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, September 11, 2009

BEHIND THE HEADLINES

* Support for the "Left," the only mainstream political party in Germany that is demanding an immediate withdrawal of Germany's 4,200 soldiers in Afghanistan, rose four points to 14% in the latest poll. The campaign signs for Germany's Left party send a clear message: "Out of Afghanistan!" It's a sentiment widely held by many Germans and has increased since a German commander in Afghanistan ordered an air strike on two fuel tankers, hijacked by the Taliban last week, that left scores of people dead, including civilians.

* The Pentagon has proposed transferring U.S. military equipment from Iraq to Pakistani security forces to help Islamabad step up its offensive against the Taliban.

* A policy research group says the Taliban have a significant presence in almost every corner of Afghanistan, eight years after their overthrow by US-led forces. A security map showed substantial Taliban activity in at least 97 percent of the war-ravaged country. The council added that the Taliban now have a "permanent presence" in 80 percent of the country.

* The U.S. will not give up anti-missile defence, whatever the result of the ongoing check of the previous George Bush administration's plan may be, Martin Povejsil, new Czech ambassador to NATO recently said.

* Five years ago almost half of the Polish population agreed that "war under certain circumstances was justified,” now this number has dwindled to just 4%. Poles like Obama more than Bush, but are against his war in Afghanistan, according to a new survey.

* In February 2005, the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee cited "the need to continue examining the roles, missions, and capabilities of Japan's Self Defense Forces (SDF) and the U.S. Armed Forces required to respond effectively to diverse challenges in a well-coordinated manner." A few months later, Japanese forces participated for the first time in the Cobra Gold military exercise with the United States, Thailand, and Singapore. With 240,000 troops, extensive air and naval power, and a $50-billion annual budget, the SDF could soon provide key assistance to an overtaxed U.S. military in certain East Asian contingencies.

TRANSLATION:
NATO wants to expand into the Asian-Pacific region and Japan's SDF are tops on the list as "global partners".

* Helicopter pilots from the Czech Republic Air Force recently underwent training at an Israeli air base in the Negev. They sought to learn from the Israeli pilots' experience, especially under desert conditions, to prepare for active duty in Afghanistan.

* "CIA had important successes in covert action. Perhaps the most consequential of all was Afghanistan where CIA, with its management, funnelled billions of dollars in supplies and weapons to the mujaheddin, and the resistance was thus able to fight the vaunted Soviet army to a standoff and eventually force a political decision to withdraw." [Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, BBC News, December 1, 2008]

* The United States is bracing for a possible nuclear war with North Korea, as well as the regime's possible sudden collapse, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies .

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sept 10 his country recognizes Georgia's two former breakaway republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as independent states.

* The US should remove its nuclear weapons from the Dutch Volkel air base in Noord-Brabant province, Labour MP Martijn van Dam told Radio Netherlands.

* Former Colombian president and head of the Organization of American States Cesar Gaviria -- not known as a progressive -- called the current Colombian government a "dictatorship" this past week. That's the government with whom the Pentagon wants to develop a longer-term "partnership" for new US bases in Colombia.

* Mission Space: Out in space two alien life forms are speaking with each other. The first spaceman says, "The dominant life forms on the earth planet have developed satellite-based weapons." The second alien asks, "Are they an emerging intelligence?" The first spaceman says, "I don't think so. They have them aimed at themselves."

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