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.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Numbers don't lie....




Se the most recent study on this subject by Brown University in Rhode Island here.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Science is on side of argument that Pentagon is the major climate change polluter



Joe Jamison of the U.S. Peace Council explains that the Pentagon is one of the world's worst polluters.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

They are all corrupt oligarchs - don't support any of them!


It's like a staged boxing match - a Hollywood script - a Madison Avenue public relations campaign to distract the public from our real problems.  All the air is being sucked out of the public discourse when it comes to our big concerns.

It's a public spectacle - political entertainment - bread and circus.  The corporations are feeding on us.

Have you noticed that the mainstream media, which is so concerned in this moment about 'the rule of law' and need for impeachment, never cared for a single moment about the following:

  • George H. W. Bush's Persian Gulf war (1991-92). According to the BBC, between 60,000 and 200,000 Iraqi soldiers are thought to have been killed. Civilian deaths resulting from the war are estimated at well over 200,000. Massive environmental degradation resulted.  US troop causalities were 73,000 dead - most US soldiers who took part in the invasion of Iraq were exposed to, any many died from, uranium poisoning, which can take decades to kill. No impeachment charges were filed against Bush.  Add to that Bush's 1989 'Operation Just Cause' attack on Panama that killed several thousand innocent people. How many people died in Panama for certain?  This question may never be answered because the US military undertook elaborate efforts to bulldoze the dead into mass graves.
  • Bill Clinton's illegal attack and break-up of Yugoslavia in 1999. The US sought to destabilize and dismember Yugoslavia in order to privatize its state-run industries and financial sector and dismantle its social service programs, thereby transferring Yugoslavia's wealth to transnational corporations. The U.S. dropped cluster bombs on Yugoslavia and exposed millions of people to depleted uranium. As many as 576,000 Iraqi children died during the Clinton imposed economic sanctions. This was the program in which Clinton's UN ambassador (and later Secretary of State) Madeleine Albright, when asked about these numbers, coldly stated, "The price is worth it."
  • Crimes against humanity during the Bush-Cheney illegal 2003 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq and torture program. There were up to 1.3 million Iraqi deaths in this war as of 2009 and the war cost American taxpayers more than $3 trillion. The environmental damage was monumental.  U.N. estimates that there are about 4.5 million displaced Iraqis. Over 5,000 US troops were killed in Iraq with legions more committing suicide upon return home.
  • Crimes against humanity during the Obama-Biden illegal take down of Libya, drone kill program, and illegal US orchestrated coup d'etat in Ukraine.  There were ten times more drone air strikes during Obama’s presidency than under George W. Bush.  A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. More than 800 civilians were killed in those countries.
  • Trump has escalated the drone war even more than Obama. Researchers have documented the rise of “frequent killing of entire families in likely coalition airstrikes” under the Trump Administration. 

So obviously there are millions of legitimate reasons to have impeached both Republicans and Democrats over illegal and immoral wars in recent years.  But the mainstream media nor Congress has ever for one minute contemplated such legal action against these monsters.  Why not?

It's because the US ruling oligarchic families (from Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, etc) agree on Washington's military and economic empire.  So that leaves just one area for them to fight over. They play tit-for-tat over each other's corruption as we now see with the Trump-Biden-Ukraine story.

The lesson (bottom line) here is that both parties are loaded with corrupt corporate oligarchs.  They do agree on some fundamental issues:

  • Endless war for control of global resources
  • They agree on preventing 'Medicare for all'
  • They agree on a new arms race in space and the resulting corporate profits
  • They agree on surrounding, disrupting and trying to force regime change in nations that do not surrender to western control (China, Russia, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Venezuela.....)
  • They agree on an expanding steroidal NATO - turning it into a global war machine
  • And much more.... 
Thus today we witness an all-consuming Mafia-style war for power and control among the oligarchies on a very restricted terrain as they vie for lucrative national and international money available to which ever oligarchic families and networks are in charge in Washington.

The American people should not fall for this fake war going on in our nation's capitol.  We should not support any of these corrupt politicians, their political parties or their corporate media mouth pieces.

Bruce

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Links between US Army & Ukraine's Nazis



A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

By Ben Norton

A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.

While serving in the US military, this right-wing extremist gave fascist militants in Ukraine and other countries information on how to build bombs, including what he called “cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans.”

The FBI said he had also planned to travel to Ukraine in order to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that has for years been directly supported by the US government.

In its court filing, the FBI described the Azov Battalion as a “violent far-right paramilitary group.” Yet it failed to disclose that this fascist militia has been armed and advised by American military officials in order to turn up the heat on Russia.


Publicly available photos show US military advisers directly meeting with the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militia — but the complete lack of critical coverage from a compliant mainstream media has ensured that few Americans know about their government’s double game with fascists.

The shocking arrest of the US soldier is the latest example in a long list of cases of what intelligence agencies refer to as “blowback,” when US government support for extremist foreign proxies fuels violent terrorism back at home.

US Army soldier teaching far-right extremists how to make bombs

The FBI filed a criminal complaint in Kansas district court on Monday, September 23, revealing that it had arrested US Army infantry soldier Jarrett William Smith for the alleged crime of “Distributing Information Relating to Explosives, Destructive Devices, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

In online messages with an FBI informant, Smith discussed carrying out terrorist attacks inside the US, and said he was looking for fellow far-right “radicals.” He also talked about killing members of Antifa, a decentralized anti-fascist group.

According to the filing, Smith had since at least 2016 been in regular communication with Craig Lang, an American far-right extremist who traveled to Ukraine to fight with the neo-fascist militia the Right Sector.

Smith had initially hoped that Lang could help screen him and get him approval to join Ukraine’s radical right.

Smith told Lang in June 2016, before he enlisted in the US Army, “No former military experience, but if I cannot find a slot in Ukraine by October I’ll be going into the Army… To fight is what I want to do.”

Apparently unable to find an opportunity in Ukraine, Smith joined the US Army in June 2017.

While in the US military, Smith repeatedly shared tips and tricks with Lang and other right-wing extremists in social media chats on how to build bombs.

In a Facebook group with Lang and others in December 2018, Smith boasted of his ability to create improvised explosive devices (IEDs), writing, “I got knowledge of IEDs for days. We can make cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans. I can teach you that.”

Arrested for trying to fight with US-backed Ukrainian Nazis

Following the arrest of Jarrett William Smith, CBS reported that the US Army soldiers had discussed “traveling to Ukraine to fight with a violent far-right group.” Like other corporate media outlets, CBS offered nothing more than a perfunctory account that failed to identify the specific extremist Ukrainian militia.

In its criminal complaint, however, the FBI wrote that Smith had “spoken about his desire to travel to Ukraine to fight with the Ukraine-based violent far-right paramilitary group, Azov Battalion.”

What the FBI did not mention is that the US government has for years supported the Azov Battalion as a proxy against Russia and its regional allies.

Since a US-backed 2014 coup overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected government and installed a viciously anti-Russian and pro-NATO right-wing government, Kiev has been battling pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.


Neo-fascist Ukrainian groups like Right Sector and Svoboda played a major role in this Western-backed regime change operation. In the violence following the putsch, these forces cohered into neo-Nazi militias like the Azov Battalion and C14 (named after the white supremacist “14 words” slogan).

In 2014, the Azov Battalion was directly incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard, merging the explicitly fascist militia with the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and military.

The United States strongly backs Ukraine and has given it significant military support. Many of the weapons provided by Washington have ended up in the hands of avowed neo-Nazis.

The Grayzone has repeatedly reported on the US government’s support for these neo-Nazis forces, including both Azov and C14.

In 2018, The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal reported on a meeting between US military advisers and the Azov Battalion.

The fascist Ukrainian militia had published photos on its website in November 2017 showing uniformed American and Canadian military officers shaking hands with an Azov officer, who was wearing a patch of the Nazi-inspired symbol the Wolfsangel.

In July 2018, Ukraine’s embassy in Israel attacked Blumenthal and The Grayzone for reporting factually on how the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was also using Israeli weapons in the field.


The latest example of blowback

In its report on the arrest of the extremist US Army soldier, Jarrett William Smith, the legal news website Law & Crime described the Azov Battalion as a “violent far-right terrorist group.”

It failed to mention that the US government has directly supported this violent far-right terrorist group, however.


Shockingly, Smith is far from the first far-right American extremist to have plotted violent attacks with US-backed Ukrainian fascists.

In November, The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal reported on an FBI indictment of four American white supremacists from the violent neo-fascist Rise Above Movement (RAM), who had trained with Ukraine’s Azov Battalion.

The FBI said in its indictment that Azov “is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations.”

This is reminiscent of blowback from American support for far-right extremist Islamist groups in the Middle East and Latin America who subsequently carried out acts of terrorism inside the US.

While few corporate media outlets have been willing to acknowledge US support for neo-Nazi groups like Azov, the growing danger of blowback has propelled a burst of critical reporting about the militias.

Back in 2014, Vice Media promoted the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, whitewashing and even directly embedding with them while they were fighting pro-Russian separatists.

But five years later, Vice has suddenly done a volte-face. This July, the news outlet published an article warning that battle-hardened far-right extremists who trained in Ukraine were returning home to the US and Europe, with violence on their minds.

[You can sign a petition opposing US-Canada arms sales to Ukraine. Anyone from any country can sign here.]

~ Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. He tweets at @BenjaminNorton.    https://bennorton.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Biden-Ukraine saga continued



More on the Biden-Ukraine-Trump story from guys who know the Ukraine issue as well as anyone.

Both are of Greek heritage - Alex Christoforou (Athens) and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris (London) discuss the latest updates in the Biden-Ukraine-China scandal that is blowing up in the face of the Democrat party primary front runner.

Award winning space documentary




This film, created by French-Canadian Denis Delestrac, was funded by Canadian and European public TV.  It aired on public television in Canada and in Europe and played in movie theaters around the world including across Latin America.

But because of the subject matter Delestrac was never able to secure a distribution deal in the United States.  Thus, except for our meager efforts to promote it in the US, the film was not seen in the nation where it was most needed to be watched.

Please help us share it on social media, especially during the upcoming Keep Space for Peace Week (October 5-12).

The film features several members of the Global Network.

Monday, September 23, 2019

How are U.S. bases worldwide linked to war fighting satellites?

Listen to "Saying NO to the militarization of space" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear continues our weekly segment dealing with the ongoing militarization of space.

As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe?

Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, author of six books and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and by Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

What is this Biden-Ukraine-Trump controversy about?



By ZeroHedge

For days we've been treated to Mainstream media (MSM) insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an 'urgent' complaint about something Trump promised another world leader - the details of which the White House has refused to share.

Then, we learned it was a phone call.
Then, we learned it was several phone calls.
Now, we learn it wasn't Russia or North Korea - it was Ukraine!

Here's the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strong armed Ukraine's prior government into firing its top prosecutor - something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months. There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight [self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine].

Moreover, here's why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn't fire their top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin - who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board Hunter Biden sat on. [Following the US orchestrated 2014 coup in Ukraine V-P Biden got his son appointed to a Ukrainian fossil fuel company board of directors.]

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. [See video above]

"I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

"Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.

In short, there's both smoke and fire here - and what's left of Biden's 2020 bid for president may be the largest casualty of the entire whistleblower scandal.

Trump can simply say he was protecting America from someone who may have used his position of power to directly benefit his own family at the expense of justice.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are acting as if they've found the holy grail of taking Trump down. On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) interviewed inspector general Michael Atkinson, with whom the whistleblower lodged their complaint - however despite three hours of testimony, he repeatedly declined to discuss the content of the complaint.

Following the session, Schiff gave an angry speech - demanding that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire share the complaint, and calling the decision to withhold it "unprecedented."

"We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress," said Schiff, adding "We’re determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is to make sure that the national security is protected."

[It's interesting that suddenly the Democrats love 'whistle blowers' - would be nice to see them share some of that love for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.]

And so - what the MSM doesn't appear to understand is that President Trump is asking Ukraine to investigate Biden over something with legitimate underpinnings.

Which - of course, may lead to the Bidens' adventures in China, which Giuliani referred to in his CNN interview. And just like his Ukraine scandal, it involves actions which may have helped his son Hunter - who was making [money] hand over fist in both countries.

Journalist Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash and now Secret Empires discovered that in 2013, then Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew together to China on Air Force Two and two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China, which expanded to $1.5 billion.

Climate striking in Portland


A group of us peaceniks attended the Student Climate Strike in Portland, Maine last Friday.  Several of us arrived early and held signs and banners across the street from City Hall where the event was held.  The newspaper reported that about 2,000 people turned out for the spirited event.

It was quite moving to see various schools (Middle, High school and college students) march down the street to city hall - they each got a rousing applause as they approached.

Several of us handed out over 350 of your Conversion of Bath Iron Works flyers as part of our statewide campaign to expand public consciousness about the Pentagon's contribution to climate change.

Here are a few more photos of some of us as we vigil across from city hall before the big show began.  (Photos by Peter Woodruff - click on the photos for a better view.)

Lisa Savage (right) with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter

Jason Rawn (left) and Mark Roman

Peter Morgan (right) and I talking with a man who told us he already got our flyer from a neighbor.  Nice to know they are getting around so well. 

Sunday song