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, July 28, 2006


Thursday, July 27, 2006

LIES AND DECEPTION CONTINUE

 Israel is totally out of control - like a wild man on steroids rampaging through a neighborhood with a machine gun. Yesterday we saw Israel kill four U.N. peacekeepers at their post in southern Lebanon. The story is now out that the U.N. post called the Israeli military 10 times during the six-hour shelling of their post begging for it to stop. Each time the Israeli military promised they would end the shelling. They did not.

It is quite clear that this Israeli intentional killing of the U.N. peacekeepers was a message to the world. The message is that Israel, like the U.S., will not be restricted by the international community, international law, and particularly the U.N. This is the attitude of two outlaw nations.

Condi Rice's fake peace summitt in Rome is more evidence that the Bush team and Israel are playing with the international community. They have reluctantly gone through the motions of "discussing" a ceasefire in Lebanon and then quickly ruled it out. Outlaws don't do "no stinking treaties." Rice, as the U.S. chief diplomat, is really the gate keeper of the military agenda. Her job is to run cover for the blitzkreig, smiling and shaking hands, giving the American people the illusion that no diplomatic stone has been left unturned. Then once violence is used, as is now the case by Israel, Rice says to the American people, "Well, we tried. But these Arabs don't value life the way we, and Israel, do."

It's also been very instructive to watch TV news programs the past few days to see how the Democrats are handling this whole episode. Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic Party, said yesterday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki should not be allowed to speak before a joint session of Congress because he was "anti-semetic" for remarks he had made this past week criticizing Israel's attack on Lebanon. Puppets of the U.S. are not supposed to make such statements and al-Maliki has quickly turned back in line with U.S. policy. He either does so or he is gone. He got the message.

Other "liberal" Democrats have been heard on TV supporting the Bush program in the Middle East, which is code language for "we support Israel's attack on Gaza and Lebanon." Democrats fear they will lose the financial support of wealthy Jewish campaign donors unless they toe the Israeli line.

At this point Rep. Dennis Kucinich has only been able to secure 28 members of his own party as co-sponsors for his House Resolution 450 that calls for a ceasefire in Lebanon. The Democrats, just like we've seen over the war/occupation of Iraq, are too timid to stand up for what is right.

The Dems though want the peace community to vote for them in November. They seek our votes because with our support they feel like they can take back the Congress. And if they did take back the Congress, could the peace community be confident that the Dems would (1) Cut the funding for the war? (2) Call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq? (3) Support a ceasefire in Lebanon? (4) End the massive redirection of federal tax dollars to the military industrial complex? The honest answer to all of these questions is NO. A LOUD AND CLEAR NO!

Why then do peace activists continue to think that the Democrats will change anything of substance if they take control of Congress? Of sure, if the Dems take control we might not have to worry about the flag burning amendment or school prayer being a top issue. But what about any key issue that impacts the global corporate military and economic empire? Will the Dems step on any toes in that regard? My experience tells me no.

What we see now from the Dems is what we get. In or out of power they are a corporate dominated party. The Dems have sold their souls to the devil for power and money. No amount of wishful thinking will change that. Why are peace activists so slow to face the music? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

ISRAELI BOMBS MADE IN USA

 
 
 
  Posted by PicasaThe news reported last night, as I sat unable to go to bed, that Israeli bombing has now destroyed 80% of the highways and 95% of the bridges in Lebanon. Over 300 Lebanese are now dead, mostly civilians. It is being reported that 55% of the casualties inside Lebanon are children. Israel is now using cluster bombs and white phosphorous munitions on the people.

I read today in the UK Guardian that the U.S. is even supplying Israel's Air Force with the fuel for their planes. So the U.S. provides the planes, the bombs, satellite technology to guide the bombs, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) to identify targets, tanks and helicopters. I'm sure I'm leaving out many other weapons systems that the U.S. furnishes Israel. The American taxpayers need to know that this is our war on Lebanon and the people of Gaza.

The Israeli military has even been bombing the bomb shelters and according to Lebanese doctors this is how most of the children are getting killed and wounded. The big bunker buster bombs are generously provided by U.S. taxpayers, who can't afford to provide themselves with health care these days.

As this goes on Condi Rice plays at pretending to be doing shuttle diplomacy but we all know that the Bush administration is sitting back and cheering Israel on. In fact the U.S. military industrial complex is now working overtime to resupply Israel with more munitions as they are starting to run low after pounding Lebanon back into the stone age.

One million people in Lebanon are now refugees, that is 1 out of every 4 people in the entire nation.

The Democrats and the Republicans have passed a resolution. (All four members of the Maine Congressional Delegation voted in favor of the resolution. Clik on the headline link above to see how the Congress voted.) The resolution gives Israel the green light to keep pounding away. After all it makes sense. The number one industrial export product of the U.S. today is weapons. And the entire Lebanese slaughter is good for business back in the home districts. Keep the weapons assembly lines humming brother....we are making money back home! To hell with international law, human rights and the rest of it. We are selling product here! We are helping Israel defend itself from a hapless nation of 4 million people. Pound away Israel......manufacture away U.S. weapons workers!

I participated in a one-hour vigil today in downtown Portland at noon. My sign said the same thing that you see in the headline above. A few people walked by and stuck up their nose but not a negative word was said to us. Quite a few people were very positive. The sheen is wearing off the great myth of Israel being the noble nation. People are beginning to see that Israel, and the U.S., are killer cultures. We both thrive on endless war and violence. Bullies always do.

Monday, July 24, 2006

FULL CIRCLE FAIR

 This past weekend Mary Beth and I went to the Full Circle Fair put on by WERU radio in Blue Hill. WERU is a wonderful community radio station that covers most of the key political events in the Bangor/Belfast/Blue Hill part of Maine. When 18 of us were arrested inside the Bangor office of Sen. Olympia Snowe last December for trying to deliver a letter opposing the war that over 500 people had signed, it was WERU that was there recording the whole episode.

I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the fair this year. MB and I went up on Friday night and stayed with friends Dud & Jean Hendrick on Deer Isle and went to the fair for much of Saturday. The weather was bad the whole weekend and by Saturday evening it was pouring. Luckily they had a huge covered seating area by the main stage where the musicians were performing and we got to hear Emma's Revolution. They did one song about the choir. People are always saying, "Ah, were just talking to the choir here." They asked, Oh yeah, what's the choir doing about it? Good stuff. After Emma's Revolution we saw Tony Bird sing, a very original guy whose last song got us all going. The chorus was Don't vote for(fight for,listen to, etc)the dollar, the flag, and the cross.

On Sunday we went back to the fair and I spoke to a crowd of over 120 folks. Not bad considering all the good music happening at the time. Most people don't come to these events to listen to speakers. The radio station says they will re-play the talk on the air and make it available on-line as well.

The best part of the event was seeing friends, and even two folks that I knew in Florida years ago. Posted by Picasa