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: Brunswick, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I was reading an article this morning by Tom Engelhardt called Where have all the protests gone?

In the piece he says, "However, over the years, unlike in the Vietnam era, the [Iraq occupation] demonstrations shrank, and somehow the anxiety, the anger -- though it remained suspended somewhere in the American ether -- stopped manifesting itself so publicly, even as the war went on and on. Or put another way, perhaps the anger went deeper and turned inward, like a scouring agent. Perhaps it went all the way into what was left of an American belief system, into despair about the unresponsiveness of the government -- with paralyzing effect."


In the same article Engelhardt reports that the polls show a continued strong opposition to the Iraq mess. In poll after poll 70% of the public wants the troops home and the occupation to end. But it just keeps going on.

I've always said that the American people are not stupid. They understand that the political system in this country is now under lock-down, similar to the increasing numbers of American citizens living in jail.

While recently in Prague I was on the subway and sat across from a man and I nodded to him and said hello. My guide then translated a conversation I wanted to have with the man. I wanted him to know that I had come to be part of the "No radar" conference. I wanted to take my own personal poll so I could see his reaction.

My guide was amazed when the man said he knew about the conference and that he agreed with our position on the radar. Then he rubbed his fingers together in that universal sign that said it is all about the money. He said the deal has been made, the politicians in the Czech Republic have already been bought off. But he encouraged us and shook my hand as we got off the train.

My experience is that this feeling of powerlessness is universal now. Every country I visit, every place I visit in the U.S., it's always the same story. People care, they want things to change, they just don't believe in the system any longer. It's no coincidence that more people don't vote in the U.S. than those that do vote. It's their one way of actively rejecting the system.

Most people won't join a demonstration these days.....they won't even write a letter to the editor. Most people agree that the corporations run two horses in every race so they don't lose either way.

With so few organizing avenues left to us how do we then make an impact on the system? Many good hearted progressive people I know are just waiting for everything to collapse convincing themselves it is the only way to bring this empire to a halt.

I always ask in return "yeah, it's likely to collapse but how many more people have to die when it falls on them?"

So what do we do?

I am now a firm believer in using the 2008 elections as one more opportunity to have our voices heard by running people from our movements for office as Greens or Independent candidates. Cindy Sheehan's declaration as an Independent candidate for Congress against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco is already encouraging people across the country to do the same. We need to support this type of activism in our own communities.

We must continue to call for impeachment, even when the Democrats refuse to discuss the issue.

I also think we need more civil disobedience as we face this fork in the road. There is no good reason why active people, especially those retired and financially secure, can't step up and non-violently sit-in a congressional office as a way to dramatize the urgency of our situation.

The world is looking at the peace movement in the U.S. and asking "Why are you people not doing more to stop Bush-Cheney?"

We don't have the luxury of saying that we feel hopeless......that our democracy has been drowned. We must crawl out of our self imposed boxes and stretch ourselves.

As former CIA agent, and anti-war activist, Ray McGovern likes to say, "Necks are a nice and useful thing to have. But necks were not made to be worshiped."

So stick your neck out now....while you still have one.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I watched the new chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen, for an hour on C-SPAN yesterday. It was his first speech in his new job.

He used the words "Long war" about 150 times just to make sure we understood his point. We ain't coming home from Iraq, or Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East any time soon.

He also made clear several times that this "Long war" was of course about fighting "terrorism" but then slipped in a statement at least twice that we've got to control diminishing supplies of "water and fossil fuels" around the world.

He acknowledged that the Army has a serious manpower problem and made quite a number of references to the "families" of GI's now in Iraq, or who had recently returned, making quite clear to me that there is a mutiny going on with the families. He promised to bring more troops into the Army and Marines in coming years. Where will they come from? The economic draft.

Mullen repeatedly talked about the Pentagon not having enough money and needing the country to recognize that in order to fight the "Long war" we were all going to have to pony up more cash. Of course this cash will come from cutbacks in social spending thus ensuring a steady stream of poor and working class kids having to go into the military for lack of jobs, education funding, etc....

It will also mean more reliance on privatizing the military in order to fight the "Long war" and so the headline in the Washington Post today, Immunity Deal Hampers Blackwater Inquiry, comes as no surprise.

The first two lines of the article read: "The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident that has infuriated the Iraqi government."

Well, well. Condi-sleeza has found a way to cut the heart out of the prosecution of Blackwater. Who would have ever predicted that one?

Admiral Mullen also yesterday very lightly touched on the role of the Navy in the coming period of resource wars. He talked about the need to, working with chosen allies, be able to choke off vital shipping lanes at sea. [Naval Aegis destroyers made right here in Bath, Maine.]

Why? Well just keep in mind that China imports 80% of its oil through the Taiwan Straits. If the U.S. could shut down that route then the U.S. would essentially be able to strangle China's economy and hold them hostage to any policy.

But in order to do all this Admiral Mullen says the Pentagon needs more of your tax dollars. So every dime we keep in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, environmental programs, public transportation, and the like is money that will not be going to fight the "Long war."

Fight for social progress and make the world a more peaceful place.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Looking at the web site of the Washington Post this morning I have a reaction to several headlines:

Venezuela Increasingly a Conduit for Cocaine - My guess a pretext is being developed to grab their oil....look for more of the same in coming months. Bush-Cheney are going to try to take out Iran and Venezuela before they leave. Maybe Russia too.

Judicial Races Rife With Politics - Corporate funds are transforming the elections for many judge ships into big-budget campaigns. The rich are locking down the whole system. Democracy is being smothered, drowned right before our heavy eyes.

Brothers Ship Out Together - Two National Guards brothers heading to Iraq together. A "nice" family story for the Sunday edition. Patriotism is still alive we are being reminded.

Rudy Giuliani Is All Right - If you liked Bush you will love Rudy. He and Hillary are media creations. Both parties are being told this is all they will get. One more sign that democracy is a thing of the past.

The business of war - Maine profits from the war. The goal of making the American economy dependent on permanent war moves forward.

Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues - A song from my favorite band The Kinks reflecting the mood of many of us today.

Sheep - Do you ever feel like the American people are a flock of sheep now being herded for the slaughter? It seems like we just willingly follow along and head in the direction we are pointed. What happens if we start to turn away from the slaughterhouse?

U.S. 'Iran attack plans' revealed - I got an email this morning from a friend asking me, "What strategies can we develop quickly to prevent an Iran attack?" My answer? Help turn the sheep back to the green pastures.

Water drying up around the country - Because we are such an arrogant and wasteful people the water is disappearing around the country. Global warming will only make it worse.

My policy is to feel the pain. I just want to be real. I don't want to run and hide from it all. I don't want to pretend everything will be ok. I don't want to lose myself in fantasy that hopes that the world will be all bright and flashy in the morning.

So what is the revolutionary thing to do today? I've got my car up for sale. That might be a start. We don't flush the toilet after we pee at our house. Small contribution to life on Earth I know but a start.

We live in a modern form of feudalism. This time we get color TV and a car. (And no coverage of the many regional demonstrations yesterday around the country opposing the occupation of Iraq.)

One prophet once said "Don't be pissed off by the people. The politicians always give them 'just enough' to keep them off the streets and out from in front of the gates/guns/new roads/prisons/nuclear bases/closing hospitals/pipelines/government buildings...just enough...and just enough distraction so they can switch off - - how we would all like to default."

So on we go.....trying our best to save the future generations from the living hell we are now creating by our greed.

What are we doing? Can you hear me cry?

In times like these I always turn to The Kinks. Their music soothes me and smooths off the rough edges. Songs like Shangri-La do it for me.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I am quite upset today. My local newspaper, like most in the country, is playing right along with the Bush crew Iran war drum scenario. The paper's editor claims to be a peacenik and many people sing his praises but the reality is that the paper continues to print the same old tunes which give credence to Bush's claims that Iran is exhibiting "threatening behavior" in the Middle East.

From where I sit the only "threatening behavior" in the Middle East is coming from this side of the Atlantic Ocean - right here in the good old US of A.

So I wrote a letter to editor and sent it in. Helps calm the boiling blood inside me.

Another thing has me fired up. Last night local peace activists in my community were sending around a fund raising email from MoveOn asking folks to send them $200,000 right away so they can stop the U.S. attack on Iran.

Now this is the same MoveOn that has been running cover for the Democratic Party since 2003 on the Iraq invasion and occupation. It is the same MoveOn that has been real slow to come around on the issue of a cut in funding for Iraq and an immediate withdrawal. It is the same MoveOn that won't go near impeachment. And now they want the peace community to send them money to lead the fight on Iran?

Get out of here!

MoveOn will, I promise you, lead the fight on Iran right into the stable of the Democratic Party who up to this point is doing a big fat ZERO to stop any talk of an attack on Iran. When Bush uttered his WW III trash the other day what was the Democratic response? ZIP!

The Dems want that oil in Iran the same way they want the oil in Iraq, the Caspian Sea, the Russian natural gas, the oil in Africa, and the oil in Venezuela.

MoveOn is heavily funded by Democratic party MoveOn really going to take the Dems on or are they just going to play more footsie with them?

Save your money and give it to a real peace group in your community that is doing good local work building opposition to endless war. Most of these local groups have virtually no money and don't toe the Democratic Party line.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


On October 17 I flew from Boston to Prague in the Czech Republic in order to attend a conference organized by the group No Bases Initiative opposing U.S. deployment of a Star Wars radar facility in their country and "missile defense" interceptors in Poland.

On October 18, soon after my arrival in the country, I met with several key leaders of the Czech campaign opposing the U.S. radar facility to discuss their work and to explain how the Global Network views the relationship between the U.S. radar facility and the larger Pentagon goal of space "control and domination."

Sharing various documents from the Space Command, and aerospace corporations now working on "full spectrum dominance", I agreed that the real goal of these deployments in Central Europe is to surround Russia and are not intended to deal with the non-existent nuclear missiles from Iran as the Bush administration now claims.

I carried with me to Prague a news article by the Associated Press (dated October 14) entitled Scientists Question European Missile Defense that reported, "A number of top U.S.-based physicists have concluded the U.S. used inaccurate claims to reassure NATO allies about missile defense plans in Eastern Europe. They say the planned Polish-based interceptors and a radar system in the Czech Republic could target and catch Russian missiles, thus threatening Russia's nuclear deterrent." The article quotes well-known MIT physicist Ted Postol as concluding, "The claim by the Missile Defense Agency [that the two bases would only be useful against Iran and not Russia] is not correct. And it is hard to understand how they could get something so basic wrong."

On October 19 I participated in a pre-conference news conference in Prague and again shared that news article, and the other documents I brought along, with the assembled media.

Activists came from all over Europe to Prague for the conference. A particularly large delegation also came from Italy, another country where a major U.S. base expansion in Vicenza is stirring up massive European-wide opposition. Many of the European activists who came to the October 20 conference are part of a group called Europe for Peace.

On the morning of October 20 three bus loads of activists were driven about an hour outside of Prague, into the countryside, to a town called Breznice near where the U.S. radar facility is to be built. There, for the whole day, several hundred people assembled to hear speakers and participate in workshops. A recently formed Czech League of Mayors has been created to oppose the radar after many of their local towns overwhelmingly passed referendums against the radar. The mayors had several of their members speak and many of the mayors from local communities were in attendance. A video from Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan was shown outlining his support for the event. Mayor Akiba is president of Mayors for Peace and pledged their support. An impressive letter was read from Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, also expressing his support for the campaign.

I was asked to be a presenter in a workshop called The USA anti-rocket shield WHY? along with activist leader Jan Tamas and political science professor Oskar Krejci. The final report of the workshop, presented to the entire conference body, called for continued non-violent resistance against U.S. bases and conversion of the military industrial complex.

In a recent Missile Defense Agency (MDA) planning document called Proposed U.S. Missile Defense Assets in Europe the Pentagon states, "These assets [sea based and Army mobile interceptor missiles] could be used to support emerging NATO and national capabilities as needed to ensure layered coverage for all European nations requiring such protection." What this means is that in addition to these "first" deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic, the U.S. intends on-going "missile defense" deployments throughout Europe which will absolutely provoke a reciprocal military response from Russia. Russia understands they are being militarily surrounded by the U.S. The fact that Russia is now the world's largest producer of natural gas just might have something to do with aggressive U.S. military expansion around their borders.

It is important to know that many leading Democrats in the U.S. Congress are also supporting these deployment plans by Bush. Just weeks ago Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) took a trip to Poland and the Czech Republic to meet with their leaders. While there she told them, "We have bipartisan support for these deployments in the U.S. Congress." Tauscher serves on the powerful Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives.

I was impressed by the tremendous leadership inside the No Bases Initiative in the Czech Republic. In addition to the Czech League of Mayors they have a group of young, bright, hopeful, and determined activists working tirelessly to prevent these U.S. deployments. Following the conference, which got extensive media coverage in their country, they were planning a 10-day bus trip around the country to 20 cities and towns to take the energy and message from the event directly to the people.

Right-wing Czech leaders have become "loyal servants" of U.S. interests in the region despite the fact that 70% of the public is opposed to the radar base. (Even the Czech Green Party, a part of the present ruling government coalition, now supports deployment of the radar.) As Czech mayor Jan Neoral said, "This is our best hope to show the government that it will remain alone in its servile position."

On November 17 the No Bases Initiative will again hold a major protest demonstration in Prague against the U.S. deployment plan. They are asking groups around the world to hold solidarity actions on that date at Czech Republic embassy's in their countries. They are also asking people to help them identify which aerospace corporations are building the radar.

Prague is a beautiful historic city and remains a prime European tourist destination. Putting U.S. Star Wars systems into Poland and the Czech Republic makes it certain that a new arms race will unfold between the U.S. and Russia making Central Europe once again a target in a high-powered political game that they do not choose to play in.

It is up to all of us to prevent this new mad arms race. We must all work to stop the U.S. from playing chess with the lives of the people of the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Just back late last night from Prague. The NO-Radar conference turned out to be excellent and the city is absolutely one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. (More on all that later.)

While there I heard a bit about Bush threatening WW III if Iran does not get on their knees and submit to his every whim. And even if they did he'd likely still attack them since it is really about their oil and his desire to control all of the Middle East until the last drop of oil is gone.

While at the conference I met good folks from all over Europe who are just fed up with the USA. They are convinced that our country is leading a global corporate fascist order.

They also asked this question over and over again: Will the next election in the U.S. bring any real change if the Democrats take over?

My response: NO

Their response back to me: Laughter, because they already knew the answer to their own question.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I leave this morning for Prague in the Czech Republic to participate in an international conference opposing U.S. deployment of a Star Wars radar base in their country.

I would venture to guess that activists from Poland will also be in attendance as they are protesting U.S. plans to plunk down 10 "missile defense" interceptors in their country as well. (Much to our delight we just learned that they held a protest on Oct 13 in Warsaw as part of our Keep Space for Peace Week.)

As has been stated in this blog several times lately the Russian government sees these deployments in their backyard as intended for them and not Iran as the Bush pirate team claims. While returning on the plane from Iowa the other day I picked up a local paper and found a good article about all of this that reported top U.S. physicists have concluded that Bush's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) used "inaccurate claims to reassure NATO allies about missile defense plans in Eastern Europe."

The Associated Press story went on to quote MIT professor Ted Postol saying, "The claim [that the interceptors and radar would be used against Iran] by the MDA is not correct. And it is hard to understand how they could get something so basic wrong."

The physicists say the MDA's presentations were misleading and inconsistent on key points.

The MDA has maintained that "The reason we selected Poland and the Czech Republic for the potential positions of these assets is because it was optimum for the Iranian threat. They are not positioned to where we can even catch the Russian missiles with these interceptors."

The AP story reported that, "The dissenting scientists say both claims are incorrect: the interceptors could catch Russian ICBMs."

So there we have it - pure and simple. The Bush team is indeed moving to surround Russia, likely because they are the world's largest producer of natural gas. They also have a lot of oil and have been opposing U.S. plans to put pipelines along the Caspian Sea to move oil to western markets.

The resistance to these U.S. moves is growing daily throughout Europe because they are spurring a deadly new arms race.

We in the U.S. must now stand strongly in support of the European peace movement to resist these efforts. And we must call on both parties in the U.S. to end their support for these deployments.

I just want to remind readers that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) very recently took a trip to Poland and the Czech Republic to meet with their leaders. While there she told them, "We have bipartisan support for these deployments in the U.S. Congress." Tauscher serves on the powerful Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives.

The Democrats do support the empire.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


13 October 2007
From: Regina Hagen, Darmstädter Friedensforum

Today, at a protest in front of a US satellite spybase in Darmstadt, Germany, a member of the US Army Military Police seized the camera of Regina Hagen, who is a member of the Darmstädter Friedensforum and on the Board of the Global Network.

The Darmstädter Friedensforum (Darmstadt Peace Forum), who had organized the Global Network annual conferencein Darmstadt in March this year, and the German section of the Women's International League for Peaceand Freedom staged the protest at the spy station which onsists of five "golf balls". 16 people met to hear information about the role of the station in the wars led globally by the US military, about the US/UK Echelon system to which the Darmstadt base belongs,and about the increasing move towards the weaponization of space, as well as to listen to political songs from GN member Holly Gwinn Graham.

Before concluding the protest, Regina grouped all rally participants at the gate for a group photo inspite of an announcement by a member of the US Army Military Police that no photos are allowed (which is a bit absurd: hundreds of pictures were taken at the protest in March, and dozens today before the MP arrived at the site). While Regina made the firstpicture, the US MP harshly grabbed the camera from her hand (which you can see on the photo above).

Regina made it clear that she would not tolerate this behaviour. There is no law, she said, that prohibits German citizens standing on German territory to take photos - and she called German police to get her camera back. German policemen showed up, and after lengthy negotiations with the US Military police as well as the German security guards of the US base they let the US Army members know that they would soon receive information about their rights as well as those of protesters in Germany - and brought the camera back. Regina asked German police to stay while taking some more pictures.

The US spy station - dubbed ICE box by the local population - had been built in 2004 to replace older technology withdrawn from Bad Aibling, also in Germany. At that time, along with the "golf balls", an old US grammar school building was upgraded to a high-tech and high security computer and processing center for the downlinked data streams, reaching five levels below earth and housing the US Military Intelligence 66 group.

In June 2007 it became known that the US military will withdraw all personnel from various locations in Darmstadt by the end of 2008 and that all sites will then be handed back to German authorities. A year earlier, by the end of 2007, the MI 66 group is said to be relocated to Wiesbaden, 50 km from Darmstadt. According to media information, the golf balls in Darmstadt will also be dismantled, while it has not yet become known whether the station will be moved to another town.

--* For better resolution photos, contact Regina directly: Regina Hagen, Darmstädter Friedensforum,

Monday, October 15, 2007


This trip report covers the period of October 4-14 as I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska and northwest Iowa during Keep Space for Peace Week.

My trip to Omaha was hosted by Nebraskans for Peace (NfP) which happens to be the oldest statewide peace group in the U.S. It was created in 1970, the same year I graduated from high school. Tim Rinne, who organized my visit, has been coordinating the group for the last 13 years.

My first talk was a joint event at Creighton University in Omaha with recently retired Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton from Detroit. I spoke about how nearby Offutt Air Force Base, formerly the home of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) had its mission changed in 2002 as it was transformed into the Strategic Command (StratCom). StratCom is now in charge of "full-spectrum global strike" (staging offensive, preemptive attacks); combating weapons of mass destruction; space and computer warfare; ballistic missile defense; and surveillance and reconnaissance (the "warrant-less wiretaps" conducted by the National Security Agency). StratCom is today in charge of preparing the likely Bush attack on Iran.

Bishop Gumbleton minced no words as he called for an end to all war - the abolition of modern war from the face of the Earth. Not many bishops are going anywhere near that message these days but Gumbleton has never wavered from his strong beliefs. In 1997 when I organized the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station demonstration that brought over 5,000 people to the front gate to protest the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile, Bishop Gumbleton was there.

We both did essentially the same talks again the next day to a different audience, this time at the annual meeting of Nebraskans for Peace. I also led a workshop at the conference as well. (Afterward Bishop Gumbleton told Tim Rinne that he wants to come back next April 11-13 for the annual Global Network conference in Omaha. He wants to be part of helping the peace movement learn more about StratCom.)

Nebraska is not an easy place for the peace movement to work. According to Tim, "For 84 consecutive years, there has been no more faithful Republican state in presidential elections than Nebraska." The local newspaper did not cover the talks at Creighton University nor did they cover the NfP annual meeting. But they did have a huge front page story about StratCom's mission to protect the American people from "terrorism" the day after the NfP annual meeting.

One reason for me going to Omaha was to join several days of protests being organized at the "Strategic Space and Defense 2007" conference in Omaha. The space warriors conference, underwritten by the aerospace industry, brought together thousands of military personnel and executives from the weapons corporations to discuss and plan for expanding their profit making space warfare schemes. Protests outside the event were coordinated by NfP and the Omaha Catholic Worker community. (Read my recent blog posts for more details on these.)

On October 9 I was invited to speak to about 40 high school seniors at Creighton Prep by a teacher who heard me speak at the NfP annual meeting. I ended my talk by telling a story from the book called "Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas" by Mari Sandoz. I had read the book some time ago and noticed while in Omaha that the book was being read by communities across the state. The story told how after Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, the last of the Lakota bands to be brought onto the reservation, the weapons corporations at the time were upset because they were no longer making big money from the Indian wars. So they sent out artists and writers to fabricate stories saying that Crazy Horse was back on the war path killing white women and children and burning housing and farms. These stories were planted in major big city newspapers across the country and Congress then swung into action and approved more money for the Indian wars. Of course the truth was that Crazy Horse was sitting in his tepee on the reservation without a horse or gun to his name. I reminded the students that in my lifetime I'd seen the modern day weapons corporations lie about Vietnam, Iraq, and now Iran in order to sell a war to the public, the media, and the Congress.

On October 11 I drove a couple hours north to the tip of northwest Iowa to visit my sister and her husband who live in the middle of corn and pig country in a town of about 350 people. My sister Joan had arranged for me to speak to the only peace group in that part of the state on October 13 in Primghar, Iowa. This was the third time over the years that I had visited this group and they got a big story in their local weekly paper about my visit. The article also reviewed their long history of peace work and in the article my sister, a lifelong Republican, was quoted as saying, "Many people don't know anything about weapons in space, which is Bruce's emphasis." This was very significant for my sister. I doubt that she'd ever been interviewed in the paper before on such a political topic. As I was leaving Iowa Joan asked me to leave my remaining supply of literature with her so she could pass it around. She told me she wants to start a peace group in her town. My heart soared like an eagle.

Nebraska and Iowa are farm country. ConAgra has its headquarters in Omaha and they are the big food processing corporation that announced the recall of chicken and turkey pot pies while I was there because of salmonella contamination.

In Iowa the media was talking all about ethanol as that new industry is trying to get Congress to mandate greater use of the biofuel [made from corn]. But many of the industry's former friends have turned against it amid soaring prices for corn and other grains. Dozens of ethanol plants have been built in the region. They have helped boost grain prices and created some jobs. But oversupply of ethanol has forced prices down and driven some producers into trouble. The "barnyard lobby" (meat, livestock and poultry industry) says high corn prices are hurting profits. The price of corn-based animal feed has grown by 60% since 2005. Consumers can expect to pay as much as 5% more for groceries in coming months because of the rising price of corn. Mexicans have recently been protesting about the increase in price of tortillas.

These rural communities are very spread out and they totally rely on the car. Years ago, just like so many other places across the U.S., passenger rail lines connected all the small towns. Not today.

In all my talks I again called for the peace movement to step up and call for the conversion of the military industrial complex. Why can't we be building rail again connecting the entire country? Imagine the jobs created building a national rail system. Imagine the lessening of dependence on foreign oil and need for endless war. Imagine the lessening of global warming if we got out of our polluting cars. Let's use the rural lands to grow food for people not for cars.

I urged people to come to the Global Network annual space organizing conference in Omaha, Nebraska next April 11-13. This event will feature the military role of StratCom as they now take charge of "full spectrum dominance" for the Pentagon. Please plan to come and help us shine a national and international light on this cruel and crazy plan for endless war using space technology.

Our friends in Nebraska and Iowa are thrilled at the thought that folks will come and support their peace efforts in this rural and conservative part of the country. Help us spread the word.

Friday, October 12, 2007


The media is promoting the inevitability of a Hillary victory to be the Democratic party nominee for president. The decision has been made at the top long ago.

Almost two years ago, at the Rev. Billy Graham's last big evangelical rally, Hillary and Bill Clinton were sitting in the front row. Graham stopped in the middle of his preaching and said, "Bill you would have made a great preacher. And Hillary, you are going to be a great president." Knowing Graham's history as the primary "spiritual advisor" for Richard Nixon and the Bush family this was quite an endorsement. The very next day I watched on the national news as Bill Clinton flew to Maine to play golf with George. H. W. Bush in Kennebunkport. Was a deal being cut?

Just last week I twice saw Hillary say on TV that she'd not be bringing the troops home by the end of her first term in 2013. Hillary isn't talking to you and me - she is letting the power structure know that she will play ball with the big boys.

Obama, I predict, will be Hillary's vice-presidential running mate. He has alot of grassroots support and since Hillary has so many negatives he would balance that all out a bit. Obama would provide energy for Hillary's otherwise lack luster attraction to voters. It would be the mod squad ticket - one black, one white, one blond (?). If for some reason Obama falters along the primary campaign trail (by showing to much independence and integrity) then Gov. Bill Richardson (a Hispanic) from New Mexico is being readied in the wings. He has long ago shown his loyalty to the military industrial complex which rules his state.

On the Republican side I think it will be Rudolf Gulianni for president and very possibly Gov. Mike Huckabee from Arkansas. Gulianni is a shill for the corrupt forces that run the country and would continue the militarist policies of the Bush administration while proclaiming that he is a social moderate. Huckabee, a real hard-line conservative from the south, would balance the ticket out and make Gulianni more acceptable to the fundamentalist elements within the Republican party.

So at the top of the two parties you'd have candidates that are not really popular with the rank-and-file of their parties but really are the choices of the power structure. Thus the need to put someone in the V-P spots that would help keep their core voters loyal to the ticket.

This race, as much as any in American history, will be about ensuring the continuation of the U.S. war for control of oil and to continue the massive profits of the weapons industry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Local activists in Omaha made a huge shopping cart yesterday and stuffed it with mock missiles and boxes labeled as depleted uranium and other weapons now being produced by the weapons corporations gathering inside the Quest Convention Center.

The convention, called Strategic Space and Defense 2007, is billed as The Global Security Conference for Space and Defense Professionals. Translated that means several thousand uniformed military brass and weapons contractors filed into the convention center yesterday while our group held banners outside. The truck pictured above, with the shopping cart mounted on top drove up and down the street in front of the convention center and pulled a small trailer with hay bales on it. Seated on the hay bales were several activists singing songs calling on the conventioneers to "stop shopping" for war in space. (Click on the photo above for a better view of the shopping cart. It was quite a piece of work.)

One full {bird} Colonel stopped by our vigil for some time and talked, and debated, with several of our folks. In the end he told them that it was true that StratCom is in charge of preparing the attack on Iran and that in order to stop others {like Iran} from having nasty nuclear weapons we have to hit them first and if necessary to suspend civil liberties in the U.S. to ensure full compliance at home. We later heard that as the conference inside began the master of ceremonies started his talk by thanking Nebraskans for Peace for holding their demonstration outside - just once more proving that the military guaranteed our precious right to assemble.

Next time any of you run into trouble getting a permit to protest please just call your local military installation and they will come right over and take care of the situation. Their job, after all, is to make it possible for us peaceniks to protest!

No media showed up which appears to be normal these days for such events as the corporate dominated mainstream media runs cover for the new arms race in space. It is a subject that is not to be publicly discussed, especially the fact that there are people standing outside the convention holding signs and banners. It would be a danger if the tax payers found out that the new arms race was going to be "the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth" necessitating the destruction of social progress in order to pay for it.

More protests were planned today but I had to stay in the home of my host to do a 40-minute radio interview with a station in California's Mendocino County. I got a very nice response from the people who called into the show and the host proved to be well studied with excellent questions to lead the discussion. It's always encouraging to see a progressive radio host make an effort to really familiarize themselves with the issue. All the callers were interested and supportive. They just need to learn more about the issue and help others learn about it as well. I suggested they check the Global Network website and turn people onto the Space Video section of our menu.

At 4:30 pm today we do another vigil on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha which has a StratCom facility on campus. I'm told the facility, built largely with public funds, is top-secret and is one more example how our academic institutions across the country are being militarized as is the rest of our culture.

This is the way fascism lives and grows. Secrecy, fear, flag-waving, and aggressive military interventions. The resistance to this growing fascism must grow as well or we will in the end find ourselves in even deeper trouble than we are today.

We have to stop being sheep that are being led to slaughter.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Yesterday my hosts in Omaha took a couple of us visitors to the Strategic Air Command (SAC)museum just outside the city.

There were loads of elementary school kids running around the place being prepared for a future of war in space. A local boy, turned NASA astronaut, has prominence in the place and you even get to see his flight boots inside a glass case.

Inside the museum, when you walk in, is an SR-71 "blackbird" suspended from the ceiling. It is a now retired surveillance and reconnaissance plane. My step-dad worked on the plane's spy cameras when he was stationed at Beale AFB in California in 1969-1972. I remember once he took me inside of the high-security work place where they repaired and loaded the cameras. He was not thrilled when I became a peacenik.

The museum has displays of the bomb dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a huge number of planes are inside the museum - B-52, B-1 bomber, and others dating back to WW II. I told my friends that a large photo, with some of the older planes, had been on my bedroom wall when I was a kid. My dad, who worked in the early years in a SAC photolab, had mounted the picture for me and I carried it with us as we moved from one base to another around the world.

I, like most kids, never thought about what these planes did and who they did it for. I lived behind the shelter of the barbed wire fences on SAC bases and regularly saw the sign outside the gate that read "Peace is our Profession." Maybe that message, drummed into my head over and over again as a youngster, led me to work in the peace movement. I suppose I can thank SAC for my career.

Today I go talk to a high school class and then in the afternoon we will hold a vigil outside the Strategic Space Arms Bazaar that begins in Omaha. We will hold protests there each day for the next three days.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


On Friday I spoke in Omaha at Creighton University (a Catholic Jesuit school) along with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton from Detroit, Michigan. Bishop Gumbleton, a lifelong peace worker, has just retired and is dedicating the rest of his life to speaking out for peace and justice.

We spoke together again Saturday morning at the annual conference of Nebraskans for Peace and again it was wonderful to hear Bishop Gumbleton mince no words as he called for an end to all war - the abolition of modern war from the face of the Earth. Not many bishops are going anywhere near that message these days but Gumbleton has never wavered from his strong beliefs. In 1997 when I organized the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station demonstration that brougt over 5,000 people to the front gate to protest the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile, Bishop Gumbleton was there.

Bishop Gumbleton, upon hearing of our plans to return to Omaha next April 11-13, 2008 for our annual GN space organizing conference and protest immediately said he wants to return to be part of that event.

After the day off on Sunday I will be busy on Monday meeting with key people in the Omaha area to plan our April 2008 GN space conference that will feature StratCom. People at the conference yesterday were excited to know that activists will be coming from around the U.S. and around the world next year to help shine a light on the "mission" of StratCom.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


They used to call it the Strategic Air Command (SAC). They were in charge of the nuclear bombers and nuclear missiles. Then the Pentagon changed the name to the Strategic Command - StratCom.

StratCom is headquartered at Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. Their mission now includes being in charge of "full-spectrum global strike" (staging offensive, preemptive attacks); combating weapons of mass destruction; space and computer warfare; ballistic missile defense; and surveillance and reconnaissance (the "warrant-less wiretaps" conducted by the National Security Agency). In other words it runs almost the whole shebang!

I will be spending almost the entire Keep Space for Peace Week in Omaha as the guest of Global Network affiliate Nebraskans for Peace. They are planning a series of events during space week to highlight the growing and dangerous mission of StratCom.

According to Nebraskans for Peace Coordinator Tim Rinne, "Under the [Bush] administration’s 'doctrine of preemption,' StratCom has been commissioned to launch a first-strike attack anywhere on earth — within two hours — if a threat to America’s national security is even suspected. Following the same drill used on Iraq over its alleged stockpiles of WMD, this new StratCom directive (called 'CONPLAN 8022') is a high-tech version of ‘shoot first and ask questions later.’ And neither a dithering Congress nor international rule of law will be permitted to stand in the way.......StratCom’s attack plan even includes the use of tactical nuclear weapons to take out the reinforced bunkers housing Iran’s nuclear research facilities. "

Rinne continues, "The mission array of the newly retooled StratCom, however, extends far beyond this vigilante role. In its struggle with the forces of international terrorism, the Bush-Cheney Administration has seen fit to equip the Omaha command center with powers worthy of 'Big Brother.' The 'warrantless wiretaps' on American citizens conducted by the National Security Agency are, it turns out, a StratCom brainchild. As part of StratCom’s C-4ISR mission set, the NSA was made a 'Component Command' of StratCom, and the decision to begin this domestic spying operation was made by General Michael Hayden before he subsequently moved on to become the director of the CIA."

"At present, though, the world doesn’t even know what’s going on at StratCom. The changes have been so dizzying, public awareness hasn’t been able to keep up. Unless the world community has a working knowledge of the threat StratCom now represents, however, we will never be able to muster the power needed to start reining it in."

One key reason I will be going to Omaha during this coming week is to help Nebraskans for Peace make preparations to host the Global Network's (GN) annual space organizing conference on April 11-13, 2008. At our last GN conference in Germany last spring it was agreed that we need to help shine a bright light on what we are calling the "most dangerous place on the face of the Earth."

The International Network against Foreign Military Bases has put out a call for activists around the world to oppose all U.S. bases. They have also called on U.S. peace activists to do more to oppose U.S. bases in our own country. Surely StratCom ranks right at the top of the list of bases that must be known about and protested in the U.S. Thus the International Network has endorsed the GN's 2008 conference in Omaha and will be sending key leaders from their organization to the event.

The time has come to end the empire. Bringing StratCom, and its mission of global dominance, to the world's attention is now our mission. Please help us do so.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


International Days of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space

October 4-13, 2007

No Arms Race in Space
Stop Star Wars Research & Development
Stop Endless War

Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Fund Human Needs

1) Albuquerque, New Mexico (Oct 6 Protest at Northrop Grumman for their war profiteering and militarization of space) Bob Anderson

2) Albuquerque, New Mexico (Oct 7 Space video showing at Guild Cinema) Bob Anderson

3) Ashland, Oregon (Oct 8 Showing of Arsenal of Hypocrisy, discussion and legislative action at Peace House, 6:00 pm with pot luck) Jill Mackie

4) Asheville, North Carolina (Oct 12 Unitarian Church presents Movie Night A SPACE 4 PEACE at 7:00 PM. This video depicts how our “Defense Department” plans to not just militarize space, but to weaponize space for offensive and commercial purposes.) For more: Lew Patrie - (828) 273-2229 or 299-1242

5) Australia During Keep Space for Peace Week Australian WILPF is communicating with the Foreign Minister to urge him in strongest terms to support negotiations for Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, and not to cooperate with the U.S. missile defense program or with its plans for space domination. The WILPF national co-coordinator is running for the Senate in the hope of positively influencing national policy on this and similar issues. Cathy Picone

6) Bath, Maine (Oct 6 Vigil at Bath Iron Works 11:30-12:30) Jack Bussell

7) Bellevue, Nebraska (Oct 11 Protest at Northrup Grumman aerospace facility)

8) Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts (Oct 4 Space video and presentation by Mary Beth Sullivan from the Global Network 6:45 PM, Central Square Public Library, 45 Pearl Street, Cambridge, MA) WILPF Call 617-244-8054

9) Brdy, Czech Republic (Oct 20 Int’l Meeting Against Missile Defense radar in Czech Republic) Ivona Novomestska

10) Canberra, Australia (Oct 13 Picnic at the Raytheon Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, Tidbinbilla Road, 11-1pm) Benjo Keaney

11) Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 8 Bannering at "Camp Casey", corner of Dale St & Nevada Ave at noon) Bill Sulzman

12) Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 12 vigil outside the west gate of Schriever Air Force Base from 3-4 pm) Bill Sulzman

13) Croughton, England (Oct 6 March & Rally at U.S. Space Communications
Base, 12:00 – 3:00 pm) Oxfordshire Peace Campaign

14) Damascus, Syria (Oct 13 Public Meeting at Damascus Center) Ghassan Shahrour, MD

15) Darmstadt, Germany (Oct 13 Spy Base Dismantlement: bannering and speeches celebrating the announced dismantlement of the U.S. spy base in Darmstadt) Darmstädter Friedensforum

16) Faslane, Scotland (Oct 1 “Big Blockade” of Faslane Naval Submarine Base. This will be the culmination of the Faslane 365 year of actions against Trident, Britain’s weapon of mass destruction) Brian Larkin

17) Florence, Oregon (Oct 6 Demonstration on Hwy 101 to a Keep Space for Peace theme. We'll have signs and leaflets. Starting time is 1pm) Stuart Henderson

18) Ft. Myers, Florida (Oct 3 & 10 Vigils on behalf of lost American and Iraqi lives and to Keep Space for Peace, Corner of McGregor and Colonial, 4:30-5:30pm) Arlyne Goodwin

19) Fylingdales, England (Oct 6 Fylingdales Action Network will deliver a letter to the Commander of Fylingdales U.S. radar facility pointing out the dangers to world peace of the developing of a missile shield for America.) Jackie Fearnley

20) Geneva, Switzerland: (Oct 10 WILPF plans to issue a statement, on the 40th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty, urging demilitarization of space, negotiation of new treaty terms on banning weapons in space and Prevention of a Arms Race in Outer Space. It will go to delegations and governments involved in treaty negotiations in Geneva and New York: namely the General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament in New York, the Fourth Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.) Contact:

21) Halifax, Nova Scotia (Oct 9 Film screening: Arsenal of Hypocrisy Dalhousie University Student Union Bldg, Room 303, 8:30-9:30 pm) Tamara Lorincz

22) Hillsboro, Oregon (U.U. Community Church Program Promoting global security and keeping weapons out of space, 10:00 am) Celeste Howard

23) Jalgaon, India (Oct 4-5 Space weaponization talks at North Maharashtra University; Indian Women for Peace & Development; Young Lawyers of Jalgaon Bar Association; and Rally of College Students) J. Narayana Rao

24) London, England (Oct 13 Space weapons issue workshop at annual CND National membership conference)

25) Menwith Hill, England (Oct 13 Demonstration at NSA Spy Base, Yorkshire 12:00-4:00 pm) Lindis Percy

26) Menwith Hill, England (On-going Women’s Peace Camp at nearby Lay-by) Helen John

27) Monterey, California (Sept 19 WILPF slide show on the US militarization of outer space - 6:30 to 8:30 at the Monterey library. Special discussion of the role of Onizuka Space Station in Sunnyvale, (known as the Blue Cube), Vandenberg Space Command and the role of the world wide network of satellite tracking stations.) MacGregor Eddy (831) 206-5043

28) Nagpur, India (Oct 2 Dharampeth Science College, All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation, Talk on Importance of Declaration of 2nd October as day of Non- Violence, 11.00am) Yugal Rayalu

29) Nagpur, India (Oct 6-8 Space weaponization talks at Rally at Gandhi Statue; Meeting with students at S.F.S. College; Rally of Indian Women for Peace & Development; Students of Mahila Mahavidyalaya) J. Narayana Rao

30) Naples, Florida (Oct 5 & 12 Vigils on behalf of lost American and Iraqi lives and to Keep Space for Peace, Corner of U.S. Hwy 41 and Pine Ridge, 4:30-5:30pm) Arlyne Goodwin

31) Nairobi, Kenya (Oct 12 People's Parliament will hold public discussions on the issue of peace and the militarization of Space. Discussions will tie in with the proposed establishment of the AFRICOM command center by the USA in Africa.
The main event will be held at the Jeevanjee Gardens Park.) Wangui Mbatia

32) New York City (Oct 11 Joel Landy presents Keep Space for Peace musical review at TheYippie Museum and Cafe 9 Bleecker Street at Bowery, 8 - 10 pm)

33) Omaha, Nebraska (Sept 24 Speech at Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha by Norman Solomon on Transformation of StratCom, 7:00 pm)

34) Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 5 Speech by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton & Bruce Gagnon at Creighton University on StratCom's Role in Militarization of Space: An Update and Christian Response, 3:30 pm)

35) Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 6 Annual Nebraskans for Peace Conference at First United Methodist Church featuring Gumbleton and Gagnon, 10:00 am)

36) Omaha, Nebraska: (Oct 6 WILPF participatory workshop on the aerospace corporations and StratCom, including gathering specific data on aerospace corporations in Nebraska, and on working for conversion to a peace economy. WILPF and Peace Economy Project at Nebraskans for Peace conference) Carol Urner

37) Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 9 Protest at Strategic Space & Defense Conference at Qwest Center, 5:00 pm)

38) Omaha, Nebraska (Oct 10 Protest & Die-In at Strategic Space & Defense Conference at Qwest Center, 7:30 am)

39) Ottawa, Canada (Oct 4 Former astronaut and President of the Canadian Space Agency, Captain Marc Garneau, will hold a news conference followed by a luncheon briefing for parliamentarians calling for a re-invigorated and coherent national Canadian policy on space.) Steven Staples, Rideau Institute

40) Palo Alto, California (Oct. 21 Keep Space for Peace Event at Unitarian Church, 605 E. Charleston Rd., Speaker: Jackie Cabasso) WILPF Peninsula Branch

41) Parvatipuram, India (Oct 10 Space weaponization talks at Lions Club and SVD College) J. Narayana Rao

42) Portland, Maine (Oct 2 Bruce Gagnon speaks on space issues at Peace Action Maine office – 644 Congress St, 7:00 pm) Daniel Muller

43) Portland, Oregon (Oct 10 WILPF Keep Space for Peace vigil and leafleting in downtown Portland on the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty.) Barbara Drageaux

44) Primghar, Iowa (Oct 13 Speech by Bruce Gagnon to PeaceLinks, 7:00 pm)

45) Raipur, India (Oct 9 Space weaponication talks at Lions Club; Meeting of All India Peace & Solidarity Organization along with various Trade Union organizations) J. Narayana Rao

46) Raipur, India (Oct 4 Lecture against weapons & nuclear power in space) Ramesh Kothari

47) Sacramento, California (Oct 4 Downtown leafleting by WILPF, Peace Action, and Grandmothers for Peace exposing local area aerospace corporations profiteering on space militarization) Ellen Schwartz

48) Srikakulam, India (Oct 12 Space weaponization talk to All India Peace & Solidarity Organization and Trade Unions) J. Narayana Rao

49) St. Louis, Missouri (Oct 12 - 14 Peace Economy Project's "Defining Security National Conference to Promote Peace, Cut Military Spending and Fund Real Needs" will include a Global Network discussion of weaponization of space) Andy Heaslet

50) Superior, Wisconsin (Oct 9 Lecture by Dr. Helen Caldicott at College of St. Scholastica) Jan Provost

51) Toledo, Ohio (Oct 4-13 Daily space flyer distribution at County Building, Corner of Adams & Erie from 4:00-5:00 pm) Roz Marovitz

52) Traverse City, Michigan (Oct 5 Joining anti-Iraq demonstration with No War in Space banner; 5 public TV showings of Arsenal of Hypocrisy; GN space week posters all over town) Carol Still

53) Tuscon, Arizona (Oct 13 WILPF showing Arsenal of Hypocrisy and discussion on Keeping Space for Peace at the Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina Ave) Pat Birnie

54) Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 13 Vigil at main gate, 1:00 pm) Dennis Apel

55) Veeraghattam, India (Oct 11 Space weaponization talk at Government Degree College) J. Narayana Rao

56) Visakhapatnam, India (Oct 13 Space weaponization talks at Meeting in the University Campus and to the Inaugural meeting of the Indian Women for Peace & Development Chapter) J. Narayana Rao

57) Washington D.C. (Oct 4 WILPF lobbying in Congress against space militarization, and in support of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, a ban on space weapons, and Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space) Carol Urner

58) Washington D.C. (Oct 5 Vigil at White House noon-1:00 pm) Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

59) Washington D.C. (Oct 9 Vigil at Pentagon 7:00-8:00am) Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

60) West Palm Beach, Florida (Oct 6 Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space, 2-3 pm Corner of Okeechobee Blvd. and Military Trail) Susan Mosley Palm Beach County WILPF

Women's International League for Peace & Freedom is a co-sponsor, along with the Global Network, of this week of protest.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Just in time for Keep Space for Peace Week, Rolling Stone Magazine has just come out with a long article on "missile defense" entitled "The Shield." Written by Jack Hitt, the extensive article concludes that the Pentagon's missile defense system will never be finished and is completely unnecessary.

Hitt reports that "missile defense is the single most-expensive weapons system in the American arsenal. The Bush administration nearly tripled Clinton's average missile defense budget, to $11-billion a year -- a sum almost four times larger than the U.S. government's total spending on energy research." By 2013 research and development is expected to grow to $19-billion a year.

The article is largely set around the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) new X-band radar, or SBX, that was built to sit on a former oil rig platform. Constructed in Texas, the sea-going radar was too big to get through the Panama Canal and had to be shipped to Hawaii the long way - around the tip of South America. Its ultimate destination is Alaska where it will then be tied in with other U.S. Star Wars radars dotted around the planet in Greenland, California, Massachusetts, and England giving the military full spectrum visibility of the entire planet.

Hitt reviews the MDA's plan for a "layered missile defense shield" that would theoretically intercept offending "evil weapons of mass destruction" in their boost phase, midcourse, and terminal stages of flight. Various space weapons systems are now under development by the MDA for each of these three phases of flight and include the Airborne laser (a converted Boeing 747 with a laser on it's nose), Kinetic Energy Interceptor, Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with interceptor missiles, PAC-3 (latest upgrade of the Patriot interceptor), Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (interceptors mounted on Army trucks), and more.

Hitt astutely notes that "As with its complex technology and multiple military rivalries, the missile defense system is also 'layered' in another way -- as a series of receding and lucrative private contracts."

Hitt spends much time in his article discussing the testing program for missile defense. He shares the Pentagon's new testing philosophy called "spiral development" which "means that you build a weapons system not with a fixed design and completion date in mind, but with a more flexible idea of what you are shooting for, one that is subject to endless change and revision."

Thus the program never ends, the money flows forever as new upgrades to the system keep the aerospace corporation profits high and dry. Hitt says, "In the procurement business, it's called 'kicking the can down the road' -- slowly working your way to a goal without ever really getting there. Instead of building a missile defense shield, what gets constructed is a full-employment policy for defense [military] contractors."

There are some things that Hitt does not talk about. He never considers that "missile defense" is not really supposed to work because the program is not about defense - it is an offensive, Star Wars program to give the U.S. "control and domination" of space and the Earth below.

Ample evidence has existed for years that the real intent of the MDA's work is to create this kind of offensive system that would give the Pentagon the ability to "deny" other powers military access to space. The U.S. well understands that those who have military "space assets" in place will win the wars on the planet below. When the Pentagon launched the 2003 "shock and awe" attack of Iraq in 2003, 70% of the weapons used in the initial attack were guided to their targets by military satellites now in space and working quite effectively. Space weapons technology is now functioning and according to Pentagon documents no one else should be allowed to have that same capability. If they did have it they might be able to challenge the U.S.'s notion of "full spectrum dominance."

Thus spending on "missile defense" allows research, development, testing, and deployment of a host of "offensive" space programs.

In the recent Air Force Space Command's Strategic Master Plan: FY06 and Beyond, the space warriors say, "This capability (space) is the ultimate high ground of U.S. military operations. Today, control of this high ground means superiority in information and significant force enhancement. Tomorrow, ownership may mean instant engagement anywhere in the world."

Hitt also generally gives a pass to the Democratic Party in his article. He does briefly mention that Bill Clinton changed Ronald Reagan's "Strategic Defense Initiative - SDI" to the "Ballistic Missile Defense Organization - BMDO" but he ignores the strong bipartisan nature of the whole Star Wars program. The Democrats have been full partners in keeping the program alive and fully funded since the 1980's.

In the end Hitt's article fails to outline the real U.S. military doctrine that exists today - preemptive first strike attack. His article determines that "missile defense" is about endless corporate welfare. He is right about that. But he leaves out the true military role for space technology, which is to enhance and ensure U.S. military control of the entire Earth and all of its diminishing resources on behalf of corporate globalization.

Preemptive attack, directed by space technology, is the future of U.S. military doctrine. The sooner we all understand that, and openly debate the policy, the sooner we put an end to the expansion of U.S. empire.