5th Marianas History Conference Day 7 - 10

Page 85

Panel: From Militarism To Tourism

Colonial Narratives

Military Secrets During the Occupation of Guam

By Seyoung Choung

Saint John’s School

Abstract: It’s oft-repeated that the military remains neutral from politics, but in Marianas history, transparency was never a priority. The armed forces were unaccountable to the Chamoru people whose land they occupied. The author intends to submit a paper covering the secrecy of the military throughout 20thcentury Guam history to address such issues. The topic of the paper is a challenge to prevailing pro-military historiography surrounding Guam’s history. Despite a strong consensus among Marianas scholars that the political machinations of the military were conducted forcefully and without the approval of the Chamoru people, this understanding has not been fully translated into primary school curriculums due to flaws in the American educational system. Indigenous voices remain esoteric compared to an over-glorified portrayal of the United States military in simplified narratives. The paper aims to shed light on the unreliability of many military sources in the retelling of the history of the Marianas. To do so, the author compares military sources (primarily naval) with indigenous testimonies, civilian recordings, statistical findings, and scientific papers. The contradictions that arise from examining Guam’s history from different angles will be examined at length to reveal the truth about military arrogance during the decades long occupation of Guam.

“In Guåhan, there is no blank slate. One always begins with the presumption that the military is a key factor in whatever one is doing.”

– Robert A. Underwood

University of Guam President Emeritus

American imperialist ambitions have not waned since the War of Independence toppled Britain’s monarchy in 1781. Since the war’s start, the domestic settlement of the contiguous United States took a little more than a century to achieve. In that 114-year-period (1776-1890), Native Americans were subjugated and relegated to reservations on the least hospitable lands available. Chinese immigrants, who toiled to build the Central Pacific railroad through the Rocky Mountains, were excluded by an act of congress, the only cultural group in American history to be targeted in this manner. African Americans, once bonded in slavery, were freed, but even constitutional amendments were perverted to create social isolation, economic poverty, and political absence.

Articles inside

Ginen I Gualo’ article cover image

Ginen I Gualo’

pages 273-285
Gendered Households and Ceramic Assemblage article cover image

Gendered Households and Ceramic Assemblage

pages 141-164
The Matua’s Song article cover image

The Matua’s Song

page 55
Burego’ Joyful Christmas Celebration article cover image

Burego’ Joyful Christmas Celebration

pages 9-15
A History and Archaeology of the Pre-war Tuna Fishing Industry in Micronesia article cover image

A History and Archaeology of the Pre-war Tuna Fishing Industry in Micronesia

pages 225-240
Fishing Weirs at the Edge of the Parian article cover image

Fishing Weirs at the Edge of the Parian

pages 201-224
Matter of Time article cover image

Matter of Time

pages 135-140
I Hinanao-ta article cover image

I Hinanao-ta

pages 243-272
Tådong Marianas article cover image

Tådong Marianas

pages 287-290
Guam 1668-1769 article cover image

Guam 1668-1769

pages 175-184
Origins of the People of the Mariana Islands article cover image

Origins of the People of the Mariana Islands

pages 165-174
Japanese Archival Records article cover image

Japanese Archival Records

pages 185-199
From Tourists to Asylees article cover image

From Tourists to Asylees

pages 1, 123-132
Camp Chulu article cover image

Camp Chulu

pages 61-84
Celebrating 340 Years article cover image

Celebrating 340 Years

pages 17-44
Colonial Narratives article cover image

Colonial Narratives

pages 1, 85-103
Operation New Life article cover image

Operation New Life

pages 105-122
Long Term Effects of Colonization on Music article cover image

Long Term Effects of Colonization on Music

pages 47-54
Slinging Stones And Fanoghe Chamoru article cover image

Slinging Stones And Fanoghe Chamoru

pages 45-46
Refaluwasch and Chamorro Children’s Songs article cover image

Refaluwasch and Chamorro Children’s Songs

pages 57-58
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