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

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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I head to Washington DC in the morning for three days of meetings about the Obama "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific.

The meetings will assemble a couple dozen key activists from around the country to create an on-going strategy to bring greater peace movement activity around this important issue.  At this point there is not yet enough understanding and organizing going on around the surge of 60% of US military forces into the region in order to control China and Russia.

Congress and the military industrial complex are certainly far ahead of us.  Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee stated just yesterday:

"Although it is often said, it is worth repeating: U.S. policy towards the Asia-Pacific remains a truly bipartisan effort. I understand there are a variety of perspectives on the region and the long-term security role our Nation should play there. I can say with confidence there is a broad consensus at a strategic level to continue the now seven-decade old project to maintain a stable balance of power in the region. What this series [hearings, closed briefings, and other committee engagements] will explore are some of the operational and tactical-level questions that concern our future posture in the region. What shape should our naval posture and presence look like? What role will the Army and Marine Corps play? How should our allies contribute and what are the limitations to cooperation? I look forward to exploring these questions and more as we begin this process."

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), from the same congressional committee, said:

“The Obama administration has recognized that strategically, economically, and diplomatically, the Asia-Pacific region will provide our greatest challenges [China & Russia] and opportunities [more money for military industrial complex] going forward. It is time for Congress to devote more of our resources and energy to providing leadership in this arena. All of us, particularly those on the Armed Services Committees, have a responsibility to consider the long-term demands on our military power. This series aims to enhance the understanding of Asia-Pacific Security issues for both our colleagues in Congress and the general public.”

I am happy to say that the recently produced documentary The Ghosts of Jeju is one of the first contemporary films to bring this issue of the pivot, and the use of military space technology to direct all Pentagon operations, to the peace movement and public at large.  Using the Jeju Island Navy base story as a baseline, the film by Regis Tremblay gives a clear view to how the pivot is impacting our hopes for peace and the human and ecological consequences of expanded US militarism throughout the Asia-Pacific.  This film should be viewed by all peace groups across the US and beyond.  Find more information about the documentary here.


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