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.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

THE ROOTS OF A WAR


This is the now famous picture of Donald Rumsfeld, at that time a special envoy of Ronald Reagan, shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein on December 20, 1983. Rumsfeld was sent to deliver chemical weapons to Saddam for his war with Iran. Rumsfeld also delivered satellite reconnaissance information that would be valuable in the war with Iran. Saddam was our boy...all the way back to the 1950's when he first went to work for the CIA in an unsuccessful assassination plot against the Iraq president who dared nationalize the oil, taking control away from British and American oil corporations.

This is an important story for me because it underscores the true intentions of U.S. policy in Iraq. We've never cared about democracy there, never cared about freedom there, never cared that Saddam was a evil dictator because he was our boy. So who can believe that today the U.S. suddenly has had a change of heart? Who could ever swallow the pill that says we are in Iraq for democracy?

This morning 50 people lined up on the corner between the Catholic church and the Episcopal church here in Brunswick. We stood there with our anti-war signs as people flocked out of the churches. It was a beautiful sunny day, snow on the ground from the big Friday storm, and we got a very good response from the public. Gretchen and Dexter Kamilewicz organized the event as they work hard to expand local anti-war efforts in hopes of bringing their son Ben home alive from Iraq. He has been there now for about four months and has nearly been killed by IED explosions several times. Gretchen and Dexter have become real leaders during this past year and they have made the war real for many of us in the peace movement here in Maine.

I've been to protests three days in a row. On Friday was our regular evening vigil downtown in Brunswick, on Saturday there was the Advent vigil at Bath Iron Works and now today. Last night our Brunswick PeaceWorks group had a holiday pot luck party at the home of one of our members and the place was packed. Many new faces were there which indicates that people are looking for places to connect and want to get more involved. And we had a great time. After eating we went around and had everyone share some personal thoughts and then we sang songs for at least an hour. It really was wonderful and very moving. We were really a community. People want more community...they need more community...we have to become community and support one another.

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