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Week of 12.11.09

The Marines Are Landing

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Over the next five years, as many as 30,000 servicemembers and their families will descend on the small island of Guam, nearly tripling its presence there.

It's part of a larger agreement that the U.S. signed with Japan to realign American forces in the Pacific, but how will this multi-billion dollar move impact the lives and lifestyle of Guam's nearly 180,000 residents?

This week, NOW on PBS travels to the U.S. territory of Guam to find out whether their environment and infrastructure can support such a large and quick infusion of people, and why the buildup is vital to our national security.

Related Links

Guampedia: The Encyclopedia of Guam

Joint Guam Program Office: Why Guam

In the News

Kuam News: Conference details Guam's military buildup

Mother Jones: Welcome to Guam, USA

New Statesman: Obama's Empire

New York Times: Obama, in Japan, Says U.S. Will Study Status of a Marine Base on Okinawa

Pacific News Center: GAO Says Guam Needs More Info, Less Money for Military Buildup

Viewer Comments

Commenter: Homegrown
First off, Guahan does not NEED the military...the military needs Guahan. The people are not so much fighting to get the military out of Guahan. We are fighting the fact that they are planning a huge influx of people which will greatly affect Guahan. Don't lash out at the people that work @ KMart and Mom and Pop Stores, that does not concern you. If they choose to do so then that's their prerogative. Para hamyu todos guenao huyung...Si yu'us binendisi.

Commenter: Victor Nguyen
It's funny how the U.S. claims that other foreign people are terrorists. In my eyes I see the U.S. as the terrorists. Taking away the peoples culture is cruel. Chamoru are considered as U.S. citizens as well right ? Apparently not to who ever is in charge. It defeats the whole purpose of peoples rights. Look at all the crimes that is happening in the U.S. and especially about the females that has been raped in Japan. What makes you think that the Marines or U.S. can make change if they fail at disciplining their own people to behave. Saying you should support the Marine Corps ? That's a real joke. To be honest I don't blame other people for bombing the U.S. And Yes, I am a U.S. citizen, but I don't agree with completely everything that goes on but at the same time you guys wonder why we are being attacked?? Look at the U.S. taking away other peoples right without having to listening to what they may have to say. What if the U.S. was Guam and Guam was the U.S. Put your feet in their shoes and see how you would feel. Those of you whom may support the military build up on Guam. Take yourself to the U.S. and join the military. Don't allow your heritage to be forgotten. Instead of worrying about future war so much, why don't the govt focus on helping Guam's economy and financial needs so that they can provide their own protection in case there is a war to come soon. By doing all this, it shows that there is a war coming soon and to me it seems like the U.S. are the ones that are starting it. I mean already the Latte Stone of Guam has been moved from it's ORIGINAL spot just so that the U.S. can make a base on Guam. Do you guys not see that as a disrespect?! How would you feel if your very own ancestors belongings were moved from it's natural place?! That's a slap in the face. If you guys are so concern about having a base that is a lot closer to the pacific, why do you guys have to take the best beaches away!? The Federal Govt DO HAVE the funds to build a base, why do you need to take the best things of Guam away from the people instead of taking the other bad parts of Guam? Why do you need the best parts? You guys already have the funds to do the structural building, why must you guys take away the positive things away from the Guamanians??? If you people from the Federal Govt want to do the "right" things then listen to the people of Guam instead of thinking it's the best thing. I doubt you guys can back yourself up to discipline the marines to behave. I promise there will be more crimes made by the U.S. after everything is done. The Federal Govt is a joke, can't even take care of themselves so they need to take other people. Don't get me wrong, there's always pro's & con's of both decisions. In my eyes, I feel and think that the U.S. don't realize they're not only putting their own men & women in danger but the innocent people of Guam as well.

Juana Sanchez, you're pathetic. The people of Guam made it this far already and can still make it work out without MORE military build up.

Commenter: Homegrown
First off Guahan does not NEED the military...the military needs us. The TRUE Chamoru people are not so much fighting the military presence, we are just simply stating that they have made a decision that will impact our lives. I kottura, i leng'guahi, i aire, i hanom yan i tano chamoru. They occupy a third of the island and are now trying to occupy another third. This change will more than likely happen. I want my kids to grow up and know everything there is to know about being a TRUE Chamoru. Put i familia'ku na hu chocho'gue esti todu. Si yu'us binendisi i isla'ta...Biba Guahan!

Commenter: Juana Sanchez
My comment is that Guam needs the military to help
with the economy. I grew up during the military
stay on Guam and I worked as a Civil Service at the
Military Base. Chamorro people don't you see that
with thie buildup Guam will have secure jobs and
Guam will be safer. Of course you chamorros like
working for KMart and mom stores, what is the future
on this. Government of Guam does not have enough
jobs to support its people. Of course if you are one of the elite, PARI AND MALE, that is not a problem. So wake up chamorros we need the military
there. NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Commenter: Daniel B. Quichocho
It's good and to better the economy. The only problem is keeping control of the servicemen and women offpost during nighttime life and enjoyment. It's the protection of the locals and their families and also the military themselves while conducting business or enterainment within the locals. We don't want to problems to come to the Island of Guam like it did in Okinawa or Japan..."RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMITMENT OF THE MILITARY" is the key factor on the Island of Guam...

Daniel B. Quichocho
827 Sequoia Dr.
Colorado Springs, Co.

Commenter: juner gil some it may be place of vacation, a place maybe you have never heard of, a place where you have learned during history class, but; to the people living here its a place we call HOME. A place were we were raised and brought up to learn cultural attributes which make us unique. Were when we need a helping hand its there, where neighbors and families live next to each other and its not just he family that raises the child but the whole community. With the military coming it's going to bring a big impact upon us. Our enviornment, our infastructure, our ocean and our communtiy will take a major impact. The beauty of our island will slowly perish before our eyes. OUr culture our lifestyle and the way we live will change dramitically. Crime rates will rise, land that belongs to us will be stripped away from us, and our culture and language will disappear. Maybe its time to pay attention and take a stand for our island, our culture, our HOME....Prutehi i tano CHamoru....

Commenter: KwajR
The only thing this military build up is good for the island of Guam is the economy. The negative of this build up weighs more than the positive. Bringing this much military into our island will no doubt affect the population, pollution and culture in so many ways. Also, Guam will become a bigger target than it already is. If ever any of the other countries decide to declare war on the US it'll be just like Pearl Harbor all over again. This island is so small that if a single bomb is drop then there's a possibility that the island can be taken off the map for good. It is unfortunate that we the people who live here really have no say in what we want for our island because we really are just a territory. The military is just trying to get the approval of the people of Guam so that there won't be conflicts and so that they can practically do whatever they want with our island. I am not Chamorro but I have lived more than half my life on Guam and I have learned to call this island my home. I don't see how it's fair that people who knows nothing about this island can just suddenly have the power to decide what happens to it. We should be the ones coming up with the offers, not them. They want to take over this island like they did with the Kwajalein atoll where more than half is military base and no one is allowed in or out without having to go through base. We should not let the military do whatever they want with our island. They should do only what we allow them to do.

Commenter: Manet
I think that the relocation of marines from Oknawa to Guam is very unfair for the people of Guam. First of all, Guam has no say what so ever in this military buildup. Whats basically going on is the Federal government is taking the problem(marines)from okinawa and just dumping it on the people of Guam. Since the begining of the idea of the relocation first rose, Guam was not able to give any input. Second, it seems the federal government don't want to pay much for the relocation. Yes they say they're going to give but that is still not enough. The Island will need millions and millions to be able to support another 1/3 of the population coming in. Lastly, the island's culture has been dieing due to years of japanese and american influences. With the military buildup, the Chamorros can only hope that their island, culture, and way of life wont be badly affected.

Commenter: BWBM
For all those who approve the build up and have alot of misinformation written. The U.S benifits from us just as much as we benifit from them. The money they currently "pour" into Guam is for current military IMO. Back then Chammorro's showed gratitude by giving and welcoming america, now they're the member of the family that doesn't want to move out. U.S. does not see us as equals, otherwise we'd be given statehood. Moving more troops here to Guam is another slap in the face. They didn't ask, they voluntold us that more military was coming. When does it stop? 50 years form now do we expect another build up? Will we ever be given a choice? Do they really care what we think?

Commenter: Chuck Ninja Norris
I believe the military build up will hinder and put a stun on our island culture. Not only are we already westernized but we are also expect to act more stateside to accommodate these outsiders. I admit, this will help boost our economy, but this build up will only benefit the military so much we are only left to disintegrate and be used as leftovers. The U.S. military continues taking our people, our land, our homes, and now our culture. folks, take this seriously, in the long run, since Guam is being used due to this war era we're living in, what will be used for after the war will be over? Think about the long run.

Will this build up truly help or hurt us? I'm skeptical.

Commenter: RDizzle
As an islander, i know that the police department is far too short of staff to be able to take care of the island as it is, with an influx of population, the crime rate will increase regardless. We all know that the Department of Defense will provide federal funds to build a military infrustructure, but will they be able to provide much needed funds to hire more police officers to serve and protect? Will there be any federal aid to create law enforcement jobs to help ensure a safer island for the people of Guam and the military?

Commenter: Da'bit671
We have not been told the whole truth, like everything else the military and the u.s. government still keep a lot of other important facts from Our People. It is true what is being said, about how they bait Our People with the promises of a better financial tomorrow. Our People continue to be lured into thinking this will be a better place. Guam is already a great place. We do not need more military here, nor do We need their money. We are Pacific Islanders, one way or another, We survive. We will always be able to survive. Our ways of life ensure Us that We will survive.

Commenter: Napu
Hafa Adai!
i am a 21 year old student at the University of Guam and a proud born and raised Chamoru here on this island. This military build-up is going to impact our island in at least three extreme ways. First the crime,its been brought up over, and over again. So it must exist right? second the population and infrastructure supposedly in store for Guam makes it seem as if we are ready when were really not. Our island is only but 30 miles long and about 4 to 5 miles wide, and they want to bring in 3/4 of what the population is right now? we wont be able to handle it, on top of that D.O.D won't help pay fully on the infrastructure needed for our island to compensate this build up.
then third which i believe is the most important, our identity, our culture , and our language. The influence of Western society has taken over my generation. we desire more of wants than needs, we desire money over family. Thats not me, i practice my culture in everyday living with the number one being "RESPECT" something were not getting out of this build-up. 1 out of every 30 young adults on this island either knows, or knows how to speak the language. i have to say im fortunate to be one of those people. i just hope that we as a people can come together and fight through this. To my fellow Chamorus old and young history has proven we can do it, we've been doing it ever since Magellan landed so lets hop on board and ride this wave, because we have a lot in store for us my Chamoru!we have to protect our identity and who we are. in our own pledge to our island with the INIFRESI " Ginen i mas takhilo' gi hinasso-ku, i mas takhalom gi kurason-hu, yan i mas figo' na nina'sina-hu/ .....para bai prutehi, ya hu difende i hinengge, i kettura, i lengguahi, i aire, i hanom yan i tano CHAMORU!" Kumentos siha gi korason! BIBA GUAHAN!

Commenter: pakju
If Japan is reneging on their treaty agreement with the U.S. by expelling the U.S. fron Japan, and considering that the people of Guam have no meaningful say in the massive military build-up, then the U.S. should at least reinstate the right of Chamorros to sue the Japanese government for the atrocities(torture,massacres, murder,rape) committed against the Chamorros.
This right of the Chamorros was waived by the U.S. as part of the treaty negotiations with Japan,without the knowledge or consent of the Chamorro people. Such a waiver was immoral and callously violated the inherent human rights of those who suffered.

Commenter: C.I.
" To be credible and effective as a communicator both inside and outside, truth, trust, and transparency must be your modus operandi."
- Rear Admiral(Ret.) T.L. McCreary
The military build-up planners should heed the advice of Rear Admiral McCreary, instead of bulldozing their way through the people of Guam. They must abandon their kick-ass mentality and engage the civilian community with truth, trust, and transparency.
The movie Avatar is a perfect depiction of what's happening on Guam with the military build-up.

Commenter: confused
First of all it's kind of ironic how furious us Chamorros are when the issue of the build up comes to the table because i can't seem to recall empty streets during liberation day. In contrast, how can the military think that transitioning thousands of marines to a culturally oriented island will be successful without resistance? They don't understand the "bad blood" history we have...

Commenter: Adam
Guam is not ready for the military build-up. Budget problems already exist in government agencies. The local people do not want their land to be taken away from them. Without having to say, the people of Guam do not want their daughters to be subject to rape incidents similar to those in Japan. Guam as a U.S. territory does not have any say in the military build-up, no matter how much the build-up affects the island. How much do the people of Guam have to suffer for the sake of military tactics and economic boosts?

Commenter: HomeGrown
I was born and raised in the beautiful Island of Guahan. I am now serving in the USAF. I have seen Guahan's place in the US Military. They know little about us and want to take full advantage of our strategic location. There are so many military missions and operations going on in and around our island that we don't even know of. I firmly believe that Guahan should reap all the benefits and endure no more suffering. We deserve a say in everything that affects our island. What is freedom of speach worth if you were never given a chance to be heard? Ayuda i tao'tao GUAHAN!

Commenter: gibran
As an alternative, expand the build-up to the Northern Marianas Islands by establishing a Marine base on Saipan, which was once a Japanese military stronghold. In this way we can share the economic benefits with our neighbors, and significantly mitigate the enviromental,infrastructire,cultural, and social impact a Guam-exclusive build-up will bring. The build-up could even extend to the Micronesian Islands under the Compact of Free Association.

Commenter: Concerned 16 year old.
I'm not really sure if I'm for this or oppose it. But no person gave Guam a voice, We never had a decision to approve of this. I think the island of Guam should get money fo this, they are taking our island... they need to give back!

Commenter: A Teenager
Stay away from us ! It is bad enough us girls have to walk in packs because we are too afraid to be walking alone. You Marine's and Military are risking our lives. you want to make this a power source for the U.S. How dare you risk our lives. Go back and stay at the Main lands !

Commenter: pdst8120
Its saddening that the majority of people are scared of having more troops on the'd think it would be the other way around.

Commenter: banes.
The military build-up in its present form can only be characterized as a veiled military dictatorship.
The U.S. has spent billions and lost countless lives in attempting to instill democratic values in foreign countries. Yet they can't practice what they preach in their own backyard, contrary to Obama's campaign rhetoric.
Guam needs the national and international media to level the playing field between "david" and "goliath". PBS is at the forefront in this effort.

Commenter: underworld citizen
Picture this:
2 yrs ago, my family together with our teenage daughter enjoy a family Friday night dinner in one of the restaurants in downtown Guam. Today, we are scared to bring our daughter to this restaurant because it has become the place where the military congregates-beer, raudy conversations, tatooed military young men downing their beer, and second look on our teenage daughter from head to toe. It is a scary feeling. A proliferation of such environment is inevitable in a military build up. This is something that does not settle well on a parents like us. Are you prepared to expose your family to something like this?

Commenter: RICHARD




Commenter: Mark Cruz

Commenter: LOGAN RAY
As a former AIR FORCE member that has been stationed on GUAM for three years I had a very deep first had understanding of how the CHAMORROS been brain washed by the federal government thru westernization,and patrinization to the AMERICAN FLAG that I regretfully been standing up for so many years. There are still so many injustices that the federal are doing to the Chamorros that need to be corrected. I hope that the handfull of real true proud Chamorros that are for their Island, Culture, and way of life fight for your rights like how the American Indians did so do not fear death in your battle for your death will will only set your people free.

Commenter: Sue LaRosa
I am outraged that the people of Guam have no voice about bringing the US military to their island. If the US is a democracy and Guam is a territory of the US, where is their voice?

Commenter: Peter
As a former sailor stationed on Guam for 3 years in the eighties, I have insight re: this issue. I chose to live near the capital city NOT sequestered on one of the many military housing facilities. First, we were booted out of the Phillipines,,now Japan. I am completely behind the Guamanians who oppose the Marine move. DOD will sell the move to these poor people by baiting them with jobs. Yes,,,their ability to acquire material goods will increase but at a huge cost. This will be the finishing blow the the Chamorro culture to say nothing of the crime increase, and environmental impact on an already stressed island that's 25 miles long and an average of 5 miles wide. Tell Washington to move their armed camp to some unoccupied atoll elsewhere in the Pacific.

Commenter: NOVA
If you want to talk about overcrowding and welfare, i believe that was one of the comments. Get rid of the micronesians that go to guam just to get public assistance. Not to mention the have no respect for the island, they are one of the reasons the island is so run down.

Commenter: Marlyn Valdanbrini
This video has opened my eyes to the changes that will take place on Guam. My concerns are the following: First, with a long list of rape and violent crimes committed by the marines in Okinawa brings my greatest concerns as to what will the military's actions be to prevent these crimes from happening on our island. Secondly, the military MUST educate their troops and their families as to the culture of the Chamorros to give them a better understanding of how to respect not only the people but the environment they will soon call home. Third, the people of Guam should be given a voice to address their concerns to all parties that will be making the decision to move more than 70,000 Marines, Army and their families to the island. Fourth, a lot of the structures on Guam are outdated for example; Power Plants, Water Facility, Sewer, Roads, etc. which should be a top priority in updating or rebuilding these infrastructures in order, to facilitate an enormous amount of people that will be living on Guam and last, I feel that this move will create jobs for the people of Guam and bring more revenue to the island however, we must work together as a community to bring a smoother transition to the island. In conclusion, the fear of change is what is on everyone's minds but with a great understanding and communications between the military and the people of Guam we can make this move a success.

Commenter: Hootie
"evolve or die". Well said Rebecca Jane. Guam has long been a protectorate. If not the US, it would surely be someone else.

The US has single handedly modernized Guam. Be thankful that the avg life expectancy is not 45, or that 25 out of every 1000 babies do not die at birth, or for the $13 billion...yes...billion dollars being poured into Guam to support this move during a financial global downturn.

No one is trying to destroy the chamorro culture.

Commenter: Rick Unpingco
As a Guam resident, I am all for the military build up. It's good for the economy and infrastructure. However, Based on the Draft EIS, I am opposed to any land condemnation or eminent domain for a proposed firing range. My land is not for sale. But if the military decides to use it, I would like to negotiate with them, not a unilateral condemnation price which I have no say so whatsoever.

Commenter: Famaguon Guahan
I just wanted to say first of all that I am truely devastated and extremely sad because of all the injustices my island and chamorro people have had to endure. I myself being an island girl bred and born, I just feel more obligated to stand up for my island and its people. I truely feel that the military build-up on Guahan would be the biggest mistake of my generation. I do not hate the soldiers who are going to be sent here, I despise the U.S. Military. They have done nothing but terror against our Island they come here and take our land and make false promises to the nieve and desperate people on our island as they have done for many, many years. They are nothing but evil. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE MILITARY BUILD-UP ON GUAHAN.The U.S. is not for us the military is not for us. All the lies are not worth the loss that will forever distroy our culture and the future of my children and the lives that they will lead. ONCE AGAIN DON'T FALL FOR THE FALSE PROMISES THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE THINK ABOUT THE LONG TERM. MONEY IS WATER IT IS HERE AND THEN ITS GONE OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE THEY ARE HERE AND THEY ARE THE ONES THAT WILL SUFFER! Think about it, ITS NOT WORTH IT, THEY ARE......

Commenter: hurao
If the federal government does not correct it's political practices of the present then all the people that died for fighting fredom under it country's name the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
died for nothing more than a lie.




Commenter: Chamorro kid from Guam
this is going to Mike B.
One of the main reasons why the natives of Guam are losing a hold on their culture, is because of the military and American presence on Guam. When my grandmother went to school, she was punished for speaking Chamorro(the native language) and not English in class. You spent two years on Guam, I was born and I live on Guam. In order to truly understand the problem and situation, you need to try living in the shoes of the natives. We have been oppressed for so long by the federal government, and we have been mistreated. Many of the locals' lands have been seized by the military without any compensation, many natives are still waiting for compensations for their seized lands since World War 2. With this build up, you are adding about 100,000 more people to Guam(including marines' families). Guam already has about 200,000 people living on the island, and its crowded. I have no idea how we're going to fit that many people. Guam is trying not to be a welfare dependent territory, we are trying hard to improve our infrastructure to better the lives of the people. But it's hard trying to improve when you only have 32 miles to work with.

Commenter: A Chamoru Woman
I'd like to correct a misconception that seems to be cropping up among some of the comments. Although it is true that President Obama's lack of obvious involvement in this huge buildup is evident, it should be noted that this buildup has been planned far before he even considered running for president--or even senator.

As for the buildup itself, I could rehash all the excellent comments made by others regarding the negative impact the military has had on our island, but the main point is this buildup, in all aspects, will change the future of Guam forever. As a Chamoru woman, I feel helpless in the face of the gigantic US Military machine. No matter what comments any of us may make during meetings or task forces that our government puts together or protests that our people conduct, in the end, the facade of mutual agreement is just that--a facade.
Like others who have commented here, I find it abhorrent and hypocritical that the US has given so much aid to other countries and made itself some kind of self-proponent of "freedom," yet exploits their own colony. Yes, colony. And one of many.
Our voices on this island, no matter how loud, are not being heard or cared about. Perhaps if we had billions of dollars backing us up as DOD has, then perhaps we'd have a fighting chance at the decision table, but we don't.
This may seem like a fatalistic post, but I think the only solution seems to be intervention from people within the US itself. Perhaps if other citizens, besides ourselves, were to join their voices with ours, there might be a light at the end of this tunnel.

Commenter: Guest.
It's so ridiculous..
I'm Chamorro and I'm so embarrassed because of all these people that are against the military build up.
You are against the very people that came to help us before..
The fact that you have to right to even voice your concerns was fought for. I bet that all of you locals that are against it don't think of that.
You complain and complain.. but you don't think about it. Let me ask you one question, Do you enjoy what you are able to do as an American? We are apart of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Stop complaining..
You are acting like we have it so hard here.

Commenter: Marc Aguon
I have one question? Why weren't the people of Guam asked if it was o.k. for 60,000 new people to be let into their house? Regardless of how you look at, a tiny island cannot and will not be able to support that many people. I feel sorry for the future generations of the Guahan.

Commenter: Doug Macrae
Just watching this show about Guam and thinking about when i was on that island back in 74-75 during operation new Life, then all they had on the island were palm trees and coconut crabs.

Commenter: Ollie
First, A special Dangkulo' Na Si Yu'us Ma'ase to the producers of NOW for making this very insightful and unbiased documentary on Guam. Although much of the information covered in this program may already be very familiar already to Chamorro/Guamanian viewers, many Americans still know very little about Guam and its particular issues as an "unincorporated territory" of the United States.

Overall, I thought this program did a very good job in pointing out not only the current and future problems Guam may face with the U.S. military buildup but also the island's longer and at times tragic history under the United States.

Second, I want to make a couple general points about some the issues raised in the program.

Guam historically has played an almost exclusive role as a strategic military base since the Spanish colonization of the Marianas Islands during the 1600's. One of the few reasons why the U.S. (and particularly the U.S. Navy) annexed Guam in 1898 was because of its strategic location in the Western Pacific and particularly between Hawai'i and the Philippines.

The United States and the U.S. military are almost synonymous on the island. Almost every American resident on the island has in one way or another been connected to the U.S. military or Federal Government. Virtually every Chamorro knows someone in their family who has or is currently serving in the U.S. military. As several commenters have already mentioned on this website, most Chamorros remain patriotic Americans, and many Chamorros have indeed shed their blood for the American flag.

This only makes the irony of Guam's current political status as an "unincorporated" territory of the United States even more tragic. A clearer political definition of Guam's status under the United States is a small price to pay in comparison to the thousands of Chamorros and Guamanians who continue to serve this country faithfully.

NOW has done a valuable service not only to the American people but to the people of Guam. I can only hope that this and future PBS programs will help educate Americans about Guam and the Chamorro people. Knowledge, as the saying goes, is its own form of power.

Commenter: Javier Hernandez-Miyares
securing the u.s. "homeland" requires more than 800 military bases around the world, and a department of war budget, which exceeds the total expenditure of the next ten countries that follow it on the list of defense spending. Guam is a piece in the u.s. strategy of global domination through military power.

Commenter: Denny Taimanglo
I am a proud Guamanian American, I walk upright as an american, I do not call myself a patriot, I live as one. I believe in justice, I believe in democracy, I believe in democratic participation of the Gaumanian people making and being part of those whom make decisions which concerns their island, heritage and impacts theirs lifes and future. It is sad that the american goverment uses legal power with the same disrespect as it did with the indians in the past and now. What pride should I have left as an american? Why is the Goverment of Guam and their people not part of this decision? Dear Mr. President Obama, walk up to us as you did in Chicago in your community, give us the same rights to decide as other americans in their States do. What ever dicision will come out, all americans should have the same rights, no matter if leaving in a State or Territory. Change

Commenter: Ray
I was born and raised on Guam. After graduating high school I moved to the mainland for a better opportunity. I later joined the Air Force.

I love Guam and I'm proud I'm from there. I don't mind the Marines moving to Guam (half the amount or less). But they need to preserve our culture and help into rebuilding our island. I went home 5 years ago and just watching this broadcast makes me a little sad to see how run down some areas are.

Commenter: DFS
One of the best unbiased reports in the true tradition of PBS journalism. Thanks PBS. While we should be concerned that more male testosterone on Guam could lead to more crime, where is the outcry from these local anti-military bullhorns over the day-in/day-out molestation and assault of our young girls by uncles, stepfathers, and mother's live-in boyfriends being committed right under our noses? Why is there no UN testimony on behalf these real life innocent victims of crime? The Okinawan story is just a pretext for the same old self-determination march that has lost its parade in the last decade. If one is going to use the Okinawan story to justify anti-military buildup on Guam, then some of that effort should be put into fighting for the victims of sexual assault that fill our police blotter everyday. Anything less is false preaching.

Commenter: Homer from Sinajana GUAM
Hafa Adai Brothers and Sisters, I don't understand why one country should have military presents in another while they are not at war. (ie US in JAPAN) Plus I don't really understand why the USA should have so much military presence on Guam. Do people really think that just because Guam has so much military present on it so that then other countries won't attack USA or it allies? I don't think so. I wish more people in the world would listen to Gods last commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTER. Why can't we just all get along and focuses on the important things in life.

May God Bless you all

Commenter: Alfred Lam
Great information.
Very useful

Commenter: Daniel R. Mafnas
I was born and raised on the U.S. Territory of Guam and had left my pristine homeland back in 1987 at age 19 to serve in the U.S. Air Force, continuing to serve proudly today. The U.S. Armed Forces provides opportunity and prosperity for those patriotic descendants of Guam to serve and to continue to serve throughout the generations. To return a lifelong gesture, in remembrance of those brave service men and women whom have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and status as Americans.

The military has strategically occupied the best parts of the Island. Those land owners should be compensated for their land. As natural born U.S. Citizens Chamorros should be able to vote for President. Guam's status as a "Territory of the U.S." limits our status as U.S. Citizens by denying Chamorro residents the right to vote for President and our local government being excluded, involving the military buildup about to take place on our soil. Our local government should play a significant role in the U.S. political planning and infrastructure of the military buildup on Guam.

The military build up can bring forth much needed infrastructure through employment opportunities applicable also to those decedents of Guam who have attained their much needed occupational skills in place or abroad. Employment provides the opportunity for Chamorros to remain in place or to return home to bring those much needed occupational skills to support the military buildup and Guam's state of regression as a result of today's economic depression.

My fellow Chamorros who are afraid of losing your land to the military buildup. You are already losing your land. The Japanese are buying up our land, the foreigners who seek U.S. Citizenship are buying up our land. The strongholds of our local government has not allowed our people to prosper through opportunity. The notion of "It's who you are related to or who you know" in order to attain employment is the result of the majority of our native Sons and Daughters leaving our homeland, resorting to selling their land in order to afford opportunity and prosperity elsewhere.

Our local government's demise is keeping that notion intact and refusing to allow positive change through wise political infrastructure vice the strongholds of bloodline and association. Not only are you denying the cancer in relation to the protection of your state of being, you are also denying the remaining populous of your native people opportunity and prosperity.

If you want all the benefits of Statehood then by God vote to become a State and salvage what is left of our beautiful Island. Lease our land instead of selling it, utilize our land to provide positive returns in terms of infrastructure and businesses that not only supports tourism, the Armed Forces stationed there but most importantly the sustainment of our people. Use our land to sustain our people and allow our native Sons and Daughters the opportunity to return home after becoming highly successful in their endeavors around the Globe. Work in harmony with our counterparts who will provide positive infrastructure and funding instead of selling our land to those who have no future infrastructure.

Majority of the established foreigners do not take care of our land that provides them opportunity. Our people are tired of cleaning up after them and do not have the much needed resources and funding to conduct reconstitution "Island beautification/reconstruction", unfortunately as a result the state of our land has regressed alongside today's economic depression.

My fond memories growing up on Guam in the 60s, 70s, and 80s were of a strong military presence as our local community adopting the military and in return the military adopting us on the other side of the spectrum, by providing much needed funding and resources in a family like yet professional environment. I remember our beautiful Island to be pristine. It was our native people and the military community coming together with strong pride in making our homeland the best place to live and work in. Let's give our future generations the opportunity to witness and live in this pristine setting.

Our "Service Members" deserve profound credibility. Our native decedents of Guam who also serve proudly are not rapist. The U.S. Marines/Armed Forces will prosecute those who commit unspeakable crimes. Assigned service members will come to learn that Chamorros have a strong family background and interacting with one member of our community equates to interacting with the whole family in terms of respect and coming together in harmony.

Let us not forget, the last time the "Marines" landed on our shorelines on July 21, 1944 it was to secure our freedom. Let us not forget, it was the "Americans" that took part in the liberation of Guam, not once but twice during the Spanish American War and the Japanese Occupation. Let us not forget, "English" is our spoken language and will remain for our lifetimes, God protect us from the possibility of future invasions. Let us not forget, that a high majority of Chamorros currently serve proudly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Let us not forget, that by denying the Armed Forces the opportunity to step foot on our homeland equates to denying our native Sons and Daughters who serve today and furthermore into the future, the opportunity to return home to make our homeland a better place.

Most of all let us not forget that as it is great to be "Chamorro" it is also great to be an "American".

A tibit of history: In my family of ten, six have served in the Armed Forces. Ironically, we have served in all branches except for the "Marines".

Both of my grandfathers had been beheaded by the Japanese during the occupation.

If you had the opportunity to provide for the betterment of your land and people, would you?

There exists a clan whom will soon be outnumbered by non-clansmen. It is a matter of time before they become overtaken or de-throned by their own people. If you cannot outnumber them, infiltrate them to influence your existence for the betterment of your clansmen and the outcome of your sustained rulership. Not quite as deep as the Marianas Trench, but deep nevertheless.....

Commenter: A US Veteran
The thinking of Guam's strategic location is now obsolete. It became obsolete by the technologies we have today, but Guam's "strategic location" is still the perfect lame excuse to continue the discrimination against Guam's indigenous people. This excuse will never put America back to work. If Guam is truly strategically located real estate for America's defense, why abandoned the Declaration of Independence? America is shooting its heart.

The military buildup on Guam is the US government agenda-driven, which will not even be a window-dressing to Guam's old World War II battle wounds. Guam will be overrun again. This time by extremely large numbers of machismo Marines who are declared persona non grata by Japan, which is the only reason for the so-called, "realignment and to consolidate our presence in Okinawa and better position the alliance for security." - Wallace C. Gregson, Asst. Sec. of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.
Washington DC is still full of itself, still full of lies and misgivings. Okinawa is closer to the "Hot Spot" than Guam will ever be.

America has been heading into the wrong direction for a long, long time.

I think Americans are running out of Faith, Hope, and Love. There is just too much greed - the incurable disease of mankind.

Commenter: Don Fitzgerald
America was never meant to be an imperialistic nation. Give up the colonies, America or is our memory that short !!?

Commenter: Flores Clan
The Compact of Free Association has already stressed our small island. TOO MANY Chamorros were killed by the Japanese prior to the U.S. ever 'saving' the island, and lets be clear, the U.S. saved the island, not the people. Chamorros were not massacred in Saipan because they were not patriotic to the U.S.

In return for our patriotism, we must give up our land, our quality of life, our rights, our lives. Nowhere in the mainland would the U.S. government dare to make such a request on it's citizens. We are citizens, and proud to be. But we are being mistreated; the discarded stepchild.

This move will
1. take away our rights to hike to places such as Pagat and LamLam - what will that do to the tourism industry?
2. increase pollution - specifically noise pollution. helicopters, planes, gun fire.
3. stress our already failing infrastructure - the marines AND their dependents will drive on our roads, use our sewer system and put more trash into a landfill that is already too full
4. completely change the culture of our island - will you still feel like you're 'at home'?

Commenter: Julia Chargualaf Miller
It is all too obvious that when the Federal Government makes up its mind on what to do or not to do on Guam, it is a done deal. We do not count because we do not vote, because we are "owned" by the U.S. Government. We are a territory, a possession (a word to me in this regard which is as ugly as being discovered---by Magellan). Soliciting for comments from the people who live here, most specifically, is almost a waste of time. We air our frustrations, but we still don't count in the big picture. It is politics. It is a way of placating the "indeginous";(excuse me, "the natives").

We, the people of Guam, do not have a voice
regarding federal government decisions, issues, and concerns.

We should do as the Hawaiians did and annex all the islands around us to form a STATE (The Pacific States). We can then export our fruits and vegetables, fish and plants, get cracking on local-product business, like how the Puerto Ricans, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Japanese, etc. are doing it.

My sister in Allentown, PA. now gets fresh coconuts, guanabana, bananas, taros, breadfruit, papayas, tupu, etc. in the their markets---all imported from P.R.

Let's get cracking, Guam!

Commenter: laurel Souza
I lived on Guam as a military depentent for over 3 years during the Vietnam war. What many Guamanians do not know is that the military not only protects the island, but conducts vital oceanic research, invests millions into the economy and encourages military depemdents to take active roles in local culture. I won awards in a local school academicly and in sports. I'm proud of my Guam experience amd the military loves the beauty and culture of the whole Marianas. My father was a CO there and I know how impotant Guam is to our national defense

Commenter: Frank Salas
If the U.S.Military sees that their presence in Guam is a Key Strategic move in the defense sector, then if they can put money into rebuilding Irag or Afganistan, then the People of Guam feel that they should do the same with Guam.
We are also greatful for the US Military coming to our defense during the Japanese occupation in Guam, but we still have alot of interest in our Island's culture, and the preserverence.
We don't mind the military's presence and we have alot of respect for the Miltary. We just want to be rest assured that the culture remains untouched and respect is is given to us from the United States and should not be left out of discussions especially if it is going to affect the Welfare of the Island of Guam.
There is a huge amount of Chamorros who are currently serving and alot of who have served in the past, and had lost alot of family members who have also contributed to Protecting & Serving this Beautiful Country that we all live in. So please, we ask that we are given the same rights as the people of the United States.

Commenter: La Selva
Excellent program on Guam & the impact of expansion of US military presence there. The comments forum is noteworthy as well since views of the locals, former residents, visitors, & former military personnel stationed there are represented. I was in Guam twice in the 80s & have fond memories of the people, the land & the culture. There are indeed economic extremes, cultural conflicts, environmental concerns, crime & corruption. I know the Okinawan military transfer is a given. We must ensure that our troops are culturally & socially aware & respectful. The people of Guam are Americans. Let them vote & participate at all levels of US government. Thank you, thank you for your excellent programming. I look forward to updates on this issue.

Commenter: Rebecca Jane
There is a much broader and varied view of the US Marines coming to Guam than what is portrayed in this report. Just to chose one aspect: Guam IS falling apart, and our legislature has been trying to the get the US Government to pay to replace it. Government of Guam wants the US Military here, they just want them to pay a huge amount for the privilage. New Roads, new sewers, new water, new land fill, new power. This is because the US paid to create the infrastructure Guam now has, when the US administered the Island decades ago. But since its inception the Government of Guam has mismanaged the publics money and the maintenance, repair, and upgrade of the Island's infrastructure. The US has a new relationship with Gov Guam now. They are no longer in charge. This USA has made efforts to teach the Gov Guam how to apply for grants and loans from outside the military in order to fix problems that belong to Guam and Gov Guam but are not the US Military's responsibility.

Okinawa doesn't want the US out of Okinawa. They want more money from the Japanese government for hosting the US Military.

I've searched everywhere for the open letter to the people of Guam from a former Okinawan Governer that came to Guam as a response to the possibility that the US might move Marines to Guam. When I find it I'll send you a copy. It was quite revealing about what is really going on. It said that Guam and Okinawa needed to work together against the US and Japan's governments. Okinawa said it could teach Guam how to do that, given their years of success at getting the most money out of the Japanese Government.

This video also does not do a good job of showing Okinawa's point of view on the US Marines.

It left out quite a bit of a complex subject, and it did not get the over all tone right. A Majority of Okinawans do not want all US miliary, especially the US Marines, to leave the Island, although there is an organized and vocal minority with that view. Okinawan women and girls are safer among US Marines than they are among their own Okinawan neighbors and mainland Japanese.

Guam needs to learn harn work, sacrifice, personal responsibility. Having Uncle Sam pay for everything isn't the way to "preserve Chamorro culture". Evolve or die.

Commenter: Andri
The only way out or at least a balance to the issue of the military build up would be to lessen our dependence on the U.S.. This can be accomplished by growing our private sector lessening the native peoples dependence on the local government for jobs and provide greater opportunities for our youth so they do not have to seek a better life in the military. We may not be able to get rid of the U.S. but we can sure shut the door and take care of ourselves. Great Story!

Commenter: Jose Artero
Move the Marines back to the US mainland where there are ample housing, adequate infrastructure, and lavish land space. Guam is too small and lacks the ability to properly absorbe the impact of a huge population increas in a very short time. It will be another unconscionable action of America on Guam.

Commenter: Joseph Strang
I moved from Alaska to Guam 3 years ago to attend the University of Guam. I was shocked to discover that by declaring Guam residency I had given up my right to vote in the presidential election. The Chamorro people have had no say in their governance. It is a troubling situation that has left me disillusioned at the two seemingly hypocritical slogans "American Land of the Free" and Guam "Where America's Day Begins."

Commenter: N. Santos
I was born and raised on Guam. I went to school and graduated, got married and started a family on Guam. As long as I've lived there, the military has always been there. It is my personal opinion that I am here today because of the Military. My mother and her siblings were held in an internment camp during the Japanese occupation. We should all be grateful. More military personnel coming to Guam should not be an issue where our culture and traditions are concerned. Passing these on to our children is our responsibility. While I agree that our infrastructure cannot support the additional 30,000 people expected, I think that our government should take the advantage of the opportunity of financial assistance the military move would bring to 'finally' upgrade, repair or rebuild the current infrastructure. Military or no military....Government of Guam, our elected leaders....ALL OF THEM!....have failed to fix our infrastructure, our lack of educational benefits, to reduce our cost of living.
I love our island, I love our culture and traditions. I love that every single military person i meet has nothing but fond, wonderful memories of times they were stationed here.
The Military has my support in moving to Guam! 100%!

Commenter: Gary L
We need to close Okinawa, put those troops in the middle east. Close the bases on Guam, and give the people back their island!
Then close at least half of the ones we have world wide! Save "we tax payers" money!
When ever there is trouble in the world America is always there first, isn't it time our allies step up to the plate? And spend their tax dollars?
From a Vet!

Commenter: Donna Renee
This is not a good thing from a 'big picture' point of view. 32 miles of island, inadequate infrastructure for the existing 170k population, and a federal government that refuses to listen to the people who do life on the island.
Something will go wrong; badly
and what will be the 'spin' on that mess.
Who's going to be employed? Will the school system be able to support the increase? Will the USA take more land to build what they need?
Woe, woe, woe.

Commenter: Edward Barber
Thank you for shedding light on this issue. I've had the pleasure of visiting Guam on more than a few occasions and have gained a great appreciation for the island and its people. The cultural and environmental impact of the military build-up will be enormous and unsustainable. For the US President and Congress to call for the recognition of Human Rights in other countries and then not recognize the autonomy of this island nation and their inherent right of self-determination is appalling and hypocritical. We need to recognize the rights of the people of Guam and THEY should decide if this build-up serves their best interest, not the US Government, and certainly not the US Military.

Commenter: Weenorah Teriong
I am a Proud US FEMALE Marine but I am even more proud of where I grew up. I may be Palauan, but Guam is my HOME and that of my family and friends. I have always defended the Corps but whenever the subject of the build-up comes up in a conversation, I am always against it.

I KNOW for a fact that the violence that has occurred on Okinawa will indeed happen on Guam, simply because I am a Marine and I know how they REALLY act. Guam is simply not ready for more military build up. This is a fact that the U.S Government has completely turned away from. Guam is a beautiful island with happy and fun-loving people who simply want to enjoy our culture and way of life. Bringing more military onto our island will not only destroy it, it will destroy it's people too.

Commenter: OH PLEASE.
I am a 15 year old girl that is half chamorro and proud of it. I feel that this is unfair to our community, this without a doubt in my mind ruin the roots of Guam. I am scared for my family that lives on Guam and how they may be treated while they are there. The government can atleast give us some sort of say in this, we are basically our own country, the reason why our landfill is messed up and our waterway is so old is because the government didnt give us money to fix it. Now they think they can barge in here and take over our island? God please help these people to make them see the light.

Commenter: Mike B
Excuse my tardiness, but I just heard this Now Podcast while driving home in my car, and I had to comment. I spent two years on Guam back in the mid-90s as the Air Force public affairs community relations officer and was very involved in all aspects of military - civilian community interaction from visits to local schools to serving as an ex-officio member of the GovGuam School Board, to meeting with the village mayors, as well as many meetings the government complex at Adelup. Even though I've never worked as hard in my life as I did on the island, I made many lifelong friends and enjoyed my time there.

But let's look at some ugly truths: The military does not seek to dominate Chamorro culture. It is Chamorros themselves who have drifted away from their native language and customs. The insularity (no pun intended) mentioned in the piece regarding self-segregation between military members, their families and the island community is exacerbated by the failure of the island's school system to properly spend millions of dollars in federal impact funds over dozens of years, which resulted in the Department of Defense School System building their own schools on base.

Speaking of money, and let's face it is always about money. It's true that the citizens of Guam do not enjoy voting representation in Congress because they only have a nonvoting delegate just like the other US territories. However, they do enjoy a sizeable return on every US tax dollar -- in other words, not only does every dollar in US income tax they pay stay on the island, but after all, federal funds are tabulated, the people of Guam realize an unrivaled for 4 to 1 return on their taxes.

Now let's look at nepotism and corruption: The last time there was a major pull out of US military forces on Guam in the mid-90s, the initial elation among some island residents was soon followed by a harsh reality that some corrupt politicians'cousin in law really didn't know how to manage an abandoned Navy airfield or what to do with a vacated Navy hospital building and soon cries were heard " Hey, where are you GIs going so fast? Comeback!"

I hate to make sweeping and unflattering generalizations. But I said this would be ugly. Hopefully Guam has matured since I left in 1995; I'm sure it has. But the island that I lived on for two years displayed very much a welfare, dependent mentality (and no I'm not a white Republican always looking to denigrate and belittle nonwhites -- I'm nonwhite myself. I'm just calling it as I see it. In fact, I also did a tour in Panama, and unlike many of the American naysayers, I knew the Panamanians would be fine after we left, and they have been.)

But Guam, is a entirely unique world unto itself. (Hey, I'm sorry if I've offended any Chamorros out there -- but I'd like for someone to factually correct my conclusion. Hafa adai)

Commenter: EQ
A respond to "firekats" comment. When you say "Guamanians" or "Chamorros", are you referring to us "Chamorros" or the outsiders? Guam today is filled with mix nationalities. Yes, our Island was a very clean beautiful Paradise Island when it was just us "Chamorros"...until now. We welcomed anyone to visit or stay on our Island. People confuses us Chamorros with other nationalities that live on Island. And when it comes to "POLLUTION", I've seen far too worse in the U.S.A. And it gets more polluted when more comes to our Island. 8,000 Marines (plus), that is another 8,000 junk cars (plus) we are looking at in the future for our Island. "Please Pass Go (Guam)"

Commenter: EQ
A military soldier impregnated my grandmother. My mother was born without a father. This soldier left our Island a free man while my grandmother and mother was left with NOTHING. I don't blame Japan for not wanting the Marines anymore. And if they gave us that opportunity to vote, my vote will be "HELL NO" I have 3 beautiful daughters who I protect from predators (men) like that. And that is my main concern. How safe will our daughters be if these Marines move to our Island? We are stronger natives today, we will not tolerate harm to our family.

Commenter: independent 670
Guam's local politicians have reduced the island to a poor subsidary of U.S. life.
The local government has about 12,000 (voters)employees yet nothing ever gets done correctly.The tax revenue they recieve from private sector employee's with holding taxes goes to the most wasteful useless Government under the U.S. Flag...GG.Government of Guam.
Perhaps along with other Mariana and Micronesia Islands Guam should probably become a state.
We here are victims of a U.S. democracy gone out of control because the elected politicians have bled the island for years and answer to no one higher.Demo or Repo we get same results.
You have the same corruption in some of the states back there.It costs too much money for the most qualified canidates win.

Commenter: Jeannette
The island is too small and overpopulated. The island's environment is what I am mostly concerned about. The military government needs to support the whole island by improving most infrastructure not just IN the bases but outside, too.

Commenter: Vanessa L.Oshiro, DVM
There can be good from the move, but the impact on the local cultural (as well as ecological)environement should be carefully considered. I grew up on Guam in the 1970s and 80s, and it is true that the local culture was hugely influenced by American Culture. The native language was not spoken by most of my contemporary Chamorros, and the values of western popular culture were dominant. As an adult, I moved away and received my education in the "mainland" and Hawaii, and I do think that my Americanized upbringing on Guam helped my state-side transition first as a student then later as a practicing professional. I would therefore have to say that I at least have benefited from the American presence on Guam, and I would also venture to say that there are many that share elements of my experience.

In recent years, however, I have realized that though I grew up on Guam, I was exposed to little of its history. For those like me that did not speak the native language, the oral traditional histories were lost, and schools did not emphasize local history at that time. I find this to be truly sad, as all around me in the area I grew up were places where many of my people suffered terrible atrocities during World War II, and I was totally oblivious. As an Americanized youth on Guam at that time, I viewed the world both locally and abroad from a very western perspective. Ultimately, I am glad to have made the discovery, even late, for that knowledge commands respect for the island and the people that fought for its freedom, both native and non-native alike.

Vanessa L. Oshiro, DVM

Commenter: Alan
Please learn the facts about Marines in Japan before assuming that they're all rapists and sexual predators. Look it up. Please. Read the stories. There aren't that many. Hundreds of thousands of Marines pass through Japan every year. The few bad apples tarnish the reputation of many. As a former Marine in Japan from '06 to '08, I can tell you that we go through HOURS and HOURS of sensitivity training, which covers everything about Japanese culture and sexual assault. I promise you. HOURS.

As far as the move, I'm all for it. Guam is in shambles. The economy, the government, the infrastructure could ALL use an overhaul. My sister didn't have a high school math teacher for a year. The money and the changes that the move would bring to Guam would definitely help the island out. Better roads, better power/sewage systems? Where do I sign? If Guam would be better off, or if I could picture the island that I grew up on as doing well in the future, I'd say differently. But, Guam is a terrible mess. And, this is the better alternative.

Commenter: Devorah
I live in Guam and am directly affected by the build-up. Our infrastructure cannot handle the additional people. Marine Corps drive, a major road is a disaster with potholes, holes covered with sheets of metal, and mancovers that sink too low into the road. Needless to say, we buy tires frequently. The landfill is another issue. It is full and there are legal disputes as to the construction of the new one. Water - we only have a limited supply of potable water. Housing- military gets approx 2K housing allowence which pushes rental prices up for the rest of us. Environment - the military plans to dredge the ocean, directly killing lots of coral, and indirectly killing more by the silt. Fish live in coral and use it for protection, what will happen to the food we rely upon? Cultural issues - there are plans to close areas that were former chamorro villages, as well as great hiking spots. We will no longer have access to the areas, especially since a firing range will be located near-by. The Spanish Bridge hike is already closed off by the Navy, nice beaches closed off by the AF, and the historical sight of the massacures by the Japanese also closed off. I am not looking forward to this buildup, as we are loosing too much of our tropical paradise.

Commenter: Hugh Walker
I am pleased PBS did this report. I served in the U.S. Navy on Guam from 1973 to 1975. One of the things that I regret about being there and then leaving is I did not spend much time with the local people. I was on Guam when we Native Americans were demanding to be treated fairly over our own indigenous rights. I didn't fully understand all of the issues but I did understand we lost alot our our land.

During World War Two the United States needed Guam to win the war. We won the war and I think since we won we don't need to be there anymore. If we should need to be there in the future we certainly get there faster today than we did in the 1940s. After the war that island should have gone back to the people from there. If that day ever gets here I as a Native person will be spiritually at peace.

Commenter: KJ
I will first say that this documentary was interesting, if largely one-sided to the left and somewhat anti-military. In today's environment where news is so heavily biased and sensationalized, I expected a bit better from PBS on this account.

I think the move to Guam from Okinawa is a good move. Not only will it improve relations with Japan, but because Guam is technically under US jurisdiction, dealing with military issues - including any misconduct or misdeeds by those few soldiers who slander the good name and honor of the United States military - will be easier, fairer, and less liable to cover-up. It will also bring jobs and industry to Guam, and not just those focused on military and tourism.

However, I do think that the US government should seriously consider granting Guam statehood, or at least put it on the path to statehood, in return for such a move. If such a project were undertaken in one of the 50 states, it would be a much bigger deal, and the concerns of the local/state populations would be given much greater weight. It would take some muddling with the Constitution's rules, but we have to take in consideration that the rules for statehood were made when there were considerable tracts of territory to be settled. The standards of the 19th/early 20th century may not be adequate for 21st century needs.

I know of several residents from Guam and have not yet met a more patriotic and admirable people. I would be proud to include officially in the union, wih their own star on our flag. Guam's citizens already enjoy many of the rights/freedoms of Americans and I think it would do them justice to given them adequate representation in the nation's and their island's affairs.

Commenter: Moneka De Oro
As a resident of Guam and an indigenous Chamoru of the island I am so very thankful for the coverage of our issues on public television.

The military build up and relocation of the marines will forever change my island home. 55 acres of coral reef are slated to be dredged out for a nuclear air craft carrier and 2300 acres of private ancestral lands may be deemed condemned for live firing ranges.

These actions among many are an injustice to the environment and the people of Guam. Thank you for your responsible journalism and I hope that many more Americans become aware of Guam and its happenings.

Commenter: Ron Perez Whiteman
First of all,Hope Cristobal does not speak for most Chamorros, nor do several other of the people you interviewed. In fact, I am sure your reporter could have found quite a few more people who support the move of the Marines to the island. I am a retired Marine and Vietnam vet and come from a family that has been on the island for over 150 years. There are literally hundreds of my cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, as well as my father and two brothers, who all have served or are presently serving in the U.S. military. The fact of the matter is that without the U.S. military and its influence over the years, Guam would be no better off than the Marshall or Caroline islands. It would be a sleepy backwater without much of an economy and with kids without much of a future. With the U.S., our kids can go to universities on the mainland, as well as UOG, as well as travelling throughout the world as Americans. You can't say the same for kids from Pohnpei or Truk. Too bad your reporter didn't take the time to talk to some of us who support this action.

Commenter: Steven Olson
I was stationed on the island of Guam for 18 months in the years 1967-1968. I was a Hospital Corpsman at the Naval Hospital. I believe that stationing additional Marines there is not in our best interests. The people of Guam should be granted Statehood or independence.

Commenter: truth2power
As someone who lived on another Pacific island occupied by the military, I know first hand how our country operates when dealing with the native residents. It is not a pretty picture. We are nothing better than bullies, and arrogant bullies at that. One day, it will all come home to roost for our country. I only hope my children are not among those who will have to suffer for this brutality.

Commenter: Joel Okada
I am from the island of Guam living in Nevada. My father served in the Marines and fought in Vietnam, he was a Purple Heart recipient. I have mixed views with this military build up. I do believe it could be positive for both the Marines and the People of Guam.

If the People of Guam could have a say in the "how" it could make matters better. It has already been decided that its happening. A joint task force that represents both parties should be formed.

I understand that there are sensitive military matters that need to remain top secret, but the military could at least hire a consultant group to gather some concerns of the people and then address them.

Commenter: Honofre Oliva
I believe that the anticipated build up of the Military on Guam can be beneficial to both the U.S. Government and Guam. Key factors necessary to effectuate an acceptable compact between parties would be the degree of sensitivity of concern that the U.S. will have towards priority elements that are of great concern to the island community in whole. A question prevalent in the minds of many islanders is the issue of crime against women by U.S. Marines on Okinawa. How will this issue be addressed by the U.S. Military and U.S. Government before sending 9,000 Troops to Guam? Bottom line is that there needs to be participation by the local Government of Guam in all aspects of talks and decision making regarding this monumental move of troops to Guam. Without mutual consensus between the U.S. Government and Guam would certainly strain relationships as has been the case in Okinawa.

Commenter: Eric
I was wondering, is there a way for the military to create artificial islands to accomodate the influx of troops and materials to Guam?The way islands have been created in Tokyo Bay, Dubai, and pretty much all of lower Manhattan. An environmentally safe way.
Thank you,
Eric Leo, NYC

Commenter: Richard Underwood Sr.
The Marine's landing on Guam? It's a two-edged sword. They are leaving Okinawa because of a problem that they have brought upon themselves and they will bring that same problem to the island. And for the officials not to admit that's one of the main reasons,the abuse of women & even female children,leads one to believe they are not addressing the problem at hand. The other edge to this sword is of course the increase of income to the local goverment via the taxes and let's hope the local government will do a better job than it is doing now in handling it's income. The only way the island people, lawmakers and decision makers can deal with the potential problems is to pray for divine guidance! May God Bless and protect Guam and her people!

Commenter: ramona d reyes
I think the people of Guam should a say as to what
should happen to their country.They should be in-
volved in their own Legislature.

Commenter: Riley
Thank you for the piece on Guam.

Commenter: Wolfgang Moller
I object to the move of Marines to Guam from Okinawa.
Guam should become independent and left the way is is.The troops in Okinawa should be in Afghanistan today or in Pendelton,CA.
The US should contract the military located in 14o or so nations. Only the military industries/complex make money on obsolete equipment and disabled veterans are very expensive in so many ways.
The national military budget expense should be halved and the rest of the money should be used to pay off our debt.
Guam is obsolete like ancient England, Germany and France became for the Roman empire .
We will contract as China grows to take the power position we have today. Look at the Soviet Union or Russia today. And do on and so on.

Commenter: mike
I don't think the u.s. needs another base.600 around the world isn't enough.WOW!As for the rape,when i was in the army it was a huge problem.
My mother grew up in post ww2 in germany and was raped by army soldiers when she was 14 and then again when she was 16.As a matter of fact while she was attending catholic school half of her class had simple disappeared from shame and suicides.One story my mother told about one of her class mates was that this girl was sitting against a tee with her neck sliced open from ear to ear.also ruled a suicide.
My mothers neck had been cut on her left side but she fought back and blinded the guy in one eye with her shoe that she had on.She was 16 and when questioned by the mp's and german police, she was so young and naive she had no idea what that guy wanted.Come to find out the guy had a record before joining the army for raping women while they were dieing.
Anyway when I was in the military not any training whatsoever was given to men about the consequences of rape.At least not then.and probably not is over rated and americans growing up are learning that sex is like a right of passage it seems.I wonder how many families are having kids without planning on it.
I so no way to another base in guam.It will change the local culture and will make them dependent.I think we have enough miltary and cause and effect will sooner or later backfire on the U.S. if it's not to late already.The world is more and more looking at the U.S. in a negative way.That would be a good story i think.How much of the world is against the u.s.a.?

Commenter: Gina
I don't agree with the Marines being on Guam, especially with the people in Washington DC making the decision without involving the locals. With the good there is the bad. It may bring money to the island but for who? The Marines will be coming with their families so they need jobs as well as the locals. So who will get those jobs? So much needs to be done for the island to run efficiently. I'm afraid the locals will loose their land. Because the military gives out so much C.O.L.A. that they will buy the locals out and I don't think they should be able to do that. Also with all the RAPE that was going on in Japan. I'm afraid for the younger generation. I grew up on Guam all my life and never ever had to worry about walking at night or something bad happening. Guam is such a small island things like that don't happen, and if they do it is once in a million years and usually do to drugs. But my main concern is WAR. There is so much advertisement out there about all the military on Guam i'm so scared that another country will Nuke our beautiful island because we have so much military in a tiny spot it would be easy to blow up. I disagree with it entirely. That is just too many people to move in such a short period of time. Since its all said and done they need to add things to protect the locals. After all, the military is using our island to protect them, they need to protect us as well.

Commenter: jeff pleadwell
We need more shows this well done concerning the build up comming to Guam.

Commenter: James Masse
I found your piece on the US Marines (the most storied branch of the US services) to be, as per SOP for "NOW," extremely biased to that of a very left-of-center. "NOW" producers have no shame and will delight that the average American will not agree with their slander of the US Marines.

Commenter: JohnyChamoru89
As a US Army Soldier and a patriot, I wish the military to be successful in it's endevores, but as a chamoru, I feel that my culture is being threatend. I am worried that further military preasents on Guam will lead to more violence as it did in Japan. The island of Guam I believe is also not ready to haldel a flooding of troops, without federal funding from the United States.

Commenter: VK
Interesting documentary.

Commenter: Sisco
I've spent years on both Guam and Okinawa. Guam needs the money the expantion will bring. Omong many reasons, is the condition of the public schools, which probably rank the lowest in the country. The kids don't have books and many of the classrooms are old and moldy. As for Okinawa, I was glad but supprised to see there is an active Womens Activist community. They should really be working on their own community's respect for women. It is heavily saturated with pornography. Children are exposed to a lot of animated pornography depicting women as victims of some sort of sexual depravity.
While growing up in Okinawa, we were more afraid of the Japanese school boys than the marines.

Commenter: Cris
People of Guam will have a difficult time with this administration.

Commenter: G Crubaugh
I think the military should consider the possibility of living onboard ships and use their own energy and resources. They must also contribute to the community by making sure that Guam's infrastructure can accommodate their presence. Guam should also be independent from the US. Let them go back to their roots. The US seems to have too much influence and it is clear to me that they should back off to let these island people enjoy their lives and their own culture.

And of course it goes without saying that they must have a profound a respect for women, as these women are as important to national security as anyone else. They should be protected, not exploited and mistreated. We should not forget that many of them are daughters of our own countrymen.

Commenter: Christine
Please also view where they are locating Ordot (landfill) to... Government of Guam is complaining about US Military build up... Please have GovGuam to destroy its own culture to where they are relocating the dumpster - landfill. Work has been commenced... to destroy the nature of Talofofo Fall area where Sergent Yokoi of Japanese military hid for over 28 years... Please do another series tie this build up.

Commenter: Major

Commenter: Jimmy C. Camacho
I have not heard one political leader describe what Guam will become after this latest military build-up: an armed military camp in the cross-hairs of N. Korea and China.

Also, our local leadership failed to hold a farewell party for Chamorro culture as the local indigenous culture will die out. Many local "natives" do not want to be like Hawaii. Those that do are mostly immigrants to Guam, seeking employment, U.S. citizensip, etc.

Commenter: James Terlaje
Interested in the environmental impact that the military presence would have on Guam.

Commenter: di
Makes me sick and mad.

Commenter: Christine
Please also view where they are locating Ordot (landfill) to... Government of Guam is complaining about US Military build up... Please have GovGuam to destroy its own culture to where they are relocating the dumpster - landfill. Work has been commenced... to destroy the nature of Talofofo Fall area where Sergent Yokoi of Japanese military hid for over 28 years... Please do another series tie this build up.

Commenter: Shannon Murphy
Wow! Impressive reporting. You got the whole story. Thank you so much for really looking into this. We appreciate it.

Commenter: Byron Franks
I think Guam is a strategic place for our Military.

I also think that Guam will benefit from the USMC presence.

Commenter: Vicente (Ben) Lizama
Its great for the economy in Guam. I remember growing up with all armed forces exits in the island. Air Force, Navy, Marines and Army National Guard and the Coast Guards. It did the great for the economy for Guam. So, I welcome the "marines" and their families for it was them that gave us our freedom then and now. I salute the "armed forces of the united states of america". We the "Chamorro's" thank you....!

Ben "Maga Lahi" Lizama
Chamorro's Recording Artist

Commenter: Clare Calvo
Guam is home to me. Aside from not given the opportunity to vote for a President who determines the fate of our island, it saddens me that our people have been loyal and patriotic to a country who has used our land and water as toxic dumping sites and nuclear storage. The cancer and type 2 diabetes (linked Agent Orange) rates are highest per capita than US mainland. Nasopharyngeal cancer is almost 2000% higher than national average. The cancer clusters are found in areas where drums have been buried and on military bases. However, the statistics are not completely accurate due to off-island treatment for military personnel. Guam and her people deserve proper chelation and assistance for the past and current exposure to toxicity. 3 military families have been compensated for health problems related to exposure in the years lived in Guam. How about the local people who live here their entire lives? Before anything, US military is responsible for a CLEAN -UP and healthcare compensation!

Commenter: Ellen Griggs
I am not opposed to the movement of troops from Okinawa to Guam. HOWEVER, the military MUST engage and continue to work with the local community with open dialogue, gather input from women's groups and local Guam government, followed by action by the US Military to avoid crime. The military community must interact with the locals keeping liines of communication open and not segregate themselves on the bases.

Commenter: Norman Matsumura
Guam wants occupation & colonization to end. US Marines should leave Okinawa and all of Japan if the
citizens are in favor of the move.

Commenter: Patrick Gibbs From Brockville Canada
Very sad, the U.S. is raping, yes raping Guam's Culture, History and the Natives are being raped of their Land. If this were Holly Land this would never be permitted. I`m so glad to be Canadian.

Commenter: Robert Ellis
I have a question. Who besides the United States has an important military base in the Pacific Ocean? From whom do we need military protection there? Is China a threat thousands of miles east of its coast?

Commenter: Jean MC
AS a former Navy Vet and Mil. Wife who was stationed on Guam 72-73, this move will have a drastic impact which will dramatically stress this small island state.. the memories that i have from the island is the culture of the local citizens and the pristine condition of the beaches, the small businesses that thrived.. I question HOW will this small island absorb this influx of military personnel, support staff and families without tremendous support from the military and private sector to update modernize and increase capacity to the infrastructure, You can traverse the whole perimeter length of this island in a matter of hours, there is not much in the way of entertainment beyond that of what supports the military appetites,.. with this move not only is the military expanding it's foot print but it needs to give back to the community that strongly supports the overall presence,.. expanding the military infrastructure should be in combination with the civilian needs to support the increase that is to come.. such as instead of building just for the military, take on the project of updating the overall infrastructure for the island nation, not all Americans understand the close knit relationships of this island. US Government needs to do an overall impact study for the WHOLE island!!

Commenter: Julia Miller
The voices of the residents of this very small and unspoiled island should be heard and taken seriously.

Although "Washington already proclaimed its edict", it should be noted that it is not right in anybody's language to tread on someone's property without their permission, their input, their blessing.

Understanding that being a "territory" is being "owned". We are owned; therefore, told what to do, how to do it, when to do it. This status could be summed up as follows:

Washington said it is going to happen, so it is going to happen---no matter what the people of Guam
have to say. I come into your house and you don't have a say-so. I can ruin you, rape you, steal from you. It does not matter, because you don't count.

Why does that sound so insensitive, disrespectful, callous?

Commenter: Ryan
The main reason the Japanese government is requesting to reduce the US present (from Okinawa) because of some of our military personals' treatment of the local peoples (rapes, murder, etc.) This issue won't be raised in the first place if we were to respect the locals.

However, the base moving to Guam is such a bad idea. First of all, it will cost billions of dollars. Second, the livelihood of the Guam will be disrupted. Third, our investment Okinawa (such as military infrastructures) will be lost/ go to a waste/ become inefficient.

Commenter: Kathryn Peterson
I wonder about the environmental impacts of the buildup of military presence on Guam. How are the flora and fauna, both terrestrial and marine, going to be impacted? How is Guam going to be impacted by sea level rises from global warming?

Commenter: Pika671
Too much time spent focusing on the minority who's anti-American stance doesn't speak for the majority of us here on Guam. Otherwise good piece.

Commenter: Shawn
I was in the Marine Corps and spent 18 months on Guam between 1974 and 1975. If they are going to have Marines on Guam but want to take the pressure off of the local population they are going to have provide good R&R away from the local population and a good ratio of men to women on base. This could probably be done by bringing some female workers from the states. Most humans will find ways to get in trouble if not kept busy and entertained. I have also spent time on Okinawa. The bad eggs will drift away if allowed to do so. Not much of a suggestion but hopefully something they will consider. Maybe a Marine football team and basketball team to compete with the Air Force and Navy on the island would help.
The scuba diving on the island is some of the best in the world.

Commenter: cy unpingco
The US has long ignored the interests of the Chamorro people on Guam and have decided what is to happen to Guam without the consent of the Chamorro people. Is this how you treat people who are loyal to the US?

Commenter: Helen Mossman
Last night I watched the NOW report on the transferring of the Okinawa and other military installstions to Guam and it reminded me of the outrageous, inhumane treatment of indigenous peoples of the American mainland by the U.S. Cavalry and the U.S. government in the mid-19th century. I am a western Oklahoman and what we did to the Cheyenne and the Comanche Apache, and before that to the Cherokee and Creek and other Indian nations is recorded in shame in our national history.
There are good and long overdue reasons for getting U.S. military outposts out of Japan. As a U.S. territory Guam is the logical relocation site. With proper respect and compassion for the welfare and rights of Guamanians, such an action could benefit both parties.
Please reconsider the ham-handed decisions that have disregarded the rights of Guam's citizens. Involve, with good faith, the counsel and wishes of Guamanians. Yes, the military relocation will bring jobs and tax revenues to the island. By necessity roads and water supply, waste disposal and public buildings all will be dramatically improved - and the U.S. military will get that done. But in pressing those blessings on the local population, be mindful that you are in someone else's home and homeland. You are the outsiders on their beautiful beaches, their historical sites, their way of life. Have the grace to be grateful to Guamanians, and treat them as you would want your family treated at your home.
Helen Mossman, Woodward, Oklahoma

Commenter: Joan Weaver
This is terrible for Guam! The US armed services have a significant base on Western Samoa, another US Territory, as well. The nearby town stores look alright, but you get into the surrounding neighborhoods and all you see is trash everywhere. Part of the problem here is the US government is funding these people, so there is no incentive, no Samoan dignity left! Not to mention restrictions & no input into their original, indiginous Samoan lifestyle!

Commenter: Jose Cruz
Dear PBS Now:

Thank you for covering the debates around the U.S. re-militarization of Guam. I appreciate it.

For future work, I suggest you contact the following folks:

Vicente M. Diaz, PhD, Director and Associate Professor of Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan

Lisa Natividad, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Guam

Michael Perez, PhD, Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fullerton

Thank you,


Commenter: David Smith
I don't understand the whole issue with the Marines and the crimes in Okinawa. These are supposed to be well trained and obedient soldiers. Why does this seem to be more of an issue in Okinawa than anywhere else? I would like to hear more from the Marines themselves on this issue. Are these people who had already some sort of criminal background? Are we not checking for this when recruiting personnel? I am just confused. It just seems so different from the view we usually hold of the Marines.

Commenter: Gale Simplicio
Thank-you for making this public. While the Congress talks about where the $ for healthcare will come from, we are about to spend more money on war machine build-up. And the bonus for the military looks like it will have an entire population to recruit from. What gives me hope is the courage and activism of the woman who address the UN.

Commenter: Millie Artero
This military buildup is the US government agenda-driven, which will not even be a window-dressing to Guam's old World War II battle wounds. Guam needs the missing fundamentals of America's values, i.e. economic freedom, equality, and justice.

America is shooting itself on the foot by ignoring the sacrifices for freedom and denying equality and justice.

The irony of any US President receiving the Nobel Peace Prize is the missing American ideals of self-government, economic freedoms, equity, and social justice on Guam. Without justice there can be no peace.

There is no Security, only Opportunity, but opportunities are being stifled for all the wrong reasons. The thinking of Guam's strategic location is now obsolete. It became obsolete by the technologies we have today, but Guam's "strategic location" is still the perfect lame excuse to continue the discrimination against Guam's indigenous people. This excuse will never put America back to work.

Millie Artero
Ph: 671-472-2450

Commenter: Laura Klassen Temple
They were talking about this move when I was on Island 30 years ago in the early 80's. With good negotiators, Guam stands to gain tremendously to improve their crumbling infrastructure (water, power, etc.) and the overall employment opportunities. Additionally, if they play their cards right, they can develop greater support in their educational system in teaching and retaining Chamorro culture.
These are benefits that tourism alone will not be able to bring to Guam, especially in the immediate future.
Done RIGHT, this troop increase could bring many, many benefits for all of the citizens of Guam.

Commenter: Venisia Quinata
I think that the military build-up should not put more marines on guam. i was born in guam and recently visited for my grandmas funeral 2 years ago. It's a beautiful island and to see it hold so much more than what it should, what can the people of guam really say to what can happen to their culture, their island, their home? I live in the u.s. and just watching the clip of it i disagree on the build-up. I am chamoru and to see that it's heart breaking to know that they're going to do that. It's true, the people of guam doesn't have a say so in it, they just have to sit back and watch their home bring in more people and see so many changes happen. I understand we are a u.s. territory, but guam doesnt need that, I don't want to see the build-up happen to my homeland.

Commenter: AJ
If the allegations of sexual assault against the women of Guam by American Marines are found true, I protest it vehemently. No people of any nation, or in Guam's case, colony should fear the arrival of non local's because of sexual and other forms of crime that could follow. You don't go to a friend's house, rape their mother, then continue hanging out like nothing happened, so you certainly shouldn't think because your outside your own soil, you can just get away with it, or in this case, because you're military. Not even close to morally right.

Commenter: Susan Estrella
Why are we sending troops to Guam? How about helping those poor people repair the damage we've done to their beautiful homeland? What good are more killers going to do for them or for anyone?

Commenter: John Laue
I remember visiting Guam back in the 70's when there was a huge temporary internment camp for thousands of refugees from Viet Nam. The military has always done whatever the hell they wanted to on that island, and the fact that they're going to move 30,00 Marines there isn't surprising. I don't blame the Chamoro natives for being concerned about the impact of this huge development on their little island.

Commenter: Lotus Yee Fong
The Asia Pacific has already seen enormous suffering in WWII's Pacific Theatre. America's security and military establishment has the wrong premise -- to
prepare for war and aggression against China, North Korea, Russia, etc. 2014 should not be the scenario of conflict, but multipolar and regional cooperation.
Brookings has just run two war games about Taiwan's 22012 presidential election posing cause for war.
America's military buildup already triggers China's and Russia's response. When will the U.S. stop its addiction to war and learn to live in a multipolar world? When the people of the Asia Pacific take control of their economic and cultural lives.

Commenter: Dennis Kleid
Instead of Guam, the needs of our Pacific military should be served by Honolulu and San Diego, where there is already infrastructure present to handle these people. With our 21st century technology there is no need to battle terrorists from Guam and maintain such a costly presence in Okinawa and/or Guam.

Commenter: Fred Zingeser
Thanks much for the report. It's ridiculous that the US has military presence all over the world, at enormous expense to the taxpayer... and meanwhile, they are interfering terribly (sometimes tragically) with other cultures.
The US government has to learn that WE DO NOT OWN THE WORLD!

Commenter: Stan Russell
Guam should become a state of the United States and the people of Guam should be given all the rights of United States citizens. They deserve a vote in policy that impacts them.
The United States should not have colonies under its control simply for military purposes, or for "a gas station," as one of the Guam residents so eloquently put it.

Commenter: Mike Dodge (Nimitz Hill, Guam)
Way too much coverage and credance given to Hope Cristobal!! Also, note that Guam has yet to invite Stateside (American) community leaders from those locations that have Marine Bases (Oceanside, CA; Kaneohe Bay, HI) to discuss their relations with the Marines. Guam is a U.S./American community and will approach law and order, and community relations from that standpoint, not the foreign/status of forces relations required in Japan.

Commenter: Carlos
Our living standard and our culture has changed continuously for 100 years. It will continue to change. When someone is exposed to something new, their mind cannot go back to its original form. Guam has the highest standard of living of all the islands in the western pacific - is it a coincidence that it is also part of the US when others aren't? It is also shameful to point to sexual crimes in other countries without admitting to our own problems - 6 sexual assault arrests here at home during the two weeks before the womens group first met. ALL crime is terrible, espicially capital crime and crime against women. We must address all crime not just someone elses. The film points out that our infrastructure has not been upgraded for 50-60 years; the buildup is an opportunity to address the problems. Before a spade of dirt is turned on 15B of projects, our 4% gross receipts tax will bring the Gov't $600 million. The Gov't will be the greatest beneficiary of the buildup so it can upgrade the services every person needs. If not the buildup, what is the alternative?

Commenter: deborah Coleman
Guam, 30,000 troops to relocate to the Island. Japan asked them to exit because of the crimes committed against young girls and woman.

I have lived in Hawaii for 6 years. I was born in one of the 13 original colonies. I havew a Masters degree in psychiatric social work and one in Marriage and family counseling.

Single and 52 years of age when I arrived here I was sexually harassed and assaulted. Human and sex trafficking support the Tourist industry. The State government are puppets for the Real estate Industry or the developers.

I could not get a lawyer to take my case. Support services were stripped of their power to help by the Governor and State government who protected their pockets and political seats.

Hillary Clinton supports women internationally against violence against women and war at the same time. Our country's need to expand it's territory, clothed as national security is directly related to violence against women.

The female legislature in Guam see what is coming, it will not be good. The natives in Hawaii remain over a century later bitter and revengful against Americans or "Haloe's" as they are called here. They do not see themselves as Americans.

Commenter: Marilyn Pollock
I just viewed The Travel to Guam. I live in Hawaii and understand the upset the people feel having the Marines impact a small island in an all consuming way. I hope the leadership will be successful in stopping the military invasion and that the people will unite with the leadership to regain their rights. The military is never a good citizen wherever they go. They are certainly a disruption in Hawaii. I support the efforts of the Chamora people to oppose this tragic move by the Marines and the Department of Defense.

Commenter: pete
as a former soldier turned public school teacher, as well as a proponent of democracy and justice, the u.s should not only destroy acres of pristine reef for its military empire, it should also respect the rule of self-determination. in fact, the u.s. should withdraw from okinawa, hawaii and all its oversea colonial stations, lest it fall like every other empire before it. living "by the sword" has only made us less secure and healthy.

Commenter: alan dampog
I think the usa should either make Guam a state, or give the island its sovereignty so that the military will not just dump its troops on their shores without input from the local government.

Commenter: Steve Dean
With the Chinese navy and submarine capabilities growing larger and stronger by the day it is apparent that they will make a venture to take the Pacific region.We must have a strong presence in Guam as to protect U.S. National interest and American treaties.

Commenter: George H. Flores, M.D. COL,US ARMY,RET.
I support the Plan to move Marines to Guam. USA will do what is necessary to provide infrastructure for the Marines and for the local community. BUT I look forward to the USA to give more rights to GUAM US CITIZENS, GIVE US COMMONWEALTH STATUS IF WE WANT IT.


Commenter: firekat
I was first in Guam in 1977, I had a short visit in 1991, and I was just there this August. Over this period of time I saw the island go from what I considered was a beautiful tropical island to a decaying polluted tourist trap. If the Guamanians are so concerned about there island then why don't they clean it up? It is so overwhelmingly polluted there it is beyond belief. There are dead rotting vehicles everywhere you turn, old appliances and piles of trash litter the entire area. Tumon Bay is so polluted that I would not want to set foot in it. I had gone snorkeling at Gun Beach in the 70's. When I went back to the area it was nearly unrecognizable. What was a pleasant beach had turned into a dump, all next to sprawling hotels. The hotels there only seem to last 15 years or so before they turn into dumps and rot away.

The largest interest that the Guamanian government has is raping the Japanese tourists for all they can. Their tourist industry is going down the tubes as they are not keeping up a decent level of service nor are they treating the tourists with any dignity. I saw the looks on the tourist's faces, it was that of disappointment. The Japanese tourists that they do get are not the well heeled ones, they go to Hawaii.

The military may have a large presence on the island. I am not saying that they are perfect or that they have not had a negative impact on the environment. But what I can tell you is that it is all the military installations & property are kept up in a much better manner than what the natives do. If there is so much Chamorro pride then why can't they even just pick up their garbage?

When I was there I saw more support for the arrival of the Marines than against it. The general consensus that I saw was that most collectively saw the military buildup as a good thing and that they would be reaping the benefits of defense department dollars.

The negative aspect of this is that most of the native population are unskilled and or lazy, and most of the work will probably go to filipinos that either live on the island currently or will be contracted to come in.

The truth of the matter is that supporting a culture on tourism is very difficult. It is a cruel joke that the hotel owners play. The predominate amount of jobs available in that industry are low or unskilled and not well paid. It is nearly impossible to get out from underneath the yoke of financial oppression in that situation. It definitely is a "tourist trap", and in actuality does nothing to boost the economy for the laity. About the only benefit that comes from tourism is money collected in taxes, which in this case seems to have been squandered on something other than the infrastructure.

I think Guam would do better with increased military presence than without.

The Chamorros are very willing to tell you how they want to decide their own fates but what they won't tell you is how many millions of dollars that they get from the States so that they can float their own existence. Guam would not be able to support itself on it's tourism, industry or agriculture. Since that is the case, yes the US Government will make the decisions on a US Territory. Don't like it? Too bad.

My last visit to Guam broke my heart. My pleasant memories were shattered. They really let that island go to hell.

On a side note, when I was last there I saw a memorial to the people that died in the retaking of Guam from the Japanese that was desecrated. Bronze plaques with the names of the dead were pulled off the memorial and sold as scrap. These were people that gave their lives so that others could in turn be free from the oppression of the Japanese in WW II. Just how low can you go?

Too many times and in too many places I have seen the "native" people forget the ultimate sacrifice that Americans have made so that those "natives" can be free, and go out of their way to denigrate the USA.

Commenter: gordon

Commenter: Scott Mikolajczyk
I just caught your show about Guam and the plans to send 8,000 Marines there from Okinawa. I served four years in the Marines, including a year in Okinawa. I think it's crazy to send 8,000 Marines to a beautiful little island like Guam. I'm disgusted that the Guam people don't seem to have a say in what happens on their island. While the majority of Marines are outstanding law abiding citizens, there are always a few bad apples. Good luck Guam!

Commenter: Chris Ragen
Guam doesn't need that level of buildup at all. The last vestige of American land that is used as a military installation in Okinawa Prefecture should be retained in honor of all of the service men and women that died in a war that we did not ask for; or start.

The actions of certain members of the US armed forces in the modern area, by committing crimes against the people of Okinawa Prefecture are certainly wrong and the fullest extent of the law should be applied to anyone who does the things that they have done; no matter what the connections are as there can be no diplomatic immunity for such horrendous abuse.

Nonetheless, this is not a justifiable rationale for handing over the very last piece of ground that was taken in a war that we were forced into because to do so; or to ask for such; is dishonorable to all of the people who died in a place and time that they never would have chosen to to be in or at.

The nation of Japan needs to back down from their wrong doing here. MacArthur did what was right to resurrect the nation of Japan after WWII, and the nation of Japan, being that we have been and are also one of their largest post war customers; no matter the outrageous acts of a handful of degenerate criminals, need to have the same respect and honor for our losses as they do for their own.

Especially when their leaders of the past... are the ones who made that choice for their nation and for ours; to address.

This is not about money

this is not about power or influence,

this is about working together and doing what is right in all respects, taking into account all opinions and all perspectives.

Cutting and running to Guam is wrong.

We as a nation also owe the people of Guam the same respect in addressing their concerns to their satisfaction as best as we possibly can; to right the wrongs of the past that we have done unto them as we would not wish the same to have been or be done unto us.

This is what would be right, yet unfortunately in our times politicians seldom do what is right.

And such is both the tyranny and travesty that we all face in our world, which is not the way that our forefathers or our citizens intend it to be.

Commenter: Enid Griffin
Thank you for another excellent program. It is sad that, even with a new president, we still have that same old cultural imperialism as our foreign policy that we have had for so many years. I voted for change, but when are we going to see it?

Commenter: Manfred Schwoch
It's clear that the U.S. Empire's thirst for power and domination in the world continues unabated, despite Pres. Obama's claim that
we have been the "guardian" of security in the world.
The people of Guam clearly have no say in the fate of
their own island, similarly to the way the native Hawaiians had no say in their fate. The record of the U.S. Military in Okinawa is well-known: rape and killings of Japanese girls/women are not isolated occurrences--not too surprising since U.S. military men rape and assault their own "comrades", women in uniform, quite frequently. Get the U.S. Military home from the over 700 bases around the world!

Commenter: steve
We celebrate our Independence Day yet we can't seem to understand others wanting their independence.
I don't get it.
We trample on other people IMO and then wonder why we pay the price.
We are no better than colonial Britain of the 1600-1800's.

Commenter: Rick Grosscup
We lost Vietnam, the Phillipines and now Okinawa. The retrenchment to Guam is only the latest shrinkage of the global empire the USA has collected since the Spanish American War. Having served in the Navy on Guam, and interacted with the populace, the US should honor and promote the native Chamarro populace towards their eventual independence.

Commenter: Shawn Bell
The conduct of American military in Okinawa has been a complete disgrace and the marines should have been confined to their base for the long term. As a women's rights, and public safety issue, marine leadership simply must pursue a zero tolerance and punitive policy regarding sexual violence toward women citizens of places where the military does business. This issue has long roots with regard to a history of being swept under the rug and is a human rights matter of serious proportion.

Commenter: Polly Richter
I do not think there should be a military build up on
Guam It is very unfair to the local indigenous people.

Commenter: Sue Moore
build-up on Guam is not desirable for the US, and certainly not for the native inhabitants of the island

Commenter: Kay Becker
We do not need a military build-up on Gaum. We need to get our military out of all one hundred thirty countries where they are now based. We need to rein in the US empire. There is not enough time or space to go into all the reasons for this except to say we can't afford it on many levels:economic,social and humanitarian among others.

Commenter: Lucinda
I was stationed in Germany in the late 70's. Rape of the local women by G.I.'s happened very regularly. They never made the Stars and Stripes. BRING THE TROOPS HOME...all of them.

Commenter: Michael E. Barber
I was very disappointed with the failure in this broadcast to really develop the history of Guam. You made it appear that Guam had been a colony for only 110 years. In fact it was a colony of Spain for over 400 years before the 1898 war. This cherry picking of events is endemic on the left. Starting global warming charts 165 years ago is another example of this distortion. I appreciate the Guamanians desire to keep down the population, but please make it clear their colonial history is all but ancient and don't lead the gullible into a sympathy posture by distorting history.

Commenter: Howard Soderberg
Your show tonight on Guam was informative, but implied the Okinawa military presense only consisted of 18,000 US. I understand we have over 50,000. active US military in Japan (Sec. of State Clinton said so recently) at this time.

With over 56,000. GIs in Germany and 41,000. in Korea, isn't it about time for PBS to examine the rediculous military manpower and budget the US maintains?

Over 147,000 active GIs occupying land we fought over several decades ago only conjur images of Afganistan and Irag as a never ending commitment.

Commenter: Rob Coleman
Great Program

Commenter: Deborah Marshall
It makes me sick to hear that the military thinks it needs to take over Guam in the name of "national security". If we REALLY want national security, I believe we need to bring our focus home; take care of our own with good national health, good jobs, good education, stop with the war mentality, export something more meaningful than military arms, stop pumping all our money into military and wars.

Why don't we leave everyone else alone? We need less military rather than more! What is it I'm not getting?? Am I nuts? Or is it our government?? Stop, already! DM

Commenter: Roger Worlock
I can think of no better example of the arrogance of power than this giant move of troops and infrastructure from Okinawa to the beautiful island of Guam. I fear for the young girls of Guam and their parents - rape seems inevitable - we can't even get our military to leave the girls alone at our own military acadamies - what can we expect on a Pacific island? I hope some way can be found to put a stop to this abomination.

Commenter: Rob Coleman
Good program

Commenter: Theo
The Empire of USA is a pain to so many people in so many places. What benefit is it for Guamanians to be citizens of USA and have no right to self-determination?
The military industrial complex that is ruling America is the most destabilizing force on earth today. Money and power is their only goal.

What a hypocrisy we preach to the world! It is a shame!

Commenter: anonymous
I am shocked about the military move to Guam.
The buildup seems so unfair to the people, who are not even US citicans and do not get as much benefits as they will get trouble and overcrowding, not to mention all the dumps and pollution. Shame on us. A concerned citicen in VA.

Commenter: N. Conte
Frankly, I don't understand why we should be expected to leave Okinawa. Certainly, there will are always be issues with military personnel, especially in areas of different culture. However the use of Okinawa as a base is simple: The Japanese started a war with the United States, we defended ourselves, and we won. The use of their land should be expected. It's a form of repatriation. It's not as if we are occupying their country; we simply have a military base.

Commenter: paul vaughn
How many American lives were shed to make any type of survival possible for the people of these islands? How easy even today for those with the financial power to take control of these islands and relegate the natives of the islands to a limited part of the islands with limited say on either their or their children's future. America is not the enemy of those who are a part of her umbrela. Fight for your part in gaining her favors for better roads,schools,water and other community needs. We all owe America our freedom not our hate.

Commenter: roald carlson
I was a Naval Officer stationed at the naval Operating Base at Apra Harbor on Guam in 1945. The Guamanians used to join the US Navy as Mess Men serving Officers in their dining on board ships and at naval stations. A main problem now will be how the Guamanians will control affairs on their island and not be subjugated too much by the US Navy. When I was there the US Navy controlled everything on the island. There will be tension too between the civilians there as there was between the US Marines and the civilians on Okinawa. The sexual drives of 30,000 US Marines are going to be a problem for the civilians there. Good Luck! The Commanding Officr and the Chaplains have their work cut out for them

Commenter: Walt Zimmermann
The government needs a base and the people need security and a life. I suggest that the base be isolated from the rest of the island with no legal way for marines to enter. I would furthe suggest that any marine convicted of raping a woman or child on the island be castrated.

Commenter: Ken Mitchell
I only spent 24 hours on Guam but was struck by two aspects of the island that were not mentioned on the program. First, it is truly remote - a mere speck in the ocean many hours from anywhere; the impact of US forces on Okinawa could at least be buffered by a much larger population and the troops would have easier access to other places. Second, the island is chronically at risk to typhoons whose presence is signaled by some of the most undistinguished domestic architecture imaginable - many houses are variations on the concrete blockhouse design. Though popular with tourists from Japan, and home to friendly people, Guam is far from a tropical paradise.

Commenter: Christina
It was mentioned that the military released a draft about the environmental impacts on the island (DEIS), however, it was not mentioned that the document is about 8,000 pages long and the people of Guam are only being given 90 days to comment. For more info that is contained in the document check out this website:

Commenter: Jennings Bunn, retired CRM, COMNAVMARIANAS
Having lived on Guam for 14 years, and married a Chamorro woman, I see this potential problem from two different aspects. While it is true that the U.S. has been a financial boon to the island, also true has been the negative impact of two distinct and different cultures. You will find no more patriotic people than the Chamorro, no more giving, or forgiving. However, they have reached the end of acceptance at being treated as "second class citizens". It is very true that the millions of dollars invested by the U.S. in Guam has been welcomed. What isn't welcome is the strangle hold that the U.S. maintains on Guam's self-government, much of the land, and the natural resources there-in.

On the other hand, it is true that Guam can not support itself on tourism. Without the financial investment by the U.S., Guam would be forced to make a serious "down-sizing". The existing infrastructure is rapidly approaching its useful life. Much of the water & sewer lines are 30-50 years old. Over exploiting the finite aquifier is a major concern, and once pumped to salt water influx can not be reestablished. Guam presently has over 300 water wells.

But we must be realistic, and recognize the fact that however much Guam's people either support, or protest against, the proposed project will go through. Guam is strategic in the Pacific. That's why we took it in 1898, and took it back in 1944.

Commenter: Paul Peck
In reviewing a pacific map....there seems to be no clear strategic value for the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam.

Okinawa is well positioned to allow maneuvers and responses to the Korean Peninsula as well as aggressive posturing towards Taiwan.

The main sea routes that supply Taiwan, Japan, and Mainland China with oil lie to the west of the Philippines...which completely isolates Guam from playing a strategic interest in this vital sea route through Indonesia, and along the Vietnam Coast towards Japan.

This being so...that guam holds significant strategic disadvantages....the past troubles the US had in keeping a large base in Subic Bay Philippines and Okinawa would be the principle reasons for the shift...even at a loss of operational effectiveness.

The ill effects of the marine presence on Okinawa has been explored. Similar effects manifested in the Philippines which experienced explosive growth in prostitution and human trafficing....Anti-biotic resistent STDs were exported....making subic bay literally a biological threat....(In one case, every sailor on a ship had contracted penicillian resistant gonoreha....100% infection rates for entire ships at sea....the massive effort to combat this was on par with our national efforts in biological weapons.

The problems of Okinawa and Subic Bay have not been addressed satisfactorily....

As an American Citizen, I believe it is wrong to relocate the Marines to guam as guam does not have voting rights on the administration of the base as the Japanese people do and as the philippine government did.

The people of Guam deserve nothing less than we would ask for ourselves if the base came to our town....rights to vote, representation in policy, zoning, ability to arrest and try soliders who commit crimes, to raise our concerns with force of law to address issues associated with the base as concerns arise...they should be empowered with force of law to sue for termination of the lease of any base....or similar means...

If we as americans do not first address the terrible issues of subic bay, okinawa....if we as americans do not respect the people of guam and establish legally binding powers to them in this regard....

Then our nation is not worth defending as we would have destroyed our Constitution ourselves. It is wrong to establish taxation without representation. It must be equally wrong therefor to establish a base on guam without granting powers of either self determination or statehood to guam.

This does not pass the sniff test....The people of guam should be empowered in all respects relative to the move.

It is my belief that a the okinawa base could be moved to Kume island...a japanese holding....and kuroshima island...a taiwanese holding....and penguhu county island in the rockets launched by the PRC often land near this island....but such posturing may cease with a US military presence there.

Malasia and indochina also has issues of terrorism as well prime strategic areas suitable for a naval base....but they cane people there....and would not have the patience that Japan has shown...there are better strategic places than guam to put a put a base on guam without full liberty granted to just wrong....

Commenter: kevin
I have been stationed in Okinawa for over nine during two different tours.
I think the show was a bit one sided and I would challenge the produce rs to dig a little deeper.

Commenter: Ralph Otero
The era of American Imperialism needs to come to an end. The United States should not be looking to increase its presence in the South Pacific or anywhere else.The people of the world want democracy,and democracy starts with self-determination. The myth of American benevolence is no longer believable to most of the people of the world.The 21st Century will not be an American century. The sooner we undestand this, the better we will be.I believe we should grant full sovereignty to the native people of Guam.It's the right thing to do and you know it.

Commenter: Bob
I was there during a downsizing about 13-14 years ago, and historically Guam can handle another 30K people. The people of Guam were, as a whole, wonderful hosts. Hopefully the relationship continues to be a good one.

Commenter: david todd
Thank you for reporting on this story. It is unfortunate that it has not made headlines in the main steam news. Was not our country founded on the idea of having representation on how our country was being ruled? I think it is a crime to do it now to others. Don't you??

My daughter is a Marine and I am very proud of her.

Commenter: Thomas Martin
i am glad that the plan is for 2014 because things are going to end in 2012.

Commenter: Dustin D
Wow, so now we've been moved off of Japanese land.. Have we forgotten that they brought us into one of the largest and most costly wars in human histroy? We won, as such we should have rights and controls over parts of their economy and military. They "awoke a sleeping giant" and yes, over 60 years later they should pay the price. When Guam was invaded by Japan, America took it back. Guam is a gas station because it's too weak to stand on its own. I think in return for the military coming to Guam, Guam gets a new infrastructure, not such a bad deal to me. Concidering Guams options the military may offer an economic incentive to build and grow. Who knows, maybe if Guam makes enough money they'll get representation in the electoral college in 100 years.

Commenter: Jack
You could tell the citizens of Okinawa were tired of the Marines when I traveled through there in 1969 to and from Vietnam. I believe it has only grown progressively worse since.

Commenter: Johnny Rocket
Did anyone notice that the officer administering an oath to the troops did so incorrectly? He had them swear to "obey the orders ...." But the proper oath is to "obey the LAWFUL orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over me in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice." The entire point of the oath, knowing when one is required by federal and international law to disobey an illegal order, is ignored.

Commenter: Virginia Esch
The Guam people should be more involved in the consultation regarding our military going into Guam.
Women there will be more @ risk for sexual exploitation.

Commenter: Mike Moore
As a veteran with 2 years served overseas in Berlin in the 70's, I am certain that so many more US soldiers will cause significant damage to Guam. Even in the tightly controlled city of Berlin (police carried automatic weapons), there was a tremendous amount of crime; soldier-on-soldier and soldier-on-civilian. Most of my fellow soldiers considered the locals as inferior and stupid who did not deserve fair treatment. After all, we were the all mighty Americans. King of the world and anything we wanted to do should be OK. Even if we wanted to do those things after getting very drunk or loaded on drugs. That is the reality of the military. A lot of macho, horny guys looking to have a good time and very little is off limits.

Commenter: Ellen Klaus
Did we draft men from Guam for the Viet Nam War? If so, that is reprehensible. No right to vote and no representation in Congress. The U.S. should not hold such a territory, with no significant input available for the local people. And if we impose our military population, it is irresponsible to not totally support their infrastructure. What an unhappy situation!

Commenter: Caroline James
Obama and Congress - what a bunch of hypocrites. Build up Guam; send native islanders off to war to die for the US but don't let them have a vote. You're disgusting.

Commenter: Hugh Sansom
Dig a little regarding US forces on Okinawa and you should find a handful of stories from the Clinton years on the US response to Japanese sabre-rattling over having US forces leave. The US response, reportedly, was "Do not call for us to leave, because if you do, we will not go."

Commenter: John Fleming
It takes 50,000 people to become a state. Vote on it even if takes military residents to make 50,000.

Commenter: kicked by the MAN
Pure American Irony...Guam is the most patriotic coomunity you will find in the US with so many local people paying the ULTMATE sacrifice for America's freedom. Yet the people of Guam can't enjoy the full freedoms they serve to protect. No vote or voice in congress is a shame.

What about the reparations that are due to locals from the WWII occupation? Uncle Sam loves the lives put on the line abroad for freedom, yet Uncle Sam won't correct the wrongs of the past on Guams people.

Commenter: Michael Wilhoit Blas
My mother was a prisoner of war during WWII in Guam, when the Japanese took over the island.She watched many of her family killed and raped by the Japanese soilders. She used to tell me stories of how her family and her were slaves for the Japanese and lived in fear of her life everyday. The United States Goverment took away there land and they were never compensated for it. I feel that the Goverment should compensate the remaining families that are still alive before the Marine Build up construction starts but I am guessing that they are just going to take it again. I guess I can't blame the people of Guam that are against the military build up. I could sit here tell stories for days of what my mother and her family went through but it wouldn't make a difference. The government of Guam and the U.S. Government should pay the people for the land that they took from our family or just Give it back. I have many stories if any reporters would like to contact me.

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