Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

'Complete capitulation' by Democrats as they support Trumps NDAA


Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) (pointing finger) led the fight in the House to pass the NDAA.  He was a leading proponent of Trump's Space Force proposal that was included in the NDAA.

The House voted yesterday to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 with the Senate expected to soon follow.  The final tally was 377-48 with 188 Democrats voting in favor of the massive military authorization.

See the final voting list here
 
What didn’t make it into the bill: Major Democratic provisions to block money for a border wall, require congressional approval for war with Iran, block the Pentagon from deploying low-yield nuclear warheads on submarines, overturn the Trump administration's transgender troop ban and withdraw U.S. support from Yemen's civil war were all left on the cutting room floor.

Blank check: Nearly three dozen progressive and anti-war groups railed against the NDAA for not doing enough to check Trump, arguing the final bill "no longer represents a compromise, but a near complete capitulation."

"This bill authorizes $738 billion in Pentagon dollars with almost nothing to constrain the Trump administration’s erratic and reckless foreign policy," the groups said in a statement. "It is a blank check for endless wars, fuel for the further militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and a gift to Donald Trump."

One with the force: Vice President Mike Pence said that the creation of the Space Force in the NDAA is a major victory.

“One administration after another have observed the lack of a coherent and unified command, and President Trump’s direction from early on was to establish the Space Force to bring together all those disparate interests," he said.

And while the new service will be under the Air Force, Pence said he believes it could grow to become its own independent service, like the Air Force did when it split from the Army.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) recently spoke at an American Enterprise Institute. When Smith took a question about US support for the Saudi led war in Yemen, he said, "There is nothing we are going to pass in Congress that’s going to stop the war in Yemen."

Smith called the NDAA legislation “the most progressive defense bill in the history of the country.”

"There are many things you can call the bill, but it's Orwellian to call it progressive," said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). "We can't just rhetorically give standing ovations when the president says we're going to end endless wars and continue to vote to fund them."

Many Democrats in Congress have been eager to claim that the Space Force was their own agenda.

“Trump’s belated support for a Space Force does not make this a Republican idea,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who chairs the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.




U.S. drones 'like a hunter hunting prey'

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Deja Vu (All Over Again)



An 18-year, trillion-dollar conflict was known to be failing from an early stage. This knowledge was concealed from the public and revealed in an article in the Washington Post on December 9.

The Post published more than 2,000 pages of secret notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the Afghanistan War, laying bare the failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. The interviews from more than 400 people show that U.S. officials didn’t tell the truth about the war, making positive statements they knew were wrong and concealing evidence that the war wasn’t winnable.

Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Will Griffin (also Global Network board member) reports on this hot and very sad story.

He rightly compares the story to the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers.

Will quotes Afghanistan veteran Matthew Hoh (Marine Captain and state department official who resigned over US policy in Afghanistan):

I’m choking on the hypocrisy of the Post. Find me a a media outlet that has banged the war drum louder, conducted less adversarial journalism, and ignored that everything in these lessons learned docs has been said ad nauseam by critics of the war going back to 2001 than the Post.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Understanding Ukraine (and the recent summit) with The Saker


The recent Germany, France, Ukraine & Russia summit in Paris - parts of a good review below by the Saker. If you don't understand the Ukraine situation, now is the time to learn - Saker is one of the best. Bruce

Making sense of the Paris summit: a quick analysis
By The Saker

The first thing we need to do is the remember what each participant wanted from this summit.  Here is a summary of what I think (not how they officially stated it) each starting position was:

Zelenskii: key notion “a flexible approach” to the Minsk Agreements

  •     No direct negotiations with the LDNR [Lugansk & Donetsk People's Republics]
  •     No special status
  •     Ukrainian control of the border with Russia
  •     Disarmament of the LDNR “militias”
  •     Removal of all foreign forces (he means Russian forces, nevermind that they don’t exist!)
  •     Creation of a “municipal police”
  •     Elections under Ukrainian control

Putin: key notion “Minsk Agreements cannot be changed”

  •     Kiev must negotiate with the LDNR
  •     A special status for the LDNR must be included in the Ukrainian Constitution
  •     The control of the border between the LDNR and Russia will be handed over only at the very end of the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements
  •     No Ukrainian forces inside the LDNR, even under the guise of a “municipal police”
  •     Completely free elections under international supervision

Merkel: key notion “Germany needs Russian gas and access to the Russian market”

  •     Economically, Germany needs this conflict solved
  •     Politically, Merkel personally needs to back the Ukrainian negotiating position and she agrees that the Minsk Agreements must be implemented “flexibly”

Macron: key notion “France as a whole and Macron personally need a deal with Russia”

  •     Macron is facing an extremely severe internal crisis; he needs to open the Russian markets to French products again and present that as an immense success.
  •     Macron sees that the US is losing Europe and he wants the personal credit for “solving” the conflict in the Ukraine to show that he and France, not Merkel and Germany, are the real leaders of Europe.

Finally, here is what was obviously agreed upon before the actual summit:

  •     A general ceasefire
  •     Exchange of prisoners

So what did NOT happen?


  •     No agreement on gas (officially not on the agenda, but present in everybody’s mind)
  •     No full withdrawal of forces on the line of contact

At the end, the West will have to give up its imperial ambitions.  Which is good for the planet, of course, but also for the people of the West who will, sooner or later, recover their status as one of the most important and powerful civilization in history (even without its imperialist inclinations!).  But, just as that was the case with all empires (including the Russian one!), this will only come when western imperialism finally follows all other imperialisms: it will die and toss its “imperial” illusions into the “trash bins of history” where it will join all other forms of imperialism in history.

And that is very, very good result.

The Saker
See the entire article here 

Find more articles on this story here and here and here

Another truth teller....



The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal explains the history of the new American cold war with Russia in 13 minutes, from the overthrow of the USSR to CIA-backed color revolutions, from Yeltsin to Putin, from Ukraine to Russiagate.

This is from a panel on Russiagate and Wikileaks, at the Left Forum in New York City.

Max is another great activist making clear connections between issues.

Max is a well-known investigative journalist within the Alt-Media Community who earned his respect by challenging the narratives of his former Mainstream Media partners after traveling to Syria, Venezuela, and elsewhere to report the truth about how those countries have become victims of American foreign policy. Blumenthal has also actively campaigned against “Israel‘s” occupation of Palestine and is an outspoken anti-Zionist. It’s already commendable enough that he’s bravely challenging the establishment, but it’s even more worthy of respect that he comes from a famous family and therefore never had to do any of this unless he truly believed in it. His father is Sidney Blumenthal, former confidant of Hillary Clinton, and Max could have easily relied on his father’s connections to live a comfortable life free from controversy or strife, but he instead chose to stand up for the ideals that he truly believes in with the hope that his work could eventually have a positive impact on everyone who comes across it.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Mayor Pete is a front-man


Butta-jig-jug is a front man
for corporate interests

He is a phony baloney

He is a hoax

an imitation
posing as a sincere
elected official
who has the people's
interests at heart.

Ask yourself....

How did a small town
mid-west mayor
with no real
accomplishments,
no national base,
suddenly
get all this $$$$
to run for prez?

How did he
finagle great media,
get headlines that read
'Mayor Pete solidly in 4th place'?

Come on now
do you take us for fools?

This is the way
corporate candidates
are made,
front men-women
who do the bidding
for Mr. Big.

Empty suits
who have proven
only one thing,
they have no core beliefs,
except blind
ambition.

The Wall Street
and military industrial
masters
scour the country
looking for good
front-men-women,
hacks who take orders,
can smile on cue,
and will stab anyone
in the back
if necessary
in order to do as they
are told.

In return
front-men-women
get fortune and fame,
just ask
Nixon,
Gerald Ford,
Reagan,
Clinton (Bill
and Hillary),
Bush (I & II),
Kerry,
McCain,
Obama, Biden,
Trump,
Giuliani,
Romney,
Warren,
Pelosi,
Pompeo,
Bloomberg,
Kamala,
Booker,
McConnell,
Butta-jig-jug

And
the beat
just keeps
going on.....

Bruce

Sunday, December 08, 2019

A few bad apples....???


An entire training class of "correctional officers" are exposed in West Virginia when using the Nazi salute. 

How much evidence do we need to understand that the US is a white supremacist settler-colonial capitalist and imperialist nation-state? 

Imagine what life must be like for prisoners of color in these West Virginia dungeons.

Do you really believe that a corporate Democrat Party is going to really change things in this country?

Sunday song