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: Brunswick, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, October 31, 2009


An interesting historical perspective on the US "national security" state. Gore Vidal tells the story and provides his usual blistering analysis. This same cold war brainwashing is used today to justify endless war....

"We have been forever at war," Vidal concludes.

Friday, October 30, 2009


* I've been asking a few friends what they thought about Obama's appearance in the wee hours of the morning yesterday at Dover AFB to view the bodies of dead soldiers as they returned home. Granted Bush never did this, but is there an ulterior motive at work here? Is this part of a larger public relations gambit now underway to build support for Obama's "new and improved" Afghanistan policy that is soon to be announced? My friends all said the same thing - it's hype. You know whenever politicians talk about "sacrifices" made by the dead soldiers I can't help but think of weird cults. Has America become a killing culture?

* Jordan and Syria are now overrun with more than four million refugees from Iraq and this is virtually never reported in the US media. The Iraqi citizens are not returning to their war torn country any time soon and the pressure on Jordan and Syria is beyond imagination. Even the once middle class Iraqi refugees are now out of money and life is getting much worse for them.

* The Yongsan neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea is a tragic story of torn down homes and lives ripped apart by the police and right-wing government. I've visited the neighborhood three times and been inspired by the fighting spirit of the families of the five men who were killed by the police for resisting corporate redevelopment. Samsung Corporation and other financial interests are tearing down homes and shops and driving people out with hired goons and the national police so they can build expensive new office and apartment blocks. Yesterday I watched a documentary about the Yongsan situation and highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about what fascism looks like and how the average people of South Korea are fighting back. You can see it here

* Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is calling the current health care deform plan a corporate giveaway and will probably be voting against it. It is likely that most Democrats will hold their nose and vote in favor of it. The Blue Dog Democrats, the so-called fiscal conservatives, have added about $85 billion to the cost of the bill with their gifts to the insurance industry. The "public option" is going to turn out to be just another private insurance policy - more welfare for the corporations.

* Good news? Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Campsite on overlook of Gyeyang mountain

Welcome to Lotte World. Lotte Group, a major South Korean corporation, has their hands in many things. Cookies, real estate, golf courses, electronics, hotels, baseball teams in Korea and Japan, heavy chemicals, financial services and more. In all the Lotte Corporation has 60 distinct business units.

You might recall my blog post ,while I was in Incheon during my recent trip, about meeting a local minister who sat in a tree house in the woods for 155 days in protest of the Lotte Corporation's plan to tear up the Gyeyang Mountain, the highest mountain around Incheon with many rare plants and animals. Lotte wants to build a world class golf course for the rich.

For several years the pertinent government agencies would not give Lotte Group permission to bulldoze the mountain. Then 2MB (also called the bulldozer) got elected president, recall that I said he is married into the Lotte family, and everything changed.

Today 55 organizations in Incheon are organizing to stop this destruction of one of the few remaining wilderness areas around the sprawling city. They have undertaken a rolling fast to help build opposition. People do a hunger strike for 24 hours and go into the mountain and sleep in a tent.

Before I left Incheon my host Sung-Hee Choi signed up to strike on October 29 and I agreed to join her in solidarity. Since they are one-day ahead of us in South Korea, her action is already done. I've just begun mine and will not eat until 9:00 am on Friday morning. Not a huge sacrifice but the folks there issued a news release yesterday proclaiming they now had international support and participation. I am glad to help a bit.

Everywhere in South Korea that I turned I saw signs of the Lotte Corporation. All big corporations seem to be imperialists these days. They want to take over the whole world, including the trees and the plants. The least I can do is to help say no.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The ABC-TV network refused to run this paid political advertisement because of the content. I thought I should share it here since I agree with every word of it.


Steve Williams is Co-Director and co-founder of POWER. Steve cut his teeth as an organizer with the Philadelphia Union of the Homeless and the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, organizing welfare recipients and homeless people during a period of intense local attacks on lo-income people. He spearheads POWER's movement building and leadership development work. In 2006, Steve co-authored Towards Land, Work & Power- a primer on political economy for organizers and grassroots activists. He is active in several local and national efforts to build a powerful movement from the bottom up, including Grassroots Global Justice, the U.S. Social Forum and the May 1st Alliance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Totem poles depicting men and women in Gangjung village on Jeju Island

My sleep pattern is still not back to normal. I am waking up very early, much too early for me. My appetite though is back and I've already had a good pasta meal. I suffered from not enough pasta during my three weeks in South Korea. I have to spend a day making a big batch of sauce which should finally put me back into shape.

There has been lots of mail to sort through, emails to answer, new email addresses to enter into the computer, and yesterday I had a repairman come to see about my crashed laptop. He said he thinks it got zapped because it is about as serious as it gets. He thinks I will need to buy a new laptop and he hopes he can save the data on it....... Who would want to zap my computer?

I'm just nibbling at my To Do list, don't have the energy to read much right now, my brain is only half reporting for work.

Going to see Michael Moore's new movie on capitalism on Wednesday night, we are making it an Addams-Melman House group activity. I promised to buy everyone in the house dinner afterward as a pay-off for them having to do all the house chores while I was gone for three weeks. They all easily accepted my guilt-tripped offer.

I've been talking alot about the food I ate in South Korea since I've been home and Friday night, as another pay off, I will attempt to make a Bath-version of "bibimbap" - the traditional rice and vegetable dish that I ate enough times while in Korea that I should be able to pull it off.

I've heard from many people, including several Korean-Americans, who saw my blog post about Jeju Island. It is really exciting for me to know that there is interest out there in the Jeju video that hopefully will be available in a couple of weeks.

Basketball season for my team, the Washington Wizards, begins tonight. Hopefully it will turn out better than my Orioles baseball season did.

The level of progressive protest in the US seems to be heating back up. After a late summer of right-wing tea-baggers, and their town hall stormings, it appears that the progressives are coming off the sidelines and getting back into the swing of things. Obama seems to be tacking back and forth as the wind changes which is no surprise. The Democrats in Congress are doing their usual talk big but do-little antics. So not much seems to have changed back here while I was gone.

My next trip will be to Oregon on November 12-14 to talk about drones. Before then I need to chop some more wood but I will have to get out of my pajamas to do that - easier said than done.

Recently Dr. Helen Caldicott had me on her national Pacifica radio show for an hour. You can listen to the interview here

Monday, October 26, 2009


The Air Force Research Lab is located at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Is this kind of research and development for endless high-tech space warfare how you want your tax dollars spent?


Daniel Ellsberg: As President Obama decides what to do in Afghanistan he must learn the lessons of Vietnam.

Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers was a major contributing factor that turned me into a peace activist. He will always be one of my heroes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Kim Do-Hyung, Hwang Dae-Kwon, Kang Dong-Kyun and me sitting where the fresh water Gangjeong River flows into the sea at one end of where the planned Navy base on Jeju Island would begin

Sculptures made by Gangjeong villagers where Navy base is to be built
Navy Aegis destroyers will be homeported at the Jeju Navy base. The villagers say the base will destroy the fragile ocean environment

I returned to Incheon today and will fly home in the morning. It's been quite a trip to South Korea.

During my last two days I was visiting Jeju Island which is recognized by UNESCO as being a place of world class environmental quality and one that hosts many endangered forms of corals and other sea life. To say it is a jewel would be an understatement.

Soon after arriving our delegation of five activists, which included some real notables in the South Korean movement for democracy and peace, we were brought to the offices of Jeju Solidarity for Participatory Self-Government & Environmental Preservation. There we were shown a most impressive 50-minute video about the struggle on the island to stop plans by the federal government to build a Navy base on the south side of the island. Jeju calls itself the "Island of Peace" and activists wonder how a Navy base, hosting Aegis destroyers outfitted with missile defense systems, could be considered a compatible use.

Three villages have been approached to host the base and the first two turned the government down. By the time the third village was asked the government had decided to offer bribes of $100,000 each to the respected sea diving women who are known for searching the bottom of the ocean for sea urchins which they then sell to make a living. The third village, Gangjung, is predominately opposed to the base but the bribes created enough of a division to cause the government to say they will build the base in this village.

Gangjung, like the rest of Jeju island, is most famous for growing tangerines in this tropical climate. Tourism is the second industry as people come from around the world to experience the wonders of the lush volcanic island. A long walking trail takes people across the island and recently the government has removed Gangjung from the walking trail maps so they can limit the numbers of people who would see the active signs of resistance amidst the splendid beauty of the rocky seaside where the proposed Navy base is to be built.

When I asked activists who the government said they needed the base to protect against the answer was followed by much laughter: pirates they told me. The truth is that the US will be jointly using the Navy base with the South Korean Navy as a port to deploy Aegis ships that will be used to help surround the coast of China and to give the US the capability to choke off China's ability to import 80% of its oil through the Malaka Straight that flows right off Jeju Island.

The villagers of Gangjung do not see the Navy base as offering them much. Their local economy is thriving from the tangerine groves that are everywhere in the town and from the abundant numbers of tourists who come there to experience the seaside. In fact the Navy base would take significant portions of their village land now used for farming and would destroy the environment. The rocky shoreline would be covered with cement and the proposed base pier would extend to the edge of where the fresh water Gangjung River flows into the sea.

Kang, Dong Kyun, the mayor of the village and a key protest leader, told me that 70% of the drinking water for the community comes from the river and would surely be negatively impacted by the Navy base. Take away our water, he said, and you destroy the town.

Throughout the village you see many tall bamboo poles with yellow flags on them that say, "We desperately oppose the Naval base." But no one in the government wants to listen to them. They have tried all the usual steps of meeting with government officials, organizing protests, and they recently tried to recall their provincial governor in a special election but did not turn out a high enough percentage of voters to make the vote official.

They've now set up a camp along the rocky coastline where some are now holding a round-the-clock vigil. More tents will be erected in the coming weeks as construction is set to begin at the end of this year. When I spoke to the village people in their community center last night there were key activists from other parts of South Korea who are trying to help.

I was deeply touched by the good people of Jeju. Mayor Kang told me, "This is the land of our ancestors that we must pass on to the future generations. This village must not be used as a 'strategic' base but must be preserved. The government is dividing people against each other which is the worst thing of all. The long lasting people will ultimately win."

I told the mayor and the village people that because the proposed base would have Aegis destroyers homeported there, with missile defense systems on-board, that the Global Network must do all it can to help them with their valiant effort. Just as we did what we could to support the people in the Czech Republic last year in their effort to resist US missile defense deployments, we must do the same for Jeju Island. That is what solidarity means.

Who will speak for the fish, the coral, the rocks, or the water I asked? We must all do it.

My trip is now coming to an end in South Korea. It has been a remarkable journey and one that I am proud to have taken. I have met splendid people who are doing their best to resist the destruction of their democracy by corporate interests, the destruction of their farming lands, and the expansion of militarism. There are many fights going on in the world that we all have to be concerned about, more than we can all handle I know, but every now and then one comes along that represents all of these important struggles in one bundle. That is Jeju Island.

I hope that once we get the Jeju Island video, expected in a few weeks, that all of you will get a copy from us and show it in your community. I promise that everyone who watches it will be moved beyond tears about the beauty and the wonder of the island of peace. We must help bring the struggle on Jeju Island to the world.


Protests in California against Naval war training that is severely impacting ocean life. Who will speak for the whales, the fish, the coral, underwater planet life and the water?

Yes that is a US Navy Aegis destroyer you see in the news coverage......

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Here is a video put up on a Korean news web site from a news conference I participated in today on Jeju Island.

Jeju is a UNESCO acknowledged environmental jewel about 500 miles south of the Korean peninsula. The South Korean Navy is building a major Naval base where Aegis destroyers, outfitted with Missile Defense systems, will be homeported along with nuclear submarines. The US will surely use this port for its Aegis destroyers and other naval vessels as it is a strategic point for the entrance to the Malaka Strait through which China imports 80% of its oil. If the US could control China's importation of oil then it would hold the keys to their economic engine.

The coral reefs surrounding Jeju are wonders of nature and will surely be adversely impacted by a Naval base and the constant coming and going of Naval ships which will pollute the surrounding waters just as they have done at other Naval bases.

The activists here have created a fabulous 50-minute video about the situation and I have asked them to translate it into English so we can distribute it widely throughout the Global Network. They have agreed to do so and it should be ready in a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Planes inside hangers at Kunsan AFB
Screaming planes overhead
Drying fish at the end of the Kunsan AFB runway

Father Moon is a 73 year-old retired Catholic priest who move to Gunsan 10 years ago in order to build resistance around the expansion of the US Air Force Base in the city. The base, called Kunsan AFB, served as a Japanese airfield during the time of their colonization of Korea. Gunsan is located along the southwest coast of South Korea, as close to China as one can get.

Today the base hosts 58 F-16's and will soon see two Apache helicopter units move here from another base farther north. F-15's from Idaho and also here on temporary duty and 16 Patriot missile batteries are located on the base as part of the US Missile Defense expansion in this region.

Fr. Moon has a long gray flowing beard and walks with a cane. He has a bad knee after being roughed up by the national police at one of the many protests he has attended over the years. He has spent a couple of years in prison, like so many of the most dedicated South Korean activists have, but he sheds no tears over his time in jail. He remarks with a laugh that he liked being in jail because he could read so many books. I gave him one of mine and signed it with the words, "For your jail reading library."

These days Fr. Moon is spending alot of time away from his work against expansion of Kunsan AFB because he feels the need to stand with the suffering widows in the Yongsan neighborhood of Seoul. He is largely responsible for bringing many Catholic priests and nuns into that struggle and for helping to encourage many other progressive organizations to get involved.

I asked Fr. Moon to give me some words for other activists and this is what he said:

It is one Earth - we must have peace amongst all the villages of the Earth - we must show solidarity with all who are suffering, open our hearts to people like those at Yongsan. We must show concern, participation, and solidarity.

The US Air Force is now building three new eight story barracks on the Kunsan base. Six villages of 547 households will be lost to the base expansion by 2013. It is obvious that big plans are being made here. I asked Fr. Moon who the enemy is for such a massive base expansion. He answered: China.

Along the outer fence line of the base I could see one housing area for the American base families who are essentially moving onto the land that was once lived on by fishermen and rice farmers. Visible as we drove around the base was the "Haven Baptist Church". My first thought when I saw the church is the growing fundamentilization of those in the military today. They are being told they are on a mission from God to bring true religion to the world. Knowing that God is on their side makes it easier to kill anyone who gets in the way.

We went to a red-colored marshland yesterday at one end of the 4 kilometer base runway which is located next to the sea. Here fishermen and their wives were drying small fish on netting raised off the ground on saw-horses. Just above our heads roared 4 F-16's and one F-15 as they took off from the base. We had to cover our ears and I could feel the vibrations of the plane inside my body. Think of living with this everyday of your life.

Once a year one of the planes crash.

Fr. Moon told me that police call him the "gangster". They do that because he refuses to give in to the corruption of policy and spirit inside his nation. The people of South Korea are being told to submit to US military authority and to the corporate driven consumer culture that now rules South Korea. But he is unrelenting in his resistance and for that he is seen by the "authorities" as an outlaw. It was an honor to meet this outlaw and to call him a friend. He is a role model for all self-respecting people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


My laptop crashed this morning when I went to check my emails. Am now using the computer that is in my hotel room in Incheon but not sure what access I will have in the remaining days.

I head to Kunsan this morning where the US has a military base and Father Moon, the famous activist priest that I met my last time here in August, has set up his peace operations near the base. I will speak there tonight and then head south to Jeju Island for the last couple days.

Jeju is the place where a huge Navy base for Aegis destroyers is now being built. Yesterday the police called from Jeju wondering what my program was going to be so it appears likely that the two articles that ran in national papers on Monday has peaked their interest in my visit. This is the first time, that I am aware of, that the police have inquired about my speaking events. I would imagine they will have some spies at the meeting.

More when I can.......In the meantime take a look at this important story just below about New Yorker journalist Sy Hersh saying that Obama had better stand up to the military or his administration will be toast.

Monday, October 19, 2009



Police detained four family members to keep widowed woman from speaking at peace rally
Haeng Woo Lee dances with the youngest person on our trip to the DMZ. Mr. Lee founded the National Association of Korean-Americans and lives in New Jersey. He was largely responsible for ensuring the success of the Global Network's annual space organizing conference in South Korea last spring

We returned to Seoul yesterday after a 24-hour trip north to the DMZ where we saw one of the old North Korean tunnels that they dug underneath the rock into South Korea during the period after the Korean War. During the Korean War the US bombed virtually every house and building in North Korea and by the end of the war the North Koreans were living underground during the day and only came out at night. So they had created a vast web of tunnels inside their own country and beyond.

The weather worn brown mountains on both sides of the DMZ are breath taking and it is just sad to see the South Korean government making a virtual tourist industry out of the separation line between the two sides.

Upon returning, after lunch, we attended a spiritual ceremony at the Yongsan neighborhood in the cold and wind. Several religious leaders spoke about the power of greed and corruption that is the driving force behind the attempts to take an entire city neighborhood from the people who have lived there for years. As usual the police were out in huge numbers.

Following that event we moved to the city hall lawn and listened to a unique Korean-rasta reggae band perform music along these same political themes. As we arrived we saw about 75 police, with large black shields, set up along the side of the busy downtown street and a couple dozen more cops standing in a circle. It was then that we realized that four members of one of the Yongsan families, related to one of the five men killed by police last January, were completely surrounded by the police.

It took awhile but we found out that the four were on the way to our peace rally in front of city hall and one of the widows was going to speak. The police did not want her to address the crowd, so they accused the four inside the circle of having stolen a police radio. Of course this was utter nonsense but for the next two hours they kept tight control of the circle and refused to let the four people join the rally.

During the last hour many of us from the World March (mostly the foreigners) formed a circle around the police circle to show solidarity with the four being detained by the cops. I was told by several Koreans that they had never seen this tactic ever before utilized by the police. It was one more bit of evidence, they said, of the growing right-wing crackdown by the hated 2MB government.

Only as the peace rally was concluding did the police suddenly open their circle and let the four family members go. The police ran like scared rabbits for their buses and the widow, with her arm in a sling, tried to board the bus seeking an apology from the police for their actions. They forced her to the ground, in the street, next to the police bus and a huge crowd of people formed yelling at the police. The emotion was running very high. I stood in the middle of the scene as did the other foreigners, the police leaving us alone for obvious reasons.

The five dead men from Yongsan have not been buried yet as the family is still waiting for the government to acknowledge responsibility for their killing by the police and the families are demanding an official apology and compensation.

I had dinner last evening with members of Korean Veterans for Peace, including the retired general who founded their organization. I had met them when I was last here in August and they had promised to take me to dinner when I returned on this trip.

Two national progressive newspapers covered one of my talks the other night and both stories, with color photo, came out on Monday. You can see them here and here. You can practice your Korean.

Today I have a day off before preparing to head to Kunsan and Jeju Island for my final days in Korea.

You can watch a documentary (with English subtitles) on the Yongsan situation here

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It's a slow photo day for me, yet to get the snaps from our visit to DMZ yesterday, so will write a bit about our trip to solar center in Gimhae some days ago.

This facility is quite remarkable as it serves two functions. The first of course is to generate a large amount of power for the city's use and the second is to serve as a teaching center for school children to come and learn about solar. Why can't we be doing more of this in the US instead of building more weapons of war?

It's all about vision. Our work in the peace movement should not only be "against" war, but we should in our second breath be projecting our vision for the future which should include the phrase "and we do have a crisis today and it is called climate change!"

We've got to keep reminding the American people, who are job scared these days, that more jobs could be created by moving money out of military spending into solar, wind, rail, etc.

Now it is true that many environmental activists are indeed talking about solar, wind, rail, etc ....but when you ask most of them where they will get the money to build these systems on a grand scale they usually don't have an answer. They feel they have a "relationship" with the Democrats and don't want to lose their "access" to these politicians by bringing up the controversial subject of military spending.

But let's get real here......unless we cut the military budget, that today is grabbing 54% of every federal tax dollar, then nothing on the dramatic scale needed to seriously impact climate change is going to happen.

It can be done but not without a serious national commitment. You can't have a killing culture and a sustainable culture. The American people have a choice to make. It is our job to bring that crystal clear choice to center stage.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The Yongsan fight has now become a major national issue
Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening by joining up with the World March for Peace & Nonviolence that has just arrived in South Korea. I will stay with it for the next few days. This morning we head north to the DMZ where we will stay the night and then back to Seoul for more events following that. We spent the night sleeping at a Buddhist Temple outside of Seoul - the heated floors felt good but my back and hips are a bit sore this morning from the hard surface.

I arrived at the World March staging area just in time to join a spirited 5 kilometer bike ride through downtown Seoul that put us in the middle of the busy Saturday traffic and past the US Army base that occupies a large portion of the downtown area. Koreans are not big bicycle riders, they love their cars, so it was an unusual site I am sure to see about 50 bikes taking up a lane of traffic. The fleet of bikes was a revolutionary act.

Also last night we visited the Yongsan neighborhood in Seoul where a massive campaign of resistance is underway. Regular readers of the blog will likely remember my August 15 post that told the story about the five men that were killed by the police when they tried to protect the five story building where they had their small restaurants and other businesses. Since then their wives have maintained constant vigil at the site and people have come from all over the country to resist the destruction of the neighborhood from the huge corporations who want to "redevelop" the whole area and build mega-office buildings on the land.

As we arrived in Yongsan last night the place was jam packed with students, priests, nuns, and supporters from all walks of life. Each evening at 7:00 pm a mass is held and a different organization takes responsibility for the program afterward. Last night was coordinated by students. We plan to return on Monday for a longer visit.


New York police arrested several people during an insurance protest at the headquarters of United Health Group Thursday. Protestors carried signs and chanted "Patients, Not Profits, Medicare For All!

These civil disobedience actions in favor of real health care reform are springing up all over the country in recent days.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Inspired by the Korean proclivity to give their right-wing president multiple nicknames (2MB, the rat, the bulldozer) I have been describing Obama as the "magician" while on this trip.

I am of course always asked about Obama by people I am meeting with. What should we expect from him?

I tell them to watch his both of his hands. Magicians always use deception to make you think one thing is happening when actually something entirely different is going on.

The peace man? Presto, increased troop levels in Afghanistan. Getting rid of nukes? Presto, expansion of missile defense systems beyond what Bush was even talking about. Health care? Presto, forget about it!


Rev. Yoon, In-Jung spent 155 days living in the trees behind me. A platform was erected near the tops of the trees during the period of late 2006 and early 2007. He was protesting the plan to rip the mountain forest on the outskirts of Incheon into shreds so a golf course can be built by the Lotte corporation. Lotte is one of the biggest corporations in South Korea and right-wing president Lee, Myung-bak (2MB) is married into the corporate family. For this, and other disastrous mega-construction projects that will destroy the environment, 2MB has been given an additional nickname - the bulldozer.

Rev. Yoon is a Presbyterian minister who leads a faith community called Christian Solidarity for Life and Peace.

Before Rev. Yoong took his action living in the trees a local woman did the same thing for 56 days. He worked to support her and then picked up the baton after she finished.

I asked him how the 155 day vigil in the trees changed him. He replied, "I was changed alot. All the life is connected to one another. If the forest disappears the human beings will disappear too. The most important thing in life is breathing - the prayer and breathing is not different. The trees give us a lot of good things and human beings are trying to harm them and that is wrong."

He recommended that slow and persistent organizing is what is required to defeat the mega-destruction policies of the bulldozer. A rolling hunger strike is now underway where people go for a night to sleep in the forest without food. Sung-Hee volunteered to do a day soon after I return home on October 25 so I volunteered that I would join the hunger strike for that day in solidarity.

Following our trip to the woods Rev. Yoon took us to an organic restaurant in Incheon where the customer sets the price of the meal depending on what they can best afford to pay. I spoke to members of his faith community in the evening and found it easy to show the connections between ripping trees from forests and space domination. It all comes from a spiritual disconnection from the "right way to live" as the Native Americans would say.

I must say that the genius of this speaking tour, put together by Sung-Hee Choi and her advisers, is that they are introducing me to key leaders in the progressive movement throughout South Korea. I visit their community, learn about their local struggles, and then in the evening share food with them (yes, sometimes twice) and then speak to them about space issues. This organizing strategy is seeding the progressive movement throughout South Korea with the basic understanding of the work of the Global Network. In addition Sung-Hee is handing out copies of two GN videos that she has translated into Korean.

My visit to Rev. Yoon in Incheon was two days ago. Yesterday I was back in Seoul where I sat in the courtroom for two hours watching Global Network board member Wooksik Cheong give testimony on behalf of the three reunification activists who are now facing 3-5 years in jail for calling for the closure of US bases in South Korea and reunification of the nation. Wooksik made the case that the charges facing the three activists, under the extreme National Security Law, are nothing more than mainstream opinion throughout the peace movement in South Korea and beyond. In fact, while at the court I had my signature notarized on a letter I wrote in September at the request of the defendants lawyers saying much the same thing - that activists in the US also are calling for an end to US military deployments in South Korea.

Then last night I was invited to a meeting of the Life and Peace Fellowship, another faith-based peace community. In a delightful format I just answered questions from the assembled for 2 and 1/2 hours about non-violence and the work of the Global Network. Two reporters from major local newspapers covered the event.

The World March for Peace & Nonviolence, that runs from Oct 2-Jan 2, 2010, hits South Korea today for several days of activities. I will be joining this group as they hold events in Seoul and then travels to the DMZ in a call for reunification (something that is "illegal" under the 2MB definition of the National Security Law).

Let's see if they arrest us too.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Just a few morsels hanging on the edge of my plate.

* Sung-Hee, the organizer for my trip across South Korea, takes great delight in teaching me the primary foods of Korea. They are: (1) Kimchee (2) Bob (rice) (3) Bull (water) (4) k-ho-ge (dog meat).........(I can't vouch for the spellings of all these)........she enjoys getting me to preform like a circus monkey in front of others as she asks me to name each of these. I am now trained to do so on que and she has a great laugh at my expense, especially when I do the fourth item. I've eaten all of them except the dog meat but Sung-Hee can't help but make me suffer over the thought of it.

* South Korea's right-wing president is named Lee Myung-bak. He is often called a rat and he does indeed look like one and acts like one as well. Lately though I have been reading that he is also called 2MB and tonight I inquired what this means. It seems as though the computer age also has created nicknames for presidents. 2MB means that Mr. Lee is so stupid that his left brain is only 2 megabites in size. I love that one. You've got to keep a sense of humor.

* My last two nights speaking events were memorable from a food standpoint. I was fed a big dinner before the talk and then after each talk the entire group of people who attended went out together for another dinner. Two nights ago there was a talent show of sorts and I was asked to sing, which I did. Then they called for an encore and I did my second number. I also was a background singer for one Korean woman who did all the verses of John Denver's big hit "Country Road."

* At every meal I am handed a fork but I have yet to pick it up. I continue to insist on using chopsticks. And yes, folks watch very closely how I handle them.

* At every single meal, just as the food is put in front of me these words are always spoken to me, without fail: "It's good for your health."

* Tonight at my second dinner I was asked the difference between American and South Korean peace activists. Without hesitation I said, "South Korean peace activists are much stronger fighters for peace. There are of course some exceptions, but this is the truth."

* No one is surprised that I say Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. They have a long history of presidents who were working for the colonial masters (first Japan and now the US). They can relate.

* Black Agenda Report has a new article on their website called: Top Ten Reasons President Obama Should Give Back the Nobel Peace Prize

More later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Click to enlarge this depiction of the No Gun-ri massacre
Ninety-four year old Chung Eun Yong points out the bullet holes from US 7th Cavalry rifle fire

Yesterday I spent most of the day visiting the site of the US Army 7th Cavalry Regiment's massacre of more than 225 innocent Korean civilians on July 26, 1950 at No Gun-ri during the Korean War.

In the days before July 26, 1950 the North Korean army was pushing US military forces southward. The US Army ordered two villages of peasant farmers in the No Gun-ri area to evacuate. There were taken by the US military to a nearby railroad track and ordered to walk along it. At one point the 500-600 refugees were instructed to bunch up and sit on the tracks. Two US military aircraft then circled overhead and dropped 7-8 bombs on their heads.

This story was told to me yesterday by a 72 year-old woman, Yang Kae-suk, who was 13 years-old at the time of the attack. Her father was carrying her grandmother on his back. The body of her grandmother was never found as body parts flew in every direction.

Her other family members tried to hide near a tree and her mother was severely wounded. A bomb fragment hit Yang in the back of the head and her left eye ball blew out of the socket and she tossed it on the ground.

Soon 7th Cavalry soldiers began firing their rifles at the defenseless crowd and they hid for cover under a nearby train tunnel. For the next four days and three nights the people inside the tunnels were fired on from four different directions by the US soldiers who had them surrounded. US planes reappeared and strafed them with machine gun fire. More people, who were crammed inside the tunnels, were killed as they tried to sneak out for water or tried to escape. Some number did escape the madness that surrounded them.

Finally in the dark of night the Army's 7th Cavalry withdrew as the North Korean Army advanced. Then early on the fourth morning the North Koreans told the people they were free.

This was not the first time the 7th Cavalry had been associated with a mass slaughter of civilians. The Regiment perpetrated the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota on December 29, 1890, at the end of the Indian Wars.

Yang's mother was in terrible need of medical care but there was none available. Maggots had begun to appear inside her wounds. Her father made medicines from the rye seed and bandages from the persimmon tree that grows abundantly in the area. Her mother was to survive.

For many years the No Gun-ri massacre remained a US Army secret as the successive right-wing governments in South Korea, under the control of the US, kept a lid on the story. But then in 1999 the Associated Press broke the story and the BBC followed with a documentary (entitled "Kill 'em All") a few years later. This film reveals orders coming from the highest levels of the Army instructing the field commanders to kill all civilians who got in the way.

Over the years the survivors and their supporters had been trying to bring justice to those who were killed or wounded at No Gun-ri. They organized the "Committee for Unveiling Truth about the No Gun-ri Massacre" and finally helped force the creation of a joint South Korea-US investigation. (The US for a long time tried to down play the size of the killing field.) The final reported conservatively acknowledged the deaths of 228 people and the tunnel where people hid was surveyed and all bullet damage was marked to show the places where US troops had fired-on the tunnel. At both ends of the tunnel there are now triangles (showing where bullets still remain embedded in the concrete) and circles (where bullets created marks).

I asked Yang how she felt today about the US military. She said she could never go to school because of her missing eye. Today she grows grapes and persimmons in the small farming village where she lives. "War should not be," she told me.

To this day there has been no financial compensation to the victims or their families. About 50 survivors of the No Gun-ri massacre are still alive.

Chung Koo Do is the Director of the No Gun-Ri Institute for Peace Studies and is dedicated to ensuring that the memory of the massacre is not lost and that justice prevails. His mother was a survivor of the slaughter by the 7th Cavalry. He told me that there were over 500 incidents of killing of civilians during the war but No Gun-ri was the only case investigated by a joint South Korean-US government team. After the No Gun-ri investigation the US said it would not look into any other case.

2010 will be the 60th anniversary of No Gun-Ri. Chung told me his organization is planning to sponsor several important events to commemorate the massacre. He hopes that US soldiers who were involved in the Korean War will come for the events and he particularly hopes that Veterans for Peace in the US will send a delegation to Korea during this time. He asked me to help them make that possible and I told him I would do my best.

Chung pointed out with great pride the large area surrounding the No Gun-ri massacre site that will become a peace park. The South Korean government is now building a peace museum, educational facilities, and memorials. The survivors, and their descendants, are determined to keep the memory of No Gun-ri in the forefront of international peace movement efforts.

It is a sad moment in history that should be remembered by all of us.


Monday, October 12, 2009


The Washington Post this morning ran a story entitled North Korea Fires Five Missiles in which they intentionally misled the public.

North Korea did indeed fire five short-range missiles, and they did indeed declare a navigation ban in waters off its eastern and western coasts, but the problem with the Post story is what it did not tell the reader. And this missing piece of information just so happens to explain why North Korea has taken the measures that it has taken.

What the Post "conveniently" left out of its story is that the US and South Korean military have just begun major war games (Oct 13-16) that will include the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group. The exercises will be held in the western (or Yellow Sea) that sits between Korea and China.

North Korea does not know if the US and South Korea (which is now building long-range missiles that could strike deep into North Korean territory) will launch a shock and awe attack on it this time. After all it has seen Iraq and Afghanistan attacked and heard the rattling of the US war sabers over Iran. So like so many people have told me this week, North Korea can't take a chance when these big military war exercises happen. They drop everything they are doing and stand ready to defend themselves. It's one reason their economy is such a mess.

And just for good measure they fired five short-range missiles harmlessly into the sea as a warning that they were on alert.

The Post wrote, "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, reacting to reports of the missile launches, said the United States and its allies are trying to demonstrate to North Korea that the international community will not accept its continuing nuclear program."

The US feigns surprise at such outlandish and unexpected behavior by the "unstable" North Korea, and uses the incident as a pretext to remind the world that the good Americans are working hard to stop North Korea's nuclear program. The US, in other words, is just an innocent bystander. The good uncle just shakes his head in dismay at those strange North Koreans.

So back in the US, and likely in most places around the world, the unaware public just hears one more example of how a "half-cocked and crazy" North Korea is once again firing missiles at phantom targets. But in this case, today, I had a kernel of unreported news at my disposal. I could see how the US, and the Washington Post, are misleading the public. Even most members of Congress probably won't know about the war exercises just off the North Korean and Chinese coast.

Peace groups in South Korea do know the full story though and they have held protests in the last two days and will continue to do so throughout the period of this war game. But those protests will largely go unreported in South Korea and will not be reported by the Washington Post.

This is one prime example of how North Korea has been demonized since the Korean War. The US has done it to Cuba for years, did it to Iraq, and is now doing it to Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is the American modus operandi - method of operation.

I sent an email to the reporter of the Washington Post story just to let him know I was not fooled by the important "omission" in his story. I don't expect to get a response. If I do I will let you know what he says.


Click on cartoon to enlarge


BBC TV documentary called "Moon for Sale" about helium-3.

Now you can see why the US never agreed to sign the UN's Moon Treaty that says no country, no corporation, nor any individual can claim ownership of the moon.

The aerospace industry is itching to get their hands on the resources of the Moon. You, the taxpayers, will pay for the technology development to make all this possible. The corporations intend to grab the profits.


On my trips to big cities like New York or Seoul I am always a bit overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people and motor vehicles moving around. Living as I do in a city with a population of about 10,000 (Bath), and a state with about 1.4 million (Maine), helps create this sense of awe.

When I am in the big cities I think about all the water that is used, and all the toilets that are flushed each day (where does all the waste go?), and all the gasoline that is used, and the pollution that is created.

I think about the 50 people in one place that I will speak with, or the hundred folks in another. Maybe a few thousand will read an article about my work in some publication. (In fact one activist in Seoul sent my current speech to an email list of 4,000 in recent days.) But these numbers are a drop in the bucket in a city of over 10 million people.

It's rather humbling to think about it. How does one go about really reaching the people I wonder? Corporate advertising and corporate media have this down to an art. They have the resources and the abilities to fix an entire city, an entire country, and an entire world on a particular subject in a moments notice if they wish. That is real power.

It's no wonder that you see so many people in big cities moving from one shop to another buying the expensive products that have been marketed to such an extent that their logos are branded in the brains of most people. At the Seoul train station there is a huge McDonald's hamburger joint and the place is packed to the gills. The younger generation has been brainwashed to believe that McDonald's is the happening place, just like I was at their age.

But there are still the fruit and veggie carts all along the streets here in Seoul too. They have the big fat sweet purple Korean grapes that are served with most meals I've had since arriving here. They have those over sized apples and melons that dwarf the ones we have at home. I wonder if they are so big because of some super-duper pesticide or are they natural? I'm afraid to ask.

In my talks I've found a way to weave in the issues of peak oil and climate change. I talk about US military policy now being all about control of global resource extraction. Control the distribution of fossil fuels and you control the keys to the global economic engine even if the American economy is collapsing at the same time.

I talk about how space technology now ties this whole US global military empire together, net-centric warfare they call it at the space command. I'm trying to help people put the pieces of the puzzle together so we all can share the full picture with the masses of people who are just rushing by in their daily grind of living life.

It's a bit-by-bit process for sure. The Internet helps us spread these messages a lot. But the people need to have a hunger for information, for truth, and for change and I don't see that right now.

I see a lot of resignation, fear, and conformity to the prevailing ethic of consumerism and upward mobility. Sure people would rather have a nice clean environment, more trees, clean air and water, but they don't necessarily want to have to fight for real democracy, peace, and social justice. It's easier to go along and get along. Demand real change so we can deal with global warming? Too big for most people to take on. Same goes for peace in space…..

The whole Obama Nobel Peace Prize thing is still stuck in my throat. I can't get over the picture of him gathering his Afghanistan war council together soon after hearing that he won the prize. Cognitive dissonance is defined as psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

Still we press onward and I am so damn proud to be with those all over the world who keep faithful to the task.

I have been ending my talks here in Korea with these words. Thought I'd share them with my blog readers:

What does it mean to be a human being in the world? What is the most important job for those of us living on our Mother Earth today?

I think of the spider, spinning the web. The spider never grows weary, never gives up, no matter the difficulties. Even if the spider has to spend its whole life just making one web it will do so. The spider understands its role in nature.

I've come to see my role as a spinner of sorts as well. My job is to work with people all over the world, linking us to one another, sharing information with one another, encouraging one another, all moving together to bring peace and sanity to this beautiful but fragmented world. My job is to never give up, to always keep spinning, and to try to remember to love, even when my heart feels hard.

Love our enemies. Treat others, as we would like to be treated. Honor our elders and the children. Protect our Mother Earth from harm. Forgive those who have hurt us so that we too might be forgiven when we hurt others.

I keep praying to the Great Spirit, asking for the wisdom and the strength to keep doing my spinning work. I pray that I can touch some hearts, that I will be understood. I pray that others will find their paths and help us build the peace here on Earth.

I pray that someday the people of Korea will live in a unified nation, as one people again.

The Native American Indians said that the sacred hoop, the sacred circle, was broken. The time has come for us to heal the sacred hoop and our broken spirits.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"The question of Palestine remains the most serious political and human rights problem on the agenda of the United Nations since its creation," says outgoing General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto.

D'Escoto points to the UN's failure to lift the two-year-old blockade on Gaza being maintained by Israel and Egypt as a clear example of the organization's decadence. This despite the fact that all the organs of the UN have passed resolutions demanding the blockade be lifted, but none of the members with influence have done anything to force compliance, and according to d'Escoto, they are quite comfortable with this.


Following late night meeting with Kim, Young-Je in Seoul
North Koreans fishing in the Daedong River, Pyeongyang

My last two days have been busy and exciting. Upon our return from Busan on Saturday Sung-Hee and I met Kim, Young-Je in Seoul for dinner. Kim is the national Director for the Reunification Unit of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCYU). He is in charge of organizing the trips of South Korean KCTU members to North Korea. I met him when I was here in August and we both agreed to meet again when I returned. Kim believes that it is crucial for US and international peace activists to go to North Korea to see for themselves what life is like there.

Having been to Cuba three times, while living in Florida I used to organize large groups of Floridians to take trips to Cuba, I know that seeing the reality of life is much different from what you read in the mainstream corporate media in the US.

Kim took us to a small local restaurant near the tall KCTU national headquarters building. This restaurant cooks shellfish on charcoal stoves built into each table. The enormous shellfish are split in half and placed on the coals. Some spices are added to the largest ones and the smaller ones are eaten as they are. Kim told us that these shellfish are very popular and are imported from North Korean waters. The shellfish can cross between borders, he said with an ironic smirk, but the people cannot do so.

Following dinner Kim took us back to the KCTU offices where we talked until late in the night. He said that recently the right-wing government in South Korea has thrown road blocks in the way of the KCTU organizing worker trips to the north. This would make it more difficult for the Global Network to make such a trip in the near future. He said he would still encourage North Korea to make it easier for groups like us to visit there.

Kim talked in a deep and heartfelt way about the "inhuman situation" for all the people on the Korean peninsula - from both north and south. Presently 10 million people, 25% of those living in the south, have family in the north. The US-South Korean military alliance has forced the south to subjugate itself to the US like a slave, he said. (In fact the Korean War is still not officially over as the US has never signed a peace treaty with North Korea. South Korea is not allowed by the US to sign a peace treaty with North Korea. So the US completely controls when and if there will ever be peace on the Korean peninsula.)

My interest in all of this is largely due to the fact that the US military in massively upgrading its military presence in Japan and South Korea, particularly with the addition of "missile defense" systems. This is all justified by the Pentagon as being "caused by the North Korea problem". But I strongly believe that the North Korea "problem" is used by the US as an excuse for a military buildup that is aimed at encircling China. Thus the US has no urgent desire to reach true peace with North Korea for fear they lose their justification to surround China. In the meantime the Korean people, used as pawns in the big power game, have to suffer the consequences. I don't like that.

The most touching comments from Kim were when he said, "The first thing the US needs to apologize about is how the US has divided Korea, changed the way the Korean people think about one another, and then boasted about their success in making it [the division] all happen."

Kim continued to outline why the US should apologize: "By never allowing North Korea to rest, to build their economy, always keeping North Korea on edge, [with non-stop military exercises like the one planned October 13-16 just off the coast of North Korea] fearing war, oppressing South Koreans through right-wing governments, dividing the people against each other."

Kim feels this is the great tragedy of Korean history.

The KCTU has officially adopted the program of self reliance and reunification. To North Korea self reliance means they will always refuse to be dominated by any foreign powers. To the KCTU it means the workers will always be independent from corporate capitalist powers.

Kim said it brings him great sadness to see some people in South Korea get used to the division of their nation and their people.

Kim told me that he shared his intimate feelings with me because he felt I was open. I told him I would do everything I could to help bring the issue of Korean reunification into my work.

On Sunday I spoke to 40 members of the Saegil Institute for Christianity and Culture following their religious service. This church was founded in 2000 by recognizing "the responsibility to spread the true spirit of Christ into the whole of society, beyond just the individual spiritual life." Most of these people were doctors, professors, ministers, and other professionals. They had many important questions for almost an hour following my talk. Then they took me to a nearby restaurant, where over coffee, I talked with a dozen of their leaders for another hour.

One of the men, Lee, Il-Young, lived in Boston in the US for many years. He is a retired medical doctor and pastor and has been to North Korea many times. This short and robust man, with a great smile and spirit, told me North Korea would never surrender and that reunification had to be accepted by the US. I invited him to come to Maine next time he is in the US so I could organize some talks for him to share the story about the Korean situation.

Sung-Hee likes to tell everyone that I was born on July 27, 1952 - exactly one year after the signing of the Korean War ceasefire. But the war is not over. My entire life has witnessed this constant state of semi-permanent preparation for war that has been draining all sides. The time has come for the war to end. I am a peace activist. I have to do what I can to help.

Friday, October 09, 2009


I recently discovered on Facebook an old high school friend Rick San Miguel. We played in a rock and roll band together that was called "The Resurrection." He played lead guitar while I played rhythm and was lead singer.

Both our dads were in the Air Force stationed at Beale AFB in northern California so it was a no-brainer for me to join the Air Force soon after graduation and Rick joined the Navy. He ended up getting out not long after enlisting by telling them he had made a terrible mistake by joining the military. I wished I had been equally as smart and courageous and done the same thing.

Today Rick lives in Athens, Georgia and plays music on the street and lately has been making these videos. When I watch them I feel such love and pride in watching him play again. I miss Rick. He is a good spirit.


Overlooking Busan seaport with Yun, Taek Geun
Meeting the striking tug boat workers in Busan

I am writing this on the train from Busan back to Seoul in South Korea. Last night I spoke to 50 well dressed leaders of the Busan YMCA who were dedicating a peace center inside their tall office building. Along with the peace center they opened a fair trade coffee shop inside the center. I was surprised to see the extent of the political work of the YMCA Christian peace movement in Korea since my experience with YMCA's in the US is that they have swimming pools and hand out basketballs and towels. But apparently the Koreans have decided to remain true to the original precepts of the YMCA vision.

Prior to my YMCA speech GN board member Sung-Hee Choi and I spent the day visiting three different labor struggles in the Busan seaport. Busan is the largest port in the country and also hosts a US Naval base which is a receiving station for most of the weapons that come into the country for distribution to US military bases throughout Korea.

Our escort yesterday was Yun, Taek Geun who is a railroad worker and is also the Vice-President of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Busan Regional Council (KCTU). He also serves as the Chairman of the KCTU reunification committee and has led worker trips to North Korea several times. Yun told us that in the past workers have gone on strike in opposition to the transfer of US military weapons on the railroads from the Busan port.

The railroad workers in Busan are now struggling against privatization of the rail system. Like most governments worldwide, the current right-wing government in South Korea is doing all it can to destroy social progress and to expand their military budget (with strong US backing).

We met with the dockworkers that unload the huge ships that are bountiful in the Busan port. They too have overworked and under paid and do not presently have a union but are trying to get recognized by their government as the representatives of the cargo workers.

Our third visit was with the tugboat workers, the photo above, who are currently on strike. Today marks their 61st day on strike as they also attempt to get the companies and government to recognize their right to have a union. Currently they have no protection under the law and work 24 hours in a row with no overtime and no benefits like vacation or sick days. One of the tugboat workers told me, "We want to live like a human being."

I was invited to speak to the workers for a couple of minutes and told them about my visit to the Stella D'Oro workers last weekend in New York City who are also fighting against corporate exploitation. I also briefly described the work of the Global Network and said that growing militarism in all our countries was being used to oppress the people of the world to benefit the interests of the corporations that now run virtually all our governments.

On my trip to Korea last August I met with one of the leaders of the KCTU in Seoul. He arranged for Sung-Hee and I to visit the workers in Busan. The KCTU is heavily involved in connecting the peace movement with the labor movement - something I wish we saw more of in the US.

This morning I asked Yun, Taek Geun what he thought about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He laughed. I loved his response. I just can't get over this decision to give Obama this prestigious award. The man has essentially done nothing except talk and expand the war in Afghanistan-Pakistan! To me it cheapens the idea of the award. I can think of thousands of people who have actually worked for peace in the world that would be much more deserving of the Nobel Prize. I've already read some people saying that he deserved it because he has called for nuclear disarmament, but talk is cheap.

As Cindy Sheehan says in the post below, why not give Bush the award. What a sad joke.


What Does Peace Mean?

By Cindy Sheehan

I guess to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee it means presiding over the further destruction of the population of three countries that didn’t harm anyone.

I guess it means voting for every war-funding bill while one is a Senator.

I guess it means continuing the use of the obscene and immoral drones.

I guess it means continuing torture and building larger prisons to pre-emptively and indefinitely detain suspected “terrorists.”

I guess it means using the politics of fear to justify your wars. “Afghanistan is a war of necessity.” “There are still people in the world who want to hurt Americans.”

I guess it means increasing your military budget.

I guess it means paying back your donors on Wall Street and in the insurance companies to profoundly harm people in your own country.

I guess it means hiring hostile people like Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Stanley McChrystal and Petraeus.

I guess it means extending the damaging embargo on Cuba and threatening “crippling economic sanctions” for Iran.

I guess since the committee awarded the prize to Jimmy Carter who gave rise to the Taliban and al Qaeda in Iran giving billions to those who fought against the USSR (talk about Blowback), it tells the people of Afghanistan if you are killed, we will give your killer the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jesus Christ, why didn’t they just give it to George Bush?

The US Peace Movement was put on life support with the election of Democrats. I hope now that we have a president who is just a tool of the war machine AND a Nobel Peace Laureate that it hasn’t put the final nail in the coffin of the Peace Movement.

Peace to us means, not just an absence of war but, an absence of preparing for war.

Peace to us means that innocent people won’t suffer for profit.

I guess to the Establishment: War is Peace.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Obama's "good war" is worsening by the day and the pressure in mounting across the nation to get out. Latest polls show at least 56% of Americans now oppose the war.

Obama is dancing with the Pentagon and trying to appear to be taking the middle ground as he prepares to send even more troops. It looks to me though that he is taking the muddle ground, as in stuck in the mud.

Protests around the country will be picking up in the coming days. Help do your bit to advance this anti-war message. We've got to force Congress to stop funding the mess in Afghanistan. Sadly Obama seems is a total captive of the military industrial complex.

Obama appears to see more war as a jobs creation policy as unemployment grows. On the plane to Korea it was filled with young black and Hispanic men in the Army. They have few other choices.