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, March 08, 2006

WHO IS THE CUT AND RUN CROWD?


Last night I was invited to an Iraq war debate at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. I debated on behalf of the College Democrats, while the College Republicans picked a graduate student as their debater. The Greens were also represented in the event.

The Republican debater basically named called and character assassinated the peace movement all night long. He called anyone who disagreed with Bush enemy "collaborators" and named us the "cut and run crowd".

I responded to this nonsense by saying that a recent Zogby Poll showed 72% of GI's in Iraq now say they want to come home. I also noted that USA Today reported 8,000 U.S. military personnel have deserted since the start of the war. The cut and run crowd all......

At another point the Repub debater used the words "We suffer and incur" from the war in Iraq. In a defensive moment, he was pandering and trying to show some kind of solidarity with the GI's in Iraq. This really made me angry and when I had my turn I said that those promoting this war are not "suffering and incurring" anything at all. They are not in Iraq, their children are not going to Iraq, AND the Repubs are making sure that the very rich in the U.S. are getting major league tax cuts. This war I said is being fought by the working class who have to join the military in hopes of a job and the chance for college money. The rich are making the bucks on this war that is being fought for control of diminishing natural resources......The poor get nothing but cutbacks at home and American flags to drape the coffins of returning kids.

Even though I was debating on behalf of the College Dems, I had to be fair and acknowledge that the Democratic party has been a full partner in the war. While admitting there are some noble Dems, like Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)who have introduced legislation calling for a cut in funding for the war, most Dems keep voting for the war. I challenged the Dems in the audience to sharpen the debate within their own party if we hoped to end this war.

Yesterday I read that former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Bush's "Long war" would last at least 70 years. At over $8 billion a month, just how will we pay for this war and still have social progress in America?

The time is now to speak out.....

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