The Deadly Connection: Endless War and Economic Crisis
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 14, 2012 18:05
Bruce Gagnon spoke at UWT’s Carwein Auditorium on April 30, the final day in his one-month circuit which began in San Diego. Presented by the Office of Equity and Diversity, Mr. Gagnon offered the UWT community an alternative perspective to the reasons behind the USA’s massive, planetary and space-based “national defense” programs and wars-of-choice.
As co-founder and coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and long-time member of Veterans for Peace, Gagnon explained how the Pentagon has become an enforcement arm of resource-extraction-intensive, U.S.-based global corporations, which exert much control within the U.S. government. He said the USA consumes 25 percent of all planetary resources, while only 5 percent of the global population lives here. These resources are taken from all over the planet.
For instance, oil and gas is taken from under the feet of Middle Easterners, Africans, and Indigenous Americans (tar sands in Canada). They receive little to nothing, while their lands are polluted and the valuable resources are taken away for someone else’s enrichment. Gagnon argues that these resources would not be so easily taken without the U.S. military to ensure the domination of the global corporations who profit from extracting the resources.
The connection between truly massive military spending and the “inability,” or refusal to pay for domestic social programs by the U.S. government should not be difficult to understand. Education, medical care, mass transit, earned-retirement pensions, pedestrian-accessible public streets and a long list of other rather important investments are not being made or they are being cut, but leveling off or decreasing military spending is not even being discussed by our elected representatives in D.C.
Gagnon spent much of his lecture discussing local South Korean protests to the new U.S. military base being built on Jeju Island in the East China Sea near the entrance to the Strait of Korea. The base is being built at a cost of nearly $1 billion against the protests of the local residents.
The location for the U.S. military base is the tiny village of Gangjeong, which is surrounded by three United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Natural Heritage sites and nine UNESCO Geo-Parks on an island that is designated a Global Biosphere Reserve.
Construction is accelerating daily with the dredging of the island’s seabed which is destroying its coral communities. Since plans for the naval base were announced five years ago, 94 percent of Gangjeong residents have voted against it and used every possible democratic means to block its construction in their pristine fishing village.
Robert Redford, actor, director and Natural Resources Defense Council trustee, in February of this year discussed his feelings about the situation involving the Gangjeong residents. “I am moved and impressed that the residents near the coastline have been waging a fierce nonviolent struggle to stop the base,” he said. “They’ve used their bodies to block bulldozers and cement trucks, sacrificed their personal freedom, been beaten and imprisoned, and paid heavy fines...” (visit: www.savejejuisland.org).
For more information about the U.S. military Space Command’s planned domination of space (visit: www.gsinstitute.org/gsi/docs/vision_2020.pdf), for more information about this “Full Spectrum Dominance” as published by the US Joint Chief’s Office (visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/doctrine/genesis_and_evolution/source_materials/joint_vision_2020.pdf).