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: Bath, Maine, United States

Friday, May 05, 2006

PERMANENT BASES IN IRAQ?


Lots in the news these days. Rumsfeld gets some face time with protesters in Atlanta and he lies on camera saying that he'd never said that Iraq had WMD. The CIA director just resigned, some speculating it is connected to the new military industrial complex - prostitution scandal.

The House of Representatives voted on April 26 to pass the Iran Freedom Support Act by a vote of 397-21. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) calls it "a steppingstone to war." My own Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME) voted in favor of the bill.

The House and Senate passed amendments to the recent appropriation of $72 billion for Iraq that say the U.S. won't be building permanent bases there. Who believes this? The construction money was appropriated two years ago and now they are building 14 long-term U.S. bases in Iraq. The new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, costing $772 million, will be our largest state department outpost in the whole world. Built to be permanent.

Why do the politicians pull tricks like this? Say we are not going to stay in Iraq but then look how long we have been in Japan, Korea, Germany. Do they think we are that stupid?

One sad thing is that some in the peace movement, so hungry for some sign of a victory, are falling for this no permanent bases lie.

The same Democratic senator, Joe Biden from Deleware, who pushed the no permanent bases in Iraq is now pushing the break-up of Iraq into three separate entities. Maybe that is how they will get around this whole "no permanent bases" shell game. They will say, "See Iraq does not exist anymore. We never said we would not have permanent bases in the three separate autonomous regions that have now been set up."

I just remember what I heard Hillary Clinton say on TV last year. "We're going to be in Iraq a long time," she told Faze the Nation.

That's how these things seem to go. Let's just watch and see what happens.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TRUTHINESS IN BUSH'S FACE


He did it! Everyone has one moment in life to stand up and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And Stephen Colbert did it. He hit a home run. He knocked Bush out of the ballpark.

Colbert was the guest comedian at the recent White House Correspondent Dinner in Washington. And sitting at the head table, just next to Colbert at the podium, was none other George W. Bush who had to sit and listen to an honest litany of putdowns. It was as if the people of the world were speaking through Stephen Colbert. It was a moment that will live forever.

His truth was stinging to those who tip toe around Washington's power elite. Talking about the war Colbert said, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

Bush's face on the video, that ran on C-SPAN, was as red as a newly harvested apple. He'd never had anyone mock him so publicly, right in his face. Colbert, all along pretending that he supported Bush, made fun of Bush with punishing truths.

He made fun of those in the media who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert ended the event with a pre-taped skit that honored long-time Washington White House reporter Helen Thomas. Thomas is one of the few reporters in Washington who has been willing to press Bush on his lies about the war in Iraq, so much so that Bush now often refuses to call on her in news conferences. By Colbert honoring her in such a way the message was clear to all.

Please click on the link in the headline above. There are three segments of the video. Watch each one and enjoy the laughs. Most importantly enjoy Stephen Colbert speaking truth to power!

Monday, May 01, 2006

DEAD INSIDE


I know that none of you who read this blog drive a gas guzzler........in fact you ride your bike regularly and walk whenever possible to lessen the amount of gasoline you use. You turn off the bathroom light when you brush your teeth and you don't let the water keep running when you brush up or shave. So of course I am not talking to you......I'm talking to someone else.

We all at times feel like all is lost. Global warming is overwhelming....the dolphins committing suicide by the hundreds by beaching themselves is probably happening because they are telling us the ocean is polluted and they can't stand it any longer.....humans just rush down to the beach and try to shove them back into the water thinking they are doing something noble....or maybe it is the Navy's underwater sonar that is literally blowing the minds of the dolphins.....but we need the Navy, right? We've got to have the big advanced, high tech Navy to protect us from the Chinese.......

Or how about the polar bears that are now drowning because as the icebergs melt they have to swim farther from one iceberg to the next to find their food? We are all complicit in this destruction of life and yet we just go on like nothing is happening....some feel powerless and some just don't really care anymore.

Some of us are already dead inside....we've given up feeling responsible....oh well we say, it was nice while we were here....let the cockroaches take over. And forget about getting upset that Bush is thinking of using a nuclear weapon to hit Iran....”nothing I can do about that” we say to ourselves.

This is what happens when your culture has become militarized....our minds become colonized by the militarists and we just turn everything over to them.....we just give up, the fight goes out of us, and we turn dead inside.....dead people walking around.

We might be dead on the inside but on the outside we can still consume though. We can still eat more than our fair share, drink more than our fair share.....in fact food and drink help deaden the pain inside....what little left we might be able to feel. The goal is to kill all the feelings inside.

Bush and his regime of corporate global fascists counts on this. Remember right after 9-11 Bush told us all to go shopping and to fly down to Florida to go to Disney World. The message was "Hey, don't worry...we are going to war....just keep paying your taxes and we'll take it from there. Just go kill your pain and your conscience with some shopping." And we did.

To be alive would require that we feel the hurt....that we actually allow the pain and suffering of drowning polar bears to reach into our insides and rip our hearts out...that it would motivate us to skip the car for just one day and hop on the bike...that we might begin to talk with others about creating community housing where we share a home with others, that we share our washing machines, our vacuum cleaners, our cars....that we begin to try to figure out a new way to live on this very fragile Earth......

Maybe by killing the illusions that we live in a democracy, that America is a free and honest country, that technology will save us from the oil crisis, maybe if we allowed those illusions to die we could live again.

Maybe we would become free again if we killed the American dream that the mental colonizers planted in our hearts and brains from our first days in school.

What does it mean to be human? How can I be a real person again? What do I do now?