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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

THE NEW ARMS RACE IN EUROPE

We made it to Elmira, N.Y. before stopping at a hotel for the night. It was a 12 hour driving day. The weather was quite nice although we see that rain will be our fate for Friday's drive.

The news today is that NATO has agreed to support "missile defense" in Europe and the Czech government, despite major opposition from their public, will allow Bush to deploy the Star Wars radar base in their country.

Our friend Jan Tamas, a key leader in the opposition movement to the radar in the Czech Republic writes this about the "agreement." "The public opposition to the US plan of installing an NMD base in the Czech Republic continues to be very strong and so it will be very difficult for both the Czech government and especially the Czech parliament to pass this treaty. The government has a very small majority in the Czech Parliament and therefore the outcome of the vote is not predictable at this moment. Some members of the Czech Parliament from the Green Party, which is part of the government coalition have already expressed lack of satisfaction with the outcome of the NATO summit and may vote against the treaty. In any case, we will continue pushing for national referendum on this issue, so that all citizens of our country will get a chance to decide on this very important issue."

NATO expansion that is now underway is good for the military industrial complex as they require that all NATO members military forces and equipment must be "inter-operable." This means they have to have American military technology rather than their present systems which were likely purchased from Russia and other nations. In the end it dramatically enlarges a military force outfitted and controlled by the U.S.

So NATO not only expands the ring of military encirclement around Russia ever tighter but they also please the corporate military big-wigs who are now calling the political shots in their countries. Like in the U.S. the military industrial complex in Europe in moving to dominate governments. That means more militarization and less social spending.

Poland will be brought in line next as they will ultimately agree to host Pentagon "missile defense" interceptor missiles. Not long ago a team of American physicists declared that the U.S. deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic could not actually intercept any missiles from Iran (even if they had any). Instead, the scientists said, the systems could only work to pick off Russian nuclear missiles. Of course the Bush pirate crew vigorously denies any such intention on the part of the U.S. to surround or attack Russia. But Russia knows they are the real target - largely because they are now the world's leading producer of natural gas. The U.S. is putting its first-strike system in place.

Our annual Global Network conference in Omaha, and the preceding protest in Colorado Springs, could not turn out to be more timely.

The whole world is watching as they say. People are starting to pay attention to Bush's new arms race in Europe and in space. Just like Ronald Reagan in the early 1980's, with his Pershing II and Cruise missile deployments, Bush is poking at a hornets nest. The peace movement in Europe is waking up from its long slumbers and folks in the U.S. are even beginning to pay some attention to this issue.

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