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 26, 2006

I'M THE DECIDER AND WE ARE STAYING IN IRAQ!


See Tony, it goes like this. I am the decider. You all had your turn as empire and now it's my turn. You get to tag along. We are going to stay in Iraq. I know that you are catching hell back home with your Labour Party on this war but you've got to remember who you really work for - you work for me! Tell them all back home to go fuck themselves. Tell them I said I am the decider.

We will tell folks we'll bring the troops home once the Iraqi government can stand up an Army. You and I both know what that means - never! We are building the permanent bases. If the heat gets too hot before our next election then we can say we are doing a gradual pull-out and bring home 30,000 troops. We'll do a big PR splash and make folks think they are all coming home. We can pull this off. We've got alot of experience playing these games.

I don't have to worry about the Democrats, all I've got to do is call them weak on the war on terrorism and they will back off. They've got no spines and Karl Rove tells me to just keep hammering them on terrorism.

The media will do what we tell them. Now that we've got corporate control of the media those high priced reporters won't stick their necks out too far. They like their fancy cars you know.

So your job Tony is to keep coming here to kiss my ass a couple times a year. That reminds the American people that I have the support of 'jolly old England'....we have allies in this war. The American people just want to think we are the good guys. You keep telling them that we are and everything will be fine.

Ok that's enough for now. Let's go have a stiff drink....or should I say a cup of tea?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

RAY MCGOVERN SPEAKING IN BRUNSWICK


Ray McGovern's 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from JFK to George H.W. Bush.

On May 4, 2006 Ray was seen on the evening news out of Atlanta, Georgia questioning Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld about why he lied to the public and Congress about WMD's in Iraq. Rumsfeld, stumbling over the truth, denied his infamous lies.

McGovern will be making one appearance in Maine on Friday, May 26 at 7:00 pm in Brunswick at the Curtis Memorial Library. The event is being sponsored by the Maine Veterans for Peace and PeaceWorks.

In 2003, when it became clear that the truth ethic was in serious jeopardy throughout the intelligence community, a handful of intelligence community alumni, including Ray, created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

While at the CIA, Ray's duties included chairing the National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President Daily Brief (PDB).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

CREATING A NEW COLD WAR


It was reported this week that the U.S. is now talking with Poland and the Czech Republic about deployment of 10 "antimissile interceptors" in those countries by the year 2011. Already these so-called "missile defense" systems have been deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska (pictured above) and at Vandenberg AFB, California (where there was a protest on May 20). The Pentagon is requesting about $2 billion for the Poland and Czech Republic deployments. Congress would yet have to approve this move.

Looking at a map one sees that U.S. deployments of these systems would be in what was once called the Warsaw Pact countries, allies of the former Soviet Union. Then take into consideration the current U.S. bases in Central Asia, since 9-11 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, so what you see is a virtual surrounding of Russia. Russia has expressed grave concern about current U.S. intentions.

The Bush team says these deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic would be to intercept missiles shot from Iran. But in fact Iran does not have long-range nuclear missiles. And why would Iran fire missiles towards Europe? Iran acknowledges that its primary enemy today is Israel which could be hit with medium range missiles.

We should remember that just a couple weeks ago Dick Cheney went to Russia and spoke out critically against Vladimir Putin and the state of Russian democracy. I would venture to say there is another game underway here. I think the U.S. is trying to re-charge the Cold War with Russia and China. Planning to place weapons systems like these, virtually on Russia's western border, is a provocation. We all know that "missile defense" has never really been about defense....it is part of the overall U.S. first-strike system of the sword and the shield. We also know that first-strike attack is now official military doctrine of the Bush administration.

During the days of the Cold War the U.S. would have loved to place military bases in the Warsaw Pact countries or Central Asia, but if it had tried a mad nuclear exchange would have likely come about. But today, under the guise of fighting terrorism, the U.S. now has military outposts throughout Central Asia (the countries we call the "stans") and the Bush Pentagon is pushing the envelope to expand operations into countries in Eastern Europe like Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Taken along with Cheney's recent lecture to Putin about how to run a free, open, and democratic society (who do they think they are fooling anyway?), these new military operations are virtually surrounding Russia and also sit on China's inland border. A double checkmate if you will.

When controlling production of oil and the transport of oil in years to come will mean one can essentially control the world economy by holding the keys to the global economic engine, it appears that these new basing arrangements are part of that larger military strategy.

All of this of course will be incredibly expensive to pull off. The Star Wars research and development budget (that would help pay for these new "missile defense" systems) is expected to be over $9 billion in 2007.

Publicly acknowledged military spending in the U.S. is now over $500 billion a year. Added to that is the $30 billion in classified Pentagon, or "black" programs, for the coming year. I recently read that secret military spending is reaching its highest level since 1988, near the end of the Cold War.

More cuts in social spending in the U.S. would surely be required in order to pay for all of this.

It appears to me that the military industrial complex is banking on re-creating a new Cold War. The war on terrorism is wearing a bit thin as the public loses its patience for the costly war in Iraq. The surrounding of Russia, and demonizing it once again as a force for totalitarianism, just might give the Pentagon someone to go after that can actually shoot back. That could insure a long and successful re-creation of an enemy that would "justify" enormous expenditures of tax dollars. The weapons corporations are drooling at the prospects I am sure.

Monday, May 22, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MB!


Today is my partner Mary Beth's (MB) birthday. I threw a surprise party for her yesterday. We had folks come from all over the place, including her brother Johnny from Boston.

I was able to get friends to invite her over for a scrabble game during the mid-day yesterday. That gave us time to get everyone here. Then when she came home the house was full of people. She was quite surprised. Her brother Johnny, a wonderful Irish tenor, treated us to a couple standards.

So all you MB fans out there......remember to call tonight and wish her a happy birthday.