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.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Washington Post quotes Global Network in pro-Space Force article


I got an email yesterday from Washington Post reporter David Montgomery with an advance link to his coming Sunday Magazine story on Trump's Space Force proposal.  You can find it here.

He had called the office while I was on my recent month-long trip overseas and Mary Beth had him reach me by email.  We went back in forth several times with me answering his questions about the Global Network and our position on Trump's proposal to further enable U.S. 'domination of space'.

Over the years I've been through this kind of drill many times with major corporate media outlets.  I never expect anything from the exchange with such a reporter.  Usually they just are mining to see what we think but hardly ever use any of our words.  When my words are used they are often placed into an article out of context.  So just say I was not holding my breath.

Let's remember that the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.  He has big aspirations to help 'privatize' space in order to turn it into the next 'high ground' for maximum profits.  Thus the U.S. sees the Space Force as a military unit to control the path way on and off Earth on behalf of corporate interests.

The United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says that space, and the celestial bodies, are the province of humankind and that no nation, no company, nor any individual can claim ownership of them.  But the  rich guys who are dreaming of fortunes from space - Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and others - don't care about space law.  In fact they are spending big money now to attempt to rewrite U.N. space law in order to neuter the treaty and usher in space privatization.

So it was no real surprise to get the link to David Montgomery's article today and find it was a huge pro-Space Force puff piece - a cheerleading article.  But the astounding thing is that he gave the Global Network's position on this madness quite a bit of space in a very 'prestigious' corporate publication.  More than I would have ever expected.  For that we are pleased to say the least.

I do think though that most good-hearted people will see right through all the blather about the Pentagon preparing to 'protect space and ensure that no war is fought in space'.  That is all just pure public relations.

The Pentagon has been saying since Ronald Reagan introduced 'Star Wars' in the early 1980's that the US will 'control space, dominate space, and deny other countries access to space'.  It was all spelled out early on in the Space Command's Vision for 2020.  See it here.

But I am grateful that my words made it into the article.  See just below and decide for yourself if what the Global Network has been saying since our founding in 1992 makes any sense.

If you'd like to learn more about all of this I highly recommend this award-winning documentary Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space.

Bruce

Of course, if you’re generally skeptical of the military, even blue-water optimism about the Space Force may not sound particularly idealistic or appealing. That’s the view of Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Based in Brunswick, Maine, the network of about 150 affiliated groups was founded in 1992, just when military space power was taking off after the first Gulf War. It organizes international conferences and protests against the militarization of space.

“As the day comes near where it will be possible to ‘mine the sky’ for profitable resources, the Pentagon long has planned to develop the capability to control who gets on and off the Earth,” he wrote to me in an email. “So the Space Force is part of an effort to create a ‘military front gate’ allowing the U.S. to determine which nations, which corporations, which wealthy individuals are allowed to go out and mine the sky. This is part of the ‘privatization’ of space.” He continued: “So the U.S. is moving to re-create [the] 15th-century global war system where the European powers were sending their ships around the world to secure resources and markets in the New World. Before long they were fighting one another, and we live today with the legacy of that reality. I call this the ‘bad seed’ of war, greed and environmental degradation that has been planted into the depths of the soil and consciousness of the Earth. The Space Force would be the planting of the bad seed in the heavens.”

I pressed Gagnon on the Air Force’s contention that civilians and the military depend on space, that our space assets are vulnerable, and that China and Russia are already moving ahead with exploiting and weaponizing space. He responded in part: “The China threat is the new fear-making strategy to justify massive U.S. funding for ‘domination’ of space. ... China and Russia have warned for years that they will not allow the U.S. to be the ‘Master of Space.’ Thus we are off to a new expensive, dangerous and destabilizing arms race in the heavens. But let’s not let Washington put the blame on China. Any objective analysis of the space militarization issue since the Reagan years has to note that the U.S. has been, and still, leads the pack.”

Gagnon also suggested that the United States should take seriously proposals by China and Russia to ban the weaponization of space. Currently, the only treaty on the subject goes back to 1967 — the Outer Space Treaty, adopted by about 100 countries, including the United States, China and the then-Soviet Union. It forbids the placement of nuclear weapons in space but is silent on other types of weapons. China and Russia have proposed banning the placement of any weapon in space. The United States has rejected their approach, saying that there is no verification mechanism and that it would not forbid the stockpiling of antisatellite weapons on Earth.

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