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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am sick to my stomach. I watched in total horror yesterday the sad performance by the Democratic Party as they begged, borrowed, and stole the votes to pass the $106 billion war supplemental in the House of Misrepresentatives.

One particularly disgusting moment was watching House Majority Leader Steney Hoyer (D-MD) stand up and invoke the name of Ronald Reagan to sell the war package.

Progressive blogger Jane Hamsher, meanwhile, reported on Monday that it appeared Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was "cutting deals with Republicans to go easy on them in the 2010 elections in exchange for votes." In the end, the White House got five Republicans to vote for the funding, including New York Republican John McHugh, the man President Obama nominated two weeks ago to be Army secretary.

Journalist Jeremy Scahill wrote about the vote that "What repelled the Republicans from a vote to fund the war was hardly a sudden conversion to pacifism (in fact, their position was hypocritical). It was largely when the White House and Congressional Democratic leadership added a provision to the bill that will extend up to $100 billion in credits to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This sent many Republicans to the microphones to denounce the funding as a 'global bailout' and will undoubtedly be used as a campaign issue in 2010 to attack the Democrats who voted for the spending bill."

John Nichols at The Nation explains the IMF bailout this way: "It's also the Democrats bailout of some of the biggest banks in Europe. Those banks are in financial trouble because they made risky -- and ultimately unsustainable -- loans in Eastern Europe. But, with an assist from the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress, the foreign banks will get a bailout, with U.S. tax dollars funneled through the IMF... With money from U.S. taxpayers, the IMF will protect the European banks, thus allowing the governments of France and Germany to spend precious resources on job-creation and social programs -- rather than bank bailouts."

Our two House members from Maine courageously voted against the war supplemental and IMF bank bailout. But there is not much pride in this hollow victory for us in Maine as we see the contemptible Democratic party only yield 32 votes out of 256 members in the House of Representatives. The first time this was voted on, before it went to the House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences, 51 Dems voted against it in the House. Thus 19 switched back in support of the supplemental this time, when it really counted, and proved that "party loyalty" comes before allegiance to their constituents or to the anti-war pledges they made to voters when they ran for office.

This vote yesterday ought to be the final straw for people who call themselves peace activists and still remain loyal to the Democrats. You'd think they would have felt this slap up-beside-their-heads but sadly many will go back for more. Those hard-headed folks now hold the key to ending these genocidal wars in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan. Until these Democratic Party worshipping "peaceniks" turn cold on the donkey party I'm afraid nothing much changes in America.



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