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....

My Photo
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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Testimony: The Lies of U.S. War Making

Very moving testimony by US soldier about the carnage created during the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq. 

Why doesn't the US ever get charged with war crimes?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Teaching Local Cops to Kill

"Conditioned Response", a short film by Craig Atkinson and Field of Vision. For the past 20 years, ex-Army Ranger and “killology” expert Dave Grossman has been traveling across the US to train police officers on his philosophy of killing.

Footage from one of Grossman’s seminars is juxtaposed with stark, brutal images of police brutality—including the shooting of Philando Castile by a Minnesota police officer.

Directed by Craig Atkinson and Laura Hartrick

See more from Field of Vision here:

Craig Atkinson also filmed "Do Not Resist", a documentary about the militarization of police:

Field of Vision YouTube:

Read an article about the film from The New Yorker:

Movement of Resistance & Love

But you also gotta connect the military budget to all this - that is where the $$$ is if you want to have a free and just society.

Stop Endless Wars

I began to seriously question the government's lies while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.  I went to the base exchange one day while stationed at Wheeler AFB, Hawaii and picked a copy of the Pentagon Papers off the book rack.  I started reading the book at my job site and would now and then read aloud one of the more egregious lies uncovered by the governments own 'secret history' of how the war in Vietnam came about.

Years before I had come to appreciate the phrase modus operandi (MO) while taking a pre-FBI agent correspondence course through the mail.  Every criminal has an MO - a way of repeating their crimes over and over again.  That is the perfect description of how the corporate criminal syndicate, that runs the US, acts at home and around the world - they keep doing the same bad shit and selling it to the public in the same way.

As a teenager I dreamed of fighting organized crime as my career.  Reading the Pentagon papers helped me see one prime example of Washington's MO happening right before my eyes.  So I feel like I achieved my goal of being a fighter of the mob but thankfully learned that the FBI was part of the problem.

When Washington started attacks (verbal and physical) on Panama, Granada, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Iran, Russia, Congo, China and North Korea I saw the MO in action.

It is hard for many people to admit we are being played like a violin - they want to believe in the system because if they move to rejecting it then they have to act - and most folks don't want to act.  They want someone else to do the heavy lifting for them.

So it gets real interesting that in recent days the 'RussiaGate' story is losing oxygen - like a balloon deflating in your hand.  CNN and now the New York Times are slowly creeping toward back tracking on their earlier claims about Russian interference in US elections.

Award winning reporter Robert Parry at Consortium News today writes:

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

The reality of a more narrowly based Russia-gate assessment was admitted in May by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan in sworn congressional testimony.

.... as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did.

In the history of U.S. intelligence, we have seen how this selective approach has worked, such as the phony determination of the Reagan administration pinning the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and other acts of terror on the Soviet Union.

CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates shepherded the desired findings through the process by putting the assessment under the control of pliable analysts and sidelining those who objected to this politicization of intelligence.

Since Clapper’s and Brennan’s testimony in May, the Times and other mainstream news outlets have avoided a direct contradiction of their earlier acceptance of the 17-intelligence-agencies canard by simply referring to a judgment by “the intelligence community.”

Most of us have learned to smell a rat and this cycle we are in of 'endless wars' is stinking up a storm.  Trusting the ruling elites is a foolhardy thing to do.  Trusting their media is even more foolhardy.  Sadly it is simply amazing how many 'progressives' still read and believe the New York Times and the Washington Post along with CNN and MSNBC.

The puzzle pieces are falling into place on the wall and a clearer picture has emerged for us to see if we are willing to look.  Democracy is gone - corporate oligarchic control is here and neo-feudalism is backed up with a militarized police.

They must lie to us about everything.  It's the only way Mr. Big can keep us distracted and under control.  We win the day we stop falling for their MO and begin to act against it.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Who Actually Controls the Media?

Do you actually think the CIA, FBI and NSA can be trusted? Who do they work for? Put your ears to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming!!!

During the days of the former Soviet Union the story was that folks living there had to learn to read the newspaper up-side-down.  That meant they could not trust their media - it was state controlled.

Can we begin to imagine that the media in the US (and much of the world) is owned and run by the rich - corporate oligarchs?  By the CIA.

But having a media we can't trust is not a ticket out of the struggle.  I hear many say that, "Well, I don't know who to believe anymore.  I give up.  You can't beat city hall."

We can't just say we are beat and then quit.  Our children and grandchildren need us to put our asses in gear.  Our relatives in the plant and animal worlds need us to act now. We damn well know the problems - and we have a very good idea what many of the solutions are.

America has always been about fitting in - being accepted by the crowd - going along to get along.  That's all got to change now.  We are on the edge of the cliff and looking at a deep fall.  We've got to move hard and fast.  We've got to speak out more often - more publicly - and help push the real policies that are life giving.  The elite say that America has superfluous populations here now and the oligarchs are trying to thin the herd.  Some would call it genocide - they want to put most of us on the reservation.

Age is not a ticket out of the struggle either so everyone can do something.  Just last weekend 98-year-old activist Frances Crowe and seven others were arrested blockading construction of a Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in the Otis State Forest in western Massachusetts. Activists helped push Crowe to the construction site in her wheelchair, where they then held a mock funeral for fossil fuels. Crowe is a longtime peace and antinuclear activist. This is her third arrest since she turned 90 years old. When asked on Saturday how many times she’d been arrested throughout her lifetime, Francis Crowe answered, "Not Enough."  See the story here

Alot of people are using the word 'Resistance' these days but many groups are pushing an accommodationist strategy with those in power.  Many of these organizations are linked to the Democratic Party and thus their primary job is to herd newly active and enraged people into traditional safe corners where party operatives can control their anger.

For me though 'Resistance' is that which directly non-violently confronts the power elite - from both major political parties.  I always carry in my heart the words of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass who proclaimed:

Let's cut the bullshit and get to work while we still can.


BIW Aegis 9 in Maine Court Today

Our Aegis 9  destroyer 'christening' crew appeared in court today for a 'Disposition' hearing before Judge Billings.  Our protest event took place at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine on April 1.  The nine of us have been charged with criminal Trespass.  Three of us in the group were arrested last year during a similar protest when the new Zumwalt 'steath' destroyer was 'christened'.

Things began today with the judge asking the state what they were offering the defendants in the way of sentencing if we settled the case without trial.  The prosecutor said that the state was offering a $250 fine for six of the folks who had not been previously arrested at BIW.  For the three of us (Jason Rawn, Russell Wray and myself) the state was asking for a three day jail sentence.

Attorney Logan Perkins was there to represent three of the people in our group and the rest of us are planning to represent ourselves (Pro Se).

Judge Billings said he would be inclined to have tighter restrictions on what he allowed during our upcoming trial testimonies because of the nature of our Trespass charge.  Our previous arrest in 2016 was for sitting down in the road in front of BIW and we were charged with Obstructing a Public Way.  That particular charge allowed us to argue during our trial the 'reasonableness' of our actions.  The Trespass charge does not allow the 'reasonableness' defense - thus the judge's statement that our testimony will have to be more restricted.  It will be interesting to see how all of this comes out in the wash.  Clearly we want to be able to convey to the 'jury of our peers' why we held our protest action on April 1.

An August 29 date was set for our next hearing at the West Bath District Court.  At that time the 'Docket Call' will move us one step closer toward jury selection and eventual trial that could happen either in September or November - depending on the court calendar.

The ‘Aegis 9’

1. Lisa Savage – Solon, 60 years, School teacher
2. Jason Rawn – Lincolnville, 45, War tax resister, house painter
3. Bruce Gagnon – Bath, 64, VFP (Veterans For Peace & Global Network)
4. Natasha Mayers – Whitefield, 70, Artist
5. Bob Dale – Brunswick, 92, VFP former Navy pilot
6. Mike Tork – Cape Cod, MA, 69, VFP former Navy Vietnam vet
7. Mark Roman – Solon, 69, Woodworker
8. Russell Wray – Hancock, 61, Artist
9. Jessica Stewart – Bass Harbor, 37, Catholic Worker activist

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Noting Relationships: Military Space Control & Energy Domination

There’s currently a push in the halls of Washington D.C., to establish a new branch of the military by 2019, one whose focus would be operations among the stars. Proposed legislation by House representatives would create a “Space Corps” that would serve “as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force.” It would be the first branch added to the military since 1947 when the Air Force was officially established.

“There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” the bill's sponsors said in a joint statement. “We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Space Corps would serve under the direction of the Air Force much like the Marine Corps serves under the direction of the Navy. Additionally, the Space Corps head would have a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson responded to the idea while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill:

“The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart, and cost more money. And if I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy…I don’t need another chief of staff and another six deputy chiefs of staff.”

The entire House Armed Services Committee will have to approve the subcommittee’s additions to the NDAA before they can go any further. If that happens, the debate will move to the House floor, where the NDAA is expected to be voted on sometime after the Fourth of July. 

The new anti-Russian sanctions are outlined in an amendment to a bill imposing sanctions against Iran. It was overwhelmingly approved by the US Senate on Thursday by a majority of 98 to 2, but still needs to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Trump to become law.

In a joint statement, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern said that Wednesday’s decision by the US Senate to slap new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged meddling in US presidential election and the Ukrainian conflict would make the European energy industry less competitive and would put thousands of jobs on the line.

Germany and Austria suspect that Senate's anti-Russian bill is an attempt to "occupy" the European energy market on the part of US corporations.

"Germany and Austria went one step further, too — accusing the US of looking to promote the role of US LNG in Europe at the expense of Russian gas," the S&P Global Platts writer [Ivan Danilov, a Russian economist] underscored, adding that the US apparently wants to kill two birds with one stone by exerting sanctions on Nord Stream 2: to "punish" Moscow and promote US LNG supplies in Europe, "which would have the knock-on effect of supporting domestic US gas industry."

Monday, June 26, 2017

Listen to Your Heart

Space Mine Field

Voice: Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network. Listen to Bruce's entire talk:

Animation by Stuart Grey:

Thanks to Will Griffin for this important video.

Get Up Off Your Knees

We are talking

the return
of feudalism
21st century
corporate style
Mental slaves
all around us
go any place
where people meet
the joint
is crawling
with them

Whining about Trump
of the good old days
when Obama
the rule of law
ran a 'clean' government
only got us into
7 wars
Drone executions
Expanding NATO
Health care
was a corporate subsidy
but allowed
for pre-existing
yeah the glory days

Saw an invite
from a liberal group
'Join the resistance'
was the headline
the fine print
told the real story
come learn how to lobby

Resistance redefined
as accommodation
and horse trading
from a position
of weakness
and servitude

is on the west's
shit list
because he won't
won't get on his knees
like vassals

resists being
another Yeltsin
won't bow
to the banksters
dares talk of

The fightback
is half-stepping
reading the
Post and Times
falling for the lies
another 'shock and awe'
Iran is next

Folks know better
but running scared
don't want
to get
outside their
comfort zones

to change
the script
off their
big loss
to the 'Donald'
gotta blame
the evil bear

no fight
in the bones

Speak out
get accused
of being violent
or too radical

run and hide
wait for next election

Been determined
by some
on your knees
is the safest
to face
high tide


Sunday, June 25, 2017

South Koreans Encircle U.S. Embassy

Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain around the American embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, to register their disapproval of the US-built THAAD missile defense system in their country.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and Trump are due to meet for the first time in Washington next week, with THAAD expected to dominate the agenda.

Moon, a center-left politician, who was sworn in last month after a corruption scandal brought down the previous right-wing administration, has been a critic of the way in which the sophisticated defense system has been deployed and has ordered a full investigation.

"We got a fuckin‘ problem"

From Seymour Hersch
Printed by WELT (Germany)

Intelligence officials doubted the alleged Sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun. WELT AM SONNTAG presents a chat protocol of a security advisor and an active American soldier on duty at a key base in the region.

This conversation was provided to [award winning journalist] Seymour Hersh. It is between a security adviser and an active US American soldier on duty on a key operational base about the events in Khan Sheikhoun. We have made abbreviations: American soldier (AS) and Security Advisor (SA). WELT AM SONNTAG is aware of the location of the deployment. For security reasons, certain details of military operations have been omitted.

April 6, 2017

American Soldier: We got a fuckin‘ problem

Security-Adviser: What happened? Is it the Trump ignoring the Intel and going to try to hit the Syrians? And that we’re pissing on the Russians?

AS: This is bad...Things are spooling up.

SA: You may not have seen trumps press conference yesterday. He's bought into the media story without asking to see the Intel.  We are likely to get our asses kicked by the Russians.  Fucking dangerous.  Where are the goddamn adults? The failure of the chain of command to tell the President the truth, whether he wants to hear it or not, will go down in history as one of our worst moments.

AS: I don't know. None of this makes any sense. We KNOW that there was no chemical attack. The Syrians struck a weapons cache (a legitimate military target) and there was collateral damage. That's it. They did not conduct any sort of a chemical attack.

AS: And now we’re shoving a shit load of TLAMs (tomahawks) up their ass.

SA: There has been a hidden agenda all along. This is about trying to ultimately go after Iran. What the people around Trump do not understand is that the Russians are not a paper tiger and that they have more robust military capability than we do.

AS:  I don't know what the Russians are going to do. They might hang back and let the Syrians defend their own borders, or they might provide some sort of tepid support, or they might blow us the fuck out of the airspace and back into Iraq. I honestly don't know what to expect right now. I feel like anything is possible.  The Russian air defense system is capable of taking out our TLAMs.  this is a big fucking deal...we are still all systems go...

SA:  You are so right. Russia is not going to take this lying down

SA: Who is pushing this? Is it coming from Votel (General Joseph L. Votel, Commander of United States Central Command, editor‘s note) ?                 

AS: I don't know. It's from someone big though. . . . This is a big fucking deal.                      

AS: It has to be POTUS.      

AS:  They [the Russians] are weighing their options.  Indications are they are going to be passive supporters of Syria and not engage their systems unless their own assets are other words, the sky is fucking blue.'         
April 7, 2017

SA: What are the Russians doing or saying  Am I correct that we did little real damage to Russia or Syria?                       

AS: We didn't hit a damn thing, thankfully. They retrograded all their aircraft and personnel. We basically gave them a very expensive fireworks display.                      

AS: They knew where ships were and watched the entire strike from launch to end game.                      

AS: The Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real Intel and know the truth about the weapons depot strike.                      

AS: They are correct.                      

AS: I guess it really didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump. Fuck.                      

AS: No one is talking about the entire reason we're in Iraq and Syria in the first place. That mission is fucked now.

SA: Are any of your colleagues pissed or is everyone going along with it and saying this is OK                      

AS: It's a mad house. . . .Hell we even told the Russians an hour before impact                      

SA: But they clearly knew it was coming                      

AS: Oh of course                      

AS: Now Fox is saying we chose to hit the Syrian airfield because it is where the chemical attacks were launched from. Wow. Can't make this shit up.                      

SA: They are. I mean, making it up                      

AS: It's so fuckin evil                      

SA: Amen!!!      

April 8, 2017

AS: Russians are being extremely reasonable.  Despite what the news is reporting they are still trying to deconflict and coordinate the air campaign.

SA: I don't think the Russia yet understands how crazy Trump is over this.  And i don't think we appreciate how much damage the Russians can do to us.

AS: They're showing amazing restraint and been unbelievably calm.  They seem mostly interested in de-escalating everything.  They don't want to lose our support in the help with destroying Isis.

SA: But I get the get the feeling are simply trying this approach for as long as they feel it might work.  If we keep pushing this current aggressive stance they're going to hit back.'

Sunday Song

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Day in Portland: Trains and Film

MB and I went to Portland today to see the tall sailing ships and a movie.  As we were walking toward the port district we passed by the narrow gauge train museum and went inside to have a look.  I've always loved trains and still have my train set that I got for Christmas in 1959.  In fact I still have the turkey box from our holiday turkey that year that I have kept the train in ever since.  In later years I gave the train to my son Julian but it is still stored in our attic with his baseball cards and other such things.

In 1980 I worked with friend John Hedrick in Orlando, Florida to create the People's Transit Organization that worked to get the city and Orange County to upgrade their public transit.  (Our campaign was successful in getting the community to double its funding for public transit.) I am not fond of cars, nor of super highways, but love the idea of public transportation.  It's better for the environment and better for the public - its a common carrier.

Maybe it was living in Wiesbaden, Germany in the mid 1960's - our apartment in the center of the city was just blocks from the rail station and I used to spend alot of time there - and that experience of seeing what a real national rail system was like must have had a big influence on me.

Needless to say I was fascinated by the museum and I remain a huge advocate for building commuter rail systems as one small way to deal with our addiction to the automobile which is a major contributor to the pollution that has helped bring about climate change.

At one time Maine was connected by passenger rail lines that covered most of the state.  Many small towns still have their train stations standing but sadly the coming of the car destroyed that system.

Following our visit to the museum we continued our walk to the port area, had a late breakfast, and then sat in a park while waiting to go the the movie theater.  We went to see "All Eyez On Me" which tells the true story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur. The film follows Shakur from his early days in New York City to his evolution into being one of the world's most recognized and influential voices before his assassination at the age of 25. Against all odds, Shakur's raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary spirit propelled him into becoming a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow.

Tupac's mother was a member of the Black Panthers and during her pregnancy she represented herself in a trial and was found not guilty of the charges.  She brought Tupac up to be a revolutionary. His fame brought him much suffering as he was targeted as an enemy of the state at an early age.  I highly recommend the film.


Must Watch Talk on Congo

Maurice Carney from Friends of the Congo speaking about US Foreign Policy in Congo, the heart of Africa. #UNAC2017

Maurice is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the Congo. He has traveled widely, leading workshops and teach-ins at universities, community colleges, businesses, faith groups, labor unions, and think tanks. He has provided analysis for media outlets including Pacifica News, Al Jazeera, ABC News, Democracy Now, Real New Network, and Pambazuka News.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

UNAC Panel Presentation on 'Missile Defense'

While at the UNAC national anti-war conference last weekend in Richmond, Virginia.

Thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Will Griffin at The Peace Report for making the video  available in this format.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

U.S. Navy War Games off Jeju Island

You don't have to understand Korean to watch this short news report about people on Jeju island, South Korea being angry about the port call by a US Aegis destroyer to the new Navy base in Gangjeong village.

The news report shows footage of the Navy war exercises that will be going on between the US, Canada and South Korean navies.  (Imagine all the sea life killed and pollution resulting from these so-called games.)

You also see a bit of the protest at the front gate of the new Navy base.

Practicing Solidarity Here at Home

Larry Hamm speaking at the #UNAC2017 conference, United National Antiwar Coalition, held in Richmond, VA.

Larry is founder and Chairman of the People's Organization For Progress in Newark, NJ. Check them out here

Larry calls for all movements to support one another.

Protect Your Spark Plugs

Veterans For Peace national board member Tarak Kauff from Woodstock, NY joined us in Maine for the Zumwalt destroyer 'christening' civil disobedience in 2016

Many moons ago, while I was working for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, we organized a weekend retreat and our guest speaker was the legendary peace activist Abbie Hoffman.  I recall being blown away by his skill as a strategic thinker and the interaction made me realize how much we often fall for the mainstream media's definition of people - especially those who are in the limelight.  The media had long made Hoffman out to be a jester and a bit of a fool - not to be taken too seriously.  Seeing Abbie in person dispelled all those media-driven false impressions. (Later I read all of Hoffman's books which only confirmed for me his brilliant organizing know-how.)

One expression I will always remember that Hoffman made during our daylong event was his warning to us that we should be sure to "Protect your spark plugs".  He was not talking about auto repair.  In fact he was talking about our peace groups and the need to recognize who our spark plugs are and to make sure we take good care of them.  He did not mean this in an elitist manner but purely in the good sense way that we should know who it is that often energizes us and helps to make our groups move into action.

One such spark plug that I know is Tarak Kauff from VFP.  Tarak has boundless energy (not bad for an old man) and is able to turn ideas into action.  He's got a few rough edges (like most of us humans) but in many ways his roughness is part of his charm.

Tarak had much to do with making the recent VFP anti-war rally and protest in Washington DC happen.  He has been a leader in VFP solidarity trips to South Korea, Okinawa and Palestine during the last couple of years.  He was also heavily involved in organizing VFP's strong presence at Standing Rock in North Dakota last winter.

Tarak puts his heart in gear when he feels outraged at the insanity coming out of the US government.  He feels a sense of personal responsibility and acts on it and his sheer energy draws others who might not have ever thought of acting.

Tarak is a spark plug.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Aegis Destroyer Arrives on Jeju Island

Report from Sung-Hee Choi in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea:

The USS Dewey Aegis Destroyer (DDG-105) made entry into the Jeju navy base amid people's protest. Facing the three small kayaks [see yellow in photo] in protest to it, a Coast Guard ship was sent to stop the kayaks. Photographer Oum Mun-hee says, in the photos, you can see crews on the ship and even firing from the ship just before its entry to the port.

According to the Yonhap News, there will be 'live-fire naval exercise' in southern waters near Jeju Island joined by the three nations of South Korea, United States and Canada. The article details the Navy's words that 'the three sides plan to hold various drills on interdiction, air defense, anti-submarine operations and ballistic missile detection, along with live-fire training.'

The USS Dewey Aegis destroyer would be the 2nd Aegis destroyer following the USS Stethem's port call on March 25, this year. If the USS Stethem came to the Jeju navy base after its joint exercise with South Korea for a 'friendly exchange' and social service,' the USS Dewey comes here to have a meeting on coming joint exercise which will be from June 23.

Why Canada? The presence of Canada navy here is unusual. But we know that she is a member of NATO and has dispatched its troops of the 3rd largest size after United States and UK during the Korean War, 1950 to 1953.

Reminded with recent bitter disasters on June 9 and June 17 when the US Aegis destroyers clashed respectively with a South Korean fishing ship in the East Sea (east of the Korean peninsula) and Philippine container ship in the east sea of Japan (near Shizuoka prefecture) I wonder whether such reckless war exercise would be really recommended for the US navies. (It is read that the Dewey has accompanied the clashed ship USS Fitzgerald to a port in Japan on June 17.)

We say NO to the entry of the USS Dewey Aegis destroyer to the Jeju navy base!

Stop the South Korea-United States-Canada maritime military exercise!

Photos by Oum Mun-hee (top color photo) and Song Dong-hyo (two black and white photos )


The USS Dewey has unexpectedly left the port due to damage in its equipment. The Dewey canceled its participation in the joint ROK-US-Canada maritime exercise due to unknown equipment damage, which was found after its docking into the Jeju navy base. The Aegis destroyer left the port around 6 pm, 10 hours after its docking at the base on the same day. Jeju media reports though that the joint exercise between South Korea and Canada will be carried out with the arrival of two Canadian convoys on June 22.

Attacks Continue in Donbass

The shelling daily continues in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine) near the Russian border.  Families have been destroyed and driven from their homes by Ukrainian forces trained, equipped and directed by the US-NATO.

These people feel betrayed and forgotten by a world that has largely fallen for the endless demonization of Russia by Washington's warmongers.  Russia has not invaded Ukraine.  It is the US-NATO proxy Army from Kiev that keeps attacking the Donbass region where thousands have been killed - and the killing still goes on.

It is a war crime to attack civilian populations and the US-NATO are responsible for these war crimes being committed against the innocent people of the Donbass.

It breaks my heart - in part because I understand what is coming next.  What is going on now is just the warm up to greater war that Washington-London-Paris-Brussels are trying to set up.  They intend to attempt to break Russia up into pieces (similar to what was done to Yugoslavia and is now being done in Iraq and Syria) - to balkanize Russia and return a servile Yeltsin-type person to power in Moscow who would serve as an agent of the west. 

Of course this arrogant and evil strategy will fail but very well could lead to WW III. 


Remembering Richmond's Slave Trade

At the end of the UNAC national peace conference in Richmond, Virginia this past weekend we marched one mile to Shockoe Bottom which was once the epicenter of the US domestic slave trade.

This action was part of events all over the country to remember Juneteenth.  Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the US.  It marks June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas first learned of the end of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, issued two-and-a-half years earlier by President Lincoln.

General Gabriel (as fellow slaves called him), the leader of a slave rebellion in 1800, was hung at the burial ground at Shockoe Bottom along with at least 25 others that supported the insurrection. 

Between 1830-1860 Shockoe Bottom was the leading center for domestic slave trading and several hundred thousand slaves that were 'bred in the US' (plantations forced enslaved women and men to produce children for sale) were sold to plantations throughout the deep south. Gabriel's son - who was born in Alabama or Kentucky (when Gabriel's pregnant widow was sold out of state) - was raised like a horse to be a 'stud' and may have been forced to father as many as 30 children most of whom were sold away.

The legal transatlantic importation of slaves ended in 1808 and very quickly the profits and volume of the domestic trade grew and continued to grow to its height in the 1850s, almost unabated even through the Civil War, only ending (in Richmond) on April 2, 1865, when Federal troops arrived.

In recent years Richmond activists have been campaigning to turn Shockoe Bottom into a memorial.  The city has had other plans for the area which have included a baseball field, hotel, shops, and condos.

Ana Edwards local leader of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project says, "We need to deal with this history. Not only do we then get to honor the people who came before us, but we also get to understand them and ourselves. If we don't bring this history back, Richmond will always struggle through this identity crisis that it has."

Ana Edwards (right) leads the march to Shockoe Bottom carrying a banner with the 1800 slave rebellion cry.  She was joined by Lynetta Thompson (left) past President of the Richmond NAACP.

In 2009, archaeologists found a jail, The Robert Lumpkin Slave Jail in Shockoe Bottom district. It was nicknamed “The Devil’s Half Acre.” It was known as one of the cruelest, most inhumane jails in the country. Lumpkin, a “bully trader” fathered five children with a former slave named Mary who he married and thus left her his property when he died. Mary leased some of the buildings on the site to a northern minister to start a school that later moved and eventually became Virginia Union University.

Our visit to Shockoe Bottom was a great ending to the conference and reminds us all that the legacy of slavery still leaves harsh marks on America's consciousness.  Racism is still alive and flourishing across the land and campaigns like the one to memorialize Shockoe Bottom should be supported now more than ever.


PS Thanks to Ana Edwards for correcting some of my mistakes in the first edition of this post and offering a much broader picture of the history of Shockoe Bottom.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Cure for Capitalism

Narrated by Richard Wolff.

Wolff is a Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Visiting Professor at the New School graduate program in International Affairs in New York.

Wolff’s work challenges the conventional wisdom that capitalism is the ideal framework for the political economy.  More recently, he has concentrated on analyzing the causes and alternative solutions to the global economic crisis.  In 2010, Wolff put his economic theory into action, and co-founded Democracy at Work, a project that aims to build a social movement and society whose workplace is more equitable, sustainable, and democratic.

Over the years, Wolff has written extensively and published many books including Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism, Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism, and Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It, which was also made into a DVD.

Wolff’s bold and persuasive economic ideas have helped him establish a strong media presence. He writes regularly for The Guardian and, and has been interviewed by Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, and National Public Radio. He is also a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities across the country.

Wolff earned his PhD in Economics and MA in History from Yale University, an MA in Economics from Stanford, and a BA in History from Harvard. He lives in New York with his wife, Dr. Harriet Fraad, a psychotherapist.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stop Moving Here!

Closing Words from Richmond UNAC Confab


Today was the final day of the excellent UNAC national peace conference in Richmond, Virginia.  I thought I'd share some of the words from those who spoke during the last plenary session and from some of the audience who spoke during the final open mic session.

  • Believe in our ability to revive the anti-war movement in this country.  There is war exhaustion amongst the people.  The state is vulnerable and is more dependent on using force domestically and internationally.  (Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace)
  • We have to have the discipline and humbleness to tell no lies and claim no easy victories.  Without disciplined search for truth we'll never know what time it is.  The constituency for US imperialism is alot softer than we have thought.  The black political class [elected officials] is now almost universally servile to the war machine.  (Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report)
  • The biggest destroyer of the environment is war.  War divides humanity at the very time we need to unite the world to deal with our serious problems [economic disparity and climate change].  (David Swanson, World Beyond War)
  • US wars are unpredictable.  Is a coup in Venezuela next? Is there going to be an attack on Iran? Sharper and sharper demonization of Russia and China.  The role of demonization in the media is to push war beyond debate. Politicians say these are the lines of discussion and you'd better not step over them. UNAC is made up of several left parties, and other independent groups and activists, who have learned to cooperate.  We need to listen to each other more.  (Sara Flounders, International Action Center)
  • The average person in America carries $7,500 in debt.  The anti-war movement needs to ground its struggles on working class and oppressed communities.  A national general strike would have economic consequences on the ruling elite.  A day of no work or no school could have real economic impact.  (Phil Wilayto, Virginia Defenders)
  • The peace movement will not rise to the level it needs to rise unless it is connected to the black liberation movement.  And the black liberation movement will not rise unless it is connected to the peace movement and other movements for liberation.  Just this week the officer who killed Philando Castile was found not guilty.  Tomorrow in Newark, New Jersey we will have our 73rd consecutive week of protest at the Federal Building against police killings.  2,500 people have been killed by police since Ferguson, Missouri.  This is not police brutality but police terror and murder. If you are a revolutionary you have to fight on all fronts.  We don't just have to run to Washington DC to protest.  We should be having protests in every community across America.  A black liberation movement by itself will not bring down the capitalist and imperialist system.  We need a united people's movement. (Larry Hamm, People's Organization for Progress)
  • Our job is to pull the more moderate forces to the left.  (Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance)
  • I've been told I have a big mouth.  I take that as a compliment.  If I was quiet just think how much worse everything would be.  (Black elder Queen Nzinga, Richmond, Va)
  • Students are workers.  We need to work to go to school.  We need to divest colleges from war.  (Texas A & M student)
  • Hillary and Bill Clinton worked to keep the wages down in Haiti and interfered in elections there.  (Marty Goodman, Retired transit worker, New York City)
  • The ideas here have invigorated me.  It's really isolating to have to always listen to white academics who don't give a shit about anything.  I'm gonna take what I've learned here back to my school and share it.  (Patrick Anderson, Grad student, Texas A & M)

Sunday Song

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Diversity, Courage, Beauty and Clarity in Richmond

It was a great day in Richmond at the UNAC conference.  The connections being made by the string of excellent speakers is more than inspiring.  Our panel on the Asia-Pacific today (pictured above) included speakers from Korea, Philippines and the US.  It was well received by the audience.

I've been hanging out with folks from Veterans For Peace who live in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina and they are deeply impressed by the conference and the quality of activists participating in the event.

Our VFP group took a break in the afternoon and went for a long walk through downtown to the river where we crossed the body of water using a narrow foot bridge.  It was good to get away for a bit and have a chance to process what we have been hearing.

It was really quite impressive to listen to reports from speakers from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and Russia about their perceptions of US aggressive military operations throughout eastern Europe as NATO expands up to the Russian borders.

Speakers from Latin America shared about the current wars they are experiencing as the US tries to undermine governments and take back control in that part of the world.

The speaker from the Congo blew my mind.  Presentations about Palestine, Syria and Iran were stunning.  

Black and Hispanic activists from throughout the US articulated how their communities are under constant attack by the police and other institutions who seek to return America to days gone by when people of color lived in constant fear for their lives.

But throughout all the reports of bad news is a strong strain of hope and defiance as local activists continue to organize movements of resistance against the attempts to reintroduce feudalism - a corporate version.  People in the US and around the world are not collapsing in despair and instead press on with love and determination - demanding peace with true justice.

The thread that runs through the conference is the clear understanding that capitalism is in crisis as the greedy quest for profit at the expense of the people and our Mother Earth must be rejected.  Capitalism and human rights are incompatible.  Capitalism and environmental justice are incompatible.

One speaker, Jaribu Hill (attorney and founder of the Mississippi Worker's Center for Human Rights), summed it up well this evening when she said that we've all tried the 'Democratic Party thing' and have come to realize that only independent political action will pull ourselves out of the fire.

We can't keep going back to the corporate dominated political parties thinking that they are going to offer any real solutions.  Everyone agrees that we must build greater unity among our various movements if we hope to turn the tide.

This crowd in Richmond understands the score.  It's a shame that everyone I know can't be here experiencing the diversity, courage, beauty and clarity coming from this UNAC conference.


Friday, June 16, 2017

UNAC Confab in Virginia - Right Where it is Needed

The UNAC conference began with a strong series of wonderful speakers this evening in Richmond, Virginia.  Ajamu Baraka (Green Party Vice-President candidate in the last election) pictured above announced the recent formation of a new organization called Blacks for Peace.  He made the case that US endless wars and the harsh domestic austerity cuts impacting poor and working people must be addressed at the same time.

Several speakers mentioned the fact that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and in many respects things have not changed so much.  Virginia is also the largest recipient (per capita) of military spending in the nation.  I congratulate UNAC for holding this conference in the south - where it is truly needed.

I am rooming with Will Griffin (VFP and new Global Network board member) and we've spent the last 24 hours transferring much of my years of experience in the peace movement from my brain to his.

Things get going again at 9:00 am in the morning with more plenary speakers and workshops.  I will speak about the Pentagon's recent THAAD 'missile defense' deployment in South Korea in the morning during a plenary panel and then will speak in two different workshops - one on the Asia-Pacific 'pivot' and the other on NATO expansion into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border.

One of the activists I met in Odessa, Ukraine when I went there on a peace delegation in 2016 is here and before things began at the conference she shared with me that the climate for peace people there is quite bad as the Poroshenko puppet government continues to round up those opposing the reactionary US supported regime.

One of the workshops listed to be held tomorrow has a title that made me laugh like hell when I saw it on the conference program.  It is called 'Even Bernie Wants to Bomb Syria!'

It is great to see so many key organizers/activists from around the country that I've met over the years here in Richmond.  And it is a great treat for us to be listening to so many outstanding folks who have devoted their lives to serving the present age.

I am so glad I am here.  It feels like family to me.


PS  You can watch the first panel from the confab here

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Oliver Stone & Vladimir Putin Interview #1

Oliver Stone interviews the Russian president Vladimir Putin about divisive issues related to the US-Russia relations.

Part two here

Part three here

Part four here

Heading for National Anti-War Conference in Virginia

I am on an Amtrak train from Boston heading south to Richmond, Virginia where I will join the UNAC national conference over the weekend.  While there I am scheduled to speak on a panel in a plenary session about the highly controversial Pentagon deployment of the THAAD 'missile defense' system in South Korea.  In addition Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Will Griffin and I will conduct a workshop on the broader US militarization of the Asia-Pacific region.

Washington and its NATO allies are now moving that cancerous 'alliance' into the Asia-Pacific and have signed up Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore as 'partners'.  All of this is aimed at Russia and China - conveniently using North Korea as the excuse for the war mobilization.

UNAC is a very interesting coalition - the Global Network decided to affiliate with it a couple years ago.  I'd say it is the most dynamic national peace coalition going these days - holding an annual conference and bringing together not only white peaceniks but also many activists of color who work in the peace, justice, human rights and environmental movements.

I've attended many meetings over the years where a roomful of white activists inevitably mumble about needing to get 'people of color' to the meetings but UNAC is one of the few organizations that I've seen actually do it on a regular basis.

Some of the greatest Black, Hispanic, and Muslim activists in the country and from around the world will be featured at the event.

I understand there will be live Internet feeds of some of the speakers.  You can find out more here. 


On the Side of BIW Workers


Times Record Op-Ed (Brunswick, Maine)
By Bruce K. Gagnon

I am pro-union and my first job after the Air Force and college was working as an organizer for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida — organizing fruit pickers.

A couple of years ago I was invited by a union member to march with BIW workers who were protesting against General Dynamics’ management efforts to slowly but surely break the union at the shipyard by outsourcing work to non-union shops. I eagerly joined the protest. Over the years I’ve heard directly from scores of BIW workers about their grievances against the company.

Not only has GD come to the city of Bath with silver cup in hand (while its top CEO was pulling in multi-million dollar bonuses) asking for more tax breaks, but over the years the corporation has repeatedly gone to the state demanding tax cuts, always threatening to leave Maine.

GD has done little to diversify away from all-military production at BIW, whether into commercial shipbuilding, or other major nonmilitary production. So when the military contracts slow down, workers get what amounts to permanent layoffs.

GD frequently brings in nonunion middle managers and poorly trained supervisors who don’t know much about the ins and outs of shipbuilding in any given aspect of production, causing delays and inefficiencies for which the unions get blamed.

Major nonmilitary production capable of employing many hundreds, if not thousands, would be a big plus at the shipyard and I know that many workers support such a direction.

With Trump announcing he intends to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Change Accords our hopes for dealing with the harsh reality of global warming has taken another severe blow. The U.S. military has the largest carbon bootprint on the entire planet. Official Washington ‘insisted’ that the Pentagon be exempted from monitoring by the Kyoto climate change protocol and the recent Paris agreement made reporting of military impacts optional.

In Holland, all electric trains are now run on wind power. Offshore wind turbines and commuter rail systems could be built at BIW as could tidal power and solar power systems. All that is needed is the political will. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” We need to make these demands if the future generations are to have any hope for survival.

At a 1994 Labor Day Rally at BIW the speakers included then BIW President Buzz Fitzgerald, Local S6 President Stoney Dionne, IAM National President George Kourpias, Rep. Tom Andrews, AFL-CIO Treasurer Tom Donahue, Sen. George Mitchell and President Bill Clinton. Watching the event on C-SPAN archives it was remarkable that all the speakers were calling for the conversion of the shipyard. Today we find that GD has no interest in such a positive direction. (It should be remembered that GD uses federal tax dollars to build destroyers. Why couldn’t that same public tax money be used to build sustainable technologies?)

The workers and unions at BIW can’t make this kind of conversion (or diversification) happen by themselves. They are daily fighting to enforce their contract with GD and are largely consumed with trying to prevent layoffs.

Former Columbia University professor of industrial engineering Seymour Melman called our present system “Pentagon-managed state capitalism.” Melman reported that the USA by around 1990 had substantially lost its skills base in machine tool-related (and other highly skilled) industrial production, including in commercial shipbuilding — largely due to over concentration on military production.

The peace community does protest frequently at BIW, but we are not targeting the workers. We are trying to create a dialogue in the community around the need for a just transition towards more sustainable, less boom-and-bust types of production at BIW. We understand that General Dynamics is the entity that holds the power to make these big decisions — along with our elected officials like Collins, King, Pingree and Poliquin.

We know that the workers and the unions have ideas about things that could be done at BIW to stabilize employment at the shipyard. They should be given a key role in envisioning what might be built more sustainably. But none of this will happen unless the peace community, the environmental community, the religious community, labor unions, local political leaders, and the general public become advocates for a change of direction from endless war toward dealing with climate change NOW by transitioning facilities like BIW.

The workers are currently hostages during this time of political negligence where nothing gets done. I for one stand with them and urge everyone in the community to help push things along so that the environment, the community, and the workers come out on top.

~ Bruce K. Gagnon is a member of PeaceWorks and lives in Bath.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Stone on the New Putin Interview Film

Privatizing the VA?

I get fantastic treatment from the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system.  It's been about three years that I've been getting free and excellent full health care coverage from the VA.  My only complaint is that every American citizen should be getting this same kind of care.  Call it what you want - single-payer or Medicare for all - everyone deserves it.

But the corporate health insurance industry sees the VA as a threat and an opportunity.  If they could privatize the VA system then massive amounts of federal tax dollars could be shifted into corporate coffers.  With Trump in the White House, and Republicans controlling Congress, it appears as though they are going to attempt to do just that.

I got a message this morning from the Veterans For Peace Smedley Butler Brigade in the Boston, Massachusetts area requesting the assistance of veterans in Maine to contact our Republican Sen. Susan Collins to urge her not to support the privatization of the VA system.  The newly elected coordinator of the Smedley VFP chapter is Dan Luker and he wrote:

We are working on efforts to stop privatization of the VA Healthcare system and cuts to Medicaid both of which greatly affect our brothers and sisters who have served in the military along with their families.  It is being talked about that the Republicans are going to take a stealth vote on the ACA, and Medicaid before Congress recesses.  There may be language in there about the VA system too.  From what I understand they are a few votes away and your Senator Collins may be instrumental in defeating the bill.  We have a committee at the Smedleys working on this issue.  We have one member in particular  Bob Master who is with a national organization called Community Catalyst that is working very hard with the Senate in getting this defeated.  Bob was a front line field doctor with the 101st airborne div. in Vietnam, and has been instrumental since the 70s in forming alliance with providers, community groups and governmental agencies to develop a care delivery system for low income communities to improve lives. He and his wife Susan have also been out to Standing Rock twice.  He may need to contact you and get information and your support on this vital issue for vets. 

Thank you for your help on this,


I immediately forwarded Dan's message to Maine VFP leadership and sent a personal message to Sen. Collins on this important issue.  If you'd like to write her as well and tell her to leave the VA alone you can do so here.


The RussiaGate Distraction

Journalist, best-selling author Max Blumenthal and former FBI special agent Coleen Rowley say that while former FBI Director James Comey's testimony offered almost nothing new, that won't slow the fixation on Trump's alleged Russia ties, not his actual policies.

The real question that should be asked: What is this so-called investigation really distracting us from?

Seeing Through the 'Security' Fraud

Through the insights of whistleblowers, investigators, prosecutors, military and industry insiders SHADOW WORLD reveals how the international trade in weapons – with the complicity of governments, their militaries and intelligence agencies, defense contractors, arms dealers and agents – fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracies and creates widespread suffering.

The film unravels a number of the world’s largest and most corrupt arms deals through those involved in perpetrating and investigating them. It illustrates why this trade accounts for almost 40% of all corruption in global trade, and how it operates in a parallel legal universe, in which the national security elite who drive it are seldom prosecuted for their often illegal actions. SHADOW WORLD posits alternatives through the experience of a peace activist and war correspondent, as well as through the voice of Eduardo Galeano who contributed selections from his stories for the film.

Ultimately SHADOW WORLD reveals the real costs of war, the way the arms trade drives it, how weapons of war are turned against citizens of liberal democracies and how the trade inhibits rather than enhances security for us all. In shedding light on how our realities are being constructed, the film offers a way for audiences to see through this horror, in the hopes of creating a better future.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Truth about the Western 'War Coalition'

This is Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador. His experience of the Iraq war should help clarify your world view.

"I've seen it from the inside and it is almost always about control of resources. [...] Westminster stinks. The British Government is deeply, deeply immoral. They don't care how many people they kill abroad if it advances them."

Murray is now a human rights activist.  He is talking about war crimes - violations of international law.  That means all the US and UK politicians who started and have continued these illegal and immoral wars should be tried and be held responsible for crimes against humanity.

His blog can be found here.

Climate Change Report

It's unseasonably hot here in Maine this week and snowing in California.

Our Mother Earth's body is in toxic shock and she is thrashing about. 

According to a recent report published by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, climate change is becoming a serious public health enemy.

“The changes in our climate are creating conditions that harm human health through extreme weather events, reduced air and water quality, intense heat waves, spread of vector-borne diseases, and other mechanisms,” said Mona Sarfaty, the director of MSCCH, in a statement. The consortium represents more than 400,000 American physicians—more than half of all U.S. physicians. Many of these medical professionals, Sarfaty said, “know firsthand the harmful health effects of climate change on patients.”

Dr. Sarfaty, who also serves as the director of the Program for Climate and Health at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, highlighted groups that are particularly at risk: “While climate change threatens the health of every American, some people are more vulnerable and are most likely to be harmed, including: infants and children; pregnant women; older adults; people with disabilities; people with preexisting or chronic medical conditions, including mental illnesses; people with limited means; indigenous peoples; and those throughout the United States who face regional vulnerabilities.”

See the full story here  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Statement from Iranian Peace Group

We condemn those waging terrorist attacks on Iran and advocating new wars in the Middle East!
We have received reports of the terrorist attacks on the Majlis, Iranian Parliament, in the heart of Tehran, and also in the grounds of Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in south Tehran.  According to some reports, the Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for these murderous and inhumane acts.  There are reports of several fatalities and injuries.

As an organisation devoted to the campaign for peace, the Association for Defence of Peace, Democracy and Solidarity-Iran (ADPSD-Iran) resolutely and unreservedly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Tehran and their perpetrators, whoever they are.  ADPSD-Iran condemns terrorism in any shape or form.

Although there are reports that Daesh has accepted responsibility for these attacks, the key issue for us is that they have taken place only days after the visit of the US President to Saudi Arabia during which he met and discussed regional issues and his plan for a “new” Middle East.  The provocative and dangerous statements by the US President and his Saudi hosts in singling out the Islamic Republic of Iran as the main source of terrorism in the region could not but give the green light to the dark forces being trained and prepared in advance of such actions.  ADPSD-Iran, while condemning the murderous Daesh as the immediate perpetrators of these barbarous acts, places the ultimate responsibility for these attacks squarely on the shoulders of the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies [Israel] in the Middle East.  There is ample evidence that each of these have had a part in instigating these terrorist attacks.

The US President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, his meeting with leaders of the Persian Gulf States and the irresponsible statements made by Donald Trump and his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, are the key elements in provoking such a tragic terrorist attack by Daesh at this time.  The fact that Iran has become “a near obsession” of the Trump administration and its principal strategists - National Security Adviser, H R McMaster, and Defence Secretary, James Mattis - is widely acknowledged.

The United States actions and policies are aimed at neutralising Iran’s influence in the Middle East, and in particular Syria and Iraq, and the emergence of a compliant regime in every sense of the word.

That Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, the Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, had threatened on May 2nd that his government would take the war inside the borders of Iran cannot be coincidental.

It’s not surprising that in the past few days we have seen divisions opening up in the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is clear that not all members are content to go along with the decisions of the Saudi dictatorial rulers in supporting the US’ new plan for the Middle East.

These dangerous but futile attempts are doomed to failure as people understand and view them to be an attempt to create chaos in Iran so as to progress the dangerous plans of US Imperialism and their Saudi Arabian allies.  The people of Iran have repeatedly spoken against war and terrorism.  They are struggling for peace, democracy and human rights, concepts that are alien to the designs of the US rulers and their dictatorial Saudi allies.

ADPSD-Iran believes that the current situation in the Middle East, and the extremely reckless positions and policies of Trump and other policy-makers of the United States, could endanger peace in the Middle East and particularly in Iran. Following a transparent diplomacy based on peace-making as well as protecting the vital interests of the nation and the working people of our country are the urgent needs of the current moment in order to neutralise such threats.

We call upon the World Peace Council, its affiliates and all organisations and individuals campaigning for peace and democracy in the world, to condemn the perpetrators of yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Iran and their masters in imperialist countries, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other reactionary quarters in the Middle East.

We call upon you to extend your militant solidarity with the people of Iran in their complex struggle for peace, human and democratic rights and social justice.

Together we can build a Middle East free from war, terrorism and bloodshed. 

~ The Association for Defence of Peace, Democracy and Solidarity-Iran (ADPSD-Iran) 

Wednesday 7 June 2017