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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A KILLING CULTURE

  • Americans wonder why these violent killings of our children keep happening across the nation.  We are not a very reflective society.  It seems hard for people to look into the mirror and witness our own addictions to war and violence.  But now the violence is spilling into our own towns and neighborhoods.  You'd think it would be an opportunity for the people to witness how others around the world, on the receiving end of our military war machine,  feel as we so cavalierly destroy their homes and kill their innocent children.  Whether it is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, or Syria our war machine does this kind of killing each and every day.
  • Obama cried as he talked about the children in Connecticut but seems to shed no tears over the legions of children he is responsible for killing in Afghanistan or Pakistan.  Are his tears real or is he able to turn them off when the dead are not Americans?
  • I did an interview over the phone this morning for Iranian Press TV.  They wanted my views on this recent shooting.  You can listen to what I said here

Friday, December 14, 2012

AMERICANS LOVE THEIR GUNS



We are indeed a very sick society.  The chickens are coming home to roost.  God bless those killed in this latest act of insanity.

ENDURING WAR


  • I was listening to National Petroleum Radio (NPR) today and they were talking about the US-NATO Patriot (PAC-3) "missile defense" deployments going into Turkey.  They claimed, poorly I'd say, that the systems are only for defending Turkey from an attack by Syria.  Syria attack Turkey?  The US-NATO operations now going on inside and outside of Syria has got that government pinned down in the corner and we are arming fundamentalists to take them down for ever.  Once Syria is checked off the list Iran follows.
  • I truly believe that US-NATO will make a more aggressive move on Syria.  Their theory is simple - keep rolling the dice until someone (like Russia or China) who can seriously challenge the Pentagon  does.  Until then keep it rolling.
  • Obama keeps the war machine humming along just as well as George W. Bush did - in fact even better because there are no serious protests in the streets.  Why aren't the "liberals" protesting another coming war?  Well it's because their president (the Democrat) is in power.  If Romney won they'd be in the streets pulling their hair out.  Instead they are admiring Michelle's latest dress or getting excited about having Hillary run in 2016.  
  • Secretary of War Leon Panetta was in Kandahar, Afghanistan yesterday to thank the troops for giving up their lives on behalf of the corporate interests.  He told them the US is staying there in a big way until 2014 but after that we'd have an "enduring presence" which means Special Ops units and air bases would remain for the next 50 or so years.  Don't worry about the costs - that has been taken care of.....entitlement cuts are on the way back home. 
  • We are holding a statewide meeting on Saturday in Augusta, Maine to talk about the Washington austerity budget and endless war spending.  Three of us (Lisa Savage, Larry Dansinger and me) sent out a letter to activists all over the state asking them to sign-on to a public call for the meeting.  Then we sent the letter out statewide through all of our various networks.  I'm excited about the meeting because we will get a real sense of how restive folks are becoming.  It certainly is the right time.

THE MILITARY JOBS DEBATE



"Defense spending creates jobs" is an argument that politicians often make to justify the ever-expanding Pentagon budget. A new factory by Raytheon in Huntsville, Alabama shows something quite the contrary.  At the new Raytheon plant, robots are doing most of the work building "missile defense" interceptors.   RT's Kristine Frazao explains.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

OLIVER STONE: IT'S ALWAYS A HOAX



Oliver Stone interviewed on RT about his new book and TV documentary that cover U.S. foreign policy from an alternative perspective.

He states that "we have another beast in the U.S. called the Pentagon".  He also nails the CIA when he calls it "capitalism's invisible army.....I've always regarded the CIA as a criminal organization."

Later in the video Stone is joined by Peter Kuznik, history professor at American University and co-author of their book called The Untold History of the United States.

They also mention the weaponization of space and the Space Command's theme of "full spectrum dominance."

A must watch interview of two courageous Americans.

"BATTLE BUDDIES" PREPARE FOR ORCHESTRATED INAUGURATION




Inauguration Press Conference: Representatives from the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) and Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies (JCCIC) brief the media on military support of the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, DC.

It appears the oligarchy might be a bit worried about the American people around inauguration time.  The left - and the right - all have issues with our new president.

The first general in the video above introduces his "battle buddy" when he finishes his statement.

The fact that any elements in the military see the inauguration as a "battle" gets under my skin.  It's the training - every situation has to be feared thus "go at them full bore".

The first general also talks about his team "orchestrating" the inauguration and said they make decisions about who gets into the parade.  So Veterans For Peace will not be invited. It's a sign how we've got used to Pentagon control by the fact that most people will assume it is right and natural to have the Army control the entire inauguration.  What about the DC police?  They handle huge events in DC all the time.  I heard one of these guys say they were going to assign military forces to work as DC police - sort of like being in disguise.

What about civilian control of the government?  A fading concept.

It would appear to me that the military industrial complex is running the inaugural show.  Most folks will think I am overreacting here.  To me it's another reminder what the Indians so wisely said when it came to understanding what the U.S. Army was up to as it related to the people.  "Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming," they used to warn.

The Army in their case put them all onto reservations.  In our case they are getting ready in Washington to escalate the already wicked attacks on social progress.  As the American people begin to rise up the military will lead the counter-attack.  They've had alot of practice in this nation's history - both here at home and around the world.

I've long asked friends - what makes you think that these folks won't some day kill us the way they've done it to others for a couple of hundred years all over the world?

One of the generals in the news conference summed it up well when he said, "We are trying to show the whole world what a peaceful transfer of power looks like."  What they really mean is they want to remind the whole world who is really in charge inside the USA.

The oligarchy has some sense of humor.

HAVE ANOTHER DRINK: THE WAR & ADDICTION THAT STILL LINGERS

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 conquest....here 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 advantage....by 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."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TRUTH



SMART METERS & CLIMATE CHANGE



My latest public access show is with Ed Friedman of the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters regarding recent developments (PUC must consider health and safety issues; Opt Out Fees allowed to continue).

For more information: http://www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WILL IT END IN WAR ON SYRIA?



The Netherlands is mobilizing two Patriot missile batteries to send to Turkey, joining German and American units. They're to guard against a possible attack from Syria, one that Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, says will never come.

WAR MOVES NEVER END


  • I am writing this from the new moon base that has been established by private corporations who want to take control of resource extraction.  In addition they want to set up bases on the moon to control the "Earth-moon gravity well" that would allow them to decide who can get on and off the Earth.  I was a stowaway on a private corporate rocket that was charging the 1% the incredible price of $750 million per seat.  I'm going to be putting up some protest signs and trying to write a story about what the 1% do when they get to the moon.  Should be interesting - wish me luck.  Hopefully I can catch a ride back to Earth without any hassles.  A Colorado-based private corporation has announced their plan to ferry the rich to the moon.  Global Network board member Lynda Williams, a physics teacher from California, has some great comments in the article published by the Denver Post announcing the plan.  You can see the whole story here
  • Over 3,000 US troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for missions pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and northern Iraq, Press TV reports. The US troops have quietly entered Iraq in multiple stages and are mostly stationed at Balad military garrison in Salahuddin province and al-Asad air base in al-Anbar province. Reports say the troops include US Army officers and almost 17,000 more are set to return to Iraq via the same route. All US troops had left Iraq by the end of 2011, after nine years of occupation, as required by a 2008 bilateral security agreement between the two countries.
  •  The U.S. aircraft carrier “Dwight D Eisenhower” has arrived off the shores of Syria. The multipurpose nuclear attack carrier is leading the naval assault group which has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean. On board the ship are 70 fighter-bombers and a total 8,000 US servicemen. The U.S.S. Eisenhower joined the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Iwo Jima, which has been in the area for almost two weeks. In all there are now 17 American warships off the Syrian coast.

Monday, December 10, 2012

CORPORATE COLONIZATION OF THE LEFT MESSAGE HAS TO STOP

  • The Minneapolis, Minnesota city council passed a resolution last week calling for a shift of federal spending priorities from war to meeting essential needs, prepared by Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project.  St. Paul (MN) has already passed a similar resolution, and Duluth (MN) and Des Moines (IA) are expected to follow with similar statements.  Many other cities across the nation, including Portland, Maine, have passed these same kind of resolutions.  It is becoming clear that people want to connect the dots between endless war spending and fiscal crisis at home.
  • But still some groups around the country who claim they want to save social programs refuse to make the connections to military spending.  It is my opinion, and the opinion of many other grassroots leaders around the nation, that some NGO's refuse to include the military budget in their public articulation because the weapons industry unions and the Democrats don't want these links to be made.  Just today one of my friends called an organizer in Maine and asked why their union sponsored protest event that was calling for tax increases on the rich was not also making the connection to the bloated Pentagon budget.  The organizer told my friend that it is because of the "defense industry" unions in our state.  They won't allow the links to be made.
  • All across the country NGO's that get funding from foundations, or from wealthy individuals, that are linked to the Democrats are often not allowed to go near certain issues like the Pentagon budget, single-payer health care, Israel-Palestine, climate change and more.  In recent years some so-called "progressive" foundations have been telling peace groups that they can't use the word "disarmament" any longer.  Instead they have to use "arms control" because the Democrats don't want the grassroots clamoring for real disarmament.  This "occupation" of the left's issue positions and public articulation is a form of corporate colonization of the progressive movement.  This must end or we will never build an effective movement for change in this country and around the world.
  • I expect to see this whole "issue control" situation come to a head during this coming year.  With climate change and austerity budgets staring us in the face the independent left cannot cower in the face of these mainstream Democrat party operatives that serve as leaders of local non-profit groups but in essence have become "gate keepers" for the oligarchy as they help reduce our public discourse to the lowest common denominator that does not ultimately challenge the system.  
  • If the corporations and Democrats can control the money stream between funders and activists then the organizers get held hostage because they need the job in our declining economy.  So they learn to shave the edges and over time they learn to stay away from the more independent organizers and groups that are not toeing the line.  This essentially leads to splits in the movement and a bifurcation of the "progressive" message and demands that get made on the political system. The public gets confused.  They wonder why the groups are not working together.  No one wants to talk openly about what is really going on.
  • I've seen this same story for years and usually those on the independent left are called disruptive and uncooperative if they try to bring these contradictions to light.  But current realities are making it increasingly evident that we can't any longer afford to deny and sugarcoat these issues and happily a  movement is springing up across the nation to face these challenges in a more direct way.  It's about time.

THEY TOOK EVERYTHING



From Immortal Technique's third album "The 3rd World" (2008)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

SUNDAY SONG






The Jeju Island family after wedding of two Navy base protesters.....love and determination