bmtv72 Guam Under Siege

This vlog entry is about the US military buildup in Guam. The government is moving its forces from Japan to this tiny island over the next 6 years, and the place already has problems supporting the military bases it has. Of course its much more complicated that this, watch the vlog.. its a start.

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  1. January 29, 2008

    Mark, a fantastic PTC! I live near a US base in Japan, and over the past week there have been US transport planes flying out of the base several times a day. Thanks to you, I now know why!

    – Karamoon

    • bicyclemark
      January 29, 2008

      Hey K… yeah Im very curious about the effect on the community of the military leaving. Im sure its mixed. But man the amount of people employed by the bases, for the last 50 years… that could have some major fallout.

  2. Alexander
    January 29, 2008

    Somehow it’s hart for me to find words describing what I think of this situation and not to go beyond the scope of a comment and honestly, Mark allready pointed all the coming up problems, but what I read and hear urged me to respond, so I try anyway.

    I had the oppertunity to live in, visit and talk about countries occupied or deeply influenced by domestic and/or foreign armed forces and dominant police, amongst others East Turkey and Israel. In neither cases they had a positive influence socially or economicly, atleast not in the long run. How come?

    First of all those guys only consume and don’t add and share with the society, making the whole system totally depending on their needs and ruin the local economic and tradition system for the natives. You can find similarities to tourists forcing up the prices in some countries leaving the natives no other choices than driving over to other parts of the city to go shopping (eg. Egypt), but we may not forget the social influences. Indians playing “Cricket” as a national sport (India) leaving thousands of years of own tradition behind is a so to speak “positive” effect, displacing own tradition, but in most cases like in Armenia or “Kurdistan” long traditions are literally destroyed or replaced by less than they had. That shouldn’t be any surprise, because those mostly young soldiers have not yet had the time of developing there own culture, so there are no values they can share, even if there want to, besides that fear, hate and uncertainty.

    If I hand you 100 soldiers, will you find a philosopher? From my perspective, most certainly not. Like all executive forces over the world they are trained to be tough, loud, aggressiv, brutal and we may not forget, they are explicitly trained to kill. This is the opposite education of a social human beeing and therefore their present has great overall negative aura. It takes a very “special person” to be in the military. I’m not going into detail onto this certainly controversial topic, but let me tell you this from my experience: In most cases I can show you the guy, who did the social service and who “served their country”. A point often underestimated, unuttered and somewhat new, but with enourmous consequences for the social life is the distribution between the sexes. These problems extensivly studied in countries like eg. China or other patriarchy countries, where male offspring is valued higher and therefore “aggressivly favored”, will be, without question, a problem in Guam. Why is that? On an estimated everage of 14% (took this from google search) women in the US Army and therefore on this Island there will be at least 20.000 to 30.000 young soldiers seeking woman on this island rivaling with the natives on every weekend. (I deliberatly exaggerated this).

    My last point is something of no importance, atleast if we trust the every day media: The environment. I’m admittedly no expert in that, so please stand up and proof me wrong, but how many waste of frigates, airfield and warplanes the ecological system and the many biotopes an island of this size can handle? As said before, I’m no expert in that, but most certainly they are not gonna take their trash back home. Over here in Europe, maybe Mark could add to that, we continously have more islands, certainly smaller than Guam, that for obvious resasons don’t even allow cars or motorbikes anymore.

    Clearly, there was nothing new to you all and there is much more to tell, but i had to emphasize this.

    Mark: Thanks for pointing out these informations. Kind regards.

  3. bicyclemark
    January 29, 2008

    Alexander… thank you for the strong response, you bring up many more issues for what is indeed a global problem.
    I didnt mention in my vlog entry, and some people might know this, that in the case of Guam, the island does have a special income tax law that it all has to be spent there or something tax related that is meant to make sure people spend their money there. Perhaps another related side effect is that real estate prices are skyrocketing…. again making it unaffordable to regular people who dont make as much as military personel.
    Here in Europe I am starting to think about all the different military bases and their effect on the community. Obviously we remember when the military kids in Germany used to throw rocks ontop of cars passing on the highway… but I guess that was an isolated incident. I know that in Portugal, on the island of Terceira, part of the Azores, there is a US air force base and indeed, Ive seen images, their side of the island suffers from pollution and I do wonder what they do with their waste. Especially with all these nuclear powered vehicles… where are they burying that waste that will of course make any piece of land radioactive for the next 2000 years.

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