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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

At the Pentagon: Where Endless Wars are Planned

21 arrested yesterday morning at the Pentagon for trying to deliver a letter to US Secretary of War Ashton Carter.  Another 60 people were gathered just yards away in the 'free speech' cage with signs and banners as the thousands of Pentagon personnel entered for work.

  • It was a good weekend at the World Beyond War conference in Washington DC.  I spoke on Sunday morning (about Ukraine and Korea) and then on Monday joined the protest at the Pentagon though was not one of those who were arrested for trying to deliver a letter to the US Secretary of War.  I stayed at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House (DDCW) as I usually do.  I was up early on Monday and went with long-time Catholic Worker activist Cathy Boylan to the Pentagon, arriving at 7:00 am when the largest group of military and civilian personnel working there begin to arrive.  Others from the conference came about 8:45 am and soon we had a nice crowd with a portable sound system and our signs and banners.  The arrests of those trying to deliver the letter happened around 9:30 am.  Was a great place to hold a protest.  The folks from the DDCW protest at the Pentagon every Monday morning but usually there are just a couple of them.  It was interesting to hear positive and friendly words from some of the military personnel as they walked past.  It is clear that holding protests at military installations really helps make those working for the war machine re-think their own role in the US imperial project.

  • While at the protest yesterday one of the men told me about the 60 Minutes TV program that ran the night before and he said it was promoting nuclear war with Russia.  I watched it online this morning (can't find a way to capture the video yet for the blog) but you can see it here.  It is full of lies and distortions (oh, how far 60 Minutes has fallen over the years) and does the usual job of further demonizing Russia and Putin.  The biggest lie is that Russia invaded Crimea to steal it from Ukraine.  The truth is that Russia had an agreement with Ukraine to station more than twenty-thousand of its military there at its Black Sea navy base.  So when the Nazis from western Ukraine attacked Crimean citizens (killing some of them) not long after the February 2014 US directed coup in Kiev all Russia did was put their 'little green men' around Crimea to keep the Nazis from doing further damage to the people.  Not one person was killed during this period. This stabilized the situation and very quickly the people of Crimea (mostly ethnic Russian citizens by the way) held a referendum and voted by 94% in favor of asking to rejoin Russia.  (Crimea was long a part of Russia but was given to Ukraine during the days of the Soviet Union as a gesture but was sort of meaningless because they were all one country then anyway.)

  • The 60 Minutes segment then makes an incredible leap into fantasy and 'speculates' that Russia will next invade Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia and nuke US-NATO forces.  In response to these alleged Russian provocations the TV 'news' report then shows how the Pentagon is flying B-52 bombers along the Russian border armed with nuclear capable air-launched cruise missiles that are key elements in US first-strike attack planning.  So the usual Washington modus operandi is at work here as the US encroaches on Russia and then when Russia reacts as any country would they are then demonized and that is used to justify further US-NATO militarization along the Russian border.  This is how big war$ get started.


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