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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think
I normally don't write reviews, but my background is unique in that I'm second generation Okinawan, both my parents were born in Naha, but I am also a veteran of the USAF. Most of my extended family still lives in Okinawa. My cousin married an American. I spent a year in Afghanistan and I've been to Kadena AFB so I know a little about living in a base overseas. I see both...
Published 8 months ago by Ken Shinzato

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthy topic, poorly examined...
I have to give this documentary a 1 star review principality because of just a few things. And, those things revolve more around how they were presented than what was actually presented.
Prime example. They mentioned that two little girls were run over by a tank n Okinawa and that the locals were not allowed to try the crew. I was on Oki albeit several years...
Published 1 month ago by Loved it


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think, March 19, 2014
By 
Ken Shinzato (King of Prussia, PA, US) - See all my reviews
I normally don't write reviews, but my background is unique in that I'm second generation Okinawan, both my parents were born in Naha, but I am also a veteran of the USAF. Most of my extended family still lives in Okinawa. My cousin married an American. I spent a year in Afghanistan and I've been to Kadena AFB so I know a little about living in a base overseas. I see both sides of the story on Okinawa.

Philosophically, I disagree with Chomsky on many, many points, but the reason why I keep reading him is because I like being challenged to think. And so I ask myself, did this film make me think? To that I'd say yes but you must watch it with a critical mind.

The argument set forth is that the American Empire builds bases to project force and this displaces locals, destroys the environment, and causes more war. So the interview of Okinawans has valiant protesters mourning the loss of life and land. The crying children was an especially emotional scene. But it's all extremely one-sided which is fine as long you understand this kind of film is supposed to be.

The portrayal of base life is a bit less focused. Larger bases definitely have BXs, gyms, and food courts with BK. Bagram is like that in Afghanistan. But the FOB I was assigned to didn't have any of that. If the point was to show that bases were being setup for permanent occupation and how that's a bad thing, it sort of missed the point. I also found that it humanized the military, so instead of being a faceless, evil military industrial complex, it became a young soldier who likes Burger King and loves his country.

The biggest critique I have of Chomsky is that while he's extremely good at pointing out the problems, I haven't read any convincing solutions by him. It's the criticism I have for this film too. So say you protest and get all the bases shut down and cut our "standing army" down to pre-WW2 levels. We give up the doctrine of Force Projection and adopt a policy of military isolationism (which is implied in base shutdowns).

That isn't peace, that's a power vacuum. All it takes is another aggressor(who hasn't read Chomsky) to come along and you've got war again.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching!, February 18, 2013
This film offers an interesting perspective of the American military that most American citizens haven't considered and provides information not commonly found in the American media. There was a lot of focus on the suffering of the citizens of Okinawa and Diego Garcia. While I sympathize with them, the strategic location of those islands means that it is highly likely that they would be occupied and used for military purposes, whether or not the US is the occupying force. And I certainly can appreciate the ire of the citizens of Vicenza, Italy.

I think that this film would be especially interesting for policy wonks like me :-).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthy topic, poorly examined..., October 7, 2014
I have to give this documentary a 1 star review principality because of just a few things. And, those things revolve more around how they were presented than what was actually presented.
Prime example. They mentioned that two little girls were run over by a tank n Okinawa and that the locals were not allowed to try the crew. I was on Oki albeit several years before this tragedy, but the SOFA was very specific and I doubt it has changed much. In clear cases of accidents, the Prefecture insisted that that service person be sent anywhere except Japan almost immediately.
What we were told that meant though was very dependent on 'clear case of accident.' For instance, drinking and driving and running over something or someone was not considered accidental according to the local laws in which case the Okinawan government had the right to hold and try anyone under those circumstances.
Anyway, in the above case, two little girls being run over by a tank was probably ruled a clear accident. It's sad, I wish it would not have happened, but I really don't see that being anything other than an accident.

Beyond that, they appeared to want to echo Ike concerning the MEC and that is where I had the biggest problem. I can come up with better rationale than a few disgruntled farmers and fishermen displaced. Trying to blame it on oil is and old and tired argument. In fact, none of the reasons they cited couldn't be offset by just as many arguments that would support the way things are. That might be my biggest issue actually. Hatchet jobs seldom succeed in much.

They would have served themselves and the intent of pointing out the MEC better had the broadened the scoop of the Roman Empire analogies and just focused on that really. But, I felt from the start there was a slightly hidden agenda here that amounted to trying to weaken America.

A worthy topic and one that should be looked at through clear eyes and without prejudice. These folks didn't pass that last part of the test.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Empire Strikes..., April 11, 2014
Somewhat dry documentary nevertheless eye opening how the U.S. goes about securing it's survival as the dominant capitalist democracy. Made me think about how our insatiable consumer appetite feeds the beast.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, September 27, 2014
Powerful and enlightening. I believe this concept is a bit more complex than it was portrayed, however, I learned more about the true meaning of a standing army and the threat it poses to the world. At the same time we see that you must "keep up with the Jones's" or be militarily inferior.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U.S. military police to protect U.S. dollar overseas, January 31, 2014
By 
Thomas Rheem (Bensalem, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Standing Army (DVD)
The worldwide U.S. military police force is to protect corporate and rich people's business and dollar investments in the U.S. and other countries. Military in Middle East is to continue current levels of oil to U.S. so the citizens and businesses do not riot. U.S. military bases surrounding Russia ad China are to spy on those countries activities and launch missiles against those countries in they dare defy the U.S. Note Hillary Clinton's trying to sell the "keep America strong" bull crap while she certainly knows the opposite truth. U.S. has military in at least 77 foreign countries. Where are the German, Spanish, French, Italian, etc., etc. foreign bases in the U.S.????
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5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this documentary to anyone interested in finding out why ..., November 7, 2014
Very insightful. I recommend this documentary to anyone interested in finding out why the US military budget increases every year and what that money is used for.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, August 22, 2013
Can't argue with the facts in this documentary. Pretty much proved Eisenhower's prediction of a Military Industrial Complex. The interviews were well done with informed individuals.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and informative!, December 2, 2013
If you haven't seen this, and you're American, you need to! It sheds light on just how our nation really runs ... what powers it, what drives it, and why we may be a lot more feared than respected in the world today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, November 20, 2014
By 
Eric Whitney (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
Every citizen should see this movie. Find out about the evil things your tax dollars do.
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Standing Army
Standing Army by Enrico Parenti (DVD - 2012)
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