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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

NATO's foiled grab of Crimea



One of the people from Germany who attended the Crimea conference in recent days wrote me this morning the following note - asking me if I had heard this story.  I replied that I had but not in such detail.  Then I responded with an addition of my own that follows below. 

Two months ago I visited a friend of mine who lives with her family in Crimea all her life. At some point I found myself asking about the Crimean crisis [in 2014].

The father told me the following: his brother works on the airdrome of Sevastopol [location of Russian air force and naval bases that were under treaty with Ukraine since the fall of the former Soviet Union.  Russia paid big money to rent the facilities that allowed them to have 20,000 troops stationed there. Thus there was no Russian invasion of Crimea.] and in the most critical night of the crisis he got the message that within 10 minutes an attack helicopter of the NATO is about to land there. Within this 10 minutes Putin in person could mobilize a Russian helicopter that was able to arrive a few moments earlier on the field. According to him this was the most critical moment - if the NATO would have been able to land, there would have been war. Everyone was prepared they told me by the way, I even talked to house wives about this who said that they all organised themselves a weapon to protect their families...

Here was my response:

When I first came to Yalta one year ago my guide was taking me back to my hotel after a day trip to Sevastopol.  We passed by a huge apartment building, new, and all lit up.  I asked what it was.  She said, “It was supposed to be a NATO barracks after they took over Crimea.  But the referendum [to rejoin Russia] foiled their plan.  Now it is just apartments for regular people.” 
I asked her what would have happened if NATO had grabbed Crimea.
"We’d have war," she replied.
Maybe you can understand how proud the people of Crimea are that they quickly organized the referendum that overwhelming declared that the predominately Russian-ethnic population of Crimea wished to be reunited with mother Russia.  In doing so they also averted a war on their peninsula that today lives in peace and security.


It is at least obvious to me that the coup in Kiev, Ukraine (and the attempted NATO takeover of Crimea) was long in the works.  One should remember that it was during the presidency of Bill Clinton that the US promise to Russia (after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) not to expand NATO one centimeter eastward toward Moscow's border was violated.  (Interestingly there is a photo of Bill and Hillary on the wall in the lobby of the hotel I am staying in.)
  
Bruce

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