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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Friday, August 02, 2013

US DEPLOYMENTS KILLING HOPES FOR NUCLEAR ABOLITION


Right-wing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is angry that whistleblower Edward Snowden’s is not firmly in the grasp of the US and is demanding that Washington re-examine its relations with Moscow and "strip away the illusions that many Americans have had about Russia."

Following the news of Snowden’s one-year asylum status in Russia, McCain released an angry statement in which he condemns the “disgraceful” actions of President Vladimir Putin.

"Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for."

"We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia," the statement published on the Senator`s official website says.

The military oriented Stars and Stripes newspaper reported on July 30:  "For a major chunk of America's military community, the so-called 'pivot to Asia' might seem like nothing more than an empty catchphrase, especially with the Middle East once again in flames. But for the Air Force at least, the shift is very real. And the idea behind its pivot is simple: ring China with U.S. and allied forces, just like the West did to the Soviet Union, back in the Cold War.

"In Australia, for example, the Air Force will dispatch 'fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis,' said Gen. Herbert 'Hawk' Carlisle, chief of U.S. Air Force operations in the Pacific, during a breakfast with reporters in Washington this week. The jets will likely start their Australian presence sometime in the next year at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Darwin (already crowded with Marines), before moving to nearby RAAF Base Tindal, according to the four-star general.

"This is just the start of the Air Force's plan to expand its presence in Asia, according to Carlisle. In addition to the Australian deployments, the Air Force will be sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.

"One of the main tenets of our strategy is to expand engagement and interoperability and integration . . . with our friends' and partners' militaries," said Carlisle.

So it's clear that Obama's "pivot" is more than the Navy - the US Air Force also has big plans to expand this provocative and expensive encirclement of China.

As we approach Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) days of remembrance it is vital to understand that any hopes for nuclear disarmament are being smashed to bits by the US military surrounding of Russia and China.  Russia and China have no incentive nor military justification to contemplate reducing their nukes at the same time the Pentagon's rope tightens around their necks.

Nuclear disarmament activists should listen to Russia and China as they react to US moves.  They are being upfront about their reluctance to shrink their retaliatory capability.  Disarmament activists need to be talking much more about US "missile defense", naval, and Air Force moves into the Asia-Pacific.  All of these destabilizing deployments are killers to hopes for nuclear abolition.

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