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.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I spoke to the West Palm Beach, Florida group called Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) today. I flew down to Florida last Saturday, after an anti-war meeting in Portland, Maine. I stopped for a short visit with my mother who lives in Titusville, right near the Kennedy Space Center. Then this morning I drove south in a rental car to West Palm.

There was a nice crowd at the event today and my talk, "The Necessity of Conversion of the Military Industrial Complex", was well received. The folks bought up all the new DVD's of my talk that I brought along. Snowshoe Films produced the DVD from my talk at the Chautauqua Institution in New York last July where I delivered a similar speech.

My old friend Will Van Natta, a local lifeguard, was in attendance today and brought three Canadians he met on the beach to the event. Will swam 13 miles in the Atlantic Ocean in 1997 to protest the launch of the Cassini plutonium probe. It was good to see him, and many other old friends, again today.

I speak to another group of friends tomorrow in Delray Beach. I've been a frequent guest of the Citizens for Social Responsibility over the years. I've spoken to their group at least 15 times and they remain a dedicated organization focused on peace issues. At one time they drew 400 people to a monthly meeting but now their ageing membership has dwindled.

In my talk today I hit the Democrats hard. In recent days I've become furious when listening to Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) say that the U.S. Senate had no power to do anything about Bush's occupation of Iraq. Biden, who is running for president in 2008, has been in the Congress for more than 30 years and he well knows that it is the Congress that has the power of the purse. They appropriate the funds for Bush's war!

But Biden, and most of the Democrats, are playing this rope-a-dope game where they say that this madness in Iraq is all Bush's fault as they look to the 2008 elections. Their strategy is to let thing get worse so that they take back the White House in the next election.

The big problem with that kind of game playing though is that we are spending $8.5 billion a month on the occupation and our country is broke. Flat out busted broke. Two years more of this will destroy us for sure. And how many more GI's and innocent Iraqi people will be killed in that time? And how many more cases of PTSD will there be after 2008? This Democrat strategy is morally bankrupt.

Many of the folks in the audience today are loyal Democrats and I could tell some of them did not want to hear the truth about their party. They feel a degree of powerlessness when it comes to moving the Democrats to action but would rather just hope for the best.

It is hard to imagine that we have to take on Bush, the Republicans and the Democrats as well. But that is the reality of our time, sad to say. The best thing we can do is get to work before things get much worse.


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