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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Plain Clothes Military Coup in Washington

White House chief of staff John Kelly (a general and former commander in the Marines) is now overseeing a virtual military coup inside the Trump administration

I've just returned last night from my son's wedding on the beach in Morro Bay, California.  It was a beautiful event and a great spot to hold the wedding.  His wife Emily's family came over from Taiwan - the second time we'd been with them and we spent some time going to various state parks and wildlife preserves along the coast.  Particularly cool was seeing an Elephant Seal rookery at Piedras Blancas.  Two of my sisters (I have five of them) were able to come which was also very lovely for all of us.

We arrived home late last night soon after Trump had spoken to the nation about extending America's longest, and likely most expensive, war in Afghanistan.  It was no surprise that more US troops will be going to the war zone as his new crew of military brass have convinced him that the US can't 'cut and run' from the region.  The fact that the deep state has inserted John Kelly as Chief of Staff indicates that 'the Donald' will really just be serving as a figure-head in the White House - the real power lies in the hands of the cadre of militarists that now occupy many top positions in his administration.  They will be baby sitting Trump.

The Guardian in the UK spelled it all out quite clearly:

By marching US troops back up the Afghan hill, having previously solemnly vowed to march them down and out of the country, Trump risks the worst of both worlds: leaving the US and its allies neither up nor down, without a clearly defined mission, and stuck in the middle of a worsening conflict.

His speech on Afghanistan on Monday night was long delayed, and it is easy to see why. White House advisers had been arguing for months over what to do about the 16-year-old war, America’s longest. When the speech came, there were no new ideas or initiatives. Instead Trump retained the main planks of Barack Obama’s policy and tried to dress it up as something fresh.

He has committed the US to waging an open-ended conflict with no limit on its scope or duration, and with no agreed measure of what constitutes victory. Now Britain and other NATO allies will be under pressure to perform a similar volte-face, and increase their combined troop deployments above the current level of roughly 6,500.

They were opposed by Steve Bannon and other champions of Trump’s nationalist, “America first” platform, which pledged to end foreign entanglements. Bannon was dismissed from his post as chief strategist last week.

Despite his efforts to justify his about-turn in his prime time TV speech, Trump will find it difficult to convince his domestic supporters, and his foreign allies, that he has a workable policy. And his bad relations with NATO mean he may struggle to get the European troops he wants as the US once again marches up the Afghan hill.

Let's just hope that 'the NATO allies' will think twice before following the US war machine further into this quagmire in Afghanistan - the grave yard of empires.

Let's hope that the liberal Democrats, who had no problem when Obama expanded the Afghanistan war, will also find themselves now able to question and oppose this never ending mistake.

Obviously those who really want to know the truth understand that the military industrial complex loves the Afghanistan occupation - their profits have been massive during these past 16 years.  Also we know that the CIA is heavily involved in the drug trade as the opium from Afghanistan is a big money maker.  In addition the western corporate mining interests have their greedy eyes fixed on the underground profits that are available.

The so-called war in Afghanistan is really about nothing other than securing the country, no matter how many civilians must be killed, to ensure the on-going profits for these corporate pirates that are in control of the US government.  They've held power during all the recent administrations (since Kennedy was killed) but now the curtain has been pulled away as this plain clothes military coup has been put in place.

Bruce

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