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 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, August 31, 2019

Two men from Iraq


Yesterday two Iraqi immigrant men approached our weekly peace vigil here in Brunswick, Maine.  They spent quite a bit of time talking to several of us along the line of sign and flag holders.

I was the last in the line and by then someone had mentioned I was a veteran.  One of the two men told me he was a veteran of three wars in Iraq.  First the Iran-Iraq war (where the US armed the Iraqi  government in hopes to destroy Iran).  Secondly was the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91 (the daddy Bush war) and lastly the 2003 Bush Junior 'shock and awe' attack that still continues today with about 5,000 US troops deployed there.

I asked the Iraqi veteran if his country would at some point soon kick the US military out.  He said, "They can't".  I took that to mean that Washington's grip on Iraq was still too strong.

I asked him about the recent Israeli bombing of Iraq.  What is behind that?  He replied, "Israel and Saudi Arabia want to start a big war."  Many are speculating that Israel and the Saudi head-chopping monarchy (remember when America had a revolution against a monarchy in 1776?) want to force the US into a full-blown war with Iran.  In other words they want us to do their dirty work for them.

Some passing cars were honking support for the vigil and again the veteran said, dripping with cynicism, “See you have support, but in the next election they will all vote for more war”.

I must say that I was sadly impressed that this Iraqi man has figured out the American people quite well.  They'll honk for peace, won't lift much of a finger to help stop our endless war$, and then likely in large numbers will turn around and vote for the next Democrat (no matter who gets the nomination) that will keep us in costly wars.  The system we live under limits the 'national debate' about such issues which only makes it harder for the public to believe anything can actually change.  So they tend to take the easy way out.

The two men were glad to see our group on the street but they don't harbor much hope for an end to the madness in their beleaguered nation.  The US has used Iraq as a tool for many years to destabilize the region giving further justification for on-going Pentagon occupation.

Bruce

Support the indigenous people


The origins of 'space force'



Still as relevant as ever.....

Friday, August 30, 2019

The source


The Amazon cannot be recovered once it’s gone

Slash and burn

The fires blazing in Brazil are part of a larger deforestation crisis, accelerated by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Greed, ignorance, deceit, corruption, arrogance - corporate plutocracy

Lack of spiritual connection to our Mother Earth  

We can't just keep rolling along the way we are

Time to call it what it is
and act to change it
before it kills us all....

Bruce

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Space Week actions list now forming


October 5-12, 2019

Keep Space for Peace Week
International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space

No Space Force
No Missile Defense
Close U.S./NATO Bases Worldwide
Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing
End Privatization of Foreign/Military Policy
Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Deal with climate change and global poverty
Support the Green New Deal

 
List in formation

·       Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 5) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

·       Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, Nevada (Sept 29-Oct 5) 10 YEARS of DRONE RESISTANCE at Creech.  Drone resistance mass mobilization. The U.S. Racist Drone Wars continue to expand around the globe, terrorizing and murdering the most vulnerable and poorest of communities, violating the national sovereignty of people and threatening us all into a much higher chance for an all-out nuclear confrontation.  These are covert wars. Much is censored and hidden from the public, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! Contact: Toby Blomé:  atherbenyckeling@comcast.net  or Eleanor Levine:  eastbaycodepink@gmail.com

·       USAF Croughton, England (Oct 5) USAF Croughton is about to undergo one of the biggest redevelopments since it was constructed by the USAF almost 70 years ago. The new ‘Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex’ will put the site at the heart of a web of military and intelligence networks stretching from the USA to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. March & rally at main gate from 12-4 pm. Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

·       Kathmandu, Nepal (Oct 16-17) Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon will speak on space issues at various colleges across Kathmandu.  For details bhurtung@yahoo.com

·       Limerick, Ireland (Oct 5-6) World BEYOND War’s fourth annual global conference on the abolition of war will be held on October 5th and 6th and include a rally on the 6th at Shannon Airport, where U.S. military forces routinely pass through in violation of Irish neutrality and of laws against war.  https://worldbeyondwar.org

·       Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Oct 12) Peace Action will hold an event.  Details TBD. pamrichard35@gmail.com

·       Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia (Oct 11) March to stop the bipartisan war machine. The nuclear clock is at two minutes to midnight - we must unite for peace and against the war machine. For more info https://marchonpentagon.com/2019-march

·       Toronto, Canada (Oct 9) Vigil, outside the NATO Association of Canada office, 48 Yonge Street, from 12-1pm. Organized by the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. tlorincz@dal.ca

·       Visakhapatnam, India (Oct 12-13) International Conference on Super Powers' Dominion in Outer Space & Global Sustainable Development. Co-Sponsored by Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University and the Global Network. Speakers will include Professor Peter Kuznick, Subrata Ghoshroy from MIT, Lindis Percy from UK, Professor Aruna Kammila and Bruce Gagnon. People of our planet must consider the question of the kind of seed one carries from earth into the heavens.  The essential objective of this Conference is to give a stage to exhibit emerging issues and challenges in outer space, including legal, political, economic as well as scientific in order to ensure peace and security in the international sphere with concern to outer space. For details intconf@dsnlu.ac.in

 Space Week Co-Sponsors:
  • No to War – No to NATO
  • US Peace Council
  • Veterans For Peace
  • Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
  • WorldBeyondWar.org
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Story behind Trump's Greenland 'deal'



A U.S. consulate may appear in Greenland before the end of the year. And Washington doesn't care anymore about Copenhagen's opinion on this matter.

The State Department recently revealed another blowout by Trump, who isn't used to being rejected.

On the backdrop of the Danish Ministry of Defense openly warning of troop deployments to ensure the island's safety against an American invasion, the White House is proceeding with the provocation by proposing to Greenlanders they make up their own mind in which currency they want to receive their subsidies — in dollars or kroner.

Listen to "Sen. Tom Cotton also wants the United States to buy Greenland" on Spreaker.

Senator Tom Cotton, a far-right wing senator from Arkansas, has an op-ed in today’s New York Times in which he says that the United States must purchase Greenland at all costs. Cotton adds that he even raised the idea with the Danish Ambassador to the US a year ago. The Danish government has repeated that the island is not for sale. Is this crazy idea becoming mainstream? Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, joins the show.

Now appearing in the U.S.


Great is arriving in the U.S. via a sailboat.

She is leading the Student Climate Strike protests planned across the world on September 20.

Here in Maine events will be held in Portland, Farmington and Mount Desert Island.

At each of these we are encouraging people to bring signs/banners that connect the dots between militarism and climate change - the Pentagon has the largest institutional carbon boot print on Earth.

For more info on these connections see here

Featured Space Week action - Croughton AFB in UK


National march and rally 
October 5
Croughton, England

Speakers:
  • Paul Mobbs – ‘Croughtonwatch’       
  • Lindis Percy – Co-founder Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases
  • David Cullen – Director, Nuclear Information Service
The new U.S. ‘Space Force’ is part of the militarisation of space. This will need ground stations like USAF Croughton, where the U.S. is spending £200m to turn the base into one of its’ largest international intelligence hubs, building the new Joint intelligence Analysis Centre (JIAC).

This major U.S. communication and intelligence base supports space communications, data links, military drone information, bomber guidance, missile defence, diplomatic communications, and command and control war fighting functions. It will be a key link in the ‘chain’ controlling US surveillance, armed drone and special forces operations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.


(RAF) USAF Croughton main gate is on the B4031, off the A43, 2 miles North of M40 junction 10, just South of Brackley, Northamptonshire.

Travel west on the B4031, past the main gate, turn left at mini-roundabout on eastern edge of Croughton village, and park at signed site, not at main gate.  Starts 12.00 car park, along B4031 to Main Gate, finishes 4.00pm.

Food stall and disabled toilet at main gate.         

Bring flags and banners!

Minibus leaves St Giles, Oxford 10.45 & Oxford Rail station 11.00
Tickets £8.00 – pre booking essential –

Contact: 01865 248357 / oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

Oxfordshire Peace Campaign

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Gore Vidal on conversion



Although no public jobs can be created and no bridges repaired as long as all that money goes for unworkable Rube Goldberg Star Wars systems, not to mention cost overruns and plain corruption, [President Bill] Clinton will have to overcome his natural southern affinity for all things military.  Conversion is the name of the only game we have left.  Conversion from war to peace.  Instead of Seawolf submarines, he must build bullet trains (my advice to Jerry Brown, who dramatized it on television and won the Connecticut primary).  The same workforce that now builds submarines has the same technology to build trains.

~ Gore Vidal in GQ November 1992

Over the past weekend MB and I went to our friend Ridgeley's cabin on an island in the middle of Flying Pond (Mainer's often describe lakes as ponds) in Central Maine.  We canoed, kayaked, swam and had two lovely sunset rides on a floating picnic table mounted on drums with a small, quiet battery-operated motor.  One sits on the picnic table bench and dangles your legs in the surprisingly warm lake water.  We drank a bottle of Crimean red wine (the best wine I have tasted in recent memory). I was given the bottle for my birthday by our Russian friend Tanya.  What fun it was to spend time on the lake as we near the end of summer.


While at the lake I reclined in a hammock for several hours reading Gore Vidal's 2001 book entitled The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000.  I found his statement above about conversion of the military industrial complex inside this spirited book.

Gore Vidal knew about the ruling class.  He emerged from it and became one of the ruling elites fiercest critics.

Vidal was born into a political family; his maternal grandfather, Thomas Pryor Gore, served as United States senator from Oklahoma. He began to drift towards the political left after he received his first paycheck, and realized how much money the government took in tax. He reasoned that if the government was taking so much money, then it should at least provide first-rate health care and education rather than endless war.

Vidal was very much against any kind of military intervention in the world. In Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta (2002), Vidal drew parallels about how the United States enters wars and said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt provoked Imperial Japan to attack the U.S. in order to justify the American entry to the Second World War (1939–45). He contended that Roosevelt had advance knowledge of the dawn-raid attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). In the documentary Why We Fight (2005), Vidal said that, during the final months of the war, the Japanese had tried to surrender: "They were trying to surrender all that summer, but Truman wouldn't listen, because Truman wanted to drop the [atomic] bombs .... To show off. To frighten Stalin. To change the balance of power in the world. To declare war on communism. Perhaps we were starting a pre-emptive world war".

As a public intellectual, Vidal criticized what he viewed as political harm to the nation and the voiding of the citizen's rights through the passage of the USA Patriot Act (2001) during the George W. Bush administration (2001–2009). He described Bush as "the stupidest man in the United States" and said that Bush's foreign policy was explicitly expansionist. He contended that the Bush Administration and their oil-business sponsors, aimed to control the petroleum of Central Asia, after having gained hegemony over the petroleum of the Persian Gulf in 1991.

In 1977 Vidal said, "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party .... and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt .... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

He was a great, gutsy man who gave the nation deep insights into the ruling class that he largely rejected during his long and active life.  Vidal died in 2012.

Bruce

Israel bombs Iraq....why?



Pushback with Aaron Maté

An Israeli bombing of a weapons depot allegedly used by Iran is the first Israeli strike on Iraq in nearly forty years and a major escalation of Israel's campaign against Tehran. The attack also underscores how Israeli violence on its neighbors has been normalized, As'ad AbuKhalil argues.

Guest: As'ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University Stanislaus.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Voices from the Amazon



While the world prays for the #Amazon, the xinguanos gather and cast an arrow in the air. The Brazilian government must protect our forests and respect the ways of life of indigenous peoples and traditional communities.

Brazil's new president Balsonaro is driving development of the Amazon at a fierce pace.  The world must stand in solidarity with the indigenous people in the Amazon.  

Where is Ghislaine & why has she not been arrested?



Who was Robert Maxwell, bizarre death and proven links to Mossad still invite scrutiny? What has he to do with infamous pedophile Jeffrey Epstein?

Former UK MP George Galloway joins Rick Sanchez to share his insights.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday song