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.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pointing the Finger - Control by Manipulation of the Truth

  • I made it home late last night after a challenging flight from San Francisco to Detroit before heading on to Portland, Maine.  My flight into Detroit arrived 30 minutes late and I only had 20 minutes to get onto the Portland plane.  I ran non-stop with two bags past 48 gates in the Delta terminal and made it in just the nick of time.  Walking up the big tough hill near our house in Bath most days after going downtown has increased my stamina.  

  • At noon today four of us from our local PeaceWorks group and Veterans For Peace member Dud Hendrick from Deer Island, Maine met for 45 minutes with our US Senator Angus King about Syria, Palestine, and the Pentagon's imperial mission.  I suggested to him that we in the peace movement are figuring out that the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others have been the 'sugar daddy' for ISIS.  I told the story of Russia bombing the stolen oil convoys ISIS runs from Syria to Turkey which then facilitates the sale of the oil to Israel and Japan with funds kicking back to ISIS.  I'll write in greater detail about the meeting later on when I have more time.  In the end I'd say our group did an excellent job of standing up for the Syrian people, Palestinian people, and those around the world suffering from the ever expanding US war machine.  One of the key resources I used today (and handed a copy to Sen. King) was a recent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. printed at Politico called Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria: They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil.  I strongly encourage people to read this piece as it has great historical and contemporary value in trying to sort out what is going on in Syria.
  • A story that really caught my eye yesterday is the interview where Obama blamed UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders for the current chaos in Libya. 
Speaking to The Atlantic, Obama acknowledged the problems faced by Libya since the NATO ouster of Qaddafi in 2011, referring to the situation as a “mess” – and in private as a “shit show.”

“...We actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1 billion — which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess,” Obama said.

  • I see two things happening here.  First Obama is trying to clean up his record for posterity sake.  Secondly the oligarchic forces that support Hillary Clinton's campaign for president know that Libya is one significant reason for her 'trust' problems.  So if Washington can off-load the blame for the 'shit show' in Libya on other 'partners' then Hillary can slide by that one more effectively.
  • Most in the Arab world though aren't falling for this Obama effort at misdirection.  RT shares the part of the story that never makes its way into the western media:
But Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, told RT that although Cameron [England] and Sarkozy [France] are also responsible for the chaos in Libya, Obama is the "major responsible figure."

"I believe Obama realized that it was a huge mistake and miscalculation, and he is trying to blame everybody else except himself," he said, adding that such a move by an American president is "unprecedented."

He went on to stress that the current situation in Libya is "much, much worse than it used to be during the Qaddafi regime." 

"It is a huge mess there, bloodshed, a failed state, militia controlling most of the country. Also now, Islamic State has more than 7,000 fighters in Libya," he said.

  • Once again the 'American Democracy Express', loaded to the hilt with every kind of weapon imaginable, has gone off the tracks and the people are the ones who suffer.  I am not so sure that this reveals US miscalculation or ineptness.  I think Washington has repeatedly executed regime change knowing full well that chaos would result.  I don't think they really care about the chaos and killing.  The corporate elite who took out Qaddafi knew that Libya has the largest supply of oil on the African continent and also sits on the world’s largest known fossil water aquifer system.  The resource extraction corporations figure that they will be better able to profit by controlling these resources if the Libyan people are consumed with a civil war rather than keeping their eyes on the heist of their nation's resources.  Again, watch the hands of the magician.


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