|STRUGGLE AND SOLIDARITY ARE KEY TO VICTORY AGAINST THE FOREIGN WAR MACHINE
Roland G. Simbulan
Professor, University of the Philippines
Yonip.com editor in chief
I am happy to introduce my book in Japanese on the Filipino People’s Struggle Against Foreign Military Presence, I thank Gaifusha Publishing Company of Tokyo, for its efforts to have it accessible into for the people of Japan and Okinawa. I hope that sharing our rich experiences in our struggle in the Philippines in getting rid of the bases and converting them to peaceful, commercial uses, will contribute to the struggle especially of the people of Okinawa, where most U.S. military bases and troops are deployed. Okinawa is not just where the highest concentration of U.S. troops in Japan are located, it is also the location of the Pentagon’s premier interventionist force – the only Marine Division located outside the United States. Even after the removal of U.S. bases from the Philippines, the 3rd U.S. Marine Division based in Okinawa still regularly conducts so-called military exercises in the Philippines, while in reality are actively involved in the counter-insurgency campaign with Philippine troops.
Like in Okinawa, and Japan, the Philippines was used through the vast U.S. bases, to secretly store nuclear weapons especially during the Cold War, according to declassified U.S. national security documents. Wars or interventionist wars, are against our wishes—so they have to keep these deployments and activities secret– even from the world’s only atom-bombed nation like Japan, in clear violation of Japan’s anti-war Constitution.
More than two decades after the official end of the Cold War, the Pentagon still maintains its vast overseas military forces for the Asia-Pacific in Okinawa and mainland Japan. These U.S. bases and troops provided essential support to U.S. wars of intervention in Korea and Vietnam, and in U.S. military interventions in the Middle East.
Twenty one years ago, on September 16, 1991 the Philippine Senate – with the support of the Filipino people – courageously defied U.S. pressures and lobbying , and decided to reject and terminate a new treaty that would have extended the largest U.S. air force bases and the largest U.S. naval bases beyond 1991, the expiration date. They were guided by the nuclear weapons-free provision of our 1987 Constitution, which prohibited nuclear weapons, and by the nuclear weapons free zones of more than half of the localities and municipalities in the Philippines. It was a resounding victory for our people’s long struggle against foreign military forces on our land which had undermined our foreign and security policy, and kept us hostage and made us a launching pad for so long to U.S. interventionist wars in Asia and other parts of the world.
Our post-bases conversion experience is another great story, which I have narrated in great detail in my book. All the doomsday scenarios that the pro-bases propaganda said would happen, if the bases were pulled out, were all proven wrong and false. There is life after the U.S. bases. Many Okinawan and Japanese peoples as well as other visitors from other countries who have visited the Philippines during the past 20 years now admire how the Filipino people have taken over the U.S. bases and converted these into recreational parks, resorts, commercial uses, airports and civilian harbors and have created for the nation more than four times the number of employment compared to the peak of U.S. military activities in the Philippines.
Whichever of the two major parties, Democratic or Republican, wins in the coming U.S. elections, its presidential candidate can be expected to pursue big-military, interventionist policies — the policies that the two Bushes and Clinton promoted, and the Pentagon has carried out, on behalf of the top U.S. corporations.
To curb the Pentagon, the people of Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Philippines and the United States will have to wage a constant and ever-growing struggle and foster international solidarity.
Only after such struggle will the U.S. government spend taxpayers’ money on health care, education, and housing and improve the lives of the 99% of the American people — rather than on a big global military machine, to guard the global interests of the corporate elite.
Only after such struggle and solidarity will Okinawa and Japan be free of the U.S. military presence, designed to make Asia and the Middle East safe for U.S. transnational corporations —while bringing to the lives and politics of the Japanese people, especially the Okinawans, an unbearable disruption, a persistent intrusion, and the indignity of the involvement of their homeland in preparations for U.S. interventionist war.
This will not last. I have total faith in the people, and people’s power.
October , 2012
|* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)|