The recent comments of the United States Environmental Protection Agency has drawn the most attention due to its findings that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is unacceptable and inadequate. If the Department of Defense has any hopes of proceeding with the expansion of military activities on Guam, it must start over and address the concerns outlined in the review comments submitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.One of the areas of great concern to the people of Guam which is brushed over in the EIS in very sparse terms is the social and cultural impact these Marines will have on our island. If there was anything more inadequate in the DEIS than the environmental plans, it is the mitigation plans of the Department of Defense in the DEIS to address this issue.
From the very beginning, whenever the issue of increased crime or potential tension between the Marines and the local population was a subject of discourse, General Bice and the JGPO office tout that these are highly trained and educated contingent of Marines. They would be bringing their families and they are taught to be culturally sensitive and respectful of their host community.
Recently, I was sent comments posted on the social networking site Facebook, owned by a Marine, in which other Marines stationed in Okinawa posted their thoughts about being stationed in Okinawa.
I debated heavily whether to repeat these comments given their source and quite frankly their tone. I am sure that these are not the Marines that General Bice refers to and these may be the minority, but they certain demonstrate the inadequacy of their cultural sensitivity programs.
I have edited the comments to remove the more offensive and not fit for public consumption, but it is clear that General Bice and the rest of the Marine Command have their work cut out for them. The comments were of such a nature that the page has been removed by the administration of the Facebook site. The following are the edited comments:
Comment: â€¦.. the awkwardly unsociable people, the honchos those greedy â€¦..
December 21, 2009 at 10:42pm
Comment: I just found this group through some friends and i gladly say that i agree with everything that everyone has put one this page. Japanese â€¦.. They complain about everything that we do, but they use our facilities whenever they can, charge us at least twice as much for rent when... people live out in town, and the honchos are constantly rippin us off.
December 21, 2009 at 9:26pm Â
Comment: Okinawaâ€¦..it is death incarnateâ€¦.
August 22, 2009 at 4:04pm
Comment: â€¦.. Okinawa is a living hell for anyone who has an ounce of self-worth... These ungrateful â€¦ have mooched off of the U.S and Japanese governments for far too long...
August 1, 2009 at 11:42 Â
Comment: On my plane ride out to Oki I said to myself, "I'm going to do this year without drinking" Three hours after landing I was drunk, then that year turned into two and a half.
March 31, 2009 at 11:58 a.m.
Comment: â€¦.. you get off the plane in this place and a wave of depression floods over you as your soul dies
March 30, 2009 at 2:46 p.m.
It is clear to me, that the Marines Command structure needs to get a more realistic view of the thinking of their men and devote greater resources to deal with their human resources problems so they do not become the people of Guamâ€™s problem.
Another grant to the Governor to convince us of the compatibility of the Marine relocation with the people of Guam is not the answer.