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.

Friday, June 12, 2009


* This photo above from Afghanistan haunts me. (Click on the photo for an even better view of it.) This is what we've done to that country since our "long war" against the people began in 2001. They did not have anything to do with 9-11, most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden has yet to be found. I've always, with tongue slightly in cheek, suggested someone check the basement of the White House. This war has to do with pipeline routes for moving Caspian Sea oil and natural gas. And it has to do with making sure that Russia and China can't easily move those resources where they'd like to. Congress is getting ready to appropriate more money for this war. I urge you to call your Congressional delegation now and say NO MORE WAR MONEY!

* I have been working for the past week on a couple of keynote speeches I've been invited to deliver in Hiroshima on August 1 and Nagasaki on August 8 by Mayor Akiba from Hiroshima. It's quite an honor to get that invitation and I've already got over 25 pages of notes. I've requested, and been getting, lots of advice from friends around the world on things I should focus on in the talks.

* A key date I am now tracking is July 6 which is when Obama will travel to Russia to meet with President Dmitri Medvedev for talks on nuclear disarmament. The public relations campaign between the two nations has been heating up lately as both sides have been posturing to try to gain some global image advantage which indicates to me that both countries recognize that the negotiations on Obama's "global zero" proposal will be a tough sell.

With NATO surrounding Russia and US proposals to put "missile defense" systems into Poland and the Czech Republic still on the table, Russia has made clear that they would be fools to get rid of their nukes. Throw in the recent talk by the Pentagon's StratCom about the "Prompt Global Strike" system (the military space plane) that would fly to the other side of the world in an hour and then drop a devastating first-strike conventional attack on Russia or China and you can begin to understand any hesitation.

The New York Times reports today the following on this story:

He [Secretary Gates] said Washington had put forward some options for collaboration, among them “putting [US] radars in Russia, having data-exchange centers in Russia.” He said at the July summit meeting between Mr. Obama and the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, that the leaders could “make some steps where they will partner with us and Poland and the Czech Republic in going forward with missile defense in this third site.”

Moscow received the remarks coolly, with Mr. Nesterenko [Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman] commenting that they “reflect the U.S.’s wishful thinking, rather than the way things actually are.”

For Russia, any reconfiguration that preserves sites in Poland and the Czech Republic “is just window dressing,” said Dmitri V. Trenin, a political analyst.

“I’m not sure everyone in the U.S. understands how much is at stake as far as the Russians are concerned,” said Mr. Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The issue for the Russians is, what are the U.S.’s long-term intentions vis-à-vis Russia? And they are looking at missile defense for the answer to that question.”

An unwillingness to scrap the Eastern European facilities would be seen by hawks in Moscow as evidence that “the hidden agenda is to contain and destroy Russia,” he said.


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