mephis got the last point! jessica better look out! thanks for playing everyone: the game is, guess what the title of this blog is referencing and you get a point – get 10 points and you get a prize…i change it as soon as someone guesses!
mephis posted this question in a few posts back re: the article on war reparations for chamorros during world war 2 (‘chamorro’ is the name for the native people of guam, where i am from):
‘will the reparations actually make amends? Is the money enough? I suppose the meta question I’m intersted in answering would be what’s the cost of the past? I know, its a physical gesture, a kind of acknowledgment. But what outside of money would bear as much weight and be as meaningful, or is money the ultimate sacrifice?’
since i didnt respond earlier, thought i would respond here (hope that’s okay mephis!) in the actual comment stream, we mentioned the truth and reconcialiation commission in africa, and the powerful effect they had on the community. i don’t think this kind of forum would work on guam mainly because the japanese soldiers who committed war crimes do not live on guam, and are probably no longer alive. altho i think having a forum where the victims can be heard is a powerful gesture (and has occurred on guam to some extent).
and i dont think reparations will actually make amends, nor do i think money is enough. my grandfather’s older brother died during the war. he was not a soldier, but the japanese soldiers, while the u.s. military was re-invading our island, had chamorro men carry amunitions to the various forts / outposts to prepare for battle. then they tied the men to coconut trees and beheaded them. my grandfather’s brother was one of these men. and this is just one story. my grandfather spent almost the duration of the war in forced labor camps on guam.
will $25,000 make amends? no. will it bring down a nation or prevent other nations from committing such atrocities? no. will it benefit my grandfather’s life? yes, in a small way. at least for me, i can’t think of another gesture that would benefit him (he could USE the money) …
but still, it’s such a difficult question … is money an offensive gesture? an avoidance of true remorse? a capitalist response without deeper effects? i don’t know – WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK??? WHAT WOULD BE AN ALTERNATIVE REPARATION??? (thanks mephis for asking a tough question)…
the question for me also is what about the u.s. military? altho they didnt commit the same atrocities, they can be held responsible for much destruction and death on our island from 100 years of colonization…does that not warrant reparation? does guam not deserve freedom?
note: more info and pics found here –
check out this page in particular
off to work i go, but here is another short article (this has been on my mind):
Combat Communications Squadron to move to Guam
BY Josh Rogin
Published on Aug. 16, 2006
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 607th Combat Communications Squadron will leave in the coming weeks and move equipment and personnel to Guam, an Air Force official said today.
As part of the 607th Air Support Operations Group based at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, the squadron is responsible for rapid mobile communications deployment for wartime contingencies or natural disasters in the entire Korea area of operations.
“That leaves us short now of a combat [communications] capability that can go anywhere within the theater,” Col. Vincent Valdespino, director of communications and information at Pacific Air Forces headquarters, told an audience at the Air Force Information Technology Conference at the Auburn University campus.
A limited presence will remain to maintain the Korean Air Operations Center in Osan. But overall command, control and communications functions will be moved to the United States and its territories in the next few years, he said.
About 150 members of the 607th combat communications team will be relocated to Guam, beginning this year. A new squad will be deployed there with its completion expected in 2009. Military construction and operations and maintenance funding has already been secured, Valdespino said.
The move is part of an overall reorientation of command and control in the Pacific theater. Known as the strategic triangle concept, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam will form the base of operations for Pacific Command. The strategy aims to position critical resources on U.S.-controlled soil, while also allowing forces to be deployed to Asia or to the United States to assist in homeland defense missions.
Guam will receive the largest amount of equipment as part of this initiative. The island is set to host continuous, permanent Stryker, tanker, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance presence in the form of Global Hawk long-range unmanned aerial vehicles.
The move is also part of an overall decrease of U.S. forces in South Korea. In mid-2004, the United States and South Korea agreed to the phased withdrawal of 12,500 U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula to be completed by 2008.
President Bush has pledged to move 70,000 U.S. service members and 100,000 family members and civilian employees to the United States in the next decade.