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Call for Local Spring Asia-Pacific Events Around the World
After twelve years of war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Obama Administration is “pivoting” to the Asia-Pacific. Sixty percent of the U.S. military forces are being deployed in the region to “contain” China. The popular phrase in Washington to describe this process is a “re-balancing” of US forces.
The increased militarization of the US’s Asia-Pacific policies is anything but benign. It is fueling region-wide arms races, increasing the dangers of war, as we have seen in the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, reinforces Japan’s transformation into a national security state, and has devastating impacts on the people of Jeju Island, Okinawa, Guam and Hawaii where new bases are being built.
The House Armed Services Committee will begin a series of hearings in February to further demonize China and to create the support for additional Congressional funding for the military “pivot”.
The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization invites peace groups, faith communities, and API solidarity groups to join us to counter-organize around those hearings this coming spring. We invite you to organize local or regional educational forums or other public events to create greater public awareness about the pivot. .
Our plan is to follow up after the spring events by organizing a national conference on the Asia-Pacific in the fall of 2014.
We will soon provide a list of Asia-Pacific resources including speakers, films, books, websites, and articles that could help further grow the issue in our communities.
The pivot is an issue that will touch every community. The military industrial complex fully knows that in order to pay for the massively expensive “re-balancing” the remaining slim thread of social spending must be cut in order to pay for corporate imperial ambitions. The military also creates a large carbon footprint that will only exacerbate climate change.
We hope that with your collaboration, we can connect the dots between cancerous militarism, environmental degradation, a new costly arms race, and human rights abuses.
Please let us know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions or would like to offer to become a local or regional sparkplug for these events.
Christine Ahn – Women De-Militarize the Zone (DMZ)
Liberato Bautista - United Nations Ministry of the General Board of Church and Society
Jackie Cabasso – Western States Legal Foundation
John Feffer – Foreign Policy in Focus
Bruce K. Gagnon – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Joseph Gerson – American Friends Service Committee
Subrata Ghoshroy – Massachusetts Institute of Technololgy
Mark Harrison – United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Christine Hong – Korea Policy Institute
Kyle Kajihiro - Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice
Peter Kuznick - American University
Judith LeBlanc – Peace Action
Hyun Lee – Nodutdol
Andrew Lichterman – Western States Legal Foundation
Ramsay Liem – Boston College
Kevin Martin – Peace Action
Stephen McNeil – American Friends Service Committee
Satoko Norimatsu - Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver)
Mike Prokosch – Working Group for Peace & Demilitarization in Asia & the Pacific
Arnie Saiki – Moana Nui Action Network
Chloe Schwabe - Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Tim Shorrock - Journalist