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, June 30, 2014


The UN has reported that more than 100,000 refugees are fleeing eastern Ukraine (mostly into Russia) as the regime in Kiev continues to shell civilian targets.  In the video below the US denies the refugee number.

Here are some words from the refugees:


The situation in the cauldrons of Kramtorsk and Slavyansk is deteriorating by the hour. The reports of chlorine gas being used starting yesterday are confirmed. The nazis will do the same with gas they did with bombardments. First one single mortar shell, then 5, then 50 as the world ignored the shooting at civilian targets. Missiles. First one, then 5, then salvos. Gas. Yesterday a single attack using 'non lethal' amount on a block post. Today more. What of tomorrow?

We are working hard on getting more women and children out. We have two who should be here shortly. More will come later this week. We/they waited too long. It is difficult now to get them out of some areas, impossible for some areas. T

The silence from The West is deafening.


I worked in a bank office. I have been there for some years. I have not been paid since March. Every week we were promised we would be paid next week. 3 weeks ago masked and armed men came to the office with manager. They ordered us to leave. We stood outside and watched as the men loaded all the computers, machines and records in to two large cars (trucks) and last they brought all the money in large black metal boxes. We asked them about our money and they pointed their automats at us and told us to shut up. They left. That night the bank office was burned. Our самообороны (defense forces) was blamed for the fire. It was not our men, it was the men who took all the money.

Militsiya (police) are useless. They don't work, they are cowards, they are waiting to see who wins this war. When there is trouble we send children running to get самообороны to us.

Shooting started. They shoot from the radio tower on the hill at us every day and every night. Many shops have been damaged. Almost all shops have stopped working now. No one could get their money from banks. All banks are closed. Every day someone is killed near us. We do not have any самообороны post in our area. The guns are very big. We can hear them when they shoot. We have nowhere to hide.

The factory where my husband worked was hit. It burned and there was some kind of white powder on the ground when we went to see the factory. самообороны told us not to touch the powder, it was phosphor and would burn our hand. There are no fire cars to put water on the fire. There is no water for them to use. My husband was not paid from May. His owner ran to Kiev long ago.

My husband went to самообороны. He told me I have to take the children and leave. We could not leave, there is no way out for us. We have no money to pay someone to help us. Our city is blocked by the enemy. No one can come in or out. We have no water, no electric, almost no food, no milk for the children, just porridge I make with water I get from a water car самообороны brings sometimes.

4 days ago my husband told me to pack very few things and be ready to leave. I do not question my husband. 2 days ago my husband in the night told me to wake the children, it was time to leave. He took us down the stairs to a car waiting for us. The house (flats building) across the street was burning at the top. I kissed my husband goodbye, he kissed our children and we left. He told me there was a way he will let me know every day he is alive. He said I would understand when I got to safety. He gave me 50 griven (4$), that is all he had. I did not know where we were going, he did not tell me.

(She began to weep) I thank God my children are safe. I am worried of my husband.


ISIS proclaimed Islamic order on territories they captured both in Iraq and Syria. The area they now hold contains economically vital oil sites. Where does ISIS get the funding it needs to snatch power in the region? Even Washington has played its role in the rise of ISIS - as RT's Marina Portnaya explains.


Twisted Up in Money

We've become twisted
we are out of our minds
money is the book
we worship

Natives called it
'green frog skin'
paper covers heart
heart goes cold
and greedy

we are twisted
we lost our way
our reason for living
our human purpose
the vision has been

there is a twisted
war on now
the good,
the people
who want to share
and be kind
are the enemy
of greed

Sunday, June 29, 2014



Seek truth from facts with intelligence expert William Engdahl; economist Professor Michael Hudson; former US intelligence officer Scott Rickard; and the prosecutor who put Yulia Timoshenko's partner behind bars, Martha Boersch.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


The shaky truce in East Ukraine has been extended with both the army and anti-government fighters promising to recognize it. The ceasefire, which has been in place for a week, is part of attempts to bring peace to the region. RT's Maria Finoshina saw first-hand what Eastern Ukraine is like amid the promised 'peace'.


We had 100 people turn out last night in Bath for the public forum on Maine's growing dependence on military spending.  A three-woman panel of speakers did a good job putting our present situation in context and offered ideas for ways we can begin to deal with our state's economic addiction to military spending.

The key take away was that we need more local discussion across the state about how military spending is capital intensive - meaning that federal spending on military production creates fewer jobs than any other kind of investment.  Studies have long revealed that if we put our tax dollars into building green technology, health care, education, rail systems,  road and bridge repair, etc we'd in every case get more jobs.  You can see the study here

You'd think elected officials would be all over this information since it would be a key way to create more jobs with existing levels of federal spending.  But the power of the military industrial complex neutralizes these "leaders".

Another important take-away from the meeting was the need to pass legislation at the state level to create a planning commission to begin the process of diversification of our military economy.  Last year the state of Connecticut passed such a law and other states are now moving to do the same.

In the audience last evening were religious leaders, a Bath city council member, leaders of the climate change movement, peace activists, people from the green energy field, union members, as well as interested people from the general public.

Our challenge now will be to bring together a diverse group of people from across Maine to get this planning commission legislation moving in the state legislature next year.

All in all it was a very successful event organized by Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies.

The event began with a pot luck supper and we got great reviews on the food.

Friday, June 27, 2014


The Russians are taking a grave view of the US-NATO regime in Ukraine.

Putin's economic advisor reveals growing Russian fears about coming war with the US.


Ukraine's President Poroshenko violates his own ceasefire by continuing to shell people living in the eastern part of the country.  Then as he signs the Ukraine-EU trade deal he says that people in all parts of the country support the controversial plan to turn his country over to the international IMF-World Bank cartel.  Did he forget that his army is shelling folks in the east who don't support the plan?

Everything is perception management.... Kiev calls for a ceasefire and then shells their own citizens in the east and blames them for defending themselves when 'Right Sector' fascists attack them.  Then he tells the western media that the whole country supports turning the Ukrainian economy over to corporate interests. 

Into Ukraine will come Monsanto with their GMO crops, in will come the western oil corporations, in will come the US military industrial complex, and in will come NATO bases and 'missile defense' systems right on Russia's border.

The US-NATO are calling the shots in this on-going drama but the people reading or watching mainstream media outlets won't really know what is going on at all.  Those managed media outlets are doing the spin work of the very corporations now turning Ukraine into a corporate client state.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


The idea that the Great Depression was finally brought to an end by the onset of WWII has been a staple of history textbooks, documentaries and various war propaganda for decades. This myth continues to be perpetuated to the present day.
The idea that war is good for the economy is, needless to say, a fallacious argument which itself is based on incorrect economic data.


The peas are starting to bud in our back yard at the Addams-Melman House in Bath, Maine.  We named our house after WWI-era peace activist and social worker Jane Addams who won the Nobel Peace Prize back in the day when you really had to earn it.

The other half of our house name comes from Seymour Melman who was professor of economics at Columbia University in New York.  He is regarded as the father of economic conversion and during the late 80's to early 90's that issue of converting away from military production was driving the peace movement as the Cold War came to an end and we were promised a peace dividend.

But George H. W. Bush (the former director of the CIA and son of WWII era Nazi sympathizer Sen. Prescott Bush) got the minds of the American people redirected with the Panama invasion ('Operation Just Cause').  Soon after came the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and daddy Bush sent hundreds of thousands of US troops (and many National Guard units) to Iraq for the cakewalk it turned out to be. (During that time I drove across much of the US and virtually every small town had signs up cheering on their local sons who were sent to Iraq.  The mass war indoctrination was well organized.)

Before the Persian Gulf slaughter began the US used satellites to pre-identify all of Iraq's military targets.  Then in the first 2-3 days of the war the Pentagon bombed 95% of those targets leaving just a tiny sliver of capability in place that the military played cat and mouse with during the remaining weeks of the war.  The bottom line is that the US Space Command called that 'war' the first space war and its primary purpose was to field test and show the world how the Pentagon could use space technology to direct the destruction of anyone that dares to stand up to corporate globalization.

During the years since the end of the Cold War we've seen the continuing escalation of US military development under the guise of fighting terrorism.  Massive amounts of tax dollars have been shoveled down the high tech spying and war making rat hole.  Social programs and the nation's physical infrastructure have been hollowed out - justified as debt reduction imperatives.

The corporate oligarchy doesn't need the US for manufacturing when much cheaper labor can be found overseas.  Instead our role has become 'security export' as we send our youth to fight resource battles that only benefit the 1%.  Our manufacturing sector only builds weapons for endless war.  It's gotten so bad that industry in the US hardly has the skill to make tools anymore and doesn't presently have the ability to build rail systems and the like.  This did not come to pass by chance.

The oligarchy leaves nothing to chance anymore.  And if the people can be kept docile the whole process can be accelerated.

Thus we come back to Jane Addams and Seymour Melman.  Their positive vision of a peaceful nation, caring society, and independently skilled work force is fading in memory by the day.  Unless we stand up and hold these images of a kinder and more sustainable society in a public way they will be lost to the future generations.

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Are preliminary talks under way to avoid an all-out civil war or is it just a smokescreen? Are the Europeans pushing hardest for a peace deal? And does Putin's Russia have a long view of the Ukraine crisis? CrossTalking with Eric Kraus, Nebojsa Malic and John B. Quigley.


The Vineyard of the Saker reports today:

It appears that the ceasefire has had a bigger impact on the big cities of Lugansk and Donetsk than in the smaller cities on the frontline like Slaviansk or Kramatorsk were combat operations have apparently continued.  Furthermore, as Juan has reported, Ukrainian troops are further being resupplied and reinforced.  The junta's Minister of Defense has officially confirmed that the notorious "Battalion Aidar" death-squad, which had been wiped out by the NDF, was being re-formed and re-trained with new soldiers.  Igor Kolomoiski appears to be the person financing this effort.
There are now officially half a million refugees from the ex-Ukraine now in the Rostov-on-the-Don region alone.  400,000 refugee centers have now been created in Russia east of the Ural Mountains.  The US ambassador to the UNSC has denied that there is a refugee crisis.  To Uncle Sam half a million refugees are, apparently, invisible, just like the 275,000 Serbian refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo are *still* invisible to the West.

Then the Ukranian insider (Juan) shared this latest news from the eastern battleground:

1. There was and is no 'cease fire' in Novorossiya. Right sector/nats guard never stopped their attacks and bombardments nor have units of Ukraine Army. We know what West Media is saying, blaming all incidents on us. They are liars. We can not stand down while under attack from the enemy.

2. Bombardments of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk City, Lugansk City and outlying towns and villages continues day and night. 

3. Smerch missile systems are now in the Lugansk and Donetsk City areas. Confirmed eyes on.

4. Ukraine is now deploying by artillery anti personnel mines. These mines have no 'inert date' in them. Confirmed, eyes on. We will be losing civilians for years after the fighting is over.

5. Reports of 400 soldiers of 25th Airborne Regiment leaving the combat area are not confirmed. 

6. Large areas of the Novorossiya/Russia border are under Novorossiya control. There have been scattered attacks by Ukr Army on some of our border posts. Attacks were not successful. No known civilian casualties in these attacks.

7. Many thousands of Novorossiya civilians are crossing the border with Russia to escape the bombardments and attacks on them. At some crossing points traffic is backed up for more than 5 kilometers. Confirmed, eyes on.

8. Krasni Limahn is still not secure. Our troops are involved in scattered fighting in the area. Novorossiya has made an effort to remove the many civilian bodies in the streets and buildings of Krasni Limahn in areas that we control.

9. Neither Donetsk Airport nor Lugansk Airports are totally under control of Novorossiya. Scattered fighting is ongoing in both areas.

10. The Mi24 shoot down yesterday is confirmed. The helicopter was not full of 'cease fire monitors' as Kiev says. It is confirmed the now deceased occupants were all combat armed Ukr soldiers.  

11. Slavyansk and outlying towns and villages are completely cut off from water, gas, electric and sewer systems. The only water available is from wells and streams. Food supplies are dwindling rapidly. Novorossiya Army is making efforts to get food in to the areas. These efforts are contested by the enemy even though clearly marked as to their purpose. Confirmed. 

12. The systematic bombardments by Ukr Army of Novorossiya cities, towns and villages has several purposes. One is to terrorize and drive out as many civilians as possible, leading to the death and wounding of many innocent civilians. Second is to cut off water and electric to all civilian areas possible. Third is to destroy as much of the physical plant and industry including mines as possible.

13. Ukraine Army is laying minefields in civilian and uncontested areas. These fields are unmarked. Confirmed loses of civilians and livestock in the minefields.

14. Two carelessly driven Ukr Army trucks became mired in mud near one of our outposts. We are in possession of the contents and drivers of both. Drivers are now members of Novorossiya Army at their request. Contents of both trucks are a welcome addition to our supply train and were quite interesting. 

15. 07:17 25 June fierce fighting ongoing in Slavyansk area near foot of Karachuk Mountain. Mountain is bombarding Slavyansk and under bombardment from our mortars. We do not have long range artillery to bombard all of Karachuk. Casualties are unknown at this time.

16. 24 June and 25 June, confirmed eyes on strong armor columns of Ukr Army including main battle tanks and light tanks are moving and deploying in the Donetsk City and Lugansk City areas. 

17. Partisan activities in Kharkov area are ongoing. Confirmed a large column of fresh right sector/nats guard replacements was ambushed and suffered significant casualties and vehicle losses. No known casualties for the partisans. 

18. без комментариев.
19. My evaluation of your Watershed Moment analysis:  Shows and tells pretty much everything in the overall view with most the players and actors mentioned. The only problem is the situation is so fluid what is true this morning may not be true at noon. As I said some time ago, you and a lot of the posters on blog are intellectually so far above this poor old grunt I've got to look up to see your feet. That being said, the post was pretty complete and well laid out in the analysis of the options and actions of both sides of this war. Easily understandable even for my poor tired brain.  The moral of our boys is extremely high. Those I talked to Sunday were tired but very upbeat and that's putting it mildly. There has indeed been a sea change in the last week or 10 days.  A massive attack on Lugansk City and Donetsk City proper is expected by Friday at the latest. There are again rumblings of a concerted gas attack in the opening bombardment. Kiev is desperate to force VV to intervene. He won't unless civilian casualties from a gas attack are huge. And they will be and will be blamed on our boys if the gas attack is done. Casualties will be bad enough from the preliminary bombardment. Kiev is massing everything they have for the bombardment right down to slingshots.  I know the downed chopper is being ID'd as an Mi8. My sources are pretty adamant the one they saw go down was an Mi24, in the same general area and with roughly the same soldier load. If it's an Mi24, why so few soldiers? Full of some kind of special cargo? Perhaps two birds got waxed?


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product?

How about our air?  Should we next put a meter on every human and charge then for every breath?


We got our confirmation from city of Bath today and the PeaceWorks entry will be #67 in the July 4 parade.
We are looking for helpers to carry signs, banners and props for our climate change & conversion/diversification entry in the parade.
We’ll begin gathering just after 9:00 am on Friday, July 4 on the corner of Congress & Lincoln Streets just by the cemetery.
You are also invited to the Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) for a pot luck lunch afterwards.
For our children’s future....


  • The state of Michigan has turned the city of Detroit over to corporations.  The once vibrant auto manufacturing metropolis is now in haggars and is being privatized.  This will soon enough be the 'perscription' for most struggling cities across the nation.  The recent Veteran's Administration (VA) scandal is being used to push for privatization of the VA.  Some politicians are already suggesting that very thing....right on schedule.

News reports reveal that the corporate-run city of Detroit is preparing a campaign to shut off water service to 1,500 to 3,000 customers a week who are delinquent on bills. There are also more than 296,000 residential accounts – more than 154,000 of which are delinquent.

"We’re trying to shift the behavioral payment patterns of our customer base right now,” said Constance Williams-Levye, water department commercial operations specialist.

Love that phrase.... "commercial operations specialist".  The greed of Wall Street has taken over Detroit and water is being privatized.  There are no jobs there and where can people move?  If you can't afford to pay - tough luck.  Get on your knees and beg and maybe we'll give you a few plastic bottles of war at a discount.  The cynicism of these 'leaders' disgusts me.

  • In Ukraine word comes that more than 400 members of Kiev's Army Airborne Division have given their letter of resignation saying they don't want to kill their fellow citizens.  Very inspiring, particularly since I'd previously heard that the Kiev military junta had been threatening conscripts with 15 years in jail if they didn't go to war.  It appears obvious to me that Poroshenko's some what disingenuous 'cease fire' proposal on some level must be connected to the constant mutineering of the pirate's crew.

Russia's Putin, wanting to show maximum cooperation, has requested that the upper house call off the March 1 resolution allowing the Russian head of state to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.  Actually many inside Russia, and many outside, have been critical of Putin for not using military force to protect the citizens in eastern Ukraine who have been under fierce attack by the US-NATO regime in Kiev.  But clearly Putin has seen that war with the west would not be good for the world.  On the other hand there are many Russian oligarchs (just like in Detroit) that are eager to get along with the west and make money in the process.  Russia is a capatalist system and intends to milk its natural gas and oil reserves as long as possible. 

  • My favorite blog on Ukraine is The Vineyard of the Saker.  He writes about the latest twist in the Ukraine-Russia-US-NATO chess game:

 I will therefore limit my analyses to credible options:

  1. Russia has concluded that the Ukrainians simply do not have the means to take over and ethnically/politically cleanse Novorussia and that covert aid is enough to secure the future survival of Novorussia.
  2. The EU and Russia have successfully bought Poroshenko away from US supervision and are now trying to take control of the situation.
  3. Russia is trying to offer the most symbolic concessions in preparation for an inevitable breakdown of the negotiations and a subsequent Russian intervention.
  4. Russia is buying time, just enough to have the Ukie economy collapse and the resulting social explosion to overwhelm the junta.
  5. Russia is offering a symbolic concession which more or less guarantees that the Europeans will not have to crash their own economy in further US-demanded sanctions.
Of those options which is the best?  In my opinion the most credible one is the one which combines them all: I think that they are all true.

  • I just got back last night after spending several days with my son in Kansas City.  He brought 17 kids (and many parents as well) from Taiwan to Kansas City for a national middle/high school debate tournament.  Despite being new to debate, and somewhat language impaired, six of the kids made it to quarter-finals and were given awards in the final ceremony.  You could tell it meant alot to the kids and the parents.  We had lunch with some of the parents and kids at a Chinese restaurant and they were effusive about Julian being in Taiwan coaching their kids.  I was very impressed with the parents that I met and saw that they valued family and cooperation in a big way.  Makes me happy that Julian is in good hands there.

Monday, June 23, 2014


You can learn more about the sponsoring group for this event - Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies here

Sunday, June 22, 2014


US supported fascists in Kiev tried to attack a religious anti-war service being held inside a monastery.  The church activists planned a procession against Ukraine signing the EU Association Agreement and the "anti-terrorist" operation in the eastern part of the country.

After they were done at the church the Nazi's turned and trashed Russian banks.

It is obvious that the US-NATO installed regime is using the Nazi Right Sector to intimidate and help suppress any real opposition to the government throughout the nation.

One blogger ironically says, "In Western Europe Nazism is banned.  In Eastern Europe it is sponsored.  By the West Europeans. Go figure..."



Saturday, June 21, 2014


The U.S. Army's Top Secret Arctic nuclear base under the ice - "Camp Century" restored classified film.

In the late 1950's, during the height of the Cold War, the Pentagon created a "secret base" in the Arctic for "research purposes". 

Project Iceworm was the code name for a top-secret US Army program during the Cold War to build a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites under the Greenland ice sheet. The ultimate objective of placing medium-range missiles under the ice – close enough to strike targets within the Soviet Union – was kept secret from the Danish government. To study the feasibility of working under the ice, a highly publicized "cover" project, known as Camp Century, was launched in 1960.

The secret Project Iceworm was to be a system of tunnels 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) in length, used to deploy up to 600 nuclear missiles, that would be able to reach the USSR in case of nuclear war.

Within three years after it was excavated, ice core samples taken by geologists working at Camp Century demonstrated that the glacier was moving much faster than anticipated and would destroy the tunnels and planned launch stations in about two years. The facility was evacuated in 1965, and the nuclear generator removed. Project Iceworm was canceled, and Camp Century closed in 1966.

 In the end it goes to show what lengths the US military industrial complex would undertake to control the Soviet Union - or any other country or region.

The ultimate question - was there ever a release of radioactive waste into the Arctic environment? 


  • Having a great visit with my son in Kansas City where he brought 17 of his debate students from Taiwan for a big tournament.  There were about 3,000 kids at the tournament from the US and around the world.  Six of his kids made it to quarterfinals and it was fun to see them get their awards yesterday in the closing ceremony.  Last night we took seven of the boys to a Kansas City Royals baseball game.  This morning one of the Taiwanese moms thanked me for raising such a good son.  Just the kind of compliment a parent likes to hear about their kid.  Right now my very tired son is sleeping and I just love being next to him.  Had not seen him for about 18 months so this is pure joy for me.
  • It was 90 degrees here in Kansas City yesterday.  Living in Maine for the past 11 years has reduced my capacity for extreme heat - not that I ever liked it much.  Kansas and Missouri are big climate change denier states and you've got to wonder how long people can keep ignoring the chickens as they come home to roost.
  • An interesting and very informative piece on genocide in Ukraine has been written by British-Ukrainian-Russian actress and writer Vera Graziadei.  This highly documented article can be found here
  • Everywhere you turn these days you find Hillary Clinton.  The corporate media is making sure that the skids are greased to ensure her safe slide into the White House.  Clinton's job would be to continue the work of Bush I, Bill Clinton, Bush II, and Obama on behalf of the corporate oil-i-garchy.  You could call it a coronation of sorts.  Hillary would also help keep the liberals in check as the rich continue to dismantle American society.  Rumors are flying that former Florida governor Jeb Bush (brother of George W.) will run as the Republican candidate.  Now say this with me - the US has become a corporate monarchy!


The real job of the new "president" of Ukraine is to translate instructions from the US.

Any talk about ceasefire is a joke as US-NATO do everything possible to bring the conflict to Russia.

The western media  distortions of the reality underway in Ukraine is more than revealing to anyone actually paying attention to what is going on.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Reports from eastern Ukraine include the following....see full report here

  • 100% confirmed reports of detention camps in areas west of Novorossiya. Evacuees going west by train and vehicle are being stopped by units of right sector [fascists]. Many are taken to these camps. Women and children are interrogated and usually released, some are held for further interrogation. No food or water is provided to the children or women. Men 16 to 50 years are locked in cells and interrogated by right sector and SBU. Evacuees released have all money and valuables taken and often documents, then are released on to roads. Local residents near camps terrified, will not speak or help released evacuees.
  • Many thousands of refugees from the fighting have arrived in Rostov area, Russia, some to Krimu. Russia and Russia civilians are helping the refugees. No refugee is hungry, all have some kind of shelter.
  • Confirmed reports of aircraft reinforcements and crews sent to Ukr forces from Poland and FRG [Germany]. Polish crews are confirmed flying combat missions, voices speaking Polish heard on tactical radio.
  • The Poroshenko peace plan is anything but a peace plan.  Basically, this plans foresees an unconditional surrender of Novorossia.  My [reporter from eastern Ukraine] personal conclusion is that this peace plans was drafted with the double purpose of declaring that a peace plan was on the table and to make sure that it would not be accepted by the Novorossians.  One could argue that this is just an initial plan and that it could be amended through negotiations.  However, this is also not the case because any serious peace plan would have to begin with an immediate and complete secession of all combat operations whereas Poroshenko only mentions "disarmament" and you can be absolutely certain that this is not a reference to his death squads.  Also, the liberation of the "illegally occupied" buildings means that the Ukie SBU and death squads would regain access to their buildings in the center of the Novorussian cities.  The bottom line is simple: Kiev is still hell-bent on a complete military victory and a total and unconditional surrender of Novorossia. 
  • Again, we have a situation in which Poroshenko or, should I say, Poroshenko's puppeteers in Washington, are absolutely determined to achieve either one of the following goals: (1) To extend Banderastan all the way to the Russian border (2) To force Russia to openly intervene militarily in the Donbass

  • This is a winning strategy because Kiev has the means to achieve at least one of these goals and Putin does not have a third option.  The Kremlin's preferred solution - to have Novorossia successfully resist the Ukie aggression - does not seem to be achievable, at least not if the Kremlin does not take dramatic action to change the dynamic on the ground.


Right-wing radio/TV host Glenn Beck made an astonishing admission the other day about the Iraq war.  He said, “From the beginning, most people on the left were against going to Iraq. I wasn’t.”

“[Liberals] said we couldn’t force freedom on people,” Beck, who initially supported the Iraq War, reminded his listeners. “Let me lead with my mistakes. You were right. Liberals, you were right; we shouldn’t have.”

He went on to say he'd like to learn more about the reasons why people on the left knew what he did not in advance of the war.  I thought it was a fair request and sent him the following response to his question.


    Just listening to the tape of your show where you talk about right and left needing to find common ground and that “liberals” were right on Iraq. Thanks for that positive gesture.

    I grew up in a military family and was Vice-Chair of Young Republican Club in 1968 in Okaloosa County (Florida panhandle). I joined the Air Force in 1971 during Vietnam war – had flunked my induction physical and had to get a waiver to get into military when most were trying to stay out. It was there that I became a peacenik. I’ve been one ever since.

    But I’ve never forgotten my early conservative roots and in many ways still remain one – conservative on fiscal matters – $2 trillion wasted on Iraq war is not fiscal responsibility.....etc

    Far too many people simplify everything into left-right categories and put people in boxes which is not helpful. I don’t like divide and conquer tactics.

    To answer your heartfelt question – why did I oppose the Iraq war early on? Here are a few reasons:

    1) It was indeed about oil and never about liberty or democracy

    2) The oil corporations had met with V-P Cheney early on and essentially created a plan to carve up Iraq

    3) Many experts were telling us that Iraq had no WMD and I believed their testimony

    4) I knew it would be a military disaster for US troops and for Iraqi people – look into the US use of depleted uranium and the terrible impact on US GI’s and Iraqi people. We have a dear friend in Florida who was in Iraq and like so many vets her health is shot after being exposed to DU during the Persian Gulf war.

    5) This endless war cycle is bi-partisan as both parties get big campaign contributions from the military industrial complex – something the Republican president Eisenhower warned us about. We’ve now seen his prophesy come home to roost.

    6) Our domestic economy has been hollowed out and we virtually only do “security export” so it is no coincidence that we have to lurch from one war to the next. Our local communities are addicted to military production – virtually the only game in town anymore.

    I could go on but you get the idea. I am not a liberal but a radical in the best sense of the word – trying to get to the root of the problem. I’ve opposed Obama (and Clinton before him) as well as opposing the Bush administrations. I’ve seen many of my “liberal” friends come to protests when Bush (I or II) were president and then sit back down when Clinton and/or Obama became president. That kind of politics drives me crazy.

    Again I thank you for your good words and hope you can do more to find ways to unite the American people. I fear we are on the path to a domestic civil war which would be disastrous for the nation – for both left and right.

    In peace,

    Bruce K. Gagnon
    Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Abby Martin speaks with Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, an Iraqi-American peace activist who gives her perspective on the announcement of the US deploying 275 troops to Iraq as the country continues to spiral into civil war.


  • Who would have thought these discredited war mongers would be back on TV again promoting more war in Iraq?  But we've come to learn not to be surprised at how the mainstream corporate media megaphone works.  Fortunately, like with Syria last year, the public seems to have no stomach for going back into Iraq.  Keep those emails and phone calls going into Congress and the White House.  Remind them that your $$$ is being wasted and you'd rather see it spent cleaning up our act here at home!

  • It seems that more and more Americans are beginning to wake up to the dangers of US-NATO war mongering in Ukraine.  Even the peace movement, leadership and peace groups, have been slow to respond but are starting to show some signs of life.  Granted there is alot going on to keep people preoccupied, but a possible war with Russia just might be one that should get the attention of people.

  • One more thing about peace groups and movement leaders.  We've in many ways become like firemen rushing around putting out fires in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.  Not enough of us though are making the connections to illustrate how corporate capitalism thrives on chaos in order to control a particular country or region so they can extract precious resources.  I think we all need to do a better job of talking about what drives these wars.  Various weapon systems are used as tools for a larger purpose and agenda.  Let's talk more about drones, missile defense, new fighter planes, nuclear submarines and the like in this broader context.  We ought to be putting all the pieces of the puzzle up on the wall so the public can see the bigger picture.

  • I am on a bus heading to the airport in Boston and will then fly to Kansas City to meet my son.  He has been there all week at a debate tournament. He lives and teaches debate in Taiwan and brought his students to the tournament.  I've not seen him for some time so am very excited about having some days to spend with him.  We plan to attend a couple of baseball games while in Kansas City and I hope we make it to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Despite President Petro Poroshenko's call for a ceasefire, shelling has persisted in the eastern city of Slavyansk, Ukraine.

VICE News visited a section of Slavyansk that was recently struck by an attack, and spoke with the residents about the chaos of the attack and its aftermath. They also visited a local hospital and spoke with medical workers who have stayed behind to treat the increasing number of wounded.

Kiev calls these people terrorists and other nasty names.  It's against international law to target civilians as the US-NATO directed operation has been doing for the past several weeks.  Already several hundred civilians in eastern Ukraine have been killed and many more have been injured.


 I once saw a news spot that showed Bush's Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld coming out of the Pentagon telling the cameras (about the Iraq ‘quagmire’), “We plan everything.”  This article below is right on the mark.  Bruce

Is Open-Ended Chaos the Desired US-Israeli Aim in the Middle East?

During the last week we have seen Sunni militias take control of ever-greater swathes of eastern Syria and western Iraq. In the mainstream media, the analysis of this emerging reality has been predictably idiotic, basically centering on whether:
     a) Obama is to blame for this for having removed US troops in compliance with the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiated and signed by Bush.

    b) Obama is “man enough” to putatively resolve the problem by going back into the country and killing more people and destroying whatever remains of the country’s infrastructure.

This cynically manufactured discussion has generated a number of intelligent rejoinders on the margins of the mainstream media system. These essays, written by people such as Juan Cole, Robert Parry, Robert Fisk and Gary Leupp, do a fine job of explaining the US decisions that led to the present crisis, while simultaneously reminding us how everything occurring  today was readily foreseeable as far back as 2002.
What none of them do, however, is consider whether the chaos now enveloping the region might, in fact, be the desired aim of policy planners in Washington and Tel Aviv.
Rather, each of these analysts presumes that the events unfolding in Syria and Iraq are undesired outcomes engendered by short-sighted decision-making at the highest levels of the US government over the last 12 years.
Looking at the Bush and Obama foreign policy teams—no doubt the most shallow and intellectually lazy members of that guild to occupy White House in the years since World War II—it is easy to see how they might arrive at this conclusion.
But perhaps an even more compelling reason for adopting this analytical posture is that it allows these men of clear progressive tendencies to maintain one of the more hallowed, if oft-unstated, beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon world view.
What is that?
It is the idea that our engagements with the world outside our borders—unlike those of, say, the Russians and the Chinese—are motivated by a strongly felt, albeit often corrupted, desire to better the lives of those whose countries we invade.
While this belief seems logical, if not downright self-evident within our own cultural system, it is frankly laughable to many, if not most, of the billions who have grown up outside of our moralizing echo chamber.
What do they know that most of us do not know, or perhaps more accurately, do not care to admit?
First, that we are an empire, and that all empires are, without exception, brutally and programmatically self-seeking.
Second, that one of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet.
Third, that the most efficient way of sparking such open-ended internecine conflict is to brutally smash the target country’s social matrix and physical infrastructure.
Fourth, that ongoing unrest has the additional perk of justifying the maintenance and expansion of the military machine that feeds the financial and political fortunes of the metropolitan elite.
In short, what of the most of the world understands (and what even the most “prestigious” Anglo-Saxon analysts cannot seem to admit) is that divide and rule is about as close as it gets to a universal recourse the imperial game and that it is, therefore, as important to bear it in mind today as it was in the times of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the Spanish Conquistadors and the British Raj.
To those—and I suspect there are still many out there—for whom all this seems too neat or too conspiratorial, I would suggest a careful side-by side reading of:
a) the “Clean Break” manifesto generated by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in 1996
b) the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” paper generated by The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 2000, a US group with deep personal and institutional links to the aforementioned Israeli think tank, and with the ascension of  George Bush Junior to the White House, to the most exclusive  sanctums of the US foreign policy apparatus.
To read the cold-blooded imperial reasoning in both of these documents—which speak, in the first case, quite openly of the need to destabilize the region so as to reshape Israel’s “strategic environment” and, in the second of the need to dramatically increase the number of US “forward bases” in the region—as I did twelve years ago, and to recognize its unmistakable relationship to the underlying aims of the wars then being started by the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, was a deeply disturbing experience.
To do so now, after the US’s systematic destruction of Iraq and Libya—two notably oil-rich countries whose delicate ethnic and religious balances were well known to anyone in or out of government with more than passing interest in history—, and after the its carefully calibrated efforts to generate and maintain murderous and civilization-destroying stalemates in Syria and Egypt (something that is easily substantiated despite our media’s deafening silence on the subject), is downright blood-curdling.
And yet, it seems that for even very well-informed analysts, it is beyond the pale to raise the possibility that foreign policy elites in the US and Israel, like all virtually all the ambitious hegemons before them on the world stage, might have quite coldly and consciously fomented open-ended chaos in order to achieve their overlapping strategic objectives in this part of the world.
Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released  Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies


Thom Hartmann discusses the current situation in Iraq, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the prospects of a new Cold War with Stephen Cohen of The Nation, author of the book "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War".

Much to learn here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


British journalist tells the truth on Ukrainian TV about what is going on in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) and the stunned looks on the faces of those in the audience is more than precious.  They are not used to hearing anything from the Kiev oligarchy controlled TV except lies, omissions and distortions.

It would be the equivalent of us hearing from someone on American corporate controlled TV acknowledging that our country is run by an oil-i-garchy and that our wars are not being fought for 'freedom and democracy' but rather for the corporate interests that control our government.


Winning hearts and minds in Iraq.  Why aren't they loyal to the US interests?

The translator was likely giving the Iraqi police trainees a new recipe for hummus rather than passing on these 'words of wisdom' from the US military trainer.


  • I got the photo above from my dear friend Will Park in Florida.  He wrote, "Look how early our children are 'prepped' to love things military and war.  No wonder so few care about peace and justice."  The future generations are being 'prepped' for a life of endless war to aid the corporations that control our government and have turned us into nothing more than a glorified resource extraction service.

  • I am convinced that after being thrown out of Iraq (largely because Iraq refused to give US troops legal immunity from their attacks on the Iraqi people) the US has helped set up the growing instability which now results in the cavalry having to rush back in to save all the "good we have done there".  You can sign a petition opposing more US war in Iraq here.  Haven't we done enough evil in Iraq, killing at least one million people over the years and turning that country back to the stone age?  I saw a video this morning with right-wing evangelist Pat Robertson even saying that we should never have gone into Iraq - much to my surprise he nailed Bush for his lies.

  • How did ISIS get all their weapons to make this major operation in Iraq?   The US and Saudi sponsored proxy war to topple the government of Syria provided the terror group with its weapons. Following the US-NATO take down of Libya the CIA and its partners moved weapons into Syria. Seymour Hersh, the award-winning investigative journalist, explained how the Senate buried information about the CIA and the gun-running operation in Benghazi:

A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognized exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

  • While all eyes are on Iraq the fascist regime in Kiev is stepping up their shelling of eastern Ukraine.  Here is a brief update from a credible source inside the embattled east:

Kramatorsk as I write is being flattened, the entire city is under intense bombardment including Grad and Hurricane MLRS. Everything, industrial areas, shopping areas, infrastructure areas, living areas, is being flattened. We're going to have I think hundreds if not a thousand dead civilians. Is this the atrocity needed to bring in Russia? I don't know. Yet.

  • People around the world are slowly beginning to open their eyes to see the dangers coming from the US-NATO sponsored Ukrainian government.  Russia has been slow to react to the constant poking at them by the oligarchs and fascists put into power by Washington.  Inside Russia there is growing outrage and demands that their government do something to stop the killing now underway in eastern Ukraine. One of my favorite blogs on the Ukraine situation is the very reliable Vineyard of the Saker.  He writes:

[T]he decision has been made in Moscow to wait as long as possible simply to get a justification for the inevitable Russian intervention which would be as clear cut as possible.  Please understand that Russia does not need to make any specific preparatory move to intervene in Novorossia.  All that NATO nonsense about Russian troop movement and concentrations along the border is just propaganda for civilians.  The fact is that Putin can give the order and in the next 30 minutes the entire airspace of Donbass will become a no-fly zone, within the next 60 minutes most Ukrainian artillery positions and command posts will be destroyed by missile strikes after which the NDF (backed by a few more volunteers) will be basically sufficient to take full control of the Donbass.  As for the Ukie death-squads they will run for their lives as fast as they can.  The only problem is timing.  The Kremlin is desperately waiting for a sign that the Europeans are slowly coming to realize the monster which they have unleashed in the Ukraine.  I personally do not believe that the Europeans will suddenly grow a conscience or a spine and considering the mass murder taking place today in Novorossia I continue to believe that a Russian intervention is inevitable.

  • I am convinced, more than at any other time in my life, that the US has become the leading agent for global war and instability.   Our national resources are being poured down a rat hole, our civil liberties have been destroyed, our infrastructure has been hollowed out, the people are being dumbed down by corporate media and underfunded schools, and we face the coming ravages of climate change.  And with all that said, still we have many Americans falling for the hype that we are the world's 'exceptional' nation.  If you ever wondered what it was like during the early days of Nazi Germany just take a good look in the mirror.  While we might not yet have the brown shirts (although many around the country being constantly beaten and shot by out-of-control police would argue the point) we do have the open carry gun nuts massing at the local hamburger stand.  It's only a matter of time before they start shooting at the rest of us.
  • Last night we went to hear award-winning journalist Chris Hedges speak at the annual meeting of Peace Action Maine in Portland.  He strongly made this very case and when questioned about what we can do his simple reply was that we should all resist.  Do what ever you can each day to stand in resistance to this madness. 


DRONES follows two Nevada desert-based drone operators as they pilot an unmanned craft over Afghanistan. Surveilling a possible terrorist hideout, the pilots face a range of complicated moral dilemmas when they are ordered to kill a suspected terrorist and, consequently, many innocent bystanders — including children. DRONES explores the complex moral issues facing a US military that relies more and more heavily on the remote use of unmanned drones to execute its strategies.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Climate Change & Conversion Theme

At the July 4 parade in Bath, Maine local peace and environmental activists will merge to bring our joint concerns about climate change and conversion of the war machine together.  Artists are now designing props and posters that we will carry during the parade to show the large audience the deadly connection between climate change and militarism.

The Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on the planet.  In addition the Pentagon controls the vast part of the federal discretionary budget thus inhibiting the funding of real alternatives (solar, wind, rail, conservation, etc)  that are needed for us to even have a meager impact on climate change.  Studies show that we’d also get more jobs doing this.

We will gather right after 9:00 am at the corner of North and Lincoln Streets... just along the cemetery.  It’s mostly a downhill walk and then we’ll have vehicles to shuttle you back to the start.  We suggest parking at the Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) and invite folks for a pot luck lunch and conversation there after the parade.

Hope you can join us.


Watch the Magician's Hands

You've got to watch
both hands
all magicians
pull the tricks
with their hands
they create

apple pie
and these
camo everywhere
the colors
of endless war

I've studied
the O'man
and he will
do something
but then follow up
with a real
bad one
watch those hands
the 1-2 punch

creating illusions
he's the magician

The core is hard to find
what does he
really believe?
not much
he just works for
the man
the corporate man

It's a nice ride
'most powerful'
guy in the world
free rent
good travel
get your face
in the media
every day

the American

got to watch
both his hands


The Kiev puppet government doesn't want to pay the $4.5 billion they previously owe for Russian natural gas.  On top of that Kiev wants a special price that is lower than anyone else pays.

Do they think we are just plain stupid?

Presently we see the US-EU backed Kiev regime killing their own citizens in the east (they shot 100 men just two days ago), they've been dropping phosphorus bombs on them, attacking the Russian embassy in Kiev,  and then they EXPECT Russia to forgive their gas debts and give them a reduced price.


This is all a public relations ccampaign on the part of the US-NATO as they try to use this gas controversy to give Russia one more black eye.  The Kiev negotiating position on the gas issue was a stone wall from the start.  They knew that Russia would never agree to their ridiculous demands.  But most people in the public are not following these negotiations closely so all they will hear is RUSSIA CANCELS UKRAINE GAS.....MEAN OLD RUSSIA!

It's all perception management.... the intention is to create the global demonization of Moscow in order to justify the real agenda which is US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and an eventual take down of the bear.  Just as Iraq is being balkanized by the US the plan is to do the same to the Russian Federation.  The US-NATO want to control Russia's natural gas supply (the largest in the world) and they will do anything necessary to try to make that happen.... just like the US-NATO did to Libya (which has the largest oil supply on the African continent, and large supplies of water).

Russia has its limits and this move on their part to shut gas off to Kiev indicates that they are fed up with the games being played by Washington, London, and Brussels.

It will be interesting to see the counter-move by the US-NATO.  You can count on the fact that Washington has already given the script to Kiev as they implement their Strategy of Tension & Chaos.