Protest at Aegis "Christening"

24 July 2005

From: Bruce Gagnon

Christ's blessings were given to a new Aegis destroyer yesterday in nearby Bath, Maine. (Do you think the Prince of Peace would really have given his blessing to a war ship that basically took food and clothing from the poor to build it?) Several thousand navy personnel and shipyard workers lined up at 8:30 am to attend the event. Outside the gates stood 20 of us, half were members of Veterans for Peace, as we held signs calling for the conversion of the shipyard to peaceful production.

We stood outside the gates for 2 1/2 hours as the people filed past us. A few took our pictures, a few gave us the finger or thumbs down. An occasional person driving by gave us a honk on the horn or flashed a peace sign. But the outright hostility that I have seen at other "christenings" was not evident yesterday.

The entire Maine congressional delegation was inside - Republican and Democrat alike. In today's paper Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) was quoted as saying that we need to build more of the destroyers because China's navy is now "rapidly overtaking our own." Total garbage. China is being dragged out by the supporters of the military industrial complex as the justification for a massive expansion of the Navy, Star Wars and the like.

The Aegis, launched yesterday in Bath, is being outfitted with Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems that would be used to hit "rogue state" missiles right after they were launched in their boost phase. In order to do this you'd have to park the ships just off the coast of the "offending" nation. Since China is now put in the rogue state category by many, including Sen. Snowe, the U.S. plans are to deploy the ships in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and even likely in Taiwan, just 90 miles off the coast of mainland China. If you check your map you will see that this will essentially be a naval encirclement of China's coast. Imagine how China, who today has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the west coast of the U.S., will respond. (By the way the U.S. today has over 7,500 nuclear weapons in our arsenal of hypocrisy.) China has said that U.S. deployments of Aegis off their coast will force them to build more nuclear weapons. Off to a new arms race. Who benefits from that here in the good ole US of A?

I don't shop at Wal-Mart but I do like to walk through the big box stores now and then to see where their products are produced. These days it is hard to find many products that are not made in China. We've become one of China's best customers in the world. Is it likely that China wants to nuke one of its best customers? I think not.

What the U.S. really fears is that China is becoming a major economic power. The U.S. wants to manage China to ensure U.S. global economic dominance. By militarily surrounding China the U.S. thinks it will be able to dictate policy to China. The war in Iraq is about oil. China's oil. The U.S. does not rely on Iraq's oil but China and other countries in the Asian-Pacific do. If the U.S. has permanent bases in Iraq, and controls that oil, then the U.S. holds the key to the Chinese economic engine.

We the American taxpayers will be bled to pay for this new military expansion to surround and "manage" China. We will have our education, health care, social security, and other social programs defunded so the global corporate machine can play games with China. But first they must be demonized and Americans must be made to fear China. That job is now well underway.


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