Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/14/20

Why We Need Decolonization in 2020

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (140 fans)

davidswanson.org
davidswanson.org
(
Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

South Korea cannot choose to make peace with North Korea without the consent of a foreign power that keeps thirty thousand troops in South Korea, makes South Korea pay much of the cost of housing them, commands the South Korean military in war, holds veto power at the United Nations, and is not accountable to the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice.

The same foreign power has troops in almost every nation on earth, significant bases in about half the nations on earth, and the earth itself divided up into command zones for control and domination. It dominates outerspace for military purposes, and global finances for the purpose of extracting wealth from places with high levels of poverty. It builds bases where it wants, and installs weapons where it wants including illegally placing nuclear weapons in various countries. For that matter, it violates laws when and where it wants.

Supposedly neutral nations like Ireland, nonetheless, allow the U.S. military to use their airports, and for that matter allow U.S. police to search everyone in Dublin airport before they fly to the United States. Many things can be questioned and condemned in Irish corporate media, but not the U.S. military and its use of Ireland. Some of the relevant corporations, such as those controlling billboards near Shannon Airport, are actually based in the United States.

This contemporary reality is a seamless part of a history to the earlier parts of which we're supposed to apply the term "colonial." Prior to "settling" the United States, some of the early settlers had previously "settled" Ireland, where the British had paid rewards for Irish heads and body parts, just as they later would for Native American scalps. The United States for many years sought out immigrants who could "settle" on native land. Genocide in North America was a part of U.S. culture from before the United States up through the 1890s. Colonists fought a war, still very much glorified, in which the French defeated the British, but in which the colonists did not cease to be colonists. Rather, they gained the opportunity to attack the nations to their west.

The United States wasted no time in attacking Canada to its north, the Spanish to its south, nations across the western expanse, and eventually Mexico as well. The exhaustion of North American land altered U.S. colonization, but hardly slowed it down. Colonization moved on to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, the Philippines, Latin America, and ever farther afield. "Indian Country," in the dialect of the U.S. military today, refers to distant lands to be attacked with dozens of weapons named for Native American nations.

The banning of military conquest also altered U.S. colonization, but actually sped it up rather than impeding it. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 ended the practice of treating the conquest of territory as legal. This meant that colonized nations could break free and not be immediately conquered by a different aggressor. The United Nations General Assembly building was designed with 20 extra seats beyond the 51 for existing nations. By the time it was built, there were 75 nations, by 1960 there were 107. The total shot upward from there to quickly reach 200 and fill the seats that had been intended for a public audience.

Nations became formally independent, but they did not cease being colonized. The conquest of territory was still permitted for certain exceptional cases, such as Israel, and in particular for U.S. military bases, which would exist within supposedly independent states.

During World War II the U.S. Navy seized the small Hawaiian island of Koho'alawe for a weapons testing range and ordered its inhabitants to leave. The island has been devastated. In 1942, the U.S. Navy displaced Aleutian Islanders. Those practices did not end in 1928 or in 1945 for the United States, as for most others. President Harry Truman made up his mind that the 170 native inhabitants of Bikini Atoll had no right to their island in 1946. He had them evicted in February and March of 1946, and dumped as refugees on other islands without means of support or a social structure in place. In the coming years, the United States would remove 147 people from Enewetak Atoll and all the people on Lib Island. U.S. atomic and hydrogen bomb testing rendered various depopulated and still-populated islands uninhabitable, leading to further displacements. Up through the 1960s, the U.S. military displaced hundreds of people from Kwajalein Atoll. A super-densely populated ghetto was created on Ebeye.

On Vieques, off Puerto Rico, the U.S. Navy displaced thousands of inhabitants between 1941 and 1947, announced plans to evict the remaining 8,000 in 1961, but was forced to back off and in 2003 to stop bombing the island. On nearby Culebra, the Navy displaced thousands between 1948 and 1950 and attempted to remove those remaining up through the 1970s. The Navy is right now looking at the island of Pagan as a possible replacement for Vieques, the population already having been removed by a volcanic eruption. Of course, any possibility of return would be greatly diminished.

Beginning during World War II but continuing right through the 1950s, the U.S. military displaced a quarter million Okinawans, or half the population, from their land, forcing people into refugee camps and shipping thousands of them off to Bolivia where land and money were promised but not delivered.

In 1953, the United States made a deal with Denmark to remove 150 Inughuit people from Thule, Greenland, giving them four days to get out or face bulldozers. They are being denied the right to return. People are rightly offended when Donald Trump proposes to purchase Greenland, but for the most part oblivious to the U.S. military presence there and the history of how it got there.

Between 1968 and 1973, the United States and Great Britain exiled all 1,500 to 2,000 inhabitants of Diego Garcia, rounding people up and forcing them onto boats while killing their dogs in a gas chamber and seizing possession of their entire land for the use of the U.S. military.

The South Korean government, which evicted people for U.S. base expansion on the mainland in 2006, has, at the behest of the U.S. Navy, in recent years devastated a village, its coast, and 130 acres of farmland on Jeju Island in order to provide the United States with another massive military base.

Virtually every new base, in Italy or Niger or anywhere else, displaces people, albeit within the nation occupied. And every new base displaces sovereignty, independence, and the rule of law. Persian Gulf kingdoms resist democracy with the help of U.S. bases, but they give up independence in the process and contribute to the status of the United States as a nation above the rule of law. At the same time, U.S. bases fuel popular hostility toward the United States and toward local governments.

U.S. bases are intended to be permanent, and so apparently are some of the wars they're engaged in. The U.S. media writes about Trump's "opposition" to endless wars, even while completely smothering any possibility of actually ending any of them. Permanent wars for effective control of a handful of places still lying somewhat outside U.S. influence that have been continued in the past three years by the U.S. government include wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

No comments  Post Comment

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment