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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hedges: Need to look at the rupturing of social bonds....

 

 

January 14 interview of Chris Hedges by Jimmy Dore. 

Why are people on the left cheering on the quickening loss of our civil liberties?


Friday, January 15, 2021

Israel & U.S. hitting Syria as Trump's time runs out

 


Israel & United States Unite Efforts In Large-Scale Strikes On Iranian Infrastructure In Syria

South Front

The first two weeks of 2021 have, so far, been marked by an incredible increase in Israeli activity in the skies over Syria.

The most intense strike took place on January 13 morning hitting multiple Syrian and Iranian-affiliated targets in the province of Deir Ezzor, including the underground base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps near al-Bukamal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli strikes have killed 57 and wounded another 37. Pro-government sources confirmed only 5 casualties.

The airstrikes were so numerous that even Abu Yatem al-Katrani – the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 4th Brigade was killed in an airstrike.

The Israeli operations were carried out with the assistance of the United States – it provided intelligence and Israeli struck on them. Former CIA Director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly discussing the airstrikes with Yossi Cohen, chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

The US support of Tel Aviv’s aerial raids is a clear message to Iran, and is a very open support to Israel’s undeclared war against Iran, which it has been waging in Syria since hostilities began.

All of the airstrikes in the first two weeks of 2021 are the most significant by Israel, and over all, since the beginning of the war in Syria. They were so significant, that Damascus even accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the strikes in very open support of ISIS militants which the Syrian Arab Army is hunting.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a sense of urgency, or a sense of danger in the air, as the United States reinforced its troop positions in the Omar oil fields with artillery pieces and other equipment.

The US troops, together with their local proxies also hold frequent drills in the area, to keep ready, for some future unknown escalation.

Prior to New Year’s Eve, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, in what Tehran claimed to be an elaborate Israeli operation.

Additionally, since around the same time, a farewell strike on Iran has been expected from US President Donald Trump, and the general chaos in the US ahead of Joe Biden stepping into office has been used by Israel as a chance to inflict as much damage as possible on Tehran and its allies.

Russia, at the same time, appears to also be preparing for an escalation of some sort, by building up its forces and is lying in wait.

Israel appears dead set on continuing its crusade against Iran and its allies in Syria. An urgency is felt, since Biden is unlikely to support Tel Aviv as much as Trump did, and every possible chance should be used. This is all in spite of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed the photo of Donald Trump from his Twitter, but all is fair in love and war.

Finally, both the American and Russian forces appear to be biding their time, waiting for an escalation that, with tensions at the breaking point appears closer than ever.

The year began with terrorist attacks in Syria, increased Israeli strikes, Iran threatening against any aggression against it, and the two most significant players in the face of Moscow and Washington are expecting an escalation, and no amount of preparation would be enough for the incoming storm.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Bill Bradley: U.S.'s 'fundamental blunder' on Russia

 

Former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ), a longtime expert on Russia and a sober-minded policy analyst, said he was deeply troubled at the relentless expansion of NATO.

In a Jan. 23, 2008 talk before the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, he sounded a disconsolate note, describing NATO expansion a “terribly sad thing … a blunder of monumental proportions… .“ As tensions increased with Russia, Bradley added, “Right now we are confronted with something that could have easily been avoided.”

These words above are by Ray McGovern (former CIA analyst) in a new article about Biden's appointment of William Burns to head the CIA.  Very interesting and instructive - see it here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Join the call for peace in Yemen

 

There are less than two weeks until the World Says No to War on Yemen Global Day of Action and we need your help reaching every corner of the globe! Please share this event as far and wide as you possibly can. You can start by sending it to your mailing lists and putting it on your website, sharing it on your social media accounts, reaching out to fellow organisations and even just talking with your friends and family.

Over 230 organisations from 17 countries have signed up for a call to action against the war on Yemen so far, making this the biggest international anti-war coordination since the campaign against the Iraq war. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic many of the planned physical protests have had to be postponed but our global movement will not be silenced.

The under-reported war in Yemen has led to the death of 250,000 people and created the worst humanitarian crisis anywhere in the world according to the UN. They estimate that more than 24 million people in the country, which was already one of the poorest on the planet prior to the war, will need humanitarian assistance in 2021.

The foreign aggression is led by Saudi Arabia, with the involvement of the UAE, but it is backed by some key Western powers – the US, the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Canada. In particular, the US and the UK have maintained unquestioning support for Saudi Arabia since the war began and are both participants in the war.

This protest is timed to take place just days after the inauguration of Joe Biden, who has promised to end US support for the war. This is our one central aim – to hold him to his word and force fellow governments to follow suit. The day of action is also timed for the eve of the Saudi Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

For the World Says No to War on Yemen Global Online Rally we have brought together a group of prominent voices from across the world to speak out against this utterly brutal war and call for its immediate end.

Among those joining us Monday, January 25, at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT / 10pm Yemen:

Ahmed Al-Babati (British-Yemeni Soldier)
Jeremy Corbyn (UK Member of Parliament)
Danny Glover (Actor)
Tawakkol Karman (Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate)
Daniele Obono (French National Assembly Member)
Yanis Varoufakis (MeRA25 Secretary-General)

Link to the event, where you and your contacts can register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a1UiRQgwS_Kk-sBG86bv-A

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Is civil war coming to America?

 

Are we heading for civil war in America?  Increasingly I observe that many voices are saying they think such a violent divide is coming.  Wouldn't the corporate oligarchs that really run America be quite happy if that was so? Divide and conquer.

I've been sifting my way through many articles and social media postings to try to get a feel for where people's heads are at.  Below are just a few samplings of what some folks are writing. I'd be interested to hear what you think about this question....

Bruce

  • It doesn’t have to be civil war if both sides of the argument realize the “elites” have neither of their interests at heart.
  • Stop looking at the differences and start looking at the common enemy.

  • Both sides have to rid themselves of the pyramid shape of power, this is a common cause.
  • Use what is common between you to overthrow the tyrants!
  • I doubt that there is a large support in the big cities for a return to the Obama-Biden-Hillary years. Instead I believe that both the Democratic and Republican party have been hijacked by Political Agents, operating on behalf of the Global Elite. These agents don’t even need the votes of the city population anymore. They can now print all the votes they want, just as they are printing all the money they want. The American People now have a common enemy: the Global Elite and their Agents.

  • Biden's regime will be as neocon controlled as Trump's regime was.
  • There is obviously a deep-state war taking place that the deep-state is trying to drag everyone else into. What else is new? 

 

  • What happened on January 6 was a right-wing populist and racist reaction, in the opposite direction of progressive demands, to the very same cumulative effects of the deepening class and racial divisions and polarization of the whole society — massive unemployment, rampant poverty, and enormous number of deaths — all direct results of the government’s policy of neglect. That, too, was a clear expression of the masses’ distrust for the institutions of the U.S. state....What is happening in the U.S. is a microcosm of what the capitalist financial institutions and elites have wreaked upon the planet through trade agreements and an imperialist foreign policy that has suppressed populations through illegal acts of interference, aggression, and economic warfare designed to create the conditions for exploitation, the theft of land and resources and environmental destruction. Our actions cannot be limited to the U.S. because if the global elites are willing to oppress and exploit people anywhere, the crises we face will continue....All this tells us that the era of hoping for reforms from above has ended. It is time for the people’s movement to recognize this dangerous qualitative shift in the current situation in the U.S. and adapt its approach, tactics, and organizing methods to the requirements of the present situation.
  • We — the workers and oppressed within the U.S. — cannot depend on the state to prevent violent, KKK-like attacks, especially those on workers of color who are and always have been the fascists’ primary targets. When have the Democrats and Republicans ever offered any real protection? The fascist movement within the U.S. — for whom today’s mobilization marked a turning point in the worst way — demands a mass, independent response from the working class. The power of working people, both in the streets and at the point of production, must be wielded to push back the continued rise of this fascist movement.
  • You are idiots. I can see the election was STOLEN. LOOK, open your eyes. Put the LIGHT on and open your eyes. Of course the election was stolen. There is overwhelming evidence of this. The agents provocateurs in Capitol Hill are nothing new.  Trump supporters did walk through opened barriers and into open doors, invited by the police who also may have been AGENTS provocateurs. The Guards were not called until after the disorder. The regular police WERE TOLD to NOT COME IN that day??? I really looked through all manner of links of video footage and spent hours doing so. Pelosi wants to make Trump supporters look bad. She did it. It was a set up. Whilst Trump supporters were still listening to the speech Trump gave, before they managed to even get to the capitol, the hijackers of the Trump movement were, dressed in disguise, already creating havoc. 
  • What happened Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol was a violent takeover of Congress by a fascist mob, not a “protest by Trump supporters.” You can call it an attempted coup. But it was not a sign of imminent fascism. It was a mob egged on by a deranged egomaniac enraged that he has become the only incumbent president in nearly 30 years to be defeated in an election....Donald Trump was allowed to become president and stay in power for four years because he was able to cut taxes for the rich, deregulate business, roll back social gains and oversee a skyrocketing stock market, all of which resulted in the very rich becoming very much richer....Not all the elite were happy with everything Trump did, but the very wealthy can live with immigrant children left alone in cages, the steady deterioration of the environment, accelerating climate change and worsening racial oppression....What they could not tolerate was the steady erosion of the dominance of the United States on a world scale. The growing hostility to China by all sections of the ruling class is because that country, which still has significant state control over important sections of the economy, is making a serious bid for world economic dominance, and Trump has been letting it happen. So the ruling class came up with a safe alternative, an establishment figure who has long proven his commitment to defending and expanding the American Empire - Joe Biden....while their stated enemy may be antifa, anarchists and communists, today’s fascists are fundamentally white supremacists deeply afraid of being “replaced” by the changing demographics that are projected to make the United States a country of majority people of color as soon as 2040....what is clear is that the Left needs to greatly broaden its influence as well as its practical ability to defend itself, its events, its organizations and the community at large from the determined right-wing street-fighters that we now cannot deny exist. 

 

  • The inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20 is not the end of the era referred to as Trumpism. Violent right-wing forces have been activated and they are not going away unless major actions are taken to divide them and remove the material conditions that gave rise to them. That is our task going forward....It is critical that those who are responsible for violence against people and threats of harming or killing elected officials are held accountable, but it is just as important that what happened is not used to further strengthen the repressive apparatus of the state. Evan Greer warns that Biden, the architect of the 1994 Violent Crime Bill and Law Enforcement Act that led to mass incarceration, is already calling for a domestic terrorism bill even though domestic terrorism is currently illegal....Greer writes: “More money, weapons, and technology in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security—an agency complicit in human rights abuses long before Trump took office—won’t stop the rising threat of right-wing violence. Instead it will be used to suppress legitimate dissent, and disproportionately target Black and brown activists, Muslims, immigrant communities, and social movements that effectively challenge systemic injustice and corporate power.”  
  • Instead of moving with urgency to impeach Trump, Congress should show the same urgency to pass national improved Medicare for All, a guaranteed basic income that brings everyone above the poverty line, erasure of debt and investment in an eco-socialist Green New Deal that creates millions of high quality jobs while repairing our failing infrastructure, building a green economy and addressing the climate crisis. This can be funded by significant cuts to the military budget and through a wealth tax, as well as reclaiming the government’s ability to print money. These are actions that will begin to bring prosperity to the people and heal the divisions.
  • Malcolm X once said, “The chickens have come home to roost.” How ever one might characterize the events of January 6 or the several weeks since the election, one thing is certain: Millions of people in the United States have lost respect for U.S. political institutions. Across the political spectrum, people are adopting a common cry that the U.S. government doesn't represent their interests. Decades of neoliberal austerity, low wages, de-industrialization, privatization of public services like healthcare facilities, the looting of public resources to transfer to the military-industrial complex and the inability of the state to protect the fundamental human rights of the people have created the crisis of legitimacy that has made it difficult for the U.S. ruling class to govern in the same old way. 
  • Amerikastan
    Amerikastan
    Wants to fight Russia and China
    Syria and North Korea
    Venezuela and Iran.
    Amerikastan
    Amerikastan
    Got its head handed to it on a platter
    By
    The Taliban.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Victoria Nuland’s Nomination Should Be Rejected

 


Victoria Nuland, former foreign policy adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, should not be nominated for Undersecretary of State, and if nominated should be rejected by the Senate. 

During the Obama Administration Nuland served as Hillary Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Her foreign policy views are troublingly close to those of her husband, Robert Kagan, who co-founded the Project for a New American Century in the late 90’s.  Kagan remains one of the leading architects and proponents of modern neo-conservatism, and sits on the Council of Foreign Relations.    

Nuland played a key role in facilitating a 2014 coup in Kiev, Ukraine that created a civil war costing 10,000 lives and displacing over a million people. She played a key role in arming Ukraine as well. She advocates radically increased military spending, NATO expansion, hostility toward Russia, and efforts to overthrow the Russian government.

The United States invested $5 billion in shaping Ukrainian politics, including overthrowing a democratically elected president who had refused to join NATO. Then Assistant Secretary of State Nuland is on video (below) talking about the U.S. investment and on audiotape (above) planning to install Ukraine’s next leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was subsequently installed.

 



The Kiev Maidan protests, at which Nuland handed out cookies to protesters, were violently escalated by neo-Nazis and by snipers who opened fire on police. When Poland, Germany, and France negotiated a deal for the Maidan demands and an early election, neo-Nazis instead attacked the government and took over. The U.S. State Department immediately recognized the coup government, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk was installed as Prime Minister.

Nuland has worked with the openly pro-Nazi Svoboda Party in Ukraine. She was long a leading proponent of arming Ukraine. She was also an advocate for removing from office the prosecutor general of Ukraine, whom then Vice President Joe Biden pushed the president to remove.

Nuland wrote this past year that “The challenge for the United States in 2021 will be to lead the democracies of the world in crafting a more effective approach to Russia—one that builds on their strengths and puts stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.”

She added: “…Moscow should also see that Washington and its allies are taking concrete steps to shore up their security and raise the cost of Russian confrontation and militarization. That includes maintaining robust defense budgets, continuing to modernize U.S. and allied nuclear weapons systems, and deploying new conventional missiles and missile defenses, . . . establish permanent bases along NATO’s eastern border, and increase the pace and visibility of joint training exercises.”

The United States walked out of the ABM Treaty and later the INF Treaty, began putting missiles into Romania and Poland, expanded NATO to Russia’s border, facilitated a coup in Ukraine, began arming Ukraine, and started holding massive war rehearsal exercises in Eastern Europe. But to read Victoria Nuland’s account, Russia is simply an irrationally evil and aggressive force that must be countered by yet more military spending, bases, and hostility. Some U.S. military officials say this demonizing of Russia is all about weapons profits and bureaucratic power, no more fact-based than the Steele Dossier that was given to the FBI by Victoria Nuland.

You can sign a petition opposing Nuland's nomination by Joe Biden to this new post in his administration here.

Signed by:

Alaska Peace Center
Center for Encounter and Active Non-Violence
CODEPINK
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks
Jemez Peacemakers
Knowdrones.com
Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Nukewatch
Peace Action Maine
PEACEWORKERS
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Kansas City
Progressive Democrats of America
Peace Fresno
Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!
The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice
RootsAction.org
Veterans For Peace Chapter 001
Veterans For Peace Chapter 63
Veterans For Peace Chapter 113
Veterans For Peace Chapter 115
Veterans For Peace Chapter 132
Wage Peace
World BEYOND War 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday song