.”

    Guam, some 2,000 miles south-east of the Korean peninsula, hosts about 7,000 US troops compared to a population of just 160,000 — a ratio of one to 23.

    In California on Thursday night US Defence Secretary James Mattis warned a war would be “catastrophic.”

    “The tragedy of war is well enough known,” he said. “It doesn’t need another characterisation beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic.”


  2. Saturday 12th August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    FOR THE third time this week, US President Donald Trump has cranked up the belligerent rhetoric. He’s like a character in a Quentin Tarantino film, a rogue cop who — facing a cartoon villain with a lighted match — threatens to douse the floor with kerosene.

    Jeremy Corbyn’s call for face-to-face negotiations is, therefore, a welcome addition to the chorus of sanity that is urgently required. So, too, would be the proposals for talks from South Korean President Moon Jae In, were it not for his country’s continuing involvement in US-led war games around the borders of the North.

    But there can be no doubt that in this case jaw-jaw is infinitely better than war-war. Should the cold war between the US and North Korea turn hot, the consequences would be calamitous for all the peoples of the Korean peninsula and surrounding region.

    Might Trump see a military strike against the Pyongyang regime as a popular move, rallying the US people to a commander-in-chief who is failing so palpably to deliver on his rash promises to desperate working-class voters?

    He has certainly demonstrated a capacity for bombastic, reckless and uncaring actions since taking office seven long months ago. Some of his gung-ho advisers appear to be characters straight out of the cast of Dr Strangelove.

    Given this incipient madness, it is difficult to understand why the North Korean leadership has so far chosen to match the US, threat for threat and provocation for provocation. There would be no winners in a nuclear conflagration, but the people of Korea would undoubtedly be the biggest losers.

    It is equally clear that efforts to resolve the Korean crisis by placing pressure on China, threatening military annihilation, imposing sanctions on North Korea or waiting for the latter’s economic collapse are all doomed to fail.

    This makes it all the more necessary to heed China’s repeated calls for resumption of the six-party talks begun in 2003 but discontinued in 2009. Discussions between senior representatives from China, North and South Korea, Japan and Russia had produced a framework for progress in matters of security, demilitarisation, diplomatic relations, civil nuclear power, finance and trade.

    Britain would do better to add its voice to such a call rather than merely parrot US condemnations of the North Korean regime.


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  5. JEREMY CORBYN issued another call yesterday for the US president and the North Korean leader to step back from the brink of war.

    The Labour leader said that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un must “immediately wind down the war of rhetoric” after the unstable pair’s escalation in fighting talk over a potential nuclear battle.

    Pyongyang has threatened to fire four missiles into the sea around Guam, a US colony used as a massive military base.

    Mr Trump threatened to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded,” should North Korea launch the missiles.

    Mr Corbyn urged Prime Minister Theresa May not to get involved by committing Britain’s armed forces to military action in any form of “blind loyalty” to Mr Trump’s administration.

    He wrote in the Sunday Mirror: “The risks of an unintended escalation into full-blown conflict are too great for the whole world.

    “We cannot play fast and loose with nuclear weapons and nuclear threats. Our government must press for measured responses to bring the temperature down.

    “Our government must not drag our country into any military action over the Korea crisis, including joint exercises.

    “There can be no question of blind loyalty to the erratic and belligerent Trump administration.”

    He said a Labour government would be committed to removing nuclear weapons from the world and that “global pressure for dialogue and diplomacy must be overwhelming.”

    On Friday, he called on Mr Trump and Mr Kim to come “back from the brink” while Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition and other peace activists delivered a letter to the US embassy urging restraint and a return to talks — but embassy staff refused to receive it.


  6. Monday 14th August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    It is easy to portray Trump and Kim as two cartoon-like figures who are full of bravado but will do nothing in the end. That may indeed be the outcome – but we shouldn’t count on it, writes LINDSEY GERMAN

    IT MAY be that we will look back on August 2017 as a month when the hot war rhetoric got a bit out of hand. Or it may be that we will look back on it as the start of a new hot war, involving North and South Korea, the US, China and Japan. It really is that frightening. The world is closer to nuclear war than at any time probably since the Cuba missile crisis in 1962.

    US President Donald Trump’s tweeted promise that he would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea “like the world has never seen” was quite an extraordinary statement for anyone to make who was not preparing for a war of some kind.

    Since then, his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has tried to row back from the implications of the threat, telling US citizens that they could “sleep well at night.” Meanwhile US Defence Secretary James Mattis (a former general known as “mad dog”) has told North Korea that it faces “the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

    Meanwhile North Korea has announced that it is planning to launch four missiles toward the Pacific island of Guam, site of a giant US air base from where planes flying over Korea are launched. This is on top of testing a series of missiles which may have the capability to reach western cities in the US (although it is unclear that they could do so) and the claim in some quarters that North Korea has developed a mini nuclear warhead.

    The levels of rhetoric from Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have shaken millions of people around the world. We have become used to the seemingly endless wars played out in the Middle East and in Afghanistan, and to the constant background of war which has played out over the past 16 years of the war on terror. But this conflict risks the threat of nuclear war — a war which will lead to the destruction of much of the planet and to the deaths of millions of people.

    This week has marked the anniversary of the bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons by the United States in August 1945. To this day the US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons.

    The prospect of a new war involving nuclear weapons is now conjured up over the conflict with North Korea. The Korean peninsula, occupied by Japan during the second world war, has been divided in two since the end of the Korean war from 1950-53. The US and a number of other countries including Britain were involved in that war, which was a proxy for the cold war conflict between the US one the one hand and China and Russia on the other. There were major interventions in Korea and Vietnam aimed at preventing the spread of regimes seen as sympathetic to China.

    The US used napalm — a chemical weapon made notorious through its later use in Vietnam — and carpet bombing to win its war aims.

    There was talk also of using another nuclear weapon. In addition, the US quite deliberately and brutally targeted the civilian population of Korea, bombing dams which flooded the rice fields and left people to starve. It is estimated that around a quarter or a third of the population died in total from bombing and war-related deaths.

    After three years, the ceasefire left the country partitioned more or less where the war had started, and the populations of both north and south still live with the legacy of that war which looms large in the national consciousness.

    North Korea has found itself increasingly isolated politically and economically in recent decades, and this isolation is partly reflected in Kim Jong-un’s belligerent rhetoric against the US. He wants to bolster his legitimacy as a “strong ruler” against the US, in a country where there are huge economic problems and no democracy.

    Last weekend the UN unanimously placed further sanctions on North Korea in response to its development of nuclear weapons, which is prohibited under international non-proliferation agreements. Nuclear weapons which are true weapons of mass destruction — cannot be justified in any circumstances. Yet there are gross hypocrisies here, since the US is the possessor of by far the largest nuclear arsenal, which it has no intention of getting rid of, despite international agreements.

    The US response to the nuclear testing in the north has been to station the Thaad missile shield system in South Korea. This makes a US first strike more likely, not less. In addition, there are 30,000 US troops stationed in the south. War, even if it is confined to the peninsula, will lead to widespread civilian casualties and probably escalation to other countries.

    It is comforting for many on the liberal left to believe that there cannot be a war, that the rhetoric is just that. It is easy to portray

    Trump and Kim as two cartoon-like figures who are full of bravado but will do nothing in the end.

    That may indeed be the outcome — but we shouldn’t count on it.

    Trump and Kim are both highly unpredictable. More fundamentally, the looming economic conflict between China (North Korea’s closest ally) and the US is widely predicted to lead to future military tensions.

    There is also talk among US Republicans about “preventative war” or limited bombing of nuclear test sites. While it may be that there are attempts at diplomacy in the short term to end this crisis, it will not go away. China and Russia want a freeze on military activity and testing north and south, to which so far the US will not agree.

    Socialists and anti-war campaigners have every interest in calling for peace and demilitarisation, and for an end to the sabre-rattling, which can easily get out of control. More widely, there has to be an increased pressure for nuclear disarmament. This is a war that no-one can win.

    Lindsey German is convenor of the Stop the War Coalition.


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