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.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Shots heard round the world....


Here is a collection of comments I have taken off the Internet as people react to the middle of the night illegal and immoral US led attack on Syria.  

  • The silence coming from Upstate " resistance " groups is deafening. Trump's biggest crime yet, but there is only silence. These groups and individual so called activist are nothing but proxy representatives of the Democrat party. A huge part of the war conglomerate itself. Until you stand against the purest evil known to human existence your endeavors are incomplete and indeed fraudulent.

  • A one time thing? I wouldn't bet on it. Trump has established a dangerous new precedent. Now, terrorists can carry out fake chemical attacks without fear of any investigation, and expect American missiles to do their dirty work for them. We haven't seen the last of this by a long shot.

  • We are now entering uncharted territory sparring with the likes of Russia and Iran.

  • So we don't care that Saudi Arabia is killing a bunch of YEMENI children , and we don't care that Israel is mowing down Palestinians who are unarmed , but apparently we've had a surge of moral compassion for the Arabs in Syria. It's just so bizarre to me.

  • Yeh... they WANT you confused, kiddo - that's what they're shooting for (no pun intended). They want EVERYONE in the U.S. confused and wondering who is REALLY the villain in the scenario they've orchestrated. Their goals are largely blown - taking out Iraq, Libya, now Syria, then Iran... but they're convinced they can get away with it anyway - because 'the people' are THAT fucking stupid.... the sad part is that they're probably right....

  • Every time Assad and the Syrian army gain more control of their lands and succeed to kick ISIS out, Assad decides to gas some women and children. How convenient? Please, people use your brain cells.

  • Ever notice how the NY Times calls Russian billionaires "oligarchs" and Western billionaires "entrepreneurs"? Such totally biased "journalism", if we can actually call it that. Likewise Trump is referred to as "President Trump" meanwhile Assad is referred to as "The Assad regime" I mean really, what dishonest, hypocritical scumbags.  

  • Tomahawk missiles strikes into Syria last night were reportedly launched from a warship built at Bath Iron Works: the USS Donald Cook. [Four of the US Navy destroyers that fired cruise missiles at Syria were built at Bath Iron Works - USS Monterey, Laboon, Higgins and Cook]

  • Wherever they were built - the blood is on all of our hands.

  • A total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched at targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry stated, noting that two US warships carried out the attack from the Red Sea, as well as tactical aviation over the Mediterranean Sea and B-1B bombers from al-Tanf area.

  • What is clear is that the Neocon-run Trump administration is willing to risk WWIII just to save it’s face, to look “tough” and to maintain the illusion of its relevance. It is also willing to commit the most odious crime under International Law, the crime of aggression, it is does that brazenly, with the supine, cowardly, silent support of almost all the western political leaders. Yes, the US is clearly spitting in the face of Russia daring her to “do something about it”, but Russia-haters should not hurry to rejoice. Because by ignoring the UN and entire corpus of International Law, the AngloZionists are also spitting into the face of every single human on the planet and proudly declaring “we are the Hegemon, we are above everything and everybody, above you and above any of your laws or principles. We are even above facts or logic. Bow down and worship me!“. It is now for each and every one of us to decide how to respond. Or not. Your choice. You will have to live with the consequences of your choice.
  • Democrats are going to praise Trump for the attack on Syria.
  • Can someone explain how the U.S. can claim that last night's bombing of Syria is a "one-time attack" when there were 100 air strikes?
  • I am crying in anger because of the US actions towards beautiful Syria. I want out of this country now.
  • I think I get it now. The Axis of Evil is aiming bombs at the Douma area, in order to destroy evidence. This is the same thing as shipping the WTC steel off to China, the same thing as dumping Bin Landen's body in the ocean, the same thing as demolishing the house of the Skripals and the restaurant they ate at. The US tried to get the UNSC to stop the OPCW inspectors from going to Syria and collecting evidence, but they failed.
  • Will there be no parades in Greenville against war? I'll stand by myself!  Street lamps or not I'll be there!
  • Apart from anything else, Trump's speech tonight just confirms that the US, along with its European lackeys, is the supreme danger to the world, and that US foreign policy should be the main issue of all progressives. Americans do not have the "luxury" of picking and choosing "their" issue. War is the only issue that matters now.
  • Despite the scale of the recent US attack, it was clearly an attack made out of desperate frustration - an attempt to "fall forward" - tripping over its clumsy pretext while trying to advance its agenda. In the process, it has compromised its agenda further, and further dulled the propaganda tools it has overused in relation to its floundering proxy war in Syria. Managing the eviction of the US from the Middle East will be a slow, arduous, and dangerous process that will require maximum patience and persistence. The Syrian government and its allies' weathering of this recent attack once again proves that time is on their side and their collective discipline in the face of America's increasingly reckless foreign policy will continue to confound and complicate US objectives.
  • There is no such thing as “strikes against the Assad regime.” The bombs are dropping on SYRIAN PEOPLE. Human beings.

Friday, April 13, 2018

'Shock and awe' all over again - U.S. is an outlaw state



Civilian casualties are being reported in Damascus as at least 2 residential areas have been struck by the US-led force's missiles.

These cruise missiles are likely being fired from Navy Aegis destroyers - some of which are built at Bath Iron Works here in Maine.

USAF B-1 bombers were reported to have also been involved in the blitzkrieg along with planes and warships from France and England. It is notable that Germany, Italy, Canada and likely other nations refused to be involved in the 'coalition of the killing'.

This is a war crime.

Who will stop the fascist US government from starting World War III?  

Bruce

See early Russian statement here




 


What does Putin want?



Sky News Australia hosts Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean chat to Emeritus Professor Stephen F. Cohen (Princeton and NYU) on the Skripal poisoning, the expulsion of Russian diplomats, NATO, Syria, Putin’s agenda and Hippocratic Oath.

“They say Putin personally directed this – I can’t think of a single motive…” said Cohen.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Statement from Syria



Syria-based British journalist Tom Duggan tells the truth.

Even the war-mongering New York Times is admitting that there is no confirmed pretext for war.  In an article called Pentagon Urges Greater Caution on Imminent Strike Against Syria they report:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought on Thursday to slow down an imminent strike on Syria, reflecting mounting concerns at the Pentagon that a concerted bombing campaign could escalate into a wider conflict between Russia, Iran and the West.

In the White House meeting, according to three administration officials, Mr. Mattis said the United States, Britain and France must provide convincing proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons to attack the rebel-held town of Douma, where more than 40 people died and hundreds were sickened.

I've seen this same story reported by Newsweek and other media.  It's clear that calmer heads are slowing down this out-of-control administration.

Please do what you can to help.

Bruce

Corbyn makes strong peaceful statement on Syria



Parliament must be consulted... the Cabinet on its own should not be making this decision': Amid threats to bomb Syria Jeremy Corbyn offers a calm and more measured approach.

JC tweet: "It's vital that Parliament has the chance to debate & decide in advance on any govt proposals to support a new US-led military intervention in Syria, which risks a dangerous escalation of the conflict"

More Trump razzle-dazzle





Keep building the opposition - I am certain that the popular will is against attacking Syria.

I've been very encouraged to see on Fazebook the last couple of days that among my 'friends' (admittedly I've sorted out many of the 'talkers' - I'm interested in the 'doers') there has been a dramatic rise in efforts to stop the Syria attack.

Even one year ago many people were reluctant to really get into the Syria issue due to the power of the recycled anti-Putin red-baiting being done by the Democrats in Washington which has frozen many activists in place.  But that is steadily wearing off and Trump's mental instability has also moved alot of folks off the fence.  So that is all good.

What is needed now is more calls for an immediate cut in the Pentagon budget by 50%, the disbanding of NATO, closure of US bases around the world, and the conversion of the military production process across the nation to help us deal with global warming.  That is a unity agenda that should link labor, social justice, environmental, and peace movements.  This would create more jobs and help dial down Washington's imperial insanity.

But none of that will happen unless there is a unified and determined demand along with serious organizing toward this end.  This will require many groups to get outside their single-issue silos and make links and cooperate with other organizations.  We all have failed to do enough of this kind of work.

We have to dump the 'business model' of organizing that so many of us have swallowed.

Bruce

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

U.S. empire - heading into 'post primacy'



Video by Will Griffin - Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and board member of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has published a study on the Pentagon, funded by the Pentagon itself, which concluded that the American Empire is collapsing. The Strategic Studies Institute is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic national security research and analysis. It is part of the U.S. Army War College. The study is called, "At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World". 

The kind of collapse is the open question.  Will it be graceful or in a flash of flames?  So far we are off to a bad start.

We all owe it to the world, that we are currently destroying, to work harder back here in the US of A to help accelerate the collapse of the empire.  Each time we fight for the environment, Social Security, against racism and poverty we help create the internal dynamic to slow Washington's bad behavior down.

The corporate syndicate that is running Washington does not care what we say but they can't handle a unified nation.  They keep us distracted, at each other's throats, and depressed as much as possible but our own personal resignation is also a big factor in why we are in such a mess. 

The American people have lost their fighting spirit (which is good when it comes to endless war) but doesn't help when we have to dethrone the criminal mob now in control.

Resignation has never changed the course of history but determination has.

We need each other more than ever.  Get organized.

Bruce

Trump threatens Russia - 'missiles coming soon'


Donald Trump today threatened Russia by tweeting:




Fort Russ reports:

The US Navy P-8A Poseidon, which is a reconnaissance aircraft able to penetrate deep into enemy territory is carrying out a multi-hour flight near the coast of Syria, where the Russian air base Khmeimim and the logistics base of the port of Tartus are located.

The spy plane with the onboard number 168439 flew from the Sigonella airbase on the Italian island of Sicily and is now at an altitude of 8,000 meters, circling the distance of 40 kilometers from the air base of Khmeimim and the Russian Navy base in Tartus.

Its flight path passes over the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Turkish press, 100 kilometers from the Russian base in Tartus there is also the American destroyer Donald Cook, equipped with 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House is preparing to strike Syria in response to reports that allegedly on April 7, in the vicinity of the city of the Douma, chemical weapons were used. Washington accused Damascus officially – but Russia had warned of a rebel attack being planned a number of days prior.

Maybe Trump is bluffing the way he did with 'Little rocket man' in North Korea but I'm not so sure about that.  The US-NATO have been itching for a pretext to take on Russia for a long time and they know their 'window of opportunity' is closing fast as the Moscow and Beijing economic and military alliance gets stronger by the day.  So if the Pentagon is going to attack they could figure that now just might be the time.

RT reports:

The US' reaction to the alleged chemical incident in the town of Douma has clearly shown it was the long-sought pretext to attack Syria, which was finally provided by the “White Helmets’ provocateurs,” the Russian UN envoy said. 
The alleged chemical incident in Douma was only beneficial for the militants, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said, urging his Western counterparts to explain why Damascus would decide to do so. The purported attack was reported on Saturday, amid the evacuation of militants from the besieged town.

“This provocation was like a breeze of the fresh air needed by militants who received such timely support from the US and other Western countries,” Nebenzia said at the UNSC meeting on Tuesday. He warned the US and its allies against launching a military action in Syria, bypassing the UN.

“If you made a decision to carry out an illegal military endeavor, we hope, hope that you will come to your senses. You will be responsible for it yourselves,” Nebenzia said.
There is alot of dread out in the public.  People feel resigned to the possibility of the destruction of the world.  Our plumber was just at our house and he and I talked about Trump's threat to attack Russian bases in Syria.  He told me, "I have always thought that we'd blow up the world during my lifetime."

It's sad that the sick and pathetic people now running things in Washington-London-Paris-Brussels are contemplating doing such a thing.  One must wonder are there any sane adults left in the western capitals?  Where are their voices as we teeter on the edge of oblivion?

One can also wonder about the voices of the so-called 'liberals' who say they are for peace but these days are often the ones leading the anti-Russian demonization.

Now is the time to speak out - to make calls - to get others to react.  I am not ready to give up on life.

Bruce

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

More from Tucker challenging the two-party line on Syria.....



Tucker questions intervention in Syria, so Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) suggests he is supporting Putin.

Goes to prove that most of those 'elected officials' in Washington are carrying water for the Israeli lobby - they always talk about defending Israel and opposing Iran.

Thank goodness that usually conservative Tucker Carlson has figured out that this Syria attack plan is a false flag for more war.  This might just help slow down the war mongers a little bit.

Please share this video and check out this analysis from The Saker here

Bruce

Former Republican congressman opposes U.S. Syria policy



The assertion by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that Washington is "confident" that Syrian President Bashar Assad is culpable for the alleged chemical attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma does not stand up to scrutiny, Ron Paul, former congressman and founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, told RT.

Call Trump - No Syria attack!



Call Trump and your US senators and representatives.

They are all crazy in Washington.  Don't just sit back and wait for the worst to happen.  Do something now before it is too late.

An attack on Syria could trigger a much wider war with Russia.  Make the call now.

Tell them you are not buying the war talk on the TV.

Bruce

Monday, April 09, 2018

No Syria war!



Tucker Carlson is surprisingly decent on this video clip.

Make some noise and help build opposition to another war that could very possibly turn into WW III.

Don't believe the war mongering hype coming from both parties in Washington.

Russia is being pushed into a corner and eventually they will have to defend themselves.

Take a look at this article by Michael Klare entitled: The Pentagon Is Planning a Three-Front ‘Long War’ Against China and Russia.

Bruce

Trump's Syria "Withdrawal" Was Textbook US Deception

The US media is now priming the global public for US intervention in Syria following alleged "chemical attacks" carried out in the remaining pocket of US-backed militants in Douma, just northeast of Damascus.

This follows comments made by US President Donald Trump just 3 days ago in which he claimed he had instructed the US military to prepare for a withdrawal from Syria.

US forces had illegally invaded and have since occupied Syrian territory for years, with the Washington Post in its April 4, 2018 article titled, "Trump instructs military to begin planning for withdrawal from Syria," placing the current number of US troops at approximately 2,000.

The Washington Post also claimed that:
President Trump has instructed military leaders to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria as soon as possible and told them he wants Arab allies to take over and pay for stabilizing and reconstructing areas liberated from the Islamic State, according to senior U.S. officials.
However, just days after President Trump expressed a supposed desire to leave Syria, allegations of Syrian government chemical attacks on Douma have provided not only the prefect pretext to delay any withdrawal, but to in fact justify a US-led military intervention directly against the Syrian government.

While some have attempted to portray this as "Trump vs. the Deep State," it is in fact a textbook example of US deception described in US policy papers - a deception President Trump played a central role in creating.

Feigning Withdrawal Before Greater Conflict is Documented US Policy 

In the 2009 Brookings Institution policy paper titled, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" (PDF), everything from supporting terrorists in a proxy war to staged provocations and full-scale war were planned in excruciating detail.

Included among the US policy think-tank's schemes was the description of a deception similar to the one now playing out in Syria.

The paper would state (emphasis added):
...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.
For Syria, the "offer" was a US withdrawal and Damascus and its neighbors "given" the responsibility to humanely end the conflict and stabilize the region. The "rejection" inviting the US to intervene is the staged chemical attacks in Douma the US is now citing.

Regarding staged provocations, the Brookings paper mentions them as well, claiming (emphasis added):
...it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)
Nothing could be more "outrageous" or "deadly" than using chemical weapons on civilians.

That such allegations of a chemical attack already served as a successful pretext for US military aggression in the form of cruise missile strikes across Syria under President Trump before, is precisely why the Syrian government wouldn't have carried out such chemical attacks then, and most certainly would not carry them out now - especially if the US was allegedly seeking to exit Syrian territory.

Chemical Weapons Good For Only One Thing: A Pretext for US Aggression 

The Syrian military with the support of Russia and Iran, have soundly defeated US-backed militants across Syria with conventional weapons. The only significant territory Syria has yet to retake is that being occupied by the US and NATO-member Turkey.

As it has been mentioned before, the extensive use of chemical weapons during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War - by the US military's own assessment - proved such weapons to be highly ineffective and inferior to conventional weapons.

Added to the fact that the US has sought to use the deployment of chemical weapons as a pretext for direct military intervention in Syria toward long-sought after regime change in Damascus makes the likelihood that Damascus is using chemical weapons all the more impossible.

There is also the fact that Syria has already turned its chemical weapon stockpiles over under a Russian-brokered deal which was overseen by the United Nations itself.

Reading through the 2009 Brookings document, the US has gone through all possible options prepared for Iran - but against Syria - several times over, but to no avail. Even the prospect of Balkanizing Syria appears tenuous. An attempt to revisit accusations of "WMDs" yet again, signals desperation across Western policy circles.

For those who have invested hope into President Trump - his role in a documented scheme to deceive the global public and make US military aggression appear as a last resort after apparently withdrawing from confrontation - is sufficient evidence that it is not "Trump vs. the Deep State," but that "Trump is the Deep State."

It should be remembered that recent appointments to President Trump's administration included prominent pro-war advocates including John Bolton and Mike Pompeo - both eager for a US-led military intervention in Iran which makes President Trump's recent calls for a withdrawal from Syria all the more questionable. 

Terrorists are Gassing People to Advance Washington's Agenda 

It is also worth noting that US-backed militants in Douma are essentially gassing people to advance the West's political agenda. This comes as the UK's case against Russia regarding the alleged assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter unravels.

Considering Washington and London's history regarding false accusations surrounding chemical weapons - as well as policy papers plotting to stage provocations, the US and UK emerge as the prime suspects in serial crimes against humanity involving so-called "weapons of mass destruction."

It is becoming abundantly clear that in addition to the West fueling the very terrorism it claims to be fighting globally, it is also the West that poses the primary threat to the globe regarding the use of chemical weapons.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Plowshares action at Kings Bay, Georgia nuclear sub base



Seven Catholic plowshares activists were detained early Thursday morning, April 5 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia.

They entered on Wednesday night, April 4.  Calling themselves Kings Bay Plowshares, they went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command: “beat swords into plowshares”.

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism and materialism. In a statement they carried with them the group quoted King, who said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.”

Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction. 

Kings Bay Naval base opened in 1979 as the Navy’s Atlantic Ocean Trident port.  It is the largest nuclear submarine base in the world.  There are six ballistic missile subs and two guided missile subs based at Kings Bay.

[The base was built during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, former governor of Georgia.  During his presidential campaign Carter hypocritically said, "The arms race is a disgrace to the human race."]

The activists went to three sites on the base: The administration building, the D5 Missile monument installation and the nuclear weapons storage bunkers.  The activists used crime scene tape, hammers and hung banners reading: “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide, Dr. Martin Luther King”, “The ultimate logic of Trident is omnicide” and “Nuclear weapons: illegal – immoral.”  They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace.

The activists at the nuclear weapons storage bunkers were Elizabeth McAlister, 78, Jonah House, Baltimore, Fr. Steve Kelly SJ, 69, Bay Area, California and Carmen Trotta, 55, New York Catholic Worker.

The activists at the Administration building were Clare Grady, 59, Ithaca Catholic Worker and Martha Hennessy, 62, New York Catholic Worker.

The activists at the Trident D5 monuments were Mark Colville, 55, Amistad Catholic Worker, New Haven, Connecticut and Patrick O’Neill, 61, Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker, Garner, North Carolina.

All activists were detained and will be handed over to custody of the Camden County Sheriff on charges of trespass and defacing government property.  No one was injured.

This is the latest of 100 similar actions around the world beginning in 1980 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.



UPDATE: The seven disarmament activists are being held at the Camden County Jail in Woodbine, Georgia. They are currently charged with three Georgia state crimes – misdemeanor criminal trespass and two felonies: possession of tools for the commission of a crime and interference with government property.

APRIL 6 UPDATE, from the support team: At this morning’s bond hearing, we learned that our seven friends are being denied bond. This is bad news and we will explore an appeal. Based on what we saw, it seems that the judge sets excessive conditions of release for many defendants.

Find more information here

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