and Roman myths’ and a ‘thread’. When did you hear
these words, what did you think? You think it is a
story about an underground maze of Greek and Roman myths, don’t you?
This story is about a monster that is alive in an underground
maze. This maze is one in which one enters and never comes out, and then one
day a man enters the maze in order to kill the monster. This
time a woman, who loves him, gives him a thread to help guide him
back to her. Finally, he kills the monster and safely comes out by using the thread. The woman’s
name is ‘Ariadne’. The ‘Thread of Ariadne’ is used, when a troubled situation has
an offer or clue for a solution.
Now, the entire world situation is like this maze. In this maze, we
are losing our way. Are the U.S. troops stationed in Korea a monster? Because we
have lost our way and are wandering, are we being attacked by a monster? Who is
the real monster? What is the ‘Thread of Ariadne’ to us. Let’s
At present, there are 40 nations, who oppose foreign troops
stationed in their country. These nations do not necessarily oppose only U.S.
troops stationed overseas. Many countries have troops stations from other
countries besides the US, and there are ill feelings developing within these
nations. Military bases often destroy the local environment, and suppresses the
rights of everyone, especially a weak person. Moreover, the nation must spare
their ground and make arrangements for a military base. At this time, people who
live on a foreign country’s military location confront a situation where they
must move their house under spatial conditions. In addition, the stationed
soldiers have legal privileges, which bring about many problems. For example,
stationed soldiers can commit a crime, and not suffer for the problem, because
they are judged according to their country’s law. A few years ago, everyone
remembers ‘Mi sun-I an armored car accident’. These problems have occurred not
only in Korea, but also in other countries. In Japan, a six year old girl is
raped and killed by troops stationed in Japan.
For these reasons, the
first group called the ‘International Anti-base network’ is opening the
‘International Conference for the Abolition of foreign Military Bases’ and
shouting “No to the U.S. military bases around world, they are not just a dream”
in Quito Ecuador. In this International Conference, one thousand persons are
joining all over the world. They will also discuss the international solidarity
strategy for the abolition of over one thousand foreign military bases.
This year, the first International Conference invited about 1000
persons to the Anti-base Activator and Individual Association, and Pyung-tak
pan-CC (Pyung-tak the U.S. base extension obstruction pan-the nation countermove
committee) in Korea. However, instead of meeting a Pyung-tak pan-CC
representative, 진재연, a managing editor for the People’s Solidarity for Social
Progress shows up to participate in our interview. We interviewed her, because
we can not find the representative for the anti-base network.
year, the International Conference was held for the first time. Before
participating in this conference please, tell us about your ambition.
been living in Pyeongtaek Dechuli for one year and three months and been
fighting against the extension of the US military base. I participated in this
conference to show people what happened in Pyeongtaek and to put a voice to this
global anti US military base campaign. This conference focuses on the problem
that 'the base land is used like an invasion' which rose because of expanding
violence due to global military enforcements.
CAH: Has there been any
conversation concerning the damages and reparations?
- GPR is expanding or
building US military bases worldwide, therefore causing problems such as
environmental pollution, increase in US soldier crime, destroying the peace and
rights of natives, and others. The result of the problem is very similar to
other countries, and each government is accepting the requests from the US
without making any solution for the destruction that happens in the lives of the
local native communities.
CAH: Have you discussed any countermeasures if not
- This is the point in which we need worldwide bonding. The US
will press down on the civil protest and try to expand the military base to
strive for supremacy as a global military. I think only the protests of people
united as one can stop this expansion. This will not be an easy fight. However,
this fight is one that we must do to resist a US military to go worldwide and be
able to keep our peace and democracy. The military bases that are set up for
invasion should be opened to alternative world uses instead of using the space
for a purpose that is full of savagery and war.
For back ground
reference on the anti-base campaign growth and network an organization founded
on the position that the international military strategy and reorganization of
the U.S. after ‘9.11’, such as the U.S.’s aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq
seen as being a frontal attacks on the ‘War on Terror’. It follows that they are
constructing ‘permanent’ military bases. Also, recently, the late lamented Yun,
Jang-ho, who bitterly died in Afghanistan, was staying in a place near the
Vagram Military base, a stronghold of the U.S. and multinational military. In
addition, they get an advantage through having a corner of influence, who will
dare to speak in defiance of neo-liberalism’s globalization or against
terror-influences for attack purposes. Additionally, the U.S. is reorganizing
their military from ‘fixture’ form to ‘Rapid Deployment Force’. Also, the U.S.
has had suspicions of cruel treatment against prisoners in Guantanamo, such as
in the cases of Diego and Garcia. They have been committing terrible tortures in
several parts of the world, making secret asylums.
By the way,
can this activity be right and ethical? In the case of the ‘Bangladesh Laborer
Center’, to participate in this conference, and maintain a reasonableness of
activity that would have an incongruence on Bangladesh’s economic position. To
the nation, who has been supported with food from the US, and now works in
another country to derail their base plans, this situation may be seen as an
insult. This is also true of the Philippines, the Bangladesh people, and South
African nations, who are intimidated by the economical greatness and power of
the US. These nations understand well the necessity of this activity, but they
can not participate in it because of this situation. Moreover, opinions of the
people in opposition to anti-base campaigns are diverse. They say that the
presence of a military base is the only way they have found that ensures the
peace of living together with other countries and for keeping our place in these
times of globalization. Countries, which have no power to protect themselves
then the abolition of a foreign military base, will take away the peace it
People fighting over moving the U.S.
military base to Pyung-tak have finally left the area due to the nation force.
This has been brought up as a bigger problem as it was a removal from Yong-san.
As the government enforced the development of Yong-san, removal of Pyung-tak
military base was inevitable. Moreover, under the pressure of the U.S.
government concerning building the U.S. military base, the decision was finally
made. This issue has presented numerous controversial debates over the last 4
years. Our capitulation to agree to the removal of the U.S. military base is not
an exit to the maze. Is eliminating a foreign military base throughout the world
and strife against anti-war movements a key to the way out? The ‘Thread of
Ariadne’ does not exist in the world yet. The only way to find the exit is to
figure out by ourselves until someone comes into the maze with the thread. All
we are looking forward to is a streak of ‘hope’.
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