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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Supply warehouses and dock facilities at this east coast port felt the destructive weight of para-demolition bombs dropped from U.S. Air Force bombers. Wonsan, North Korea. Air Force.: ca. 1951

I just finished reading I. F. Stone's book called The Hidden History of the Korean War 1950-1951.  It's an  independent reporter's blow-by-blow account of how the U.S. military brass (Gen. MacArthur and others) did their level best to deceive the world about North Korean and Chinese military strength and operations in order to expand the U.S. (and United Nations) war deep into North Korean, Chinese, and Russian territory.

MacArthur hit targets inside China and Russia and then lied to the media and the world about it as he tried to goad the Communists into a wider war.  Stone revealed that, "On October 8, 1950 two American fighter planes attacked a Soviet airport sixty miles north of the Korean frontier and forty miles south of Vladivostok."  The U.S. "refused to acknowledge" the Soviet outrage against the bombing and instead used the opportunity to indict the Soviets for using "false propaganda" that became a recurring method in its own anti-Communist propaganda during the Cold War.

Eventually President Truman fired MacArthur after the general sent a letter to the Republican leader of the House of Representatives (Joseph W. Martin Jr.) that endorsed a "second Asiatic front" by joining Chiang Kai-shek's war on China via Formosa (Taiwan).  In the letter MacArthur wrote, "It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global we fight Europe's battle with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words....if we lose the war to Communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable."

The controversial firing of MacArthur led to an official inquiry in Washington.  On June 25, 1951, Major General Emmett O'Donnell Jr., commander of the Far Eastern Air Force Bomber command testified and explained his hopes at the beginning of the Korean war:

Gen. O'Donnell: It was my intention and hope... that we would be able to get out there and to cash in on our psychological putting a very severe blow on the North Koreans....let us go to work on burning five major cities [Pyongyang, Seishin, Rashin, Wonsan and Chinnampo] in North Korea to the ground, and to destroy completely every one of about 18 major strategic targets.....We were not at that time permitted to do it.....we did it all later anyhow....I would say that the entire, almost the entire Korean Peninsula is just a terrible mess.  Everything is destroyed.  There is nothing standing worthy of the name....Just before the Chinese came in we were grounded.  There were no more targets in Korea.

Inquiry Chairman Russell:  I think you have demonstrated soldierly qualities that endeared you to the American people.
The more things change the more they stay the same.  Reading this book about the inside story during two years of the Korean War is like reading about Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.  The military lies, the politicians lie and the media is led around by its nose.  It's no wonder the American people support endless war and that our people and economy have become addicted to war making.  Stone's concluding page in the book, published in 1952, speaks for itself and could be written today about America's current war-making.  See for yourself.

One could almost feel the relief in Washington as the truce talks bogged down again in an endless wrangle over air bases and the exchange of prisoners....Tokyo headquarters [U.S. military HQ located there] was still dragging out an obscene farce while Truman in his conversations with Churchill paved the way for extension of the war to China.  "The U.S.," the Wall Street Journal reported from Washington January 17, "has wrung an informal okay from reluctant Britain, for American bombing and naval blockade of Red China if Korean talks fail."  The dispatch showed that American military men were still scheming toward a "limited" war with China which would somehow involve neither American ground troops nor war with Russia.
This was MacArthur's dream.  "The MacArthur plan for dealing with Chinese Communists is being dusted off again by the U.S. military planners," U.S. News & World Report said in its issue of February 1, 1952, "just about one year after the General was fired for suggesting it."..... Dulles feared that peace would fatally interfere with the plan to rebuild the old Axis powers for a new anti-Soviet crusade.  Truman and Acheson feared that peace would confront them anew in an election year with the need to face up to the Far Eastern problem and recognize the government of Communist China.  America's allies were growing restive.  Britain and France with the rest of Western Europe and practically the whole of the Middle East abstained or voted "No" when Chiang with American support put through the United Nations General Assembly in Paris a resolution condemning the Soviet Union in effect for Chiang's own richly deserved fall from power.  It looked as if extension of the war, a new provocation, was necessary if the cold-war front was to be held together.
 While the arms race and the attendant inflation were ruining America's allies, American leadership was still gripped by dread of the consequences of peace upon the economy.  This dread was dictating the actions of the politicians and business leaders.  An economy accustomed to ever larger injections of inflationary narcotic trembled at the thought that its deadly stimulant might be shut off.  The road to war was more than ever the path of least resistance in 1952.  If peace came in Korea, there might be new Koreas in the making in Indo-China and Burma.  If not there, then with American troops in Korea some new "incident" might start up the war again.  The dominant trend in American political, economic, and military thinking was fear of peace.  General Van Fleet summed it all up in speaking to a visiting Filipino delegation in January, 1952: "Korea has been a blessing.  There had to be a Korea either here or some place in the world."  In this simple-minded confession lies the key to the hidden history of the Korean War.
So today we have the fiscal cliff and Obama's "pivot" of 60% of U.S. military forces into the Asia-Pacific to encircle China and Russia.  The job was never finished and it's continuation in 2013 and beyond ensures that the "dread of the consequences of peace upon the economy" is not likely to occur anytime soon.  The American people are being played like a fine fiddle.  They know little to nothing about our history nor the contemporary details of the military industrial corporate criminal syndicate's control of our economy and foreign policy.

It's like a drunk at the bar - have another drink and you'll feel alright.  Or in this case, have another war and all will be OK.  The answer is the 12-step program - the time is well past due for our nation to stand up and say, "Hello my name is America and I am addicted to war, violence, and deceit."


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