Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:21 AM
Ilsa (36,788 posts)
Marines buildup & transfer from Okinawa to Guam. They have little say.
The last time this subject appears to have been covered on DU was over two years ago. Here's a link back to DU2 with a brief summary: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x8328782
There was a more critical post going back to 2/2009 in which citizens of Guam were requesting greater participation in critical issues affecting their small island. This was before the full impact of this transfer was known.
I just watched Dan Rather Reports on AXS TV, formerly cally HDNet. Brilliant show.
Since 2007, the DoD has been preparing for a transfer of 8,000 marines (and families, construction workers, and support personnel) to the tiny island of Guam, a US territory in the Marianas.
The EPA has already given the project an environmental impact rating of EU-3, meaning the plan is environmentally unacceptable. Guam's infrastructure is already at capacity. Sometimes residents have to boil their water for safety.
More land will have to be taken for the expansion of the base and for an acceptably safe firing range. This really bothers the Guamanians who suffered property seizure (and rape, murder, and other horrors of occupation by the Japanese) in WWII.
They also want to dredge the port, tearing out coral reefs with unique marine life found no where else on the planet to make way for an air craft carrier.
There are also great economic opportunities, and Guam needs the help. The project will run into the tens of billions of dollars. There will be substantial local tax revenues. Their poverty rate is twice that of mainland US citizens. But there is concern that the economic benefit will go to very few.
The only way their voices can be heard is if Congress will listen.
I may have to edit this for clarification.
First edit: the dredging of Aprah Harbor has been delayed a year pending more study. The civilian infrastructure needs still remain unfunded.
Second edit: the number of Marines has been reduced to an estimated 5,000 instead of 8,000.
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