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

Thursday, July 20, 2006

WAR DESTROYS THE SOUL



These two photos above tell us alot. The top picture, taken by the Associated Press, shows Israeli children proudly writing notes on tank shells that are being fired into Lebanon. War is made into a game. Over 300 civilians are now dead in Lebanon since Israel began its bombardment.

The bottom photo is what happens on the other end of exploding bombs. A Palestinian child is dead, more than 100 civilians have been killed since Isreal has reentered Gaza.

People can talk all they want to about terror, but war is terrorism. And in modern times it is civilians, on all sides, that end up paying the price.

There is no excuse for this kind of shock and awe attack by Israel today on Gaza and Lebanon.

This war of indiscriminate killing must stop.

The U.S. has vetoed a U.N. resolution, sponsored by France, that called for a ceasefire in Lebanon. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced a ceasefire resolution in the U.S. Congress but his own Democratic party won't support it.

This cycle of war and chaotic violence must end. The militarists are destroying humankind. They are the real enemy of the people.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

U.S. FIDDLES WHILE ROME BURNS

 Whether we are talking about global warming, the U.S. devastation and occupation of Iraq, the effort by the military-industrial complex to move the arms race into the heavens, or the now ugly Israeli invasion of Lebanon, it is clear that the U.S. political system is broken. Flat out busted.

Corporate domination of the Congress and the White House now ensures that the U.S. will continue on its deadly course of policies that encourage endless war and environmental degradation. The only way out now is for the American people to send a shock to Washington in November by refusing to support candidates from either war party currently running America into the ground.

Just yesterday in New York, Sen. Hillary Clinton was given a big fundraising party by Rupert Murdoch and then she held a news conference to express her unwavering support for Israel's illegal and immoral policy of "collective punishment" in Gaza and in Lebanon. (Murdoch's empire covers television, filmed entertainment, cable network programming, book publishing, direct broadcast satellite television, magazines and newspapers operating in the United States, Australia, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia and the Pacific Basin. It was Murdoch who helped to put Bush's lap dog Tony Blair in power.)

It was a classic case of a "soul for sale" as Hillary accepted Murdoch's big $$$$ and then looked the other way as a humanitarian crisis develops before the world's eyes. But Hillary, and the Dems, don't care. All they care about is taking power. And they are now showing the oligarchy, that holds control of the world's wealth, that they will play along. The reality is that Hillary and the Dems are neutered.

The Dems House leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced a couple of days ago that if they take power of Congress in November, that they will probably scrap the senority system. This is a signal that the Dems will not pursue impeachment investigations if they win the House. Rep. John Conyers, the leading impeachment hearings advocate, would be in line to chair the House Judiciary Committee because he is the most senior Democrat on the committee. But Pelosi is showing the elite that if the Dems can win, they will screw Conyers and put someone else, more complaint, into the chairmanship of that important committee. What is the message to black activists when they are ready to throw John Conyers, a distinguished black political leader, on the scrap heap of history? No wonder the Dems are losing ground in black communities all over the country.

If people seriously want change, and I think they do, then they must begin to boycott the Dems because the Dems are not going to deliver. For my entire adult life I have heard the words, "Work inside the Democratic Party and try to change things from the inside-out." I've seen a succession of Democratic national candidates, from Jimmy Carter to John Kerry, sell out the progressive movements during their campaigns. How much longer will people hang onto the Dems coat tails in hopes that they will deliver us from the right-wing agenda? I became convinced some years ago that it just AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

The sooner we wise up, the better. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

HOW MANY MORE MUST DIE?


Over 600 people protested against Israel's bombing of Lebanon yesterday in the streets of Tel Aviv. As one Jewish anti-war protestor said, "That's exactly how it happened after Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon. On the first day of the war we were a hundred, after a week we were a thousand, after three weeks we were 10 thousands and after two months, following the Sabra and Shatila massacre, we were 400 thousand."

Together with Gush Shalom, members of all the consistent Israeli peace organizations took part, including Yesh Gvul, Anarchists Against Walls, Ta'ayush, Women's Coalition for Peace, Courage to Refuse, Hadash, Balad, The Committee Against House Demolitions and The Center for Alternative Information. They shouted in unison: "Return to the Negotiation Table!", "All the Ministers are War Criminals!", "We shall Neither Kill Nor Die for the Settlements!" and more.

This story about growing protests in Israel will not make it into the media in the U.S. Instead the American people will continue to be told that "100%" of Israeli people support the war.

Back here in the USA several thousand "Christian fundamentalists" conveniently planned to descend on Washington DC today to lobby Congress to support Israel. David Brog, former chief of staff for Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, has gone to work for the Rev. John C. Hagee, organizer of the "lobby crusade." Brog, who is Jewish, says he works for the Rev. Hagee's evangelical enterprise because "we're bringing into a pro-Israel camp millions of Christians who love Israel and giving them a political voice. Israel's enemies are our enemies, and this group instinctively understands that."

Christian fundamentalists want to see the "rapture" happen, the sooner the better. They believe that when the "end times" come that Jesus will return and they will go to heaven. The rest of us "sinners" will be left behind here on Earth to fry in eternal damnation. And so it goes in Washington these days. Our foreign policy is now being directed by the right-wing fanatics and the Bush administration is quite happy to have their active support to expand this madness into a wider war. The weapons corporations and oil corporations are cheering the whole show on.

In the meantime growing numbers of innocent people in Lebanon are dieing as they are hit by Israel's high-tech weapons, most of which came from the U.S. military-industrial complex. The collective punishment of civilians, as is now underway in Gaza and Lebanon, violates international law. But the fascists now running this country, and Israel, don't give a damn about that.

Most American peace activists are afraid to speak out against Israel for fear they will be called anti-Semitic. But they must speak out, especially in support of Jewish activists who are now in the streets protesting the enlarging circle of violence. This is the moment where we find out who are the real peaceniks of courage.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

TV NEWS LIES ABOUT PEACE MOVEMENT IN ISRAEL

 This morning I was watching NBC TV's Meet the Press Sunday Morning news show. Tim Russert had a live report from a correspondent in Israel. Russert asked the reporter if there was opposition to Israel's bombing of Lebanon and the reporter replied, "No, there is 100% support inside Israel for this military action."

This of course is an outright lie and the reporter knows it. Israel has a strong and long established peace movement. Within hours of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon protestors gathered outside of the Israeli "Defense" Ministry to protest the action. They are now planning a large national demonstration to protest the war. NBC knows all this.

Why then does NBC lie to the American people? The reason is because NBC, and all the American power structure, want the American people to support Israel's effort to now expand this war. The American people must be made to think that if the Israeli people "all" support this war then it must be all right.

Newt Gingrich was also on Meet the Press calling this World War III and easily throwing in the names of Syria and Iran as likely next targets in this Israeli attack.

Let me make a prediction. Israel will continue to bomb Lebanon, they will move into Southern Lebanon, a refugee situation will arise, 25,000 Americans are reported to be in Lebanon, the U.S. Marines will be sent into Lebanon to "rescue" the Americans, Israel will bomb Syria, Iran will be further blamed for supporting Israel's enemies and the U.S. and Israel will attack Iran. Bush will get his Middle East war that he has been spoiling for. Who knows what will follow?

The American people are being played like a fiddle right now. We'd better wake up fast. Posted by Picasa