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 20, 2007

GOTTA GIVE HER LOTS OF CREDIT

Cindy Sheehan is back and I've got to say she is making a big impact. She is doing a 17 city tour through the hard-ribbed south on her way to Washington DC and ending in New York City. She couldn't have picked a more neglected or needed part of the country to tour through. Brilliant move!

The tour is called the Journey for Humanity and is calling for the impeachment of Bush-Cheney. She is giving Nancy Pelosi until next Monday to take the lid of impeachment in the House of Representatives. If by Monday Pelosi doesn't turn around, and she won't, then Cindy says she will run against her in San Francisco in the 2008 election. Cindy is now naming the Democrats as being totally complicit in the perpetuation of the occupation and is saying she will run an an Independent against Pelosi.

This is very important as I think it will encourage and inspire others all over the nation to jump into House and Senate races in '08. We need a slew of folks running against these weak-kneed Dems who claim to be against the occupation but have been enabling Bush all along. And now we've got to include the impeachment issue into the mix as well.

Watch the interview with Cindy on Hardball just a couple of days ago. She does quite well.

You gotta admit, she is taking it right to the Democrats. Three cheers for that!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

AIR WAR EXPANDING

The Pentagon is expanding its air war in Iraq.

The military has been conducting an average of 75 to 100 air strikes in the Iraq and Afghanistan every day for several years.

As Nick Turse tells us in Bombs Over Baghdad, the Lancet report "estimated 655,000 'excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war.' The study found that from March 2003 to June 2006, 13% of violent deaths in Iraq were caused by coalition air strikes. If the 655,000 figure, including over 601,000 violent deaths, is anywhere close to accurate - and the study offered a possible range of civilian deaths that ran from 392,979 to 942,636 - this would equal approximately 78,133 Iraqis killed by bombs, missiles, rockets, or cannon rounds from coalition aircraft between March 2003, when the invasion of Iraq began, and last June when the study concluded." Turse adds that, "According to statistics provided to TomDispatch by the Lancet study's authors, 50% of all violent deaths of Iraqi children under 15 years of age, between March 2003 and June 2006, were due to coalition air strikes."

It appears that the pilots are wearing out because the Air Force has announced that they will be expanding the U.S. of pilot less planes over Iraq in the near future.

According to the Associated Press, "The airplane [called the Reaper] is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turbo prop engine, able to fly at 300 mph (480 kph) and reach 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). It is outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles. The Reaper is loaded, but there is no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles (11,265 kilometers) away in Nevada."

"The arrival of these outsized U.S. "hunter-killer"drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill."

Seems like the Associated Press writer is quite excited about the prospects.

The Air Force is building a 400,000-square-foot (37,161-square-meter) expansion of the concrete ramp area now used for Predator drones at Balad, the biggest U.S. air base in Iraq, 50 miles north of Baghdad. That new staging area will be turned over to Reapers.

It is quite clear to me that there will be no shutting down of these major U.S. bases in Iraq. All the talk now about "redeploying" our troops just means they will move from the streets of Baghdad out to these bases. Thus the plans to expand U.S. bombing operations. It's all being set up now. Can you see the true picture forming?

Here in Maine, at the Naval Air Station in Brunswick (NASB) planes from the base routinely are sent to Iraq to fly surveillance and reconnaissance missions. I've organized a couple of protests there since moving to Maine.

I am now coordinating a September 15 Maine Veterans for Peace protest at NASB in opposition to the Navy's Blue Angels air show set for that weekend. More than 100,000 from the region will go to see the "show" which is nothing more than a recruiting gimmick at a time when the military is in desperate need for more of our kids to fight in Iraq on behalf of the oil corporations.

Taxpayers in Maine have already paid $1.2 billion as our share of the cost of the Iraq war. For that same amount of money 322,153 people in our state could have been provided with full health care.

Come join us in Brunswick on September 15. Real angels don't drop bombs! The time is now to call for a cut in all funding for the bloody occupation of Iraq.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

IRANIAN LIVES ARE IN THE BALANCE

Last week the Senate voted 97-0 to pass a resolution created by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to censure Iran. This resolution is just one more step in the buildup to attack Iran. A similar censure resolution against Iraq, passed in 1998, was used by the Congress to justify their force authorization resolution in 2002. The same tune keeps being played over and over again.

Dick Cheney is pressuring the Bush pirate team hard to move into full battle mode against Iran.

The Jerusalem Post reported last week that Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of Military Intelligence's Research Division, told the newspaper "that time to launch an effective military strike against Iran's nuclear installations was running out."

Some in the Bush administration are saying that the U.S. can't let Israel do the Iran attack so we should do it ourselves. Republican Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas said on Fox News that that he was ready for a premptive strike on Iran. Speaking with right-wing host Sean Hannity he said, "Sean, if we're going to be serious about this fight.....We're probably in this fight for a generation."

At the U.N. the U.S., England, and France are trying to secure an agreement from other security council members for a new round of sanctions against Iran. Russia and China are resisting that effort.

The play for Iranian fossil fuels is heating up. Lives are in the balance.

Have you hear any Democrats in Congress warning against an Iran lately?

Endless war means endless military production back home......bring it on the Democrats say.

Monday, July 16, 2007

BUSH TO RUSSIA: SUBMIT OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!

Russia has announced that they are pulling out of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty that limits NATO and Russian military deployments in Europe.

This was no surprise as Russia has been suggesting for weeks that U.S. "missile defense" deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic would force them to field more military forces on their borders as NATO and the U.S. expand eastward.

Some are predicting a new arms race will result. This is just what the military industrial complex in the U.S. wants to happen.

As NATO expands, and signs up former Warsaw Pact nations into the U.S. controlled alliance, all new members must purchase weapons technologies that are "inter-operable" with NATO. What that means is that new members must get rid of their Russian military hardware and buy new U.S. made military technologies that can fit into and operate in the NATO military scheme. It's a huge boondoggle for the U.S. weapons industry.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that, "There is a widespread view here [in Russia] that the United States, which has consistently criticized the pace of Russia's democratic development under Putin, wants to undermine the country's new found self-confidence in its status as a booming energy superpower. Putin's decision [to withdraw from the treaty] is likely to be viewed not just as a snub of the West, but as further proof that the Russian president has restored the country's ability to assert its independence."

And clearly the U.S. is not happy when any country, particularly Russia, wants to "assert its independence." Doesn't Russia understand? The New World Order means the U.S. is on top and everyone else has to submit to its authority?

So look at the map closely and see how the U.S. and it's military agent NATO are now militarily surrounding Russia. The message to Russia is "submit or face the consequences"!