US-MILITARY

I can’t believe that the US can invade and occupy a country, and then massacre literally millions of people, while completely destroying the environment and social structures of the country (so that the country continues to get poisoned decades and decades afterwards), yet no one uses the word “evil” to describe such actions. It’s like always as if… how do you put it… as if, the Americans only ever think that they “made a mistake”. That they didn’t “know any better”. That they wanted to do good this whole time, but somehow they just can’t seem to do it. What utter lies. Such disgusting lies and propaganda. 

This is why I also detest, beyond anything, Americans who make “jokes” about Iraq and Afghanistan, like “oh we made a mistake! We are so stupid!” Or they, at most, lament after their murdering, raping, torturing soldiers, as if those heinous soldiers are the paramount definitions of bravery and freedom. 

9

US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet

The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions or proposed restrictions at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. This impact includes uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil.

The extensive global operations of the US military (wars, interventions, and secret operations on over one thousand bases around the world and six thousand facilities in the United States) are not counted against US greenhouse gas limits. Sara Flounders writes, “By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.”

While official accounts put US military usage at 320,000 barrels of oil a day, that does not include fuel consumed by contractors, in leased or private facilities, or in the production of weapons. The US military is a major contributor of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that most scientists believe is to blame for climate change. Steve Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, reports, “The Iraq war was responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) from March 2003 through December 2007… . That war emits more than 60 percent that of all countries… . This information is not readily available … because military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under US law and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

According to Barry Sanders, author of The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, “the greatest single assault on the environment, on all of us around the globe, comes from one agency … the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Throughout the long history of military preparations, actions, and wars, the US military has not been held responsible for the effects of its activities upon environments, peoples, or animals. During the Kyoto Accords negotiations in December 1997, the US demanded as a provision of signing that any and all of its military operations worldwide, including operations in participation with the UN and NATO, be exempted from measurement or reductions. After attaining this concession, the Bush administration then refused to sign the accords and the US Congress passed an explicit provision guaranteeing the US military exemption from any energy reduction or measurement.

Environmental journalist Johanna Peace reports that military activities will continue to be exempt based on an executive order signed by President Barack Obama that calls for other federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Peace states, “The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government’s energy demand.”

As it stands, the Department of Defense is the largest polluter in the world, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined. Depleted uranium, petroleum, oil, pesticides, defoliant agents such as Agent Orange, and lead, along with vast amounts of radiation from weaponry produced, tested, and used, are just some of the pollutants with which the US military is contaminating the environment. Flounders identifies key examples:

– Depleted uranium: Tens of thousands of pounds of microparticles of radioactive and highly toxic waste contaminate the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans.

– US-made land mines and cluster bombs spread over wide areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East continue to spread death and destruction even after wars have ceased.

– Thirty-five years after the Vietnam War, dioxin contamination is three hundred to four hundred times higher than “safe” levels, resulting in severe birth defects and cancers into the third generation of those affected.

– US military policies and wars in Iraq have created severe desertification of 90 percent of the land, changing Iraq from a food exporter into a country that imports 80 percent of its food.

– In the US, military bases top the Superfund list of the most polluted places, as perchlorate and trichloroethylene seep into the drinking water, aquifers, and soil.

– Nuclear weapons testing in the American Southwest and the South Pacific Islands has contaminated millions of acres of land and water with radiation, while uranium tailings defile Navajo reservations.

– Rusting barrels of chemicals and solvents and millions of rounds of ammunition are criminally abandoned by the Pentagon in bases around the world.

Read More: http://www.projectcensored.org/2-us-department-of-defense-is-the-worst-polluter-on-the-planet/

“What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

God forbid if you ever criticise how US “defence” research organisations hold all these robotic competitions, offering prizes of literally millions of dollars for university teams, with no conversation taking place on how militarised mainstream US society is, and how this is essentially universities wholeheartedly taking part in weapons development for imperialist wars and occupations. Nope, that is just “boring philosophical talk” or “over-stretching the truth”. Apparently, having even a shred of decency is considered being too “philosophical”. Technology and science don’t exist in some magical realm, so that they can be so divorced from reality. You can’t say that you are doing development just for the “sake of science”. There is no such thing. You know that a huge number of those in the field of CS (and related fields) end up working for these atrocious “defence” organisations and creepy security firms that are all too happy to develop increasingly torturous weapons, and surveillance and spying technology for the so-called War on Terror, that serves to undermine the rights of people all over the world, most of all those occupied by the US military. 

Former Korean ‘comfort women’ for U.S. troops sue government
Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:45am EDT

By Ju-min Park

(Reuters) - Cho Myung-ja ran away from home as a teenager to escape a father who beat her, finding her way to the red light district in a South Korean town that hosts a large U.S. Army garrison.

After she escaped home in the early 1960s, her pimp sold her to one of the brothels allowed by the government to serve American soldiers.

“It was a hard life and we got sick,” Cho, 76, said in an interview in her cluttered room in a shack outside Camp Humphreys, a busy U.S. military garrison in the town of Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul.

On June 25, sixty-four years after the Korean War broke out, Cho joined 122 surviving comfort women, as they were called, in a lawsuit against their government to reclaim, they say, human dignity and proper compensation […]

The South Korean government was desperate to keep U.S. troops in the 1960s after a devastating but inconclusive war with North Korea and wanted the women to serve as “patriots” and “civilian diplomats”. 

Read More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/11/us-southkorea-usa-military-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

It is clear why the United States of America has been given global recognition as the country with the most powerful military in the world. The U.S. government spends more on its military than the annual budgets of nearly all countries in the world. Aside from having the most weapons, aircraft, and satellites, the United States’ military presence worldwide has expanded so much that it has earned it the status of a modern-day imperialist nation — an imperialist nation that has been able to disguise its methods of expansion through military bases, foreign aid, and even humanitarian work around the world.

History shows us that the U.S. expanded from having 14 military bases abroad in 1938 to 30,000 large and small installations in approximately 100 countries by 1945. Today many of these installations have been closed, but the once-occupied communities have been left to struggle with the aftermath of U.S. military presence. While there is more awareness now of the ramifications of U.S. militarism and its destruction of the environment and livelihoods of local people, one of the less-known issues is how U.S. military expansion contributed to the growth of the international sex industry.

Perhaps one of the most discernible examples of this is the U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. In the 1980s there were more than 4,000 American officers and their dependents stationed there, following the Vietnam War-era heyday when some four million U.S. sailors passed through Subic every year. The base was described by the Wall Street Journal as the “central hub for U.S. military operations in the Asia-Pacific.”

But Subic Bay Naval Base also has a dark secret. In the 1980s, local brothels and traffickers generated an estimated $500 million from buying and selling women and girls to meet the demands of the servicemen stationed there. A women’s non-profit organization known as the Buklod ng Kababaihan was established in 1987 as a drop-in center for the staggering number of women being exploited through prostitution outside the Subic base.

When the base closed in 1992, the problem did not end. U.S. nationals continued to travel to the region, some to simply take advantage of the commercial sex industry established by what was once the biggest U.S. military base. According to the Buklod ng Kababaihan website, they fight for the approximately 300,000-400,000 women and 100,000 children who are still being exploited.

Following recent agreements made between the Obama administration and President Benigno Aquino III this year, some are eager to reopen the base. With U.S. troops being welcomed back into the Philippines, negative consequences are sure to follow in the already hurting community.

Sadly, Subic is not the only example. The Pentagon is aware of how the international sex industry is being perpetuated by the U.S. military. According to Humantrafficking.org, in December 2002, President Bush “declared zero tolerance for involvement in human trafficking by federal employees and contractors in a National Security Presidential Directive” following media reports detailing “the alleged involvement of DynCorp employees in buying women and girls as sex slaves in Bosnia during the U.S. military’s deployment there in the late 1990s.” However, the actual implementation of such policies has been minimal. This is why in 2011 the ACLU filed a lawsuit tackling the underreported problem of trafficking and abusive treatment of foreign workers on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Middle Eastern firms working under American subcontractors in Iraq were engaging in human trafficking.

The United States military is not expanding its military presence as much for national security or for helping allies as it is expanding its occupation to seek profit and power. In the process it destroys the environment and the livelihoods of the people whose lands are occupied, and it also creates and perpetuates systems of violence against women. Today, the sex industry is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world (profitable for pimps and traffickers, that is). The U.S. military’s role in supplying the demand for this industry is very clear. Militarism affects everyone. It’s an environmental justice issue, a social justice issue, an anti-imperialist issue, and a feminist issue.

6

Korean anger as US soldiers cleared

November 22, 2002

A US soldier who drove over two South Korean girls with a military vehicle has been cleared by a US military court.

Sergeant Mark Walker, who was driving the 50-tonne armoured vehicle when the incident happened in June, was found not guilty of negligent homicide.

His colleague and the vehicle’s navigator and commander, Sergeant Fernando Nino, was cleared of similar charges on Wednesday.

The case, and the acquittals, have caused angry protests in South Korea and fanned anti-American sentiment - with opposition growing to the presence of 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea to counter threats from the Communist North.  

Dismissing the court cases as a sham, demonstrators hurled eggs and paint into the military camp where the trials were being held, and vowed to protest again on Saturday.

Following Friday’s acquittal, army commander Lieutenant General Charles Campbell repeated the US military’s apology over the deaths, but defended its legal system.

via http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2497947.stm