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.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

SIGNS OF THE EMPIRE

TEST FAILS: The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) ran a ground-based interceptor test yesterday that they claimed was a "smashing success." The media widely reported this.
Today, with less publicity, it was revealed that the $150 million test that was supposed to demonstrate the technology of having a bullet-hit-a-bullet in deep space had failed to deploy the decoy system that was the core reason for the entire test. The dummy missile, launched from Kodiak Island in Alaska, was supposed to be accompanied by "countermeasures" that would then be identified by the hit-to-kill vehicle that was launched from Vandenberg AFB in California. Bases at Fort Greeley in Alaska and in Colorado Springs, Colorado were also heavily involved in the failed test.

This "success-failure" of the test will only increase pressure on Obama when it comes time for him to make decisions about the future of the "missile defense" program. During his debate with John McCain on September 26 Obama said, "And we are spending billions of dollars on missile defense. And I actually believe that we need missile defense, because of Iran and North Korea and the potential for them to obtain or to launch nuclear weapons."

My reaction to Obama's words - insincerity and manipulation. He knows Iran and North Korea are not threats to the U.S. and he knows that "missile defense" is really being used to surround Russia and China so that the U.S. can develop first-strike capability.

GATES VIEWS:
Obama's pick for Secretary of War Robert Gates has a piece in Foreign Affairs (January/February 2009) that lays out more of his thinking. Some tidbits include: "To truly achieve victory as Clausewitz defined it -- to attain a political objective -- the United States needs a military whose ability to kick down the door is matched by its ability to clean up the mess and even rebuild the house afterward...... The United States cannot take its current dominance for granted and needs to invest in the programs, platforms, and personnel that will ensure that dominance's persistence.......In the case of China, Beijing's investments in cyberwarfare, antisatellite warfare, antiaircraft and antiship weaponry, submarines, and ballistic missiles could threaten the United States' primary means to project its power and help its allies in the Pacific: bases, air and sea assets, and the networks that support them. This will put a premium on the United States' ability to strike from over the horizon and employ missile defenses and will require shifts from short-range to longer-range systems, such as the next-generation bomber."

THE OTHER RICE:
Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford writes in an article called Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa that "If you believe that Barack Obama will pursue a policy in the Horn of Africa that is substantially different than that of George Bush, you are in for a deep disappointment. Only weeks after Ethiopia's U.S.-instigated invasion of Somalia almost two years ago, Susan Rice, Obama's choice for Ambassador to the United Nations, endorsed the aggression - an atrocity that has resulted in the displacement of 1.5 million Somalis and impending starvation of 3.5 million more. Rice is a proponent of so-called 'humanitarian military intervention' - but supports a U.S. Somalia policy that created 'Africa's worst humanitarian crisis,' according to the United Nations."

Susan Rice also supported Bush's Iraq attack and was a promoter of the now proven "Iraq had WMD" lie.

U.S. SENATE TALK:
Word is out that MSNBC TV news talk host Chris Matthews (Hardball) is thinking about running for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania that comes up in 2010. The seat is now held by Republican Arlen Specter. In New York, there has to be someone picked soon to replace Hillary Clinton as she moves to Secretary of State. Choices appear to now be between Andrew Cuomo (son of the former governor) or Carolyn Kennedy (daughter of JFK). Should be interesting to see what happens.

HERE IT COMES:
We have a list serve in the Mid-Coast Maine region. Today I forwarded an article by respected journalist Jeremy Scahill called Obama doesn't plan to end the Iraq occupation to the list serve. One strong local Obama supporter got angry and sent me the following email: "do not bother to send me any more of your bs bruce....give it a freaking rest....the guy hasnt even taken office yet....you are every bit as bad as a 'bushie'....you are the single most closed minded individual I have ever known....and I know tons of people and was active in the 60s and 70s....you are a sick puppy.... and I feel so sorry for people you have so obviously mislet and especially all those weak minded 'peace people'.......leave me alone...you disgust me."

In the well-documented article Scahill lays out the growing evidence that Obama will likely keep tens of thousands of occupation troops in Iraq. The reaction from the Obama supporter indicates that many liberal Democrats are going to be unwilling, no matter how much evidence there is, to see that they have been "mislet" by the president-elect about his intention to end the Iraq fiasco. And it is obvious that anyone who takes their role as a peace activist seriously and offers critiques of Obama's developing policies will come under harsh attacks by these liberals who have swallowed the blue pill.

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