ASIAN PEOPLES SAY NO TO BUSH!
A Statement of the Asian Peace Alliance (APA)
10 October 2003
In a drive to mobilize Asian countries anew to ensure support for its occupation of Iraq and “war on terror,” American President George W. Bush’s is scheduled to visit Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Japan and the Philippines this October. A high point of his itinerary is the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be held in Bangkok. Bush’s visit, aimed at discussing “important bilateral, regional, and global issues” combines two of the most important foreign policy concerns of the Bush administration today: its neoliberal trade agenda, and the consolidation of its global power through war and other militarist policies. This visit, we note, is being conducted at a time when the Bush administration finds itself in a blind alley in its pursuit of global domination — Iraq occupation in quagmire, astronomic war and occupation expenditures, falling domestic support and mounting critique from U.S. citizens, impasse over North Korea and Palestine issues, the glaring failure of WTO Cancun ministerial, and non-compliance of the United Nations, among others. The Bush administration now looks toward Asia as its desperately needed resource yet to be fully exploited to bail it out of power crisis.
We as Asian people refuse to come to his rescue. We must tell him that his global domination agenda, militarily as well economically, should be dropped. We urge Asian governments to tell him the same.
On top of Bush’s agenda in Tokyo is getting Japan to contribute several billions of dollars to meet a large chunk of Iraq occupation expenditure and to send Japanese troops to Iraq as part of the occupation forces. Bush is pressuring the South Korean government to do the same. Bilateral issues with Singapore, which has provided solid support for the war on terror and who was the first to enter a free trade agreement with the US, is said to include “regional security cooperation and the fight against terrorism, the free trade agreement, and US-Singapore commercial links.” The recent addition of Indonesia to the Bush itinerary signals the importance of this country to the anti-terrorist war. Meanwhile, the Philippine government, which was recently declared as a major non-NATO US ally hopes to cement agreements on US pledge for a USD 100 million military assistance.
In the aftermath of September 11, Bush’s neo-conservative, trigger-happy strategists seized the opportunity to hegemonize the world through a single-minded approach to so-called “global terrorism”. Brandishing a “global war on terror” the United States brutally forced its way into Afghanistan and Iraq, without any legitimate bases for such attacks and despite worldwide protest. The Bush regime also enacted laws which sought to justify its use of full military force against any state, government, organization, groups and/or individuals that oppose Washington’s “hidden global agenda”, by simply tagging them as terrorists. The same laws have put its own citizens and troops at more risk and danger all over the world.
In Asia President Bush supports similar policies by governments, such as anti-terrorism legislations being introduced in several Asian countries, and contempt for international rule of law. Like the American Patriotic Act, these anti-terror legislations aim to legitimize and justify state-repression. With US military equipment, training and the sending of American advisors intensifying in the region, this renewed form of state terrorism will only fortify existing authoritarianism by crushing legitimate democratic opposition
The US takes advantage of North Korea’s nuclear arms development program to justify the presence of US military bases in South Korea, pushing the Korean peoples away from the opportunity to peacefully resolve the crisis amongst themselves.
Although the US aims to capture China’s huge commercial market, Bush seeks to enhance its ‘China containment policy, ‘by ensuring US military presence in the region.
We are particularly warned by the fact that THE Japanese government is dashing toward full remilitarization taking advantage of the Bush government’s pressure for Japan’s open participation in the American war.
On top of a full set of wartime laws forced through the Japanese parliament in the past few months, the Japanese government has made a law to deploy armed ground troops to Iraq for the first time in postwar years and is sending them within this year, ignoring and violating Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. This is designed as a major step toward the revision of the Peace Constitution in the near future, fulfilling the dreams of the adherents to the glories of Imperial Japan. A fully rearmed Japan serving the U.S. global strategy will spell disaster particularly to the security of the people in Korean Peninsula as well as its other Asian neighbors.
Southeast Asia has been labeled the “second front” against global terrorism (next to WEST ASIA, or the Middle East). Due to this distinction, increased military attention is being focused on the sub region’s Islamic populations. Southeast Asia records some of the world’s worst human rights violations such as torture, sexual violence and enforced disappearances. These are expected to deteriorate further, as anti-terrorism and national security legislations are enforced to tighten the grip of authoritarian power against its people.
India and Pakistan, encouraged by the military bravado of the United States, continue to race against each other for nuclear capability, resulting in increased tension between the two countries.
The Asian Peace Alliance (APA), a regional network of activists advocating global peace and justice, therefore opposes the Bush visit and all its objectives: profit-driven globalization, with the U.S. at the helm and backed up by macho military positioning. We reject it because it undermines our human and regional security. We reject the wars of aggression WAGED BY the United States and its efforts to draw our region into such wars. We condemn the worsening world hunger and deprivation caused by American foreign policy and aggravated by increased militarization and military policies.
We ask our governments to desist from supporting and participating in U.S. military designs. We ask our governments — if you are really interested in genuine peace — then heed our call for demilitarizing the region and work towards fulfilling the people’s desire for justice and social equity.
We remain committed to a just and lasting peace, based on the rule of
law, international consensus and cooperation, and the principles of self-determination, human rights, and gender-fair and human-centered development.
NO TO BUSH IN ASIA !!!
DE-MILITARIZE ASIA, END U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE IN THE REGION !!!
The Steering Committee, Asian Peace Alliance (APA)
Asia Peace Alliance Japan (APA-japan)
October 14, 2003
For further information, please contact :
1)APA Secretariat, c/o ARENA email@example.com
2)Steering Committee members in your country
ASIAN PEACE ALLIANCE © COPYRIGHT
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on Nov 16th 2003