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, February 08, 2017

NATO War Games Coming to Sweden


Dave Webb and I arrived in Gothenbourg, Sweden (along the North Sea) after flying here yesterday from Helsinki which sits on the Baltic Sea.  Both these bodies of water are currently being militarized by the US-NATO war alliance.

We where met at the airport by one of our local hosts and taken to a high point overlooking the port city.  Gothenbourg as it turns out is an industrial city where Volvo is headquartered (inside the airport we saw many Volvo displays).  But for an industrial city it is quite clean and remarkably attractive.

We are staying in a very quiet and well kept hostel and met for dinner with a couple leaders of the local peace group that is hosting our talk tonight.  The flyer advertising our event carries a photo of Donald Trump - we've seen his picture practically everywhere you turn since we arrived in Sweden and Finland days ago.  Needless to say people are trying to figure out what Trump will do in the coming years.

My early prediction that in the end Trump will at least help further the decline of the US 'exceptional imperial project' is already turning out to be right on.  People are saying that their country should not be following Washington over the cliff.

A major US-NATO war game called Aurora will be held around Gothenburg this coming August-September and will of course be aimed at Russia.  Like across much of the west Russia and Putin are being continually demonized in Sweden (and Finland) and one of our hosts reported that local police and other public institutions are being mandated to become part of the 'total defense mobilization' against the coming Russian invasion.  Non-stop fear mongering does have an impact on a public who are captives of corporate media!

But the numbers don't lie.  In 2015 the US spent 36% of the world's military spending total - when you add the NATO member (and partner) states that figure jumps to well over 50%.  Russia slinks in at 4% of the global total and in 2016 Moscow actually cut their military spending due to economic sanctions and dropping oil prices.  So is Russia, with its huge land mass and many borders to protect from a NATO on steroids, really going to invade Europe and beyond?  Give me a break!

Such is the world we live in these days where truth and real facts have no place.

Peace groups in the Nordic region are planning coordinated protests next late summer/early fall when US-NATO hold the Aurora war games here.  These efforts should be supported by all.

Bruce

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