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

Monday, February 28, 2011


Thanks to fellow peace walker Christian Collins for this one. It's a Charlie Chaplin classic.


This is a Lockheed Martin Corporation promotional video for their "Space Fence" project that is being sold as a system to protect against space junk accidents.

But what they don't talk about is how this system can be used to identify and target other countries' space satellites in times of conflict.


We walked through Boston yesterday and then attended the Sunday service at the historic Old South Church. It was snowing as we made our way through the streets of Boston, a fitting end as Mother Earth clearly was saying that despite our walk for a new spring, winter was not yet over.

MB and I had lunch and then made our way by bus back to Portland and then home from there by car. I jumped into a hot tub and soaked for awhile. Amazingly my feet and legs are fine. After previous walks I would be limping around for days with swollen legs and painful feet but the Chinese heat treatments that Brother Kato did on me during the walk just took care of that. I am a true believer in the heat now.

I've got a pile of mail and emails to sort through. Many people have responded to our call for donations to purchase an advertisement in the Portland newspaper which will encourage all elected officials in Maine to speak out against the wars in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan and support the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign. In addition I have alot of work ahead of me on the Global Network's 19th annual space organizing conference on June 17-19 in North Andover, Massachusetts. During the walk I was able to pass out brochures about the conference and found some very interested people.

I'm glad I went on the walk. I will write some concluding thoughts about it in the next day or so. I think we reached many people along the way. You've got to get out and work hard if you really want to change things in this country. Sending emails alone won't cut it.

PS: It was good to be back in my own bed last night. Floor sleeping wasn't so bad but nothing like home sweet home.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Saturday, February 26, 2011


It snowed some last night so when we started out this morning the road was slushy and slippery. We walked to Hingham just outside of Boston. Tonight we are on the floor at a local Unitarian Church. In the morning we will be out early so we can get to the Old South Church in downtown Boston by 11:00 am to participate in the Sunday service. MB is taking the bus down to Boston to meet us at the church and then we will both head back to Maine after the service is over.

The walk officially ends on Monday when they go to the office of the governor to present a letter about the walk and the concerns that local hosts shared with us along the way. An issue we heard over and over again was that the people would like their governor to initiate a process to explore how Massachusetts could move away from its addiction to military spending in order to create more jobs.

I talked many times along the journey about the University of Mass-Amherst Economics Department study that clearly indicates that military spending creates less jobs than any other kind of investment. I challenged activists throughout Massachusetts to do more to make the important findings of this study widely known by the public. You can see the results of the study here We should all be talking about this study non-stop as the public's #1 concern these days is jobs.

The war machine has us locked in a form of economic slavery where the taxpayers pump their hard earned dollars into perpetual war and get few jobs in return. It's my belief that standing on the street with signs and banners that say things like Peace or War is Not the Answer are fine and dandy but these messages don't link the peace movement to the primary concerns of the public. Of course the moral and ethical questions about war are important, but the public as evidenced by the current events in Wisconsin, is crying out for an economic analysis that protects the people from the corporate scalpel.

I read the other day that 23% of America's debt is due to military spending and endless war. But few in the country are making the links between Pentagon spending and the virtual impossibility of an economic recovery as long as we are spending $12 billion a month in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan.

The peace movement must accelerate this debate by making these key connections. And we can't just do it once or twice and then move on to some other hot issue. We've got to stay on the case long-term and keep pounding away with the information from the UMASS-Amherst study.



Friday, February 25, 2011



Located near the Plymouth Rock monument
Our dinner stop on Thursday evening

We had lunch at a church in Plymouth, Massachusetts today. We walked through a torrential downpour and winds that approached 30 mph. When we arrived we walked down near the water to the spot where the pilgrims landed in 1620. The legend is that when they got off their boat they prayed at a huge rock that today has a big-pillared shrine around it. During the lunch one man, a former Navy submarine captain and now a member of Veterans for Peace, told us that the "rock is a crock". For those of you not familiar with that expression - crock means a pile of shit. The story was made up to build the mystique about the pilgrims.

By the time we got to the church in Plymouth my waterproof shoes were full of water and my socks were dripping wet. My waterproof pants were wet inside and my long underwear were wet. I changed and stuffed my shoes with paper to help dry them out. After lunch we walked about five more miles in the rain to a church in Duxbury and by the time we got here I had even more water in my shoes and my leather gloves were full of water. Some cars would slow down as they approached us along the road knowing that the huge water puddles alongside the road would splash us if they drove fast. But some cars and trucks plowed right into the puddles sending a stream of water onto our already wet bodies as we walked down the road. I spent alot of time trying to work out in my mind how people could be so cruel. Anyone who has been driving for more than one week knows what happens when you zoom thru standing water on a street.

Last night we slept on the floor in the home of a woman named Mother Bear who is a Wampanoag leader on Cape Cod. We first met her at the Old Indian Meeting House in Mashpee which has recently been renovated. This simple church is a living testimony of the native people's effort to keep their culture intact through all the years of adversity. Mother Bear served us one of the best clam chowders I've ever eaten.

Her home is like an Indian museum. When you walk in the door weaved baskets hang from the ceiling and photos of Wampanoag people in traditional dress are all over the walls in virtually every room. A bear skin rug, with the head attached, was sitting on a chair and a large animal hide hung over the fireplace with Mother Bear's family tree etched into the smooth side.

On the wall in the dining room was a large map (1877) of the town of Mashpee and if you looked carefully you could see the town divided into 60 acre plots with the names of natives in each of the plots. Mother Bear told us that the land was given to each member of the tribe so they could have a community where their culture could be preserved. But then the state of Massachusetts mandated that they form an official town charter which required them to begin collecting property taxes. Most of the Indians could not pay the taxes and over time they lost their lands as white people bought up the tracts. At one time the Wampanoag controlled all the elected offices in Mashpee but now that is all gone as the dominant white population has taken over the town and built condos and shopping centers.

These same kinds of things happened on Indian reservations throughout the country as the whites always found a way to take lands set aside for the native people.

I did not know the story about Plymouth rock being a phony until today but it did not surprise to me at all. So much of our history in this country is illusion and public relations. This is just one more important example.

Thursday, February 24, 2011



"Low-income" housing in Bristol, Rhode Island, a town made wealthy by the slave trade

Last night we made it to Fairhaven, Massachusetts where we slept on the floor at a Unitarian Church. We had quite a wonderful potluck supper and one of the better sharing discussions afterwards. Much to my delight there were several key organizers at this event who are working locally to connect spending on our current wars to the economic problems here at home. One local postal worker, and a leader in his union, spoke with great passion about the need to increasingly make these connections.

We began yesterday in Warren, Rhode Island (we have been criss-crossing back and forth between these two states in recent days). We held at short vigil at the National Guard Armory in Warren (these guardsmen are trained to be military police and have been sent to work at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo). Then we walked to a local park by the river, which we learned had been the summer camp for the Wampanoag tribe for thousands of years. Amongst the baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts are several mounds that were burial grounds for the Native Americans who once flourished throughout this region. There the Buddhists, who are leading the peace walk, drummed and chanted and I watched as geese flew over our heads. I thought about the deep roots of the old trees on top of the mounds being nourished by the mostly forgotten bones of the native people.

Two days ago we had lunch at a home overlooking the Cole River in Swansea, Rhode Island which was the first house burned down by Indians when King Phillip’s War (King Phillip was the name the British gave to the native leader called Metacomet) began in 1675. The original chimney still remains in the restored house and I spent much time while walking during the last few days thinking about this thing we call “progress” that the white man brought to North America. Two cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant stick out like a sore thumb just on the other side of the river from this ancient house where we ate lunch. All around us as we walked we saw auto junk yards, neon signs, fast food restaurants, polluted water, highways with cars spewing exhaust fumes, and miles of asphalt highways. None of this enhanced the land nor did it offer the wildlife or the people a real chance for survival.

The woman who now lives in the house that was burned at the start of the war against the Indians talked about the inevitability of war between the white pilgrims and the Indians because each had fundamentally differing philosophies about the land. The pilgrims believed land could be possessed and sold for profit. The Indians couldn’t comprehend the concept of ownership of land – their way to life was made possible by a reverence for the land and a belief that the people had to live in harmony with nature. Much like in today’s world the victor was not necessarily the one that was most righteous but the one that had “superior firepower”.

But there is no peace in the land today. The Mother Earth is having convulsions as her body has become toxified and heated up by this out-of-control way of life the descendants of the pilgrims, and subsequent generations of immigrants, have brought to this continent.

I feel a deep sadness about all this, which gets magnified when we walk past huge graveyards where the white people are ornately buried. The Indian burial mounds now have junkyards and ball fields planted on top of them as the victors have even determined that these sacred sites must be desecrated and forgotten. But they are not forgotten – at least during this walk we are talking about the Native people and their culture and holding their memory up in our simple prayers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This photo (thanks Vanessa) was taken yesterday morning as we prepared to leave the Smithfield Friends Meeting (Quaker) House in Rhode Island. I was stretching my legs. A wet snow had begun to fall. It was a 15-mile walk day. I did about 12 miles and took my turn driving the support vehicle. I got lost trying to find my way back to the walk after checking the mileage to our final destination last night.

We had an interesting lunch stop yesterday. There were not many possible lunch stops available to us in the area so one of our walkers, Betty, just knocked on the door of a place that looked interesting. The house was inside an old mill grain shed and a man answered the door and Betty asked if we could have lunch there. He said yes, he'd be happy to have company.

It turns out the man is about my age, an out-of-work carpenter, and is renovating the inside of the place. It is an open design with no walls and overlooks a water fall and a river begin his house. He had a hot fire going inside his wood stove and we sat at the bar in his kitchen area and talked politics. It was one of those magical moments that often happen during walks.

The night before we slept on the floor at the Quaker Meeting House after a nice supper and one of our better discussions with our hosts. There were several Hispanic people who attended so one of our walkers, who speaks some Spanish, did the description of the Walk for a New Spring in Spanish.

Other than the fact that I could use some more sleep I am holding up better than I had expected. My legs and feet, while stiff and a bit sore, are still moving me forward. In the past, at this point in one of these walks, my legs would be swollen by now. Knock on wood.

I am barely keeping up with the news, my time on the Internet is rare. But I imagine there is still a war going on and the new-feudalists are still doing their best to send social progress packing.

Last night in the program following our supper at the Attleboro Unitarian Church I took note that people avoided talking about war with one exception. It's surprising but then again it is not. Even though our walk banner reads "End War" most people we meet are not really into discussing the subject in any great detail. They might make generalized statements that they are against war, and are for peace, but mostly they want to talk about other things.

I attribute this to the fact that we no longer have a Republican president in office. Most of these folks I would venture to say voted for Obama and they don't want to admit that their vote was a tragic mistake. While we were eating one woman told me we couldn't really leave Afghanistan because one could just imagine what the Taliban would do to the women and children. There are Republican wars (which are bad) and then there are Democrat wars (which are largely to be ignored). The logic escapes me - especially when I am walking behind a banner that reads End War.

On I go through the streets of America. I'll keep you posted.

Yes, I am a bit grumpy this morning.......for good reason.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Sunday, February 20, 2011



Saturday, February 19, 2011


We've set the date of Monday, April 4 in Maine to have a news conference and rally inside the state capital (Hall of Flags) in Augusta, Maine. The event will begin at 11:00 am and is intended to call on all elected officials in our state (local, state, and federal) to begin to make the links between endless war spending and our economic crisis here at home.

Since 2001 the taxpayers of Maine have contributed $3.4 billion to the cost of war. One doesn't have to be a genius to know that those funds would have gone a long way in solving our current $800 million deficit here in our state.

In the days prior to the April 4 rally our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home will be purchasing a large newspaper advertisement in the biggest paper in the state and buying radio time on a couple key stations in order to project this message out to a wider audience.


Resting before pot luck/program in Worcester Photo by VV

We walked almost 15 miles today and ended up in Worcester, Massachusetts. Coming into town I noticed closed mills, stores, gas stations and the like. Worcester was a major textile mill town years ago and had a strong reputation as being an anti-union town.

We had a nice pot luck (with a wonderful Moroccan chicken, potatoes, and peas dish) and a good political discussion afterward. I've not been talking alot during these discussions but tonight felt the call to speak up about the idea that conversion of the military industrial complex creates more jobs than military production. One man had been talking about a good friend he has who works for the military production system, likes his job, and feels like he is doing good things. The man said he was reluctant to challenge his friend and seemed to feel that we basically have to accept the way things are at this time. I reminded the group that the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

The Boston Globe reported in December 2010, “The defense industry generated $26 billion in economic activity in Massachusetts last year, supporting more than 100,000 jobs and accounting for 85% of all federal contracts awarded in the state.” A report, funded by Raytheon Co., found that military contracts in the state have nearly tripled over the last 10 years. Only four other states (Virginia, California, Texas, and Maryland) received more in Pentagon contracts than Massachusetts did last year.

Another study, done by the University of Mass-Amherst Economics Department found that spending $1 billion on military production creates 8,555 jobs, but if that same amount of money had been invested in building public transit systems 19,795 jobs would result. Which would you rather have from your tax dollars? We need to be asking this question over and over again as the public is increasing begging for job creation.

It was bitter cold this afternoon (we walked until about 5:00 pm) and it began to snow just a bit near the end. In the morning we head for Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The weather is expected to be sunny and windy and still a bit cold with snow in the evening.

Friday, February 18, 2011


"Washington is now faced again with another hard choice…," wrote Graham Fuller, a former senior CIA Mideast analyst who teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, in the International Herald Tribune on the eve of Thursday's attack. He warned that the naval base could be lost if the regime falls.

"Continue to go with local repressive regimes out of a misguided sense of 'American interests'? Hold on to unpopular military bases at all costs – thereby deepening local anger and perhaps giving Iran ultimately a greater voice in events?" he asked. "Or should it quietly drop support for this repressive regime, allow events to take their course and accept that long-overdue change is coming?"

"We should speak out more strongly in support of change and democratic process and stop clinging to traditional dictators even if they're pro-American," Fuller said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

The United States last year provided Bahrain with about $21 million in military assistance, a substantial amount given the country's relatively small size. Of that total, about $1 million was designated for counterterrorism aid, much of it to the police and military forces that are suppressing the protests in the country's capital.


I am inside the Fitchburg, Massachusetts Museum of Art right now stealing a WiFi connection from the airwaves. We stopped here on Friday after a long day of walking and visiting a nearby community college. We've been invited to view the Asian art work here but I grabbed a chair near the entrance and have set to work.

The last three days have largely been visits to schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Wachusett Community College today - Keene College, Franklin Pierce University and then a prep school yesterday. We had lunch at Franklin Pierce in New Hampshire and about 20 students joined our walk. Very soon after we started walking with them a nearby prep school brought 40 students (half of which were Chinese) to join the walk which swelled our line to more than 75 people. The students walked nine miles with us and we ended the day at the prep school (which has a total of 230 pupils) for dinner. Following the meal we sat around with about 15 students to discuss the walk and their many questions about the New England Peace Pagoda.

We've been well fed the last few days, particularly at these campus cafeterias. Figuring I had lost at least five pounds from all this walking and sweating I have been doing I weighed myself this morning and discovered I had gained nearly five pounds. But it all has to be muscle........

As we were walking today I began rating the best meals I've had so far and thought I'd share the results with you.

  • Breakfast - The best one was this morning at the Noon Day Farm where we stayed last night. I slept on the floor. We had a poached egg, oatmeal, fruit, toast, raw milk, and tea. This place is a Catholic Worker farm and grows food that is taken and shared with poor people in the cities.
  • Lunch - Yesterday's at Franklin Pierce University was the best by far. A huge selection at this cafeteria - more than anyone could imagine. I had pizza, Chinese food, salad from the excellent salad bar and orange juice. A nice jello-vanilla pudding topped it off.
  • Supper - Two nights ago in Brattleboro, Vermont an excellent pot luck takes the top prize. A very fine ginger chicken soup, sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, and lasagna. Multi-ethic meal. All worth writing home about.

Except for yesterday's surge of students it has usually been 7-10 of us walking at any one time. Today we picked up a couple new people (Vanessa Lynch and her dad for those in Maine who will remember her from our recent walks). Tomorrow we lose two of our folks who have to return to work. So it is an ebb and flow.

I've been massaging my feet and legs at every stop which has prevented them from getting too stiff. No blisters yet either. Today it was 50-some degrees with snow melting so lots of splashes as cars sped by us. Tomorrow we are forecasted to get 25 mile-per-hour winds and temperatures in the 20's so it should be bitter cold. Today was the first day I walked without long underwear. I'll have them back on in the morning for sure.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I highly recommend watching this video of a talk by Jim Douglass who wrote the highly regarded book called JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters.

The peace walk is now in Keene, New Hampshire where we are staying at the Inter-faith Campus Ministry House. We met with a group of students from Keene State University tonight for a pot luck supper on the campus and had a nice discussion afterward.

We walked more than 12 miles today thru the beautiful rolling hills with mountains in the distance. Going up the hill I'd start sweating and coming down the hill I'd get cold again...the perfect way to get sick. So I spent much of the day zipping and unzipping my jacket.

Today's primary observation for me is cars and trucks. There are too many of them out there. People feel the power of their vehicle, its an illusory power though. They can step on the peddle and zoom take off like a rocket. They can cover a huge distance in seconds, what would take me walking many minutes with real effort. Many people get terribly impatient when they have to slow their chariot down because we are walking alongside the highway or crossing the road. We've interrupted their personal power machine and they don't like that. They are in a hurry to get some where and delays are not appreciated.

Walking though brings a totally different perspective on time. Power and acceleration are foreign concepts when you are walking - especially uphill. You are more conscious about the air quality and the noise levels which are severely impact by the car culture. You notice so many more things along the highway - like when I saw a man walk through the woods because he saw us coming or the dogs barking or the horses and cows reacting to us. Walking hurts because we are not used to it but it is the natural way for humans to move. Sadly like so many other things we are even losing our ability to walk.

Brother Kato is working on my right leg and foot again. Last night he spent an hour massaging and applying heat with Chinese medicine to my most painful spots. His treatment kept me walking today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The big story in the newspapers here in western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire (and Maine) is Obama's crazy proposal to cut the low-income home heating assistance program for poor people. The cost of heating oil is going up and Obama wants to cut the program by 50%. It's only about a $2.5 billion cut but it helps many people and keeps them from freezing to death. It shows how hard-hearted Obama really is.

He'd rather keep his war spending growing and the empire of bases in tact. People need to defend those who are going to die when the heat gets turned off.

We walked 14 miles in a very cold windy day along the Connecticut River today. We passed by the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant that the state legislature has just voted to close down. The power companies want to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The river is frozen solid until you get near the power plant - then the water is too warm to freeze. Imagine how the aquatic life is impacted by the power plant.

Tomorrow we head to Keene, New Hampshire. The weather is supposed to warm up by 20-some degrees. They've had a huge amount of snow in this region and I read in the local paper that barn roofs have been collapsing and some cows have been killed. Climate change is having an impact.

Monday, February 14, 2011


It’s the second day of the Walk for a New Spring and we are in Northfield, Massachusetts. Today we walked more than 12 miles and yesterday we walked just three miles. Yesterday I felt nothing after walking; today my feet are stiff and a bit sore.

Yesterday in Leveret, we walked from the New England Peace Pagoda (the home of the Buddhist order Nipponzan Myohoji) to the Congregational Church in time for their Sunday morning service. The minister shaped the worship service around the walk and after it was over about 50 local people gathered across the street in the town hall for a potluck lunch to send the walk off with a big cheer.

In the early afternoon we were back at the Peace Pagoda where we watched a fascinating documentary about Native American history in this part of New England. At Turner Falls, which we passed by, white settlers slaughtered Indian refugees in the mid 1600’s as war broke out over control of the land. In 2007 the town of Turner Falls, named after the military officer in charge of the massacre of the Indian refugees, asked Native American elders to come hold a healing ceremony with them. A nice gesture but I couldn’t help but wonder if the town was truly serious about reconciliation they might have considered changing their name.

One of the truly amazing stories in the documentary were the significant discovery of large rock mounds throughout the state that were found to be set up in perfect coordination with the sight-line of the rising sun on the solstice and the setting sun on the equinox. Carbon dating around fire pits at one of the mounds was found to be more than 4,000 years old. Some of the rocks and boulders at several of the sites were not indigenous to that particular part of the state and thus had obviously been moved there. Native people have had difficulty getting the white establishment to see the value of preserving these sacred places.

As we walked along near some of these ancient areas I couldn’t help but think how in our “modern high-tech” world, we are so disconnected from the Earth that we know virtually nothing about the history and profound spiritual nature of our surroundings. Instead we live in ignorant bliss watching our cable TV, gorging on info-tainment and junk food, the whole time believing we are the smartest and “greatest” culture in the world. It’s a mind blower to me.

Tomorrow we head north into Vermont, to Brattleboro, and after that we’ll head east to Kenne, New Hampshire before dropping back down into Massachusetts.

Tim Bullock, who has organized the walk on behalf of the Peace Pagoda, at each stop explains to those who have come to greet and feed us that the purpose of the walk is to attempt to bring a thawing of the frozen hearted people who have learned to live in our militarized culture in a perpetual state of fear and war. This war footing mentality has been blindly internalized by the white culture since the Europeans first came to this land. They quickly became accustomed to living in fear as they stole the land from the Indians. Our walk, coming in the winter and calling for an end to war, invites people to find the peace in their hearts that could come with the dawning of a new spring.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Friday, February 11, 2011


The leaflet above (click on it for a better view) was advertising a protest I organized at the space center in Florida in 1989. This was during the period from 1987-1997 were we held one large protest after the other against the nuclearization and weaponization of space. Sometimes there were 500 people there, frequently about 1,000 came, and our biggest ever was more than 5,000.

Just today my son Julian, who grew up attending these events during his childhood, sent me an email with a link to a book written by Suelette Dreyfus with Research by Julian Assange that was published in 1997. The book was called Underground: Front Page. You can find the book here

Julian told me, "One of the debate topics for the Harvard tournament is about WikiLeaks and I've been doing a lot of research on Julian Assange. Here's a link to a book he worked the first chapter!!!"

So I dutifully clicked on the link.

Much to my surprise I found that the authors began their book with an account of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice's 1989 campaign to oppose NASA's launch of the Galileo plutonium-238 space probe that garnered international media coverage. This was the first of three major nukes in space campaigns that I led (the others Ulysses in 1990 and Cassini in 1997).

The authors wrote:

For weeks, the protesters had been out in force, demonstrating and seizing media attention. Things had become very heated. On Saturday, 7 October, sign-wielding activists fitted themselves out with gas masks and walked around on street corners in nearby Cape Canaveral in protest. At 8 a.m. on Monday, 9 October, NASA started the countdown for the Thursday blast-off. But as Atlantis's clock began ticking toward take-off, activists from the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice demonstrated at the centre's tourist complex.

That these protests had already taken some of the shine off NASA's bold space mission was the least of the agency's worries. The real headache was that the Florida Coalition told the media it would `put people on the launchpad in a non-violent protest'. The coalition's director, Bruce Gagnon, put the threat in folksy terms, portraying the protesters as the little people rebelling against a big bad government agency. President Jeremy Rivkin of the Foundation on Economic Trends, another protest group, also drove a wedge between `the people' and `NASA's people'. He told UPI, `The astronauts volunteered for this mission. Those around the world who may be the victims of radiation contamination have not volunteered.'

I'll always remember the 1989 launch of Galileo because it was delayed over and over again for about a week. The international media was gathered at the Kennedy Space Center tourist area with nothing much to do so each day during that week we'd assemble as many activists as we could get and hold another vigil and news conference which helped us tremendously to get the word out around the world about the deadly plutonium space launch.

In chapter 1 of this book is a whole section about a computer worm that got planted inside of NASA's computers during this very time. Was the Galileo delay due to a hacker trying to help us stop that launch? Was a hacker also trying to symbolically "sit on the launch pad"? We've got to learn more about this story. I've already pointed it out to journalist Karl Grossman who helped us break the Galileo story open in 1989.

The authors wrote about NASA beginning to suspect that the worm inside their computers was put there by protesters. (In fact at the time I don't think I even had a computer or knew how to send email.)

NASA was working in an information void when it came to WANK [worm planted by hackers]. Some staff knew of the protesters' action down at the Space Center, but nothing could have prepared them for this. NASA officials were confident enough about a link between the protests against Galileo and the attack on NASA's computers to speculate publicly that the two were related. It seemed a reasonable likelihood, but there were still plenty of unanswered questions.

It just goes to show that you never know who is paying attention to your efforts. Who could have known that Julian Assange, who has become such a big name due to his courageous work with Wiki Leaks, would be moved enough by our campaign to feature it in the first chapter of his book? Maybe it was because it was a classic story about out-of-control technology and the "little peoples" reaction. Any way you cut it one has to acknowledge that it has a nice twist.

One side story should be told here as well. My son Julian was nine years old in 1989 and one day I came home and he had my gas mask on. In his most serious voice he told me, "Don't worry Dad, if Galileo blows up I could wear this gas mask for the rest of my life." He was trying to make me feel better. His words cut right to my heart and my soul and virtually every day since that time I have stayed true to the cause because I believe that no child, my own or anyone else's, should ever have to think of living in a radioactive wasteland wearing a gas mask for their whole life.



  • I am getting packed up and ready to head to Massachusetts tomorrow for the Walk for a New Spring that will lightly touch Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island during the Feb 13-28 trek. The theme of the walk will be: End All War: Building peace and human solidarity in a disarmed world. MB was going to drive me on Saturday but has been sick so now my plan is to take a bus from Maine to Boston and then catch another bus west from there to Amherst, Massachusetts. All in all it will be about a nine-hour trip.

  • Our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home meets here at the Addams-Melman House tomorrow from noon to 3:30 pm. We begin with a pot luck lunch. It's time to crank things up again in our state as the governor and new Republican controlled legislature are getting ready to gut social progress like a hunter does after shooting a deer. Sadly the labor unions, social service organizations, environmental groups, and Democrats are sort of frozen like a deer in the headlights as the hunter draws a bead on their heads. The governor is ready to pull the trigger and up to this point any real signs of fight-back are hard to find. We figure it would be a good time to insert the message that the now $3 billion that Mainers have paid in war taxes since 2001 could have gone a long way to solve our fiscal crisis. But we don't just have to look at the past spending - it's the future war spending that we can actually do something about.

  • The chart at the top is quite telling. Our war spending is at an all-time high and the Obama team of corporate raiders understand that they have to quell growing public support for substantial Pentagon cuts, so they have announced what sounds like welcome news. CNN reports, "The administration is expected to propose a $78 billion reduction in defense spending over the next five years. Unfortunately, there's a lot more to the story. First of all, the cuts might prove illusory. The federal government appropriates money one year at a time, and the vast majority of that $78 billion reduction would take place in 2014 and 2015, when there will be a new Secretary of Defense and possibly a new president."

Call it a shell game. Call it subterfuge. Call it illusion. Call it the magician at work again. Just call it for what it is - a sham.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The protesters on the street in Egypt must be feeling intense anger and frustration since Mubarak announced tonight that he was not going anywhere. But I believe it is the tremendous success of their movement that is keeping Mubarak from leaving.

The global corporate oligarchy must be terrified about allowing the Egyptian people, and their supporters all around the world, to have such a resounding victory. Following the quick results of protests in Tunisia, that helped provide the spark to light the fires in Egypt, the ruling elites want to slow this train down. If Mubarak was to depart now, the fear is likely that other fires will get started in other suffering hearts and minds around the world.

Better to throw some cold water onto this raging fire lest it become much more out of control. The decision has likely been made to do everything possible to discourage and frustrate the people in Egypt and beyond.

Leaders in countries like the U.S. will maintain they are on the "side of the people" and have "no control over Mubarak". But I don't buy it. The U.S. does not like seeing its well supplied military dictators toppled so "easily" by determined and non-violent street protests. This would set a bad example for the empire's other client states - and particularly for the colonized people living in the U.S.

But the real power lies in the hands of the Egyptian people these days and they should continue to keep doing what they are doing. It appears that Egyptian protesters are calling for even bigger marches on Friday. The worst thing the Egyptian people, and their supporters across the globe, could do now would be to back off. Now is the time to apply even more pressure and to widen the demands.

Not only should we all be supporting democracy and freedom but we should also be calling for a reordering of domestic priorities everywhere - stop the expansion of militarism - fund human needs - return our civil liberties. This should be the call of all nations and all people.


Protesters at Gangjeong village wrote their hopes on wooden plaques near the naval base construction site. The sign says, “A place of peace and life, Gangjeong.” Photo courtesy Jon Walker

Jeju's planned naval base to generate more controversy in 2011
By Nicole Erwin (Jeju Weekly)

Maritime Security in Northeast Asia has been a common topic of conversation for a while now, and with recent escalations in the naval arms race, the North Korean threat to South Korea seems more real than ever. In the midst of the looming possibility of war, the people of Jeju find it difficult to accept their land’s fate as the new home of a large naval base.

The South Korean government approved construction of the naval base in May of 2009, although talk about the issue started in the early 1990’s. Due to resistance, however, little development has been done. The majority of the people on the island agreed with the central government that a base was needed, just no one could agree where, until now. Actually, not everyone has agreed. Those able to force the issue have.

Eugene Craig Campbell lives near Gangjeong, the proposed site of the base, and frequently visits the beautiful shoreline area.

“There are two motives here, one of the motives is NIMBY, not in my back yard, the other motive is, well, anti-military or at least anti-military on Jeju. I’m on the NIMBY side, but at least I respect that the base has to be. If isn’t going to be here it’s going to be somewhere else. I just wish it were somewhere else that’s all.”

Campbell also said he has grown to trust Koreans and their insight. After all, this, Gangjeong village, is where he has made his home. Campbell said although his feelings regard NIMBY, the idea itself is harmful to the greater good.

Many of the people of Gangjeong have been adamantly against the base since realizing their village’s destiny as its new home. Protesters shaved their heads, cried, and pleaded for reconsideration. Several protesters were taken to jail and accused the police of brutality. The Environmental News Service reported that a 70-year-old man hit his head on a rock after being pushed by police officers.

When the newly-elected Governor Woo Keun Min came into office on July 1, he halted construction due to unresolved issues. This was considered another setback for base development after the Seoul Administrative Court rejected a lawsuit by the village claiming the Ministry of Defense approved construction without completing an environmental impact study. The results of a final vote in Gangjeong, however, showed that 62 percent of eligible voters chose to accept the proposal unless another location chose to house the base.

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He and several other representatives opposed to the base visited the island to express concern at a panel held in early 2010 by the Gangjeong residents. The panel consisted of individuals from Guam, the Philippines, and Okinawa, all locations affected by naval base construction.

“When we were out on the coast today and the mayor was showing us the pictures of the fish and the coral, he was crying. You know, they are not just fighting for their land to grow tangerines, not for just their way of life but they are fighting for the fish, for the coral, for the rocks, a kind of depth of consciousness that I have seen very few times in life as an organizer,” said Gagnon.

Jeju is the only place in the world to achieve UNESCO “triple crown status” because of its remarkable geography. The former Roh Moo Hyun government also designated Jeju a “peace island” as a form of apology for the April 3rd 1948 Massacre.

Gangjeong village leader, Kang Dong Kyun said at the panel that bringing the base to the village would make the island a target if there were ever a conflict and that the notion of a base here negates the idea of an island of peace. Kang went on a 14-day hunger strike in protest.

Kim Myung Yeo is a 43-year-old Jeju resident. He said he is in favor of a naval presence on the island for development opportunities and military strategy, but only if the location is agreed on by everyone.

“Those in charge of bringing the naval base here must follow the will of the citizens and avoid destroying the environment,” said Kim.
Kim also said he would not want a US military presence on the island.

Gagnon said the base is provocative and dangerous, that it will turn the island of peace into a projection of power for the “US Empire.”
“It’s important to know that the US has recognized that it can’t compete with China economically anymore, but the theory is that if you can control their access to oil then you will hold the key to their economic engine, and thus be able to manage or control China. And so as it turns out, China imports 80 percent of its oil via ships, right along, guess where — the sea way just between China and Jeju Island,” said Gangnon.

Jeju is in the center of Northeast Asia, which gives the island a political and geographic advantage. To the east, the island faces Tsushima Island and the Japanese territory of Janggi. To the west, Jeju faces Shanghai across the East China Sea. The South China Sea lies south of the island while mainland South Korea lies to the north.

The naval base built on Jeju was earmarked for 97.5 billion won, or $86 million.
The new base will be home to up to 20 Aegis destroyer warships. The Korea Times reports that the Aegis combat system, built by Lockheed Martin, is the world’s premier surface-to-air and fire-control system, capable of conducting simultaneous operations against aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles, ships and submarines. Only a handful of countries, including the United States, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Norway, deploy Aegis warships.

“It’s my contention, and this is shared by many other analysts, that the United States is massively expanding its military within this particular region in order to develop the military capability to be able to essentially hold China hostage if it wish to. Now all this sounds wild and crazy and oh my god this is conspiracy theory, the US wouldn’t do anything like that,” said Gagnon. “But you should know that the space command has been annually war gaming a first strike attack on China set in the year 2016, and so they are actually moving through the process of creating both the theoretical military engagement plan, but also more importantly the military capability, the actual boots on the ground, the ships in the ocean, the planes in the air to put this kind of military strategy in motion.”

United States Forces Korea denied comment, stating that the base was South Korean and all questions should be directed towards the ROK Ministry of National Defense, who also denied comment.

Eugene Campbell worked 13 years at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul and six years for the Korea Institute of National Unification. He said the purpose of Korean blue-water naval capability is not to oppose China but to help protect Korea’s vital sea lanes coming in from the Middle East.

“Washington has long been demanding Japan and Korea to take their fair share of responsibility for that,” said Campbell. He denied Gagnon's theories.

Governor Woo said in November that he had considered the concerned parties and is now on board with the central government’s chosen site in Gangjeong. However, on Dec. 22, the proposed date to begin construction, 34 protesters including priests, citizens, and local politicians were arrested on site in an attempt to stop construction.

The protesters were held for 12 hours and then released. Sung Hee Choi represents the Gangjeong villagers resisting the base. She said that although the decision has been made and their voices may seem weak, the struggle is still real.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


The longtime Middle East correspondent of The Independent newspaper in London joins Democracy Now from Cairo to talk about the popular uprising ongoing across Egypt, its regional implications, and how Obama should respond. “[The protesters] are asking for nothing less than Americans expect in their own lives,” Fisk says.


Strategic Command 2011 and beyond

A new presentation by Loring Wirbel (Citizens for Peace in Space in Colorado Springs, Colorado) about the dangerous and growing role of the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) which is based in Omaha, Nebraska at Offutt AFB.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


The House GOP leadership allowed only 40 minutes of debate on the extension of certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act today, and brought the bill up for a vote under a rule allowing no amendments and requiring two-thirds of the body to vote YES in order for it to pass.

The House measure which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) failed on a 277-to-148 vote. Twenty-six Republicans voted with 122 Democrats to oppose the measure, while 67 Democrats voted with 210 Republicans to back it. Ten members did not vote.

The measure would have extended three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire on Monday, Feb. 28, unless Congress moves to reauthorize them. One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access “any tangible items,” such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a “lone wolf” provision of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group

Republican leaders vow to bring it up again soon to try to pass these key provisions. Some of the new Tea Party Repubs in the House helped defeat these provisions indicating they might follow the Ron Paul libertarian line on these issues.

Here are those that voted No.

Bass (CA)
Bishop (UT)
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Broun (GA)
Brown (FL)
Carson (IN)
Clarke (MI)
Clarke (NY)
Davis (IL)
Duncan (TN)
Frank (MA)
Graves (GA)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Jackson (IL)
Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, E. B.
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Lewis (GA)
Lofgren, Zoe
Miller, George
Pastor (AZ)
Pingree (ME)
Price (NC)
Roe (TN)
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scott (VA)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Walz (MN)
Wasserman Schultz
Wilson (FL)
Young (AK)


Fox Be Damned: Why a Packers Victory Is the People’s Victory

By Dave Zirin

The 2011 Super Bowl was between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers—two squads whose monikers speak to their roots as factory teams in the industrial heartland. As these teams prepared to face off in the almighty spectacle that is the Super Bowl, the game’s pre-game show involved a salute to Ronald Reagan on his hundredth birthday. Considering how Reagan gutted the aforementioned industrial heartland, a more appropriate pre-game show would have been an intimate meeting at the fifty-yard line between a Reagan-disguised tackling dummy and fearsome Steeler James Harrison. (The Black Eyed Peas at halftime, however, made me long for another Reagan tribute.) It was also, by the way, Bob Marley’s birthday, and I’m going to guess that far more Super Bowl parties in this country reflected Marley’s legacy than Reagan’s.

But it wasn’t just the film tribute that reminded viewers of the Reagan 1980s. The sheer tonnage of militaristic bombast with patriotic trimmings was like Top Gun on steroids and may have seemed over the top to the Gipper himself. Viewers were treated to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, coupled with Marines marching on the field, coupled with that twit from Glee singing “America the Beautiful,” coupled with more shots of the troops, coupled with a damaged Christina Aguilera stumbling through the National Anthem. By the time it was done, I was ready to get an American Flag tattoo and send my taxes to Hosni Mubarak like a Fox-Approved Good American. But fortunately for my sanity, I was watching the game with the DC Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against War at their annual Demilitarized Super Bowl Party. The vets, who booed every time Fox tried to use the troops to build its brand, made it clear that real war in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t have a damn thing to do with what the broadcast was selling. As Geoff Millard of Iraq Vets Against the War said to me, “We love sports but hate the way it’s used and hate the way the soldiers are used to sell war.”

And yet somewhere amidst the noise, the smoke, the Reagans and the Black Eyed Peas, a football game actually broke out, and it was a dandy. In every previous Super Bowl, no team had ever come back from more than a ten-point deficit, and before you could blink, the Steelers were down 18, 21-3. This was thanks to two costly interceptions by Pittsburgh quarterback and twice-accused rapist Ben Roethlisberger. An electric interception return for a touchdown by Green Bay safety Nick Collins reminded a lot of us why we love this game in the first place. But Pittsburgh is a team with two dozen players who were part of their Super Bowl championship team two years ago and they refused to quit. The game wound down with Green Bay leading 31-25 and Pittsburgh having the ball with just two minutes to play. Green Bay’s defense held and a fantastic game ended as the Pack came away with the win. Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers was absolutely brilliant completing 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and winning the MVP.

Yet for all the celebration of the Packers and their history, there was one brazen decision made by the show’s producers and announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman that was an insult to everything the team stands for. Often, the Super Bowl includes numerous shots of the two teams’ owners fretting in their luxury boxes like neurotic Julius Caesars. But the Packers are a team without an owner. They’re a community-run nonprofit owned by 112,000 fans. Rather than celebrate that fact, Fox didn’t mention the Pack’s unique ownership structure once. They also then didn’t include shots of the Rooney family, the most celebrated ownership family in the NFL.

After the game, during the traditional passing of the Lombardi Trophy to the winning team’s owner, the award was handed to the Packers’ “CEO and Chief Executive Officer” Mike Murphy, who barely looks old enough to shave. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as he threatens to lock the players out, clearly wants to hide the truth that the Packers have no single billionaire owner. They want it hidden because the team from Green Bay stand as a living breathing example that if you take the profit motive out of sports, you can get more than a team to be proud of: you get a Super Bowl Champion. It aint Tahrir Square, but it’s something, in our over-corporatized, hyper-commercialized sports world, to cheer. That is reason enough to celebrate the fact that the Lombardi Trophy has finally come home to Titletown.

Named of the UTNE Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World," Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation magazine. Zirin is a frequent guest on MSNBC, ESPN, and Democracy Now. He also hosts his own weekly Sirius XM show, Edge of Sports Radio. His books include What's My Name Fool? (Haymarket Books), A People's History of Sports in the United States (the New Press) and the forthcoming Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (Scribner). You can find all his work at


Egyptian TV interview with Internet activist Wael Ghonim who was arrested and detained for 12 days.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Ralph Nader holds Obama by the same standards he has held all other U.S. presidents. He holds them to their word and to the truth. Nader is one of the few statesmen we have in this country.


  • I am feeling marginally better today after spending most of the weekend in bed surfing the Internet on my laptop. You can see I went a bit wild posting various videos on the blog. What else can I do when I am sick? Today I have a bunch of work to get caught up with but my mind is not ready to focus so I keep drifting off and have to really force myself to keep going. Luckily I had long ago scheduled a doctor appointment for today to take my annual physical so I can have the doctor check me out real good. (Or is the proper word well? My friend and editor Selma will let me know which is correct I am sure.)

  • I did a blog rant (January 11) after the recent Tucson shooting and sent it to our local newspaper along with a photo of a kid playing with a machine gun mounted on a military vehicle. I never heard from the paper and figured it was rejected. But last Thursday it was in the paper as an Op-Ed along with the photo. You can see it online here (without the photo).

  • The Portland Press Herald ran a story in recent days about a Maine link to Frank Wisner who was the former U.S Ambassador to Egypt who Obama just sent to meet with Mubarak. He arrived in Cairo the day before Mubarak turned the thugs loose onto the non-violent resistance. As it turns out Wisner is the brother of a prominent Maine peace and justice activist. Wisner was on the board of Enron and AIG. See what Democracy Now has to say about Wisner.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Featuring the long-time activist Tariq Ali.


John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist whose international following reflects the universal language of his words, work and message. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM), serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979. In February of 1979, a fire of unknown origin killed Trudell's wife, three children and mother-in-law. It was through this horrific tragedy that Trudell began to find his voice as an artist and poet, writing, in his words, "to stay connected to this reality."


Saturday, February 05, 2011


My latest public access TV show where I interviewed two leaders from Maine's Sudanese community.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


  • Much to my pleasant surprise I just found this photo on Facebook of our friend VV from Massachusetts. VV participated in both peace walks I helped to organize through Maine in 2010. She just got our GN newsletter in the mail. You can find it online here

  • MB and I are still sick and Karen is taking good care of us. My head is pounding and I didn't sleep much the last two nights. I hate being sick. Normally I am a pretty high energy guy but right now I can barely get out of bed.

  • Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman, his intelligence chief, as vice president shortly after the demonstrations began in Cairo. On Saturday afternoon, the protesters in the square were flanked by a large banner that read: "No Mubarak, no Suleiman. Both are American Agents." Suleiman met with leaders of one political party but nothing came of it as he insisted that Mubarak was not going anywhere. Mubarak's government will keep trying to cherry pick some of the more ambitious leaders to try to cut a deal thus betraying the call of the movement to hang together to the bitter end. Suleiman is known to have been in charge of the state torture apparatus and will not be acceptable to the people in the street.

  • On the lighter side, baseball spring training begins in a couple of weeks. My Baltimore Orioles have had 13 losing seasons in a row. But this winter they have remade the team by bringing in a bunch of news guys who have great promise. Just last night they signed superstar Vladimir Gurrero. He has been one of the greatest hitters in baseball during his career. It should be more fun to watch baseball this summer.


Friday, February 04, 2011


I'm home in bed sick today.....finally caught up with me. Looks like I'll miss the VFP retreat this weekend.

This is an important report.

More: I was watching CBS News and they were talking about how the Egyptian transfer of power is going to take some time and that the public needs to be patient. Then one of talking heads starting recalling how various Iranians had once been brought to Egypt for torture and that it was known the CIA was involved. I started thinking that Mubarak and his agents must have lots of files and records to destroy before he leaves town. This could be one key reason why all of this back and forth is going on now. They are stalling for time.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


This is the kind of regime our buddy Mubarak in Egypt has been running for years.

See the way this car just runs the people over.


That is me trying to find our house. They all look the same on the street today after our most recent snow blast. It took some time but I finally found it....the one with the bumperstickers on the cars.

Seriously though, this is how I felt today - overwhelmed. I spent at least four hours outside shoveling after the last two days of steady snow. Lucky for me, my back has held up but I am worn to a frazzle. Sadly though everyone else in the house is either sick or has some physical issue that keeps them from shoveling with the exception of Laurie who had to go to Portland for an appointment. So I had the whole smear to myself.

I noticed on Facebook a Veterans for Peace friend who lives north of here said she was ready for a spicy rum and hot apple cider after dealing with her snow. So I tried it myself and I can report that now I am feeling little pain.

No politics out of me today. Right now I am going to go find a movie to watch and sit in front of the tube and let my mind shut down. There is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011



This vlog was recorded on January 18th by Asmaa Mahfouz, the woman who helped start it all. She had shared it on her Facebook, and it had gone viral. It was so powerful and so popular, that it drove Egyptians by the thousands into Tahrir Square, and drove the Egyptian government to block Facebook.


This morning we've learned via Al Jazeera TV that the Mubarak government has unleashed their secret police and thugs onto the peaceful people that have been gathered for days in the city square. There can be no doubt that despite milk-toast words about "democracy" and the "rule of law" from Obama, the U.S. has likely told Mubarak to take whatever steps are necessary to "regain stability" in his country. This would be the signal to use violence to disperse the people and to create division and fear as a strategy to quell the protest movement.

(Later this afternoon I heard a U.S. State Department public relations spokesman say that Hillary Clinton had called the "new" V-P of Egypt and told him that an immediate investigation was needed to prosecute those responsible for unleashing the thugs on the peaceful protesters. The media leaped to challenge that remark but he just repeated it and went on. This clearly indicates to me the total lack of seriousness with which the U.S. government views this incident.)

One news report said that Mubarak had sent out Oil Ministry workers, members of his political party, and state police into the square to beat up the pro-democracy crowd. MSNBC has reported that Obama had earlier sent a U.S. official, who has a long-time relationship with Mubarak, to meet with the Egyptian president and help guide his actions. There is no doubt in my mind that Mubarak would not be taking these hostile actions without the behind-the-scenes support of the U.S. military empire. Of course the U.S. must publicly call for peaceful resolution by renouncing the use of violence. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. used to say, the U.S. is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

Let's see if the U.S. administration and Congress immediately pulls the plug on weapons grants/sales to the Egyptian government. Mubarak's government is the second largest recipient of weapons from the U.S. (just behind Israel) in the world. It is the U.S. weapons that have essentially kept the Egyptian people under control for 30 years. Where has the U.S. outrage been over torture and failed democracy during those brutal years?

Ben Wedeman of CNN tweeted:

bencnn White House issues pale, weak statement on situation in Cairo. Imagine if Tahrir were in Tehran. #Jan25 #Egypt

UPDATE: Just to illustrate my point further how the corporate oligarchy works and thinks, here is a very instructive comment from the war criminal Tony Blair. In an interview with CNN, Tony Blair, former British prime minister and currently an envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, defends President Mubarak, calling him "immensely courageous and a force for good."