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, January 09, 2016

Plant Your Ass in the Ground

The people block the construction entrance to US Camp Schwab Marine base in Okinawa where the Pentagon wants to build twin-runways out over pristine Oura Bay....coral reefs and endangered sea mammal dugong will be destroyed....the people do this every day for more than 450 days.

US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy's message to Okinawa?  Get over it, the base will be built.

One of their slogans each morning at the 6:00 am protest is 'Plant your ass in the ground'.

Defend life - fight for the sacred - remember where you come from - what is the most important thing you can do with your life?  

McKinney Still Speaking Truth to Power

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney from Georgia is interviewed by PolitRussia in Moscow.  For many years she was one of the most progressive members of the Congress but was essentially run out of her seat because she dared raise questions about US-Israel policy.  McKinney was targeted by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) for defeat.

Since then she has run for president on the Green Party ticket and remained incredibly active in the peace and justice movement.  She was an early voice warning that the US-NATO bombing (and ultimate take down) of Libya was illegal and immoral and would further destabilize North Africa and the Middle East.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Congress Wastes No Opportunity to Grovel for Aerospace Industry

Congressional Republicans are demanding more funding for America’s missile defense programs, even where there are records of their historic failures and ineffectiveness. RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky has the latest information on whom and for what lawmakers are lobbying.

Refugees are Human

A group of refugee children decided to take on two local police officers in a snowball fight at a refugee centre in Sid, Serbia.

Not So Wise

Man vs EarthWho Do You Think Will Win?
Posted by Prince Ea on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Russia Bails Out Ukrainians Who Had No Gas

The puppet government in Kiev has destroyed Ukraine.  It has become the Somalia of Europe.  The US-NATO project has been to destabilize Ukraine because it borders with Russia and in the western part of the country the large supply of nationalists/Nazis have been willing to serve as the shock troops to wage war in the east. 

Washington-London-Brussels-Paris-Bonn don't give a damn about the people in Ukraine.  The people are just tools - the goal is regime change in Moscow.  Compliant corporate agents are preferred that will serve as vassals.  Russia, China, Syria and Iran are all on the take down list.

One other way to punish the people in eastern Ukraine is for Kiev to cut off their gas now that winter has come.  Its cruel and I have no doubt that every time V-P Joseph Biden visits Poroshenko in Kiev (as he frequently does) he carries the orders to turn the screws harder on Ukrainians in the east knowing that Putin will have to react.

So Putin reacted and is shipping free gas to folks in the video above. 

Likely Biden's list of dirty tricks is a long one.

The Only Half-Decent Republican Running for President

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) fresh from the campaign trail to talk haircuts, Trump, Christie, and the need to restrain US military interventions around the world.  He says he is Libertarian-ish.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Isn't It Time to End This Relationship?

Saudi Game-Changing Head-Chopping

By Robert Parry

For generations, U.S. officials have averted their eyes from Saudi Arabia’s grotesque monarchy – which oppresses women, spreads jihadism and slaughters dissidents – in a crude trade-off of Saudi oil for American weapons and U.S. security guarantees. It is a deal with the devil that may finally be coming due.

The increasingly undeniable reality is that the Saudis along with other oil sheikhs are the biggest backers of Al Qaeda and various terrorist groups – helping these killers as long as they spread their mayhem in other countries and not bother the spoiled playboys of the Persian Gulf.

President George W. Bush – and then President Barack Obama – may have suppressed the 28 pages of the congressional 9/11 report describing Saudi support for Al Qaeda and its hijackers but the cat is thoroughly out of the bag. Mealy-mouthed comments from the State Department spokesmen can no longer hide the grim truth that U.S. “allies” are really civilization’s enemies.

The big question that remains, however, is: Will Official Washington’s dominant neocon/liberal-interventionist claque continue to protect the Saudis who have built a regional alliance of convenience with Israel over their shared hatred of Iran?

Inside Official Washington’s bubble – where the neocons and liberal hawks hold sway – there is a determination to make the “designated villains,” the Iranians, the Syrian government, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Russians. This list of “villains” matches up quite well with Israeli and Saudi interests and thus endless demonization of these “villains” remains the order of the day.

But the Saudis – and indeed the Israelis – are showing what they’re really made of. Israel has removed its humanistic mask as it ruthlessly suppresses Palestinians and mounts periodic “grass mowing” operations, using high-tech munitions to slaughter thousands of nearly defenseless people in Gaza and the West Bank while no longer even pretending to want a peaceful resolution of the long-simmering conflict. Israel’s choice now seems to be apartheid or genocide.

Meanwhile, the Saudis – though long-hailed in Official Washington as “moderates” – are showing what a farcical description that has always been as the royals now supply U.S.-made TOW missiles and other sophisticated weapons to Sunni jihadists in Syria, fighting alongside Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Using advanced U.S.-supplied warplanes, the Saudis also have been pulverizing poverty-stricken Yemen after exaggerating the level of Iranian support to the Houthis, who have been fighting both a Saudi-backed regime and Al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate. Amid the Saudi-inflicted humanitarian crisis, Al Qaeda’s forces have expanded their territory.

And, at the start of the New Year, the Saudi monarchy butchered 47 prisoners, including prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr for his offense of criticizing the royals, or as the Saudis like to say – without a touch of irony – supporting “terrorism.” By chopping off Nimr’s head – as well as shooting and decapitating the others – the Saudis demonstrated that there is very little qualitative difference between them and the head-choppers of the Islamic State.

The Usual Suspects

Yes, the usual suspects in Official Washington have sought to muddle the blood-soaked picture by condemning angry Iranian protesters for ransacking the Saudi embassy in Tehran before the government security forces intervened. And there will surely be an escalation of condemnations of anyone who suggests normalizing relations with Iran.

But the issue for the neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks is whether they can continue to spin obviously false narratives about the nobility of these Middle East “allies,” including Israel. Is there a limit to what they can put over on the American people? At some point, will they risk losing whatever shreds of credibility that they still have? Or perhaps the calculation will be that public credibility is irrelevant, power and control are everything.

A similar choice must be made by politicians, including those running for the White House.

Some Republican candidates, most notably Sen. Marco Rubio, have gone all-in with the neocons, hoping to secure largesse from casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and other staunch supporters of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the other hand, real-estate magnate Donald Trump has distanced himself from neocon orthodoxy, even welcoming Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict to fight the Islamic State, heresy in Official Washington.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most closely associated with the neocons and the liberal hawks – and she has dug in on the issue of their beloved “regime change” strategy, which she insists must be applied to Syria.

She appears to have learned nothing from her misguided support for the Iraq War, nor from her participation in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi’s secular regime in Libya, both of which created vacuums that the Islamic State and other extremists filled. (British special forces are being deployed to Libya as part of an offensive to reclaim Libyan oil fields from the Islamic State.)

A Sanders Opportunity

The Saudi decision to chop off Sheikh Nimr’s head and slaughter 46 other people in one mass execution also puts Sen. Bernie Sanders on the spot over his glib call for the Saudis “to get their hands dirty” and intervene militarily across the region.

That may have been a clever talking point, calling on the rich Saudis to put some skin in the game, but it missed the point that – even before the Nimr execution – the Saudis’ hands were very dirty, indeed covered in blood.

For Sanders to see the Saudis as part of the solution to the Mideast chaos ignores the reality that they are a big part of the problem. Not only has Saudi Arabia funded the extreme, fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam – building mosques and schools around the Muslim world – but Al Qaeda and many other jihadist groups are, in essence, Saudi paramilitary forces dispatched to undermine governments on Riyadh’s hit list.

That has been the case since the 1980s when the Saudis – along with the Reagan administration – invested billions of dollars in support of the brutal mujahedeen in Afghanistan with the goal of overthrowing a secular, Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

Though the “regime change” worked – the secular leader Najibullah was castrated and his body hung from a light pole in Kabul – the eventual outcome was the emergence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, led by a Saudi scion, Osama bin Laden.

Though Sanders has resisted articulating a detailed foreign policy – instead seeking to turn questions back to his preferred topic of income inequality – the latest Saudi barbarism gives him a new chance to distinguish himself from front-runner Clinton. He could show courage and call for a realignment based on reality, not propaganda.

President Obama, too, has a final chance to refashion the outdated and counter-productive U.S. alliances in the Middle East. At least he could rebalance them to allow a pragmatic relationship with Iran and Russia to stabilize Syria and neutralize the Saudi-backed jihadists.

Standing Up, Not Bowing Down

Instead of being supplicants to Saudi riches and oil, the West could apply stern measures against the Saudi royals to compel their acquiescence to a real anti-terrorist coalition. If they don’t comply immediately, their assets could be frozen and seized; they could be barred from foreign travel; they could be isolated until they agreed to behave in a civilized manner, including setting aside ancient animosities between Sunni and Shiite Islam.

It seems the European public is beginning to move in this direction, in part, because the Saudi-led destabilization of Syria has dumped millions of desperate refugees on the European Union’s doorstep. If a new course isn’t taken, the E.U. itself might split apart.

But the power of the neocon/liberal-hawk establishment in Official Washington remains strong and has prevented the American people from achieving anything close to a full understanding of what is going on in the Middle East.

The ultimate barrier to an informed U.S. public may also be the enormous power of the Israel Lobby, which operates what amounts to a blacklist against anyone who dares criticize Israeli behavior and harbors hopes of ever holding a confirmable government position or – for that matter – a prominent job in the mainstream media.

It would be a test of true political courage and patriotism for some major politician or prominent pundit to finally take on these intimidating forces. That likely won’t happen, but Saudi Arabia’s latest head-choppings have created the possibility, finally, for a game-changing realignment.

~ Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

Speaking Truth to Militarized America

Russian President Putin tears apart US foreign policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks about US foreign policy in an unscripted and open environment. Something Western leaders would be terrified of doing. He tears apart US foreign policy respectfully layer by layer, exposing Senator John McCain’s threats to him and to Russia, without once losing his cool or deflecting the questions put to him.

Posted by The People's Voice on Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mixed Bag of Rants

ROK stands for Republic of Korea (South Korea).  This provocative military alliance is being aimed at China (Photo from Jeju Island)

  • The US has made Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mongolia partners in the cancerous NATO as it becomes a 'global military alliance' on behalf of corporate capitalism.  Any nation that gets in the way of total corporate domination of the world economy is being taken down - thus we saw Libya get zapped by the NATO war machine and presently we witness Syria under full NATO attack.  Russia and China are on the take down list and will both be the recipient of the expanding militarization of the ROK-US-Japan military alliance.  (Few know that Russia borders North Korea and during the Korean War Gen. Douglas MacArthur had US warplanes fly over the border into Russia to bomb Vladivostok trying to pull Russia into the war.  Russia didn't take the bait.) 
  • Email and Facebook is full of posts about the right-wing militias taking over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.  The anti-government groups say they are protecting their constitutional rights to use lands as they wish.  Bullshit!
  • CounterPunch reports: In the high desert of central Oregon, lies Harney County, a site of a long-festering and intense confrontation between federal officials and the militant property rights movement. Here federal Fish and Wildlife Service agents sought to fence off a wetland that had been trampled by a rancher’s cows on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge about thirty miles south of the dust-caked town of Burns. In an affidavit, Earl M. Kisler, a Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement officer, said that rancher Dwight Hammond had repeatedly threatened refuge officials with violence over an eight year period. On one occasion Hammond told the manager of the federal refuge that “he was going to tear his head off and shit down his neck.” According to the affidavit, Hammond threatened to kill refuge manager Forrest Cameron and assistant manager Dan Walsworth and claimed he was ready to die over a fence line that the refuge wanted to construct to keep his cows out of a marsh and wetland.
  • It's obvious that these self described 'constitutionalists' don't like federal protection of wildlife areas.  They want to graze cattle on federal lands without paying rent, they want to mine federal lands that prohibit such environmentally destructive practices, and they ultimately want to do away with all federal land holdings.  These militias are carrying water for big corporate interests who want to do resource extraction on federal lands.  The corporations are using the 'constitutionalists' as storm troopers to try to bully local/state/federal governments to turn all lands over to them to do as they see fit.  
  • Many people are now saying, and I believe they are exactly right, that if black activists were occupying some federal space with weapons they'd be shot on sight.  If Mexican-Americans were doing the same thing they'd be shot dead.  If Muslim-Americans were occupying some federal preserve they'd be called terrorists and would be bombed.  But when right-wing white guys occupy lands that were originally stolen from Native Americans the government goes easy on them.  Pure hypocrisy.  
  • There is an impeachment rally at the state capital in Augusta, Maine tomorrow at 11:00 am.  Our right-wing Gov. Paul LePage has committed many cruel impeachable offenses and so far the state legislature has been afraid to take him on.  But a growing groundswell from the public has put the impeachment issue on the agenda and three progressive members of the legislature have introduced calls for impeachment hearings.  So I'll be joining that crowd at the capital in the morning.

Saudi Arabia is Imploding

Theodore Karasik, Senior Adviser on Gulf State Analytics and former Director of Research and Development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, speaks to euronews about recent events in the Middle East and comments on the roles played by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Next Maine Peace Walk Planning Underway

Maine Peace Walk Planning Committee Meeting Minutes

January 2, 2016
Orland, Maine

Present:  Andrew Watkins, Katie Greenman, Jason Rawn, Connie Jenkins, Nancy Larson, Starr Gilmartin, Russell Wray, Mary Beth Sullivan, Bruce Gagnon

Previous Walk Review:  Some of the comments on our last Maine Peace Walk included:
The walk allowed for expression of our spirituality; What happened to the letters we delivered to BIW and Naval shipyard in Kittery?; Need to do more on social media to spread word about walks; We have been changed from the depth of the ocean to the stars in the galaxy; We touched many hearts along the way; The walk was well organized and people took good care of one another; We got good local media coverage along the way but were ignored by the big Maine media; Staying at the New School in Kennebunk was impactful - as was the Friends School in Falmouth; Need to get more schools involved; Having an organizing team work on the walk in advance helped make it better; Lots of singing was great; We were highly visible as we walked; Art work by Russell was wonderful but cost him $$$ out of his own pocket; Sweatshirts were impressive; Children on the walk need more supervision; Things are going to get worse in foreseeable future and our visible presence offers an alternative vision.

Next Walk:  It was agreed by all that we want to walk again in 2016.  We will call the next walk Stop the War$ on Mother Earth and the tentative date for the walk will be October 8-22.  We must reach out to Nipponzan Myohoji immediately to extend invitations to the Buddhist monks and nuns to lead the walk.  Starr is going to Seattle for the Nipponzan Myohoji MLK walk in mid-January and will pass on our invite to the monks there.  MB will extend invites to Jun-san and to the New England Pagoda in Leveret, Mass.

Tentative Walk Route:  We brainstormed the walk route and came up with a list of communities we’d like to consider walking through next time.  They include beginning at Indian Island (Katie and Connie will request a meeting with Maria Girouard and Sherry Mitchell to discuss possibilities) and then move on to Charleston (Katie), Pittsfield (Jason), Augusta (Jason), Norway (Bruce), Lewiston (Bruce), Bath (Bruce), Portland (Jason) to Kittery (Jason).  There would obviously need to be some shuttling between some of these places. We had been asked by Boston-area VFP to consider walking all the way down to Boston but we felt it was just too much for us.  We do want to invite them to consider walking north and meeting us in Kittery or just joining us along the way as they have the past two years.

Vehicles:  We agreed that we would need to rent a 15-passenger van again and will need to find a covered pick-up or a station wagon to carry walker gear.

Walk Sponsors:  We will invite national Veterans For Peace to be a co-sponsor as well as Maine VFP (Chapter 001 and the Bangor chapter) as well as Boston-area VFP.  We will also invite other peace, church, and environmental groups in the state to be co-sponsors.  We will ask all co-sponsoring groups to make donations (of their choosing) to the walk fund to help us cover costs.

Next Meeting:  The next walk planning meeting will be held in Bath (212 Centre St) on Saturday, Feb 27 at 12:30 with a pot luck lunch.  The BIW Lenten Vigils will be going on during that period so we invite folks to come at 11:30 am for that hour-long vigil on Washington Street at BIW before our meeting.  All are invited to attend the walk planning meeting.

Proposed Walk Budget:  Here is an estimated budget for the walk based on past experiences.

Walk Expenses

Rental van $1,200
Art supplies for banners, props, etc $400
Food $200 (most of our food is donated but we occasionally have to buy some items for lunches along the way)
Gas $400 (this includes advance walk route mapping and gas for walk support vehicles- a lot depends on price of gas at that time)
Sweatshirts $600 (40 shirts at $15 each)
Walk banner $125
Miscellaneous $300

Total $3,225.00

ISIS is Loaded with Oil Profit$

A former ISIS member revealed details about Turkey's alleged oil links to the terror group. He said that the oil is sold via several businessmen and traders, but he did not give any names. ISIS also receives lots of supplies from Arab countries.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Forgive me...

Forgive me
I am mad
and permanently

I grew up
in the war culture
mixed in with a
solid dose
of Vaudeville
and the blues

I've made mistakes
said unkind things
waged wars
denounced christ
still my soul
remains humbled
and scarred
and darkened
at difficult times
by the wrong light

which was the
right light?

Those that proclaim
universal knowledge
the origin story
and beyond
make me run
duck and cover

I want you to know
how much
I appreciate
and love you
for the
that you
show in your
and in the warmth
of your soul

Thank you
to the warm souls
who have
embraced me
walked with me
during my
time here
Mother Earth  

I've loved
the journey

Sunday Song

PROOF THAT OLD ROCKERS NEVER GO DOWN QUIETLY !!This is a must watch video for your weekend.
Posted by Atlantis Music on Friday, August 3, 2012