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, August 03, 2007

OFF TO NEW YORK CITY FOR STAR WARS TALKS

I take the train to New York City in the morning for several days of talks in Manhattan, Great Neck, and Staten Island. While there I will also be interviewed on WBAI (Pacifica) radio. Should be an exciting trip.

One of the key issues I'll be talking about is Bush's extremely controversial plan to deploy Star Wars radars and interceptors in Europe. First it was Poland and the Czech Republic. Now they are pressing Britain to come onside. Who will be next?

Angry members of the British parliament (MPs) are pressuring the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown to uphold his promise that the Parliament will be involved in these kinds of major decisions. But Brown just met with Bush, got his marching orders, and returned to the UK to show that he, like Tony Blair before him, will be a lapdog (poodle) for the U.S. administration.

Plans are underway in Britain to upgrade the U.S. spy base Menwith Hill in Yorkshire so that it can become a key link in the Star Wars gambit. The facility would help direct warfare in space by having new radomes come online that would be directly connected to new military satellites.

There is also a proposal floating around that would have Menwith Hill become a deployment site for "missile defense" interceptors.

By now you'd think the U.S. would figure out that plunking down these systems in Europe will drive a massive new peace movement throughout the continent. But the U.S. is desperate to get these deployments going before the 2008 elections so they will be hard to remove by either party.

Probably as important is the issue of cost. These space technology systems are so expensive that even the U.S. can't afford them - that's right, even after they drain the social programs they still won't have enough money to pay for them. So they need to drag the allies into the plan in order to get them to help put up the funds to pay for this new space warfare technology program.

So look for cuts in national health service in the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan and other countries as we drag them into this deadly game.

The timing could not have been more perfect as the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is planning to hold an international conference on September 1 called US Missile Defence- towards a new Cold War? I will be traveling to London to speak at the event and will also do a nine-city speaking tour around England, Wales and Scotland.

The September 1 conference follows on from the 150-strong Prague Conference in May which saw delegates from 14 organisations spanning 9 European countries come together to formulate strategies and joint campaigns to oppose US plans for National Missile Defence, or so-called ‘Son of Star Wars’, bases in Europe.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

PRAYING FOR THE END TIMES

You must watch this video.

Christians United for Israel met with Congress members last week as part of the second annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit. Led by Pastor John Hagee, the group called on Congress to support pre-emptive military action on Iran and to oppose a two-state solution for the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The video, produced by Max Blumenthal, is a hair-raising wake up call for all of us. Pastor Hagee, and his minions in the pews and in Congress, are praying for nuclear war as the "final solution" to bring on the reign of Christ.

If you think Israel and the end-timers aren't running U.S. foreign policy today then you'd better take another look.

These folks are plain and simple crazy and extremely dangerous. They are working to bring on the end of the world. You wanna talk about terrorism? Here it is in flesh and blood.

People need to know about this. Pass it on.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

LET US COUNT THE WAYS

Let's just see if we can come up with a few reasons to give the Democrats for locking Bush-Cheney up behind bars.

  1. They have repeatedly lied to the public, to Congress and the media.
  2. Torture.
  3. Destroying the planet with an energy policy (if you could call it that) which benefits big oil, automobile, nuclear and coal corporations.
  4. Doing nothing about health care while 48 million Americans go without coverage.
  5. Gave corporate polluters control of the EPA.
  6. Plans an attack on Iran and endless war in the region.
  7. Is planning to move the arms race into space.
  8. Trying to militarily surround Russia and China. This will ensure a new arms race and another 40 years of heavy weapons production.
  9. Illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
  10. Detaining Americans without charges or counsel.
  11. CIA detentions of foreign nationals without charges or access to counsel.
  12. Lying some more about all of the above and more.
  13. Their role in 9-11 (either an inside job or by standing back and letting it happen.)
  14. Picking bad judges on the Supreme Court.
  15. Pushing nuclear weapons to India while condemning Iran for developing nuclear technology.
  16. Ignoring and enabling Israel as they treat the Palestinian people like animals.
  17. Subverting elected governments around the world that refuse to play with the corporate globalization pirate crew.
  18. Lying some more about things not even on this list.
  19. Planning to declare martial law and suspend the 2008 elections.
  20. Being all around jerks.
  21. New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.
  22. Tax cuts for the rich and the richest.
  23. Appointing very bad people to the cabinet.
  24. Making very stupid comments while holding high office.
  25. Working for the international bankers, weapons industry, drug industry, agribusiness, big pharma and insurance industry rather than the people.
  26. Lots and lots of lies..........
  27. Using his Crawford, Texas ranch and pick-up truck as props to show he is one of the "boys".
  28. Cheney shooting a man in the face.
  29. Letting Scooter Libby off the hook.
  30. Cheating on elections.
  31. Many more things I've not thought of at this time.

Please let the Democrats know that these items should help give them enough grounds to impeach Bush-Cheney.

Monday, July 30, 2007

WHEN WILL WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH?

Debbie Atwood and I have letters to the editor in the Portland Press Herald today challenging the "anti-war" credentials of our "liberal" Democrat Congressman Tom Allen. He's been enabling Bush's war by voting for all but one of the funding bills since the occupation began. He's now running for the Senate seat in Maine against Republican Susan Collins who also supports Bush.

Many Democrats in Maine will be angry with the two letters in the paper today. They will say, "Hey, you need to support Tom Allen so that the Democrats can take stronger control of the Senate. Then things will change. You should not criticize a Democrat."

I've heard that tune many times before. Sadly the changes never come. Just remember when Bill Clinton was president and for a time had a Democrat controlled Congress. The cutbacks in social spending did not stop. The bombing of Iraq did not end. The support for NAFTA did not end. The on-going military build-up did not appreciably slow down.

Tom Allen recently told some Maine leaders of the impeachment movement in our state that George W. Bush had committed impeachable offenses. But Allen now refuses to sign onto the impeachment bill in the House because it would be "divisive". He is taking his marching orders from the corporate Democrats who now control that party. Nancy Pelosi, once known as a strong progressive, has been brought into line and today helps put the muzzle on other progressives in Congress.

The Dems have sent into Maine this summer a group of college kids to beat up on Sen. Susan Collins and claim that Tom Allen is an "anti-war hero." These well-meaning students, working for a Democratic Party front group called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, have been going around the state trying to bring Maine's long time peace groups into their one-sided Allen campaign effort. Few have joined them. Some, who don't know any better, have fallen into the trap.

Peace groups in Maine for the last several years have been critical of both Republican and Democrat politicians on the Iraq issue. And now the same is happening on the impeachment issue. We are holding both parties feet to the fire.

The public has long assumed that the peace movement works for the Democrats. That is why many people, particularly independents, don't pay much attention to the peace movement because they think we are partisan hacks.

By standing up and showing how both parties are complicit in funding the Iraq occupation, allow torture to continue, and allow our rights to free speech and assembly to be weakened, the peace movement can gain support from the larger community. Then it might be possible to see our numbers grow in our local groups and at our protest events.

But as long as the peace movement allows itself to be marginalized as a one-party front group then we will never grow. And if the peace movement does not grow the occupation of Iraq will continue and the impeachment of Bush will never happen.