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, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, June 17, 2024

NATO in the Arctic webinar

 


Webinar organized by the Global Women for Peace - United Against NATO (GWUAN)


Event description:

Moderator: Pippa Bartolotti - author and politician working with United National Anti-war Coalition and Global Women United for Peace against NATO

Opening words: Sean Conner - Executive Director of IPB

1. US, Canada, Russia - 30 min

US: Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space - Breaking Russia up to get at Arctic resources - begins at 11:08


Canada: Tamara Lorincz - Voice of Women for Peace, WILPF - The militarization of Canada’s Arctic

Russia: Oleg Bodrov – physicist, ecologist, board member of the International Peace Bureau, Chairman of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg, Russia - Victory With Weapons is Impossible in the Atomic World

Discussion 20 min

2. Norway, Sweden, Denmark/Greenland, Finland - 40 min

Norway: Ingeborg Breines - Former Chair of IPB and UNESCO Director - The militarization especially in the Norwegian Arctic, new American bases and the Arctic Council

Sweden: Lars Drake - Environmental economist and former adjunct professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences - Natural resources in the Arctic - extraction, environment and international conflicts

Denmark/Greenland: Palle Bendsen – long time climate, environmental, anti-nuclear activist, involved in opposition to uranium mining plans in Southern Greenland. Engaged in the Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution and the Council for International Conflict Resolution, where he in 2019 authored an analysis of the “changing Arctic” - The Arctic is Changing - AGAIN

Finland: Teemu Matinpuro, executive director of the Finnish Peace Committee - Finland – NATO – DCA – the Arctic

Discussion 30 min

Supporters of the webinar:

- GWUAN (Global Women for Peace United Against NATO)
- IPB (International Peace Bureau)
- Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
- World BEYOND War

For more information you can visit: www.womenagainstnato.org\

See the Global Network's Facebook page on the Arctic issue with many available resources at: Protect the Arctic Sea from militarization & war

'Human Rights NGOs' and the Corruption of Civil Society

  


By Glenn Diesen

The organisations operating under the banner of “human rights non-governmental organisations” (NGOs) have become key actors in disseminating war propaganda, intimidating academics, and corrupting civil society. The NGOs act as gatekeepers determining which voices should be elevated and which should be censored and cancelled.

Civil society is imperative to balance the power of the state, yet the state is increasingly seeking to hijack the representation of civil society through NGOs. The NGOs can be problematic on their own as they can enable a loud minority to override a silent majority. Yet, the Reagan doctrine exacerbated the problem as these “human rights NGOs” were financed by the government and staffed by people with ties to intelligence agencies to ensure civil society does not deviate significantly from government policies.

The ability of academics to speak openly and honestly is restricted by these gatekeepers. Case in point, the NGOs limit dissent in academic debates about the great power rivalry in Ukraine. Well-documented and proven facts that are imperative to understanding the conflict are simply not reported in the media, and any efforts to address these facts are confronted with vague accusations of being “controversial” or “pro-Russian”, a transgression that must be punished with intimidation, censorship, and cancellation.

I will outline here first my personal experiences with one of these NGOs, and second how the NGOs are hijacking civil society.

My Encounter with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is one of these “NGOs” financed by the government and the CIA-cutout National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They regularly publish hit pieces about me and rarely miss their weekly tweets that label me a propagandist for Russia. It is always name-calling and smearing rather than anything that can be considered a coherent argument.

The standard formula for cancellation is to shame my university in every article and tweet for allowing academic freedom, with the implicit offer of redemption by terminating my employment as a professor. Peak absurdity occurred with a 7-page article in a newspaper in which it was argued I violated international law by spreading war propaganda. They grudgingly had to admit that I have opposed the war from day one, although for a professor in Russian politics to engage with Russian media allegedly made me complicit in spreading war propaganda.

Every single time I am invited to give a speech at any event, this NGO will appear to publicly shame and pressure the organisers to cancel my invitation. The NGO also openly attempts to incite academics to rally against me to strengthen their case for censorship in a trial of public opinion. Besides whipping up hatred in the media by labeling me a propagandist for Russia, they incite online troll armies such as NAFO to cancel me online and in the real world. After subsequent intimidations through social media, emails, SMS and phone calls, the police advised me to remove my home address and phone number from public access. One of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee recently responded by posting a sale ad for my house, which included photos of my home with my address for their social media followers.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also infiltrates and corrupts other institutions. One of the more eager Helsinki Committee employees is also a board member at the Norwegian organisation for non-fictional authors and translators (NFFO) and used his position there to cancel the organisation’s co-hosting of an event as I had been invited to speak. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is also over-represented in the Nobel Committee to ensure the right candidates are picked.

Why would a humanitarian NGO act like modern Brownshirts by limiting academic freedom? One could similarly ask why a human rights NGO spend more effort to demonise Julian Assange rather than exploring the human rights abuses he exposed.

This “human rights NGO” is devoted primarily to addressing human rights abuses in the East. Subsequently, all great power politics is framed as a competition between good values versus bad values. Constructing stereotypes for the in-group versus the out-groups as a conflict between good and evil is a key component of political propaganda. The complexity of security competition between the great powers is dumbed down and propagandised as a mere struggle between liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. Furthermore, they rest on the source credibility of being “non-governmental” and merely devoted to human rights, which increases the effectiveness of their messaging.

By framing the world as a conflict between good and evil, mutual understanding and compromise are tantamount to appeasement while peace is achieved by defeating enemies. Thus, these “human rights NGOs” call for confrontation and escalation against whoever is the most recent reincarnation of Hitler, while the people calling for diplomacy are denounced and censored as traitors. 


NGOs Hijacking Civil Society

After the Second World War, American intelligence agencies took on a profound role in manipulating civil society in Europe. The intelligence agencies were embarrassed when they were caught, and the solution was to hide in plain sight.

The Reagan Doctrine entailed setting up NGOs that would openly interfere in the civil society of other states under the guise of supporting human rights. The well-documented objective was to conceal influence operations by US intelligence as work on democracy and human rights. The “non-governmental” aspect of the NGOs is fraudulent as they are almost completely funded by the government and staffed with people connected to the intelligence community. Case in point, during Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” in 2004, an anti-corruption protest was transformed into a pro-NATO/anti-Russian government. The head of the influential NGO Freedom House in Ukraine was the former Director of the CIA.

Reagan himself gave the inauguration speech when he established the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983. Washington Post wrote that NED has been the “sugar daddy of overt operations” and “what used to be called ‘propaganda’ and can now simply be called 'information'". Documents released reveal that NED cooperated closely with CIA propaganda initiatives. Allen Weinstein, a cofounder of NED, acknowledged: “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”. Philip Agee, a CIA whistle-blower, explained that NED was established as a “propaganda and inducement program” to subvert foreign nations and style it as a democracy promotion initiative. NED also finances the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

 



The NGOs enable a loud Western-backed minority to marginalise a silent majority, and then sell it as “democracy”. Protests can therefore legitimise the overthrow of elected governments. The Guardian referred to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in 2004 as “an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in Western branding and mass marketing” for the purpose of “winning other people’s elections”. Another article by the Guardian labelled the Orange Revolution as a “postmodern coup d’état” and a “CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days, adapted to post-Soviet conditions”. A similar regime change operation was repeated in Ukraine in 2014 to mobilise Ukrainian civil society against their government, resulting in overthrowing the democratically elected government against the will of the majority of Ukrainians. The NGOs branded it a “democratic revolution” and was followed by Washington asserting its dominance over key levers of power in Kiev.

Similar NGO operations were also launched against Georgia. The NGOs staged Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” in 2003 which eventually resulted in war with Russia after the new authorities in Georgia attacked South Ossetia. Recently, the Prime Minister of Georgia cautioned that the US was yet again using NGOs in an effort to topple the government to use his country as a second front against Russia.  Georgia’s democratically elected parliament passed a law with an overwhelming majority (83 in favour vs 23 against), for greater transparency over the funding of NGOs. Unsurprisingly, the Western NGOs decided that transparency over funding of NGOs was undemocratic, and it was labelled a “Russian law”. The Western public was fed footage of protests for democratic credibility, and they were reassured that the Georgian Prime Minister was merely a Russian puppet. The US and EU subsequently responded by threatening Georgia with sanctions in the name of “supporting” Georgia’s civil society.

Civil Society Corrupted

Society rests on three legs – the government, the market and civil society. Initially, the free market was seen as the main instrument to elevate the freedom of the individual from government. Yet, as immense power concentrated in large industries in the late 19th century, some liberals looked to the government as an ally to limit the power of large businesses. The challenge of our time is that government and corporate interests go increasingly hand-in-hand, which only intensifies with the rise of the tech giants. This makes it much more difficult for civil society to operate independently. The universities should be a bastion of freedom and not policed by fake NGOs.


~ Glenn Diesen, Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Substack

Sunday, June 16, 2024

G7: the decline of the West

 

 

By Manlio Dinucci (Grandangolo on Byoblu TV, Italy)

The G7 Summit under the Italian presidency, organized by the Meloni Government in Puglia, proclaimed as its priority "the defence of the international system based on the force of law", declaring that "the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and has unleashed growing instability, visible in the various crisis hot spots." 

This was declared by the G7, where six members (United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy) are NATO major powers, they exploded the war in Ukraine against Russia, and Japan, NATO's major partner in East Asia against China, was added to. The idyllic staging with which this Summit was presented cannot hide the fact that it is a war summit. 

The United States signed a 10-year military pact with Ukraine, and the G7 granted a $50 billion loan to help it buy more weapons, a loan will be repaid using interest accrued on $300 billion in Russian assets mostly deposited in European banks and frozen. The defence ministers of the six G7 countries belonging to NATO have simultaneously decided to provide Ukraine with further significant military aid and to allocate 43 billion dollars a year to continue fueling the war in the heart of Europe.

In the G7's sights there is not only Russia but the entire BRICS organization, this year under the Russian presidency, which has expanded from 5 to 10 members and is further developing: there are over 30 countries that want to join it. Already today the gross domestic product of the BRICS exceeds that of the G7 and the forecasts for 2024-2029 indicate an economic growth of the BRICS, particularly China, of 44% compared to 21% of the G7. Not being able to prevent the development of the BRICS with economic instruments, the G7 tries to maintain its dominance with military instruments.

Pope Francis was invited to the G7 in Puglia to give a semblance of peace to this war summit. Here Pope Francis met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, without saying a word about the fact that he is persecuting the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, from which the Ukrainian church has carried out a schism, functional to the war against everything Russian.

Sunday song with bonus

 


 

 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Empire blow-back report: Economic implications of failing $$$$$

 


 
Andy Schectman is the owner of Miles Franklin, a precious metals investment company, that he founded together with his father in 1989. 

Andy and I discuss, the expiration of the petrodollar agreement, what it means for the US and the looming banking crisis.

Really important stuff discussed here.

Les poules rentrent à la maison pour se percher...

Ukraine Rejected Path to Peace on Western Orders, Putin Reveals

 


Sputnik

NATO has sought to turn Ukraine into a staging ground and has done everything it could to pit nation against nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. 

“There have been five, now six, rounds of NATO expansion. They tried to turn Ukraine into their staging ground, to make it anti-Russia. To achieve these goals, they invested money, resources, bought politicians and entire parties, rewrote history and educational programs, nurtured and cultivated neo-Nazi and radical groups. They did everything to undermine our state ties, to divide and pit our peoples against each other,” Putin said at a meeting at Russia's Foreign Ministry in Moscow. 

He emphasized that the Ukrainian crisis is not a conflict between two nations but a result of the West’s aggressive policy.

“Let me say this right off the bat, the crisis regarding Ukraine is not a conflict between two states, much less two peoples, caused by some problems between them... The matter is different, though. The roots of the conflict are not in bilateral relations. The events unfolding in Ukraine are a direct consequence of global and European developments at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. It's the West's aggressive, unscrupulous, and absolutely reckless policy that has been pursued for all these years, long before the start of the special operation," he explained. 

Putin pointed out that if the conflict had been solely about disputes between Russia and Ukraine, then the mutual history, culture, spiritual values, and the millions of familial ties that both peoples share would have facilitated a fair resolution. 

Russia had initially sought a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian crisis, but all proposals put forth were ultimately rejected. 

“We took the Minsk agreements seriously, hoping to resolve the situation through a peaceful process and international law,” he said. Moscow expected this would address the legitimate interests and demands of Donbass [Russian ethnic region of eastern Ukraine] and secure the constitutional status of these regions, along with the fundamental rights of the people living there. However, he added, “But everything was ultimately rejected.”

 


Russia, in spite of seeking to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, was, nonetheless, deceived and misled. 

“The ex-German Chancellor and former French President, essentially co-authors and, as it were, the guarantors of the Minsk agreements, later admitted that they never intended to fulfill them. They just needed to buy time to build up the Ukrainian armed forces, and to supply them with weapons and equipment. They simply deceived us once again,” Putin remarked.

Putin highlighted that Russia did not start the war in Ukraine, rather, it was Kiev that launched military assaults against its own citizens who declared independence.

The Russian leader declared that those who assisted Ukraine in its punitive operation against Donbass are the aggressors. 

 



“Russia did not initiate the conflict [with Ukraine]. That was the Kiev regime. After the residents from a part of Ukraine, in line with international law, had declared their independence, they [the Kiev regime] launched military operations and have kept them going ever since. This is an act of aggression, given that the right of these territories to declare independence has been recognized. Those who have supported the Kiev regime's military machine all these years are accomplices of the aggressor," he clarified.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Irish standing firm with Palestine

 


Palestinian supporters organised a demonstration in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, demanding sanctions against Israel. Dozens of people attended the demonstration organised in front of the Irish Parliament. The demonstrators called on the Irish government to impose sanctions on Israel, which continues its attacks on Gaza. 

The demonstrators, who put yellow chairs and baby models on the ground to represent the babies and children killed in the Israeli attacks on Gaza, held banners reading "Families slaughtered", "Do not allow armament through Ireland" and "Expel the Israeli Ambassador". 

They also chanted "Israel, you can't hide how many children you killed today". Karen Moynihan, one of the participants of the demonstration, told the AA correspondent that artists, health workers, teachers and activists from many parts of the country participated in the demonstration and tried to show their absolute support for the Palestinians.