Abercrombie Would Militarize the Economy, Bring Tens of Thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Pohakuloa

Former President and General, Dwight David Eisenhower, issued a warning on Jan. 17th 1961 in his farewell address to the nation.   “….we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Today, more than 50 years later, the military industrial complex has grown immeasurably to include not only a vast military establishment and arms industry, but now includes Congress, the mass media, religious institutions, education, every state house and local council.  Militarism infects every aspect of life in the U.S.  In essence the U.S. has become addicted to war. And like any drug addict, the war addict is controlled by the drug and on a path to self destruction.

Today the U.S. wages war against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen.  In truth, these are imperial wars of domination for control of resources, and strategic regions of the world, but disguised as noble causes.

Look at the facts:

The US Department of Defense is the world’s largest landlord with over 539,000 facilities (buildings, structures,)  located on nearly 5,000 sites, covering more than 28 million acres in America, its territories and overseas. They include over 1,000 overseas bases in 150 or more countries. Congressional Research Service data says active duty US military personnel worldwide,  National Guard, and Selected Reserves, total 1,683,000.

U.S. Military spending: the grand total likely exceeds $1.5 trillion annually, a figure rising most years while popular human needs go begging. Economists cite the unreliability of official numbers, suggesting it’s more accurate to take the “official” Pentagon’s basic budget and double it because as much as 40% of it is black or hidden, plus there are add on supplementals for the ongoing wars.  Hidden items that are militarily related include such things as debt interest of $126.3 Billion on military outlays.

What about Hawaii?  According to a RAND report released on June 1, 2011, military spending in Hawaii totals more than $6.5 billion annually, supporting 101,533 jobs, with a cumulative economic effect of $12.2 billion. Not a word about the COSTS of military occupation of Hawaii and its poisoning of the land and waters of the state.

Now for the big news, remarkably blacked-out by our local media:  Governor Abercrombie wants to to move tens of thousands of Marines from Okinawa to be based on Hawaii Island at Pohakuloa.

Dennis Hollier of HawaiiBusiness.com summed it up perfectly:

…the Governor’s gambit to try to pick Guam’s pocket is really about securing Hawaii’s economic future. As he pointed out, one of the findings in the Rand report was that nearly a third of all DOD procurement spending in Hawaii was in construction, mostly in housing development. But that spending is gradually coming to an end. Abercrombie clearly sees developing Pohakuloa for the Marines as a way to sustain the growth of military spending in the state.

Governor Abercrombie cannot serve the greatest good of our citizens by pimping Hawaii’s economic future to the U.S. military. It’s time to end our war addiction and demand military clean up not military build up. The priority must be a return to the ahupua’a system of feeding ourselves.

That’s the basis for a sustainable future.

Jim Albertini is the founder of the Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action.

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  • Joseppi

    Pugnacious Pimps in Paradise

    ” We need the military to bring money to the islands, and we need to support our troops.”

    There is approximately fifty percent of the island’s population that believe in the above quote and even consider those that don’t subscribe to their unexamined way of thinking as traitors. Unquestioned allegiance to the military is a sacred cow, or as we say in Hawaii, as sacred as a pig hunting dog. For years, the military’s presence in Hawaii has created a entrenched military culture. Combine that with a large population of immigrants that enthusiastically want to display their new Americanism, and are empowered by their fervent support of the US military – And you know what that means for the rest of us – we have a big, way big, problem here in Hawaii.

    The military dollars provide 18% of total spending in Hawaii, or more than $12 billion to the economy and more than 100,000 jobs. These stats illuminate the difficulty in trying to limit the military’s presence in Hawaii, especially in a declining economy. The other major income source, tourism, is under stress from the high unemployment rate on the mainland and the catastrophe in Japan, those aftereffects are just beginning. The new hope of the tourist industry is the Chinese, but in China, Hawaii is known as the vacation destination for the Japanese, which may make for selling the Hawaiian paradise PR package difficult.

    The US power elites, by that I mean our elected Representatives, have allowed the evisceration of the US manufacturing industry by means of a tax system the promotes industry to offshore production and hide their profits offshore. Under the banner of “Free Market Capitalism” which is a euphemism for unregulated corporate greed has created a declining US standard of living (except for the rich of course). This popular financial catch phrase holds absolutely no allegiance to the sovereignty of the United States.

    This financial jingoistic term has offshored US jobs – installed a policy of importing everything creating a perpetual trade deficit – actively ruining the US dollar’s ability to remain the reserve currency by running budget deficits that are mathematically unsustainable – provided the corporate rich with low taxes and loop holes that you can fly a jet through, while cannibalizing the poor – indebted the working with so much debt that they can never pay back – and neglected the US infrastructure while building military bases around the world to provide mercenary assistance for corporate commerce.

    The list of patriotic deeds of our politicians goes on and are becoming more shameless by the day., Our elected officials in Hawaii are grand examples of the political class that has prostituted themselves by accepting bribes, commonly known as campaign contributions, from the multi-national corporations and the military industrial mafia, while dancing the patriotic hula and singing war chants. The future of Hawaii is in serious danger.

    When I look down on my desk and peer deep into the crystal ball-like coconut, I can see a future where there is only the rich and the poor in Hawaii. The rich are sealed from reality in their compounds where paradise is expensively replicated, and the poor are huddled in shanty towns around military bases like cargo cultists awaiting for something to trickle their way. Please tell me this isn’t our future.

  • a farley

    Alo^Ha nice letter! This is for the birds! The pueo is my favorite!

  • Thomas

    By destroying the economy and job market during the time Abercrombie spent his decades in Washington suckling on the tax payers tit he has ensured that we will not need a draft for the unjust wars of aggression we wage around the world. With few job opportunities outside of the military or government due to intentional economic destruction or incompetence or both, Abercrombie has perpetuated these wars that have killed over a million innocent people. There is no excusing these actions his actions. I would venture to say that makes him not only a enemy of the common man that has lost his home and job but a war criminal as well……..IMO as one of those paying the price for Abecrombie’s decades of corporate leadership that has culminated in the position we now find ourselves, I can not believe anything he says or does. The last thing we need or want is more militarization of Hawaii, is that really the best he can do or is this part of the further erosion of or rights and freedoms.

    Thanks Jim for all you have done for all of us.

  • Vincent

    Alo^Ha! Thank you, Jim. this is a very well stated, accurate article. i appreciate this effort! moreover, we could make fliers, and network this. sometimes, we all forget, how many do simply not adapt to WWW, internet news, and that demographic group needs to be reached, somehow. it does take extra effort, and time delivering fliers, but a very nice reward awaits those who take the time to spread, via walking or mail, fliers, that detail important issues like this. awareness in #’s…is the key! as a larger group, we can work together to educate and resist, the way out of control, military industrial complex. please folks, these actions must be taken quickly. to conclude as a light hearted way to say “Blabbercrumbie” is my fav nickname for the present gov. he seems to be reading off a literal teleprompter, that coincides with Obuma. also giving due respect to our soldiers, and enlisted, officers, and active duty personell…please try to examine ALL orders that you are about to recieve. think and pray about them first. do not turn against, your own civilian populations. we still trust you! lol Mah^ALo’s to ALL..Malama pono

    • pueo

      Any help that we can get to help our citizens thru these times is mui appreciated by all.Gonna fly now.It can be hard to understand some of the numbers though,they seem backwards.I will try to talk more cleary next time.Thanks for the words of courage.