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

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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

RFK Jr. podcast interview with Bruce Gagnon on Ukraine

 


 

 
How can we afford another war - and with a nuclear power?

 
 
Thanks goes to Catholic Worker activist Kathy Boylan in Washington DC for suggesting that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. interview Bruce Gagnon about Ukraine.
 
The recent interview carried on a detailed and interesting discussion covering many of the key aspects of the current tragic war.
 
Around the same time as the interview was done, the US House of Representatives voted to send another $40 billion to Ukraine (Biden had only requested $33 billion). This comes at a time when the Congress has repeatedly told the American people that there is no money for Medicare4All, no money for Student Loan Debt forgiveness, money has been taken out of the climate change budget to send to the war zone, and infrastructure across the US continues to deteriorate at alarming rates.
 
Gagnon reviewed the many diplomatic attempts by Russia since at least 2007 to get the US-Europe to stop NATO expansion and regular war games up to its borders.
 
At the time of the collapse of the former Soviet Union, then US Secretary of State James Baker promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand 'one inch' eastward toward Russia. This was in return for Gorbachev agreeing to the reunification of the divided Germany. Since that time NATO expansion has been on full-steam ahead.
 
In addition, Gagnon reminded that the US has built missile launch facilities in Romania and Poland that can fire first-strike nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles that could reach Russia in a very short time. A Cuban missile crisis in reverse. What if China or Russia were building similar missile launch bases in Canada or Mexico? The US would go ballistic!
 
NATO (in order to justify its existence and to funnel more taxpayer funds into the military industrial complex) is now going global as it recruits 'partners' like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and others to help encircle China. NATO is an offensive war machine and a grave danger to world peace.
 
Listen to the podcast interview here

Shrink wrapping $40 BILLION

 


Why?
 
$40 BILLION     
pissed down
the rat hole,
forever gone
to the MIC and
other selected crooks
with their greedy hands out,
lined up by the 
shrink-wrapped
pallets,
loaded with America's
past and future.
 
While back home
folks can't afford
medical care,
rising rents,
food prices,
heat for their homes,
and growing potholes
in roads 
that lead to 
worn-out bridges.
 
But the Dems
have a plan,
what ever it might be?
It certainly ain't for us.
 
What happened to
the 'squad'
which was going to DC
to shake things up
for the folks back home?
Been there,
done that....
 
It's an
Empire of lies.
 
Deception comes at us 
from all directions,
from both parties,
from Madison Ave,
Hollywood,
and Mr. Big's 
media whores.
All ignoring the real issues
as things heat up.
 
But don't complain,
you might be called
a 'Putin-ista'.
 
Better to surrender
to serfdom,
endless war,
and the dark arm.
 
Bruce 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Kiev's troops angry at their commanders

 


 

We are servicemen of the 79th Brigade, 2nd and 3rd battalions. We are located in the village of Yampol. 

Our commanders led us into the forest to dig in, we had a couple of shovels for a lot of people… we were trashed – we didn’t even have time to attach a bayonet.

Root cause of Ukraine conflict named by ex-German SPD leader

 


 

By New Cold War


A veteran top German politician has said the West’s refusal to listen to Moscow’s concerns is one of the main causes of the current conflict in Ukraine. Oskar Lafontaine, who from 1995 until 1999 served as chair of the Social Democrats (SPD), accused the West of ignoring Russia’s security interests for years.

In an interview with left-wing newspaper Junge Welt published on May 21, Lafontaine argued that “for a long time, we have been in a situation where Russia and China have been militarily encircled by the US.” The former SPD leader said Moscow had made it clear to NATO for 20 years that Ukraine should not become part of the military alliance – a scenario, which, according to Lafontaine, would mean US missiles deployed on the Ukraine-Russia border.

“These security interests were consistently ignored,” the politician said. And this was “one of the key reasons for the outbreak of the Ukraine war.”

Speaking of Ukraine’s NATO aspirations, the former SPD chair dismissed the argument that every country is free to decide what alliance to join.

“Everyone knows that the US would never accept Cuba’s accession to a military alliance with Russia, nor the deployment of Russian missiles on the US border with Mexico or Canada,” Lafontaine argued.

According to the German politician, Russia’s key concern in Ukraine is not NATO accession per se, but the prospect of missiles appearing on the border with minimal warning time.

Lafontaine broke down the Ukraine crisis into three key phases: firstly, NATO’s relentless eastern expansion, despite warnings from within the US that the strategy risked a conflict with Russia; secondly, President Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine”; and thirdly, Joe Biden’s “war of attrition.”

The politician said America’s $40 billion dollar aid package for Ukraine, consisting mostly of weapons, is further “proof that the US does not want peace.”

“They want to weaken their rival Russia and say so quite openly,” he added.

Lafontaine, however, clarified that he condemns the war, “just like I condemn without any qualification all other wars that violate international law.”

 



The politician argued that further arms to Ukraine will prolong the war, meaning “yet more people will die.” He accused politicians in the West of thinking purely in the categories of ‘victory’ and ‘defeat,’ while ignoring the “most important” aspect, which is saving people’s lives.

According to Lafontaine, “those, who do not want more people to die, must be against any prolongation of the war, and consequently also against any weapons delivery.”

He criticized the argument that by providing military support to Kiev, the West is helping Ukraine defend itself, questioning why no one called for supporting “countries attacked by the US with deliveries of German weapons” in the past.

Speaking of Russia sanctions, Lafontaine claimed that they “are increasingly hurting people here at home – especially those with lower incomes, who can no longer pay their energy bills.”

    We are shooting ourselves in the knee. The US is probably laughing at us, because they are hardly affected by the sanctions, they can sell their liquefied natural gas in Europe in bigger quantities and their defense industry is getting a lot of business.

The former SPD chair believes the current German leadership is in no position to work in the country’s own best interest, being nothing more than a “loyal vassal of the US.”

Lafontaine noted that the Green Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, has firmly entrenched itself in the role of the “extended arm of the US in the Bundestag” since the Yugoslav war. The party “supports every US decision when it comes to wars,” the politician said, adding that the Greens only pay attention to human rights violations when those happen in Russia or China.

The party’s current stance illustrates a radical transformation from a pacifist political force it once was. The Social Democratic Party, which the current Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a member of, too, has changed dramatically, according to its former chair, drifting away from its principles of peace, disarmament and social improvements.

Lafontaine reserved special criticism for the German press, which “is blind to the US war crimes” while offering a platform for warmongers.

The veteran German politician said that many in Germany feared that the “war will spread,” calling on the public to take to the streets in keeping with the tradition of the “peace movement of the 1980’s.”

Finland gambles with its gas supply

 


  Finland's gas future depends on Russian supplies to Latvia 


By Dmitry Sikorsky 


The refusal of the Finns to use Russian energy resources will come back to bite them, Alexey Grivach, deputy director of the National Energy Security Fund, said in a conversation with the FBA "Economics Today", adding that there is nothing economic in this story. [There is less and less REAL economy in the West, which is substituting financial tricks for the real economy, with central banks simply printing currency to cover debts. The system is fraying around the edges.]

Finland was left without Russian gas

Finnish gas distributor Gasum announced the termination of Russian gas supplies by May 21, 2022. The reason for the situation was Helsinki's refusal to pay for raw materials under the ruble conversion scheme through Gazprombank.

Gasum claims it is ready for such a development of events, and is betting on Balticconnector, a gas pipeline laid along the bottom of the Gulf of Finland from Estonia to Finland, but the rhetoric of the Finnish side is doubtful.

Firstly, the Finns do not have LNG terminals today, so Helsinki cannot buy LNG on the free market, and secondly, the situation is the same in neighboring Estonia, whose economy was powered by Russian gas until February 2022.

Helsinki announced the purchase of a floating LNG terminal from the United States (one of the beneficiaries of this decision), but it is not known when it will be connected to the network. [But besides that, LNG is not a viable substitute for pipelined gas when large amounts are required, because it costs about 40% more than the latter. This makes the decision against Russian gas extremely costly and threatens whole industries while causing immense inflation in households that heat with gas.]

Theoretically, it is possible to link the Finnish energy sector with LNG terminals in Lithuanian Klaipeda and Polish Świnoujście, but this scheme is unprofitable. Pulling gas from there is very expensive, especially without long-term contracts for the supply of LNG. [Actually all sanctions on Russia will prove prohibitively expensive for Europe.]

With the rejection of Russian gas, oil and electricity and the hasty entry into NATO, the Finns are working at a loss. The political elites in Finland are trying to reorient the country towards the United States, despite the enormous losses. [This is based on the gravely erroneous belief that the US is a source of economic and military security. The events in Ukraine are absolute proof that the US has nothing at all to offer to the world except lies and false hopes. The lend-lease, for example, is a hopeless debt trap from which there is no escape. The Ukrainian economy has been shattered by the war. Ironically only Russia offers the stability that Ukraine needs.]

“Finland's gas actions are politically motivated. All this time, anti-Russian hysteria was fueled in Helsinki against the backdrop of the government’s decision to apply for NATO membership,” concludes Grivach.




With the entry into the Alliance, the Finns will have an adventure: the Turks have set a price for agreeing to the NATO application of the Scandinavian countries.

The case may turn into another "small NATO", when the security of Finland and Sweden will be guaranteed directly by the United States. It is obvious that the Finns have worsened their situation economically and geopolitically, turning themselves into a borderland.

“The Finnish authorities are telling the population that it was Russia that stopped the supply of electricity and gas. This is stated in order to justify their choice towards NATO. The Finns accuse us of being tough, but in practice they are breaking off relations,” Grivach sums up.

Helsinki unilaterally refused to cooperate with the Russian energy sector, stopping payments for gas and electricity. "Inter RAO" was forced to stop the supply of power generation after overdue payments by Finland.

“It is the same with gas as it is with electricity. At the same time, the Finns are solving their commercial problems: in 2021, they reduced the intake of raw materials in Russia and refused to pay the difference on the “take or pay” principle,” Grivach states.

The violation of contractual obligations by Finland occurred after the commissioning of the Balticconnector. Today, the Finns cover up those contractual violations that they previously allowed themselves by refusing to pay in rubles.

“Through Balticconnector, it is possible to supply LNG from the Klaipeda terminal and Russian gas that continues to flow to Latvia, but if Riga stops gas cooperation with Russia, then there will be no raw materials,” concludes Grivach.

The LNG terminal in Klaipeda (in Lithuania) will not be enough for Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. The situation will become catastrophic if the Latvians refuse Russian gas, and Estonia does not complete its small LNG project by winter.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Japanese protest US-Quad military alliance

 


 

Hundreds of people rallied at Tokyo's Shiba Park on May 22 to protest Joe Biden's three-day visit to Japan, as international tensions are running high over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Biden arrived in Japan on Sunday and is set to attend a summit on May 24 where he will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to promote the "Quad" mechanism. 

The Quad, officially the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, was initiated in 2007 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and supported by then leaders of the US, India and Australia. 

"I oppose Biden's visit to Japan. I think it will bring about a new crisis to Asia. I think the US-Japan alliance aims to dominate Asia by military operations. Now the alliance is planning to gradually involve Japan and its Self-Defense Force in wars," said Ryusuke Motoyama, a member of the Bureau of Affairs of the Executive Commission for Preventing Constitutional Amendment for War.  

Reviewing latest developments on Ukraine

 


 

Regis Tremblay:

Bruce Gagnon discusses the danger of Sweden and Finland joining NATO; the $40 BILLION gift to Ukraine is almost as large as Russia's entire military budget of about $60B. 

And, we compared the US economy to the Russian economy: a "Tale of Two Countries."

Jeju April 3 US-directed massacre museum

 


Jeju Island, South Korea (April 3) museum that records the horrific massacres directed by the US following the defeat of the Japanese in WW II.

After the war the US took control of Korea and installed former Koreans who collaborated with the hated Japanese occupiers as 'security forces'. It soon became clear that the US did not intend to allow real 'democracy' in Korea.

As a result protests occurred all over Korea - including on Jeju Island. The US responded with brutal crackdowns and killings that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on Jeju.

For years it was illegal to speak of the Jeju massacres - but only in recent years has the story surfaced and the memorial museum was built on Jeju to reveal the truth to the world.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Anti-NATO rally at U.S. airbase in Turkey

 


 

Hundreds of people gathered near Incirlik Air Base in the southern Turkish province of Adana last week to voice their opposition to the military presence of the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

While Turkey claims it is their base (while true in a sense) it is the US-NATO that ultimately control the operation there.

The US has had between 50-100 airplane launched tactical nuclear weapons at Incirlik for years. 

The US-NATO also have the same nukes stationed at bases in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

U.S. continues economic war on Cuba

 


 

May Day in Cuba attracts visitors from around the world, including many working-class people from the United States who stand in solidarity with Cubans and denounce the U.S. economic war against the island.

Sunday song

 



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Inside a Nazi run prison near Lugansk

 


 

From March 2014 to March 2022, Aidar took over and militarized a sausage factory near the village of Polovinkina, north and slightly west of Lugansk. They turned part of it into a prison for LPR civilians and military, near-starving them, torturing them, and killing some. It is unknown how many were held there over the years, many didn't return to their families. If dead, their bodies have not yet been found. 

Based on what I heard at that former prison, and the testimonies published before and since its March 2022 liberation, Aidar were indeed very much guilty of war crimes. 

Although Ukrainian forces and secret services have committed the same heinous torture and executions as the Nazi battalions, it is important to emphasize the Nazi presence and crimes, given the wave of “I stand with Ukraine” virtue signalling which has overtaken the woke world since late February. 

To be clear, those who make that statement are, naively or otherwise, standing with active Nazis who proudly declare their hate-filled ideologies and proudly imprison, rape, torture and execute civilians.

One soldier's story....

 


There is a mass surrender of Ukrainian soldiers in the LNR against the backdrop of the surrender of the Azov militants from Azovstal: “We want to live,” says a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

Facing 8 years for leaving his position [from the US puppet regime in Kiev] to survive at any cost, the POW of the 1st battalion of the 79th Ukrainian Brigade nonetheless chose to preserve his life.

Scott Ritter on US Withdrawal from Disarmament Treaties w/ Russia

 


 

Our guest this time is Scott Ritter, former United States Marine Corps intelligence officer. He also served with the United Nations implementing arms control treaties.

We thank GN board member Will Griffin for doing all the tech work to make this show happen.

These are the questions that I placed before Scott.
 

  • Soon after the 2003 US initiated ‘shock and awe’ in Iraq I was watching C-SPAN one evening. The speaker at a big event, loaded with Pentagon & CIA brass, was then Naval War College professor Thomas Barnett. He spoke about his new book called ‘The Pentagon’s New Map’. During his talk Barnett said the US would not ‘do treaties’ anymore. In recent years we’ve seen the US withdraw from the ABM and INF treaties. Why is the US moving away from ‘Arms control’ – particularly with Russia and China?
  • The ABM Treaty was a 1972 arms control treaty between the US and the former Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems used in defending against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons. Talk a bit about the treaty and why George W. Bush pulled the US out of it.
  • The INF Treaty was an arms control treaty between the US and the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty in 1987. The treaty in part was created due to huge international protests against US and Soviet nuclear missile deployments in Europe during the early 1980’s. Talk about the treaty and what happened to it.

  •  Today the US has built two missile launch facilities called ‘Aegis Ashore’ in Romania and Poland that can fire so-called ‘missile defense’ systems (the shield after a Pentagon first-strike attack) or nuclear-capable cruise missiles. Isn’t this a Cuban missile crisis in reverse for Russia? 

Bruce