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, December 03, 2016

Mass Rally in Seoul

Record 2.3 million people join sixth mass anti-Park rally in South Korea.

This is the way to topple a US puppet dictator - non-violent massive protests - repeatedly.

Thank you South Korea for showing the world the way!

See more details here

Pilger: The Coming War on China

By John Pilger

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably.

When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency.  The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the 20th century.

Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an “existential threat” to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.

To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, which meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one US strategist, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled, War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable.  Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the cold war when RAND made notorious the catch cry of its chief strategist, Herman Kahn -- “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

Today, his apocalyptic view is shared by those holding real power in the United States: the militarists and neo-conservatives in the executive, the Pentagon, the intelligence and “national security” establishment and Congress.

The current Secretary of Defense, Ashley Carter, a verbose provocateur, says US policy is to confront those “who see America’s dominance and want to take that away from us”.

For all the attempts to detect a departure in foreign policy, this is almost certainly the view of Donald Trump, whose abuse of China during the election campaign included that of “rapist” of the American economy. On 2 December, in a direct provocation of China, President-elect Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province of the mainland. Armed with American missiles, Taiwan is an enduring flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States,” wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international Affairs at George Washington University, “is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress.”  This war would begin with a “blinding attack against Chinese anti-access facilities, including land and sea-based missile launchers … satellite and anti-satellite weapons”.

The incalculable risk is that “deep inland strikes could be mistakenly perceived by the Chinese as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into ‘a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma’ [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2015, the Pentagon released its Law of War Manual. “The United States,” it says, “has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons per se, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”

In China, a strategist told me, “We are not your enemy, but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.”  China’s military and arsenal are small compared to America’s.

However, “for the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack … This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy … Indeed, the nuclear weapon policies of the United States are the most prominent external factor influencing Chinese advocates for raising the alert level of China’s nuclear forces.”

Professor Ted Postol was scientific adviser to the head of US naval operations. An authority on nuclear weapons, he told me, “Everybody here wants to look like they’re tough. See I got to be tough … I’m not afraid of doing anything military, I’m not afraid of threatening; I’m a hairy-chested gorilla. And we have gotten into a state, the United States has gotten into a situation where there’s a lot of sabre-rattling, and it’s really being orchestrated from the top.”

I said, “This seems incredibly dangerous.”

In 2015, in considerable secrecy, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War. This was Talisman Sabre; an armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB -- blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is such a provocation, and the fear of a US Navy blockade, that has seen China feverishly building strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  Last July, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claim of sovereignty over these islands. Although the action was brought by the Philippines, it was presented by leading American and British lawyers and could be traced to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that America’s former colony reopen the US military bases closed down in the 1990s following a popular campaign against the violence they generated, especially against Filipino women. She declared China’s claim on the Spratly Islands – which lie more than 7,500 miles from the United States – a threat to US “national security” and to “freedom of navigation”.

Handed millions of dollars in arms and military equipment, the then government of President Benigno Aquino broke off bilateral talks with China and signed a secretive Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement with the US. This established five rotating US bases and restored a hated colonial provision that American forces and contractors were immune from Philippine law.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte in April has unnerved Washington. Calling himself a socialist, he declared, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy” and noted that the United States had not apologized for its colonial atrocities. “I will break up with America,” he said, and promised to expel US troops. But the US remains in the Philippines; and joint military exercises continue.

In 2014, under the rubric of “information dominance” – the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion – the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world’s greatest trading nation, as a threat to “freedom of navigation”.

CNN led the way, its “national security reporter” reporting excitedly from on board a US Navy surveillance flight over the Spratlys. The BBC persuaded frightened Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands “to see how the Chinese would react”. None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese were building airstrips off their own coastline, or why American military forces were massing on China’s doorstep.

The designated chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, the US military commander in Asia and the Pacific. “My responsibilities,” he told the New York Times, “cover Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins.”  Never was imperial domination described as pithily.

Harris is one of a brace of Pentagon admirals and generals briefing selected, malleable journalists and broadcasters, with the aim of justifying a threat as specious as that with which George W Bush and Tony Blair justified the destruction of Iraq and much of the Middle East.

In Los Angeles in September, Harris declared he was “ready to confront a revanchist Russia and an assertive China …If we have to fight tonight, I don’t want it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery … and all our partners with their artillery.”

These “partners” include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, ostensibly aimed at North Korea.  As Professor Postol points out, it targets China.

In Sydney, Australia, Harris called on China to “tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea”. The imagery was front page news. Australia is America’s most obsequious “partner”; its political elite, military, intelligence agencies and the media are integrated into what is known as the “alliance”. Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the motorcade of a visiting American government “dignitary” is not uncommon.  The war criminal Dick Cheney was afforded this honour.

Although China is Australia’s biggest trader, on which much of the national economy relies, “confronting China” is the diktat from Washington. The few political dissenters in Canberra risk McCarthyite smears in the Murdoch press. “You in Australia are with us come what may,” said one of the architects of the Vietnam war, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important US bases is Pine Gap near Alice Springs. Founded by the CIA, it spies on China and all of Asia, and is a vital contributor to Washington’s murderous war by drone in the Middle East.

In October, Richard Marles, the defence spokesman of the main Australian opposition party, the Labor Party, demanded that “operational decisions” in provocative acts against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that could mean war with a nuclear power should not be taken by an elected leader or a parliament but by an admiral or a general.

This is the Pentagon line, a historic departure for any state calling itself a democracy. The ascendancy of the Pentagon in Washington – which Daniel Ellsberg has called a silent coup -- is reflected in the record $5 trillion America has spent on aggressive wars since 9/11, according to a study by Brown University. The million dead in Iraq and the flight of 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequence.

The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations, from which Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq have been attacked by the United States. Today, the principal target is China, with whom Okinawans have close cultural and trade ties.

There are military aircraft constantly in the sky over Okinawa; they sometimes crash into homes and schools. People cannot sleep, teachers cannot teach. Wherever they go in their own country, they are fenced in and told to keep out.

A popular Okinawan anti-base movement has been growing since a 12-year-old girl was gang-raped by US troops in 1995. It was one of hundreds of such crimes, many of them never prosecuted. Barely acknowledged in the wider world, the resistance has seen the election of Japan’s first anti-base governor, Takeshi Onaga, and presented an unfamiliar hurdle to the Tokyo government and the ultra-nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to repeal Japan’s “peace constitution”.

The resistance includes Fumiko Shimabukuro, aged 87, a survivor of the Second World War when a quarter of Okinawans died in the American invasion. Fumiko and hundreds of others took refuge in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The US wants to destroy the bay in order to extend runways for its bombers. “We have a choice,” she said, “silence or life.” As we gathered peacefully outside the US base, Camp Schwab, giant Sea Stallion helicopters hovered over us for no reason other than to intimidate.

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary  and World Heritage Site declared “an island of world peace”. On this island of world peace has been built one of the most provocative military bases in the world, less than 400 miles from Shanghai. The fishing village of Gangjeong is dominated by a South Korean naval base purpose-built for US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile system, aimed at China.

A people’s resistance to these war preparations has been a presence on Jeju for almost a decade. Every day, often twice a day, villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world stage a religious mass that blocks the gates of the base. In a country where political demonstrations are often banned, unlike powerful religions, the tactic has produced an inspiring spectacle.

One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, told me, “I sing four songs every day at the base, regardless of the weather. I sing in typhoons -- no exception. To build this base, they destroyed the environment, and the life of the villagers, and we should be a witness to that. They want to rule the Pacific. They want to make China isolated in the world. They want to be emperor of the world.”

I flew from Jeju to Shanghai for the first time in more than a generation. When I was last in China, the loudest noise I remember was the tinkling of bicycle bells; Mao Zedong had recently died, and the cities seemed dark places, in which foreboding and expectation competed.  Within a few years, Deng Xiopeng, the “man who changed China”, was the “paramount leader”. Nothing prepared me for the astonishing changes today.

China presents exquisite ironies, not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades secretly founded the Communist Party of China in 1921. Today, it stands in the heart of a very capitalist shipping district; you walk out of this communist shrine with your Little Red Book and your plastic bust of Mao into the embrace of Starbucks, Apple, Cartier, Prada.

Would Mao be shocked? I doubt it. Five years before his great revolution in 1949, he sent this secret message to Washington. “China must industrialise.” he wrote, “This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict.”

Mao offered to meet Franklin Roosevelt in the White House, and his successor Harry Truman, and his successor Dwight Eisenhower. He was rebuffed, or willfully ignored. The opportunity that might have changed contemporary history, prevented wars in Asia and saved countless lives was lost because the truth of these overtures was denied in 1950s Washington “when the catatonic Cold War trance,” wrote the critic James Naremore, “held our country in its rigid grip”.

The fake mainstream news that once again presents China as a threat is of the same mentality.

The world is inexorably shifting east; but the astonishing vision of Eurasia from China is barely understood in the West. The “New Silk Road” is a ribbon of trade, ports, pipelines and high-speed trains all the way to Europe.  The world’s leader in rail technology, China is negotiating with 28 countries for routes on which trains will reach up to 400 kms an hour. This opening to the world has the approval of much of humanity and, along the way, is uniting China and Russia.

 “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Barack Obama, evoking the fetishism of the 1930s. This modern cult of superiority is Americanism, the world’s dominant predator. Under the liberal Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, nuclear warhead spending has risen higher than under any president since the end of the Cold War. A mini nuclear weapon is planned. Known as the B61 Model 12, it will mean, says General James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

In September, the Atlantic Council, a mainstream US geopolitical thinktank, published a report that predicted a Hobbesian world “marked by the breakdown of order, violent extremism [and] an era of perpetual war”. The new enemies were a “resurgent” Russia and an “increasingly aggressive” China.  Only heroic America can save us.

There is a demented quality about this war mongering. It is as if the “American Century” -- proclaimed in 1941 by the American imperialist Henry Luce, owner of Time magazine -- has ended without notice and no one has had the courage to tell the emperor to take his guns and go home.

 ~ John Pilger’s film, The Coming War on China, is released in UK cinemas and will be broadcast on the ITV Network on December 6 at 10.40 pm. RT Documentaries will broadcast The Coming War on China worldwide on December 9, 10 & 11. The Australian release will be early 2017 on SBS Television. 

Israeli Terrorism

Abby Martin goes on-the-ground to the epicenters of state-backed settler terrorism in Palestine’s West Bank, in Part II of her report on illegal Israeli settlements and home demolitions.

This installment visits both the rural countryside of Duma—interviewing the surviving members of the Dawabsheh family, victims of a horrific arson attack that left three dead—and the urban center of Hebron, a glaring example of Israeli apartheid under intense military occupation.

North Dakota Officials Shaking in their Shoes as Vets Arrive at Standing Rock

Led by veteran and former Baltimore Sargent Michael A Wood Jr and Wes Clark Jr, veteran and son of General Wesley Clark, a group of veterans are traveling to North Dakota in order to stand with water protectors against the police who are committing state-sanctioned violence in defense of corporate profits.

It now appears that North Dakota officials are backing off their demand that the Standing Rock camp be closed by December 3 or else people would be forcibly removed.  Now that 2,000 ex-military veterans are descending on Standing Rock the governor of North Dakota (an agent of the oil industry) is backing off his demands - at least for now.  Let's see what they do once the vets leave......

During the past week Ace Hardware stores in Bismarck, North Dakota have refused to sell Native Americans camping supplies for Standing Rock.  Word got out around the country and online petitions cranked up with thousands of signatures declaring support for a national boycott of Ace Hardware.  Quickly Ace Hardware declared that all Bismarck stores will in fact serve Native Americans once again showing that when we unite and work together corporate power will cave in due to their love for maximum profits.

Keep pushing the rock - let's get it up the hill and have it roll down the other side and crush corporate capitalism......


Friday, December 02, 2016

Growing US-India Military Alliance Pointed at China, Cheats the Poor

After a 14-hour all night flight from Delhi to Newark, New Jersey I am now back in the US.  A short 6:00 am flight from Newark to Boston gave me a great view of the early morning sunrise out the window as the plane headed north along the Atlantic coast.  After a short wait in Boston I boarded a bus for the two-hour ride to Portland, Maine (where I wrote this post).  Then Mary Beth picks me up in Portland for the final 45-minute trip home to Bath.

When I arrived in Newark I checked my emails and found the photo above from Global Network board convener Dave Webb (also our GN web master) who took the picture on his way into Delhi International airport late on November 30.  I had previously seen the Boeing billboard when we first arrived in Delhi to start the trip and talked about it throughout the speaking tour that followed the space conference in Visakhapatnam.  The Boeing sponsored billboard well illustrates the kind of 'future' that the military industrial complex has in mind for the land of Gandhi.

It is obvious that Washington is quite thrilled to have signed India up as a key future junior military partner in their dangerously escalating program to encircle China.  US weapons corporations are going to be selling India (the world's fastest growing economy) alot of weapons in the coming years.

It was announced just today that outgoing US Secretary of Endless War Ashton Carter would be visiting India next week on his final trip around the world. Slated to be in India on December 8, Carter would travel to Japan, Bahrain, Israel, Italy and Great Britain before returning to the US on December 16. This is the first time that an outgoing American War Secretary has included India in his itinerary for the final overseas trip.

Indian Express reports:

Ahead of his [Carter's] visit, informed sources said India has made maritime security a significant priority and in discussion with the US for sale of Predator drones from General Atomics.

The outgoing Obama administration is trying to concretize steps taken with India in the defence domain as they transition the efforts to the Trump administration, sources noted, adding that on Carter’s agenda include M777 and Predator Guardian for the Indian Navy.

India was also designated a “a major defence partner” when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US and met President Barack Obama at the Oval Office this Summer.

The first opportunity for US Government to showcase this would be in the maritime domain surveillance area with the export of Predator Guardian, informed sources pointed out, adding that Obama and Carter are keen to establish a concrete legacy with India.

Vivek Lall, chief executive, US and International Strategic Development at General Atomics, are among the US leaders that have been advocating greater convergence between the US and India.

It is under his leadership that, India had acquired Boeing P8I aircraft in 2009 which would complement the Guardian aircraft for maritime security.

Noting that Obama and Modi have repeatedly stressed that cooperation in the Indian Ocean is key to both countries national security interests, it is anticipated that both sides will discuss the Avenger drones for the Indian Air Force.

These deals listed above are only scratching the surface of the growing US-India military alliance.  The US is also currently inviting India to play a key role at the major Pentagon power projection hub inside the Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean.

Other deals on space warfare technologies are also underway and the bottom line is that all of India's weapons buys from the US will be 'interoperable' with the Pentagon space warfare system which ensures that the US will remain in charge of the 'tip of the spear'.  So essentially India is helping to pay for a major escalation of US military power in the region and Indian industrial elites will get a cut in the lucrative deals.

Obviously Russia (which is reducing its military budget by 30% this year due to declining oil profits and western economic sanctions) and China are worried about these advances as Washington dangles the tempting apple of being a high stakes military player in front of a power hungry right-wing government in Delhi.

Those that will pay the biggest price for these Indian military expenditures though are the poor inside of India who hoped that the massive development of their economy would trickle down to them.  Other than increasingly polluted air and water I am not so sure the 25% of Indians who are poor will get much from this blossoming military alliance.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

America as Political Theatre

Mutiny is our only salvation from the sinking ship.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Money Game: Going Digital for Social Control

When I was leaving the Newark, New Jersey airport for India on November 15 I tried to exchange American money for Indian rupees.  I was told by the money changing station that they were not at the present handling any Indian rupees.  This was when I first heard about the Indian governments controversial 'demonetization' campaign.

When I arrived at the Delhi international airport I got in the long line at the money changing station and discovered that foreigners could only exchange $100 worth of currency for rupees.  Indian cash is in short supply.  ATM machines were out of cash.  One tourist from England had brought no cash with him and intended to use his credit card to get Indian rupees once in country.  Now he had arrived and didn't have the funds to get a taxi to his hotel.

In early November the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were banned overnight. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended the decision saying it was an anti-corruption measure. I have my doubts.

On my flight from Delhi to Visakhapatnam I was reading two Indian newspapers and one of them carried a photo of Modi and Bill Gates.  The caption under the photo declared that Gates was supporting Modi's demonetization effort and the Microsoft mogul had urged India to go digital - essentially get rid of paper money and make all transactions computer based.

As I read the newspapers my mind flashed back to a recent radio interview I heard on National Public Radio back home.  An author of a new book was urging American to go 'digital' and become a cashless society.  It's obvious that the Modi government demonetization effort, supposedly to fight corruption and 'black money', is little more than an effort to create a global monetary system under the control of corporate banking computer systems.

Traveling across India for nearly two weeks was interesting as daily there were stories about problems - especially for the rural poor - as cash was becoming scarce.  The government was offering the poor free pocket devices so they could make financial transactions online.  But with 25% of India's population living in dire poverty this is indeed a hollow gesture.

Modi is an instrument of corporate power.  He is turning his nation's hard won independence and sovereignty over to the international banking industry and to the military industrial complex.  The poor, as always, will be left in the lurch.

All people should beware of this global corporate effort to merge all financial transactions into the hands of big banksters.  Think of the social control the banks will have when they control your access to your own money.  Think of the power the banks will have to 'turn off' your bank account should they determine that you might be a 'threat' to corporate control because of your political beliefs or activities.

Beware of the power of the global elite.  They are now consolidating power for their own benefit - not on behalf of the world's marginalized people.

Space Command Propaganda Piece

CNN last night aired a major propaganda piece promoting the US military industrial complex goal of frightening the American people so they will hand over even more $$$$ to pay for this massive space war machine.

As the US routinely does the Pentagon plays 'poor me' claiming that Russia and China are out to get us. They make it sound like the US is under threat and thus we need to pump even more money into our already massively expensive military space program.

The fact is that the US is way out in front of the space warfare arms race.  Russia and China have for more than 20 years been annually going to the United Nations pleading with the US to join them in serious negotiations for a new treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Space (PAROS).  Each year the US blocks treaty negotiations claiming there is 'no problem' and thus no need to create a treaty to prevent war in space.

The US-based aerospace industry (led by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon) has long known that if the US refused to negotiate the treaty, Russia and China would be forced to respond to the US Space Command's Vision for 2020 that states the Pentagon will 'control and dominate' space and will 'deny' other nations 'access to space'.  Thus a new arms race is guaranteed and the profits to be made from such a new round in military conflict would bear unimaginable profits for the aerospace industry.

The history of America is replete with exaggerations of 'enemy' power while the poor old USA is dragging along behind.  This strategy was used to over sell the American Indian 'threat' during the late 1800's, over hype the Russian missile capability during the Cold War, and claim that Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction' before the US 'shock and awe' attack in 2003.

At the end of the CNN propaganda piece Space Command officials make the outrageous claim that the US has no offensive assets in space while 'our adversaries' have weaponized space.

There should be no doubt that the corporate dominated media today is essentially nothing more than the mouth piece for the US military empire.  The fact that this puff piece on a major news network interviewed not a single critic of the US's claim to be the 'Master of Space' speaks volumes.

If you are interested in seeing the other side of this issue just click here


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Standing Rock: Do Something to Help

The police in North Dakota are now threatening to go in and destroy the water protectors camp at Standing Rock. 

Large numbers of veterans from around the country are presently making their way to Standing Rock to stand alongside the people.  It will be interesting to see how the police deal with that.

In the meantime you can make a phone call to defend the native people.  See below by Penobscot nation (Maine) member Sherri Mitchell.

Sherri Mitchell - Wena'gamu'gwasit

Custer’s Ghost Rides again- This time he’s riding in on the back of a big black snake. On December 5th, which is Custer’s birthday, the U.S. Army Corps is threatening to forcibly remove thousands of Native people and their allies from Sioux Treaty lands.

These lands were granted to the Sioux Tribe in the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. The treaty was signed two years after Custer was sent in to kill all the Cheyenne and Dakota Sioux, so the U.S. could steal their lands. Custer failed, so the U.S. begrudgingly signed the Treaty.

Treaty law is one of the supreme laws of the land, second only to constitutional law. Treaties are signed agreements made by two or more parties. Legally, signed agreements cannot be changed without the written consent of all parties. Unfortunately, the U.S. has never been very keen on following their own laws, especially where Indians are concerned. In fact, the first U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the tribes was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. In that decision, the SCOTUS used religious law, specifically the Roman Catholic Rules of Conquest under the Christian Law of Nations to justify the taking of Indian lands (see Doctrine of Discovery). So, it should be no surprise that they have summarily violated all treaties with the Indigenous nations of this land. The U.S. breached the Treaty of Ft. Laramie in 1944, under the guise of the “Flood Control Act,” which was simply cover for the further taking of Indian lands for gold mining.

Now, nearly 150 years later, the U.S is back in Sioux territory with bigger weapons trying to complete Custer’s mission. And, they have chosen Custer’s birthday to make their stand. You get to watch as history repeats itself. The question is whether you will watch quietly or if you will stand up and do something about it.
On December 5th, the U.S. is going to honor their long tradition of stealing Indian lands and killing Indian people, by celebrating their most beloved Indian killer Col. George Armstrong Custer on his birthday.
They will do so by attacking Indian people on lands that the U.S. has taken illegally, using illegal amounts of force, to protect the interests of an oil company that is attempting to poison the drinking water of the Tribe. The term for this is ecological genocide, and it is being carried out through industrial and environmental terrorism at the hands of a U.S. corporation, and with the full backing of the U.S. government and police forces in violation of the U.S. Constitution and Treaty Law.
This is not only a stand for Standing Rock, it is a stand for life, and it is a stand for the Constitution and rule of law in this country.
If you are able, please go to Standing Rock and stand with the people. If you can’t go, then call ALL the numbers listed below.  
Call: Lee Hanse
Executive Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400
San Antonio, Texas 78258
Telephone: (210) 403-6455
Call: B. Glenn Emery
Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400
San Antonio, Texas 78258
Telephone: (210) 403-6762
Call North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple at (701) 328-2200 to demand protections for protestors and an end to hostilities against them.
Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to STOP the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they remove DAPL from their lands: (202) 761-5903

South Korea: Resign or Impeach?

South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye said she will resign if the parliament devises a plan for a smooth transition of power.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hedges at Standing Rock

On a special edition of On Contact, Chris Hedges travels to the Standing Rock encampment in North Dakota to listen to the frontline voices of those fighting to block the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Nepal: We Must Gather the Good Minded People Everywhere

Students and faculty at women's college in Kathmandu this morning - just three hours after an earthquake woke us from our deep sleep

We arrived in Nepal yesterday afternoon via a flight from Delhi.  Up early in the morning we flew from Nagpur to Delhi national airport and then took a bus to Delhi international.  As we approached Delhi international airport we saw a massive billboard with a military helicopter on it and the Boeing logo alongside.  Words on the billboard were "This is our future".

The people of India are being enticed, lead, directed, forced (you pick the appropriate word) into the waiting arms of the US military industrial complex that is now salivating over the market potential of India. India is led today by the nationalist corporate dominated Modi government in Delhi.  The US plan for 'full spectrum dominace' via space control and domination carries a massive cost that even Washington (even after years of austerity cuts in our country) can't afford to pay for on its own.  Thus the Pentagon's #1 job these days is to take a silver cup in hand and secure commitments from allied governments around the globe to help the US become the 'Master of Space'. (Note the patch on the arm of the woman below at the US Space Command - click on the photo for a better view.)

We have received a very warm welcome here in the land-locked nation of Nepal that sits on the border of both India and China.  As the US attempts to bring India 'onside' in its plans for war with China the people of Nepal are in a precarious position.

This morning we were taken to speak at a women's college just a block or so from our hotel.  About fifty students and faculty listened to our talks and afterward they took us to the meager campus cafeteria for tea.  There was much interest in what we had to say.  One of the women professors told me, "It is ironic for me that America wants to be the Master of Space and that I learn about it from an American.  Everything is American."

Following that event we were taken to Nepal's oldest college called Patan Multiple Campus which has several locations serving 7,000 students.  We met with a dozen people, mostly faculty from various departments, and had the most moving discussion of our trip.  In addition to talking about the realities of the Pentagon's mission of 'security export' on behalf of corporate interests the discussion lead to the spiritual disconnection of the planet's people.  One professor began his comments by first greeting us with the word Namaste which is the recognition of the divine spirit (or soul) in another by the divine spirit in you.

The professor asked how the Global Network was integrating the need to heal the broken spirit in the collective mind and spirit of people around the world.  Peace of mind is necessary for the human being, he said.  "We must make people human beings is everywhere....we must gather the good people, good minded people....selfishness is an epidemic across the world.  This is the time. Let us accept all the people of the world."

With tears in my eyes I thanked the professor for his beautiful words and told him that this is indeed a message that is part of our work at the Global Network.  We agree with all our heart that we must heal the broken circle - we must heal our relationship to Mother Earth.

I suggested that the idea of the US Space Command becoming the 'Master of Space' is one sign of the current human sickness.  I told about Standing Rock in North Dakota where today Native Americans and their many supporters from around our country are rallying to stop the 'Black Snake' oil pipeline along the Missouri River.  The native people call themselves water protectors as they try to defend our sacred Mother Earth - water is life.  It is all the same struggle.

We were woken this morning about 5:00 am when our beds shook and as I bolted awake I thought of earthquakes remembering the terrible one that hit here last year that killed nearly 9,000 people and damaged nearly one million houses and buildings.  The quake this morning was a moderate one that hit about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Kathmandu.  It wasn't until we had breakfast here at the hotel that we learned the rumbling was indeed an earthquake.

We leave here on November 30 and head back to Delhi before flying home.  Before we leave Nepal we will do at least three more talks at various colleges in the area - going back again to Patan Multiple Campus where the Campus Chief ordered that all faculty and students be invited to hear our words again on Wednesday morning prior to our departure.  We were taken to his office this morning following the meeting with faculty and after hearing reports on that meeting he approved a campus wide invitation for another meeting.     

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post-Election Politics

Sunday Song