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, October 31, 2016

The Council of Pirates

List of Bush-era neo-cons supporting Hillary - speaks for out who you crawl in bed with.......

Listen to the People

William Griffin from Veterans For Peace spoke with RT news on October 27th, 2016 about his time at Standing Rock, North Dakota.

I was with Will last December in South Korea and Okinawa and again last August in Korea.  He is an outstanding activist and a good man with a conscience.  I'd call Will a warrior for peace and justice.

He has an excellent article in Common Dreams that you can read here

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Putin Doctrine

Worth listening to - see a side of Putin that the western media never shows the public.

The Hidden History of America

Daniel Sheehan was lead attorney for the Christic Institute that helped blow open the Iran-Contra scandal during the late 1980's.

The Christic Institute represented the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice when we went into federal court in 1989 to try to stop NASA's Galileo launch of plutonium-238 into space.

Sheehan knows the story about America's fascist 'Deep state' as well as anyone. 

Sunday Song

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bits & Pieces from the Peace Walk

  • I've still yet to recover from the peace walk.  Sore legs and low energy.  Others I've spoken with have similar ailments.  When I went to the chiropractor yesterday he found one leg was 1/2 inch shorter than the other which indicates my body was really out of whack.  

  • Yesterday I worked on the walk budget report and it appears after all bills are paid we will have just over $800 left.  That would not have been possible without substantial in-kind donations from several of the walkers.  My considerable staff time spent on the walk essentially donated by the Global Network is impossible to calculate.  Several others from our organizing committee also gave huge amounts of their time in preparation for the event - particularly Russell Wray who painted the incredible banner that hung on our van.

  • Last night I heard from a second person who told me she thought the reason we got such strong support in the most conservative parts of the state (where Trump campaign signs were dominant) is because working class Mainers really honor hard work and they respected our walk that took us through major portions of the state.  So that must confirm it.  The truth is in the urban areas like Portland and southern Maine the support was much less demonstrative.

  • On our second day of the walk as we were leaving the town of Dexter (former shoe manufacturing community now in big trouble because the jobs went overseas) a woman came running after us.  Her name was Debra Burdin and she was so excited to see us and share a project she is working on to build an Eco Village for the homeless, hungry and those in poverty.  She handed us a flyer for the Eco-Village Sustainable Community ('A New We') and I promised to write something here about it.  Her email is  We wished her luck with the project as she introduces this important idea into a community that really needs alot of help these days.

  • There were so many thoughtful people who came in and out of the walk along the journey.  Some brought food, others brought needed toilet paper, some music, some new walking energy, healing words, acupuncture, and generous donations.  We could never thank anyone enough but we tried.  Our many hosts at pot luck suppers and churches where we slept (and the occasional home stays with showers) all made us feel so welcome.

  • We got decent media coverage along the walk and Dan Ellis kept updating the Maine Veterans for Peace web site with all the links to the stories.  You can find that here

  • The Buddhist monks and nun from Nipponzan Myohoji really made the walk special as did those who are associated with this remarkable order that does peace walks around the world.  It's amazing how much the drumming and chanting help keep your feet moving during a 15-mile day.  We bow to Nipponzan Myohoji and say Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.

  • We also thank our friends that came from other states to walk with us - Massachusetts, Delaware, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Washington state.  They all brought alot of joy and were good walkers.  I think everyone would agree that 10-year old Bailey from Bainbridge Island, Washington who walked every day - all day - and never complained was a star of the walk.  We love and miss Bailey.

  • We handed out 1,000 flyers along the journey and again we have to give credit to Bailey who handed out a high percentage of them.  We called him our runner.

  • This was my 10th walk that I had a hand in organizing and each time I tell everyone it will be my last.  The monk Senji Kanaeda told me that there was a Nipponzan Myohoji monk in Japan who organized 35 peace walks over the years and each time he said it was his last.  Senji smiled at me when he told me that story.  We'll see......

  • The police now and then stopped us to find out where we were heading and mostly ended up being quite friendly.  One policeman from Kittery on the last day wanted to shake my hand after he learned we had walked all the way from Old Town. 

  • I was rather picky about what sign I carried as I walked.  My goal was to have every passing car and every person on foot read it so I was always turning it toward on-coming traffic.  I tried to make eye contact with every car coming our way.  That meant I was not interested in talking alot during the walk.  I called it the 'quiet car' like on the Amtrak train.  Walks are work for me and I have a mission while I am walking.  A couple times my sign got left in the van when it went off to shuttle cars forward and I was not a happy camper.  In those moments I had to control my grumpiness.  I appreciate those who were patient with me in those moments....
  • Lastly I want to thank Mary Beth for taking good care of me when I came home sick for a day during the walk.  She drove four nights to join pot luck suppers along the way and her smile always helped me deal with my tiredness.  MB brought our young neighbor Leann with her each time and it was exciting to see her get a good dose of what peace walks are all about.

The Forgotten Palestinians

In her first on-the-ground report from Palestine, Abby Martin gives a first-hand look into two of the most attacked refugee camps in the West Bank: Balata and Aida camps.

With millions of displaced Palestinians around the world, hundreds of thousands are refugees in their own country—many have lived packed into these refugee camps after being ethnically cleansed from their villages just miles away.

Friday, October 28, 2016

War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump

Inside the Invisible Government
By John Pilger

The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.

The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.

In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!” 

Bernays’ influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War.  The secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it”.

He described this as “the true ruling power in our society” and called it an “invisible government”.

Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.

Imagine two cities.

Both are under siege by the forces of the government of that country. Both cities are occupied by fanatics, who commit terrible atrocities, such as beheading people.

But there is a vital difference. In one siege, the government soldiers are described as liberators by Western reporters embedded with them, who enthusiastically report their battles and air strikes. There are front page pictures of these heroic soldiers giving a V-sign for victory. There is scant mention of civilian casualties.

In the second city – in another country nearby – almost exactly the same is happening. Government forces are laying siege to a city controlled by the same breed of fanatics.

The difference is that these fanatics are supported, supplied and armed by “us” – by the United States and Britain. They even have a media centre that is funded by Britain and America.

Another difference is that the government soldiers laying siege to this city are the bad guys, condemned for assaulting and bombing the city – which is exactly what the good soldiers do in the first city. 

Confusing? Not really. Such is the basic double standard that is the essence of propaganda. I am referring, of course, to the current siege of the city of Mosul by the government forces of Iraq, who are backed by the United States and Britain and to the siege of Aleppo by the government forces of Syria, backed by Russia. One is good; the other is bad.

What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria.

Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.

Some may remember in 2003 a succession of BBC reporters turning to the camera and telling us that Blair was “vindicated” for what turned out to be the crime of the century. The US television networks produced the same validation for George W. Bush. Fox News brought on Henry Kissinger to effuse over Colin Powell’s fabrications.

The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, “What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?”

He replied that if journalists had done their job, “there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq”.

It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question -- Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.

In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul.

There would have been no atrocity on the London Underground on 7th July 2005.  There would have been no flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.

When the terrorist atrocity happened in Paris last November, President Francoise Hollande immediately sent planes to bomb Syria – and more terrorism followed, predictably, the product of Hollande’s bombast about France being “at war” and “showing no mercy”. That state violence and jihadist violence feed off each other is the truth that no national leader has the courage to speak.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an “agreement” that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: “We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked.”

The West’s medieval client, Saudi Arabia – to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars’ worth of arms – is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

Look on YouTube and you will see the kind of massive bombs – “our” bombs – that the Saudis use against dirt-poor villages, and against weddings, and funerals.

The explosions look like small atomic bombs. The bomb aimers in Saudi Arabia work side-by-side with British officers. This fact is not on the evening news.

Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia -- and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post.

These organisations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT.

And they love war.

While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life.

In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people.  That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.

In fact, Britain, Europe and the United States wanted what they like to call “regime change” in Libya, the biggest oil producer in Africa. Gaddafi’s influence in the continent and, above all, his independence were intolerable. 

So he was murdered with a knife in his rear by fanatics, backed by America, Britain and France.  Hillary Clinton cheered his gruesome death for the camera, declaring, “We came, we saw, he died!”

The destruction of Libya was a media triumph. As the war drums were beaten, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: “Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong.”
Intervention -- what a polite, benign, Guardian word, whose real meaning, for Libya, was death and destruction.

According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The Unicef report on the children killed says, "most [of them] under the age of ten".

As a direct consequence, Sirte became the capital of ISIS.

Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war.

All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military intimidation of Russia is not news; it is suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war. Once again, the Ruskies are coming to get us, led by another Stalin, whom The Economist depicts as the devil.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The fascists who engineered the coup in Kiev are the same breed that backed the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Of all the scares about the rise of fascist anti-Semitism in Europe, no leader ever mentions the fascists in Ukraine – except Vladimir Putin, but he does not count.

Many in the Western media have worked hard to present the ethnic Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, as agents of Moscow, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

There is almost the joie d’esprit of a class reunion of warmongers.

The drum-beaters of the Washington Post inciting war with Russia are the very same editorial writers who published the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain.

But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behaviour and opinions. To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Trump is an obstacle to America’s design for the 21st century.

This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.

To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China.

In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, “I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.” That was not news.

Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world – unlike Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.  

Clinton has the form, as she often boasts. Indeed, her record is proven. As a senator, she backed the bloodbath in Iraq.  When she ran against Obama in 2008, she threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran. As Secretary of State, she colluded in the destruction of governments in Libya and Honduras and set in train the baiting of China.

She has now pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria -- a direct provocation for war with Russia. Clinton may well become the most dangerous president of the United States in my lifetime –a distinction for which the competition is fierce.

Without a shred of evidence, she has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public.

That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders.

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way – in the Caucasus and eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target.

Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on November 8th,  If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton’s victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defence drills being conducted in Russia.  None will recall Edward Bernays’ “torches of freedom”.

George Bush’s press spokesman once called the media “complicit enablers”.

Coming from a senior official in an administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering, that description is a warning from history.

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

~ This is adapted from an address to the Sheffield Festival of Words, Sheffield, England. - the films and journalism of John Pilger

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Walk Over and Home Again

I got home last night about 8:00 pm after the peace walk concluded with our protest at the Kittery Naval Submarine shipyard.  For 90 minutes we vigiled as the workers poured out in cars, trucks, vans, buses and it was mind-blowing to see how many people work there.  We had about 40 folks join us for that last event at the shipyard gate.  Our Brunswick friend Eric Herter (who made a video at the start of the walk) showed up again yesterday to make one of the final day.  Will post it once he gets it done.

Our last night on the walk (Oct 25) we were hosted by Veterans for Peace member Pat Scanlon at his summer house on York Beach.  He made contact with a local Catholic Church peace and social justice committee that hosted our supper at their church.  Pat got about a dozen pizzas and three huge salads donated so it was quite a meal.  Then yesterday as we walked toward the Kittery shipyard we stopped at the restaurant that donated the food for a photo with the owner.

After our vigil concluded at 4:00 pm about 20 of us went back to the restaurant for an early supper party as a way to thank the owner for being so kind to us two years in a row.  Our bill came to just over $300 so I'm sure he appreciated our support as well.

This morning I've begun the task of cleaning things up after the walk since all the left over food, crates full of recycling and trash as well as lost and found items all got brought to my house last night.  So far I am half way done but I've run out of energy.

Instead of finishing that job I went outside for almost three hours and finished stacking wood inside our new wood shed that got built while I was on the walk.  I've been wanting a good wood shed for years and was thrilled to get to finish stacking the wood (thanks to the shed building crew for getting a good start on the stacking process) that has been sitting in our drive way for the last seven months.

In the coming days I'll write more about the walk but for now a nap is calling me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Steering Minds Back onto the Reservation

Mark Crispin Miller who is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University talks about US government propaganda, the corporate media, the CIA and the Russian "Putin" threat.

Miller also discusses how the corporate media tried to get him fired using a NYU graduate student working for VICE owned by Rupert Murdock.

He also looks at the role of the CIA and the US government in their organized effort to demonize Putin and Russia and create a US population hysteria similar to the 1950s.

This interview was done during the Project Censored 40th anniversary at Sonoma State University on October 22, 2016 by Pacifica KPFA Work Week host Steve Zeltzer.

It's an excellent interview and I highly recommend watching it.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Prep for Trial

In preparation for coming trial in West Bath (Maine) District Court - date not yet set.......

Our Zumwalt 12, arrested at Bath Iron Works last June 18 at the Zumwalt stealth destroyer 'christening', had a trial prep session a couple weeks ago.

Windy Saco to Kennebunk

Acupuncture in our ears today for the 4th time during the walk.

Yesterday was a 15-mile walk from Portland to Saco in a 20 mph wind.  The flags were flappin and the signs were hard to hold on to.  Several times we were pushed sidewards or backwards as the wind hit our signs.  But our band of 23 folks made it.

Today we have an easier day as the wind should calm down and we only have a 10 mile walk to Kennebunk.  We'll be staying at the New School - an alternative high school that hosted us last year.  The students cooked for us and many of them walked with us the next day.

During past walks I've written about the car culture.  Yesterday I was thinking about it again as we passed by a bunch of car sales lots - one of them flying the biggest American flag I've ever seen.  What do American flags have to do with auto sales - especially when the cars are made overseas?  Over compensation I suppose....

One of the email list serves I monitor is blowing up with a couple people coming out of the woodwork calling for US 'no fly zones' in Syria and unleashing weapons sales to the US-NATO-Israeli-Saudi Arabia-Qatar funded and directed so-called 'rebels' who are now on the losing end in Aleppo.

I am convinced that the military machine has placed operatives inside some peace groups and key list serves in order to create confusion so that real peace movement opposition to the Obama-Clinton war on Syria can be neutralized.  So far they have been successful but I think the tide is turning toward some clarity and sanity. Thanks to those with the courage to push back against the war tide.

One of these operatives this morning had posted that the US lies and deception in Syria were 'different' than the 2003 'shock and awe' game in Iraq.  Hardly!

Beware of those selling endless war - especially when they claim to be peaceniks.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Song

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Portland & Wet for 2nd Day

It rained the entire 16 miles into Portland today but our spirits remained high with the addition of new walkers.

The Friends School was luckily available to us for a sheltered lunch stop just half way to Portland and thanks to Sukie Rice and Leslie Manning for providing us with a lovely meal.  We sat at the desks of the 7th grade class to eat and were asked to leave each of the students a note about each of us.  A nice surprise will be waiting for the students when they return to school on Monday.

Grace Braley organized a fine program at the State Street UCC Church in Portland after the evening pot luck supper.  Just before things got started our Korean-American friend Juyeon Rhee from New York City walked into the church.  She'll walk with us on Sunday before heading back to NYC on Monday.  Last summer when our VFP delegation went to South Korea for three weeks in August it was Juyeon and Hyun Lee that were going to be our guides and translators. When they arrived in the Seoul airport they were kicked out of the country.  They recovered quickly and continued to direct our tour long-distance and successfully found others to do the needed translations.

It was obvious that the right-wing South Korean government feared Juyeon and Hyun being inside the country of their birth as they have become major activists for peace and reunification of Korea - something that neither the US nor its puppet regime in Seoul wants to happen.  The US gets alot of mileage out of the continued division of Korea - particularly Washington uses North Korea as an excuse to kept building up its military operations in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam and other places in the Asia-Pacific region.  While this 'pivot' of 60% of US forces into the region is really aimed at China and Russia, North Korea is the perfect foil.

In the morning the sky is supposed to clear up but the temperature will drop to the kind of cold one would normally expect to see in Maine during this time of year.  So we'll all bundle up and keep heading south toward Saco where we'll be hosted by the First Congregational Church.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Freeport in the Rain

It was a dreary day here in Maine today with mist and rain.  But after all the good weather we have had along the way I can't really complain and we sure need the rain.

We met in Brunswick this morning and the group walked 10 miles to Freeport.  I drove the van and then helped set up lunch and walked the last four miles.  It felt good to be back on the road behind the drums and it felt like what ever ailment I've had might be on its way out of my body.  At least I hope so.

We were hosted tonight at the Durham Quaker Meeting House about 12 miles from Freeport.  They organized dinner and home stays for us.

In the morning we shuttle back to Freeport and then walk about 15 miles to Portland where we will be hosted by the State Street Church.

VFP member Ken Jones from North Carolina (who used to live here in Maine) arrived today.  Ken was with Will Griffin and I for the Grand March for Life and Peace on Jeju Island, South Korea last August.  It is fun to have him along.  Another VFP member Nate Goldshlag is back for his second round of walking - he lives near Boston.

A couple of our key walk organizers have to leave - one to return to prior commitments at home and the other because her knee gave out.  We will miss Katie Greenman and Connie Jenkins a bunch.  We are so grateful to both for their outstanding efforts to help make this whole event happen.

The Times Record (our local midcoast paper) ran an excellent front page story about the walk today.  You can see it here and a story from our visit to Norway, Maine which was also published today here


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Coming Nov. 11 to Brunswick, Maine

Stomp on THAAD!

In its arrogance and desperate rush to encircle China and Russia with so-called 'missile defense' systems, the US is successfully driving formerly conservative communities in rural South Korea into the arms of the peace movement.

As you can see in this short music video the people are learning the songs and dances that are such a big part of Korean progressive movement culture and they are having fun.

The US has a 'no holds barred' strategy as Washington-London-Brussels-Paris-Berlin know that their window of control of the planet is closing.  China and Russia (being now joined by other nations not part of the western club) are moving to open a different window, a much bigger window, called multi-polar world.

Virtually every military move Washington makes though is creating more opposition thus their plan for 'full spectrum dominance' is running into the reality of  'full spectrum resistance'.

All that is needed now is for the vast majority of the American people to wake up from their deep sleep so they can join the rest of the planet in recognizing who the real terrorists are these days.


No THAAD Peace Walk Event in Brunswick

  • It's been hard to keep up with the blog during the walk.  Not only have there been days, especially in rural Maine, with no Internet connection but I also got sick.  I found it almost impossible to sleep more than 3-4 hours each night despite being exhausted from walking all day.  Then one night I got a fever and sweated buckets.  So on Tuesday I walked in the morning and then came home and slept 13 hours.  I missed the walk into Brunswick on Wednesday and just stayed in bed most of the day although I did post a couple videos below.  Then last night I attended the pot luck supper in Brunswick since I was responsible for the program.

  • This week there has been a call for No THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) protests across the nation against the Pentagon plan to deploy the 'missile defense' (MD) system in South Korea.  Last night I gave some background on the controversy, also included the Aegis MD equipped warships built here in Bath, and then we showed the six-minute video compilation (see posted in menu a couple days ago) of the candlelight vigils in South Korea opposing THAAD.  We took the photo above of those in attendance in our meager effort to show solidarity and denounce these provocative first-strike attack systems.

  • When I got home from the walk I found last Friday's local newspaper sitting on my desk and inside was a large article entitled:  Clinton said U.S. would 'ring China with missile defense'.  I clipped the story and took it to the event last night and read these remarks from Clinton that were revealed by WikiLeaks.  "We're going to ring China with missile defense.  We're going to put more of our fleet in the area."

  • Clinton is of course referring to the US Navy's Aegis destroyers with MD interceptors on-board and I made sure to point that clear fact out to the group last night.  So South Korean people are directly fighting against ground-based THAAD deployments on the mainland and against MD at the new Navy base on Jeju Island where these ships will be ported.  Both of these places thus become prime targets in a war with Russia and China and the people know it.  Protest and survive is their operating message now.

  • Today is a peace walk day off and our fantastic team of walkers surely need and deserve it.  But of course we can't pass up such a great chance with so many activists being around to pay a visit to Bath Iron Works. We'll go from 3:00-4:00 pm during the shift change for a vigil highlighting our demand to convert the shipyard to sustainable technology production that would in fact create more jobs than making warships.

  • We get started again on Friday walking from Brunswick to Freeport and from there our route will be directly south on US Hwy 1 to the Navy Submarine shipyard in Kittery where we will end the walk on October 26 with another protest calling for the conversion of that yard.  More walkers join every day and people come and go - some even come back for a second or third try at it.  The sense of community building is quite lovely.  We are grateful to all those across the state who have supported the peace walk helping to make it a special event.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

U.S. Wants to Balkanize Russia

Fellow Mainer Regis Tremblay is currently in Russia working on his upcoming documentary.

Here he interviews Riley Waggaman, an American journalist who works in Russia. 

Regis and I met Riley in Odessa, Ukraine when we traveled there to show solidarity with the mothers of those murdered by Nazis at the Trades Hall Building in 2014.

The Era of Fossil Fuels is Coming to an End

There's a revolution happening in Standing Rock, at the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ camp, and across the country. Over 200 indigenous American nations and 6,000 people have travelled to the community in an unprecedented act of solidarity. Catalyzed by the fight against Dakota Access Pipeline, Native American tribes are protecting their water, but even more, protecting their sovereignty in the face of a colonialist State. In a time when we still celebrate Christopher Columbus, violent colonizer, the indigenous rights movement is more important than ever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Some Walk Photos

As we headed to Norway, Maine yesterday we stopped at the Poland Spring bottled water plant (owned by Nestle) to protest their extraction of water from our state without paying anything for it.  They buy up the land over a well field and then pump it to their hearts content.  The taxpayers of Maine get nothing but a few jobs in the bottling and trucking departments.  Once we arrived at the entrance to Poland Spring we walked deep into the production facilities area and were eventually stopped by a surprised manager who called the police to chase us away.  Before leaving we made sure to express our disgust with the greedy Nestle corporation that cares about nothing except $$$$$$$.

A supporter made an amazing Indian dinner for us two nights ago when we arrived in Augusta.  It was restaurant quality. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday Song - Day Late

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Let's Walk Together.......

Thanks to Brunswick, Maine filmmaker Eric Herter for creating this video about our peace walk.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Protests Against THAAD Widen in South Korea

Footage of Seongju and Gimcheon residents during various candlelight vigils against US deployment of THAAD 'missile defense' system that will be aimed at China and Russia.

Peace Walk Day 3 to Unity

This morning we joined the Grandmothers from the area who are still fighting to save this region of Maine from being torn apart by the big industrial development corporations who are itching to build a mega-corridor to move electricity, oil, natural gas, manufactured goods and more.  They were happy that our show of solidarity could help swell their dedicated group at the vigil along side the Cianbro Corporation HQ.

It was a windy and cool day but beautifully sunny as we walked toward Unity where tonight we are sleeping on the floor at the MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers & Growers Association) building that is known for holding events to foster the movement for organic farming across Maine.

When I've been in this particular building in the past it has been loaded with vegetables spread out on tables ready for judging during the annual Common Ground Country Fair at the end of each September.

It is often said that the 3rd day of peace walks is the hardest as the body begins to feel the aches and pains of walking plus the lack of sleep and comfortable accommodations begins to take a toll on the people.  If you can get past the 3rd day you usually are fine.  I can admit that today was a struggle for me as I've been waking up in the middle of the night since we started and my mind is racing through the many tasks that must be done the next day.  Sometimes the mind can be a terrible thing......

Buddhist monks Kato Shonin (left) and Toby Shonin at our house in Bath this afternoon as they headed south back to their temple and peace pagoda in Leverett, MA.  They both were with us the last 4 days and will be replaced by Buddhist nun Jun-san Yasuda when we reach Waterville.  Kato has been dealing the cancer but walked strongly.  He's previously led our walks several times in Maine in the past.  Monk Senji Kanaeda will remain on the walk til we finish in Kittery on October 26.

We walked into the MOFGA building tonight and the smell of a bean soup being prepared for us gave us a lift.  Food always helps make things feel better.

Once again as we walked through rural and conservative Maine today we got many honks and waves from the public.  I keep remarking to fellow walkers that the peace movement rarely comes to these rural parts of the state - we write them off and forget that many people living here agree with our positions against war and corporate domination of the economy and the government.  That is because many people work for these corporations and see how they daily treat the public.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Peace Walk in Pittsfield

  • My Internet connection is touch and go - none last night in Dexter but now that we are in Pittsfield we have it.  The walk is going well - so far we've had about 20 of the same folks with us and another 10 have been coming and going.  We are eating well - sleeping on floors and our first shower today in Pittsfield.
  • In the morning we hold an 8:30 am vigil at Cianbro HQ here in Pittsfield.  Cianbro is the mega-development corporation pushing the unpopular East-West Corridor that would tear up alot of middle Maine's forests, farms and waterways.  Last night three of the Grandmothers Against the E-W Highway came to our potluck supper in Dexter and spoke to us about their campaign.  They were excited that we can join their monthly protest in the morning at the corporate HQ here in town.
  • The economy in this rural part of Maine is devastated.  One kind policeman told us last night that this part of the state is Appalachia. He said there are no jobs and people sell drugs in order to pay their rent and to dull the pain of their hard life. He was very understanding and not judgemental of the people.
  • The yard signs so far on this journey have revealed Donald Trump is popular up here in rural Maine.  I've not seen one Hillary Clinton sign.  My guess is that people know the existing oligarchic order in Washington will not do anything for the people here so they are more than ready to roll-the-dice with Trump who they hope will be anti-establishment and work for them.  Of course Trump is totally an establishment character and won't do anything for the poor and working class but he won't be elected anyway.  Trump's role in this campaign is to make Hillary look better to voters - thus his kamikaze mission.
  • We walk to Unity tomorrow and will stay at the MOFGA facility there where the annual Common Ground Fair is held.
  • We are getting great media coverage so far.  In today's Bangor Daily News they had a three photo spread on the front page of the State section.  We've had three TV spots during the last two days as well.  See the links to all this coverage here
  • Our youngest walker is Bailey who came with his mom and other Nipponzan Myohoji temple community members from the Seattle area.  Bailey, 10 years old, has walked the entire way so far plus being our primary 'runner' to deliver walk flyers to people along the route that stick their heads out of their houses and shops when they hear the drums coming.
  • We've had a ton of honks and waves which surprises me a bit considering all the Trump campaign signs but it just goes to show that you can't easily peg folks into slots and then assume you have them figured out.  One old woman today said "Kittery?! Kittery?!" when she heard we were walking all the way there.  One of our walkers told me, "You know Mainers, they respect hard work."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Peace Walks Begins

Our group of peace walkers gathered on Indian Island today at noon for lunch along the Penobscot River that the native people who live here are trying to protect despite many obstructions from the state of Maine.

Following lunch we walked a few minutes to the Penobscot people's government building where we held our walk orientation and where we received a welcome from Tribal Chief Kirk Francis. 

Then at 6:00 pm we held a pot luck supper which was followed by a wonderful and inspiring talk by Native Rights lawyer Sherri Mitchell who grew up on Indian Island.  She reminded us that we are all connected and that our collective survival on Mother Earth will depend on what we each do to help imagine and create a future where the coming generations have a chance to survive and thrive on our spinning orb.

In the morning we meet at 8:30 am and begin walking toward Dexter where we will be hosted by people who have been engaged in a campaign to stop the East-West Industrial Corridor that would rip through large portions of the state destroying precious farms, forest lands and water bodies.

I am certain that each day along this journey will bring new inspiration and challenges.  Our friend Eric Herter, a filmmaker from Brunswick, was here all day capturing images and sound and will return home tomorrow to put together an initial video about the walk.

Come and walk with us when you can - or come to one of the suppers held near your community.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why is the Pentagon Painting War Planes to Match Russians?

The U.S appears to be painting some of its war planes to match the color schemes of Russian jets in Syria. What is up here?

Standard training or preparing for monkey business? Hard to know but these days just about anything seems possible as the imperial war machine is in collapse mode.......

I've been around long enough not to be surprised by anything.  While in the Air Force during the Vietnam war I read the 'secret' Pentagon Papers cover-to-cover (released to the public by whistleblower Dan Ellsberg and printed in book form).  Inside that history of the US war in Vietnam I learned that the Pentagon lies to Congress, the media and the public all the time to justify war.

So I'd not be surprised at all to suddenly hear that 'Russian' jets are doing some evil deed in Syria - who would know the difference?

There is a propaganda war underway in the west to sell and justify 'regime change' in Syria, Iran, Russia and China.  Hang onto your hats and don't easily fall for the media hype.

Have we already forgotten George W. Bush's 2003 'shock and awe' on Iraq - looking for WMD?  

Citizen beware!


All Things are Bound Together

Kato Shonin's Dharma talk on technology and war this past Saturday's 23rd anniversary celebration at the Grafton Peace Pagoda in New York.

Kato Shonin is the senior Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monk in the US and is based in Leverett, Massachusetts where he also has built a pagoda.

Kato Shonin will be at the start of our Maine Peace Walk that begins at Indian Island (Old Town) tomorrow.  Several other monks and nuns from Nipponzan Myohoji will also participate in the peace walk.

Their order was founded by a monk who was a friend of Mahatma Gandhi and created the Nipponzan Myohoji order to do peace walks and build peace pagodas around the world.

'Our Goal is to Overcome NATO'

Over 5,000 people marched at a peace demonstration in Berlin, Saturday, calling for an end to war and denouncing NATO.

Rainbow-flags and white doves were seen throughout the parade that advanced from Alexanderplatz past the US embassy, and to Brandenburg Gate.

It is good to see this protest in Germany.  We need more activity like this throughout Europe to stop the insane US-NATO possible war against Russia.

In any such war Europe would be reduced to ashes.  Now is the time to speak out!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Clinton's Coup in Honduras

Black Marks Against the West's White Helmets

The White Helmets: a heartfelt humanitarian NGO or an elaborate and cynical western PR stunt promoting illegal regime change in Syria?

Does the wearing of white helmets mean they are the good guys supporting a just cause?

5th Maine Peace Walk Begins October 11

Artist Russell Wray from Hancock, Maine

There have been some minor changes to the first day Maine Peace Walk schedule.  Here is the latest:

Day 1 (Penobscot Nation on Indian Island) Tuesday, October 11

  • Meet in Bath (212 Centre St) 9:00 am and drive north to Indian Island via I-95 taking exit 197 to Old Town
  • Over bridge to Indian Island 
  • .3 miles Stop sign turn right to Boat Landing just before the school on Wabanaki Way
  • 12:00 Lunch at boat landing (bring something to share)
  • 2:00 pm Talks by Chief Kirk Francis and Sherri Mitchell followed by Orientation meeting in conference room at the Nicholas Sapiel Building at 27 Wabanaki Way, directly across from the parking lot for High Stakes Bingo. The drive to the building is a left just after the Public Safety Bldg.
  • 6:00 Pot luck supper in Nicholas Sapiel Bldg as well
  • Homestays

Orientation plan:

We’ll first hear from Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis and Sherri Mitchell before beginning the 2:00 pm orientation which will include the following:
  • Introductions
  • Walk theme & messaging (signs, flyers, etc)
  • Daily walk plan & route review
  • Respecting the drums
  • How to integrate new people who join the walk along the route
  • Responsibility of guests at host sites
  • Shuttling plan (Coordinator needed)
  • Van drivers
  • Food & breaks
 See you all soon


Arrogant Pentagon Warmongers

American people better wake up before it is too late....these cats want war!

Latest Guest - Phui Yi Kong from Malaysia

Phui Yi Kong, from Malaysia, spent some of her first fall as a student a Bowdoin College living at the Occupy encampment in Portland, Maine learning about American political issues and teaching acting methods from The Theater of the Oppressed.

On graduating from Bowdoin with a Watson Fellowship, she engaged different communities in Maine and elsewhere in the world by means of theater exercises, finding that their strong sense of personal identity (individualism) hinders many Americans from forming strong empathetic and nurturing relationships with those different from themselves.

Peace Pagoda Ceremony: Protect the Mother Earth

Mary Beth and I drove to Albany, New York on Friday arriving there just in time for a dinner at a local restaurant that we just happened to stumble upon.  I had a wonderful eggplant Parmesan - one of the best yet.

We stayed in the home of a local Veterans For Peace member and early Saturday morning drove about an hour more to the Grafton Peace Pagoda 23rd Anniversary Celebration.

I was invited to speak about conversion of the military industrial complex by our dear Buddhist nun friend Jun-san Yasuda who lead the construction of the pagoda when it was built 23 years ago.  Jun-san has walked with us several times across Maine and will be coming again this year for our October 11-26 'Stop the War$ on Mother Earth' walk that starts next week.  Many of the Nipponzan Myohoji monks currently serving their order in the US were at the ceremony and we will have a couple of them join our peace walk as well.

About 150 people attended the beautiful ceremony which also included talks by two Native American legends.  Oren Lyons, faithkeeper from the Onondaga Nation in New York, was there as was Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations from South Dakota.

Both men repeatedly warned that humankind must quickly change the way we are living on our Mother Earth or our species will perish.  Oren said it was like a 15-round boxing match and we are tied in the 14th round - it could go either way.  He called himself a 'runner' for his people - not a chief, not a spiritual leader, just one to carry the messages from his people to the wider culture.  He told us the trees surrounding the beautiful pagoda were listening to us and were glad we were all assembled in prayer and action.

Arvol Looking Horse told us, "To understand the depth of this message you must recognize the importance of Sacred Sites and realize the interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.

"I have been learning about these important issues since the age of 12 when I received the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and its teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to the predicament that we are in at the global level.

"Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations, and we are on the brink of destroying the possibility of a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children's children.

"Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site called the Sacred Black Hills in South Dakota, 'Heart of Everything That Is,' from continued violations. Our ancestors never saw a satellite view of this site, but now that those pictures are available, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and, when fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping."

Arvol also reported on the struggle now underway at Standing Rock in North Dakota against the oil pipeline that would destroy the Missouri River.  He said "the young people have made a stand" to protect the Mother Earth.

Both Oren and Arvol thanked the Nipponzan Myohoji monks and nuns for their many years of supporting Native Americans across the US.  Each of the men told stories of times when Nipponzan Myohoji walked with them and stood with them in their struggles for justice and protection of the earth.

One of the great joys of the day yesterday was for Mary Beth and I to see our old friends from the southeast - Nipponzan Myohoji monk Utsumi and nun Denise who walked with us many times in Florida over the years.  These days they are building a similar pagoda in the Smokey Mountains and we both are eager to visit them and lend a small hand in that great effort.


Sunday Song

Friday, October 07, 2016

MD - Part Two

Space Week: India

Global Network board member J. Narayana Rao writes from Nagpur, India:

On October 6 a seminar on "Dangers of weaponization of space'' was held at Biju Pattanaik Government Women's College in Digapahandi, Orissa State.

At this town and the school in the state of Orissa this is the first time a program like this was ever held.

Putin Explains U.S. 'Missile Defense' to Western Media

Putin wonders "How do I get through to you?"

The answer:  You can't - most of them work for the CIA.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Space Week: Norway Conference on US MD Radar

Media coverage in Norway of national conference in Vadso called ‘Military Intelligence as a democratic blind zone’.  The space week event will discuss US NSA-cooperation with Norway from 1952-2016 and the presence in nearby Vardo of a huge US space Communications-Intelligence radar station close to Russia.

The 'missile defense' capable radar at Vardo sits 40 miles from the Russian border. The radar location in Vardo is ideal for collecting detailed intelligence data on Russia's long-range ballistic missiles that could be used in Pentagon planning for a first-strike attack.

Norwegian journalist Bård Wormdal published a book in 2011 claiming the Globus II radar in Norway’s north easternmost corner is essential for a U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

The book quotes MIT Professor Theodor Postol saying “It is very difficult to understand how the Vardø radar will not be used as part of the U.S. missile defence. The reason for this is because it is the only radar that has the capability to tell the difference between a real warhead and a dummy."

Postol wrote in 2000:

The HAVE STARE radar was developed in the early 1990s by Raytheon, under the direction of the Electronic Systems Center, the US Air Force's lead organization for the development and acquisition of command-and-control systems.

According to the Defense Department, HAVE STARE is "a high-resolution X-band tracking and imaging radar with a 27-meter mechanical dish antenna." It became operational at Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's coast in 1995, where it was used in early developmental tests of the national missile defense program.

In late 1998, HAVE STARE was quietly dismantled and sent to Norway, where it was jointly reassembled by the US and Norway under the Norwegian project name "Globus II."

It is located at a Norwegian military intelligence facility and its mission, according to the U.S. and Norwegian governments, is to track and catalog space junk in high earth orbit.

Now, space junk is no trivial matter. There are many thousands of manmade objects orbiting Earth, ranging in size from paint flecks and nuts and bolts to booster rockets.

But the new location of HAVE STARE, publicly revealed in April 1998 by Inge Sellevag, a Norwegian newspaper reporter, is nearly the last place on earth one would choose for a radar with the purpose of tracking space debris.

Because such objects can never be seen from a far north location, a space tracking installation is in fact best placed much closer to the equator. But the location of the radar is ideal for collecting very precise data on Russian missile tests.

Understanding 'Missile Offense'

Indian Diplomat's View on Syria

Aleppo's ancient citadel before the war
Battle of Aleppo is end of history in the Middle East

By M.K. Bhadrakumar

Russia’s possible victory in Syria will mark the end of western hegemony over the Middle East, and historians are bound to single it out as the defining foreign-policy legacy of Obama’s presidency.

On Monday, Barack Obama administration fulfilled its week-old threat to ‘suspend’ bilateral talks with Russia over Syrian crisis. Are the dogs of war being unleashed?

The thought may seem preposterous but tensions are palpable.

The US spy planes are spotted ever more frequently in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea over Russian bases, especially Tartus and Hmeimim in Syria.

Russia has deployed SA-23 Gladiator anti-missile and anti-aircraft system in Syria, first-ever such deployment outside Russia. The western analysts see it as pre-emptive step to counter any American cruise missile attack. Russia is not taking chances.

The Defence Ministry in Moscow said the deployment is intended “to provide protection for the naval logistics facility in Tartus and the Russian Navy’s task force”.

Moscow factors in that US may use some rebel groups to ensure that Russian “body bags” are sent to Moscow, as threatened explicitly by US state department spokesman John Kirby last week. Moscow suspects American hand in the missile attack on the Russian embassy in Damascus – “Brits and Ukrainians clumsily helped the Americans”, a Russian statement in New York said on Tuesday.

Indeed, passions are running high. There could be several dozen western intelligence operatives trapped with the rebel groups in east Aleppo. This is one thing.

Clearly, the turning point was reached when the US and western allies undertook a fierce air attack on the Syrian army base at Deir Ezzor lasting an hour and killing 62 government troops. The US explanation of that being an accident lost credibility, since within an hour of the air strike, extremist groups of al-Qaeda followed up with ground attack as if acting in tandem.

Trust has consequently broken down. The Russians are convinced that the US was never really interested in separating the ‘moderate’ groups from extremists despite repeated promises, because Washington sees use for al-Qaeda affiliates, which happen to be the only capable fighting force to push the 'regime change' agenda in Syria.

Put differently, Russians are inclined to agree with what Tehran has been saying all along. Moscow, therefore, switched tack and put its resources behind the Syrian operations to capture the strategic city of Aleppo. The military campaign is within sight of victory.

That is, unless there is a US intervention in the coming days to tilt the military balance in favour of extremist groups that are trapped in the eastern districts of Aleppo with supply lines for reinforcements cut.

The main thrust of the multi-pronged attack by government forces, backed by crack Hezbollah units and Shi’ite militia, is from the southeast of Aleppo with massive Russian aerial bombardment and a brigade-strong Russian contingent positioning itself reportedly in the rear to reinforce the main attack if need arises.

The Russians also control Castello Road leading to the north toward Turkish border, which was the last remaining supplying route for the extremist rebel pockets in east Aleppo.

With no prospect of getting reinforcements, facing relentless air and ground attacks from the north and south, the rebels are staring at a hopeless battle of attrition.

The point is, with the fall of Aleppo, Syrian war becomes de facto a residual military operation to purge the al-Qaeda affiliate Jubhat al-Nusra from Idlib province as well, which means regime forces would secure control over the entire populous regions of Syria, all main cities and entire Mediterranean coast. In a nutshell, Syrian war ends with President Bashar al-Assad ensconced in power.

The specter of ‘total victory’ for Assad haunts Washington. It explains the string of vituperative statements against Moscow, betraying a high level of frustration.

Theoretically, Obama can order missile attacks on the victorious Syrian government forces. But that will be like pouring oil on fire. On Saturday, Russian Defense Ministry warned Pentagon that any US military intervention to remove Assad would result in “terrible tectonic shifts” across the region.

The threat was left vaguely suspended in the air. But on Sunday, the powerful advisor on foreign affairs to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, was pretty much blunt, warning Washington that any direct US intervention would be a “suicidal action” and will only turn out to be “their (American) third military defeat in the region after Afghanistan and Iraq, and it will be a stronger defeat”.

However, if Obama decides against the war option, three other reasons can also be attributed. One, Washington’s equations with Ankara and Riyadh are hugely uncertain at the moment and both regional allies are key partners in Syria.

The US-Turkish ties remain volatile not only due to the attempted coup in July but also because of the US tie-up with Kurds and growing Turkish suspicions regarding its intentions in Syria.

On the other hand, Riyadh is mulling over the best way of drinking from the chalice of poison that the US Congress prepared for King Salman in the form of the ‘sue-the-Saudis-for-the-9/11’ bill.

Two, President Recep Erdogan is unlikely to gamble another confrontation with Russia when Turkey’s legitimate interests in Syria can be secured by working in tandem with President Vladimir Putin at the negotiating table.

In fact, Putin is visiting Ankara shortly. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also visited Turkey last week.

Above all, Turks are realists and their excellent intelligence apparatus inside Aleppo would have reported back by now that the fall of the ancient city is a fait accompli.

Third, most important, Obama is unlikely to lead his country into the vicious war zone without any clear-cut objective to realize when the curtain is coming down on his presidency. In the current state of play, Assad stands between the West and the deluge.

But what rankles is that Russian victory in Syria marks the end of western hegemony over the Middle East, and historians are bound to single it out as the defining foreign-policy legacy of Obama’s presidency.

Certainly, Russians cannot but be sensing this. Moscow may offer at some point a face-saving exit strategy – but only after the capture of Aleppo.

After all, there is really no hurry between now and January to salvage Russia-US ties. The tragic paradigm is best evoked by quoting Omar Khayyam’s lines – ‘The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ, Moves on”.

The debris of Russia’s ties with the US lies all around and no one knows where to begin a clean-up. Things have got physical when Obama called Kremlin leadership as “barbarous” in regard of Aleppo.

On Monday, Moscow explained its decision to suspend cooperation in getting rid of excess plutonium (that could be used to make nuclear weapons) as due to “the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions” by the US.

Yet, it was also a decision that Moscow could have deferred until Obama left office. After all, it meant suspending the sole Russian-American nuclear security initiative carrying Obama’s imprimatur.

Moscow couldn’t resist debunking a Nobel who promised to ensure “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” but actually enhanced the role of nuclear weapons in US security strategy.

~ Ambassador MK Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for over 29 years, with postings including India’s ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998) and to Turkey (1998-2001). He writes the “Indian Punchline” blog and has written regularly for Asia Times since 2001.

More Space Week Events

Vigil at Hancock drone base outside of Syracuse, New York.  
There have been an ongoing series of arrests for non-violent civil resistance at this base in 
recent years

Daily protests in Gangjeong village at the new Navy base gate on Jeju Island, South Korea 
feature the Korean version of our space week poster map detailing the US military 
encirclement of Russia and China

Demonstration at the Fylingdales US Missile Defence and space-based warfare radar base in the North Yorkshire, England moors by UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Protest at the Raytheon weapons production facility outside of Tucson, Arizona where drones and missile defense systems are built

Also in North Yorkshire, England is the US NSA spy base called Menwith Hill that drew a 
space week protest.  This base intercepts all phone, fax and email communications across 
Europe and also plays a role in the Pentagon's missile defense program

Out on the streets in downtown Seattle, Washington.  Very near by is the Pentagon's Trident nuclear submarine base at Bangor.