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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


SourceWatch reports:

Bahrain is an island country in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia with a population of 753,000 and capital city of Manama. Headed by the al-Khalifah family since 1783, the country was a British protectorate between 1861 and 1971. The king is the supreme authority.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet has its headquarters in the port of Manama, Bahrain, the headquarters of CENTCOM's navy and marine corps leaders. The downtown area of Manama, the capital city, devotes 79 acres of land to the U.S. Naval Support Activity. Elsewhere in Bahrain is the Sheik Isa Air Base.

The U.S. began its military relationship with the country in 1949 when it stationed three naval warships there. The Federation of American Scientists writes, "Since then, Bahrain has allowed an increased U.S. military presence and facilitated U.S. access to the Middle East in times of crisis, such as the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and Operation Desert Storm. In 1995, Bahrain became the headquarters for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

"The U.S. is the dominant arms supplier to Bahrain; according to the U.S. State Department, over 95% of Bahrain's arms imports from 1995-97 came from the United States.

"The 2000 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices describes Bahrain as a "hereditary emirate with few democratic institutions and no political parties," and warns that Bahraini "security forces committed serious human rights abuses." Although national law prohibits torture, the U.S. State Department stated there are "credible reports" that incarcerated prisoners have been "beaten, both on the soles of their feet and about the face and head, burned with cigarettes, deprived of sleep for long periods of time, and in some cases subjected to electrical shocks." Public demonstrations are rarely permitted, and individuals suspected of opposing the government have been detained for long periods without a trial.

Joseph Gerson, the Director of Programs for the American Friends Service Committee, writes, "U.S. bases serve interventionist aircraft carriers, destroyers, nuclear armed submarines and other U.S. warships. This includes bases in Spain, Italy, Israel, Bahrain, Qatar, Japan, and "access" agreements in Israel, the Philippines, Singapore, and other countries.


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