by Quell Nessumo, published on Workers World, July 29, 2020
Despite the ongoing global pandemic, the U.S. military has no plans to cancel RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise), the largest international military exercise in the world.
Beginning in 1971, and held every two years in June and July off the coast of Hawaii, RIMPAC is a show of imperialist force, a demonstration of the military capability of the U.S. and its allies.
In spite of the threat posed by COVID-19, petitions against the exercises and even requests from Hawaiian Gov. David Ige for participants not to disembark, the U.S. military has every intention of going through with the war games.
The islands of Hawaii, colonial subjects of the United States since their annexation in 1898, have reported more than 1,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths. Beyond just the risk of infection to the islands’ inhabitants, the exercises have long been proven an environmental disaster. From brush fires caused by live-fire demonstrations and disruption of local marine ecosystems by noise pollution to contamination of the waters themselves, the U.S. capitalist government has proven itself all too willing to desecrate lands which it originally stole to serve its business interests.
In this period of escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, these exercises cannot be seen as anything other than provocative. The Pentagon’s determination to conduct war games in the midst of a devastating pandemic should be seen as shocking and alarming, a sign of willingness to sacrifice untold lives to disease while preparing for a major power conflict. These exercises need to be understood as a threat to China, and the world — showing that the U.S. imperialist ruling class will do anything to cement its hegemony, no matter the cost to human or ecological life.
In these times, it is absolutely critical to join with Hawaii in opposing these exercises and demanding their cancellation.
U.S. military out of Hawaii! Cancel RIMPAC! No war with China!
Sign this petition to cancel these destructive RIMPAC war games in Hawaii waters.