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, September 08, 2018

Climate change event in Portland



Today a group of us went to Portland, Maine for the Rise for Climate march and rally on the climate change issue.  We carried larger banners made by Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson (who joined us) under the name of Veterans For Peace.

Prior to the rally at the gathering spot in Lincoln Park friends Martha Spiess and Lisa Savage organized a short program on the connections between climate change and the Pentagon's #1 carbon boot print.

Amazingly not many of those assembled had ever heard of that connection before.  A key reason is that the climate change movement has to a considerable extent been under the wing of the Democratic Party.  My educated guess is that most of the national and regional climate change organizations get some level of funding from foundations allied with the Democratic Party.

The Democrats push full funding for the military industrial complex just like the Republicans.  The Dems hope to ride the climate change fears back into control of the House of Representatives in Washington during the next election.  They don't want the military issue to be connected to the climate change issue.  It would create problems for the Dems.

The endless war machine is a bi-partisan policy.  I gave the example during my speech of the 'christenings' at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine when the politicians from both parties come to help bless the new Navy destroyers that are outfitted with 'missile defense' systems - key elements in the US first-strike attack program.  They are Ronald Reagan's 'Star Wars shield' - still alive and kicking and being used today to encircle Russia and China.

A fuller version of my talk will likely be available in the next couple days and I will post here once I get it.

Bruce

A truth teller



Some 40 years on, the groundbreaking music of Pink Floyd sounds fresh and deep, and the lyrics of Roger Waters are as relevant as ever. How hard is the balancing act between music and politics? Sophie talks with the legend himself – Roger Waters, musician, activist, and co-founder of Pink Floyd.

Friday, September 07, 2018

History lesson: Phoenix Program & the CIA



The CIA these days, along with FBI and other intelligence agencies in Washington, are being lauded as on the side of democracy as the Deep State attempts to take down Trump.

Douglas Valentine has written the definitive book on the Phoenix Program called 'CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World'.

Valentine is featured in a new article on the subject of the Phoenix Program and the current 'love' for the CIA, FBI and other Intel organizations by the 'liberal' media like MSNBC and CNN.

The article is called: Whose Side is the CIA On?  You can find it here.

Valentine reveals in his book that today's Department of Homeland Security was modeled on the  Vietnam-era Phoenix Program.  So these high-tech surveillance, identification, and tracking programs across America are the prelude to an ugly implementation of a Phoenix-style operation aimed at the American people.

Among the several former CIA agents featured in the video above is one of my heroes Philip Agee.  Agee grew up in Tampa, Florida and went to college at Notre Dame.  When he left the CIA he published a book 'Inside the Company', exposing many CIA operations & operatives.  George H. W. Bush (daddy Busy) was the director of the CIA at the time and called Agee the 'most dangerous man in the world.'  Bush got US allies in Europe to hound Agee as he ran from nation to nation trying to escape the vengeful arm of the CIA.

Agee's sister lived in Orlando where I was then working for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.  She would often come to our office and help prepare mailings.  Once she put on a classical concert at her home as a fundraiser for the organization.  When I told her I was going on a speaking tour of Germany (in protest of a NASA plutonium space launch) she contacted Phil who was then living with his ballerina wife in Hamburg.  Phil graciously hosted me in his home for a couple days and took me to one of the best Italian restaurants I'd ever been to.  He guided us on a walking tour of some of the city before we ate.  When I left he handed me an autographed copy of his book 'On the Run' about his years escaping the grab of the CIA. The book is one of my most loved possessions and an excellent read.

Eventually things settled down and Phil was able to come back to the US and began speaking throughout the country.  His sister arranged for him to come speak at a packed Methodist Church in downtown Orlando to a statewide meeting that I organized.

Agee was a dedicated revolutionary who opposed Washington's world domination program with every fiber of his being.  He should not be forgotten.

Be warned and aware.

Bruce

Preparing for war with Russia



The corporate run US-NATO know they have a very short window to take Russia and China down before they become too strong and successfully resist Washington's domination agenda.  We just might already be at that tipping point and the Pentagon must know it but blusters toward Armageddon anyway.

We witness war preparations underway as well as frequent provocations in the effort to draw Moscow into a trap.

Imagine the money being wasted by US-NATO on this project.  Remember that Russia cut their military budget the last two years saying they needed those funds for social development.

If only we could say that here in the US - - that Congress and the White House had determined a collapsing America needed the funds now squandered on the war machine.  That would be a great day.  Instead Congress voted huge increases this year for the military industrial complex.

Many Americans, even peace activists, shy away from addressing the hyper Russia demonization going on in the west.  They are afraid to stick their necks out and call Washington for what it is - a war monger.  Anyone who objectively looks at the present situation (the US-NATO military advancement all along Russia's borders) and fails to see the signs of clear provocations has their eyes and hearts slammed shut.

I had a phone call last night from a peace activist in Connecticut who told me that the newly formed Poor People's Campaign in his state refuses to talk about or protest the huge nuclear submarine building operation in Groton run by General Dynamics.  I asked him who leads the group and he said mostly clergy.

In Maine it is a similar story.  The Poor People's Campaign in our state is largely run by clergy and also refuses to say a mumbling word about the huge destroyer shipyard here in Bath that is run by General Dynamics.

The Poor People's Campaign wants to see an end to the growing level of poverty in the US but on the local level is afraid to take on the manifestation of the cancer that is eating our nation alive - militarism.  It's a spiritual issue (go back and read Martin Luther King) and is an issue of priorities.

Why won't the clergy call for the conversion of the military industrial complex in America?  Could it be they fear losing some coins in the Sunday collection plate more than they fear the consequences of nuclear war?  (We often hear that these churches have members, family, friends working inside these military production facilities and it would not be nice to make these people feel uncomfortable by protesting outside their gates.)

It's really quite sad that after nearly 40 years working full time in the peace movement I find myself in a situation where I am almost begging my peers to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the US aggressive and dangerous policy towards Russia.  I've lived through the Cold War and before that the red-baiting years in America.  I know the power of those times to freeze people who fear being denounced as Russia lovers.  But at what point do we step back and note that its not really about loving Russia but instead its a matter of loving justice?

Where is the sanity and justice when the American bully rounds up the NATO posse and continually pokes and provokes the sleeping bear?  Isn't it apparent to all that the US policy to encircle Russia and China with a massive string of bases, missile defense deployments, and major war games is unacceptable?

Isn't it clear to all that spending a trillion dollars a year on endless war is bleeding our nation of the resources needed to have a just society?  Isn't it clear to the environmental community that the military is the biggest contributor to climate change?

The Saker writes on his blog the following:

The USA and Russia have been at war for several years now. Yes, this war is roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But this can change very rapidly. The main reasons for this war are not just the usual mix of grand power rivalries, economic and financial struggles, the desire to control raw materials or strategic geographical locations. These are all present this time too, but the deeper reason for this war is that Russia and the USA represent two mutually exclusive civilizational models. Very succinctly, Russia wants a multi-polar world in which each country is free to develop as its people see fit and in which international law regulates relations between nations. The Empire stands, well, for itself, of course. Meaning that it wants a single world hegemony ruled by the AngloZionists. Furthermore, Russia stands for traditional moral and spiritual values whereas the Empire stands for greed, globalism and the destruction of all traditions and moral values. It is pretty self-evident that these two systems cannot coexist. They present existential threats to each other. Russia will either become sovereign or enslaved. The Empire will either control the planet or crumble. Tertium non datur.

Why the silence?

Rattle your chains now folks while you still can.....

Bruce

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Americans in Crimea



A delegation from the US consisting of four people arrived in Crimea within the framework of the people’s diplomacy project. They will stay on the peninsula until September 9th. During this time they will become acquainted with life in the Russian republic and learn about the real situation. It is important since, according to the human rights activist Sylvia Demarest, the American media distorts the real picture of the events on the peninsula.
“The picture of Crimea is absolutely inadequate. Americans are insufficiently informed about what really happens in Crimea. Now the media works in a new format, this is all thanks to the Internet and other media, that’s why what reaches the average American is absolutely untrue,” she said at a press conference in Simferopol.
The subject of Crimea isn’t especially important for the ordinary American, emphasized a member of the delegation, the businessman Michael Metz [former director of Cisco – ed]: “Ordinary Americans don’t think about Crimea, they don’t discuss this subject. They are more concerned about how to raise their children, how to pay the bills, how to work. Yes indeed, Crimea as a topic is often met in politics. But for most Americans their own problem are more essential, like for people in Russia”.


At the same time members of the delegation emphasized that they aren’t afraid of sanctions and the fact that after visiting the Crimea they will lose the opportunity to visit Ukraine. 

“I don’t worry at all and I don’t worry about what Ukraine will do. This is low on my list of my priorities,” added the member of Association of doctors pensioners Glenn Rennels.

If you click on this link here you can see the video of the Americans on TV - it is in Russian and English.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The spirit of resistance cannot be stopped





Long live the Palestinian people.  Long live their spirit and warm culture of family, sharing food and nurturing the land which gives us all life.

May the people of the world awaken to the sad and unjust plight of the Palestinians as Israel illegally robs them of their land with the full support of the United States.

The US and Israel are pirates.

The Palestinians have harmed no one.  Let them live in peace now and forever.

Let us all find a way to support the Palestinian people.

Bruce

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Is U.S. risking big war over Syria?



US-Saudi-Israeli supported terrorists are being routed by Syria and their allies.

Does Syria have the right to fight against the US sponsored regime change operation inside its own country? Does Syria have the right to seek allies like Iran and Russia to help defend its sovereignty?

Should it be remembered that Israel wants that part of Syria to grab their oil deposits?

Iran knows its on the list for regime change - likely next on the list if you listen to John Bolton.

Russia knows its on the list for regime change too - the US has been talking about balkanizing Russia for years.

Thus things come to a head in Syria.  The US-Saudi-Israeli alliance thought the take over of Syria would be easy.  It was until Russia and Iran came on side with Damascus.

Now the US resorts to constant false flag chemical attacks in Syria to justify its continued illegal operations which are aimed at over throwing a legitimate government.  This is a war crime under international law but the US only wants to talk about 'international law' when it works for Washington - other wise fa-get-a-bout-it!

This war in Syria started in 2011 under Obama.  Syria rejected the use of its country for a pipeline route that US-Saudi-Qatar supported.  Wiki Leaks uncovered State Department cables giving the go-ahead for the CIA to create, arm, train and fund a terrorist force to overthrow the Syrian government.

With all the fracking going on across the US the fossil fuel corporations need an expanded market for that gas.  Thus Washington is working over time to force Europe to reject Russian and Iranian gas and sign up for the more expensive American supply.  This is a key reason why many European nations are souring on America's policies.

It's come to a head as the US (and its murderous friends) are being stood up to.  The playground bully which is used to being on top is now being told those days are over.  We are watching the outcome of US arrogance and aggression.

What we each do can help lessen the carnage to people, the environment,  and the resulting refugee crisis.

Bruce

Monday, September 03, 2018

U.S. plan to break Russia apart




The US State Department Openly Outlined Its Plans to Guarantee America’s Global Primacy

By Sergey Latyshev
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

Speaking in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the assistant to the Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Wess Mitchell stated that the US punishes Russia because Moscow prevents Washington from establishing control over Eurasia in order to restore its world supremacy…

The US, at last, openly admitted why they fight against Russia, and that they won’t accept any other outcome in the current confrontation with Moscow besides its capitulation, because America’s world supremacy is impossible without total control over Eurasia, which so far they don’t have.

All of this isn’t the conjectures of “conspiracy theorists” or “Putin’s propaganda”, but the quintessence of the policy of the US stated the other day by the assistant to the Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Wess Mitchell in his speech in front of members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Mitchell explained to the Senators that the State Department’s financing depends on the essence of the US’ policy towards Russia. He named the “recognition that America has entered a period of big-power competition” as “the starting point of the National Security Strategy”, having emphasised that the previous administrations weren’t sufficiently prepared for this and didn’t prepare the country for victory in this competition.

The senior representative of the State Department further emphasised: “Contrary to the hopeful assumptions of previous administrations, Russia and China are serious competitors that are building up the material and ideological wherewithal to contest US primacy and leadership in the 21st Century”.

And after that Mitchell detonated a bomb. However, this will be a surprise only for those who don’t understand that Russia is already in a state of active hybrid war with the US:

“It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers”.

And here Mitchell detonated an atomic bomb, with terrible destructive consequences, and not just an ordinary bomb.

Firstly, establishing total control over Eurasia is declared as the most important task for the US. A claim is made for the clear victory of the civilisation of the Sea over the civilisation of Land, the center and the only pillar of support of which is Russia. Secondly, Washington openly declared a priority of the most strictest demands of geopolitics of the most catastrophic character (The Sea must flood the Land) over any human rights trivialities used in “public diplomacy”.

Thirdly, a challenge is laid down to the very existence of Russia – it can stop its domination in its own geographical area of existence only having become fragmented or being divided into small puppet states. Fourthly, Russia is called a “hostile” country. This implies that hybrid war was declared to it long ago, and that the Americans will try, as Mitchell noted earlier, to win. Thus, he recognised that Moscow’s attempts to reach an agreement with Washington can be welcomed only if it is a question of capitulation.

Well and, lastly and fifthly, Mitchell’s mention of “hostile powers” in plural can only mean that he meant the strategic ally of Russia – China, the only independent power on the periphery of Eurasia. The US considers China to be its main economic competitor and military threat, which in some respects is just as mighty as the Russian threat, and in the long term even more dangerous. Thus, “preventing the domination” also of China in the open spaces of Eurasia provides this same scenario as for Russia: dismantling the Celestial Empire into which that compete for the attention and favor of Washington, and which don’t lay down any claims concerning geopolitics.

That’s the scale of things.

Should we prepare for the third world war?

In general, whatever one may do, Mitchell declared that the US prepares for a universal conflict, a new world war, and “the central aim of the administration’s foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundaments of American power”. The way to victory in it is the shattering of Russia, against which it is necessary, according to the plan of the State Department, to incline and unite its neighbors dancing to the tune of Washington and the American vassals in Europe.

Diplomacy, according to Mitchell, is a minor element in relations with Russia, which, by the way, influential circles in Moscow stubbornly refuse to recognise, cherishing the illusion to “agree” with Washington about something besides capitulation. The senior representative of the State Department clearly designated that “our Russia policy proceeds from the recognition that, to be effective, US diplomacy toward Russia must be backed by ‘military power that is second to none and fully integrated with our allies and all of our instruments of power'”.

Mitchell bragged that for the last one and a half years (when, we will add, the “Russian agent” Donald Trump was already sat in the White House) the US obtained from allies in NATO a $40 billion increase in military expenditure and “achieved virtually all policy objectives” in this direction, including the establishment within the framework of the North Atlantic alliance of two new Commands, the implementation of hybrid war preparations, and “major, multi-year initiatives to bolster the mobility, readiness, and capability of the Alliance”. Moreover, here it obviously means offense and not defense. And it is not only about NATO countries.

The language of Mitchell reveals that the US considers its policy towards Russia in military categories: “We have placed particular emphasis on bolstering the states of frontline Europe that are most susceptible to Russian geopolitical pressure. In Ukraine and Georgia, we lifted the previous administration’s restrictions on the acquisition of defensive weapons for resisting Russian territorial aggression”. The Caucasus, the Black Sea region, even Central Europe is called by Mitchell zones of geopolitical combat against Russia, competing “for hearts and minds”.

And here the US State Department according to him, finds itself on the front line: all 50 American diplomatic missions in Europe and Eurasia “develop, coordinate and execute tailored action plans for rebuffing Russian influence operations in their host countries”. In this regard the Balkans merited a special mention, where “American diplomacy has played a lead role in resolving the Greece Macedonia name dispute and is engaging with Serbia and Kosovo to propel the EU-led dialogue”.

It is unlikely that serious people had even the slightest doubts about who Russia and Greece owe for the crisis in their relations, that it’s not at all that Russian diplomats tried to disrupt mutual understanding between Athens and Skopje, and that they “bribed” someone, sometimes using for this purpose “spies in cassocks”. The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova, for example, directly pointed a finger at the Americans as the creators of the diplomatic scandal, declaring: “we know”. And now it is also Mitchell who confirmed that it is the State Department that did everything, and not the despised by Greeks Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who simply ran across to the side of Russia’s enemy.

Defeating Russia economically

“In tandem” with these efforts aimed at shattering Russia, according to Mitchell, the US carries out a whole series of events of an economic nature: 217 Russian physical and legal entities are under sanctions, six diplomatic missions are closed, “60 spies [were] removed from U.S. soil”, and the State Department “closely and effectively coordinated with European allies”. Here, by the way, Mitchell involuntarily admitted for what reason Anglo-Saxon intelligence agencies needed the “Skripal affair” and who organised this provocation.

The senior representative of State Department expressed satisfaction with the course of the economic war with Russia: “on average, sanctioned Russian firms” lose about a quarter of their operational revenue, the total asset evaluation of such a company falls by 50%, and it is thus compelled to reduce its staff by a third. According to the estimates of State Department experts given by Mitchell, “our sanctions, cumulatively, have cost the Russian government tens of billions of dollars on top of the broader impact on state-owned sectors and the chilling effect of U.S. sanctions on the Russian economy”. Mitchell gave the situation with the RUSAL company, and also attacks on the Russian ruble, which strongly lost weight for this reason, as an example of successful hybrid war against Russia.
 
We will crush them until they capitulate

However, if Russia stops resisting the US’ expansion in Eurasia – first of all, in Ukraine, stops countering the US’ policy in Syria – which Mitchell characterised as “Russian aggression”, and we will wave the white flag, then America will be ready to negotiate capitulation: “But in all of these areas, it is up to Russia, not America, to take the next step. Our policy remains unchanged: steady cost-imposition until Russia changes course”.

There are some more curious moments in Mitchell’s speech. By arguing about the policy of Russia, but without having the opportunity to know what it really consists of, he attributes American logic and its foreign policy methods to the actions of Moscow.

Self-exposure

Here are quotes:

“Our strategy is animated by the realization that the threat from Russia has evolved beyond being simply an external or military one; it includes unprecedentedly brazen influence operations orchestrated by the Kremlin (in reality – Washington – ed) on the soil of our allies and even here at home in the United States”.

“The threat from Russian influence operations existed long before our 2016 presidential election and will continue long after this election cycle, or the next, or the next. As the recent Facebook purges reveal, the Russian state has promoted fringe voices on the political left, not just the right, including groups who advocate violence, the storming of federal buildings and the overthrow of the U.S. government. Russia foments and funds controversial causes – and then foments and funds the causes opposed to those causes. Putin’s thesis is that the American Constitution is an experiment that will fail if challenged in the right way from within. Putin wants to break apart the American Republic, not by influencing an election or two, but by systematically inflaming the perceived fault-lines that exist within our society”.

Having accused modern Russia of using “Bolshevist” and “Soviet” methods in the geopolitical standoff with America, Mitchell made from Putin the “father” of the leading for quite some time US’ foreign policy doctrine – “a strategy of chaos for strategic effect”.

Thanks, Mr Mitchell, for your frankness

In general, it is worth being grateful to the prominent State Department employee. Mitchell not only outlined the purposes of the US’ foreign policy, but also revealed the methods that Washington intends to use to put them into practice, he showed everyone who is ready to look at the truth in the eyes what a frightening danger the US constitutes for the rest of the world and, first of all, for Russia.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

A view from Maine


MB and I yesterday at the top of Mt Battie overlooking Camden harbor in Maine. Photo by our friend Marian Gurry Stanton.

No, I did not walk or climb all the way up there.  We drove.  In the past MB and I have walked to the top of Mt Battie but presently I am not in the condition to do that.

Although I must say that I am doing much better with my walking and most importantly I have kicked my meds to the curb at last.  Just taking over the counter pain relievers now and then.  Keeping the ice on the knee when needed as well.

Our two days up to this lovely part of Maine have been quite wonderful - weather has been nice and cool.

Saw in the Portland paper this morning that August was the hottest month in Maine recorded history. How can the climate change deniers continue to ignore what is starring us all in the face?

As we looked out over the ocean from the top of Mt Battie we saw an unusual haze over the area and I wondered out loud if the forest fires in the west have been carried by winds toward Maine? 

Bruce

Sunday song