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. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kiev Forces Continue to Violate Minsk-2 Agreements

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is supposed to be monitoring the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine under the Minsk-2 agreement.  Many local citizens have been complaining that OSCE teams are always several days late in arriving after innocent villages are being shelled by the US-NATO backed Kiev regime's armed forces.

Here is a short video showing a OSCE team arrive in Sakhanka village in eastern Ukraine that has been repeatedly shelled in recent weeks by Kiev forces.  Several civilians have been killed.  All of this is being done in violation of the Minsk-2 agreement.  

I've been watching closely and have seen many videos of OSCE teams recording Kiev violations of the ceasefire agreements but have yet to see any evidence that these violations are being reported by the western media.  (In one case Kiev's snipers were actually trying to shoot OSCE teams as they inspected one village.) Is the OSCE not sharing their findings with the media or are they reporting them and the corporate dominated media just ignoring the reports?

Any way you cut it the innocent citizens in eastern Ukraine continue to suffer from the constant shelling by the US-NATO supported Kiev military.  It seems clear to me that the US-NATO side are not interested in ending this war - no matter what Skull & Bones member John Kerry tells the media.

Utterly Sickening

Well NATO finally tells the truth about what they think of themselves as they sing "We are the world".

In their drunken stupor NATO foreign ministers let their guard down at the end of a meeting in Antalya, Turkey.

They sing "We are saving our own lives" but in truth they are taking millions of innocent lives with their endless wars on behalf of corporate capitalism.

Worst off they are not one bit connected to the real spirit of the song.....

U.S. on Wrong Side of History

This is what it has all come down to.... the US and the corrupt, dictatorial Gulf monarchies meeting at Camp David Thursday and agreeing on a plan to flood the Middle East with 'missile defense' (MD) systems.

These Gulf monarchies are the essential allies of the US in the world now (in addition to a few other fascist-leaning nations).  Together they are destabilizing and creating chaos in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond.  This meeting is evidence of the desperation and the moral decay of the USA.

Obama announced that that he would streamline weapon sales and increase joint military exercises with Bahrain (home to US Navy Central Command and the Fifth Fleet), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as part of an “iron-clad commitment” that the United States will help protect them against their neighbor and rival Iran.  The Gulf states claim they fear Iran's nuclear weapons even after recent successful negotiations to ensure they don't build any.

In fact Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program several years ago - the CIA has even reported as much as has the IAEA.  But truth and reality don't matter much anymore.

What this new deal with the Gulf states really means is unrestrained US and Arab extremism throughout the Middle East.  The plan is to build a region-wide MD system including Patriot and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) along with MD radars.  It's also likely that Aegis ship or land-based MD systems will be added to sweeten the pot as well.  

The US weapons production corporations will make lots of money.  It's important to remember that weapons are the #1 industrial export product of our country.  When weapons are your #1 export product, what is the global marketing strategy for that product line?  Endless war.  What does that say about the soul of the USA?

All of these MD systems will be "interoperable" with the Pentagon's existing programs.  It will all be run through the US military space satellite network.  That means the Gulf states will pay for the US to build a region-wide MD system that is aimed at Iran, Syria, and Russia and fully controlled by Washington.

MD is a key element in US first-strike attack planning - its the shield that is used after a Pentagon sword is thrust into the heart of another nation's military forces.  When the attacked nation attempts to fire a retaliatory strike it is then that the MD systems are used to pick off the remaining military capability thus giving the Pentagon a "successful" first-strike. The whole system works best if you can get real close to the 'offending nation' and hit their missiles soon after launch rather than waiting for them to reach deep space - or hit them on descent from space as they approach their targets.

In the US Space Command's Vision for 2020 planning document they say that with space forces the Pentagon will "control and dominate" space and the Earth below on behalf of corporate globalization.  On their headquarters building at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs their logo reads "Master of Space".  

This new Gulf states agreement is dangerous, provocative, destabilizing and very expensive.  The US has once again betrayed its revolutionary roots against British monarchy as it snuggles up with the Arab right-wing feudal monarchies. Nothing good can come from this new agreement.
Read more here:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Next Up for Destabilization....

Learn to watch the bouncing oil money ball......All this instability likely funded by grants from USAID, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and George Soros's Open Society Foundations.  It's what they call 'soft power' in Washington.

See more on this issue here

Hello! Are We Surprised?

Philosopher Srecko Horvat talks about the moral dilemmas the EU is cornering itself into - US-NATO start wars and then complain about all the refugees.  Hello!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No U.S. Bases on Okinawa

Let's show our solidarity with Okinawans' rally against US military bases on their island.

73.8 percent of the US military bases (those for exclusive US use) in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa, which is only .6 percent of the total land mass of Japan. 18.3 percent of the Okinawa Island is occupied by the US military. Futenma Air Base originally was built during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa by US forces in order to prepare for battles on the mainland of Japan. They simply usurped the land from local residents. The base should have been returned to its owners after the war, but the US military has retained it even though now almost seven decades have passed.

The Abe government in Tokyo has extracted approval to reclaim the water off Henoko, on the northeastern shore of Okinawa, to build a massive new U.S. Marine air base with a military port.

Plans to build the base at Henoko have been on the drawing board since the 1960s.  They were revitalized in 1996, when the sentiments against US military bases peaked following the rape of a twelve year-old Okinawan child by three US servicemen. In order to pacify such sentiments, the US and Japanese governments planned to close Futenma Marine Air Base in the middle of Ginowan City and  move its functions to a new base to be constructed at Henoko, a site of extraordinary bio-diversity and home to the endangered marine mammal dugong. 

On May 17 say No Henoko!  No Missile Defense on Okinawa!  Close all US bases!

See report on the protest here

All Done

I finished the round woodpile yesterday (called Holz Hausen in German).  I am very happy.

Just as I was nearly finished one section collapsed but it was easy to fix.  As I was placing the wood on the top, with bark up to protect from rain, I noticed a chipmunk had already taken up residence inside the pile.  Rent free too, true socialism for the wildlife, they really know how to live!

Next I've got to get the rest of the garden planted but most folks suggest waiting til next week because our nights are still a bit chilly.  I've got my peas and radishes in the ground and they've already popped up.

U.S. Pumps Up War Jam

The US Army's "Cavalry March" arrived in the south-central village of Sinaia, Thursday as it snakes its way across Romania to begin a series of war games involving four nations.

The US-NATO corporate project is colonizing its way across eastern Europe.

Poroshenko Still Pushing War with Russia

Despite the Minsk agreements and ceasefire in Ukraine, president Petro Poroshenko vows to fight on 'till the last drop of blood'. He spoke to Germany's ZDF. Earlier, Poroshenko also promised to get the Donetsk airport back under Kiev's control, prompting surprising reaction from the US. Secretary of State John Kerry who suggested the Ukrainian leader think twice before turning his words into action. Brad Cabana, Canadian Political Scientist closely following Ukraine, is In the Now.

Fund Mass Transit Not Endless War

  • Yesterday the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted 30-21 along party lines for a bill that would give Amtrak (our very limited national rail service) about $260 million less than its typical $1.4 billion share. This is one more example of the corporate dominated Congress voting to dismantle the nation's social infrastructure.  Many of those elected to the House of Representatives serve the interests of the fossil fuel industry and the last thing they want is a successful and growing public transit system.  Instead they'd rather drill-baby-drill for oil and natural gas - including the Arctic Sea as the ice melts due to climate change.

The scheduled entry into service of a satellite-based global communications system, which has cost the US military $7.6 billion, is in danger of slipping thanks to legal battles in Sicily.

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) network, based on a series of satellites and four ground stations, is set to provide voice and data communications to US military personnel and [drone] platforms around the world, even when they are under thick forest canopies. While a portion of the system is operating, the Sicilian station would provide about one-fourth of the global coverage.

Of five satellites planned for the constellation, three have been launched — the third from Cape Canaveral in January — a fourth is due to be launched this summer and the final satellite is set to go into orbit in 2016.
Communications will bounce up and down between the satellites and four ground stations, in Australia, Hawaii, Virginia and Sicily, each equipped with three large dishes pointing at the sky. The stations in Australia, Hawaii and Virginia all completed testing by 2013.

But that leaves the site at Niscemi, Sicily, which is yet untested, thanks to legal challenges and local protest that means the station is under sequester by a local judge, putting all the deadlines in doubt.

  • Lots of folks are continuing to talk about the entrance of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) into the presidential race for the Democratic Party nomination.  There is growing effort inside the peace movement to pressure Sanders to be more vocal about the massive expenditures for endless war.  What good is it to support his campaign if Sanders is not willing to take on the biggest discretionary part of the US budget which is Pentagon spending?  Groups are forming around the country to support Sanders - I hope by now that activists understand that no one gets elected in America without the blessing of the corporate oligarchy and the CIA.  If Sanders is going to run a campaign to stimulate debate and educate the public then why not deal with our endless war spending and wicked foreign policy that kills people and the environment?  Should Sanders be given a pass when he supports Israeli attacks on Palestinians?  Is it relevant that Sanders has lobbied for the boondoggle F-35 fighter plane to be based in Vermont? 
  • POGO writes: The United States Navy has an annual budget of over $130 billion. That’s more than the entire Chinese military or Russian military spend in a given year. Yet somehow, amazingly, the Navy claims its budget is too small. Rather than telling the Navy to prioritize spending, Congress set up a special fund outside the Navy’s budget, the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund. The Navy has made a choice to stick to reckless and unaffordable shipbuilding plans going forward, knowing full-well the consequences. This has led to the need for special funding, and put Congress in the position of potentially choosing between the Navy’s pet projects and the nation’s best interests. All it does is create short-term relief for the Navy’s budget, and postpone an inevitable budget reckoning. Perhaps this is why former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and his then-Undersecretary for Acquisition Ashton Carter, were so opposed to the idea of a special fund. "We have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 billion to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines and $11 billion carriers," Gates told an industry conference in May 2010. 
  • The weapons industry and the local communities [like here in Bath, Maine) that have become addicted to military production claim that jobs will be lost if these big war machine projects are defunded.  But the evidence is available which says just the opposite is true.  Military spending is the worst way to create jobs.  Building public transit systems at a place like Bath Iron Works would double the jobs.  Funding education, health care, fixing roads and bridges, and building alternative energy systems all create more jobs than military production.  See for yourself here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Get Real or No Vote from Us

Real progressives talk about militarism, war and military spending!

To: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and all other Progressives 

By U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

We call upon all those who seek our political support to speak out forcefully, with clarity and passion, for a new definition of national security that puts the welfare of our people and the planet ahead of the interests of the Pentagon brass, military contractors, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

Why is this important?

Populist: someone who embraces a political doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the majority of people, as opposed to the interests of the elite.

Progressive: a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.

The election season is upon us. Politicians, whether candidates themselves or supporting others, are criss-crossing the country hoping to harvest campaign donations and, down the road, our votes. Many will tell us what we want to hear, whether they believe it or not. Others will tell us what they want us to hear, whether they mean it or not.

Those who identify as progressives espouse populist ideas and speak passionately about inequality, poverty, racism and the need for fundamental reforms. They generally want government to be an active instrument to promote and secure a higher standard of living, greater economic and social equality, a society that is tolerant of differences and that values and protects human rights, social justice and the common good – all necessary elements of a progressive populist agenda.

Necessary but not sufficient!

All too often Progressives who are passionate and outspoken about the need to provide good jobs at living wages, reduce inequality, eliminate poverty, protect the planet and advance social justice suffer from a debilitating political condition known as 'MAD' (Militarism Acknowledgment Dysfunction) or 'PEP' (Populist Except for Pentagon).

This condition makes it difficult to connect their laudable domestic agenda to the reality that our economy and foreign policy are militarized and operate in the interests of multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

The US is addicted to militarism.

With 57% of all discretionary spending going to the Pentagon, war and nuclear weapons - even with significant tax reform - it will be impossible to implement an ambitious progressive agenda without cutting bloated runaway military spending and Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse. And to do that will require the US to abandon its militarized foreign policy and stop trying to militarily subordinate the rest of the world to a neo-liberal agenda.

We need to reassess what is required to achieve real “national security.” Rather than measuring our security on the basis of the size and power of our military, the advanced state of its weapons and our government’s ability to instill fear in others, we should measure our security based on the welfare of people and the planet, and the respect our government earns in the rest of the world.

Anyone who wants our support as a progressive must have as much to say about militarism, war and military spending as about climate security, economic security, human rights and social justice. They are all essential elements of a progressive agenda. All are required to have real national security.

If you agree, please sign our petition and urge others to sign here. And speak up when the candidates come around asking for your vote but refuse to mention the Pentagon elephant in the middle of the room!

America's Nazi Buddies at Work.....

You don't have to speak the lingo to understand this one.  The US-NATO backed Nazis torment this man and have a good laugh afterwards.

During Hitler's time they were called Brown Shirts.  Today the US calls them 'freedom fighters' against Russian backed 'terrorists'.

I'd call what the Nazis are doing in Ukraine terrorism for sure.  It's sickening to think that the US is arming and training these cats.

Wake up America!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hersh on Bin Laden Murder

According to legendary journalist Seymour Hersh, the US fabricated several key claims regarding the 2011 mission in which a US Navy SEAL team killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Hersh reveals all the details in interview with RT.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Message at UNAC Conference

Neocons have successfully taken over both mainstream political parties in Washington. Obama’s administration is infested with the likes of:

Secretary of War Ashton Carter who wants confrontation with Russia and "preventive war” against North Korea and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland who  is anti-Russian and was instrumental in toppling Ukraine's elected president just over a year ago.

The neocons are reigniting Cold War hysteria. 

Anyone in the west that speaks out against this provocative US-NATO chaos plan is “Putinized” in a classic replay of 1950’s style red-baiting.

Right after the US-NATO sponsored coup d’état in Kiev the neo-Nazi's were sent to take similar control of Crimea after their chaotic Maidan split the country and initiated civil war.

Scores of local Crimean citizens did much to defend themselves from the vicious attacks by the nationalist death squads.  Putin sent in the “little green men” to stabilize Crimea and the entire Russian operation was done without anyone (as far as I know) being killed.  In a subsequent referendum 95% of Crimean’s voted to join Russia.

Neo-Nazi's death squads have been given official status inside Kiev's military.  This means they are getting training from the US Army who are presently in western Ukraine. 

What is the plan? Continue to expand US-NATO bases up to the Russian border including Ukraine. Deploy so-called “missile defense” systems that are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. From eastern Ukraine US cruise missiles could reach beyond the Urals, where Russia’s main nuclear forces are located.

By 2020, when the current phase of NATO missile defense will be fully implemented, the MD shield (taking out Russia’s retaliatory capability) could be used after the US-NATO first-strike sword is thrust into the heart of Russia.

Russia has an aging satellite early-warning system and keeps its nuclear forces on launch on warning status – thus the chance of accidental nuclear war increases.  Forget any future negotiations on reductions of nuclear weapons – Russia and China repeatedly warn that US deployments of MD have killed nuclear disarmament talks.

The overall strategy, recently spelled out in a Chicago speech by George Friedman of Stratfor, is to destabilize the Putin government internally and externally which would create chaos and lead to regime change in Moscow.

One significant method of external destabilization is the European Reassurance Initiative signed by Obama at the cost of $985 million. These monies are for Pentagon "projects" that include: Airfield infrastructure & improvements for US-NATO war planes in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

In late February US military vehicles paraded 300 yards from the Russian border in Narva, Estonia.  Narva sits 100km from Saint Petersburg. 

In early March the battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian self-defense forces in the east had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being pulled back. The Minsk-2 cease-fire was then holding. At that same moment, US General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, spoke to the media in Washington. Putin, Breedlove said, had once again "upped the ante" in eastern Ukraine by sending in Russian troops.

Der Spiegel reported that German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn't understand what Breedlove was talking about. The German government, supported by intelligence gathered from their own sources, did not share Breedlove’s irrational view.

In mid-April US airlift planes flew into western Ukraine delivering military hardware and soon thereafter hundreds of US Army “trainers” made the same journey followed by Canadian and other NATO troops. 

This military "capacity building" near the Russian border illustrates the game of hardball that Washington and Brussels are playing.  They are putting a loaded gun to Putin's head - the threat is being made to either submit or face expanded war and chaos similar to what the US-NATO have already unleashed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and beyond.

The US corporate oligarchy thought they had Moscow safely in the bag back in the early 1990's.  Washington does not like to be denied and thus is willing to face a nuclear war with Russia in order to finish the job of corporate consolidation.  Sadly citizens in the US lack a clear understanding of the present situation. 

Not all of NATO is following the script, recently a Czech reserve unit issued the following statement: “We, the Czechoslovak soldiers in reserve, unanimously reject any participation in battles that are geopolitical acts of aggression of the global elite by way of NATO and the support of our governments.”

Last weekend more than 5,000 brave citizens in Kiev protested against the US-backed regime’s crackdown on political leaders and journalists – many of them killed in the past month.  Organizers of the protest were reportedly arrested following the march.

The US-NATO proxy war in Ukraine is a ‘trigger’ for a full-scale war with Russia.  In the past the peace movement has supported self-defense forces in places like El Salvador and Nicaragua.  We should be doing the same today in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has the world’s largest supply of natural gas… and due to climate change the Arctic ice is melting giving the oil industry the ability to ‘drill-baby-drill’ in that region.  Russia has the largest land border with the Arctic.  It’s clear that the job of the Pentagon is to serve as the primary resource extraction service for corporate capitalism.

Thank you.

Bruce K. Gagnon

~ Delivered this message at the UNAC Plenary Panel entitled "Endless Imperial War" on May 9 in New Jersey

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. 

Seymour Hersh on Bin Laden Killing Fabrications

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

By Seymour M. Hersh

It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.

The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders – General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI – were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions, including one by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times Magazine of 19 March 2014. Gall, who spent 12 years as the Times correspondent in Afghanistan, wrote that she’d been told by a ‘Pakistani official’ that Pasha had known before the raid that bin Laden was in Abbottabad. The story was denied by US and Pakistani officials, and went no further. In his book Pakistan: Before and after Osama (2012), Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, wrote that he’d spoken to four undercover intelligence officers who – reflecting a widely held local view – asserted that the Pakistani military must have had knowledge of the operation. The issue was raised again in February, when a retired general, Asad Durrani, who was head of the ISI in the early 1990s, told an al-Jazeera interviewer that it was ‘quite possible’ that the senior officers of the ISI did not know where bin Laden had been hiding, ‘but it was more probable that they did [know]. And the idea was that, at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States.’

See the rest of the story here

- Seymour M. Hersh is writing an alternative history of the war on terror. In 1969, he gained worldwide recognition for exposing the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.

Youth in UK Fighting for their Future

An anti-Tory protest turns violent in the heart of London after the surprise Conservative win in the British general election. One protester and two law enforcement officials have been injured. RT's Harry Fear reports.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Time to Rattle Your Chain$

Notes from UNAC Conference

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney spoke during the final session of the UNAC conference in New Jersey today

I am on the train heading back north to Boston - should get home before midnight.  The UNAC conference, which drew about 400 people, was a real delight, I'm glad to have been there.

There were some fantastic speakers and I took extensive notes.  I'll just put them below, not in any particular order, there was so much ground covered.  The bottom line is that this event brought together Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Middle Eastern, African, Ukrainian, European, and White progressive activists.  People were all connecting the dots making the case that none of us are going anywhere unless and until we find ways to support one another.  In my career as an activist I've attended many conferences and I can say without hesitation that this was one of the best.

The Black Lives Matter uprising was on the minds of most of the speakers and their key point was "find ways to support the rising black youth movement".  Speaker after speaker effectively made the case that there is indeed a war going on here at home in America - a war against youth of color.  If you miss that then you are missing the essential issue of our time.

  • ISIS is the US's Frankenstein just like the Taliban was in Afghanistan
  • Courts in Ukraine are not independent - masked neo-Nazis come to courts where peaceful activists are on trial for their protests against Kiev regime and they intimidate the judges
  • 54% of US domestic military bases are located across the south
  • 57% of black people live in the south
  • We are all equal, there are no bigs, there are no smalls
  • If we don't get it, shut it down
  • Shut down capitalism at the point of production like Longshoreman do in northern California
  • US Africa Command (AfriCom) headquarters is located in Stuttgart, Germany - no African nation has yet been willing to host the command
  • China becoming key player in Africa - generally not interfering with internal affairs of African nations instead focusing on infrastructure development projects like roads, schools, hospitals that the host nation requests in exchange for resources
  • The US and France bring militarization and instability to Africa
  • There has been some Chinese migration into Africa that has caused some tensions
  • Big US--China competition for resources on African continent
  • US State Department sends hip-hop artists to tour Africa to put a happy face before young Africans, many of whom are then brought to Washington and are run through the dollar mill
  • Israel is involved in military operations and covert training in Africa.  During days of apartheid in South Africa Israel was heavily involved in helping arm and train the white regime.
  • Colonization of Africa was the historic linchpin of imperialism - began with Europeans running the slave trade
  • 1960 was known as year of Africa as 17 states got their independence
  • AfriCom currently operating in dozens of states and Obama has increased funding for their military operations throughout Africa
  • Nigeria has the largest economy on the African continent
  • One out of every five slaves were brought to the US from the Congo region
  • Congo was given to King Leopold II of Belgium in 1885 as a personal possession.  Extraction of rubber and ivory made the king more than $1 billion
  • 10-15 million Congolese lost their lives in that resource extraction process
  • Congo's uranium played a central role in the development of the US atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • US spent more money on covert action against Congo than any other country after they gained their independence under Patrice Lumumba. Within twelve weeks of Congolese independence in 1960, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup by the US, Belgium and the UK.  The United Nations, which Lumumba had asked to come to the Congo, did not intervene to save him. In fact the UN helped block Lumumba's outreach to his people for support.
  •  The CIA determined that if "Congo was lost" then all of Africa would be lost to true independence
  • Between 1996-2007 at least six million people were killed in Congo
  • Bill Clinton's (1998) "Entebbe Summit for Peace and Prosperity: Joint Declaration of Principles" was a neo-liberal program to create "a new breed of African leaders" that turned out to be sociopaths who commit crimes that are cleansed by the US on the international level
  • Obama has continued these basic African policies.  Soon after elected he shipped weapons to Rawada under AfriCom
  • USAID, National Endowment for Democracy and other US "soft power" institutions co-opt labor unions, NGO's and other grassroots organizations in order to blunt the revolutionary youth in Africa
  • Congolese saying: When you dine with the devil, dine with a long fork
  • Pentagon is the biggest user of petro-chemical products and has the largest carbon bootprint on the planet.  The US demanded that the Pentagon be exempted from the Kyoto climate change protocols
  • The cost of the Iraq war was enough to pay for dealing with climate change by reordering the planet toward sustainable energy
  • Fracking - for each gallon of oil extracted more than one gallon of waste water is generated
  • Obama signed the 'European Reassurance Initiative' at the cost of $985 million to fund Pentagon airfield "infrastructure and improvements" for US-NATO war planes in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
  • US-NATO military "capacity building" near the Russian border illustrates the game of hardball that Washington and Brussels are playing.  They are putting a loaded gun to Putin's head - the threat is being made to either submit or face expanded war and chaos similar to what has already been unleashed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and beyond
  • The US corporate oligarchy thought they had Moscow safely in the bag back in the early 1990's.  Washington does not like to be denied and thus is willing to face a nuclear war with Russia in order to finish the job of corporate consolidation
  • There is a 20% difference in prison rates between Black and white people across the US
  • Capitalism in its decline has brought the war home to the American people
  • The US is now 57th in education amongst the world's nations
  • The US is #1 in prison population and military spending in the world
  • The whole damn system is to blame
  • We can't call it the US anymore because the country belongs to the corporate oligarchy
  • Gentrification of cities is a global problem and militarization is based on pushing poor people out so those with more money can move in
  • Black and White is not the issue - it's Blue (cops) and Black
  • There are 10,000 intelligence agents spying on Muslims across the US
  • We will build a broad alliance of various movements to defeat racism
  • Thanks to UNAC for creating the space to bring all these movements together
  • We have to start where Martin Luther King Jr. left off by connecting the war at home with the wars abroad
  • Racism is always structural
  • Baltimore reflects what happens when young people empower themselves
  • The American way of war - unlimited, targets civilians - now seeing it here at home enforced by a brutal police occupation
  • Former Baltimore mayor, and Maryland governor, Martin O'Malley (now likely running for Democratic nomination for president) in one year arrested one-sixth of the Baltimore population. He was the initiator of much of the aggressive policing now at issue in Baltimore
  • US police increasingly being trained by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  It's Palestine in the US
  • It's time to talk about the war culture across the US that demands relentless propaganda in order to flourish
  • We need more Cop Watch teams in our communities.  We are living under a system that legally kills Black and Brown men, women, and children
  • A first-year third grade teacher in Orange, New Jersey during Black History Month did a series on civil rights leaders who are less well known.  She used a mild Mumia Abu-Jamal quote and when it became known that he was gravely ill in prison her students wanted to write letters to him sending their love.  The teacher was suspended from the school when word got out about the letters.  Fox News covered the story and New Jersey police organizations demanded her firing.  Hearings are now being held to determine her future.  Parents have turned out on her behalf.  By trying to get the teacher fired police are taking control of public school curriculum
  • The new anti-war movement is the Black Lives Matter uprising
  • Underling causes of black youth uprisings are economic and global.  It's part of the war against youth of the world - particularly youth of color
  • The American empire is crumbling before our very eyes.  If 'Black Lives Matter' are the words then Ferguson and Baltimore are the words made flesh
  • It was the Palestinian people who tweeted the youth in Ferguson and told them how to deal with the tear gas
  • Where is your body at?  Are you willing to put your body on the line to protect black children?
  • We don't need allies, we need freedom fighters
  • There has to be something else better than this.  We must love each other to do this work

More US-NATO War Games on Russian Border

An American Army unit training in Latvia has been demonstrating its tank capability. The exercise involved personnel from the 3rd Infantry Division and M1A2 Abrams battle tanks at the Adazi military base just outside Riga.

Is Russia over reacting when they complain about US-NATO military expansion right up to their borders?

When NATO Commander Gen. Breedlove claims that Russia has invaded Ukraine he is actually trying to reverse the truth and divert the debate away from what is actually happening in the region.

In addition aerospace contractor Raytheon reported the US Missile Defense Agency just awarded a $600 million contract for 44 anti-ballistic missiles to be placed in Romania as part of the NATO’s missile defense shield. See more here

Sunday Song