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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BULLIES AND WAR MONGERING

Tea bag protest sign

  • I was at the Sears auto center today getting new tires for our car. We had a snow storm yesterday afternoon and I had to drive through it and our nearly bald tires were spinning a bit in the snow. While I waited for the work to be done I went next door to a coffee shop so I could go on-line and check my emails. When I returned to the auto center waiting room three men were watching Fox News and I heard one of them saying, "I am tired of the nanny state. I think we should get rid of these laws like helmets for motorcycles and seat belts. If people want to die then it will help with population control." He had on a BAE Systems (aerospace corporation) jacket and had that look and walk of a neighborhood bully. This whole Republican take over in Maine (and most of the rest of the country) has emboldened these kinds of guys.

  • The U.S. media is gloating just a bit as North Korea backed down from another military confrontation with South Korea. Right on schedule the right-wing government, led by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (nicknamed the bulldozer and the rat by his people), stepped up with another round of war games virtually on the North Korean border. These military exercises, coming regularly these days, are without a doubt being strongly encouraged by the Obama administration who themselves are taking on the role of playground bully when it comes to North Korea and Iran. Thank goodness North Korea was wise enough to show restraint as clearly the U.S. and their junior-partners in Seoul are not capable of doing so.

  • Global Network board member Alice Slater (New York City) was quoted in a news release today about Obama's efforts to pass the new START Treaty in the Senate. She stated:

The Obama administration will pay a heavy price to ratify the modest START treaty should it receive the required 67 Senate votes this week to enact it into law. The president originally promised the weapons labs $80 billion over ten years for building three new bomb factories in Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Kansas City to modernize our nuclear arsenals as well as an additional $100 billion for new delivery systems -- missiles, bombers and submarines. He then sweetened the pot with an offer of another $4 billion to the nuclear weapons establishment to [try to] buy the support of Senator Kyl. Additionally, he is assuring the Senate hawks that missile [offense] development in the U.S. will proceed full speed ahead, even though Russia and China have proposed negotiations on a draft treaty they submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to ban space weaponization. Every country at that conference voted in favor of preventing an arms race in outer space except the United States, still caught in the grip of the military-industrial-academic-congressional complex which President Eisenhower took great pains to warn us against in his farewell address to the nation.



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