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....

My Photo
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.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


I had a phone call a couple days ago from Maria Holt who lives in nearby Bath, Maine. She is a former state legislator and has been active for years around nuclear power issues. She helped shut down the local nuclear power plant and still works to deal with clean-up issues as the waste still sits on the property even though the reactor building was recently torn down. Maria has had a tough time with cancer treatments lately. She has been cutting my hair for the past year but had to take a break from it due to her treatments. When she called me the other day she said she'd just seen my latest cable TV show, This Issue, and thought I needed a haircut. Truth is I did, my hair was flying in all directions and had not had it cut since she last did it. Mary Beth and I went over today for lunch with her and her son Dell. What a delightful time we had. For the first time in a long time Maria was full of life.

Since her husband died a couple of years ago Maria had practically given up on life. She was really trying to die. But being faced with cancer she found the spark of life still in her and has fought back. Her love of nature, of people, and of the need to still fight the good fight for things she believes in has kept her alive. And we are all happy about that!

A couple of months ago I ran into a speech on C-SPAN by Thomas Barnett who was described as Secretary of War Rumsfeld's "strategy guy." I ordered a copy of the video and was amazed at the brazen language he used to create a justification for U.S. military intervention around the world on behalf of corporate globalization. I had previously read an article he had in Esquire magazine around similar themes. His most important point, I think, is that jobs are going to leave America and that our role in the world will be "security export." Basically endless war for the next generation as our troops are used to ensure that people in what he calls the "gap" are brought in line with corporate domination. He calls it "connectivity." I call it corporate feudalism.

Barnett's vision is being widely talked about within the military industrial complex and the media so I wrote an article about it. The article ran on the front cover of our last Space Alert! newsletter of the Global Network. It got picked up by some number of newsletters and web sites and Barnett ran into it. On his web site he now has what he calls a "review" of my article. He takes issue, as one would imagine he would, with some of my interpretations of what I heard him say on C-SPAN. But I've seen him on three occasions now on C-SPAN, twice as full presentations to different audiences and once in a interview/call-in session. I've studied his web site quite a bit and feel pretty confident that I've got his rap down pretty well.

When Barnett says that Hitler didn't worry about asking for permission before he invaded other countries I think I understood what he was saying. He said that U.S. military transformation was all about shifting to smaller bases, using special operations forces more, walking away from arms control talks, preemption inside the gap, and the inevitability of war. A "grand march of history" Barnett called it. The U.S. Navy "will be the Coast Guard to the world," he said. Now to me that means that the U.S. will see the territory that it takes over as "U.S." responsibility. Like in Iraq today. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that "we can't cut and run." The U.S. has to, conveniently, stay and take responsibility for the "mess" we made there. And in this corporate dominated culture, to me, that means that U.S. troops will be putting the big boot on the necks of poor people around the world so corporations can take their resources (oil, water, etc.) and labor.


Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

"And in this corporate dominated culture, to me, that means that U.S. troops will be putting the big boot on the necks of poor people around the world so corporations can take their resources (oil, water, etc.) and labor."

Why would the corporations spend capital making the State put the boot to the neck of the poor people when it would be far, far easier just to _buy_ what they so clearly want to sell?

3/3/05, 12:23 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home