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

Monday, September 08, 2014

WHOSE BOOTS ON THE GROUND?


  • The politicians in Washington are promising no boots on the ground in Iraq.  They know the public is war weary and tired of seeing their tax dollars pissed down the rat hole.  So the solution is hiring more contractors (at huge salaries) and have then doing the killing.  This "helps solve" for the first of the public's concerns but not the latter.  The Stars & Stripes newspaper reports:
David Johnson, a former Army lieutenant colonel who is executive director of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, said contractors aren’t considered “boots on the ground” in conflict zones.

“The government always seeks to minimize boots on the ground to reduce domestic political risk,” he said in an email. “The American people and media do not consider a paid contractor to represent them in the same way that they do a soldier.”

  • In my latest This Issue public access TV show (see post below) I interviewed Maine climate change activist Billy Rixon.  I asked him why few folks working on climate change make the links to the Pentagon which has the largest carbon bootprint on the planet.  (In Billy's case it was a bit of an unfair question because he is both a peacenik and does environmental work.  He is willing to make the connection.)  Many environmentalists don't like to go near the military issue though and it bears some questioning as to the reason.  My theory is that many enviros feel like they have a good relationship with members of the Democratic Party (generally are supportive of the environment). Many enviro activists feel the war issue is "too controversial" and should be avoided so as to ensure that their relationships with the elected officials are not hampered.  The Pentagon and climate change connections are thus most often avoided.  Today I saw an article on this topic and am happy to share it here
  • I spoke at a peace festival in Belfast, Maine on Saturday.  It was the "first annual" and included a panel discussion made up of three of us from Maine Veterans For Peace (the others were Doug Rawlings and Dud Hendrick).  In the Q & A after our three opening presentations there was a request for me to share more about Ukraine and I stressed that the conflict is largely motivated by the US desire to break Russia into pieces so the US/British resource extraction corporations can get their hands on the abundant supplies of natural gas.  I ran across an article today called The outrageous strategy to destroy Russia.  This subject of the US plan to take down Russia is under-discussed in the peace movement worldwide.  To me it is the key issue of our time.  The article includes these words:
Zbigniew Brzezinski recommends how Russia should be militarily weakened and intimidated. He is convinced that the best way to achieve it is by destabilizing its border regions, a political strategy that aroused the interest of former presidential candidate John Kerry’s team who recruited his son Mark Brzezinski as its foreign policy adviser. [The same Mark Brzezinski is currently the US ambassador to Sweden and has just been successful in helping to drag Sweden into NATO as a junior partner.]

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