Auschwitz & Pohakuloa — Family Camps? May 27, 2022 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet

Don’t be Bamboozled!

Auschwitz & Pohakuloa —

Family Camps?


      Let’s be clear. Auschwitz was NO Family Camp! Auschwitz was a WWII Nazi concentration and extermination camp located in southern Poland where more than 1 million people, mainly Jews — men, women, and children were killed in gas chambers. Yet in the German Nazi war crime trials in the early 1960s, one former SS guard assured the court there were no attempted escapes. Who would want to escape? Auschwitz, he said, was after all, “a family camp.” Another defendant said he could point on a map to where he had made “a children’s playground with sandboxes for the little ones.” Auschwitz was just one of several WWII German concentration camps where a total of 6 million people, mainly Jews, were exterminated. (See the book Thomas Merton on Peace for his essay Auschwitz: A Family Camp)

      The Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) is No Family Camp either. Despite events like the recent “Experience Pohakuloa” Day which tried to portray a warm image with “educational displays highlighting our cultural and natural resources, plenty of keiki activities,” etc. The event was described on the PTA Facebook page as a “festive and enjoyable atmosphere for all those who attended.” Despite such images, the reality of Pohakuloa is that of a massive 133,000-acre US military toxic training ground for war, including nuclear war. A nuclear war would likely result in the extermination of human civilization on the planet.

      Nuclear weapon spotting rounds containing Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation have been fired at PTA. There have also been reports of nuclear weapons actually exploding at PTA decades ago. Soil tests for Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 in the Impact area could confirm or deny such reports, but access to the impact area is restricted. What we do know is that millions of live rounds from a wide range of toxic weapon systems by all branches of the military are fired annually at PTA. B-52 and B-2 strategic nuclear bombers fly non-stop from Missouri, Louisiana, and Guam to practice bombing Pohakuloa and return to their bases without ever touching down. The US military is the largest institutional consumer of oil and the largest emitter of CO2 on the planet. Putting an end to war and ending the climate crisis go together. The deadline to comment on the extension of State lease lands at PTA is June 7, 2022.   For ways to comment see Cancel PTA Lease Now!

Aloha ‘Aina – Stop Bombing Pohakuloa!

End the Illegal US Occupation of Hawai’i!

  1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject violence & war as solutions. 3. Defend civil liberties.
4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, anti-Black, anti-Asian,
anti-Russian, etc.
5. Seek peace through peaceful means and work for justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown), Hawai’i 96760

Phone (808) 966-7622 Email to receive our posts.

For more information

May 27, 2022, Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet – week 1078– Fridays 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Jim Albertini Malu 'Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola'a (Kurtistown) Hawai'i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

Appeal to join the Monday 6PM, May 23rd Peace meeting focusing on the Pohakuloa EIS

Please also join the 6-8PM meeting on Monday, May 23rd at the Keaau Community center for a discussion and testimony preparation on the Pohakuloa Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and against any State lease renewal to the military at PTA.  If you can’t make the meeting but want to simply send in testimony against any military lease renewal at Pohakuloa, see more info here on where to send testimony.

Mahalo and please pass the word to ohana and friends.

Jim Albertini

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

some points from Cory Harden

Ethnographic Studies

A 2012 ethnographic study was commissioned, completed and accepted by the Army for PTA: “Ethnographic Study of Pohakuloa Training Area and Central Hāmākua District, Island of Hawai‘i, State of Hawai‘i” (McCoy & Orr, 2012). This is the only ethnographic or TCP study commissioned by the Army for study and/or assessment of TCPs within PTA. The study found “a general lack of information in the literature concerning cultural practices and beliefs related to the Saddle Region, when compared to other, more populated areas of Hawaii.” The study did not use any Hawaiian language resources… Since the McCoy and Orr study, no further studies for TCPs have been conducted at PTA by USAG-HI CRM staff or contractors.

 See the 397 page Draft EIS at the link below

Chilling Army definition of “encroachment”  EIS p. 3-14.

PTA works consistently to manage encroachment issues, defined by the Army as the “cumulative result of any and all outside influences that inhibit normal military training and testing” (Santicola, 2006).

Additionally, the Implementation Guidance for Army Compatible Use Buffers broadens this encroachment definition to “All influences threatening or constraining testing and training activities required for force  readiness and weapons acquisition. Encroachment stems from environmental (for example, noise, endangered species, cultural resources, unexploded ordnance [UXO], and munitions constituents [MC]), social (for example, urban sprawl), and economic (for example, changing land values) influences. Impacts include, but are not limited to, restrictions on available testing and training locations; restrictions on available times and duration for testing and training; reduced effectiveness of testing and training activities; and restrictions on weapons systems, equipment, and munitions used during testing and training. Land use and/or development that, individually or through cumulative effect, contributes to restricting the Army’s ability to conduct mission activities.”

The Army wants to keep control over about 23,000 acres of land at Pōhakuloa which it is now leasing from the State till 2029. But there are serious concerns about unexploded ordnance and other hazards they have left on the land, impacts of military training on cultural practices, and much more.

You can send comments till June 7 to ATLR-PTA-EIS@G70.DESIGN or use their website

Talking points below. 

The EIS should explain how the Army can legally own or use the land although the United States controls Hawai’i illegally.

Claims that land retention is necessary are not credible, since the military also claimed Kahoʻolawe, the Kapūkakī (Red Hill) fuel tanks, and Stykers were necessary.

The EIS should describe how the State can meet fiduciary obligations to native Hawaiians and the public to protect the land, if it is retained, since the Army is a bad actor that has left the land in degraded and hazardous condition, at Pōhakuloa and other sites.  

The EIS should include a plan and commitment to cleaning up debris and toxins before the lease expires.

The EIS should explain how military use is allowable in a conservation district.

The EIS should explain why the Army sited critical infrastructure on land with a temporary lease.

 Impacts to native species should be described, as well as impacts from invasive species and the success of past control methods.

Cultural resource data is insufficient to support EIS conclusions: archaeological surveys have only been done on about half of the State land, no valid survey has been done since 2013, and the sole ethnographic study failed to use Hawaiian language resources. The Cultural Resources Management Program has been hampered by lack of training, technical issues, inadequate facilties, and project delays. There are few specifics on how the Army will remedy the lack of access, which is still a problem after five decades on the lease, and impacts many cultural practices.

For environmental, archaeological, and cultural studies the Army often claims it is too dangerous to go into the impact area. But personnel went in to check for depleted uranium, and even did construction in the impact area for a new training range

Studies and monitoring cited by the EIS for depleted uranium are inadequate.

A full analysis of greenhouse gas emissions is needed, but is not even attempted.

There is inadequate analysis of noise that can be heard miles away, and of concussions that can affect travelers on Saddle Road.

Socioeconomic analysis should include the cost of cleanup of the impact area and the rest of the base after base closure, and the cost of lost opportunities for other uses of the land, such as: a park that preserves cultural resources, educates the public about history and culture, and allows outdoor activities; agricultural uses that provide food and building materials locally; raising of livestock., etc.

Impacts to traffic and road wear are inadequately addressed for convoys every 2 to 4 weeks, plus trucks for water, fuel, and other supplies.

Analysis of fire impacts fails to mention serious concerns about staffing and equipment, and the history of several past fires.

Long-term impacts beyond the baseʻs borders are only considered for training, but should also be considered for the environment.  Cumulative impact analysis should include a list of all current and former military sites on Hawai’i Island, with their cleanup status. It should also evaluate the impacts of future pumping for the training area from groundwater that has minimal recharge.

What are the total # of live rounds fired annually at PTA?  And please list all the different live rounds fired, an non-live rounds fired too.  During the Stryker EIS of 2003 14.8 million live rounds annually was noted. 

Armed Forces Day & Endangered Species Day

Armed Forces Day and Endangered Species Day!
Today, May 21, 2022, is Armed Forces Day in the US. Yesterday, was Endangered Species Day! The two go together.
As the late Jesuit priest Richard McSorely said: “The taproot of violence in our society today, is our intent to use nuclear weapons. Once we have agreed to that, all other evil is minor in comparison. Until we squarely face the questions of our consent to use nuclear weapons, any hope of large-scale improvement of public morality is doomed to failure.
The US proxy war in Ukraine risks nuclear war. In my view it is the most dangerous time in human history. More weapons and war is not the answer. Diplomacy is. Peace is a victory for all sides.
Jim Albertini Malu 'Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola'a (Kurtistown) Hawai'i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

Mass Shootings & the US War Budget


Innocent Lives Lost!

Mass Shootings & the US

War Budget

      There are more guns than people in the U.S. Estimates are 430 million civilian guns, including 20 million AR – assault rifles, in a nation of 334 million people.  These figures exclude police and military firearms.

      More and more mass shootings are taking place in US food stores, churches, schools, outside sporting events, etc. Hate, racism, and white nationalism are on the rise. This year, there have been more than 200 US mass shootings and it’s only May.