Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Monday, May 11, 2015

News Fit to Print

Merkel to Putin: "I came to say to the Russian people: I bow my head before the millions of casualties of the war which was caused by Germany."

  • Dozens of world leaders attended the weekend Moscow events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism in Europe. However the US, UK, France and other Russian WW II allies refused to join citing Moscow's alleged invasion of Ukraine as justification for their absence. Clearly Obama pressured NATO allies not to attend.  One Italian media outlet noted, "The parade was an impactful event that also proved that Putin is not isolated. On the contrary, those, who skipped the parade, have found themselves in isolation."
  • Likely causing much anger in Washington amongst the neo-cons who now run the American corporate state, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel showed up in Moscow the day after the Victory parade to join Putin at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many German business leaders want the sanctions on Russia lifted as their profits are severely impacted by the interruption of trade - their influence likely helped force Merkel to go to Moscow.  
  • Merkel also faces a big internal scandal after it became known that German intelligence services had been sharing Internet surveillance data with the US National Security Agency (NSA). So the question must be asked: Is Germany a sovereign nation or are they just an appendage of the US corporate war state?  Merkel appears to be walking the tight rope trying to please both her US masters and her own population. Something has to give sooner or later.
  • The pressure in the EU is mounting for a change in their Russia policy.  Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo called for the normalization of the relations between Europe and Russia at Monday's meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). "We need to examine ways to normalize relations between Europe and Russia, as one side cannot be imagined without the other," the minister said.
  • The Pentagon has so much money to waste that they have been caught trying to buy influence with the public by paying the National Football League (NFL) to stage patriotic displays at games. Department of Defense officials have shelled out at least $5.4 million to 14 NFL teams between 2011 and 2014—to pay them to promote the military on and off the field. The vast majority of this money was disbursed by the National Guard, journalists Christopher Baxter and Jonathan D. Salant of New Jersey Advance Media revealed in an article published Thursday. The New York Jets, for example, accepted at least $377,000 between 2011 and 2014 to stage public salutes to veterans. But Matt Stys, an Iraq veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War based in Colorado, told Common Dreams that the revelations point to something far more insidious: the permeation of military propaganda into every aspect of U.S. life. "Should we be perpetuating war or should we be looking at peace, understanding, and education?" Stys asked. "We're not defending our country or freedom—we're destroying other countries and other countries' freedoms." Where are the loud and angry voices of the 'fiscal conservatives' who worry about our national debt when stories like this appear?
  • Tikkun reports:  The new Israeli government is a total victory for the most extreme elements in the extreme Right in Israel. The overtly racist party HaBayit HaYehudi, the party of the West Bank settlers, will control the Justice Dept, the Education Dept, and almost all important government offices concerned with the Occupation of the West Bank. And they have secured a promise from Likud to bring forward a proposed law that would make it illegal for any nonprofit to receive funds from a foreign government without approval from the government. That is directed at the various Israeli peace, reconciliation, human rights, and dialogue organizations that get support from a variety of European countries who want to see peace between Israel and Palestinians. 


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