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 22, 2018

New Star Wars film by Karl Grossman



This "Enviro Close-Up with Karl Grossman"  spotlights how if Trump gets his way on formation of a U.S. Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

The Space Force scheme flies in the face of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that designates space as the global commons to be used for peaceful purposes. Space weaponry would be nuclear-powered—as Reagan's “Star Wars” scheme was to be, with nuclear reactors and plutonium systems on orbiting battle platforms providing the power for hyper velocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

Amid the many horrible things being done by the Trump administration, turning the heavens into a war zone would be the most terribly destructive.

The coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Bruce Gagnon, is featured in the program.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Stop pushing war with Iran



At a public event in Washington, DC, CodePink’s Medea Benjamin confronted Brian Hook, the head of Trump’s Iran Action Group, over the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposing crippling sanctions on the Iranian people. 

Benjamin joins Real News to discuss her action, which went viral online.

Mixed news - mixed reviews

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wave to the crowd during a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on September 18, 2018.


  • Congratulations to leaders of North and South Korea for burying the hatchet and joining hands and hearts in their great effort to bring peace and reunification to the Korean peninsula.  They are making peace with or without the USA. It's about time people around the globe figured out they need to do it on their own. Washington is not interested in peace - weapons are America's #1 industrial export product.  When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?  Next on the agenda is to close the many US military bases in Korea.  The US is not needed to protect anyone.  Actually we need to protect people and nations from the US.

  • President Trump has authorized new, classified orders for the Pentagon’s cyberwarriors to conduct offensive attacks against adversaries more freely and frequently, the White House said on Thursday. “Our hands are not as tied as they were in the Obama administration,” John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, told reporters in announcing a new cyberstrategy. Mr. Bolton rewrote a draft of the strategy after joining the administration in April. Many of his remarks on Thursday focused on a secret order — which Mr. Trump signed in August but which has never been publicly described — that appears to give far more latitude for the newly elevated United States Cyber Command to act with minimal consultation from a number of other government agencies.

  • According to data from the US Treasury Department, China made a massive sale of its US $7.7 billion worth of US Treasury bonds. Beijing has thus reduced its investment in US government debt to a six-month low of $1.171 trillion. Meanwhile, China remains the leader on the list of top US lenders. Japan is in second place, with $1.03 trillion. Ireland ranks third, with bonds worth $300 billion. Previously, Russia sold about 85% of the US Treasury securities it owned and increased its gold reserves to a record level. In April and May this year, Moscow reduced assets in US Treasury securities from $96 billion to $15 billion. The list of the 33 largest holders of public debt published by the US Treasury Department no longer includes Russia.

  • Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — will now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. 

  • Creating a Space Force as a separate military service, as proposed by President Donald Trump, would cost an estimated $12.9 billion in its first five years, according to a detailed Air Force plan for how to go about it. This is the first publicly available cost estimate. When the White House announced plans to establish a Space Force in August, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan declined to give a figure but said it would be in "the billions." Creation of Space Force as a separate military service will require congressional action. The administration is expected to submit proposed legislation early next year authorizing the establishment of a Space Force.

  • Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a new book "Accessory to War". Tyson, who is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, weighs in on the privatization of space exploration, Trump's 'Space Force' proposal and more. He writes, "I don't value judge it. It's hard to not value judge something like this, but I've worked hard to not value judge it. For me, compiling this book, looking at the role that science in general and astrophysics in particular has played in aiding the warfighter, I stepped aside and I said, 'I will not pass judgment on this.' On President Trump's call to create a Space Force Tyson says, "I don't have a horse in that race. I don't have a fundamental problem with it, and just because it came out of Trump's mouth doesn't make it crazy."

Thursday, September 20, 2018

It's what we eat......



Art Milholland (Maryland) gave me this film to watch some time ago.  I watched it and was blown away.  It's a brilliant film and a courageous one at that.

Come to find out animal agriculture is the biggest polluter on our Mother Earth.  Even more than fossil fuel use.  The filmmaker goes around and tries to get major environmental groups to acknowledge this point but they consistently refuse.  Why?

In the end how we eat has more to do with 'saving the Earth' than anything else.

We all have the power to change.

Thanks Art for the education and your persistence.

Bruce

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Linking U.S. and Korean activists



US Labor Against the War (USLAW) recently traveled to South Korea on two different occasions to build solidarity with workers. Some members even attended the soccer match between North Korean workers and South Korean workers.

Reece Chenault, the organizer of the trips, talks about his experience in South Korea as well as the current situation with US workers in the military industrial complex.

Viddeo by Will Griffin at The Peace Report

Trailer: War and Peace in Vietnam, As Told By Those Who Lived It



"Voices From The Other Side - War and Peace in Vietnam as Told By Those Who Lived It" will delve into the important untold stories of the U.S. war in Vietnam from the perspective of the American G.I.'s, the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA).

Our short "IGG" promo video can touch only briefly on a handful of topics and issues involved. This film will bring you never before seen viewpoints from all sides of the war and its lasting aftermath in a way no other documentary has to date.

"Voices From The Other Side" is beginning to create buzz and energy in the organizational circles of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), among several other domestic and international anti-war and human rights groups.

The opportunity to tell the ground level story of the war in Vietnam is finally here.

You can help Maine filmmaker Eric Herter (Vietnam vet) complete this story by donating here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Russian media on the shootdown over Syria



A Russian military spokesman called Israel's attack on Syria, and resulting shoot down of a Russian plane, "deliberate...provocative...hostile".

I'd agree.

Get a look in this video how one Russian media handles the story.

The US-NATO war for regime change in Russia is full on.

Will it worsen as the arrogant western corporate oligarchs demand full control of Russia and China?  It's a uni-polar world they want.  They are willing to kill to get it.  They will kill all of us in a minute if they have to.

Russia and China (and many more like Iran and Venezuela) refuse to be taken down.  The Washington push-back is relentless.  And here in the US much of the 'left' has been neutralized by the Democratic Party recycled red-baiting offensive they are currently waging.  Many 'liberals' shudder at the thought of speaking out against the insane US-NATO policy toward Russia. They say, "We just have to get the Republicans out of power."

As if none of this was going on during Obama.  Give me a fucking break.

Israel refuses to comment.  No apology, nor of course any admission of responsibility.  Israel declares the right to do what it wishes no matter the violations of international law.

Washington's cabal are all pirates - in the classic sense - except this time they wear cowboy hats.  They are the mob.  Our last election that got us Trumped was the 'mob versus the mafia'.

I searched the New York Times this morning for reporting on the story.  Found nothing. Washington Post had a story which I quoted from in the blog post further below this one.  I went to Sputnik and found much more information and the World Wide Socialist Web had a story.  I saw one person last night commenting on Fazebook about CNN covering the story.  I wouldn't know - I never turn the TV on anymore.

So I keep spreading these stories from other media besides that controlled by the United States or its western minions.  Now and then someone opens their eyes and begins to see.....

We need a miracle - or the people to stand up.  We'll see which comes first.

Bruce

What next in Syria?



John Bolton warns of joint action in Syria, calling on the UK and France to join. Talk of regime change. The excuse: weapons of mass destruction.

Sounds familiar?

Russian plane shot down over Syria


The Washington Post reports today:

Russia’s Defense Ministry blamed Israel on Tuesday for the loss of an aircraft over Syria’s Mediterranean coast, saying it was downed after Israeli pilots used it as cover during an attack.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Israel gave Russia only a minute’s warning before launching the attack. “Russia reserves the right to take appropriate measures against hostile actions by Israel,” a ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, told reporters. He said that “the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of an F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system.”
Moscow also reported that the French Navy frigate FS Auvergne had fired missiles from the Mediterranean at the same time as the Israeli F-16 strikes.

Latakia, Syria’s major port city came under a missile attack on Monday, apparently downing a Russian military plane with 14 military personnel aboard.

Syrian sources claimed that the country’s air defense systems brought down a number of the missiles, which they said had been fired by Israel. Russian sources attributed the attacks to four F-16 fighter jets that had apparently flown over Lebanon and the Mediterranean to attack the port city.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it had summoned Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren over the crash of Russian Il-20 military aircraft in Syria.

Sputnik reports:

The Il-20 aircraft has been [accidentally] downed by Syrian military forces after Israel jets put it under attack off the Syrian coast, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated. According to the spokesman, the Israeli jets deliberately created a dangerous situation in Latakia. He stressed that Israel's aviation control systems could not but notice the Russian aircraft as it was landing.

"Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

The strikes came within hours of Russia and Turkey announcing a joint agreement to forestall a Russian-backed government offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib that had threatened to trigger a major Western intervention and a potential confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers, the US and Russia.

It's becoming clear that the US-France-Israel-Saudi Arabia are not at all happy that Russia and Turkey have come to an agreement to attempt to use peaceful measures in Idlib.  The US has been threatening for the past week that any Russian-Syrian attacks on ISIS terrorists (supported by US-Israel-Saudi Arabia) in Idlib would draw a significant US-Israeli response.

The US has essentially lost the war in Syria and its attempt to over throw President Bashar al-Assad’s government has failed.  In spite of that Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv continue their illegal and indiscriminate attacks on Syria.

The shooting down of the Russian plane is further evidence that an expanded war could easily be triggered by such a spark. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Understanding the gas wars.....



Russia and the West are facing the worst crisis since the Cold War. According to US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein, Washington’s goal is to reduce Russia’s gas market share in Eastern Europe by 20% by 2020. Russia cannot be allowed to build a gas pipeline that would bypass Ukraine, as it would 'pose a threat to Europe’s energy security'.

The US fracked gas industry views this conflict (created by Washington) as a big chance to sell its more expensive product to Europe but must first drive Russia out of the market.

War could result.

Very important documentary.

A routine press conference of the US energy secretary (former Texas governor Rick Perry) and the Russian energy minister has surprisingly turned into a lecture on Washington’s superiority and exceptionalism as the US official faced a question on sanctions.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

U.S. is funding terrorists in Syria....



Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) represents the second district in her state as their congressperson in Washington.  She's one of the few in Congress talking about this crucial issue.

She served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009.

Outside of her mistaken 9-11 analysis she's quite good on the US endless war program which uses terrorists to force regime change.(She likely knows better but like any elected official sees the 9-11 truth movement as No-Go territory.)

Worth listening to.

Sunday song