Archive for the Anti-USA protest Category

News analysis: Japan gov’t ignoring Okinawans’ feelings could see history of clashes repeat itself [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-USA protest, Japan, Obama, Okinawa, Pentagon, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on April 6, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Jon Day

TOKYO, April 1 (Xinhua) — A rift is widening dramatically between Japan’s central government and local officials and citizens in Okinawa Prefecture following an order by its governor for the defense bureau to halt drilling at the site of a planned new U.S. military base in a coastal region on the island being overturned and sparking protests in the region.

Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Tuesday he hopes the central government will begin work involved with reclaiming land from the sea in the coastal region of Henoko, in Nago City on Okinawa island, with drilling work concluded by June so the main reclamation work can begin in the middle 2015 and the new U.S. base’s construction expedited.

Reclaiming land from the sea is an integral part of a joint Japan-U.S. plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station from the densely populated district of Ginowan on the island, to the coastal region of Henoko. But the four-year bilateral plan has drawn a great deal of resistance from Okinawa’s prefectural officials and citizens, who are staunchly opposed to the relocation and feel overburdened by their decades-long U.S. base hosting duties.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, an opponent to the base’s relocation, on March 23 ordered the regional defense bureau to halt its drilling operations off Henoko and threatened to rescind a permit granted to the defense ministry by his predecessor.

Onaga, who became governor due to local support for his ardent opposition to the planned construction of the new U.S. base, previously said that the defense ministry’s underwater operations have damaged a coral reef in the area by sinking concrete blocks weighing up to 45 tons into the sea, to tether floating “no entry” signs around the controversial drilling zone.

The blocks, outside the demarkation [sic] zone, it was subsequently found, had crushed an endangered coral reef and officials are concerned that more damage may have been caused within the “no entry” zone, which the U.S. military refuses to grant local officials access to, to inspect.

But despite Onaga’s order, ultimately, the construction of the base entirely, saying the drilling operations by the defense ministry will cause irrevocable damage to the local environment and describing the actions of the defense ministry as “utterly deplorable,” the central government has overturned Onaga’s demands, with Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Monday nullifying Onaga’s instruction and permitting the defense bureau to continue with their drilling work.

Hayashi’s reversal of Onaga’s order angered local residents, who, once again took to the streets near to the planned site of the new base and voiced their anger and dismay at the central government, with local media quoting protestors describing the situation as an, “outrageous act that ignores the sentiments of prefectural residents.”

The central government, as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has consistently stated, plans to move forward with the drilling and construction plans regardless of the local opposition in support of its governor. Onaga himself, however, may now look to nullify Hayashi’s verdict and revoke the defense bureau’s permit as originally threatened, which would see the case go to court, the rift widen and the impasse rumble on, and local sentiment towards the central government worsen.

As the rift continues to widen between local prefectural officials, its citizens and the central government, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely be scratching his head for a solution, albeit a short-term one, as a keenly-eyed visit to the United States and talks with U.S. President Barack Obama loom.

The Okinawa issue has been a consistent source of irritation for Washington due to Tokyo’s inability to move forward with plans to relocate the base, as part of the U.S. broader realignment of its troops here. Washington has instructed Tokyo to work harder to gain the support of the local citizens of Okinawa for the construction of the new base, but four administrations, thus far, including Abe’s, have failed, causing the project to become severely delayed and tensions on the island to rise to a fever pitch.

And while Nakatani has made it clear that the local chapter of his defense ministry will soldier on with the original plans to relocate the base to the pristine coastal region of Henoko, and, in doing so, has once again, somewhat autocratically, brushed aside the local citizens’ and officials’ feelings on the matter, Abe himself said he wants to try and garner more local support.

Abe, who is increasingly under the international media spotlight ahead of his visit to the U.S., said that as well as moving forward with the base relocation, he wants to return other military facilities and land to the people of Okinawa.

In an Upper House session Monday, Abe said it would be efficacious for his government to talk to officials on the island, including Onaga, and aim to build more trust. But political watchers here, however, have said that Abe’s new-found congenial remarks on the matter run completely contrary to actual moves by the central government, as evidenced in the words of Suga, Nakatani and the moves by the regional defense bureau.

Observers have stated that it may be the case that Abe needs to be seen to be actively improving the ever-worsening relationship between his government and prefectural officials and citizens in Okinawa, ahead of his trip to the U.S. or deal with the wrath of Washington on the issue, which under former administrations, had negatively impacted bilateral relations between the two allies each time Tokyo failed.

Abe said that on Tuesday the U.S. Camp Zukeran, which is spread over a large area in the central part of the main island and more than 1,000 hectares in the densely populated regions will be returned to the island over the next 15 years.

But local citizens have heard it all before and, according to local sources, there is a growing mistrust of anything the central government says on such issues, due to the current administration’ s plans to bulldoze through Onaga’s orders and previous administrations flip-flopping over the Futenma relocation issue.

Such mistrust is leading to increasing frustration from the local citizens, who have been seen taking to the streets with placards and megaphones, and, in a number of instances recently, taking to the water in small boats to show their opposition to the central government’s moves.

Anti-U.S. sentiment has been steadily growing on the island as base-related pollution and accidents threatens the environment and safety of the locals and crimes committed by U.S. military personnel, in particular, continue to spark fury among the locals.

Political analysts have said the central government needs to remain cognizant of the feelings of the people of Okinawa and the history of their base-hosting suffering, which, among other heinous crimes, includes the brutal rape of an elementary schoolgirl in Okinawa by three U.S. servicemen in 1995 and other incidents such as in 2004 when a Marine CH-53D Sea Stallion heavy assault transport helicopter plowed into the Okinawa International University in Ginowan.

The situation in Okinawa has been described as something of a powder keg at the moment, as Okinawan locals shoulder the burden of hosting 75 percent of Japan’s U.S. bases and around half of all the Japan-based U.S. military personnel, with the tiny island only accounting for just one percent of Japan’s total land area.

In 1970, following an unpunished drunk driving incident by a U. S. soldier, more than 3,000 local residents took to the streets of Okinawa and attacked U.S. service people, their vehicles and successfully entered military premises and burned buildings…

…the message from analysts close to the matter is that Abe’s government must stop regarding the local population of Okinawa as pushovers, or lesser citizens than those residing on mainland Japan, or history could indeed repeat itself.

Edited by Zuo Shou

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DPRK calls attack on U.S. ambassador to S. Korea “deserved punishment” [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-USA protest, Diplomat, DPR Korea, Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, Protest action, south Korea, State Department, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on March 8, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

PYONGYANG, March 5 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday called the razor-wielding attack on the U.S. ambassador to South Korea earlier in the day a “deserved punishment”, the official KCNA news agency reported.

“The recent case amid mounting anti-Americanism reflects the mindset of South Korean people censuring the U.S. for bringing the danger of a war to the Korean Peninsula through the madcap saber-rattling,” the report said…

…Pyongyang on Monday blasted the U.S.-S.Korea joint annual military drills that run from March 2 to April 24, calling the exercises codenamed “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle” “intolerable aggression moves.”

On the same day, an unnamed spokesman for the DPRK’s General Staff of the Korean People’s Army issued a statement, threatening to retaliate the military exercises with the “toughest measures” and saying the DPRK’s armed forces “are fully ready” to strike their designated targets.

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U.S. ambassador to south Korea attacked in protest against US-ROK war games, US’ division of Korea [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-USA protest, Diplomat, DPR Korea, Japan, Korean Reunification, Protest action, south Korea, World War II on March 8, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

This article terms Kim Ki-jong, who slashed Ambassador Lippert, as “part of a progressive cultural activity group”. Compare with the south Korean liberal media outlet “The Hankyoreh”, which repeatedly referred to him in an article as an “extreme nationalist”. – Zuo Shou

by Yoo Seungki

SEOUL, March 5 (Xinhua) — U.S. envoy to South Korea Mark Lippert was injured on Thursday morning in a knife-wielding attack by a South Korean male assailant who shouted opposition to the ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint annual war games.

Lippert, U.S. ambassador to Seoul who took office last year as the youngest envoy for the post, was slashed in his cheek and hand with a knife blade at about 7:40 a.m. local time when he was preparing for a lecture at a venue in Sejong Cultural Center in central Seoul.

The assailant was Kim Ki-jong, 55, head of a South Korean progressive cultural activity group. In July 2010, Kim received a suspended two-year jail term for throwing two pieces of concrete at the Japanese ambassador to Seoul.

While being arrested, Kim shouted his strong opposition to “war exercises,” apparently indicating the South Korea-U.S. annual military exercises code-named “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle” that kicked off Monday.

Lippert was quickly taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment on his cut in right face and in left hand.

The envoy…[is]…believed to be one of closest aides to U.S. President Barack Obama…

…Concerns spread that such an act of violence may worsen the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Worries recently emerged over ties between Seoul and Washington as comments by U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman on South Korea-Japan relations raised controversy.

Sherman said Friday that it would not be hard for “a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy, ” referring to frosty relations between South Korea and Japan. Her comments were interpreted as the United Sates taking sides with Japan in the issue on wartime history shared by Seoul and Tokyo.

The attack on the U.S. envoy represented an anti-American sentiment shared by some South Koreans that hostile U.S. policy on [sic] the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may delay the reunification of the two Koreas.

Asked why he targeted the U.S. ambassador, Kim told reporters that the U.S. would “restore its reason” by his act, saying the South Korea-U.S. war games have prevented Korean families, separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, from being reunited. The assailant said he did the “right thing to do” as he has protested against war in the past 30 years…

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Related article: “S. Korean lawmakers blame U.S. diplomat for comments on Seoul-Tokyo ties” [Xinhua] —

Activists stage protest near U.S. Embassy in Manila [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-USA protest, Japan, Malaysia, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on May 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手


Activists rip apart a mock U.S. flag during a protest rally near the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the Philippines, April 29, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday wrapped-up his two-day visit to the Philippines, the last leg of his four-nation Asia trip which also covered Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia…

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NYT Most Interested in Kids US Killed if US Might Not Have Killed Them [FAIR]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-USA protest, Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, Genocide, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, NATO, NATO invasion, New York Times lie, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on February 10, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Jan. 30, 2014

by Peter Hart

The issue of innocent civilians killed by US forces in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) is not always a top concern for US media outlets. But the New York Times has shown keen interest in the topic [recently] –only because they think they’ve caught the Afghan government lying about it.

The story started with a Sunday piece (1/26/14) headlined “False Claims in Afghan Accusations on US Raid Add to Doubts on Karzai.” The government of President Hamid Karzai had published its findings about a US airstrike on January 15 in the village of Wazghar. The Times in the lead noted that it was “the kind of dossier that the Taliban often publish,” an ” inflammatory dossier” that was “an apparent effort to demonize their American backers.” The paper added:

An examination of the dossier by the New York Times also revealed that much of the same material was posted on a Taliban website last week, a rare instance of the militant group’s political speech matching that of the government it is fighting to topple.

It is not until rather deep into the piece that you get a sense of what actually happened:

No one disputes that civilians died in the airstrikes, which hit Wazghar, a remote village in a valley thick with Taliban fighters. But more than a week after the raid, the death tolls offered by the American-led coalition and the Afghan government differ starkly, as do their accounts of how the civilians died.

So the US government says two children died in the airstrike, while the Afghans say the death toll is 12, and perhaps more. The Times thinks something is amiss here because two images in the Afghan report might not be from this particular airstrike: “One was taken at the funeral of victims of a NATO airstrike in northern Afghanistan in 2009, which killed at least 70 civilians.”

The Times (1/27/14) was back on the Wazghar story, covering a press conference where the Afghan government brought out what it said were witnesses to the attack:

The briefing with the villagers was hastily arranged by the Afghan government specifically to rebut a report in the New York Times on Sunday that much of the evidence in the dossier, assembled by President Hamid Karzai’s aides, had been misrepresented or could not be verified.

One of the witnesses is quoted saying, “If there were not 13 fresh dead bodies in the village, I would say you should hang me…. The New York Times spreads lies to put salt in our wounds.” Today the paper’s editorial page (1/30/14) weighed in with a piece, “President Karzai’s Perfidies,” that argued, “Instead of dealing with the issue honestly, Mr. Karzai uses it to demonize America.”

If Karzai’s government is misrepresenting what happened at Wazghar, that’s worth reporting. But the level of attention this is getting from the Times is rather perplexing, given that the dispute is over not whether the United States killed children but how many it killed. If it’s official misstatements about dead civilians the paper is seeking to uncover, one might reasonably ask how the Times has dealt with US claims that proved to be false or misleading – or how much attention the paper has given credible accounts of Afghan deaths.

There are, sadly, plenty of examples to choose from. A pretty typical instance, from 2010 (FAIR Blog, 8/6/10), had Afghans claiming 52 civilians had died in one attack, while US/NATO officials claimed the death toll was six. That death toll came from unnamed sources who had never visited the site of the attack–just like the the Afghan officials who are currently being excoriated by the paper. And in that incident, the Times noted that “officials from the international force denied at first that civilians had been killed.” Yet there was no sense of the outrage that seems to be fueling the reporting on Afghan claims of civilian deaths.

Or take a more notorious incident, also from 2010, which was thoroughly reported in the documentary Dirty Wars. That attack included the gruesome spectacle of Special Operations forces actually digging bullets out of the bodies of women they had killed in an attempt to cover up their atrocity. As we noted (FAIR Blog, 4/5/10), the Times reported that incident under the headline “US Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women.” The initial account in the Times (2/13/10), based on NATO’s reporting of what had happened, was entirely false. Again, there was no particular sense of outrage over the US/NATO deception–no editorials about “perfidies.”

There are many other examples, not just from Afghanistan. As I documented (FAIR Blog, 12/13/13), the Times has published accounts of attacks in Yemen that rely heavily on the words of US government officials – and have proven to be wildly misleading. It did not produce sustained, critical coverage of the US government’s tendency to issue false statements absolving its military forces of wrongdoing.

Clearly, New York Times journalists do not like being lied to, especially about a topic as serious as dead children. Unless, that is, it’s their own government that’s doing the lying; in those cases, they tend to be far more forgiving.

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Obama’s 2nd inauguration – On Dr. MLK Jr.’s Observed B-day, Obama is the anti-MLK [Sweet & Sour Socialism Compilation]

Posted in Afghan quagmire, Afghanistan, Africa, Anti-USA protest, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Corporate Media Critique, Economic crisis & decline, Fascism, George W. Bush, Iraq, Israel, NATO invasion, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Pentagon, Sanctions as weapon of war, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on January 22, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

“…Obama has not ignored King’s anti-war legacy. On the contrary, the president has gone out of his way to distort and belittle it…” – Norman Solomon

“King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone.” by Norman Solomon, January 16, 2013 []
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“MLK’s vehement condemnations of US militarism are more relevant than ever” by Glenn Greenwald, 21 January 2013 [Guardian]
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“Obama’s 2nd inauguration” (Obama as Jeckyll & Hyde) by Barry Grey and David North, 21 January 2013 [World Socialist Website]
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“Barack Obama versus Martin Luther King Jr.” by Tony Cartalucci, 21 January 2013 [Land Destroyer /]
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“Obama Inauguration Day: Ho Hum. Who is Celebrating?” by Danny Schecter, 21 January 2013 []
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“Obama Inauguration Day: Two Nobel Peace Laureates, “Drones Apart”. Martin Luther King: “From Every Mountainside, Let Freedom Ring.”” by Felicity Arbuthnot, 21 January 2013 []
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“Lupe Fiasco kicked off US inaugural stage while performing anti-war song ” by Andre Damon, 22 January 2013 [World Socialist Website]
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“Betraying the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King” by Andrew Hughes, 18 January 2009 (Reprinted 22 January 2013) []
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Compiled by Zuo Shou

Protests meet joint Philippine-U.S. military exercise, revives anti-American rhetoric [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-USA protest, Philippines, South China Sea, US imperialism, USA on April 20, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

MANILA, April 17 (Xinhua) — The joint military exercise conducted yearly by the Philippines and the United States, known as “Balikatan” (shoulder to shoulder), which started Monday, was met with protests here and in nearby Pampanga province.

As in the past years, the exercise has also reignited anti- American rhetoric, usually coming from militant organizations.

With police authorities caught unaware, a group of young protestors, mostly from the League of Filipino Students and the National Union of Students of the Philippines and militant groups such as Anakbayan (sons of the nation) and Anakpawis (sons of workers), staged early Monday morning a lightning rally at the U.S. Embassy where they defaced the bronze signage at the embassy gate.

The protesters also burned an American flag, sprayed “U.S. troops out now!” sign across the main gate and scrawled other anti- American slogans on embassy walls before the police arrived.

In Floridablanca, Pampanga province, north of Manila, members of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Nationalist Alliance), or Bayan, also picketed the Basa Air Base of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as part of its nationwide protest against the joint exercises.

Protesters painted anti-Balikatan slogans, such as “U.S. troops out now,” “No to Balikatan,” and “Junk VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement),” on concrete fences surrounding the PAF base.

Hundreds of anti-American protesters also tried to march to Clark Freeport in Pampanga, one of Balikatan’s sites, but they were blocked by Clark security personnel.

Clark Air Base used to be America’s biggest air facility in the Philippines, along with the Subic Naval Base in Olongapo, Zambales. Both were closed down in the late 1990s after the Philippine government refused to renew the basing arrangement with the United States.

In a statement, Renato Reyes, Jr., Bayan secretary general, said that the Balikatan “is part of a bigger design to make U.S. troops permanent fixtures in the country even without any formal basing treaty.”

Sentiments against American military presence in the country stemmed from a number of abuses committed by U.S. military personnel while on duty in the country; most of the accused Americans either were shipped back to the U.S. or were eventually freed.

One celebrated case was the one filed in 2005 against U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, who was charged with raping a Filipina at the Subic Bay Freeport.

Although Smith was convicted of rape by local court here and sentenced to 40 years in jail, the U.S. government refused to turn him over to Philippine authorities.

U.S. officials threatened to withhold any further military assistance to the Philippines and even warned that they would call off the joint military exercises unless Smith was transferred to a detention facility in the U.S. embassy.

Later, the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) acquitted Corporal Smith and ordered him released.

The Americans insisted that Smith was covered by the provisions of the VFA that allows the entry to the country of American military forces, such as in conducting joint military exercises and training of Filipino soldiers, particularly in the fight against local terrorist groups.

This year’s Balikatan would involve joint exercises in the province of Palawan, west of Manila, which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said is aimed at boosting the capability of Philippines to secure the Malampaya natural gas platform and oil exploration projects off Palawan from terrorist attacks.

According to Rear Adm. Victor Martir, Balikatan exercise director for the Philippines, a combined 6,000-strong force would take part in 60 training events in Luzon and Palawan until April 27.

He particularly cited the forthcoming training in search-and- rescue operations, and gas and oil platform-security operations.

In the past, amphibious training exercises under Balikatan have been held in Palawan, which faces the South China Sea.

In a speech at the opening ceremony for the exercises, AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa said the war games highlighted strong U.S. support for the Philippines, its weaker ally [sic]…

Edited by Zuo Shou

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